Alpha EXPERIMENTAL 9.0

Posted on December 5th, 2018 08:55 AM EST
Hi Galactic Survivalists,

Instead of teasing you with dev blogs about the new Alpha 9 features, we decided to give you the possibility to test them hands-on. Welcome to Alpha 9 - EXPERIMENTAL.

Here is a quick overview of the main features of the upcoming Alpha 9:
1. Logistics (preparation for weight/volume integration)
2. AI Factions, Reputation and Territory
3. Leveled NPCs
4. Improved Weapon Handling
5. Improved Game Start
... and many more features as documented in the changelog below.

Please report bugs here: https://empyriononline.com/threads/bug-reports-exp-9-0-gameplay-read-introduction-before-reporting.46683/

Have fun with the Experimental version of A9.

Yours,

Emp Dev Team

P.S. The voting for the "2018 Indie of the Year Awards" has started. If you like Empyrion, please vote for it here: https://www.indiedb.com/games/empyrion-galactic-survival



CHANGELOG: Alpha 9 - Experimental (Build 2049)

MAJOR FEATURES:

1. Logistics

With Alpha 9, we prepared the grounds for integrating volume restrictions and weight into the game. Even though we already added and updated weight and volume for most of the items and blocks, we did not yet activate it. We still need to polish some parts and rebalance everything.

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For those who want to test how it feels when weight and volume restrictions are active, you can enable it as follows:
1. Set "EnableVolumeWeight: True" in SteamsteamappscommonEmpyrion - Galactic SurvivalContentScenariosDefault Randomgameoptions.yaml
2. Start a new Survival game

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The change you might need get accustomed to is, instead of carrying around any block or item in your backpack or placing it from there, you will need to use the new LOGISTIC feature, which not only allows you to circumvent volume and weight limitations, but also allows to use this for remote actions via Wifi and the Connected Toolbar.

Logistics Window
Logistic as a whole, not only means how items and blocks can be moved without having to move them "through" your inventory, but also how inventories of construction devices will work from now on.

As soon as you are in reach of a Wifi or standing on your base or vessel, you can access the new logistic menu with F4 - or by facing a container and clicking F.

This is how the GUI of the logistics window looks like


On BOTH SIDES you can select
- a structure (even the same structure)
- a container (cannot be the same if structure is the same)

On the RIGHT side you can also select Fuel Tanks and O2 Tanks from an additional dropdown in order to fill them (fill-source needs to be selected on the LEFT side!)

You can freely move around items from one side to the other (if you activated the limitation: given there is enough volume) by drag and drop, SHIFT-Click or with the buttons in the middle.

Example: You can fill a tank of a vessel you are connected with (select vessel and tank on the RIGHT side) while standing on the base or in Wifi Range of another vessel, and moving fuel cells from any container (select source structure and container on the LEFT)

If you want to lift and place blocks or devices that are too heavy for your player or have a volume that exceeds your inventory, you can use the CONNECT button in the middle. This will "connect" you to the base and allow you to use the Connected Toolbar.

Connected Toolbar


As indicated, the integration of weight and volume limits will change how you handle blocks and items - especially the big ones: Large Constructor has 2500 L volume and your Inventory has 500 L storage capacity.

The connected toolbar is a toolbar to allow building without having run back and forth between containers due to the volume limits or be able to build at all and will stay in the future iterations, as most of the midgame blocks and devices are too heavy or voluminous for you to carry around in your backpack!

New Constructor Input / Output
With the new way on how logistics will be handled, the availability of internal inventories of the construction machines has changed. When you set up one of these devices and open its GUI you will notice that the devices do not have an internal inventory anymore. Instead you can assign ANY container (except fuel tanks and o2 tanks) to the INPUT and OUTPUT fields.



Modular Containers
To solve the ever-increasing demand of volume (when volume is activated as a limit), we added the new MODULAR CONTAINERS for all structures (BA, CV, SV and HV) for the initial A9 release (possibly also helpful for reworking your blueprints!)


Each Container consist of a
- Container Control Unit (CC, max one per container)
- Cargo Expansion Unit (CE)

For more details and feedback, please visit: https://empyriononline.com/threads/alpha-9-experimental-logistics-virtual-toolbar-modular-containers.46638/#post-281863

2. AI Factions, Reputation and Territory

In the last major versions, we referred to some NPCs and groups of NPCs in a way that would let you imagine, those are real factions - but they still were only "NPCs" grouped in a POI. There was only ONE enemy that attacked you with drones and troops. This has changed now - and will change in future versions.

