[24th of May] Schine Q&A Answers

    DukeofRealms

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    Answers for a previous QA. Some answers may not be clear who they are from, schema has a habit of not signing his answers :P

    Plz forgive me if any of this has been asked before, there soooo many q&a posts to read through



    Is there any plans for aditional permissions blocks such as a "ship/station owner only" permission block or a "designated personnel only" permission block?


    Is there any plans to allow some sort of undeathanator to be placed on ships, maybe like a medical unit that costs resources to respawn you there?

    A: So far the “designated personnel only” is realized by the faction ranks. It may be possible to add faction permission modules for every rank in the faction, so it could be easier to have multiple tiers of access on the same entity. - AndyP


    Mobile undeathinators may be a thing for the future. It works and is tested for now with the saving of the logout position on a multiplayer server. Reconnecting will spawn you on the same ship, wherever it has been moved to. For mobile undeathinators, it would need to have a list of at least one fallback undeathinator, in case the ship gets destroyed. - schema


    Displays have built in 'commands' that provide variable outputs like [sector]/ [system]/ [speed]... but sensor blocks ignore the 'displayed output' if you try to compare the output to a fixed value on another display. Can this change?


    It'd be good if those outputs could be used for practical applications in logic and not just to look neet (like triggering things on the ship when you enter a particular sector, or fancy thruster effects when you reach (and maintain) a particular SPEED (unlike sensors on a thruster, which works like a tachometer and not a speedometer).


    Personally I'd really appreciate a logic block with a UI to replace piles of activation module linking. If other logic is linked to such a block it'd simply change state I/O. I build a lot of logic-based factory things, and in some cases it'd be real nice to have accuracy for 1% for sensor checking storages, or fine-tuning rail speed controllers... but the amount of controlling marker blocks needed makes stuff like that unrealistic in many applications. Would such a thing be possible to add?


    also, who broke alt-code symbol support in displays, and deleted pink brown and teal paint from factories? lol

    A:


    The variables inside display modules are replaced via a subscriber based display channel. The actual content of the display is not updated, nor saved with any value. So its impossible to allow comparing to actual values without quite some overhead on the required processing. - AndyP





    What are the chances of rolling-back completely broken parts of starmate to earlier more functional parts? Eg Planets -> Cookie planets. as a stop-gap "fix" to massive server-lag until new "better" plants can actually be coded and optimized(presumably in mid 2020).


    What's the chance to re-intoduce recipes that you research/RNG to give crafters some form of niche-competition?

    A:

    Chances to roll back parts of starmade are very low, almost impossible. As older code parts would not work together with the newer added parts, so it would have to be completely rewritten and reviewed anyway to work. It would also not really help to step back from progress.


    Random generated recipes are a big problem for economy approaches. There may be room for variations of recipes, but the old fully random generated recipes were kind of cheating, you just had to re-roll the recipe until you get something super cheap to produce. - AndyP


    Integrity is no longer needed to combat low-density systems after the weapons update. Why not remove it?


    Why do you think so many people dislike Power 2.0?

    A:

    About Integrity: There is no solid indicator that low-density systems are no longer a problem. We will see how the weapon damage model performs in the public. Integrity influence may be adjusted then to catch the few near cheat corner-cases players will find. - AndyP


    Power 2.0:

    In my opinion, it is mostly because players want to achieve the old recharge numbers and feel like they have become unreachable. While the past was about recharge and capacity to fire large weapons, those demands have been decreased to the “recharge speed of a weapon” being a direct result of the generated energy per second. So building weapons slightly larger than the reactor could support for continuous fire, Only results in a lower rate of fire, not complete failure of the weapon to fire. The numbers of the old weapons are also not fully adjusted to the new power system. The energy consumption of them has been adjusted but not rebalanced, so many weapons have some unusual dynamics in their power consumptions that will (most likely) cease to exist with the weapons update. So weapons and systems do not work as smooth as before, but only because they are not all updated to Power 2.0. And yeah, this causes players to dislike it. - AndyP


    Hello,


    Questions relative to sound, ambiant sound and music.


    First : Is there any plan to give new sound to weapons at the next release ? To give beam sound it deserve, and maybe change again the cannon the actuall one is cool, but need to be more "punchy" and less cute when big guns are firing.


    Second Will we have proper ambiant sound for example accelerating thrusters and power reactors like a real engine room ?


