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EVOCHRON MERCENARY NEWS


August 1st, 2014
Version 2.878 is available for download. This update includes the following improvements:

- Current selected device now displayed in individual axis channel control mapping menu.
- Individual axis channels can now be mapped across multiple devices (previously required the complete binding process).
- Crew members are now kept with the player in an 'inactive' status when they pilot ships that lack the capacity to use them.
- Ship rescue distress call time limit doubled and cargo delivery distress call time limit increased by about 50%.
- Option to move a selected crew member to the top of the list in the crew management console added.
- Updated button input binding system to better accommodate button 32 on certain devices.
- Clearing individual axis channels now limited to selected device only.


To access the option to move a crew member to the top of the list, hold the Alt key in the crew management console.

The server program has also been updated for this version to accommodate the new distress call time limit increases. Server operators will need to update to the new server build to allow for the longer time limits in multiplayer, otherwise the old limits will apply.



May 28th, 2014
Version 2.848 is available for download. This update includes the following improvements:

- New scaling option added to modification options for 3D radar.
- Positioning of 3D radar and target object display updated for improved positioning and more modification flexibility.
- Several container locations repositioned to be more accessible, more now also allowed to orbit planets as debris.
- Option to lock the mouse pointer to the display field during gameplay added to Options menu.
- Water shader updated to prevent certain indicators from casting a reflection.


Changes to the 3D radar and target display may impact some cockpit mods using non-default placement values in the gauges.txt file. So some mods may need to update some of the position values. While testing, I discovered that some cockpit mods used old gauges.txt files that also lacked shadow placement values for the chase view mode. So for a few of them, I've updated the gauges files myself to provide proper alignment for the radar and target display as well as including shadow placement values that they lacked before. The new values for the 'SilicuMax' and 'Perch' cockpits are available in the customizing forum here:
SilicuMax: http://www.starwraith.com/forum/viewthread.php?tid=10093&page=3#pid170374
Perch: http://www.starwraith.com/forum/viewthread.php?tid=9243&page=4#pid170373

The new Mouse Lock option can be optionally bypassed in the exit menu while the game is paused as well as during gameplay by toggling the mouse flight-to-selection control lock mode (press both Alt keys to toggle on or off).



May 8th, 2014
Version 2.828 is available for download. This update includes the following improvements:

- 3D radar updated to reflect distance as well as direction via blip size scaling based on proximity.
- AI controlled capital ship pre-jump point placement scanning accuracy increased to reduce potential jump point collisions.
- Under certain conditions while travelling in deep space, a station license for a player built station could be lost, now fixed.
- Certain contract actions in multiplayer could result in effects on single player reputation levels, now locked.
- Rotation input adjusted to provide a more linear result throughout the full range of variable control.
- Variable input control reversed for inertial forward/reverse thrusters and aligned for linear input.


Changes to the rotation input system should help reduce twitching, give a wider range of control, and properly prevents thrusters from maxing out at below 100% input for most variable input flight control modes.



April 8th, 2014
Version 2.808 is available for download. This update includes the following improvements:

- IDS scale level control can now be mapped to an axis channel input.
- Improved resolution detection systems for initial launch and Game Options menu.
- Shield array energy augment controls can now be mapped to directional HAT inputs.
- Jump drive system updated to let player select an exit velocity via throttle and IDS scale level.
- If a partial disconnect occurs in multiplayer, the game can now attempt to automatically reconnect.
- Multiplayer exit weapon fire detection now focuses only on gunfire and missiles fired at and by player.
- Additional integrity check added for player built stations in profile saving system.
- Gray sphere would appear on rare occasion after a jump drive exit, now fixed.
- Click range for down buttons in message log adjusted for better alignment.
- Multiplayer exit countdown timer duration reduced to about 5 seconds.
- Improved multiplayer partial disconnect detection system.
- Fuel tank sizes increased to 500 units from 400 units.


The server program has also been updated for this build and includes the following improvements:

- Option to auto-save the chatlog via entering a text marker as a message added (text2.dat lines 850 and 851). Can be used by server operator (no brackets) or client (entered in brackets, subject to specified admin password).



January 8th, 2014
Version 2.788 is available for download. This update includes the following improvements:

- SX, SY, and SZ sector coordinate labels added to passenger delivery description line.
- Much more forgiving racing system implemented with larger courses allowing for more room to maneuver.
- MDTS indicator displaying a lock after being deactivated then reactivated with no target in gunsight fixed.
- Exit menu and respawn menu multiplayer text chat system now uses selected in-game clan or sector secure chat mode.
- Mod options added to nav map to allow changing coordinate labels (text.dat lines 1631-1635).
- '+' and '-' characters added to arrows on nav map to more clearly indicate directional values.
- System for 'ffenable.txt' file updated to correct value mismatch that occurred occasionally.
- Asteroid collision check with mining beam reduced in size for more accurate placement.
- Precision of local client ping and related timer calculations increased.
- Minor click range improvements to the UI.




