Test: 17 Patches, kaputtes Spiel

Sword of the Stars 2 Test

Am 25.11. in Deutschland im Handel erschienen, auf Steam schon seit 28.10. verfügbar, am 17.12. auf dem Stand einer Alpha-Version: Das ist Sword of the Stars 2. Es ist aber auch ein faszinierendes Globalstrategiespiel im Weltraum. Oder besser: Es könnte das sein. Beziehungsweise einmal werden. Irgendwann. Ein Besuch auf der Baustelle.
Jörg Langer 17. Dezember 2011 - 1:25 — vor 7 Jahren aktualisiert
Sword of the Stars 2 ab 1,65 € bei Amazon.de kaufen.
Info: Am 21.10.2012 veröffentlichte unser User Limper einen ausführlichen Bericht zum "All Clear"-Patch zu Sword of the Stars 2.

Damit uns niemand vorwirft, herzlos und ungerecht zu sein: Wir kennen die Story hinter dem kleinen kanadischen Studio Kerberos, den begrenzten Ressourcen und der bösen realen Welt, in der man Mitarbeitern regelmäßig Gehalt zahlen und dem Vermieter regelmäßig Büromiete überweisen muss. Wir kennen sie bei GamersGlobal sogar sehr gut. Und wir haben auch den langen Rechtfertigungspost von Kerberos-Geschäftsführer Martin Cirulis gelesen. Vor allem aber haben wir mit diesem Test mehrere Wochen gewartet, in der Hoffnung, nach mehreren Patches (mittlerweile sind es 17) sei das bei Digitalrelease Ende Oktober unspielbare Sword of the Stars 2 - Lords of Winter in einem halbwegs guten Zustand. Nach dieser Präambel wollen wir mit dem Test eines auf dem Papier hochinteressanten 4X-Strategiespiels (von: "explore, expand, exploit, exterminate") beginnen, von dem wir euch zum jetzigen Zeitpunkt jedoch dringend abraten müssen.

100 Jahre sind ein Tag
Seit dem ersten Teil ist in Sword of the Stars qua Hintergrundgeschichte ein Jahrhundert vergangen. Die zeitliche Progression wird dadurch angedeutet, dass ihr standardmäßig bereits mit drei Kolonien startet statt nur mit einer, zudem ist (wieso auch immer!) die kleinste Schiffsklasse, der Zerstörer, zum Alteisen geschickt worden. Doch erneut balgen sich sechs Rassen um die Vorherrschaft in der Galaxie, deren grundsätzlichen Aufbau ihr aus einer langen Liste von "Layouts" wählen dürft: Doppelhelix gefällig, oder doch lieber ein Spiralarm? Auch sonst stellt ihr einiges ein, bevor ihr dann mit bis zu sieben Gegnern (jede der sechs Fraktionen existiert in zwei Varianten), die ihr ebenfalls auswählt oder dem Zufall überlasst, das Spiel beginnt.

Schrecken ohne Ende: Patch-Exzesse
Ein Bild sagt manchmal mehr als tausend Worte, und 17 teils ausufernde Patches innerhalb von 7 Wochen nach US-Release (gerne mit dem Zusatz: "macht alte Save Games kaputt") sagen das ihre. Damit ihr euch die Dramatik hinter Kerberos' Versuch, ihr halbfertiges Globalstrategiespiel doch noch zu fixen, vorstellen könnt, hier die Patch Notes in vollem Umfang (im englischen Original). Wohlgemerkt: Noch immer stürzt das Spiel unvermittelt ab, fehlen zahlreiche Funktionen, erscheinen Variablenbezeichnungen statt eines Fraktionsnamens, mangelt es an Feedback oder Infos. Wir schätzen, dass noch nicht einmal Halbzeit ist in Sachen Kritische Patches bei Sword of the Stars 2: Lords of Winter.

***********
16 Dez 2011
***********
Sword of the Stars II: Lords of Winter Update Released

r18645b

Critical Fixes:
+ ** Fixed known empty fleet issues caused by orphaned battle riders not being removed. **
+ Fixed crash due to module instance count not matching actual module count.
+ Fixed the crash caused by selecting fleets while in the province edit mode.
+ Fixed the crash caused by multiple special encounters (for instance System Killer and Asteroid Monitor) at the same system.
+ Fixed the reported colony update crash.
+ Fixed the reported System Killer crash.
+ Fixed a crash caused by bad data in certain turn events.
+ Fixed a crash that could be caused by transferring a battle rider to reserves.
+ Fixed the crash caused by a colonization fleet being destroyed just prior to the appearance of the Colony Self-Sufficient dialog.
+ Fixed a potential crash that could be caused by removal of collision from dying objects.
+ Fixed a crash that could be caused by not having enough admirals for starting fleets.
+ Fixed planetary missiles not firing.
+ Fixed numerous known issues with fleet pathing.
+ Fixed a bug where a different station would be upgraded than the one selected.

Other Fixes:
+ Fixed known issues with Battle Cruisers.
+ Fixed an issue where detonating weapons were not selecting the correct targets.
+ Fixed known issues with lagging PD target tracking and PD target selection.
+ Improved general target leading in combat.
+ Increased turret tracking speeds in general.
+ Fixed an issue where multi-volley weapon firing sequences were being timed incorrectly.
+ Fixed an issue where drones were not firing their targets.
+ Disabling a Command Monitor or its turrets now forces a neutral state to eliminate unwanted combat.
+ Fixed an issue where battle riders were launching in the design screen.
+ Fixed known issues with the Combat HUD showing incorrect information for multiple ship selections.
+ Fixed an issue that was causing jitter from ships in formation flying around planets in overthrust mode.
+ Immigration slider is now hidden until until the correct technology is available.
+ Fixed an issue where disruptors were not disabling turrets.
+ Fixed a few smaller issues with Protean placement.
+ Fixed the issue where battle riders were not being provided with default ships.
+ Fixed the missing Siege Driver impact effect.
+ Fixed many localization typos.
+ Fixed known turret arc issues.
+ Fixed some material issues on various Human faction models.
+ Fixed an issue where stance changes were being erroneously applied to battle riders and stations.
+ Fixed bug where player was being charged for civilian built mining station.
+ Fixed bug where enemy fleets would show up in phantom fleet widget when turn is ended.
+ Rewrote turn transition interface flow to more accurately represent turn processing time.
+ Removed scrim from GUI loading lockout, which may eliminate the rare reports of being stuck on a screen forever.
+ Fixed bug where tooltips would be one line no matter how long they where.
+ Fixed known issues with variable weapons in the weapon test screen.
+ Fixed known issues where Drone carriers were not attaching drones.
+ Fixed known issue where meteors could not be destroyed.
+ Fixed an issue where weapon recharge times were double the intended value.
+ Fixed bug with Zuul where all civilians where being considered as slaves
+ Updated colony UI to properly represent slave vs civilian population.
+ Fixed a bug where a player's own colonies could be misinterpreted as being out of sensor range.

