v2.20 improves AI, Balance, and Gameplay
Published on December 17, 2015 By Island Dog In GalCiv II News

 

The crew here at Stardock cares a lot about our community and the games that we produce for you.

That's why we're pleased to announce that version 2.20 for Galactic Civilizations II
is available for you today! 

Even when a title is "finished" and put out to market, there are always little things we find that could use a tweak or a change here and there. We also know what it's like to enjoy an old game so much that you keep going back to it, even when there are newer and "better" versions of it out there. 

With help of some awesome community members, the Dev Team has taken all of the suggestions and implemented them into this update. You can find he entire change log (spoiler alert: it's long!) at the bottom of this post.

 

A few words from our CEO and President, Brad Wardell:

"It was awesome being able to work with the fans to integrate years of their own mods and tweaks into the base game. They also gave me a long list of areas where they thought I could improve the AI, which I used to dig into the now 10 year old AI source code base to implement."


We hope you enjoy the update. We have an awesome community here at Stardock and are so very happy that you're a part of it. Have a great holiday season!


Special Thanks

To Antonio "Mabus" Invernizzi, Gaunathor, SilasOfBorg, Kamil "OShee" Bober, DARCA1213, Sam "MarvinKosh" Edwards. Steffem "Maiden666" Jenter, MarvinKosh, Leiavoia, Frogboy and everyone else who helped out!


GC2-ai GC2-combat GC2-diplomacy
GC2-invasion GC2-ship GC2-strategic

Version 2.20 Change Log

[ Gameplay ]