    And the last one : Any news about Danki work with the Starmade OST ?, his work is amazing but it's been months without any update on his soundclound page.


    Thanks for your attention.

    Mach'

    A: Since the sound libraries we are using always caused all sorts of problems, sound is going to be completely overhauled and implemented in the universe update. This is the main reason why we aren’t adding new sounds at the moment. - schema


    I've been told that I posted the question in the wrong thread so here I post it again:

    How does your vision of the fully completed version of StarMade ai look like and what role should ai play in starmade's final state of gameplay? For example ai ships seem to do specific tasks and not really much more. How in depth do you want to go with them? For example lets say an npc miner, to what degree do you plan to have us be able to interact with them? Right now if you shoot one they just hover around and get murdered. Do you plan to have them react? Maybe contact the player with threats, maybe surrender, maybe offer cargo in exchange for their life, maybe offer ship and the npc crew ejects in a shuttle etc etc. What I'm curious is your version of fully finished ai in starmade in general and your ultimate vision with it and the player experience.

    A: Player interaction with the world will be one of the main focuses of the universe update. There will be several layers of NPC interaction down to the micro level (talking to an NPC). Not all NPCs will be equal, some of them will be more detailed, but the general NPC behavior will probably go more towards the collective they belong to (faction, etc) - schema


    So the new dev builds still have some work needed, but are starting to look very promising in terms of weapons development. Is there an approximate guess at present regarding how close to a releasable balance you feel like you are with this portion of the new systems (i.e. do you feel like it's an issue of a couple more weeks needed or a couple more months)?


    Actually, my second question is generally answered elsewhere, as well as by the fact that it seems there are already a few non-weapon fixes starting to flow into the current dev build, so nevermind.

    Once weapons and defenses are release-stable (granted to still need substantial polish and adjustment once exposed to wider play), will we be seeing the new galaxy come out in short order or is there going to be a period of other fixes and updates between releasing weapons and pushing the new galaxy to dev (assuming it will hit dev first and not push straight straight to release)?


    Instead, maybe you could give us a hint as to when Schine plans to begin actively seeking to increase the player base again (ie pre-Galaxy release, immediately post Galaxy release, substantially later / post beta, etc)?

    A: We will actively do advertisement as well as trailers and steam visibility rounds when the universe update comes out. In the best case scenario this would be when we hit beta (might need a few bugfix rounds before universe update and beta still, but that is the rough plan).

    We will try to keep the current version as stable as possible with additional bugfixes as needed, while we work on the universe update. - schema


    Up to this point the favoured way to build a miner has been with a waffle or double waffle array. It's an efficient way to cover a large area without too much trouble and presents an interesting engineering problem for builders. There are hundreds of mining ships built this way and very few examples, that I'm aware of, of any other design. With the introduction of integrity to salvagers this design has effectively been rendered unusable if positive integrity is to be maintained. A 2x2 tube can still get positive integrity but the added space in the array dramatically decreases the effectiveness of the design both for AI and manual mining. Building a 2x2 tube waffle with only one space in the array is likely not feasible.

    Keeping in mind that building a mining ship and gathering resources is something that everyone who plays this game longer then a few minutes will do, it's arguably a pretty important facet of the game. More important, (dare I say it?) then pewpew.


    So what is the plan for salvagers?



    Are you going to fix the hallowed waffle design or are we stuck with the frustration of 2x gaps in our waffles?

    Are you going to make a single beam an effective way to mine using beam width and acid damage?

    A: with the new combat mechanic for integrity, it should already be less of a problem. We are also thinking about removing integrity from salvagers alltogether, since it can’t really be abused in combat. - schema


    I was curious about the design intent of chambers. Specifically, is the intended direction to have people build with more chambers than they can power at once, and adapt to the situation, or more to have ships be more specialized/single purposed? For example, I should be able to reassign defense chambers to different defense types situationally, which could be very useful, but would require me to stop piloting for a moment, or maybe have a copilot. Which would be more likely, that in the future it may become more difficult to swap between reactor configurations, or easier with logic or selectable presets?


    Also: Saving storage pull configuration settings to blueprints--any chance that's could be made to work soon? Or storage pull/factory settings in copy & paste?