Other Changes:
+ Added new Double Helix star map.
+ Introduced combat AI surround and flank behaviors.
+ Adjusted some tech costs.
+ Made improvements to the research screen.
+ Tutorial pop-ups for Research and Starmap updated to reflect changes.
+ Added border and background to star map fleet and planet lists.
+ Planet orbital position changes have been disabled.
+ Asteroid Monitor special projects have been added.
+ Colonies will now launch heavy missiles if the population is high enough.
+ Introduced corrosive ship damage from weapons.
+ Added a better visual effect for ships being disrupted by EMP.
+ Improved strategic AI capabilities.

Key Known Issues:
*** This update breaks old save games. ***
- Tempest Array weapons are not firing.
- Some star systems have anomalous moon orbits.
- System Killer auto resolve is not producing results.
- Tarkas and Zuul Dreadnoughts have various turret arc corrections still to be made.

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13 Dez 2011
*************
Sword of the Stars II: Lords of Winter Update Released
Product Update

r18454c

+ Fixed Node Line deteriorating event crash.
+ Fixed colony destroyed crash.
+ Fixed VN target crash.
+ Fixed a von neumann constraint violation that was adding a bogus target.
+ Fixed constraint violation when inserting a weapon bank.
+ Fixed System Killer move order crash.
+ Star map nebula and other features are back.
+ Fixed colony populations not updating.
+ Added colony max repair points calculation to database to fix various bugs with colonies as repair ships.
+ Fixed inconsistency bug where ships requiring repair where not showing up in repair widget.
+ Fixed rounding bug where slightly damaged ships could never be repaired fully.
+ Fixed Liir Flickerwarp availability.
+ Fixed Spinal Mount availability.
+ Fixed numerous module, section and technology descriptions.


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10 Dez. 2011
*************
Sword of the Stars II: Lords of Winter Update Released

r18454b
------

- Fixed crash when launching drones in weapon test screen, backing to design screen, and then switching mission sections
- Fixed crash caused by opening battle manager at a system where platforms are available for placement.
- Fixed crash that could occur when destroying weapons in combat.
- Fixed crash at end of turn when offering treaty
- Fixed occasional crash due to Main Menu combat
- Enemy AI will prioritize faction opponents over random encounters when choosing stance
- Strat AI will now prefer to enter conquering stance over expansion when past the war threshold.
- Modified the calculation for AI expansion factor, it will no longer take into account unexplored systems.
- Various adjustments to enemy AI's decision-making process
- Various adjustments to enemy AI to properly utilized specialized weapons
- Added combat UI for clicking on target locations for relevant weapons (Siege Driver, Detonating Torpedoes and COL).
- Fixed bug where platforms weren't showing up in defense manager
- Fixed bug where ships built with new Gate designs would not be available for the Gate mission.
- Fixed a bug where dissolving a fleet would lead to empty fleets.
- Seige Drivers working for all factions
- Fixed known issues with mine laying in combat.
- Fixed missing repair capacity on relevant ship sections.
- Minelayer sections working for all factions
- Fixed mine behaviour (depending on mine - tracking, etc.)
- Fixed various Torpedo sections that weren't firing
- Fixed arc of movement on all Zuul free-beam turrets
- COL weapons added.
- PD weapons now only engage PD targets
- Targets engaged per turret, not per bank (allowing PD, Torps, etc. engage multiple targets)
- Fixes for various weapon icons/names
- Fixed handful of missing tech descriptions
- Salvage missions are now properly being generated
- Fixed prototype modifiers for Human faction
- Fixed salvage profits
- Fixed weapon cost calculation in designs
- Ship option savings cost multipliers are now applied per section instead of per ship.
- Fixed various diplomatic messages that weren't displaying
- Fixed incorrect calculation of turret efficiency based on power and crew.
- Technical knowledge now gathered during combat
- Research progress now displayed in Research screen
- Completed technologies now clearly marked in green
- Fixed bug where players were unable to build habitations for their own race
- Fixed bug where Zuul players could build alien habitations
- Allowable distance between systems in a province has been increased to 8-ly.
- Fixed various turrets with odd parameters and placement
- Fixed various weapons with odd parameters
- Fixed Morrigi BR AM engine label (not a streak engine)
- Added ability to set initial fire mode and target filter when creating a ship design
- Any ships left in a removed fleet are now properly cleared
- Introduced new Scan Satellites and Torpedo Satellites
- Any remaining ships in a removed fleet will now be deleted
- Fix to a constraint violation between diplomacy and turn events
- Combat ready ships will increase the calculate strength of an empire more than utility ships
- Fixed defense platforms not showing up in Combat
- Fixed known issues with tracking speed on turrets
- Introduced initial pass diplomacy requests and demands
- Fixed a sound bug when constructing stations (event played when ordered, not completed)
- Fix potential issue where system/planet killer would not avoid a station in its path
- Added weapon panel configuration to design screen
- Fixed known issues with direct-fire torpedoes behaving incorrectly
- Fixed known issues where boarding pods and assault shuttles were not able to connect to ships
- Fixed rider patrol paths around a star

Known Issues
*** This update breaks old save games. ***
- Human faction unable to select typo of COL for COL section ships.
- Slaves and system information are not yet hooked up to diplomacy.


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6 Dez. 2011
***********
Sword of the Stars II: Lords of Winter Update Released

r18221d
------

Critical Fixes:
+ Fixed crash when deleting favorite invoices.
+ Restricted transfer to defense fleet from fleet manager, which could have led to a crash.
+ Fixed the memory leak/crash when displaying range/damage graphs for weapons that don't supply these values.
+ Fixed a crash in simulated combat related to fleets not being removed.
+ Fixed crash caused by colony intel not being removed when colony lost.
+ Fixed crash caused by only allowing a single defense fleet per system (should be defense fleet per system per player).
+ Fixed per-player initial technologies, colonies and savings.
+ Fixed duplicate module icons when exiting the design screen with the module selector present.
+ Fixed crashes related to new treaty news event messages.

Other Fixes:
+ Increased trade ranges for Human, Tarkas, and Liir-Zuul factions (game must be restarted for change to take effect.)
+ Fixed bug where battle riders would stay in construction system.
+ Fixed bug where bore ships where not refreshing node lines.
+ Added "No Module" item to the module selector.
+ Fixed bug where drones were not returning to tender in the weapon test screen.
+ Fixed issue where friendly ships were pursuing and firing at each other in combat.
+ Added research tech button to feasibility study dialog.
+ Changed research cube visual and added feasibility state.
+ Removed ability to build alien zuul habitations.
+ Removed alien habitation requirements from science stations.
+ Fixed bug where Alien habitations where showing up for races that werent encountered.
+ Fixed bug where foreign habitations would show up with no foreign player encountered.
+ IOBM's now actively acquire new targets.
+ Hooked up names properly on favorite invoices.

