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  • Dev Notes

    by Published on 11-22-2019 13:21
    1. Categories:
    2. Dev Notes

    Upgraded Graphics Engine in the Next Release

    The upcoming release of Entropia Universe, scheduled for early December 2019, will include the biggest visual update of Entropia since the switch to CryEngine. This is a massive update that takes the engine to a whole new level, with modern physically based shading and greatly improved processing of light and colors.

    Physically based shading enables MindArk and the Planet Partners to create assets that look better than ever before, since they interact with light in a way that's based on how it works in real life. Improved lighting, post processing, bloom and color curves gives the picture a natural and photographic appearance.

    This is not an engine switch but an upgrade of the existing renderer so all gameplay systems are unaffected.

    With this update we are sure that you will find some treats when you revisit your favourite areas throughout the Universe so head to the nearest teleporter or fuel up your spacecraft and go explore!











    Additional note:

    As this render engine upgrade uses DirectX 11 that is only compatible with Windows Vista and later it will not be possible to start Entropia Universe on Windows XP after this release. Mindark kindly asks any players that still uses Windows XP to upgrade their computers to a DirectX 11 compatible version of Windows.




    Originally Posted Here
    by Published on 09-25-2018 17:00
    1. Categories:
    2. Dev Notes

    Letter from the CEO



    Entropians,

    When I was announced as the new CEO of MindArk I stated that one of my priorities would be improved communication between MindArk and the community. As you may have noticed, there has not yet been so much communication from my side. The main reason is that I did not want to announce new ideas and plans without first engaging with the employees at MindArk. It is important that everyone within the company steer in the same direction and look towards the future with enthusiasm. In the eight months since being appointed as CEO, I have met intensively with the various MindArk departments to solicit suggestions on the best way forward, as well on refining the near and long-term vision for Entropia Universe. We now have a solid plan in place to implement that vision.

    I realized the incredible potential of Entropia Universe immediately upon creating my avatar and logging in for the first time. It has now become my job to ensure that MindArk achieves that potential. There are many things that we can improve in Entropia Universe, including the relationship and communication with the community. There are many different communication channels where we plan to be more active, including community forums, Discord, and possibly Reddit.

    2017 in Retrospect

    Before looking ahead to the future, letís review some of the things accomplished during 2017. In terms of content we are always working to expand storylines, missions and events and 2017 was no exception. Last yearís Merry Mayhem event featured the first implementation of a new event system that is more integrated into the client and accommodates new event formats.

    With Loot 2.0 we revamped the hunting loot formula in order to achieve a more flexible, balanced, and rewarding system. Those changes have led to significantly improved loot returns for the vast majority of players and an overall better loot balance. Further improvements to the loot system have been ongoing since the initial implementation of Loot 2.0.

    During the second half of the year some of our participants experienced serious lag issues. While the issue itself was not an isolated one with a single cause, a complete review of the engine was made. In addition to fixing the issue, several improvements were made to other systems which made the core server infrastructure more robust as a result. This work has been continuing throughout 2018, with the aim of performing a similar overview and optimization of the client to ensure that Entropia becomes more stable and smooth-running.

    2018 and Beyond

    For the remainder of 2018 and into the early part of 2019, MindArk will be primarily focused on improving existing Entropia Universe systems and content.

    This does not mean that no new content will be added or that no new events will be implemented, however it does mean that there will be a few selected areas that will receive the bulk of our attention. One of these focus areas will be system interaction, modernizing some of the legacy systems we have today, and upgrading others to conform to industry standards. These efforts will improve avatar interaction with the universe and feel much more engaging.

    Some of you may have noticed that we are inviting a group of participants to MindArk headquarters to help test and provide feedback for some of the upcoming improvements to the client camera system. These changes are something we believe will benefit newcomers and veterans alike.

    A similar overhaul will be performed for the various user interfaces, where the aim is to create a more visually appealing, unified and responsive experience. This will be an iterative process to ensure that we are moving in the right direction.

