In the prior three months, work on The Second World War was dedicated almost entirely to land-based Offensive and Defensive military AI. This process consumed most of our efforts and kept us from moving into other areas. For this release we’ve turned our attention to improving the Air and Sea gameplay.
Bombing your enemy’s cities has become more consequential with the new factory hitpoint system we’ve added in Update #8. When your air units target city industries, the attacks can damage factories and potentially wipe out the buildings. Damaged factories do not run their production but they do automatically heal. While it’s not meant to be easy to destroy factories, sustained bombing can keep them idled while chipping away at the infrastructure hitpoints.
A new air unit property called “Accuracy” has been added to give us a better way of distinguishing technically superior units. The combat routine uses this factor to modify the % chance to achieve a successful hit on the target. Before this feature, bombing results were mostly differentiated by Attack Power which determines how much damage a successful hit might inflict. Accuracy will be applied to both bombing and strafing attacks.
The air Ai is being encouraged to aggressively carryout bombing campaigns on enemy cities. This will require players to take measures to defend their industries from production interruptions. AI fighters are ordered to escort the bombers to the extent of their own range. Beyond that distance, bombers will be at the mercy of enemy fighters and AA guns. There’s upcoming work needed to improve AI air defense priorities, engaging enemy air attacks and air group size management. This should all be completed for Update #9.
We’ve also worked on improving how the AI manages troop transport convoys. Too many of these units were being sent off without escorts. Now the AI will wait and try to find combat vessels to pair with. If a naval group escorting troop transports is intercepted by an enemy force, the AI is now more likely to attempt to retreat in order to save the convoy. Both these measures should make troop transports less vulnerable and reduce the MPU losses at sea.
On the system side, we did another round of memory optimizations that should help minimize issues with game crashes. Going forward, we’ll continue looking for more ways to improve stability and performance. Some players have pointed out that city building demolishing took too long. We’ve alter the time to be 5 turns for all buildings. And finally, because of the changes that added hitpoints to factories, Mods created before this release will not work properly. There is file you can download from the Factus Games Support page that will fix the issue.
Next week the team is scheduled to continue finishing up Air and Naval AI. Some further focus will be given on the American entry and impact on the war. This should involve gameplay improvements associated with invasions and nuclear warfare.
We are also beginning to work through the overall list of remaining must-have items needed for release. There’s still plenty to do, features to polish, bugs to fix and remaining content to balance. Still, with the majority of AI rewrites completed, the final release of the game should be a matter of weeks rather than months.