October 8th, 2013
Version 2.728 is available for download. This update includes the following improvements:

- Gun turret hull armor indicator now changes color based on damage level.
- Control axis mapping system updated to better support inertial thruster invert selection on systems with multiple devices.
- Alt key option added for weapon and shield energy management selection for quickly setting to maximum/minimum levels.
- Text notification now displayed in the message log when payment is received from a fleet ship after completing a mining cycle.
- Nav map point selection now applies two sector coordinate values relative to map orientation, X and Z for top view, X and Y for rear view.
- When zooming in on the nav map in rear view mode, maplog waypoints could block left click nav point selection, now fixed.
- When transitioning from terrain walker back to spaceship, engine sounds might not restart properly, now fixed.
- Custom music files above group level 3 may not load correctly under certain folder conditions, now fixed.
- Several minor bug fixes.




July 8th, 2013
Version 2.708 is available for download. This update includes the following improvements:

- Faster pre-generated planet terrain building system added.
- Systems with intermittent read/write hard drive reliability problems could encounter an error 105 during loading at around 30-50%, new loading processes implemented to reduce error potential on such systems by generating more content in memory.
- Minor issue with message log shadow resulting in mismatched alignment when no lines of data are contained fixed.
- Using station detonators in single player could result in the flight timer being reset, now fixed.
- Terrain walker HUD elements could remain behind after being destroyed, now fixed.
- Excessive price variations for commodities sold from planet cities fixed.
- Several minor bug fixes.




April 25th, 2013
Version 2.488 is available for download. This update includes the following improvements:

- New quadrant maps with improved system placement accuracy and image quality.
- Option to change gunsight and display coloring (hue and RGB) added to Options menu (HUD Configuration).
- New frame graphics added for navigation, inventory, and trade consoles (better aligning them with other menus).
- Under some conditions, planet terrain could be rendered at multiple detail levels simultaneously, occasionally causing subtle flickering, now fixed.
- If the game is interrupted during gameplay to the point media resources are deleted/lost from memory, it will now to auto-save the profile and attempt to reload all media assets automatically.
- If the game is interrupted during a file extraction and/or loading process by external interference or system problems causing file corruption/damage, it can now automatically attempt to clean and repair the damage next time it is launched.
- HUD Flight Path Marker updated to better indicate offset course and to account for additional factors including gravity.
- Optional Horizontal and Vertical Velocity Marker added to the HUD Configuration menu to provide legacy functionality.
- Friction factor based on velocity and atmospheric density now applies to hull burn glow effect for a better visual cue.
- Overall reputation level changing when travelling from sector to sector in the same system fixed.
- Options to set a custom value for CvC kills and clan linked contracts in multiplayer added.
- TrackIR, padlock, and mouse look view modes updated for a wider vertical viewing range.
- 400% increase in multiplayer terrain control credit for CvC kills (default value).
- Sound effect volume setting now applies to mouse clicks in main menu as well.
- MDTS auto-aiming prediction system updated for smoother movement.
- HUD indicator positions adjusted to better support stereoscopic 3D.
- Scaling option for pitch ladder added (details in customizing kit).
- Position option for compass added (details in customizing kit).
- Flight Path Marker added to 3D radar.
- Wind sound effect volume reduced.
- Several minor bug fixes.


The server program has also been updated for this build. The 400% increase in default territory control credit for clan-vs-clan kills will only apply on servers running the updated server build.



February 28th, 2013
Version 2.408 is available for download. This update includes the following improvements:

- More friendly AI ships added for support in single player war zone missions.
- AI combat tactics systems updated to unify target selection and maneuvering behavior between single player and multiplayer.
- New AI tactics systems allowing hostile ships to selectively establish attack and defend patterns based on objective type (ie order specific ships to attack capital ship during escort contracts).
- Rate of movement in 3rd person chase view reduced to better keep player ship in view when performing high speed maneuvers.
- Planetary atmosphere system updated to provide variable friction/burn levels based on atmospheric density at different altitudes.
- Friendly AI ships will generally join in to defend player and attack hostiles while on a contract if they are in range.
- Gravity system updated to provide a more realistic acceleration effect in zero atmosphere environments.
- Sector and Clan only text messages now labeled for each message type when received.
- Waypoint for escort contracts/missions now placed at friendly capital ship location.
- Gravity gauge system updated to provide a 1:1 relevant velocity offset value.
- New 'total velocity' indicator added to lower left cockpit display.
- Capital ships given moderate increase in defensive capabilities.
- Capital ship flak cannon damage level increased.
- Several minor bug fixes.


The AI can now formulate much more complex attack and defend strategies, including both individual ship decisions and group decisions. For example, they can dynamically assign a few ships to attack a capital ship being escorted while assigning the rest to distract and defend. Ships assigned to certain roles can also be changed by the AI system as conditions change. Friendly AI ships are now also generally more effective and responsive in their cooperative efforts with the player, particularly in war zones. They will look for opportunities and nearest hostile threats to take out as well as selectively assigning certain ships for capital ship attacks, matching tactics used by hostile ships against the player. Friendly AI will be more aggressive and actively engage to help out while the player has an active contract.

