Eco 8.0, Early-Access Anniversary Update. Biggest Yet

Posted on February 22nd, 2019 10:36 PM EST
After many long months of work, Eco 8.0 is released! We’ve got a ton of new stuff in this update, resulting in a very different feel to the game overall.

New World Generation



World generation has undergone a variety of changes and improvements.  Many new parameters have been added to world generation, such as land/water balance, number of continents and islands, sizes of biomes, and number of water features such as rivers and lakes.  All of these parameters may be tweaked within the world generator config file. As a result, worlds are much more varied with specific resources only being made available within specific biomes.



I addition, we have reworked the world geology, by adding an assortment of rock types like Sandstone, Granite, Shale, and Limestone. Certain rock types appear only in specific biomes and at specific depths. These rocks all have different uses in recipes and can be made into unique looking mortared stones. Ores like Iron, Copper, and Gold are now located in specific host rocks which will encourage you to choose the place of your settlement wisely.



Lakes have been added, and the river generator has been rewritten to have an improved look and feel to them.



New Plants

  • Trees: Palms, Redwoods, Ceiba

  • Grasslands: Big Bluestem, Switchgrass, Sunflower, Pumpkin

  • Desert: Agave, Creosote (Updated Art)

  • Forest: Ocean Spray, Trillium

  • Taiga and Tundra: Lupine, Saxifrage. Peat Moss, Deer Lichen, Dwarf Willow, Arctic Willow

  • Rainforest: Papaya, Taro, Orchid, Heliconia, Pineapple, Lattice Mushroom, Bolete Mushroom, Cookeina Mushroom, Filmy Fern, King Fern



New Animals

Mule Deer

Mountain Goat


Bighorn Sheep

New Skill system

The skill system has been simplified and reworked to encourage active engagement. While specializations will still be based on the same time-gated model as before, you no longer need to choose between improving your current specialties and gaining new ones. Instead of having multiple skills under specialties that all need skillpoints to advance, we've rolled all those benefits into an action-based leveling system. For example, players who choose to take the hewing specialty will be able to hew logs with increasing efficiency and speed as they complete orders rather than being forced to wait on skillpoints to achieve maximum efficiency.
The second major change is that the vast majority of recipes are now available without taking the related specialization at a drastically increased cost. This should allow players to experience parts of the game they would have previously been locked out of while still giving players an immediate and powerful benefit for choosing specializations.


In addition to more generic benefits for a specialization, player will occasionally be able to choose specialization-specific talents upon leveling up. Talents for a given specialty are mutually exclusive: if you take one you lock yourself out of the other. Do you want to destroy the forest faster or do you want to be able to clean up the debris you leave behind easier? The goal is to encourage you to pick talents that benefit the way you want to play the game.
Even with the new changes, don't neglect your diet or house! What used to be skillpoints/day has been changed to an experience multiplier that is applied in two places: the rate at which you gain new specialties and the rate at which those individual specialties level up.




Banks
We have implemented banks to allow you to create additional bank accounts that you can share with other players. You can set who has access to the account and who is allowed to manage it, which will make playing together easier and also allows the world leader to grant other players access to the treasury. Everywhere where you need to pay with currency you can choose from which bank account you want to make the payment. Of course, you can also set into which bank account payments should go. And to make your life easier, we added the possibility to transfer money to different players and bank accounts just by clicking a button.



Registrars
Registrars enable you to create titles that you can grant to other players. Those titles can then be used in any authorization UIs and in the law system which allows you to easily group players or create titles for people that you want to work for the government.



New Animal AI
The AI of animals has been greatly improved and exposed for modding. Animals now eat, sleep, form packs and have species-specific behaviors. Beware though, as they became more intelligent and will now notice when your arrow hits just besides them. We have also implemented a headshot mechanic to make your life easier.



Sewage
In Update 8.0 several workbenches need to be supplied with water to function. In order to do so, you craft a pump and place it near a water source, connect it with pipes and deliver the water to the crafting table where it is converted into sewage. The sewage then needs to be taken care of – in the early game your only option is to release it into the environment, harming it. Later in the game you will get access to the water filter which allows you to clean the sewage and create compost blocks out of it which make a good ingredient for fertilizers.


