Update 9.4 released! Food Expansion, Avatar Upgrade & Power Generation Rework

Posted on August 19th, 2021 09:15 PM EST
We are happy to announce the release of Eco Update 9.4! With this update comes a load of new content, gameplay mechanics, and performance improvements.

One major focus of this update was to provide more ways to express yourself via the avatar, including new animated emotes and avatar customization choices, We expanded the game with thirty new food items representing well known dishes from around the world. In addition, producing green energy is more realistic, requiring placement with proper access to the elements.

We have also been hard at work at optimization, both for the Eco client and for server calculations. You should notice significantly smoother gameplay, though optimization will continue to be a primary focus for us in future updates. Last but not least, we had a heavy focus on bug fixes and other general improvements with a full list of changes included below.

Power Generation Updates
With Update 9.4, we have upgraded the mechanics for power generation objects that use solar, wind, and water to produce energy to encourage more natural placements.

Waterwheels now require flowing water to function. This means they must be placed in either rivers or underneath waterfalls, and they will produce bonus power when meeting both conditions.

Wind generators and solar panels both must be placed outside to function. Solar panels require vertical clearance to operate at full capacity while wind generators require horizontal clearance. In addition, wind generations will produce bonus energy based on their elevation level.



New Hairstyles and Outfits
A big focus for us going forward will be to expand the options for customizing the avatar. With update 9.4, we have added a collection of new hairstyles, including some with a more feminine style, with many more to come in the future.



In Update 9.3 we added a collection of new set clothing. With this update, we will be adding two more new outfits: the Chef set and the Explorer set.



Animated Emotes & Third Person Camera Improvements
We have added a large collection of new emotes, from poses, to reactions, to dances. Emotes are activated with slash commands, for example /cheer. To see the full list of emotes, type /emote in game. We would love to hear ideas from the community for other animations you would like to see added.

We have also made significant improvements to the third person camera to allow better views and more flexibility when adjusting the camera. This includes the ability to zoom in and out, to rotate the camera while moving, and to allow full 360-degree rotation.



New Food Content
We are introducing a large collection of new food content inspired by various international cuisines. These include foods like sushi, enchiladas, Pad Thai, pizza, and donuts. More recipes will have fish as an ingredient to provide more value for fishing. This will add plenty of additional options for food variety, as well as just add some additional flavor to our existing food selection.



If you want even more than that, Update 9.4 includes an experimental feature-set that server owners can choose to use that will change how the skill gain via food works.

The Food Variety Multiplier, when enabled, adds a bonus to skill point gain for having a diverse meal plan while lowering your skill gain when you ate your fiftieth Charred Papaya today.

The Food Tastiness Multiplier on the other hand assigns every player on the server a random, genetic preference towards specific tastes in five tiers, from "Delicious" to "Horrible". You don't know what your tastes are until you have tried eating something to know if you like it. If this feature is enabled, eating what you really like will give you a big boost for skill gain - while eating what you dislike will give you a penalty, creating demand for a larger selection of food.


Choose your side.

Maybe you will even find yourself with a craving for something in particular...

Exhaustion System for Public Servers
The new optional exhaustion system allows server admins to limit the amount of time per day a single player can play unrestricted on their server. This feature is designed for servers that would like to level the playing field for players who have less time to play each day or would prefer a more casual pace.

Once a player has reached the configured number of hours during a day in server time, they are prevented from performing actions that require spending calories, including using tools and adding labor into a crafting project. Any actions that do not require the consumption of calories can still be done; for example, you can still drive around with motorized vehicles, transport goods and chat and trade with other players.

Players can specify a preference on a exhaustion limit and servers that have a exhaustion limit that is around that time will get a bonus to their match score in the server browser.


Tip: If your preference has changed, you can bring up this menu again by clicking on "Set Play Times" in the games menu.

Please keep in mind that this is only a first version of this feature and that it is disabled for servers by default - it is intended to be used optionally by servers that wish to limit their players' playtime. We plan to significantly expand on this feature in Update 9.5, including a dedicated UI and the ability to earn a rested status by not playing for several days.