Players should find escort contracts a little more challenging now, having to pay attention to hostiles selectively and continually attacking the escort ship. Hostile ships will now usually be able to destroy the escort ship before it can jump if the player doesn't effectively defend it.

In addition to the forward, vertical, and horizontal speed indicators, a new 'total velocity' indicator has been added to the right of the local forward/reverse velocity indicator on the lower left cockpit display. This new indicator will let you know what your ship's overall velocity is, including all factors and independent of any external offsets (ie planet rotation). Once all variables are accounted for, including vertical, horizontal, and forward/reverse speed combined with gravity, the total velocity is displayed on this indicator. So you can find yourself actually flying slower than your applied relative forward/reverse set velocity when you fly away from a gravity point and then be flying faster when you fly toward a gravity point. With this new option, you can visually gauge how much of an effect a force like gravity is having on your ship's overall momentum/speed.

The total velocity gauge takes into account every factor that effects your ship's movement, including planet rotation. So if a planet has you in its gravity hold and you are rotating with it, you can see a slight variation in your overall velocity, depending on the orientation of your ship. And since the total velocity indicator is direction independent, your forward/reverse velocity may read negative while the total velocity continues to read a positive value since it only measures the total velocity of your ship. So be sure to take such factors into account when monitoring the velocity conditions of your ship. The total velocity indicator can be particularly helpful in combat situations when performing high speed maneuvers.



February 8th, 2013
Version 2.308 is available for download. This update includes the following improvements:

- Solar array mesh structure updated.
- AI system updated to direct computer controlled ships to properly avoid solar arrays.
- New passive/safety target MFD mode added to turn off ship specific targeting completely on the display.
- Matching material types in other cargo slots would sometimes be transferred in a ship-to-ship trade when the unit count was different, now fixed.
- Delivery contract waypoint system updated to prevent placement near sector border which could result in contract failure as player approached capital ship.
- AI physics and control systems updated to better account for relative frame weight, thruster power, and maneuvering parameters.
- Racing AI velocity and thruster skill reduced to make passing second IMG quest contract easier.
- Atmosphere system updated to provide a thinner look with less ambient/horizon brightness.
- Atmosphere haze effect updated to provide a smoother transition from space to surface.
- Ship formation system updated to manage throttle better to reduce shield collisions.
- Altimeter would occasionally jump at various points above terrain, now fixed.
- Server status check will now return to multiplayer menu if connection fails.
- Capital ships now hold their position at waypoint for delivery contracts.
- Leech EMP missiles now work correctly when used on terrain walkers.
- Flak effects added for AI ships flying close to hostile capital ships.
- Capital ship anti-shield torpedoes now inflict more damage.
- Flyby sound effect proximity activation range reduced.
- Mod options added for certain atmosphere effects.
- Option to specify a unique framerate cap added.
- Several minor bug fixes.


The option to turn off ship targeting will provide a way to disengage your weapon locking systems. No ships will be in danger of being fired upon due to a missile lock nor will the MDTS lock while in this mode. When you turn off the ship targeting MFD, the radar will enter a passive tracking mode that will let you know which ship will be targeted once the targeting MFD is turned back on. You can continue to select a new target while in the passive targeting mode, but it will only be indicated on the radar with brackets.



January 20th, 2013
Version 2.298 is available for download. This update includes optimizations to resolve framerate performance issues.



January 18th, 2013
Version 2.288 is available for download. This update includes the following improvements:

- Improved rendering performance for most systems.
- Mod placement options added for text chat/message log.
- Improved activation performance for the dynamic cube mapping system for planetary water (eliminating the 0.5-1 second pause on planetary descents).
- New loading mechanism applied to planet meshes and city meshes to better support systems with limited/restricted hard drive performance/functionality (ie file error 105).
- Fix for loading issue causing stored custom weapons in hangars to have removed stats.
- Updated collision system for planetary terrain to reduce overall memory use.
- Training mode can now be completed using profiles saved in other systems.
- Adjusted click ranges in configure controls menus.
- Improved lens flare masking for capital ships.
- Several minor bug fixes.




January 8th, 2013
Version 2.208 is available for download. This update includes the following improvements:

- Fix for file error 'heightmap' loading messages occuring on a few systems.
- Fix for collision error messages related to objects 15000-16500 during loading and on exit.
- Fix for a parameter mismatch between versions that could cause station building to be denied in multiplayer.
- Numerical values being displayed in station lobby, shipyard, and weapon lab chatlogs fixed.
- Fixes for a few minor cosmetic issues in menus.




January 5th, 2013
Version 2.188 is available for download. This update includes the following improvements:

- Status updates for player built stations now broadcasted faster.
- Local station counts in multiplayer can now be monitored in the news console.
- Fix for potential short term framerate stuttering due to player built station status updates that could occur as a player entered a new sector.
- Fulcrum Torpedoes and Station Detonators now have locked auto-saving applied in multiplayer to limit them from being chronically reused after respawning.
- Arming sequence for Fulcrum Torpedoes and Proximity Mines shortened to about 10 seconds.
- Expanded text notifications for station building and destruction events.
- Improved integrity checking at build points for stations.
- Planetary mining with mining probes fully enabled.
- Fix for occasional freeze in multiplayer.


