We're burning the midnight oil to make sure when we go gold we have the best game we can possibly deliver as 1.0.
I hope you guys have enjoyed the early access program as much as we've enjoyed working with you guys. You've made a huge difference both in terms of making the game funner and helping make sure that what actually goes out is more like a v1.01 rather than the traditional 1.0 level of quality/stability.
Here's a run-down of the things that are on our hot-list that we hope to have to you either today or tomorrow as the last pre-gold build of the game:
1. We are testing a fix for a hang when players go to the battle viewer. It was tracked down to being the trails on the ships (oddly enough). For now, if you turn off trails in the options in your build, it'll probably go away even in beta 6.
2. We are playing a lot of multiplayer. We did a minor update last week that helped with MP but the next bulid will be a much bigger update to MP stability and just general user experience.
3. Campaign polish. I know most people don't really care about a campaign in a 4X like this. I'll be the first to admit that we mostly do it for ourselves so that our story, that we've been telling for 20 years, continues to move forward.
4. Balance / AI. They're the same thing at this point. Trying to beef up the Yor and nerf down the Krynn (patriotic trait is OP).
5. Anything that affects stability or user experience that has been reported by the fans.
On a personal note, having been developing games for over 20 years, it has been a real pleasure working with the community on this game.
I will say, candidly, that a game of this scope simply couldn't be made from scratch like this without it. This isn't a knock on Unity based games (we're using Unity for two of our upcoming games, we're fans). I'm saying that building a 4X strategy game engine where you can create your own players, create your own units, can support tens of thousands of units simultaneously with game sizes from tiny to figuratively insane is not a task done lightly or often...or sanely.
After gold, we move directly onto 1.01 which will be mostly addressing requests that we've gotten but just couldn't get to yet and then 1.1 which will mostly focus on feedback from players on balance, AI, and Steam Workshop integration.
Let me know if you have any questions. I'll be here with you right to the day we release 1.0 and beyond.