Demo installer for Evochron Legacy SE version 2.0278...
Version 2.0278 includes the following improvements:
- Capital ships can now repair the player's ship during contracts/missions.
- Beam cannons are now fired directly from turrets on ALC/FDN capital ships.
- Capital ship turrets now actuate when firing any of their four weapon types.
- Capital ship beam cannons can now inflict hull damage on an opposing capital ship.
- Opposing capital ships can now engage with beam cannons outside of contracts/missions.
- Added ability to target and scan small cargo containers with the object targeting system.
- Planet-side contract waypoints now follow the rotation of the planets they are linked to.
- Waypoint proximity of planet-side contracts reduced significantly for easier/quicker access.
- Cargo container content scanning now moved to target detail display for consistency and selective scanning.
- Collision alerts added for hidden storage containers, deployable structures, solar arrays, and recovery items.
- Total playback indexes/channels of collision impact sound effects limited to reduce potential of crackling on certain audio devices.
- New optional intercept event added where an AI ship can perform a surprise attack on the player and demand they drop their cargo (see notes).
- Improvements to missile re-tasking in multiplayer when human players in control of in-flight missiles select a different target and the missiles then acquire and track the new target.
- Overall color tones and sizes of many HUD/display background graphics reduced for a more subdued look and to improve text readout visibility.
- Tabs added to upper menu bar text descriptions, most lines and dividers either removed or connected to reduce clutter.
- Gunsight rim reduced in thickness and softened in color tones, shield indicators now moved to the outside of the rim in their own dedicated frames.
- Gunsight three character readout ID labels reduced in size and surrounding line graphics removed to reduce clutter (now on tabs and readouts contained in smaller frames with rounded corners).
- Additions to customizing systems to better support a wider range of different radar sizes, readout placements, and indicator offsets to accommodate new HUD/UI elements.
- Revised font coloring system to support custom colors for in-game links and buttons (see customizing kit for details).
- Fuel capacity added to readout in inventory console and displayed color will change to red when fuel level is low.
- Savedata output system updated to account for container details to accommodate new cargo scanner display system.
- Savedata output system updated to add two new lines (191 and 192) for the jump drive status and delay timer.
- AI combat tactics improved to reduce certain maneuvering and attack limitations at wide vertical angles.
- Rare chance of rotation inconsistency (form of gimbal lock) when at/near 90 degree pitch level fixed.
- Intensity of star lens flare effect reduced and now fades in/out if in view during jump drive cycles.
- Pilot damage and kill performance statistics now displayed at the end of completed combat contracts.
- HMCS readout labels decreased in size to more closely match new forward gunsight readout labels.
- Bar graphs added to jump drive timer, collision alert, scanning status, and stealth status.
- Added ability to press Control-V to paste text into multiplayer text chat entry field.
- Radar display increased in size by about 20% for improved legibility and spacing.
- Windowed modes integrated into the 'Screen Mode' list in the main Options menu.
- 'Normal Map' button in Navigation console changed to 'Reduce Map' for clarity.
- Cockpit displays given tabs to match gunsight, many lines/dividers removed.
- Shadows added to jump drive timer, collision alert, and stealth status.
- Jump drive timer moved to above gunsight rim and below MDTS indicator.
- Target direction indicators revised for a softer, cleaner look.
- Added ability to sell damaged equipment for reduced price.
- Companion app updated for new cargo targeting system.
- Sound effect added for capital ship beam weapons.
- Capital ships increased in size by 250%.
- Capital ship cruise speeds increased.
- Minor fixes.
A significant portion of this update focuses on HUD and UI improvements based on feedback over the last few years. After consolidating and prioritizing the comments/suggestions/requests based on popularity, the key elements that I focused attention on were improving the contrast between HUD/display frames and background graphics with their respective readouts and indicators (primarily so that the latter would stand out better), reducing clutter, optimizing screen/display space, and increasing the size of the radar (both 3D and 2D modes). For any players who wish to restore the original HUD elements, gunsight, and cockpit display panels, check the box available at Main Menu > Options > 3D Cockpit > Classic HUD.
