Friday, May 10, 2019

Cosmoteer 0.14.10 - Ion Beam Prisms

Cosmoteer update 0.14.10 is now available for download! This update enhances the existing Ion Beam Emitter weapon and makes it WAY cooler by adding the Ion Beam Prism. It also makes a significant change to the game mechanics of structure pieces, as well as a handful of other improvements and fixes.

What's New

Ion Beam Prism

The Ion Beam Prism is a new 2x2 exterior ship component that combines and redirects any ion beams that are shot into it, resulting in a potentially far more powerful beam:

The Ion Beam Prism is mounted on a swiveling turret and can aim in a full 360 degrees, albeit very slowly. This feature alone makes the Ion Beam Emitter a much more versatile weapon, though at a significant cost increase.

But the real power of the Ion Beam Prism lies in its ability to combine multiple beams into a single, stronger beam. This makes it easier to focus all the power of multiple Ion Beam Emitters onto a single enemy target, as well as allowing the emitters to be housed within the interior of the ship while only exposing a single or small number of (ideally well-protected) Ion Beam Prisms to enemy fire.

Combining multiple beams is not without cost though, since each additional beam contributes 25% less power than the previous beam. To maximize the power of a single ion beam, it is optimal to combine exactly two same-sized beams per prism. Combining more than two beams in a single prism, or combining two beams of significantly different sizes in a single prism, will result in considerable power loss.

Ion Beam Prisms are also very fragile, and if they are destroyed while a beam is being shot through it, the resulting ion explosion can devastate the surrounding area as well.

To use an Ion Beam Prism, just build one in front of an Ion Beam Emitter, and the Emitter will be smart enough to shoot when the Prism is aiming at the enemy. You can also link multiple Ion Beam Prisms together to form a chain by selecting an individual Prism and clicking the "Link" button.

"Structure" Mechanics Changes

The "structure" pieces (those little girder tiles that hold the ship together) have also received a significant change to how they interact with the weapons on their own ship. Previously, structure pieces would block any weapons on their own or allied ships from firing over them, meaning you couldn't put any structure in front of your weapons without blocking them. But in this update the game mechanics have changed so that your own weapons can now shoot over your own structure pieces. This should make it easier to build and use Ion Beam Prisms, as well as make it easier in general to create clever ship designs.

The way that enemy weapons interact with structure pieces is unchanged (enemy weapons will still fly over them while damaging the first structure piece), with the exception of missiles, which will now fly over structure without exploding, unless the missiles were specifically targeting the structure.

... And More!

This update also has a handful of other improvements, fixes, and modding features, which you can read all about in the changelog.


Friday, April 26, 2019

Cosmoteer 0.14.9 - New Multiplayer "Domination" Game Mode

Cosmoteer update 0.14.9 is now available for download! This update adds a new multiplayer competitive game mode called "Domination".

In Domination games, players vie to capture "control points". These are large, circular areas that, once captured, provide steady streams of income for the players or teams who control them. Players can then use this income to warp in new ships during the battle. Capturing more control points than your opponent will give you the upper hand to eventually defeat them.

The battle starts with most control points already owned by a player or team. To capture an enemy's control point, you must first fly one of your ships into its circle, which will start contesting it and eventually convert it to "neutral", meaning it is not owned by any team. The speed at which a control point is neutralized depends on the size of your fleet within the circle compared to the enemy's fleet within the circle.

Once neutralized, a control point can be captured and made your own simply be eliminating all enemy ships within it and defending it for a few seconds while your own ships capture it.

Final victory is assured by either capturing all control points or owning more control points than your opponent once the timer ticks down to zero.

Before the battle, you will pre-select a "loadout" of up to five ship designs. During the battle, you can spend the money you've earned from your control points to warp in new ships using any of those five designs. (And in a pinch, you can also swap out any of those five designs for any other design in your library.)

The purpose of this new game mode is to provide a deeper challenge that emphasizes having a variety of ship designs for different situations, that allows you the opportunity to counter the ships that the enemy uses, and that requires you to make strategic and tactical decisions during the course of the battle.

This update also has a handful of other minor improvements and fixes, which you can read about in detail in the changelog.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Cosmoteer 0.14.8 - Tractor Beams

Cosmoteer update 0.14.8 is now available for download! This update adds a new support "weapon" system, the Tractor Beam Emitter.

The Tractor Beam Emitter is a very large, very expensive system that fires a beam of gravitational energy at other ships and objects. It has two modes of operation, "pull" and "push", and uses considerable amounts of power in both modes.

