XWAU 2020 Mega Patch Update 6 out NOW!

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XWAU 2020 Mega Patch Update 6 out NOW!

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Ace Antilles
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Post by Ace Antilles » Wed Nov 01, 2023 3:23 pm

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XWAU 2020 Mega Patch Update 6 is out now!
Brand new versions of the Preybird Fighter, Buoys, Hangar Sounds, Pilots, multiple fixes and updates and more!

There's always a lot going on in the XWAU. This release sees several new items but also a lot of improvements to the game.
In particular a massive improvement to mission loading times and when entering/exiting the hangar!
That coupled with many existing ships getting updated versions, mission fixes and more to keep you entertained!

Big thank you to all the testers that have helped me with this release. As well as our regular geniuses for making it all work.
Plus of course the hard work that all the XWAU creators have put in to bring you all new toys to enjoy.

If you do find any bugs please post and tell us. We've tried to give this release plenty of testing but with so many variables mistakes can happen.

There will be more screenshots posted below soon. Please read below for full details.
Happy flying and May The Force Be With You!
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Important Installation Instructions
This release is a compilation from Updates 1 - 5.62. So you can install it directly after the 2020 Mega Patch or over your current installation.

MAKE SURE YOU HAVE INSTALLED XWAU 2020 MEGA PATCH, BEFORE YOU INSTALL THIS UPDATE 6!

DO NOT use this Update 6 with the TIE Fighter Total Conversion (TFTC)
It is not yet compatible. A TFTC update will come later and is being tested.

Make sure Steam, GoG etc programs are CLOSED before you start installing! We recommend you do not play XWA from the Steam etc folder.
Steam has been known to cause many issues with the XWAU, it can overwrite the new updated files.

During install you can now select to copy your game folder to a new location. When installed the XWA Update does not need any use of Steam etc to work.

Once installed please make sure you play the game by opening the Alliance.exe launcher program. Do NOT open via Steam, GoG or old shortcuts. If you don't move your game then make sure you select to Disable Automatic Updates.

Please backup any Pilot saves, custom configuration files or changes that you have custom edited before installing this Update. We are not responsible for lost game progress.
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FULL PATCH NOTES
To read the full details after installation, open the readme file here: Readme\Updates\ XWAU Mega Patch Update v6 Readme.pdf
XWAU Mega Patch Update v6 Readme.pdf
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New Releases

Preybird Fighter: HD-Remake of the Preybird Fighter by @blue_max with the latest XWAU features.
This release comes with the latest Dynamic Cockpit features: Damage effects, Shadow Mapping and Animations.
Includes Flightgroup colours, Beam effects and damage textures, also working landing gear and S-foils!
Please see the readme file for the full details here: Readme\XWAU Crafts\Preybird Fighter Readme.docx

@Master Qui-Gon has made great new versions of many small but useful ships in game.
These ships appear in several missions and needed a new look! Including:
Rendevouz Buoy (Holo look), Buoy C, Cargo Freighter, Connector Rod and Cargo Freighter Engine.
Please see the readme file for the full details here: Readme\XWAU Crafts\Buoys Readme.docx

Imperial TIE Pilot: New to the Empire hangars. Created by ual002 and converted to XWA by Ace Antilles.
Featuring several Object Profiles: With Helmet, Helmet off, Hands behind back and wearing Imperial Cap.
This features in all Star Destroyer hangars to give a variety of look. It will be seen in other hangars in the future.

Ejected Pilots: Rebel, Imperial, Neutral. Created by ual002 and converted to XWA by Ace Antilles.
Those little floating blocks in space have had a massive make over and now look like proper XWAU Pilots.


New Sounds

We have lots of new Sound Effects to bring you in the future but here is some to start with.

Hangar Sounds: New background sounds for Rebel, Imperial and Neutral Hangars, from Ace Antilles.
Now each hangar has unique announcements being played over the Tannoy when you are waiting to launch.
There are slightly different versions for some ships, so the Star Destroyer may sound different to a Victory.
Platforms and Azzameen hangars have their own unique sounds also. Future missions will also use a mix of sounds.


