XWAU 2020 Mega Patch Update 5.6 out now!
Posted: Thu May 04, 2023 8:07 am
XWAU 2020 Mega Patch Update 5.6 is out now!
Brand new versions of the Imperial Star Destroyer, TIE Experimentals, TIE Cockpit improvements, Effects and more!
We know it's been a long time since our last release, the team are still hard at work on a new Mega Patch, there have been some great enhancements ongoing behind the scenes. We hope to release that asap still but meanwhile we compiled this small Update which grew for your enjoyment on Star Wars Day!
For this release you still need to have installed Update 5 after the Mega Patch but it includes 5.5 as well as 5.6.
So you can install it over Update 5.5 if you have already. Not a problem for our regular users but new visitors follow the instructions below.
There will be more screenshots posted this evening when members are free from work.
Here's the current Update notes Readme file. Take a look
INSTALL XWAU 2020 MEGA PATCH, THEN UPDATE 5
BEFORE YOU INSTALL UPDATE 5.6!
This Update is NOT for use with the TFTC. That will come later.
Please make sure you play the game by opening the Alliance.exe launcher program.
Do NOT open the game via Steam, GoG or other shortcuts. Disable Automatic Updates too.
Make sure those programs are CLOSED during play or it will affect the XWAU files.
Please backup any Pilot saves, custom configuration files or changes that you have custom edited before installing this Update. We are not responsible for lost game progress.
Imperial Star Destroyer v2.0: Vince T has completely remade the ISD with a HD textured brand-new model!
It has Dynamic engines which illuminate nearby geometry and switch between on / off depending on speed or if disabled.
Several object profiles and skins allow you to customize the ship’s appearance in numerous ways, in particular turret looks.
Featuring a brand-new hangar model as well as an in flight blast door which open upons proximity to friendly ships.
Rebel and Imperial Hangar modes which allow selected Imperial fighters to launch from ceiling racks and Rebels from the deck.
Please see the readme file for the full details here: Readme\XWAU Crafts\Imperial Star Destroyer Readme.docx
TIE Experimentals: All these TIE’s have new updates from DTM. Now these drone ships have similar styles to the other TIEs.
They have all been built from scratch and have unique looks, HD textures and even little control receiving antennas on top.
The option to fly them in Skirmish has been disabled. We may renable that if DTM creates new Cockpits for them in the future.
Please see the readme file for the full details here: Readme\XWAU Crafts\TIE Experimentals Readme.docx
Pilot Backup: Upon running this installer your game progress save ”.PLT” files will automatically get copied as a backup to your
Windows (Username) Documents folder. Example Documents\X-Wing Alliance\Pilots Backup. So you can restore a version if you
have any issues with playing after installing Update 5.6. We must say we are not responsible for lost game progress.
You can see pictures and videos of the XWA Upgrade releases in the Showcase section on our website.
New Updated Versions
Crew Quarters: Ace Antilles and MechDonald have been working together to update and bring some more choices to you.
Lady Blue now can be viewed as a brand new updated Human picture. You can also use Babu Frik’s Configurator to change it to
one of 3 choices. Human, Twi’lek Pilot or the original XW Alliance retro Lady Blue.
The Pirate Banner now has 4 choices available to select using Babu Frik’s Configurator. A Skull, the Mandalorian logo, an updated
version of the original Pirate symbol or the original XW Alliance retro Pirate banner.
Please see the image files for the full details here: Resdata\Configurator\Crew
TIE Fighters Cockpits: DTM has completely rebuilt the front displays. This is the panel with dynamic information of speed,
missiles and countermeasures etc. The idea was to hopefully give some of the readouts slightly better visibility in game.
Also the TIE’s have been modified to show the latest in damage and beam effect animations, when targeted by Tractor beam etc.
Babu Frik’s Configurator: Ace Antilles has spent time updating Babu Frik’s Configurator with some improvements.
Sections have been worded better. There are better Effects choices section, dedicated Dynamic Cockpit and VR sections.
You can use this version to configure the Ray Tracing effects to your liking. There are multiple RT Shadow options.
Also now you can set your in-flight resolution easily. So you can set it to 2k or 4k etc with a click as you please. This does not
effect the Concourse though only when flying. See the Aspect Ratio sections for those options.
Change the in-flight Screen Resolution:
Using this menu, you can set the in-flight resolution settings of your game to match your monitor or lower.
You can use this to change the screen to match sizes from 640x480 up to 3840x2160 4K screens.
Also you can manually set details to your choosing in the Hooks.ini file, [hook_resolution] section.
This will give you the best looking screen to fly in but it can make text very small at HD sizes as the game was never designed for
these resolutions. We are always looking at possible ways to improve this.
Alliance Launcher: JérémyaFr has given us more options to use with the Launcher program. There is now an Options section
where you can find programs to alter settings. Plus a Tools and Documents sections which will be expanded on more in the future.
It can’t be said enough that the XWA Upgrade would not be where it is today without the amazing work done by our effects team!
