Responding to Evil Twins feedback

As part of any tournament we collect feedback both from the players who took part and from the viewers who watch live. We received quite a lot of comments for the Evil Twins Qualifiers and Finals and thought it might be helpful if we responded directly to some of the points raised.

Why didn’t you postpone once the patch was released?

We had agreed a date and time in advance with eight players, two casters, one moderator and one member of staff. That’s twelve people who blocked out their Saturday for this event, not to mention all the viewers who marked it in their calendar.

We feel that changing the date at the last second would be unprofessional and disrespectful to those who made themselves available. It might mean we couldn’t run the event or get full turnout, and it doesn’t guarantee that another patch won’t be released before the next event.

Patches are a fact of life outside of our control and we’re afraid we’re just going to have to roll with them.

What happened to Sunday tournaments?

We ran a poll on the Uber forums and Saturday evenings were overwhelmingly more popular than any other option.

The rules seemed very dense and it was easy to get disqualified

We agree that for new players they can be quite overwhelming. They’ve grown as new edge cases have been identified and rules created to handle them. We’re discussing internally how we can slim them down. We do try to highlight key items in the e-mail reminders we send out to players.

Are colour restrictions still enforced?

Yes. We don’t actively monitor this rule outside of cast games, but if your opponent is using colours which the rules don’t permit then you should request that they change them. Failure to use approved colours could lead to a rehost or automatic disqualification if raised with tournament staff.

Why was the name so complicated and obscure?

We wanted something we could cosplay during the event. The photos have since been destroyed.

Use pole lock

Ladder maps feature spawns very near the pole regions, which is where pole lock can cause navigation issues. While we understand that some viewers will prefer a pole lock view, we allow casters to use whichever they’re more comfortable to ensure the best experience they can provide.

Players should have longer breaks between rounds

We would love to be able to do this. Our limiting factor currently is staffing, we’re never going to turn off the stream for half an hour or play a please wait video mid-tournament. This means that player breaks require content to fill the space, and that requires staff to do it. In addition it means the tournaments run longer and would need to start earlier. We’re still looking at our options, a tournament of this length is new to us.

The casters could do with improving their game knowledge

This was a comment received for the Evil Twins Finals. The comment didn’t go into more detail so we presume it’s due to a couple of mistaken comments Quitch made around changes by the patch. Unfortunately with a patch launching so close to the tournament mistakes will be made, though he admits he forgot to re-read the patch notes just before the tournament.

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Hotfix build 79600 is live!

Coming out of PTE is the latest release patch, bringing with it a wealth of bug fixes, as well as some AI improvements including a much requested one in regards to Pacific.

If you had switched to PTE then it’s time to switch back to stable as all the fixes have arrived. And remember, if you encounter any problems, turn off your mods and try again.

All feedback should be submitted in this thread.

Balance

Air death weapon

  • Radius decreased to 0.75 from 1.5

Gunboat (Piranha)

  • Will no longer attempt to fire at units on the sea floor

AI

  • Improvements on neural network for AI

Systems

  • Fix for uneven starting metal on pacific

Polish/Bugfix

  • Fix for performance hit when doing planet wide patrol
  • Fix for metal spots being unbuildable
  • Fixed AI nuke crash
  • Fixed crash for save/load
  • Fix for nav crash
  • Fix for spectators being able to pause the games
  • Removed Galactic War Save button until it is functional
  • Fix for units not attacking sometimes
  • Fix for platoon crash

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PTE 79538 – the AI learns Pacific

  • Date: 20th March, 2015
  • Category: AI, PTE
  • 0

PTE 79493 didn’t make it to release yesterday due to some additional issues that needed correcting. This also left time for Sorian to sneak in a quick AI improvement. You may also see the AI using infernos poorly in the current release build, an issue which will be fixed once the neural nets have been retrained now this attacking bug has been fixed.

Provide any PTE feedback to Uber in this thread. If you’re not sure how to access PTE then check out our guide.