Ambient Sounds: This is a new feature for Starships and more. Created by JeremyaFr, Vince T and Ace Antilles.
When you approach a large Starship you will begin to hear it’s background noise, or hum you could say. It’s similar to the way Engine Wash works and based on distance. This feature has been enabled for Calamari Star Cruisers, Modified Frigate, Imperial and Victory Star Destroyers initially. There will be more added in the future.

Audio can be a tricky area to improve. The game can make sound perform differently than it does in Windows.
We welcome any feedback, bug reports or suggestions regarding these new features.


New Updated Versions

New Rebel and Imperial Fighter Cockpits: While we would love to make everything screen accurate, we find that doesn’t always translate well to a fun gaming experience. So there have been many refinements with more to follow.

TIE Fighters Cockpits: Updated TIE Fighter, Interceptor, Bomber, Avenger and Defender Cockpits.
@DTM has completely rebuilt the front displays. This is the panel with dynamic information of speed, missiles and countermeasures etc. The idea is to hopefully give some of the readouts slightly better visibility in game. New cockpit damage and animations are added too.

TIE Fighter Skins: Added new Flightgroup colour skins from @Blazingfirestorm, as used in the TIE Fighter Total Conversion. The existing Skins have been converted to Zip format.


X-wing and Y-wing Cockpits: DTM has teamed up with @sedenion to create new versions. More to follow!
New versions have been created to improve the look and playability of the game. Including new cockpit damage effects and animations. The idea is to hopefully give some of the readouts slightly better visibility in game.


Y-wing: The brilliant ship by @Spyder has had a much needed make over and update from Ace Antilles.
New merged profiles of the Rebel and ROTJ pilot versions into one. You can choose a default version in Babu Friks.
It also now has R5 and R2 Astromech profiles and some extra Flightgroup pilot colours. The Rebel Pilot visor transparency has been fixed. The Pirate version FG will fire yellow lasers when used in missions.
As well as the new Cockpit the base opt has had its look improved slightly and new material files for shading.

A-wing: The Rebel Interceptor by @Spyder has had some improvements from Ace Antilles.
The AW and Rebel pilot profiles have been merged to the base opt now. The Rebel Pilot visor transparency has been fixed, and some extra Flightgroup pilot colours added. You can choose a default version in Babu Friks Configurator.
As well this the base opt has had its textures improved slightly and new material files for shading.

X-wing: The classic Fighter by @Spyder has had some improvement fixes done to it by Ace Antilles.
The Rebel Pilot visor transparency has been fixed, and some extra Flightgroup pilot colours added.
New Cockpit and the base opt has had its look improved slightly. New material files for better shading.
A new mesh has been added inside the front landing gear hatches. “No Pilot” profiles for empty cockpits in a hangar.
Also, the Skins have been fixed and converted to zip format. The Partisan Skin now has a new flight suit and R2.

New Pilot Object Profiles: Several Starfighters or Transports now have a new NoPilot or Empty profile.
This means when parked in a Hangar the pilots are hidden, in some cases Astromechs too. More to follow later.
So no longer are there Hangars full of pilots just sitting around watching and waiting for you to launch 😉


Victory I Star Destroyer and Victory II Star Destroyer: @Vince T has improved these Starships again.
The in-flight hangar has been replaced to match the launch hangar. Added Blastdoors to the hangar, which open if friendly ships are nearby. Dynamic Engines: Engine Glows are now triggered depending on throttle/speed and will affect nearby geometry including player craft. Added ambient sounds. Skins have now been converted into Zip format. Restored missing VSD I Skins (Crimson Command, Rebel Alliance, Worn, Damaged)

Super Star Destroyer: More tweaks and improvements to this gigantic Starship by Vince T.
Dynamic Engines: Engine Glows are now triggered depending on throttle/speed and will affect nearby geometry including player craft. Added ambient sounds. Converted tri-faces into quads to improve performance. Deleted some duplicate textures and updated the material file.


Escape Pod and Probe: Two new updated versions from Master Qui-Gon. They now have improved textures for a better appearance Also includes Normal Maps and LODs.


Materials: A large number of ships have had updated or new Material (.mat) files added for better shading or fixes.
Many have been modified to show the latest in damage and beam effect animations, when targeted by Tractor beam or Shields are down etc. Others have improvements to metallic or intensity looks, plus shading on the Pilot models.
There will be more improvements to come in the future for remaining ships or further enhancement.
Please see the readme file for further details here: Readme\Special Effects\XWAU Materials List.pdf


Configurators

Babu Frik’s Configurator: Ace Antilles has spent time updating Babu Frik’s Configurator with some improvements and fixes. Some options have been removed as they are redundant or can cause issues. They can still be tweaked via the manual CFG files.

