Avorion Newsletter

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21/02/2018

Beta Branch Patch 0.16.1 Patchnotes

Beta Branch Note: These changes are currently available on the beta branch. The beta branch is for testing experimental changes and for finding and fixing errors.

This is how you get access to the beta branch (USE AT YOUR OWN RISK):
Right-Click on Avorion in your Steam list, Properties -> Betas -> Select branch 'beta'.

Gameplay
"We realized that you might also want to manage your alliance ships and stations, so now you can switch sectors to those as well. Being shot down and sent all the way back while playing coop was also a real bummer, especially when your group members survived, so we added a way to continue playing together even if one of you gets destroyed."
  • Players can now switch sectors to alliance ships
  • Players can now switch sectors to sectors with their *online* group members
Balancing
"Persecutors are really harsh for new players and were designed with experienced players in mind, from whom the feedback has been very good so far. However, they can be very punishing without any announcement, so we tuned them down a little for the 'Easy' and 'Normal' difficulties. They behave the exact same way as they did before for 'Veteran'+ difficulties."
  • AI torpedoes are slower on lower difficulties
  • Reduced one-shot potential of AI torpedoes against player & alliance ships on "Normal" & lower difficulties
  • Persecutors spawn less often on "Easy" and "Normal" difficulty
  • Persecutors spawn more further inwards to the core on "Easy" and "Normal" difficulty
  • Persecutors don't follow players on "Easy" difficulty
  • Adjusted balancing of loot-range boosters
    • Lower energy, better scaling with rarity, lower price per range
  • Changed name of loot-range boosters to something a little more immersive
Scripting API
  • GameSettings class is now available on both client and server
  • Difficulty enum is now available on both client and server
Misc
"We've been getting reports about crashes, so in order to ease future bughunts we've added a lot more thread-related debug output."
  • Added more debug logging output
    • Threads print out what they were last doing on crash and where (sector)
    • Threads print out when they're started and stopped
  • Chat window now prints messages to the console
Bugfixes
"User bug reports are, as always, marked with [UBR]. Thank you everybody who helped and reported, keep it up!"
  • [UBR] Fixed a rare crash when an object was moving and changing its bounding sphere (we've been looking for this one for a while, thanks to the Rusty Server Crew for helping us!)
  • [UBR] Fixed non-existing ship styles at alliance shipyards
    • Note: This only affects new alliances
  • [UBR] Fixed an issue where damage of enemies could become infinity
  • Torpedoes no longer have shield penetration when they detonate due to a miss
15/02/2018

Beta Branch Patch 0.16.0 Patchnotes - Combat Update I

PLEASE NOTE: THESE CHANGES ARE EXPERIMENTAL, WILL HAVE TO BE TESTED AND WILL UNDERGO CHANGES.
Please report concerns and issues so we can address them.

Now that this is out of the way, here are the patchnotes for the combat update:

Beta Branch Note: These changes are currently available on the beta branch. The beta branch is for testing experimental changes and for finding and fixing errors.

This is how you get access to the beta branch (USE AT YOUR OWN RISK):
Right-Click on Avorion in your Steam list, Properties -> Betas -> Select branch 'beta'.

