Power System Overhaul Proposal

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    Lecic

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    It's difficult to get adequate power into small ships, at least, small ships you want to have some pewpewpew on. And due to the limitations of power, it's difficult to get enough power into larger ships if you want the huge weapons to go with it. Docked power was a (very laggy) solution that was unintended, and the auxilliary power system has its own drawbacks.
    This, and all of your other complaints with the current system, could easily be resolved with just some minor numbers rebalancing. Cloakers, powering small and over-softcap ships, etc, could be resolved with, say, a slight bump in power per block at the very start of the curve, and improving the power generation of auxes, and by reducing the power consumption of cloakers or making it into a proper system instead of what it currently is.

    Doomcube has become a byword for any ship that is designed for perfect, meta-only function with absolutely no aesthetic value. That is what I meant.
    Doomcube SPECIFICALLY refers to cube ships. The words you are thinking of are things like "system brick," "doom fridge," or "doom brick."

    EDIT- Forgot to actually go over the substance of your post.

    Why is this a problem, exactly? The game can't force people to build aesthetically pleasing ships, and there are people out there who simply can't anyway. And it's not like the power system solves this either.

    LRSF-1 Orion (800 mass, 230k power regen)
    RAI Valkyrie (4000 mass, 1mil + power regen)
    Those are medium sized vessels,
    This is a great example of RP players not knowing much about the PvP game, actually. 0.8k and 4k are NOT medium ships- any PvPer would tell you that this is cemented in the small range. You aren't in the medium range until you're close to the softcap.

    Make a ship with a regen above the soft cap. Then tell me it's "a made up issue"?
    Every ship I have done systems for in the past 6 months, probably the past year, has been above the softcap, and yes, I will tell you that it is a made up issue. Powering ships with aux is easy. Really easy. Are you just not building them properly? I can provide advice if you want any.

    Well, not if the boxes affect the fighters or vice-versa. You'd get lynched for causing lag for once thing, your ship would overheat too easily, and/or the fighters would overheat on the dock.
    So the game would constantly be doing checks to make sure you don't have any docked entities within the boundaries of all of the reactors on your ship? Doesn't that sound a bit laggy?
     

    Fellow Starmadian

    Oh cool so thats what this is
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    I'm ready to get some hate for this, but I can't help but draw an analogy between social justice warriors online and the more neutral parties that just want to enjoy a good pepe meme.

    edit: I realize this is much more of an insult than on topic, but I thought it was funny enough to leave.
    So no hate plox?

    I keep forgetting why I don't argue discuss things on the forums here. There is a quite apparent division of parties here. One group is all in, saying the proposed system is good, many also adding their OC game design choices to the mix. While on the other side of the argument, there is a group of mostly "serious" players that don't find this system appealing at all, also adding OC game design choices.

    It should be obvious that this isn't going to be a fight with a straight line to separate the PvP and RP community Jojomo . I don't want to take the time or effort to prove that a majority of each group are either against / for the update. For one thing I don't know most of you guys, and for another I just don't have the dedication to do enough polling, counting, and research to prove my point. There does seem to be a divide though among the majority of the "PvP" community and RPers. And quite frankly you guys use too many damn words for me to actually get what you mean easily :(

    From my time in one of the top 5 factions, 800 and 4k mass are definitely small ships. Though if youre other game is a 5k MMR dota2 account you can strafe like nobodies business. (I don't play dota 2).

    I guess since I don't have college tomorrow I'll be making another thread STRICTLY for pros + cons + suggestions. The only posts that will be left in the thread after 24 hours of posting them will be concise suggestions, posts with pros and cons will get added to the main post and deleted.
     
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    This, and all of your other complaints with the current system, could easily be resolved with just some minor numbers rebalancing. Cloakers, powering small and over-softcap ships, etc, could be resolved with, say, a slight bump in power per block at the very start of the curve, and improving the power generation of auxes, and by reducing the power consumption of cloakers or making it into a proper system instead of what it currently is.
    Making it easier to build a cloaker would not fix the problems with cloakers. Like you said at the end of this statement, it needs a new mechanic. But every suggestion on that topic has a common underpinning, and that's power. Schema said in the op they want to tackle power to make way for other mechanics. The way they want to tackle it, I don't agree with. Heat in and of itself wouldn't be bad if it was the limiting factor instead of a softcap on power.

