Alpha 8.2: Dynamic Structure Loading

Posted on July 17th, 2018 03:59 AM EST

Hi Galactic Survivalists,

Alpha 8.2 has been released to the public branch!

This version is not only adding a few new features and fixing bugs but is addressing an important, technically related topic: loading and unloading structures in a sensitive manner in order to reduce performance cost - which also adds the possibility to significantly increase the amount of structures per playfield (bases, POIs) from 255 to over 65.000!

The "Dynamic Structure Loading" (DSL) will achieve something that may sound as a no-brainer, but actually has a lot of side effects and implications: It will completely unload structures when they are out of render distance. This means, if a base or vessel is farther away than 1200m on a planet (or 3000m in space) the game will unload the structure and save performance. This is similar to when you leave a playfield, all the bases and vessels are unloaded - but now this will happen an active playfield. And dynamically. And in realtime!

DSL affects a lot of game functions, which are now needed to be handled ‘on runtime’ although they are technically unloaded. That’s not only affecting plants growing, fuel in bases is used up, constructors and furnaces crafting, solar power charging, but also elements like spawning in a medic station that is in a base outside DSL range (and thus unloaded).

DSL is not a technique that allows to increase the actual build size of bases or vessels (that’s a future topic!), but to reduce the load for structures that you cannot see anyhow! The latter is also the reason why we can now have more than the 255 structures, as it now does not make any difference if you cannot see 250 or 65530 POIs ;)

With 8.2, we of course also added more content and features, like the new Arid starter planet, homogenous group settings, a quick-pickup for your backpack, AI improvements and more.

Check out the Version 8.2 update trailer below for a quick overview.
(thanks a lot to Ashrai for the update video)

Check out the full changelog below and please report bugs and issues here:

Have fun playing!

Empyrion Dev Team


CHANGELOG: Alpha 8.2.0 (Build 1775)

Dynamic Structure Loading (DSL):
- First implementation of loading only the the structures around players (Planet < 1200m, Orbit < 3000m)

We introduced a new technique - so-called "dynamic structure loading" (DSL) - to load only structures that are around a player. Before, we loaded all structures on a planet which slowed down performance and increased load times. The current implementation will unload the structures immediately when they are not near the player any more (more than 1200m away).

New Desert Planet:
- Added new desert planet (former: Desert2, now: Desert)

We changed the PlanetType of the old Desert Planet into Arid Planet. Then new Desert Planet is a real Tatooine-style desert planet with interesting natural POIs:

New Starter Planet:
- Added ‘Arid’ starter planet for Default Random scenario

Please note that the PDA missions other than the Robinson Protocol are not yet fully adapted to the new Arid Starter planet. So you might (for example) not be able to find certain plants or crops required for those (will be added and refined in 8.3).

For Feedback regarding PDA issues or on the new Starter planet in general, please use this thread:

Added Homogeneous Group Settings to Control Panel:
- Added possibility to set Turret Attack Groups and Light Settings from the "Group" Heading

- There must be only a single type of device (eg: only Turret Blocks in Group)
- Added Spotlights into own control panel group so that on Autogroup Light/Spotlights are separated and Lights are in homogeneous group

Tweaked Default Random Scenario to be better compatible with MP:
- Set all POIs to regenerate
- Set "LandClaimZone: Device" so that buried crashed ships can be dug out and still regenerate
- Added resources to regeneration via resource asteroids

AI Update:
- Updated Overseer and Crawler basic AI
- Zirax: better search behavior
- Zirax: shotgun fast approach search, minigun with slow approach
- Approximate target position replaced with accurate position
- Troop transport: improved landing and take off

- Extended structure limit from 255 to 65535 per playfield
- Use SHIFT+F to instant-pickup backpack and drop container
- Added "Instant" as gameoption speed for Blueprint production / Repair-2-Template
- Turret Targeting: Ignore Structures and their sub-devices IF structure is fully deactivated (Main Power OFF)
- When salvaging a block doesn't return anything this is indicated by a red tool icon
- Removed MaxCount in Config.ecf for Capacitor (Solar) [internal: SolarGenerator] > Battery Capacity can now be increased by placing more Capacitors
- Display Maximum Fuel/Battery capacities in Statistics
- Local Coop games now use the SinglePlayer game options dataset
- Added "show bounds" checkbox to repair bay that will show the bounds of the ship to repair. This will switch off after 10 seconds
- Added screen-message for Repair-2-Template Intake when adding a second stack which is then larger than requirement
- Changed "Current Durability" display to also include current max durability, e.g. 450/500
- Added Coordinates and Distance in 3d Planetary Map when circle marker is placed
- Reduced shaking of Multitool, Survivaltool, DrillT2 (not camera shake but shaking of tool itself)
- Added O2 tank to Essential Category
- Increased O2 value of small O2 bottles (from 50 to 75) and large O2 bottles (from 200 to 250)
- Removed light from Survival Tool
- Deny manual usage of weapons and turrets of docked vessels
- Moved LizardMule to Arid planets
- Crafting: 1 Vegetable now gives 2 PlantProtein