In "pull" mode, the tractor beam can "tether" to any object within 200 meters and then slowly pull it in with a weak gravitational force. While useful for pulling in debris and inanimate objects, that force isn't strong enough to pull in an enemy ship that is resisting it with its thrusters. However, once attached, the beam can then stretch up to 200 additional meters, and as the beam stretches, both its gravitational strength and power usage increase greatly, making the beam act similarly to a rubber band.

In "push" mode, the tractor beam acts as more of a "spring", pushing away ships and objects with a strength depending on how close the target is; closer targets will be pushed away with more force and will use more power while doing so.

Once you add a Tractor Beam Emitter to your ship, new buttons will be displayed that allow you to target the tractor beam onto other ships:

By default, tractor beams will aim for the center of the targeted ship, but you can also aim them at a specific part by holding the Ctrl key while targeting. Tractor Beam Emitters also use "pull" mode by default, which you can change by selecting the Tractor Beam Emitter and toggling their mode to "push".

Unlike all other weapons currently in Cosmoteer, Tractor Beam Emitters are "roof mounted", meaning they do not need to be placed on the edge of your ship to function; instead, they fire the beam over-top their own ship. But you'll still need to be mindful of where you place the tractor beam because they exert an "equal and opposite" force on their own ship, potentially "yanking" your ship around and exposing a weak side. (Of course, you can also use tractor beams to "yank" enemies as well!)

While Tractor Beam Emitters are the main new feature of this update, there are also a number of additional balance changes, bug fixes, and modding features.


Friday, March 29, 2019

Cosmoteer 0.14.7 - New backgrounds, balance changes, interface improvements, and more!

Cosmoteer update 0.14.7 is now available for download! This update includes new space backgrounds and planets, balance changes, user interface improvements, new modding features for your favorite mods, and a bunch of other quality-of-life improvements and fixes.

What's New

New Backgrounds & Planets

All of the space backgrounds and planets have been updated to look a lot nicer! More importantly, they do a much better job at matching the game's overall visual style than the old backgrounds. Here are a few examples:

Balance Updates

This update also makes a number of signficant balance changes such as tweaking Cannons to emphasize short-range brawling, allowing Railgun Accelerators to increase Railgun range, making E.M.P. and Nuclear Missiles easier to shoot down, and overhauling Point Defenses to have a much longer range. You can read the detailed list of balance changes in the changelog.

User Interface Improvements

First on a long list of interface improvements is a long-requested feature: a detailed list of weapon & part statistics, which can be viewed by hovering the mouse cursor over a part and holding the Alt key:

Another long-requested feature was the ability to give ships a "creator" name and custom lore or description, both of which have been added to this update. Hovering over a ship in the Ship Library will display its name as well as creator and description, if it has any.

New and lapsed players may appreciate a revamped tutorial system with less-intrusive tutorial popups and an easier-to-navigate "How to Play" manual:

Multiplayer has also has received a number of other frequently-requested interface improvements, such as the ability for the host to assign ships to players, a button to force-start the game even if other players aren't ready, features to mute and kick players during a match, and an always-on-screen list of each player's score in Arena games.

... And more!

There are a ton more features and fixes in this update that you can read about in the changelog that weren't big enough to mention here. (Things like multiplayer performance improvements, new title screens, and math equation support when modding data files.)

Have fun!


Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Cosmoteer 0.14.5 - Nukes, E.M.P.s, Mines, Flak, and more!!!

At long last, after months of work, I'm very happy to finally announce that Cosmoteer's 0.14.5 update, by far the largest ever, is now done and available for download!

What's New

Tactical Nuclear Torpedoes

Tactical Nuclear Torpedoes are a new type of super-missile that cause massive damage in a large area. Unlike the conventional High Explosive Missiles, Nukes are slow, short-range, and unguided, but if you can get in close and hit them with a salvo, you can lay waste to your enemies.

Nukes are launched from the same launcher as the conventional missiles, and you can change what type of munition the launcher fires at any time, even during battle. So one tactic might be to pummel your enemy from afar with the High Explosive missiles to weaken their defenses, switch to nukes, and then swoop in close to let off a devastating nuclear salvo.

Nuclear Missile parts are manufactured by a new factory, the new Nuclear Torpedo Factory. This is a large and very expensive module that produces Nuke parts very slowly, so you'll need to be choosy about when to fire off your Nukes.

Electromagnetic Pulse Missiles

Electromagnetic Pulse Missiles, or "E.M.P.s" for short, are a new support weapon that, like Electro-Bolters, drains power from enemy systems, but does so from afar and with a large area of effect in which power gets drained. They are even faster and longer-ranged than the conventional High Explosive missiles, making them ideal for taking out the enemy's shields or disabling their engines from afar.

E.M.P.s do have an Achilles' Heel though, which is that armor will act as a "lightning rod", attracting some of the power-draining electrical bolts.

