The combat-dedicated Exodus Viewer received a series of updates this month, as did the Exodus website. This article outlines the most recent, for releases 11.10.10 (b) through to 11.10.31 (b).
Most of the changes take the form of small tweaks and additions, but which themselves all bring Exodus even closer to matching the capabilities of more established TPVs. These include:
- MU* poses (i.e. use “:” instead of “/me” for emotes)
- Out-of-Character (OOC) auto close (so the closing “))” is automatically added when you commence typing with “((“)
- Option to display emotes from yourself and others in italics on your screen
- Option to disable Viewer tag detection (Sidebar Preferences tab, under VARIOUS PREFERENCES)
- Additional chat line commands added:
- The “rezplat” command has been added to the command line shortcuts, and supports prims up to 64m in size (so “/rezplat 64″ will rez a platform 64x64x0.5)
- Active gestures are now listed in Inventory in terms of their key assignments (where applicable) – such as “XXX Active on F12″
- The THREAT INDICATORS option (SIDEBAR -> EXODUS PREFERENCES -> INTERFACE SETTINGS) now includes options show / hide Friendly and Hostile indicators
- The Raid Advisor (ALT-R) now has working import / export buttons which allow the details of raids to be exported (backed-up) either to a file on your computer, or to your Inventory (where they are located in #EXODUS -> #RAID ADVISOR BACKUPS)
- Raids are exported individually to either a file or an inventory item
- Exported raids can be deleted if required & restored using the IMPORT button
- Raids exported to inventory can be passed to friends; double-clicking on a raid stored in Inventory will restore it to the Raid advisor
- The mini-location bar will be displayed when using Mouselook (and will toggle on/off automatically when entering / leaving Mouselook if the full navigation bar is displayed in third-person view)
- The “i” icon in the navigation bar / mini-location bar now open the ABOUT LAND floater
- Display names are now disabled by default
- Nearby chat window auto-resize feature
- Edit menu item on worn attachments, to automatically select/edit attachments that are hard to select
- Exodus now uses a dedicated cache location, rather than the default Second Life location
- Support for the new Neck attachment point has been added
- Syntax highlighting for /* */ style comments added
There are also a number of issues and bugs that have been squished, details of these can be found on the Exodus website itself for each of the releases made this month.
One of the more noticeable additions to Exodus comes in the form of a new Help option – and which harks back to the days when we actually had live, in-world help available to everyone in SL. This is the ability to launch an IRC connection to the Exodus Viewer Support Chatroom. clicking on the link with open a window prompting you for a nickname (your avatar’s name is automatically entered, but you can change this if you wish). Clicking CONNECT opens the support chat:
The chat applet supplies a warning that support may not be monitoring the channel all the time, so replies may take a few minutes – which is fair enough – but I found enquiries were responded to very rapidly once a question was asked.
The IRC chatroom includes the option of private messaging others who are logged-in: left-click on a name and select the PM option from the menu that appears. Icons are used within the chat window to distinguish support personnel:
- White spanner on a red circle – Viewer developer
- White question mark on a blue diamond – Viewer support
This is a major step-up from “traditional” means of in-world support, and is doubly useful given that the chat applet is also embedded in the Exodus website – so if you don’t want you in-world view blocked by the chat floater, you can simply log-into the chat. Considering the issues inherent in using Group chat, etc., this move on the part of Exodus really raises the bar on providing support. There is currently a slight bug in the chat client when displayed in the Viewer, however; pressing “/” or SHIFT-? causes the cursor to re-focus on the local chat in the Viewer, but other than that the integration of the IRC client and the Viewer is very smooth.
Advanced Graphics Presets
Another major change with the latest release is the inclusion of both a presets option and the ability to import / export presets in the Exodus Advanced Graphics option (PREFERENCES -> GRAPHICS -> SPECIAL).
This allows personal presets to be created and saved and easily reloaded. Additionally, the export options allows you to back-up your personal presets to your computer or save them to your inventory. Presets saved to Inventory are stored in #EXODUS -> #ADVANCED GRAPHICS PRESETS and can be shared with others.
Saved presets can be deleted, if required. The IMPORT button will allow you to restore any saved presets saved on your computer, while double-clicking presets in your inventory (either saved there or passed to you by a friend) will automatically restore or load them to your preset list in the Advanced Graphics floater.
In a further move to make the newer graphics options accessible, the Exodus Advanced Settings have been re-written so as not to required deferred rendering being enabled.