The next release of our top mod - Multi Theft Auto: San Andreas 1.2 is just around the corner, so we would like to take this moment to elaborate on some of the new enhancements it is going to offer.
An example of such enhancement is the new syncing method called Light-Sync. It is a result of weeks of work done by our developers, mainly ryden, ccw and Cazomino05, with some testing help from Arran and CIT server's community. The reason why we introduced this was to reduce network traffic on bigger servers, so that they would either use less bandwidth while maintaining the same player count, or could allow more players on a server running on the same connection. It works in a simple way - it does not synchronise unnecessary data between players in certain situations - eg. when players are far away from each other.
Another big feature in MTA:SA 1.2 is the ability to customise weapon statistics by scripting. It is possible to set different weapon statistics for each skill level for a weapon if needed, even changing the weapons behaviour to something that normally was not possible to achieve.
Some of the weapon properties which can be changed include:
- weapon range
- target range
- maximum clip ammo
- move speed
- weapon flags (eg. ability to wield two weapons at the same time (akimbo), or inability to jump)
Ever wanted to have the TF2 Medic's Medigun in your MTA gamemode? Now you can. Just set a negative damage on a weapon, and voila - it is done. You can even 'heal' objects like cars or bikes with it.
Or maybe you wanted to leave a lasting impression on your enemies? Then make the M4 dual wield-able and spray away! (see the left screenshot below)
We have also introduced a synchronised vehicle variants feature. This allows you to spawn a specific variant of a certain vehicle, for example a Patriot with a collapsible hood, instead of a flat one, or a bike with or without a frame cover. (see the right screenshot below)
It is now possible to replace weapon and pedestrian models in 1.2 by using the updated engineReplaceModel function, and also to enable a low LOD (level of detail) version of a specific object in the map by using the setLowLODElement function. If you want to feel like a SWAT team member on a bust, you can use the createSWATRope function in your gamemodes. (see the middle screenshot below)
There are some improvements made in the server side as well. We have added a set of native MySQL functions for the server, so it should be easier to set it up to work with a MySQL database, as it will not require installation of any additional plugins. There also was an additional option added for logging database queries to a file, if needed. Aside from these, we have updated Raknet (used as a network layer) and sqlite (used for storing internal server data, e.g. user accounts registered on the server) components in our codebase.
If you are interested in other changes we made in this release, you can find them here.
The last few months have resulted in a stable growth of our active player base. Our highest unique player count peak is now 6.400 concurrent players (set on 16. December at 18.30 GMT), with monthly counts of unique players going over 170.000 in November. We wonder whether we could reach that magical number of 10.000 concurrent players the next year?
As an ending note, thanks for your support during both MotY voting phases. There are just a few days left for submitting your votes, so if you have not voted yet, please make sure you do so before the second phase ends (21. December, 06.00 GMT).
-- MTA Team