Other Changes:
+ Tool tips added for ship statistic icons, weapon target filter and weapon behavior buttons.
+ Tweaked beam impact effects.
+ Tweaked combat AI behavior.
+ Disabled abandon colony button in New Colony dialog


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2 Dez. 2011
***********
Sword of the Stars II: Lords of Winter Update Released

r18221c
-------

+ Fixed the bug where alien habitations would not become constructible on discovery of alien races.
+ Fixed initial battle riders not showing up in initial fleets.
+ Fixed a crash related to ship design options.
+ Fixed known issues with weapon/shield interactions.
+ Fixed an issue where control zones were not being updated after combat.
+ Fixed a crash that could occur when accessing defensive fleet positions after coming out of combat.
+ Fixed an issue with unresponsive ships in AI controlled combat.
+ Fixed a combat AI crash related to switching objectives.
+ Fixed known cases where required ship design options could be removed.
+ Fixed a post-combat crash caused by accessing information for destroyed ships.
+ Fixed the crash caused by accessing the Battle Manager for an empty star system.
+ Fixed a crash caused by missing module information text.
+ It is no longer possible to scrap enemy ships.
+ Added missing tool freighter, imports and trade goods tool-tips.
+ Added missing treaty accepted and treaty declined text.
+ Hooked up point of interest pings in sensor manager for certain random encounters.


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1 Dez. 2011
***********
Sword of the Stars II: Lords of Winter Update Released

r18221b
------

*** This update hasn't been tested extensively on old save games. ***

Critical Fixes:
+ Improved turn times, especially for games with a large number of systems or players.
+ Fixed an issue in combat that was preventing players or AI from issuing waypoints for ships.
+ Fixed a crash the could occur when issuing orders to a ship with no crew.
+ Fixed a crash when entering combat with a beam-equipped planet.
+ Fixed an rare crash when entering combat that could be caused by destroyed turrets.
+ Fixed a combat AI crash related to ship formations.
+ Fixed a potential lock-up at the end of combat.
+ Initial pass at Diplomacy mechanics and interface.
+ Treaty and Declare War options are now available in the diplomacy screen.

Other Fixes:
+ Fixed minor issues with the players list in the lobby.
+ Fixed a server browser issue where more players than the max allowable would be displayed for a game.
+ Fixed known issues with combat AI not detecting enemy ships.
+ Fixed known issues where AI controlled ships could get stuck navigating around planets.
+ Fixed an issue where AI ships could fly into planets when performing fly-by maneuvers.
+ Combat AI will now attempt to lead targets when in pursuit instead of lagging behind.
+ Fixed minor issues with the Von Neumann Collector AI.
+ Fixed an issue that was preventing combat AI from listening to defense objectives.
+ Fixed a minor issue with Protean AI that would cause Proteans to venture too far from their planets in pursuit of

targets.
+ Protean AI will now engage multiple targets.
+ Scattered AI task groups will now attempt to regroup when they get too scattered.
+ Civilian ships will now attempt to evade enemies unless they are the only ships left in combat.
+ Randomized AI patrol directions.
+ Fixed intermittent bug where ships in weapon test would not fire after a round of multiplayer combat.
+ Fixed an issue where a ship coming into combat with a dead module or turret would still get benefits of that module or

turret.
+ Fixed a number of turret errors (placed inside ship, placed backwards, etc.)
+ Fixed Torpedo and Barrage ship sections to remove possibility of accidental torpedo imapacts when firing.
+ Fixed an issue where destroyed ship sections were coming into combat with modules and weapons.
+ Fixed the issue where unlocked Steam achievements were not being published. The game will post all currently unlocked

achievements the first a players starts it after the update.
+ Fixed the issue where the steam overlay was not available in many cases.
+ Ships now drop out of overthrust when they reach their destination.
+ Ships awaiting docking of riders will now slow to 50% speed during the process.
+ Overthrust now prevents the launching of riders, and ships now recall riders before going in to overthrust.
+ Fixed a number of log file spam issues.
+ The System Killer will no longer run into stations.
+ Fixed bug where design name would be different than default if no name was entered.
+ Restricted prototypes to their own build orders.
+ Changed design display style and added delete buttons to items.
+ Made fleet summary button disable on end turn.
+ Added fleet summary dialog.
+ Added skills to initial admirals.
+ Added tooltips to admiral traits in admiral manager.
+ Removed preferred fleet icon from various places where it should not show up.
+ Ship prototypes are now class-specific.
+ Constrained drone turret arcs.
+ Ballistic weapons now only collide with deflectors and graviton shields.
+ Energy weapons now only collide with disruptor and meson shields.
+ Increased costs of technologies by about 20-30% in general.
+ Many minor tweaks to weapons.
+ Various minor weapon and ship section art fixes.
+ A loading screen is thrown up when transitioning back to the main menu.
+ Drone designs no longer get random faction names.
+ Fixed build order removal.
+ Locust menaces are now implemented.
+ Fixed an issue where muzzle node scaling was doing odd things to weapon effects.
+ Fixed an issue where some beams were firing backwards due to negative scaling factors.
+ Fixed an issue where idle animations were not playing in the weapon test screen.
+ Fixed an issue where ricochects were no longer occurring.
+ Fixed missing module icona and descriptions.
+ Added module information display classes
+ Fixed bug in battle manager when entering with both your own and enemy colonies in the system
+ Added module information display to build screen
+ Introduced new color scheme for build items.
+ Fixed a bug where players from previous games could show up in the diplomacy screen for subsequent games.

Other Changes:
+ By popular request, a SotS1 Human avatar makes it's return.
+ Added turret viewing filters to the design screen.
+ Rotation of the ship in the design screen is now constrained to a single axis.
+ Added more obvious differentiation between prototyped and non prototyped designs.
+ Added color coding to admiral trait display in admiral manager.
+ Diamond icons now show up for ships at a distance in combat.
+ It is now possible to configure options for ship sections in the design screen.
+ Weapons can now be configured on ships in the design screen by clicking points on the ship model as well as the icon

itself.
+ Added tutorial pop-up for Diplomacy screen.
+ It is now possible to scrap ships by clicking the trash can icons.
+ Selected design weapons are now displayed in the build screen.
+ Improved module selection in the design screen.
+ Added new star map: Jax.

Key known issues:
- Default options are not being enforced in the design screen.
- Scrapping ships does not yet yield bonuses.
- AI is not assigning design options correctly.
- When playing in single-player mode with the end turn delay, UI elements do not get locked out between turns.
- The game is not allowing alien habitation modules to be constructed even after encountering other players.


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24 Nov. 2011
************
Sword of the Stars II: Lords of Winter Update Released

r18092b
------

Critical fixes:
- Fixed a crash in multiplayer that could be caused by players creating new provinces.
- Many changes have been made to the combat AI including the introduction of a hierarchical task system. Combat AI can now

set up patrol positions, scouts and will engage in new maneuvering behaviors to mix things up.
- Fixed bugs in the combat AI that were preventing it from attacking colonies and ignoring other nearby objectives.
- Game transfer to players joining multiplayer games is no longer excessively throttled. This will make joining multiplayer

games much faster in most cases.
- Fixed an issue where the strategic AI was not correctly allocating fleets to missions.
- Fixed an issue where placing a station to construct would immediately subtracts a large sum of savings, most notable with

the Hiver Naval Station.
- Patched a very rare crash that could occur when creating a new game.


