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Topics - ai_enabled

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1
Game discussion / A26 Experimental is now live!
« on: Today at 06:52:53 am »
The Pragmium War Update is ready for testing! It is a long-anticipated update that introduces a large number of completely new features and a massive amount of new content all throughout the game from T1 all the way to T4.

The detailed patch notes will be available on our forums in a couple of days (as usual, we will update this post when it's available).

To test the update we've deployed two experimental servers (PvE and PvP, with PvE hosted in the USA and PvP hosted in Europe). You can choose either of the two to test the game. The servers will be live for about 2 weeks.

How to connect:
To join you need to manually set CryoFall Steam branch to "experimental-a26". To access it please right click on CryoFall in Steam Client, choose Properties, then open the BETAS tab, and select the "experimental-a26" from the dropdown menu. After the game is updated—launch it and find the A26 Experimental server in the featured servers list.

Please note that certain mods don't yet support A26 and the game will disable them automatically.

If the game after updating to the experimental version no longer starts from Steam and you're using Windows 7, please install C++ Redist https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/confirmation.aspx?id=52685 and KB2533623 https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/confirmation.aspx?id=26764

Please give the game a try on the experimental server and let us know what you think! There are a lot of points we'd like to hear your feedback on.

2
Ideas and suggestions / Regarding base roofs (and fog of war)
« on: February 24, 2020, 08:14:31 am »
First, thanks to @Avakyn for editing this text to make it clear and concise.

Roofs for bases (PvP servers)
At first, we wanted to introduce them and thought about it for more than three months before discarding the idea and starting looking for other solutions. Unfortunately, hiding the base completely, including walls, will make the game completely unbalanced for everyone playing PvP.

Here is why:
Currently, the raiding cost is predictable because the base layout is visible. The raiding outcome (the loot) is not unpredictable so there is some risk. If we add the roofs, the raiding cost will also become unpredictable.

The result is raiding is such a high risk that most players will prefer to craft a lot more bombs so they are prepared to ensure they can get into every room (costing much more time to set up a raid) instead of making calculated strikes. This will favor large groups of players who have a larger number of resources and can afford the risk of wasting bombs.

Example
You're a solo player, crafting even a dozen of C4 is hard for you. Currently, you can calculate the number of bombs you need and make a perfect strike. But let's add roofs. You've crafted a reasonable amount of bombs and go to raid and get nothing from it because you did not have enough bombs to destroy that last wall preventing your access to the loot.

There is no way to ensure your bombs will not be wasted. You will raid a few times and quickly conclude that often you get absolutely nothing (as you have not enough bombs). So to make a profit, in the long run, you need to raid much more often—but you cannot craft so many bombs as you're a solo player.

In the end, smaller groups and solo players cannot profit from raiding over time as the risk-reward ratio is too large. Imagine a large group; wasting a few bombs for them is not a problem, so they will raid often and less affected by the random outcome of the raid.
 
Bottomline
Small range risk-reward for raiding (as now) is balanceable and easy to predict. But large range risk-reward for raiding (as with roofs if we add them) is not balanceable, and the first victims of such change would be smaller players and groups. Yes, you would feel more protection with roofs (nobody disputing this). However, the result is that your own raiding capabilities are crippled.

Raids become a lottery with a very high range of risk-reward, where a loss is that you don't get any loot at all. Unlike the current system (without roofs) when you at least could get access to the crates (if you've calculated the number of bombs correctly, which is straightforward as soon as you learn how much bombs the wall worth).

However, that's not the end of the idea. See my next post.

3
Mods / [Client] Magic Carpet (hoverboard art change)
« on: February 13, 2020, 10:39:28 am »
This simple mod will replace hoverboards art with magic carpets!
No other changes. Just for fun :-)



Mod type: Client-side mod.

Latest version: 0.0.1

Supported game version: 0.25.+

Download latest version: here

Changelog:
0.0.1 (13 February 2020)
Public release.

How to install mod:
  • If you are using a Steam version:
    Here is guide for you.
  • If you are using a launcher:
    Open mod file "MagicCarpet.mpk" with launcher. Press 'Yes' to overwrite (if you updating mod). Press yes to activate. Done. Enjoy!
    (Yep, now it's that easy)
  • If you run game client directly:
    Place mod file "MagicCarpet.mpk" in your "Data" -> "Mods" folder. Then go back in "Data" folder and open "ModsConfig.xml"
File "ModsConfig.xml" looks like this:
Code: [Select]
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" standalone="yes"?>
<mods>
  <mod>core_1.0.0</mod>
</mods>
Add following line to enable this mod.
Code: [Select]
<mod>MagicCarpet</mod>Result file looks like this:
Code: [Select]
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" standalone="yes"?>
<mods>
  <mod>core_1.0.0</mod>
  <mod>MagicCarpet</mod>
</mods>

Save the changes. Close the file. Restart the game.

Enjoy the game!

4
News and Updates / CryoFall - Patch notes v0.25.x (Balance Update)
« on: January 23, 2020, 11:19:01 am »
The "Balance Update" is ready for testing! Originally we wanted to release a huge update and call it "Factions Update" but it ended up taking too much time to implement everything considering the scope of changes and that patching of A24 took a lot of our time. So, rather than making you wait longer, we decided to split it into two parts and release all of the balancing changes and some of the new content right now in A25 "Balance Update" (which will NOT require the servers wipe when we release it) and all of the remaining big features later in A26 "Factions Update".

