Testing 170: Optimisations, Block Levels, and Angry Creature Spawning!

This update is accessible via the “Testing” release of Boundless on Steam.

Please report all issues discovered with the update to this support thread.

Please restart Steam to make sure you get the latest version of Boundless. If the update happens whilst Steam is open it’s unlikely you’ll get the latest version.


Please be aware that this Testing release is pretty rough, but we’ve released it for everyone to checkout. Remember the Testing releases are for testing and not long term playing. Take a look at it, report any issues you discover and then return to the Live release to continue playing. We want to be able to release Testing weekly so that everyone can see the progress between (more) stable Live releases.

There are a few outstanding crashes on Windows PC and Mac OS X that we’ve not reproduced yet. The creature threat system is pretty aggressive - they’re definitely out for justice for past crimes against their kind. There will likely be 1 or 2 more Testing releases before these features are ready for Live. Especially with the new Creature balancing and Block Level mining balancing. These systems aim to make the game accessible and feel good for new players, whilst giving longer term players a challenge and reward for progressing their character when experiencing the higher level worlds.

Release Notes:

  • Crafting + Resources + Equipment:
    • Adjusted experience received from ancient technology seams to be a fair amount, and flowers to be a small amount (to reduce the effectiveness of picking them up and placing them as a cheap XP gain).
    • Blocks on moons (Level 2 worlds) now have more health than on home planets, and ring (Level 3) worlds have even more. This allows us to better balance the speed and progression of mining.
  • Creatures + Combat + Characters:
    • Improved creature spawning so creatures should spawn much more often.
      • Spawn creatures ahead of the player when they are traveling.
      • Despawn creatures far away from players more quickly and decreased spawn in/out distances. This increases the number of creatures closer to players.
      • Reduced creature counts so the game is not overly cluttered with creatures (after the above changes).
      • Optimised the spawning system server for CPU load.
      • Improved the hud damage indicators.
    • Let the character look almost perfectly straight/up down again so that you can select planets directly above your head again etc.
    • Re-balanced creature health, damage and armour values to make them much more challenging.
    • Re-balanced creature variants spawning on each world.
      • Different power creatures on some worlds.
      • Rate of fire and projectile speed variations.
  • Sanctum + Tutorial + Objectives + Progression:
    • Modifications in the objectives system:
      • All the completed objectives have to be claimed to obtain the reward.
      • Created new daily/weekly panel at the top of the feats screen.
      • Now the feats can be tracked.
      • Tracking shortcut with right click for feats and regular objectives.
    • Moved Equipment crafting skills earlier in the progression unlock order.
    • Removing level 35 level cap and going back to 50
    • Removing the need to build a portal on another world to complete the objective
  • GUI + HUD:
    • Added hotkey (K) to toggle the social screen.
    • Added new air bar in the hud.
    • Certain Crafter feats have been repositioned in the GUI
    • Certain Explorer feats have been repositioned in the GUI
    • Fighter feats have been renamed to Combat
    • Moved “chunk cache size”, and “chunk download rate” settings into a Network tab on the setting GUI.
    • Added a new game option in the network settings tab which disables all of the bad-connection flow, including inputs being reset to 0 server-side when the connect falters, allowing people to play with bad-behaviour and rubber banding if they choose to do so, instead of being returned to the sanctum or prevented from playing on that server.
    • Added segmented health bars to help communicate health and level variation of players, creatures and blocks.
    • Added Quickmove (shift and click LMB or RMB) from backpack to quickuse in Inventory menu
  • Engine:
    • Client inputs are now reset to 0 server-side when the client is unresponsive on the network. This will halt players when their connection is temporarily lost.
    • The bad-connection screen is modified to prevent changing the camera view until only 10 seconds are left in the countdown, the character equally will not go into the logging-out pose until such a time.
    • The bad-connection “return more quickly” button, is replaced with a “return now” button that will (pending server communications) return you instantly back to the sanctum instead of waiting another 10 seconds.
    • The bad-connection logic is slightly tweaked to delay putting you into the bad-connection state by an extra second in the hope the network improves first. An extra second is also added to the recovery logic. This should help reduce flip-flopping between the states too often.
    • Fix some short/long-term physics issues:
      • Continuous collisions against unloaded chunks may have put you into the world, whilst we generally resolve that with auto-unstuck feature added recently, this should make it just happen less often. That unstuck feature also only occurs server-side, and this issue was causing players to sometimes be stuck in the ground when returning to the sanctum too.
      • Fix in building the initial set of physics chunk data after optimisations to split physics on y-levels, this would only very rarely have caused any issues and only since the recent releases.
      • Fix bug in the sanctum where you could fall into the floor beside the warp that opens when “returning” to the sanctum from a game world (initial play of the game was unaffected).
    • Many optimisations for the game client that should, in particular, make portal transitions much smoother in terms of frame-rate, and being in areas with lots of portals much smoother in terms of frame-rate.
    • Improved quality of the anti-aliasing in the game removing certain artefacts that can appear especially in areas like the characters eyes, and removing the majority of unintended “blurring” in the image.
    • Reduced the maximum speed in physics achievable to be about 90mph, adjusting the drag to reach this speed asymptotically now instead of clamping. This is largely speaking an optimisation as the speed achievable in physics by any entity has a direct cost in unrelated server-side systems that need to work in a such a way as to take into account client’s point of views at varying latencies, as they need to “cast a wider net” as it were, to take into account entities which from the clients point of view may have been much closer.
    • Tweaked some physics values and slightly how stairs work in the physics to help fix/counteract issues that came about from us dropping the frame-rate of simulation from 30fps to 16fps when sprinting at high speeds.
  • Bug fixes:
    • Fixed a bug where one side of an open portal could end up with bad data allowing the user to fall into the ground next to it.
    • Fixed an issue where you could get stuck in the bad connection screen after recovery.
    • Fixed client crash when trying to add more than 255 columns (not individual plots, but unique columns) to a beacon.
    • Fixed completed warps/portals not having their breaking decals correctly removed when the damage is reset without being fully broken.
    • Fixed footfall not being generated by players without permissions… a bug introduced meant the opposite was happening and users “with” permissions were trying to generate footfall instead. oops!
    • Fixed issues in shader that could lead to weird colour artefacts around blackened areas of textures and the lack of specularity in those areas (eg the blacks of characters eyes).
    • Fixed not being able to generally walk onto slabs/steps from a low-friction material like ice.
    • Fixed showing a timeout bar on other warp in sanctum now that it does not close on a timer.

