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Vince T
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Post by Vince T » Sat Mar 06, 2021 5:28 pm

Alright, the old FAQ hasn't aged too well and a lot of the content within is by today outdated or irrelevant. So here's a new FAQ!

General Questions
Work in Progress

What is the goal of the XWA Upgrade?
Our goal is to redo most of the original opts from Lucas Arts' X-Wing Alliance. We find that many of those opts are done in an inadequate way. A lot of the possibilities like illuminated textures, transparent faces are not used in the extent possible. When the XWA Upgrade project is done, the game will have some of the best 3D-Models seen in games so far.
We want to upgrade X-Wing Alliance, so please understand that this will lead to higher minimum requirements than the original XWA had. This is also only a graphical update. Statistics of ships will be mostly left alone. Only few changes will be made, but those will be tested in game to see whether or not they change the game balance too much.

What does the mod include?
Historically the XWA Upgrade provided higher-detail remakes of the craft that came with the vanilla game. Today, however, that is only part of the package. In 2020 and following the XWAU also contains a vast collection of improvements, including but not limited to
- New shaders for improved visual effects
- Support for VR Headsets with dynamic and interactive cockpits
- Updated backdrop graphics
- Hooks (bits of code that disable old game limits or add new functionalities)
- Many new custom hangars and hangar ship layouts linked to the individual ship or station you launch from
- Mission fixes for bugs that were present in the vanilla game or which are required in conjunction with some updated craft
- Fixes to numerous bugs plaguing the game for years

What doesn't the mod include?
- The mod does not include craft that weren't in the original game. While there are many custom craft available, based off the movies, comics, games or original design, those are not within the scope of the project.

Will you be upgrading the cutscenes and frontend ?
As of now those are not within the project's scope, however there are various upgrade mods independent from the XWAU.
- XWA Movie Crawl by Angel, Evil Mark and Ace Antilles
- XWA HD Cutscens by marcop000 (Available in English and Italian)
- The Battle of Endor Update by Ace Antilles
- XWA Frontend Update by Ace Antilles
- XWA Quarters Upgrade by Ace Antilles
These updates are all available at Ace Antilles' X-Wing Outpost

Will you be upgrading the sound effects and voice messages?
LIke with the frontend there are independent mods to upgrade the sound effects:
- XWA Sound Update by Ace Antilles
There are no plans to update the ingame voices.

Which versions of XWA does the mod support?
The XWAU supports the origianl CD versions as well all mainstream digital editions of XWA, like Steam and GoG. Note: As of now supporting the original CD version becomes subsequently harder and by now we recommend getting any of the digital versions for a buck and a half.

When will the whole patch be released?
The latest full release is the XWAUP Mega Patch 2020, available from the DOWNLOADS section. It and its subsequent updates contain everything that has been created by the project to that date. As the project continues and the number of individual ships and other aspects grows larger, we have moved on from releasing individual models and instead are focusing on releasing incremental updates containing new or updated models, effects and hook updates and other features.

When will model xyz be done?
When it's done. Progress reports will be posted by the team at the discretion of the individual(s) working on a particular model. There is no need to ask for progress reports on the forum.

Will you change the ships stats, like speed, shield or hull rating?
For the most part, no. We try to keep the characteristics of each craft the same as it was in XWA. There are some exceptions, where we've e.g. chaged the size of certain ships like the SSD(17.6/19 km instead of just 8 km), but those changes are being tested thoroughly and all affected missions are being updated and balance-tested accordingly. But besides that we really try to keep the gaming balance as it is!

I have an awesome Star Wars model which was not originally featured in XWA, can you include it into the project?
No, the scope of the project is limited to only those ships that were actually in the vanilla game. There are a small number of exceptions, where ships were listed in the game files but no actual models existed for those. These are:
- Darth Vader's TIE Advanced x1
- Modified Strike Cruiser
- Imperial I-class Star Destroyer
- Victory II-class Star Destroyer
- There was a plan to add the Star Viper (which was listed in Totally Game's FAQ), but there was never much interest in anyone actually doing it. So as of right now it has been cut from the scope. If someone ever does make a good enough model that might change since it was supposed to be in the game.
We may add variations to existing ships using profiles or skins, for example a Vindicator-variant of the Interdictor, without the gravity generators.

I have created a model that is better/more detailed than the one you already released. Can I submit it?
Sure! As of now the project is 20 years old and some of the earlier models are beginning to show their age. While we ourselves do create updated versions of some of the ships, we won't be able to cover everything. If you have created a model that is superior to the one available AND is compatible with the game we should have no quarrel replacing the old one.

What are all those abbreviations like RFP, IFP, etc...?
Those usually refer to former iterations of the project release
XWAU 2020: XWAU Mega Patch 2020, the current major release of the XWAU.
XWAUCP: The XWAU Craft Pack, a predecessor to the Mega Patch
DSUCP / UCP: Darksaber's Ultimate Craft Pack, a large package including all the XWAU craft, hooks and effects as well as custom models by other authors. This package is no longer available.
RFP / IFP: Rebel / Imperial Fighter Pack, those were very early mini packs and among the first bits of content the team has ever released. With the introduction of the XWAUCP and later the Mega Patch these have been rendered obsolete.

