Changes from Arx Fatalis
This page documents differences between vanilla Arx Fatalis and Arx Libertatis. Beware that this list may not be complete. For a complete list of changes see the changelog.
- 1 Improvements
- 2 Removed Features
- 2.1 Graphics
- 2.2 Interface
- 2.3 Miscellaneous
- 2.4 Script commands
These changes have been made because we think the original behavior was a bug, but feel that they should be documented nonetheless. When mod support improves some of these changes could become optional.
- 1.2+: Calculated Armor Class, Magic Resistance, Poison Resistance and Damages stats now include attribute and skill modifiers from items and spells. (commit bd3c048)
- 1.2+: The Critical Hit chance now includes item and cheat modifiers. (commit b775fde)
- 1.2+: Higher caster level now makes the Curse () spell more effective against NPC Damages, Armor Class and Damage Absorption instead of less effective. (commit a11986c)
- 1.2+: Maximum player Health and Mana no longer ignores attribute modifiers from items and spells while the MAX or MAR cheats are active. (commit 5c728dc)
- 1.1+: Reduced default duration for Protection from fire () and Protection from cold () when cast by NPCs (commit 45b17db)
- 1.1+: Protection from fire () now respects the duration supplied by scripts. (commit 45b17db)
- 1.1+: Changed color of the Protection from fire () aura from to , to make it visually different from the aura of the Armor () spell. (commit 9ef8b9c, commit 65271f9)
- 1.1+: Restored some unused spell sounds. (commit e94d112)
- 1.1+: RAF cheat no longer limits the player's caster level to 1. (commit 84d43e2, commit 44e218a)
- 1.0.3+: Calculated Object knowledge and Projectile skills now include attribute modifiers from items and spells. (commit 93c67fa)
While most of the functionalities were kept intact while porting and cleaning up Arx Fatalis, some features were no longer relevant or made other improvements harder. Some of these features may be re-added in a future version
Vanilla Arx Fatalis had options for screen brightness, luminosity and contrast. This was removed in Arx Libertatis because we couldn't get it working reliably across platforms. Some kind of brightness option needs to be re-added, possibly as a post-processing shader in order to also work in windowed mode.
Arx Fatalis does not ship with bump maps, but the original game used a grayscale version of the normal diffuse textures and texture combine operators to approximate the effect. While using this technique could yield some interesting results, in most cases it produced a blurred effect. Should be reimplemented as per pixel bump mapping using shaders.
TODO: Add a screenshot of the effect.
Also called Z-mapping or "texture refinement" in the source code, Arx Fatalis had the ability to overlay tiled grayscale textures onto close objects and walls in order to increase the perceived texture detail. While this is a nice trick, it caused closer objects to be darker and caused other artifacts, which was noticeable when moving. We managed to break this feature sometime before Arx Libertatis 1.0 and finally removed the code completely for Arx Libertatis 1.2. Instead, we plan to increase the texture detail some other way.
PNUX texture effect
Color conversion applied to all textures in the game, resulting in funny looking scenes. Was only used for the PNUX cheat, so in the end it was not worth porting. Would be trivial to implement as a post processing effect.
Screenshots of the effect on Vanilla Arx Fatalis:
Texture size option
Vanilla Arx Fatalis provided the option to downscale larger textures before uploading them to the graphics card, to lower video memory usage. As Arx only has relatively small textures, this option isn't really needed these days. May be re-added once we have higher-resolution textures.
16 bit texture support
Removed in: Arx Libertatis 1.0
Prognosis: He's dead, Jim
Vanilla Arx Fatalis could convert textures to 16-bit before uploading them to the graphics card, to lower video memory usage. This isn't really needed these days, reduces image quality and complicates the code too much.
Video bit depth option
In Arx Fatalis and early Arx Libertatis versions you had the option to choose fullscreen video modes with a 16-bit backbuffer. This isn't really needed these days and was removed with the SDL 2 port.
The released Arx Fatalis 1.21 source code could be compiled to enable a level editor mode. This feature was not available in released Arx Fatalis binaries. The code heavily relied on Microsoft Windows windowing functions and we decided to not attempt to port it. Instead, we plan to create our own editor in a cross-platform toolkit.
"Old" control mode
"Old", because the current control mode was called newcontrol in the config file (and international mode in the code). The new control mode was already enabled by default in the config file shipped with most Arx Fatalis versions.
The original Arx fatalis was based on DirectX 7. In Arx Libertatis 1.0 we upgraded the implementation to DirectX 9 but also added cross-platform OpenGL, OpenAL and SDL backends. The Windows-specific DirectX backends were deprecated in Arx Libertatis 1.1, and Arx Libertatis 1.2 removes the legacy Direct3D, DirectSound and DirectInput backends.
Support for loading uncooked objects and scenes
Arx Fatalis shipped with code to load raw objects in the THEO file format (.teo) and scenes in the TSCN file format (.scn). However, the game data only includes cooked objects in the FTL file format (.ftl) and scenes in the FTS file format (.fts). Additionally, THEO/TSCN are custom (or at least uncommon) file formats so there is no point in keeping support for a format that is not used by any available files. The cooking process will likely be re-implemented as part of a editor at some point.
Animations in the THEA file format are still still supported as they don't have a cooked variant.
Some unused script commands have been removed because they were redundant and/or broken.