- Fixed exception while listing files during FTP import.
- Deploying to Nitrado servers with expert mode turned off will no longer set the same key over and over again.
- Deploy, Smart Copy, and Smart Save will correctly update settings defined as launch options, such as ServerAdminPassword.
- Changed formula for calculating OverrideOfficialDifficulty from the max dino level. For example, setting the max dino level to 400 would produce a difficulty of 13.3333. However, Ark rounds down, so the effective max dino level was 399 because 13.1333 x 30 is 399.9999. This change means Beacon would compute 13.3334 from 400 to produce the desired outcome.
- When converting an all-numeric text value, Beacon will no longer use scientific notation on Windows.
- Beacon deploy logs will reference the server uuid, seen in the servers list, instead of the random identifier used previously.
- Reverted verbosity changes to the Engram Control editor. It will no longer explicitly set engrams to require 0 points if auto unlocked. This returns Beacon to its behavior in earlier than 1.5, as the change did not have the intended effect.
- Project, Blueprint, and Preset tabs can shrink when there is not enough room. In the extreme case that there are more tabs than can fit even at their minimum width, an overflow menu will be displayed on the right.
- Pressing "Discard Changes" when exiting Beacon with multiple edited tabs will again actually discard the autosave files.
- Fixed empty view when closing a project tab to the left of the active tab.
- Deploying to a Nitrado server with expert mode turned off will again properly determine required changes to larger values, such as OverrideNamedEngramEntries.
- Deploying to a Nitrado server with expert mode turned off will set PerLevelStatMultipliers correctly.
- "Convert Creature Replacements to Spawn Point Additions" will now only generate spawn point additions that are compatible with the selected maps.
- When using a tool from the Editor menu, such as "Setup Fibercraft Server" the effects will be applied to the frontmost project instead of the newest project.
- Choosing "Accounts" or "Servers" from the Editor menu while a custom config set is active will switch to the Base config set in order to show these editors.
This update is extremely urgent to any user that has deployed or used smart copy with any of the Beacon 1.5 versions. A bug has been discovered that causes Beacon to remove settings it should not be removing. Those interested in the specific details, stick around until the end of the notes.
- Fixed an exception while setting up certain views such as the FTP import view.
- Loot source icons will always match the text color when selected.
- The blueprints editor will fail more gracefully and less often.
- Minimum system version for Mac users had to be increased to macOS 10.12 Sierra. This may drop back down to 10.11 in the future.
- Added some additional logging to assist deploy debugging.
About those settings getting removed
For the context of this description, deploy could be the actual deploy process, as well as the smart copy and smart save features. The issue happens over two deploy actions. When Beacon does a deploy, it blends the old ini content with the new content. In order to do this effectively, it keeps track of what it changed in the [Beacon] section of each file. This way if you added a line with Beacon, then later removed it, Beacon would know you wanted that line removed. Other lines that Beacon does not manage would be left alone.
The bug in this process is that Beacon was declaring in that [Beacon] section that it was responsible for all lines. So on the first deploy, all seems well because it did its job almost right. On the second deploy, Beacon trusts the [Beacon] section in the file and believes it should be removing settings that it did not put there.
Beacon 22.214.171.124 and later will not trust the [Beacon] sections of ini files generated by any older version of Beacon 1.5. Files generated by Beacon 126.96.36.199 or earlier will still be trusted. This will allow automatic correction of ini files that have been deployed to only once since Beacon 1.5 launched. Unfortunately, files deployed to two or more times have likely had lines removed and Beacon is unable to automatically recover them. The recommended solution is to restore a backup if available, then deploy again. You can find Beacon's backups using the "Open Data Folder" option from the Help menu in the menubar. They will be inside the Backups folder organized by server name and date. Beacon is unable to keep backups of Smart Copy and Smart Save actions, so hopefully users of those features have their own backups.
I am sorry this was not caught sooner, and I will help in any way I can to repair ini files damaged by this process. I have also made Beacon 188.8.131.52 available on the downloads page again, for users that wish not to trust Beacon 1.5 for the moment, but be aware that Beacon 1.4 versions cannot open projects saved by Beacon 1.5.
- Fixed bug with Beacon removing command line options from GameUserSettings.ini during deploy.
- Fixed a code duplication issue when first deploying with 1.5 to an ini file last deployed to using Beacon 1.4.
- Fixed crash at launch on macOS 10.13 and lower.
- Fixed sorting of config keys that have attributes, such as PerLevelStatsMultiplier_Player.
- Added additional info to the [Beacon] section added to ini files to assist debugging.
- Fixed issue with AutoDestroyStructures being turned on if the new Decay and Spoil editor was used, even if the option was supposed to be off.
- Fixed logic handling in Custom Config editor.
- Fixed exception when pasting a creature spawn limit from older versions of Beacon.
- Fixed exception while deleting a creature from spawn points creature replacements list.
- Fixed an exception caused by a timeout checking for Nitrado authorization status.
- Fixed some "invalid url" exceptions.
- Fixed possible exception while exiting Beacon.
New Features & Changes
- Beacon's app icon has been updated. The new design embraces Beacon's origins as a loot drop editor by featuring all six colors of Ark's loot drops.
- Beacon's main window has been redesigned to make it more discoverable. Across the top of the window are new tables for Home, Projects, Blueprints, Presets, and Help.
- Beacon is moving from the beaconapp.cc domain to the usebeacon.app domain.
- Beacon documents have been renamed projects. Beacon projects cannot be opened in versions of Beacon before 1.5.
- The projects view allows sorting and searching cloud and community projects.
- Projects may now contain multiple "config sets" and always include a "Base" config set. Config sets allow server admins to design smaller batches of changes that can be applied in any order to any (or all) linked servers or ini file pairs. These allow admins to maintain entire clusters of servers from a single project file while still allowing server-specific differences.
- In the export window, the "Rewrite Clipboard" and "Update File" buttons have been renamed to "Smart Copy" and "Smart Save."
- Beacon projects saved to the cloud are now versioned. Right click any project in the cloud projects list, and choose "Older Versions" to retrieve a list of every version of the project that has ever been saved to the cloud.
- The editor popup menu has been replaced with a large list, making it easier to find specific editors. Some editors have been moved or renamed.