The server program has also been updated for this build.



December 31st, 2012
Evochron Mercenary version 2.158 is available for download. Although it's only been a few days since the last update, I'm rolling this one out quickly due to a fix for a potential crash issue. This update includes the following improvements:

- Trade console now closes after one player accepts a player-to-player trade console contract.
- Under very rare circumstances, a pending contract could have its pay value set to zero, now fixed.
- Runtime error 7008 at line 64060-64090 message that could rarely occur at around the 50% loading point (in multiplayer only) now fixed.
- Player built stations made in single player would sometimes be removed from a profile if the player was in a matching sector in single player, then joined multiplayer, saved, then later returned to single player. Now fixed.
- Dropped cargo containers would not always contain the correct unit count or other parameters, now fixed.
- A few other minor cosmetic bug fixes are also included.




December 28th, 2012
Version 2.128 is available for download and includes the following improvements:

- Escape pod and certain lost item contracts now properly limited to sectors with stations.
- Beam cannon now provided to player's ship in training mode to make destroying drone ship easier.
- One wormhole pathway to Rucker would result in arrival close enough to the planet the player would burn up in atmosphere, adjusted for a save arrival distance.
- On rare occasion, a player could be kicked for detected cheating due to perceived invalid damage level status changes during high speed atmosphere descent/maneuvering, now fixed.
- Fix for rare freezing issue when transitioning from sector to sector in chase view mode with an active contract or when contract pool updates.
- Earned reputation level could reset to default value when player spawned until they relocated to a different system and returned, now fixed.
- More audio channels added to particle cannon sound effect system to better support rapid fire weapons without clicking/popping.
- Waypoint range limits in-sector narrowed to help reduce potential contract failure due to sector departure.
- Wing/Thruster selection (civilian ships) now has a more significant impact on inertial thruster performance.
- Station building and detonating would intermittently fail in systems with existing trade stations, now fixed.
- Click range for 'Cancel Contract' button in inventory console expanded to match highlight bar.
- Improved multiplayer event message queue system in an effort to eliminate lost event data.
- Mining inside the ice particles of planetary rings now allows for asteroid mining as well.
- Target direction indicators would often drift when a console was open, now fixed.
- Player name and launch distance added to Fulcrum Torpedo launch alert message.
- Fix for cause of rare teleportation of player when entering a planet atmosphere.
- Fix for player spawning inside a capital ship due to fleet ID mistmatch.
- Arming sequences added to Fulcrum Torpedoes and Proximity Mines.
- Locking Alt press option added, activate by pressing both Alt keys.
- Heat signature value added to 'savedata' export option.
- Minor bug fixes.


The server program has also been updated for this build.



December 15th, 2012
Version 2.108 is available for download and includes the following improvements:

- Player-to-player contract system now uses a one stage 'Accept' option for arranging contracts.
- Fix for items and credits getting lost if two players are in different trade console modes and both click submit.
- Initial weapon power supply for lower class civilian ships increased to make it easier to destroy drone ship in training.
- Target MDTS lead indicator shadow better calibrated with primary indicator at edges of screen.
- Multiplayer text chat frame relocated to appropriate location in weapon lab templates menu.
- Quick accept option added to the confirm sale of item prompt, use Enter key.
- Asteroid mining now functions properly in nebula clouds and planetary rings.
- Added option to manually disable water shader dynamic cube mapping.
- 'Max Vsync' screen mode options renamed to 'No Vsync'.
- Several minor bug fixes.


The server program has also been updated for this build.



December 8th, 2012
The Evochron Mercenary expansion is now available! The new edition of the game will use build version numbers '2.X' and the first update, version 2.088, is now available in the downloads section. For the update's FAQ and changelog, click here. It's recommended that you read that information page for details on upgrading from older versions of the game, a summary of what's new, and recommendations on using some of the new available options.



February 10th, 2012
Version 1.828 is available for download and includes the following improvements:

- Fuel converters can now be directly installed on ships from station hangars.
- Locations of linked/friendly players in multiplayer are now displayed on the quadrant map (both large map and regular map).
- Support for roll, pitch, and yaw key and button controls now available simultaneously with enabled or disabled joystick/gamepad axis controls across different flight control modes.
- Distress call messages would sometimes display in certain menus/modes even when disabled, fixed.
- Alt key will now suspend dedicated weapon firing buttons in mouse flight control modes.
- Cockpit design revised to eliminate flickering on lower resolution displays.
- Error 502 occurring on some systems in carrier shipyards fixed.
- New window mode options added to swscreen.txt file system.
- Support for domain name multiplayer hosting added (DNS).
- 1280X720 added as a default resolution option.
- Several minor bug fixes.


