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    The Quickfire Initiative: Rebalancing StarMade.

    Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by The Quickfire Initiative, Jun 13, 2019.

    1. The Quickfire Initiative

      Joined:
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      INTRODUCTION

      Several months ago, following the rather troubled releases of the power and weapons updates, a group of long-time community members decided to unite in an effort to address StarMade v0.2's various shortcomings and rebalance the game.

      This effort became The Quickfire Initiative.

      A few months of testing and iteration (and numerous hiatuses due to real-world obligations or wait times for critical patches) later, we are releasing the Quickfire configuration pack version 0.1, the first public testing version of our configuration overhaul. It includes changes to all systems, including power & Chambers, thrusters, shielding, armor, and weaponry.



      ---


      OVERVIEW

      The Quickfire config changes cover a broad spectrum of StarMade's systems, which have been determined to be broken or imbalanced in the vanilla game. The following is a short overview of the most important changes, with a more comprehensive document of all changes available via a link below.

      • Power:
        -Disabled stabilizer distance (for the time being).
        -Set maximum power from stabilization to 100%. (25% was pointlessly unintuitive)
      • Chambers:
        -Rebalanced chamber capacity requirements across the board (see document below)
        -Changed chamber size formula, to not force certain reactor sizes for optimal mass efficiency
      • Thrusters:
        -Nerfed thruster scaling overall. There should be more variance in ship maneuverability and top speeds now depending on ship size and design.
        -Made diminishing returns on thrust harsher (ships physically cannot reach maximum speed cap after a certain reactor size)
        -Increased TWR cap for max speed to 3.0
      • Armor:
        -Made armor lighter and more effective.
        -Made armor layering/stacking significantly more effective. (should make thick or slanted armor more viable)
      • Shields:
        -Buffed shields relative to weapons overall
        -Nerfed/adjusted Anti Low Damage chamber to only block actual low damage relative to shield capacity
        -Buffed Anti High Damage chamber, lowered threshold for "High Damage" to better protect against large hits.
      • Weapons:
        -Rebalanced weapons across the board
        -Removed cursor recoil on cannons
        -Helped to track down and resolve the infamous 'tunnelling' bug with cannon projectiles
        -Replaced the broken Doom Beam with a high-range pulse laser
        -Worked with Schine to fix missile guidance
        -Made missile capacity less restrictive
        -Adjusted bomb to hopefully be more usable (see document below)
      • Other:
        -Buffed Tractor Beam
        -Adjusted some chamber abilities, such as scanning and Thrust Burst.
      A more detailed changelog is available in this document.

      NOTE: Quickfire's config set makes no attempt to re-balance factories or other strictly survival gameplay-related mechanics. Those areas of the game are currently severely lacking in viable and functional mechanics to balance, and furthermore will receive significant changes as of the universe update.


      CONFIGS

      Our configs are available through our Github repository.

      Please note that the included server.cfg is important, as it includes our reference weapon range, missile target prediction, and AI settings, which are integral to the functionality of Quickfire as a whole. (just don't forget to set your own superadmin password, if your server makes use of that feature.)

      The Python scripts found in /data/config are our internal tools for editing and viewing the configs, and should you choose to use Quickfire's configs on your server, you do not need to copy them into your server installation.


      Also, a warning to anyone using our configs for their server: Quickfire's configs will not work with vanilla ships. Power costs and proportions of systems and weapons are very different from vanilla, and desirable armor configurations in vanilla (i.e. very little, if any) are potentially very different from what may work well in Quickfire. Some chamber setups will need changes as well. Using this config means a full refit of systems on any existing ships & stations.


      DISCORD & TEST SERVER

      Quickfire Discord server can be found via this link.

      A test server running the Quickfire configuration set can be found at:

      QuickfireSM.com:4242

      All players have access to Creative Mode and limited administrator commands by default.

      ________________________________________________
      ______________________
      ____




      Our ultimate aspiration is to create a configuration pack which the community - and perhaps even Schine - can adopt universally. However, this cannot happen without you. If you have questions, comments, concerns, or any other constructive feedback regarding our configs, feel free to post below, or join our Discord.






