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War Thunder, the huge free to play online battle game across land, sea and air just had a huge game engine upgrade with the latest release.

Something that has been in progress for a long time, is that the Linux version got Vulkan support as the default now too. This is a feature our contributor BTRE interviewed the CEO of Gaijin Entertainment, Anton Yudintsev, for back in 2018 so we've been waiting some time on it. With their Dagor Engine 6.0, it brings with it tons of visual upgrades and enhancements to existing graphics.

It's not just new visuals though. They're also adding in the first vertical take-off and landing aircraft, 14 new or upgraded tanks, a rework of naval progression and the introduction of Dreadnoughts and much more. Check out the trailer:

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They also announced their own Battle Pass system is coming, which will be a Seasonal item you can unlock items for free on or purchase it to access everything from it. So it sounds like the same system a lot of other free to play online games use.

Currently, they're still working out some of the major kinks in the Vulkan renderer and the update has caused quite a big mess on Linux. For starters, it seems in my own testing it no longer runs directly from Steam, instead I had to run the launcher directly from the folder. Additionally, I've seen that if you're on the xorg display server, you're likely to see a black screen whenever the launcher or game is in focus. Apparently the game works well on the newer Wayland display server. Hopefully they will fix those quirks soon because it stops it being playable for a lot of Linux users.

Update: 19/11/20 - all black screen issues appear to be solved! The game performance seems massively better than when it was using OpenGL. They still need to fix it launching directly from Steam, as of this date you need to manually run the game / launcher. However, if you add this as a Steam launch option it makes it work for now to run directly from Steam:

env LD_PRELOAD="" %command%

Right click the game -> Properties -> Set Launch Options… and then enter that.

Update: 20/11/20 - the workaround to launch directly from Steam is no longer needed, and the Steam Overlay now works with it too.

You can download War Thunder for Linux direct from the website or Steam.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Free Game, MMO, Steam, Vulkan | Apps: War Thunder
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53 comments
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Korhaka 18 Nov, 2020
As far as spending money or not on the game goes, I would consider it if there was anything of reasonable value to buy. Premium gives +2 decals but other than that nothing I care about. I already have vehicles I like driving and the ones I haven't unlocked do not interest me. Maybe a skin or two on vehicles I really play a lot but I already have them. The decorations just look naff tbh.
tomaszg 18 Nov, 2020
It didn't launch for me from Steam for a long time (I think since I bought my current video card). Now I have all described symptoms - black screen in launcher, game won't start (complains about missing shaders). I can't get it to work in any way.
kean 18 Nov, 2020
Quoting: Tuxee
Quoting: keanThe problem is with the Steam Overlay if I understand correctly, however, after adding this Launch Option it works "perfectly": env LD_PRELOAD="" %command%

My only issue is that the game no longer recognizes my native resolution of 2560*1440, it only offers me to use the default resolutions up to 1920*1200. I also have to disconnect my secondary monitor before starting the game (I could plug it back in after it starts.)

Simple fix: Write your resolution into config.blk and make the file read-only afterwards. It's the launcher which seems to have a will of its own. Once in the game you can make the file writable again to apply other settings. Once done make it read-only "permanently". Have been doing this for years now.

Cheers mate, this is fantastic :)

The only issue left is the buggy smoke which makes the game unplayable except in Old Videocard Mode :D
mylka 18 Nov, 2020
after reading some comments i guess switching to vulkan is the only thing they did....
or have they fixed any linux bugs?
Tuxee 18 Nov, 2020
Quoting: kean
Quoting: Tuxee
Quoting: keanThe problem is with the Steam Overlay if I understand correctly, however, after adding this Launch Option it works "perfectly": env LD_PRELOAD="" %command%

My only issue is that the game no longer recognizes my native resolution of 2560*1440, it only offers me to use the default resolutions up to 1920*1200. I also have to disconnect my secondary monitor before starting the game (I could plug it back in after it starts.)

Simple fix: Write your resolution into config.blk and make the file read-only afterwards. It's the launcher which seems to have a will of its own. Once in the game you can make the file writable again to apply other settings. Once done make it read-only "permanently". Have been doing this for years now.

Cheers mate, this is fantastic :)

The only issue left is the buggy smoke which makes the game unplayable except in Old Videocard Mode :D

I know. It was introduced with the latest 2.1.0.28 version (I had several flawless matches yesterday evening) and the forum is full with reports of this bug. They had another minor update to 2.1.0.33 but the problem remains.
Tuxee 18 Nov, 2020
Quoting: mylkaafter reading some comments i guess switching to vulkan is the only thing they did....
or have they fixed any linux bugs?

Given they state of their Vulkan version on my RX5700 a few days ago and what I got yesterday was day and night. I assume their Vulkan version got a ton of updates. I got "pretty much unplayable" before and "a flawless experience" (seriously) yesterday. However, with todays 2.1.0.27 (or 28) where "the work of the Vulkan render on the Linux version of the game has been improved." they introduced smoke rendered in opaque black... Since this has been widely reported I expect a fix soonish.
mylka 19 Nov, 2020
Quoting: Tuxee
Quoting: mylkaafter reading some comments i guess switching to vulkan is the only thing they did....
or have they fixed any linux bugs?

Given they state of their Vulkan version on my RX5700 a few days ago and what I got yesterday was day and night. I assume their Vulkan version got a ton of updates. I got "pretty much unplayable" before and "a flawless experience" (seriously) yesterday. However, with todays 2.1.0.27 (or 28) where "the work of the Vulkan render on the Linux version of the game has been improved." they introduced smoke rendered in opaque black... Since this has been widely reported I expect a fix soonish.

guess you are lucky. a lot of ppl report, that the launcher crashes, the game wont start and the well known black screen
i think i wait till i see a changelog, that fixes these problems
TheRiddick 19 Nov, 2020
3 Issues atm that seem to be annoying most.

1) Recent update broke smoke transparency.
2) Many compositors cause black screen like xfwm/kwin, sometimes using wayland can help. (or stay on gnome).
3) Vsync causes input latency issues, possible bad implementation. Be nice if a FPS limiter was an alternative option!
jorgenp 19 Nov, 2020
I get the black screen as well. I am running Linux Mint with Cinnamon.

I can workaround the issue by doing this:

Find the War Thunder Steam location. I have my Steam folder under $HOME/.steam.
So:
 
find $HOME/.steam -name aces
[i]/home/jp/.steam/steam/steamapps/common/War Thunder/linux64/aces[/i]

ctrl-alt-F1 to get a virtual console login and login as my normal user. Then change directory to wherever the find command found the aces binary. 

cd /home/jp/.steam/steam/steamapps/common/War\ Thunder/linux64
startx ./aces

Then I can play the game as normal. Then to switch back to desktop, just press ctrl-alt-F7. No need to install another window manager or anything.
TheRiddick 19 Nov, 2020
yeah I've tried that trick before but it always ends in problems, missing controls, sound, or freezes on switching back to desktop... all sorts of things. Haven't tried it in a while however so I might give it a shot now.

Ahh, it works now it seems. Sound plays in background but that's ok.


EDIT: tabbing back to TTY1 crashes the warthunder game. Ell well.


Last edited by TheRiddick on 19 November 2020 at 8:41 am UTC
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