This week sees the release of a massive upgrade to several elements of the RuneScape game engine. These include the RuneTek 5 graphics upgrade described in last week’s developer blog as well as key parts of the game server and RuneScript systems.
The graphics engine update brings with it a complete revamp of the Standard Detail option, bringing resizable window (for everyone) and fullscreen (members only) modes, as well as optional new features that include:
* Distance fogging and sky colour.
* Ground blending and path smoothing.
* Underwater visibility.
We've also improved High Detail mode with shadowing across all world levels (if your computer can support it) and an improved minimap in both versions. You'll also be pleased to know this upgrade has allowed us to fix several long-standing bugs, including:
* Mis-clicking in heavy load areas (such as the Grand Exchange) causing unwanted actions.
* Progress bars on Grand Exchange interfaces not working on several graphics cards.
Less visibly, we've also taken the time to heavily update parts of the server action and scripting systems. This follows on from work we did earlier in the year which Andrew described in this blog. The aim behind this batch of changes was to try to make the timing of actions more consistent across the game, which will help to make future content bugs less likely. We have done weeks of additional testing on these server updates, however, they are quite extensive and incredibly wide-ranging, so if any bugs have managed to slip through the net, we encourage you to submit a bug report.
All told, we have written or re-written around 50,000 lines of the game engine over the last few months to really improve these key areas and allow us to create a whole new set of exciting upgrades over the coming months and years.
This update to the game engine has allowed us to pull both the SD and HD versions of the game into the same applet. As such, we have updated the home page of the website so there is now only one ‘Click here to play’ button. If you wish to switch between using free or member worlds, this can be done using the ‘World Select’ feature, which can be found on the game applet's main menu.
Whether you see an advert above the login screen or not is dependent on whether the last world that you logged in was a free or a members’ world.
Mod Chris E
In other news...
One thing the new engine has allowed us to do is create context-sensitive cursors. If you choose to turn this option on in the Game Options menu, your mouse cursor will display a small icon of the default interaction with any object, location or NPC – e.g. “Open Door” will change your mouse cursor to an icon of a door opening. These cursors have not been added for every default interaction just yet, but we will be looking to expand upon them in future.
The Special Attack bar in the combat interface now also displays the amount of special attack energy you have remaining as a percentage.
We’ve made some changes to the World Select page. Firstly, you’ll notice we’ve removed some of the information to clean it up a bit. The Quick Chat and PvP columns have moved into the more general ‘Activity/Location’ column. This column will now only specify a flag and country if the world doesn’t have a theme, and we’ve created a RuneScape flag to go with the latter. On the right-hand side you’ll notice a ‘Ping’ column. This displays the response time between you and the servers – lower is better, so this should help you find a lag-free word near you. Note that some of your preferences may have changed if you were previously sorting by some of the removed columns. Simply select your new preferred choice(s) and it will store those for next time.
Mobilising Armies themed worlds now come in two varieties: worlds where games require four players for a game to start, and worlds where games require 20 players to start. Visit the Themed Worlds page to see how many players are required to start a game on each world.
Changes to Autocasting Spells
We have redesigned the way autocasting combat spells works so that it no longer requires a magic staff. Now, you can set a spell to autocast via the redesigned Magic Spellbook interface. This change is designed to make autocasting spells easier and more intuitive.
A summary of the changes is as follows:
* Autocasting no longer requires a magic staff.
* Autocasting is now controlled via your spellbook. To set a spell to autocast, simply select the “Autocast” option from the spell icon in your spellbook.
* You can still single-cast spells by selecting the “Cast” option from the spell icon in the spellbook.
* In the standard spellbook, “Autocast” is now the default option (left-click) for combat spells, with “Cast” as the alternate option (right-click).
* In the Ancient Magicks spellbook, “Cast” remains the default option (left-click), with “Autocast” as the alternate option (right-click).
* As with before, there are no spells in the Lunar spellbook that can be set to autocast.
* You can still choose whether to receive Defence XP or not when autocasting spells via the new toggle button in the bottom-left corner of your spellbook.
* You can now also receive Defence XP for single-casting spells that deal damage, if you have this option toggled on.
* Four buttons have been added to the bottom of the Magic Spellbook interface that allow you to filter what spell icons are visible. Click on these buttons to toggle the visibility of combat, teleport, skill-based and miscellaneous spells.
* As staves are no longer required for autocasting, we have granted some of the more special ones the ability to cause 10% more magic damage. The following staves receive this bonus:
o Ahrim’s staff
o Master wand
o Void Knight mace
o Zuriel’s staff
o Corrupt Zuriel’s staff
o Ancient staff
* Finally, it is also now possible to autocast these spells:
o Saradomin Strike
o Flames of Zamorak
o Iban Blast
As of today, shops in RuneScape are now personalised for every player. The amount of stock you see in each shop is now unique to your account and, therefore, no longer affected by the actions of other players.
This has a number of advantages:
* Most importantly, it allows us to relax the price limits on the Grand Exchange. For somewhat complicated reasons, it means it is safe for us to drop the minimum price for many items, and raise the maximum price for some items. This means many items will no longer have their price set against an artificial limit, allowing prices to move more freely and better match player supply and demand. Similarly, many items that are popular for high-alching have had their lower limits relaxed to make the Grand Exchange work more smoothly.
* It means shops no longer have to offer unlimited stock to meet everyone's needs. Because each player sees their own stock, we can put in more realistic stock behaviour, where the stock (and price) goes up and down as you buy and sell, without worrying about one player buying out all the stock and depriving everyone else. Unlimited stock has weird effects on the economy of the game, and getting rid of it is vital for being able to relax the Grand Exchange price limits. Don’t worry, the stock is still very generous and should be plenty to supply ordinary play – particularly for items that you might need in greater numbers (e.g. arrows, runes and other consumables will be available in higher quantities than items like armour, tools and weapons).
* Shops may now be more worth selling your items to. A general store will never be full of other players’ unwanted items and specialist stores may offer better prices when they are low on stock. This means they are more useful for converting ‘junk’ items into cash, because each player has their own separate allowance for how much they can sell into the shop before the price drops.
With this personalising of shop stocks, we realised that it would negate some of the rewards earned from the Varrock and Karamja Achievement Diaries, so we’ve substituted them for other rewards.
The majority of Karamja diary’s easy reward is that you get better prices from Karamja’s shops. We couldn’t take this reward away without replacing it, so we have added Dell Monti, a pirate with a passion for pineapples, who will freely share his fruity bounty with you on a daily basis (if you are wearing your Karamja gloves).
Varrock diary’s smaller reward regarding shop prices is replaced with a greater possibility of obtaining skull sceptre parts from creatures in the Stronghold of Security, as well as doubling the charges it has if you make it while wearing your Varrock armour. Please note that the reward for buying battlestaves from Zaff while wearing Varrock armour has not been affected by this update in any way.
|QUOTE (Icewolf68 @ Sep 2 2009, 05:34 PM)|
| - Graphics Card capabilities. I've heard from some of my friends that they lag even more in fullscreen on SD then HD due to their graphics cards. My friend Sparky1971 who is maxed out and just recently became a Player Mod can't even play Runescape on his computer now. Its not cause he has a bad graphics card, it's because his top notch graphics card was taken off the list of usable cards to run runescape completely!|
|QUOTE (Kerkennah @ Sep 2 2009, 09:59 PM)|
|They better not of took out safe spots out of the tzhaar, I'm going to be mad if i can't get the fire cape. And boo at claws going up, [BEEP]|