Gameplay
"You can now switch to a sector with a ship/station of yours in it! Your current ship will stay where it is. Use this feature to easily command remote stations and ships without having to go all the way back. Apart from that, we added more content, more polish."
  • Added a "Switch to Sector" command that lets a player switch to a ship of his on the map
  • Increased refresh rate (and thus accuracy) of turrets
  • Added a "Defensive" mode for independent targeting turrets
    • Turrets in "Defensive" mode prefer torpedoes and fighters over other ships
    • The current ship stays where it is, only the player moves
  • Added a Search and Rescue mission event
  • Added a bulletin board mission to explore a sector
  • Added an upgrade that increases pickup range of loot
  • Stations now have upgrade slots
  • Ships of disbanded alliances can now be claimed by everybody
  • Turret and system upgrade loot now only despawn when there is no player in the sector
  • Fighters whose mothership got destroyed can now be commanded by all ships of the same faction
  • Implemented passing of time for resource depots when they are loaded from disk
  • Implemented passing of time for shipyards when they are loaded from disk
  • Improved combat AI of ships so they can use PDCs and Anti-Fighter turrets correctly
Point Defense Chaingun (PDC)
"Good defense against fighters, very good defense against torpedoes. You're going to want some of these when getting closer to the core!"
  • Added Point Defense Chainguns as a new weapon
  • Extremely fast turning speed
  • Very high fire rate
  • Non-scaling damage with tech level
  • Medium range
  • Always independent targeting
Anti-Fighter Cannon (AFC)
"Specialized to fighters, especially in close-range combat."
  • Added Anti-Fighter Cannons as a new weapon
  • Very fast turning speed
  • Shoots projectiles that explode near the target and deal AOE damage
  • Lower reach than normal weapons
  • Deals fragment damage that's more effective vs. fighters and torpedoes
  • Always independent targeting
Torpedoes
"This is just the general gist of torpedoes, there's tons of changes to internals, mechanics, lots and lots of new UI etc., but we'll do you a favor and only list the most important things here."
  • Added Torpedoes
  • Torpedoes are always-seeking one-shot weapons that deal massive damage
  • Torpedoes must be bought at an Equipment Dock (looting them is planned)
  • Torpedoes are made up of a body and warhead
    • Torpedo body determines flight properties
    • Torpedo warhead determines damage, shield penetration and the like
  • Added a torpedo launcher block that launches torpedoes
  • Added a torpedo storage block for storing torpedoes
  • Each torpedo launcher block adds a new torpedo shaft to your ship
  • Torpedo shafts can be filled with torpedoes and assigned to hotkeys similar to turrets
    • Material of torpedo shafts determines how many torpedoes it can hold
    • Torpedo shafts have to be assigned to a weapon group in order to work!
  • If a torpedo barely misses its target, it will still explode and deal half damage
Turret Scaling
"Turrets now scale in size and slots, gaining more power and reach with every slot they use up. We've got a few special plans for more high-tier weaponry that will take up 5 slots and more. Stay tuned!"
  • Turrets increase in size, firepower, reach and slots, while firepower and reach scale with amount of slots
    • 2 slot turret: 2x damage, 115% reach
    • 3 slot turret: 3x damage, 130% reach
    • 4 slot turret: 4x damage, 145% reach
    • etc.
  • Maximum scaling depends on the kind of turret (example: PDCs never scale)
  • Turret rotation speed decreases with size
  • Turrets can now use up more than one slot
Enemy Specialization
"In order to spice up combat, we've added specialized enemies that will be very strong in their specific area, for example destroying your shields or fighting from long range."
  • Enemies are now more specialized and some will carry torpedoes
    • Defender (untouched): Stronger ship that spawns in normal sectors, to defend it
    • Carrier: Carries fighter squads, anti-fighter weaponry
    • Military Ship (untouched): Default ship with armed turrets
    • Torpedo Boat: Attack ship that carries normal torpedoes
    • Disruptor: Shield breaking or penetrating ship, can carry torpedoes
    • CIWS: Anti-Fighter, Anti-Torpedo weaponry
    • Persecutor: Strong attack ship with advanced torpedoes
    • Flagship: High HP, carries fighters, anti-fighter weaponry and strong weapons and torpedoes
    • Artillery Ship: Long range weapons and torpedoes
  • Added icons for specialization of enemies
  • Added icons for military ships and civil ships
  • Pirates have ship classes as well now
Weapon Specialization
"We've revamped the strengths and weaknesses of many weapons so they're more specialized. We won't go into super-deep details, but here's the general overview of how we rebalanced them. Some remain mostly untouched, while others have undergone bigger changes."
  • Kinetic Weapons' main purpose is to do damage to hull
    • Ranges from low to high: Chaingun, Bolter, Railgun
    • General behavior of these remains unchanged
  • Disruptor Weapons' main purpose is to deal massive damage to shields
    • Ranges from low to high: Tesla, Plasma, Lightning
    • Range of Tesla Weapons has been increased
    • Range of Lightning guns has been massively increased and their accurancy improved
  • Artillery Weapons do mixed damage from very high range
    • Ranges from low to high: Cannon, Rocket Launcher
    • General behavior of these remains unchanged
  • Defensive Weapons are meant for defense against torpedoes and fighters
    • Anti-Fighter Cannon (see above)
    • Point Defense Chaingun (see above)
  • Special Weapons:
    • Laser: Mid Range, 100% accuracy
    • Pulse Cannon: Mid Range, shield penetration
    • The general behavior of these remains unchanged
  • Short ranged weapons have rather low damage and accuracy, but a high turning speed can fire for a long time
  • Mid ranged weapons have average damage, medium turning speed and can fire for some time
  • Long ranged weapons have high damage, slow turning speed and rate of fire and overheat more quickly
