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    [14th of April] Schine Q&A Answers

    Discussion in 'Web/Community News' started by DukeofRealms, May 7, 2018.

    1. DukeofRealms

      DukeofRealms Count Duku

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      Hey guys,

      Sorry for the delay, here's the last QA. Answers for the next one will be coming out soon :)


      A: This is entirely possible, however there are no current plans to introduce this features in a major way. There were talks of instanced areas when it came to new tutorial systems or the new player experience. There has also been talk of this with regards to lore based content when that was brought up. It has yet to be seen how far we want to take these aspects of gameplay, and how we integrate such areas with multiplayer to fully realize the needs of such a system.


      As for old technology, it is unlikely we will bring back outdated equipment in such a manner unless it was truly used in a different way. - CrissCriss


      Old stuff will likely not come back since keeping them alive kinda clutters up things in the code compared to the later designs that are much cleaner. However, in the universe update we will probably be introducing resources that are loot only or rewards for activities other than mining/shopping. - schemaschema



      A: It is planned to introduce character equipment. We have yet to determine how far we want to take astronaut gameplay, and so we do not know the extent to which we want to take this equipment. Things like special movement enhancing devices or character boosts in the form of equipment are something we want. It’s just a matter of getting to that point in development and fleshing it out. - CrissCriss

      schemaschema ^



      A: It is unlikely that such intricate details of a real universe will be replicated in starmade. With the scale we are working with, it will be immensely easier to keep track of the universe without such gimmicks. It’s nice for the realism, but StarMade is not realistic. We do plan on adding other features to the universe to give it more life however, just not in the realm of realistic planetary motions. - CrissCriss

      schemaschema ^ this is a good answer. Planet motion, while nice if you first think about it, really becomes a whole different beast when you think about all the problems, annoyances and exploitations it would introduce.



      A: An official background creator is no planned. It is possible to create your own skyboxes by disabling the procedural background and replacing the skybox files in your installation. It may take some fiddling with image editing software. There is a good chance we will continue to improve the backgrounds of the game as time goes on but it is not a priority at the moment. - CrissCriss

      schemaschema the universe update will make some updates to the background in that you will be able to tell what region of the galaxy you are in (by objects in the distance). I’m also planning to redo the star shader representing systems in the distance to make it more pretty,



      A: Basic systems work without too much fiddling with the details. We have a plan for a more context based build helper. It will help you through the building process by giving suggestions. Example would be: “You placed a shield recharger, for the shields to work properly you also need to place shield capacitors”. This prevents big design mistakes or misunderstanding systems when you build them, not when you try to use them in battle or after leaving your base. - AndyPAndyP



      A: I imagine bribing pirates to leave you alone, paying tribute to factions, and placing bounties will be included in future faction/AI updates. These are all aspects of faction interaction that we have discussed and generally this is the level of interaction that we want to achieve. - CrissCriss

      TheThe universe update will introduce a set of gameplay elements that would incorporate these thinsg



      A: LUA as a language is quite flexible and not easy to contain resource wise. It is currently supported for NPC interaction scripting, as this part is controlled by the server-side and so is the possible hardware demand. Allowing it for general use by players, would need way more effort in making it secure and giving it a constant hardware demand regardless of the script being executed. Additionally, it would require building a complete interface to logic and other possible supported systems, so it will be something for later, when general behaviours do not change any more. - AndyPAndyP

      schemaschema it would be possible to add a lua interface for placing blocks for singleplayer (and maybe a very secure version (limits on blocks placed/sec)) to control automated block placing



      A: Close quarter combat will for sure be a thing in the future. Removing pulse as a weapon has no intention to remove close combat, the weapon itself just did not fill the role it was supposed to have. It was meant as a fighter push-back weapon for large capitals or internal defense purposes, but the damage model and range for one aspect of that would destroy the other meaning of it. And a large range pulse would cause a lot of other balance issues. The latch-on behaviour of the new beam mechanics is meant to cover the close combat and exact damage location management instead. We may re-introduce such a weapon type at a later point, but it needs a specific use case and throw in more than just a damage variation.