  • General
    • The Capital now increases Morale to 35 (up from 25) and Economy to 25 (up from 10)
    • Advanced Hulls is now unlocked from Basic Logistics
    • Life Support is now unlocked from Advanced Hulls
    • Several techs moved to improve AI use
    • Mind Control Center moved to Concept of Malice
    • Shrine of the Mithrillar now gives a 10% population growth bonus civ-wide
    • Shrine of Tandis now gives a 10% morale bonus civ-wide
    • Information Warfare tech now requires Advanced Diplomacy (instead of Planetary Invasion)
    • Temporal Mechanics cost increased from 10 to 30
    • Hyperion Packages cost increased from 10 to 30
    • Entertainment Center now requires Innovative History
    • Slave Pits, Slave Labs, Collectives and Maintenance Grid have had their costs adjusted
    • Research Matrix bonus decreased from 12 to 10
    • School maintenance increased from 1 to 2
    • University maintenance increased from 2 to 3
    • Space Weapons no longer grants a Military bonus
    • Economic Direction Unit bonus reduced from 50 to 25
    • Ultra Spices now requires Extreme Entertainment instead of Xeno Cultural Trends
    • Merchant Trade Complexes cost increased from 800 to 1100
    • Buffed Tier 1/2 starbase attack modules and battlestations 4; removed Singularity Armor
    • Neutrality Learning Center cost increased from 500 to 1000
    • Cultural Enlightenment no longer has a pre-req; moved to Pure Research
    • Healing Pools now requires Planetary Improvements; cost decreased from 300 to 100
    • Nano Materials now requires Basic Space Construction
    • Advanced Philosophy now requires University
    • Enhanced Adaptation cost increased to 150/450/600
    • Robust Hull Construction now provides 15 HP (up from 10)
    • Precursor Library cost decreased from 400 to 100
    • Miniaturization techs bonuses updated to be better
    • Empathic Tactical Center now grants a defense bonus of 25% instead of an attack bonus of 20%
    • Various weapons rebalancing
    • Plus much much more adjustments. See the Progressive Changelog for more.
  • Terran Alliance
    • Changed default alignment from 50 to 75
    • Now start as Mercantile political party
    • Starts with +10 Economics, -10 Social Production, +25 Trade and 12 Logistics (up from 6)
    • Starting techs changed to: HyperDrive, Industrial Revolution, Fusion Reactors, Traditional Research, Innovative History, Capitalism and Basic Space Construction
    • Terrains gain a 10% bonus to propulsion and diplomacy research
  • Drengin Empire
    • Now starts game as War Party political party
    • Starts with: +10 Military Production, -30 Diplomacy (increased from -25), 20 Loyalty (up from 0) and 14 Logistics (up from 7)
    • Starting techs changed to: Fusion Reactors, Ruthless History, HyperDrive, Stellar Cartography, Specialized Research, Capitalism and Traditional Slavery.
    • Propaganda Machine is now a special project
    • New invasion tactic added (version of Information Warfare)
    • Drengin suffer a 50% penalty to trade techs; and a 100% penalty to diplomatic techs
  • Altarian Resistance
    • Now starts game as Pacifists political party
    • Starts with: +10 Luck (up from 0), 10 Logistics (up from 5)
    • Starting techs changed to: HyperDrive, Industrial Revolution, Fusion Reactors, Traditional Research, A History of Benevolence, Stellar Cartography, Capitalism and Basic Space Construction.
    • Social Matrix is now a special project
    • Altarians gain a 20% bonus in Labs research
  • Arcean Empire
    • Now starts game as War Party political party
    • Starts with: +10 Economics, +10 Morale, +20 Military Production, +30 Ship HP (up from +20), +20 Soldiering (up from +10), +25 Courage, +20 Loyalty and 20 Logistics (up from 8).
    • Starting techs changed to: Glorious History, Fusion Reactors, HyperDrive, Industrial Revolution, Stellar Cartography, Traditional Research, Capitalism and Basic Space Construction.
    • Stellar Forge and Cathedral of Valor are now special projects
    • Arceans now gain a 20% bonus to Hull and Logistics research
    • Arceans now gain:
      • 15 HP from Superior Hulls (up from 10)
      • 20 HP from Master Hull Building (up from 15)
      • 15 HP from Reinforced Hull Design (up from 10)
      • 15 HP from Hardened Hull Design (up from 10)
  • Torian Confederation
    • Now starts as the Populists political party
    • Starts with: +30 Loyalty, 16 Logistics (up from 8)
    • Starting techs changed to: Torian History, Fusion Reactors, HyperDrive, Stellar Cartography, Inherited Technology, Capitalism and Basic Space Construction.
    • Can now research Advanced Aquatic World Colonization cheaper
    • Aquatic Transport Station is now a special project
    • Torians now suffer a 20% penalty to Hull research
    • Changed Advanced Computing requirement to University (from Scientific Method Implementation)
    • Changed Planetary Improvements and Enhanced Adaptation to require Basic Space Construction
    • Added Basic Space Construction with cost 75
    • Xeno Communications now requires Cultural Enlightenment
  • Yor Collective
    • Now starts game as the Industrialist political party
    • Starts with: -30 to Diplomacy and 12 Logistics (up from 6)
    • Maintenance Grid and Distributed Energy Matrix are now special projects
    • New invasion tactic: Terror Drones (Cost 250, 20% bonus to attack, 25% improvement damage)
    • Yor now can a 20% advantage in Labs research
  • Dominion of Korx
    • Now starts as the Mercantile political party
    • Starts with: +15 Economics, +10 Diplomacy and 12 Logistics (up from 6)
    • Starting techs changed to: A History of Mercantilism, HyperDrive, Stellar Cartography, Industrial Revolution, Fusion Reactors, Traditional Research, Capitalism and Basic Space Construction.
    • Festival of Capitalism, Mercenary Academy and Freighter Command are now special projects
    • Korx gain a 20% bonus to economic research
  • Drath Legion
    • Changed default alignment from 75 to 50
    • Now starts as the Populists political party
    • Starts with: +25 Espionage (up from 0) and 16 Logistics (up from 8)
    • Starting techs changed to: Way of the Drath, Industrial Revolution, Basic Space Construction, HyperDrive, Fusion Reactors, Traditional Research, Stellar Cartography and Capitalism.
    • Drath gain a 20% bonus to diplomatic research
  • Thalan Empire
    • Now starts as the Technologists political party
    • Starts with: -50 Population Growth (increased from -30), +40 Loyalty and 12 Logistics (up from 6)
    • Starting techs changed to: Fusion Reactors, HyperDrive, Stellar Cartography, New Propulsion, Artificial Gravity, Xeno Biology, Xeno Medicine, Xeno Engineering, Hyperion Packages, Temporal Mechanics and Interstellar Construction.
    • Gaia Vortex and Church of Valor are now special projects
    • New invasion tactic: Mechanized Warriors (Cost 250, 50%/90% min/max bonus to attack, 100% improvement damage)
    • Thalan suffer a 50% penalty to trade and diplomatic research
  • Iconian Refuge
    • Now starts as the Federalists political party
    • Starts with: +10 Morale (decreased from 20), +20 Research, 0 Espionage (decreased from 100), -5 Soldiering (decreased from 0) and 16 Logistics (up from 10)
    • Precursor Library is now a special project
    • Expert Engineering is now unlocked after Advanced Hulls
    • Soil Enhancement, Xeno Biology and Space Mining moved to the Enhanced Adaptation tree
    • Iconians gain a 20% bonus to terraforming research
  • Korath Clan
    • Now starts game as War Party political party
    • Starts with: -30 Diplomacy (decreased from 0), +10 HP (decreased from 20), +30 Soldiering (increased from 10) and 14 Logistics (increased from 7)
    • Starting techs changed to: Fusion Reactors, Ruthless History, HyperDrive, Stellar Cartography, Specialized Research, Traditional Slavery and Black Market.
    • Graft of Ages is now a special project
    • New invasion tactic added (version of Information Warfare)
    • Korath suffer a 50% penalty to trade techs and a 200% penalty to diplomacy research
  • Krynn Consulate
    • Now starts as the Universalists political party
    • Starts with: -15 Research (decreased from 0) and 12 Logistics (increased from 6)
    • Starting techs changed to: HyperDrive, Industrial Revolution, Basic Space Construction, Fusion Reactors, Traditional Research, The Path, Stellar Cartography, and Capitalism.
    • Super Spy Training Center, Temple of Espionage, and Oracle of Krynn are now special projects.
    • Krynn suffer a 20% penalty to labs research but gain a 20% bonus to government research
  • Minor Races
    • Changes to various minor races that play more into their background lore. Watch out for the Snathi!