- Map selection is now done using a button in the project toolbar, instead of using the Maps editor.
- Mod selection is now done using a button in the project toolbar, instead of using the Document Properties editor.
- The Breeding Multipliers editor has new settings "Anyone Can Imprint" and "Disable Imprint Buff." The "Imprint Period" field can now be edited, and Beacon will compute the correct multiplier automatically.
- Added a new Decay and Spoil editor that is free for all users.
- Beacon will now update Nitrado's general settings based values set using the Custom Config editor. For example, to turn Nitrado's "Forced Respawn of wild Dinos at server restart" setting, add
[ServerSettings]section of GameUserSettings.ini of the Custom Config editor. To find the correct keys to use, click the "Show internal names (like in the configuration file)" option at the top of Nitrado's general settings.
- Servers editor has a place for notes. These are not sent to the server in any way, they are just there for organization purposes.
- Servers editor now supports admin, spectator, and join passwords.
- Users can now create "simple" servers in the Servers editor. These may be linked to files on disk to enable the deploy feature, or may simply be used to help organize content in the export window.
- The Blueprints view now has access to all the features and settings of official Beacon blueprints. Engrams support crafting costs, engram entry strings, unlock requirements, and stack sizes. Creatures support breeding times and stats. Spawn points support the full spawn point editor.
- Editing a blueprint will have a "Common" tab for settings that are common to all blueprints, and an "Advanced" tab for settings that are unique to the blueprint type.
- Fixed an issue importing ini files from some Nitrado servers that would manifest itself as an inability to save.
- Fixed an issue with the spawn points editor crashing or acting weird after importing a config containing a creature Beacon doesn't know about.
- Fixed bug causing missing settings when importing from Nitrado servers with expert mode turned off.
- Fixes exception that happens when opening very old Beacon documents.
- Attempted to work around crash when opening the entry editor on Windows with scaling factors set to values other than multiples of 100.
- Mods now have a minimum version. Beacon will no longer import mod info that is newer than it can support.
- The [MessageOfTheDay] group is no longer required to exist in GameUserSettings.ini.
- Fixed an infinite loop while trying to parse a Message of the Day line with imbalanced tags.
- Beacon will no longer try to open a document version newer than it knows how to read.
- Added ImprintAmountMultiplier to breeding multipliers sharing link.
These notes previously belonged to the 1.4.8 update that was pulled.
- Fixed bug with the 'Prevent Taming' setting being restored from saved files.
- Update window will prevent exceptions due to double clicking the download button.
- Rewriter will transform the ScalabilityGroups.sg group into ScalabilityGroups.
- Custom Config Content will ignore ScalabilityGroups.sg just like it does ScalabilityGroups.
- Increased stack size maximum from 65,535 to 2,147,483,647 to match Ark.
- Export window will show both maps and servers instead of one or the other.
- Removed the blueprint space from the Resolve Issues dialog.
- Added "Max Crystal Wyvern" field to difficulty editor.
This is a relatively light update, but contains some changes to help track down an issue some users are experiencing while trying to deploy to Nitrado.
- Fixed a rare case where unknown engrams (those not known to Beacon or its Blueprint Manager) would have a blank name after importing an ini file.
- Mac: The system will now size the map selector on the preset editor. This will fix the issue with the selector being cut off on the right edge on macOS 11.
- Added exact connection error number logging to the Nitrado deploy and login processes. If you experience an "Error occurred while receiving response from server" error while deploying, please share the error number Beacon lists with the message. The easiest way to do that is by opening a support ticket using Create Support Ticket from Beacon's help menu, but the Beacon Discord server is a good way to share the error number too.
- If there is an error during deploy (such as the one mentioned in the last note) Beacon will offer advice in the deploy logs.
- Added a 1 second delay between requesting permission to upload a file to Nitrado, and actually uploading it. The hope is this reduces connection errors.
- Deploy will refuse to upload files that are missing their required headers/groups. The goal is to prevent users from accidentally uploading ini files that will cause their server to wipe because groups such as ScalabilityGroups from GameUserSettings.ini are missing.
- Similarly, Export will perform the same checking, but will warn the user instead of outright refusing.
- Added "Match Official Availability" option to preset editor.
- If Beacon does not know the map for a server, the export button will generate the ini for all maps.
- Deploy logs will be a little more detailed on upload failure.
- Local import (single player, copy & paste, or files) will not require content in both the Game.ini and GameUserSettings.ini sections.
- Spawn point creature dialog will not load creature level overrides by default.
- Fixed Beacon's user-agent not being sent with all requests.
- Deploy backups now limit server name length to avoid hitting Windows' 260 character path limit.
Sorry for two updates in as many days. Sometimes bugs are significant enough that it's needed.
- OverrideNamedEngramEntries now always include the EngramPointsCost and EngramLevelRequirement keys. In the past, leaving these off would have Ark use the default values, so admins could change the cost without changing the level. Since the latest patch (313.5 on PC) this seems to have changed, so omitting the a value would set the value to zero. Users who have used Engram Control are advised to update their server to use Beacon's improved code.
- Beacon will require users to enable Expert Mode on their Nitrado servers if certain config fields require more than 65,535 characters. This is a limitation with Nitrado that was recently discovered and can lead to bad deployments. See https://beaconapp.cc/help/nitrado_expert_mode for more details.
- The import window shown by the "not ready to deploy" warning will no longer restrict local file import.
- When importing a local ini file, its sibling file will only be imported if other field is empty. This will help reduce confusion while importing pairs of config files.
- Log messages generated by the deploy engine will contain an id to help determine which messages belong together.
- Beacon will check screen size at app launch and display a warning if the largest available screen is less than 1280x720 points. This warning will only happen once per screen size change, not every single launch.
- Beacon no longer uses a dynamic minimum window size. This means switching editors can no longer make the window larger.
- Breeding Multipliers editor now dynamically rearranges fields in more columns, making more efficient use of screen space.
- The Creature Spawn Points editor can now become slightly more compact. The Spawn Points and Spawn Sets columns have a smaller minimum size, and the Spawn Set column can become as small as the offset fields.
- Fixed issue with the map selector in the blueprint manager from being unnecessarily cut off at smaller window sizes.
