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A lot has happened this last year and as the year draws to a close, we’d like to take the chance to make a review of the year in Avorion! A big thank you to everyone helping us, without this wonderful community this wouldn’t have been possible.
Let’s start at the beginning of the year. Last year in December 2017 we released the Economy Update and due to your feedback we spent most of January working out the last kinks and add in a few more things. The Economy Update brought player stations into the game, an improved economy and AI docking. Another exciting part of the update were cargo shuttles! The first way to let your stations directly deliver and fetch goods to and from other stations.
The first big update in 2018 was the Combat Update I in February. With switching to a sector the first easy fast travel was introduced. No endless flying through multiple sectors if all you want to do is see why that mining ship back home isn’t mining anymore!
Another feature of this update brought us a lot of heat with you guys: Torpedoes. We introduced torpedoes as a new ammunition based weapon with high damage. Torpedoes were also used by Persecutors, which we introduced to make progression into the galaxy a little more difficult. If you were a player back then, you know that we were a bit over-enthusiastic with the damage these things dealt and in the following patches we toned it down considerably without damaging their effectiveness. By now torpedoes have their rightful place as a very strong weapon type, but are no longer over-powered.
In April we introduced a smaller update containing UI improvements. A big part of that was the changes to the server browser, now featuring a server history, the possibility to favorite servers and more filters. Additionally we implemented automated crash reports, and got a ton of information on crashes. That made it possible for us to hugely improve server stability! Thank you for everyone who took part :)
After that update we continued work on Combat Update II and released a first version of it in June. With this update we introduced player designed turrets, complete with an all new build mode just for that! And were overwhelmed by the amount of cool designs that we had just three days after release of the update! You guys blew us away with you enthusiasm :D
In August we had the wonderful opportunity to go to Gamescom in Germany. It was our first ever time showing Avorion and it was amazing. We met so many fans and new players, got a ton of feedback and were genuinely surprised how many people liked Avorion! It was a huge boost to our motivation to continue the work on Avorion! Thank you to all who stopped by, we had a blast!
Right after Gamescom we threw ourselves back into work. The System Upgrade Update contained a rework of our upgrade system. Making them more consistent and also introducing permanent installation for nice extra perks. And while we were busy reworking the upgrades, the Xsotan artifacts got some more love as well. Every artifact has now specific perks that are dependent on the boss that drops them.
And last, but not least: The AI & Map Commands Update that we’re testing right now on the beta branch. It gives you the means to command your ships via the galaxy map, even if you’re half a galaxy away! And not just to send them mining or patrolling. You’re now able to enchain orders and send ships on trade routes with multiple stops.
A big pet peeve of our community was the AI behavior. And with this update we tackle that: AI is now able to boost, path finding calculation is done much quicker and those escort ships don’t struggle to keep up with you anymore!
And now it’s today, the last day of this wonderful and productive year. Thank you to all of you who have helped us by playing the game and providing feedback!
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'.
"You will now be able to order your ships over the galaxy map now. You can give commands, enchain multiple commands and even loop them. Ships can now also buy and sell goods for you to stations and others."
Added sending orders to your ships via the Galaxy Map
You can tell your ships to:
Jump to a certain sector
Buy goods for a specific price margin X% until they have Y on board
Sell goods for a specific price margin X% until they have Y left
Patrol a sector
Loop with other commands
These commands can be enqueued by holding Shift so your ships can move over large distances
Routes for crafts will be rendered to the Galaxy Map
Indicators for alliance crafts are now rendered on map
Added switching to sector into a specific craft or drone
Alliance ships are now listed in sector tooltips on the galaxy map
Added checkbox to galaxy map to hide alliance information
Added little dots for commandable ships in a sector
General AI Improvements
"We improved the flight behavior and AI of ships, they are now much faster and a lot more dangerous since they will get to players a lot faster."
