Demo installer for Evochron Legacy version 1.0808...
Version 1.0808 includes the following improvements:
- Revised optional terrain shaders for added detail on planet surfaces.
- Green circle added to nav map around in-sector planets to indicate safe jump zone.
- Introduction/title sequence updated for more consistent timing/pace on a wider range of system configurations.
- 'Select Mode' indicator added to HUD when mouse flight control mode is disabled and ALT/select mode is enabled.
- Ability to set custom axis and button inputs to control the mouse pointer added to the Menu/Console Control options.
- Station command module hangars now have dedicated shield arrays for each entrance and placement moved to outer edge.
- Upper menu bar on HUD revised to include text labels on available buttons, reduce visual clutter, and display simplified icons.
- Global flight lead transfer system implemented, allowing the flight lead role to automatically transfer to another player if first was destroyed.
- Mining system could occasionally place material recovered from a planet in a new cargo bay rather than combining with existing matching materials, now fixed.
- Plant sample recovery and item lost on planet surface contract acceptance now permitted if player has terrain walker installed (no longer requires mining/tractor beam to be installed on ship).
- Contrast for Game Options, Axis Configuration, Key/Button Configuration, Training, and other menus increased for sharper appearance and improved visibility for buttons, sliders, and text.
- Navigation map system revised to fully incorporate 3D structures in rendering for improved icon alignment, rendering of map log locations, and small object signals (probes and sensor arrays) in the 3D mode.
- 'Right Click to Set Nav Marker at Position' notification now displayed whenever a detected object is highlighted on the navigation map with the mouse pointer.
- New optional reflection/environment mapping effects applied to cockpits, ships, stations, and cities when 'Effects Detail' is set to 'Very High'.
- 3D/DIR radar display accent graphics simplified and spaced further away from center for improved clarity and sphere edge legibility.
- Console menus revised to better align with upper HUD menu bar in style and appearance, reduce visual clutter, and improve clarity.
- UI text coloring updated to better distinguish between clickable button options and displays/readouts (blue vs other colors).
- Work around for 'Error 3002' that could occur on systems with damaged, missing, or altered default Windows audio codecs.
- Option to set the Y position location in Navigation console by holding the Alt key and scrolling the mouse wheel added.
- Click ranges updated on upper HUD menu bar for improved calibration along with resized highlight indicators to match.
- Improvements to AI behavior when hired as ships in single player and player faction is later changed to independent.
- By player request, contract linking in multiplayer now requires manual acceptance (default F4 key) to activate link.
- Improvements to secondary city docking point placement and activation systems when built near a planet's main trade city.
- On rare occasion, a locked target's status display object could leave behind another floating structure, now fixed.
- Improvements to handling contract cancelling between flight lead player and linked players (objective alignment).
- HUD shield array indicators moved to inside gunsight ring and now also change size based on status (HUD mode 2).
- 3D map mode now supports setting the X, Y, and Z coordinate positions, allowing nav point selection in full 3D.
- New placement indicator and directional lines added to 3D map mode for nav point visual placement reference.
- Cockpit lights and background displays can now flicker when ship's hull is hit directly by weapon fire.
- Navigation map grid background revised for a simpler appearance and improved icon visibility/contrast.
- Performance improved for initial heightmap data loading system when travelling from sector to sector.
- Improvements to multiplayer movement prediction and formation systems for low framerate conditions.
- Eagle civilian frame updated to correct small section on hull that lacked complete normal mapping.
- Several new images for 'tips' to better align with recent UI/console and other graphics changes.
- Option to map a custom dedicated key or button to toggle mouse flight/selection control added.
- New frame timing system to help reduce possible flickering in VR on lower performance systems.
- Training and instructions updated to accommodate UI, console, and control option changes.
- Various structures resized slightly to better accommodate overall VR environment scaling.
- Most navigation map icons updated for higher resolution and improved scaling/visibility.
- Added ability to scale cockpit structure and holographic displays for VR (vrsetup.txt).
