Patch 0.7.2.0 ( Saturady May 30th 2020 )
This is a fairly big patch which contains the initial implementation for the new sensor overlay (tactical screen) replacing the old 3D radar zoom.
There are also a number of HUD improvements to make it easier for new players to understand who are enemies and who is currently shooting at you, as the indicators will now flash when an enemy is firing at you.
An important AMS lasers bug was fixed (which caused their DPS to under-perform) and 8 AMS turrets were given to the carrier for defensive purposes.
Finally, we also spent a bit of time to do a new round of improvements for the keybindings and improve the joysticks key detection.
The old “3D radar zoom” (which was previously bound to the ‘quote’ key, aka. the key left to 1 and above tab on the main keyboard) has been re-implemented as a new screen: the sensor overlay / tactical screen.
When entering that mode, the camera will zoom out from your ship to about 15 Km (up to 30 Km max), seeing the entire battlefield. A grid is overlayed on top of the screen, showing ships and their indicators, as well as a “heat map” (basically ships are glowing depending on their allied or enemy status) and trailings heind each ship showing their movement. There are options on the bottom-left to toggle these features.
It’s also possible to change the frame of reference (by default it’s on your ship) to the nearest base or planet (or even the solar system’s plane). Your ship’s framerate of reference stays centered on your ship even if it’s moving, but its orientation is determined by your ship orientation when you enable the sensor overlay and will stay fixed. If you want to synchronize attacks and see the same battlefield view angle than other allied players, it might be better to change it to ‘base’ or ‘planet’ (since these will have the same frame of reference, no matter how your own ship is oriented).
While enabled it is possible to left-click drag to translate the camera or right-click to rotate around the origin. You can also hover the mouse over targets, or even select them as usual with T, G or Y/U.
In the future, we’ll add more information to that screen, like current velocities, arrows representing who-is-attacking-what, and possibly show in a corner the current target’s information (including its name and health/shield status).
If you have more ideas on what you’d like to see on this tactical screen, please let us know as usual, thank you.
New HUD or menus improvements
- Fixed a bug that made the max combat targets slider setting useless, as it still used the max nav’ targets instead of the right number. Note: this is a huge bug, which kind of made the decluttering from a few months ago useless as it still displayed a high number of targets in combat. As a reminder, you can change the number of displayed targets (both in navigation or in combat mode) in the general options settings.
- Implemented new glow/highlight effect for high nearby threats (firing at or targetting you) on the radars and ring target arrows. This should make it more obvious when suddenly a nearby ship out of your view starts firing at you
- HUD target ring and radar indicators now blink when firing at the player. Note: the HUD performs fire cone checks to see if you’re in the light-of-fire of an enemy firing in your direction
- Updated HUD indicators colors coherency (there were differences in the choice of colors between the 3D viewport, the ring target arrows and the various radars). All the different screens should now show the same icons indicators with the same colors
- Revamped HUD bloom/glow shaders and tweaked color theme: the bloom effect was too agressive and affecting the font’s readability. The new bloom is softer and wider and should keep text more readable. The current selected tab in the options menu is now highlighted
- Fixed battle notifications popups showing up in the in-game / tab menus. The popups will now be invisible in menus and update in the background at a slower rate. Popup notification sound can still be heard on menus, so you’re aware that something happened
- Moved battle notification popup so that it doesn’t cover the top of the HUD
- Weapons MFD now shows a dual arrow icon for auto-aiming/firing weapons instead of the cryptic [*]
- Help tips are now displayed in yellow to be more visible on HUD
- Fixed speed formatting on HUD which caused numbers to be too wide at high/warp speeds (now uses the SI units like distance)
- Fixed HUD power flickering (when engines are damaged) which didn’t seem to fade correctly
- Fixed HUD text areas that didn’t use the user-selected color theme
- Fixed HUD text areas that didn’t fade off when power is down
- Removed top helmet decoration bar when HUD is disabled (F3)
- Removed HUD help screen ( in system menu ) as it is obsolete
- HUD improvements to broken targetting systems and broken sensors (they will now correctly behave, flicker or stop showing up when broken)
- Weapons aiming indicators on HUD are now properly rendered as dots instead of small squares. Note: that’s a very small change… but the weapon aiming dots were rendered as small squares previously. They should now properly show as small dots
- Fixed selection indicator being empty for missiles, torpedoes or mines;
- HUD’s missile locking circle now shows as alert color ( instead of normal color ) when it’s under cooldown
- Low damage alert is now more reliable and should show up for interceptor shots landing on capital ships
- Added a new chat / comms channel: System, that keeps meta-game information notifications ( like player X killed Y );
- Added a /clear command to clear a chat channel
- Fixed a bug with the chat box text which didn’t extend to the full width of the window
- Tweaks to planetary HUD: lowered minimum altitude, no longer displays in external capital ship view, pitch are now based on camera instead of ship orientation
- Fixed a bug preventing previous / next target selection cycling ( Y and U keys ) from working as expected
- Mouse wheel will no longer change target speed while on starmap
Keybindings / Input
- Keybindings options menu now makes it more obvious when devices are unassigned for a given input profile (“no device assigned” message is displayed in orange next to a virtual device). That way new players will instantly see that they need to assign their hardware to the correct entry
- Added a warning dialog if you’re starting key detection without having assigned all the virtual devices for the current input profile. That way it’ll be more obvious to new players that they need to assign their hardware to the correct entry
- Improved key detection for keybindings and added options to allow key or axis combos. Key combos are allowed by default but axis combos are not. When starting key detection, if multiple axes are touched, the one with the largest movement/value is the one that will get detected
- Small fixes related to XInput and the joystick devices in options menu
- Tweaks to XBox XInput and PS4 input profiles (some buttons were swapped to be more natural and some new buttons were added)
- Fixed a bug with 2+ missiles launched at once, that end up kissing (colliding) each others while tracking the same target, hence exploding in the middle of nowhere before reaching the target. Note: I had a suspicion for this bug for years but it wasn’t easy to replicate. I was only able to figure out what was going on recently. The explanation makes sense and is 100% logical so in a way it’s not really a bug… more like an undesired feature…
- Fixed a bug that made the AMS lose their power every second, pulsating for no good reason (which reduces the intended DPS on them). This is a huge one, as it kind of made AMS under-performing, which indirectly made bombers over-performing
- Fixed turrets that could still rotate despite the ship having lost its power
- Carrier now has 8 AMS for defense against torpedoes/mines
- Adjusted capital ships default camera distance in third person mode
- Increased amount of heat generated by bomber’s shotgun
- AMS buffs; increased turret turn rates, +50% damage and doubled the visual thickness of the laser beam effect so that it’s more visible at a distance
Other bug Fixes
- Fixed tooltips from mission screen staying on screen after closing the game menu
- Fixed a bug with the starmap contextual (right-mouse button) menu that didn’t close when tabbing out
- Fixed a bug that reset the throttle speed ( also warp speed ) to zero after apply & saving from the options menu
- Fixed rare random crash bug when playing some visual effects
- Added debug information to log files to figure out the issue with frozen/duplicated pings in the server browser screen for some users
- The client and servers now support new admin commands to spawn entities for the purpose of enriching community events