Evochron Legacy 1.0308-1.0388 Updates...

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Evochron Legacy 1.0308-1.0388 Updates...

Postby Vice » Mon Jul 04, 2016 5:31 pm

Version 1.0388 includes the following improvements:

- Jump caster deployable option added (see notes).
- More customizing options added for menu graphics (customizing page updated).
- Tractor beam type mounted on ship now transfers to terrain walker so players can select which materials to mine with the walker as well.
- Space station module build point allowed to be one position step closer for production and storage modules connecting to smaller module types.
- Planet terrain impact damage now possible at higher cruise speeds (no longer requires engaging jump drive to overpower shield resistance).
- Moon impact damage now possible using consistent conditional parameters as planet collisions with the new impact damage system.
- Asteroid and asteroid cave impact damage behavior aligned with new collision impact damage system for planets and moons.
- AI system updated to allow hostile ships to travel closer to planet terrain while in pursuit of player or other ships.
- 25% pay bonus now applies to combat contracts accepted planet side (with waypoint(s) in atmosphere).
- Rare issue that could cause capital ships to appear at wide vertical angles after respawning fixed.
- Specular level on cockpits raised slightly to better align with other shiny metallic surfaces.
- Minimum water retrieval elevation reduced for closer proximity requirement to water source.
- By player request, shield module stacking recharge rate set to 70% per additional module.
- Vertical displacement that could occur when jumping near station command modules fixed.
- Increased AI travel paths near/around stations in multiplayer.
- A few minor fixes.


Notes:

Sometimes a fairly difficult and potentially controversial feature/option gets considered and eventually implemented. The new 'jump caster' deployable is one such option added to this update. I have been considering such an option for years (since Renegades in 2007) and a recent surge of requests and feedback have pushed it from concept to reality. So far in testing, it has been providing what requesting players have asked for while also addressing the concerns of others.

Here are some details. Feedback over the last near decade has kept this option from being implemented until now. Fears of reducing the scope/size of the game's universe and providing persistent short cuts have been two of the biggest concerns. Once building jump gates to anywhere is available, it's inevitable that they will eventually be sprinkled throughout the game's universe. This makes getting anywhere very easy, too easy by many accounts. The unique and hard to find locations suddenly have a marker and a quick route to get to them, likely through the efforts of someone else the player never met or worked with (never shared gameplay with). So if placing static permanent jump gates were implemented, it would have meant that player A could skip huge portions of the game's exploration process just by using a gate player B built long before. Combined, the potential scope reduction, long term risk/challenge reduction, spoilers, no effort persistent shortcutting, desire for discovery exclusivity, and more have all resulted in keeping the idea from being implemented in the past. But I do listen and try to work out solutions to such things if there is enough interest and constructive feedback indicating it's worth re-re-re-evaluating.

After careful consideration, I've decided to make the move in the direction of providing a way to travel very long distances without requiring a traditional static jump gate, including travel to remote uncharted systems. But it's been implemented in a way that does not provide a permanent short cut (generally the most strongly voiced concern). This way, a player can establish a jump point to where they want to go if they know the destination. That is, if they travel to an uncharted region of space and find a system there, they can store the location in their map log and then later return to it using the new device without having to spend hours making short range jumps to get there. Since the device is temporary, it also doesn't leave behind a shortcut for others to exploit. This allows players a way to still keep their discoveries fairly exclusive while making them much more accessible and available to utilize for trade, storage, and construction. And if they want another player to join them at the distant location in multiplayer, they can meet up in a particular sector and then build a route that both of them can use (they can share the new 'jump caster' just like they can share other deployables). So from both a solo and cooperative standpoint, it made the most sense to provide a new deployable way for setting up a temporary jump route to try and meet as many of the requested objectives and concerns as reasonably possible.

In short, the 'jump caster' is a new deployable device that lets you construct a temporary jump gate. When preparing to deploy it, you can enter the destination coordinates for where you want the caster to take you (done in the navigation console prior to building the jump caster, which also allows for easy map log entry retrieval). The jump caster links to your ship's navigation console to retrieve the selected destination coordinates and will target that destination when you build it. Building the jump caster requires 50 units of metal ore to build and can travel up to 1000 sectors away. The ore requirement is low enough to allow players to be able to build multiple devices in sequence should a destination require more than one caster to reach. Once deployed, the player can fly through the caster to travel to the selected destination as though travelling through a traditional jump gate. Once the device is used (or not linked to a player in multiplayer, as with other deployables), it self-scuttles. There is a modest level of resource investment required to use them, but the trade off is very quick access to wherever you might want to go in the quadrant.