The server program has also been updated for this build and includes the following improvements:

- Player built station logging fixed (2D version).
- Clan territory control stats now update much faster.
- Added option to save the entire chatlog history across multiple sessions to one file.
- Server performance status added to chatlog history option above for each save event.
- Support for using domain names for hosting addresses added (DNS).
- Chatlog save time interval now adjustable.




January 27th, 2012
Evochron Mercenary is now available on Steam. Several players reported issues with the MDTS system in PvP battles while online in multiplayer. As a result, I've rewritten just about all of the MDTS system for improved accuracy and consistency. A few players also reported a problem with the game running at an incorrect timing rate, so this has also been address with a new timer system. The new build, version 1.808 is now available for download. The server program has also been updated for this build and includes faster clan stat and player-built station updating as well as greeting messages broadcasted only to newly joining players. The 2D server program has been significantly updated for improved connection and display compatibility. If you've downloaded the server program before today, be sure to update to the official release build (1.808b) as it includes several additional improvements and fixes since last week's test builds.



December 24th, 2011
The time has come to officially announce the upcoming expansion for Evochron, due some time next year. There are many new features planned for the game including a new planetary engine, weapon crafting, new visual effects, revised ship/station designs, new equipment, and even terrain walkers that let you get out of your ship and explore planet surfaces 'on foot'... along with much more. I've created a new development section that will provide details on the status of the expansion, including the progress of the new features being implemented and considered. The 'to-do' list for this expansion is massive, but I've already managed to make quite a bit of progress on it over the last year or so and many of the most challenging parts of it are now up and running in prototype form. So click on the link above to visit the new section and check back often for updates. As always, your feedback is appreciated as things progress over the coming months and we move closer to launch.



November 11th, 2011
Version 1.708 is available for download and includes the following improvements:

- New menu background graphics for added detail.
- Improved and adjusted asteroid cave collision detection.
- Afterburner sound effects updated to eliminate clicks/pops when activating and deactivating.
- New special effects including explosion blast waves, missile detonation explosions, and explosion lens flares.
- New clan tag bracket option ('<>') to allow for secure voice chat without clan affiliation.
- Station detonator links no longer remain active when entering the exit menu.
- New high fidelity sound effects including distance based volume control.
- Occasional disconnect of players in shipyards, hangars, or lobbies fixed.
- Multiple object and surface capability added to the explosion system.
- Improved timing system for systems with ultra-high frames-per-second.
- Full ping status system added to better gauge network performance.
- Several minor bug fixes.


The server program has also been updated for this build.



September 22nd, 2011
Version 1.588 is available for download and includes the following improvements:

- New background nebula texture layer added (includes support for customizing).
- Significant multiplayer performance improvements, particularly for slower systems.
- Training mode now keeps text details for each section on screen and includes dividers for improved legibility.
- Ships sending a distress call for rescue now ping their location once players enter the sector.
- Weapon impact physics system updated for more variety and accurate reaction effects.
- Hidden cargo container limits for missiles increased to provide a full rack of 8 per visit.
- Delayed clan control status indicators on quadrant map fixed (server program).
- Station detonator system updated to prevent device failure (server program).
- Voice chat identification system updated to prevent duplicate icon listings.
- Custom quest system updated to support the default encrypted format.
- Additional integrity checks added to map log system.
- Voice chat indicator capacity doubled.
- Several minor bug fixes.


The customizing kit has been updated to include the new background texture options along with several filename changes.



August 12th, 2011
Version 1.508 is available for download and includes the following improvements:

- Proximity range for station building near jump gates increased.
- Ship formation system updated to properly respond to certain actions and threat levels.
- Integrity check and alert prompt added to prevent players from losing equipment when designing replacement ships.
- Design parameters for a new ship design that are insufficient to transfer installed items now highlighted in red.
- Finalized implementation of new media optimizations to improve performance and decrease load times.
- Several click ranges updated for improved accuracy and greater size.
- Station detonator functionality updated for open space use only.
- Several minor bug fixes.




July 8th, 2011
Version 1.488 is available for download and includes the following improvements:

- Distress call and event system added providing random emergencies that can occur throughout the game's universe.
- If a ship-to-ship trade fails due to insufficient cargo space, the cargo will now be dropped into a container in space.
- Hidden cargo container access limits applied by player request (location/travel based only, not numerical).
- UI improvements including new highlight buttons for menus and consoles.
- New font added for improved legibility and a more futuristic appearance.
- Overall memory use at maximum detail settings reduced by about 40 MB.
- Click ranges for a number of options updated for improved accuracy.
- 'Font Mode' option added to select between the old and new font.
- Map log entry scrolling limits updated for entire line lengths.
- 'Decryption' error message displayed on some systems fixed.
- New constructor station build point integrity check added.
- New display/video options added to customizing system.
- Deploy constructor pricing indicator corrected.
- Custom quest system capacity expanded.
- Several minor bug fixes.