[ Graphics ]

  • Updated race colors for Iconian Refuge and Krynn Consulate
  • Improved Rally Point indicator
  • Various UI tweaks

[ AI ]

  • Each race's AI has been tuned to better match their background lore and relative strengths
  • All AI opponents will now use the maximum amount of CPU possible

Comments (Page 14)
on Jan 04, 2017

If I'm remembering it correctly it create a second download folder. Your desktop icon is for the old folder. In computer or file explorer go to stardock I think the galciv2 folder find the executable. Make an icon. At least twilight works. You can delete the other folder.

on Jan 26, 2017

GoG version has the update. Hurray!

on Jun 17, 2017

The 2.20 seems to make the economy much easier, so one may try playing the game at higher levels than one could try before.  Unfortunately, other changes do not work for me.

 

 

1.)  The new version does not allow me  to employ spies on planets of countries you are at war with.

2.)  The new version does not allow me to get the AI's to trade planets.

3.)  I don't like many of the changes to the tech trees and planetary improvements.

 

Where do I download the older version?

on Jun 18, 2017

1)  Something wrong somewhere.  It should allow spies, and mines does.

2) That was a conscious decision.  Not one that I was in favor of, but apparently some people abuse it.  Frankly, it's not a big deal.

3) Sounds like a personal problem.   Be specific about what you don't like.  Most of the changes were made to address specific problems that you might not be aware of, and might could use some explanation.

 

Don't know.  Check your Stardock account?

 

on Jun 18, 2017

1.) I'll look for a setting.  I have no problem employing spies on empires, when I'm not ready to invade their planets.

 

2.) I never managed to get the AI to sell me a planet cheap.  Just how somebody can abuse a feature in a single player game is beyond me.

 

3.) The previous version of the game was really good.

 

I bought into GC3 as a "Founder" and find that game a mess.  I thought I'd go back to GC2, but find the new tech trees too generic, just like GW3!  Well, at least I'm not going to be wasting my time on this series any more.

on Jun 18, 2017

InfrequentHazard

The 2.20 seems to make the economy much easier, so one may try playing the game at higher levels than one could try before.  Unfortunately, other changes do not work for me.

 

 

1.)  The new version does not allow me  to employ spies on planets of countries you are at war with.

2.)  The new version does not allow me to get the AI's to trade planets.

3.)  I don't like many of the changes to the tech trees and planetary improvements.

 

Where do I download the older version?
the problem with trading planets thats how you canin the game. Its to cheap when the ai will sell its best planets.

on Jun 18, 2017

InfrequentHazard

1.) I'll look for a setting.  I have no problem employing spies on empires, when I'm not ready to invade their planets.

 

2.) I never managed to get the AI to sell me a planet cheap.  Just how somebody can abuse a feature in a single player game is beyond me.

 

3.) The previous version of the game was really good.

 

I bought into GC3 as a "Founder" and find that game a mess.  I thought I'd go back to GC2, but find the new tech trees too generic, just like GW3!  Well, at least I'm not going to be wasting my time on this series any more.
that was a long time ago. The base game runs smoothly. I cant think of a better game than crusades. Time changes things.

on Jun 18, 2017

I agree. That is why the guy above, Gaunathor & me re-introduced proper farming (because previously AIs handled all farms indiscriminately...) and also undone many of the "generic" changes and basically brought the old flavour of 2.042 back.

