the following is in reverse order: Newest updates on top. Tips and trick posted first are at the bottom of this posting.
Update December 5th:
While 1.18 has been released to the public earlier this week (you can see the details about it here[forum.egosoft.com]), we are currently preparing the public test of 1.19. Our aim is to have this in public test during the weekend or early next week and then hopefully release 1.19 later next week.
I explained in my first posting in this thread, that our second priority (after stability) is performance improvements. 1.19 will have a couple of bug fixes that can potentially bring very significant performance improvements.
One of these fixes is not a general performance improvement that will make the game run faster for everybody, but if you were affected by this bug, it can increase performance by several hundred percent.
I did set up a pretty extreme high end PC to test performance problems with specific systems and could reproduce a slowdown in the start zone of the open gamestart from 44+fps down to 10fps and less, just by saving and loading a few times in the right order.
Other things that will be in 1.19 include more crash fixes, new bug fixes related to trading and ship equipping / upgrading and dealing with drones, some bugfixes for generic missions as well as some AI improvements for player owned ships.
We also rebalanced the platforms and docks in several ways. This will affect the skills of NPCs you talk to as well as the content of crates on platforms. Another balancing change affects repairing ships and stations.
A few functions that we did not provide in the public version so far, but which are useful for video capturing, like turning off the cockpit and UI, will now be available for mapping but will not be mapped in the default profile (yet), because they come with some problems. So please do not mistake the ability to turn off the cockpit or UI as a proper way to play the game (this is reserved for a later feature update). It is meant to help you capture videos with the also newly added video capturing mode.
Last but not least there were also (again) a few improvements to input mappings. Some of our most recent work on this front however, like the ability to set an explicit target with the keyboard (old X3 t / e keys) still need a bit more time for more internal testing.
Dec.1st:Public Beta testing of X Rebirth updates and patches
In order to test updates and patches for X Rebirth more thoroughly, we have decided to open up our Beta testing to anyone who wants to get involved. If you would like to help us test our forthcoming patches (and don't mind backing up your savegames in case things don't go according to plan!) then please head over to our new X Rebirth - Patch Public Beta forum, where you will find details on how to join the Beta program and report any problems you find.
In the short term, until the Christmas break, we plan to operate a roughly weekly patch cycle, with patches being made available for public Beta testing towards the end of the week, and the full release following early the next week if all goes well. As we move away from urgent bug-fixing and on to improving performance, fixing gameplay issues and adding new features, the length of this cycle will of course increase, with more time being allowed between the Beta and full release.
Update November 28th:
Since the last posting we have released two more updates 1.16 and 1.17. These two mostly focussed on improving stability and fixed a couple of bugs related to the non working trade offers. See release notes for details: http://forum.egosoft.com/viewtopic.php?t=347278
It turned out that the issues many of you are seeing with trade ships not working correctly is not one bug but a whole series of connected problems. After resolving the first issue with 1.17, more problems became apparent. This is the reason we are now testing the next patch 1.18 a lot longer than the other patches. We can not afford a very indepth test at this time, because too many of you are waiting for this fix, but things are looking good and chances are that this update will be available before the weekend.
I do not want to give silly excuses here. Of course you deserve a bug free game, but you may ask why these trade problems were not uncovered during testing: We had a group of testers dedicated to testing our economy over a long period of time. These guys used a special version of the game which allowed them to run the entire economy at a higher speed. It seems that most of these problems we now see did not happen with this time acceleration. Meanwhile these problems also do not happen early on in the game or if you (like most testers do) have to restart the game frequently.
Other features coming up next
• Fixed several causes of crashes in-game and when loading savegames. • Fixed a specific problem resulting in periodic slow-downs. • Improved general performance (first small improvement only, more to come). • Fixed several problems with ship/drone docking/undocking behaviour. • Fixed problem with player drone formations. • Fixed several small localisation issues. • Improved skill levels for new NPCs. • Improved readability of entries in interaction menus. • Improved GPU listing on laptops with multiple GPUs (still some driver-related issues on certain hardware).
Original posting: today I want to give an update on our latest progress and an overview of what we are going to work on in the near future. I am sorry that I can not reply to every complaint and report.
Priority #1: Fixing crashes Right now we are still getting a lot of crash reports. We believe that we already have fixed the most common ones with the updates 1.13 to 1.15 but there are still crashes that are caused by the game code and it goes without saying that fixing these has the highest priority.
Priority #1: Improving performance
We are at work on a number of problems that cause the performance to drop to unusually low framerates. Some of these are very specific to certain situations only, while others slow the game down on specific configurations of hardware. Right now we are looking at where we can make fast improvements that will help as many people as possible achieve a better framerate and then we will work our way down to the more specific cases. Just to give you an idea of how crazy the measurements sometimes are: I have seen a very busy zone of the game today on a laptop with Intel HD4000 acceleration (an onboard integrated 3D accelerator which is not really inside the min specs of our game) achieving 10 fps at minimum graphics settings. This is not much of course, but I was surprised that it did run at all on that machine. At the same time I saw a YouTube video where somebody demonstrated performance problems in a very similar zone and also with minimum settings, achieving almost the same FPS, but this time running on a high-end PC with GT780 card. Clearly we have to focus on improving our performance on higher end machines. Another example of performance problems are machines with multiple GPUs, like laptops that have an integrated GPU and a second faster one. In some cases X Rebirth lists only the integrated GPU on these machines and this makes the game run extremely slow. One possible fix for one type of driver was already added to 1.15, but we continue to investigate this problem too.
