Performance Issues...begone!
Published on September 2, 2010 By ScottTykoski In Elemental Dev Journals

More of a maintenance update than anything, Elemental v1.07 focuses on the performance issues seen by both high and low end users. There are more improvements to come as code is continually improved and tile-designs are streamlined, but this update should bring a healthy FPS boost to all. And, if your frames per second remain under-par, new options will give you additional wiggle-room.
That's not to say gameplay dosen't get some update love...resources no longer use up city tiles, unit groups save out the necessary info to regenerate themselves on reload, and item stacking heroes is a thing of the past...but performance, memory usage, and overall stability were our targets here.

Note: A 1.07.025 hotfix was published with a fix for a crash in the 'Custom Sovereign' system (Merchant/Brilliant/Meditative traits). This would have caused a crash loading saved sovereigns or games with those traits applied as well.
----------- Elemental v1.07 Change Log  -----------

* Performance *
+ Major improvement to rendering system, especially when over cities.
+ Condensed scene rendering process from 3 passes through scene into a single pass
+ Bunch of fixes to the issues behind "DX Error: Invalid Call", particularly when Alt-Tab'ing. This will continue to be worked on.
+ Added new framerate limiter ( limits framerate to refresh rate of device )
- Removed throttle framerates option (this is always on now)
+ Particle Effects no longer render if the "Disable Particle Effects" option is on
+ Outlines now LOD-out as you zoom out
+ Added option "Disable Outlines" to the options screen to turn off rendering outlines (Might help lower-end machines, and some people prefer no outlines)
+ Commented out unnecessary debug messages

* Bug Fixes *
+ Fixed Various Memory Leaks
+ Fixed the issue that was causing the unimproved tile designs for elemental shards to stick around after a shard-harvesting improvement was built on top of them.
+ fixed a bug where if you have the option on where when entering/leaving city build mode, the camera switches between overhead and default view, you could get stuck in overhead view (and forced to manually move the camera back) if you pressed the city build mode button, while already in city build mode
+ fixed bug where AI demands a tribute of 0 gildar
+ fixed display issue where improvement cost entries overfilled the improvement build list
+ fixed display issue where units with long names overfilled the name area on the level up wnd.
+ fixed display issue on battle init wnd, if defense or attack was negative then it showed up as a huge number.  Beserker ring gives a -3 to defense, which could give you negative overall defense.  Same might be true of attack if in the future we have some strange item that decreases your attack.
+ Fixed bug where units in tile designs (like horses, wargs, etc) would not fade out when the tile is under fog of war
+ Fixed "jumping units" when starting new game from within a game (or loading a game within a game)
+ Other fixes regarding battle initition window, creating mountains in map editor, first contact status not being set to relation unknown
+ Fixed a bug where improvements that were flagged as once-per-city were able
to be placed twice.

* Gameplay / Balance *
+ Fixed bug where economic treaty gold bonuses weren't getting added to the global resource pool
+ Changed how creatures and NPCs increase their stats when they level up to nerf incredibly powerful high-level monsters running around
+ Stacking of items fixed (can now only wear 1 per type per champion)
+ Pioneers in a boat can no longer build a Settlement at sea
+ Wild improvements will now be able to be taken into account in a city's resource usage correctly, if any of them ever have negative resource production
+ Refugee camps (and other wild improvements that provide population storage bonuses) improvements
+ Fixed Miner sovereign profession bonus
+ Fixed Great Warriors faction bonus
+ Removed really high starting mana regen ability from Umber's faction config
+ Fixed Advanced Tracking techs (in both tech trees) to change the player ability that is hooked up to affect movement
+ Fixed broken productionreq tag on vengeance coating
+ References to Ice shards changed to Water for consistency
+ Sprint duration adjusted to 2
+ Lowered HP for fallen peasant
+ Fixed up resource hoard description text
+ Various food resources now provide different amounts as indicated by old description text
+ Improved output of Temple of Essence
+ Improved output of Tower of Titans, Tower of Souls
+ Fixed construction resource cost for curgen's exchange
+ Resource hoard costs now mirror kingdoms resource costs
+ Fixed up description text for construction yard
+ Great Theatre no longer provides +100% Gildar, only +100% Prestige
+ AI: Added code to send sovereign back to his capital city if he has no destination after the early phase of the game
+ Fixes for various terrain types not responding to RaiseLand spell
+ Resource hoards no longer deduct from the buildable tiles of a city (the 'bananna cities' from the forums)

* Battles *
+ Changed the calculation for battle damage to take multiple troops into better account (with each unit getting an individual attack roll).
+ Every time panic is caused, the combat text for the panic will be shown.
+ Fixed a problem where misses and non-damage spells would cause an on hit animation to be played in tactical battles.
+ Fixed a possible bug where units would no longer update their troop counts after reaching a single troop left.
+ When selecting the spell book in tactical battles the cursor should now reset to the arrow.
+ When clicking on a unit's hiergemenon entry in tactical battles the cursor should now reset to the arrow.
+ Turned on bounding box picking for tactical battles to improve the feel of unit selection.
+ Selecting units should now be turned back on while other units are animating in tactical battles.
+ Fixed a bug where unit tooltips in tactical battles would draw over tooltips for items and spells.
+ Added some checks to the battle init window to stop the window from showing when defenders or attackers were null. Also added logic to clear waiting flags in this case.

