The Quickfire Initiative: Rebalancing StarMade.

    Keptick

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    While doing some missile tests with drones, I realized that there was a serious delay in missile explosions when there were enough missile hits per second (20+, so really not that much). This has always been an issue with the game, but it was even more so with the QF configs. I consulted schema to figure out what the problem was, and as it turns out, the QF configs had increased missile explosion radius to effectively "uncap" explosion sizes. However, with the way the game calculated explosions, that meant that explosions were calculated with a gigantic radius, even for the tiniest of missiles, making calculations incredibly inefficient. Faced with this problem, we decided to reduce explosion radius back down to 30 (default is 25). However, this still proved to be problematic, because it not only severely limits the amount of damage a single missile can deal, but it was also still inefficient enough that locking down explosion calculations on the average server still took only around 60 missile outputs, no matter the damage of the missile. So you could pretty much shut down missiles server wide with only 60 missile blocks (or 6 if using missile-cannon).

    I came up with a fix and worked with Schema to get it implemented in-game. Now, as of the latest dev build, the explosion radius value used in explosion calculations scales with missile damage, in accordance with a new server setting. What this means is that each missile's explosion calculation will be optimized for that missile's damage. I tuned the new setting to optimize the explosion radius vs calculation performance. There will be 0 damage loss against blocks actually used in ships (systems, armor, etc), and extremely minimal losses against 25 HP block targets such as planets (the missiles will still do larger holes than they would against targets composed of higher HP blocks btw, so don't think you can start using dirt as armor).

    The end result is that explosions calculations are now a lot more efficient, and it's effectively impossible to shut down explosion calculations on a server. Gone are the days where it would take 10 seconds for your missile hit to register just because someone happens to be spamming swarm missiles a half a galaxy away. In addition to that, missiles now have proper "uncapped" radius.

    I did a lot of testing with the new mechanic, and can confirm that it works as advertised. For example, I spawned 200 missile drones and had them shoot a target. Each drone has a single missile output, meaning 200 missiles every 2 seconds. There was 0 delay in missiles registering hits and explosions calculating.


    Note: There is still a soft cap of 64 radius on explosions due to how the game calculates them. Past that you will start losing damage efficiency. However, to reach such a radius against ship systems you need 110 million damage per missile, which requires hundreds of thousands of missile blocks dedicated to a single output (with QF configs). All in all it shouldn't be an issue.

    Ps: Thanks to Zoolimar for pointing out math issues in the new radius formula that I originally gave schema (whoops). Those issues have been fixed as of the latest dev build.
     
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    Oh that sounds awesome! Thanks for doing that!

    Damage based radius sounds way better than set radii, too.
     
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    By the way,

    Thrusters got changed (again). Currently the max TWR is 5 and the max speed works as follow : 50 m/s x TWR + 50 m/s (Thanks to Keptick for figuring that out). Which means that for a TWR of 1 you have a max speed of 100 m/s. And for a TWR of 5 you have a max speed of 300 m/s.
    The thrusters curve should still be harsh (though softer than before) but the change is mainly directed toward acceleration. As such ships should feel less sluggish while keeping a low speed for heavy ships.

    I'm personnally waiting for some feedback on that, since the change are quite "how does it feel" than pure balance between numbers. Thanks in advance.
     

    Dr. Whammy

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    By the way,

    Thrusters got changed (again). Currently the max TWR is 5 and the max speed works as follow : 50 m/s x TWR + 50 m/s (Thanks to Keptick for figuring that out). Which means that for a TWR of 1 you have a max speed of 100 m/s. And for a TWR of 5 you have a max speed of 300 m/s.
    The thrusters curve should still be harsh (though softer than before) but the change is mainly directed toward acceleration. As such ships should feel less sluggish while keeping a low speed for heavy ships.

    I'm personnally waiting for some feedback on that, since the change are quite "how does it feel" than pure balance between numbers. Thanks in advance.
    Regarding thrust: I there any way to increase the effectiveness of stopping/braking? As it stands now, it takes a lot longer to stop than to accelerate unless you do a full reverse thrust from the firection your traveling. This can sometimes, be problematic if you are traveling along multiple axes at the same time.
     
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    Regarding thrust: I there any way to increase the effectiveness of stopping/braking? As it stands now, it takes a lot longer to stop than to accelerate unless you do a full reverse thrust from the firection your traveling. This can sometimes, be problematic if you are traveling along multiple axes at the same time.
    I am sorry but there isn't. The brake has always been feeling less effective than going backward or using your directional keys. I don't know why.
     

    Dr. Whammy

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    Soooo... I just applied the latest config...

