Taken from: http://www.therepopulation.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=288:end-of-december-2012-update&catid=61:new-frontpage-news&Itemid=428
First and foremost, we'd like to wish all of our readers a Happy Holidays as we head into the New Year. It's also the end of December though, and holding true to form we'll take a look at the progress over this Holiday month.
The biggest news of the month was the launch of Hero Engine 2.0. We spent much of the month getting the game upgraded to take advantage of the new features. Some of the more immediately noticable improvements here are HDR rendering and an upgrade from Speedtree 4 to 6. There were many more subtle changes underneath the hood though such as improved customizable shader support, material instances, and much more. Our focus this month was primarily shuffled between getting everything ported properly to Hero Engine 2.0 and trying to tap into the new features as much as possible.
While Hero Engine 2.0 was big news around here, we also managed to maintain our steady stream of progress. Dens, Vehicles, and Crafting probably received the largest upgrades this month and those changes are detailed below in the build notes below.
Following this update in a few days we will release an end of the year review and a quick look into 2013 and what is around the corner for us so please stay tuned for that update.
Abilities and Skills
- The following abilities have new icons: Spray, Cloud, Smoke Screen, Gust, Wall, Release, Slow Release, Heavy Gust, Smoke Wall and Maximum Release.
- Added new animations to many of the Entertainment abilities.
- You can now attempt to steal some items off the racks in cities. But beware this will cause faction adjustments, and could result in death.
- Failing a steal or pick pocket attempt now has an increased chance of alerting guards.
- We now have the capability to allow certain select abilities to be used while in a vehicle
Crafting and Harvesting
- Crafting Resources (such as Ore) now have attributes that define modifications to other crafting results.
- Certain crafting agents can now be used to refine "pull" attributes out of resources to be used later in other recipes.
- Fittings now use the attributes from refine metal to allow for a much larger array of modifications based on the attributes on the refined metal.
- Extensive behind the scenes work on harvestable resources and recipes started this month (thanks Kay/Trixie/Andrew/Craig/Creep (ALA Content Team))
- Fish, Lumber and Gurthnium are now harvestable in Timbertoc.
- Oasis Watch now features a much larger harvestable forest area. Abandoned Bundles can now also be occasionally found in the wilderness surrounding Oasis Watch Tower.
- The area surrounding The Shed has new resource regions for Ore, Abandoned Bundles and Lumber.
- The area near the Hole on the Hill has new sources of Lumber and Abandoned Bundles.
- The area surrounding Plymouth has new sources of Chromite, Lumber and Calibrite.
- You can now find Lavender Poxies, Kosha, Calibrite, and Lumber outside of Freedomtown.
- Yellow Poxies can now be found in The Pipeworks.
- Chromite, Coal and Calibrite can now be found in the Boglands.
- Trophy components are now supported.
- Rhinocs are now a source of Hides and Meat.
- Dens can now have certain boss mobs marked to monitor death events on separately from the generic trackers. This allows us alter the process of a den (end or advance it) based solely on them (optionally), without needing to take into account other mobs.
- Dens can now have variable reset times before appearing again. These can be used to allow us to ensure that rare dens don't appear back to back.
- Dens now have more fine control over which waves of mobs to spawn when they advance through the cycle.
- Dens can now optionally despawn certain mobs when they end.
- Setlang and Vulture Dens can now adjust the visual appearance of the den mobs to theme their skin properly with the area.
- Many new den types were added. Some of the more interesting styles are listed below.
- Added several new destroy the Den style dens. These will have Den spawner objects such as a cave, and will continue to spawn mobs at a steady rate (more quickly based on the number of players) until the den itself is destroyed. Some of these will also spawn larger boss mobs if you let the dens expand far enough before destroying the, but by the time they do an area may already be overrun. Destroying these dens will also result in all contributing players having a chance to obtain resources from them.
