StarMade Dev Blog 17 November 2017

    schema

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    Greetings citizens, ~


    As a lot of you probably know, we are in the process of refining and testing the power update. Dev builds are released almost daily and things are coming together nicely.


    We have no intention to rush the release as a large amount of existing systems need to be tested multiple times. While waiting on test results, development can already continue on parts of the future weapon update. Most of its mechanics will already be done by the time the power update is out and should make it likely to release both updates within this year. We definitely want to start to work on the universe update in 2017 still, and we are excited to share the details with you right after the weapon update release.


    Within all of those updates, we will also continue working on stability and performance, especially further work to remove lag spikes or loading issues, including improvements to planet sectors. For now, we’ve reduced the default planet size further to decrease their impact on servers as an interim solution till they get replaced.



    The new power system will be able to run alongside the old power. This means that ships spawned from blueprints will still be usable. However, the old power blocks cannot be crafted or bought in shops unless the server owner reactivates them, building new ships with old power is therefore discouraged, but of course not disabled. As both old and new power can co-exist, we’ve altered the config system to support multiple styles of the same value for system balancing. This should help to make the transition as smooth as possible.


    A ship will be considered new power by default until an old power block is placed, in which case it would revert to the old power system, including structure hp and shields.

    Having the old system run alongside the new one of course added a bit of workload, but we think it is worth it to be able to compare both types in-game, showcasing the differences for any player.


    In addition to a new power system, several other features and changes were made along the way, which will, along with all the nuances of the new power system, be described in more detail in the coming pre-release news.


    A quick outline of those features besides the power system, and the chambers is:


    ~ Config manager system: Can be used to attach properties to any entities (e.g. sector with more damage)

    ~ Repulse Block: can be used to construct hover structures

    ~ Reactor GUI with graph view

    ~ Normal map tangent space fix

    ~ Updated HP system

    ~ Block ID cleanup

    ~ Some updates and fixes for the Block Editor UI

    ~ Multiple values per blockbehavior config value

    ~ Turret aim mode: manually aim turrets from your mothership

    ~ Rewritten structure information in build mode with quick access to a lot of functions (faction, renaming, docking, AI)

    ~ Local shields: rewritten shield system to cover a radius rather than global to balance shield coverage between multiple docked entities

    ~ Stealth/Recon: New system for players to hide or gain information about their opponent

    ~ New warp interdiction system

    ~ New ship jumping system

    ~ Highlighting feature of any system (for recon)

    ~ Stability update: completely rewritten design for usable systems in entities

    ~ New undocking behavior

    ~ New dock sharing behavior

    ~ General GUI improvements and fixes

    ~ GUI updates in preparation of a scaling system

    ~ Refined debris creation to not be laggy in hotspots

    ~ Extra safety checks for block removal (storage block, shipyard, faction module,...)

    ~ Updated context help, ability to filter (all, most, crucial only, none)

    ~ Beam shader change and fix for beam sprite rotation.

    ~ Ability to save and load inventory hotbar layouts

    ~ Several fixes for bugs and bottlenecks



    If you want to check out our latest dev build. Make sure to do so on a fresh installation, or make sure you’ve got a backup of your worlds to fall back on.



    Thanks for playing StarMade,

    - The Schine Team
     

    kiddan

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    Thank you for the blog, glad to hear things are moving along nicely! I look forward to the next few updates and details regarding them. =)
     

    Non

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    I wish I had the skills to make an update that does so many terrible things for balance like this.
     

    schema

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    Lancake thought of spaghettis to be problematic before they really became popular here, so we have several measures planned to make it less viable to build in a spaghetti style, even though we don't want to share the plans until the weapons update is fully announced.
     

    Crimson-Artist

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    Are support systems going to be added to the things that remote turrets can use? I just tested them and they cant use things like astrotech and salvage systems.
     

    Non

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    Lancake thought of spaghettis to be problematic before they really became popular here, so we have several measures planned to make it less viable to build in a spaghetti style, even though we didn't want to go into it fully until the weapons update is fully announced.
    It would really be helpful if you told us how you plan to address this, because the power update seems by far the best time to deal with the problem of spaghetti, especially when the new system being implemented is likely to make the difference between spaghetti and not spaghetti even more extreme.
     

    Exozen

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    Lancake thought of spaghettis to be problematic before they really became popular here, so we have several measures planned to make it less viable to build in a spaghetti style, even though we don't want to share the plans until the weapons update is fully announced.

    Wish I had a better solution, and I'm not even sure if this would work, but how about adding a limit to ship's mass/size ratio?
    Spaghettis have a really low density, probably a hundred or thousand times less than the average ship.