Game Progress Backup: You can now backup your pilot files yourself using this option, or do it manually of course.
Your progress save ”.PLT” files will automatically get copied as a backup to your Windows (Username) Documents folder. Example Documents\X-Wing Alliance\Pilots Backup. So you can restore a version if you have any issues with playing after installing XWAU.
The backups are not incremental, so the latest Pilot file will always be the one that is backed up and overwritten.
We must say we are not responsible for lost game progress.


Tech Library options: Blue_max has added a new Holographic flickering line effect to the Tech Library globe. This is reminiscent of the way the X-Wing Special Edition did it. If you don’t like this look you can disable it in this section.
Larger Scale Craft: This is if you want to do an extreme close up on the craft for a better look. Or if you have a very particular screen resolution you might find it fits to your monitor size more to your liking.

Vsync: If you enable Vsync in game it can sometimes help with some mission issues. Obviously this limits the FPS the game can achieve though. You can enable it in this section. This does not affect the Hangar which has it’s own Vsync option to avoid problems.

Joystick Emulation: Blue Max has removed the ability in Ddraw to use the mouse to control flight in game. So this option has also been removed from Babu Friks Configurator.
For better mouse controls we recommend using this setup. See this video tutorial for more details.
https://youtu.be/LimggVmXPpY


Alliance Launcher: There is now a Configurators Menu section where you can find programs to alter settings. Babu Frik’s Configurator, Palpatine’s Total Converter and the Joystick Configurator are listed under this area.
Plus a Tools and Documents sections which will be expanded on more in the future.

XWA Hooks Updater: Hooks can now be updated direct to your game folder and merged with your existing Hooks.ini settings automatically. Run the tool from the Alliance Launcher and it will download the latest Hooks to the XwaHooksSetup folder and then apply them to the main XwingAlliance directory. No manual installation needed.
This is not a setting that needs to be used all the time, but there will be fixes posted on the Forum if needed.

Configurator Folder: A new folder called Configurator has been added to the game. This is now used with Babu Frik’s Configurator to store and reset custom options in the game. For example, Default Effects, Flightmodels changes, Profiles pictures, Resdata dat files, Wave sounds and other custom files. This folder should not be edited by anyone except the XWAU team or it will affect how other items work.


New Effects

Our amazing Effects team of @JeremyaFr, Blue Max and m0rgg have brought up some more improvements!
Recently we have changed a lot of DAT files to use BC7 Compression. Coupled with the latest Ddraw updates, this yields a massive improvement both in mission loading times and when entering/exiting the hangar.

The Techy explanation: The BCn formats (and among them BC7) use compression algorithms that the GPU supports natively. That means the textures are loaded directly to the GPU RAM without any CPU decompression happening, which was causing a significant extension of the loading time.
Also, as it's stored compressed in GPU RAM, it takes less space and you can have more assets simultaneously for the same amount of GPU memory. All this will speed up the GPU operations and improve performance.

This has meant a lot of edits to many files but it has reduced the size of large ones like the Planets significantly.


Special Effects: The latest Ddraw and Effects files from Blue Max and m0rgg are included. They have made many fixes and improvements. In particular in fixing some memory leaks that previous versions had. Here are some details
Please see the readme file for further details here: Readme\Special Effects\Special Effects Readme.docx

Code: Select all

Version 2.4.20 by Blue Max and m0rgg.
Fix hologram/transparency issues when doing a hyperjump. Fix transparency for explosions (they should no longer look "washed out" when other objects are in the background).
Fixes for the Tech Room (it should not randomly crash anymore).
Fixes for greeble normal mapping (it was causing illumination artifacts when enabled).
Fixes for the Map Icons: they should no longer disappear.
Minor fixes for raytracing. Fixes to the black-to-alpha material setting.
Minor fixes (typos) to the material files. Fixes to the Normal Mapping when restarting the match by pressing 'H'.
More memory leak fixes, and fixes to the cockpit shields display (the damage animation was not playing back).
Remove Instanced Rendering features from the non-VR path to fix crashes seen in older machines.
Fixes to crashes in TFTC when exiting the hangar. Partial fixes to the CMD display.
Minor fixes to the hyperspace effect and FXAA in VR mode.
@m0rgg has implemented Instanced Rendering for VR. This improves performance by up to 30% in some cases.

