Stellar Monarch version 1.41

Version 1.41 released

This version contains a lot of rebalancing, an option to bribe pirates and an improved starmap generator. I was continuing to examine the savefiles you sent me, especially then ones at higher difficulty levels and I was trying to find out why it’s too easy at difficulty 9, that’s when I found a kind of “bug” or to be more precise a dubious design decision regarding difficulty calculations made at an early stage of the development. Basically, not all races were scaled to the difficulty (like pirates) and some races were scaled quite gently (like The Hive). After some deliberation I decided to rewrite that part and unify the difficulty calculations for all races. Now all races scale by more or less the same magnitude based on the difficulty. The intended result is that if you play at the Normal difficulty you should not notice much of a difference but when you play at Hard/Insane it should really shake things up. I also added you an option to bribe pirates with an interesting cost formula which scales to time and number of planets so it should be affordable at the beginning but not so at the end. The next change was the starmap generator. There is a subtle change regarding galactic rim. Now there are fewer connections between edge systems and there are no very long connections (which allowed you kind of “fast travel” if you controlled the galactic rim). Now the edges of the galaxy look much more interesting (shape wise) and is better gameplay wise.

– [feature] Bribing pirates option (intelligence screen).
– [feature] Extra difficulty settings for those who still find it too easy even at the highest difficulty. To enable it go to options and enable “Experimental features”, then, when you select difficulty 9 you will see additional options to make it even harder (note it’s totally not recommended, it’s just an extra option for people who know what they are doing).

– [balance] Changed military power formula (for all races). Now they all scale to the selected difficulty level (previously pirates were not scaled, The Hive was only minimally scaled, etc). This greatly changes the balance at difficulties other than normal.
– [balance] Rifts open much earlier at difficulty 7+ (previously at 8+).

– [misc] Changed starmap generator (nicer looking edges, fewer connections at the galactic rim, no long connections on the galactic rim).
– [misc] Transdimensional aliens and all other races which do not use reinforcements mechanic will disband zero units squadrons (a cosmetic change to avoid clutter of empty units in some very rare cases).
– [misc] Small spelling and linguistic improvements.

– [interface] Added warning notice when selecting difficulty 8+ on the new game screen.
– [interface] Small interface improvements.

– [fix] Added fallback to ugly planet names when nice planet names list is exhausted. It fixes a very rare cosmetic planet names bug on huge galaxies.
– [fix] Open rifts (via audience) was not working properly.
– [fix] Trade with self bug fixed (although, for a moment I was considering if that’s a bug or a feature :)).