      Warheads may be partially replaced by the minelayer mechanics and options to drop bombs that follow the trajectory of the ship to aim them. They may get revamped/revived or merged into the mine mechanics, there are no final plans for it yet. - AndyPAndyP



      A:

      Ship-AI:

      Yes, they will get improved, they need to learn the new weapon mechanics and in general get smarter in the way they pick targets. The mass and distance as a factor of engagement was also a thing we talked about internally, bit more in a general combat strategy behaviour, like it is safe to go in close combat with an enemy that is only 10% of your own mass, while you should stay at max range and fire missiles with an enemy that is a high multiple of your own mass. - AndyPAndyP

      AI will get a full rehaul. One big problem of a game like this is that while one concept might work for one size/type of ship, it will not work for another. For example, making basic fighter AI behavior isn’t that much of a problem if you only work with one type of ship. A fighter AI that would basically behave like our lock on missiles to do approaches and intentionally misses its target would be implemented quickly, but without deep systems to adjust for the ship’s own speed/weapons/mass/size/shape, as well as the targets it would probably cause more problems. That’s why I wanted to wait until the weapons update is finished so we know what to work with. - schemaschema


      Biomes:

      There will be biome-sets for each base type of planet. A traditional desert (for example) will not pop up on an alien or ice planet. It will not fit there, no matter how much effort you put in the landscape generation.

      This allow a wide range of possible biomes, density, vegetation and resource richness per planet. - AndyPAndyP



      A:

      Planet size: As large as possible, keeping CPU, disk and ram usage at an acceptable level for single player and servers. The preview gif was (IIRC) made with a 1500 bock diameter setting consuming more than 10 gigabyte of RAM. There were tons of improvements on that since then, but the final practical use size depends on cat magic and how well the demand can be scaled down by smart loading and saving invisible part of the mass being skipped in the generation, transfer and saving to disk. The new planets consist of parts, but they have completely different shapes from the previous concept and remove the need for the ugly hard angle change that we have now. - AndyPAndyP

      Scaling down memory usage is one big problem that we put a lot of work in. There are further upgrades possible to further trim down memory usage to acceptable levels. We managed to create a chunk system that can dynamically compress chunks without read performance loss as low as 32kb (down from 1mb) per chunk in the most optimal case. For graphics we are planning to add another LoD system for the blocks to drastically increase fps for not only planets but also other structures. - schemaschema


      Salvaging will change drastically in the universe update, and there will more diverse ways of doing it. Mining from orbit with a lot of salvage beams may not exist anymore at that point or be extremely inefficient to a point where the alternative ways are much more attractive to use. - LancakeLancake



      A: This would add some complexity in the building GUI as it currently only cares about the entity you are controlling. We considered improving the marker-beam as personal equipment to have multiple slots to read and write data. The marker beam is currently the only proper way to link two wireless modules that are not in the same sector so with reducing the need to travel back and forth for each connection pair it could become easier to use it for connecting a bunch of them on different entities. - AndyPAndyP



      A: There will definitely be some way to do better stairs. As a short term solution we might use the existing block LoD system for some blocks, but I’m unsure if that system would be feasible for a block like stairs which would likely also be used in exterior. In the long run we would like fully integrated blocks (since they are a lot more performant). - schemaschema



      A: We already have plans for different factions to focus on different aspects of gameplay to acquire their resources. In fact I believe the “scavenger” classification for ships is available when creating a blueprint. This means the AI will send these ships to salvage the wrecks they find in space. - CrissCriss



      A: This is a bug. It will most likely fixed with the next release. - AndyPAndyP



      A:

      Timers:

      Use delays for the timings or short clocks with flip-flops as counter or frequency divider, they are processed server side and you get only the result. So missing time or shots there should be a problem of not hitting the exact time to fire again. As the granularity of timers is only 0.5 seconds while some weapons have rechacharge times that cannot be divided by 0.5 it could be a source of the problems. - AndyPAndyP


      Crafting recipes:

      Indeed they are quite plain and equal in number of resources consumed. This is based on an almost equal generation of resources based on type. So we needed to make sure they all resources have a value and they all have a sink in some block type that may be used. With the universe update this will change and some resources will become quite rare and hard to achieve, those will become the ingredients of high-tech blocks and revamp the way resource generation and sinks play together. Complexity of recipes will most likely not increase too much, as building a factory for an item that need too many different ingredients and intermediate steps will become a hassle for players that have to create all blocks on their own when playing single player or on a smaller server. - AndyPAndyP


      Thruster mechanics:

      We discussed a few ideas around the relation between center of mass and center of thrust and even the option for thrusters being split into directional and rotational thrust, but the added complexity to get a ship stable that way is not an easy thing to learn. Especially, if you also want to have aerodynamics as a later option to add. Creating a ship with stable flight control in various loaded/empty states and with possible moving objects like rails on it, would be really a task for someone not liking the trial-and-error-endurance-test concept you need for other games like KSP. - AndyPAndyP





      A: We have certainly discussed and shared concepts for customizable equipment. At the moment we will need to revisit this area of gameplay, but we are not opposed to giving some level of customization to the gear players use. - CrissCriss



      A: Already in the works ;) If you’re asking to see them however, I’m afraid that’s classified. (laughs maniacally) - CrissCriss



      A: Actions like this consume a lot of CPU-time and would cause some stress on the server as it would have to be a server-side action to be safe. It can be offloaded to an external thread that would not block the main thread. So it is possible to implement that, but it is not a priority right now. - AndyPAndyP



      A: This is a plain missed feature/bug. Should be an easy fix for the next releases. - AndyPAndyP



      A: The recent dev blog covered our plans for armor well. Read it here: StarMade News - StarMade Dev Blog - The weapons update - CrissCriss



      A: Currently, due to the system in use we do not plan on changing our grid style layout. When we get to restructuring the universe we will look at distances between star systems and the like. - CrissCriss



      A: The current dev build at the time of speaking, still uses rough estimates and in some cases pure test values as not all mechanics are in place yet. How we will balance it, is mostly based on reference data. In power 2.0 we build up a data sheet with different ship sizes and how many system blocks vs armor vs available volume we would like to see. Power 2.0 config values were adjusted to fit these estimates, which also included how much damage can be outputted by 1 power regen. We’re now comparing with ships that players made to adjust our reference data and make it fit better to what is being made in-game. From there, we’ll define how many blocks a certain reactor size should be able to kill per second to end up with a good time to kill for ships of equal size. This would be excluding armor or shield protection and reduce it to a simpler problem to figure out. From there, we adjust the armor and weapon penetration values first (local protection) and then redo shield shield values (global protection) to prolong the time needed to kill. While many values will be adjusted, the amount of weapon, shield and other system blocks will most likely not have to change much for any of your new ships to still function fine.


      Figuring out the above, is a time consuming process but vital to do first before considering player feedback as otherwise there is no base reference to work with. Once it has been finished, we will reach out to the public for playtesting to get more concrete feedback and adjust everything accordingly after discussing it with you. This may take a while and not everyone will be happy with the outcome, as most of these values are subject of personal taste and playstyle. We will do our best and for sure request and accept feedback on the numbers. - AndyPAndyP & LancakeLancake




      A: Projectiles will continue if they have remaining damage upon exiting an entity but total armor calculation for a particular hit will never look further than the the entity it hit. This is for performance reasons.


      It will damage and aim for more blocks on that docked entity. You can redirect the beam to a new position on a different entity.