General
  • Added UPnP support for the game server.
  • Added the ability to customize the reputation colors.
  • Added an API for viewing and setting server configs.
  • Added “HEAD” backups that keep the latest snapshot and happens often
  • enough to minimize data loss.
  • The behavior of backups is now more predictable and works correctly for all settings.
  • Added Disconnect from game when entering another lobby, allowing to join a different server is the player is already in game.
  • Added Arabic and Vietnamese language support.
  • The physical behavior of falling objects has been improved.
  • Animations for jumping players and network interpolation have been improved.
  • Updated the meteor intro sequence.
  • All tutorials can now be reviewed in the “tutorial” tab, left clicking an tutorial there will show it’s popup.
  • Language names in the language selection in the menu now show in their respective language.
  • Added pathfinding functions to allow movement between land and water and quickly finding paths back to water for amphibious animals.
  • Most animals now attempt to return to their home area so visible populations should be more similar to the world layer displays.
  • Added basic herd/pack behavior to some animal species.
  • Moved animal movement behaviors to mods to give modders some examples of how to work with animals.
  • Wolves are now nocturnal.
  • Otters can now venture inland and float with their glorious tummies on display.
  • Tree felling now scares nearby animals.
  • Updated predator behaviors to show eating prey, hunting, relaxing and sleeping.
  • Animal will now flee hunting predators.
  • You can now get closer to animals if you move slow or avoid moving directly towards them.
  • Animal corpse physics is now synced between clients.
  • Improved splitting items by offering specific values to split.
  • Stockpile graphics have been altered so you can now see if there is a hole below.
  • Currency drop downs are now sorted by backed currencies first, then by amount of currency in circulation.
  • Improved behavior of item selection when left-clicking a storage with a tool in your hands.
  • Improved the hammer tool to not cause any more unintended item removals from storages.
  • Added /spawnsewage and /raisesealevel developer commands.
  • Added /sealevel user command.
  • Added /spawn command that accepts different parameters to spawn automatically claimed buildings with a specified world object inside.
  • Added /listadmins command.
  • Added animation randomization scripts to the modkit.
  • Added launch parameters --restoreBackupIfSaveMissing which will inform the eco server to try restore latest backup if save file is missing, and --restoreFromBackup which will force the eco server to restore from specified backup instead of using save file
  • Added ability to set initial server ID with command line argument (--serverId) or environment variable (ECO_SERVER_ID).
  • Added display of progress when loading mods instead of just hanging on the “Loading …” message.
  • Added error handling for local server connections.
  • Dropdown lists now automatically close after leaving them.
  • /setreputation can now skip value clamping.
  • Admins can now be specified by username which allows to grant admin rights before a user logged in.
  • Usernames that could resemble a slg or steam id are now prevented.
  • Chat commands now both accept the English and localized names.
  • Empty data files are now treated as corrupted and will start restoration from a backup, if available.
  • Slight optimizations in bandwidth for the web interface have been made.
  • Improved shutdown logic for Windows and especially Linux servers. The server now catches SIGTERM and SIGINT signals and tries to gracefully shutdown.
  • Improved the dev-tool to be able to destroy everything.
  • Extended the drag zones for items – no more item drag reverts.
  • Added shift modifier to dragging items, you can now drag all items of the dragged type anywhere you want.
  • Species and World Layer settings are now defined in the mods directory, making it easier to release simulation mods.
  • Improved physics performance of animals.
  • Improved connection logic for the server started from client, it is now less likely that it will hang on startup.
  • Single player servers now start in the same language as the launching client.
  • Chat commands were added to the localization system.
  • Disabled the possibility to click on main menu buttons until it is visible to the player.
  • The meteor intro screen is no longer skipped if space or mouse button is pressed during the end of a scene.

