Aww yeeeuh, I went and applied some major performance boosts to the Archdemon! Now you can have a whole bunch of them on screen at once with no noticeable performance drops.
Turns out that the primary reason the thing was lagging the game so much was because of UE1's horrific sprite rendering problems. That is, if you have a lot of translucent sprites on top of each other, the game just shits itself for some reason. Naturally, because the Archdemon uses a complex particle emitter for its fire effect, there are TONS of sprites overlapping all the time. If you are far enough away from the Archdemon that bStasis kicks in and the particles stop being rendered, the lag is virtually nonexistent, so the emitter was never the problem, just the sprite overlap.
To compromise, I placed an Archdemon fire emitter in a black room, centered it, and took a ton of screenshots of it. I kept the best 12 and cropped them down to 512x512 textures, stuck them into an animated sprite actor, and disabled the emitter-based fire effect, switching instead to the animated sprite. Now you have a very very very similar (but not QUITE as cool looking) effect with almost none of the performance hits! Success
This should hopefully speed up Map 15 quite considerably, but there are still other AI issues to work out which cause the latter half of it to get really slow. This stuff should be fixed for the patch, I hope. That's the goal, at least.
EXU progress has been a bit slower for the past few weeks because of busyness at work and tons of stuff going on with The Machine. UA and I have switched gears to that for a while, but EXU will still be getting stuff done to it. We switch between them pretty often when the times are right. And in case it wasn't clear, we're not going to talk much about The Machine other than "it exists" and "it's progressing" -- primarily because we want you guys to be surprised! So don't ask questions about it, because we're not going to reveal anything until it's released. I think it will be worth it, though