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    StarMade Devblog - Endgame Document Pt. 3

    Discussion in 'Game News' started by schema, Aug 9, 2017.

    1. schema

      schema Cat God

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      Greetings, citizens ~



      This is the 3rd and final part of our “End Goals document”. We understand that most, if not all, is not new for any of our veteran players. It’s meant for any new comers or players that were not up-to-date with any previous news posts and discussions.


      We split it up to be used as additional dev blog news, the problem here is that we didn’t have anything interesting to say in a dev blog for several weeks as we were only doing bug testing and bug fixing so it had to be released on its own.


      It’s clear to us that we can’t provide enough news to sustain a weekly dev blog which is why we’re changing back to a free schedule.


      List of player roles:

      ~ Builder
      ~ Explorer
      ~ Industrialist
      ~ Trader
      ~ Fighter
      ~ Imperialist




      Industrialist (Miner, Producer)
      This role is relatively self-explanatory. As said before, you start small with limited resources. Through smart trading, you can get rich.

      Some foundation for that is already in the game, but there is a lot of stuff missing:

      • Stick-shops need replacement to make economy work.

      • Ties in with a universe redesign to make resource distribution more diverse

      • Production needs more progression and be more complex without being tedious (high level producer with good use of logic), as well as a balanced form of unloaded production.


      This role of course ties in with the builder role as reaching high end blocks should be a form of progression. In addition to that there’s also the acquisition of trading and mining ships, as well as production facilities that needs building.

      At the very beginning, players will mine with personal mining tools, then upgrade to ship mining, from there to fleet mining, with automated mining at the end, which ties in with the imperialist role.

      Additionally, mining depends on region of the universe as well as knowledge and experience of the game. Later, possibly more resources will be added, including hard to get rare resources and other forms of acquisitions (gas mining, star mining, planet atmosphere “mining”, etc) to add variation.

      Salvaging is similar to mining but focuses on collecting existing or derelict structures in the game. Salvagers would seek out recent battles (from players or events visible through scanning), or go for exploration to find treasure.

      Producing also ties in with mining. Good building makes production a lot more efficient.

      Both of them tie in with the imperialism role as well. To some extend it will be possible to automate mining and production operation in territory controlled by a player faction. These roles have similar progression stages as a builder and are the prerequisite to the imperialism role. The details of that depend on mechanics that are already planned internally.



      Trader

      Trading progression requires a player to do clever planning. Managing trade ships and their protection, as well as inventory management is a must. A sense of progression is given in terms of acquired wealth and influence. This role is also in several ways a prerequisite of imperialism.

      NPC factions together with player traders will define the economy in the universe. One of the planned features of a universe redesign will be a tracking economy, which will automatically adapt to demand and supply of total resources in the game.

      A producer will be required to build complex systems and automate their functionality.

      The universe revamp and its addition of more resource diversity will add more specific demands which the player can make use of.

      The difficulty in progression in these roles consists of being able to manage a more and more complex tasks, and more of them. The more value is shifted around, the more interesting of a target the player and faction will become for raids.



      Fighter

      The Fighter role is part of most other roles, but it also has some unique aspects to it, like being a pirate or a gun for hire. Even roles that aren’t directly affected, like traders, indirectly tie in with pirates that attack trading routes, as well as fighters to defend them.

      Fighting includes PvP and PvE. The weapons and the power system it depends on, will have to be balanced to ensure good gameplay. After the power update, a weapon update is planned to not only adapt weapons to the new power system, but also add new features to expand the versatility and convert unused and weaker elements into something usable.

      For multiplayer, depending on server rules, there will also be a possibility for players to “duel” for a betted value without putting their ships on the line. Similar to battle mode, just better in every way.

      Also depending on server rules, protective zones can be done with the NPC system, like the trading guild area being a safe zone without fighting allowed, in which new players can get started up without being immediately spawn camped.

      A fighter will concentrate on building powerful ships, tying in closely with the builder role. While fighters can organize in groups, the fighter role is a more “lone” version of the imperialism role. In terms of progress it can actually be a prerequisite of it.

