About six weeks later than planned, Ares 0.9 finally makes an entrance. And half of the audience appears to have gone already. Tada!
There are no groundbreaking new features, but hopefully some long-awaited extensions like the option to not only add more than two super weapons to a building, but also to make them available depending on the owning player's country. Also, there are some new AI targeting types that allow super weapons to find targets like the Multi Missile from Tiberian Sun, or the Hunter Seeker.
The targeting modes themselves became more customizable, and it is now possible to change their behavior to some degree. For example, Nukes can be made to automatically target buildings or units only.
Most importantly, the AI is now also bound to the firing rules like human players. In other words: it respects ranges, designators and the new inhibitors. The latter are in a sense negative designators: enemy units and structures can prevent super weapons from firing at locations close nearby, effectively shielding off the area around them.
Vehicle units using shape (.shp) instead of voxel images are now allowed to have more than eight facings, which allows for smoother turning even for larger units. Weapon muzzle flashes also allow more than just eight firing directions, and a projectile that Rotates can now also be animated, which was not possible previously.
But there are also less apparent changes: the handling of detonating bullets has been changed, an the new Ares weapon effects are not applied to the target coordinates any more. Instead they take effect where the bullet actually detonated. This means, EMP and other effects do not affect the intended target if the bullet really hit a wall on its way.
A few bugs were fixed, most notably the broken force move command that prevented tanks from crushing infantry. Text messages now respect the MessageDelay setting and paradropping units are not cloaked any more, just as they weren't in vanilla Yuri's Revenge. But that's not all: a handful more features were fixed or improved.
Original game bugs that have been fixed are a crash because of an array access out of bounds that might happen randomly and infantry in occupiable structures being promoted even if untrainable.
Do not be fooled by the smaller file size of the dll, it's not because lots of features have been removed, but because some unnecessary code has been stripped away. This makes Ares more compact than ever.