Updated Player Growable Plants:
- Added Coffee Plant as player harvestable plant (Crop Type: Natural Stimulant)
- Added Big Flower as player harvestable plant (Crop Type: Buds)
- Rebalanced player growable plants: crop yield and growth time
- Added Crop Yield and Crop Type as info to harvestable plants

- Updated model and textures for Ion Cannon
- Updated model and textures for Lizard Mule NPC
- Improved particle effect of slime ranged attack (AlienBug03 + AlienBug04)
- Tweaked interior glass of Cockpit 4 (SV/HV): more transparent - similar to the other cockpits
- Tweaked “Highest” setting in Shadow Quality setting (it is now similar to old Medium setting)
- WaterGenerator + Autominer are now grey instead of blue (to be consistent with other terrain placeables)
- EggPlant has better harvested model
- Better particle effects for Survival Tool

UI Update:
- Added option to switch between metric and imperial measurement systems
- Updated preview icons for several blocks (devices, components, ammo, etc)
- Updated Block info: added first batch of new descriptions for items and devices with Infos on how to use them and in which context + adjusted some descriptions that were outdated or not fitting anymore
- Info panel window: Consistent placement of units: unit always be behind value
- Added "CRAFTING" heading to Info Window
- Added Output Count and Craft Time to "CRAFTING" header in tooltip/info window
- Changed Power/Workload "Off" to "None" in Control Panel main page under "Power"
- All Pentaxid based materials (Pentaxid, raw and refined) are now colored in Magenta to make it easier to distinguish from Promethium (blue) and to be consistent with Warp Tank color
- Better UI Font Rendering
- Improved "Status Effect" display in Block Info
- GrowthTime is now displayed correctly with localized "minutes" behind number
- Made some visual tweaks to the ingame console

Planet Update:
- Higher resolution of splatmap for Class 3 planets

(the higher resolution splatmap allows for a more accurate texture distribution - here the new Dust Bowl biome on the temperate planet)

- Added new mountain stamps and updated all temperate planets with new mountains stamps and better beaches

- Update temperate planet: terrain texture in swamp biome is now a bit greener. Updated reeds grass
- Activated resource asteroids on starter planet in Akua-Omicron scenario
- Added description to starter planet in Akua-Omicron scenario
- Tweaked deco on desert planet
- Xenu Bunker on starter planet (Akua-Omicron) is set to regenerate as well
- Added AlienBug01 to swamp biomes
- Slightly reduced density of purple biome fog
- On starter planet now only green biome fog
- GolemDesert only spawns during night on temperate planets
- Added new biome "DustBowl" to Temperate Planets
- Added new stamps for desert planet

Updated Blueprints:
- Added new Stock Prefab Base Tier 2: Thanks to jrandall (

- Updated SV Tier 6 (thanks to Pyston)

SSG Update:
- Adjusted stamp preview images to correct aspect to prevent distortion.
- Included AtmosphereFog, GroundFogIntensity, GroundFogHeight as procedural parameters. Introduced GroundFogProb.
- Updated all playfields with new dynamic values for fog and atmo
- Changed preview display name of MountainStamp to GlobalStamp
- Added stamp usage to statistical information output
- Increase resolution of biome area display to 2 decimals
- Support neighbor configuration when designing solarsystemconfigs
- Removed unused sector.yaml parameters (OrbitLine, Icon, Color) - variable declarations remain in SectorYamlData.cs as unused for backward compatibility with existing servers' sectors.yaml files. Most scenario files updated to match.

Controller Update:
- Added "right-clicking" functionality to cursor mode with gamepads, mapped to X button on xbox controller.
- Improved map controls for controller

PDA Update - General:
- Internal change of localization references to prevent currently active tasks to get broken after an update
- For single player you can find the Story Missions now in the "STORY" tab in the PDA (F1)
- PDA Random Default: Made clear that in COOP/MP it is not possible to set a core in a regenerated structure
- Added Chinese (simplified) for Robinson Protocol and other Missions
- Updated FR translation

PDA Update - Robinson Protocol:
- Adjusted distribution and spawn-frequency of enemies in Radar Station
- Change Control Room and Uplink Room in Radar Station so the levers used for game progress are better protected from accidental destruction
- Moved core of Radar Station somewhere else so it is not destroyed or removed unintentionally (which will break the mission progress)
- Fixed some issues with Robinson Protocol COOP triggers