      A fighter’s progress would be measured in terms of their wealth and notoriety. Fighters would compete against other player and NPC fighters. Progression can be made visible by comparing their success in the universe. The more successful a fighter becomes, the more likely they’ll be targeted or used by players and NPCs.

      Needed for realising this role are the universe revamp, the NPC faction system, as well as additionally the quest and event system + all requirements for the builder, explorer and trader roles.

      Boarding will also be very specific to the fighter role. Making use of the game’s ability to create massive interiors and astronaut combat, boarding and astronaut exploration will be a big part of the game. An update to the weapon system, as well as other features such as functional interior, will be announced in future documents will be necessary to do that.

      Other out-of-ship combat is also possible while exploring or in quests (arena). Definitely addition of out-of-ship NPC characters. Also addition of similar fauna system for planet creatures.


      Imperialist

      This is the ultimate endgame role. This role is the hardest to achieve and does simply not exist at the start of your game. It encompasses all other roles.


      Essentially, faction functionality for players will include automatic faction mechanics. This means that a player can manage automatisms that only NPC factions have access to.

      This will be realized in simple management, not being as complex as civilisation builder games, as well as not being geared towards being an RTS in terms of micromanagement. Doing something manual will always be multiple times as efficient. However, you can do a lot more, when you do things automatic.

      Players will be able to define the types of ships and stations their faction builds and uses. The faction will populate sectors, which the faction takes manually. The players in that faction will receive income based on mining, trading and production, as well as have expenses in terms of upkeep and maintenance.

      There will be a whole new mechanic for territory control in the game: population. More on that in further documents (see end of this one).

      Your faction will also be able to actively do diplomacy with other factions.

      Additionally, they will also be able to wage war, but a player cannot send attack fleets to fight battles in unloaded sectors. He can however go with a fleet to fight an active battle. There will be a mechanic to do territory contest indirectly, but that will be something completely different.

      Endgame fighter and exploration goals will also probably be overlapping into the an imperialism role, because the sheer resources and power needed to travel and explore those will be immense, comparable to raids in scale and difficulty, as there will be goals available further and further out of “neutral” territory

      By being versed in most of the other role, the player has a natural progression towards this roles. From here it is either about finishing the end goals in the game, which are exploration goals that require a huge amount of resources to achieve, or as absolute domination by diplomacy, power, or economy.

      This role is possible to achieve with multiple players as well as alone. In singleplayer games, the player has the NPCs to contest with. On multiplayer servers, you also have other players to interact with.

      The quest system will make it possible for a player in singleplayer to join an existing NPC faction after a while and eventually rise to being the leader of that faction as an alternative to founding an own faction.

      For this role to fully work, all other roles need to be fully functional first.



      Universe Revamp

      As hinted at before in the previous 2 parts, we are going to do a complete universe revamp, focusing mainly on one galaxy as the main provider of content. This doesn’t mean you can’t go further out and discover other galaxies though, but exploration outside of the galaxy will not only be a lot tougher, it will be a main gameplay element to become strong enough to survive out there. The galaxy itself will be a lot more focused on less and smaller regions. There will no longer be an equal distribution of resources. Before we introduce the details of our plans, however, we first want to finish the power and weapon updates. By the time we will introduce our plans we will likely already be in the middle of implementing it.



      Thanks for playing StarMade,
      - The Schine Team
      --- Updated post (merge), Aug 9, 2017, Original Post Date: Aug 9, 2017 ---
      Just one thing to clarify for the forums: Reading the comments on the last blogs are often a bit discouraging. We appreciate constructive criticism, but some comments go beyond that into a more insulting tone. I know that these comments of course don’t represent all of the community as the majority is very supportive, but I feel like I need to clarify a few things:

      Even though this company named “Schine” is making StarMade, it is really just all the people you see on our about page. Real people, no anonymous “the devs”. Indie game development isn’t a very lucrative job. The reason why we’re making StarMade is not for money. It’s because we love this game and want to see it done! At the same time we try to be as fair as possible to our players. That’s why we never made too big promises to generate empty hype and always kept a free version of the game to try out before buying.

      As said, we are not in this to get rich. All of us are putting in a lot of hours and extra hours into making StarMade without much or no pay. I’m only taking what I need to live to make sure that even in the absolute worst case, we will be able to continue developing and finish the game.

