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BETA TEST August 10th; what's new?

Undone

Codemaster
Stormhaven Studios
Our next stress tests are scheduled for:
Wed. August 10th @ 8pm central
(Thurs. August 11th @ 1am UTC)
The developers will meet in Discord and test for approximately one hour. However, the servers will remain open for roughly 4 hours. The most up-to-date client can be retrieved via the patcher found on your account page.

What's new?
This week brings a heap of new features and updates! The biggest of which is the reveal of our latest iteration of the quest system. Next up is a new dungeon and the reintroduction of Emberdrifts. We have also adjusted player health regen to reduce overall downtimes.

Reminder that this weekend is our second World Breaker event! This means that the server will not open until Saturday at 10am central US time. Come join us to help stress the servers and have fun with the community. Thanks to everyone for your continued testing and interest!

REMINDER: the servers will be open for 4hrs Wednesday evening. The servers will open again on Saturday @ 10am central and close on Tuesday at 12pm central. See events in Discord for timezone translations.

Bug fixes / improvements:
  • Hot Fixes from the previous weekend:
    • Fixed: issues with gathering bag showing multiple times after switching characters
    • Fixed: issues with overhead nameplate colors not consistently applied
    • Fixed: fixed issues with Meadowlands nav mesh that was causing NPCs to act funny (extremely sluggish, bad pathing, etc)
    • Fixed: nav mesh links near Meadowlands spider cave are now bidirectional
    • Added: notification message when you try to transfer something to your inventory and it is either full or you are missing your belongings
    • Fixed: refinement stations should now pull raw materials from your gathering bag
  • Tech
    • Updated: engine to the latest minor revision.
    • Updated: vegetation shaders.
    • Fixed: Offhand attacks will no longer trigger from abilities that disable auto attack.
    • Fixed: error when trying to send an empty tell
    • Fixed: input binding error when a new bind conflicted with an action no longer supported.
  • Environment / Art
    • Updated: vegetation material alpha cut values. This makes trees and bushes a bit less anemic. (*see screenshot below)
    • Updated: separated out deciduous vs evergreen color modifications throughout the year. Trees that lose their leaves in winter will now turn red as fall approaches. (**see video below)
    • Fixed: Spider (both large and small) death animations no longer offset their bodies from their origin as much. This should make them far easier to loot.
    • Adjusted: LODs on a number of Axe visuals
  • UI:
    • Fixed: gathering bag & personal bank now remember their positions.
    • Fixed: double negative signs displayed on flanking bonuses
    • Fixed: double negative signs displayed on stat panels
    • Updated: stat panel display formatting (***see screenshot below)
    • Added: new loading screen concept art for Central Veins and Northreach (North Newhaven)
  • Design:
    • Newhaven South has been renamed to Newhaven Valley
    • Newhaven North has been renamed to Northreach.
    • Large new creatures have been reported in Meadowlands and Redshore.
    • Fishermen are now known as Fishers.
    • Updated: Meadowlands training tables (dropped, adventuring, and gathering).
    • Disabled: non-interactive anvil in Meadowland's town.
    • Updated: Redshore merchants with higher level consumables.
    • Fixed: issue with Exile Sentries not fighting back when their target is at max range.
    • NPCs will now use their abilities more frequently.
* Here is a comparison shot of the same oak tree with the new material settings (left = new, right = old)
dB5Yz7j.png


** Here is a small clip of some deciduous trees moving from summer to fall. This coloration does not yet apply to evergreen trees such as the above Holm Oak.

*** For the stats that are only applicable in combat we now show the combat icon (crossed swords) next to the stat value to indicate that it is not currently active. Once you drop into combat stance by unsheathing your weapons the combat icon will go away indicating that the stat is active.
EKamI67.png


New stuff:
New Quest & Dialog System
This week we are bringing you our latest iteration of the quest and dialog system. It has been completely reworked from the ground up to provide greater flexibility, extensibility, and support for a broader variety of quest types. This update also expands our dialog system to be more dynamic, provide support for both quests and non-quest dialog at the same time, and allow for Npcs to offer multiple quests. In addition, we have begun to replace our tables with actual merchants!