Why does clicking a link to download a ship sometimes give me a an error?
The XWAU stores the files for download on several servers. Occasionally one or more servers will exceed their limit, or be down for maintenence. The link rotates between the servers, so simply refresh the download page, and try again.
Your ship, Captain. I need a drink. - Vince Trageton
Vince T's X-Wing HQ - where the bad guys get their gear

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Vince T
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Post by Vince T » Sat Mar 06, 2021 5:55 pm

Team Questions

How can I join the XWA Upgrade Team?
Everybody can join the team, but you need to be able to contribute in the following fields:
- 3D Artist: Create 3D models that are compatible with the game
- Texture artist: Create textures for craft, animations or skins to be used ingame
- OPTing: convert models into the format required by the game
- Coding: Hook programming
In case you want to join the team simply post on the forum. Before you will be accepted to the team you will have to show some of your work though. The team will then make a vote whether or not to make you an official team member. We may as well approach members who have contributed to the game in some way or another, if we think they might the project. Please check the Rules section for more info!

Can I be a beta-tester?
As it is now we have a large-enough circle of testers, and we don't want to spread the models too much for now. Most modelers test their stuff on their own or use their own people, so we really don't need anybody right now! Again, the team may approach certain individuals who have been known to have actively play the content and have proven a keen eye in discovering potential bugs and other things, providing constructive feedback that may benefit further releases..
Your ship, Captain. I need a drink. - Vince Trageton
Vince T's X-Wing HQ - where the bad guys get their gear

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Vince T
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Post by Vince T » Sat Mar 06, 2021 6:14 pm

Graphics Questions

Why are my lasers yellow or my ions purple?
As of 2020 it is now possible to assign individual colors for lasers and ion cannons on a per-ship basis. To add a bit more variety we took some creative liberty and changed projectile colors on various civilian or pirate affiliated craft, which may lead to some of those using things like yellow lasers and/or purple ions. Also note that blue ions were actually introduced by the original X-Wing game, while the ion cannon portrayed in the ESB movie actually fired purple shots.
Your ship, Captain. I need a drink. - Vince Trageton
Vince T's X-Wing HQ - where the bad guys get their gear

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Vince T
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Post by Vince T » Sat Mar 06, 2021 6:47 pm

Sound Questions

I'm using the CD version. After installing the mod I am missing certain sounds.
To fix this, copy the /Wave/ folder from your CDs into your XWA Game directory. NOTE: You'll need to copy the files from BOTH CDs as either contains certain files that the other doesn't.
Your ship, Captain. I need a drink. - Vince Trageton
Vince T's X-Wing HQ - where the bad guys get their gear

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Vince T
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Post by Vince T » Sat Mar 06, 2021 6:48 pm

Craft-speciffic Questions:


Various original ships were totally weak! Are you increasing the new version's firepower?
No and don't ask again! We had some instances in the past where a ship's firepower was increased to be more movie-accurate, which ended up upsetting the game balance to the point where some missions became unwinnable. Since then we take great care to maintain the vanilla ship's armament wherever possible.

Why is the Missile Boat so much different?
It's based on it's original design in TIE Fighter, not the new design that debuted in XWCS.
We decided that we like the old TF design better than the newer XWA one.

You have changed the length of the SSD to 17.6 km, but this is wrong, the EGVV says its 8 km!
Due to poor research, West End Games was incorrect in its size statement. Film evidence clearly shows out that the SSD is about eleven times the length of the Imperial Star Destroyer, or roughly 17.6 kilometers. According to StarWars.com the SSD is even 19km long.

What's the deal with the Reef Home and Liberty, what happened to the MC-80a?
Another thing that was messed up in the game. The MC-80a Calamari Cruiser actually didn't appear until after Endor. The two that appear in the game are actually MC-80s, but various archives dubbed the two different designs seen at Endor Liberty and Reef Home.

Home One? Why is the wingless Calamari cruiser so BIG?
This was another error in the game. The Rebel command ship at Endor, Home One, was left out of the game and replaced by a scaled down version that became the wingless cruiser.

Are you also considering ion cannon turrets for the Y-wing? A number of sources have noted that the Y-wings could accommodate a gunner.
There are two Y-wing variants, the older S3 and the newer A4. Although both craft are rather old by the time of the Battle of Endor, the A4 (which is the version seen in the films) is by far more numerous, and was used by the Rebellion because it was cheaper to build. Therefore there are no plans at adding the Y-wing S3 with this upgrade. Besides which, adding a turret to the Y-wing would have some SERIOUS balance issues. This matter is non debatable!

Do all flyable craft have flight group colors?
Yes, most do. In additional many other craft have been given at least a set of basic flightgroup colors. In addition, some have been given more complex appearances via skins or object profiles.