- The area around Plymouth and the Hole on the Hill now can spawn a new raid style den which is a testbed for some of the new den features. This den will see Lesoo's place up structures and warning markers when it goes active. It will then spawn Lesoo at an increasing rate, but will require you to slay the boss of each wave before being able to expand to a higher state. This den is targeted at 12 players, and features 4 waves of unique bosses, each with their own share of unique and generated abilities.
- You now receive bonus points for each enemy player you kill in the Retrieving the Wreckage engagement.
- Corrected a bug that was causing engagements to start opposing engagements on a stage change, when that should have been handled by the opposing engagements stage change code already.
- The escort engagement in Plymouth Control has improved pathing.
- The Lesoo invasion engagements in Oasis Watch have been improved.
- Added a new NPC Species: Rhinoc. This stalky quadruped features a rhino like horn which can not only drain your endurance, but also causes them to go into a momentary frenzy. Rhinocs are a very hardy species and best suited for groups of players. A pristine horn can make quite a trophy item.
- You can now /target to automatically target another player or NPC. You can shorten this to /tar and can also only use a partial name if you desire. If multiple targets that fit the same name match are round, it will target the closest of those.
- Took advantage of new Hero Engine 2.0 features to improve our account system, giving us more fine control than was previously possible.
- Numerous internal GM, metrics and logging improvements such as IP logging suspicious activity when necessary.
- Improved the Character Selection scene to make it more visually appealing.
- New voice recordings added.
- Improved and optimized the threat detection system.
- Fixed several raycast related line of sight issues.
- HDR lighting is now supported. Lighting has been adjusted throughout the world to take advantage of these improvements.
- Sky domes are now supported along with the dynamic skies. We've made several improvements to the skies as a result.
- Glow is much improved over previous incarnations.
- Multi-sample Anti-aliasing is now supported.
- You can now tweak the Level of Detail settings for both Trees and Lights through the Graphics Options window. This allows you to alter how quickly they transition between Levels of Detail, which can be used to boost performance on older systems.
- Added 15 new dance animations.
- Many new speedtree models have been added.
- A large new themed model set has been added. You can see some use of these models in the FPR Training Facility and in the Dead City.
- Added over 100 new furniture and wardrobe models.
- Imported 9 new Lesoo structures and decorations.
- Doubled the texture resolution on the cliffs outside of Plymouth City.
- New special FX were added. Among these are new laser effects.
Items and Fittings
- Items can now have a Military Rank requirement. This allows us to set a minimum rank to purchase certain military perks.
- Adjusted Treasure generation. This should correct a bug where very rarely players were receiving much better loot from engagements or missions than should have been the case.
- Added a number of new clothing and armor types.
- Internal mission editor improvements which should significantly increased productivity when building or editing missions.
- One Time Missions should be a more common occurrence around the world.
- The Clear the Dig Site template has been re-activated and added to The Shed and Loch Aza. It also features a chance at combat oriented items and bonus buffs at completion.
- Fixed a bug that was causing a couple variations of Setlang to not properly drop Setlang Eyes if you had the appropriate generated mission.
Player vs. Player
- You can now use the /activemilitary command to easily and instantly switch between active and reserve military service. There is a 10 minute delay in between additional switches, and you may not switch to inactive while during combat. For those not familiar with the active/reserve system, if you are a reserve member of the military (the default) you will be protected from PvP, and unable to initiate an attack against other players, in the areas permanently controlled by your faction. This includes four very large areas for each faction. You will be vulnerable to PvP though by rival nations in the four large contested areas wedged in between those, however. Active Military members do not get such protection, but can attack rival Active Military members anywhere in the world.
- Other players now have access to your military status.
- Killing a player of an opposing nation will now reward you with the appropriate insignia type, which you can then turn in to bounty collectors for faction and military experience.
- Added support for Vertical action bars in addition to the previously functional Horizontal action bars.
- Up to 6 Action Bars are now supported.