    I'm not advocating to have energy renamed heat, that's just retarded, but i'm also not against adding heat on top of the power system along with number fiddling.

    Edit: While I've got your attention, could you explain to me the tactical advantage a ship with reactors on spokes, aka chandelier, would have over a ship with the exact same configuration of systems except with them inside a conventional hull?
     
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    This topic which has divided many brings up a serious issue, which seems to be forgotten by those who welcome the change, the overhaul of power will set back development of game mechanics that have been already planned.
    Starmade roadmap on Trello: Trello
    Starmade roadmap on SMD: StarMade Active Development Timeline

    There are far more important things than trying to reinvent the wheel.
    If we go through with a complete overhaul of power, core game development might come to a standstill as everything will need rebalancing and bugtesting.
     
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    Will this significantly improve performance?

    I think the answer to that is the answer to whether this proposal is good. Because otherwise it seems... deeply unnecessary. It's a complete re-invention of the game and looks like it will take over a year to implement.

    On the other hand, many recent changes have been very good, so I can only assume there are valid underlying issues that this will somehow address that will somehow make the game better... it's all assumption though. How exactly will this help with balance?
    The short answer, that everyone of course must honestly admit, is "no", and "it won't"

    This 'new' power overhaul will increase the calculations the server and local CPU are doing, will do nothing to lighten CPU or GPU loads, and will increase memory use instead of decrease it. Right there we have a massively losing combination for actually furthering this game along, and a massively effective route towards more bugs and more laggy servers. 1 year is right on track - We might as well all build shell-ships for the next year, and play offline, because it will take that long to propagate all the fixes and subsequent changes to systems. Even then, the shape of your shell-ships could strategically be affected by power and system changes, so... basically, just don't play at all for the next year is what Schine is telling us.

    Not good ;p
    [doublepost=1487222039,1487221925][/doublepost]
    This topic which has divided many brings up a serious issue, which seems to be forgotten by those who welcome the change, the overhaul of power will set back development of game mechanics that have been already planned.
    Starmade roadmap on Trello: Trello
    Starmade roadmap on SMD: StarMade Active Development Timeline

    There are far more important things than trying to reinvent the wheel.
    If we go through with a complete overhaul of power, core game development might come to a standstill as everything will need rebalancing and bugtesting.
    Too true, and that's about the LAST thing we all need right now in this game, and game community. We need stability, we need more bug fixing, balancing, completion of current things that have been promised for the past 1-2 years and never delivered.... much much more than we need a complete overhaul to part of the game that is working just fine currently.
    [doublepost=1487222584][/doublepost]
    Power is an issue for AI because AI can't readily regulate their firerate right now. So, in the devs' system, they would fire everything and keep firing til the system melted or whatever.

    In my system, they would likely overrun the power generation in non-AI-specific ships, go beyond "safe" levels of heat, and start things melting in hilarious (And somewhat unpleasant) fashion.

    Ooh, random idea: When better AI is implemented, the highest end should be tied to crewmembers, so that BOBBY AI gets something just a bit better than it is now. That way, fighters become more effective than drones.
    Here's a better idea that builds on your idea: ....lets just have the devs actually finish the AI and fix it before they go overhauling another part of the game that works fine so far ;)
    [doublepost=1487224592][/doublepost]
    Just as the poor man's poll option here, how many people actually want these "heat boxes", and why?

    I find them absurd to even consider, seeing as how, logically, a place too hot for basic systems to function is a place far too hot for human habitation. Or any creature's habitation, most likely. Whether it's hot with actual heat or hard radiation hardly matters, if it's not good enough for systems, it's not good enough for crew.

    Also, why would any intelligently-designed reactor have ANY level of heat leaked under normal conditions? That's just a waste of efficiency under most circumstances.

    Hence my opinions, but I really just want to know why heat boxes are seen as a good idea compared to the alternatives.
    skimming the thread and looking at # of likes/agrees on posts, it seems the "nay" are way ahead of the "aye"... but a lot of the aye posts are short, dev-morale booster type posts, whereas the "nay" posts are long and well-thought out arguements as to why they disagree.