With Alpha 9, we introduce the first iteration of a real NPC faction and reputation system, starting with the global NPC factions of:
- Zirax Empire (the former "always bad guys")
- Talon (the natives)
- Polaris (a company with a monopol on machines & mining)
- Aliens (default faction for all the "always bad" guys; it is always hostile and you cannot change/influence the standing towards this faction)

Starting from Alpha 9, you basically can be friend or enemy to any of these factions - or all of those. This means that you can walk into a Zirax Dronebase and not bein shot, but walk into a Polaris Trading station and be attacked right away...or the traders will not share their offers with you at best.

Said that, the NPC Faction system and its underlying "Rivalry & Reputation" matrix (See below) will be constantly evolved up to a point where you, as a creator, will be able to also customize these elements and the NPC Factions as a whole.

What you need to know for Alpha 9:
1. Action leads to reaction. Killing or looting and other actions now come at a cost or with a reward of REPUTATION POINTS
2. NPC Factions have TERRITORIES. Performing the aformentioned Actions inside or outside the territory might show different results
3. You can make friends, but due to the RIVALRY of faction, you might make enemies at the same time

Territory View:
This is how the territories look on the map. They are static and NPC factions do not expand them (maybe in the future)


On the HUD in the upper right corner you can see the territory you are currently in - and the Standing towards this faction:


In the Player Menu (TAB) you can see the current Standing towards any faction. More factions are planned.


Reputation Points and Standing:
There are 6 dedicated standing levels which are tied to a defined Reputation Points threshold in a 6000-per level interval

0 - 6000 : Hostile
6001 - 12000 : Unfriendly
12001 - 18000: Neutral
18001 - 24000: Friendly
24001 - 30000: Honored

Example: If you see “Hostile: 5800/6000” you just slipped into “hostile” with 200 points. Gain 200 points and the counter will reset to 0 and you will advance to “Unfriendly”. You need 6000 more to get to Neutral then. Same for Neutral: 199/6000 means that you are 199+1 point away from “Unfriendly”

Special Standing Actions:
Some of the actions depend on a given standing level, eg. you can only do an action as long as you are on the correct standing level with the NPC faction member in front of you
  • On Honored State:
    > get a discount at the faction trader
    > mine ore without RP penalty
    > spawn structure without RP penalty
  • On Friendly State:
    > able to trade with a faction trader
    > stay in territory (BA or vessel) without RP penalty
    > harvest plants without RP penalty
Rivalry:
Factions are not necessarily friends to each other - they might even be rivals. Given the Lore behind those factions, certain actions you as a player (or faction) do in favor or against a faction might lead to a faction standing change for another faction.

Of course, running missions for a faction might rise or drop Your faction standing as well.

For more details and feedback, please visit: https://empyriononline.com/threads/alpha-9-experimental-factions-and-faction-standing.46641/#post-281867

KNOWN ISSUE:
- Reputation towards AI faction changes when creating / leaving a player faction in MP (will be fixed soon)

3. Leveled NPCs

In Alpha 9, you will notice an additional number when facing a NPC or a POI. This is the "level" of your opponent.



The level of the NPC is basically a multiplier of its attack (damage of his weapon) and defense (hitpoint) values, pretty much like the decision, which Difficulty mode to start the game with does also multiply the attack/defense parameters.

The level is an additional multiplier. If you played on MEDIUM before and now run into a Level 10 NPC on the same difficulty level, the NPC is 2.5x stronger than in Alpha 8.