The decompiling of the EXE by JérémyaFr has allowed the creation of wonderful new features that you will see more of soon.
Blue Max has given us so many new improvements to the graphics engine and animations we could never believe possible.
MechDonald has taken the basic rubble and explosions and made them stunning. Wait until you see what he has coming in 2023!
Ray Tracing: Real-time Screen-Space Ray tracing is finally unbelievably here for XWA thanks to Blue Max!
This was never even imagined in 1999 so this feature is still experimental and being worked on. Don’t expect Cyberpunk levels
Please note that enabling Ray Tracing can incur a noticeable impact in performance, especially RT Cockpit Shadows
RT is disabled by default. You can enable it and customise the settings in the Ray Tracing section of Babu Frik’s Configurator.
In flight you can enable it by pressing Ctrl+R while flying. Then you can enable Raytraced Cockpit Shadows by pressing
Ctrl+Shift+R after that. There are many more options in Babu Frik’s Configurator to optimise it for your computer
Known Issues: The Ray tracer uses more GPU memory. So it’s possible it will crash on larger or more intense mission battles.
This feature is meant for higher-end systems, but it has been run on Nvidia 1070 laptop at a playable framerate. Average is about
40fps but still expect a noticeable impact, without RT the average is around 80fps.
This is Screen-Space RT. Which means that whenever a new mesh enters the screen, there will be a brief pause while the engine
builds the new acceleration structure needed for it. This also means that meshes that exit the screen will no longer cast shadows.
This may cause some flicker. This is most noticeable in the cockpit, when looking around: you'll see new shadows pop in an out as
their corresponding mesh gets rendered (or not).
Please see the readme file for further details here: Readme\Special Effects\Special Effects Readme.docx
New Animations: Damage Textures, Shields Down, Hull Damage, Tractor and Jamming Beam Effects from Blue Max.
Rebel and Imperial Fighters have had new animations added. This means when you target another ship with a Beam weapon you
will see a blue effect for Tractor and a red effect for Jamming Beams around the base opt. Also when a fighter loses shields there
will be a quick blue glow to show that they are down.
Hull Damage Textures: When a Rebel and Imperial Fighter is hull damaged, from having no shields, the base Opt will show
damage externally. These spots will vary location and be random sizes but you can see how bad a state the Fighter is in.
Please see the YouTube video for these effects in action here: https://youtu.be/dtDG-14p3Po
Explosions: MechDonald has reworked every single explosion animation to match the movies better and look more awesome!
They now don’t look so fiery, but cloudier. Some of the other improvements are listed below.
Added short animated explosions for the Death Star interior run. Fixed wrong animation assignments.
Fixed sizes for warhead-explosions. Fixed transparency issues (black occluding images)
Fixed some animation-lengths. Changed brightness appearance of some explosions.
Please see the YouTube video for these effects in action here: https://youtu.be/wLAafLh-od0
DDraw Golden - The latest Ddraw update from Jérémy Ansel (JérémyaFr) is Ddraw.dll 126.96.36.199. This is included and can be
selected from Babu Frik’s Configurator. It is useful for people who can’t support the Special Effects due to poor graphics cards.
If you use this you lose many of the new Effects features but you still get to play with the improved XWAU ships etc.
Hooks: The latest Hooks and CFG files by JérémyaFr as of the date of this release.
Jeremy has been super busy and added many brilliant new features and improved the performance of several Hooks.
Hooks are being updated as issues or improvements are found but these are the latest stable files we have included.
Note: The Hook files are only overwritten if the existing file is older than the new file, otherwise installation is skipped
Please backup any Pilot saves, configuration files or changes that you have custom edited before installing this Update, as this release could reset them to defaults.
This release has many changes to Effects, Flightmodel INI, Dynamic Cockpits and Material files.
Assault Gunboat: The Gunboat has had it’s normal mapping fixed and uses the latest in damage and beam effect animations.
Language Files: The Ray Tracing system has exposed an issue with the different language translation files. We hope that we
have fixed this. Please reapply any other language you use other than English by using Babu Frik’s Configurator.
Windows 7 Support: We are sorry we can no longer official guarantee the XWAU will work on older systems such as Windows 7.
Many of the new features need the latest DirectX and more to work, which are only available on Windows 10 or above.
You may find it still plays if you use the Ddraw Golden version and members of our forum as very helpful if you have issues.
TgSmush 2.13.0: Updated file to fix bugs and improve performance.
Showcase: Forceflow has made some new animations for the screenshot page.
Trash Compactor Clean-up – As we add many new files or correct others it can lead to a lot of obsolete game files.
The installer now goes through and deletes those files that we setup. They will be added to the Backup directory if needed.
X-Wing: Fixes to the cockpit material and effects dat file. An animation was added accidentally that wasn’t meant to be released.
TIE Fighters: Dynamic Cockpit Material file spelling errors corrected.
Previous crashes due to Hook issues have been resolved.
Numerous Hook improvements with some bug fixes.