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UE4.16.3 Engine Upgrade

Posted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 4:16 pm
by Nightasy
A few months ago we announced that we would be upgrading from Unreal Engine 4.15.3 to 4.16.3 before the end of 2017. We have completed this milestone and the entire Dev team is now operating with the new engine version. 4.16 has quite a few improvements for our Devs in it, including the following:



  • Garbage collection is now twice as fast in this version which means that the game should require less memory to run as objects are being deleted faster when no longer needed. This is actually relevant as this improvement will assist with managing available memory resources. One example is cleaning up particles more quickly from powers FX.
  • There's a new Volumetric Fog feature that we might use to create some cool looking scenes.
  • Distance Field Ambient Occlusion and Ray Traced Distance Field Shadows now load 30 to 50% faster. Distance Field generation is also now 2.5 times faster than before.
  • Multiple improvements to animation modifiers have been added, allowing us to apply a sequence of actions to a given animation or skeleton. Also improved performance of rigid body for simulation needs, improvements to pose driver for more control, and the play Montage blueprint is an Async node, that can be used in any blueprint logic to play animation montages, and have easy access to some of the call back events it provides.
  • The APEX Clothing Solver has been replaced with NvCloth, which opens some options for us.


We think it is important for our community to know what version of the engine we are using to develop of Ship of Heroes. Upgrading from one engine version to another requires effort, but brings benefits in terms of the quality of the game being produced. Epic has just released version 4.18 and as such we will be doing another upgrade to UE4.17.3 very soon. Our strategy is to stay one version behind, and be a fast follower in this aspect of game technology. This engine upgrade is the fifth one that we have completed in about 18 months of development.

Re: UE4.16.3 Engine Upgrade

Posted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 4:38 pm
by A1fighter
Sometimes I feel as if I am part of the dev team lol, thanks for always staying in touch with your community. We are never left out it seems.

Re: UE4.16.3 Engine Upgrade

Posted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 8:58 pm
by JestersGhost
Looks like some worthy upgrades - definitely a worthwhile effort to get these kind of performance increases.

Re: UE4.16.3 Engine Upgrade

Posted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 10:36 pm
by Eulb
Hay " Nightasy " will you after launch be able to upgrade to highter UE engine ???

Re: UE4.16.3 Engine Upgrade

Posted: Fri Oct 27, 2017 11:19 am
by Nightasy
Hay " Nightasy " will you after launch be able to upgrade to highter UE engine ???
I can say that it is possible to do so. From a coding standpoint it's always possible to upgrade an engine. Whether or not we will would depend on a lot of factors. It's really too early to give a concrete answer to that question. Our current plan is to settle on a major version just before launch but that's subject to change if necessary.

Re: UE4.16.3 Engine Upgrade

Posted: Sun Oct 29, 2017 8:17 pm
by Eulb
COOL we can always look to you the DEV's ... you got our backs...

Re: UE4.16.3 Engine Upgrade

Posted: Sun Oct 29, 2017 9:06 pm
by Solarverse
This is really great news! Keep up the great work, people! Really excited for this Community, Developers and Game!

Re: UE4.16.3 Engine Upgrade

Posted: Wed Feb 06, 2019 7:43 pm
by BJSkywalker
When will the game launch?

Re: UE4.16.3 Engine Upgrade

Posted: Wed Feb 06, 2019 8:19 pm
by Golden Ace
if all goes well the end of the year

Re: UE4.16.3 Engine Upgrade

Posted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 1:47 pm
by BJSkywalker
ok, thank you. Will there be a demo before?

Re: UE4.16.3 Engine Upgrade

Posted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 3:35 pm
by Golden Ace
There will be a paid beta dates are still in flux

Re: UE4.16.3 Engine Upgrade

Posted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 11:11 am
by Odee
There will be a paid beta dates are still in flux
Hey Golden Ace, are these Engine Updates, necessary for the games initial development, and release? Do the updates cause many pre-existing (already programmed) things in game to break, or need updating to be compatible with the new engine?

Re: UE4.16.3 Engine Upgrade

Posted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 11:45 am
by Golden Ace
Yes they are necessary. The upgrade brings many new features and makes the final product much better than what it would be without it. We are trying to make an outstanding product not just an okay one. The upgrade also gave us access to the epic games paragon free assets. That’s $17 million of assets that we would not of had otherwise

Re: UE4.16.3 Engine Upgrade

Posted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 12:07 pm
by Odee
Yes they are necessary. The upgrade brings many new features and makes the final product much better than what it would be without it. We are trying to make an outstanding product not just an okay one. The upgrade also gave us access to the epic games paragon free assets. That’s $17 million of assets that we would not of had otherwise
Thank you for answering, the question, which I posted on behalf on the many silent supporters behalf.

Here's hoping we get some more hands on experience, to formulate better questions, suggestions, and observations. ;)

Re: UE4.16.3 Engine Upgrade

Posted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:29 pm
by GladDog
This update in particular was important. It made a lot of changes to the net code to make the game more MMO friendly. In essence, this made the rendering of models more efficient so that each model presents a smaller footprint to the server. This gives the dev team two choices; they can improve the models {more complex animations and movements, or more detailed costumes) without increasing the size of the footprint, or they can increase the number of models on the screen.

Since the team has pretty much decided that 100 characters per server shard is their goal for the game (this number is not written in stone, btw; it just seems that most games end up with this number), that means the extra footprint can go to making better models without potentially causing lag. This is the direction they wanted to go anyway. They have always preached quality over quantity or expedience. The game models look great, but they can look better, and we will see the benefits of this change very quickly.

All that stuff from Paragon is a very, very nice additional benefit. Not just costumes, but animations, sound effects, team building tools, environmental models; the list goes on and on. The added hairstyles are very nice. CoH had surprisingly few choices for faces and hair at release. Right now, SoH is ahead of where CoH was at release as far as faces and hairstyles, and probably very close in costume choices.