PTE 89626 released

A small PTE snuck out on Thursday, PTE 89626. The most important change is the renaming of Bolo to Ant following WPMarshall’s righteous victory in The Fight For The Ant. Well done that man.

The official thread for feedback can be found here, while a guide to running the PTE is here.

AI

  • AI will do a better job of keeping the Commander safe.
  • Improved the AI’s use of Tesla Bots.

Balance

  • Fix for case where a second Ragnarok firing would overwrite a previous Ragnarok firing.

UI

  • You can no longer assist non-friendly units.
  • Improvements to the local server warnings:
    • 1) If you have set the local server setting to OFF, you will no longer see a message warning that your computer does not meet the requirements. It will still warn you that you have to either sign in or change your settings.
    • 2) The local server option in the server browser will be disabled if you have set the local server setting to OFF.
      Certain UI elements in the system editor would appear briefly while the JS was loading. They no longer appear before the scene is ready.
      Added keybindings for the ‘ammo’ build group.
  • Prevent player kill notifications from popping up at the start of a replay.
  • Fix starting planets not being indicated in the details pane of the server browser.

Miscellaneous

  • Bolos are now named Ants.
  • Added the structure tag to land mines.
  • Removed the ‘basic’ type from land mine, so that normal fabbers cannot build it. Also added the naval type, since mines can be built on water.
  • We now wait to check if the current build version is out of date until after the user has signed in.
  • Fix for an error that occurs when reconnecting to a game more than once.
  • Add Able commander to the catalog. This allows those that have Able to play it online.
  • Inform Windows that we are “DPI-aware” to fix Windows 10 changing the resolution of the game while in full screen mode.
  • Fix for audio dropping out in long/big games.

Author: Mod Type:
Discuss on the forums
Provided by CMM

Hotfix 88163 released

  • Date: 21st September, 2015
  • Category: AI, Hotfix
  • 0

The latest PTE build has been pushed to stable as a hotfix. If you read the PTE changelog then know that nothing has changed.

Feedback can be left for Uber in the threads for Classic and for Titans.

AI

  • AI perf improvement to build location updates.
  • Reduce how often the AI updates planet army data while not training neural networks.
  • Added some new inputs to the AI neural networks.
    • These new inputs represent a more strategic view of the game. This helps the AI take planet wide information into account when deciding where to attack and when to run away.
    • The neural networks were retrained for both Classic and Titans
  • More work on rally point placement.
  • Altered the way the AI chooses rally points.
  • Improved AI threat responses.
  • AI will utilize boom bot platoons a bit better.
  • AI perf fix for when the AI has a number of fabbers that cannot find anything to build or assist with.

Lobby

  • Fix for case were the connect to game screen would hang indefinitely due to getting a PollWaitTimeMS response. The screen will now only try a fixed number of times, then give up.
  • Bug fix for case where client crashed while in a lobby. The server lobby now correctly handles the case where clients disconnect without sending a leave message.
  • Fix for issue where players could not join a lobby where the creator was spectating and all other slots were empty.

Pathing

  • Units will no longer move extremely slowly when in from of a group that has reached its goal.
  • Fix for segHitPathablePos improperly returning a voxel when the check failed.
    • This is to fix a specific case in factory build task where the rolloff position would be uninitialized, causing units to roll off at odd angles and move on invalid terrain and get stuck.

UI

  • Reformat keybinds in action bar, display them within tooltips for idle fab/factories, ping, pip. Also added ability to access game stats from game menu.
  • Visual tweaks to the AI landing preferences control.
  • Added starting planet indicators to the system indicator in the new game, server browser, and load system scenes.
  • Steam users can now choose to use a display name that is different than the default Steam display name.
  • The AI landing zone policy widget will now appear when using a multi planet system that was not created using the advanced system editor.
  • Quick pass on armory tab that upsells titans. Now shows the following:
    • price
    • video trailer
    • description (pulled from steam)
    • min reqs (isn’t set to display relevant platform yet. added work needed.)
  • Adjusted the bounty mode economy modifier limits. The new limit is from 0.01 to 10.00

Miscellaneous

  • Removed the Artillery unit type from the Tesla bot.

Author: Mod Type:
Discuss on the forums
Provided by CMM

The Fight For The Ant

  • Date: 20th September, 2015
  • Category: Event
  • 1

In the deep, dark days of the Planetary Annihilation Alpha, developers and players worked side-by-side to forge a strategy game that would revitalise a genre long thought dead. These were happy, blissful days, and a sense of harmony and righteous progress lingered in the air.