Other fixes:
- Fixed some station collision geometry issues.
- Fixed some incorrectly identified nodes on station art.
- Fixed materials on Hiver IOBM's.
- Fixed bug where change to end turn button delay would not occur until a new turn.
- Specters no longer pursue drones and other fast battle riders.
- Fixed a UI bug where launching battle riders would not work for all selected units.
- Added missing Auxilliary Fission and Fusion engine section modules.
- Rewrote star map selection code to fix various selection bugs and inconsistencies.
- Fixed tech unlocking in Encycolopedia.
- Fixed errors with right click menu and stopped menu from focusing.
- Removed unintentional sensor range cap on fleet movement.
- Relocation missions will now only be available at systems in which you have a colony.
- Reduced savings cost of Human Polytechnic Institute from 10-million to 1-million.
- Fixed a tech tree issue where Fusion Cannons might not be available when they should.
- Fixed incorrect tech requirement for Heavy Fusion Cannon.
- Fixed bug where planet list was not showing up for surveyed system.
- Fixed an issue where MIRV warheads would slow down dramatically just before contacting the target.
- Fixed an issue where the specters could intermittently stop moving during combat.
- Fixed a visual issue where the energry meter in combat was reporting the wrong value.

Other changes:
- Added new star map: Small Disc.
- Added fleet summary dialog, which can be accessed in the button row at the top of the star map.

Key known issues:
- The ship in the weapons test arena has been known to stop firing after combat engagements in networked play.
- The fleet summary button on the star map is appearing with the same icon as the fleet manager button.


************               
22 Nov. 2011
************
Sword of the Stars II: Lords of Winter Update Released

r18051 (r18002c)
------

Critical fixes:
- Fixed invisible fleets in mission lists.
- Fixed an end-of-combat crash caused by inserting the same combat results into the game twice.
- Fixed invisible Morrigi DLC Grav Boat model.
- Fixed invisible Tarkasian DLC stations.
- Fixed invisible Human DLC stations.
- Disabled purple placeholder effect appearing on all turret muzzles when firing. Existing muzzle effects still display as

they did before the last update.
- Fixed an issue where Horde Zuul fleets were unable to perform missions within support range.

Other fixes:
- Fixed a bug where modules were not being counted correctly on stations that players begin the game with.
- Fixed an issue that was preventing foreign and alien habitation modules from being applied to stations.
- Fixed support range display for stations and colonies. Note that fleets will still use their own supply and this will

allow them to exceed base station and colony supply ranges represented by the white borders.

************
19 Nov. 2011
************
Sword of the Stars II: Lords of Winter Update Released

r18002b

Critical fixes:
- fix crash when current formation is removed.
- Fixed a crash when you killed the system killer.
- Fixed random, occasional crash in the encyclopedia code.
- Removed nonsensical option to roll stations, which caused a crash.
- Fixed a crash with proteans.
- Fixed a potential crash issue in the battle manager.
- Added text box filtering for ", ', and ; to prevent known crash issues (e.g. when giving ships a name).
- Fixed circumstances under which canceling a mission might crash game.
- Fixed bug where fleets were getting forced to center of the sun.
- Fixed bug where fleets could be placed inside planets.
- Post combat dialog now shows information on destroyed ships and other useful things.
- Blastmissile technology now researchable.
- Fixed the issue where armor damage patterns were being swapped to different ship sections between combat rounds.

- Fixed drones firing while docked on carrier parent.
- Fixed spacing issue when adding a drone carrier to fleet.
- Adjusted base volley and weapon range deviation (note: shotgun deviation may be a little high).
- Fixed drones attachment points on some carrier sections.
- Fixed so non-tracking torpedos no longer able to damage own ship.
- Combat data will now be sent after determining victory status.
- Added power bonus to modules.
- Added default weapons to module banks.
- Fixed an issue with some music not looping.
- Updated the strat modifier cost when you acquire rapid prototyping.
- Fixed an issue that allowed humans to see and use zuul node lines.
- Fixed an issue that allowed players to do missions outside their sensor range.
- Changed the stations to use 'under construction' assets when being built.
- Made the first arrival of colonization missions apply the support factors from its fleet.
- Added fix to ensure that randoms and grand menaces don't spawn if all of them were disabled.
- Fixed missing suulka cannon beams.
- Fixed auto-picked targets by ship/fleet stance (function did not always pick a valid target to pursue, stand off, or

retreat from).
- Ships without crew are now removed after Combat, counted as destroyed.
- Fixed inaccurate locations for applied damage patterns.
- Fixed a localized text thing in the empire management screen to accurately represent trade income.
- Added a fix to stop the Von Neumanns from continuously building stuff.
- Fixed beamers not doing damage.
- Added fading to various interface elements.
- Fixed bug where battleriders would show up in battle manager.
- Fixed bug where stations could be built around enemy colonies.
- Fleets without admirals no longer display "Defacto" as their admiral.
- Combat events now show names properly.

Other changes:
- Post-combat popup has been added.
- Added trade view slider display.
- Added in-game game and audio options.
- Added categories for the option screen for all effects.

Key known issues:
- The design screen must be re-entered before new Drone designs can be applied to ships.
- Biomissiles and boarding pods may not appear with ship designs.
- The post-combat dialog does not completely fit information for combats involving more than two players.
- Certain Battle Cruisers and Destroyers can carry riders, but these are not showing up in combat.



************                   
17 Nov. 2011
************
Sword of the Stars II: Lords of Winter Update Released

r17948b

*** This update hasn't been tested extensively on old save games. ***

Critical fixes:
- Fixed a bug that prevented income from being generated when doing a feasibility study.
- Fixed a crash that could occur when trying to automatically distribute sliders from a hidden slider.
- Fixed a crash with support missions trying to open a dialog twice in a turn.
- Fixed a crash that would occur if closing the game while it was booting up.
- Fixed a von neumann crash caused by the faction running out of resources for a new collector fleet.
- Fixed an issue with crashing gem/forge world events from trying to apply moral bonus.
- Drones can now be designed and assigned to ships.
- Battle Riders may now be launched and recovered via their weapon icons in combat.
- Combat turn flow was rewritten. All combat queries are now answered at once, and then all combat simulations play out.
- Fixed a bug that stopped biome colonizers from improving terraforming values.