    The following error appears when you try to load a ship with missiles.
    Config Error1.JPG
    I believe I've traced the missing info for this error to the following file. StarMade\data\config\blockBehaviorConfig.xml.

    Searching for blastradius within the xml file yields no result; unlike the previous config. I can replace the file to get the game running although I'm not sure what intended updates will be omitted by doing so.

    Advice anyone?
     

    DukeofRealms

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    Soooo... I just applied the latest config...

    The following error appears when you try to load a ship with missiles.
    View attachment 55387
    I believe I've traced the missing info for this error to the following file. StarMade\data\config\blockBehaviorConfig.xml.

    Searching for blastradius within the xml file yields no result; unlike the previous config. I can replace the file to get the game running although I'm not sure what intended updates will be omitted by doing so.

    Advice anyone?
    Are you using the latest dev build 202.16?
     

    Dr. Whammy

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    Are you using the latest dev build 202.16?
    Thank you for the fast response.

    Not yet. I'm on dev. build 202.11 as of 2 weeks ago and I've been adding the updated configs manually. I'll try updating tomorrow when I get back from work.

    Is there a specific dev. build requirement for each set of configs or a specific process/sequence in which to install them? If so, is there a way to stay up to date on which is the latest stable build and what goes with which configs? Forgive me if I've missed it but I didn't see that posted anywhere.
     
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    Is there a specific dev. build requirement for each set of configs or a specific process/sequence in which to install them? If so, is there a way to stay up to date on which is the latest stable build and what goes with which configs? Forgive me if I've missed it but I didn't see that posted anywhere.
    Sorry, most changes and stuff happen on our discord and nothing is clearly noticed somewhere on our end. That is totaly our fault for not providing something friendly to people not following the actuality on our discord. And we should fix this. That is partly why a channel with some of the configs being printed in a friendly way exists.
    Just to give a short answer on what you should do, when a dev build comes out we try to update the configs (if there is the need to) as soon as possible. Which is usually in the day at worst.
    And as such, some lines of configs got added recently in the last dev build (to improve calculation on missiles. The message of Keptick above here to be precise). Which mean that if your game didn't got updated along, your configs won't load because the game doesn't recognize one or several of the lines. Hence why the error.
     

    Dr. Whammy

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    Sorry, most changes and stuff happen on our discord and nothing is clearly noticed somewhere on our end. That is totaly our fault for not providing something friendly to people not following the actuality on our discord. And we should fix this. That is partly why a channel with some of the configs being printed in a friendly way exists.
    Just to give a short answer on what you should do, when a dev build comes out we try to update the configs (if there is the need to) as soon as possible. Which is usually in the day at worst.
    And as such, some lines of configs got added recently in the last dev build (to improve calculation on missiles. The message of Keptick above here to be precise). Which mean that if your game didn't got updated along, your configs won't load because the game doesn't recognize one or several of the lines. Hence why the error.
    Gotcha.

    I've been lurking on Discord but to be fair; there is a LOT of chat going on in there about a wide range of topics. It's ofen literally miss and hour; miss a lot.

    However, there may be an easy way to address updates without making it a pain for you guys. Have you thought about listing the appropriate dev. build for the newest config updates on either the one of the Discord channels ("quickFire-configs" perhaps?) or even the Github repository itself?

    That would make it easy for everyone to know in an instant, what needs to be on their machine in order to run with the most current configs and it would only need to be updated when a new build/config combo becomes available.
     
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    However, there may be an easy way to address updates without making it a pain for you guys. Have you thought about listing the appropriate dev. build for the newest config updates on either the one of the Discord channels ("quickFire-configs" perhaps?) or even the Github repository itself?
    Well i am thinking about setting up a specific channel linked in some ways to our git. To automatically write the last git push done, specifically the description and title of the push. Should allow to keep track of every changes if they are documented (and they should at least be a little bit documented every time). So you would have stuff like that in there. (a push to update the configs with a version should be somewhat documented with the new version to use)
    As always, if you have comments or suggestion, just leave them here.
     
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    Dr. Whammy

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    You guys do good work but don't break your back over this.

    Anything that ties a new Git update to its corresponding dev. build would be perfect. Whatever means you use to do this should not only be easily found by players but also easy to deal with for your team.

    Whatever avenue you choose, it will be appreciated.
     

    Keptick

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    You guys do good work but don't break your back over this.

    Anything that ties a new Git update to its corresponding dev. build would be perfect. Whatever means you use to do this should not only be easily found by players but also easy to deal with for your team.

    Whatever avenue you choose, it will be appreciated.
    Honestly, I think the easiest is simply getting people to always use the latest dev build and QF configs (from the Github repo). If schema does happen to make a change to the config files we'll most likely adjust our configs in max 24 hours, so it'll only be broken for a day or so. For example, when the latest dev build with missile changes came out I fixed our configs within the hour.

