Version: 3312 Release Date: DATE (03.02.2023)
This update features several new additions to the game with two new tools to apply to the power grid system, the introduction of scanning tools (a handheld version as well as one for the Caripen GT), a large change to vehicle UIs and their driving system, and a visual update for a significant number of colonist-build machines and objects.
The update also features several necessary changes that are stepping stones towards introducing new mechanics. This includes, for example, the adjustment to colonist spacesuits that will set the baseline for suit customization.
The Mars4 team is excited to share these new devices and frameworks. We hope you enjoy the changes we’re introducing as well as look forward to the improvements to come.
Power Grid Expansions: Weather conditions on Mars now affect energy generating machines. This system has three differing stages for solar panels and wind turbines that depend on the weather stages or time of day.
Both solar panels and wind turbines have three stages of power output that are either entirely off (providing no power), providing 50% of their maximum output, or providing 100% of their maximum output.
Solar panel power outputs are affected by the time of day. At night they provide no output and their reduced power output occurs during sunrise and sunsets, otherwise they provide full output. Solar panels now also track the progress of the sun across the sky.
Wind turbines are affected by the force of the wind. When there is no wind at all, the turbines produce no power and when there is a weak wind the turbines provide reduced power. When the wind is strong, turbines produce their full output.
Scanning: A new scanning mechanic has been introduced in two forms. The first is a handheld scanning tool that allows colonists to manually scan ores to determine their specific resources. This tool is crafted with the Tier 3 Fabricator.
The second is an inbuilt scanning device for the Caripen GT. This is an automatic function of the Caripen while it is being driven, allowing colonists with Caripens to more easily survey the lands they play on.
New Vehicle UI and updated driving system: Manual gear shifting has been implemented (by default it is bound to the SHIFT/CTRL keys) as well as a PRM monitor, torque display and vehicle mass counter. The mass counter is designed to assist colonists driving their vehicles to understand how the inventory weight added to their vehicle affects vehicle handling.
New Energy Machines: Two new energy machines have been added to assist colonists with their power grids. The first is the Battery Bank, a machine that is able to store surplus energy in the grid and compensate during periods where a colonist’s power grid is experiencing a deficit of energy.
The second is the Electric Energy Cell Charger, a machine that is able to charge multiple energy cells at a time which in turn shortens the amount of micromanagement needed by a colonist running their machines.
Improved Models: This update sees many models being replaced with fully detailed 3D models as opposed to their earlier blockout versions. The models affected include: all types of fabricator, small furnaces, all types of methane production machines, water filtering and water gathering machines, all types of wind turbines and solar panels.
The model update also included reworks to the visual style of all Tier 2 and Tier 3 structures such as foundations, ceilings, ramps, walls, doors, fences, and stairs.
Machine Feedback: All machines now visually show their state of operation to players via running lights and in addition, the Oxygen Generator now features a voice message to alert players that the area it is operating in is not airtight.
Extended UI: A first-look extended UI overhaul has been introduced that will address colonist customizable suits (in development) and stats related to the same. It also adds an NFT pad to colonist inventories for easier access.
General balance tweaks: The Sunflower solar panels no longer produce energy at night. As might well have been expected of a solar power generator. Some further adjustments to its battery charging speeds may take place to balance the increased ‘down time.’
Changes to the colonist’s appearance: The colonist now features a default suit type that is the first step towards providing suit customization to our players by ensuring there is a base model from which players can work with.
Unreal Engine update: Game core update to UE 5.1
Bug Fixes & Optimizations
Improved placement of wind turbines on terrain. Now they can be placed more freely. This change has also affected electrical plug positions. Players that have already installed and wired wind turbines may need to rewire them.
Fixed a bug where it was impossible to build domes outside of the prebuilt hexagon, even if it visually doesn't touch anything.
Fixed a bug where it was impossible to place domes on door frames or window frames.
Fixed a bug where the furnace continued to craft items if it caused network overload when turned on.
Fixed an issue where domes were choosing to remain levitating in midair after supporting walls were removed. Gravity has been reminded it is a law, not a suggestion.
Fixed lights and sounds in the electric oxygen generator.
Fixed various issues related to UI interactions.
Missing dome panels were returned to all tiers of fabricators for crafting.
Fixed an issue where multiple vehicles could be deployed at the same time.
Fixed a bug that caused solar panels to refuse to generate energy on the roof of buildings.
Fixed incorrect inventory slot numbers for some machines.
Adjustments made to the building system to improve memory economy.
Fixed an issue where wired water pumps produced water even if there was not enough power and it was in the "OFF" state.