50 is a nice round number, but is the update nice and round as well? Let's take a look at what is new and what has changed:
My Colony v0.50.0 Changelog
- New Structures: Bloodletting Station, Spire of Knowledge, Quantum Sugar Cloner, Uranium Silo
- New Unit: Ancientbug
- New premium content: Orb of Radiance
- GBT: Added cooldown time between GBT trades, increased transaction civics costs, GBT contracts with lot sizes above your trading capacity no longer appear, You can no longer trade in lot sizes above your gifting capacity, The server can now limit the size and price of your trades.
- Storage Limits added: Aluminum, Uranium, Gold, and Clay now have storage requirements.
- Resource Decay: Resources left sitting outside of storage will now decay.
- Collect All: You can now collect all gifts at once with a single click.
- Message Reporting: There is a new in-game mechanism to report abusive PM's.
- Rebalancing: Antanium Synthesis Lab and Triantanium Refinery now offer a small amount of storage. Money generation from the Investment Bank and Clothing Sweatshop has been reduced.
- Tech Window: Each available tech now shows what new structures is contributes to.
- Online Colonies: Colonies played in online mode now require an internet connection to play.
- Right Click: Mouse users can now quickly move vehicles using the right click button.
- UI Changes: A bunch of small UI improvements carried over from Antiquitas v1.0.0 were added.
- Galactic Emperor Tax: Possibly the last tax the emperor will ever collect!
I had intended this update to be a big Zolarg content update, but instead was required to spend most of my time making changes to the GBT and it's associated API. As some will know, I've never really been thrilled about having the GBT in the game, and am even less thrilled in having to micromanage it. Ideally people would be able to conduct themselves as adults and treat the GBT system with respect, but I'm afraid that is not what has transpired. The actions of a few bad apples have thus forced my hand to really crack down on the Galactic Board of Trade, and several changes have now been implemented to that effect.
The first issue was involving the actual server API which the game contacts in order to do trade deals on the GBT. I threw the script together quickly to facilitate an in-game trading feature and didn't put any effort into security. This made it easy to exploit. Since the vast majority of players play in offline mode, I never gave it much thought, but over the last week, one of our players with a lot of free time on his hands really took it upon himself to hit the API hard and did a significant amount of damage to the online in-game economy. New security measures have been added, but they are not present in older versions of the game, and the server API cannot be fully patched without cutting off access for older versions of the game. For this reason, in one weeks time, access to online play from any version of My Colony older than v0.50.0 will be disabled. So if you play online, please update as soon as the release is available on your platform.
Here is also a first and only warning on this matter. Every call to the API is now logged and any user taking advantage of any exploit will be permanently banned from the service altogether. All of your colonies will be banned as will any device that you have been logged as having connecting to the service with. I do not care if you paid for premium or not, you can still play the game offline.
Other issues with the GBT involve using it for storage or using it as a means of transporting large amounts of goods from one colony or another. I don't consider this an exploit, but new measures have been put in place to block it from being used in this manner. The purpose of the GBT is to facilitate trades between colonies and nothing more. Using it for other purposes interferes with the pricing structure of the market and has an impact on the in-game economy for any player who plays the game online.
There is a new Galactic Trade Authority bot that monitors all trades on the GBT and logs trades which are considered grossly out of step with the current market realities. There is no auto-banning or "three strikes your out" feature associated with this. Everything is logged and will be reviewed by a human moderator (me). If it is decided that you are taking advantage of the system, your access to the GBT may be blocked.
There was also a new Galactic Emperor tax levied. This is the Emperor's highest tax ever, coming in at 95% of everything over $750m, and 100% of everything over $10b. This was imposed because of the API hacker who auto-purchased every contract on the market, leaving some players with an ungodly amount of money. If you got your money legitimately, then I am sorry, but this is the way it is. You can thank the abusers for the tax.
The good news is that as of this update, the resources of an individual colony can now be edited directly by the server if need be. For that reason, there probably will not have to be anymore global galactic emperor taxes levied. Because of this change though, all colonies in online mode are now required to have a constant internet connection. Really, this should have been a requirement from the start. If you cannot be constantly online, then consider playing the game in offline mode.
There have also been issues with users sending abusive messages through the in-game messaging system, including threats and other forms of harassment. To combat this I have added a new reporting feature which you can see in all new mail messages that arrive. Message reports will be reviewed by a human, and if you are conducting yourself in a manner which I do not feel is right for the game, then you will be banned from the service.
Anyway, like I said before, I really hate having to be a nanny here for the game. I'd much rather spend my time adding new content and features. If you don't like the new changes and don't want to see any more controls added in the future, then please encourage your fellow players to use their heads when playing the game. The API isn't there for my own benefit, I'd just as soon get rid of online play altogether, as it caused more headache than it is worth. The feature exists entirely for the benefit of those who want to play online, but if it can't be handled properly I have no problem taking it away. The vast majority of users play offline and wouldn't even notice if it was removed.
On to better things, you will notice some UI improvements that have been carried over from Antiquitas (which is now available and you should download (and 5 star) from here: http://apps.ape-apps.com/antiquitas/ ). Zolarg also received a few new things, with more coming in the next release. There is a new Ancientbug which is their version of the E.T. Builder, and their first alien structure is the Quantum Sugar Cloner which is a vast improvement over the Sugar Farm and takes up far less room. Insectoids will be getting a lot more alien content in the next few updates.
Also, there are only a couple of resources left now that do not require storage, and that will be soon changing. Keep that in mind and plan your colonies accordingly.
Between now and the end of the year, the updates are going to focus on Zolarg content. Once 2018 hits, the Reptilians will be making their way into My Colony, and the way they operate is going to be a bit different than the other races. They will make the difference between Humans and Zolarg seem insignificant. But until then, enjoy the update as there is still a lot more to come!