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Eternal Lands Update, part 2

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Fortunately, my DSL connection worked just enough so I can upload the install file, which is 22 MB. Then it died on me, so I went back to Dial Up.
Everything is ready for the update, the files uploaded, the mirrors not yet updated (it's pointless to update the mirrors now, if the final test shows that something is wrong).
But for the time being, there are no problems reported, except by those who don't know how to follow simple instructions.
If everything is fine until tomorrow, then the update can be finalized.
Normally we don't do so many testings before an update, but a lot of things changed since the last one: 2 developers left, a few new developers came, so it's better to be safe than sorry. Besides, we had some previous versions that had various more or less critical bugs in them.
It is a good thing that we didn't rush, because we were able to fix some map problems, and, most importantly, today I fixed a few shadow related problems. Our old shadows looked totally crappy on the snow mounds, because they were projected on the ground, so if there were small bumbs then the shadows apeared to be floating, or some objects apeared to be floating.
The deepth buffer shadows also looked very crappy on Ila Prima (the first map) because we changed it to a snow map, to reflect the season in the northen hemisphere. So the problem with them on the snow was that they were very blocky, due to the inherent problems of this technique, and on the snow that was VERY vissible and annoying. In order to address this issue I change the ambient color computation for the snow maps so that the ambient light is actually a little brither, and slightly bluer than the difuse light. I also changed the default shadow map size to 2048. that doesn't really make a big difference, unless the use switches to the highest resolution.

On an unrelated subject, mikeman, our newest volunteer, did some testings with the avatars shading, and I must say it looks much better. Unfortunately, this will be useless since we plan to switch away from MD2s, and use a skeletal animation approach. He is responsible for implementing that. But I wish he joined the team earlier, and done this stuff so we can have it for this update :)
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