Other fixes:
- Fixed a recent issue where only the default player profile would be used.
- Fixed tech requirements on a few freighter ship sections.
- Removed "freighter" designation from ship sections to which it was incorrectly applied.
- Tarka freighter savings cost has been reduced from 1.5-million to 150,000.
- Leviathan stats have been improved.
- Tweaked turret arcs on a number of ship and station sections.
- Stations whose crew die off stop rotating in combat.
- Patrol battle riders now follow their tenders better.
- Fixed an issue where battle riders were not swarming around stations effectively.
- Fixed feasibility speech cues from using wrong speech library.
- Fixed admiral driven speech to use proper case.
- Fixed researching sound.
- Fixed research completed early sound cue.
- Fixed the battle draw and winning battle speech cues.
- Fixed under-the-hood sliders to automatically reset themselves to zero.
- Fixed an issue with swarmers trying to assign themselves to systems with no planets.
- Fixed an issue with the flock bonus not being used as a percentage.
- Moved the overharvest warning event to the correct location to stop it spamming every time the IO was queried.
- Fixed an issue that caused the gem and forge world events to spam.
- Fixed battle manager bug when entering system with no Naval base.
- Made visual culling much more subtle on star map to avoid labels popping in and out.
- Cleaned up view filter modes, populated list through code instead of through xml.
- Fixed issue in battle manager where station slots where being displayed even if no CP was available.
- Properly hooked up Mission/Engine section name display to riders in rider manager.
- Combat ready animations no longer loop incorrectly on ships.
- Save games should stay significantly smaller now due to the disabling of a debug feature that was storing a detailed

history of all previous changes.
- Fixed a visual issue where tracking torpedoes would draw erroneous lines across the screen.
- The trade view filter on the star map now shows different icons for star systems.
- Fixed a bug that caused the admirals to return an incorrect admiral prefix to sound cues.
- Fixed a bug where Liir Naval Stations were displaying Hiver station assets.
- Fixed visual jitter for battle riders returning to tender.
- Fixed an issue where turn events were not displaying for some.
- Fixed various sizing bugs in GUI lists.
- Protean pods will return attacks.
- Fixed incorrect terrain names in Clouds and Ring star maps.

Other changes:
- New entries have been added to the encyclopedia's Galactic Atlas.
- Added new weapons: Blast Storm Missile, Polaris Blast Beam Missile
- Added new Rift star map.
- Added the ability to skip camera transitions with the escape key.
- Added a tutorial help screen for trade.
- Added Zuul freighters.
- Added missing Von Neumann PD weapons.
- Adjusted station visibility distances for combat.
- Added default ship names for command ships, bore ships, and gate ships.
- Implementation of initial, new post combat dialog.
- Added trade Modifier for trade distances.
- Added a table to keep track of trade results to stop clients from not being able to see trade.
- Stopped the ability to trade with someone you are at war with.
- Increased the max planet range for provinces by 1 ly.
- Added a configuration ability for disabling the main menu combat scene. There is no user interface for this diagnostic

option, but it can be modified at your own risk in
'%localappdata%\Sword of the Stars II\settings\settings.xml' by adding or modifying the LoadMenuCombat element with a True

or False value.
- Added launch effects for planet-to-orbit weapons.
- Added "Reserve Slot" label to reserve rider slots.
- Added events for post combat.
- Added realtime feedback to trade slider adjustment in trade view.
- Added filter to battle rider manager to display only carriers in widget.
- Added color coding to riders in rider manager.
- Added max flock bonus to strat mods and hooked it up to morrigi drive tech.
- Added a function for adding orbits with orbit numbers.

Key known issues:
- There is no post-combat popup.
- Screen transition time still slow for some.
- Game not running in 64-bit for some (running 32-bit works).
- Looking for people unable to connect to GameSpy for MP.


************                   
11 Nov. 2011
************
Sword of the Stars II: Lords of Winter Update Released

Known Issues
- Drones cannot be designed.

Fixes
- Many additions to the Defense Manager, which has now been renamed to Battle Manager.
- Fixed a crash with weapons doing half a population damage.
- Fixed a crash with the locust updating its turn.
- Fixed crash in Starmap that could occur when changing between maps in game setup quickly.
- Fixed a crash during saving if using unique extended characters as part of your profile name.
- Fixed a crash associated with the admiral trait True Grit.
- Interaction with COL weapons temporarily disabled while fixing crash in Design Screen.
- Added stance control for ships in formation in combat.
- Re-implemented trade layer.
- Bankruptcy system now in effect.
- Biome-colonizers now active.
- Increased sensor ranges.
- Improved Leviathan class death sequences.
- Fixed a bug where station upkeep was not being deducted from savings.
- Fixed a bug where prototype costs were not being applied to savings.
- Fixed some issues with misnamed event images.
- Fixed an issue where dragging and dropping fleets could in some cases duplicate them.
- The game will now only keep the most recent set of log files. Old copies will be automatically deleted.
- Improvements and a handful of fixes made to the meteor shower random encounter.
- Fixed an issue that allowed trade points to be reused in a trade round.
- Made some optimizations to the gathering of planet/system data for the budget.
- Made some optimizations to the gathering of data for players with combat assets.
- Fixed an issue where weapons and modules could display with incorrect materials.
- Swapped battlerider reserve and wing/squad slots to make use clearer.
- Added tooltips to rider squad/wing/reserve buttons.
- Added trade view overlay elements to star map drawing, first pass.
- Combat entrance transition now active.
- Added improved visual cues when dropping into and out of accelerated time in combat.
- Fixed a variety of issues with battle rider behavior in combat.
- Fixed incorrect asteroid monitor locations in combat.
- Fixed broken images in the encyclopedia.
- Tweaked stats of engine sections.
- Removed items in the Starmap Lobby will no longer remain selected.
- Fixed an issue where double the number of riders were being loaded into combat.
- Fixed an issue where riders would detonate instead of returning to tender.
- Fixed an issue where mounted riders could prevent ships from rotating.
- Tweaks to many ship sections, stations, weapons and related art.

Additions
- New politics section added to encyclopedia.
- Added new star maps: Wave (3) and Big Disc (8)
- Added player details to the server browser.
- Added trade view filter to the star map.

***********               
8 Nov. 2011
***********
Sword of the Stars II: Lords of Winter Update Released

Fixes
- Fixed a crash that would occur when transitioning from the Starmap to the Main Menu screen.
- Reduced time it takes to transition from sub-screens to the Starmap.
- Fixed an error with AI ship names.
- System Killer will no longer spawn so close to a planet.
- Camera will no longer focus on the sun when placing a station.
- Colonization dialog will now display appropriate text.
- Autosaving will no longer append "(Autosave)" if it already exists.
- Corrected an issue with trade stations not generating income.
- Random encounter spawn rate will now respect the percentage set by the player.
- PD Lasers will no longer incorrectly target enemy ships.

Additions
- Enemy ships within sensor range but not visible will now be represented as a red diamond.
- Missiles will now appear in sensor view.
- Improved System Killer AI.
- Some AI processing speed optimization.

***********             
5 Nov. 2011
***********
Sword of the Stars II: Lords of Winter Update Released

- Added more variety to the default weapon loadouts of starting fleets.
- Issue where sound would cut out (particularly in combat) is now resolved.
- Fixed issue where ships would avoid far too high or too low while in combat.
- Resolved an issue where players could enter combat without a fleet even if a fleet is available.
- Fixed a bug that misrepresented the winner of a combat.


