StarMade - PvP & PvE balance, Perspective & Direction

    Az14el

    Definitely not a skywanderers dev
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    I wish i had of gotten more actual combat footage from .200, though GPU has a nasty habit of black screening shortly after recording in a fight :/

    Generally there would be quite an extended amount of kiting, but *very* quick kills or forced jump outs the moment any consistent block dmg is being done between predominately beam armed ships, some sub armed/sub powered ones would last a little longer due to having just lesser % of their ship in RHP blocks to actually hit, but then ran into the problems of not being able to hurt high regen/low dmg chambered shields which made any fight like that a one sided massacre

    far as the huge difference between dmg outputs on a lot of ships, i think it's mostly down the power ratios by mass of ships being pretty wildly different (especially since even a low sized reactor can seem to perform fine with some priority tweaks, but really isn't), see anywhere from 5% reactor by mass (may as well be a stirling engine) to 60%+ (hello hindenburg)
     

    Edymnion

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    What is the future timeframe for this? Or the universe update itself.. I can assume a pre universe update. This signals to me to not build anything but hulls untill implementation. And I have a suspicion it could be TBA 2019
    Basically its a nebulous "out there". There is no reason to stop playing/building really. People stopped playing because of the power update being announced and then got annoyed that it took a year for it to actually come out. If you're having fun now, then by all means, keep having fun. Just because something you build now might need tweaking at some point in the future is no reason not to play now.

    And if it takes 6 months or a year? Well, by then you'll be that much more experienced with the game and will probably be eager for the opportunity to build new stuff anyway. :)
     

    Az14el

    Definitely not a skywanderers dev
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    I stopped playing because the quality of gameplay dropped to a point that was no longer enjoyable
    which means at an earlier point i did find it pretty fun in comparison :eek:

    You're not speaking for everyone who's "stopped playing", knowing many of those people myself I'd say it's not a majority either.
     
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    MeRobo

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    You're not speaking for everyone who's "stopped playing", knowing many of those people myself I'd say it's not a majority either.
    Are you sure that you're not only familiar to (or even part of) a small group of people with a considerable amount of alts who also have a financial interest in the success of a competitor relying on a reduction of the Starmade player base?
    I only ask because these days you never know what happens to you, one moment of unawareness and all of the sudden you are financially involved with the development of a game and have only one option left: create a bunch of alts to artificially create the impression of a disgruntled noticeable segment of a player base.
     

    Az14el

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    *not* more starmade conspiracy theorys
    no, weird question

    edit lmoa i misunderstood since it wasn't the first time, and made a legit rage report
    sorry :D
     
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    Edymnion

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    You're not speaking for everyone who's "stopped playing", knowing many of those people myself I'd say it's not a majority either.
    Um, if that was supposed to be in reference to me, I was specifically referencing this:

    We stopped building new things with the mindset that we'd wait Power 2.0. We were hoping for a release date range of August. Typically devs don't announce major changes until they are ready to (close to) implementing them. Power 2.0 didn't come out until January of 2018! That is nearly a year later or 8 months.

    It wasn't the changing of the power system that drove players away. It was Schine inability to deliver that change in a timely manner while people were still interested in the game. We didn't lose faith in the game we lost faith in the developers ability to develop the game.
    From here: https://starmadedock.net/threads/an-urgent-message-to-schine.31063/page-3#post-373508

    Of people who say their entire server stopped playing to wait for an update that took nearly 2 years to materialize. Just because something is announced as on it's way doesn't mean it will be here any time soon, so just keep playing if you want to keep playing. Or play something else while you wait. But the whole "I stopped playing for 2 years when I didn't want to" thing is kinda silly.
     

    Az14el

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    so at least one person, and tbf probably quite a lot would have just lost patience yeah
    the typical complaints i hear though is a pretty harsh difference in gameplay quality on survival now compared to even much earlier & less ambitious gamestates. Whether its "its too bloated now" "scope creep" or "its just broken", it's mostly been dissatisfaction with the current gamestate on elements of play that used to be more accessible and fun.
     

    DrTarDIS

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    so at least one person, and tbf probably quite a lot would have just lost patience yeah
    the typical complaints i hear though is a pretty harsh difference in gameplay quality on survival now compared to even much earlier & less ambitious gamestates. Whether its "its too bloated now" "scope creep" or "its just broken", it's mostly been dissatisfaction with the current gamestate on elements of play that used to be more accessible and fun.
    Yup. In my case: AI is more broken now, so kinda useless to engineer multy-AI ships or drones. Crafting is cumbersome, so not worth the effort to set up an industrial base.
    Addendum to crafting: not enough playerbase in multyplayer to have clients for an industrial base, so not worth the effort.
    Addendum on both crafting and AI: Drone mining is also mostly broken in my experience, making reliable supply to an industrial base more difficult and compunding the issuses in setting up industrial. (permission to unload blocks not being saved to the drone blueprint being one factor here as well, so deep in the UI that its that extra level of annoyance.)