- Improved navigation map animation when scrolling using directional arrows and zooming.
- Directional marker rings added to 3D radar sphere for improved orientation reference.
- 'Zoom Map' button renamed to 'Enlarge Map' to distinguish from other zoom options.
- Most wireframe hologram icons/graphics replaced with solid transparent versions.
- Subtle brackets added to highlight gunsight readout bar graphs in HUD mode 2.
- Default save data folder location moved to \Documents\EvochronLegacy.
- Both HUD gunsights revised for a more simple single 'ring' look.
- Updated target missile lock indicators for stronger visual cue.
- Ship targeting indicators revised to reduce visual clutter.
- Increased visible rain in weather effects.
- OCRS now enables only in HUD mode 2.
This update introduces several significant additions/advances to certain graphics elements of the game designed to work with the recently added 'Very High' detail mode and overall expanded range of available settings in the 'Effects Detail' and 'Terrain Detail' options. As a result, some players may want to change detail settings to different levels after installing this update in order to return to desired performance levels. And to accommodate that transition, the original shaders, techniques, and detail levels have been preserved in this update to provide the option for restoring the older graphics systems/modes as may be desired. The older systems have just been moved to different detail settings in the Options menu. Also, the default settings the game applies the first time it is installed and launched are the same as before to keep the same performance, leaving the higher settings optional for players with higher performance systems. The system requirements remain the same, there are now just higher limits to the upper detail settings for more powerful systems. And as such, there is now a wider range of available setting options ranging from what was available before to what are now higher levels of details/effects.
The new optional terrain shaders now provide significantly more texture detail in higher modes, particularly at closer distances. There can be a performance impact to render the added detail, so for those running the game on older/slower systems that may have difficulty with the added shader instructions, the 'Low' and 'Medium' detail modes will provide the original shader system that removes the new detail effects for the same level of performance as before. 'Low' is equivalent to the original 'Low'/'Medium' texture detail level and 'Medium' is equivalent to the original 'High'/'Very High' texture detail level. The new 'High' and 'Very High' detail settings now apply the new terrain shader system at different detail levels. Also, for multiplayer the game will retain the shader mode you select with the 'Terrain Detail' level and will only adjust the mesh detail aspect of the setting when connecting to a server with a different setting. So if you select the new shader mode with either the 'High' or 'Very High' level, the game will keep that while you play and simply adjust the mesh detail to match so all players in the game will have the same terrain structures. And if you select the original shader mode with either the 'Low' or 'Medium' level, that shader mode too will be kept and only the mesh detail adjusted to align terrain structures for players.
The goals of the HUD and user interface changes/additions are primarily to reduce visual 'noise', increase visible contrast for buttons/highlighting, provide improved distinction for active modes/options in relation to other buttons, simplify selection, and add labels to previously unlabeled options. Overall, the changes are designed to provide a cleaner and simpler presentation both visually and functionally.
The 3D map mode now supports selecting the X, Y, and Z coordinate positions, which allows the player to move the map around to gauge the selected nav point in reference to other objects in the sector. This can be done in place of using the regular 2D flip map mode or in addition to it whenever the player might want to view the space around the selected nav point in 3D.
The range of available effects has been expanded for the 'Effects Detail' option. Players can now set it to 'Low' to disable additional effects for added performance or 'Very High' to enabled new effects not previously available. 'Low' will now also disable dynamic cube mapping for planetary water and 'Very High' will enable new reflection/environment mapping and lighting effects. You can still optionally enable or disable the cube mapping for water effects in an external configuration file, so if you've specified a value it will still apply regardless of the effects detail level so you can still control the setting independently, if desired. The performance requirement for the 'Very High' detail setting can be significant, especially on older/slower systems, so it is recommended for players using more powerful systems capable of handling the additional camera renders, memory overhead, and shader instructions. The new reflection effects can also be modified via the specular.txt file option, details available in the updated customizing kit. For those interested in retaining the original rendering system and/or level of performance, the 'Effects Detail' can be set to 'High' rather than 'Very High' and the original system will be used instead of the new one.
