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New Evochron Mercenary

This downloads page now offers an updated version 2.288 of Evochron Mercenary, the space combat and exploration game from indie developer StarWraith 3D games. Here are the changes in the new version, which is also available as a trial version:

  • Improved rendering performance for most systems.
  • Mod placement options added for text chat/message log.
  • Improved activation performance for the dynamic cube mapping system for planetary water (eliminating the 0.5-1 second pause on planetary descents).
  • New loading mechanism applied to planet meshes and city meshes to better support systems with limited/restricted hard drive performance/functionality (ie file error 105).
  • Fix for loading issue causing stored custom weapons in hangars to have removed stats.
  • Updated collision system for planetary terrain to reduce overall memory use.
  • Training mode can now be completed using profiles saved in other systems.
  • Adjusted click ranges in configure controls menus.
  • Improved lens flare masking for capital ships.
  • Several minor bug fixes.

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11. Re: New Evochron Mercenary Jan 18, 2013, 19:24 Porn-O-Matic
I've been playing Evochron Mercenary for the past week or so and it's "okay", but doesn't even compete with the X3 games in terms of overal scope and visual appeal. My biggest complaints with EM is the lame handling of the economy, and the fact that there's no way to see the prices of commodities in other systems without actually going there, which means if you're a trader, that's all you do... fly around looking for the best deal.

Supposedly the color coding of the map is supposed to tell you where you can buy low and sell high, but actual prices don't reflect that logic AT ALL. I constantly see prices that are completely reversed from what the map should indicate, making it impossible to accurately judge where you'll get the best price for whatever stuff you're trying to sell.

There are also graphics stupidities in the game, like "solar panels" that have no thickness and can be flown through by all AI ships, but not your own. When I say they have no thickness, what I mean is, that it's only a 2D sprite in space... if you align your view with the edge of the solar panel, it literally disappears from your view! That's just LAZY 3D modeling.

The collision boundary around ships and objects is over 100 "feet" thick, meaning you can't glide gracefully along the hull of a huge cruiser. You can't even get what I would call "close" to it without suddendly bouncing off of it. Same goes for small ships too. Space stations don't suffer from this stupidity, but even if you ram into them at high speed, you won't take a lick of damage. I guess everything in Evochron Mercenary is made out of Nerf foam.

And finally, the AI bad guys... pirates, feuding factions, I don't know who they are... the guys that show up RED on your radar... they ONLY attack YOU! There are dozens of other ships flying around, friendlies, neutrals, but they NEVER get attacked by rogue bad guys. EVER. YOU are the sole target, no matter where you go. In X3 and even Freelancer, you would see AI battles all the time and it was cool to watch. Sometimes you'd unintentionally get caught up in it, or you could decide on your own to join in and help out. Not in Evochron Mercenary though. For some reason, you're the only one worth attacking in the entire universe. That's a game-breaker all by itself, if you ask me.

Personally, I'd rather go back and play Freelancer again because so far, Evochron Mercenary has only served to piss me off with it's poor design decisions and lackluster graphics.
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