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Alpha 8: Out Now!

1 post in this topic

Empyrion - Galactic Survival - EmpyrionGame


Hi Galactic Survivalists!

After several weeks of Experimental releases and several months of development time, we can say that Alpha 8 is one of the largest updates we ever shipped for Empyrion.

Large is somehow meant literally, as not only the changelog is consuming a couple of pages, but also the major feature in the game relates to size: Increased size, up to 64x larger, to be precise, as this is the factor the smallest planets (32km² = Alpha 7 size) now differ from the largest (2048km²)!

While this might sound impressing when looking at the numbers, the features that are accompanying this giant leap for Empyrion are no small steps either: re-integration of procedural terrain generation, removal of green and red walls, full random solar system generation, new playfield tech with different biomes on a single planet, depending on temperature and humidity, voxel deposits readded, better textures, controller support and our very own Solar System Generator (SSG) to generate your planetary terrains and whole solar system.

But this is not all: AI got a serious rework and will now react to the player in a more realistic way. Even the Zirax troops, Drones and Patrol Vessels got beefed up. While you fight those and loose blocks on your vessel, you can now use the new Repair-2-Template. And if you are into survival or fighting, the new game start, and a full rework of how food, medication, status effects and diseases will let you experience Empyrion in a completely new way again!

This is only a tiny glimpse of what Alpha 8 will add to your game, and of course there is quite some polishing lying ahead of us. All the new stuff, entirely new shaders, backend code and tech will make a new phase of optimizations necessary. Together with you and your feedback, we will start to investigate the possible bottlenecks right after the Alpha 8 release!

Said that, and while looking at the Bug-Fixing list, we are again proud to state that nothing of this would be possible without the dedicated help, support and feedback of you, our awesome Empyrion community!

So, without further ado, let’s head start into Alpha 8. It’s about time :)


CHANGELOG: Alpha 8.0.0 (Build 1707)


1. Larger Planets & Improved Playfield Tech:
Increased size from the current 8x4km (32km²) up to 64x32km (2048km²) playfields, i.e. the planets in Alpha 8 can be up to 64x larger than in Alpha 7!

We would like to give you an idea of how big these planets are. Do you see the spire base on the other side?

It looks quite far away - right? However, if you look at the map, it seems to be just in front of you:

- Actual size of a planet will also be reflected in the orbit
- Tilted planet axis so that the day/night ratio depends on where you are on the planet (eg longer days and shorter nights on the northern hemisphere and vice versa on the southern hemisphere)
- Improved outside view of the planets in the orbit

FEEDBACK and MORE DETAILS: https://empyriononline.com/threads/alpha-8-new-planets.38165/

2. Removal of Red and Green Wall:
We finally removed the red pole colliders and the green wall so that you can now cross the poles and you do not have to be afraid anymore when you cross the green wall
In the above screenshot, we are in the far north (actually the sun never sets here) beyond the former red wall and we are looking north. Pre-Alpha 8, this area was blocked. If you continue in this direction you will actually cross the north pole.

3. Random Generation of Solar System and new 3D Sector Map:
- Each time you start a new game, a new solar system is generated with a different amount of planets and POIs
- You can control the generation process via a configuration file (number and type of planets, POIs, size of solar system etc) or with the Solar System Generator (SSG)
The above screenshot shows the new 3d sector map of a random solar system

4. Procedural Terrain Generation:
Procedural terrain generation is back - no fixed heightmap planets anymore

5. More Diverse Biomes:
Realistic biome distribution based on humidity and temperature:

By changing Temperature, Humidity and the Seed, we obtain a very varied biome distribution:

6. Fog-of-War (Fow):

- When you now crash-land on the planet, you will not be able to see the whole planet anymore but only a part of it is revealed on the map
- When you approach a planet from space and then land on it, the FoW is semi-transparent

7. Underground Layers and Voxel Mining:
- The 'underground layers' are back. You will have the possibility to set up to 7 different consecutive layers for your planetary playfields
- In addition, the old Voxel mining is back as well
(depending on the resource, a playfield creator can decide whether to use the Alpha 7-style sub-surface rocks or the pre-Alpha 7 Voxel spheres)

8. Better Terrain Textures:
We considerably improved the visuals on a planet by replacing almost all terrain textures

9. New Decoration Placement and Rendering System:
We integrated a new system for the placement and rendering of the decoration objects on a planet which allows for a dense vegetation that is rendered very far

10. Editor for Planet and Solar System Generation:
- We developed our own Solar System Generator (SSG) to generate your planetary terrain and whole solar system
- The SSG editor will be distributed with the game on Steam

The editor features a full preview for planets, orbits and the solar system:

In addition, you can preview the generated terrain but also the POI and resource distribution as well as the NPC spawn points:

Note: You will now also have the possibility to place POIs and Resource Deposits by BIOME

FEEDBACK and MORE DETAILS: https://empyriononline.com/threads/alpha-8-solar-system-generator.38168/

11. Improved Ground AI:
- More realistic behavior of the ground AI (vision sensor, noise system, alert level, fear sensor)

FEEDBACK and MORE DETAILS: https://empyriononline.com/threads/alpha-8-ai-animals-troops.38174