The customizing kit has been updated to reflect the various additions and changes. The cockpit viewing program has also been updated and now includes media for both the new image file set and the original classic file set. Most cockpit/HUD/UI modifications will generally still work the same as before, although a few offset values have been changed for better alignment with the newer designs and may need minor adjustments to accommodate designs constructed around the classic layout. Here is a list of the setting files that are affected and their changes/additions (original values for the classic HUD/UI included in parenthesis):
37th value sets the radar blip vertical offset factor, default is 0.0345 (0.4 for classic)
38th value sets the flight path marker texture offset factor, default is -0.01 (-0.02 for classic)
39th value sets the gunsight front shield indicator X offset, default is 0 (same for classic)
40th value sets the gunsight front shield indicator Y offset, default is -0.02 (0 for classic)
41st value sets the gunsight right shield indicator X offset, default is -0.01 (0.015 for classic)
42nd value sets the gunsight right shield indicator Y offset, default is 0 (same for classic)
43rd value sets the gunsight rear shield indicator X offset, default is 0.0075 (0.015 for classic)
44th value sets the gunsight rear shield indicator Y offset, default is 0.005 (-0.015 for classic)
45th value sets the gunsight left shield indicator X offset, default is 0.01 (0 for classic)
46th value sets the gunsight left shield indicator Y offset, default is -0.015 (same for classic)
47th value sets the radar nav readout X offset, default is -0.05 (0 for classic)
48th value sets the radar nav readout Y offset, default is 0 (0 for classic)
49th value sets the radar thc readout X offset, default is 0.1 (0 for classic)
50th value sets the radar thc readout Y offset, default is 0 (0 for classic)
51st value sets the radar mod readout X offset, default is 0.1 (0 for classic)
52nd value sets the radar mod readout Y offset, default is 0 (0 for classic)
53rd value sets the radar rng readout X offset, default is -0.1 (0 for classic)
54th value sets the radar rng readout Y offset, default is 0 (0 for classic)
1st value sets the X distance from the center of the gunsight (default value is 1.55, 1.65 for classic)
2nd value sets the Y distance from the center of the gunsight (default value is 1.45, 1.55 for classic)
5th value sets the scaling percentage for the 3D surface (default value is 104.0, 110.0 for classic)
1st value sets the spacing of the target direction indicator's shield bars (default value is 0.33, 0.34 for classic)
A new dedicated image filename set can now be used for the classic HUD mode in Main Menu > Options > 3D Cockpit > Classic HUD. Simply added the prefix 'classic-' to the beginning of each filename to specify custom images for the classic mode. For example, the original 'b2gun.png' image file would be changed to 'classic-b2gun.png' to specify a custom image when in the classic mode. A list of all of the files with the 'classic-' prefix option is included in the revised customizing kit at the link below. All classic mode image files also go in the same '\hud' folder as any standard mode image files. The classic setting values specified above will apply automatically when the classic mode is enabled, so no custom setting file(s) would be needed if you continue to use default placement values for a custom design using the original default values. Only the 'classic-' prefix would need to be added to the image filenames themselves. To continue using any existing custom cockpit media with the new default HUD and UI elements, a few new setting values may need to be adjusted/applied for optimal calibration. Full details and sample files are available in the revised customizing kit here: Starwraith.com
By request, hostile and moderate AI ships can now optionally intercept the player and demand they drop their cargo in a similar way to the player being hired to hunt down an AI ship carrying contraband, but with more of an ambush approach for added challenge and risk. Such intercepts will generally only occur in disputed or hostile space (ALC or FDN faction affiliation) or where the player is not allied with any ships in the area (IND faction affiliation) and if they are carrying desirable cargo that an AI ship decides they want. The player will also usually need to be alone to be vulnerable enough for an AI ship to consider an attack. So one way to avoid intercepts is to hire another ship to join your fleet in single player or fly with a friend as part of your fleet in multiplayer. The attack will usually be sudden with the hostile ship de-cloaking close to you, then firing a disruptor and/or Lynx anti-engine missile to disable your ship, then issuing the order to drop your cargo (the order will appear in red letters in the message log along with the critical alert sound, a countdown timer indicating how much time remains before further attack, and a verbal command over the radio if voices are enabled). The attacking ship will have 'Cargo' displayed on the target detail display in place of a faction affiliation to help identify the ship demanding the cargo. You may be able to escape, successfully fight off the attacker, or can decide to drop your cargo. When prompted, you can either open the trade console (when in range) or press the jettison button/key to give the attacker your cargo quickly and automatically. You will need to act quickly however, if you are unable to escape, as the hostile ship will continue to attack until you either drop your cargo or are destroyed. Other ancillary net effects of this gameplay addition include increasing the value and function of stealth generators and stealth devices (to avoid being detected in hostile/moderate space), prioritizing some defensive combat elements in ship design and function, increasing the value of fleet ships (single player) and cooperative flying with other players (multiplayer), and increasing the value of careful route plotting in navigation to limit vulnerability. The option can be enabled or disabled in the 'Modify Pilot' menu in the main pilot profile manager menu or when creating a new profile (uncheck the option that reads 'Attacks by Hostiles for Cargo' in the bottom menu). For those working on language translations, new lines in the 'text.dat' file are 1605-1607 and 1652-1653.