- The document merge window is now resizable and should play nicer with long server names. The merge column is now narrower and the config group name is shown on a second line.
- Fixed bug preventing "Convert Creature Replacements to Spawn Point Additions" tool from working.
- Added "Create Support Ticket" option to Help menu. This tool will easily allow the user to attach the document they are working on, and include log files and config backups to aid in issue resolution.
- Fixed a bug preventing engram updates from importing correctly if mod information changed. Luckily, that doesn't happen often.
- Beacon will offer to enable its Prim+ support when importing from a Nitrado server that has Prim+ enabled.
- Potentially fixed an exception while writing a document.
- Beacon's HTTP requests will now include a User-Agent header to aid in user session management features coming later.
- Update checker supports ARM processor detection. This currently has no real change, but will allow the update system to reply with a more appropriate version should it ever become available. This will be more useful for systems running Apple Silicon.
- Spawn point defaults are only loaded when needed, dramatically improving the speed of the Creature Spawn Points editor.
- Fixed incorrect display of some spawn point names from maps not activated.
- Beacon will not bring itself to the foreground after Nitrado authorization completes.
- Deploy will now also keep a copy of the new ini files uploaded if the backup feature is turned on.
- Deploy backups will only trigger after the changes have been approved, if the approval feature is turned on.
- Loot drop loading now handles much more fine-grained errors, allowing Beacon to recover more of the file's loot drops should a problem arise. Along with this is a significant increase in the amount of logging when a loading error occurs.
- With the increased logging is a more detailed logging system. Logs are now separated by date and automatically cleaned up after 30 days instead of piling up forever. Old log files will be migrated to the new system.
- Since crafting skill does not work with "quality 0" blueprints, Beacon now adds a very small amount of quality to its Primitive preset. This should have very little impact on qualities in the game, but should be enough for primitive blueprints generated by Beacon to be affected by the player's crafting skill.
- When bOnlyAllowSpecifiedEngrams is turned on, Beacon will include the engram level and point requirements in its config generation so Ark does not treat them as free engrams.
- Fixed issue with Engram Control not loading the point requirements for edited engrams.
- Engrams that are added to Engram Control that are not part of Beacon's database will no longer be assumed to be tek engrams.
- Added Tropeognathus saddle to Item Stat Limits editor.
- Fixed some missing toolbar borders.
- Fixed sorting of the remaining columns in the Breeding Multipliers editor.
- Fixed bug with Beacon prompting to recover autosave files that didn't exist.
- Fixed tag pickers being drawn too tall.
- Added support for BabyImprintAmountMultiplier. Beacon's calculations will show the effect of this multiplier, and the imprinting wizard will consider it too.
- Engram Control list will specify which mod the engram comes from when necessary to provide disambiguation.
- Adjusted how Engram Control describes tek unlocks.
- Beacon will show a detailed error message if there is an error while discovering servers, instead of showing an empty server list.
- Fixed exception while toggling "raw mode" in an empty Message of the Day editor.
- Added more detail to Nitrado connection error messages.
- Deploy window will correctly open in its last position.
- Fixed some dialogs opening on the wrong screen.
- Fixed "file does not exist" issue while importing Nitrado servers that are not in expert mode and never used the "Custom Game.ini Settings" field in Nitrado's engine settings.
- Fixed exceptions due to network connectivity issues while deploying.
- Improved behaviors when Nitrado account linking fails.
- Fixed exception while importing servers with empty or missing "message of the day" settings.
- Fixed issue causing Beacon to import settings from non-expert mode Nitrado servers that Nitrado does not have settings for, which would cause Beacon to need to enable expert mode on deploy.
- FTP deployments are no longer lazy and will actually do the work they're supposed to.
- When deploying to a server that was last deployed with a version of Beacon less than 1.4, Beacon will not remove the sections from GameUserSettings.ini that Ark needs to start up.
- When exporting, Beacon will no longer include the generic SessionName value. This will allow the SessionName to fall back to the value from Custom Config if provided, or the existing value on the server if using the Update File or Rewrite Clipboard buttons.
New Deploy Engine
Beacon has a brand new deploy system that is more flexible, verifies changes better, and for Nitrado servers, no longer requires enabling expert mode for most servers. The new deploy system also allows users to review the new ini files before they are uploaded to the server.
Improved FTP Support
For users with FTP access, Beacon now uses CURL for its FTP work instead of having Beacon's server do the work. This is both more secure and more compatible. Hosts which Beacon could not previously support, such as GTXGaming, are now working as expected.
New Engram Control Editor
Beacon now allows admins to very easily control every engram on their server. Users can change level requirements, point requirements, points earned per level, when and which engrams are auto unlocked, and turn off engrams completely. The new engram control wizard will automatically configure the entire server's engrams to common designs such as "unlock everything at spawn" and "unlock tek at level."
New Quality of Life Tools
The Document menu has been replaced with the Editor menu. The bottom of this menu will contain editor-specific tools to allow rapid changes. For example, a "Setup Fibercraft Tools" while using the Crafting Costs editor will automatically add crafting cost overrides for every engram set to 1 fiber. The "Convert Creature Replacements to Spawn Points" tool in the Creature Adjustments editor will automatically convert all the "replace creature" choices with spawn point overrides, since Ark's NPCReplacements barely works. There are many new tools that users should check out.
Other New Features & Changes
- Beacon documents support multiple Nitrado accounts.
- Creature Adjustments can prevent creatures from being tamed.
- Rather than automatically recovering autosave files, which some users have found confusing, Beacon will ask the user if they'd like to recover them.
- Document tabs now show cloud or community icons to give the user a better indication of where they're being stored.
- Document loading is more resilient, preventing an error in one config group from halting loading of the whole document.
- Config import will completely skip unnecessary sections, such as [/Script/ShooterGame.ShooterGameUserSettings] in GameUserSettings.ini.
- The Export window now allows exporting server-specific files, instead of map-specific files.
- Importing from files or copy+paste allow selecting the map at import time, allowing Beacon to better guide the user later.
- Servers imported from files or copy+paste will show in the Servers list and work with the server-specific custom config directives.
- Deploy now supports deploying to server-specific local files.
- Added mating interval calculation to Breeding Multipliers editor.
