The launch time of the module reduced from several minutes to a few seconds; the content self-check is much smarter now.
Autospawning now accepts URL squads from both the official FFG squad builder and from Yet Another Squad Builder 2.0 as well
A new “say set” button in all player windows; chat messages when ships reposition, change stats
Dial mask gfx are back to make it less awkward to play
Many bug fixes or features that were in 1.0 and brought back to 2.0
Much faster launch time
Player Tsukuda_Joe (and a few others) reported that the module was taking a long time to load whenever you launched it. This was for every launch, not just for the first time you open your module after a fresh download and you get this image tiling process for every art asset in the module. It got as bad as taking a full five minutes on some occasions. This has been completely been brought down to mere seconds this time around. Arguably, this is the most complex change brought to the module for this release. If you’re curious, read the rest of this section. If you’re merely happy about it and want to read the other features, feel free to skip to the next section.
Why it happened: Upon loading, the module went into a forced integrity self-check for its art assets. It would look at both the community’s xwing-data2 repository, figure out the official list of ships, pilots and upgrades and check if the module carried every single card graphic + ship base graphic + dial graphic, etc. It would also in parallel look at another depot (which I personally manage) to find out about 2-state ship graphics (such as the T-65 X-wing, U-Wing, etc.) and check for the presence of those files as well inside the module. It would stop at the first occurence of a missing item, and then let the user know something was missing through flashing the ‘Content Checker’ button in the main window. Upon downloading those new things on the fly and adding them to the module, the alert that something new was available would then stop.
Therefore, a player was punished (timewise) for having everything inside the module already, since it would let the self-check run through the whole list, inducing hundreds of web requests, which can quickly become problematic in some parts of the world.
How was this fixed: Instead of checking every item that needs to exist in the module, it only checks the version number of the xwing-data2 repository and compares it to a local file in the module and knows when to flash the content checker button to indicate that something new must be acquired. The same goes for the over-the-air repository that I manage.
Warning: for the time being, the first launch of this module version will nervously ask everyone to go through the content checker and verify if something new is available. It’s anyhow probably a good idea these days since at the time of writing this, we’re at the end of November 2018 and about to receive wave 2 of the 2nd edition with tons of new cards and many more playable ships for 2 separate factions. After this initial checkup is done, it will only bother you when there’s actual new content to get (touch on wood).
New Autospawner method – squad URLs
The killer feature from the 1.0 era (early 2107 to summer of 2018) in the vassal module is back. The official squad builder is also supported (though some weird squads might not work, we haven’t tested it much), but most players use YASB2 in conjunction with the vassal module from what I’ve seen. Here’s the new look of the autospawn window:
New ‘Say Set’ button
This addition is pretty straightforward, who knows if it’ll catch on and be massively adopted by players, old or new. You can find it in the player windows.
Complete list of changes:
‘Say “set”’ button in the player window that outputs “set” to chat with a timestamp, player name and player number
add reported text for when hull, shield, force and charge are changed on a ship. Concerns about even more slowdowns here.
3rd autospawn method: interpret shared URLs from the official FFG builder and YASB2 url work
Cleanup and Optimizations:
Launching the module could take anything between 30 seconds to 5 minutes, since every element (pilot and upgrade card, ships, dials, etc) were verified against the online depots I have set up online. It would stop the scan whenever the first missing element in the list was found. Therefore, a player having everything was punished by having the scan run the whole length. A massive overhaul of this system was remade and local files are kept on hand whenever feasible and a simple version number is compared online to a local copy. The launching time is cut down to mere seconds instead. This was pretty hard to do with the vassal engine limitations and OS write permissions. 2 local files will be created in the same folder as your module. Make sure you have writing permissions in that folder (it should be automatic, since you did put your module in that place…)
The Pieces window no longer carries 1.0 ships. Those pieces were not used directly by the 1.0 Squad Spawn anyway, they were deprecated relics.
All epic 1.0 ships have been regrouped in the Pieces/Epic 1.0 tab
Clicking on another player’s ‘2.0 Spawn’ button will no longer cause a delay (related to fetching the remote data) before telling you you can’t spawn for another player.
Autospawn Bugs Squashed:
Dial Mask images are back. A new type of dial will arrive in the module at some point, but for now, old school dials will be used. When hidden, the dials (for most ships) will no longer disappear and only display the dial text tag. This is just a quick, hackjob patch and wave 2-3 ships won’t have proper dials if we ever get to being able to play with them without the next dial type in place.