    A: We’ll look into that. Should not be too much of a problem. - schema
     
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    The variables inside display modules are replaced via a subscriber based display channel. The actual content of the display is not updated, nor saved with any value. So its impossible to allow comparing to actual values without quite some overhead on the required processing. - AndyP
    Interesting. Thanks :D
     

    Edymnion

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    A: We will actively do advertisement as well as trailers and steam visibility rounds when the universe update comes out. In the best case scenario this would be when we hit beta (might need a few bugfix rounds before universe update and beta still, but that is the rough plan).
    Wait a minute, did he just say... BETA?!?
     
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    Wait a minute, did he just say... BETA?!?
    The word has been sighted! A possible light at the end of the tunnel dectected!
    [doublepost=1530546596,1530546351][/doublepost]Ya, I think the mobile undeathanator would be hard to program cuz u need to first confirm that the entity had selected that undeathanator as a possible respawn, then you have to make it so that the undeathanator would constantly update the location of respawn. And then there is also the trouble of confirming if the undeathanator is still in existence.

    So basically the biggest probable hurdle is to make a code that constantly refreshes the location of the mobile undeathanators without it wipeing out the information of players who selected it as a respawn and without lagging the server. Could possibilty poke ship (or mobile) undeathanators a separate block entity, and rename the original undeathanators to be station (or stationary) undeathanators. That way there would be a separate respawn in the case that the mobile one is destoryed.
     
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    I wonder if we can expect to be in beta by or before 2019?
     
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    A: We will actively do advertisement as well as trailers and steam visibility rounds when the universe update comes out. In the best case scenario this would be when we hit beta (might need a few bugfix rounds before universe update and beta still, but that is the rough plan).
    Good to hear - thank you!

    So, without asking for an answer that I know cannot be given, I am going to go ahead and say it looks like I was correct in perceiving that the run-up to Galaxy 2.0 is roughly parallel to a run-up to going beta. It seemed the only sensible explanation for the flow of development over the past year. Exciting!

    The new weapon versions are looking pretty great, by the way, as are the UI & texture improvements. Thanks for all the hard work. Keep it up!
    [doublepost=1530552238,1530551898][/doublepost]
    I wonder if we can expect to be in beta by or before 2019?
    I get the impression that going Beta in the last quarter of 2018 is their soft goal, and first quarter of 2019 is probably their hard goal, but it will almost certainly depend upon how stable the game is once Universe 2 (I guess we should be calling this Universe Beta, not Universe 2? So... Weapons Beta & Power Beta?) goes release. That can be hard to predict. They will probably still want to expose the new universe on the dev build for a while before it even pushes to release, and even once it hits release there are still going to be a few major bugs to work out.
     

    Edymnion

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    I kinda doubt we're going to see Universe 2.0 this year. From the sound of it this is going to be a HUGE revamp of damned near everything else in the game. We all know how long it was between Power 2.0 and Weapons 3.0 (we're technically still waiting for Weapons), so its highly unlikely the Universe patch is going to come out any faster than Weapons did.

    And even then, unless they are wrapping it into Universe 2.0, we are still going to need some substantial AI reworks.
     
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    I kinda doubt we're going to see Universe 2.0 this year. From the sound of it this is going to be a HUGE revamp of damned near everything else in the game. We all know how long it was between Power 2.0 and Weapons 3.0 (we're technically still waiting for Weapons), so its highly unlikely the Universe patch is going to come out any faster than Weapons did.

    And even then, unless they are wrapping it into Universe 2.0, we are still going to need some substantial AI reworks.
    I'm not entirely sure about it myself. I get the impression that many of the Beta Galaxy features are already somewhat developed though and will only need brief integration periods in dev. Things like planets don't directly rely on new systems, and they may still be fine-tuning them, but they've obviously had these in some form for a long time now.

    AI and fleets... those are going to take the longest of any system to make stable and fully functional. I am guessing these will go to release with substantial amounts of debugging left to do during beta. Many very profitable commercial releases ship with sub-par AI, unfortunately. It's not something I think they should wait to "perfect" before sending Universe 2 to release and moving ahead with beta. Unless they've secretly secured assistance from one of Musk's AI teams to finish our AI...
     
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    The word has been sighted! A possible light at the end of the tunnel dectected!
    [doublepost=1530546596,1530546351][/doublepost]Ya, I think the mobile undeathanator would be hard to program cuz u need to first confirm that the entity had selected that undeathanator as a possible respawn, then you have to make it so that the undeathanator would constantly update the location of respawn. And then there is also the trouble of confirming if the undeathanator is still in existence.