At this point we have implemented a number of quests in Newhaven Valley and replaced most of the merchants. This zone is by no means "complete" but we are working our way there and will be filling in content from now until launch. These quests are "hot of the presses" so please make sure to report any issues/bugs when you encounter them!

There is currently no UI element to track these quests so we have added the "/listobjectives" chat command that will show you your current objectives (this is rough, but should help). Adding a UI element to track these objectives, along with improving the dialog UI is next up on the todo list in addition to adding new quests.

We encourage you to make a new character this week to more naturally experience these quests - which will also allow you to more effectively group with new players during the upcoming World Breaker event!

Northreach Dungeon
Central Veins has expanded into the north! Within the wilds of Northreach you will now find two static dungeon entrances along with a roaming Emberdrift.

Emberdrifts, for those of you who were not around when we last tested them, provide temporary access to specific parts of the dungeon that may or may not be accessible via static entrances. These anomalies can be thought of as an overexposed Ember Ring, or a more powerful manifestation of Ember energy that connects two points through a portal. The overworld representation of an Emberdrift looks like the following and can be "activated" by stepping into the center. If you see one of these in your travels you might consider entering it, as it doesn't stick around for too long!
t4uWt5V.png

Interactions with the underworld Emberdrift is done by getting close to it and right clicking similar to a door. These can be either "active" or "inactive". When active, the portal is bidirectional meaning that there is a corresponding overworld Emberdrift that leads to to this location (active stat is indicated by the lighting and particle effects being enabled). When inactive, the portal is only one direction; the player can exit the dungeon but you will not be able to return (inactive is indicated by the lighting and particle effects being disabled).
1WHA6lW.png


Note that the new dungeon's nav mesh is NOT cleaned. This means that NPCs movement may have some oddities to it. I will try to get this cleaned up before the weekend.

Health Regen Updates
Previously, our innate health regenerate was a fixed value which led to significant downtimes for players when their health pools grew. There were a number of things we had to consider when modifying the player's health regen. We wanted to reduce player's downtime while not severely impacting the pace of play nor the value of +Regen gear & consumables. What we landed on is something we are calling "fully rested" health regen. It works by slowly adding a bonus to your health regeneration rate the longer you are out of combat (which is indicated by sword icons under your nameplate, not being in combat stance). At level 20 this results in a ~40% improvement in the time it takes to fully heal. This method scales well with higher health pools as the longer you wait, the higher your regen rate (note there is a cap on the back end).

Please let us know how this feels and if you think this makes the +Regen stat obsolete, or screws up the pace of play.

Resolution Scaling
EXPERIMENTAL FEATURE
A new slider has been added to the video options that enables Unity's dynamic resolution scaling. This technology essentially renders the game at a lower resolution, and then as a final step upscales the image to your selected resolution. This feature should help ease gpu load for higher resolutions while maintaining reasonable visual fidelity. This feature is experimental and I'm still not sure if it's working correctly.

Give it a spin if you are running at higher resolutions and let me know if it has any impact on your framerate and/or visual quality.

Works in progress:
To see a full list of what is currently in progress head on over to this thread. I will do my best to update this list on a weekly basis and highlight the differences from the previous week with bold font. Below I will highlight some of the upcoming changes in more detail.

New Weapon Visuals (timeline: 1-2 weeks)
New weapon visuals will start being implemented for imbued, uncommon, and rare items.

Ashen Visuals & Tech (timeline: 1-2 weeks)
Ashen creatures are going to become crucial to collecting the oh so precious ember essence. These require some new tech for spawning along with allowing players to collect ember essence upon their death. After that we can move on to populating the world with this mechanism for testing.

Mob Leashing Updates (timeline: 1-3 weeks)
As it currently stands every mob has a "soft leash" distance. Outside of this distance if a mob is in the idle or wandering state they will elect to return to their point of origin before resuming their idle/wander. Implementing a "hard leash" or a "reset" state for an NPC is something we are considering, but it has a few extra complications. Some of which are for those who like to kite and issues with different zones/regions having different average leash distances for NPCs. In fact, we already implemented this tech, but it is currently disabled because it causes some funny business in a number of the above described scenarios.

