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:
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.