Resolved Known Issues:

The following items were known issues in previous releases and have now been resolved.

  • World Builder currently does not work on Mac.

Known Issues:

The following items are known issues in this release.

  • [new] Breaking the Campfire during the initial tutorial will reset some objectives and display the ‘Build a Temporary Campfire’ objective again.
  • [new] Some feats are not shown on the GUI
  • Beacons which are greater than 100 metres from the centre may not function correctly.
  • Cannot close Inventory when Chat is used.
  • Changing the Chunk Cache Size in fullscreen mode will disable game functionality.
  • Entity rendering will not always work correctly when there are multiple warps very close together, or where a warp opens up to a location very near where the entrance is.
  • Game displays welcome message for a world through a portal without going through it.
  • GUI rendered incorrectly on Intel HD graphics (and some AMD / GTX laptop GPUs) on Windows.
  • If the game (loader) fails to start on Windows 7 and 8 you may need to install https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/help/2999226/update-for-universal-c-runtime-in-windows
  • If you spend a skill point before the tutorial asks you to, you will be required to unlearn and relearn the skill again.
  • Illegal protocol message sometimes appears after going through a portal.
  • Item placed into Request Basket will disappear when placing the same item into storage.
  • Item wanted is completely different to what was placed there before on the Request Basket.
  • Items will occasionally be unable to smart stack with other items that belong in the same smart stack category.
  • Menus may constantly reappear on screen after closing them.
  • Objectives & Feats - Some tasks are not being tracked correctly.
  • Opening or closing doors and trapdoors when standing too close to them will restrict player movement. To get out of the situation, interact with the door or trapdoor again.
  • Placing an item into the Crafting Table will somehow miss the intended slot and will drop instead.
  • Portal UI text overflows when the portal token name is very long.
  • Request Baskets (previously Buying plinths) that had wanted items set before v151 have unset them. Sorry. Going forward they will be fine.
  • Skill descriptions are not final.
  • Some creatures may disappear instantly and drop items before their bodies hit the ground.
  • Some interactive blocks (crafting table, machine, beacon control) have become corrupted during the migration. This will result in at best those blocks not being able to be interacted with, at worst the game crashing when interacting with those blocks. To fix the issue the block(s) in question need to be re-placed. In the case of anything other than a beacon control the block can simply be broken, picked up, and then re-placed. In the case of a beacon control this will work, although it would result in all the plots having to be re-placed one at a time and during that process the contents being unprotected. A better workaround for a beacon control is to craft a new beacon control, place that, and then break the old one, which will keep the beacon’s plots placed throughout the process.
  • Speech bubbles may still be displayed above players after going through portals.
  • The recipes are not final.
  • Using D3DGear http://www.d3dgear.com/ crashes the game on start up.
  • Z-fighting with some items (workbench and other machines) when placed underwater.