AI

  • AI will evaluate what it can deploy (land/naval) at the start of the game for planets with mirrored starts.

Polish/Bugfix

  • Fix for units not attacking
  • Fix for local save/load

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PTE build 79493 – fixes and AI updates

A new release is coming tomorrow, but before then is a short window to test out the changes in PTE. A few nasty bugs being stamped out in this one. Feedback to Uber in this thread.

Balance

Gunboard (Piranha)

  • Will no longer attempt to fire at units on the sea floor.

AI

  • Improvements on neural network for AI

Systems

  • Fix for uneven starting metal on pacific

Polish/Bugfix

  • Fix for performance hit when doing planet wide patrol
  • Fix for metal spots being unbuildable
  • Fixed AI nuke crash
  • Fixed crash for save/load
  • Fix for nav crash
  • Fix for spectators being able to pause the games
  • Removed Galactic War Save button until it is functional

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Evil Twins Finals VODs online

  • Date: 18th March, 2015
  • Category: Video
  • 0

Following on from the never boring Evil Twins Qualifiers came the long awaited Evil Twins Finals. Seven Planetary Annihilation veterans and gregorianmonks, our qualifiers wildcard, faced off to see who was the best.

And of course a patch went live just before the tournament.

While we weren’t able to cast every match from the finals those we did capture showed some of the best 1v1 play yet. There were upsets, terrible caster predictions, astounding bits of micro, and a finish which had the crowd on its (virtual) feet.

All this has been bundled into a series of VODs for your convenience. Check out the matches page to see them all, just look for the YouTube symbol.

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Hotfix Build 79380 now live

  • Date: 16th March, 2015
  • Category: Hotfix
  • 0

To resolve some of the known issues in the previous patch, Uber have deployed the promised hotfix.

  • Replays are once again functioning (though replays created from the previous build will not work as they are corrupted)
  • Fix to issues with auto attack
  • Non-local save load is now working (Currently your playfab save games will be located under Replays, My Replays (down under View). This flow will be better in the next Save/Load pass.
  • Orbital Fabber restrictions can no longer be bypassed

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Communication and Teamwork in Planetary Annihilation

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(P)Jonasmod of Promethean has written up an article called Communication and Teamwork in Planetary Annihilation on how to succeed in team games. It’s all about, you guessed it, communication and teamwork. Come learn from this veteran of the Clan Wars.

“I’m (P)Jonasmod. I’ve played Planetary Annihilation since mid-beta and my favourite game mode is 2v2, shared armies. I’ve participated in a couple of tournaments, am a senior member of the Promethean Clan and have played in Clan Wars season one.

I’ve gained some respect from being able to beat players far better than me together with my teammate, (P)Killander.

The key to victory is communication. I will share how we communicate and what kind of information you should share with your partner during a game.”

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Known Issues in 79317

  • Date: 14th March, 2015
  • Category: Hotfix
  • 0

Release build 79317 came out two days ago, but some reports have come in of issues with the build. A hotfix is planned for Monday, but until then be aware of the known issues below.

Known Issues

  • Replays not working
  • Orbital fabber can build a few things we don’t want it to
  • Attack move is not working great
  • Playfab save/load
  • Playfab server issues (playfab looking at this now)
  • Chronocam stat figures after game not working
  • One report of OS X lag
  • Linux UI freeze (even with –software-ui.)
  • Cheat broken

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Release Build 79317 – Single-player save/load first pass!

It’s finally here, and we’re not just talking about save/load, but rather the release as a whole. Release build 79317 may be one of the most extensive balance updates Planetary Annihilation has seen, and it has been painstakingly done in conjunction with you, the PA community, thanks to PTE testing.

This is the build that will be used in this weekend’s Evil Twins Finals tournament, so come along and watch if you want to see what a difference the balance changes make.

The build contains not only save/load for AI skirmish games (this is a first pass, later updates will bring it to Galactic War and multiplayer) but also balance changes which have thoroughly changed the opening game. Don’t forget to update your mods, and to test with them disabled before reporting technical issues.