    IMO, they're trying to copy Elite:Dangerous instead of just continuing to make their own unique game, as is, and be happy with their power and systems as-is, which are unique, and balance challenge with simplicity and are true to the voxel and scalable nature of SM thus far.
    [doublepost=1487224911][/doublepost]
    Schine just wants to take the concept of engineering and design principles, and make them a fun and rewarding part of the game's mechanics....They want to add complexity to the design process. I am intrigued....
    I'm not. Complexity is for Space Engineers, not SM. SM is much more fun when we can actually balance our time between building, and flying and fighting. Too much complexity drives out old players, kills new players, creates a high learning curve, and we might as well call this Space Voxel Design Factory instead of StarMade and all play offline except to upload pretty screenshots to The Dock... you know... kinda like No Man's Sky ;p
    [doublepost=1487225534][/doublepost]
    This is one of my main gripes with the current power mechanic. Building a normal ship I don't have this problem as much, but if I want to build an effective stealth ship it's forced to look a certain way. A change is needed for energy and judging what they said in the op, it has to change first before other systems are worked on.
    We've solved this problem on MushroomFleet simply by making a new stealth armor block set, that has normal armor and very low mass. Works great.
    However... I will note, that designers on the server have come up with a nice variety of very good looking stealth ships that do manage to incorporate different colors of basic hull, and not just pure reactors or motherboards, WITH the current, stock, power system ;p
     
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    So the game would constantly be doing checks to make sure you don't have any docked entities within the boundaries of all of the reactors on your ship? Doesn't that sound a bit laggy?
    Because heatboxes are (apparently) just purely a big box, calculations will be relatively light (compared to collision calcs for example).
     
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    I'm going to chime in here again and say the current power system has to go.

    The current system, while it works functionally, doesn't work aesthetically or realistically (in addition to the functional issues on the front page). The current power system bears no semblance to real power generation systems, and is a massive loss when it comes to aesthetics due to the fact that it is difficult to make a functional and appealing reactor room. So I heartily reject any suggestions to simply tweaking the numbers to make certain ship types viable.

    While this is just another argument for roleplay players. Keep in mind that alternative systems like this one can, and likely will have the same functional ability and versatility of the old system. So while arguments against the proposed systems implementation are valid, any arguments to just leave the current power system the same, minus some tweaks, I feel are null and void.
     
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    Also... I would just like to point out that conduits are already in-game:
    starmade-screenshot-0106.png
    How about we actually give decorative blocks like this a PURPOSE besides just looking pretty ;) It would cater to both RP and PVP and keep us from having yet more new blocks clogging up our block ID table and making life more difficult for mod'ers and custom config servers.
     
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    I'm going to chime in here again and say the current power system has to go.

    The current system, while it works functionally, doesn't work aesthetically or realistically (in addition to the functional issues on the front page).
    Realism isn't a valid reason to change power systems, you need to think in pure game mechanics.
     
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    Uhm, speak for yourself? The community seems to be split into many different lines of thinking.

    Power is the most important system in the game. Changes to it will cause everything else to change with it. Schine wants to take StarMade forward, and to do that, power has to change.

    The discussion has to happen now, sooner rather than later. Kicking the can down the road will simply cause the same uproar, but at a different time.

    Folks have to step away from bickering and concentrate on working together to come up with more, great ideas for Schine to work with.

    Now's the time for hashing it all out.
    Most people seem to not like this idea in one way or another so...LOL
    [doublepost=1487227844,1487227735][/doublepost]
    Ehh No I don't agree with you.
    Like Jojomo I think you don't spoke for the entire comunity, it's just your opinion.

    And for the Shema's proposition, I'm enthusiastic and I wait more precisions.
    So say screw all of the pvp players and just make starmade into an RP game? I think that really goes against what many many people have been saying. I say this plan will basically break the game way too much and will make a massive headache for everyone involved. Also it WILL cause a massive player drop.
     
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    The short answer, that everyone of course must honestly admit, is "no", and "it won't"

    This 'new' power overhaul will increase the calculations the server and local CPU are doing, will do nothing to lighten CPU or GPU loads, and will increase memory use instead of decrease it. Right there we have a massively losing combination for actually furthering this game along, and a massively effective route towards more bugs and more laggy servers. 1 year is right on track - We might as well all build shell-ships for the next year, and play offline, because it will take that long to propagate all the fixes and subsequent changes to systems. Even then, the shape of your shell-ships could strategically be affected by power and system changes, so... basically, just don't play at all for the next year is what Schine is telling us.