Improved flight behavior of AI ships
AI ships can now use boost
AI ships can now drift to change their flight direction
Instead of braking, standing still, turning, accelerating
Improved pathfinding behavior of AI ships
AI ships won't get stuck as easily
AI ships will now fly a lot better through asteroid fields
Docking AI now flies near the target station while no dock is currently free yet
Fighters on attack order who don't have a target any more are now set to defend the mothership
Stations with docks now push away lifeless obstacles to keep docking areas free
Stations with docks now push away objects that can move on their own after they have blocked a dock for over 5 minutes
Repair fighters now heal the mothership when set to defend
TurretAI now shoots down torpedoes that are targeting friends, if none are targeting the mothership
"We added a completely new harvest state to the AI that is a big improvement for automatic mining and salvaging. It makes use of the new pathfinding algorithm to maneuver around asteroid and wreckage fields quickly and safely. Bigger wreckages are now favored over smaller ones. The ship will now stay stationary as long as its lasers are in range. If a turret is facing the wrong way the ship will roll around its longitudinal axis to always face the target. This means it is best to place all turrets on the same side of the ship. We also added a detection if ships get stuck, in which case they change position or try the next target. You might not notice all these details but harvesting will work a lot more smoothly now."
Added a new Harvesting AI specifically for mining and salvaging
Harvest AI now rolls so that the turret can hit the target
Harvest AI picks a new waypoint if the current one cannot be reached
Harvest AI turns in place if weapons are out of range but firing long enough
Harvest AI now picks the target's closest block
Harvest AI now uses the appropriate turrets and sets independent turrets to autofire
Salvage AI now prefers big wreckages over small ones that are close by
Salvage AI now ignores tiny wreckages
Player Fleet Window
"It was about time to rework the old, dusty UI of the fleet window and give it a new design and more features, such as renaming your ships."
Improved layout of Player Fleet Window
Ships now have a preview image
Ships now have their cargo displayed in full detail
Ships now have their status what they're currently doing listed
Ships can be shown on the map
Ships can be renamed
"From now on you'll be able to communicate with stations without actually docking to them, a feature that a lot of players have requested. We also improved map managing of alliances."
Newly founded alliances now have their founder's current sector as home sector coordinates
Added new alliance privilege: Edit Map
Players with this privilege can edit the alliance map just like their own, players without just edit their own
Alliance map note is now shown if it is different than the player's note
Switching between crafts is now allowed no matter the distance
Exception: From drones or fighters to other crafts
Added a new Transporter Block
Transporter blocks are available in Xanion and upwards
Transporters will allow players to interact with stations over distances as if docked
Transporters require a system upgrade "Transporter Software" to function
Added a new System Upgrade "Transporter Software" required for long-distance transports
Only works in combination with a transporter block
Implemented auto-reloading of torpedoes to shafts
Note: Only works for newly bought torpedoes
When boosting is stopped, maximum velocity of ships drops by 200 m/s per second, instead of a percentage falloff
Salvaging and mining laser range now scales more with size
"The AI" (the boss) now has bad relations to AI factions by default
Added a minimum directional thrust to ships to ease AI steering
Added low inertia braking to AI ships to ease AI steering
"VERY IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR MODDERS: We've added extra security for calling functions remotely, this *will* break your mods if you're using remote invocations. Also, those changes listed here are probably not complete, there should be more."
IMPORTANT: Implemented "callable" tag for remote invocations
Functions that are to be callable from remote clients must have been tagged as callable!