Graphics
  • Added volumetric fog graphics option using Aura.
  • Added quality slider for global illumination.
  • Changed view distance slider to 50-200
  • Tweaked shadow settings for better performance
  • Tweaked foliage LOD settings, can set all the way up to 200% quality if desired.
  • Improved performance of global illumination and reflections; These effects will update less frequently, but at a dramatic improvement in performance.
Gameplay

  • Added tier display to world object tooltips if it has a tier. (Doors, etc.)
  • Added tier display to items, if they have a tier attribute.
  • Added extra seed recipes to the Farmer’s Table for all new plants.
  • Added seed recipes for Amanita Mushrooms.
  • Added minimap store location display in the economy tracker.
  • Added housing category color to housing tooltip.
  • Added batch selection to stores.
  • Added title to the minimap UI.
  • Added a delay for “has for sale” messages to prevent spam.
  • Added an “All” button to UIs with an input amount.
  • Added a description to the chainsaw that is used instead of the description of the axe.
  • Added quick item transfer between inventories using mouseclick and shortcuts.
  • Added automatic quantity capping on item transfer.
  • Added the possibility to set the worlds default currency by the leader in the treasury.
  • Added the bank account balance of a storeowner to the economy viewer.
  • Added the possibility to see if you are authorized to use a shop in the economy viewer.
  • Added an elevator call post to control the elevator remotely.
  • Added the possibility to charge fees to the repair station.
  • Added a popup when trying to open the skill ui without finishing or skipping the needed tutorial first.
  • Added an “transaction successful” popup for bank transfers and payback of debts.
  • Players now move slightly faster on roads.
  • Most higher tier food recipes now require lower-tier food recipes to be crafted.
  • The areas in which farming is suitable have been drastically expanded. For example, tomatoes now may survive in almost all 'grassland' areas as opposed to only smaller areas of those biomes.
  • Left clicking on a storage with an empty selected toolbar slot will fill it with the first item in the storage.
  • Tree debris is now dependent on the tree species and slows you down.
  • Seeds for all tree types except cactus are now acquired from the debris rather than whacking branches.
  • Almost all object and item crafting recipes had their costs increased. (From very slight adjustments to almost double, depending on the recipe) to account for the new skill system granting 50% efficiency immediately when choosing a specialty.
  • Removed the storage tab from some objects that didn’t need them.
  • Pipes are no longer considered walls and thus do not affect room score or count as structure.
  • Plants now impede vehicle movement, construction vehicles are unaffected.
  • Plant sounds are now played for animals, other players and vehicles. This should help moving entities feel more present in the world and finding animals hiding in dense vegetation.
  • The tooltip for room tier will now differentiate between constructed blocks and stacked blocks.
  • The computer lab will now show a message if there is not enough power available to run the lasers and disable them when they run out of power while active.
  • Treasury will no longer show currency if there is none of it in the treasury.
  • Tweaked treasury currencies update times, it now shows more recent information.
  • Tutorial tasks that have been completed before opening the tutorial will be completed when the tutorial is opened.
  • Removed selecting land claim papers subtask in the tutorials.