Eco RCON Support
We are introducing a new Eco RCON tool that allows server owners to remotely control their servers without being logged in to Eco for easy administration or automated processes. It is a TCP based communication protocol that allows admin commands to be issued to the server via a "remote console". Full details can be found on the Eco wiki: https://wiki.play.eco/en/RCON

Optimization
This update contains many improvements to performance. One notable optimization affects Chunk Loading - you should no longer see vehicles dropping into underground holes due to the chunk not yet being fully loaded and the game will now actively prevent you from driving into unloaded chunks as well. In general, the performance should be noticeable more stable. Here are some of the key improvements:
  • Optimized LOD system for rendering objects in the distance
  • Optimization calculations involving large deeds especially when unclaiming
  • Optimized the database system that results in faster performance and smaller file sizes
  • Reduced server impact for civics ticks and room value calculations that will result in less lag spikes for large servers during these times
  • Optimized logic for frequent plant spawner calculations
  • Optimized interactions when mining with Improved Tool Strength talent
  • Optimized calculations that occurred when sea level rise was occurring
  • Fixed memory leak when highlighting a block
General Improvements

In addition to the changes listed above, we are including a collection of general improvements to both help game play and make life easier for server admins. These range from adding a new animal species, to graphics improvements, to just general QoL changes.
  • New Prairie Dog animal that lives in the grasslands
  • Improved visual effects when harvesting plants
  • Improved logic for Elevator Call Post so it will control the closest elevator and no others
  • You can now sit on either side of a bench (or any seat with no back)
  • Reduced frequency for shouting "Timber" while logging, though it will always occur if no trees have been cut in the past 30 minutes
  • Improved audio when a tree is falling
  • Graphics improvements in less well-lit areas to improve contrast
  • Improved property overlay visibility at different light conditions
  • Expanded inventory sounds to include picking up items
  • Fuel storage is no longer linked by default when placing stores and crafting tables
  • Added ability to join servers via a weblink. For full details check the related wiki article
  • Added an automatic server backup before migration to an upgraded version starts
  • Added a new error message when failing to start a server if the cause is that the save is corrupted
  • Chat API has been reintroduced and now endpoints require admin authentication
  • Meat category in Ecopedia renamed to Raw Meat
  • Papaya now categorized as plant in Ecopedia, while Saguaro Cactus is now categorized as a tree
  • Improved animations in images for server categories in server browser
Balance Changes
Update 9.4 has a large variety of balance changes in addition to the expansion of Chef profession with new food choices. Some key changes are faster movement speed, various changes to plant spread behavior to increase player impact on the ecosystem, and the first cart is introduced sooner and can be crafted without research. Here is the full list of changes:
  • Player movement speed increased by 10%
  • Small Wood Cart is now crafted by Logging specialty
  • Plants will only spread if there is a living member of the species nearby
  • New progression for which specialties craft Modern Upgrades:
    Advanced Smelting -> Industry -> Composites -> Electronics
  • All Modern Upgrade recipes labor cost changed to 1000
  • Upgraded hammer tiers now unlock the additional multi-box fill types, with only Point and Line types being available on the Stone Hammer
  • Hammer speed increased
  • Starter Campsite now starts with a Stone Machete instead of a Torch Stand
  • All Research Papers experienced provided by crafting reduced by 25%
  • Added nutrient and moisture constraints for Cotton
  • Reduced initial spawn percentage of Cotton
  • Adjusted diet for Jaguar so they are less likely to wander into other biomes
  • Fish trap no longer functions in salt water
  • Pastry Dough is now crafted by Baking
  • Bread carbs & protein increased, fat and vitamins decreased. Recipe cost increased to 2 Leavened Dough
  • Baked Meat now provides more protein than fat
  • Reintroduced Clean Moon Jellyfish recipe on Fishery
  • CO2 Canister is now an item instead of a food
  • Lumber Door recipe cost adjusted to match Softwood/Hardwood variants
Bug Fixes