A ship type can now make tokens appear during autospawn (e.g. quadrijet transfer spacetug all requiring a tractor token)
Obstacles (asteroids and debris) now spawn with your list if your XWS has them listed (not available with the official builder, but YASB2.0 supports it)
The text appearing on upgrade cards (the card title) only shows up if it’s a placeholder card
Locks (from squad spawn 2.0) now carry the pilot’s name again in their tags
Charge tokens no longer spawn in stacks of n tokens deep, where n = up to the number of pilots used in your squad.
Squad Spawn 2.0 didn’t know what to do with a hardpoint upgrade (it only specifies one of three upgrade slots that’s made available on the ship but isn’t an upgrade itself) since it expected cards of that new type. This is now ignored by the module while it fetches the pieces for your list.
Shortened name tags are now used (as they were in 1.0) on small ship bases, as well as on their corresponding lock tokens
The first upgrade card is no longer weirdly under the pilot card, too far to the left
Ship Pieces Bugs Squashed:
The bank barrel rolls are now visible right click menu options (they worked nevertheless in the last 8.2.0 version, but they just weren’t visible).
The hull value is now able to go up to 13 (deci + hull upg) for Ahri Kim
Ship tokens are now hull and shield adjusted in case there’s the +1 hull or +1 shield upgrade card
Cargo Drop functionality is back for small, medium and large (CTRL-ALT-SHIFT-C)
Barrel rolls and decloaks now report “This *pilot name* has repositioned” in the chat window
Misc Bugs Squashed:
Structural damage is not supposed to be repairable. The card is now fixed (new version provided by Ablazoned, who made the 2.0 deck art images)
Both Loose Stabilizer critical cards used the Hull Breach art instead. This has been rectified.
Autorange bug uncovered by evcameron: front or back autorange could sometimes miss a better shortest line depending on a specific combination of attacker and defender size. The problem was the criterium which was used to determine the “closest attacker arc edges” and the “closest defender corners”. More lines were added to the pool of lines up for consideration and the function which calculates the best (shortest) distance now picks the correct choice.
Made a standalone tool for adjusting the file images used for pilots and upgrades and destined for the over-the-air content auto-updater; this tool also detects missing files, mismatched entries between the community’s xwing-data2 data repo (managed by Guido Kessels), the module and the over-the-air repo, etc. Really useful for adding new content to the module and making the auto-updater shine even more than ever as well as reduce the stress of making mistakes while processing new content.
Bug Squash Help:
Helped locate the bug about missing the pilot tag on the target lock tokens.
the newer firing autoranges are missing, read the ‘Known Issues’ section
Thanks to all the help I got
This module is hundreds of hours from yours truly spread out over the months since May 1st. A lot of code from past collaborators had to be adapted, forked and in some cases, bug-fixed in order to make 2.0 a reality in Vassal. Mike Murphy’s content checker and autospawn revisions in early 2018 were key to making this possible. The content checker is an oddity for most players, since it was only briefly used around the time of wave 14’s release, near the end of the Vassal League season 6. However, everyone will eventually see how it will play a key role in bringing the new 2nd edition content as it trickles in from previews and market releases.
Thank you to my patreon supporters who have stood by me and made this sting a whole lot less. The pledges are now on a monthly basis, ranging from $1 to $10 and I buy prizes for raffles. So far, 10 ship packs have been awarded, 7 bought and paid for, 3 pending on the winner’s decision. If you want to support the module, here’s the link again.
Before the launch of this v8.2.0 module, I got a lot of useful feedback from many players and users of the module inside the Vassal league slack. Thanks to the 50+ people who were active and supportive in my #vassal2e_alpha channel. It really helped me push this out a day before the IRL release of 2.0! Yay! We beat them to the race!
Things you must learn first in order to be functional in 2.0
1. There’s a different Squad spawning button for 2.0 lists called ‘2.0 Spawn’ inside the player windows. Use this instead of the old ‘Squad Spawn’ button (which I should rename to ‘1.0 Spawn’ to avoid confusion).
2. The best way to build a list is still with the 3rd party community squad builders and to bring your list with the XWS format (X-Wing Squadron – a structured way of writing a squad’s composition using a unique naming scheme that avoids ambiguity, e.g. Han Solo pilots / upgrades, etc.). That functionality has been present since early 2017, but was often not used, because you could paste a squad URL inside the 1.0 squad spawn and the module would figure out your list. Simply build your squad in an external (web or app) builder that supports the XWS format, export to it, copy that text and paste it inside the 2.0 spawn textbox:
3. I added another way by making my own internal squad builder (more info below) where you can select your stuff, export to XWS in a textbox, then spawn your list. It can create an illegal, cross-faction list that doesn’t care about upgrade slots for any ship – this is great for very custom scenarios, whereas squad builders try to force you to have legal lists.
