Update news for 2012-06-01 - Gamma Frontier
Gamma Frontier includes 24 brand new terraformable islands, and the much anticipated Modular Private Colony system (previously known as player-built settlements). From now on player corporations will have unprecedented control over where and how they want to build their home base, and will have a chance to launch large scale industrial projects with the help of networkable buildings and defensive structures.
- The teleports leading to gamma islands are not active at first. You have to drop Energy storage cells into their SAPs (Service Access Point) to activate them. Energy storage cells have to be manufactured, the technology is available from the new Structure kernels (which are available from the Syndicate Supplies or artifacts). A teleport channel can be activated from either end.
For a detailed view on gamma islands, the Modular Private Colony system, and terraforming, check out our devblog:
- Building and planning a colony
- New islands, building types and control
- or the game guide (work in progress)
- Fixed location mineral fields are a thing of the past, random mineral spawns have taken their place
- The "cycles in tiles"-method has been changed to a new system where tiles hold the exact amount of minerals that can be extracted
- New way to find minerals: the directional scanner
- Minerals, commodities, and components redistributed among factions, with the intention of creating diversity and inducing trade and transport
- Production point system - completely new industry calculations using diminishing returns, for lessening the gap between beginner and veteran industrials, while still retaining the possibility for the “leading edge”
For more details see our corresponding blog post.
- IMPORTANT NOTES:
- - Material conversion during the patch
- - Unfortunately all market orders had to be cancelled, not just commodities.
- - Running production processes have been completed during the patch.
New terrain rendering and lighting setup
Our new terrain engine uses Shader Model 3.0, which allows to display much more detail, especially in the distance. The day-night lighting cycle and weather has also been undergoing some improvements, resulting in a more crisp visuals and a hopefully less dull experience. You can get an idea about the level of improvement on some screenshots in this blog post.
If you have a good graphics card, client performance will likely increase too, because the new engine has shifted from being CPU-heavy to GPU-heavy.
- IMPORTANT NOTES:
- - If you have an Nvidia graphics card and your current driver is version 285.62 or older, please update it, otherwise you'll experience graphics problems!
54 new assignments are available, located on Alpha 2 islands, ranging from level 4 to level 5 in difficulty. Furthermore, we are bringing in the concept of "daily assignments" - 6 different types, altogether 90 of them (30 per faction). These assignments can be only completed once every 24 hours, and they are intended to be done parallel to normal assignments, as a sort of "side jobs".
We're introducing 4 new EW-related modules:
- ECM and sensor suppressor tunings: they boost your equipped ECM and suppressor at the cost of higher accumulator usage.
- EnWar upgrades: boosts neutralized and drained energy, also at the cost of higher accumulator usage.
- Reactor sealings: robots have a new parameter called accumulator stability - it affects how much energy can be drained or neutralized per cycle. The lower this number, the harder it is to drain a robot. Reactor sealings help with this.
- Change: The whole teleport network has been reconfigured as explained in this blog post. Some old teleports have been left without a connection - this is intentional, they can be reached with mobile teleports only.
- New: Geoscanning result items can now be traded via direct trading. Use the right-click option in your geoscan result folders to create a result item (works only while in a terminal).
- New: New highways have been created on Alpha 1&2 islands.
- Fix: Fixes to NPC AI, hopefully they won't get stuck anymore or get the urge to go swimming.
- Fix: Lag-related improvements, especially on the bug known as "gridline-lag".
- Change: Changed the NPC spawn layout on all islands: fewer spawns with more room to move around, and spawns are less random than before.
- New: The terrain slope display has now 3 modes. See this blog post explanation.
- New: A new "documents" menu has been added to the Agent profile where your terraforming projects and colony plans are listed.
- New: New option for "Auto target lock" - if you don't have a lock, activating a module will attempt to lock your selection first (if this option is enabled).
- New: Added key assignment for reverse cycling in the targeting computer.
- New: New concrete-layer: you can now lay down concrete yourself to prevent the growth of plants (however it can't be used to kill plants - it will skip those tiles during deplyoment). Concrete tiles made this way will randomly decay over time and can be destroyed by AoE explosions.
Robots and modules
- New: Introducing the Scarab Mk2 - the CT is available from gamma artifacts, and you'll need some new colixum-based commodities to build it.
- Change: Removed the Navigation extension from the game as it has been a must-have for pretty much everyone. The default speed of robots has been increased accordingly to compensate for it. EP and NIC for the extension has been reimbursed.
- Change: The Navigation extension has been either removed from the starting extension packs, or replaced with another extension, resulting in minor changes in the total worth of all starting extensions.
- Change: The Intensive mass production extension has been removed from the game, EP and NIC has been reimbursed.
- Change: Programmed Mass production now adds 10 maximum manufacturing cycles per level instead of 1.
- Change: The following extensions have been reimbursed (EP and NIC) due to mineral and plant distribution changes:
- Extensive stermonit mining
- Intensive stermonit mining
- Extensive imentium mining
- Intensive imentium mining
- Extensive helioptris harvesting
- Intensive helioptris harvesting
- Extensive triandlus harvesting
- Intensive triandlus harvesting
- New: Structure kernels, holding all technology tied to modular colonies have been added to Syndicate Supplies. They can also be found in certain artifacts on all islands.
- Change: Prismocitae is now harvestable.
- Change: Changed the rare mineral variants you may get from mining different minerals.
- Change: Removed Stermonit and Prismocitae from all TM islands.
- Change: Removed Imentium and Helioptris from all ASI islands.
- New: Added Silgium to TM and ASI islands (no Silgium on ICS).
- Change: Mineral yields have been increased for all minerals and plants.
- New: You can now assign a color to your corporation with the button under your logo in the corporation management window. This color is used for the owned buildings' color stripes and the background color of your own terminals.
- New: Added the colony management member role. Members with "Full access" can view and manage the colony management interface, members with "Limited access" can only view it.
- Change: Reduced the price of mobile teleports.
- New: Smaller labels on the world map now disappear above a certain zoom-level to avoid cluttering.
- New: Separate landmark filters are now available for terminals, teleports, turrets, other pbs buildings, and for field accessories.
- Change: The direction cone on the radar is now a bit more transparent.
- New: Chat channel tabs are sorted alphabetically.
- New: Keyboard shortcuts are now grouped according to function.
- Fix: Double clicking on a friend request toast will now bring you to the proper window.
- New: Four brand new tracks have been added to the game. You can also listen&download them here.
- Fix: A new track will now automatically start playing on the terrain when the first one finishes. Yep, this wasn't the case so far.
- Fix: The client installer/downloader should be considerably faster and less prone to disconnects or stalls.
- New: Added a second confirmation window when deleting a character. You can never be sure enough.
These are the issues that we know about, and will be patched soon:
- The icon of 6 new commodities and the terraform beacon charger ammo is missing.
- Some of the items in the new missions don't have an assigned icon.
- The names of daily assignments is missing.
- Some of the terminals appear as red cubes for some players.