Audio
  • Fixed: Audio when chopping trees would sometimes stop playing
  • Fixed: Inventory movement sound was not playing when using Ctrl+Click to move items
Civics
  • Fixed: Elections for titles with multiple winning candidates were selecting the incorrect winners for candidates after the highest vote receiver
  • Fixed: It was possible to bypass laws that prevented producing air pollution by rapidly clicking the button to turn on an air polluting object
  • Fixed: Constitution amendments were not correctly displaying as invalid when viewed from the Civics tab on the Amendment world object
  • Fixed: It was possible to exceed the daily limit for giving reputation by using work parties after using the reputation UI to give someone a review with 0 reputation
  • Fixed: It was not possible to give reputation to players with a quotation mark in their name
  • Fixed: Tooltip for Elected Title's "Who Can Remove From Office" incorrectly stated this action happens at a Ballot Box instead of an Executive Office
  • Fixed: Requirements for Admin Demographic listed "Citizen is an admin" twice
  • Fixed: Adjusting a law that referenced player statistics on very high population servers could occasionally cause a save to become corrupted if the adjustment happened while the stat was being calculated
Economy
  • Fixed: Currency transaction could sometimes result in a failure when the owner had less than 0.01 of the currency needed due to rounding errors from previous transactions with a percent cost
  • Fixed: It was possible to create two currencies with the same name
  • Fixed: Work party tooltips did not update to reflect ingredients and labor that had already been added
  • Fixed: The "Put Items in Container" contract tooltip was not updating with the remaining items needed after some items, but not all, had been placed in the container
Graphics
  • Fixed: Visual holes in water could appear when adding and removing blocks
  • Fixed: Sign text was not visible when viewed behind glass or water
  • Fixed: Stockpile visualizer for trucks was not displaying secondary materials for blocks like Glass
  • Fixed: When Lumber was attached on top of Glass, one side of the lumber would turn invisible
  • Fixed: Black shadow meshes would occasionally appear on borders between certain block forms
  • Fixed: When using the Land Claim Stake, the edge of the property highlight became blurred with neighboring blocks if they were located at a higher elevation
Modkit
  • Fixed: Custom blocks created in the ModKit were not appearing in game
Plants & Animals
  • Fixed: It was possible for plants to recover from extinction
  • Fixed: Joshua Tree's crown was behaving strangely after being cut down
  • Fixed: Alligators would sometimes despawn when stepped on
  • Fixed: Plants would sometimes block the avatar creation screen after joining a server for the first time
Rent & Residency
  • Fixed: Residency invitations were not appearing for Registrar titles if the invitation happened before being added to the title
  • Fixed: Housing values for deeds with no residents were displaying incorrect values
  • Fixed: Residents could not open doors for property they were a resident on if they did not have full authorization on the property
  • Fixed: When creating a rent offer, the currency used was not defaulting to Global Default Currency (it can still be manually changed)
  • Fixed: House value was not updating correctly after transferring or unclaiming property
Tools & Vehicles
  • Fixed: Vehicles would sometimes fall below the surface when moving faster than the chunks were loading
  • Fixed: Carts were jumping in place when blocks or ramps were placed nearby
  • Fixed: Using the hammer to place blocks would occasionally cause a disconnect with the error "Failed to handle RPCResponse"
  • Fixed: Excavator would spam the dig action after being prevented by a law
  • Fixed: Crane arm had strange behavior when crossing zero point on the map
  • Fixed: Crane would still function while the escape menu was open
  • Fixed: 3rd person tool animations were not perfectly synced up which became noticeable after holding the interact button for an extended period of time
  • Fixed: It was possible to speed up tool animations beyond the intended amount by clicking for a fraction of a second to cancel the animation
  • Fixed: Shot arrows would disappear when crossing zero point on the map
  • Fixed: Fish trap had incorrect world occupancy and so could be placed in walls
UI
  • Fixed: Weight values for vehicles in the storage UI were incorrectly splitting between two lines
  • Fixed: Hovering over a Tag ingredient in the crafting UI was displaying talents benefits unrelated to the tag
  • Fixed: Hovering over icons during the tutorial were not highlighting correctly
  • Fixed: Item tooltips & Ecopedia reference section were not displaying icon background colors for things like Research Papers
  • Fixed: Other players' icons on the minimap often had jerky movement
  • Fixed: Mouse cursor was not changing to a hand pointer when highlighting the disconnect button
  • Fixed: During the Campsite Tutorial, moving the Campsite item to a different slot in action bar would not cause the tutorial arrow to follow.
  • Fixed: Buttons in Treasury UI had text exceeding the boundary of the buttons
  • Fixed: Pressing Enter while a world was loading would cause the Chat UI to appear prematurely
  • Fixed: Highlight marker for editing deeds on the minimap would disappear after toggling any layers within the World Layers tab.
  • Fixed: When moving a tool, the durability bar would sometimes remain in the original inventory slot
  • Fixed: Stockpile UI could get stuck open if opening Block Forms UI before closing
  • Fixed: Pressing the skill window hotkey multiple times before the skill tutorial was completed would cause multiple confirmation boxes to appear that would each have to be closed
  • Fixed: Species with composite names (Ex: Snapping Turtle) were displayed without a space
  • Fixed: Images in Eco News on title screen were often appearing after a delay
  • Fixed: The mouse cursor would continuously flicker when pointed at the border of a text with a hint popup
  • Fixed: Long usernames and passwords would exceed their respective text boxes on the title screen
  • Fixed: Chat channel names would appear stretched out and vertical with exceptionally long chat messages.
  • Fixed: Ecopedia frames for selected pages would display incorrectly when toggling "Show Undiscovered" while a page that was selected became hidden
  • Fixed: "Can't send string as localizable, because it has too many arguments" error message would occasionally appear in the server logs of very large servers
  • Fixed: Tutorial was not automatically displaying the next step when a previous step was completed
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