Known Issues:
  • When taking an Emberdrift to the dungeon a static electricity noise can be heard at full volume until loading is complete.
  • Gilden's quest will not complete currently. Progress will be saved, and it will be fixed, never fear!
  • Terrain textures have a bit too much tiling. This will be resolved shortly.
  • Characters can get stuck in any looping animation if they do not properly complete. This is most noticeable for strikers using a bow.
  • Not all ember rings and/or POIs are proper map discoveries. This is especially true in Dryfoot, Dryfoot Stronghold, and Redshore. Discoveries and map uncovering is a WIP and will be revisited soon.
  • Deconstructing crafted items returns junk 100% of the time.
  • cannot roll on loot while unconscious
  • not all clothing/armor has visuals
  • Dragging a group-nameplate in the group window will set the wrong pivot point for the group window and the whole thing will drag a bit weird.
  • typing chat text may occasionally become invisible. unfocus your chat window and trying again a few times typically resolves this.
  • Sometimes when you respawn you don't end up at the proper Ember Ring --> if this happens please report the position where you died via the "/report" command or "/debugposition" (if using debugposition you'll need to paste the value here)
  • MacOS:
    • Character creation camera is bugged on Apple Silicon macs. The issue has been submitted to unity.
    • Zooming the camera while holding the right mouse button can cause your chat window to scroll. This is not intended behavior.
    • At some camera angles the sun may go dark. This should not happen frequently but is readily reproducible at some locations. Investigating a fix.
 
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Aeldar

Active Member
Amazing patch!

New dungeon: Very nice. At the first entry it seemed quite difficult.

Resolution scaling: On my PC I didn't see a change in FPS or visual quality. Is it the "Dynamic resolution" Unity feature that is used? https://docs.unity3d.com/Manual/DynamicResolution.html
That feature requires DirectX12 for Windows. My setup: Windows 11 with an Nvidia 3060 Ti GPU running 3440x1440. I tried setting the slider to the lowest (50%) but didn't see a change. Also restarted the game.

Trees: I totally forgot to check the trees...
 

Undone

Codemaster
Stormhaven Studios
Resolution scaling: On my PC I didn't see a change in FPS or visual quality. Is it the "Dynamic resolution" Unity feature that is used? https://docs.unity3d.com/Manual/DynamicResolution.html
That feature requires DirectX12 for Windows. My setup: Windows 11 with an Nvidia 3060 Ti GPU running 3440x1440. I tried setting the slider to the lowest (50%) but didn't see a change. Also restarted the game.
Yes. After your suggestion I looked at what was available and added the slider. However, the docs you linked don't paint the full picture for HDRP; these docs go into more detail about HDRP implementation (DX11 is supported via software dynamic resolution rather than hardware).

I've tried the client in DX12 but got some crazy errors I've never seen before so no idea what is going on there (will continue investigating). You're more than welcome to try yourself by launching the game with the command line parameter "-force-d3d12" but I suppose you'll get lots of errors.

I just checked and it does appear to be doing nothing on the windows build. It is working on the GM client though, so I will see what I can figure out there for the non-GM build.
 

Dalton

Well-Known Member
Want to add, played over the weekend and performance on the M1 appears to be much worse than it was earlier in the summer. I am unsure if anything has changed but my FPS has decreased by a fair bit, the first camp has a large impact on my performance everytime.
 

Aeldar

Active Member
Yes. After your suggestion I looked at what was available and added the slider. However, the docs you linked don't paint the full picture for HDRP; these docs go into more detail about HDRP implementation (DX11 is supported via software dynamic resolution rather than hardware).

I've tried the client in DX12 but got some crazy errors I've never seen before so no idea what is going on there (will continue investigating). You're more than welcome to try yourself by launching the game with the command line parameter "-force-d3d12" but I suppose you'll get lots of errors.

I just checked and it does appear to be doing nothing on the windows build. It is working on the GM client though, so I will see what I can figure out there for the non-GM build.
Thanks for info, sounds promising for DX11.

I will also try the "-force-d3d12" switch next time.
 