    Moving forward, I will share periodic Development Manifestos like this one on the Entropia Universe Buzz page to keep the community informed of MindArkís design philosophies, decision-making process, future plans, and more.

    Finally, I am planning to do an AMA (Ask Me Anything) sometime in the near future, either on the Entropia Universe subreddit or on PlanetCalypsoForum.com. More detailed info to come soon!

    Kind regards,
    Henrik Nel
    CEO, MindArk PE AB



    Originally Posted Here
    by Published on 01-12-2018 15:56
    1. Categories:
    2. Dev Notes

    Developer Notes #15



    In the latest release of Entropia Universe (15.15.7) a persistent issue related to lag and connectivity that had affected an increasing number of Entropia players was resolved.

    The Entropia community reported their experience of lag in support cases and on community forums. These reports helped our developers to pinpoint the causes of the problem within the many layers of IT-technology that constitutes the core of the Entropia Universe platform.

    What makes Entropia stand out among other MMOs are, among many other things, the highly secure Real Cash Economy and its borderless server architecture that provides a seamless and immersive virtual universe. Events such as economic transactions should be visible to all affected participants instantaneously, no matter where they are located within Entropia Universe.

    For players within visible range of each other even more information needs to be shared. This includes the smallest things such as avatar movement, clothing or armor equipped by avatars or the firing of weapons. Some events such as creature attacks will also include calculations of varying complexity within various systems.

    All game events that occur between Entropia Universe clients around the world and the Entropia Universe data centers are securely transmitted over the internet. To achieve a smooth and reliable Entropia Universe experience, all components in the client-internet connection-server chain must themselves perform smoothly and reliably.

    When an unexpected and intermittent behavior such as lag begins to occur, developers need to examine when and where it started and then work to isolate the possible causes of the problem. In a complex environment such as Entropia Universe there are many layers of software that can be involved. Further, a number of services provided by 3rd parties such as Internet Service Providers can also be part of the experienced problem.

    As both our datacenter engineers and developers worked through the layers of the infrastructure and software that could be contributing to the lag problem of the past few months, a number of issues were addressed in patches during the final months of 2017. We also measured the effect of those patches and received valuable feedback from community polls and support channels.

    After weeks of hard work the developers found that changes to certain underlying parts of the server software dramatically decreased the incidence and severity of lag experiences. Extensive testing of the new software was performed over Christmas and New Years, and on January 5, 2018 a patch was ready for release.

    The developers wants to express their gratitude to all players who reported valuable information about their experience of the lag situation. While all at MindArk are dedicated to continually improving the Entropia Universe experience in the years to come the feedback from the people behind the avatars that essentially are the Entropia community are simply priceless.

    If you still encounter lag-related issues please review the System Requirements and make sure that your computer and internet equipment have the latest updates. A router restart can also sometimes help with problems on your local network.

    The Entropia Universe support team are always available at https://account.entropiauniverse.com...t-faq/contact/ if you need any further assistance or want to report an issue.


    Originally Posted Here
    by Published on 06-08-2017 20:24     Number of Views: 7545 
    1. Categories:
    2. Dev Notes,
    3. General

    Developer Notes #11 - Loot 2.0

    Later this month, MindArk will be releasing a special Loot 2.0 Version Update that will overhaul the way in which hunting loot is calculated and distributed. Many of the features and systems added over the past few years have gradually led to this update, which will significantly improve overall loot returns for the vast majority (upwards of 98%) of participants.

    The information in this Developer Notes article is intended to inform participants of the upcoming changes and to gather initial impressions and feedback to help ensure a smooth implementation of this exciting update. Please bear in mind that the changes described below are still being finalized and tested, so some specific details may be changed upon release, while other changes may require additional refinement or testing and therefore may not appear in the initial Loot 2.0 release, but instead in subsequent patches or Version Updates.