The new event system provides random emergency situations that can occur in numerous locations throughout the game's universe (beyond individual sectors as with local contracts). For example, a severe food shortage on a planet could result in a distress call that would pay very well for the first player to delivery food units to that planet. A failed atmosphere processor can result in the emergency need of oxygen. Or a ship could run out of fuel far away from the nearest planet and send out a distress call for rescue. The closer a player is to the emergency, the easier it will be to respond, providing opportunistic options.

There will also be options/benefits for players who prepare in advance to respond to the emergencies. That is, those who want to be a 'first responder' can carry full cargo bays of the items in need before the distress call is made. This lets them simply fly to the location in need rather than trying to recover the items on route. By the same token, a player who is in close proximity to an emergency could still have time to recover needed material on route and beat a more distant player with the cargo loaded already.

For multiplayer, the server operator can trigger emergency events manually or turn them off entirely. The default setting will provide events at random intervals. In multiplayer, all players will receive the distress call alerts. The first player to answer the call and complete the objective receives the reward.

When a distress call is received by a player, an alarm will sound and a multi-line text description will be displayed detailing what is required to answer the distress call. Players can optionally mute the alarm or turn off the distress calls entirely in the NAV console.

The customizing kit has also been updated for the UI changes, new button options, and new filenames.



May 28th, 2011
Version 1.428 is available for download and includes the following improvements:

- Background star detail increased.
- Military ship frames updated to improve texture alignment.
- Gun turret control system updated to match flight control vertical input.
- Modification system updated to support custom ship hull textures for each color option.
- Modification system updated to properly load/display custom image files for loading stage.
- Primary weapon and shield impact sound effects now use multiple audio channels for improved quality.
- Multiplayer system updated for improved compatibility with a wider range of network devices and better performance.
- Mouse button input system updated to ignore input signals from buttons 3 and higher for menus.
- Mouse button control for multiplayer voice chat implemented (including remapping option).
- Profile template problem that occasionally caused lost hangar items fixed.
- Reduced memory overhead slightly for improved efficiency.
- Shadows added to target and station direction indicators.
- Several texture improvements for better image quality.
- Shield array status indicators added to gunsight.
- Exhaust lens flare effect added (angle based).
- Several minor bug fixes.


The new multiplayer system is designed for improved performance, utilizes multiple CPU cores better, and should provide better compatibility with a wider range of network devices.

The customizing kit has also been updated for a few changes in file formats and the new options. Filename changes include 'greenarrow.png', 'greenbox.png', and 'yellowbox.png'. The new shield array status indicators use 'b2shieldX-front.png', 'b2shieldX-left.png', 'b2shieldX-rear.png', and 'b2shieldX-right.png' where X is a number from 1 to 3 representing the damage level from green to red.



April 8th, 2011
Version 1.288 is available for download and includes the following improvements:

- Dedicated size option added for custom display and HUD text.
- 'Clan Only' voice chat mode enabled for receiving messages while in exit menu.
- Missile explosion animation system updated for more consistent rendering at higher FPS.
- Dynamic cube mapping for planetary water linked to 'High' shader option in Options menu.
- Station detonator prices reduced to make them more accessible and potentially increase their use.
- Secondary throttle control input system updated to better support various gamepad/joystick devices.
- Text rendering system updated for improved efficiency and to eliminate flickering that may occur on some systems.
- Secondary weapon damage levels better aligned with armor specifications for each frame type.
- AI ship construction system updated for Saber and Raven frames for better wing placement.
- Additional proximity checks added to construction system to prevent 'station stacking'.
- Station detonator availability increased through reloading option at specific locations.
- Player built trade station limit set to 50 for each 500 sector territory control zone.
- Clan territory control rate credit increased by 500% for player built trade stations.
- 'Black warp gate' issue on Nvidia GeForce 400 and 500 series of video cards fixed.
- Military frames now have significantly greater primary weapon energy reserves.
- Military frames can now have up to eight equipment components.
- Military frames now have one cargo bay slot.
- Several minor bug fixes.


The new font size option will let you specify a unique size for the display/HUD text that is different from the primary message and menu text.

The dynamic cube mapping system for planetary water is now linked to the 'High' shader setting in the Options menu. This lets you disable the dynamic water effects without impacting the other planetary details such as terrain meshes, detail mapping, clouds, and textures. On some systems, good performance can still be achieved with planet details set high, but the dynamic water effects might cause a significant performance reduction. This way, you can control the water effects independently of the other planet details and effects by changing the shader setting to 'Limited' in the Options menu.

To update any military ship designs you own for the new options, simply rebuild the ship in any shipyard or buy a new one and the design will be updated automatically.



February 25th, 2011
Version 1.228 is available for download and includes the following improvements:

- Custom options added for nav map console icons.
- Nav map clan territory control icons can now be highlighted when close to mouse pointer.
- Armor levels for military ships increased by about 25% for improved performance against particle cannons.
- External save data system expanded to include new details including ship specifications and player ranking.
- External save data system now updates for primary target selected in range list MFD mode.
- Mouse input system updated to support the full range of resolution dependent movement.
- Text alert added for attempting to build stations within 2 sectors of each other.
- Support for remapping mouse buttons added, supports up to 8 buttons.
- Cycle rates for beam cannons aligned with particle cannons.
- Pay for fleet ships mining from asteroids increased by 10X.
- Updated for compatibility with Windows 7 Service Pack 1.
- Player admin functions added to server program.
- Player built station limit increased (server).
- Several minor bug fixes.