      The Quickfire team would like to offer our thanks to many members of the StarMade PvP community for their insights and feedback, and also to Schine staff for their cooperation in the resolution of several mechanical game issues, as well as for helping to set up the project. Special thanks also goes to Benevolent27 for lending us his expertise in wrapper automation from the great Light vs. Dark survival server.
       
      #1 The Quickfire Initiative, Jun 13, 2019
      Last edited: Jun 14, 2019
      • Like Like x 15
    2. Malum Phasma

      Joined:
      May 2, 2015
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      12
      Very interesting. I think I may like the direction this appears to be going.

      Hopefully a few things get "stabilized" and set. That is to say, deciding on a final setting of the distance and facing of the stabilizers. I would hate to start a large build just to have my power halved on an update, for example.

      But on the whole, I very much hope that the initiative continues developement. Nice work :giggle:
       
    3. Neon_42

      Joined:
      Sep 11, 2013
      Messages:
      342
      This is very impressive. The only thing I'd like to see added at the moment is energy consumption of weapons increased as well as damage output. Maybe by a factor of 4-10? This would make weapons inherently smaller. As it is I think weapon systems take up too much space and look like tumors on ships. Though this is merely an aesthetic choice.
       
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    4. StormWing0

      StormWing0 Leads the Storm

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      OK keeping track of this. Does this also work in Single player as well? Just asking because it'd be nice to get a few ships and stations up to speed without being on a server. :)
       
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    5. SchnellBier

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      Sep 10, 2014
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      The number of weapon blocks required should already be lower than in vanilla.

      You should be able to install the config files on your singleplayer server.
       
    6. Ithirahad

      Ithirahad Arana'Aethi

      Joined:
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      Yep. You can just copy the configs into your local install's /StarMade/data/config folder.
      --- Updated post (merge), Jun 14, 2019, Original Post Date: Jun 14, 2019 ---
      Aye, it's an aesthetic choice which has real gameplay repercussions. We've reduced the size of weapons a fair bit (partly by my request), but - as several more knowledgeable people had to point out to convince me - smaller weapons also have an effect on weapon resilience and other aspects of combat. There are limits to how far you can go with scaling up potency and power cost per block before it has odd consequences.

      With current Quickfire settings, weapons are already small enough that you should be able to avoid the 'giant tumor' look for turrets with some clever engineering.

      ...Come to think of it, if stabilizer distance (with the new BY_ANGLE mechanic) were reintroduced for a vanilla config, achievable weapon size vs. ship size would get even smaller... Even Star Trek-style ships with embedded beams might become semi-viable at that point :P
       
    7. EricBlank

      Joined:
      Jul 1, 2013
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      Just how much has weapon firepower and consumption been increased?
      Sorry I can't test the configs out myself yet I'm at work. A lot of your changes do interest me, though.

      Have you considered changing the way turret rotation speed is calculated? Something I've wanted to do is to take not only overall mass into account but number of weapons blocks on the turret barrel, making more powerful turrets slower, and reducing rail enhancers effect to where they can only increase the current speed of a turret, but never return it to full rotation speed except if it was already quite fast. Say, maxed out rail enhancers effect can double the current rate, so if your turret is small enough to be moving at half speed, you can bring it back up to 100% speed. But a turret that has been reduced to 10% speed can only be raised to 20% speed.
       
      #7 EricBlank, Jun 14, 2019
      Last edited: Jun 14, 2019
    8. The Quickfire Initiative

      Joined:
      May 29, 2019
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      StarMade's configs do not grant that level of control to users, unfortunately.
      Additionally, slower rotation of larger turrets would only create an incentive to use large numbers of smaller turrets.
       
    9. StormWing0

      StormWing0 Leads the Storm

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      I wonder is there a way in the rules or configs to make it so shields take the environmental damage first than everything else? o_O
       
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    10. Dire Venom

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      Feb 27, 2014
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      Would love that for Enviro specific shielding ^^^
      (For star mining and other such 'safe' activities!)

      Well done to op for keeping Star-made relevant, it's great to see dedicated players are still working to help it get where it needs to go.
       
    11. EricBlank

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      Yeah, I figured as much, but at the same time I wanted to limit the number of turrets to something reasonable, like 18 per craft max, because having too many entities or ai involved in a fight is it's own hurdle.
       
