Alpha 5.4 Released!


  • Performance

    • Upgraded the server to .Net 4.6.2. If you are running under mono on Linux or OSX, you may need the current beta of mono (4.8)
    • Trees on the minimap are now batched, which should result in improved performance
    • Improved performance of visibility checks for world chunks (Thanks @ChronosWS!)
    • Pooled plant objects for faster instantiation (Thanks @ChronosWS!)
    • Updated speedtree shaders to use instanced rendering. This should dramatically improve performance for most users, if their GPU supports it (DX11 / OpenGL 4.1)

    Bug Fixes

    • Further improvements to chat functionality and channels. Should fix numerous cases of messages becoming missing.
    • Fixed problem with renderscale slider that caused unnecessary render target creation every frame.
    • Fixed issue with world objects where sometimes the crafting timers did not properly count down.
    • Fixed vehicles not remembering how efficient they are on various terrain after a reload of the server.
    • Fix plant highlighting when the highlighted plant changed shape during highlight
    • Fixed a stack overflow issue on some machines due to expression compilation
    • Fixed an issue with the chunk builder when building meshes that had more than 65534 vertices.

    New Features

    • Oil is now a finite resource. Fixed numerous issues with harvesting oil with pumpjacks.
    • Real effects for diving underwater.
    • Beginnings of animations for character avatars
    • New block effects
    • Added mouse sensitivity control
    • Triggered the freshness (Thanks @stett!)
    • Improved block targeting and placement cursor
    • Backup plugin now saves its config, and has settings for frequency of backups to keep

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  • For those who are getting a chance to play with the 5.4 release, I'd really appreciate if you took note of any performance issues you are still having, and in particular if you can accurately describe the scenarios under which performance degrades. I only have limited time and resources to devote to testing, so detailed descriptions of where, when and under what conditions you see poor framerates would be useful. If you can share a world file and the coordinates where it happens, so much the better.

    There are some things we already know will contribute to low framerates, described below:

    • The longer your view distance, the more stuttering you will see when moving. While we have greatly improved this, the simply fact is that long view distances increases the number of chunks which must be instantiated exponentially (roughly as the square of the view distance.) On my personal machine (3.2ghz, 980Ti, 32gb ram), I see good consistent performance at about half the maximum view distance. Longer distances will maintain good framerates due to other improvements, but the frames will start to stutter more.

    • The client does not purge unused chunks from memory yet. If you go on a long sojourn, memory allocations will accumulate. While this memory isn't bad per-se (we don't actively access it if the chunks aren't actually in view) it can put pressure on your machine as a whole causing the OS to start paging. This can severely reduce performance. We will be addressing that in a future update.

    • While I haven't investigated it personally, I suspect there are circumstances where significant data must be transferred from the server when things get updated - especially in busy cities. If you see this behavior, I'd like to know more details. These can cause frame stutters for two reasons: 1) if we have to create a lot of new objects to display and they don't benefit from the new pooling optimizations, Unity can choke a bit, and 2) many of these kinds of updates result in lots of memory allocations which the game must then clean up - and those cleanups will directly cause frame stutters.

    • Another possibility are actual memory leaks - objects we create but never destroy even though we don't need them. If you regularly encounter a situation where you are staying within a relatively small area but your memory continues to grow without bound, we'd like to know about it.

    Again, thanks to everyone who is testing and special thanks to those of you who have provided us with bug reports and good repro scenarios. And as always, thanks for your patience and continued support. :)



  • A question about updating, do i keep the the current world or do i need to start over again



  • @JonniB You can keep the current world.
    I wrote instructions how to upgrade from 5.3 to 5.4 in this topic here:
    http://ecoforum.strangeloopgames.com:4567/topic/1484/mono-ubuntu-16-ecoserver-5-4-cbfbea3a-crash/16

    (inscructions for linux is in the same topic if you scroll up)



  • @ChronosWS

    1. Hardware: Amd Phenom II X4 @3.2Ghz, 16gb ram, Amd Rx460
    2. Os: Win7.
    3. World size: 100x100 ( default worldgen config exept for seed number )
    4. Game settings ( See screenshot )
    5. Umm... just open minimap and fps drops from 60 down to... 20-ish in 5.3 and 5.4 the lagg eventualy makes dragging items from a chest to hotbar make the box it's suppose to be dropped in feels like it's moving to one of the corners... i dont feel any minimap preformance boosts unless i turn the minimap detale to the lowest possible setting and i did not realy have much issues in 5.3 on that low setting so i dont feel a diffrance in 5.4 because of that.
      So i just use the minimap to get my bearing and then i close it again... atleast the crash or server kick issue when closing the minimap is gone.

    Screenshot:
    Quality.jpg



  • @tbbw82 In windows I was able to just extract the new server and move over my Config and Storage folder from the old server to the new server. I went from a 5.3 to a 5.4 staging build, and then the 5.4 alpha that way, and it has kept all of the progress that the players on my server have made. I just logged in and let them know I was updating the server and to go down load the newest version, and then the update took a total of 5 minutes tops, because I wanted to toss in a reboot of the VM itself before updating the server.

    Public Server: [US EAST] Apex Pioneers | v5.4 | 24/7 | discord.gg/xZgeH6p



  • Some info that may be of use concerning the mini map.
    If you turn off the filter for player land claims( firepit,workbench,etc...), there is little to no stuttering anymore.
    I was able to whiz around the world map easily in full screen.
    Noticed this today with the 5.3 build.



  • @Talus Glad the upgrade worked out for you :)

    @RedVenom i'll try that to see how much diffrance it is for me :)



  • Speaking of testing, would anyone here mind me running an account on their reasonably-populated server for the purpose of performance investigations? I wouldn't be playing or contributing to the economy, just running around the world doing profiling. Let me know in privmsg if you are open to that. Thanks.



  • Here's something that contributes to low framerates: Too many animals in one location. I don't know why, but on the server I play on, there are tons of hares, bison, and elk congregated into one area and it just slows down everything. Somebody on the server told me that happens often, because they end up getting chased into one spot by players over time.



  • @ReignDance We got a simular issue but with elks, all you need to do to get rid of em is run a blast furnance for about an hour or two and plants will start to die and the elks run off to some other place.



  • Look forward to the next update



  • The new bold font on things hurts the eyes.


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