=== CryoFall v0.25.1 (A25 Experimental) ===

New features:
    - Creatures will react with aggression and flee sounds now.
    - Added "Extras" menu which now contains major update history of the game and the update art as well as game credits.

Vehicles:
    - New light mech (now will be called Skipper, the old mech will now be called Manul and it's a medium mech).

Creatures:
    - Completely new tropical boar graphics (to make it easier to see which is which).
    - Creatures will react with aggression and flee sounds now.
   
New structures:
    - Electric cooking stove.
    - Projector tower.
    - Mineral processing plant (to refine ores).
   
New items:
    - Super heavy armor.
    - Refined ores—copper and iron ore concentrates (produced by new mineral processing plant).

Balance changes:
    - Significant changes to technology trees. Especially in T3 and T4.
    - Some small changes to food recipes to make them more logical.
    - Changed A.P.A.R.T. suit to be more useful, it now offers a great defense against heat and psi, making it a good choice for volcano exploration and against energy weapons.
    - Salt charge is now automatically unlocked when unlocking buckshot. No need to spend unnecessary LP.
    - Blank 10mm ammo is now automatically unlocked when unlocking 10mm standard ammo. No need to spend unnecessary LP.
    - Changed crafting time of many recipes (made them faster to craft).
    - Solar panels are now much cheaper to craft!
    - Hygroscopic granules are now much cheaper to craft (they no longer require any pragmium).
    - All ammo in the game is now about 30-40% cheaper to make.
    - The "Learning" skill is now advanced twice as fast, meaning it will be much easier to gain LP in the mid-to-late game.
    - Organic value from cucumbers reduced 5->3, because everyone was planting them to create fertilizer.
    - Tools (axe, pickaxe, toolbox) are made twice cheaper. No reason to farm resources just to craft them, right?
    - Water now boils faster (twice as fast).
    - Brick wall now uses copper instead of iron.
    - Many crafting stations, manufacturers and other structures are now much cheaper.
    - Armored safe has slightly less durability now (35k->30k).
    - Anti-mutation medicine is now cheaper.
    - Tinker table repair efficiency is now higher (even at skill level zero).
    - Canned food and drinks are now unspoilable. Now there is a bit more meaning in having them.
    - Roasted coffee beans now stack up to 100 and don't spoil at all. It was annoying before, right? :-)
    - Anti-heat gel is now unlocked in T3, while Peredozin is now moved to T4. Essentially switching places.
    - Leather and fur are now considered "organic" and can be placed into the mulch box if you don't want them.
    - Brick walls (T3) and above cannot be damaged by melee weapons now. Only by explosives.
    - Hoverboards now use less energy.
    - Significant changes to many technology trees.
    - Vehicles and vehicle components are now cheaper to craft.
    - Changes to medicine. Now you can craft pharmaceutical chemicals at T3 and many recipes are made cheaper.
    - Crafting prices for implants have been changed to represent their usefulness.
    - "Sand from stone" recipe is moved into the new mineral processing plant. Previously it didn't make much sense that you can craft it at a workbench :-)
    - Bone armor is now significantly cheaper.
    - Miner helmet (T2) recipe doesn't require electronic components now.
    - Oilpods give slightly more berries now.
    - Other minor cost changes regarding certain recipes.

Quests changes:
    - Quest "Mastering technologies—part two" reward increased to 250 LP until we find a better solution in the future major updates.
    - Quest "Craft and equip better armor" now clearly stating that you need to equip any better armor, not only a wooden set.
    - Quest "Craft ranged weapon" now requiring crafting either musket or flintlock pistol.
    - Quest "Plant any seeds" will not consider saplings as seeds.
    - Most quests that are requiring to collect items will not reduce the counter when an item is lost (such as when used for crafting).
    - Other minor changes regarding the certain quest requirements.
   
Other changes:       
    - Implemented aggression and flee sound for creatures.
    - Land claim will trigger raidblock on hit even if it has 0 HP.
    - Mech's pilot will receive the mech's explosion damage (about 30-70% of HP depending on the equipped armor).
    - Increased building restriction distance to other players and creatures (10 tiles).
    - Tech tree: added a checkbox "Do not ask me again" for the dialog "Do you want to research <tech name>?"
    - New added status effect (in the bottom left corner) will play a quick animation to ensure it will be noticed.
    - Oil refinery will stop if any of the output liquids (gasoline or mineral oil) are reaching full capacity.
    - Now it's possible to plant bombs directly over the oil/Li deposits.
    - Icons for light structures (such as oil and electrical lamps) now using a sprite for their active (lighting) state.
    - Updated Geothermal spring graphics.
    - Access list in land claims, doors and safes is now sorted alphabetically.
    - Reduced land claim decay delay for demo version players (not depends on the tier of the land claim).
    - Changed hit sound by wooden armor as players were confused (it was the same sound as hitting a tree).
    - Server description now could be edited by the server operator right from the game (Current Game menu).
    - Updated FMOD Sound System to v2.00.07 which fixes certain issues related to audio playback.
    - Added option to configure the tooltips delay.
   