Then the Beta came along. With it came many changes; the developers allowed multiple planets to be fought over for the first time and the players grew excited. In their excitement, however, they overlooked an act of treachery set in motion by the wicked Scathis. For in amongst the many treats the developers had laid out for the players, he had changed the name of the beloved Basic Tank from “Ant” to “Pounder”.

Once this monstrosity was unearthed, chaos took hold. The players demanded the restoration of the Ant’s rightful name, petitioning the developers repeatedly. One among their number stood forward as the brave champion of their cause: the Marshall.

He resiliently fought against a protracted campaign of malicious propaganda set forth by the developers. As the futility of their lies became apparent, they switched to outright mockery, changing the name of the tank with each successive patch to the game: a demonstration of their absolute power over the helpless players.

From Ant, to Pounder, to Titanium Insect, to Histericlese, to Alleged Tank, to UTC-8, to Unit Cannon, to Scamper, to BOLO, to Aventail, to Ripper – the tank was stripped of any semblance of identity it once had. The players sat back, accepting defeat. But not their Marshall.

Through a glorious propaganda campaign of his own, he kept the fires of hope alive that one day the Ant would make its return. He challenged Scathis to a duel – an honorable fight one-on-one to decide the fate of this iconic tank and to restore the honour of the Planetary Annihilation community.

The time has come, brothers and sisters, as Scathis has accepted this challenge. Join us for the glorious spectacle that is the Fight for the Ant, steamed live on Uber Entertainment’s Twitch channel at 1800hrs UTC on 26th September 2015. Celebrate with us as our Marshall fights for our honour, and decides once and for all the name of our dearly beloved Basic Tank.

Immediately after our honour has been restored, Marshall will then join Sorian from Uber in commentating on the AbleGamers Tournament 2015, where you can donate towards an exceptionally worthy cause in exchange for interplanetary carnage. Let us show Uber that the Knights of the Ant are as generous as they are righteous!

Author: Mod Type:
Discuss on the forums
Provided by CMM

PTE 88043 – goodbye lobby sim

  • Date: 18th September, 2015
  • Category: AI, PTE
  • 1

The spit and polish continues as Uber release a fresh build to PTE. A number of lobby bugs have been squashed, AI and pathing improved, and some UI tweaks made. Nothing too radical, though I think everyone will be grateful for the lobby changes.

Feedback can be left for Uber in the threads for Classic and for Titans.

AI

  • AI perf improvement to build location updates.
  • Reduce how often the AI updates planet army data while not training neural networks.
  • Added some new inputs to the AI neural networks.
    • These new inputs represent a more strategic view of the game. This helps the AI take planet wide information into account when deciding where to attack and when to run away.
    • The neural networks were retrained for both Classic and Titans
  • More work on rally point placement.
  • Altered the way the AI chooses rally points.
  • Improved AI threat responses.
  • AI will utilize boom bot platoons a bit better.
  • AI perf fix for when the AI has a number of fabbers that cannot find anything to build or assist with.

Lobby

  • Fix for case were the connect to game screen would hang indefinitely due to getting a PollWaitTimeMS response. The screen will now only try a fixed number of times, then give up.
  • Bug fix for case where client crashed while in a lobby. The server lobby now correctly handles the case where clients disconnect without sending a leave message.
  • Fix for issue where players could not join a lobby where the creator was spectating and all other slots were empty.

Pathing

  • Units will no longer move extremely slowly when in from of a group that has reached its goal.
  • Fix for segHitPathablePos improperly returning a voxel when the check failed.
    • This is to fix a specific case in factory build task where the rolloff position would be uninitialized, causing units to roll off at odd angles and move on invalid terrain and get stuck.

UI

  • Reformat keybinds in action bar, display them within tooltips for idle fab/factories, ping, pip. Also added ability to access game stats from game menu.
  • Visual tweaks to the AI landing preferences control.
  • Added starting planet indicators to the system indicator in the new game, server browser, and load system scenes.
  • Steam users can now choose to use a display name that is different than the default Steam display name.
  • The AI landing zone policy widget will now appear when using a multi planet system that was not created using the advanced system editor.
  • Quick pass on armory tab that upsells titans. Now shows the following:
    • price
    • video trailer
    • description (pulled from steam)
    • min reqs (isn’t set to display relevant platform yet. added work needed.)
  • Adjusted the bounty mode economy modifier limits. The new limit is from 0.01 to 10.00

Miscellaneous

  • Removed the Artillery unit type from the Tesla bot.

