Elemental War 0.9.1

Today we’re releasing our first update for Elemental War. We fixed a lot of bugs, improved the performance and of course also added some new stuff.

Highlights:

In this section we will show you the biggest improvements in this release. At the end of this news you will find the complete changelog.

Setting Attributes

As mentioned earlier we’re going to introduce special attributes and events to all environments in Hero Mode. The first step were the special attributes. With them we want to make gameplay in every environment a little more unique. While grassland is something like the neutral zone and doesn’t have any advantages or disadvantages, every other environment got one. These are:

Desert: enemies that are 2 minutes or longer on the map will get a little heat damage. It’s not much, but if you can hold them back long enough it will help you.

Forest: tower range is reduced by 20%.

Graveyard: undead enemies have 25% more health.

Iceworld: some status changes like Poison and Freeze have a higher impact (last longer).

Swamp: enemies can stuck randomly for a few seconds.

Tower improvements

Most important: All towers now got their textures, so there are no placeholders anymore.
Besides that we added some more sounds and adjusted the existing ones, especially the distance the sounds could be heard.
The rest of the changes for towers were mostly small fixes and improvements except of Money and Mine tower, that were broken before. Both towers work now as expected again. Money tower will give you gold for every enemy that passes it and deal damage to every one of them. Every few seconds it will lower its gates and stop all enemies from passing it. But be careful when building multipe Money towers as every one of them will increase the cooldown until gates can be closed again.

Performance

Performance is our main issue so far and even though we already improved a lot for this update, we will further improve it with future updates.

Update 0.9.1 improved performance in the following areas:

  • closed minimap now has zero impact
  • opened minimap has a much lower impact than before as just the markers have to be rendered, but not the whole terrain
  • every tower that turns somehow to its target (like Ballista, Poison, Pulp, Slime, Earth, Nature…) uses less CPU time
  • reduced CPU time used for getting targets of towers with area damage
  • Laser and Fossilize use less CPU
  • loading times should be slightly faster (but they should not have been a big issue before)
  • reduced CPU usage when there are multiple enemies that are not visible
  • improved performance when enabling SSR (Screen Space Reflections)

For performance gain measurement we use our built-in benchmark. I ran it with the release version and compared to the results of the 0.9.0 hotfix. The results show the lowest value of three runs. The used PC runs with Windows 10, 16GB RAM, i7-4790K (4GHz) and a GTX 970. Results are shown in fps, so that’s what is compared.

1920×1080 (Zoomed Out/In)
0.9.0: 47.3fps/34.1fps
0.9.1: 51.2fps/39.5fps
=> +8%/+16%

2560×1440
0.9.0: 35.2fps/26.9fps
0.9.1: 34.8fps/31.1fps
=> -1%/+16%

3840×2160
0.9.0: 9.2fps/13.8fps
0.9.1: 18.3fps/19.3fps
=> +99%/+40%

Full changelog:

Enhancements:

  • unlocking achievements for non Steam version now can be displayed
  • added percentage view to volume sliders
  • added notification sound for new wave also to tutorials 2-4
  • added new setting attributes for Hero Mode
    • Desert: if a monsters is really long on the map it gets some heat damage
    • Forest: tower range is reduced by 20%
    • Graveyard: undead enemies are 25% stronger
    • Iceworld: some status changes have a higher impact
    • Swamp: enemies can stuck randomly for a few seconds
  • added more sounds for towers
  • hovering an upgrade button now shows the range of the new tower
  • added remaining tower textures
  • added new quests to Hero Mode
  • monster selection works much better now than before

Fixes:

  • CPU improvements
  • aspect ratio for 2560×1080 now is displayed as 21:9 instead of 64:27
  • removed tree models with defect materials from forest that caused graphic errors when using Ambient Occlusion
  • improved performance when enabling Screen Space Reflections
  • stunning status changes now have a cooldown again so it isn’t possible anymore to stun them permanently
  • player now gets slightly more gold on two easiest difficulties in Classic Mode
  • ball of Sphere tower doesn’t get culled completely anymore on lowest LOD
  • fixed small render issues with path borders on minimap
  • Poison tower doesn’t get culled completely anymore on lowest LOD
  • unlocked element now is displayed below info box
  • fixed strengths and weaknesses in element tooltips of monsters
  • crickets in forest setting now count as ambient sound
  • tutorial 2 doesn’t hang up anymore after upgrading first tower
  • message “Crystal Received” doesn’t appear twice anymore in Classic Mode
  • improved performance of minimap both when opened and closed
  • fixed lag when finishing a map with many monsters and towers on it
  • changed sun position in forest so godrays are visible again
  • fixed time not always being synchronized properly
  • removed duplicate entries in the selection menu for resolutions
  • slightly decreased loading time
  • Money tower works again
  • improved Bomb explosion
  • it’s not possible anymore to navigate to next leaderboard page if it’s empty
  • fixed double costs/monsters hanging when upgrading tower using shortcut
  • gold, crystals and lives now are displayed correctly after loading a savegame
  • added construction side stuff when building/upgrading a tower
  • selection rectangle should be always disabled correctly now
  • in case controller is detected and player isn’t really using one he can directly disable it now
  • fixed error that camera was permanently wrong rotated sometimes caused by Earthquake
  • mines of Mine tower now are placed correctly
  • towers can’t be sold multiple times anymore
  • in case first tutorial is aborted while infinity symbol is active now disables it correctly
  • it doesn’t matter anymore in which direction the infinity symbol in the first tutorial is drawn
  • separator for thousands and decimals now fits the selected language
  • leaving Hero Mode while quest dialog is active now disables the dialog
  • improved UI scaling for resolutions wider than 16:9
  • gold for first tower in tutorial 1 isn’t removed twice anymore
  • significantly reduced gold bonus by Money tower (level 1: 25% -> 5%, level 2: 50% -> 10%, level 3: 75% -> 15%)
  • improved some upgrade texts so also unnamed effects now are mentioned in there

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