DDraw Golden - The latest Ddraw update from Jérémy Ansel (JérémyaFr) is Ddraw.dll 1.3.37.0. This is included and can be selected from Babu Frik’s Configurator. It is useful for people who can’t support the Special Effects due to poor graphics cards.
If you use this you lose many of the new Effects features but you still get to play with the improved XWAU ships etc.

Hooks - The latest Hooks and CFG files by JérémyaFr as of the date of this release. There is no need to download old versions. If you do you could break the game effects.
Jeremy has been super busy and added many brilliant new features and improved the performance of several Hooks.
Hooks are being updated as issues or improvements are found but these are the latest stable files we have included.
Note: The Hook files are only overwritten if the existing file is older than the new file, otherwise installation is skipped.
For more details or to report any issues that might relate to Hooks please visit the XWAU Forum.

TgSmush 2.13.0: Updated file to fix bugs and improve performance. In particular for video support.



Other Updates

Please backup any custom configuration files or changes before installing this Update, as they will get reset them to defaults.
This release has many changes to Effects, Flightmodel INI, Dynamic Cockpits and Material files.

Assault Gunboat - Removed unnecessary meshes. Cleaned up the textures lists. Small exterior texture enhancement. Scaled bulb down and better animation. Adjusted TIE Pilot helmet. Extra cockpit damage added. Added some LOD distances. Meshes converted from tri-faces to quad-faces to improve performance.

Assault Shuttle – Zero G Troopers not showing the correct front face. Fixed by deleting the rear faces.
Created a Material file. Meshes converted from tri-faces to quad-faces to improve performance.

Calamari Home One – Removed some Illumination to improve look. Created a Material file.
Tri-faces were converted to quads to improve performance in both the base and hangar model.

Calamari Reef Home – Removed some Illumination to improve look. Created a Material file.
Tri-faces were converted to quads to improve performance in both the base and hangar model.

Calamari Winged - Vince T fixed some LOD distances that would leave large gaps in the model at a distance. Furthermore many tri-faces were converted to quads to improve performance in both the base and hangar model.

Cargo Tanker Engine - Updated engine texture.

Cockpit Damage – Tweaked cockpit damage effects to B-wing and Missile Boat.

Death Star II Tunnel – Vince T made some improvements to the Material files for the Opts.
DSReactorCore: Recalculated normals to improve model shading. Tweaked .mat file to make it more metallic.
DSReactorCylinder, DSReactorRoomTube, DSYNotTube: Tweaked .mat files to add illumination to light texture.

Emails: Made a few changes to emails to avoid continuity issues. Moved EMAIL_91 to trigger on the next mission.
Changed EMAIL_83 from Z-95 to “ship” to be more generic. Changed EMAIL_95 from Z-95 to “cabin”
Lady Blue poster now appears after mission 25. This means it doesn’t spoil the story sooner than intended.

Hangars: Updated Star Destroyer and default Calamari hangar maps. Stormtrooper has been resized.

Lancer Frigate - Removed many laser hardpoints as the ship was a killing machine compared to the Vanilla XWA. Fixed some illumination. Converted tri-faces to quad-faces.

Planetary Fighter: Updated Mat files for better shading or fixes. Damage and beam effect animations.

Shuttle: Fixed Pilot head rotation. Updated or new Mat files for better shading or fixes.

Spacecraft lst: Edited file with extra blank lines for future improvements.

Trash Compactor Clean-up – As we add many new files or correct others it can lead to a lot of obsolete game files.
The installer now goes through and deletes those files that we setup. They will be added to the Backup directory if needed.


Bug Fixes

Explosions: @MechDonald has fixed some errors in the explosion animations. Now they should run in sequence.

Numerous Hook improvements with some bug fixes.
For more details or to report any issues that might be bugged please visit the XWAU Forum.


Mission changes

Please backup any missions that you have custom edited before installing this Update. This or previous releases have many changes to Mission INI files and the Mission TIE files.