Author: Mod Type:
Discuss on the forums
Provided by CMM

Mystery Mayhem VODs are here

It’s about time, right? Quite so.

Planned prior to the launch of Titans, no one knew what the mystery was, only that it was… mysterious. Participants had little time to prepare, but everyone signed up prior to release got a free copy of this surprise requirement courtesy of Uber Entertainment. It led to some fun games where everyone was clearly trying to figure out what the heck they were doing.

If you want to see someone really struggling, check out my games on the videos page from the Titans launch livestream. Painful, painful memories.

Still, if you missed out on Mystery Mayhem then all is well because every VOD is now online. Give the page a moment to load (154 matches!) then look for the YouTube symbol, or browse the video page. As ever, it’s all spoiler free, so enjoy! If you only have time for one, then make it Match BV from round 3, which is our match of the tournament. A real nail-biter.

Of course, you know what’s better than watching the video after the fact? Watching it live! So be sure to tune in to Clash Of The TITANS this coming Saturday on the eXodus Twitch channel.

Author: Mod Type:
Discuss on the forums
Provided by CMM

Hotfix 87296 released

If you’ve been following the PTE releases then there should be no surprises here. There are a lot of crash and AI fixes and updates bundled into this hotfix, and it resolves a critical Linux bug.

The official thread for Classic is here, and for Titans it’s here.

Balance

Helios

  • Orbital teleports are inactive for a few seconds after entering orbit.

AI

  • Update to the neural network for Classic mode.
  • Toned down the AI’s nuke happy nature.
  • The AI should always be expanding its economy.
  • The AI now has a shutdown path to clean stuff up better.
  • AI will now create and destroy planet managers as needed.
  • Adjusted AI commander behavior a bit to keep it from doing nothing.
  • Improved the way the AI updates planet manager statuses.
  • Improved the way the AI calculates its main economy planet.
  • Improved the perf overhead of updating AI base deploy data.
  • Added some new cheap build conditions to test for platoon build items before we do the more costly canFindPlaceToAttack.
  • AI perf improvements to finding a place to attack.
  • AI should be less flippy floppy about what fabbers are assisting.
  • Improved AI Land and Orbital interplanetary assistance calculations.
  • Improved the way the AI chooses where to expand.
  • AI will build a bit more defenses.
  • AI should no longer attempt to build Halleys, Catalysts, or Ragnaroks if an ally already has one or more of them on the planet.
  • AI will now use the average max range for keeping targets at range.
    • This will help the AI keep as much DPS as possible in range of the target.
  • Fix for the AI getting stuck not sending out attacks due to the AI’s factory rally point being inside wreckage.
  • The AI will now disband units into the general squad.
  • Improved AI stuck detection for air based platoons.
  • More work on fixing issues preventing the AI from sending attacks.
  • Minor fixes to AI threat response.
  • Fix for issue in the AI where the recon gone state was not being handled.
  • Added an AI placement buffer value to the Ragnarok.
  • AI will no longer build the Ragnarok or the land/air titans on asteroids.
  • Added threat checks for the Orbital and Structure titan build items.
  • Fix for AI not clearing build items when a factory dies.
  • Fix for AI commander getting stuck if it was in danger as it teleported.
  • Added landing zone options to the AI in the lobby
    • If a system allows multi-planet spawns, you can force the AI to spawn on the same planet as a player, or on a planet with no players.
    • If the conditions are impossible, the AI will ignore the restrictions.
    • The option should only appear if the planet supports multi planet spawns.
  • Fix for AI checking Support Commander affordability against the advanced bot fabber.

Galactic War

  • Fixes for orbital unit damage upgrades in galactic war

Pathing

  • Units that are sent as a single interplanetary move order arrive spread out.
    • If a user made a mod that issued unique move orders across an entire planet it’d work fine and there’d be nothingwe could do to stop it.
    • Distribution isn’t even because createCelestialMoveTask is called before all units are added to the order. But it’s good enough for now.
    • orbital_arrival_radius and orbital_arrival_unit_radius are defined in nav.json. They can be tweaked to fudge things around.