The new collision system provides a more realistic impact response when running into planets, moons, asteroids, and caves (shield-to-shield and shield-to-hull collisions remain unchanged). It is now possible to ram nose first into a planet or moon and destroy your ship (without the previous requirement of overpowering your shield resistance using the jump drive). Damage is also variable, causing more severe hull damage the faster you go. Speeds around 1000 or less are generally safe, above will generally encounter damage. The new system also takes the angle of impact into account, so skimming terrain with fairly level pitch generally won't cause damage, but nose diving into it can.



Version 1.0348 includes the following improvements:

- AI traffic patterns updated to appear near and fly more consistently around stations.
- Engineer crew member can now perform emergency repairs to damaged ship subsystems slowly even if no repair device is installed.
- Spawn placement system updated to prevent rare potential mismatch when renaming a profile (causing a displaced spawn point).
- Territory quadrant map indicator colors changed to consistently align with text readouts (green = allied, red = enemy).
- New neutral faction affiliation option added (indicated by IND/Independent) for players, see notes for details.
- Build system updated to allow 'IND' stations to be constructed that allow any player to dock at.
- Default station module data stored to fixed template for possible future functionality.
- 'IMG' faction label renamed to 'IND' to support new independent faction option.
- Terrain texturing changed for improved detail appearance at higher altitudes.
- Improvements to depth appearance and rendering for experimental VR system.
- Head movement factor value option added to vrsetup.txt VR file options.
- Several minor UI fixes for a few click ranges and indicators.
- Performance improvements for planets with plants and animals.
- Passenger transport objective added to single player mode.
- Minor fixes.

Notes:

The new neutral faction option (IND) provides players interested primarily in exploration, trading, racing, recovery, delivery, mining, and/or other miscellaneous non-combat objectives a way to perform those activities in any ALC or FDN controlled region of the game's universe without the risk of attack. This largely provides the requested independent/neutral, non-combat, open trading, all sector access way to play the game. When the IND faction is selected by the player, all other ALC/FDN ships will switch to a neutral threat level (yellow) and all stations will be available to the player for docking. The restriction for the IND faction is that no combat contracts in civilian space will be offered to the player. Players flying with the IND faction tag are limited to non-combat contract objectives in ALC/FDN space, but are free to dock, design weapons, craft equipment, design/buy/sell ships, store ships/items, accept non-combat contracts, and trade at any faction's station. IND players can still participate in war zone battles against Vonari. All non-war zone territory regions will be marked yellow on the quadrant map for an IND player, indicating all regions are available to the player to fly in as a neutral ship. This new faction option may be changed/expanded later on depending on player interest/feedback as it is an initial effort to provide some of the features and options that have been requested in recent months (in this case, namely a neutral, largely peaceful/non-combat option with docking access to the entire quadrant).

Players can also now build stations with the 'IND' faction tag, resulting in a neutral station that allows any player to dock. However, docking fees may apply to a neutral/IND player docking at an ALC or FDN affiliated station as well as an ALC or FDN player docking at a neutral/IND station. Docking fees will not apply when docking at a station of the same faction affiliation (IND = IND, ALC = ALC, or FDN = FDN). Docking fees will also not apply until the player has progressed from the earlier stages of the game and has a significant number of credits. Docking fees will also not apply in war zones.

The quadrant map territory indicator colors are now aligned with the player's selected faction affiliation (matching the text readouts). So regardless of ALC or FDN faction affiliation, friendly regions will be green, hostile will be red. No longer are the indicators always green for ALC and red for FDN. As mentioned above, independent ('IND') players will see yellow in all human regions.

For those trying out the experimental VR system, a new default value of 1.0 has been applied to the 'EyeDistanc' value. Any VRSETUP.TXT file that may be in place will need to account for this change going forward. This change aligns that distance factor with the changes in this build to improve the 3D appearance and depth effects in VR. A new head movement scaling factor has also been added as an option to the file. This option lets you change the rate of relative head movement. You can reduce the response by using values less than 1.0 or increase it to 2X with a value of 2.0. The default value is 1.0. The latest sample file is available here: http://www.starwraith.com/evochronlegac ... rsetup.txt

The changes to the VR system represent the last of the remaining technical issues/objectives to sort out in terms of depth/rendering and functionality. I now plan on looking into trying to optimize performance further for a default VR configuration. I would appreciate your feedback (please send result via starwraith.com > contact) for those trying out the experimental VR system as to the exact system specs you are using (video card make and model, driver version, CPU make/model and clock speed, bus speed, system memory, etc) and what performance results you are achieving.



Version 1.0308 includes the following improvements:

- 'High + Smoothing' option added to Texture Detail setting in main Options menu (see notes).
- Added ability to change single player simulation options and faction affiliation of profiles (added to 'Rename Pilot' option).
- Bypass added to Steam cloud save system to prevent a folder error message if security settings/software block the game from being allowed to access the folder.
- Experimental VR rendering system converted to OpenVR to support the HTC Vive and other compatible VR devices.
- Many HUD, menu, UI, and indicator graphics have been updated for improved appearance in experimental VR system.
- Contract link in multiplayer no longer overrides jump point if player's jump drive is already activated.
- Top tier civilian frames reduced in assembly caps to accommodate absolute equipment limit.


