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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.
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/evochronlegacy/customkit/vrsetup.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.
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/evochronlegacy/customkit/vrsetup.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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