4. When in doubt, the right click menus are still king. They’ve been significantly improved since last edition.
5. If the ‘Content Checker’ flashes black, then DO CLICK ON IT and go add the content. It will only take a minute or so and it will give you some missing image files. When you spawn a list, you’ll no longer use placeholder images and other players who are checking out your list in your window will no longer see placeholder images either. Everyone should get all the content ASAP to make it better for all.
What happened to the 1.0 content?
The Pieces window is no longer used to manually spawn your list. The autospawn is where it’s at (and has been since early 2017). While the 1.0 ship-related content inside its tabs relatively looks ok, it’s static by nature and can become deprecated – it will all be phased out soon and I will simply keep tabs for tokens, asteroids, missions, templates for when you need those things in a jiffy. Better is to just use the ‘Squad Spawn’ button to fetch all your pieces like has been done by all players. My main collaborator Mike Murphy has done an awesome job of tying the autospawn to the xwing-data community repo (think database) in early 2018 – it might not sound all-important but it was VITAL to convincing me that adding 2.0 support to the module was even feasible.
Many players have reported getting error messages in the chat window when they browsed around inside the Pieces window, and this is a feature instead of a bug. The error messages look like this:
I took the decision to remove all images files related to:
1.0 ship base graphics
1.0 dial images
This cut down on almost half the size of the module file and makes the infamous ‘image tiling’ process much faster when you load the module for the first time after a fresh download. I anticipated that the 2.0 content would add hundreds of new files, so having both editions’ worth of images inside the module would make the wait period much longer upon your first loading. I also anticipate a lot more players will be only interested in 2.0 going forward, but it really matters to me to keep 1.0 functional inside the module.
Therefore, if you do want to play a 1.0 game and see the images again, you have to download them back with the revised Content Checker (chat window button). Go into the second tab and follow the instructions and you should see a big list of images to download (the process takes a few minutes, be patient, vassal becomes unresponsive as it builds the list):
Uncensored cards and Order 66
Like many people, I’ve witnessed fellow computerized X-Wing platforms ‘TableTop Simulator’ and ‘Fly Casual’ enjoying uncensored cards for years. Here’s the list of reasons that made me reverse my thinking for the Vassal module:
I’ve created a simple way to censor all the cards within seconds without requiring anyone to download a new module, without requiring to download new content via the content checker or anything involved of the sort. It takes between a few seconds to a minute to activate and I call it my own brand of ‘Order 66’. It will make all pilot, upgrade and condition cards appear as black rectangles with white outlines and white card title text. If I ever get a copyright infringement warning email either directly or through vassal’s admins, I can activate what is essentially a killswitch for all those art assets.
The X-Wing Vassal module has always been and will keep on being free to use.
The official FFG squad builder offers everyone all the cards now at the same resolution we get them from their preview articles.
If the owners of this copyrighted materials (not me) would wish to protect their IP, I would understand and would offer to censor the cards back by flicking the ‘Order 66’ switch.
Over the years, this has been a hotly debated issue and many different people have weighed in but it seems I can never get ahold of a real (as opposed to armchair) specialized laywer in IP laws. If you are such a person, then please contact me with a PM.
New Internal Squad Builder
If you need a quick way to build a list, know your composition by heart and don’t need to check its validity, want to build cross-faction lists or have a totally open format, then the internal squad builder is for you. This is a 2nd method found in the window that appears after you click on ‘2.0 Spawn’ in a player window. You can even find unreleased factions in there. The ships and pilots are dynamically fetched from the community repo of xwing-data2, led by the one and only Guido Kessels.
To operate this builder, use the pull-down menus and buttons to add your pilots and upgrades. When you’re ready, click on ‘Export to XWS’, which will create a valid XWS json string inside your textbox. The final step is to click on ‘Spawn Squad’, which spawns the list from the texbox content (and not from the pulldown menus).
New & Lean Ship Bases
I wanted to make the bases less cluttered so I removed the attack and agility stats, which can be seen from the pilots cards anyway. Attacks have become more complicated and can’t be represented by only 1 number anymore (such as the new Lancer-class Pursuit craft, which has a front arc of 3 and a single turret of 2).
Since I needed the hashmarks to be visible on the front, sides and back, I couldn’t use all the craft status tokens. This became way too cramped on a small chassis. This is everything that can be activated visually on a ship:
Left side (top to bottom):
Stress with amount in white (shift-s increases, ctrl-shift-s decreases)
Charge (shift-c increases, ctrl-shift-c decreases; this shortcut used to set a crit token)
Lock indicator (equivalent to the blue target lock of 1.0)
Right side (top to bottom)
Force Charge (shift-i increases, ctrl-shift-i decreases; this shortcut used to set ion tokens)
The ship name tag has been removed and only the pilot name tag is present, at the bottom. At 100% zoom level, you should see the hash marks all around.