The windowed modes have been integrated into the main Options menu under Screen Modes. The behavior of these modes is significantly dependent on the baseline display resolution being used, AA mode, and the selected window resolution. It is generally recommended to use the 'Standard' mode that covers an entire display surface for optimal image quality, AA modes, and task focus. But you can now enable one of the windowed modes directly in the menu. The default mode is a bordered format and supports repositioning in-game using the same alt key option that's been in the game for years. Simply hold the alt key and then click and hold on the small '+' symbol that appears in the upper right corner of the screen. You can then slide the window around to change its location. Standard Windows key controls also work in this mode, so you can press Alt-Space, then select 'Move', then use the arrow keys or mouse to move the game's window around. To enable the windowed mode, it's generally best to select the resolution you want first under 'Resolution' then activate one of the windowed modes. This guides the game to set the desired resolution first, then set the window frame size to match. If you try other sequences or otherwise run in to undesired display parameters, you can simply reselect a screen mode to reset things. A borderless option is available, but removes certain window control options and may have some unwanted stretching effects at certain settings. To enable the borderless mode, after enabling the windowed mode in the Options menu, open the 'swscreen.txt' file that is created in the game's save data folder and edit the last line to read 0 instead of 1. Then if you want the window to be at a different initial location than the upper left corner of the screen, edit lines 3 and 4 to specify the X and Y position you want to place the window at (since the manual control placement option won't be available in the borderless mode), then restart the game. You can switch to either a bordered window or standard screen mode without having to restart the game.
New bar graphs have been added below the text readouts for the jump drive timer, collision alert, scanning status, and stealth status. The bar graphs will help visually indicate the remaining time before the jump drive comes back online, the distance to the nearest collision risk, and the percentage remaining for any stealth device or generator. They are color coded to match their respective readout color. For the collision indicator, the bar graph will be wide when there is significant distance between your ship and the nearest object and will be narrow when there is little distance. The collision indicator can also adjust quickly depending on the trajectory of your ship relative to the speed and distance you are approaching the nearest detected object at. You can optionally turn off these indicators using the 'hudtext.txt' file option detailed in the customizing kit.
Contract waypoints that involve an objective on a planet's surface will now follow the rotation of the planet. When the nav marker is first set to the waypoint, it's indicator will also rotate with the planet. You can set the nav point to a different location to unlink it from the waypoint. You can also optionally right click on the waypoint marker on the nav map to reset the nav market back to the waypoint. The nav marker remains global to allow the player to set it anywhere else they may want to, including during an active contract.
You can now sell damaged equipment installed on your ship for a reduced price. The value of damaged equipment roughly scales with the amount of damage it has sustained. So you won't receive the full value for the item, but you can now get rid of it this way to make room for an undamaged replacement.
Allied capital ships can now repair hull damage, subsystem damage, and equipment damage on your ship during battle. This option is available during combat contracts and missions, if an allied capital ship is in the area. To repair your ship, simply fly below a nearby allied capital ship while on an active contract or mission. If the capital ship is able to repair your ship, a blue highlight box will appear below the hull. Then fly into the highlight box and maintain course with the capital ship for as long as needed to complete repairs. Capital ships can now play a more significant support role directly to the player in combat contracts and war zone missions.
Cargo scanning (with a cargo scanner installed as an equipment item) has been unified with the target display system. Previously, a cargo container's contents would be rendered on the HUD on top of other display elements, limiting legibility and causing some clutter. Container scanning now works just like all other cargo scanning, so a container simply needs to be targeted and its contents will now be shown on the target detail display. You can selectively scan containers this way and now all cargo scanning is shown on the target detail display consistently. The system will also toggle through the first 5 bays of contents, then the second 5 like it does with scanning cargo on ships. The companion app has also been updated to accommodate the new cargo targeting system, the APK is available here: Starwraith.com
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