  • Civil weapons, such as mining lasers, salvaging lasers and force guns remain unchanged
Further Balancing
"We've added some more changes to make it more difficult (not impossible!) to fly to the center without proper equipment or ships."
  • Turrets can no longer be built on holo blocks
  • Headhunters now spawn as persecutors with torpedoes
  • More pirates and more different pirates are being spawned now
  • Added persecutors that hunt players down when they go too deep into the galaxy without proper ships or weapons
    • Persecutors are disabled for Beginner difficulty
  • Reduced price of reconstruction site setting by 50%
Server
  • Stopped AvorionServer from creating ~/.avorion and querying pwuid when --datapath is specified
  • Added a --hostgalaxy cmd line option similar to --startgalaxy, but that hosts a LAN game
  • Chat messages that are sent with the /say command (and others) have their own message type and stand out more
  • Added a config option to enable invincibility for player ships when players log out
    • This is only enabled for a ship when the player has been logged out for at least 30 seconds and the ship wasn't damaged in the last 30 seconds
Client & UI
  • Added a builk assign/unassign/dismiss UI for crews
  • Improved layout of trade invite window
  • Increased amount of time radar blips are visible on the map
  • Gate and wormhole lines to undiscovered sectors are faded out
  • Reduced maximum intensity of bloom
  • New inventory items are set to non-recent on mouseover, not click
  • Improved hit feedback (damage numbers)
  • Hit feedback displays dodges of fighters as well
  • Added dps, shots until overheating weapons for overheating weapons to tooltips
  • Added block penetration of railguns to tooltips
  • Added description for no shield damage to tooltips
  • Improved overview of crew salary in ship tabs
    • Salary is displayed by default
    • Salary is yellow when due
  • Added a "Press T to Enter" text when approaching a ship that can be flown
  • Added scrolling for ComboBox
  • Added numbers to different corner blocks to tell them apart by name
  • Increased visibility of turret overheating displayer
  • Added icons for home sector and reconstruction site
  • Added multi-key (Ctrl-F, etc.) key assignments
  • Improved layout of controll settings window
  • Added hotkeys for fighter commands
Misc
  • Improved logging when a crash happens
  • Improved description clarity of "All Turrets" turret upgrade
  • Added community localization for Turkish
    • Thanks Corviuse for your hard work on the translation!
Scripting API
"We're taking the first steps towards a more modular modding API and dynamic mod loading."
  • Improved and added missing documentation of several callbacks
  • Added getCurrentLanguage() function to client API
  • Added a new ServerInformation chat message type
  • Added torpedoes to API
  • Implemented init.lua scripts for player, entity and sector
  • Removed sector.lua script and moved its contents to init.lua scripts
  • Fixed addScriptOnce() function so it works when scripts aren't initialized yet
  • Implemented a script callback "onEntityJump" for when entities jump
  • Added a "transferEntity" function to Galaxy to easily move entities between sectors
Bugfixes
"As usual, user bug reports are marked with [UBR]. Thank you everybody for reporting and keep it up!"
  • [UBR] Fixed an issue in whisp command for names with spaces
  • [UBR] Fixed several issues with hangar visuals
  • [UBR] Fixed an issue where the player didn't stay seated when transforming a ship to a station
  • [UBR] Fixed an issue where entities that don't belong to the player could be selected by dragging a rect in strategy mode
  • Fixed an issue where entities with faction index 0 were checked in the targeter for strategy mode selection
  • Fixed swapped line in screenshots
  • [UBR] Fixed several issues with spelling and typos
  • [UBR] Fixed an issue where wormholes to non-passable sectors could be created
  • [UBR] Fixed an issue where energy system would load battery with too high speeds
  • [UBR] Fixed an issue where the sun could shine through planets
  • [UBR] Fixed an issue where keybindings for mirroring were not taken from the config
  • [UBR] Fixed an issue where clicking a fighter in a squad would change the order of the squad
  • [UBR] Fixed an issue where buttons of hint windows could be placed outside the game window
  • [UBR] Fixed an issue where energy weapons fired even when disabled in energy tab
  • [UBR] Fixed an issue where UI of station docks wasn't rendered when in huge ships
  • [UBR] Fixed an exploit that allowed players to build negative-space ships leading to all kinds of glitches
  • [UBR] Fixed an exploit that allowed players to fly holo-only ships that were impossible to hit
  • [UBR] Fixed an issue where the hyperdrive was recharging while waiting in loading screen
  • [UBR] Fixed an issue that lead to one-way gates from start sector
  • [UBR] Fixed an issue where the turret factory ui showed stolen goods
  • Fixed an issue where the building stats UI started off at the wrong position
  • [UBR] Fixed an issue that lead fighters without motherships to attack gates
  • [UBR] Fixed an issue where beams of rotation locked turrets weren't rendered correctly
  • [UBR] Fixed an issue where launched fighters weren't transferred to the alliance with their mothership
  • [UBR] Fixed an issue where action music wasn't triggered for players in alliance ships
  • [UBR] Fixed an issue where turrets could be placed on hangar openings
  • [UBR] Fixed an issue that could lead to a crash when deleting official servers in "Join via IP"
  • [UBR] Fixed an issue when building two ships with the same name in a shipyard
  • [UBR] Fixed an issue where players in alliance ships didn't get some achievements
  • [UBR] Fixed an issue where player-owned stations could be exploited
  • [UBR] Fixed an issue where players and alliances could exploit stations
  • Fixed an issue where pulse conservation wasn't considered correctly when building
  • [UBR] Fixed an issue where salvaging and mining orders wouldn't remain over a server restart
  • [UBR] Fixed an issue where ingredients would get reset in turret factory after building a turret
30/01/2018