New Autospawn Token Management
The old way of spawning the relevant tokens with your autospawned list was to hard code which action, pilot, upgrade or ship brought which type of token. Every other module update, some people would complain that their favorite ship composition was missing a token and if I remembered, I’d add it to a source code file inside the module.
This has been replaced by something a lot more agile – I have a file somewhere on the web which contains these associations. Within seconds, it can be edited with new additions, and everyone with the module 8.2.0+ can spawn those tokens right away, without needing a new module update. You found a token which should (but does not) spawn with such-and-such pilot or upgrade? Then let me know (I’m reachable in the Vassal league slack, check the links at the top to get there) and I can quickly add it.
Revamped right click menus for ships
A lot of shortcuts had to be learned from the guide website or from my preview articles – but this becomes completely lost information for new players not aware of the guide. Since I had to rework the ships from the ground up in the vassal editor, I also strived to make the shortcuts more present and universal. I’m still missing a few (they’ll be added in the next version) but you should no longer have to guess how to do a Tallon Roll speed 2.
New behavior for Barrel Rolls and Decloaks
Before, in 1.0:
You could move the ship after a barrel roll/decloak into 2 positions per side: as forward as possible or as backward as possible.
You could spawn a centered template on the side (templates: straight 1 and 2, bank 1 and 2 towards the front or back)
Now, in 2.0
You can move the ship after a barrel roll/decloak into 3 positions per side. The big change is that CTRL-R is used to barrel roll left, centered (it used to merely spawn a template before, without moving; ALT-R for right side). For decloaks, ‘J’ and ‘K’ move your ship centered left and right respectively (it used to merely spawn the template)
(for now) You can only spawn the weird side templates using the same shortcuts as before. I’ve gotten a lot of messages about needing help for StarViper’s brand of barrel rolls. This information is both in the website guide and the How To & Shortcuts button inside the module, section on Weird Ships. Here’s a recap.
Full Bomb Spawner
After letting out a proper monster sigh after seeing these 2 cards being previewed in the last months:
I had to rework the Bomb Spawner and just add all remaining moves not already present: forward 4, hard turn 2 left and right.
Completely remade arc graphics
When the first kits were shown, the arc lines were consistently going to the cardboard corners. This is a little different from the 1.0 bases, so I accepted a slight change to all the arc angles. Here’s a recap:
Small ship forward arc: 80.90 degrees
Large ship forward arc: 84.05 degrees
Small ship forward arc: 81.24 degrees
Medium ship forward arc: 82.80 degrees
Large ship forward arc: 83.52 degrees
Alt-Paint Jobs for ships
There already was an easy way to add alt-paint jobs inside the module, but I made it so it’s even easier and tied to the Content Checker. If you are willing to add a ship and are SERIOUS about it, then you must provide an enough high quality image that will fit inside a transparent background .png file of the SAME SIZE as the ones that are used in the module for ship standalone graphics. I can provide you with an example for small, medium or large, then you give me your finished product back. Be mindful of resizing that can affect the level of details. I reserve the right to stop doing this if I get flooded with requests and to turn down images that don’t respect the above conditions. I love a good alt paint job like everyone else, but I do not need a ton of extra work of doing some hand holding to make your images work.
You’ll sometimes get “Image Missing… ” error messages if you go look around in the Pieces window, or if you see players playing a 1.0 game. I explain everything about how to solve this and why it happens in the above section ‘What happened to the 1.0 content?’
In my speedy removal of 1.0 content graphics, I removed the back dial images as well. Having a dial in hidden mode will appear invisible, but you’ll still see the text markings on it (and the mirror match do if you use it with CTRL-M). I’ll provide an entirely new style of dial in the next version or so of the module.
The banked barrel roll shortcuts are missing, but still functional if you do them anyway (see above in section ‘New behavior for barrel rolls and decloaks’)
We can’t paste a URL of a squad yet – I’m working on it for the future
Saved logs (replay files) will still have all the autorange firing option lines shown all stacked up in the map – I don’t have the faintest clue on how to solve this yet, and I did look a bit
Autorange firing options for single turrets and double turrets don’t work yet – all we have is the lancer-class style check (ALT-SHIFT-F), which uses both the mobile turret (now single turret) and the front arc – we need something that *only* checks the single turret arc. We need something totally new that checks the double turret arcs.
Autorange firing options for the full front arc is not yet implemented, but the 1.0 aux front arc + front firing arc is a good approximation (CTRL-SHIFT-N)