      This isn’t meant as a complaint about criticism, it is a clarification. We don’t dislike or ignore critical commentary, as long as it’s constructive. On the contrary, we think that constructive criticism is the most helpful. However, a lot of the repeating criticism is already addressed and planned for internally. The reason we don’t go public with those plans is, that even if it would reassure some of the critics, we have a principle to never sell complete promises without something to show on it.
      Of course, in the long run that is sometimes unavoidable and we are guilty of doing so a few times in the past few years, but we aren’t afraid to scrap things if they turn out to be a wrong direction. This has always been our main principle and we drastically improved internal organization and planning to avoid false announcements in the future.



      We will press on to finish this game with even more effort than before! Be assured of that!
       
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    2. Valiant70

      Valiant70 Cyborg Ninjaneer

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      News about what bugs you're working on is fine. If the bugs are particularly annoying, we would be very happy to know you're working to fix them. Otherwise it's just nice to hear that work's being done, even if it's just "We're cleaning up that last release for you."
       
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    3. kiddan

      kiddan Supporter of Critical Thought

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      Aye, this is the juicy stuff in relevance to these endgame documents. For players that aren't somewhat new, anyways. Answered a lot of questions of mine regarding NPC factions and the possibility of being a mercenary or spy-
      -as I'm assuming this means you could gain an NPC factions trust, become a somewhat high rank and topple them from the inside. = )
       
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    4. schema

      schema Cat God

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      pretty much exactly that kiddankiddan
       
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    5. Crimson-Artist

      Crimson-Artist Wiki Administrator

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      i think a system that allows players to buy completed ships like other space flight sims would go a long way in accommodate players who don't like building/ are playing single player.

      this could also help on servers where players can set up functioning shipyards that sell completed ships to other players.
       
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    6. Elo106

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      Ok cool but what about vehicles and mechs? o_O
       
    7. catkinson19

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      Really appreciate the routine updates. Can't wait for what's to come.
       
    8. Valiant70

      Valiant70 Cyborg Ninjaneer

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      If you can find a good way to do it, I'd like to see some rare "treasure" resources that can only be dug out very carefully by hand to prevent destroying them. These shouldn't be staple manufacturing items, but perhaps they could be used for personal equipment or ammunition-like expendable enhancements to ship systems or personal equipment.

      This is what I was hoping to hear for astronaut gameplay. Starmade isn't Metroid Prime or Mass Effect, but it would have a "hole" in gameplay without some decent first-person gunfights and on-foot exploration.

      Ah, that's what Imperialism means. It all makes sense now.

      This actually sounds really appealing. With a few people active on a server at any given time of day, there should be plenty of activity. A single player can manage a whole faction, so either you can have several warring empires or perhaps just two or three with several other players filling niches they enjoy in player- or NPC-controlled factions.

      I appreciate that you brought this up. A lot of the community is very negative about the game. I've had my doubts about some aspects of development at times, but you've addressed most of the legitimate concerns in some capacity or another. In the end, I think it's great that you're able to get even a basic living out of the game's profits thus far, and I hope that you get far more in the future.
       
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    9. DevajC

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      Really nice to read this! Few points id like to make:
      -When you "duel" it should be in the same universe as everyone else and not in a virtual sector because 1.Thats boring 2.People cant spectate

      -Theres not any real pvp incentive because mining will make you richer more reliably. I think you should really add some kind of credit payout evenly divided between all the winners of a pvp battle that is scaled to the size of the ship taken down. You can just mine the ship and sell but that involves bringing your miner over and slowly eating the ship and selling it bit by bit, which doesn't have any of the fun as killing mobs in other games. Skyrim wouldn't be any fun if you didn't find any gold/jewels at the end of your exploits! I also hope you add a lock-on feature so dogfights can actually be fun instead of 80% finding your target

      -Like someone else said please add some kind of way to buy other players ships with credits in game!! Like an official way that has GUI and doesn't require the players to babysit. Adding player shops will make the game so much more amazing but who wants to be a shopkeeper every logged in moment? It would create instant easy to use and most importantly FUN economy and helps RP alot. People sell cars so why not spaceships? Players could create lottery systems with this: Pay to buy a "container" that has a chance of high loot/ore (placed inside by the player) And if its sham with no loot players would go elsewhere. It adds stuff to do/player vocations and could help make multiplayer quests without much more work.