    So, I probably fall into both "just broken" and "bloated now" categories. The half dozen guildies I played with back in yog-days left largely for similar reasons: "can't go infinite with a crafting loop anymore means the grind is excessive now", "no reward for controlling territorry means it's not worth time to set up", stuff like that.

    Combine the above with the *appearance* of "punishment for not following a mould" rather than "reward for being creative and insightful" we saw during those previous stages of development means I'm AFAIK the last hold-out who even checks in on development. The 3d pixel-art part is about the limit of what keeps my interest at the moment.

    My thoughts on some fixes to the above, and balance in general: SysHP was very close to being a useful system. I REALLY wish the engine had allowed me to assign signed values to sysHP while it was implemented. I had a great spreadsheet setup where "decorative" blocks became a source of +SysHP, while systems used -sysHP to balance. SO making a High DPS glass cannon or "tough nut to crack" tank would have a requirement of so many "hull" blocks and thus have a innately balanced volume requirement without relying on dimensional math. -> If you were too "small" for your systems you'd have very little SysHP pool, while if you padded it out lots and had a large pool you'd be a bit under-powered or your size. Still would have allowed players to build how they liked with a "hard floor" and "soft ceiling" rather than a full-on box-in as I understand the current balance.

    I'm looking forward to the point where the game becomes a game again, don't get me wrong. I just agree with Schema: they have a very skewed view of balance. It's probably because they don't play their own game (enough).
     
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    Aw... I'm going to miss the stabilization stream. I kinda liked building parts of my ship around it and I actually think I used it to create a pretty cool aesthetic.

    But overall, I feel this is a great direction for the game to move. Congratulations, schema.
    I tend to agree the stream made for an interesting and challenging aspect of game design. I actually didn't find it that difficult to maneuver the stream with the stream nodes
     
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    I was checking new updates on games I played much or which I like generally even if they are too expensive.
    ° But I try very hard to not become my old frustrated self again and changed in terms of interests from building perfectly atop of systems to designing systems as good as possible and as simple as possible.

    I EVEN WROTE MY OWN BOOK 412 PAGES !!! (more on Minds.com / NeonSturm / Anju Aurora Avalons HiTek-Magic, free download)
    ° Soft terms-of-use, simple german language and some html-related wisdom for using HiTek-Magic.
    ° Inclusive: My own drawings as pictures for all languages.

    If you are intersted, I planed to update my profil page within the next 24 hours and hopefully until 2018-10-25, 5 AM, GMT.
    At first, Very great update.

    Maybe I install the child-protector protokoll from the server-admin to get warnings before I build big enough for a ship-deletion or want a ruleset which my faction can use to build ships according to roles which fit my factions idea.
    But this requires client-side rules or that clients are allowed to let the server make a custom rule-check when players agree to a PvP fight under their very own conditions.

    Secondly, I hope it will not be a cross-server mess and that you can apply rules to sector/system/ship-role-dependent conditions.
    Here are some examples which I have in mind:
    • Homebase rules
    • Highway rules (Jump gate sectors, stations and surrounding sectors) so that some pirates not come close to fortified stations.
    • Sun-Sector rules (plus nearby sectors) so that you can make Solar-Stations with varying effectiveness which produce Biofusion-Cells for your active combat modules/drones (not the passives) or power your Jump Gates more effectively.
    • Planet rules (Big ships don't like planet gravity =D )
    • Jump-Points (Jump drive buffed, maybe in a certain direction) and bonus points if scanable.
      • Scanable or if Stations broadcast "title/JPs and message/JP-notes" (or whole newspapers about more) to friendly scaning scouts.
      • Anomalies which mess with the JD like disable or override destination or distance are possible...sending someone into the sun.
    NeonSturm could be a family-tree name for "Warg NeonSturm" on the WH40k server and "Lilly NeonSturm" on another server.
    Bonus points if you can switch with which family member to play on the fly and apply different server rules to each of them, depending of them having chosen a rogue life or leading the families company, etc.

