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Ashes Campaign Update

Published on Wednesday, May 31, 2017 By GGTheMachine In Ashes of the Singularity

Ashes Campaign Update

 

**Released June 8th** 

 

In preparation for the new Genesis campaign introduced in the 2.3 update, the original campaigns have been improved and updated for Escalation. For most new players, Imminent Crisis will be their introduction to Ashes of the Singularity so we wanted to improve the first impressions. The following issues were identified with the original campaigns:

  • The AI would have access to more units, abilities and buildings than the player did, such as not being able to build the Air Eliminator to counter Strategic Bombers
  • Access to units and abilities was very inconsistent between missions and felt contrived.
  • The missions were far too easy on higher difficulties and not posing enough of a challenge.
  • In some of the missions, the AI had huge upgrades in attempt to make it more challenging.
  • Some missions had very narrow pathways around the map

 

In order to improve the user experience, make the campaigns more challenging and feel less contrived, many of the missions are receiving some of the following changes:

  • Escalation Units, buildings and abilities are now available. They are unlocked throughout the campaign.

The player now has access to all of the tools and counters that the AI does to make the missions more fair. Not all of them are introduced at the same time to avoid overbearing new players.

  • Increase AI difficulty when playing on Harder and Much Harder.

The campaign uses the same AI as skirmish games, which is assigned a difficulty level depending on the campaign difficulty selected. For example, selecting "Easier" will generally assign the AI to the Intermediate difficulty, while selected "Much Harder" assigns the AI the Painful difficulty. In most of the missions, the AI difficulty levels assigned at "Harder" and "Much Harder" were not as challenging as the AI could be played at.

  • The AI receives waves of free units when playing on Harder and Much Harder. In some missions, this is replacing the AI's free upgrades.

When raising the AI difficulty wasn't an option or wasn't enough to cut it, we gave the AI free waves of units to attack your base. In a few missions, the AI previously received a large amount of Quantum upgrades to make them challenging, but this is a less fun way of balancing the missions compared to having lots of weaker units sent at you.

  • Unlocking units and abilities is now linear.

Previously, the player would lose access to some units and abilities already unlocked in previous missions. If something is unlocked, it will now stay available for the rest of the campaign.

  • Increased width of narrow pathways to ease congestion.

Some of the missions have their map adjusted to ease movement around the map

 

Imminent Crisis Changelog

 

All Missions:

  • Barrager, Oblivion, Artillery Post, Air Eliminator & Orbital Jammer are available mission 5 onward
  • Dreadnoughts and Advanced Air Factory units are available from mission 5 onward.
  • Emergency Turret, Nano-Mesh Barrier and Rush Build available mission 5 onward.
  • Call Sentry available from mission 7 onward.
  • Quantum Upgrades available all missions from 4 onward..
  • Call Sapper now available all Missions starting Mission 6.
  • Charon, Mobile Nullifier, Instigator & Refinery  are available from mission 9 onward. 

 

Mission 1: Kepler

Kepler still uses the old MK1 Brute model instead of the new Brute. We are removing all instances of the old brute as it is no longer used in the rest of the game.

  • Replaced the Brute MK1 squads with the new Brute.

 

Mission 2: Rigel

Rigel will often be the first time players are introduced to the Archer, and there is a voice over line that describes the Archer as being weak. Yet in the mission, the Archer has 200 health which is quite misleading for new players learning the game. Frigates were recently buffed, so the 200 health Archer is unneccesary.

  • Replaced the special 200 health Archer with a Regular Archer.

 

Mission 5: Yorkshire

Yorkshire was too easy on higher difficulties and had very narrow pathways around the map.

  • AI Difficulty increased from Tough to Painful when playing on Much Harder.
  • AI Difficulty increased from Challenging to Tough when playing on Harder.
  • Can now build Orbital Jammer.
  • Increased the width of all the pathways to ease congestion around the map.
  • Moved some deposits away from the AI’s Nexus onto nearby regions to make it more difficult for the AI to camp with only their Nexus territory.

 

Mission 6: Calethaon

This mission was very slow and incredibly easy on higher difficulties. We want to lower the time it takes to win this mission and make it more challenging.

  • Turinium Requirements reduced from 1060 to 550. (Making it take much less time to complete.)
  • Time between waves halved to make mission more challenging.
  • Granted additional upgrades and better starting defenses on lower difficulties to compensate.
  • Athena and Orbital Jammer is now available.  