- Crafting Costs editor can load default costs when adding overrides.
- Beacon allows for greater precision in the ini files. The previous limit of six decimal places has been increased to nine.
- Users will now be warned before importing Custom Config content.
- Added Accounts editor for managing the Nitrado accounts linked to a file.
- Added Message of the Day field to the Servers editor. The message can be set for each server, just like the server name. See the Editor menu for a tool to copy the message to all servers linked in the file.
- Added item to Help menu to open the server config page on the Ark wiki.
- New documents only have the "vanilla" mods enabled by default.
- Mod selections are stored in a more detailed format that allows Beacon to better understand user intentions.
- Lists now support typeahead. Simply click the list to make sure it is the focused control, then press a few keys on the keyboard. Beacon will move the selection to the first match.
- For the sake of performance, realtime validity checks have been disabled. This means the rows in Loot Drop Contents will no longer turn red. Beacon will still check the items before a deploy or export.
- In an attempt to fix a rare crash on Windows, the ability to enter a cheat code into the engram search field has been removed. Users should use the Blueprint Manager to enter their spawn codes instead.
- For users trying Beacon on the macOS 11 Big Sur beta, Beacon has a custom accent color defined.
- Added "Max Tek Level" and "Max Wyvern Level" to the Difficulty editor.
- Stack size editor will enforce Ark's stack size limit of 65,535 even when using the global stack size multiplier.
- The import from ini process now uses the destination document's difficulty if difficulty is not defined in the ini being imported. This will help resolve quality issues when pasting loot drop override ini content into Beacon.
- Beacon can now merge many editors. This makes it possible to combine the crafting costs from multiple documents or multiple server imports.
- Fixed exception while clearing values from the spawn point set offset fields.
- Fixed exception caused by cloud files attempting to sync immediately after the user signs out.
- Fixed creature adjustments dialog opening with US English formatted numbers on systems with other formatting styles.
- Fixed another bug with loading custom loot sources from older file formats.
- Fixed a typo on the experience wizard.
- Fixed false equivalence of spawn sets created at the same time with identical names.
- Catching errors inside the document loading loop more frequently to prevent errors in one setting group from preventing loading of other setting groups.
- Fixed another bug with autosave cleanup.
- Creature adjustments dialog will start with system-formatted numbers instead of US-formatted numbers.
- Added support for Crystal Isles.
- Fixed exception while attempting to edit a spawn point limit with multiple spawn points selected.
- Fixed bug with list scroll position not resetting correctly on Windows.
- Beacon no longer produces "compact" experience configs, as they have been confirmed to cause issues on Xbox. It is possible the issues exist on all platforms, but the problem definitely exists on Xbox.
- "Create Blueprint Entry" will respect the weights of the source entries.
- Added "Edit" option to list contextual menus.
- Fixed inconsistent engram weighting between export and import.
- Added contextual menu items to the item set list to merge and split entries.
- Fixed incorrect main window dimming on Windows when using a scaling factor that is not a multiple of 100.
- Working around a crash on Windows during Nitrado import when using a scaling factor that is not a multiple of 100.
- Reverted the change in 1.3.3 that attempts to optimize the harvest rate configs placed on a server.
- Fixed exception when editing a creature replacement that has "bad" replacement data.
- Fixed exception when deleting stack size overrides.
- Fixed spawn limits dialog not including the creature being edited.
- Added ability to do a full refresh of the local database. Hold Option/Alt while clicking the "Update Engrams" link in the menu - the three dots in Beacon's drawer. The link will update to say "Refresh Engrams" when holding the correct key.
The two main highlights of this release:
- Proper Genesis support. Beacon has the correct map code now, which fixes issues with import and deploy.
- Support for dino drop inventories.
Full Change List
- To build a more lean config file Beacon will not include configs, such as harvest rates and spawn overrides, on maps that can't use the config.
- Fixed an exception while deleting a preset.
- Support for a new style of loot source sorting.
- Fixed issue with loot source name disambiguation.
- Fixed placement of Genesis in the map selection menus.
- Tab title will immediately update when the document title changes.
- Config backups folder will be cleaned up at launch and after each deploy. The policy is to retain the first backup and the most recent three.
- Fixed exception while switching back and forth between database versions.
- Fixed issue with cloud syncing silently stopping when trying to delete a file that has already been deleted locally.
- Fixed an exception in creature adjustments when choosing a replacement creature before choosing the target creature.
- Spawn point limits menu puts creatures defined in the spawn point at the top of the list.
- Fixed Genesis map name. Beacon will be able to figure out which map your server is running now.
- Fixed "Waiting per Nitrado recommendations" failure during deploy when the server has no log files.
- Fixes exception when pressing the "Go to Issue" button in the issues window.
- Code areas will have standard edit menus on Windows.
- Fixed failed Game.ini generation caused by bad data in the player stats.
- Fixed exception caused by opening a Beacon document that has no map selected, before any other document has been opened or created.
- More defense against exceptions while editing crafting costs.
- Updated link icon to look more familiar.
- The Breeding Multipliers share button is now the link button to avoid confusion with the document share button.
- Beacon will clean up duplicate presets at launch.
- Spawn set wizard has its proper default radius value.
- Spawn Set Wizard. Use the wand icon at the top of the Spawn Sets column in the Creature Spawn Points editor to quickly generate a high-quality spawn set complete with suggested weight and offsets.
- Selecting multiple Loot Sources now shows all Item Sets. In the past, Beacon would only show Item Sets that were identical between all selected Loot Sources.
- Day and Night Cycle editor includes space for Aberration day and night times.
Fixes and Changes
- Fixed an exception in Crafting Costs editor where deleting an ingredient would not remove the ingredient from the list. The next action would trigger an exception.
- Fixed a bug causing "transient" engrams - those entered directly into Beacon's engram selection search field - to be marked as invalid, despite Beacon actually having all the data it needs.
- Fixed an exception triggered by attempting to select a replacement creature in the Creature Spawn Points editor before selecting the creature to be replaced.
- Fixed an exception that would trigger if database migration failed at startup.
- Fixed an exception in stat multipliers when the values stored in the file are the wrong data type.
- Player and Tame Experience can import more unique configurations and export more compact code.