- Optimization for loading/saving of class 5 planets
- Network optimizations
- Optimization for deco (trees) generation

Console Commands Update:
- Console command : add the sub command "spawn" to the "depleteresource" command
- Enhanced console cmd "gameoptions" to allow to set a parameter value
- Console command 'ents' does now not list any structure proxy entities any more (only if you use 'ents -all').
- Added: Console command "gameoptions" to list all current values
- Console cmd "aimanager": sub command "triggerdronewave" will now force the attack even when there is no player around the base
- Console command 'ents' now also shows the entity type
- Console command 'stats' now shows the land claim mode

Other Changes:
- Config.ecf: Removed "Range", "Damage", "AmmoCapacity", "AmmoType", "ReloadDelay", "ROF" from device because it will now be read from weapon itself
- Changed: Random placing of POIs and resources now excludes 200 (instead of 100) meters around the pole areas
- Added more detailed colliders on Ion Cannons (enemy turrets) and all player turrets
- When hovering with a drill/survival drill, we are now hiding the name of the deco item if Localization does not exist (this avoids to be distracted by strange names of deco items)
- Added AlienBug04 to spawn menu
- The white warp effect now lasts 5 seconds longer to hide the longer planet loading times
- Limiting number of blueprint parts to 32 to improve network traffic
- Debug weapons are now blue to better distinguish them from the epic weapons
- Better explanation for Special parameters (eg AllowBlueprintSV etc) in ExamplePlanet
- Replaced POIDistance with SpawnPOIAvoidDistance in all playfield.yamls

Bug Fixes:
- Fixed: Dead drones fall through terrain in some cases (especially MP)
- Fixed: Parasaur NPC sliding over terrain when trying to run away
- Fixed: Exception when you change to any option in the repair bay console
- Fixed: NPCs firing through wall (proper fix)
- Fixed: Turret targeting settings were not saved when creating a blueprint
- Fixed: Tent removes terrain
- Fixed: Server shutdown keeps processes open
- Fixed: Sometimes chunks of terrain were missing
- Fixed: Flickering on grass with "Low" SSAO setting
- Fixed: Mobile constructor starts crafting even if turned off
- Fixed: Players seated on a bike are shown as 'PlayerBike' in MP
- Fixed: Exploit when two players try to pickup the same block at the same time
- Fixed: Plants did not always continue to grow while a playfield was unloaded
- Fixed: Asteroid resource: Area limit of the asteroid resource did not match the new big planet size
- Fixed: When POI regenerates, NPCs remained in structure and sometimes were falling through the structure and could shut from below
- Fixed: After RT2 is performed any devices that are put back onto the vessel are not put back into the group they were in (MP)
- Fixed: Plants sometimes dying when returning to a base (MP)
- Fixed: Turrets do not attack alien POIs in some use cases
- Fixed: Game Start pages broken for Akua-Omicron and other scenarios
- Fixed: Exception when clicking between STATISTICS page and CONTROL Panel in a vessel
- Fixed: Exception when quitting with alt-f4 with open statistic screen
- Fixed: Display of correct planet stats with ad hoc playfield generation
- Fixed: Light Suit not protecting from RAD - round random radiation to nearest 1/10th
- Fixed: Techtree: Range info is missing from Weapons
- Fixed: Sorting Error with Tooltip and Tech Tree Window
- Fixed: Motion sensor breaks after placing & picking a bike up in the sensor area
- Fixed: Moving far away from a vessel that is using R2T & returning to it the R2T is not maintained whilst away.
- Fixed: Enter key not working in password dialog when connecting to a protected server
- Fixed: Missing description text for starter playfield in Default Random when multiple starters available
- Fixed: Mechanoid rotation + movement speed
- Fixed: Exception if Orbit has Instance Data
- Fixed: Repair Station could get stuck while in R2T Mode when no template is available
- Fixed: Sometimes it was not possible to repair a vessel (happened when no template was available)
- Fixed: Repair Station does not allow manual repair start & broken info for ingots
- Fixed: Back button does not work in Repair Console
- Fixed: Vessels not able to warp in some use cases
- Fixed: Exploit: Endless production of Energy bars and other templates
- Fixed: Alien Palm tree (Oranges) explodes when being harvested
- Fixed: Billboard appears too early for Cactus plant
- Fixed: Shared markers are visible on playfields they do not belong to (MP)
- Fixed: Resources & Time list in statistic window is not scrollable with mouse wheel
- Fixed: Problem that no NPC spawned in Sand biome on arid planets
- Fixed: When opening PDA, Log texts didn't update if not a chapter (but a task) was selected previously
- Fixed: Drone attacking base when player is away
- Fixed: Black square appears for split-second when opening sector map.
- Fixed: Several problems with colliders being at wrong position for NPCs
- Fixed: Possible network disconnect exploit for mod API: item add/remove, credits, full inventory update
- Fixed: Random exception after drone attacks
- Fixed: Epic Pulse Rifle was not colored correctly (grey instead of red)
- Fixed: Constructors still using old "On/Off" Buttons
- Fixed: Possible network disconnect exploit for mod API: item exchange
- Fixed: POI spawning on Temperate planet > now EpsilonAuxT1 and EpsilonDefence POI will spawn close to Bunker
- Fixed: UI Highlight showing incorrectly/not showing when item is being dragged during enable/disable event
- Fixed: Some materials/textures on deco plants (were over bright)
- Fixed: Problem with AtmosphereFogRange in +ExamplePlanet dynamic playfield
- Fixed: PDA exception when loading old savegame
- Fixed: Hover Info 'Effective Against' is shown as KEY not as LOCA
- Fixed: AI Vessel : patrol in Long range management not updating next destination
- Fixed: missing description and additional info for Shadows of Starlight and Default Akua-Omicron scenarios.