Patch 0.15.8 live on default branch

Hey everybody,

Quick update: The patch 0.15.8 is now live on the default branch. In the meantime we're still working on balancing and a few more features for the Combat Update I and we're planning to release it to the beta branch very soon.

Happy playing!
23/01/2018

Beta Branch Patch 0.15.8 Patchnotes

We're squeezing in an important update before the combat update to add a feature that has been long requested and has been more than overdue: Out-of-sector-catch-up.

Basically, the way it works in Avorion is this: Since sectors take up a lot of memory, they're unloaded onto your hard drive when they haven't been visited for a while or when there are no players or player crafts in them.
The major problem that is created by this system, is that sectors without players or crafts are basically frozen, meaning they will be in the same state when they're re-loaded into memory as they were when they were unloaded.
You could visit a sector after hours and it would basically still be in the same state.
In order to tackle this issue, we've introduced a callback to our scripts that will enable scripts to get a notification for when a sector has been loaded from disk, and how long it has been since it was last loaded.

We've equipped the most important entity scripts (ie. factories and similar) with this kind of callback so that the economy isn't frozen every time you leave a sector.

The out-of-sector-catch-up will be available for all stations in existing savegames, while the new stocking mechanic will only be available to newly discovered factories, due to technical reasons.

Beta Branch Note: These changes are currently available on the beta branch. The beta branch is for testing experimental changes and for finding and fixing errors.

This is how you get access to the beta branch (USE AT YOUR OWN RISK):
Right-Click on Avorion in your Steam list, Properties -> Betas -> Select branch 'beta'.