- You can now increase or decrease the size of your Action bars. To do so right click on the Action Bar and adjust through the Pop Up Menu.
- Action Bars can now be moved in all directions, allowing for greater customization on their screen placement.
- Added a button to the Interface Options window which allows you to reset your action bar settings.
- Minimap filtering is now supported. You can toggle on or off various types of NPCs to avoid screen clutter.
- The minimap can now display your selected target differently from other entities.
- There is now a Multisample Anti-Aliasing drop down option in the Graphics Options window.
- Internal control improvements.
- Added new Action Mark graphics. These will be noticeable when you try to take a seat.
- Vehicle Garage's are now supported and featured in cities. These objects simply open up a user interface that allows you to select from your available vehicles.
- Added used car salesman who will sell testers vehicles on the cheap for testing. Don't give him the keys to your other vehicles.
- Double clicking on a vehicle will now mount it based on permissions and if others are already inside of it. You can enter a vehicle as the pilot/driver or as a passenger. Double clicking on the vehicle again will dismount.
- Shift + Double clicking a vehicle will cause it to despawn.
- Numerous minor improvements, bug fixes and optimizations.
- Fixed an issue with a vehicle being out of reach and not despawning properly.
World and Other Content
- Timbertoc has been brought up to date with the new world. It has had it's tier increased to bring it in line with the latest batch of world changes. It now features Arrvor, Setlang and Raxin dens. There is also a heavier FPR influence in the shadows of night.
- Speedtree 6 was one of the additions of Hero Engine 2.0, and we spent much of December upgrading areas to support it. The result though is improved visuals in the areas that have already received upgrades. We'll continue this process in January.
- Many improvements were made to the areas surrounding Plymouth City and Freedomtown. This includes the additions of many new Den types and mobs, as well as new engagements and missions.
- A new road has been built between Plymouth City and The Hole on the Hill. It's much more scenic than before, but be warned if you stray to far off the beaten path things can get dangerous with Lesoo dens consistently sprouting up in the area.
- The Hole on the Hill has received a number of graphical improvements. Much of the town has been retextured, there is a parking lot, and lighting improvements, as well. There is also more seating areas around and inside of the pub.
- Oasis Watch has been brought up to date with the new world. It now features new rare boss mobs, one time missions, and Vulture, Setlang and Lesoo dens in the area.
- Improved paths and pathing near Plymouth Control Station. There are now multiple trails that lead into the base. Last but not least, new rare bosses and spawn locations have been added to the surrounding area.
- Fort Hudson has received a beautification pass to itself and the surrounding terrain. This includes some new pipes and aerials.
- A new pub titling itself as The Shed has opened it's doors outside of Freedomtown. This is a shadier establishment and a favorite haunt of smugglers, dealers, and bounty hunters. Visiting the Shed for the first time will give you a small but permanent boost to your Thievery skill.
- Introduced a new area near Freedomtown which is titled The Pipeworks. This marshy region features Raxin, lesoo, and Okolat dens, as well as multiple rare boss opportunities.
- The Arches of Oasis have made a return in the Timbertol desert. This area includes numerous engagements and a deadly raid boss.
- Koleyna has received a fresh content pass. It now has numerous den types with an assortment of Arrvor, Okolat, Lurker and Elkar. It also features it's previous collection of content which included multiple raid bosses and engagements.
- Stuff The Kills, Laura's Clothing and the Body Armor shops in Plymouth City are now chock full of decorations.
- Weather should be better synchronized.
- Freedomtown features an all-new lighting scheme.
- Roomed and occluded off many more sections of Plymouth City, in an optimization pass.
- The Dead City has made an appearance in the Doma Highlands. More information on the remains of this city will be available in next month's update.
- The Cultist Hideout (used in the Taken in the Night series) has moved to a new location near Plymouth.
- Marilee in Pontoc should now path as crazily as she speaks.
- - Both of the Training Grounds and the Instanced Housing sections have received beautification passes.