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Changes to Stars! from Version 2.0b to Version 2.5 May 5th 1996

Although this list reflects the major changes, almost every aspect of the game has changed in some way. Explore the game and scan the help file and Tech Browser for additional details. The new Tutorial can also be very enlightening.

New Anti-Matter Fuel Model

Fuel is not mined from or stored on planets anymore.

Starbases with ship building capability have an infinite supply.

Fuel weighs milligrams instead of kT, so doesn't affect ship mass.

Estimated fuel usage is now exact.

Fuel consumption was increased by a factor of 4, fuel tank sizes were adjusted to compensate.

Starbases with shipbuilding capability automatically refuel all friendly fleets each year.

Fuel consumption values for waypoints are now a running total.

Minefield Changes

The chance of a hit per light year has been changed. This chance is now multiplied by the number of warps you exceed your race's safe speed.

Ramscoops are no longer more likely to set off mines. They will still take more damage than ships with standard engines.

Mass Discriminator mines are now Heavy Mines. They have a base safe speed of Warp 6, but will trigger regardless of a ship's mass.

Minesweeping now happens automatically by fleets with beam weapons even if moving. Starbases now sweep mines. You don't sweep friendly mines anymore.

You can only sweep until the minefield shrinks enough such that you are no longer in the field. It is no longer possible to sweep an entire field from the edge.

Damage from mines is now per/engine. A ship with 4 engines will suffer 4 times the damage of a ship with one engine.

Waypoint Task Changes

Attack waypoint task is gone. You now specify your fleet's battle plan in the fleet composition tile. You specify who to attack in the battle plan. Attacks take place when it is appropriate.

Mine Sweeping waypoint task is gone.

New Transport Task Model Fleets can now load/unload with identical orders from planets, fleets, mineral packets, salvage, etc. Fleet Load/Wait from fleet have gone away.

Route - See Fleet Routing.

Remote Terraform allow races build on the new Claim Adjuster primary racial trait to modify the environment of planet they orbit with ships containing an Orbital Adjuster part.

New Mineral Model

Planets have unlimited minerals.

As you mine minerals, the concentration decreases.

The rate the concentration decreases is determined by the number of mines and how long they have been operating.

Races that produce a greater number of kT per mine do not decrease the concentration any faster. They can just squeeze more out of each rock.

New Production Model

Auto build is now integrated into the production inventory.

Item groups are now colored in the production dialog to make categories easier to pick out.

You can now give auto build orders like "Build up to 10 factories, then build up to 10 mines, then terraform up to 2% then build up to 100 factories, using alchemy if necessary".

These orders will be executed top to bottom each year.

You can specify auto build templates. Use the blue diamond that used to be the auto build diamond. The <default> entry will be used every time you take over a new planet.

New Technology Items

Many new parts.

Almost every existing part has changed in some way.

See the Tech Browser for details.

Mystery Trader changes

Big doin's here. He's more wily, and has a ton of new devices to give away.

You also have the option to turn off all random events when starting a new game.

New Battle Model

See BATTLE.TXT for details.

New Primary Racial Traits

Claim Adjuster

Excellent terraformers.
Terraforming costs 50% less.
Orbital Adjuster part allows remote terraforming.
Terraforming bombs.
Mass packets terraform instead of doing massive damage.
Start with Biotech 6.

Alternate Reality

Evolved in an alternate plane.
Population lives on the starbase not on the planet.
Cannot build planetary installations (mines, factories, etc).
Can intrinsically mine planets and scan for enemy ships.
Can remote mine their own planets.
If the starbase is destroyed they all die.
Maximum population is determined by starbase size.
Get the Death Star starbase hull.

New Lesser Racial Traits

Generalized Research

Generalized Research races take a holistic approach.
1/2 of the research budget goes to the current field.
1/8 of the budget goes to each of the other 5 fields. (yes the total is 9/8ths)

Ultimate Recycling

Ultimate Recycling races are ultra efficient.
Recover 90% of the minerals and 70% of the resources when scraping ships at starbases.
The resources are available for use the next year.
Scrapping at a planet give half the starbase amount.

Bleeding Edge Technology

Bleeding Edge Technology races are poor at building new tech items.
New technologies initially cost twice as much to build.
As soon as you exceed the requirements by 1 the cost drops back to normal.
Miniaturization occurs at 5% per level and pegs at 80% (other races get 4%/level and peg at 75%)

Other Race Changes

The cost of every trait and attribute has been adjusted.

Research cost (page 6 of race wizard) now offers the choices of 75% extra, standard or 50% less. (25% less/more are gone)

For Jack Of All Trades the 'Costs extra fields' start at tech 4 instead of tech 3.

Balky Engines has become Cheap Engines. It has the same effect but engines cost half as much to build as for other races.

Jump Start is gone.

Regenerating Shields no longer limit the choice of armors.

Improved Fuel Efficiency now also gives a Warp 10 ramscoop.

Mineral alchemy is available to all players at 100 resources per kT. The lesser racial trait is still there and reduces the cost to 25 resources/kT.

Ships built by Super Stealth races all have an inherent 50% cloak.

War Mongers can now build up to 100 SDI or Missile Battery defenses.

There are many other changes. See the Custom Race Wizard and the help file for additional details.

User Interface Improvements

Scanner Toolbar gives much better control.

Many more shortcut keys.

Enemy fleet filter.

Sort order in Fleet and Planet report affects the Prev/Next buttons in the Command pane and Production dialog.

The Battle VCR now displays substantially more information.

Automation Improvements

Attack is no longer a waypoint task. It just happens.

Sweeping minefields is no longer a waypoint task. It just happens.

The Patrol task combined with the Repeat Orders checkbox now bases its targeting on the enemy's distance from the fleet's home base rather than its current position. (ie they stay put better)

Major improvements to production -- See New Production Model.

Fleet Routing sends newly created ships to a target planet. If the target planet also has routing orders the routed fleet is refueled and passed along. If the fleet contains remote miners and the destination is unowned the fleet is given remote mining orders or is merged with an existing mining fleet if possible. You can give Route orders to existing fleets to automate sending them half way across your empire with a single order.

Fleets are automatically refueled at friendly starbases with shipbuilding capability.

The default waypoint warp speed is intelligent and updates whenever you add or move a waypoint. You should almost never have to change it anymore.

Diplomacy Changes

Your fleets automatically get refueled at friendly starbases with shipbuilding capability.

You no longer sweep minefields of your friends.

Your friends are allowed to use your stargates.

Additional AIs

Automitrons are based on Inner Strength primary racial trait.

Rototills are based on the Claim Adjuster prt.

Cybertrons are based on the Packet Physics prt.

Macinti are based on the new Alternate Reality prt.

Help File Improvements

The help file has been updated to include all version 2.5 information.

Many areas have been expanded or clarified.

More details in the Guts sections.

This article is a copy of official release notes originally included with a Stars! patch or full release from Crisium and should not be edited.