    Not good ;p
    [doublepost=1487222039,1487221925][/doublepost]
    Too true, and that's about the LAST thing we all need right now in this game, and game community. We need stability, we need more bug fixing, balancing, completion of current things that have been promised for the past 1-2 years and never delivered.... much much more than we need a complete overhaul to part of the game that is working just fine currently.
    [doublepost=1487222584][/doublepost]
    Here's a better idea that builds on your idea: ....lets just have the devs actually finish the AI and fix it before they go overhauling another part of the game that works fine so far ;)
    [doublepost=1487224592][/doublepost]
    skimming the thread and looking at # of likes/agrees on posts, it seems the "nay" are way ahead of the "aye"... but a lot of the aye posts are short, dev-morale booster type posts, whereas the "nay" posts are long and well-thought out arguements as to why they disagree.

    IMO, they're trying to copy Elite:Dangerous instead of just continuing to make their own unique game, as is, and be happy with their power and systems as-is, which are unique, and balance challenge with simplicity and are true to the voxel and scalable nature of SM thus far.
    [doublepost=1487224911][/doublepost]
    I'm not. Complexity is for Space Engineers, not SM. SM is much more fun when we can actually balance our time between building, and flying and fighting. Too much complexity drives out old players, kills new players, creates a high learning curve, and we might as well call this Space Voxel Design Factory instead of StarMade and all play offline except to upload pretty screenshots to The Dock... you know... kinda like No Man's Sky ;p
    [doublepost=1487225534][/doublepost]
    We've solved this problem on MushroomFleet simply by making a new stealth armor block set, that has normal armor and very low mass. Works great.
    However... I will note, that designers on the server have come up with a nice variety of very good looking stealth ships that do manage to incorporate different colors of basic hull, and not just pure reactors or motherboards, WITH the current, stock, power system ;p
    You know I totally get it. And it's not like I'm totally 100% behind the idea. I want to see what they would actually come up with, and how it works. I would hope it would be awesome and introduce a little fun into one of the more tedious aspects of building. At least it is for me. I didn't start having fun playing with power until I challenged myself the actually "build" a reactor with the regeneration and cap blocks, then adding a facade to it. In a lot of ways, I already do what this proposal suggests. Naturally I'd love that to have a purpose other than my own satisfaction.

    BUT not everyone is me, and everyone who has bought into the game deserves to have their tastes catered to as well.

    I just think Schine should be encouraged to experiment with this, and get a "proof-of-concept" demo or something made.

    Such a huge and sweeping change really shouldn't just happen, it'd be like playing one of the call of duty games, where one day you're shooting Nazis in the face, then next you're fighting ppl in robot exosuits in space..and THAT'S just ridiculous.



    Wait...
     
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    ...You know one of the goals stated in the OP is to make a system that's more intuitive to new players, right?...but for me personally the highlight is added complexity.
    Right, great summary of all the problems with the proposed power overhaul. Schine keeps contradicting themselves. More intuitive for new players. More complex. Less complex. End result is just bad.

    Intuitive?... let's compare:
    System 1: "You have power reactors, and power capacitors. Lay down your reactors in lines along the x,y,z axes to create more regeneration rate. You don't have to make a solid cube, in fact you're better off if you don't. Place capacitors anywhere to create a larger 'tank' to hold power. You get a slight bonus from having them all touch. If you still run out of power, then use Power Auxillaries for a temporary boost, but be sure to protect them with armor. They explode! Enjoy these 3 blocks."

    System 2: "You have a reactor core. You have to attach control rods and a few other blocks. Your reactor makes heat, but not really any power. All your ship systems also make heat. Heat is bad and makes everything shut down. You have to link your reactor via conduits to other areas of your ship that you will use as cooling chambers. They can be anywhere inside your ship but they make heat and they will shut down and damage everything in their heat box if you get too much heat, and if they overlap the edges of your ship then they actually extend farther inside the ship. We're going to do lots and lots of calculations to in the CPU to figure all this out and refuse to optimize anything else yet. We want to make open spaces and pretty interiors and since that takes lots of space and mass we're going to make a useless massless hull block to use inside your ship to protect your pretty interior and systems, even though we want to shrink down the systems, and even though the new hull block has no armor value... and you can't build a cube, and you have to build an interior, and you have to pass the bill to see what's in it... Enjoy your 5 or 6 new blocks and hundreds of broken ship designs."
     
