Alpha 24 – download at your peril (probably)

New map, new telenode, new…

New map!

Or, rather, an old map. Pevel has updated Perseus for Unvanquished, taking the opportunity to improve the layout and the lighting and (of course) make use of the much better texturing possibilities.

New telenode!

Shiny new telenode model from Warvinc. The beam effect’s still there; but, like the medical station’s healing aura, it’s normally not visible.

Telenode and Reactor setting off on a tour of Perseus

New filesystem code

This got a complete overhaul. It’s now cleaner and it handles files much more strictly. See ”Big changes to the filesystem” for more info. Basically, the files have been re-arranged somewhat and are stored in a different directory; profiles are no more; there are new naming schemes for .pk3 contents; and we have .pk3 dependencies.

Things may be a bit broken as a result. All being well, any such breakage will be fixed over the next month or two.

Those changes mean that this is a good time to do a .pk3 clean-up and merge. We’re throwing out a lot of old, unused resources. Consequently, plenty to download this month – and there’ll be more cleanup once we’ve got the remaining problems with pre-compressed textures (DXTn and the like, so that we can avoid having to decompress them for sending to the GPU) sorted out.

You’re likely to need to copy some files from the old location to the new one – those of you who use the Unvanquished packages for Debian or Ubuntu should find that their identification and key bindings are retained (if not, it just means that the migration script saw something already there) – and, unless you were using the defaults, you’ll need to check your settings.

Gameplay changes

If you’re using the armoury via the UI, as new players will, you’ll see some improvements. Buy an item, and all conflicting items will be sold – so switching weapons is now a lot faster. Also, items which you can’t afford and carried items which conflict with what you want to buy are marked in red.

Tyrants can slash a little faster, but basilisks no longer draw power from humans’ power sources. Grangers can build any structure (so long as that type is unlocked), but they still can’t wall-walk without being the advanced form. Humans can buy light armour at the start of the game. Buildings, when placed, now have 25% of their total health.

The minimum time for which items, buildables or classes are guaranteed to be unlocked is halved to 30 seconds. You gain less momentum for destroying enemy buildings and a little more for enemy players. Basic income is gone.

Rendering changes

We’ve added an extra preset, “Dlights, no fx”, to the video quality options menu. This is intended for hardware such as older laptops which can run the GL3 renderer but struggle somewhat – if you get less than 30fps, you probably want this option, which should allow for rendering speeds close to those of the older renderer.

Configuration changes

Configuration settings are no longer saved if they haven’t been changed. There’s still a work-in-progress element here – we don’t yet have reset buttons in the menus, but if you know the name of the console variable used for that setting, you can /reset it.

A few important things to note here regarding variables…

  • /foo bar sets foo to “bar” and marks it as to be saved. (This still requires that foo already exists.)
  • /set foo bar sets foo to “bar”, creating it if needed. Certain variables will be marked as to be saved; most won’t.
  • /listcvars has corresponding output changes – if the flag list contains ‘a’, the variable will be saved if its value is changed. If it instead contains ‘A’, the variable is marked as to be saved.
  • /reset will clear the ‘to be saved’ flag of each variable it’s told to reset.

Misc changes

There have been a lot of small fixes and improvements. A few more console commands have completion support, and some command output has been tidied up. Mouse pointer movement should be much improved. A lot of potential bugs (mostly harmless, I suspect) have been fixed…

Reactor, you’d like the lighting here. Signed, Telenode.