- Fixed an exception that can trigger while importing an ini from the File menu.
- User cloud file syncing should be more resilient to clock problems.
- Renamed "No Cost Scaling" to "Prevent Substitutions" because the column name was completely wrong.
- When switching from an anonymous to a "named" account, Beacon will retain the old private key to assist with decrypting files saved to the user's computer.
- Fixed a bug with the local database not closing correctly when Beacon exits.
Beacon 184.108.40.206 is a bug fix update, there are no new features. However, Beacon 1.3.1b1 is available on the website's download page for users willing to test some extra changes.
- Day & Night Cycle editor will use the correct routines to get the official times from Beacon's server, allowing it to recognize increased accuracy recently implemented.
- Fixed bug causing cloud files to read into the wrong paths on Windows.
- Fixed exception when entering a cheat code directly into the filter field while adding engrams to a drop.
- On Windows with Beacon already launched, double-clicking a Beacon file in Windows Explorer will cause Beacon to open the file again.
Beacon 1.3 is finally here with loads of new features for both free and Omni users. Here are some of the highlights, as well as detailed change logs below.
- Player & Creature Stat Multipliers: Adjust the amount each stat point is worth to players, tamed creatures, and wild creatures.
- Day & Night Cycle: Easily change the day and night lengths using minutes instead of multipliers.
- Item Stat Limits: Prevent item stats from ever getting too high. Beacon will do the match to show users exactly what the effects are.
- Creature Spawn Points: For Omni users, this editor allows adding or removing creatures from spawn points, or replacing the creatures at the spawn point entirely.
- Detailed document sharing allows players to grant write-access to specific users, which is great for teams of admins.
- Saving of uncompressed documents is now faster.
- Beacon will allow users to specify custom stop messages when stopping or deploying to Nitrado servers.
- Player & Tame Levels editor will calculate the difference between each level and compute the amount of time players would need to sleep in a Tek Sleeping Pod to complete the level.
Other Fixes and Changes
- Fixed issues with ini values being ignored during import.
- Fixed exception while trying to save a document that imported data from Nitrado.
- Fixed issue with minimum window height being shorter than desired.
- Fixed a tag bug white migrating the local database from previous versions of Beacon.
- Fixed a crash on Mac while dismissing dialogs.
- Fixed an exception while loading stat multipliers that do not have changes in every category.
- Fixed some editors not importing configs from ini.
- Fixed issue with autosave files not being cleaned up when discarding multiple files at the same time.
- Performance improvements when loading objects from the database.
- Fixed preset editor minimum width.
- Fixed exception while importing presets.
- Better blueprint name prediction.
- Harvest Rate editor's "Effective Multiplier" will be rounded more similarly to Ark's in-game math.
- The "Database" drawer has been renamed to "Blueprints" to more accurately describe its purpose.
- Restored the ability to paste loot drop configs from an ini file directly into Beacon's Loot Drop editor.
- Deploy button is now always enabled. Will advise the user if additional steps are required.
- Share button is now always enabled. If the document is not saved to the cloud, the button will offer options.
- Preferences are now written to disk immediately instead of after a short delay, which should reduce the chances of a preferences file being reset.
- Fixed an exception while syncing cloud content.
- More intelligent rounding of decimal numbers.
- Fixed issue with Min Item Sets and Max Item Sets not saving edits.
- Fixed issue with Custom Config Content properly parsing bracketed keys such as PerLevelStatsMultiplier_Player.
- Number fields will work with the numpad's enter key.
- Stack size editor will sort its contents now.
- Renamed crafting cost "Require Exact" column to "No Cost Scaling" to better represent what it actually does.
- Mod selection in Document Properties now has its "Console Safe" column to the left of the mod name.
- During import, an error in a single line of loot drop configs will no longer halt the parsing of all loot drops.
- Beacon will automatically correct curly quotes in ini files.
- Improvements to autosave cleanup.
- Fixed an exception caused by some imported/custom engrams.
- Discovery and Deployment will be able to handle more Nitrado errors to better guide the user in the case of unplanned outages.
- A whole host of bugs were fixed with the mod manager.
- The Blueprint Manager will allow the use of a class string instead of a blueprint path. The user will be warned that this is not recommended though.
- Presets will no longer scale quantities out of control when used in multiple loot sources.
- Document version has increased to v4. Beacon 1.2.9 and lower will not be able to open documents saved with Beacon 1.3 or newer.
- Database version has been updated to v10. Please follow the backup instructions on the download page if you want the ability to return to Beacon 1.2.9.
Quality values have been tuned as of this build. Because of this, Beacon will reset the Loot Quality Scaling value and notify users when opening documents when a non-default scaling value. See https://beaconapp.cc/blog/september_2019_quality_tuning for specific details.
- Added a date to the [Beacon] section in ini files, so it is easier to keep track of when Beacon actually modified the file.
- Breeding Multipliers sharing link will maintain proper multiplier precision.
- Fixed bug where BabyImprintingStatScaleMultiplier would not be imported.
- Fixed error while attempting to log a connection error.
- Sidebar will not vanish while double-clicking an icon.
- Welcome window will be more descriptive about the reason for a connection error.
- By default, Beacon will now always produce ASCII files. Non-ASCII characters will be simplified when possible (such as é to e) or replaced with ? when it is not possible to simplify. Users can enable "Generate UCS-2 files when necessary" in Document Properties to allow Beacon to generate UCS-2 files if non-ASCII characters are encountered, such as in the server name. Be aware that UCS-2 files still cannot represent every possible character, so any 4-byte character (such as emoji) will still be replaced with ?. Many text editors also have trouble with UCS-2 files, so most users prefer not to use them.
- Breeding Multipliers config editor now has a sharing button, so you can get a shareable link to your breeding chart. Be aware that the online chart will not update if you change your values. You'll need to generate a new link in that case.
- Breeding Multipliers now allow 0 values.
- Fixed Nitrado import error when the user has a server without a game assigned, such as a pre-ordered game server.
- Fixed issue where signing in would still think the user is signed out.
- Fixed exception while trying to log the output of an import or deploy connection error.
- Fixed exception when the recent items contained a file reference with invalid UTF-8 characters.