I’ll let Uber Entertainment’s jables speak for the build:

“Hey all! Over the last month, we’ve been pushing on getting save/load working in the single player side of PA. We’ve also done tons of balance tweaks based on feedback and our balance folks watching replays and streams, added 2 new maps (1 for ranked play and 1 for general play), did some fairly big performance improvements for large army fights, and hit as many bugs and polish items as we could.

This is the first pass of our save/load work, so you’ll see it missing items we want in the final. That being said, we are currently working on those elements, but since this version was working, we wanted to go ahead and get it out so you could use it. I’ve explained what is in this version below (single player AI skirmish saving), as well as what we hope to get in next (galactic war mid game saving and resume from anywhere in a replay loading). Take a look, and if you want to join the conversation, or run into any issues, please join us over on the Uber forums!

Save/Load (first pass)

Planetary Annihilation Release Build 79317

An empty screen of possibilities…

  • Very first pass on Save/Load now in game in its beta form (there will be some bugs, but we wanted to get this out for players to make use of asap)
  • Save/Load now works with AI Free For All skirmish
    • Currently it will not remember dynamic alliances
    • Currently has issues with alliances ending the game
  • Save/Load currently does not function for Galactic War
  • Spectating won’t work after you lose a loaded game
  • The sim will freeze while saving. This could take shorter or longer depending on amount of stuff being saved
  • You can also view save files as a replay
    • In the future this will allow you to pick a spot in chronocam and load the game there, though it is not yet functioning
  • Next passes will be adding some of the missing functionality from above, including Galactic War and resume from anywhere in a replay.

Balance

General

  • Added air_pbaoe ammo (air units with this will do AE damage on death)
    • Damage set to 30
    • Splash Radius set to 1.5
    • Splash Damages Allies set to True
  • All radar units that require energy to see the surface layer now require energy to see the underwater layer
  • Commander and missile turret weapons now prioritize pelicans over other non-prioritized air units

Air

Air Scout (Firefly)

  • Sight Range increased to 250 from 200

Fighter (Hummingbird)

  • Added air_pbaoe as death weapon
  • Health decreased to 150 from 200

Bomber (Bumblebee)

  • Metal Cost increased to 280 from 240
  • Rate of Fire decreased to 7.5 from 10.0
  • Added air_pbaoe as death weapon

Interplanetary Fighter (Phoenix)

  • Health decreased to 200 from 300
  • Ammo Lifetime decreased to 2 from 5
  • Added air_pbaoe as death weapon

Tactical Missile Bomber (Hornet)

  • Added air_pbaoe as death weapon

Air Factory

  • Area Build Separation increased to 6 from 3

Gunship (Kestrel)

  • Metal Cost decreased to 600 from 720

Land

Radar

  • Radar Range increased to 450 from 400
  • Orbital Sight increased to 600 from 500

Advanced Radar

  • Radar Range increased to 900 from 800
  • Orbital Sight increased to 1200 from 1000

Wall

  • New model to better communicate that your units can shoot through it
  • Mesh Bounds changed to [5, 3, 14] from [5, 5, 7] (Taller, more narrow)
  • Metal Cost increased to 50 from 25
  • Health decreased to 3000 from 5000
  • Atrophy Cooldown decreased to 0.5 from 15.0 (this is the time it takes for unit being built to die if you abandon it before it is finished)
  • Atrophy Rate increased to 20.0 from 0.416667

Unit Cannon

  • Health increased to 18,000 from 9,000

Assault Bot (Dox)

  • Move Speed decreased to 18 from 20

Boom Bot

  • Damage decreased to 600 from 700

Combat Fabricator

  • Can no longer build walls.

