Depeche Mod – Friday, July 7th, 2023

Hi Folks!

Summer is in full swing with the crafting updates we’re forging. We’ve made a new system for upgrading and customizing your Vox, with a series of Modules that can be crafted to add extra crafting power. Now you can be the envy of all the other crafters! Venture down below for a list with details on this and more.

Top Tenish for June 2023

  1. Done – Design/Engineering – Vox Modules
    1. Vox modules are a new type of item that can be slotted into a Vox to modify the crafting process.
    2. The effects of the Modules will be shown on the crafting DevUI while configuring a crafting job.
    3.  Modules may not be changed while a job is running.
    4.  Some of the possible effects that a module can perform will modify:
      1.  Crafting time
      2. Vox Durability costs
      3. Chance of getting a critical success or failure
      4. Crafted item stats
  2. Done – Design/Engineering – Vox Module Items – This month we’re adding an initial set of over 20 new module items per faction for backers to try out. Each of these items can be crafted under the “Make Other” crafting job.
  3. Done – Engineering – Random Crafting Event Updates
    1. Previously this system worked on a single weighted list of events per job type.
    2. This list has now been broken into good vs bad events, called Critical Successes and Critical Failures.
    3. Now that it’s split in two, it allows the Vox Modules (and eventually progression) to individually manipulate the chances and max counts of each list.
  4. WIP – Engineering – Crafting DevUI Updates
    1. The “Make Other” button in the crafting UI will now show up for nonspecific recipe ingredient requirements (EX: “any metal alloy”). In this case, a filtered list of compatible items/recipes will be presented on the new page.
    2.  An item icon is now shown next to the ingredient rule if a specific item is specified.
    3. The ingredient rule will be hidden once an item has been added to that ingredient slot
    4. More precision is now shown on the random crafting event printout.
  5. WIP – Engineering/Design – Crafting Upgrades/Fixes
    1. New Recipe sheet
    2. Fixed a bug with the “Make Ammo” vox job, which caused it to make far too many items when crafting multiple batches at once.
    3. Several alchemy related values have been changed into item stats, and the code related to this has been cleaned up.
    4. Alchemy status application has been updated to react to its own removal.
    5. Adding 5 new reagent items which can be crafted from waste substances.
    6. Modified several Block item recipes which took raw substances instead of alloys.
    7. Updating the Arthurian Book item to take purified instead of raw Cottonwood.
    8. You may now remove items from your Vox, even when you’re at the item inventory limit.
    9. You may not gain items from the Harvest tents while at the item inventory limit.
    10. Adding additional random crafting events for the alloy stats which were introduced last month.
    11. Adding icons to encumbrance/mass item stats.
    12. Increased the hover range on the Harvest tents from 15->50 meters.
  6. WIP – Engineering – UI Overhaul – We’ve continued our work on overhauling the UI, with the updates below:
    1. Progress on the scenario UI’s.
    2. First part of the inventory UI.
    3. Final polish on the ability builder.
    4. Work on animated transitions used throughout the UI.
  7. Done – Engineering – Investigation of Game Server Startup Times – We’ve landed several improvements on server startup times, shaving off anywhere from 25% to 75% of startup time depending on the zone.  One happy by-product of this is that some of the systems that were slow during startup were also slow during server operation, and the improvements have yielded runtime performance benefits as well.
  8. WIP – Engineering – Patch Client Improvements – We’ve noticed that over time the patch client’s files get bigger as updates are downloaded – even if the average size of the download remains consistent.  We’re improving how the patch client stores data on disk, so it’s a better steward of everyone’s disk space.
  9. WIP – Engineering – Bug Fixes and Improvements
    1. New validation rules have been added to our entity component template system. Along with this, we’ve addressed any errors that this uncovered.
    2. Loot dropped by the Overmind can specify a rotation.
    3. Fixed some crashes that could happen when interacting with certain UI widgets (the inventory was one of the biggest victims/offenders).
  10. WIP – Design/Engineering – Progression Development – Work continues between Design and Engineering on fleshing out our progression systems. Stay tuned for more on this work in a future update!
  11. WIP – Engineering – Interaction Updates – Rob continues to update and improve our interaction systems, with new calculations for determining if a character is in the interactable object’s bounds. See the Newsletter for an in-depth look at the math behind our interactions!
  12. Done – Engineering – Improved NPC Debugger – James has completed the improved NPC debugger. However, it’s waiting on some other integration tasks to land before full implementation – this should happen in the near future.
  13. Done – Engineering – Navmesh Improvements – Mike D completed an improvement to our navigation mesh generation that fixes issues related to overhead clearance for large entities. This effort fixes the method used to determine the parameters governing navmesh voxel sizes, replacing the previous inferior approach that relied on hardcoded data associated with race types with a much simpler mechanism that more accurately “fits” every entity into the correct navmesh layer, according to width and height. As a result, entities that previously thought they were too big to fit under very high overhead geometry now correctly understand when they can pass under such obstruction. This ultimately allows for entities like Keep Lords to better navigate keeps, particularly during destruction changes that introduce navigationally challenging geometry.
  14. WIP – Engineering – Pathfinding Fixes – Mike D and James are working together to improve how NPCs use the navmesh in complex spaces involving overlapping surfaces such as multi-story buildings. This effort will fix a number of issues that cause NPCs to be confused about where their movement goals are within such structures. This also will improve Keep Lord ability to stalk enemies within their keeps, but more broadly fixes a broad class of problems associated with navigation on structures.
  15. WIP – Engineering – Behavior Upgrade – Mike D is nearing completion on his effort to enhance NPC behaviors with improved enemy detection, alert levels, variable movement rates, and multiple behavior phases dedicated to subtask execution. Once landed, NPCs will be empowered to demonstrate much more nuanced and intelligent behavior when interacting with players.
  16. WIP – Engineering – Ragdoll Update – Brady has fixed our long-standing “spinning limbs” problem associated with entities entering ragdoll upon death. He has now turned his focus to adding joint constraints to the ragdoll skeleton so as to give dead entities more realistic poses as they collapse to the ground.
  17. WIP – Engineering – Shadows System Upgrade – Our rendering team continues an effort to upgrade our shadow solution to a more modern approach. Initial testing shows  promising results both in aesthetics and performance. While a good bit of work remains in this largely investigative area, we look forward to sharing more information in future updates as progress marches forward.
  18. WIP – Engineering – Server Performance – Rob continues a substantial effort to investigate server performance and identify trouble spots that directly impact gameplay. He is specifically focused on abilities that impact multiple target entities, with an eye towards reducing the observed latency between initiating the ability and witnessing the results.
  19. WIP – Engineering – Improved Lighting – Wylie continues an effort to give level designers greater control over map lighting and lighting effects. This multi-sprint effort will both make it easier for our Designers to achieve the results they desire as well as broaden the capabilities at their disposal.

We’ve crafted more info down below!

One of the major things we’d like to highlight this update are the new Vox Modules! These are a new way to customize and tune your Vox to suit all your crafting needs – they each have their own effects like the modules below!

We’ve also added a menu to see all of your currently attached Vox Modules on any particular Vox – while this is a placeholder UI, it helps relay all of the important information you need to know about your attached Modules and what they’re doing.

So much crafting fun! We had a blast thinking of unique modules to add to the Vox, and look forward to building more down the line. Stay tuned for future updates as we delve into progression and continue to build out gameplay systems! 

As always, thank you for your continued support of CU and CSE, we really appreciate it!

Now go Mod your Vox the way you’ve always wanted to – though sadly, no racing stripes yet!

– Jane