* UI *
+ Adopted the unit vitals context for a Details tab to show when a wild improvement is selected on the main map, to give more meaningful and easier to read information
- If the improvement is under construction, it says so and uses the level slider to show the progress towards completion and the turns left
- If the improvement is done, it shows what that improvement is producing and has an entry to get further information about the improvement by opening up the lorebook
- Also, it shows which city an improvement is linked to, or "Not linked" if it isn't.  If it is linked, the tooltip explains that this city is contributing production bonuses to the resource production of that improvement.  If the improvement is not linked, the tooltip says how many tiles the nearest city needs to be closer to link with that city, explaining that it will be able to get city production bonuses if it does link
+ New Tactical Icons hooked up for Smelter, Trade Center, Construction Yard, Merchant Guild
+ New Tile Designs for Ventri Iron Mine, Stone Quarry, Clay Quarry, Marble Quarry, Drath Village, Shrill Hive, Spider Nest
+ Fixed bug where double-clicking on a spell you couldn't cast from the spellbook popup would queue a bunch of "Can't cast tactical spell" message boxes to appear over and over, now just plays a little failure sound if something that can't be cast is double-clicked
+ Fixed a typo in a campaign dialog
+ When you build an improvement on a resource, the map notifier for it is removed
+ Fixed typo "completly restored" to "completely restored"
+ Fixed some places where the display of per-turn gold production lagged behind changes to it, gets rid of some income discrepancies between some screens when loading a game, adding/cancelling a treaty, etc.

* Known Issues *

+ Tactical Battles: Stuck turn if you use space bar or click "Pass Turn" button while selected unit is moving.  Clicking auto-resolve will end the battle if the turn is stuck.
+ Occasional instances of damage indicators not appearing over units.

Comments (Page 1)
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on Sep 02, 2010

Wow! A lot of fixes.  Thanks for your continued efforts on the game!

on Sep 02, 2010

Are shards working now?

on Sep 02, 2010

Thank you for your hard work SD.

on Sep 02, 2010

Thank you for everyone's effort there

on Sep 02, 2010

Don't know if its the patch or not, but I just installed 1.07, started a new game, then on the 5th turn or so I go SWARMED.  Suddenly four or five stacks of monsters basically appeared beside me and as I was only a few turns into the game I obviously died.  I hit Auto Resolve and mob after mob attacked, including a stack of about 9 spiders.


I am hoping this was just a random map glitch and not signs of things to come with the patch.

on Sep 02, 2010

I am hoping this was just a random map glitch and not signs of things to come with the patch.
  The code that spawns creatures is actually handled by the AI, so hasn't been touched this week. It sounds like they're more likely to spawn from forests, so certain starting positions may be more inclided to roaming creatures than other.

on Sep 02, 2010

Thanks for getting this update out to us as soon as you guys could. I appreciate it!


EDIT: Patch seems to have broken a majority of my custom content (units, races) and crashes when I click "New Game". Ironically, all my mods work fine and are not crashing. Crashes only happen when the "Unit" and "Race" are present. Anyone else having this issue?

First, let's help you a bit: creating a custom sovereign with the Brilliant talent makes the game crash.

Then a question: are the units in a stack comparing their roll to the defense of the opponent on an individual basis now?

Edit: Meditative makes the game crash, just like Brilliant.

Stardock, please fix this one. Rather important to some of the smarter civilizations and leaders out there.

on Sep 02, 2010

THX boogieBac!!!!!!1

on Sep 02, 2010

Yea, sounds like a nice start improvement-wise.

Can't wait to test it (computer "that can play games" currently out of commission )


obviously much more improvement is left to be made, but at least battles were shown a little love

The next step battle wise is probably to separate Attk and Damage, the usage of Gaussian (at least on Damage), and multi-purpose stats (each stat having far more than one simple purpose)

And then after that probably more things to make Champions unique (as in leveling causing their traits (class powers) to increase, HP scaling, etc)

on Sep 02, 2010

huh.  Woke up from a 4 hour nap (is that still a nap?) to the patch.  neat

on Sep 02, 2010

I-I Ilove you man


Thanks for the attention, and something to look forward to after the Labor Day fun dies down!!

(unless there is another update before the weekend?)


Edit: So far across three different saves, my performance is excellent.

1920x1200res AAx8 AFx8 v-sync always enabled. I like the outlines, I leave them on

Played a full new game, got smeared, but I was just rushing to see how things went.

This was a much better experience this time through, next game i will play like i mean it, and take closer notes

So far so good

on Sep 02, 2010

Good Job again.

on Sep 02, 2010

Good start...

on Sep 02, 2010

Thanks SD!! Can't wait for the next! Is there any patch cycle plans for the master list? once a week, once every 10 days, etc?

on Sep 02, 2010

How about the Educated reload bug? That is, each faction that is Educated gets the Educated bonus each and every time the game is loaded.

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