Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Patch 1.06 Released

Just over two months since the previous patch, Obsidian has released patch 1.06 (hat tip to Maximus). Their target cycle seems to be a patch every other month, and in general, they've hit their mark each time since 1.03. Here's the past history:
  • Nov 1 - NWN2 in stores, patch 1.01 released.
  • Nov 9 - 1.02 patch (more of a hotfix than a real patch)
  • Dec 4 - 1.03 patch (very significant performance improvements)
  • Jan 30 - 1.04 patch (mostly user interface issues)
  • Feb 8 - 1.04 hotfix
  • April 11 - 1.05 patch (AI, scripting, mouse-over health status)
  • June 12th - 1.06 patch
Kudos, as always, to Obsidian for continued support of and improvements to the game.

Looking over the patch notes, here are a few highlights that look useful to me:

Custom Content
• Several new UI customizability features. Among them, users can now set textures on UI objects via script, and users can set the state of progress bars via script.
This could result in some amazing UI modifications in modules. We've yet to see any published modules that really take advantage of the ability to have re-skinned UI's, but Rogue Dao's Purgatorio, which is currently in internal beta, apparently is doing this.
• Placeables now have an OnClick event. This event will fire whenever a user clicks a placeable, regardless of whether the user can currently path to it.
I can see this resolving a number of minor but occasional issues builders have in which they want users to try to use an object, but need to place that object in a place that is not accessible.

• Undo and Redo now work for Terrain, Grass, and Water painting.
If this works as advertised, it could be a godsend. There also appear to be several improvements to the tools used to shape height maps. I haven't messed with that enough to know how important these changes might turn out to be. Jclef, winner of the Obsidian mod contest, indicates that the new flattening tool is very useful.

• Specular Lighting has been improved. Shiny objects should now look better than before.
I'll see if I notice any difference once I update. I never thought that shiny objects, like armor, were too dull, so hopefully they didn't over-correct a problem here.
• Trees and Objects that fade no longer lose their directional light shadow when faded out.
This is a nice improvement, and should fix something that I occasionally find distracting and disorienting when I'm exploring environments.

• Bestow Curse now reduces all of the target’s ability scores by 3 rather than 2.
• Energy Drain no longer allows a saving throw.
These changes might make me tempted to actually use these spells. I've previously never found them very useful.
• The Turn Undead ability will now function properly.
I noticed a lot of inconsistency in the effectiveness of turn undead when playing Keep on the Borderlands, so perhaps this bug is what was happening.

As with most patches, I'll probably wait to patch until I'm forced to do so in case there are any problems that arise. Although, if I decide to play a cleric or paladin character, I might go ahead and update just to get whatever benefits are associated with the bug fix for turn undead.

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