Anti-Nuke

  • Ammo Lifetime decreased to 5 from Infinite
  • Velocity increased to 500 from 400

Vehicle Factory

  • Area Build Separation increased to 6 from 3

Bot Factory

  • Placement Size changed to [30,55] from [30,60]
  • Area Build Separation increased to 6 from 3

Grenadier

  • Firing Arc Type changed to High from Low
  • Max Firing Velocity increased to 68 from 53
  • Min Firing Velocity increased to 65 from 50
  • Range increased to 125 from 105
  • Vision Range increased to 130 from 120

Heavy Tank (Leveler)

  • Hit points increased to 1500 from 1000
  • Turn Radius decreased to 60 from 90
  • Yaw Rate increased to 30 from 15
  • Splash Radius increased to 3 from 0
  • Full Damage Splash Radius increased to 1 from 0

Commander

  • Build Energy Draw increased to 2000 from 1500
  • Energy Production decreased to 2000 from 3000
  • Metal Production decreased to 20 from 30
  • Metal Storage increased to 1500 from 1000
  • Energy storage increased to 45,000 from 20,000

Metal Extractor

  • Metal Cost increased to 170 from 150

Naval

Battleship (Leviathan)

  • Ammo Lifetime decreased to 4 from 10

Naval Factory

  • Placement Size changed to [20,50] from [20,47]
  • Area Build Separation increased to 10 from 3

Advanced Naval Factory

  • Placement Size changed to [50,125] from [50,70]
  • Area Build Separation increased to 10 from 7

Orbital

Orbital Deepspace Radar

  • Metal Cost increased to 600 from 300
  • Orbital Sight Radius increased to 1000 from 500

Orbital Factory

  • Health decreased to 9,000 from 15,000
  • Orbital Sight Radius increased to 250 from 100

Orbital Mining Platform (Jig)

  • Nuke Radius increased to 250 from 200
  • Area Build Separation increased to 100 from 50

Defense Satellite (Anchor)

  • Metal Cost increased to 2200 from 1800
  • Orbital Sight Radius increased to 600 from 280

Ion Defense (Umbrella)

  • Orbital Sight Radius increased to 500 from 300

Orbital Fabricator

  • Orbital Sight Radius increased to 250 from 100
  • Can now reclaim features and wreckage
  • Can now assist and repair units and structures in the orbital layer
  • Can now assist and repair teleporters

Orbital Lander

  • Orbital Sight Radius increased to 300 from 100

Orbital Fighter

  • Orbital Sight Radius increased to 400 from 250

AI

  • Adjustments to how AI prioritizes based on planet resources
  • AI unit cap is now adjustable via the ai_config file
  • Improvements to AI threat handling
  • Added Submarine influence for the AI
  • AI will scout smarter depending on difficulty
  • AI will now realize if its nukes are destroyed mid flight and react
  • AI will now use subs
  • Completely re-worked neural networks for the AI
  • Fix for an instance of AI getting stuck
  • AI will now defend base for longer before abandoning it
  • Minor changes to how AI will invade a planet

Galactic War

  • Phoenix, Barracuda, Kraken and Unit Cannon enabled in Galactic War

Matchmaking

  • Added new ranked system Amplus to the matchmaking pool

Pathfinding

  • Units falling behind the group will now pathfind much better

Performance

  • Performance improvements for large army battles and large numbers of units
  • Optimization pass on weapon tasks
  • Improvement for dark side of the planet with shadows turned off

Systems

  • Added new systems Amplus and Blitz to the default system list
  • Updated every ranked system with new iterations
  • Removed Battlefield and Inner Sol System from the pre-made system list
  • Adjusted the recommended players for all of the ranked systems and the PAX system
  • Increased average metal on random planets
  • Random planets will no longer spawn to where they will collide with one another
  • Fixed landing zone bug on random planets

UI

  • Save games filter added to Replay browser
  • Added Random System picker to the game lobby

