Yesterday evening, I began playing a game as the Arceans on Crippling difficulty. The start was as expected. My survey ship went straight to a wormhole, sending it half-way across the map. I rush-bought several colony ships at full price, and began immediately to build up infrastructure on my new worlds, tanking my economy (idiot). I eventually managed to get out of the deficit, but it cost me a lot of time.
While designing some new ships, I noticed that a few of the core ship designs still had Life Support modules on them. I thought, I had removed them from all of the unlockable ships. Apparently not.
Meanwhile, I made first contact with one of my immediate neighbours. The Yor owned the cluster directly south of my starting position. They had a good amount planets (more than me), but their population was surprisingly low. After taking a closer look, I noticed that their approval rating was very low. 49% on a planet with only about 640 million people? N1, what did you do!?
I had enough, and took control of the Yor to get a better look. Turns out, they never built the Maintenance Grid. Even though it's been a year since the start of the game. The amount of Charging Stalks (already built or still in production), however, is okay. A look at their finances reveals the biggest problem. Their running a tax rate of 70% and still loose money. Well, no wonder, they are also loosing population due to the tax rate. If they'd run a tax rate of 69% their approval would be much better, while their tax income would remain unchanged. Looking at the tech tree reveals the source of the Yor money problems. They haven't researched Efficiency Studies.
Typical! During the tests, everything works fine. As soon as I want to play, however, they're starting to screw up.
Shortly after meeting the Yor, I make contact with the Iconians, who own the cluster to the west of the Yor. I quickly notice, that they too have morale problems. A closer look shows, that they didn't built any Dream Conclaves on New Iconia and a few other worlds. The rest of their planets are fine, but their tax rate is still exceedingly high. In any case, I'm pissed. I changed them to AIP 8 in order to prevent exactly this from happening.
I unveil the map and take a look at all the other races, to see, if they too have those problems. Turns out, that only the Thalan are in money trouble, because they've built quite a lot of Manufacturing Matrices on Thala. Everybody else is doing fine, and even the Thalan can turn it around, once their population grows a little.
Anyhow, I quit the game and began fixing those problems (increase the AIValue of the Maintenance Grid, the Dream Conclaves, and the Efficiency Studies techs, and add the missing ship designs). Once I was done, I started up a new game. This time, playing as the Torians.
A few weeks into the game, I get a notification that the Yor have build a Maintenance Grid. Well, at least something worked.
I decide to design a faster colony ship, and notice, that some designs are still having Life Support modules on them. What's going on here!?
I make contact with some minor races. The Scottlingas, the Dark Yor, and the Paulos. They've got scouts all over the place. I take a look at one and notice, that it only got a sensor range of 2. It should be 4. I double-click on the ship to get a look at the details, and see, that the scout has no Sensor modules on board. In fact, it's an empty hull. I look at the scouts of the other two minors, and it's the same. Strange. I guess, I made the Sensors a little too expensive. They more than triple the cost of a tiny hull.
By the time I found their homeworlds, the Scottlingas colonised almost their complete home-system (three out of four planets), the Paulos also have three colonies, and the Dark Yor have... only their homeworld? With two colony ships in orbit? And several habitable worlds within range? Huh, I wonder why that wo... Oh, crap! I've set them to AIP 7! >facepalm<
Anyhow, I quit the game again, and went back to fixing. The Dark Yor are now on AIP 8. So are the Snathi, who were previously on AIP 11. The Sensors are back at their original cost of 10, while Sensor Arrays cost 5 now. After making sure that I got all .shipcfg files from the Twilight\Data\ShipCfg folder, I notice, that I forgot the ones from the ShipTemplates folder. I add and update those, and start a new game to test my changes.
The AI still removes the Sensor modules from the scout design. It's weird, but I guess, that this is just a vanilla issue I never noticed. Wouldn't be the first one. It's also not that big a problem.
Most of the designs and templates are fixed now, but there are still some with Life Support modules left. There are even some scout templates with HyperDrives (seriously?). I really don't get it. I've added and updated all the necessary ship designs from TotA. There are none left... except for the ones from Dark Avatar of course. >double-facepalm<
I've added the remaining designs and templates from DA, which should finally fix this problem. I still need to take a look at some of the survey ship and scout designs, because my removal of the Life Support, HyperDrive, and Sensor modules destroyed some of the symmetry. However, that shouldn't take too long.
I still need to take a closer look at the Yor and Iconians, to make sure, that my changes to them are really working.
Going from "I'm finished with the mod" to "I still need to fix something" in less than 24 hours. That must be a new record for me. I consider this an emergency/maintenance patch, but it is still both embarrassing and annoying. Anyhow, expect a new release in the next couple of days.