If you've been running the game in a higher resolution, you will likely notice the mouse pointer will now respond with the full range of input control available by the resolution you select. Previously, the mouse input system used a 'scaled down' input matrix that often resulted in rapid pointer movement while also limiting the range of movement for certain input devices. The new mouse input system now adapts to whatever screen resolution you are running the game in. So if you play the game at the optimized resolution used by your desktop, the mouse will respond with the same rate of control that you're already familiar with navigating your Windows desktop. Likewise, if you are using a pen input device, you can now use the entire screen as needed for proper flight control and option selection. You can also further customize the horizontal mouse pointer offset if the pointing device you are using needs a different scale. To change the offset value, open the sw.cfg file from the game's save data folder and edit the line that reads 'MouseOffset=0'. Increasing the value from 0 to 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, etc will increase the scale offset. Values below 0 will decrease the scale offset.



January 20th, 2011
Version 1.208 is available for download and includes the following improvements:

- Talison war zone updated with easier combat objectives for new players.
- Combat Pilot role now starts player in Talison war zone with immediate access to combat contracts.
- Shadow effect added to descent/docking guide bars for improved visibility in planet clouds and nebulae.
- Shadow effect also added to the HUD strafe indicator for improved visibility in planet clouds and nebulae.
- Clan territory control values now do not decrease over time when at least one member of the clan is online.
- Voice chat system updated for improved compatibility and performance on a wider range of systems.
- Clan territory control values in multiplayer now hold at 100% for a longer period of time.
- 'Arc' control sensitivity mode integrated with the standard 'Medium' and 'Low' options.
- Gas planets with vertical ring orientations adjusted to be aligned on the equator.
- 'Clan Only' mode added to quadrant map for viewing only player's clan levels.
- Player built station capacity doubled and additional integrity system added.
- Planet ring dust clouds not properly reappearing after respawn fixed.
- Adjustable IDS throttle scale options added (1X-5X selectable).
- IDS throttle scale mode indicator added to ship status display.
- Duplicate equipment installation in station hangars fixed.
- New position options added for custom text fonts.
- Lightning added to gas giant planet atmospheres.
- Pay for territory control increased 10 times.
- Several minor bug fixes.


For the new IDS throttle scale mode options, see page 3 of the key and button configuration menu. For voice chat, the game now uses a higher frequency of smaller packets to improve compatibility with certain security settings and programs. The customizing kit has also been updated for the new font options.



December 10th, 2010
Version 1.188 is available for download and includes the following improvements:

- AI ships now use beam weapons.
- Several performance improvements.
- AI not following orders properly in war zones fixed.
- Array error message occuring after deleting all text lines fixed.
- Hangar storage inventory duplication when building new stations in close proximity fixed.
- Inventory items in war zones now update in single player using the same system as multiplayer.
- Sensor indicators on nav map now render with proper transparency with planet city indicators.
- Players can now specify unique textures for each type of small ship frame in the game.
- Station detonator system updated to not effect players docked in other sectors.
- Physics system updated for more consistent thruster behavior at high speed.
- Critical alarm is now played when a fulcrum torpedo is launched nearby.
- Quadrant map can now be zoomed in for a more legible view.
- Inbound missile indicators appearing when HUD is off fixed.
- Shader system updated for custom player designed cities.
- Custom imported ship designs enabled for external views.
- Font set expanded to support German characters.
- Player built station capacities increased (server).
- Improved cloud layer scaling.
- Tech data text updated.
- Several minor bug fixes.


The new zoom option for the quadrant map should make viewing clan territory statistics much easier. Click on the 'Zoom Map' button to activate. If you need to view the bottom of the map (which can be obscured by the cockpit displays), you can use the mouse view mode or 3D head tracking to change the view with the map still visible.

The performance improvements should help increase the overall framerate significantly on low end systems (while likely improving performance slightly on high end systems, or pretty much staying the same). On my low end test system, the framerate more than doubled.

The customizing kit has also been updated for the new individual ship texture options. The revised kit is available in the downloads section.