Priority #1: Fixing gameplay showstoppers There are unfortunately several areas of the game where gameplay features are not working as intended. In some situations these even block the plot (which makes an already bad bug a total showstopper bug for us). I am just listing them here because it is beyond the scope of this posting to explain trigger conditions and exceptions as well. But let me just say that not all bugs affect all customers and many can be worked around even if they happen. But please do not take this the wrong way, this is not an excuse: We are aware that bugs of this category are always very fustrating to everybody affected by them and you should not be forced to search for a workaround online to play our game. We are really sorry for problems of this nature. - Trade ships that stop reacting to orders (this is not one bug but a number of special cases that all lead to the same result) - Problems with repairing ships including a very common case where certain transporter ships that cannot be repaired after they were captured (small "non capital" ships with modular engines where you cannot place an engineer to do emergency repairs)
Priority #2: Adding small but important features that are requested by many of you
- Adding support to delete the order queue of ships (partially done already) - Improving joystick configuration - Adding fixed target mode (t/e from X3) as alternative to soft targets. - Fixing character animation errors (work in progress) - Giving you a choice of NPCs with good known skills after "winning" a smalltalk (so the reward is no longer random) - Crates on platforms will be re-balanced - Improve readability of menus - Improve how NPCs are labeled to make it clearer who does what - Improve the "asking for people" conversation - Adding a logbook menu - Autosave support (work in progress) - Improve feedback when NPC can not be hired (e.g. ship is full / NPC is busy) - Adding some crucial commands to captain and pilot conversations - Ship trader does not clearly show if he is busy - shipyard busy output - Showing minimap (gravidar) on event monitor instead of "no signal" - Option to modify FOV (limited to a small range at first, maybe more freedom later) - Unbinding a key to nothing - Fix bug that sometimes you see negative cargo amounts
There are a lot more requests for this list and I will update it ASAP. Some people on the team are already working on #2 priority things.
AFTER all of the above are done (and these lists are probably not complete), we want to start discussing with you which bigger features we should work on first. You may know some of the candidates which had been mentioned in interviews before the release, like turning your head in the cockpit, external camera views, improved map features etc. We have a long list of things that we would like to add, but we want to listen to you and let you decide about the priorities. Before it makes any sense to discuss this in any more detail however, we have to fix all of the above.
I will post an update next week in this thread and inform you about our progress. In the meantime I can only thank you all and repeat my apology to everybody who does not yet have a good experience in the game.
###### Tips to avoid crashes ######
First of all let me start by saying that I am vey sorry if you personally experience problems with our new game. We are doing what we can to fix these issues as fast as possible. Below I will try to summarize some tips and inform you about our plans for updates and patches based on the feedback from threads in this forum and the egosoft community.
- If the game does not start up at all anymore, try moving the settings file in your /documents/egosoft/X Rebirth/23609060/. Especially move the uidata.xml file and if this does not help also the two other xml files. (If this fixes your problem please email the broken xml files to firstname.lastname@example.org for analysis)
- Make sure you are NOT running a 32bit OS.
- Make sure you ARE running on a proper 3D accelerator and not accidentally using your onboard GPU (e.g Intel HD4000).
- Make sure your harddrive on which X Rebirth is saving is not full (or almost full)
- Make sure you have at least 3GB of free available physical memory.
- Make sure you have latest drivers installed and default settings active.
- If you experience random crashes and you have a joystick connected try if unplugging the joystick fixes it. Please let us know the result --> email@example.com
###### Tips for other problems ######
- Stuck object on platform: We are sorry that this still happens sometimes and will fix it ASAP, but you should however always be able to simply use ENTER - 5 to get back to your ship.
- We read reports of people who can not save: This is usually caused by running the game on 32bit OS. Note that running X Rebirth on a 32bit Windows version is not supported.
- Ship flying through station: We apologize for this happening. We hoped to have reduced the chance of this happening significantly, but are investigating this.
###### Tips regarding game performance ######
- Performance problems on very high end PCs: We are working on a fix for problems especially affecting top end systems which seem to have unnecessarily low framerartes (often lower than much slower machines). Still there are a few things you can do to improve your framerate:
- Turn OFF VSYNC both in the game as well as in your graphic card driver settings (if it is set to be enforced there). This is only a temporary fix for a sync issue which can slow the game down to a lower than necessary framerate and will also be addressed in the game itself later.
- If you suffer performance problems set the LOD and view distance to low values. The game should still look good but this helps a LOT. Consider turning OFF shadows, consider medium or low shaders if your GPU is the bottleneck (also see posting on performance)
- On some machines with two graphic cards (e.g laptops with one chipset integrated accelerator), X Rebirth is not offering the secon accelerator and may be running on the slow internal GPU. One option to fix this on AMD Radeon equipped laptops is to get the latest driver from http://support.amd.com/us/gpudownload/Pages/index.aspx and go to "Configure Switchable Graphics" after installation. If you played X Rebirth before, you should see the game EXE here and you can switch to "high performance" See also this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4oB2oDO-IFk