See previous Update Readmes for the full list of recent Mission changes. Readme\Updates\XWAU Mega Patch Update

1B0M7FW - Changed FRS Andrasta and M/TRN Big Score to Global Group 2 to fix incompletable secondary goal.
Also fixed wrong planet backdrop showing in Region 0.

1B0M8W - Various fixes thanks to LPhoenix.

1B1M1G to 1B1M7G - Various fixes thanks to LPhoenix.

1B2M1G to 1B2M6G - Various fixes thanks to LPhoenix and BlazingFirestorm.

1B3M6B - Various fixes thanks to LPhoenix. In particular to Hard mode difficulty.

1B3M7B - Removed the goal of "100% of Flight group must NOT be destroyed" from SHU AA – 23.
So now if the ISD Imperator is destroyed you don’t fail. Thanks to LPhoenix.

1B4M5B - Fixed hangar bug showing 2 Shuttles.


Updated Tools

JérémyaFr has updated and improved many of the XWA editing tools we have. Without these we couldn’t create the XWA Upgrade we have today! Here are some highlights, for more details please visit the XWAU Forum.
These tools are not in this update and can be downloaded from the XWAU download page via this XWAToolsDownloader

XwaOptEditor: Changes are:
- add a button to scale selected meshes.
- add a setting to add or not add the opt name to the exported textures filenames.
- add support for default skins in hangar map editor.
- add checkboxes to show/hide meshes.

OPTech: Changes are:
- Set default texture scale value from 2.0 to 0.5.
- Preserve the position on mesh duplicate.
- Add Copy to the name of duplicated mesh.
- merge the Face Count and Model Dimensions menu items into a OPT Info menu item.
- fix a bug where the dimensions are wrong in OPT Info menu item.
- new keyboard shortcuts.

Xwa Showcase Tools: These are new programs and can be used to view the 3D craft models in game.
Also there is now a XwaSizeComparison tool. In this you can view in 3D many different ships, to see them next to each other, create videos or screenshots or compare the different scales.
For the full details and controls for these tools please visit the XWAU Forum


Credits
Thanks to ALL the team members, past and present, who have helped to create this amazing mod for a still loved game.

Thanks to the Star Wars Galactic Legacy. Check out and download their amazing Jedi Academy mod!
https://www.moddb.com/mods/swgl
Big thanks to the Jedi Knight community as a whole. Visit Jedi Knight Hub for more mods. https://jkhub.org/

Thanks to all the people who spent time testing our stuff, @rogue518, @LPhoenix, @LuftWaffle, @NudeRaider, @WillT, @Trevor and more!
Thanks to @JeremyaFr and @blue_max, without them we would not have the game we do today.

Last but not least: Thanks to @Forceflow who has kept the light on at this site for many, many years now at his own expense! Without his dedication and passion for XWAU then this site would likely have died a long time ago.
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Ace Antilles
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Post by Ace Antilles » Wed Nov 01, 2023 3:34 pm

Here's some Screenshots of the new releases.
You can see some TIE Fighter cockpit images on that Forum post. More images soon.

Preybird.jpg
Preybird Cockpit.jpg
Cargo Freighter.jpg
Buoys.jpg
Pilots.jpg
Imperial Pilot 1 Profiles.jpg
Pod-Probe.jpg
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Post by Michal » Wed Nov 01, 2023 7:49 pm

Great work! Thank you for new patch!
My current project X-Wing Game Series Twitter
My old project X-Wing Series Site, still online

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Post by CagiVasu » Wed Nov 01, 2023 8:39 pm

Delicious.

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Post by Ace Antilles » Thu Nov 02, 2023 3:17 am

Looks like we have found a small bug with the Victory Star Destroyer 2.
A small zip fix will be issued soon. Will wait and see if there's other minor bugs or not.
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Post by warbird » Thu Nov 02, 2023 6:49 am

Just wanted to thank you guys for all the work and for keeping at for over 20 years. Most modders would have moved on to new games long before now.
Ph34r leads to @ng3r, and @ng3r leads to H8, And H8 leads..to the D0rkside.

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Post by marcop000 » Thu Nov 02, 2023 7:04 am

Many many thanks !!

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Post by Erd » Thu Nov 02, 2023 11:12 am

Sounds like a great patch. Improvements to the ambient soundscape are especially exciting.