Gameplay
  • Time passed is now simulated for most important stations when players are not in the sector and it gets suspended to disk
  • Habitats now buy books
Balancing
"AI factories with no products available are basically useless to the player, and too many empty ingredient slots make the factory unable to produce. So we're changing the way that factories are initially stocked, giving them more overall interactibility with players. At the same time we've toned down the profit margin for highly stocked or understocked factories, since these cases happen a lot more often now."
  • Factories can now have an initial stock of either medium amount of ingredients and products
  • Factories can now have an initial low stock of ingredients and high stock of products
  • Reduced impact of shortage and abundance of stock on prices from 20% to 10%
Scripting API
  • Added a sector callback "onRestoredFromDisk" that will receive the amount of time in seconds that the sector has been suspended to disk
Misc
  • Removed X-Mas Contest fighter tag
  • Craft destruction is now logged for all players, not just logged in players
Bugfixes
"As usual, bugfixes marked with UBR are user reported bug fixes. Thanks everybody for reporting!"
  • [UBR] Fixed an issue where the area of jumpable sectors wasn't drawn on the galaxy map
  • [UBR] Fixed an issue where the "build" option wasn't available in the interaction menu for alliance ships
  • Fixed an issue in build mode where the block size could get too large and even NaN
  • [UBR] Fixed an issue where organize goods missions weren't saved correctly
  • [UBR] Fixed an issue where Bottan didn't jump away when receiving collision damage
  • [UBR] Fixed an issue where ships duplicated after server crashes
  • [UBR] Fixed an issue where trading ships would get stuck and block docking ports
09/01/2018

X-Mas Fighter Building Contest



We are happy to announce the winners of our X-Mas Fighter Building Contest:

1st Place
Christmas Tree by Fichom
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1244056544


2nd Place
STCL-01 'Giftbringer' Light Attack Fighter by aots
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1243846876


3rd Place
MEC 'Polar Express' Cargo Vehicle by Velvet
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1243566137


All entries to the contest can be viewed by selecting the "X-Mas Fighter Contest 2017" tag in the workshop. Make sure to check them out! There were so many amazing builds that we had a really hard time selecting the winners. A big thank you to all the participants for sharing those beautiful fighters with us!
02/01/2018

Happy New Year



Hey guys,

We hope you all have a great 2018! We’re back from spending the holidays with our families and are now putting the final polish on part I of the Combat Update. We’re also working through a stack of bug reports that has piled up over the break. Thank you all for playing, testing, reporting and helping us to improve the game!

In addition we’d like to thank everyone who participated in the X-Mas Fighter Building Contest. Your builds are creative, funny and beautiful and we’re having a lot of fun testing them! It’ll be a few days until we announce a winner because it’s a really tough decision.

Have fun!



Featuring:
Top image: Xmas Light by ᖷ⅃0ᗡUUႱ

Bottom image:
Schneeflocke by hmun
Skiing Santa - Fighter Blueprint by FriXioN
Blitzen by William the Bat
19/12/2017

X-Mas Fighter Building Contest



It's time for the first ever building contest in Avorion: Build the coolest holiday themed fighter!

How to take part?
- Build a fighter
- Upload it to the workshop between 0:01 December 25th, 2017 and 23:59 January 1st, 2018 (CET)
- Use the X-Mas Fighter Contest 2017 tag
- Make sure it’s public and not only visible to you
- Add awesome screenshots to catch our attention!

The Winners will be announced mid January on the official Avorion forum and on Steam.

Good to know:
Fighters can only have a maximum of 200 Blocks. They don’t need engines, thrusters or any other blocks needed for flight so you can put all the 200 Blocks into the visual design.