Like Nukes, E.M.P.s are fired from the regular missile launcher, which can be switched to fire E.M.P.s at any time. They are manufactured in their own factory, the E.M.P. Missile Factory.

Proximity Mines

Proximity Mines are a tactical armament that can be used to punish enemy ships for intruding into your space, for slowing down enemies in pursuit, or even, in niche situations, as a direct offensive weapon. Once a mine is launched and deployed, they will wait silently until an enemy ship ventures too close and then detonate, shooting out deadly piercing shrapnel in all directions.

The main drawback of Mines is that they need to deploy before becoming a threat, and they can only be deployed once they slow down to a sufficiently low speed, making them difficult to use as an offensive weapon on fast-moving ships.

Like Nukes and E.M.P.s, Mines are actually also fired from the regular missile launcher, meaning that you can freely switch between High Explosive Missiles, E.M.P.s, Nukes, and Mines at any time, even during battle.

They are manufactured by the Mine Factory, which uses both power and cannon ammunition to produce the mines. Unlike the other missiles, a single crewmember can carry an entire mine, making them fast to load into the launcher and fire, but they're slow to produce, so you may want to stock up on mines for when you need a lot of them.

Flak Batteries

The new Flak Battery is a large quad-barreled weapon that can fire at both enemy ships and enemy missiles, mines, projectiles, and lasers. It's a good all-around defensive system and a decent anti-ship weapon, but it's limited by its short range and very narrow arc of fire.

Like the Cannons and Railguns, the Flak Battery uses standard cannon ammunition manufactured by the Cannon Ammo Factory.

... And much more!

Nukes, E.M.P.s, Mines, and Flak are just the beginning of this update! The changelog is by far the longest ever and includes new features like revised area explosion mechanics, user interface improvements like shield health bars, balance changes, crew A.I. enhancements, performance optimizations, bug fixes, and a ton of new modding tools to make your favorite mods even more awesome.

Have fun!


Download Cosmoteer 0.14.5

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Cosmoteer 0.14.4 - Multiplayer 'Arena' Mode

Cosmoteer update 0.14.4 is now available! This update adds a new multiplayer mode called "Arena" along with multiplayer "rulesets", plus a ton of other features and fixes.

Arena Mode

The new "Arena" multiplayer mode is intended to address some of the deficiencies of the old "Last Player Standing" mode. (Which still exists but has been combined with Team vs Team into a single mode called "Elimination".)

The problem with Last Player Standing is that, when playing with three or more players, it creates a standoff situation where none of the players are incentivized to attack first because doing so is almost always a poor decision for either or all of the players who fight first. This is both unfair to those players and often delays the start of combat in those games.

The Arena mode solves that by changing the victory condition from "be the last player standing" to one that rewards players for being aggressive: specifically, by awarding points to players for damaging and destroying enemy ships, and by allowing them to respawn when their own ships are destroyed and keep fighting. The player or team at the end of the match with the highest number of points is declared the winner.

Holding the spacebar at any time during a multiplayer battle will show you the scoreboard:

Once all of a player's ships are destroyed, they can respawn with a whole new fleet and rejoin the battle. Players can also choose manually respawn before their ships are destroyed, but doing so will cost them 25% of the points that their remaining ships are worth, and their old ships will remain on the battlefield for other players to destroy and earn points from.

While waiting to respawn, players can also choose to change any ships in their fleet, allowing players to choose ships to better counter their opponents.

This new Arena mode can be played with up to four teams or as a free-for-all.

Elimination Mode

Since the old Team vs Team and Last Player Standing multiplayer modes were so similar, they have been combined into a single mode called "Elimination". This new mode supports up to four teams and free-for-alls, and its options can be configured to exactly recreate the old Team vs Team and Last Player Standing modes.

Multiplayer Rulesets

This update also adds "rulesets" for multiplayer games. Rulesets are simply pre-defined configurations of game options that the host can select from, though the host is still free to customize the individual options as they desire.

Each multiplayer mode has a handful of "official" built-in rulesets. Arena mode has five "Free For All"-style rulesets for five different fleet values: 100K, 250K, 500K, 1M, and 2M. Elimination mode has ten official rulesets: five that recreate the old Team vs Team mode, and five that recreate the old Last Player Standing mode, each at those five different fleet values. When playing with an official ruleset, the multiplayer lobby will display the ruleset being used next to the game mode icon:

Players can also save their own custom rulesets for their own convenience, although these will not be displayed next to the mode icon in the lobby.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Cosmoteer 0.14.3 - Bug Fixes

Cosmoteer update 0.14.3 is now available! This is a minor update that fixes a bunch of bugs. It has no major new features and should be compatible with all mods that are already compatible with 0.14.2.

Download Cosmoteer 0.14.3