New Commander

  • Sangudo

Planetary Annihilation Imperial Sangudo Commander

Polish/Bugfixes

  • Fixed issues of Assisting/Repairing failing (most commonly seen from Factories with Patrol not having fabbers it built assist it)
  • Fixed for units under construction by orbital factory moving when factory is being assisted by orbital fabbers
  • Fix for rare cases where units would not fire
  • Fix for a few coherent crashes
  • Fix for missing vision on reconnect
  • Fix for build orders not loading (not factory queues, but actual build orders like from Commander or Fabber)
  • Annihilazer should now load correctly (unless it’s mid-fire, you will need to fire it again in that case)
  • Credits system added for our writer
  • Coherent fix for crashes
  • Fix for crash in AntiWeapon code (should fix that anti-nuke not firing issue)
  • Online (PlayFab) save games are found under Replays (Local saves still found in same spot, this will be better in future pass)
  • Upgrade to Coherent 2.5.4
    • Update to UI framework that should improve stability of the game on Mac & Linux
  • Change Gamma display name from Delta to Gamma
  • Factory build task improvements
  • Fix for cases where army vision was not granted correctly
  • Fixed case where shift key would get stuck while panning the mouse
  • Fixed crash from patrolling with large amount of subs
  • Fix for amphibious units not using patrol correctly

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PTE 79270 – the Grenadier which could

We’re getting awfully close to that mid-March release, but before then another PTE has been released following on from PTE 79020. Features of this patch include another nerf to radar, further nerfs to walls with increased costs and removal from the Combat Fabber, and a major buff to Grenadiers. Even more importantly, a huge update to the default systems with all the existing systems updated and new ones added for ranked mode!

Uber’s tvinita has said he wants as many people testing this one as possible so check out our guide on installing PTE and then let Uber know what you think.

Balance

Assault Bot (Dox)

  • Move Speed increased to 18 from 17

Grenadier

  • Vision Range increased to 130 from 120
  • Splash Radius increased to 6 from 5
  • Full Damage Splash Radius increased to 2 from 1
  • Range increased to 125 from 115

Walls

  • Metal Cost increased to 50 from 40
  • Health decreased to 3000 from 4000
  • Atrophy Rate increased to 20.0 from 0.416667

Radar

  • Radar Radius decreased to 450 from 500

Advanced Radar

  • Radar Radius decreased to 900 from 1000

Vehicle Factory

  • Placement Size changed to [30,60] from [40,60]
  • Area Build Separation increased to 6 from 3

Air Factory

  • Placement Size changed to [30,30] from [40,40]
  • Area Build Separation increased to 6 from 3

Bot Factory

  • Placement Size changed to [30,55] from [40,55]
  • Area Build Separation increased to 6 from 3

Naval Factory

  • Placement Size changed to [20,50] from [40,50]
  • Area Build Separation increased to 10 from 3

Advanced Naval Factory

  • Area Build Separation increased to 10 from 7

Tactical Missile Bomber (Hornet)

  • Added air_pbaoe as death weapon

Interplanetary Fighter (Phoenix)

  • Added air_pbaoe as death weapon

Unit Cannon

  • Health increased to 18,000 from 9,000

Air Scout (Firefly)

  • Sight Radius decreased to 250 from 300

Combat Fabricator

  • Can no longer build walls.

Maps

  • Updated every ranked system with new iterations
  • Added new ranked system Amplus to the matchmaking pool.
  • Added new systems Amplus and Blitz to the default system list.

Planetary Annihilation PTE 79270 Planetary Annihilation PTE 79270 Blitz

  • Adjusted the recommended players for all of the ranked systems and the PAX system.
  • Removed Battlefield and Inner Sol System from the premade system list.

Save/Load

  • General bugfixes to save/load
  • Beta added to in-game Save button

Bugfix/Polish

  • Fix to lack of vision on replays
  • Improvements to losing buildings when drag building
  • Fix for groups of units going too slow when moving with other groups
  • Perf improvements tied to projectile events
  • Improvements to Idle system
  • Fix for Commanders not being able to assist factories
  • Fix for vision issues on reconnect

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