    Read this spoiler to get some insight into the thread, see my answer to your post or see where the ideas come from which I write after the spoiler.
    You could suggest a general flight-simulator within SM to test builds before purchasing them with original, adjusted and imported rules.
    I'll leave it to you to do it if you like to.

    I suggest, that the flight-simulator can also test different scenarios, which the server admin or SM-dock hosts for players, to make overall acceptable ships.

    I'll place my answer after the spoiler.
    I'll place my answer after the spoiler.
    Generally I agree. While 5 Gunships focus-firing on 1/5 enemy Gunship, it may redistribute power for weapon perks/actives to get temporarily more shield perks/actives and die slower while the allied Gunships deal damage.

    This would generally buff small ships in battles with big ships involved when they are about 1/5 (variable) the size of a big ship.
    Smaller ships don't have time to re-adjust perks/actives and bigger ships would be less flexible with ship-global settings.

    Thanks for the idea! I have written my more refined idea above the Spoiler.

    EPipes may buff a system, but distributing power over the magnetic field of a ship is nothing too implausible.

    Alternatively e-pipes would make systems more power-drain resistent or enable manual e-distribution management - a priority system.

    Very nice ideas!

    I think about Increase/dec. defenses for PvP systems and rogue/company-leader chars if my idea of a family of characters per player is accepted (using account name as family/-tree name).

    I wrote about vector shield below. Every emitter could use different "technology-settings" like being more efficient but let some dmg through or using additional power to mitigate dmg.
    They would be additional to global shields, so we would have basic protection against stray attacks, an option to better protect us while we are on the run or for a frontal assault and to survive in a damaged but still valuable ship if the enemy attacks from different directions.

    Will you make the list which part of which tutorial needs to be fixed?

    Power 2.0 is nice, but something which Carrier-ships can insert into the captains vessel to outfit it for the current mission would not work.
    5x5x20 plugins would not take as much hangar space as a hollowed out ship.

    Yup. I want a "NeonSturm family/-tree" with a Cyborg-Hitler in place of StarTreks Borgs and he would mindfuck every enemy over the chat (according to RP rules) using the Cyborg-Zombie-Nazis characters as Church-Nazi-Bell-Ship-flying assasins to convert everyone.
    At the same time, I could have a "Atlantria NeonSturm" character which acts as the Ambassador of "Deutschluft", "Deutscherde", "Deutschwasser" und "Deutschfeuer", which hate that Cyhit char created by Neonazis and try to add a bounty and kill it again and again and again ... only to see that they only got one of his followers.
    So I would have many chars on a server which are named like "Cyhit NeonSturm" or "Cykos NeonSturm" or "Atria NeonSturm" but still only one account. And you will likely be attacked by Nazi-Bells when you broke the contract with my "Orden der Verteidiger/Assasinen" organisation which acts together as Military supported by "Orden der Wächter/Polizisten".

    Stupid SM-Computers because they cannot run Beam/Cannon/Missile software simultanously =P
    I hope you have thought through the possibility of 1 heavy turret and 3 antimissile turrets, because it affects which tools for your rules you need to suggest.

    A good rule might be to buff Ships while they are in a friendly sector when there is a station around which has a certain upgrade.

    Perhaps we could use cannon-modules like cargo-crates?
    The server could then auto-adjust the number of weapon blocks which fit inside such a weapon-system, as long as all weapon-modules, which work as cargo-crates for weapon-blocks only, can hold the desired ammount.
    The user has then the option to remove some to save mass or spawn cost.

    Yup. But I prefer to use the nearest shield-emitter to define how a shield works.
    Perhaps you can even apply different rules for a turret depending on the purpose of a turret, but I don't want to suggest anything which could create massive ammounts of lag.

    I have to disagree (at least in parts)!
    Yes, bubble shields and integrity is not fun atm.
    But how does the community use their veto right? How is it policed? Some may rage about imbalance of power.
    You may have a look after my Spoiler where I describe how vector-shields tie into the new rule system.

    I'd like a 5-Star rating system. Even if you only give 1 Star, it took you time to give it.
    The stars can also be replaced by following to make it easier-to-use:
    1. Lense+Star (yes, I noticed your post)
    2. Paper+Star (good enough to post)
    3. Thumb+Star (Like)
    4. Heart+Star (Love)
    5. 3 Hearts+Star (Adore a perfect post)
    If you don't like a post/thread at all, don't do anything to boost it's occurence in the thread/forum.

    I have written after the spoiler =)

    I fully agree to a degree that I want your post in my Spoiler!