***********               
4 Nov. 2011
***********
Sword of the Stars II: Lords of Winter Update Released

r17606
------

Critical fixes:
- Fixed station manager crash when while selecting a station.
- AI versus AI combat routines now internalized and will no longer appear to players.
- AI will now follow command point limits when creating and modifying fleets.
- Added tool tips to descriptions to all sections in the design screen.
- Reimplemented alien habitation modules.
- Improved Spectre AI so Spectres now spread out amoung targets.
- Spectres now do appropriate damage based on their size.
- Fixed a slowdown due to Spectre collision error.
- Admiral creation within empire now working correctly.

Other fixes and changes:
- Fixed Spectre spawn positions.
- Improved Spectre AI so Spectres will move from large to small target is the opportunity arises.
- Game will now start in full screen mode at native desktop resolution unless specified in options. (Game can still drop

out of full screen if another program window overlaps the game. Use ALT+ENTER to return to full-screen again.)
- Weapons now apply their appropriate damage pattern based on their distance from target.
(All weapons were using their max pattern range, often the weakest of all ranges)
- Turret fixes made to Human and Hiver Leviathans causing them to shoot through selves.
- Firing arc fixes to Heavy Beam modules.
- Heavy turret turn speed changes to be more realistic.
- Adjustments made to Disruptor weapon attacks.
- Fixed various minor bugs to station upgrades.
- Fixed Zuul and Tarka combat music themes not playing.
- Fixed crew death stuck above 0% (was not adding bonus crew when doing crew death calculations)
- Driveless ships in formation, provided they aren't lead ship, will now fall behind and rest of formation will continue at

formation speed. If the ship with the destroyed engine is lead, the formation will slow down as designed, in order to

protect lead (presumably
command) ship. Player can select ships to abandon lead ship if they wish.
- Fixed planetary spotter ranges (ships can now be spotted by planets when flying past)
- Planet Manger moved to its own dialog box.
- Added a delay to prevent any actions from taking place until everything is ready
- Compressed combat, gui and music sounds for greater efficiency.
- Fixed combat random encounter data being null
- fix incorrect stance facing (ship sometimes did not face target, now they will face target while in their stance)
- Level 5 Science Centers disabled temporarily.

Additions:
- New badges added to all races
- Additional load screen
- New encyclopedia entries on Admirals.
- New encyclopedia entries on Missions.
- Station Modules entries in the encyclopedia complete.

Known Issues:
- Sound bug remains a priority.
- Close To Attack isn't working properly.
- Players can enter battle without selecting the fleet they want to use
- Some players seeing sorting errors with refracted surfaces (ie glass can be seen through ship as black)
- Fleet isn't picked by default for combat. Player has to select fleet for combat.
- Players reporting crash when attempting to upgrade planet to Gem/Forge world.


***********                   
2 Nov. 2011
***********
Sword of the Stars II: Lords of Winter Update Released

Critical fixes:
- Fixed an issue where the game could crash when battle riders, drones, boarding pods, assault shuttles or bio-missiles

were launched in combat.
- Fixed an issue where Swarmers could crash the game while launching from the hive.
- Fixed a crash that was occurring when creating new provinces.
- Fixed a crash caused by incorrect retrieval of achievement states.
- Fixed an issue where failure to load an asset could prevent screens from transitioning.
- Fixed multi-player compatibility issues between 32- and 64-bit versions of the game.
- The Continue Game button is now working.
- Tool tips have been added to the combat UI.

Other fixes and changes:
- Fixed an issue where public games were not being correctly published to the GameSpy master server.
- AI is now more aggressive in combat and starts closer to the action. This was done to address some cases where AI versus

AI combat simulation was not resolving.
- Fixed known issues where modules were not being displayed on stations.
- Fixed an issue where certain ship designs were not being assigned default sensor ranges.
- Fixed an issue where planetary missiles were not hitting targets.
- Fixed a ship avoidance issue where ships could become immobilized between a station and the planet is orbits.
- Fixed issues where the game was incorrectly assessing whether players should engage in combat.
- Fixed an issue where the game was not correctly determining when players had discovered each other on the star map.
- Fixed issues where starting system distributions on star maps could be needlessly unbalanced.
- Fixed an issue where missiles and mines were not being assigned the correct structure, causing them to be too easy to

pick off.
- Fixed the issue where Swarmers were not correctly pursuing moving targets.
- Fixed an issue where Hiver gates were not being deployed while enemy colonies existed in the system.
- Fixed an issue with lists in the GUI that was causing the Admiral Manager to present misleading data.
- Fixed an issue where Battle Cruisers and Battleships were being unlocked without the correct technologies being acquired.
- Fixed an issue where an incorrect large amount of terraforming damage could be applied by weapons in combat.
- Fixed an issue where the Von Neumann constructs could spawn at the center of a star system.
- Fixed an issue where reserve fleets were being included in sensor range checks
- The System Killer's beam range has been increased.
- Added missing icons to Heavy Beam modules.
- Start positions for certain combat encounters have been brought in closer.
- The ship HUD is no longer displayed when planets are selected in combat.
- There have been a handful of fixes to various weapon and ship art files.
- Fixed an issue where "easter eggs" could be spawned in colonized systems.

Additions
- Game setup now automatically defaults to the maximum players for the selected map.
- Missile warheads will now upgrade.
- Players are now presented with the option of renaming their initial home world as a new colony.
- The game launcher options dialog now includes a "Prefer 64-bit Process" checkbox. This can be unchecked to override

default behavior and run the 32-bit version of the game on 64-bit operating systems.
- Features have been added to the station manager:
* Module descriptions have been added.
* The station module build queue now displays cost.
* A Max button has been added to the module build queue controls.
- Changes have been made to the upgrade paths of stations to prevent certain issues where upgrades might never be possible.
- The station manager now shows up as a window on the star map.
- The planet information window now shows up as a window on the star map.
- The redundant confirmation dialog that displayed when loading games has been removed.
- The Defense Manager tray has been hidden in this update to prevent the possibility of fleets becoming on the system map.
- The Liir Protectorate is now locked until the correct technology is acquired.
- As a stop-gap measure the initial window resolution supplied in the game launcher options has been reduced from 1680x1050

to 1280x960. This may help newcomers to the game in cases where the initial window size is too large for certain desktop

and display configurations. Others may adjust this value in the options dialog as needed.

************               
31 Okt. 2011
************
Sword of the Stars II: Lords of Winter Update Released

Additions and Improvements:
- A new badge has been added for all factions.
- The game will now start in native 64-bit mode on operating systems that support it.
- Added 15 new entries to the encyclopedia.

