Early Access Game Update #7
A newly updated version of The Second World War is now available. The team lost a week or so to the holidays and there were a few sick days to overcome. Even with those obstacles, we executed a long list of improvements to the game. Again, most of our efforts have been AI related but we are continuing to add new content, events, feature improvements and of course bug fixes.
In this release we are introducing a new scenario called Last Days of Peace. It begins a few weeks before the Invasion of Poland. This allows players to skip the buildup years and get right into the war. Neither scenario is 100% complete so expect to see further balancing and content as we work towards release.
A new big addition to the AI has been to give it motivation to create and maintain contiguous fronts against enemies and potential threats. The implementation for this system took us through several variations. Initially the AI tended to become too narrowly focused on specific regions due to strength evaluations. Rather than spreading the units out along a front, we ended up with big stacks that led to gaps in front. Eventually the big stacks became pockets, often surrounded by Heavy Artillery that pounded them to extinction. It was kind of fun to see but not the gameplay we were looking for.
There were many factors to consider beside just having an enemy on the border. There is the opposing nation’s strength to consider but also the relationship status. We do not want Canada to think they need troops on the US border and vice versa. Some nations like the Soviet Union are so large that their defensive needs are always greater than what they have available. So the defense priority evaluations are especially challenging for the Soviet AI. They became our ultimate test case while we worked out the rough edges.
The AI is also considering potential invasion threats by sea or through bordering buffer states. Support Allies improvements allows the AI to better defend on Allied fronts and fill the fronts throughout their empire. Additionally, we’ve introduced the concept of Secondary Fronts so the AI will now try to create lines of reserves.
All the Major nations now have unique Unit Icon images. So you no longer will see a British soldier or Tank in a Japanese unit panel. We’ll soon have all the images in to match the unit you see on the map.
Next week the team will be shifting attention over to Air and Sea gameplay. One goal is to significantly increase the impact of strategic bombing against industrial targets. This will include changes to the way cities receive damage and the presentation of bombing results. Nations should be compelled to focus attention on defending the homeland against attacks by patrolling fighters and constructing air defense infrastructure. The AI is already doing a lot of air operations. But we’d like to increase the activity and add greater emphasis to air weapon systems that truly came of age during WWII.
With the Naval Ai we’ll be looking at improving survivability decisions like convoy grouping for troop transports, knowing when to run away from a fight and avoiding unnecessary engagements with coastal defenses. Carriers are currently good at air attacks but they need to get better at using their fighters to defend the task force.
Thanks again to all the current users out there that take the time to post messages about issues and ideas. This process would be taking us even longer to get through without your support.
Notes for Early Access Update #7
- Added new pre-Poland invasion scenario “The Last Days of Peace”
- Fixed icons for mapview tooltip for food production
- Lowered Militia Hitpoint & Defensive Strength
- Added Italian, Soviet, French & Japanese Unit Icon Images
- Updated Cossack, Huisu & Kyrgyz Communist Flags
- Added missing Soviet claim on Tajikistan
- Updated Initial Diplomatic Influence for Soviet vs. neighbors
- New Soviet-German Axis Trigger
- Added events that can damage German-Soviet Relations pre-Poland Invasion
- Added Spanish Gibraltar claims
- New Argentina Coup and Axis Decision events
- Added Soviet Armistice event
- New Brazil Joins Allies, Nationalists Coup Attempt and Communist Revolt events
- Added German Claims in Africa event
- Implemented AI to maintain Front against enemies and threats
- Front AI will avoid creating gaps when evaluating regions to invade
- Revised defensive AI to spread along contiguous fronts
- AI accounts loss of defense in a region for moving troops in the support allies plan
- No longer uses attack power from equipment units for offense planning
- Better accounting for support allies in the return home plan
- Support Allies AI has more defensive awareness
- Added group splitting logic to Support Allies AI
- Implemented AI to create secondary (reserve) fronts
- Increased AI defense for coastal regions in other nation's sphere
- Added Amphibious Assault penalty & Terrain modifiers for offense AI evaluations
- End attack plans when desired power can not be deployed
- Add pre-war land Regions to Sphere of Interest target checks
- Great Powers and Superpowers can invade outside their sphere
- Increased desired strength for overseas invasions
- Fixed AI bug sending wrong group when splitting units for defensive
- Modified desired strength estimate and definition of Obvious Targets
- Regions that don't border the enemy but do border an Ally use less defense
- Ignore equipment units when evaluating target planning
- Expand definition of bordering an enemy to include unfriendly regions with troops
- Include Buffer States when evaluating border defense
- AI won't abandon coastal regions when reorganizing defenses
Game System Changes:
- Neutrality Pacts no longer prevent defensive evaluations
- Revised supply access rules to be based on region control
- Troop Transports no longer contribute to Military Totals
- Troop Transports no longer contribute to World Power Points
- Fixed fuel penalty displays on non-Naval Group panels
- Can now edit sea regions for existing cities
- Fixed adding city buildings when no city building of that type existed
Also in News
This release is a major update that offers several big feature activations. To begin with the Making History: The First World War Editor is now available. A starter mod scenario called Empty World has been included.
The update this week unlocks the Multiplayer feature. Players can now Host & Join games in using The First World War game lobby. We’ll soon be adding Editor and Steam Workshop support.
There is a new Armored Train unit and this will receive better combat balancing by the next update. Besides fixing small content bugs, feedback on The Balkan Wars has led us to make some modifications to the nation AI to increase adherence to a more historical flow.