    Like... a physical build limit that expands as you add more mass. Though, it'd need to be able to stop things moving on rails from just slowly crawl pass the limit.
     

    Non

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    Wish I had a better solution, and I'm not even sure if this would work, but how about adding a limit to ship's mass/size ratio?
    Probably one of the worst ways to limit spaghetti
     

    schema

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    We will share it in the weapons update post which will come right after this update is released. We will also use the following update to tweak the balance. I hope you understand that I don't really want to share the plans in a post here, as I want to have time to think how to properly format and bring all our notes together, since it's so easy to miscommunicate or say something wrongly accidentally.
     
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    Zyrr

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    We will share it in the weapons update post which will come right after this update is released. We will also use the following update to tweak the balance. I hope you understand that I don't really want to share the plans in a post here, as I want to have time to think how to properly format and bring all our notes together, since it's so easy to miscommunicate or say something wrongly accidentally.
    That's fair, but this sentence is piqued my interest;

    "~ Local shields: rewritten shield system to cover a radius rather than global to balance shield coverage between multiple docked entities"

    Local shielding actually improves how well docked hulls work by allowing you to individually split your shielding, so a single high damage hit will only affect a very small area that you can turn away from the enemy. This really doesn't do anything to fix docked entity shields, in fact, it kind of makes it unbalanced even further.
     

    Non

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    We will share it in the weapons update post which will come right after this update is released. We will also use the following update to tweak the balance. I hope you understand that I don't really want to share the plans in a post here, as I want to have time to think how to properly format and bring all our notes together, since it's so easy to miscommunicate or say something wrongly accidentally.
    Thats nice. Considering how botched many players feel this update is, particularly in the pvp community, its a little hard for us to place faith in Schine's ability address balance problems like this. I would appreciate if you could tell us before the following update so that the community can help you with balancing spaghetti, rather than you or Schine getting your hearts set on something that does nothing.
     

    Aesthetics

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    Lancake thought of spaghettis to be problematic before they really became popular here, so we have several measures planned to make it less viable to build in a spaghetti style, even though we don't want to share the plans until the weapons update is fully announced.
    I get this distinct impression this isn't entirely the case. And by that I mean this a complete and utter lie.
     
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    Ithirahad

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    Lancake thought of spaghettis to be problematic before they really became popular here, so we have several measures planned to make it less viable to build in a spaghetti style, even though we don't want to share the plans until the weapons update is fully announced.
    I'll be perfectly honest, at this point most community members who have done any amount of real-world PvP building don't trust Schine with balancing things on their own. It'd be great to know what you guys are planning to do, because from what we've seen so far, this 'solution' may not even be worth working on... or may be altogether counterproductive. I'd rather you guys be warned ahead of time than waste time on an ineffective system.
     

    schema

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    Local shields only work downwards the docking chain. meaning you cannot shield your mothership from your docked entity.

    Unrelated to balance, we will also implement a solution for docks to no longer be a problem in combat performance wise, specifically things undocking. But more on that and additional balance changes that will address docked hulls in the more detailed news for this update.
     

    Lecic

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    Lancake thought of spaghettis to be problematic before they really became popular here, so we have several measures planned to make it less viable to build in a spaghetti style, even though we don't want to share the plans until the weapons update is fully announced.
    Oh, let me guess, it's flak or proximity missiles?

    You could have fixed it with the power system, and made a better power system for ships in general in the process. Instead you're going to leave a half-assed power system and try to fix it through weapon rebalances alone.
     

    Exozen

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    We will share it in the weapons update post which will come right after this update is released. We will also use the following update to tweak the balance. I hope you understand that I don't really want to share the plans in a post here, as I want to have time to think how to properly format and bring all our notes together, since it's so easy to miscommunicate or say something wrongly accidentally.
    The only miscommunication has been the complete lack of it. Please be more open with us, more truthful; a lot of people give shit, but that's because we truly want your game to flourish, and a lot of these guys know the game really well.
     
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    Non

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    Also, I should say that I really appreciate you taking the time to discuss this with us Schema.
    Local shields: rewritten shield system to cover a radius rather than global to balance shield coverage between multiple docked entities
    Along with what Zyrr said, this also makes it even harder for players in low quality ships to get good block damage. Most of the pvp stuff I've done has taken place at distances of 5km to 10km, I favor the higher side of that. A player who doesn't have a good missile setup, or worse, relies on only cannon type weaponry, will never get good block damage at that distance if the 10-20% of their damage that actually hits is spread across 5 different shield areas. It only increases the disparity between those who have knowledge and those who don't.
    Local shields only work downwards the docking chain. meaning you cannot shield your mothership from your docked entity.
    Can docked entities have active shields?
     
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