World changes:
(please note, the current experimental server does not yet include the new map)
    - Reworked many areas to be more balanced and feel better overall.
    - Reworked areas around different POI (points of interest) to prevent them from being walled in by land claims or abused in other ways.
    - Expanded desert area.
    - Added more places on the map suitable for large (3*3 or 4*4) bases.
    - Expanded west part of the map.
    - Many other small changes all around.
   
Fixes:
    - Fixed an issue when it was possible to interact with a container through a closed door in a certain position.
    - Fixed a random rare issue with a watering can desync when refilling it from bottles (cannot refill a watering can until reconnect).
    - Cannot start gathering/looting action if the previous action is not completed.
   
Important:
    - Currently, this update is available in the experimental branch (How to connect). Feel free to give it a try!
    - This update will NOT require a server wipe.
    - When deployed on a server of the previous version (A24), the technology tree will be reset and the spent learning points will be refunded by the game server.
    - Community server owners can choose whether to update or not (previous game client version will still be provided via Steam Client "betas").   

And finally, please consider leaving a review for the game on Steam if you haven't done so yet! :)

5
The idea is to provide a way for players to completely protect their base when they are going offline (so players can be 100% certain they would be not raided in offline for the specified period). The mechanic should feel natural and be easy to understand.

It will encourage online raiding, which is way more fun than finding your base raided in the morning, as currently happens with so many players. Also, online raiding provides more options for defense—such as negotiation with raiders, calling for help (especially when we add fractions/alliances), etc. It should also favor smaller bases as a shield for large bases (such as built by large clans) should be more expensive.
PvP servers only (obviously).

S.H.I.E.L.D. == Super-High Impulse Energy Layer of Defense :-)

Activating shield:
  • Players can enable shield for their base from the land claim menu (from any land claim on the base). Basically a new tab with info on how the shield protection works, its electricity consumption, and a toggle button to enable/disable it.
  • It's available starting from T2 land claim.
  • It uses electricity so it's not unlimited. It should last a few days if fully charged. A larger base should require more electricity to protect due to larger coverage so building solar generators and more power storages is a good idea (though larger base already has a penalty on electricity production so maybe it's unnecessary). To make the shield duration predictable we can add "shield buffer" allocating (taking) energy from the power grid (see below) for the shield's exclusive use.
  • Shield requires 15 minutes to "charge" when activated by the player. Electricity consumption is starting immediately. Then the player can wait until shield established to safely logout but it's not required.
  • The shield charging is aborted if the player leaves the base (either walks away or using the "Unstuck" feature, etc). A corresponding notification is displayed. This is required to prevent the case when a player has triggered the shield and runs away from the base.
  • An activation cooldown is applied to ensure the shield cannot be established faster than (for example) 2 hours since the last shutdown. It will prevent abuse of this feature while ensuring the feature usable to most players.
  • Requirement: a player who is trying to enable the shield must have an active bed/respawn point on this base.
  • Requirement: there are should be NO other players inside the base except the players listed as base owners (added to the land claim access list). They can not have a respawn point inside (as to prevent mechanic abuse we need at least a single such player).
  • Requirement: a raid block aborts the shield establishing.

Established shield:
  • Players cannot damage walls and doors.
  • Doors outside the base are completely blocked (even for base owners though they can disable the shield).
  • Base owners are free to use the base as they wish, probably except placing new buildings/blueprints and using a crowbar.
  • To enter/leave the base, the shield should be disabled.
  • To disable the shield, any of the base owners can do this by interacting with any base's land claim or outer doors of the base.
  • Unstuck is blocked when inside the shield-protected base (so it's not possible by all base owners to leave it from inside without disabling the shield).
  • A simple shader effect covering the outer walls and doors with blue translucent energy overlay is necessary to make it clear that the base is under the shield.

+ Pros:
  • Hard to abuse while actually playing the game—players need to leave the base often, so they would disable the shield.
  • Not possible to keep it active while leaving the base. While another player on the base could switch the shield after you leave, charging takes a while. Plus we can make the charging process much more expensive (power consumption-wise) than the charged shield's operation, making frequent switches unreasonable. We can also make a cooldown—activating shield is possible only an hour after the shield was disabled the last time.
  • Hard to abuse by large clans for large bases—players in such large groups usually play in a different time so they have to keep the shield down for much longer and keep it vulnerable for raids.
  • Players can establish long protection if they want to leave the game for several days or even a week—if they have enough power storages and generation to support the active shield.
  • We can make that shield is not providing 100% protection, but simply makes raiding much more expensive by making bombs damage much lower. This option could be a server rate setting for community servers.

- Cons:
  • It's not possible to simultaneously protect more than a single base by a single player this way. Anyway playing PvP solo is not a good idea so it's probably fine as long as your primary base is safe.
  • Possible to abuse via alt characters—a T2 base with a power grid and enough resources could be built by primary characters, and alt character (with a respawn point inside that base) can be used to trigger the shield at any time. There are no any (such tech/skill/playtime) requirements for the character itself.
  • Charging takes a while so some players might find this annoying, but most players can find a lot of things to do for that time: crafting, building, organizing items, simply chatting. So should not be an issue.
  • Some PvP players might prefer shields that a vulnerable at least once a day. It could be done by limiting the max number of hours per last 24 (or 32 hours) the shield could be active but it will be not welcomed by players who want to leave the base safe for a weekend or holidays/short vacation.