This update has been sent to them for about a year now. You could tell them to hurry up.  

on Jun 24, 2017

1.) The problem with spies is that so many improvements have been made spy-proof.  It will take serious modding to straighten this out.  Were I still running an XP machine, perhaps I could just alter the Improvements file.

2.) This can only be corrected by Stardock.

 

3.) I really need to explain this:

The earlier versions of ToA differentiated tech development so that the different empires would progress differently at different speeds.  Some empire's would have massive advantages early in the game, only to be handicapped later on.  Balancing this kind of game is a delicate thing.  We all know that some advances in technology come at a price, some are simply better in every way, and still other technologies retain their advantages century after century.

Had 2.20 improved on this idea, the Iconian Empire would have lost the ability to perform research along the lines of other empires.  The Precursor Archive may have been improved, while the library transformed into a mundane improvement.  Some other type of improvement may be added to supplement research, but they would not be able to research Academies, Invention Cities, and Discovery Spheres.  Having access to the knowledge of the ancients is an early advantage, but having one's questions so easily answered comes at the cost of never learning how to answer those question on one's own.

The 2.04 Version of the game allowed for quirks in technology.  We saw this in engines, where the Ion Drive was never completely outdated.  The five steps in Warp Drive technology provided some interesting quirks.  The differences between Disruptors and Phasers could have probably been better balanced, but giving all races the same weapon trees just makes for a dull universe.

btw, What happened to I-Mod's Tech Tree Viewer?  Until I can recover my old HD, I can't look at any mod I create.  At this point, all I can do is try to demand something better.

on Jun 24, 2017

1) Many improvements, notably most Morale, should be made spy-proof.  Way too easy for an invader to knock morale down so that Info War makes the planet fall over.  Spies on others (notably on some GAs) cause the game to crash. 

3)  One thing to consider: You can make a technology untradeable to all, but you can't make it untradeable to some.  Make a native tech too weak or restrictive, the AI will just go get an alternative.

Now, as for making races different, you really need to check out Maiden666's Future Worlds mod.  Radical changes in the tech trees, and from my test games the AIs generally behave themselves and stick to their own trees.  It's still "in beta" but I think you'd appreciate it.  Try to ignore the discussion on the thread as it is tedious and a bit too revealing.

It does require 2.20, not for the mod changes, but because SD fixed some internal bugs too.

 

on Jul 01, 2017

I still feel the earlier version of the game was better balanced.  The Dregin Empire homeworld did not fall too easily for me, even when I brought their approval down to 1%.  I still had to have plenty of soldiers.  Stellar Marines make invasions too easy.

 

Spies crashing the game is one of those things that needed to be fixed.

 

It would be nice if technology could be made untradable to some, but that would take some serious alteration to the core program.

 

Thanks for pointing me to Maiden666's Future Worlds.  I'll have to try it.  It may be a better place to start my own mod.  The last mod I made took weeks, just to straighten out the weapon progressions.  I've made hundreds of icons for new improvements.

on Jul 02, 2017

One of the coolest things about FW is that he's made(?) tons of new icons.  There's a few places where they could be improved - I don't like the one he uses for Discovery Sphere - so maybe you could suggest one of yours.

There are some very interesting new weapons.  Take some time and soak it in.  I think you'll like it.

 

on Jul 08, 2017

InfrequentHazard

1.) The problem with spies is that so many improvements have been made spy-proof.  It will take serious modding to straighten this out.  Were I still running an XP machine, perhaps I could just alter the Improvements file.

You can still place spies on any economic, research or industrial improvement. And a few others as well. The AIs generally place their spies on banks in order to drain the opposing power to nullify these attacking spies (you need money to train spies...)

on Jul 08, 2017

InfrequentHazard

2.) This can only be corrected by Stardock.

It should be possible to enable planet-tradeing again by overwriting a DX-file with the original one. I'll have to look up which one if you're interested.

on Jul 08, 2017

InfrequentHazard

The 2.04 Version of the game allowed for quirks in technology.  We saw this in engines, where the Ion Drive was never completely outdated.  The five steps in Warp Drive technology provided some interesting quirks.  The differences between Disruptors and Phasers could have probably been better balanced, but giving all races the same weapon trees just makes for a dull universe.

I agree. Ion Drive was always something special because you could have +1 speed for 20 cost, which was more cheap than Impulse Drives. So if you had some space left you could use Ions instead of Impulse and save some production costs. For perfectioneers   

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