      -Unrelated but will the power update still push for empty space?Gigantism is the biggest problem with this game and I was really looking forward to be able to make functional PVP ships with real interiors that wont just be completely swamped against a "full block" ship. Controversial opinion I know but lots of players wanted this too when you first announced power. Heat boxes are not the way to go though. Maybe just increase the output of each block? I think the chamber system is actually built to address this though, if you can confirm that would be great!

      All in all these news post have been a pretty good look at what the end game will be but I hope some of the times you said "possibly" actually meant "Yes"....Also I'm very excited about your future focus on the astronaut experience which in my opinion should be the majority of the game."Minecraft in Space" cmon guys who wasent excited for that?

      EDIT: I think one of the biggest problems with this game is that you are not in it for the money. Everyone needs money. If this game was making you rich everyone would benefit. If you gave a heads up that in 1 month it would be required to purchase the game to play online what would the consequences be?
      -Alpha so player count doesn't matter right? People who care will pay, giving you incentive and ability to hire and develop. People who don't care will leave, and hopefully come back in the future when it is more developed giving you more money because of the higher price tag in the future.

      -Servers will probably lag less. May be pulling that out of my ass though.

      -There will ultimately be less players, it may not be drastic though, look at the steam charts. They account for probably the majority of the player base and its been downhill for years. Take a hit for less than a year to possibly multiply your development/content.

      -Or you may just damage your reputation, but your current development method really pisses people off because of the very slow updates. Maybe its worth considering but I have no experience in these things, so I could be completely wrong. You wouldn't be cheating players because they can still play single player for free(ideally) to get a taste of the game. I really just want this game to be more than it is right now and not have to wait 7 years for it lol
       
      #9 DevajC, Aug 10, 2017
      Last edited: Aug 10, 2017
    10. Amadeus

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      This update was rather full, this is what I like to see in an end game document! I agree with Valiant70Valiant70 , a small "boring" update is better than none at all. Keep up the great work!!

      P.S..... pls tell me where BenchBench is...
       
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    11. RedAlert_007

      RedAlert_007 Formerly known as AltAlert, man of many alts!
      Community Mentor

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      I would like to point you in the direction of some of the many different kinds of updates Cloud Imperium Games does for their flagship product, Star Citizen.

      Comm-Link - Roberts Space Industries

      From that, you can sort all these updates into several catagories:

      • "Bug mashers" where they talk talk about the process of fixing a specific bug, talk about technical stuff, what causes x bug and how they are testing fixes and what not.
      • "Lore updates" where they talk about "storyline" stuff and other lore
      • "Weekly development updates" self explanitory
      • "Montly studio updates" where you talk about more development (perhaps recap on weekly stuff) and perhaps talk about changes in developer staff, like a new dude being hired
      • "Spotlights" where they highlight on a specific freature already in the game or in development, they talk about and what not
      Perhaps an idea to consider would be to simply go from weekly "summary/general" updates into more specific updates to give you more articles to post?
       
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    12. StormWing0

      StormWing0 Leads the Storm

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      I'm hoping the normal player made factions get the functionality the NPC factions have but we'd need crew and updates to the AI modules for it to work. Maybe having some kind of Catalog functionality to let us set what the AI forces in our factions are able to use.

      That said good work so far. :)
       
    13. Oblivionburn

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      I think using RTS-like controls on the scale of managing an entire faction would work quite well in StarMade... specifically on the map interface. On the map, all ships considered to be in one's faction would be visible (as well as anything scanned by them) and could be selected, as a group or individually, to be given orders to perform specific tasks. Whether it's mining a particular asteroid, going to some particular coordinates, or engaging the enemy ship(s)... most of this could be processed "behind the scenes" in unloaded sectors similarly to the way NPC factions operate now, while real players could receive the orders as missions/quests.