Performance

  • AI influence map perf improvements.
  • Added a draw call limit to the virtual texture processing.
    •  Helps limit the amount of time spent rendering virtual texture pages.
    • Also helps reduce the amount of memory allocated to virtual texturing in texture buffers.
  • More nav perf improvements, mainly in sweep waves.

Save/Load

  • Fix for loading classic saved games
    • The saved games browser will now show saved games for both classic and titans, regardless of current mode.
    • Titans saved games will be marked with an indicator.
    • If you attempt to load a game that doesn’t match your current mode, you will be prompted to switch to that mode.
    • The main menu ‘load latest save button’ will not show a save if you would have to switch modes to load it.

System Editor

  • Editing landing zones will also lock in the position of metal spots (that way they will not be repositioned after you finish editing the landing zones).

UI

  • Added restrictions to the bounty mode modifier. Values must be within [0.1, 1.0]

Bugfix/Polish

  • Add an #id to the Uberbar options button
  • Revamp panel ordering to ensure consistent ordering even with child panels.
    • New order, starting from the top-most panel:
      • Main
      • Video Player
      • Uberbar
      • Game
  • Don’t accept input for the game panel until splash is dismissed.
  • Removed some variables that were no longer needed.
  • Fix for AI crash in land teleport to planet task.
  • Fix for resource leak related to trees and rocks.
  • Fix certain characters in your user name causing games to not start.
  • Fix for PA owners getting error about “commander_step.pfx” failing to load.
  • Fix for AI crash if the AI receives a killed unit message for a unit assigned to a planet manager that has been destroyed.
  • Fix the “Architecth” achievement requiring the orbital radar unit.
  • Fixed a bug where time spent as a spectator was not counting towards the relevant Steam achievements.
  • Fix for the bug on Linux that caused certain menus to become unclickable.
  • Mesh rendering behavioral change to help track down mesh culling crash.
  • Fix for units not leaving wreckage upon loading a saved game.
  • Fix for the default LOD group not getting set for mesh instances that are added during the frame.
  • Fix for client mesh instance crash caused by units transitioning between planets.
  • Added kickstarter backer name to credits list and their planets names to the planet list.
  • Fix issue where planes that begin a new move order after moving over CSG would do a slow vertical take off rather than move forward.
  • Fix a crash that could occur on save/load due to uninitialized memory.
  • Fix some bad perf situations on client.
  • Fix for unnecessary nav overhead on the client.
  • Fix for uv scrolling behavior on units. Now materials are only updated when the unit is moving.
  • Fix for AI crash in transport to planet task if a planet gets destroyed during the loading step.
  • Added “anti_entity_targets_units” to weapon specs to speed up anti-entity weapons that do not target units.
  • Refactored auto repair task to speed it up a bit.
  • Shared armies will no longer self destruct after 10 minutes if one of the players disconnects. The army will only self destruct if all the players in the shared army disconnect.
  • Orbital Teleporter work:
    • Update orbital teleporter to use new inCircle function that evenly distributes points across area

Wondible Discoveries

  • There is a new stock mod for PAX. It seems to require a manually launched local server (I assume they had an infinite loop which restarted as soon as it finished) It has it’s own ui_mod_list.js and won’t work with regular UI mods. Even with them off, I get stuck on Loading Solar System.
  • AI spawn selection is in server script.
  • Possible new AI conditions
    • AlliedUnitCountOnPlanet
    • Enemy(Surface|Air|Orbital)PresenseOnPlanet
    • PlanetIsRespawnable

Author: Mod Type:
Discuss on the forums
Provided by CMM

PTE 87224 available with save/load fixes

  • Date: 9th September, 2015
  • Category: PTE
  • 0

Ahead of the expected release of the PTE into stable today comes this minor update for PTE 87070 which resolves the issue of handling Classic and Titans saves in a single interface.

The official thread for classic is here, and titans is here. If you’re not sure how to run the PTE version then please check out our guide.

Save/Load

  • Fix for loading classic saved games
    • The saved games browser will now show saved games for both classic and titans, regardless of current mode.
    • Titans saved games will be marked with an indicator.
    • If you attempt to load a game that doesn’t match your current mode, you will be prompted to switch to that mode.
    • The main menu ‘load latest save button’ will not show a save if you would have to switch modes to load it.

Author: Mod Type:
Discuss on the forums
Provided by CMM

Map Pack for Clash Of The TITANS released

With just two weeks to go until Clash Of The TITANS, our 1v1 swiss tournament with the largest prize pool yet, we’re happy to unveil the final maps drawn from some of the finest available for the game. We’ve got old favourites and a few new ones to test your skills, so use the time well to prepare because your opponents will.