    They encourage using multiple entities which is usually good to break down massive bricks or buff defending ships around a station.
    Vs Bugs, I would make them so that they don't require a beam but use jump-drive-tech to instantly link a target object over your ships magnetic or shield field (plus GFX).

    Me too.
    Make Systems with something like cargo-crates and fill them with modules - as long as enough fit into that space you can adjust numbers easily and still use conventional blocks to create your energy links.

    Yes!

    I dunno why. A simple hyperlink to the master-entity to check IDs of attacker and target by comparing the master-entitie's ID would do the trick of preventing friendly fire.
    And since nothing undocks anymore when the docker is destroyed, mostly undocking on purpose should trigger the adjustments of hyperlinks of all sub-entities of the newly undocked entity.

    I agree, especially with the problem of prediction, but generally you would use modularity to add missile defense to a frighter, add a small annoying combat drone or a you-die-with-me-warhead-launcher depending on server rules.
    In case of the missile defense it may need more energy and a small included reactor would do the job, but the 1-reactor-rule forbidds it.

    The hope dies last =D
    Jake_Lancia and Gmodism Captain Skwidz
    I guess we need global shields as default and buffable vector-shields (vector=rules depending on nearest emitter and user-settings).

    Global shields would be 20% less efficient and everything fired within a squeezed bubble or the convex shape of a ship, would bypass global shields if the server-admin enables a rule saying so.

    Vector-shields use the nearest emitter and it defines which shield-battery is used - simple as that.
    ° Wings may use another battery than the main ship.
    ° Some Hull may use an empty shield battery while other ship parts have a full battery.
    ° Emitters might have different properties (some damage passes through, use extra energy to mitigate some discharge or adapt to the weapon firing on them after every hit so that rainbow weapons are more effective)
    ° They can have perks based on choosen advantages or disadvantages and you can define different settings for Federation-Factions, Klingon-Factions, Warhammer-races, etc. The NEW admin server rules may allow that.
    ° Skilled crew members would ion-enhance the shields which need it the most.

    Goals:
    ° Assault ships have strong frontal shielding, some global shielding to protect against stray attacks or a small agile interceptor and still options to survive damaged when being ambushed from behind.
    ° Traders may have shields which disable nearby weapon outputs (which doesn't bother a pacifist).

    FINAL Note:

    I hope that the modular rule system allows us to put some lag-producing code outside of the processing line.

    Some servers could benefit from rules to freeze all ships through an anomaly in space-time when a sector produces too much lag.

    Alternatively, a sector-admin could focus the server-resources on specific areas of the server where only small ships are allowed.​
    Well, just to be updated with the new updates and ADD more tutorials in terms of, how to use advanced build mode (was promised in the intro but never came to be).
     
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    Hello Players,


    This is more of a blog post about the general direction of the game.


    With the recent updates there have been a lot of new build mechanics and restrictions that were controversial. However, they seemed necessary to solve certain problems with people exploiting certain aspects of the mechanics. Most players never plan or intent to abuse these mechanics but they were still negatively affected by them. New players are also affected by the added complexity. Even the existence of an additional number while building has a negative effect. Understandably, a lot of those players asked the question “Why is this even a thing?”.


    Restricting the build mechanics is most of the time affecting the wrong people, and a lot of times they are also not 100% effective in what they are trying to prevent. Making them more severe would put even more restriction on the whole system. Reducing them would make them completely ineffective.


    With all that in mind I came to the realization that my perspective on balance might be a bit off. In trying to put out fires, new fires are coming up while development of other things suffers. We have been focusing on fighting the extreme cases of exploits way to much.


    The conclusion of this is that I want to go back to those things that make the game fun.

    To explain it better: The game should be fun for one or a group of players that are enjoying the game without going out of their way to exploit mechanics. While there still need to be things to prevent these exploits, it will be done with a different perspective. Measures that solely exist to prevent to exploitation will be put into a rule system, so a server admin can apply them. This rule system will be quick and easy to setup, which will be explained a bit later.


    We will still be sticking with the basic premise of reactors and stabilizers but will be simplifying things a fair bit.

    The first things that will be removed from the game is integrity and the reactor stream between reactor and stabilizers. Also, while I can not promise for sure, the required reactor stabilization distance will likely be reduced.


    Server Rules

    The server rule system will work as follows:


    The server admin picks one or multiple conditions with either “all conditions must be true” or “one of the conditions must be true”. While there will be other affected areas, this explanation will be for structures. This means that these conditions will be checked while a player builds or spawns a ship. These conditions will include a reactivation of integrity, the stability stream, ship size, mass, dimension, block counts per type, weapon strength, shield strength and a lot more.