Undone

Codemaster
Stormhaven Studios
Want to add, played over the weekend and performance on the M1 appears to be much worse than it was earlier in the summer. I am unsure if anything has changed but my FPS has decreased by a fair bit, the first camp has a large impact on my performance everytime.
Hrm. The most significant change was moving most of the vegetation shaders to allow transmittance which greatly improves their look. I could add the transmittance toggle back and see if that helps your framerate?
 

Undone

Codemaster
Stormhaven Studios
Thanks for info, sounds promising for DX11.

I will also try the "-force-d3d12" switch next time.
Ah don't bother. After some further investigation DX12 was not enabled in the build. Will give it a go today.
 

Dalton

Well-Known Member
Hrm. The most significant change was moving most of the vegetation shaders to allow transmittance which greatly improves their look. I could add the transmittance toggle back and see if that helps your framerate?
If got time to add it, I will make sure to test it out this weekend.
 

Undone

Codemaster
Stormhaven Studios
Hot fixes for the weekend:
  • Fixed: death icon tooltip for other players will no longer say "Right click to forfeit"
  • Fixed: a number of holes in the floor and walls in the new dungeon
  • Rebaked new dungeon nav mesh and cleaned it up a bit. Still some work to do here - let us know where things act funny!
  • Removed some unused rooms in the new dungeon to help with performance.
  • Fixed: issue with spider death animation
  • Fixed: audio sources should now reference the correct mixer group. This "should" fix the issue of entering an Emberdrift and having the static audio blaring
  • Fixed: a number of typos and grammatical errors in various NPC dialogs.
  • Added: the new quest "Missing Apprentice"
  • Added: Transmission toggle in the video settings.
 
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Undone

Codemaster
Stormhaven Studios
Resolution scaling: On my PC I didn't see a change in FPS or visual quality. Is it the "Dynamic resolution" Unity feature that is used?
I just found that this was only enabled for "High" quality. Kicking off new builds now to fix this so it is active for medium & low as well.
 

Undone

Codemaster
Stormhaven Studios
Incoming hot fix!
  • Krenner found his clothing.
  • Updated dialog for the crafting quest
  • Fixed a typo in Dante's dialog.
  • Fixed an issue logging in if your username had special characters
 

Aeldar

Active Member
Test result for dynamic resolution:

PC:
It works.
Below is a summary of the FPS increase on my PC during a quick test using FRAPS to show FPS.

[Scaling] [FPS increase]
90% ~4%
80% ~13%
70% ~28%
60% ~41%
50% ~52%

Mac M1:
It works, performance is better and visual quality is lower. However I don't have an FPS counter on Mac so I don't know the statistics.

About upscaling in general:
Which upscale filter is used? https://docs.unity3d.com/Packages/c...efinition@12.1/manual/Dynamic-Resolution.html

For the future:
Currently, Unity supports AMD FSR version 1.0. Hope they release support for version 2 soon, it's closer to Nvidia DLSS in regards to visual quality (what I've read).
 

ArcaneDisgea

New Member
Mac M1:
It works, performance is better and visual quality is lower. However I don't have an FPS counter on Mac so I don't know the statistics.
If you have steam installed on your M1 you might be able to add Embers as a non-steam game and use steams fps counter.
 

Aeldar

Active Member
Thanks for the tip @ArcaneDisgea! It worked to add Embers as a non-steam game and then show the FPS via the shift-tab Steam overlay.

Updated statistics below, showing % increase:
Skärmavbild 2022-08-17 kl. 17.48.31.png

Tests were done at the login page and keeping the Options window open.

Settings "benchmark v1":
All settings on medium
Resolution 1440x900
SMMA anti aliasing
15 View distance
0% shadow distance
100% grass distance
All checkboxes checked in the lower section


Settings "realistic 3060 Ti"
All settings on medium
Resolution 3440x1440
No anti aliasing
77% View distance
80% Shadow distance
100% Grass distance
All checkboxes exdept "Grass shadows" checked in the lower section


Settings "realistic M1" (16GB, 6 GPU version)
All settings on low
Resolution 1440x900
No anti-aliasing
15 View distance
0% shadow distance
100% grass distance
No checkboxes checked in lower section

Note: When running with "Low" settings, there seems to be an FPS cap at 100. When using "Medium" settings, I could get FPS above 100.
 
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