Bug Fixes:
  • This list includes all notable bugfixes since the start of development for 8.0.
  • Fixed transferring of multiple stacks into the inventory.
  • Fixed strange behavior of the shelf cabinet.
  • Fixed multiple issues with nested contracts that have multiple sub-clauses.
  • Fixed an exploit related to contracts.
  • Fixed a bug that allowed players to change store listings without proper access.
  • Fixed some issues with the housing bar.
  • Fixed calories in the stomach triggering the foraging tutorial.
  • Fixed repair station titles and mechanics.
  • Fixed forgive mechanics for debts.
  • Fixed loans and bonds targeting the wrong account.
  • Fixed an issue that caused the web ui to randomly not show water in the map.
  • Fixed a problem that caused random server names to appear on the continue button and in some cases connecting to the wrong server.
  • Fixed some issues with the UI of the real estate table.
  • /testtreasury now works as intended.
  • Fixed adding new entries to authorization.
  • Fish and otters no longer swim through the ground (or air when going up a waterfall)
  • Adjusted the height offset for checking if grass is below a certain level, fixing the mow contracts.
  • The contract board will no longer show “bucks” in some of its dropdown lists.
  • Prevented the server from crashing after setting the World Leader as an authorized user.
  • Fixed loans not saving their currency on server restarts.
  • Fixed some bugs with debts and contracts.
  • Fixed an issue related to discord hyperlinks and them not showing in the server browser.
  • Fixed players getting their crafting fees waived for orders when they should be paying the fee.
  • Fixed arrow disappearing in choose world screen.
  • Fixed treasury currency dropdown, it’s now dynamic and adapts to window size.
  • Fixed treasury button margins for better localized text support.
  • Fixed /allplants to work again.
  • Fixed accidental block placing with shovel, for example when the storage is full when trying to put the carried item into it.
  • Fixed the local server to be unable to be started from the client.
  • Fixed skill benefits rounding with server-side only calculations.
  • Fixed treasury buttons spacing for localized names.
  • Fixed some skillpoint localizations.
  • Fixed a bug that caused icons to eventually become offset when being dragged around.
  • Fixed orange color in tooltips.
  • Fixed storage interaction errors when the storage is full.
  • Fixed position of the food status UI tooltip.
  • Fixed hitboxes of status bar tooltips.
  • Fixed blocks attempting to connect to the wooden elevator. The elevators ‘doorway’ for sealing rooms is now below the elevator and you must have an empty space there when placing it.
  • Fixed a strange behavior for law buttons to sometimes cause to scroll instead of their intended action.
  • Fixed wrong bank account funds numbers in direct transfer dialog.
  • Fixed target bank account name not shown in direct transfers.
  • Fixed an issue that caused completed tutorials to not show up in the tutorial list.
  • Fixed the escape menu to no longer show the wrong default selected tab.
  • Fixed item selection in the toolbar.
  • Fixed digging and mining tutorials.
  • Fixed picking up carried items with left click.
  • Fixed sorting in the economy viewer, it now sorts by the localized name instead of the english name.
  • Fixed graphics tab layout and sliders in the escape menu, allowing them to dynamically scale for bigger localized text.
  • Fixed /give command, it now behaves more like usual inventory transfers.
  • Fixed cranes no longer showing their interface and being unusable.
  • Fixed showing of error messages in the Web UI in cases of a server error.
  • Fixed the chat to jump to a wrong position when opening.
  • Fixed a bug that caused the animal populations reset to max population on a server restart.
  • Fixed scrolling in the server browser.
  • Fixed distribution station tracker for remaining items to update correctly.
  • Fixed third person camera behaving oddly near large plants.
  • Fixed wrong name in work orders being passed to the localizer.
  • Fixed “Array out of Bounds” Exception in /creative command.
  • Fixed distribution station caused breaks.
  • Fixed double connection error message.
  • Fixed broken inventories.
  • Fixed editing of bank accounts.
  • Fixed exception on the removal of bank accounts.
  • Fixed a problem that lead to the server not being added to the recent servers when joining through direct connect.
  • Fixed several localization bugs.
  • Fixed crash when placing a starter camp.
  • Fixed being stuck at the connection UI.
  • Fixed an issue when reconnecting to servers.
  • Fixed a crash on shift-clicking empty slots.
  • Fixed strange behavior when setting tax percentages in the treasury.
  • Pinned “Make a transfer” button outside of the scroll area.
  • Fixed the layout of the housing tutorial.
  • Fixed a rare issue that could happen when multiple players tried to pickup the same world object.
  • Fixed hunting not leveling up properly.
  • Fixed several issues with tier requirements on various tables.
  • Fixed server browser layout.
  • Fixed buggy line in the header of the crafting UI.
  • Fixed the name parsing of the leader in the treasury.
  • Fixed an issue that allowed other players than the leader to change the worlds default currency.
  • Fixed star glow effect appearing on level up and points changes.
  • Fixed frame-rate degradation after closing crafting UIs.
  • Fixed title tooltips not shown
  • Fixed skill notification window layout.
  • Fixed adding double rows in currency exchange offers.
  • Fixed ping to server behind a NAT.

Next up for the developers is a focus on performance and polish in Eco 8.1, which will arrive in March (date TBD). After that is Eco 9.0, the Laws and Government update, which will add constitutions to the game and many other new features. Look forward to more details on that to come.

And next week I’ll be describing our long-term goals and plans in an article ‘The Eco Movement’.

Thanks for all your support,

- The Eco Team
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