- Transient engrams, which are those added directly to a config rather than importing into the local database, are now compared by class instead of blueprint path, since the blueprint path will be unknown. This fixes various issues, such as crafting costs overwriting each other when pasting a config.
- Fixed exception when entering very large values into item set weight or entry count fields.
- Fixed various exceptions caused by closing a window while it is performing work, such as communicating with the server.
- Fixed an exception caused by attempting to decrypt improperly encrypted data. The reason for the improperly encrypted data is still unknown.
- If no maps are selected, the loot source selector and menu will inform the user why no sources are visible.
- Fixed bug causing loot sources to duplicate while editing.
- Adding support for Ark: Genesis.
- Changed "Used by Map" text on loot source selector to "Spawns on Map" to better indicate which drops are used by the selected maps.
- Fixed a type in the loot source selector.
- Improved list updated speed on Windows.
- Tag selector can no longer get into a state where it requires tags that no longer exist in the user's database.
- Beacon will now log responses on errors by the Nitrado API when importing or deploying. They will be logged to the user's Events.log file in their data folder. The goal is to potentially track down unexpected responses and either issue fixes or improve the error messages.
- Fixed crafting cost editor copy and paste.
- Improved rewriter is more responsive for large configs, produces better organized ini files, and more resilient to accidental data loss.
- Fixed "not responding" errors during deployment while downloading large log files on Windows.
- Fixed error caused by closing a window with a tag picker before the window has fully opened.
- Fixed issue causing pc-exclusive mods not to be disabled when importing from a console server.
- Simplified Breeding Multipliers editor to more accurately reflect the in-game outcomes. The imprinting wizard no longer requires a threshold value.
- Duplicate loot sources will be filtered out both when importing, and when opening a file.
- Disabled config import and issue detection for Omni-exclusive editors until Omni has been purchased.
- Exporting and deploying will warn the user if Omni-exclusive config content will be excluded because Omni has not been purchased.
- Importing a config previously generated by Beacon will no longer result in inconsistent loot qualities.
- During deployment, failure to backup the ini files should not produce an error. This is less alarming than it sounds, because when the error happened in the past, the ini files had already been updated anyway. So this equates to more of an error suppression than change in behavior.
- Fixed very rare exception at launch due to syncing cloud data before identity is loaded.
- Imprint and mature time columns of Breeding Multipliers editor will sort correctly.
- Blueprint chance slider of engram picker works correctly again.
- Slightly improved performance of loading a document.
- Loading progress window will be dismissed before an error dialog is shown.
- Multiple SessionName keys in a config pair will no longer disrupt Beacon's ability to offer a Server Link config item.
- Tag picker will use a different color for excluded tags if the required tag color is too similar to the excluded tag color.
- Tag picker no longer needs to be scrolled.
- Beacon will once again request a new session token if the old session token has expired.
- Save errors will be presented to the user immediately, instead of only being delivered to the notifications pane.
- Issues detector will do a better job of correctly highlighting problem engrams.
- Issues detector will no longer complain about drops that are not used by any selected map. The rewriter just won't include them.
- Enabling a map will ensure the mod which provides it is also enabled.
Beacon 1.2.3 fixes the problem with "Add Loot Source" buttons doing nothing.
Sorry about so many updates so frequently, they'll slow down.
This build fixes the issues button problems by removing the button entirely. Issue checking now happens when pressing the export or deploy buttons. Since checking for issues no longer happens as the file is edited, there is no need for caching the state, which was to blame for the bug. Plus some users found the icon confusing, so this is a win-win solution.
- Fixed error when importing a preset that was already imported.
- Fixed error when using the close box to dismiss the creature adjustment dialog instead of the cancel button.
- Fixed issue detection caching too aggressively.
- Fixed issue when detecting which architecture is required when downloading updates.
- The Harvest Rates editor, similar to the Stack Sizes editor, allows users to override both the global harvest rate multiplier and resource-specific multipliers.
- The Creature Adjustments editor allows users to adjust creature damage and vulnerability, replace creatures with another, or disable a creature entirely.
Free Features for All Users
- New Breeding Multipliers editor! Supports all of Ark's 10 breeding-related multipliers, and includes a wizard for computing perfect the imprinting interval multiplier.
- Tagging! Engram and Creature selectors include a tag selection field for quickly filtering lists.
- Document Properties now allows users to select which mods to enable. Selection lists will only include engrams and creatures for enabled mods. This feature replaces the "Show only console-safe engrams" checkbox. Older documents set to console-only will have only console-safe mods enabled.
- Documents are now compressed by default. This makes even complex files take up a tiny fraction of the space they used to, which means they upload faster too. The Document Properties editor also includes a checkbox to disable compression, for users who need to store their files in the older format.
- Engram, creature, and presets now sync in the cloud!
- Engrams manager has been completely replaced with a new database manager, since it handles more than just engrams. The new database manager will extract spawndino cheat codes, and adds tagging support to the objects. It's even possible to edit the map compatibility and tags for many objects at the same time.
- Custom Config Content supports nested server-specific blocks. This power-user feature means users can set different values for each of their servers in a single location.
- Presets now support separated minimum and maximum quality tiers.
- Beacon's ini rewriter is now map-aware. Beacon will avoid setting loot drop configs not used by the map the config is being built for.
- Export window now has a map selection menu in the upper left to update the content for the intended map. This means users unable to use the Deploy feature can also receive the ini rewriter improvements.
- FTP deployment servers have a map setting to support the improved rewriter. Nitrado servers will be detected automatically.
- Moved error id so it is always visible.
- Update notifications now show as a banner at the top of the window.
- Refreshed the icons in the Library.
- Creating a preset will not save it to the library until actually saved by the user.
- Presets created from an item set will default to modified.
- Improved performance due to more efficient issue checking.
- Beacon now uses dedicated 32-bit and 64-bit installers.
- Beacon is now fully signed on Windows.
- Beacon now requires macOS 10.11 or later.
- Fixed bug causing the welcome window to fail to detect a connection error, thus not allowing the user to use the app.
- Choosing to save a preset while closing its tab will actually close the tab.
- Fixed exception caused when creating a blueprint entry in a preset containing an engram not known by Beacon's database.
- Old update files get cleaned out of data folder.