6
Mods / [Client] Hide quests panel mod
« on: December 06, 2019, 09:00:22 pm »
This simple mod will hide the quests panel in the top right corner.
Please note this is advised to finish all the quests to better understand all the game features and mechanics!
Some players already know the game well and don't wish to finish them, so this mod might be useful.
In the future mods like this would be easily installable from Steam Workshop.

Mod type: Client-side mod.

Latest version: 0.1.2

Supported game version: 0.24.8.1

Download latest version: here

Changelog:
0.1.2 (7 December 2019)
Public release.

How to install mod:
  • If you are using a Steam version:
    Here is guide for you.
  • If you are using a launcher:
    Open mod file "NoQuestsPanel.mpk" with launcher. Press 'Yes' to overwrite (if you updating mod). Press yes to activate. Done. Enjoy!
    (Yep, now it's that easy)
  • If you run game client directly:
    Place mod file "NoQuestsPanel.mpk" in your "Data" -> "Mods" folder. Then go back in "Data" folder and open "ModsConfig.xml"
File "ModsConfig.xml" looks like this:
Code: [Select]
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" standalone="yes"?>
<mods>
  <mod>core_1.0.0</mod>
</mods>
Add following line to enable this mod.
Code: [Select]
<mod>NoQuestsPanel_0.1.2</mod>Result file looks like this:
Code: [Select]
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" standalone="yes"?>
<mods>
  <mod>core_1.0.0</mod>
  <mod>NoQuestsPanel_0.1.2</mod>
</mods>

Save the changes. Close the file. Restart the game.

Enjoy the game!

7
致中国玩家的重要消息。

我们需要对8月14日在EU1服务器上发生的误解进行澄清。

我们的游戏机制之一出了问题。许多玩家都报告了这件事,引起了我们的注意。

土地占领系统允许在其他玩家的基地周围很容易地放置T1占领(价格只有4块石头和4棵树木,只需不到5分钟的游戏时间即可获得),防止基地的所有者扩大基地。这种土地占领无法破坏,因为摧毁它需要24小时以上,而在此期间很容易将其修复。
遗憾的是,一些玩家开始大规模滥用土地占领系统,将T1占领放置于其他玩家的基地周围。这并非土地占领系统的本意。该系统原本预期的用途仅用于建立基地,游戏本身已经在您完成游戏任务时对此进行了解释。

我们已经通知玩家,将会更改土地占领机制,以防止这种破坏游戏规则的漏洞。同时,我们要求移除这类土地占领。实际上,管理员已经因为拥有基地的玩家的举报,删除了若干这种建在其他玩家基地附近的空白T1占领。T2和非空白的T1占领没有被移除,因此玩家并未因管理员的该行为损失任何东西(除了与4块石头和4棵树等价的极少数可忽略不计的资源外)。

正如承诺,12小时后,我们部署了一个补丁以更改T1土地占领的建造机制,减少其生命值并将摧毁计时器减少到1小时。它解决了这个漏洞,防止了进一步滥用,因为如果玩家本身出现在自己的基地附近,就可以轻易摧毁这些土地占领。游戏管理员将不再移除任何T1占领,玩家可以根据需要建造它们。

我们希望中国玩家能够理解,我们的目的是为每个人提供公平的游戏,包括中国玩家在内。

此外,一些中国玩家抱怨说,我们无权在服务器上调整游戏玩法。这种说法并不正确,请见服务器的欢迎消息,其中明确指出:“遵从服务器管理员的安排。”我们会尽力改进游戏。

我们需要澄清的另一个重要事项是,许多中国玩家报告他们遇到了网络连接不良和连接数量下降的问题,并指责我们故意阻止他们。我们并没有阻止任何人,这个问题是中国到欧洲的网络连接质量导致的。中国互联网服务提供商无法完全保证国际网络连接质量,有时网络情况相当不好。我们对此无法采取任何措施,因为国际网络路由并不是由我们控制的。我们从一些玩家那里听说,在中国使用流量加速器或VPN有助于通过更好的网络路由访问欧洲网络,使连接更稳定,并减少ping,但我们对这些第三方服务没有特别的推荐。

无论如何,我们总是竭尽全力为每个地区的玩家提供最优质的服务。对于中国大陆的玩家,我们提供在北京托管的官方中国服务器,通过与中国电信和中国联通的网络对等互连,确保完美的网络连接。

我们希望误解现已得到澄清,您可以尽情畅享游戏!

8
Bug reports / You have a bad connection? Let's check and fix!
« on: August 14, 2019, 05:05:25 am »
Hello!

If you have any issues with the network connection (ping too high, disconnects), we could help you investigate the issue if you provide some information regarding the route from your PC to the game server:
1. download this tool http://atomictorch.com/Files/WinMTR.exe
2. launch it and enter the game server IP address (without the port) as you see it in the game servers list (for example see this image, the IP address is underlined in green color).
3. post send your TXT results to support@atomictorch.com together with your IP address (you can get it from Google). We will quickly investigate and reply.

Regards!

9
Servers / Steps to update the game server to the latest version
« on: April 26, 2019, 01:47:08 pm »
Hello!

Steps to update the game server:
1. Ensure you've made a backup of the "Data" folder inside the game server installation.
2. Download the new version of the server and overwrite your current installation with it (you can find the actual download link on this page http://wiki.atomictorch.com/CryoFall/Server/Setup section "Installation").
3. Place ServerIcon.png file in "Data" folder if you want to have a custom icon instead of default one (should be 64 KB max size).
4. Start as usual.