      The Heat, Kin and Em values can be changed for each base weapon type. Its counter values for defence can be set per block in the blockConfig, and chamber effects allow you to set it globally on that entity as well. Later these effect will also play a part on a sector and system level.
      There are no player options to create more than these 3 effects.


      Limiting the fire arc of turrets was brought up in a meeting, as it would also improve performance if turret did not end up colliding with their docks. We have no concrete plans of when we want to do this, but it’s definitely something we want. It’s easy to make it work, but not to make it user friendly for entities that have more than a couple of turrets. - LancakeLancake
       
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    2. Dire Venom

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      Thank you for posting this!
      Very informative and a great read :3
       
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    3. arkahys

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      Thanks for reply.
      hmm aerodynamic ? aero = air ? it is the study of resistance in air ...
      But in space, I don't think there is any resistance, so center of masses and outputs positions could be the only parameters in a thruster calcul.().
      Sure the momentum is quite complex but :
      to forward : an arrow pointing from center of mass who represente momentum when building thrusters (as bubble when building shield , etc..) aside wish one of center of mass is quite easy to undestand to make it corresponding with one of mass. if the arrow is too uncentered (big angle), place thruster on the side where the arrow tilt( angle multiplied if direction of thruster is 90° of forward, but reduce the lenght of arrow and ratio), then arrow come back to center.
      blue arrow as center of mass, the black one is thruster because all are placed on φ
      [​IMG]
      place thruster at opposit of φ, "for forward direction" make the black arrow on blue, but more long.
      otherwise place some 90° thruster make black same as blue (lenght too : you loose power),
      place too many thruster on φ with 90° make the little blue arrow
      It's become more difficult for biggest ships, but it isn't the purpose to make them more complex to build and rare ?
      when leaving build mod apply on the difference of this 2 arrow a "rudder reduction on max speed" for remaining unbalance to keep direction BUT that evident this ship have an advantage on a rotate side !! then we keep the possiblity of balance speed, rotation and one more : capacity to a powerfull rotation on the unbalanced side ! (as a flee direction for (mid)slow blasts or heavy ship)

      aside, aerodynamics could be a final calcul for ground ship only.
       
    4. Dire Venom

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      Intersting idea, be cool to see what they could get working.
      Just to add on top of that, when you have an entity selected having an arrow showing direction of travel (length=velocity) would be a welcome addition.
       
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    5. arkahys

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      yes, as actually the star effect make the arrow...
      Talking about that, when you turn, even by foot or in build mod, you turn FTL as there is too star effect ! Even if i think many accustom I find this unexpected ...
      and you can get rotation by width of arrow, a 1/2 arrow sprite is enough.
      Sans titre.png
       
      #5 arkahys, May 7, 2018
      Last edited: May 7, 2018
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    6. Raisinbat

      Raisinbat Raging Troll

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      • Hostility I : Name Calling or otherwise insulting forum users in not permitted.
      This is why people are leaving your game idiot. How are we going to design ships when you're deciding exactly what the outcome of all ships should be.
       
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    7. dwwojcik

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      You... you haven't forgotten this is an alpha, have you? You're a playtester not a player.
       
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    8. Dire Venom

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      That still gets me as well. That being said we do need some way to tell movement, and you can disable the movement effect I think. If it was more of a dust/debrie/gas etc effect it would be more appropiate.
       
    9. arkahys

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      yes there is a way to disable it.. but how I will know in wich direction I go when navigate ?!?!! lol
      an option to desactivate it only out of ship could be very good ! (and even when rotate ship it is unexpected)
       
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    10. kiddan

      kiddan Cobalt-Blooded Bullet Mirror

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      This was a really informative Q and A session, thanks. (y)
       
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    11. Raisinbat

      Raisinbat Raging Troll

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      • Hostility I: Name Calling or otherwise insulting forum users in not permitted.
      And what's your point brownnoser?

      Don't critizise the game in alpha while there's time to fix issues, wait until it's released where it's too late?