A page is available on the game's official website that provides a few comparison images and work-in-progress videos to show some of the changes and improvements: Starwraith.com
The revisions to the experimental VR system include some scaling adjustments/alignments along with optional cockpit scaling and minimum camera range setting. For cockpit scaling, the value should generally be high enough to avoid clipping at close range (ie 0.8 ), but can be adjusted in conjunction with the minimum camera range setting (default value is 1.0) for a wider array of available sizes. As a result of the scaling changes, the new default values for 'EyeDistanc' and 'HeadMScale' are now 2.0, so any vrsetup.txt file that may be in place will need these values changed to align with the new defaults (you can continue to use old values, such as 3.4, the cockpit and other structures may just appear smaller than before). A new default value has also been applied for the VRFrameTimer option. It is now set to 0 to activate the new dynamic timing system that should help reduce/eliminate possible flickering on lower performance systems. You can optionally still select a value above 0 to apply a static time delay value if you find one that works best overall with your system configuration. The download link for the latest current sample vrsetup.txt file is available here: Starwraith.com
By request, contracts in multiplayer now require players to accept the link rather than automatically being linked in. This way, a player accepting a contract won't automatically be subject to other players of the same faction doing other things in the same sector that could effect their current activity. Once a player accepts a contract, it is locked in and only players who are of the same faction and in the same sector who accept the link within about 10 seconds (using the trade link key or button) will join the player who accepted the contract. Otherwise, the accepting player will be able to complete the objective on their own and no other contract links can be accepted or interfere with the original player in the same sector until they cancel or finish the objective. If one or more players misses the opportunity to link into a contract, the player who accepted it can immediately cancel it before departing the station/hangar, then reselect it from the list. The contract will not be lost in the queue and is kept/preserved for reselecting as needed without penalty. To retain previous functionality, an option to automatically link in to allied contracts in the same sector is also available in the contract selection menu (docked or undocked). Simply click on 'Auto-Link To Local Contracts' to enable.
The new global flight lead transfer system now allows a multiplayer contract with multiple players to continue without failing it for all linked players even if the flight lead player is destroyed. The multiplayer system will automatically transfer flight lead authority to the next player in the linked group so that the objective can still be completed. At least one player must survive until the objective is finished or cancelled for payment to be received and only the surviving player(s) will receive the payment upon completion. If an objective can no longer be completed after the flight lead has been destroyed (because that player had the required equipment, material, or location), then the contract will need to be manually cancelled by the other player(s) or if possible, completed by another player acquiring or meeting the requirements with the contract still active.
The default save data folder location has been moved to \Documents\EvochronLegacy (user folder location being \Users\[username]\Documents\EvochronLegacy). The game will create the new folder and copy any save game, template, and setting files from the original \sw3dg\EvochronLegacy folder to the new location the next time you start the game (you can keep the old files in place as an original backup or move/remove them as desired). This change doesn't impact install folder locations and files, so any custom files/folders in the install folder will remain and continue to function as before. This change is only for the save data folder where save games, engineering templates, ship templates, and game settings are kept. If you'd like to retain the original save data folder location, you can place this file in the game's install folder (right click on this link to Save As): Starwraith.com (and if needed, replace the 'c:' in the file with the letter drive for the existing location of the \sw3dg\EvochronLegacy folder)
The ability to set custom axis and button inputs to control the mouse pointer has been added to the Menu/Console Control options. You no longer need to edit the external text file to select custom values for these options, you can simply select them directly in the menu and then test them while the game is running. Simply click on the menu option to change the assigned axis or button input. Left click will increase the selected axis or button, right click will decrease the selected axis or button. Options to invert the axis input are also available as is the option to change the assigned device. This way, you can quickly select a custom input profile for whatever device you might want to use to control the mouse pointer in menus or consoles.