Your "Data" contains the server settings file and world savegame so you will not lose anything.
BTW, now it's possible to adjust the server rates! Just edit the "ServerRates.config" file in "Data" folder!

Regards!

10
News and Updates / CryoFall - Patch notes v0.21.x (Survivors Update)
« on: April 26, 2019, 10:25:13 am »
The first update after Steam Early Access release is available now! Announcement in Steam

=== CryoFall v0.21.0 ===

New major features and improvements:
    - Newbie protection — the game provides 4 hours (counted only when the player is online) to help newbies with building the first base and crafting the necessary gear. All new player characters will have light blue nicknames with a shield icon so you could easily recognize them. A newbie cannot damage other players and still could be killed by non-newbie players but they will not drop any loot and will not lose any learning points. In case of non-player related death (killed by a creature, thirst, radiation, etc), newbie will lose LP and drop full loot as usual, but it could be taken back only by its owner so it's a minor annoyance. There are several other restrictions (like bomb planting is not possible by a newbie). The newbie protection could be canceled in the social menu at any time.
    - Damage tracking — the respawn menu has been expanded to include a list of the recent damage sources — such as creatures, players, harmful items and status effect (including names of players who have damaged you, even if you were offline).
    - Deconstruction with the crowbar will return a small part of the resources spent on building.
    - Visibility of nicknames and healthbars is now limited during the night and depends on the light sources nearby. Watch your steps! You might run into a dangerous creature — or a sneaky player. Night-vision and artificial retina implant are much more valuable items now!
    - Implemented resource contesting mechanics for Oil/Li resource spots. Notification about the spawned Oil/Li location will be displayed to players who have Xenogeology tech unlocked. Resource cannot be claimed earlier than 30 minutes so players have to fight for the resource. And, as previously, the resource spot is decaying over time and during extraction, and also could be exploded — it will respawn within 2 hours.
    - PvP damage is reduced by half so PvP skirmishes will take twice as long and will be less random.
    - Friendly fire for party members is disabled now.
    - Status effect tooltips expanded to include all the applied effects (such as move speed, health regeneration, woodcutting speed, etc).
    - Servers: server rates now editable in a separate config file (16 various rates—such as damage in PvP, damage to/by creatures, bombs damage, skill experience gain multiplier, learning points gain multiplier, woodcutting and mining speed, etc).

Improvements:
    - Restricted building near other players which are not members of your party (no more Fortnite-style construction fights, sorry, guys! :-) )
    - Status effects in HUD now displaying their intensity as a percent number under the icon.
    - Ability to deconstruct and repair buildings inside the owned land claim grace area (gray color) except the cases when there is an intersection with other player land claim area (red color).
    - Cybernetic affinity skill now properly works by gaining experience over time while implant is installed (when player is online). It also receives additional experience when implant is installed/uninstalled.
    - Switching the weapon in the hotbar will take a short delay.
    - Added new server console commands useful for community servers to use with social events: /admin.giveawayLP, /admin.giveawayItem, and /player.addLP.
    - Sort private chats by recent date — newer chats to bottom (closer to local/global).
    - Chat tabs list — always scroll to end on opening (to the latest private chats and local/global chat).
    - Chat room will not play any sounds if it's not currently visible.
    - Chat message context menu includes "Copy name" now.
    - Chat current tab will receive "unread dot" indicator until you explicitly open it (by pressing Enter key).
    - Ammo tooltip added for ammo icon over the weapon slot in hotbar.
    - Repair config is validated now — error if the item is not used during building, error if the item count during building is lower than the repair total count for this item.
    - Modding: scripts will recompile when any txt file changes (to help with localization text editing)
    - Creative mode player can open the land claim window and edit the access list.
    - Creative mode player can edit doors and crates access list and access mode.
    - Creative mode player can edit signs in any land claim area.
    - Creative mode player can manage any trading station like its owner.
    - Сreative mode player can deconstruct a land claim instantly (without destroy timer).
    - Console command to spawn/destroy static object at position or all around the player: /world.place, /world.destroy

(the patch notes are so long that we have to split on two posts)

11
New CryoFall update is finally live now!

This time it doesn't include any new content or features, but it introduces incredibly important technical change - and that is full support for localization!
We will provide the localization tool for making unofficial localizations soon (we need to decide which languages will receive official localization).

=== CryoFall v0.19.1 ===

Major new features and changes:
   - Full localization support. Now any part of the game can be translated into other languages. This includes both: game content and any UI elements.

Changes & improvements:
   - You can now change key binding to open developer console.
   - Increased distance for weapon shot and hit sounds as well as destruction sounds.
   - Pain doesn't prevent health regeneration now.
   - Implemented tooltip show delay to make UI less noisy when you move the cursor over multiple item slots, etc.
   - Added additional checks to make sure "respawn near your bed" cannot respawn you in a location that is not suitable (e.g. rad towns, water, etc.).
   - Made sure oil/Li spots wouldn't spawn too close to players' land claims.
   - Accurate running animation speed.
   - General performance and quality improvements.     

Fixes:
   - Fixed performance degradation with item tooltips after several hours related to item tooltips (thanks @PanBanan, @KaypeX).
   - Fixed radiation and heat post-effects screen noise.