Update: July 22, 2018 - Alpha 8.2.3: Build 1787

Bug Fixes:
- Fixed: added possible fix for captured POIs vanishing when player returns

Please note that, unfortunately, this will not bring back captured POIs that have already vanished AUTOMATICALLY. There is a way you can retrieve those lost bases in SP and MP:


Update: July 21, 2018 - Alpha 8.2.2: Build 1786

- Temporarily removed SHIFT-F (Needs to be redone for 8.3 in a proper way so exploits and issues with picking up backpacks are avoided)


Update: July 21, 2018 - Alpha 8.2.2: Build 1783

Bug Fixes:
- DSL: Structures/Vessels use many times more fuel than loaded (SP and MP)
- AI behaviour exceptions
- After returning to a CV with docked vessels sometimes the docked vessels are not visible until a relog is done [edge case]
- CropYield display was not always correct

- Blue AlienPlant07 now drops PlantProtein (to find sth to eat in Forest)


Update: July 19, 2018 - Alpha 8.2.2: Build 1780

Bug Fixes:

- Fixed: Exploit - using shift + F could give infinite loot
- Fixed: NPC / Trader were dropping through the ground when DSL structure is reloaded
- Fixed: Possible network problem
- Fixed: Several internal exceptions


Update: July 18, 2018 - Alpha 8.2.1: Build 1779

Bug Fixes:
- Fixed: Resuming A8.1 save game leads to Personal Cargo Boxes become inaccessible in A8.2
- Fixed: HV tilts and flips when transported from one planet to another with a CV
- Fixed: Missing info for several blocks stats when hovering over them in Techtree
- Fixed: Billboard of player growable Berry bush shows up too early
- Fixed: Several internal exceptions

- Reduced XP gain when picking up player grown plants
- Updated gameoptions_example.yaml with info about instant repair


Update: July 17, 2018 - Alpha 8.2.1: Build 1778

Bug Fixes:
- Fixed: Exception when hovering in TechTree or in Inventory over certain devices
- Fixed: Exception when connecting as client with B1775 to a server running B1775
- Possible fix for System.Collections.Generic.Dictionary
- Fixed: AMD's are placeable in random locations on class 5 planets
- Fixed: Missing rifle on Security Guard (Deco NPC)
- Fixed: Several internal exceptions

- Added line break after Output Count in block info

EAH Tool Update:
- Added: Discord: Ignore chat starting with certain characters
- Fixed: Gameoptions Max Structures limited to 255
- Fixed: Server Stop/Restart doing another SaveAndExit 4 after 4 minutes
- Fixed: Another discord parse exception


Update: July 17, 2018 - Build 1777

- Reactivated DSL again
- Added: Emergency O2 bottles to Survival Constructor (require 1 purified water)

Bug Fixes:
- Fixed: Problem that vessels sometimes disappeared when loading into a playfield on dedicated servers
- Fixed: Problems with DSL (actually not a DSL problem but root cause was exception spam on pf server)
- Fixed: AI drone detection not working in some circumstances
- Fixed: Black side textures that sometimes occurred on snow planet (and others)
- Fixed: Multiple Request_Player_AddItem remove former given items in quick access


Update: July 17, 2018 - Build 1776 (Server only update)

- Temporarily deactivated DSL on servers
We are working on a fix for the problem with DSL on servers - sorry for the inconveniences.
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