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Post by Porkins_BB » Thu Nov 02, 2023 11:58 am

Thanks for the update and all the work put into this. You guys are awesome! I can't wait for the TFTC update to come next!

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Post by Muahaha » Thu Nov 02, 2023 12:59 pm

Nice. Congratulations and thanks for the release.

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Post by Linkoln » Fri Nov 03, 2023 10:16 am

Awesome update! Thanks for all you do guys.

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Post by Ace Antilles » Fri Nov 03, 2023 2:55 pm

BUG FIX MESSAGE

There's a small issue in Update 6 with the Victory Star Destroyer II engines.
Thanks to @LPhoenix for spotting it.

You can find a fix for it in the Known Issues topic.
https://forums.xwaupgrade.com/viewtopic ... 10#p191410
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Post by arquillos » Fri Nov 03, 2023 3:31 pm

Wow! Nice christmas present :). Thank you very much.

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Post by Ace Antilles » Fri Nov 03, 2023 4:28 pm

I think I need to spell this out in bigger letters.

DO NOT USE UPDATE 6 WITH THE TFTC!

This Update is NOT yet compatible for use with the TFTC. That will come later and is being tested.

Use TFTC 1.33 currently or wait for the new release.
We get this every time and everyone ignores it.

While we work with the TFTC to help them it's a totally unique mod.
In the future we are looking at ways to separate them more.
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Post by Ace Antilles » Fri Nov 03, 2023 4:32 pm

On a nicer note thank you to the guys above for your nice words :)
We hope you enjoy the updates and improvements. So much more still to come.
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Post by darklord » Fri Nov 03, 2023 8:42 pm

I can't get over how well the Steam VR experience is right now on an older Ti2080. Really congratulations for making total miracles happen! I never would have imagined the technology that would exist and featured by this project when I first came by all those years ago... all I wanted back then was a nicer looking models as in many ways it was a step back from XvT. Now look where we are!

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Post by Bunny Punch » Tue Nov 07, 2023 2:20 am

darklord wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2023 8:42 pm
I can't get over how well the Steam VR experience is right now on an older Ti2080. Really congratulations for making total miracles happen! I never would have imagined the technology that would exist and featured by this project when I first came by all those years ago... all I wanted back then was a nicer looking models as in many ways it was a step back from XvT. Now look where we are!
Agree!!! Thank you XWAU Team! Ya'll rock. I've been tooling around with VR and it is a blast. Love the addition of engine growl when passing certain ships. Great details. Keep up the good work. Wish I had talent to contribute but for now I'll just be a grateful leech! Thanks again.

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Post by Marco Antonio » Tue Nov 07, 2023 7:33 pm

Very amazing, Team! Congratulations!!
my WIP:
Derylin Platform - Modelling-100% Mapping-10%

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Post by PunkFriday » Sun Nov 12, 2023 11:37 pm

fantastic! thank you!

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Post by Old_Jedi » Sat Nov 18, 2023 10:27 am

Brilliant! - well done once again chaps :-)

OJ

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Post by Ace Antilles » Sat Nov 18, 2023 1:03 pm

Greetings Pilots! Just wondering how people are liking the new hologram effect on the Tech Globe?

Do you prefer it turned on or off?

It can be toggled in the Babu Friks Configurator to either choice.
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Post by Darkton93 » Sat Nov 18, 2023 2:51 pm

Ace Antilles wrote:
Sat Nov 18, 2023 1:03 pm
Greetings Pilots! Just wondering how people are liking the new hologram effect on the Tech Globe?

Do you prefer it turned on or off?

It can be toggled in the Babu Friks Configurator to either choice.
I like it, personally. It makes the Tech Room feel more authentic, for lack of a better word.

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Post by darklord » Mon Nov 20, 2023 9:26 pm

I'm fine with it. Just as I absolutely love the wireframe view of ships in the hud. It just one of those things that feel right even though it doesn't logically make sense.

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Post by the_stag » Tue Nov 21, 2023 8:55 pm

Overall I like the effect. But since you're asking, I'd like to see it reduced by 50%. If such a thing is even possible.

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Post by Chrysis » Wed Dec 06, 2023 3:41 pm

Just installed it, looks good. Thank you.
BTW thanks for everything made to keep this game still alive. great work!

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