      In regards to the economy, you should check out this video. To summarize it: if the amount of in-game currency is not capped in some way (i.e. only so much available from shops), hyperinflation is inevitable.
       
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    14. JinM

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      Go team Shine, go! =)
      I am a bit hyped now about a weapon update. I hope it's changes things a little bit more than less.

      The end game goals sound nice, just keep in mind: Players on servers are often not online at the same time. It's better to build the gameplay around that. I have often seen games that are not populated anymore, just because you can't play it solo (or the important elements require more players online). I am talking about the fighting and player-to-player interactions like visiting another dude's station. - Trading, exploring and mining can be done without the need to be online at the same time. But it would be nice to have many ways to improve that player-to-player fighting and communication interactions.

      I suggest to implement an ingame planning tool, so players can easily communicate about when to fight (or have a sightseeing tour, or meet to trade ships) and about what size: Just have some sort of calendar in it, where booth players can mark at what times they are online, and at what times they could be online if the normal online times of booth player dont overlap.

      Also a hailing message if a player approaches the homebase of a faction would be usefull, that gives the faction owner an easy way to communicate about certain infos: Trade of the day, When he is online, if he is interested into showing his station and builds, if he is interested into fighting and what type of fights (fighter to fighter, fighters against capital, fleet vs fleet aso). The infos that get communicated should be somewhat preset, just like you enter information into your profile in dropdown boxes, so its standardised.
       
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    15. Master_chief_150

      Master_chief_150 Chat Pixel Artist

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      A small suggestion I would make would be instead of major concentrations of resources in one part of the galaxy, to suggest several large ones. It'd help alot in Multiplayer so a single imperialist faction doesn't claim an entire resource pocket for themselves and keep everyone else from accessing it.
       
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    16. Valiant70

      Valiant70 Cyborg Ninjaneer

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      Band together and blow them up, or buy the resources. If they can claim one they can claim them all.
       
    17. Lecic

      Lecic Convicted Lancake Abuser

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      Oh yeah, that's really what I want in this game- the ability to make my faction just as spaget as the NPC ones.

      I can understand having the option to let players do it automatically, but what about the people who WANT to micromanage what their faction is doing? The current NPC factions don't really give me confidence in letting an AI run my fleets.

      No unloaded combat? Are you serious?
      Empire combat can never extend past surface level without unloaded combat. I mean, what's to prevent things like dropping a fleet deep into people's territory on their valuable bases? You can't intercept them without unloaded combat. There are simply not enough people to protect a large faction's borders.
       
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    18. RedAlert_007

      RedAlert_007 Formerly known as AltAlert, man of many alts!
      Community Mentor

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      Worth noting NPC factions are massivly underdeveloped and buggy as shit. If AI gets to the point where its somewhat usable, then AI micromanaging would also be usable.

      A comparison of how something works now to how something is planned to work in the future is not a valid comparison. This simple anaylsis of your statement shows your entire argument regarding AI micromanaging to be moot.
       
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    19. apelsinsaft

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      How do you even intend to begin thinking about how to balance unloaded combat? What constitutes combat power for a ship when you have to do what amounts to comparing numbers on very complex player-created spaceships? Is a gun that faces backwards counted? Are turrets worth more or less? Is the turret that sits inside the ship capable of shooting out? Is more ships better than fewer? There's no easy way to "simulate" the offline battle without huge discrepancies compared to how the battle would have played out in a "loaded" fight.

      From The Depths had this discussion years ago and the developer came up with the solution of letting you "combat-test" your vessels in the designer, pitting it against various test subjects and scoring it appropriately, but that system is obviously not perfect. Stopping to combat-test your vessels every now and then just to be able to auto-resolve fights is tedious, especially in a game like Starmade which (currently) doesn't provide much joy from just observing a battle.

      You could potentially load the ships with nobody nearby, with obvious results on server stability and usability.

      All in all it's not particularly feasible and i do think they are serious.
      Maybe the faction is too big?
       
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    20. StormWing0

      StormWing0 Leads the Storm

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      As for large faction border issues I find scattering a metric ton of gun stations to work for most enemies. As for coordinated attacks it really depends on the players attacking.

      That said there might be a way to check ships and stations on save to set their unloaded combat rating.
       
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