For more details and feedback, please visit: https://empyriononline.com/threads/alpha-9-experimental-leveled-enemies.46643/

4. Improved Weapon Handling
- Added iron sight aiming aka "aim-down-sight" (ADS)

- Added Recoil to all handheld weapons
- Added separate recoil parameter "Recoil" per weapon (can be configured in Config.ecf)
- Added recoil also in aiming mode (iron sight and scope aiming)
- Added red dot in aim mode to weapons if they have either a red dot sight or a zoom scope


5. Improved Game Start
- Added new Tutorial-Style Robinson Protocol in the beginning of Random Survival start
- Tutorial is now also visible in MP
- Added reduced start health and food (amount depends on difficulty level)
- Removed safe zone around starter biome (starter biome itself is still relatively safe)
- Increased creature spawn rate on starter planet
- Smaller welcome screen
- Gravity closer to earth for starter planet
- Added Silicon Rocks in "Shallow Water" biome to be able to guide player more easily to this location
- Tweaked start equipment

For more details and feedback, please visit: https://empyriononline.com/threads/alpha-9-experimental-revised-game-start-tutorial.46644/


OTHER FEATURES:

Updated New Game Menu:
- Added possibility to select size of starter planet (Use range from dynamic playfield file to drive Planet Size selections, ie the dynamic.yaml determines which planet sizes are available for UI of Starter Planets)

Additions:
- Added Boarding Ramps

- Added 9 fully retractable landinggears

Updated Decoration System:
- Integrated new system for plants and trees: the decorations are now GPU instanced which should improve performance
- Improved visuals of decorations (billboards etc)
- Faster loading of decorations

Texture / Model Update:
- Model update: core blocks, generator T2, troop transport, alien bug on temperate planet, Talon (added more variation)
- Texture update: Turrets, containers, ammo and harvest box, Overseer NPC
- Exchanged model of Assault Rifle and Pulse Rifle
- Updated model of Pistol T1
- Updated model of Survival Tool

Improved AI Pathing:
- AI can now path between terrain and bases
- AI can now path in narrow bases
- AI can now path through doors

General AI Update:
- Reduced impact effect when hitting a drone
- Do not despawn NPC creatures in space after exit to main menu
- Drones do not have map marker anymore and do not show up on radar (to be consistent with other entities). Note: Planet Vessel and Space Drones still show up on radar
- Reduced HP on traders, alien civilians and assault cyborg
- Alienbug01 can now get aggressive if approached too close
- Added Ripper Dog
- Desert worms attack if their friend is damaged. note: desert worm Large is considered as different species to desert worm
- AlienBug01 is now Prey faction
- Improved Trader behavior (now standing at the edge of a block, does not attack and gets killed easily, will respawn after 5min if POI has not been conquered)
- Reduced weapon damage on Trader and AssaultCyborg weapons
- Crawler now belongs to Talon faction

Visuals / Sounds:
- Grass is now growing closer to POIs, set distance to deco from 12m to 8m
- Map view: slightly fading in shore now instead of hard clip
- All texturable devices now use tiled hull texture instead of plain hull texture
- First draft of printing the player damage death reason on screen
- Dark side of planet darker in space
- Tweaked particle effects on SurvivalTool, MultiTool
- 3d map: other player shows a bit darker now
- Tweaked LOD of growable plants: later culling
- Added new square sniper overlay on Sniper T2 and Sniper Epic
- Floating + Underground BAs: keep grass and deco below/above, do not show underground terrain texture
- Added dead model versions of Talon

Gameplay:
- Renamed "Enhanced Weapons" back to "Epic Weapons"
- Added Epic Drill and Epic Heavy Armor to Purple Loot
- Epic weapons cannot be crafted anymore
- Updated Loot: added more weapons to Alien Containers
- Using INSERT/DELETE will now rotate a blueprint before placing it
- When placing a starter block or a BP, it can only be rotated by 90° (due to change in AI pathing)
- Removed difficulty setting for spawn rate (always set to Medium)
- Toolbar can now wrap around when using scroll wheel (ie from handsfree slot to slot 1 and vice versa)
- No Plant Growing / No Life Check if CoreNPC or Admin
- Destroying deco NPC does not give XP anymore
- Starter block of CV does not have cockpit anymore
- Escape Pod start is now a bit earlier during the day (ie it will be a bit to the west)
- Added possibility to use a fixed position for Escape Pod start (eg for Coop > every player who joins server will drop at same location)
- Entities on POIs (that already get despawned after 5 minutes no player adjacent) will now also get despawned with DSL unloaded of this POI
- First draft in adding CPU points (WIP). Currently CPU limit is not yet activated

UI Changes:
- Removed “mode” (PvP, PvE) display in map for orbit playfields in SP
- Improved sector map display and UI
- Changes to status effect status icon display in HUD.
- Terrain Editor Window: Added "All" tab for textures
- Added HSV/RGB Sliders and Color Presets to Player Setup Color Picker
- ColorPalette: Change button HIDE to UNHIDE when triggered
- Added "No Build" zone legend label to 3d map.