Example: callable(namespace, "functionName")
See existing scripts for more details
For compatibility reasons, this behavior can be disabled in the server settings (HIGHLY DISCOURAGED): Flag "ExplicitCallables"
Added a ControlUnit class
Added several new callbacks to client Player class for Galaxy Map
Galaxy Map can now be used to create UI via scripts
Added order infos for crafts representing their current orders
Added functionality for calling functions of scripts in another sector
Added functionality for executing lua code in another sector (server to server only)
Added functionality for calling functions remotely in another sector
Added a new AI state: HarvestState, explicitly for collecting resources from Asteroids and Wreckages
Added script functions to Entity: jumpPossible(), get/setHyperspaceJumpReach()
BlockPlan can now force a material transformation where higher blocks are transformed into hull blocks
Added functionality to Galaxy to load sectors and keep them in memory
Added a property to get data folder of Server
Added several status properties to Server
Added a "onChatMessage" callback for Player and Server whenever a chat message is received from a player
Added ControlActionBit enum
Added a CraftPortrait class which renders a circle with a ship in it
Added an ArrowLine class which renders a line with arrows
Added a MapArrowLine class which is the ArrowLine for the Galaxy Map
Added a MouseButton enum for mouse buttons
Added a KeyboardKey enum for keyboard keys
Keyboard now accepts both string keynames as well as KeyboardKey codes
Added reading of ship hyperspace reach in Player and Alliance
Added reading of ship cargo in Player and Alliance
Added reading of ship status in Player and Alliance
Added lots and lots of callbacks to Alliance and Player on client
Added counting of registered functions to a callback
Fixed "userdata" being wrongly given as a bad type for parameters when invoking c++ functions
Sector:getEntity() now accepts both strings representing a uuid and Uuids
Added an isStuck property to ShipAI
Works only while the state is set to Flying
Added new callbacks "onCraftSeatEntered" and "onCraftSeatLeft" for Entity and Sector
Invocation of functions on scripts by index instead of name works correctly now
Added a Label property "shortenText" to enable shortening of texts with "..."
Added a Slider property "showMaxValue" to show the max value in its caption
Removed displayName/displayPlural/translatableName/translatablePlural/translatableDescription properties from TradingGood
Added displayName(amount) to TradingGood which returns the translated name in correct numerus
Added displayPlural(amount) to TradingGood which returns a userdata object that can be sent and translated on the client
Changed Anti-Grav to Antigrav to make it consistent throughout Avorion
Added a "friends" tab to Serverbrowser
Free and occupied weapon slots are now listed in the ship tab
Improved showing and hiding of hints, depending on what the player is doing
Building mode tooltips now don't get rendered when occluded by a window
Removed redundant noble metal mines from Found Station Window
Hyperspace cooldown and HP are now shown for alliance ships as well
Improved displaying of tooltips so they don't block existing UI as much
Building state shows a notification for hotkeys upon opening
Increased size of building hotkeys window
BuildingUtilities have a text hinting towards F1 for showing building hotkeys
Added a warning when transporting problematic goods with and without licenses
Increased brightness of the indicators in explore sector mission
Improved game settings layout
Improved graphics settings layout
Alliance crafts now have their own indicator color
Improved tackiness of several icons
Removed "Tagged" line from galaxy map sector tooltip
New script-based menus in the top right corner are now highlighted
Added hint for accepting missions at bulletin boards
Added input box to Hire Crew menu
When hiring crewmembers the other rows are no longer reset
Fixed wrong year in script documentation copyright
Fixed wrong company designation in script documenation
Changing control style is only possible while flying, no longer while building etc.
Added anonymous game statistics sending to make better decisions about balancing and feature priorities
This can be disabled in the settings.ini file
Implemented correct conversion in documentation for bitsets and VectorTableCopy
Several smaller performance improvements
Added PointDefenseLaser and AntiFighter to turretfactory
Added several new bugs
Added merging of hangar & edge blocks
Added tons of more correct plural translations
"Fixes marked with [UBR] were brought to us by the community. Thank you very much and keep up the good work!"
Fixed several crashes in scripts
[UBR] Fixed bad beam and muzzle colors when custom shot colors are used
[UBR] Fixed an issue in shield recharge tooltip
[UBR] Fixed an issue in turret factory that allows people to create turrets with higher rarities than expected
[UBR] Fixed hyperspace price and energy being calculated wrongly
Fixed an issue where scaling turret parts didn't work
Fixed several instances where scripts were wrongly added to objects multiple times
Sadly we didn't manage to meet our self-imposed deadline (surprise...) but we're hard at work with the update. So we want to give you some more infos on what's happening right now, what's giving us trouble and what's done.
So the update took longer than anticipated because we had to add new UI for the galaxy map, which should also be completely scriptable, since that's one of the features that's been missing from the galaxy map for a while. This UI is now in and we're working on the last polish and bug fixing for the galaxy map UI before the update can go live.