Omg, I need to hurry with my safe base on Munteen before creatures will wreak havoc. :fearful:


Nonsense. Nothing wrecks me, but me. And rum. Woah, rum.


them devs tho…hard at it

1 Like

That’ll teach those flower power hippies!


Sounds amazing! can’t wait till i can find some time to check this out…

lol sounds like i’ll soon be adjusting my project i’ve been chipping away at XD. I look forward to seeing the progression of mining plays out =)

I’m still thinking that increased health for normal blocks is a bad idea. Gems and gleam and titanium and maybe hard coal I can see, but normal rocks and sand? :expressionless:


I feel you there but he’s talking about

that could mean any number of things… that max lvl mining on ring worlds is the same as it now but takes more points to get there… while being able to mine much faster / better (or just the same) with less points on home worlds… or it could just be that mining on moons and ring worlds is just more expensive in tools and time… which im not much of a fan for… but it would be nice to have more of a “progression” instead of everything being the same across the board

if blocks are simply harder to mine on ring worlds it could also be balanced by being more rewarding. as in iron could be harder to mine by ether needing more hits or even a higher tool BUT it gives more iron per block or even a secondary resource unique to the planet XD

At any rate it’s usually the progression in the game that keeps me going… It would be awesome to work up to going to another planet… And then have that “starting fresh” feeling of of having to work up to being effective on the new planet… Instead of simply getting there and realizing it’s just like the last planet except it’s a different color and maybe it has a few new enemies and the job of hunting for supper rare gems.

Just my two cents ^^

Edit: I am ever the optimist XD


This is my post and the thread that originally discussed this change:


Slowing hammers ( lowering dps ) and raising the HP of blocks seems counter productive for a building game with limited content. Maybe if there was something else to do, but at this point it’s just making it take longer to get the stuff to test with.

I strongly suggest putting it back until you get to a point there is more to test then just blocks, tools and limited crafting.

I think trying to balance this stuff now is way to early. Unless this is the bulk of the game. I really hope not.

I agree it does need to happen but after all the skills, crafting, dungeons, wearable stuff and whatever else is coming for v1. Balance in beta when you have all the info.

1 Like

How far in did you test Tigreen? Have not played 170 yet myself, but understood that we should be able to one-shot blocks on start worlds now with better tools + skills - or is this not yet in effect?

Not a ton of testing 170, but that’s not the point. As skills, abilities, gear, ect. come online all this balancing will have to be redone. At this point in the game there is not a lot of advantage to balancing as many of the systems are not in place. Why slow down our testing of the few systems currently in game or of new systems as they are added? Each new system that in added will affect the current in unforeseen ways.

Slowing down testing early on is counter productive. Sure I’ll still be playing, but now we will be doing so slower.

I think you misunderstood me. Did you test with iron/silver/gold hammers after the change? Or titanium? These are easily accessible on release and would be what most people use to mine. Just curious if your much slower speed is just right at the start (stone/copper) or throughout the pre-gem tools.

I hope to get time to test hammers over then next couple days. Should be interesting.

Yip, please report your findings. I mine alot, so this is of vital interest to me.

But this is the opposite of what is actually proposed. We’re increasing the breadth of block health. This allows us to balance the tools to feel nimble across all the worlds as the player progresses.

Mining on a Level 1 world with the lower level material tools will feel good.
Mining on a Level 5 world with the highest level material tools and full progression will feel good.

(Obviously mining on a Level 5 world with the lower level materials and no progression will be extremely slow. But this matches the target combat balance. New player on Level 5 = death.)


I like that this proposal prevents or drastically discourages trying to mine lvl 5 worlds and their resources as an inexperienced miner. It also further separates the roles so that a fighter can not mine as effectively as a miner, and visa versa, but does not prevent a fighter from getting resources themselves. They can always mine just fine on lvl 1 worlds.


In line with this update, I also hope that there is a way to limit new players from accessing existing portals in general (others’ settlements, etc.) to jump around to other planets.

There was a suggestion before of a mandatory rough oort stone donation on each use which could work (though this is actually a bit of a weak hindrance and I’m in favor more of ‘skill’ related one).

Right now, with how good our community is, there are tons of free portals which somehow lessen the grandeur of portals.