    After the admin picked a set of conditions, they can choose from one or more actions. These will range from very light “ship weapons are disabled while conditions are true” to more harsh “remove ship” or even “ban player”. It’s the admin’s choice. They will also have the option to warn players on certain actions.


    A simple rule would be:


    • “If block count is over 1 million, deactivate the ship’s power”
    The player would then be notified in their structure view in build mode that a their ship is currently triggering the rule.


    Another rule would be:

    • If integrity is in the negatives, the ship is disabled.
      The condition can be more soft like “mark ship for admins”. Admins would be able to track those marked ships in a panel, as well as the blueprints.
    This would exactly emulate how the integrity works right now.

    For normal gameplay all integrity would not be visible as long as the player is on a server that doesn’t use a rule that relates to integrity. Same is true for the stabilization stream, and other things that will be removed for simplification.


    When I make the game I think about people that have fun together player the game. Exploring, building, fighting. Competitiveness is also nice as long as I doesn't go to extremes. So I want to focus on that fun part. Unlike many games nowadays, I don't want to create an esport. If you want to play hardcore, you are welcome to do so, but you will have to make your own rules.


    With this, development can move a lot more freely and will have a lot more resources available for other things. For anything that might be exploitive, conditions will be added to help a server effectively detect and remove it from their server if they so wish. We will be also providing default options for servers to quickly setup. These default options will be based upon what rules are typically set on the different types of servers PvP, PvE, RP, Building etc


    This is all of course not a complete fix to all balance problems, but it enables us to create a balance for a specific scenario instead of doing the impossible task of coming up with a balance that works in a possible scenarios. For example, the intended vanilla balance will be based on economy also, something that currently doesn’t matter on some servers, which in turn completely changes the scenario and the requirements for any balance. By focusing on a specific scenario and then letting the admins control what kind of play they want to see on a server, we can reduce the amount of forced restrictions considerably making building and the game a lot more fun.


    The rule GUI will come equipped with a simple way to create new rules. Also it will be possible to create and export/import ruleset templates. There will also be some general rulesets available that an admin can choose from like “Creative Build”, “Restricted Pvp” or “Hardcore PvP Open”.


    List of Conditions and reactions
    There are a lot of possible conditions and actions. I’ll be compiling a list shortly with all possible conditions and actions I can come up with. Since any action will be specific to a server to use them I’m willing to implement pretty much any request a server admin has for a rule.


    Possible conditions would include

    • ship size

    • ship mass

    • block count (per type)

    • system count (specific to system)

    • integrity (which would activate the integrity GUI and stats for all peple on that server. Otherwise integrity would be completely removed)

    • Shield size

    • Reactor level

    • A lot more. Whatever we can come up with.

    Actions would affect the entity & creator/spawner of the entity and would range from hidden to severe including:

    • Mark entity for admins. This entity is then trackable by the admins in a panel

    • Mark entity for everyone in hud/name

    • Disable certain systems

    • Add an effect (like a reactor effect) to the vessel

    • Disable completely

    • Warn player for amount of time

    • Remove completely (conditions can be chained, so that would for example be after a warning)

    • Kick/Ban player (same as above)

    This would also enable servers to implement buffs for certain builds (e.g. bigger stations) by applying certain effects. This would be a lot easier than modifying the config. Also it would be compatible with most updates of the game.




    General
    In general there have been a few adjustments to my perspective as well. With the universe update coming up, I will be going moving away from trying to middleground on things that would cost extra time. Too many “you can do either this or that” choices for how the basics of the game work are not good for complexity and code. This is not directed on gameplay, in fact gameplay should be enriched with more options, but for things like having an option to use old deprecated things still (old turrets etc are a good example).


    The universe update is pretty huge in scope, but all in all I’m looking very much to 100% dive into it. The basics are already there. Most of the old systems have been overhauled internally. The few old ones that are left will be overhauled at the beginning of the update (amongst other things AI, fleets, the basic loading system and sector transitions). The universe will be torn down and recreated according to what we planned. And then it will be filled with new and interesting things, adding gameplay and things to do, as well as making the surroundings a lot more recognizable.


    Thanks for playing StarMade,

    • schema
    Wait....is power 2 already out the window?? DAMNIT gotta refit all the old trident ships again.
     
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    I like the new power discussion and re-work. I'm looking forward to coming back to Star Made once these changes are finalized or at the very least are in a some what stable dev build.
     
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    The complexity of building is what killed the game for me when systems 2.0 came out, it was more fun in an arcade style instead of space engineers number smashing
     
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