- The mini browser used for Nitrado authentication will now show error messages instead of sitting silently at a white window.
- Config parser can handle = characters in values such as SessionName.
This is an extremely minor update that I was hoping not to have to release, but here we are...
The main reason for this version is to solve the stuck downloads happening on Windows. Though there are two bug fixes:
- Handling filename sanitization more correctly on Windows. This should solve the deploy-time errors for servers with characters such as question marks in their name.
- Added missing Valguero checkbox to the mod item editor.
The Valguero Update! This build adds support for the new Valguero map! That's about it.
This update is a little more significant than the last few.
For users of Beacon's Nitrado integration, there has been an important change to the deployment process to prevent loss of settings. For servers with Expert Mode turned off, Nitrado only updates the Game.ini and GameUserSettings.ini files on server start. This means users who have kept their server off while making changes, then decide to use Beacon for something like loot drops, the deploy process would turn Expert Mode on, causing Nitrado to discard all the pending changes. To solve this problem, if Expert Mode is turned off when Beacon does its deployment, an extra server boot cycle will be performed before turning on Expert Mode so that Nitrado can update the Game.ini and GameUserSettings.ini files. This means a server that is running will be stopped, started, and stopped again. A server that is not running will be started and stopped. If the server is in Expert Mode already, no extra boot cycle is necessary.
- Preset modifiers now support a blueprint chance multiplier.
- Added support for AES 256 encrypted private keys.
- Fixed bugs with autosave files not being cleaned up consistently.
- Engrams added to a Beacon file without being added to a user's Library will be considered console safe. This means finding a file online that contains something like BushBerry Seeds will not be flagged as unsafe for consoles in Beacon.
- Engram spawn code parser will require only "giveitem" instead of "cheat giveitem."
Here's another bug fix release
- Fixed loading of numeric types that don't exactly match the intended type. This will most readily be visible by correctly loading the global stack size multiplier.
- More ini parser tweaks to more accurately represent the devkit defaults.
- Fixed exception caused by painting the tab bar too quickly.
- Updated defaults for new item set entries.
- Rebuilding an item set from its preset will update the min and max entries.
Yet another bug fix release
- Fixed issue causing encrypted custom config content not to be written to documents on Windows.
- If online access is disabled, the save process will jump directly to the "save to disk" dialog.
- Fixed exception when cancelling a Nitrado import before closing the Nitrado login window.
- Engram extractor can handle curly quotes and apostrophes.
- Loot quality scale will properly restore on document load.
- Item set ini parsing tweaked to better match Ark defaults.
- Fixed exception caused by having a [Beacon] section in the custom config content.
- On a related note, [Beacon] sections in custom config content, which were caused by re-importing a Beacon-produced ini file, will now be completely ignored by Beacon.
This is a bug fix release to solve some of Beacon's most common exceptions / crashes.
- Server names with characters <, >, |, or " will no longer cause an exception during deployment.
- Fixed an exception that could occur while trying to use the "Enable Cloud & Community" features menu link.
- Fixed an exception that could occur when dismissing the "Add Engrams" window while a search or filter was still in progress.
- Fixed an exception that could occur after editing an item set entry.
- Preset modifier editor will include custom loot sources from open documents when previewing matched sources.
- The rows in the Add Loot Source dialog can now be double-clicked!
- The simulator should no longer appear as a little wedge at the bottom of the window. Unless your window is very short, that is.
- Dialogs, such as when adding a loot source, will now be shown above the main window instead of being centered on the system's primary screen.
- More attempts have been made to solve the mysterious exception (aka crash) when saving a document to disk. This issue has haunted the program for a while, so fingers crossed this release finally solves it.
- Nitrado's idle wait time is now pulled from the Beacon server, allowing it to be adjusted without a new build, should the need arise.
- Exception reports will now include the user's anonymous uuid.
- The [Beacon] ini group has been reformatted to avoid unconfirmed issues on Xbox. Beacon 1.1.4 and newer will recognize both the new and old format, but older versions will not recognize the new format of course.
- Beacon will now determine the line ending character of a file or copied content and use the same character, rather than reformatting to LF. Beacon's export window will also more consistently use the platform's line ending character to improve compatibility.
- Fixed an exception in the item set editor.
- The Beacon Smart Rewriter will now remove old rows from the ini that were previously not part of the Custom Config Content editor. For example, adding
bUseCorpseLocator=trueto Custom Config Content will replace the line
bUseCorpseLocator=falsethat was already part of the ini being updated. Previously, Beacon would maintain both lines.
- Pasting preset modifiers will flag the preset as modified.
- Fixed incorrect preset modifier count in deletion warning dialog.
- Custom Config Content has been reworked behind the scenes to be MUCH faster on Windows.
Sorry for two updates in one week. Version 1.1.2 was pulled due to critical issue on Windows. This update, version 1.1.3, fixes that issue. The notes for version 1.1.2 have been included as well.
- Fixed issue while loading Custom Config Content that caused Beacon to lock up for a significant amount of time.
- Fixed an exception while loading Stack Sizes config.
- Potentially fixed exception in item set editor.
This is a bug fix release intended to improve stability.
- Fixed a bug causing duplicated loot sources to not duplicate item sets that were built from a preset that is not part of the user's library. That's a mouthful.
- Improved handling of UTF-16 encoded ini files. It's not obvious why some ini files are encoded this way, but Beacon now supports them.
- Fixed a bug where the global stack size multiplier field always showed 1.0, regardless of what was saved to the Beacon file and ini.
- Fixed post-deploy language when deploying to multiple servers at the same time.
- Added some log messages regarding database migration.
- User-supplied engrams are now considered console-safe.
- Due to the potential frustration and confusion caused by not understanding what the Custom Config Editor does, combined with the manual steps required to decouple the data without harming the original ini, Custom Config Content import now defaults to off.
- Changes have been made to how Beacon handles threading. The goal is to fix some unexplainable errors users have been having while saving, as well as other places.
This is a minor bug fix release to fix some significant bugs.
- Minor adjustments to a couple toolbar icons to improve clarity.
- Fixed an exception (commonly called a crash) when switch between crafting costs that had a different number of recipe engrams.
- Fixed 'Global Stack Size Multiplier' having no effect on the GameUserSettings.ini output.