 

Mission 7: Roceda

Roceda had a lot of restrictions to the player which felt really unnecessary.  Despite this, it was too easy.

  • AI Difficulty increased from Challenging to Tough when playing on Harder.
  • AI Difficulty increased from Tough to Painful when playing on Much Harder.
  • Quantum Abilities and Upgrades now available.
  • Can now build all units unlocked so far in the previous campaign mission.

 

Mission 8: Decanus

Decanus was too far too easy, and is being made more challenging. It also suffered from unnecessary restrictions.

  • AI Difficulty increased from Normal to Tough when playing on Harder.
  • AI Difficulty increased from Normal to Painful when playing on Much Harder.
  • Can now build Athena, Power Regulator, Drone Bay and Repair Bay.
  • Increased the width of all the pathways to ease congestion around the map.
  • The AI now receives free units on higher difficulties to make mission more challenging.

 

Mission 9: Noctus

We are making Noctus more challenging and improving pathing on the narrow laneways around the map.

  • AI Difficulty of Relias increased from Challenging to Tough when playing on Harder.
  • AI Difficulty of Relias increased from Tough to Painful when playing on Much Harder.
  • Increased the width of all the pathways to ease congestion around the map.

 

Mission 10: Falnass

We are making Falnass more challenging and removing the unnecessary restriction of the Power Regulator.

  • AI Difficulty of Relias increased from Challenging to Tough when playing on Harder.
  • AI Difficulty of Relias increased from Tough to Painful when playing on Much Harder.
  • Can now build Power Regulator.

 

Mission 12: Artorius

Artorius was a very slow and easy mission, so we are making it more challenging. The progression of the mission was also strange since the first dreadnought attack to the players base triggered when the player would capture the Turinium Generator. This actually punished the player for capturing the Generator early instead of waiting until they already have a defense. We are changing the attack condition to a time elapsed, in order to properly incentivize progressing through the mission.

  • AI Difficulty increased from Challenging to Tough when playing on Harder.
  • AI Difficulty increased from Tough to Painful when playing on Much Harder.
  • Replaced the condition for the Dreadnought attacking your base from when the Turinium is captured to 10 minutes.
  • Added additional waves of attackers on Much harder to make it more challenging.
  • Increased Metal Deposits on the Nexus of the AI players.
  • Increased number of units that Mac and Athena have fighting each other to improve the sense of urgency.
  • Removed the AI’s upgrades on Harder and Much Harder.
  • Fixed an issue where a wave of creeps was not given the proper attack move order.

 

Mission 13: Drengi

We are making Drengi more challenging and improving pathing on the narrow pathways around the map.

  • AI Difficulty increased from Challenging to Tough when playing on Harder.
  • AI Difficulty increased from Tough to Painful when playing on Much Harder.
  • Increased the width of all the pathways to ease congestion around the map.

 

Memories Changelog

 

All Missions

  • All units, buildings and orbital abilities are now available to the player.

Ceres

  • Replaced the Brute MK1 squads with the new Brute..
  • Improved Health of the enemy Hera to make it more challenging.

 

Ganymede:

We are making Ganymede more challenging on higher difficulties. We are also improving the health of the starting Avatar as losing it would fail the mission which could be quite frustrating. Most significantly, it will now be able to survive a single shot from a Nemesis. Ganymede also didn't have any creep spawns which was strange.

  • AI Difficulty increased from Challenging to Tough when playing on Harder.
  • AI Difficulty increased from Tough to Painful when playing on Much Harder.
  • Enemy AI upgrades removed.
  • Neutral Generators now spawn Creeps.
  • Increased health of the Avatar which must be defended from 300/200 to 500/500. (This does not affect the Orbital Avatar.)
  • Changes to the resource layout.
  • Map is now revealed.

 

Europa

We are making Europa more challenging on higher difficulties.

  • AI Difficulty increased from Easy to Tough when playing on Harder.
  • AI Difficulty increased from Easy to Painful when playing on Much Harder.
  • Lowered the amount of free Dreadnoughts the player receives at higher difficulty levels.
  • The AI continues to receive free units which attack the player on higher difficulty levels.
  • Removed the free upgrades the enemy waves receive.
  • Map is now revealed.

 

Inception Scenarios Changelog

  • Changed color of Nihilon to red to be consistent with Genesis Campaign.
  • Added another pathway across the centre of the map to make it easier to avoid destroying Nihilon's Nexus, which caused the player to lose.