      Having fewer people testing and providing feedback during the testing and feedback part of development, especially with less experience with combat and exploit mechanics, is somehow a good thing?

      The game will magically and unlike every other game developed through history suddenly become playable?

      All the current mechanics are simply a joke; Schema has a fully working and fun version of starmade that he's simply keeping from us until all the people like me who don't appreciate him enough have been successfully removed from the forums?

      Or did i just offend your useless volcano god and you're trying to silence the unbeliever?

      Starmade is, pretty fundamentally, a game about BUILDING SHIPS. When an update hits that removes shipbuilding from the shipbuilding game that everyone hates maybe you fucked up, just a little bit?
       
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    12. dwwojcik

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      You didn't though. You criticized the fact that the game was in alpha.

      Also cool your jets, god damn.
       
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    13. M.Waites

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      "Starmade is, pretty fundamentally, a game about BUILDING SHIPS. When an update hits that removes shipbuilding from the shipbuilding game that everyone hates maybe you fucked up, just a little bit?"

      ^- Don't you mean a game about ship building which changed a system during it's development cycle? Which happens quite a lot during development and changes are ineviteable. Either due to having too high ambitions, technical difficulties, balancing stuff, or simply checking a different angle and see how it works.

      But if you want a game which gets stuck in the past, well last time I checked one could use older launchers/version of the game, right?

      Also how about a challenge and adapt? Yes the interior is most likely in need to be removed, eventually entirely to make a ship work, maybe you'd even gain/lose something in the end after the revamp, but where's the fun in an unchanging system? So far the system works and one can easily design several different kinds of ships that way, though one might need to be a bit 3-d instead of being flat one way or another.

      Which does make sense after all, and personally I prefer not the easy mode anyway so system integrity and all that can be annoying but it's nice to check out what's possible, after all one has to do that anyway so the overall power consumption doesn't go overboard.

      So yeah unless you have a ship with basically no interior volume, there should only be work involved to update older ships to the new systems, especially with the upcoming weapons update too, and you know... maybe other changes, yes maybe even major changes in the future.

      But as one can easily adapt by having different blueprints of ships, conveniently names after the build or system they're built under so you could have your basic hull which only lacks an interior, or a ship with reactor, chambers and stabilizers, then one with shields added to it etc etc etc.

      You have so much choices to make things work.
       
    14. Raisinbat

      Raisinbat Raging Troll

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      What does turning ship design into a coloring book with zero options for the designer have to do with alpha?

      There's been plenty of polite posters on these forums who pointed out what i'm pointing out and they got just as much shit from you, the mods and the other white knights as i do, if not more.
       
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    15. dvdbot

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      Please read the sentence after the sentence you quoted

      So next time - please read the full story before commenting...
       
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    16. MacThule

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      Awesome Q&A - thank you for the updates and elaborations!


      AndyPAndyP - players hardly have to create their own blocks at all anymore, even in Single Player, because of NPCs on the Trade Network.

      This reality could be quickly and easily improved a little with separate settings for Single Player games that increased NPC trade.

      I don't see recipes as particularly in need of additional complexity, but... I don't think we should be writing off future development paths based on a gameplay condition that doesn't actually exist (anymore - to be fair it was once the case). For example, it may be a useful balancing factor to further complicate the recipes of the most high-end components to offset their play value, or even just complicating the mid-tier components to create an actual division between basic goods and standard goods. Another example might be improving trade balance itself by breaking up refinery outputs and changing up inputs thereby adjusting the flow of resources.

      Obviously the universe update means to handle a lot of this, but it might end up being a lot more difficult to balance economics proceeding under the notion that only one side of the resource<->recipe equations can be effectively changed in the balancing of resource distribution. Recipes are very, very old and based on Galaxy 1.0, so it shouldn't be off limits to make adjustments to recipes as part of the Galaxy 2.0 rollout.

