Sporadic Naev Newsletter Vol. 3
Rather than waiting 10 years again from the previous edition of our sporadic naev newsletter, we’ve only let 2 years pass this time. In this edition, we’ll talk about some improvements in 0.10.0 that may have gone under the radar, and the upcoming 0.11.0 release.
State of 0.11.0
With a ton of commits and content since 0.10.0, things are starting to shape up for 0.11.0. This release has focused greatly on reworking and improving existing systems by bringing up to modern standards. In particular, things such as how weapons are implemented, how ship stats are dealt with, autonav internals, npc/news/derelict internals, reworking old missions into the visual novel system, etc. have been mainly rewritten to improve shortcomings. While this is not really visible in the end product directly, it has enabled a lots of new features and improved the overall robustness of the game.
However, this release is much more than just elimination of technical debt, as this release features a lot of new content in pretty much every area of the game: more events, more missions, more lore, more outfits, and more locations. The icing on the cake are new mechanics such as point defense systems, flow mechanics, and trials. Overall this is shaping up to be quite a large release and we are excited to share it with you.
As mentioned before on the blarg, the universe has been completely rework for 0.11.0. The universe should have a much more natural feel that matches the lore, with the Sol Nebula being more omnipresent as you travel around. This has required significant changes to many systems and system objects, so that many places you knew will probably seem familiar but quite different at the same time. It may take a while to get used to.
In numbers, some 67 new systems and 123 new space objects have been added, mainly around the Sol Nebula to give a more in-depth sensation of destruction and the fragility of humankind. Besides the typical planets and stations, these systems also contain many secrets that you can uncover.
House Sirius Rework
For 0.10.0, the Soromid got a major rework by getting true bioships that can level up and learn different skills, now it’s only fair for the neglected House Sirius to also get the same treatment. Instead of extreme biological engineering, House Sirius relies on psychic abilities called flow. While individuals don’t possess very strong powers by themselves, House Sirius has designed their ships to be powerful amplifiers to be able to unleash potent abilities on the battle field.
The player will also be able to obtain similar psychic powers and unlock the full potential through new tests that can be found throughout space. Each test will require the player to overcome obstacles in order to unlock new abilities and also increase their overall psychic powers.
While Sirius ships have flow capability built-in, other ships can also use structural outfits to enable flow capability, allowing for more customization. That said, Sirius ships get unique bonuses from flow powers which are not available to other ships.
Although the plugin system was introduced in 0.10.0, it has gone largely unnoticed. Currently, it is possible to replace and modify all parts of the Naev that are implemented in Lua, which includes important parts such as autonav, many outfits, ship explosions, and more! Not only that, Naev has option networking built in with enet, allowing for networking functionality. On this line, there is a very much WIP multiplayer plugin, that allows for playing with other people. To make development somewhat easier, a development manual is being worked on, which covers things like how to write content for Naev and how to structure plugins. Given the advanced programming possibilities with the Naev Lua API, the only limit is your imagination!
Oh, there is explicit support for total conversions too!
There’s also a bunch of new content being worked on. Not only have the NPCs and news you can find at the spaceport bar been greatly reworked to me more relevant to the context at hand, but many new missions, factions, and mechanisms have been implemented. The new universe has also given opportunities to diversify the different factions and make them feel more unique, from taunts to landing messages.
First of all, with optimizations done to the engine, it’s finally possible to have efficient point defense systems, something that has been asked for by players for a long time. Point defense systems will automatically target nearby missiles, torpedoes, and even interceptors! Of course the exact specs will depend on the outfit, Guardian Systems use powerful lasers to focus on torpedoes or interceptors, while Soromid Spittle Clusters have been bio-engineered to create screens of bubbles to block weaker, but faster missiles.
A new neutral faction has been created to replace the old Trader’s Guild. The new Space Traders Society is an organization that spans different guilds and has important subfactions such as the mercenary guild Astra Vigilis, the Mining Vrata, and the Imperial Red Star. They have important presence in several systems where new outfits are also available for trade.
Finally, more events missions have been added throughout the universe, and although not finished yet, we expect the conclusion to the Minerva campaign to make it into 0.11.0.
One issue Naev has traditionally had with the large systems it features, is slow downs when many pilots were fighting each other as a result of a primitive collision system. Well, it is no longer an issue as the current system has been reworked with quadtrees. Testing shows that it is much much faster in extreme cases, with the game easily handling hundreds of ships fighting each other without slowing down. Furthermore, many aspects of the game have been profiled and optimized such that the game should run much more fluid than 0.10.0.
Tests show that where Naev 0.10.0 would choke and become a slide show, Naev 0.11.0 will be able to run without a hitch, such as 50 Dvaered Vendettas fighting with 50 FLF Lancelots. That said, given the high levels of time compressions capital ships can reach, it is likely in some extreme cases you may experience some slow downs.
This concludes the Sporadic Naev Newsletter Vol. 3, and see you again in the next one!
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