Bug Fixes and Other Changes:
*** This update will break save games due to changes to special encounter implementation. ***
- Fixed a divide by zero crash that could occur when the game tried to trigger a rebellion on a planet with 0 civilian

population.
- Fixed a crash that could occur when entering the multi-player lobby.
- Fixed issues where the game would hang on end turn when resolving AI versus AI combat.
- Fixed issues where concurrent combat scheduling could cause game turns to hang.
- Fixed an issue where the game could crash when a player attempted to save between turns.
- Fixed an intermittent crash that could occur during combat.
- Fixed a crash that could occur when committing an intercept mission.
- Fixed encyclopedia content appearing in the wrong locations.
- Fixed issues where user interface would be unreadable when starting a game window larger than the desktop resolution.
- Added more tool tips to the game lobby.
- Added more tool tips to the colony information widget.
- Added more tool tips to the build screen.
- Added more tool tips to the certain pop-ups and to the station placement screen.
- Fixed a few outstanding localized text issues, including three descriptions in the tech tree;
Spinal Mounts
Heavy Fission Cannon
Assimilation Plague Cure.
- Re-balanced Police Cutters and some menaces.
- Made improvements to Swarm Hiver, Larva and Queen art.
- Fixed issues where the game window could shrink below the minimum 1024x720 resolution.
- Fixed issue where minimizing the game window could cause it to go full screen instead.
- Fixed an issue where Suul'ka could become available to non-Horde Zuul players via Diplomatic Stations.
- Suul'ka arrival after building a Tribute station is now delayed by at least a turn.
- Fixed a bug with post encounter dialog where list selections were getting mixed up.
- Fixed a miscolored element of the fleet widget items.
- Fixed some underlying UI layout bugs.
- Fixed a bug where Gate Amplifiers would not show up in the station module list. This was preventing the upgrade of Gate

stations.
- Fixed a bug that was allowing built modules to be re-queued.
- Fixed art issues with Tarkasian Dreadnought GOOP and Heavy Beam modules.
- Fixed outstanding art issues with Human Supply Transports, Naval Outposts and Polic Cutters.
- Fixed an issue where AI controlled agents running at accelerated time in simulated combat were not doing enough damage to each other.

************
29 Okt. 2011
************
Sword of the Stars II: Lords of Winter Update Released

- Fixed some intermittent crashes that could occur on the star map.
- Solved an issue where planet details screen might not clear out old information.
- Fixed black ships in star map.
- Fixed other graphical glitches that have been reported.
Wieder einmal geht es darum, zu forschen, Schiffe zu designen, fremde Planeten zu kolonisieren und sich so immer weiter auszubreiten. Bald treffen wir auf die ersten fremden Rassen. Diese unterscheiden sich nicht nur im Aussehen ihrer (hässlichen) Avatar-Bildchen oder der ganz netten Raumschiffdesigns, sondern auch in ihrer Ansicht darüber, welche Planeten lebenswert sind. Das äußert sich darin, wie teuer es ist (oder ob es überhaupt geht), unbesiedelte Planeten zu kolonisieren. Außerdem unterscheiden sich die Forschungsbemühungen: Zwar stehen Kerntechnologien (wie die Fähigkeit, Dreadnought-Raumschiffe zu bauen) allen Rassen zur Verfügung, aber viele "Neben-Technologien" sind einzelnen Rassen zugewiesen. Andere Zivilisationen können sie zwar unter Umständen auch erwerben, müssen dabei aber erst mal einige Runden ins Blaue forschen. Dann erfahren sie, wie wahrscheinlich ein Erfolg ist – möglicherweise wird es nie etwas.

Das ist eine sehr schöne Idee, noch schöner aber ist die schon aus dem Vorgänger bekannte Eigenheit, dass jede der sechs Parteien eine andere Fortbewegung durchs Weltall benutzt. Die Menschen etwa benutzen "Node-Linien" (wie etwa in Master of Orion), also feste "Schnellstraßen" zwischen den Sternen. Die insektoiden Hivers fliegen schnarchlangsam, wohin sie wollen; sind sie aber erst mal am Ziel, errichten sie binnen zwei Runden einen Teleporter, aus dem dann die Verstärkungen nur so quellen. Und die vogelartigen Morrigi fliegen desto schneller, je mehr Schiffe in einer Flotte sind. Diese Idee macht die Parteien wirklich individuell, und man muss seine Strategie darauf einstellen.

Das war schon im Vorgänger so, doch ansonsten ändert sich vieles im direkten Vergleich. Unter anderem entspricht jetzt eine Sonne nicht mehr einer Kolonie, sondern um jede Sonne kreisen null bis fünf Planeten. Man kann also mehrere Kolonien in einem System haben oder sich sogar zusammen mit einem anderen Reich im selben System niederlassen, siehe den Screenshot links.

Die Diplomatie ist undurchsichtig und kompliziert, weil Kerberos unbedingt für Menschen im Multiplayer-Spiel als auch im Spiel mit der KI dasselbe Interface benutzen wollte. Die KI-Gegner bleiben erschreckend passiv: Da siedeln wir mitten im Gebiet einer anderen Partei, und diese beschwert sich noch nicht einmal darüber? Oder vielleicht tun sie es, nur wir merken es nicht? Oder die KI plant Finsterstes, ohne es uns mitzuteilen? Unser ehrlicher Eindruck ist, dass die Diplomatie noch gar nicht fertigprogrammiert ist.


Wider der Intuition: Schiffssteuerung
Irgendjemand bei Kerberos muss ungefähr folgenden Gedanken gehabt haben: "In einem echten Seekrieg schickt doch auch nicht der Oberbefehlshaber einzelne Zerstörer von einem Ort zum anderen. Sondern er sagt seinen Flottenkommandanten, wohin Flotte 1 oder Verband 2 fahren soll, und was die generelle Mission ist. So machen wir das bei unseren Weltraumkriegen auch!" Nur, Spiele funktionieren anders als das echte Leben, unter anderem sitzt der normale Spieler vor einem (1) Monitor und steuert selbst als eine (1) Person alles. Und gerade im Weltraumgenre ist es der Spieler gewöhnt, Schiffe direkt von A nach B zu schicken, entweder einzeln oder als Flotte.

Mal eben kurz 30 Jahre Genre-Konventionen über Bord geworfen: Statt Flotten anzuklicken und das Ziel auszuwählen, rechtsklickt ihr aufs Ziel und wählt dann Mission und Flotte.
Sword of the Stars 2 aber nimmt die Idee mit den Flotten mal so richtig ernst: Ihr könnt überhaupt nur Schiffe im Weltall umher schicken, wenn sie Teil einer Flottille sind. Für eine solche braucht ihr mindestens ein Command-Schiff und einen Admiral. Von letzteren habt ihr zu Beginn des Spiels meist acht, durch Gefangennahmen oder "Beförderungen" erhaltet ihr neue dazu. Die Admiräle begrenzen also die Zahl eurer Flotten.