PDA Update:
- Added reputation rewards to PDA
- Added PDA mission visibility by Reputation level
- Refinements to Skip/NoSkip for PDA briefings. Integrate PDA SkipMessage parameter.
- Ignore auto-activated PDA missions when in God Mode and landing from the Escape Pod.
- First step to implement Faction Reputation into PDA missions.
- Show PDA category Tutorial in MP games.

Modding:
- Supporting now | in damage multiplier > see Config.ecf
- Removed some entities from debug spawn menu
- Added Status parameters to FixedPlayerStart
- Exporting MaxVolumeCapacity to Config.ecf
- Allow to set default reputation to Polaris, Talon, Zirax depending on Origin > see DefReputation.ecf

Creative / Builder Changes:
- Added harvest stage of player growable plants to Creative menu so Builders can use them in POIs (we will soon create a own block group)
- In creative mode you can now spawn a BA in air on a planet to ease editing it
- Renamed CoreEnemy into CoreNPC > Important: All PDA creators, please update your PDA and replace "CoreEnemy" with "CoreNPC"
- Separated walkway and railing blocks into Small and Large
- Separated ramp blocks into Small and Large
- Proper separation between Shutter Doors Small and Large
- Added Hay texture for tribal villages: page 2 on Wood texture tool
- Updated all POIs and all stock CV / BA with new cargo containers. You can do the same with your BPs:
replaceblocks <entityid> 1081 1677 (2x1x1 containers)
replaceblocks <entityid> 1084 1677 (2x1x1 containers)
replaceblocks <entityid> 273 1676 (1x1x1 containers)

Other Changes:
- Added console cmd to visualize the NPC spawn points in SP (use "dm" and then F9 twice, to zoom in use PgUp/PgDown)
- Temporarily only 1 starter planet for Random Default until other starter planets are setup correctly
- Added "Auto-Brake" toggle in Control Panel
- Added PentaxidElement as new ingredient for energy-based weapons (replaces PentaxidOre) > no balancing changes were made, just template adapted
- Converted mass into float
- Deactivated old container blocks since they are now too small
- Chunk loading optimization
- Deactivated In-Game Hints temporarily
- Temporarily deactivated WellFed status effect
- Improved console cmd "ents" by only showing full data when -full is specified
- More exact collider on AlienBug01
- Temporarily removed TemperateSwamp from Random Default
- Filter display of scenarios in New Game Window via '.hide.txt' file in scenario directory (we are currently hiding DoG, SoS, IvD scenarios)
- Showing now "< 1 minutes" instead of seconds when picking up something
- Dedi: Increased playfield load timeout from 10 to 20 seconds

Rebalancing:
- Rebalanced all turrets and mounted weapons against entities > now they inflict lower damage on entities (eg turret against drones / players / NPC)
>>> FEEDBACK required
- AtmoDensity has stronger effect on weapon range => all weapons have now a lower range on planets
>>> FEEDBACK required: idea is to have closer combat on planets
- Weapon rebalancing: turret rocket HV now uses other ammo (lower damage)
- Reduced HomingSpeed of Turret Rockets
- Crosshair gets red now if target is in reach
- Reduced crafting time of PowerBar
- Parasaur loot different between parent and baby
- Bandages now also heal (75HP)
- Rebalancing: increased variance of rock resource drops
- stamina penalty through low food is less severe
- stamina recovers faster when walking

Planet Update:
- Added AtmosphereParams: [10, 0.5] =[RayleighMultiplier, Atmosphere Contrast] that will allow to set sky colors better
- Updated SkyColor on several planets
- Updated POIs on Temperate Starter: separated XenuRadarTurret and XenuRadarTurretRocket
- Updated Swamp Starter and Swamp Planet
- Updated some wreckage POIs to prevent from easy collapse through SI
- Improved some POI so that they do not collapse so easily anymore
- Decreased min temperature on temperate planet to obtain more variation
- Resources are less deep buried on temp starter
- Renamed StarterBiome into Crashsite
- Resources on starter planets are now less deep buried
- Adapted deco in starter biome on temperate starter: more alien deco
- Added Tribal Tower to starter planets
- Added new Auxiliary algorithm for POI placements (see Talon villages on starter planet)