    So basically the biggest probable hurdle is to make a code that constantly refreshes the location of the mobile undeathanators without it wipeing out the information of players who selected it as a respawn and without lagging the server. Could possibilty poke ship (or mobile) undeathanators a separate block entity, and rename the original undeathanators to be station (or stationary) undeathanators. That way there would be a separate respawn in the case that the mobile one is destoryed.
    Not really. It is just a saved value that you look up when needed. When you die, the game just need to check once to match you to the id of the entity from the world DB that has your undeathinator, then finds the the actual block from there. If it can't find the id of the ship that has your undeathantor (or said block), then it defaults to the last base you tagged, if that also does not still exist, then it sends you to the server default spawn point. I believe Duke's response was meant to communicate that all the pieces are already there to do it, they just need to add that little piece of data giving the system a fall-back spawn point for should your mobile point be destroyed. Otherwise ppl will always be getting sent back to the server spawns point when their ship gets taken out.
     
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    A: Since the sound libraries we are using always caused all sorts of problems, sound is going to be completely overhauled and implemented in the universe update. This is the main reason why we aren’t adding new sounds at the moment. - schema
    Excellent News. I confess I've mostly been sitting on my hands watching the news posts/forum waiting to see when I should return to this game. With everything I'm seeing that this universe update is suppose to include, it looks like that time will be the release of the universe update. I'm really looking forward to it! :D

    It sounds (pun intended) like this update is basically filling in everything that StarMade is missing at present. It from what I've read this update is to include a sound system overhaul, a reworked AI system, significant npc faction/individual enhancement, and new generation universe(did I miss anything?). That's a lot of stuff.
     
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    We are also thinking about removing integrity from salvagers alltogether, since it can’t really be abused in combat.
    Yes please. Likely wouldn't make much difference to game play but it would certainly pacify my OCD to have those negative numbers go away. Itches you can't scratch and all that.
     

    Edymnion

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    Not really. It is just a saved value that you look up when needed. When you die, the game just need to check once to match you to the id of the entity from the world DB that has your undeathinator, then finds the the actual block from there. If it can't find the id of the ship that has your undeathantor (or said block), then it defaults to the last base you tagged, if that also does not still exist, then it sends you to the server default spawn point. I believe Duke's response was meant to communicate that all the pieces are already there to do it, they just need to add that little piece of data giving the system a fall-back spawn point for should your mobile point be destroyed. Otherwise ppl will always be getting sent back to the server spawns point when their ship gets taken out.
    The problem I see with mobile undeathinators is them getting used as infinite range teleporters.

    Currently, ships unload during fleet command flights. You can command a fleet of a single ship to fly to the next galaxy, log out, and by tomorrow you can log back in and safely be there. Because as soon as you log out and it leaves the previously loaded sectors, the ship unloads and is basically ghosting its way to the target. Doesn't become "real" again until you log back in, so there's no real threat.

    The only downside is that its slow (no jump drives) so you have to log out and not play for a while. Mobile undeathinator? Go click the undeathinator, give fleet command to go to another galaxy, leave ship. Keep working on your normal stuff until it gets there. Suicide and instantly appear on the ship in the other galaxy. Then you can start setting up base there while you send the ship back home to repeat the process.
     
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    DrTarDIS

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    The problem I see with mobile undeathinators is them getting used as infinite range teleporters.

    Currently, ships unload during fleet command flights. You can command a fleet of a single ship to fly to the next galaxy, log out, and by tomorrow you can log back in and safely be there. Because as soon as you log out and it leaves the previously loaded sectors, the ship unloads and is basically ghosting its way to the target. Doesn't become "real" again until you log back in, so there's no real threat.

    The only downside is that its slow (no jump drives) so you have to log out and not play for a while. Mobile undeathinator? Go click the undeathinator, give fleet command to go to another galaxy, leave ship. Keep working on your normal stuff until it gets there. Suicide and instantly appear on the ship in the other galaxy. Then you can start setting up base there while you send the ship back home to repeat the process.
    Death-taxi sn't a problem per-se, it's used even now as a quick way "home" if you used a cheap jumpship to go visit someone. You can get the same(and better) effect you describe above currently just by dual accaout / dualboxing.
     