So weit, so gut – wir haben weder etwas dagegen, Admiräle mit einigen individuellen Fähigkeiten einzusetzen, noch durch ihre Anzahl in der Zahl der Flotten begrenzt zu sein. Gegen was wir etwas haben, ist das in diesem Zuge neu eingeführte Missionssystem: Statt direkt Schiffe von A nach B zu schicken – etwa einen Scout, der ein Sonnensystem aufklären soll –, müsst ihr eine freie Flotte haben. Dann rechtsklickt ihr auf den Zielplaneten und wählt dort "Survey" aus. Nun erscheinen die Flotten in Reichweite – darunter im Idealfall die, die ihr dafür vorgesehen habt – und ihr wählt eine aus. Nun wird euch angezeigt, wie lange mit dieser Flotte die Mission dauern wird, aufgeschlüsselt nach Reisezeit und Missionszeit sowie Bauzeit – ihr dürft nämlich hier auch noch anweisen, dass weitere Schiffe gebaut werden sollen, bevor die Flotte losgeschickt wird. Je größer die Flotte beziehungsweise je mehr "Principal Ships" (etwa Kolonieschiffe bei einer Kolonisierungsmission) dabei sind, desto schneller wird die Mission ausgeführt. Nun bestätigt ihr die Mission, und die Flotte wählt selbst den besten Weg zum Ziel.
Die vier Todsünden des FlottensystemsWer das als einfach empfindet oder als "Kampf dem Mikromanagement", hat das System in der Praxis nicht erlebt. Es ist nämlich schlicht umständlicher, als einfach selbst einige Schiffe "zusammenzuklicken", wie noch im Vorgänger oder praktisch jedem anderen existierenden 4X-Strategiespiel. Es führt ferner dazu, dass euch die Übersicht verloren geht, von wo nach wo welche Schiffe warum unterwegs sind. Wobei  letzterer Satz gelten würde für ein gedachtes Sword of the Stars 2, das fertig ist und funktioniert. Im jetzigen Stadium habt ihr schon deswegen keine Übersicht, weil euch wichtige Informationen vorenthalten werden.

Flotten erscheinen als kleine Symbole in eurer Imperiumsfarbe auf der Galaxiekarte. Todsünde 1: Sind sie zwischen zwei Sonnensystemen unterwegs, könnt ihr sie direkt anklicken, fliegen sie aber gerade durch ein Sonnensystem, so müsst ihr erst das Sonnensystem (symbolisiert durch seinen Stern) anklicken, dann von "Planeten" auf "Flotten" umschalten, bevor ihr die Flotte seht. Todsünde 2: Ihr erkennt nun immer noch nicht, wohin die Flotte unterwegs ist, sondern müsst erst ihre Detailinfos aufklappen. Todsünde 3: Ihr seht selbst dann noch nicht, wohin sie unterwegs ist, denn dort, wo das Ziel stehen müsste, steht "Destination: Destination ..." – und mehr nicht. Todsünde 4: Die unbeschrifteten Icons in der Flottenübersicht, die nach Meinung unserer Hieroglyphen-Experten dazu gedacht sein müssten, zum aktuellen Aufenthaltsort einer Flotte zu springen, funktionieren nicht. Zudem erfahrt ihr, wenn eine Flotte nicht in einem Sonnensystem wartet, nur die äußerst hilfreiche, total präzise Angabe: "Im tiefen Weltraum" statt zum Beispiel "x Runden bis System y". Auch die Angaben über die Missionsdauer, so sie erst einmal gestartet ist, stimmen gerne mal nicht.

Der Effekt all dieser Sünden ist, dass nur Menschen mit einem sehr guten Gedächtnis irgendeine Chance haben, die Flottenbewegungen eines auch nur kleinen Sternenimperiums irgendwie sinnvoll zu überblicken. Doch selbst wenn alles so funktionieren würde, wie es soll, bliebe die missionsbasierte Steuerung aus unserer Sicht eine Fehlentwicklung, die nur auf dem Papier "realistisch" und komfortabel erscheint.

Grafik und K(r)ämpfe
Für ein Weltraumstrategiespiel ist die Grafik von Sword of the Stars 2 recht ordentlich, zumindest in bestimmten Spielabschnitten. Ihr könnt in und außerhalb von Schlachten relativ nah an die Planeten heranzoomen, die sich tatsächlich um sich selbst und um die jeweilige Sonne drehen und eine korrekte Tag- und Nachtseite aufweisen. Die Schiffe sehen detailliert aus, ihr könnt wirklich die Waffen erkennen, die ihr in ihnen verbaut habt. Und auf der Galaxiekarte funkeln Sterne, legen sich Sternennebel unter die "bespielbaren" Sonnensysteme, machen einige neckische Interface-Effekte auf sich aufmerksam. Sonderlich übersichtlich ist das alles aber nicht, die Sonnensystemnamen etwa werden zu spät eingeblendet. Der Überblick fällt aber auch deswegen schwer, weil es sich um dreidimensionale Spielfelder handelt. Je nachdem, wie ihr die Sicht einstellt, ändert sich also nicht nur links und rechts, sondern auch oben und unten. Ein "Einnorden" auf eine voreingestellte Sicht würde Wunder wirken, existiert aber nicht. Ebensowenig könnt ihr die Sicht scrollen, sondern ihr zentriert immer auf ein Sonnensystem und müsst dann rein oder raus zoomen. Der Grafikstil ist abseits der Weltraumgrafik und Gefechte, also im wesentlichen bei den Charakter-Bildchen und Zwischengrafiken, noch stärker in Richtung Comic abgedriftet als beim Vorgänger. Wir finden das unpassend und vermuten, dass die eingesetzten Grafiker schlicht keine "realistischen" Portäts hinbekommen haben.

Vielen haben die Kämpfe im Vorgänger gefallen, manche haben sie gehasst und stattdessen auf die Automatikfunktion gesetzt, also aufs Auswürfeln. Wie dem auch sei: Die Kämpfe in Teil 2 sehen schöner aus, sind aber noch unübersichtlicher geworden. Oft schaffen es die Kontrahenten gar nicht, sich binnen der limitierten Ze
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it pro Echzeitschlacht überhaupt zu treffen. Oder ihr erlebt "Kämpfe", wo ein unverteidigter Planet von einem Weltraummonster (etwa einem rosa Schemen) angegriffen wird. Nur, dass nichts passiert, und ihr dieses Nichts fünf Minuten (oder wie lange immer ihr die Gefechtsdauer in den Optionen gewählt habt) mitansehen müsst. Wenn es dann mal eine Schlacht gibt und ihr die Gegner auch seht – aufgrund der wiederum zwanghaft auf ein Objekt zentrierenden Kamera kann es sein, dass ihr die Gegner längere Zeit überhaupt nicht ins "Visier" bekommt –, wird es unserem Geschmack nach schnell hektisch. Das Interface der Schlachten scheint nur teilweise zu funktionieren, so können wir nicht auf Gegner klicken, um Informationen zu ihnen zu erhalten. Ein Druck auf die Leertaste zeigt eine schematischere 3D-Sicht der Schlacht an, bei der ihr soweit herauszoomen könnt, dass ihr das ganze, in Sektoren eingeteilte Sonnensystem sehen könnt. Es könnte also theoretisch regelrechte Belagerungen und mehrjährige Schlachten um ein Sonnensystem geben. Erlebt haben wir das in unseren Partien aber nicht.

Beim Ranzoomen an Planeten oder Raumstationen fällt auf, wie schön die Grafik von Sword of the Stars 2 sein kann.
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