Important:
   - The world has been wiped. Enjoy a fresh start!
   - If you host a game server - please update to the latest version (the savegame from <game root>/Data folder should be deleted manually as the game will be unable to load it due to incompatibilities between the versions).
   - If you have any compilation errors on launch - please disable any mods you have installed. You could also contact mod authors to ask them to update their mods to the latest specification defined in A19.

12
Game discussion / Is hacking/cheating possible in CryoFall?
« on: November 13, 2018, 12:25:40 am »
TL;DR:
No, hacks are NOT possible in CryoFall as it uses authoritative-server model and any client-side changes are irrelevant.


And now, the longer version below:

The issue
Some players have asked us about potential hacking/cheating in CryoFall. Whether it is possible and what our approach is.


The bigger picture
Such concerns are expected nowadays - there are multitude broken online games released in the past few years. If fact, cheating is almost expected in multiplayer / online games nowadays. And even big successful games like Fortnite and PUBG are suffering from cheaters and their developers are even suing the cheaters. Mass-blocking the accounts of players suspected in cheating is something people are already used to.

Naturally, why would anyone expect a new indie project from a small team to be any different? But in reality the above mentioned problem doesn't have to be the case!


The simple reality
We're using authoritative server architecture which means that the server never trusts the client - it simply executes a limited set of allowed input commands and runs its own world simulation.

Normally this approach means that the client will have to wait for any changes to take effect but in our case the latency is concealed by using the client side prediction algorithms (basically client-side simulation for player movement and most of the actions including items management).

The server also doesn't send any information the client which it should not be receiving. For example, your visual scope is limited by server and attempting to hack the client to zoom out the camera more will provide no benefits as the server simply doesn't stream the world objects and characters outside the visual scope of your character on the server side. It means that the "map hack" (or any other hacks for that matter) not impossible.


Benefits of open source
Please also note, that all the game-related code is fully open source and its possible to see how everything is done and understand how it actually works.

It also means that any person could try to locate the places where we might have forgotten to put some necessary checks (which is quite unlikely, but could still be the case). There are dozens of remote procedures (such as "eat food") and we have multiple checks there to ensure that you met all the prerequisites to invoke such an action for the particular item in your current character's state.

As the code is available in open source it means that there will be many eyes reviewing the code and reporting any of the possible exploits - something which could never be possible with a closed source game.


Hacking attempts
Since the game has full support for client side modding it is possible to make any client-side changes. Some "hackers" may be impressed by the "results" they get with their attempts - like increasing their health points, weapon fire rate, inventory capacity or setting the technologies unlock price to zero.

But naturally, such changes could not be propagated to the server as it has its own persistent state inaccessible to players and running independent world simulation with it. There will be a discrepancy with the server and that's it - the server will not agree to the hacker's actions and they will have no actual effect what so ever.

The only one such "hacks" will fool is the hacker himself :)


Is there ANY hacks/exploits that are possible then?
This leaves us with really only one class of exploits which are still technically possible and that is bots and aimbots to assist players with the game. Yes, it's perfectly possible to write a bot that would automate certain action (e.g. gathering items) or assist in performing other actions (aiming).

Yes, these types of mods are possible and we neither could nor want to prevent this. The game is moddable to the maximum extent possible and there is no way of preventing this kind of modding without removing the modding capability altogether. But given real impact of such modifications there isn't much actual harm. Not to mention - all of these mods are available publicly and could be used by anyone. And we are even considering making some of them a part of the base game to remove the last reason to even attempt to do something like that.


Conclusion
The bottom line is, there is really no possibility for cheats in CryoFall due the authoritative server model we are using. Hopefully with this approach - CryoFall could be one of the very few games where there are no cheaters and everyone plays under the same rules! :)

Regards!

13
News and Updates / CryoFall - Patch notes v0.16.x (Tropical Update)
« on: September 25, 2018, 08:03:35 am »
New CryoFall update is finally live now!

We are looking forward to your YouTube videos and specifically let's plays as well as Twitch streams!

Don't forget to join and follow our social channels and websites:
   - Discord server: https://discord.gg/pRMGjRz
   - Forums: http://forums.atomictorch.com/ (this forum)
   - Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/cryofall/
   - Twitter list: https://twitter.com/Lurlerrr/lists/atomictorch-studio
   - Official website: http://cryofall.com/
   - Development blog: https://atomictorch.com/

Now, without further ado, let's see what's new in this version.

=== CryoFall v0.16.1 ===

New features:
   - "Unstuck!" button added to inventory. It can help in the case when you're trapped in a house or simply want to respawn without dying and losing your items (takes 5 minutes countdown and you should stay still otherwise the request will be cancelled).
   - Structures decay is finally implemented! It has 24 hours delay after which decay starts and in 24 hours the structure will decay completely (taking damage every 5 minutes). Buildings inside the land claim area are protected from the decay. The land claim building itself will start decaying if the land owner doesn't visit the land claim area for 24 hours. The timer is reset whenever you enter your claimed area. After this land claim decay timer starts (with duration depending on the land claim tier). If it's not repaired it will decay completely and all the buildings in the destroyed land claim area will start decaying in 24 hours as usual. This should help with abandoned bases and structures significantly!
   - Now it's possible to deconstruct blueprints and get all the spent resources back. Hold the interact button (right mouse button by default). No crowbar or any tool is required. Only possible on blueprints in your land claim or in the non-claimed area. Very useful if you accidentally place the blueprint in incorrect position.
   - Destroyed walls now display as such. So you can see that they have been actually destroyed. Destroyed wall can be quickly deconstructed with the crowbar tool (even if they're located in another player's land claim area). It's possible to build over the destroyed walls without the deconstruction.

