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  1. Firstly, if you do not know how to access the experimental branch on Steam, please read the instructions (and warnings!) in this thread. All saved games from earlier versions (including experimental versions) are incompatible, attempting to load them will cause problems. We had to pull the previous experimental build because there were serious issues with the AI. It has taken us longer than we would have liked to fix those, but in the mean time we have made enough progress that we feel it is worth promoting this update to a full new build. There are more refinements to alien grenade use in this build (such as the exciting: aliens don't just throw them all the time oh god). Also an important change to UFOs that should prevent lots of the weird behaviour that resulted from them not having a logical "roof". We think we have managed to crush the "cursor offset" bug that's been annoying users of certain resolutions (particularly after alt-tabbing). I've listed the changes from build 6 below here too, in case you missed them. New changes from build 7: Fixes - Aliens now have limited ammo again (including grenades) - Grenades should no longer be able to be thrown through walls by aliens - Also fixed being able to throw through diagonal tiles borders in certain instances - Fixed hidden movement screen hiding important visible events - UFOs now have "roof tiles" which should prevent grenades being thrown into/out of them - Thanks to above, jetpack units should not be able to see down into UFOs from above - Moved the active point of the Geoscape cursor, this should fix the problem where it is mis-aligned on certain resolutions - More misc Geoscape UI improvements - Fixed windows of the Middle Eastern house blocking line of sight - Reposition a poorly placed Light Scout spawn in one of the desert maps - Alien Base Communications Array now correctly unlocks the Quantum Cryptology Center research - Fixed an instance where reaction fire could be triggered through walls/obstacles if they had not been revealed - Eliminated about 100MB of redundant data Additions - New animated sprites for both alien grende types - Modified explosion graphic for advanced alien grenade - Ground Combat now uses same cursor as Geoscape - New door cursor Balance - Alien base missions grant 25 country relation points for completion (Terror Missions don't yet, waiting a fix) - Alien grenades first appear with Soldier level troops and above (you won't see them at the start of the game!) - Alien strength increased from 50 to 100 to let them throw grenades further - Alien grenade damage increased (likely to insta-gib an unarmoured soldier) - National relations bonus from shooting down UFOs is now a flat rate, rather than steadily increasing (the rest of the system doesn't scale that way) Changes from Experimental build 6: Fixes - Fixed game hanging on certain alien base attack missions - A large number tweaks, fixes and improvements to the Geoscape UI and related windows - Throwing grenades will no longer be blocked if there is an obstacle above the line of sight to a target - Increased Xenopedia font size - You should no longer be able to throw grenades into a building by throwing them at the upper floors - Fixed Battle Rifle displaying Plasma Pistol Xenopedia article - Fixed crouching bonus back to 80% (it was reset to 60% accidentally) - Tweaks to the blocking tile layout of Scouts and Landing Ships to fix issues with jagged edges, incorrectly sorted hull etc... - Fixed barn roof displaying incorrectly when viewed from the side - Deleted some duplicate unused tree sprites - Updated target point tile to be a little easier to read in the editor - Fixed minor visual issue with garage door open state - Fixed Chinook exit for vehicles being blocked on a particular desert map - Fixed an instance where you could instantly lose by placing your base on a city near another city - Fixed issue where throwable items rendered on all levels Additions - Added explanatory tooltips to tutorialise various screens to the player (Can be disabled at game start) - Introduction of additional AI behaviours for aliens -- Aliens should now throw grenades -- A large number of tweakable values for aliens have been introduced in aiprops.xml - New animated sprite for the Singularity Core - Added new dropship images behind Xenonaut soldiers on the soldier equip screen - Finally snapped and fixed the awful transit van drop shadows - Added Xenopedia image for Alien Armour Plating Balance - General update to air combat balance - too many changes to list individually, but generally: -- Ranges of starting aircraft reduced, so the Condor now has quite short legs! -- Speeds of aircraft and UFOs adjusted to encourage progression, Condors will have trouble catching UFOs reliably -- Damage of Xenonaut weapons adjusted: 2 heavy missiles now always do slightly more damage than the equivalent 2 light missiles + gun -- UFO health adjusted in line with the damage changes so that earlier weapons have an increasingly tougher time against later UFOs -- Turn rates of various craft adjusted to encourage more manoeuvring around larger UFOs in air combat -- Radar ranges of Xenonaut aircraft adjusted so they now progress from small to larger on later long range craft -- Maintenance costs of all aircraft set to a flat rate of $100000 per month for fighters, $50000 for dropships - no increase for later craft -- Auto-resolve rebalanced to take into account all of the above -- Build cost of Mig31 increased to 200000, as the above changes gave it a bit of a buff -- Reduced Refuelling time of aircraft by about a third -- Increased re-armament time from 30 to 60 minutes - Also rebalanced the maintenance costs of base buildings from around 10% of the cost of the building to 25% - Introduced a build time for new bases, and significantly increased the maintenance cost of command centre - Updated mission scores so that ground combat missions no longer provide national relations boosts (the relations boost now comes from shooting down UFOs) - Xenonaut grenades increased in blast radius from 2-3 - The shaded tiles for grenade blast radius now indicate tiles that receive at least 50% of the grenade damage, up from 25% - Base defense turrets now do far more damage than previously, but have a lower chance to hit - Stun grenades now do a small amount of stun on impact - Stun gas now deals twice as much stun damage (also investigating a bug where this may not be getting applied properly) - Made many alien props slightly tougher, as in many instances a stray shot could have destroyed them outright - Alein grenades do incendiary rather than kinetic damage (making them better at destroying props) - Difficulty setting changes: UFOs now have 75% HP on Easy, and alien invasion speed is now at 75% / 100% / 120% / 150% for the 4 levels - Tweaked AP cost of alien grenades - Normalised speed of various projectiles Please post your comments on the build here. If you encounter any bugs please post them in the experimental build sub-forum of the bugs forum. I will post new threads in the beta forum shortly for in-depth discussion of the current Geoscape and Ground Combat balance, but feel free to post brief opinions here too. EDIT: I just pushed a minor fix to prevent aliens running out of ammo in ground combat
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