    Loot Changes
    • Loot calculations will be optimized and improved to better factor in the various costs associated with hunting activity, including: healing, ammo consumption, buffs, tool and armor deterioration, attachments, and more.
    • A special hunting bonus pool will be implemented that will distribute funds from various sources, including skill misses, PVP, marketing and special events, which will improve overall loot returns for all participants.
    • A new Economy rating parameter will be introduced, on a scale of 1-100, that indicates the efficiency of a tool and which influences loot calculations. This change from the once dominant damage/pec model will provide the design team with more freedom to release exciting and interesting items with a wider range of damage output and special effects. For example, our team will have the ability to create powerful new items that provide access to challenging and exciting content without dramatically increasing cost to play. Existing items will be assigned Economy values that reflect their relative efficiency to one another and to the entire array of items in the universe.
    • Avatar skills will play a role in loot calculations and this role will be expanded in future Version Updates. Imagine new professions that offer hunting specialization opportunities and a way to incrementally increase net loot returns for dedicated and active hunters.
    • MindArk has been monitoring the community discussions concerning so-called 'loot waves' and will implement changes in the Loot 2.0 and subsequent Version Updates that will address this issue by improving the distribution of resources and items, with the goal of ensuring that loot opportunities are more interesting, dynamic and fair for all participants
    • Ammunition will be removed from hunting loot. This change has been requested by many participants over the years and will assist participants in more accurately tracking their results.
    • Loot value calculations and the composition of the items in loot will be affected by properly matching avatar skills and gear to the creature being hunted, rewarding efficient kills with more interesting loot. For optimal loot, it will be important to avoid inefficiencies such as low damage output compared to creature health, excessive time and cost to kill, overkill damage, unmaxed weapons and other factors. This system is intended to reward game knowledge, which has traditionally been an important and unique aspect of success in Entropia Universe, and to provide opportunities for participants to improve their loot returns via experimentation, optimization and specialization.


    Also in the Loot 2.0 Version Update will be a range of improvements to various other systems with a eye toward lowering costs and increasing enjoyment for all Entropians. An example of such are the following planned changes to armor:

    Armor Changes
    • Armor now decays significantly less per point of damage absorbed.
    • Armor no longer has a minimum decay based on total protection, it will now always decay proportionally to the amount of damage absorbed.
    • Armor can now absorb all incoming damage down to a minimum of 0.1 point of damage taken, instead of the previous 1.0 points of damage.
    • Armor and armor platings now decay independently based on the amount of damage they each actually absorb, rather than both decaying as if absorbing the full amount of received damage.
    • Armor decay is now linear per point of damage absorbed, rather than increasing in cost per damage absorbed.
    • A profession level requirement will be introduced for non-(L) armors. Meeting the required level results in the armor offering full protection at all condition values. If the profession requirement is not met, armor works as before, with protection decreasing relative to condition.


    Our design and development teams have been working very hard on these important changes for many months now, and MindArk looks forward to incorporating valuable feedback from our wonderful and passionate community leading up to the release of Loot 2.0!

    Discussion Thread

    Originally Posted Here
    by Published on 05-23-2017 14:45     Number of Views: 7045 
    1. Categories:
    2. Support,
    3. Dev Notes

    In light of the recent malware and ransomware attacks, including WannaCry, MindArk has performed a comprehensive review of its security policies and procedures.

    In order to ensure an appropriate level of account security for our customers, MindArk has decided to discontinue support for Windows XP and older operating systems starting in Q4 of 2017.

    We urge any Entropia Universe participants still using Windows XP or older versions of Windows to upgrade their operating systems within the next several months. MindArk will provide information and support once the upgrade deadline approaches later this year.

    Account security is MindArkís highest priority; we appreciate your understanding and cooperation in helping to keep Entropia Universe safe and secure for all participants.

    We also encourage all participants to secure their Entropia Universe accounts with the Entropia Pocket two-factor security system.

    Klas Moreau
    CEO MindArk

    Originally Posted Here

    Forum Thread
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