screenshot courtesy of Mr.Beardie.
Greetings, beasts! This patch changes Unreal Engine's version, expect a big download, up to almost the entirety of the game's files.
Major Changes from Unreal Engine migration from 4.18 to 4.21
- Net code was reworked to support larger player counts, which was done to accomodate their game "Fortnite". However we are still looking into these changes. It will allow us to replicate more actors, therefore opening the doors for a more dynamic environment.
- Lighting is now handled physically
- Various optimizations to character movement and movement replication
- and a lot more. See UE's patch notes 4.19,4.20 and 4.21 for the details.
All in all, we are hoping this will improve the overall server's performance when the population gets high, that would mean less lag, and less rubberbanding.
Forest Island and Ancestral Plains were reworked as a whole. New foliage, and new biomes, along with plenty of foliage collision fixes and optimization.
This includes but is not limited to:
More fleshed out AP biomes: various foliage changes, a new jungle biome, changes to water sources.
Adjusted plant food values, most notably increased food value for seaweed
Reworked lighting, shaders on both AP and FI. Rival Shores is soon to get a similar treatment.
Forest Island's shape was redone / rebuild, along with its biomes.
New Map: Rival Shores - This is still a work in progress, but is available for playing, as there is food to go for.
Aquatic Nesting is now live birth!
Players can now fight back when grabbed by Mosasaurus: This is still a work in progress, but for now, one can bite to make the mosa lose more Ability which, when depleted, will force the mosa to let go of you. In the future, it will be changed for a more dynamic type of combat.
These attacks now subtract ability power from the grabbing Mosasaurus.
All creatures can perform their attacks while grabbed by a Mosasaurus.
New Hints and interaction system - Work in progress:
Game now hints players at runtime when they can achieve certain actions, such a drink, eat, grab, etc. More will come in the future.
Interactable objects now outline up (light up) when you get close enough to them to interact with.
This outlining also comes with a hint on the element, to explain what can be done. In the future, it will also be used to let the player know about the effect of certain items, such as special flowers, etc.
Some outlining comes with no hint. This will come and be completed/fleshed out in coming patches.
Added a new server config variable - GlobalCarcassSpawnRateModifier -Default value is 1.0. Multiplies how frequently the small, randomly generated carcasses spawn.
Added a new server config variable - MapNameOverride which, if set, overrides the command-line map name.
GENERAL AND NETWORK
- Probably what took most of the time: Various reworks of the game's core code to accomodate with the new engine. Nothing too shiny to write down here though! This includes various optimizations to the game's core code.
- Reworked various network-related code that would cause serious performance issues on the server, for all creatures and their abilities. This should offer a more responsive gameplay.
Certain events were causing a net load of a creature for all clients, event when not considered network-relevant, forcing the server to send all this data momentaneously, therefore causing performance drops whenever a roar, or any action would be done by a player.
- Reworked various materials and lighting / effects to accomodate the new engine's physical lighting. This is still a work in progress and not all maps were revisited yet.
- Reworked creature's action netcode.
- Reworked how we treat lighting values and materials. This is part of the process to upgrade the materials and textures / improve the visual appeal. Still a lot of work ahead.
- Reworked netcode for holdable objects, to prevent a forced net-load on all clients during the decay tick.
- Reworked the Climbing code to be less network-demanding, and overall less expensive.
- Removed no longer necessary code to handle Steam's report of player counts, which possibly was causing the delayed crash uppon several people leaving the game within a short timespan. This is now handled by Unreal Engine directly.
- Reworked water and ocean materials. This is still a work in progress, and is part of improving the game's graphics.
- Reworked the feather tech and rendering to behave better with lighting.
- Fixed: Creature stomps not replicating to other clients, dealing damage without playing the animation.
- Fixed: Messed up foliage collisions that were way too large for what they look like.
- Fixed: Issues with replicating attacks, calls, and other montages.
- Fixed: Crash that got introduced with the new engine, whenever a meatleg would turn into meatless bone.
- Fixed: Crash that got introduced with the new engine, uppon a player joining or leaving the game.
- Fixed: Issues with scaling when plants or crystals were picked up and placed back down. They would scale to crazy large sizes due to an error in the maths.
- Fixed: Fishes should work properly.
- Fixed: Apatosaurus now walks at the proper speed while in reverse
- Fixed: Various collision issues on the playable maps.
- Fixed: Various network-related issues due to the previous netcode.
- Fixed: Various shader issues on the maps.
- Fixed: Cave entrances getting players stuck.
- Fixed: Storm surge heights and ocean heights now work properly
- Fixed: Occasional Actors/Creatures replication issues.
- Fixed: Various optimizations on foliage assets, fixed LODs and material collision settings.
BALANCE CHANGES/CREATURE ADJUSTMENTS
- Increased Pteranodon's fish highlight timer to 20 seconds, up from 12.
- Replaced Batter with Slippery in the Kronosaurus' talent tree.
- Increased the volume of the Pteranodon's flight wind sound.
- Kronosaurus now resists 50% of the negative effects of depth.
- The Good Parent talent, when taken by the male, now grants a chance to generate two or more eggs per session of mating. The chances of getting more and better inherits are higher than they were before. Ladies?
- Increased the logout timer to 60 seconds, up from 30, to prevent people from running away from a fight.
- Reduced Mosasaurus bite cost to 6.5 Ability Power, down from 8.5, to accomodate the grab mechanic changes.
- Reduced Mosasaurus grab ability cost to 7.5 Ability Power, down from 15
- Reduced Kronosaurus bite (both attack 1 and 2) cost to 15 Ability Power, down from 20
NEWS IN DEVELOPMENT
- Due to issues with a previous animator, we've hired a new animator to help get the creatures done and/or reworked in terms of animations.
The Pachycephalosaurus is the first on the list!
- We've received the Pteranodon's animations, and are going to begin its from-ground-up rework if this patch is eventually proven stable and without crashes. We didn't manage to crash the servers during the testing sessions!
- We're going to open applications for new testers in the coming days! If you are interested to help us build this game, stay tuned in our #announcements channel on Discord! https://discord.gg/2KnBwyC
Due to the nature of this patch, and the fact a large portion of the code changed down to the roots with the engine upgrade, we highly recommend server hosts to wipe their database, or better yet, perform a clean install of their servers, to avoid possible unforeseen issues. We will be resetting the official servers, and put one of the three maps for each official server.