- Added copy & paste support to preset modifiers.
Major New Features
- Introducing Beacon Omni, a paid version of Beacon which supports more configuration options.
- New "Player and Dino Levels" config editor. Set the max level, total experience, and build an experience curve of your own.
- New "Crafting Costs" config editor. Beacon makes it a little less tedious to edit engram crafting costs.
- New "Custom Content" config editor. You can now edit both your Game.ini and GameUserSettings.ini files directly inside Beacon. Beacon will blend its changes with the content in this editor and the content already on the server.
- New "Stack Sizes" editor for Ark's new ItemStackSizeMultiplier and ConfigOverrideItemMaxQuantity config options.
- New preset editor with dynamic loot source modifiers.
- New "Add Item Sets to Default" checkbox in loot source settings allows Beacon to add its item sets to the default item sets, rather than replace them. It is unclear exactly what the min and max item set values do in this case though.
Minor New Features
- Now possible to reset a config to default. Using the "Restore" option in the "Document" menu, this option will completely remove Beacon's changes to the config, putting it back to the Ark defaults.
- Beacon is more efficient editing item sets across multiple loot sources, meaning doing this should feel much faster.
- New option to import configs from other open documents.
- Beacon will now warn you when mod items have been added to a document that has "console safe mode" enabled.
- Loot source, item set, and preset min/max values are no longer range limited. This makes some advanced designs possible, but also allows you to do funny things like set the minimum greater than the maximum.
- Nitrado deployment now analyzes log files to determine how long to wait for the server to stop. This prevents the issue where the user could stop the server with the "Servers" panel, then immediately deploy to skip the wait time, which would result in the changes not being preserved.
- Nitrado deployment now makes a complete configuration snapshot before making changes. These will show up in the Nitrado control panel under the "Configuration Profiles" section.
- Beacon no longer adjusts the weight values it generates. This allows greater flexibility, such as setting an item set's weight to 100000000 like Ark's default loot does to nearly guarantee something in a drop.
- Windows ini parsing speed has been dramatically improved.
- FTP deployment now has file browser. No more guessing the correct path to include.
- Beacon's window can no longer get tucked under the taskbar / menubar.
- Fixed missing whitespace in generated config files.
- Fixed default and cancel buttons being swapped all over the app.
- Fixed bizarre scrolling behavior of the notification list.
- The item sets status bar moves when resizing the simulator.
- Potentially fixed a number of nonsense exceptions by changing some backend frameworks. Sorry for the vague note, there's not a good way to describe this.
- Preset editor's "Create Blueprint Entry" option will correctly use only the selected items, rather than all items.
- Beacon will no longer lock up while performing the final step of parsing an ini file.
- Duplicating a loot source will now duplicate custom item sets too.
- INI parser will no longer report false errors.
- More vibrant loot source icons.
- During export/deploy, if Beacon's computed minimum quality is greater than the maximum quality, Beacon will use the minimum for both. This should improve accuracy of loot generation.
- Publish status will be cleared when loading community documents. This will prevent users from accidentally re-publishing a document they loaded from another user when they save it to their own account.
- Generated config files now have markup added to assist Beacon in differentiating between changes it has made and changes made by another source.
- The Library drawer will overlap the main content on Windows, just as it does on Mac.
- Beta builds now expire after 30 days.
- Importing a preset will automatically save it to the Library.
- Disabled spell checking on ini content fields, such as in the import and export dialogs.
- Possible fix for exception caused while parsing engram spawn commands.
- Increased SQLite cache size.
- Engram importing now requires "cheat giveitem" before the blueprint path to prevent importing cheat codes such as "cheat summon" used for summoning creatures.
This release fixes the following bugs and is recommended for all users.
- Fixes mysterious parse error on Windows when code executes too quickly.
- Clearing publish status when downloading documents from the community to prevent accidental publishing requests.
- Uses new internal build numbering to better support multiple branches of development.
This is it. Finally calling Beacon 1.0 finished. Out of beta and ready for everybody to enjoy. Here's what has changed.
- Fixed bug when importing local files.
- Another attempt to fix a "random" exception that was previously believed to be fixed.
- Added missing Extinction map filter to engrams manager.
- Fixed a handful of other exceptions related to issue resolution and empty engram sets.
- The process of converting Beacon data into JSON so it can be saved to disk or uploaded to the cloud is now handled in a low priority thread. This should prevent all saving, including autosave, from locking up the app while it happens. For users with exceptionally large files, this should make autosave feel much less noticeable.
- Beacon will prevent users from closing documents that are busy, such as while being saved.
- Export window will correctly write new files, instead of failing silently.
- Document-level "Rebuild Item Sets from Presets" will function again.
- Turns out there are more 32-bit copies of Windows out there than there should be. So Beacon has a 32-bit version once again.
In an ideal world, this build (39) will be relabelled 1.0.0 and Beacon will officially be out of beta after much too long.
This build is mostly a bug and quality of life build.
- Revamped set of base quality values. Users who have been advised to set their "Loot Drop Quality Scale" lower should reset to 100% and deploy/export their config.
- New top-tier quality class: "Perfected" - this tier equals 100 quality in Ark, the maximum possible.
- The Mac version is fully signed and sandboxed.
- Using "Save As" will generate a new document UUID. This allows users to download another user's file and "Save As" into their own account without ownership conflicts.
- Duplicate SupplyCrateLootQualityMultiplier lines will no longer cause a parsing error. Only the last value will be retained.
- Added status bars to most of the loot config interface.
- Fixed bug causing empty Simulator after editing a loot source.
- Document export now has an "Update File" to make the behavior more obvious. "Save As" would update the file previously, but since the operating system asks about replacing the file, this was not obvious. So the behavior as been separated.
- Importing engram data is now threaded. This should prevent "Beacon has stopped working" errors when parsing content, especially from websites.
- Beacon will more reliably restore the last used config view when opening a file.
- Significant updates to the mod editor view. Now includes a column for Extinction, along with a bunch of quality-of-life improvements.
- On OS X 10.10 and 10.11, Nitrado authorization will now be handled in the user's browser since their website is broken before WebKit 602.2.14.
- Fixed bug with server importing not correctly detecting the server's map.