    So essentially, when updating to a new dev build, always make sure to also update to the latest QF configs. It's important to do it in that order btw, because the game over-writes configs when updating afaik. So update the game first, then replace the configs with latest QF config files. If you do that you'll never run into any issues (unless you update the game while we're still fixing the configs).
     
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    Dr. Whammy

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    Feedback/question:

    Is there anything in the configuration settings that can make AI turrets/fighters use the full firing rate of their weapons? ...or is that a hard-coded limitation of the AI?

    The reason I ask is because in the case of cannons, I've noticed that they appear to fire all outputs in a sequential burst once, then pause for one second before firing subsequent bursts. This is most noticeable in CC systems and cannons with no secondary system.

    Examples:

    - PD turrets and fighters with stock cannons fire at about half of the normal rate.

    - CC cannons fire all of their outputs ins sequence once, then pause for a second before firing again; resulting in a 240 round per minute firing rate as opposed to the normal rate of 600.

    - Turrets with more than one weapon combo will fire all outputs on all systems once, then pause for one second before firing again.

    I have also become aware that AI will not use volley, focused or unfocused firing modes and default to the above burst fire method.

    This, as well as the aforementioned burst method the AI is using, are things that I would recommend taking a closer look at since they cut the effectiveness of PD turrets substantially in both DPS and chances to hit (because PDs can and do miss) incoming missiles. Despite this reduced performance, they still have the same impact on mass, thrust and power grid in terms of resting power usage. In light of the recent shield debuffing, thrust curve penalty for larger builds and missiles' ability to ignore armor, I can see this resulting in heavy turret spam in the future.

    It also makes AI controlled GU-8/Phalanx/CIWS-type weapons impossible. ...and you know how much we love those... ;)

    What are your thoughts on this?
     
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    Since I totally don't remember, did that issue with the ai accuracy/difficulty setting getting overwritten with the default every time you start a server ever get fixed, or is it still lurking?
     

    Keptick

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    Since I totally don't remember, did that issue with the ai accuracy/difficulty setting getting overwritten with the default every time you start a server ever get fixed, or is it still lurking?
    Still lurking...
     
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    If this is how the weapons will be configured in the future, i will have to download this and try it out. Is there an install guide?

    I have been gone for 3 years, a lot to catch up on...
     

    Dr. Whammy

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    If this is how the weapons will be configured in the future, i will have to download this and try it out. Is there an install guide?

    I have been gone for 3 years, a lot to catch up on...
    Welcome back,

    Here is my recommendation as per what I've learned from the team:

    1) Create a separate clean install. ...or simply back up your existing install(s) to another location or under a different name.
    2) Download and install the latest dev. build. The newest one is ver. 202.16.
    3) Go to their repository, download the lasted config files, then copy them into your StarMade folder.
    4) Join their discord channel and lurk for a bit to see what the QuickFire team and devs are up to.
    5) Check for new dev. builds and configs periodically. I'd say one or twice a week will do.

    Also, here is a basic list of things to know about QuickFire in a nutshell. I hope it helps.
     

    Dr. Whammy

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    Feedback/question:

    Is there anything in the configuration settings that can make AI turrets/fighters use the full firing rate of their weapons? ...or is that a hard-coded limitation of the AI?

    The reason I ask is because in the case of cannons, I've noticed that they appear to fire all outputs in a sequential burst once, then pause for one second before firing subsequent bursts. This is most noticeable in CC systems and cannons with no secondary system.

    Examples:

    - PD turrets and fighters with stock cannons fire at about half of the normal rate.

    - CC cannons fire all of their outputs ins sequence once, then pause for a second before firing again; resulting in a 240 round per minute firing rate as opposed to the normal rate of 600.

    - Turrets with more than one weapon combo will fire all outputs on all systems once, then pause for one second before firing again.

    I have also become aware that AI will not use volley, focused or unfocused firing modes and default to the above burst fire method.

    This, as well as the aforementioned burst method the AI is using, are things that I would recommend taking a closer look at since they cut the effectiveness of PD turrets substantially in both DPS and chances to hit (because PDs can and do miss) incoming missiles. Despite this reduced performance, they still have the same impact on mass, thrust and power grid in terms of resting power usage. In light of the recent shield debuffing, thrust curve penalty for larger builds and missiles' ability to ignore armor, I can see this resulting in heavy turret spam in the future.

    It also makes AI controlled GU-8/Phalanx/CIWS-type weapons impossible. ...and you know how much we love those... ;)

    What are your thoughts on this?
    Snip.JPG

    That's MUCH better. Thanks Keptick !
     
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