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Soldier customization, AI, Optimization and much more in v0.90.

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Hello everyone,

We have just released v0.90. There are a lot of things that we have been working on for this update. A few major things are:

1. Soldier customization

Yes, we have added it back. The reason why we canceled it in the previous updates were because of modding and balancing. But we have found solutions for that, so we gladly added it back. The change is that if you want to hire a soldier with equipment, you will also need to buy their equipment, which is expensive, or you can hire them without equipment. This has a significant impact on the economy of course, but we have also tweaked the economy system to balance everything out. Now you would feel much more like a real guerrilla leader, starting from nothing and struggling to equip each of your guys. When a soldier levels up, they won't level into a new "Class", instead, they will gain attribute points. For example, a Pozna sniper will earn about 1 point in marksmanship and 10 points in rifle efficiency every time he levels up. Looting will be the primary source of getting equipment for your army.

2. World Map AI and Economy

It is still a work in progress. Each faction will have a starting budget, and they will use it to hire troops. AI factions will make money from city taxes and through combat. If a faction lost a city, its economy would be influenced, and it will likely result in a drop of army size. Factions with more cities will have a stronger and stronger economy and may dominate the world. And for the player, it is also true because in the late period of the game the player will need a large amount of finance to sustain a considerable army, which can only be achieved efficiently by owning cities. As for improvements in world map AI. NPC armies will no longer roam randomly. They will guard their cities, patrol near their villages, scout another faction's cities, join combat and etc.

3. Dialog and Diplomacy System.

We have added dialog when you encounter an army on the world map. Diplomacy is also done during the dialog phrase. For example, when you encounter a neutral faction, you may bribe them to increase relationship or ask them to pay the passage fee. Or when you were caught by bandits, you may try to persuade them to let you go.

4. Optimized Saving System.

In the previous versions, saving may take a few minutes, but now it will only take around 0.2 seconds. We are still working to make loading the game faster though.

5. General Optimization.

Optimization in Freeman is a complicated job which requires us to go through each system to pinpoint the issues. So far we have optimized resource loading, squad customization screen, inventory screen, entering combat speed and various world-map related lags. There are still much to be done in this area.

6. Much more accurate auto-combat system.

We have designed a much better auto-combat algorithm that can simulate real in-game combat without actually entering the battle. The result is somewhat 90% close to actual combat. Now you no longer need to worry about unfair auto-resolve.

7. We also put significant effort into modding. In fact, we are already using our own tools to tweak the game rather than doing everything in the game engine. All these tools will be available after the official release.

Here is the Patch Note:

- Reworked some scopes and improved many guns' handling.

- Reworked many UI.

- Recruit troops instead of squads and you can choose to recruit with or without equipment.

- Reworked all troops to adopt the customizable soldier system.

- Balanced missions.

- Balanced the city management system.

- Added dialog.

- Added diplomacy through dialog.

- Improved lighting.

- Greatly improved saving speed.

- Improved world map AI: Patrolling, guarding cities, entering cities to refill soldiers, joining combat...

- Improved world map lagging issues.

- AI armies are taking prisoners during auto combat.

- Improved AI faction's economy system: AI factions gain money through combat and cities and will use the funds to purchase troops.

- Balanced black market items.

- Free world camera.

- Improved the issue of the shaking scope.

- Soldier customization: Customize individual soldier's equipment.

- Added Level-Up-All-Soldiers button.

- Optimization: Resource loading, saving, inventory window, party window, combat loading, world map lagging.

- Added a few hairstyles for both genders.

- Improved auto-combat: Much more accurate auto-combat through simulated combat algorithm.

- Added many new outfits.

- Bug Fix: Player stuck in some buildings.

- Bug Fix: Some scopes are not affected by settings.

And for the next update, we will add companions back.

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