Author: Mod Type:
Discuss on the forums
Provided by CMM

Below are my thoughts on the challenges ahead. I look forward to the games proving me horribly wrong!

Round 1 – Roc

This map by Uber Entertainment has been part of the ladder pool since the release of Planetary Annihilation TITANS and was first seen in the quarter-finals of the Big Bang Finals.

Featuring two late asteroid spawns, it primarily plays out on the main planet with orbital being a rare feature. An initially defensible looking base proves to be hard to hold, with multiple entrances providing ample opportunity for raids. Large craters between the bases mean frontal assaults can quickly turn to the defenders advantage.

Clash Of The TITANS - Roc Clash Of The TITANS - Roc Clash Of The TITANS - Roc

Round 2 – Diadem

A map by superouman seen in the Big Bang Finals, it featured heavily in the finals and may be remembered for one particularly epic game.

Don’t be deceived by its simple two path appearance, there’s a lot of opportunity for trickery. Water in the lakes can be grabbed by air, or denied by torpedo launchers. High ground on either sides of your base must be guarded jealously else you will lose access to sizable amounts of metal not only on the ledges, but also on the ground around them with Grenadiers being free to rain death down on you.

Clash Of The TITANS - Diadem Clash Of The TITANS - Diadem Clash Of The TITANS - Diadem

Round 3 – Forge

This map by Uber Entertainment is a classic which has stood the test of time. This semi-final game of Clopsey 9 is a personal favourite of mine, though this final game of Evil Twins is perhaps a more typical bit of play.

If you don’t know this map like the back of your hand then you need to ladder more as it has been a feature of the pool since the introduction of custom terrain. Featuring heavy tank play, the rush to grab the easily defensible six metal to one side has died down a little with the Drifter providing an easy way to raid this space. While an all vehicle play with limited air support has been a mainstay on Forge, some players have been experimenting with early Booms to take advantage of this.

Clash Of The TITANS - Forge Clash Of The TITANS - Forge

Round 4 – Aquarius

This map by superouman represents the first of our new entries, not seen before in tournament play.

I’m excited to see how this one plays out. There’s a great concentration of metal on a plateau between the two bases, along with smaller amounts spread out across several platforms. The sea stretches between both bases, and a strong position here also offers firing opportunities direct onto the enemy’s stronghold.

Clash Of The TITANS - Aquarius Clash Of The TITANS - Aquarius Clash Of The TITANS - Aquarius

Round 5 – Sauron

Another map by superouman also not seen in tournament play before.

As with many of his maps it has two primary routes, one which leads through a central arena with strong metal concentrations to the side. Meanwhile the back route has an easily defensible choke, but the metal sits beyond it and has two paths curving either way around a massive repository of metal accessible only by air.

Rather like with the Prof X system, I think the outcome of the battle for the air accessible metal will also determine the outcome of the game.

Clash Of The TITANS - Sauron Clash Of The TITANS - Sauron Clash Of The TITANS - Sauron

Round 6 – The Island

A map by Alpha2546 which features two asteroids accessible from the start of the game.

Most of the metal is on the land between the bases, but it’s spread out in a forest area. With terrain preventing the easy traversal of land troops from one side to the other, expect to see plenty of air raids. While the sea doesn’t have as much, it offers easy rear access to the base. Plenty of opportunities for Drifters, or just plain old coastal bombardments.

The asteroids have very little in the way of metal and I don’t expect them to feature in most games, but they do offer an opportunity to give yourself a slight economic edge should the game stalemate, and a way to end the tournament in glorious fashion.

Clash Of The TITANS - The Island Clash Of The TITANS - The Island Clash Of The TITANS - The Island

Tiebreaker – Systeem X

In case of a tie we have this final system from [RLM]Mot9001, updated by PAG_Elodea for the SuperCommander tournament series.

This is a very old school map. Very little terrain, and a spread out metal layout which will favour aggressive bot or air play. This kind of system sees a lot of back and forth and can either end very quickly, or lead to a protracted battle with both sides probing the other for weaknesses. Anyone who played Planetary Annihilation back in beta will feel very at home here.

Clash Of The TITANS - Systeem X Clash Of The TITANS - Systeem X

Author: Mod Type:
Discuss on the forums
Provided by CMM