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    I completely disagree with you.
    Why?
    Is it hard to understand that you must translate any idea into game mechanics that can be understood?
    There is also no realism in a reactor that creates only heat.
     
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    Although this Game has a concept of fever, I feel that the concept of waste heat is not enough. That is, what is the idea of exterior radiators that let heat escape to the outside?

    Since this is a factor that greatly affects the exterior design, please consider it.
     
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    A thought strikes me. What if such a power reactor system is implemented, but as an option between various power sources to fuel a ship? If this were the case we could keep the current power rea/cap/aux systems, while additionally inserting a new potential system.

    Such an approach would allow the dev's and players alike to test and balance the new reactor system while not essentially scrapping every ship, station, npc, blueprint and so on that has been made to date. The old reactor setup may not be as efficient or balance power as well as the new heat system, or perhaps the newer system would allow for a dramatically altered play-style in the ship itself.

    I know this conflicts with the changing of system sizes, but it's just a shot in the dark that from what I can see of both sides present throughout this thread, would be a nice compromise between everyone.

    Codewise this should not be terribly difficult to achieve, as the power reactor set-ups are already in the system, and the weapons/effects systems are going to need fresh coding on their heat values anyway. By offering two systems through which to power your structures/ships, we could effectively begin to slowly nerf one and buff the other, thus controlling the alterations necessary for future balance.

    Pros:
    Interior designers get their option for competitive building without loss of efficiency.
    The heat-based reactor set-up can begin its journey through the gauntlet of balance checks.
    The 'too many block' issue is regarded for all intents and purposes, while leaving options for growth.

    This could, potentially, also leave open options for alternate core systems or power generation varieties. If you wanted to go as far as this, you could even say that power reactors (old) are more efficient at fueling beam based weapons, while power reactors (new) are far more efficient at fueling missile based weapon systems.

    It would be simple enough to code, would allow freedom for the proposed idea to blossom and flourish through the checks and balances, and would save everyone from the bane of erasing every single blueprint, NPC, and so on that has been built to date.

    Throwing the idea out, as it seems like a compromise of a lot of the arguments we're seeing presented here.
     
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    nightrune

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    System 2: "You have a reactor core. You have to attach control rods and a few other blocks. Your reactor makes heat, but not really any power. All your ship systems also make heat. Heat is bad and makes everything shut down. You have to link your reactor via conduits to other areas of your ship that you will use as cooling chambers. They can be anywhere inside your ship but they make heat and they will shut down and damage everything in their heat box if you get too much heat, and if they overlap the edges of your ship then they actually extend farther inside the ship. We're going to do lots and lots of calculations to in the CPU to figure all this out and refuse to optimize anything else yet. We want to make open spaces and pretty interiors and since that takes lots of space and mass we're going to make a useless massless hull block to use inside your ship to protect your pretty interior and systems, even though we want to shrink down the systems, and even though the new hull block has no armor value... and you can't build a cube, and you have to build an interior, and you have to pass the bill to see what's in it... Enjoy your 5 or 6 new blocks and hundreds of broken ship designs."
    That's certainly one way it could play out, but they will of course avoid issues with new players as you can. There are ways you can actually get all of the requirements, and being negative about trying isn't truly helping.

    One of they ways the new system could play out is to base it on our current power gen, but also allow the other mechanics to add in. So everyway you build a reactor actually works. Big blob, great, reactor lines, great, but they all work differently. It creates a more interesting field that is more complex but every starting point is valid but maybe not best. This still works for newbs and allows them to learn from the point that was intuitive for them. Think of it as a 3D plane that you can explore over when it comes to design. That sounds closer to what schine is attempting to achieve. Not necessarily you have to have interior. I think much of of the thread would argue that crew is better suited for that.

    What's so wrong with pretty interior anyway though?

    I had another question for PVP players in general. In the current system, including power aux, is there almost always a specific weakpoint in a ship? What must you give up to get high combat effectiveness?
    [doublepost=1487233092,1487232979][/doublepost]
    A thought strikes me. What if such a power reactor system is implemented, but as an option between various power sources to fuel a ship? If this were the case we could keep the current power rea/cap/aux systems, while additionally inserting a new potential system.