Blueprint Update:
- Blueprint property window now supports flatten terrain and digout terrain as separate options per blueprint (ie a BP can have either of them or both)
- Removed the need in blueprints to always have a y offset of -2 => offset now correctly displays the amount in meters that a POI is spawned in y direction (offset can also be Float > see eg BA_TribalCropField_TEST)
NOTE: POIs in all old save games are moved 2m in the ground > please start new save game)
- Updated y offset on Junk POI: please verify if they are placed correctly
- Added "FillerBlock" (no preview icon yet): these blocks will be removed when spawned in Survival > can be used to create POIs with dirt like that: https://i.imgur.com/nETXJiQ.jpg or https://i.imgur.com/Q0nk9ed.jpg (both use filler blocks)
- Added Tribal Village (with filler blocks) and crop field
- Replaced plant sprouts with harvestable version in all POIs (we added harvestable plant version to Creative Menu)
- Possible to spawn POI very close to each other (when using SpawnPOINearRange)

POI Update:
- Added new Polaris POIs - a big thanks to Rainyday
- Added new Polaris and Talon POIs: thanks to jmcburn, Kaeser, vermillion
- Added new stock BP Base Tier 7: thanks to jrandall https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1532190955
- Removed core from crashed ships
- Separated ruins into Tribal (Talon) and Modern (Polaris)
- Separated POI Tribal Villages in Stone and Wood (new group: TribalVillageStone)
- Added new Talon fields: thanks to jmcburn, Jacoviz
- Adapted y-offset for Junk T1 per POI (they also flatten ground now)
- Added Crop Fields (thanks to geostar1024, vermillion)
- Polaris Mining Aux Building: Ore Mill (thanks to: Kaeser)
- Tribal Bazaar (thanks to: Vermillion)

Repair-to-Template Window:
- Allow shift-click to quick move ingots from bag to item drop
- Increase timeout before updating Repair Data when adding ingots to 6s

Bug Fixes:
- Fixed: Explosive device does not explode in space
- Fixed: Large & heavy HV's can become stuck underwater & become very difficult to get out & free from the water.
- Fixed: Fuel disappears from a base if you power it on before adding fuel to it.
- Fixed: Deconstructor does not give back pentaxid after energy ammo deconstruction
- Fixed: When the AG zone is off for a playfield the offline protection can be disabled.
- Fixed: Placing follow-up light does not use settings from the previously placed light
- Fixed: Barrels of some retractable turrets could stick out of box when retracted
- Fixed: Problem that some drones had the wrong destroyed model
- Fixed: Lettering symbols out of alignment.
- Fixed: Problem that is was not possible to have FixedPlayerStart in a Structure in Random orbit playfield
- Fixed: Survival tool beam showing wrong for other players
- Fixed: R2T console accepts iron, copper and silicon ore stacks
- Fixed: UI/Scroll Area Movement issue in Vessel Statistics
- Fixed: Containers could not be mirrored with Mirror Planet
- Fixed: Problem that some creatures on temperate swamp did not respawn
- Fixed: Broken deco: AlienBushRedFronds has extreme colour in distance; branches move too fast in wind
- Fixed: Heightmap discrepancies between SSG preview generated and in-game generated
- Fixed: Walkway & Railing blocks BP issue > Please check if still exploit possible
- Fixed: Lava "Transparency" SSAO Issue
- Fixed: HV sometimes sink into the water
- Fixed: Plant that gives Grains did not have a harvest version
- Fixed: Problem that dirt under POIs was not calculated on first entry of a game
- Fixed: Jump in Lava when player moves over planet
- Fixed: Small gap when placing spawner plate thin
- Fixed: Event_Entity_Faction_Changed spams the API
- Fixed: Warning "missing script" on certain weapons
- Fixed: Preview shader is white for some devices
- Fixed: SV Hitscan logic
- Fixed: If MapDistance: 0 in playfield.yaml, then POI was still discoverable when teleporting close to it (now only show HUD marker if debugging ie via map command)
- Fixed: Slime now only attacks player after being attacked
- Fixed: Lights blocks are removing blocks that are behind them.
- Fixed: Too bright grass in forests
- Fixed: Big Flower model was transparent from below
- Fixed: Missing hull block in Alien Tower (story POI)
- Fixed: Wrong position of ModWing T-Connector
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