This is one of the more exciting things about this update: We've decided to add trade ship commands to the galaxy map, allowing you to order your ships to buy or sell certain goods in a specific sector. These commands can be enchained with the other commands, essentially allowing you to order your ships to fly a certain trade route or to sell its wares while it's headed in a certain direction!
Apart from that we're also fixing issues from the current branch which have been reported by both players and our crash reporter. Fixing those can also take lots of time and is, to us, equally important as new features.
I won't be giving a specific date which we're not going to meet yet again, but I can tell you that at this time all the important features are in and we're working hard towards connecting it all together and releasing it to the beta branch as soon as we can.
Hey everybody, this is a quick update to what we're working on right now and what you can be looking forward to! In general, the next update will be about AI improvements and improvements to controlling your fleet in various sectors.
Pathfinding + Flying
We're improving the pathfinding and flying AI, which means that ships will fly their full speed when they can, and they will also maneuver asteroid fields a lot smarter. This will also make the game a little harder, because you won't be able to fly away from enemies as easy as before.
Mining + Salvaging
We're making improvements to the AI considering mining and salvaging. So far, miners and salvagers have been behaving a little weird for lots of people. There's a simple reason for that: Mining is just "attacking" an asteroid. This led to some weird behaviors since ships were also trying to move dynamically, which is not necessary, because they don't have to avoid being shot by asteroids. We're now implementing a separate AI for harvesting, ie. mining and salvaging, which will improve things a lot.
This change will hopefully make lots of modders happy: Over the last weeks we've been laying the ground work for calling functions and executing code between sectors. Scripts from one sector will now be able to call functions in scripts present in another sector. There are a few limitations to this due to how the Avorion engine is structured, but in general this will allow your scripts to easily talk to each other even when they're in different sectors. Which brings us to...
Remote Commands & Queues
The above groundwork will enable one vastly important feature: Inter-Sector commands for ships! You'll be able to command ships over the galaxy map even when they're not in the same sector as you. But we're not stopping there! We're also adding queues of commands, so you'll be able to command your ships to fly to one sector, mine asteroids or attack enemies, and then jump to yet another sector. And you'll be able to loop these commands as well.
To be honest, we don't know how the majority of players play the game. This is a big issue when it comes to making decisions about new features, balancing and content. In order to improve this, we're adding completely anonymous analytics to find out how you guys play the game, and things like where most players die or how much money is actually made by combat, trade, etc.
Mac OS Release
We're currently preparing the Mac Version of Avorion for Release. While we won't list it for Mac immediately in the store, we'll be releasing the Mac Builds for download soon, so everybody who has a Mac will be able to download the game. We're asking everyone of you to please download and try out the game on Mac, and please report any issues you're having!
There is no time frame yet as for a beta release. Progress is good though, we're done with nearly everything except for queuing commands and the new (scriptable) UI for the galaxy map. We're hoping to be able to release to the beta branch in the next 2 weeks!
Until then, have fun and leave us your thoughts here!
I'm excited to announce that the System Upgrades Update is now live on the default branch after performing well on the beta branch!
We've added a second system of gates to the game: Ancient gates that are a lot bigger and go a lot further than the current existing gate system. These gates are meant for easier and farther fast-traveling and will also support transportation of bigger ships, but you'll need to find a key to activate them.
Permanent Installation of Upgrades
Upgrades can now be installed 'permanently' for additional bonuses on ships. Most upgrades give a +50% boost in stats when installed permanently. In order to remove permanently installed upgrades you have to either destroy them or remove them safely next to an Equipment Dock.
Reworked Xsotan Artifacts
We reworked the way the Xsotan Artifacts work in order to give them some more character (and to be completely honest: Them giving +unspecified turrest was just an oversight that we left in there). Each upgrade will give a boost resembling the boss or quest that dropped it, so for example the AI artifact will give you AIs and you won't need any more gunners and pilots.
Our Swiss friends from Stray Fawn Studio are releasing their game Nimbatus - The Space Drone Constructor today! We're wishing them best of luck with their release and to celebrate, all Avorion players are getting a 10% discount coupon that's valid until 10/10/2018!
The discount code accumulates with their launch discount to give you 20% off Nimbatus for a week.