    Such an approach would allow the dev's and players alike to test and balance the new reactor system while not essentially scrapping every ship, station, npc, blueprint and so on that has been made to date. The old reactor setup may not be as efficient or balance power as well as the new heat system, or perhaps the newer system would allow for a dramatically altered play-style in the ship itself.

    I know this conflicts with the changing of system sizes, but it's just a shot in the dark that from what I can see of both sides present throughout this thread, would be a nice compromise between everyone.

    Codewise this should not be terribly difficult to achieve, as the power reactor set-ups are already in the system, and the weapons/effects systems are going to need fresh coding on their heat values anyway. By offering two systems through which to power your structures/ships, we could effectively begin to slowly nerf one and buff the other, thus controlling the alterations necessary for future balance.

    Pros:
    Interior designers get their option for competitive building without loss of efficiency.
    The heat-based reactor set-up can begin its journey through the gauntlet of balance checks.
    The 'too many block' issue is regarded for all intents and purposes, while leaving options for growth.

    This could, potentially, also leave open options for alternate core systems or power generation varieties. If you wanted to go as far as this, you could even say that power reactors (old) are more efficient at fueling beam based weapons, while power reactors (new) are far more efficient at fueling missile based weapon systems.

    It would be simple enough to code, would allow freedom for the proposed idea to blossom and flourish through the checks and balances, and would save everyone from the bane of erasing every single blueprint, NPC, and so on that has been built to date.

    Throwing the idea out, as it seems like a compromise of a lot of the arguments we're seeing presented here.
    I've seen fuel get commented on a lot. I've suggested a few idea for fuel myself, and even with that I'm not convinced it really helps the situation. When it comes to a consumable game. I'm of the opinion now that ships themselves should be the consumables of the universe.
     
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    I tend to agree that ships should be the consumables, but that aside this update stands to basically shut the game down for a period of time after it's release, as no blueprints (Pirates, traders, factions, ships, stations) would work. It seems viable from that point to approach from a multiple faceted prospective.

    Fuel would, yes, be interesting as a change as well.
     
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    Why?
    Is it hard to understand that you must translate any idea into game mechanics that can be understood?
    There is also no realism in a reactor that creates only heat.
    Unlike everything else in SM, which is true to real life...

    Oh, and guess how real life nuclear reactors work? They produce heat.
    [doublepost=1487235913,1487235668][/doublepost]
    Right, great summary of all the problems with the proposed power overhaul. Schine keeps contradicting themselves. More intuitive for new players. More complex. Less complex. End result is just bad.

    Intuitive?... let's compare:
    System 1: "You have power reactors, and power capacitors. Lay down your reactors in lines along the x,y,z axes to create more regeneration rate. You don't have to make a solid cube, in fact you're better off if you don't. Place capacitors anywhere to create a larger 'tank' to hold power. You get a slight bonus from having them all touch. If you still run out of power, then use Power Auxillaries for a temporary boost, but be sure to protect them with armor. They explode! Enjoy these 3 blocks."

    System 2: "You have a reactor core. You have to attach control rods and a few other blocks. Your reactor makes heat, but not really any power. All your ship systems also make heat. Heat is bad and makes everything shut down. You have to link your reactor via conduits to other areas of your ship that you will use as cooling chambers. They can be anywhere inside your ship but they make heat and they will shut down and damage everything in their heat box if you get too much heat, and if they overlap the edges of your ship then they actually extend farther inside the ship. We're going to do lots and lots of calculations to in the CPU to figure all this out and refuse to optimize anything else yet. We want to make open spaces and pretty interiors and since that takes lots of space and mass we're going to make a useless massless hull block to use inside your ship to protect your pretty interior and systems, even though we want to shrink down the systems, and even though the new hull block has no armor value... and you can't build a cube, and you have to build an interior, and you have to pass the bill to see what's in it... Enjoy your 5 or 6 new blocks and hundreds of broken ship designs."
    My understanding is that very little of the whole system is required for small ships (i.e. brand spanking newb's ships).
    Small ships are simpler than now. Big ships are more complex.
    Sounds good to me.
     
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