Rules:
- Only original work, no reposting of other people’s work.
- Fighters have to be submitted with the contest tag between 0:01 12/25/2017 and 23:59 1/1/2018 CET
- We will be featuring the winners on our social media platforms.
- By submitting a build to the workshop with the contest tag, you grant us permission to post your screenshots of this specific build or screenshots we take with your build on our social media sites, websites and forums.
19/12/2017

News: Dev Progress



Over the last weeks, we've been working hard on the Combat Update, and it's taking great shape! We did realize though, that there's a lot of content that we want to add, and it would take us a lot longer than anticipated to finish everything that we had in mind. Since we told you before that we want to do more frequent, but smaller updates, we're going to split this update into two parts:

Combat Update Part I
Along with the usual bugfixes and QoL changes, this part will be containing one big new feature: Torpedoes! Since the purpose of this update is mainly to make combat more interesting and engaging, you (and the AI as well!) will be able to equip your ships with this high range, high damage but also high price weaponry. Torpedoes can be shot down, if you react fast enough, but if you don't, prepare yourself for some serious damage.

Alongside torpedoes, we're adding the specialized ships that we already announced in the last update. There will be ships that are especially strong against shields, hull, fighters, and so on. In order to be successful in combat you'll have to make sure that your strategy includes getting rid of these specialists first, before they take advantage of your weak points.

The last big features with this update will be more specialized weapons, giving weapons more specific roles, as well as improved control over your ships that are far away. You'll be able to visit sectors where you have ships or stations, so that you can give orders more effectively and don't have to warp all the way back to just tell your miner to change sectors.

Combat Update Part II
In part II we're going to address more visual issues. You can, amongst other things, look forward to coaxial weaponry and player-created turret visuals!

Have fun!

[Screenshot: All of the reworked weapons firing. (Workshop ship by TESLA)]
12/12/2017

News: Combat Update



Now that the Economy Update is on the stable branch, we are concentrating our efforts on the Combat Update. We want to make combat more engaging through a combination of reworking and re-balancing some of the existing combat mechanisms and adding some new ones while we’re at it. Here are some of the features you can look forward to:

Re-balancing of Weapons
We want weapons to be more specialized so every weapon has its very own purpose with accompanying strengths and weaknesses.

Specialized Enemies
Along with specialized weapons comes the AI’s use of those weapons. We’re making enemies more interesting by giving them different characteristics in their fighting style. Some will use lots of fighters, others will be strong against shields or on long range, while others are especially good at defending against fighters. You'll have to know your enemy and adjust your fighting style to keep the upper hand!

Torpedoes
We're excited to announce that we'll be introducing torpedoes as a new weapon type! Torpedoes will be very strong long range weapons, but they will also be more costly and won't have endless ammunition with these. Oh, and the enemy will have them, too, so better prepare some weaponry to shoot them down.

Defense Weaponry
With fighters and torpedoes threatening your ship, you need viable defense mechanisms. Chainguns will be a possibility but we’re with this update we're also adding anti-air weaponry that is specifically made for defense against fighters.

That's all for now, we'll be releasing more details next week!

Have fun!
09/12/2017

Patch 0.15.7 Patchnotes - Salvaging II

With the last patch we've introduced a mechanic with which we wanted to make salvaging more interesting, but instead it created a whole array of new problems.

We wanted Salvaging Lasers to do less damage to blocks to be a way of making players salvage the correct blocks, to show you immediately that some blocks are not worth salvaging and thus not worth your time. The damage decrease was also meant to give you immediate feedback on the rates of blocks, but instead it crippled salvaging-specialized ships. We also didn't think of AI salvagers and salvaging fighters while implementing this change. This is on us, and one of the biggest reasons why we're releasing this patch.

I'd also like to clarify a few misconceptions that we've seen in the comments and posts around here.
  • We never changed the drop rates for items like cargo, upgrades or turrets, you still get the same amount of those.
  • We never wanted to punish or inhibit you from using salvage fighters.
  • We never wanted to forbid AI salvaging.
So with this patch we're reverting the damage changes to salvaging lasers, making captain controlled ships and salvage fighters viable again.

We still stand by our change to the resource yield for common blocks, since those rates were just over the top.

Balancing
  • Salvaging lasers no longer have reduced damage against blocks with low yield
Bugfixes
  • Fixed several occurrences of text going over its bounds