      Of course trade itself can be a bit of a hassle.

      So even gathering components and resources through trade rather than by making them can be tedious... but that would be changed if Schine would extend the benefits of automated resource management and trade that NPC factions currently enjoy to Player-run factions, as well as automated fleet production and mining. The NPCs have this stuff, the functions exist.

      If gathering, producing and trading resources and components is a "hassle," then watching the NPC factions assemble massive stockpiles created and managed entirely by AI is piling insult upon injury. Because obviously Starmade already encompasses the functions that would allow players to automate tedious processes like trade and resource gathering - not to mention shipbuilding for fleets - but the use of it is not extended to players... is there an underlying assumption here that grind is gameplay?

      Players will already need to manually do all this when starting new factions or characters. There are also many things that could periodically motivate players to take manual charge of an automated process (responding to piracy, running blockades, making personal mining and trade runs at better speed and efficiency than the AI, etc). We shouldn't be bound to tedious work gathering and managing block inventories as a permanent outlook for gameplay. That is not the fun part. I want to tell a bot how to handle that for me; how much of each resource to keep on hand, what parameters to trade or mine or refine at, then I want to walk away from it and focus on flying and deploying fleets, knowing that when I limp back home after a hard day's conquest there will probably be most of the components I need to replenish my ships and spawn new defense stations to replace the ones I lost.

      If the main thing holding back more complex recipes is the hassle of resource acquisition, then I think the real problem is that resource acquisition is a hassle, because that issue is holding back a lot more than freedom to create more complex recipes.

      It shouldn't be. Block inventory management shouldn't be a hassle. Neither should fleet management. Not when solutions are already in-game.

      Schine has automated resource management for NPC factions. Please extend these automation features to players as a courtesy and way to streamline mid & late game play flow for all and sundry. Allow us to comprehensively automate our stations to mine, refine, produce, trade, stock, build ships, create fleets, patrol, and respond to intrusions the same way NPCs can. It would make stations awesome to boot.


      (Thanks for all the hard work, Andy! Not trying to rack you personally at all here, since it's not entirely your jurisdiction and I'm a huge fan of your work, but you hit on something that has been fermenting a bit - the real hassle of gathering and managing resources. It made me realize that the notion of extending automation to players may not even have been considered on the dev side of things)
       
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    17. Raisinbat

      Raisinbat Raging Troll

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      Let me translate it for you since you apparently do not understand what they're posting:

      and again...

      So how about instead of telling me i didn't read their garbage post (how would i even find that shitty quote in the first place when its halfway through it???) you learn to understand what the words you're reading mean. I'm not complaining about the ideal ship being wrong, i'm complaining that we're forced to build everything the same way, regardless of what that way is.
       
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    18. dwwojcik

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      You're being forced to build a particular way by this just as much as you'd be forced to build a particular way by a 100% pvp player driven meta. There's always been an ideal ship.
       
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    19. Raisinbat

      Raisinbat Raging Troll

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      Oh right, like how everyone in hearthstone is forced to play the exact same deck in their pvp player driven meta.

      Instead of ballancing their "cards" schine have built a "deck" for us that we cannot deviate from without massively handicapping ourselves.

      It's great how we can both agree that there are currently no options for competitive builders, why aren't you complaining about that? Would you prefer if all ship stats and weapon setups were simply relegated to a submenu and all you do in build mode is cosmetic?

      What was it then? I was still refining my builds before 2.0 hit and as far as i know so were all the other competitive builders. 2.0 got figured out in an afternoon.
       
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    20. JumpSuit

      JumpSuit Lost-Legacy Director

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      The 'This is an alpha game' is an excuse this game has been in alpha since early 2010. Crazy how we 'playtesters' have little opinion then eh? I consider all of the StarMade Community 'Players'. This is a full release game ultimately. that has been in the 'Alpha' for what??? 6-7 years give or take. I mean come on people...
       
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