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    Abuse of the mobile spawner could be somewhat mitigated by increasing death penalties and making it more costly to die. Dying should not be 'free' IMO. What's the point of 'death' in a game if it doesn't cost anything? I remember Terraria with drop everything on death being one of my most remembered and exciting games because dying became something you really did not want to happen. The more serious the threat of loss the more exciting risking that loss becomes.
     
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    Abuse of the mobile spawner could be somewhat mitigated by increasing death penalties and making it more costly to die. Dying should not be 'free' IMO. What's the point of 'death' in a game if it doesn't cost anything? I remember Terraria with drop everything on death being one of my most remembered and exciting games because dying became something you really did not want to happen. The more serious the threat of loss the more exciting risking that loss becomes.
    Agreed. This is exactly why I feel that homebase invulnerability as the vanilla default actually works against this game's popularity, rather than protecting it the way a lot of people seem to imagine it does.

    Risk = fun. No risk = might as well just run a Basic program that tells your computer to printscreen "YOU RULE" repeatedly so that 'yay'?

    One thing that would add risk to death in Starmade would be some kind of player progression, but that doesn't really fit. Another thing would be dropping everything if we eventually get rare equipment. Monetary penalties are OK, but mostly affect new players, since experienced players know how to bank their credits to mules or shops.
     
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    I think I'm actually getting excited for the game again! It's nice for it to finally seem feasible that the game may get finished, though I doubt it's going to be any time before 2020. That universe update sounds like a heck of a lot of big systems to implement (though I'm no game dev).

    On the note of people abusing mobile undeathanators, I don't think it will be a problem. It makes sense for a player to be able to travel anywhere aboard a vessel with time. This would only get really gamebreaking if players use this method to overcome travel obstacles, such as asteroid fields, nebulae, and other factions, though this could be avoided by having such obstacles apply to AI ships whether the player travelling with it is online or not.

    As far as chambers are concerned, I really would like to have clarification on how the Devs intend for them to be used in terms of how often one would switch one chamber on and another off, if ever. I feel like that question was not adequately answered in the Q&A response. If they don't know yet, that's fine, but the answer still would be nice to know even if it's "uncertain".
    [doublepost=1530722206,1530718698][/doublepost]
    Answers for a previous QA. Some answers may not be clear who they are from, schema has a habit of not signing his answers :P


    Power 2.0:

    In my opinion, it is mostly because players want to achieve the old recharge numbers and feel like they have become unreachable. While the past was about recharge and capacity to fire large weapons, those demands have been decreased to the “recharge speed of a weapon” being a direct result of the generated energy per second. So building weapons slightly larger than the reactor could support for continuous fire, Only results in a lower rate of fire, not complete failure of the weapon to fire. The numbers of the old weapons are also not fully adjusted to the new power system. The energy consumption of them has been adjusted but not rebalanced, so many weapons have some unusual dynamics in their power consumptions that will (most likely) cease to exist with the weapons update. So weapons and systems do not work as smooth as before, but only because they are not all updated to Power 2.0. And yeah, this causes players to dislike it. - AndyP
    I would like the devs to know, that for me personally (and many others) the problem with Power 2.0 is not just with system balance, but mainly with the fact that creating empty space within ships is does not seem to do much and that requiring ships to become larger to have more power does not seem to carry with it any benefits. Power streams and the inconvenience they cause for building (especially with interiors) have not helped the desirability of the Power 2.0 update.

    I have a huge post here
    https://starmadedock.net/threads/starmade-weapons-update-prebuild.30730/page-6
    under the Weapon Pre-Build post detailing why I disagree with creating empty space within a vessel.
     
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    Power 2.0:

    In my opinion, it is mostly because players want to achieve the old recharge numbers and feel like they have become unreachable. While the past was about recharge and capacity to fire large weapons, those demands have been decreased to the “recharge speed of a weapon” being a direct result of the generated energy per second. So building weapons slightly larger than the reactor could support for continuous fire, Only results in a lower rate of fire, not complete failure of the weapon to fire. The numbers of the old weapons are also not fully adjusted to the new power system. The energy consumption of them has been adjusted but not rebalanced, so many weapons have some unusual dynamics in their power consumptions that will (most likely) cease to exist with the weapons update. So weapons and systems do not work as smooth as before, but only because they are not all updated to Power 2.0. And yeah, this causes players to dislike it. - AndyP
    This is incredible.
     
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