Example: Zirax Behavior:
- calm: wanders with random idle animations (new use of layers in animation system)
- alerted: attacks player with random movement between shots (aim transition)
- hit reaction: 4 hit animations (also uses animation layer)
- search action: uses approximate target position. It is used for example when the Zirax has heard you but did not see you. He will know where you are only approximately and search for you there.
- better target selection
- different idle animations when alerted and when calm
You will see, the Zirax behaves now much more naturally

12. Improved AI Drones and Vessels:
- Added AI bomber drone (part of the AI drone waves)
- Allow to have drones without having a drone base and planet vessel without a vessel base (i.e., physical presence of drone base / vessel is not required anymore)
- Improved flying behavior of Planet Vessel - it behaves now more like a large and heavy ship
- Improved flying behavior of space and planetary drones
- Waves are triggered now only if the player is 50m around his base + Drone wave patrol radius around the base is increased from 200m to 600m.

FEEDBACK and MORE DETAILS: https://empyriononline.com/threads/alpha-8-ai-patrol-vessels-and-drones.38173/

13. New Suit and Survival Mechanics:
Our aim was to have a more survival-style game start by giving the player only very basic equipment.
- Added suit constructor which we call "Survival Constructor" (slow, can craft only very basic items like a food item, bandages etc).
- Added Survival Tent in which you can sleep to pass the night
- Added Survival Tool for basic defense, rock drilling and deconstruction
- Added Mobile Heater/Cooler terrain placeable
- Sleeping in Escape Pod, Survival Tent and Beds in Single Player

FEEDBACK and MORE DETAILS: https://empyriononline.com/threads/alpha-8-suit-and-survival-mechanics.38170/

14. New Status Effects / Diseases:
Fully revamped Status Effects, medicals and diseases mechanic

FEEDBACK and MORE DETAILS: https://empyriononline.com/threads/alpha-8-new-status-effects-diseases.38172/

15. New Food and Food-item Drop System:
Fully revamped Food templates and Ingredients drop mechanic

FEEDBACK and MORE DETAILS: https://empyriononline.com/threads/alpha-8-0-new-food-and-food-item-drop-system.38171/

16. Repair-to-Template:
Restore your ship to a previously saved Repair Template
- Usage:
1 Repair Console + Repair Bay T1 = Repair Blocks only
1 Repair Console + Repair Bay T2 = Repair Blocks and Repair-2-Template
- Repair Blocks now also costs resources: 200 Hitpoints = 1 Iron Ingot

FEEDBACK and MORE DETAILS: https://empyriononline.com/threads/alpha-8-repair-to-template.38180/

17. Added Controller Support:
You can now play Empyrion with a controller while lying comfortable on your couch.

For issues please report here: https://empyriononline.com/threads/bug-reports-alpha-8-0-controller-keymapping.38178/

...... and MUCH more. For more features, changes and bug fixes, please have a look at the full changelog here: 


When you play Alpha 8.0 the first time, please note that it is now a quite DIFFERENT experience in many game-start related aspects, compared to version 7.6! The distances are bigger, the drops are different, the mechanics got changed, new possibilities added and a lot of stuff got moved around.

This is also relevant for all server owners and scenario builders: the changes to the planets resulted in a new file structure and a few new definitions, so that most of the playfields you have set up and are using right now, might not work with Alpha 8.0 without making the necessary changes. Please check the SSG Documentation for more details!

We absolutely RECOMMEND to first read through ALL of the feedback threads posted below to get yourself up to date on the new and changed game mechanics BEFORE starting any new game!

This is true for the new game start in particular, as, due to all the changes on planets, playfields and features, we are basically back at the drawing board in terms of game start balance. Alpha 8.0 is literally throwing a lot (not all!) of the old methods, that worked the same and were never really changed since approx version 2.0 (or even v1.0) and a few things you might have gotten accustomed to, in terms of what happens when and what you get for game start, out of the window in favor of the game now living up to the "Survival" tag in its name a little bit more again.

Changing the game start and trying to give it an improved "Survival Experience" in that early game stage actually IS intentional! 

Said that, this will possibly make or let some game elements feel harder, until they are fully balanced. We will do this together with you in the coming weeks and, as always, iterate on your feedback for the upcoming 8.x updates!

Both, as a player, creator or server owner, please keep the aforementioned in mind when playing AND while giving feedback. :)

Thanks in advance for your dedicated help, improving Empyrion Galactic Survival! :)

Let’s roll!
Empyrion Dev Team

P.S. Please note that we do not support DX9 anymore with the release of Alpha 8. However, we will leave the last Alpha 7.6 on a separate Steam branch called "alpha7"
P.P.S If you are using a custom config.yaml, we recommend removing it before you start Alpha 8



All Feedback Threads pinned:

Bug Reports:

Bug Reports Solar System Generator:

Bug Reports Controller & Keymapping:

Bug Reports PDA Missions & Robinson Protocol


Update: June 12, 2018 - Hotfix (Build 1708)

Bug Fixes:

- Fixed: Startup Exception
- Fixed: HV gets sometimes locked in place when crossing the Poles
- Fixed: Texture artifacts on MoonIce

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