New content:
   - New tropical biome with all new content! New plants (e.g. pineapple), trees (e.g. banana tree),  new animals (tropical boar), etc.
   - Wall system has been completely rewritten from scratch!
   - New wall tier - reinforced bricks.
   - New oil-berry bush. You can extract petroleum from its fruits!
   - New plants in the desert biome (cactus).
   - You can get cactus flesh and craft cactus drink or eat it as-is.
   - Several new quests and updated existing quests.
   - New neural implant that gives 50 LP upon usage. It's quite expensive though.
   - Added world map icons for important resources (petroleum and lithium).
   - Added tobacco farming, drying and production of several cigar types.
   - Many other additions, recipes, items, objects, etc.

Changes:
   - Significantly expanded the world map. Main change is the introduction of tropical areas, but other areas have been expanded as well.
   - Crowbar tool moved to Tier 1 technologies (Industry group) as players requested to get access to it as early as possible in the game.
   - Rebalanced radtowns to make their loot be a bit more reasonable.
   - Rebalanced several recipes resource requirements (especially cloth items).
   - Updated certain visuals (e.g. walls, several trees, grass, etc.).
   - All walls now have proper physical colliders (depending on the actual shape of the wall).
   - Saplings cannot be planted right next to other trees/saplings anymore, one tile padding is required now (to prevent "impenetrable forests" and "tree walls" :) ).
   - Now it's impossible to remove yourself from the owners list of the land claim building, door, etc. Ask another owner to remove you.
   - Plantings a plant (from seed) will repair the farm plot automatically (if it's damaged; for free).
   - Tooltip for the technology node is improved to display the reason why it cannot be unlocked (such as not enough LP or requires another technology as a prerequisite).
   - Respawn window redesigned to make it more straightforward.
   - Increased LP award for the first dozen of quests from 2 to 3 LP.
   - Completed quests (awaiting the LP claim) will be much more noticeable in the quest tracking UI.
   - Added heavy weapon experience for bomb planting.
   - Heavy weapon skill now offers "bomb installation speed increase".
   - Removed damage bonus from heavy weapon skill (it was never actually used).
   - Better error notification when you attempt to edit the sign text in another player's land claim area.
   - Added recipe to produce fibers from plastic so late game players have access to more fibers at the cost of resources.
   - Removed intermediary levels for land claims.
   - Big strength boosters now have more benefits (e.g. time, price) compared to small boosters, as small boosters are currently more convenient due to their short duration.
   - Rebalanced toxin drop rate and recipe prices.
   - Rebalanced all 10mm bullets to make sure that different bullet types actually have different effects.
   - Changed coin recipe to make penny coin more valuable.
   - Lithium sources are now relatively far away from oil sources to prevent players from claiming both.

Fixes:
   - Multiple spelling errors and typos.
   - The "Official" server tag sometimes disappeared until server list refresh.
   - Fixed an issue when the game client is unable to connect to the server with the different mods configuration (thanks @Djekke).
   - The game will display a proper error message when it's launched on 32-bit Windows (which is not supported).
   - Game stuck on the loading screen for particular Windows Region settings due to unability to parse the shader by the MonoGame Effect compiler (thanks @alsvartr).
   - Fixed inaccessible mining area in the desert region (thanks @Daitalica).



=== CryoFall v0.16.2 ===

Changes:
   - Land claims now have an "access" list instead of owners list. Now there can only be one "owner" - the player who constructed the claim.
   - The above change now allows land claims intersection during building and upgrading if the land claim owner is the same player (it's possible now because the owner cannot be changed).
   - Introduced land claim limit. Each land claim technology tier will raise the limit up by one more land claim (so you can have max 4 land claims at any one time).
   - Land claim structure points rebalanced (1k, 5k, 15k, 30k for T1-T4 respectively, armor value increased for T3, T4).
   - Updated map (there were multiple issues with hill slopes, as well as  some incorrect spawning for certain objects).
   - Updated radtown spawn balance (some of the values were incorrect resulting in excessive spawn rates).

Fixes:
   - Fixed bug when the dropped player loot disappeared in 0-5 minutes instead of 1 hour (it was related to the building decay system).
   - Fixed raycast bug when characters can hit other players and objects through the walls and doors.
   - Door physics adjusted to match visuals. Also fixed door rendering offset (it was a little bit off).


Important:
   - The world has been wiped. Enjoy a fresh start!
   - If you host the game server - please update it (the savegame from <game root>/Data folder should be deleted manually as the game will be unable to load it due to incompatibilities between the versions).



=== CryoFall v0.16.3 ===

Changes:
   - Implemented a cooldown for the bed respawn to address the respawn exploit. Bedroll have 4 minute respawn cooldown and beds 2 minutes.
   - Rebalanced pickaxes & axes in regards to using them for purposes other than they were designed to (basically they shouldn't be used as weapons or raiding tools).
   - Increased wall protection for all tiers to make it more difficult to raid with melee attacks.
   - Crafting system will attempt to spawn the crafted item to an existing stack in the hotbar (if any).
   - Herbal remedy is also craftable in the Medical Laboratory now.
   - Server description now can be selected and copy-pasted (useful for links and other data).
   - Adding custom server by public GUID now supported (you can copy public guid by clicking on it in the servers menu, you can also find it in the ServerSettings.xml file after the server started). Useful for sharing private servers.

