BZFlag version 3.0 is the next planned release of BZFlag.
Version 3.0 is currently in development and marked as version v2.99.x. Upon release it will be marked as version v3.0. The primary goals for this version are improved server side stability and security in an effort to minimize the impact of clients that have been modified to provide their users benefit ( aka, cheating ). Additional efforts are being made to extend the server side customization of the game. v3.0 will be completely incompatible with all previous versions of the game. Users of v3.0 will only be able to play on 3.0 servers. This is similar to how v2.0 was incompatible with 1.10.
Development began on 3.0 on October 25th 2005. After an initial rush of changes, development stalled, as a number of bugs were found in the current release build of the time (v2.0.4). These bugs and problems, as well as a number of graphical changes from trepan necessitated the release of compatible v2.0.6, v2.0.8, and v2.0.10 releases.
Version Number Change
v3.0 is the first version to use the new version numbering system. The 3.0 release initially began as the 2.1 development line, with the intent of being released as version 2.2. Part of the way through development, however, the versioning number scheme changed and the development revision changed from 2.1 to 2.99. With previous releases the minor version number in the version triplet (major.minor.revision) represented protocol and client compatibility. With 3.0 compatibility is instead reflected in the major version number. This new scheme gives more "room" to deal with minor packaging revisions and patch release updates.
v3.0 has a number of features that make for a much improved gameplay experience.
The font system has been replaced and now uses standard TrueType fonts(). This offers a number of advantages over the older bitmap based font system, including support for unicode character sets.
Users can now set the default fonts that they wish to use on a per-locale basis so they can use the best fonts for there character set. (More info on how?)
Server Side Logic
A number of gameplay features have been moved from the client to the server, to ensure more consistent gameplay over the internet, including;
- Flag operations (pickup, capture, identify, etc)
- Shot type
Game state and security checks
Many changes and enhancements have been made to the network protocoll to prevent errors in the network message stream or shared gamestate.
Changes have been made to the graphical quality settings. What was Experimental quality in 2.0.8 is now High quality. Medium quality is between the old High and Medium, and Low has remained mostly unchanged.
The new Experimental mode includes new shot and flag graphics. Examples of the new shots (internally called, GeoBolt and GeoLaser) can be seen here.
It should be noted that the new shot graphics are not for people with older or slower video cards.
- Server side bots have been started.v
A lot of stuff needs testing, and probably doesn't work.
As is always the case for major updates to BZFlag, 3.0 will be released when it is done. At present, a number of major features still need to be implemented before a new release will be made.