    12. The Quickfire Initiative

      Joined:
      May 29, 2019
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      Anyone currently using the configs may notice that thrust is extremely weak, with diminishing returns heavily affecting any ship above a few thousand mass. This is not entirely intentional, and is partly a result of changing reactor mass without adjusting thrust configs to compensate. We have now resolved this, and we strongly recommend downloading a new copy of the blockbehaviorconfig.xml from our Github.

      (Please note that thrust IS intended to be weaker, and after a certain ship size, achieving the top speed cap is still - intentionally - unattainable. Ships in Quickfire are intended to fall somewhere on a spectrum of top speeds, bounded by size and determined by design choices.)
       
      #12 The Quickfire Initiative, Jun 20, 2019
      Last edited: Jun 22, 2019
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    13. Jeryia

      Joined:
      Dec 16, 2013
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      This is very interesting. I'm pleased to see something like this being worked on.

      I'm curious, how well does the AI work with this at this point? I've generally found the AI to be incompetent with the stock settings.
       
    14. Scypio

      Joined:
      Sep 18, 2014
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      Changing configs does not change AI or how it works.

      However, better accuracy settings and slower ship means AI is better at aiming. Other than that, there is no other different behavior. Bobby will still strafe the same way and so on.
       
    15. DrTarDIS

      DrTarDIS Eldrich Timelord

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      Hmmm. Almost worth reinstalling with this... Get G-mod to make a half hour or so blurb showing why it's worth it?
       
    16. Neon_42

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      Sep 11, 2013
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      That makes sense to me that small weapons would be less resilient. Maybe it makes sense to make the player slightly bigger then? I'm not sure this is possible for this server but the size of objects relative to the scale of players and starfighters is really off. It might make sense to make the player slightly bigger? Maybe 3 blocks tall should be eye level instead of 2blocks? I realize that in a voxel game resolution on the small scale is always going to be an issue, but maybe a starfighter shouldn't be 30-50m on a side. This would also increase the number of blocks per ship making the game more computationally expensive. Just a thought.

      What do you mean by stabilizer reintroduced? I'd love to see embedded phaser banks. I feel that if we force ship sizes to be bigger, the scales between weapons and ships would be more aesthetically pleasing, but relative to the player everything would feel big and bloated.
       
    17. EricBlank

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      Changing player scale has been suggested before, but I believe the devs never had any interest in doing that. Like, you could make a customer config that assumes the player is 3.5-4m tall and adjust settings and your designs accordingly. But it's probably not going to actually happen at this point, and 1 voxel will always be 1 meter according to the game.
       
    18. Scypio

      Joined:
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      What is meant is that reducing weapon's size to star wars-ish size is never gonna happen for a lot of balance reasons. There has been a lot of discussion about it on the discord and if you want to see into it i will redirect you toward the quickfire discord server.

      Still, weapon's size has been reduced compared to vanilla and i suggest you try out the configs. What would really help reduce turrets apparent size without breaking the balance is being able to move the secondary and tertiary weapons modules to the base. Because a weapon module is not just the barrel. It is more than that but the game limitation force us to only use the barrel.
       
    19. StormWing0

      StormWing0 Leads the Storm

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      Been noticing my bomber is beyond lethal with quickfire settings. O_O
       
    20. EricBlank

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      Jul 1, 2013
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      I actually wouldn't mind seeing all the shortfalls that make smaller weapons unreasonable laid bare, that sort of information is always good to share openly.

      I've messed around with the configs as they are currently and I noticed it's possible to completely destroy a ships actual reactor without forcing it to overheat, because the remaining chamber blocks provided enough hitpoints to keep it above 25%. I'm pretty sure this is a problem in vanilla too and it seems like an oversight, as there's no reasoning a ship that defacto cannot function should remain "in combat" or a valid target for combat.

      The RC point costs for chambers also seem too low, in my opinion, just because it doesn't seem like you should be able to max out say the jump drive tree and still have iirc 35 rc points left. I would actually prefer improved basic jump drive distance and even more powerful jump drive from a costly but maxed out tree. That's the only one I've messed with recently, though.
       
      #20 EricBlank, Jun 30, 2019
      Last edited: Jun 30, 2019
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