Fixes:
   - When adding a new owner to the landclaim, it was listed twice for this player only (until reconnected).

Important:
   - No wipe with this update. Enjoy the game!
   - If you host the game server - please update it (the savegame from <game root>/Data folder should be deleted manually as the game will be unable to load it due to incompatibilities between the versions).

14
Modding info / Modding prerequisites (Visual Studio 2019)
« on: April 30, 2018, 02:25:36 am »
You can develop mods by using Client or Server, but we suggest to use CryoFall Editor as it including both Client and Server in a single executable (and some other awesome developer features as well)!
If you own the game on Steam you can download CryoFall Editor from Steam.
If you have an atomictorch.com account and own the game you could download CryoFall Editor from My Games and Items page.

  • Install Visual Studio 2019 (any edition, including free Community edition). Enable .NET desktop development, but before continuing installation, please ensure that you've checked ".NET Framework 4.7.1 targeting pack".
  • If you already have VS2019 installed, please launch Visual Studio Installer -> Modify -> Individual components—and ensure that ".NET Framework 4.7.1 targeting pack" is checked and installed.
  • Download and install CryoFall Modding SDK extension
  • Extract <game folder>/Core/Core.cpk archive file - you can do this by executing a CMD script located in the same folder. If you prefer to extract it manually (it's a simple Zip archive), please delete the original file after extraction and rename the extracted folder to "Core.cpk".

After that, you can open the game solution file with VS2019. It's located in <game folder>/Core/Core.cpk/.


A few important notes:
  • The CryoFall custom game engine (called Renkei) supports live reloading of C# & XAML code (as well as all the visual and audio assets) so it's not necessary to restart the game to observe the changes!
  • XAML Designer is not supported (though it can work fine in most cases) and it's recommended to disable it (Visual Studio Options, XAML designer, uncheck "Enable XAML Designer").
  • If you want to debug your code with breakpoints, please go to Visual Studio Options, Debugging, uncheck "Require source files to exactly match the original version" (because the game includes C# compiler which performs some code-generation and so resulting C# files do not match the original C# files - but it's not a problem for step-by-step debugging as the C# code lines kept intact).

If you're intending to make just a customized game server (custom rates, etc) and don't want to produce any mods, please follow this guide (scroll to end).

Regards!

15
Hi guys,

A few players asked me why we decided to use 2D character art with only 2 views (front and back + mirroring).

Before answering that question I'd like to share our requirements for the character system:
  • All player characters should have distinct appearance, so players can easily distinguish between them in the game.
  • The characters should have configurable faces constructed from multiple parts (face "shape", upper and lower face parts, hair, skin, color, etc.).
  • The character faces should always be as visible as possible. For example, if the game was top-down we would never be able to see the characters faces, and in isometric view, players would only see really small faces without much details and without much customization).
  • All the clothing and equipment should be visible on the character (and it shouldn't be simple recoloring or texture swaps).
  • It should be relatively easy to add new content into the game - including faces, clothing, equipment, etc. Let me reiterate - it must be so easy that even modders who are not artists should be able to throw something together in Paint.
  • It should be relatively easy to animate characters.
  • The resulting assets file sizes should be reasonably compact.

We've considered three approaches to characters art during the pre-production:

1. All characters made completely in 3D:
This will require modeling of the characters, clothing, equipment and even hair. In some cases, it will be possible to reuse the models and just redraw textures, however drawing textures in unwrapped view is hard.
The projection will be 3D isometric or similar and players will not see much of the details in face styles and equipment.
Animating 3D models is also really hard and requires special (quite complex for novice modders) applications.
It's hard to match the style of other (2D) art in the game - buildings, terrain, etc.
And it's plainly difficult to integrate 3D rendering with 2D rendering from the programming point of view.
Good thing - it allows more views/directions and smoother transitions between them.
Conclusion: doesn't satisfy several important requirements

2. Prerendered 3D characters exported as 2D spritesheets (like old-school RPGs and some newer indie games)
Obviously, it has all the drawbacks of the previous solution PLUS it doesn't satisfy size requirements as it will require hell lot of images (many frames multiplied on many views multiplied on many different clothes and equipment).

3. Use 2D character art with front and back views only (+ mirroring)
This is the chosen solution, completely satisfying all our requirements!
The only drawback is that the amount of views/directions is very limited, but it's an acceptable compromise - we've tried hard to keep it looking stylized and fun.
With this solution, it's very easy to add new content into the game. You just need to draw a bunch of sprites to add a completely unique face style, clothing or equipment item into the game. You can even use Paint, but we recommend using Photoshop and our special Photoshop template and export scripts (which we will make available later). The game itself is able to automatically reload ANY changed image file and so you can draw-save-try-redraw-save as long as you want and check how it looks in the game.

So, is that it?
No! Our animation engine actually allows for much smoother animations and sprite mesh deformations, so you can expect much better animations in the future when we can set aside couple of months specifically for this task. We will come back to that in a year or so and hopefully make our character system even better.

Regards!

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