Do all flyable craft have unique cockpits?
Yes. As of 2020 all flyable craft have individual dynamic cockpits.
Your ship, Captain. I need a drink. - Vince Trageton
Vince T's X-Wing HQ - where the bad guys get their gear

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Vince T
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Post by Vince T » Sat Mar 06, 2021 7:27 pm

Performance, Compatibility & Troubleshooting

Why are the NEW craft all grey/white?
That's a setting sissue. Go to the XWA options screen, then Graphics Options, and make sure rendering is set to Hardware

After installing the game won‘t start. I‘m using the steam version.
This is related to Stram‘s DRM-system which does not support the custom launcher. To play the modded game please use the custom launcher shortcut that is created upon the megapatch install.

The mod looks great but it's killing my FPS! My PC is 10 years old, but the game is 20 years old, shouldn't it run better?
Yes, the game is 20 years old, as such the game engine was not optimized for modern hardware such as multicore CPUs. Many of the more recently added models are very detailed and, combined with the new visual effects, sometimes this is too much for the engine to handle. Recent updates to our DDraw allow us to shun processing time to from the CPU to the GPU but that means that that one needs to be able to handle it. The modded game now has simiilar system requirements as any other modern game, do not expect it to run smoothly on a 10 year old office laptop with an onboard graphics chip.

Will the enhanced graphics cause lag in multiplayer?
No. In Internet and LAN games, only data on the position of objects and the like are sent over the cable, not the actual graphics themselves.
However, make sure everybody you're playing with has the patch installed. (Read next question for more info on that!)

Can I play with other players whom do not have the patch?
It is now proven that it is not truly possible to play against players without the same patches because of the *.exe data difference, which tends to result in a major packet loss, almost to the point of making the game unplayable. Of course, you can always do us a favor by promoting the XWAU for on-line, so that more XWA players will know about the upgrade.

Does t/he Patch work with other patches?
Yes, the patch is compatible with other patches. In fact, it is our goal for the mod to become the baseline meta on which all other mods can be based built upon. Additionally with the newly included Palpatine Total Converter you can also switch between two instances of the game and as such swap out different builds.

When I try to install XWA, an error message pops up and says "C:\Windows\Systen32\Autoexec.nt. The system file is not suitable for running MS-DOS and Microsoft Windows applications. Choose 'Close' to terminate the application.
This is a common problem with all of the older LucasArts games, not just XWA. The installer thinks the autoexec.nt file is missing, but it really isn't, it's just misplaced. The file in question can be found in your Windows\Repair folder. Just copy it to your Windows\system32 folder and try installing again. You should find that it works this time. Note: This issue only applies to the CD version. Digital versions like Steam or GoG are installed without issue.
Your ship, Captain. I need a drink. - Vince Trageton
Vince T's X-Wing HQ - where the bad guys get their gear

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Vince T
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Post by Vince T » Sat Mar 06, 2021 7:38 pm

Editing Questions

What is an OPT file?
Opt is the actual file format used to store the flight models for XWA in. OPTs contain the model and textures as well as information as collision boxes(hitzones), hardpoints, illumination and alpha mapping, animation coordinates and more.

What is a hook?
Hooks are means of inserting code right into the XWINGALLIANCE.EXE, introduced by JeremyaFr. They enhance, add features to, or fix problems with the game. See https://forums.xwaupgrade.com/viewtopic ... 33&t=11772 for more details.

What is an SHP file?
SHP files are used to store all information on a craft and allow players to install it into their game. SHP files contain installation data like Ship Slot, Metadata like name, ship type and description, statistics like speed or hull strength as well as other data to run the craft ingame. See https://wiki.xwaupgrade.com/index.php?title=MXvTEd for more details.

What is a LST file and what is it good for?
List files are, as the name suggests, lists of files and other information. The most important ones are spacraft0.lst and mission.lst

Which tools / utilities are there and what do they do?
There is by now a multitude of tools that can achieve different things. In some cases there are several tools by different authors that can vaguely do the same thing so I'll be grouping them up by function and purpose. Also, I will only post programs that are still up-to-date. Outdated programs like Ace_dxf will not be listed.
OPTing programs : OPTech, XWA OPT Editor
Allow you to import a regular 3d model and convert it into an OPT which can then be used ingame.
Mission Editors: AlliEd, YOGEME
Allow you to create and edit the game's mission files.
Savegame Editors: XWA Piloteer, XWA Profile Viewer
Allow you to edit your savegame/pilot files
FrontEnd Editors: XWA CBM Editor, XWA DAT Editor allow you to create and edit files for the game's 2D Frontend
Additional Tools
XWA Hangar Map Editor allows you to create and edit custom hangar maps
XWA Mission 3D Viewer allows you to display a mission layout in a 3D environment with the individual models rendered to scale.
Your ship, Captain. I need a drink. - Vince Trageton
Vince T's X-Wing HQ - where the bad guys get their gear

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