Notes:

When the Texture Detail option is set to 'High + Smoothing', the game will generate additional surface smoothing details for certain objects in the game including ship frames, ship components, station/city modules, and cockpits. The generation process will add additional loading time during the initial startup phase of the game. The benefit is that various surfaces of these objects will appear smoother and rounded for a more detailed look, rather than flatter with sharper angles. The 'High + Smoothing' setting is also more of an optional mode. If you prefer objects to have sharper edges and angles, you can use the 'High' mode as the maximum setting and full resolution texture details will still be applied. If you prefer a smoother and more rounded appearance to various surfaces of objects, then the 'High + Smoothing' mode is available as an option.

This update also adds the ability to change the single player simulation options and faction affiliation of any profile. This way, you can change the game simulation conditions for commodity prices, Econ/Tech, and territory control for existing profiles. You can also change the single player faction affiliation of any profile. Keep in mind that if you change the faction affiliation, you will instantly become hostile to the original faction, resulting in being bumped out of a station you may be docked at and immediately attacked. So before changing a faction, you may want to save your profile out in neutral space or current enemy territory first.

For anyone interested in testing the experimental VR mode, be sure to remove any vrsetup.txt file you may have in place for the old system. The new system uses a different format and list of options for that file (available here: http://www.starwraith.com/evochronlegac ... rsetup.txt ).


Edit: July 10th, 2016 - A quick update for this build has been provided to fix the following:

- Fix for a possible error message displayed when trying to use a Saitek X65 control device on Windows 10.
- Fix for Horizontal/Vertical Velocity Marker not displaying on HUD when enabled in HUD Configuration menu.
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Re: Evochron Legacy 1.0308 Update...

Postby soulsacrifice » Sun Jul 24, 2016 5:04 am

Hi Vice,

I have been trying to test the vr support on the HTC Vive but I can't seem to get it to work. I've set the display mode to openvr in the options and added the vrsetup.txt file to the evochron legacy folder. The game boots up as normal on the monitor, am I missing something?
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Re: Evochron Legacy 1.0308 Update...

Postby Vice » Sun Jul 24, 2016 5:25 am

Did you try launching SteamVR before launching the game? Have you updated the Vive software, activated the control towers, confirmed the status of the towers and HMD in the SteamVR control panel, etc? If the game does not receive a response from the device/software, it will simply default to the standard display system. The VR mode will only activate when it receives the required response.

Also, you do not need any vrsetup.txt file in place, that should be left out unless you want to try to manually change VR settings. But to simply activate the VR mode, you don't need that file.
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Re: Evochron Legacy 1.0308 Update...

Postby soulsacrifice » Sun Jul 24, 2016 2:36 pm

Thanks Vice!

My antivirus seems to have blocked the latest software update so I disabled it and reinstalled the HTC software and its working now. Thanks for adding VR support! First impression is that the scale feels off, everything is huge. Going to play around with the settings now to see if I can improve it.
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Re: Evochron Legacy 1.0308 Update...

Postby Vice » Sun Jul 24, 2016 3:13 pm

Glad you got it working. If you find settings that look better to you, please send those to me via e-mail to review (starwraith.com > contact).
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Re: Evochron Legacy 1.0308-1.0348 Updates...

Postby Trashkhan » Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:47 am

Hello.

First I would like to thank you for this excellent game (I had the "Mercenary" but had too few time to play it).

Then, I noticed that the 2 sites where the demo/updated game can be obtained only propose the previous version 1.0308.... woud it be possible that the files be updated ?

Cheers !

TK>
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Re: Evochron Legacy 1.0308-1.0348 Updates...

Postby Vice » Tue Aug 16, 2016 8:10 pm

It's available to them when/if they want to update, but the 1.308 build is still good for the demo and evaluating the game anyway.
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Re: Evochron Legacy 1.0308-1.0348 Updates...

Postby Trashkhan » Wed Aug 17, 2016 7:01 am

I purchased the game and need to update it outside of the game (my internet speed at home is too slow), this is was the reason of my post. Thank you.
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Re: Evochron Legacy 1.0308-1.0348 Updates...

Postby Vice » Wed Aug 17, 2016 3:21 pm

Indeed, you can normally follow the link the game prompts you to. Or you can also follow the link in the registration e-mail you received when you ordered. If you need order/registration support, simply contact me via starwraith.com > contact.
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Re: Evochron Legacy 1.0308-1.0348 Updates...

Postby Trashkhan » Wed Aug 17, 2016 3:29 pm

... my fault, I did not properly read the registration email... I found the link and coudl download the update ... Many thanks !
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