October 21st, 2010
The first update for the game is ready for download. Version 1.108 includes the following improvements:

- More solar systems made available in demo.
- Occasional player drop due to rapid sector-to-sector travel fixed (server).
- Update rate for player status in multiplayer for shipyard and other menus increased.
- Jump drive control for NPC ships now properly bound for high energy nebula clouds.
- Players can now transfer installed equipment items directly to hangars and back to their ships.
- Custom cockpit system implemented to import external designs (see customizing kit for details).
- New 'Arc' sensitivity setting for flight control devices to offer an alternate response mode for axis inputs.
- Improvements to quest system to keep multiple waypoint patrol objective more manageable and accurate.
- Players can now destroy any player-built station type (including Research, Energy, Constructors, and Ore Processors).
- Single key/button mapping options added for quick save, autopilot, lock mining beam, padlock view, and cinematic view.
- Texture image quality for nav map and 3D radar waypoint and jump point markers improved.
- Power of throttle trim keys increased to match closely with lateral and vertical thrusters.
- Removed docking fees for player-built stations in hostile systems (for non-building players).
- Removed ship detonation when exiting shipyard with more fuel than tank capacity.
- NPC/AI controlled ships fly faster for added challenge in ship-vs-ship racing.
- Players can now use the jettison option for satellite delivery contracts.
- Rank icons would sometimes overlap from view in player list, now fixed.
- Players can now scuttle deployable stations while remaining in-sector.
- Axis control for energy setting not unbinding when remapping fixed.
- Target range list now includes offset spacing for improved legibility.
- 'Toggling' tractor beams on other player ships in multiplayer fixed.
- Map log entries now pause at the last character when scrolling.
- Reduced text display mode added for text/chat messages.
- Mod option for changing the ambient light level added.
- Auto-centering added for force feedback devices.
- Improved planet terrain collision detection.
- Several minor bug fixes.


The customizing kit for the game is also now available in the downloads section. To enable the reduced text display mode, right click on the button at the top left corner of the message controls.



September 17th, 2010
Evochron Mercenary has launched! You can check out the free demo in the Downloads section. Instructions are included with the game, which you can also access from within the game via Main Menu > Training > Close game and view instructions. Also be sure to check out the Universe section of this site for additional details on ships, weapons, equipment, commodities, charted systems, and more.



September 5th, 2010
Final testing is wrapping up and the game is nearing release. If things stay on track, the game will likely be available on or around the 17th. Details on how to receive the upcoming newsletter announcing the game along with discount offers are available in the forum.

It's been a lot of fun flying online with the testers and I'm really looking forward to seeing how the game's universe develops as more join in.



August 28th, 2010
The game is on track for release in mid-September. Triple monitor testing went well and several last minute feature additions have also been implemented including afterburner control on the throttle axis and optional axis control of the shield/weapon energy setting.

You can check out the official Evochron YouTube channel here for the promotional video and the 7 training videos.

Some questions have surfaced recently about how cooperative multiplayer, the online territory control system, and the gun turret mode works. So I'll also post answers here for those interested. First, when you accept contracts together, you are not removed from the game's universe (often referred to as 'instancing'). In some games, players who either want PvP battles or cooperative objectives are forced to leave the game's main universe and are placed in a separate 'pocket' of space on their own, removing them from the gaming environment other players remain part of. That is not the case with Evochron. In Evochron, you remain part of the game's universe so other players can still chat with you and even come in and join you. You can call in for reinforcements if things take a turn for the worse, get advice from players in other sectors, or even call out for refueling. This way, all players continue to participate in the same universe without the kind of fractured zoning found in many other multiplayer games.

For the online territory system, cooperative contracts and clan-vs-clan battles can result in earning points toward control. The server tracks events involving completed contracts and clan wars, then awards percentage points to victorious groups, giving them a partial ownership interest in the system. When clan control is above 80% in a system, they are paid a percentage of earnings from that system. The quadrant map displays circles indicating which systems each clan controls. Green circles indicate the control levels for the clan you are part of. Red circles indicate the control levels of opposing clans. A clan can control more than one system at a time, but needs to maintain that control in order to maintain a high percentage score.

A player can also link to another player as a gun turret operator via the 'Connect Gunner Binding' option in the trade console. The player who clicks on the button will become the gunner. A frame will appear around the ship of the receiving player that will point in the direction the gunner is facing. The gun turret will be controlled by the same device the connecting player selected for flight control. The particle cannon and beam cannon that was on the connecting player's ship will be transferred to the gun turret. They will also have their own power supply for the weapons. Once the gunner binding is established, the connecting player will move with the pilot ship but will be able to point their cannons in any direction using a 'ball turret' type configuration. The gun turret mode provides a simplified HUD designed to facilitate managing primary cannons and monitoring the pilot ship's status.



July 24th, 2010
The final stages of development are going well. I am currently working on testing release candidate builds and some mod options. I'm looking for someone who has a triple monitor display setup that could help with testing various ultra-wide screen resolutions. If you have such a system and would be interested, please visit this forum thread for details.



July 8th, 2010
The official promotional video trailer for the game is now available in the Media section. Several new screenshots have also been posted there. Plus, the training videos are now available in the Universe section of the site.



July 1st, 2010
The official Evochron Mercenary website has launched! The game is in the final stages of testing and is on schedule for release in the fall. Check out the Features and FAQ sections for information about the game.

A promotional video trailer will be available soon along with several training videos to offer instructions on how to play the game and complete various tasks. The training videos will cover topics including building stations, deploying items, combat, completing contracts, navigation, inventory management, ship design and construction, and more.




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