EVE Online is simplifying missile rendering to improve performance – the July patch drops this Tuesday

Missiles are a big deal in EVE Online. There are a variety of ways in which missiles can be helpful and important as a means of delivering their explosive payloads to targets in combat, so there are usually a lot of them. And there are a variety of extra demands placed on the game client by rendering these missiles, which means that a bunch of them can really slow down the game. Hence the upcoming revisions for missiles that will make the projectiles less demanding on systems.

Among the changes are refinements to the way the game calls for missile data when firing and the application of LOD rules for missile meshes, ensuring that distant missiles don’t cause additional system drain. It’s important to note that none of these changes will actually alter the damage or performance of missiles; all that’s going to change is the rendering of same. Check out the full development entry to see all of the more technical details.

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The Black Death shows off graphical improvements and an upcoming wiki revival

Despite its subject matter and, well, name, The Black Death is not a particularly unattractive game. That doesn’t mean it can’t use a bit of a graphical update, though, and the latest development dispatch is all about the game’s upcoming improvements to offer better lighting and fog effects alongside more efficient contrast and color balance. Just because there are people dying of a plague doesn’t mean the world can’t be pretty, after all.

The developers are also planning to start up a wiki revival project so that players can both update and use the official wiki to more effectively share information among the playerbase. And of course, there are ongoing minor patches to fix bugs, keep things lively, and otherwise push the game forward. Read the full rundown on upcoming features to get a sense of where the game is going from here.


The Daily Grind: Do MMOs go overboard with particle effects?

There was an old joke among myself and some of my friends playing World of Warcraft about how it was convenient that bosses are all big so you can see them through the spell effects. Of course, there’s some truth to that. Even in a dungeon, it’s easy to lose sight of a boss under the effects of a few people hitting the same target; in content with large groups, you can often lose sight of the boss completely beneath an explosion of special effects.

It’s neat to have effects to go along with your abilities, of course; seeing the flare of something happening to your targets is part of how you know you’re doing something. But City of Heroes in particular had people claiming they couldn’t even see what was happening half of the time, and there are certain bosses in Final Fantasy XIV with facing-reliant attacks where it’s hard to not just pray you’re avoiding where the blob of spell effects is facing. What do you think? Do MMOs go overboard with particle effects?

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Star Trek Online rolls out Agents of Yesterday: Artifacts

The Temporal Cold War has wrapped up in Star Trek Online… for now, anyhow. That’s the thing about time travel; it never really ends, exactly. But it’s time for players to move on to other things, and the newest update to Agents of Yesterday centers around exactly that. Players can start up the new storyline centering around the tentative steps of the Lukari into the big galaxy of exploration, with a different award available each week starting with a Nausicaan disruptor array.

If the storyline alone isn’t enough for you, you can also take part in constructing a new fleet holding. And it’s all going to look a lot better, as the various graphical enhancements provided for Star Trek Online on consoles are now available on the desktop as well. So it’s a better-looking galaxy full of strange new worlds to explore, and who could ask for more?