The Quickfire Initiative: Rebalancing StarMade.

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    Thanks for posting this short tutorial Scypio. I might try messing with some of the configs with a couple of friends to see what we can come up with (maybe a bit of friendly competition? IDK, you'll probably be way ahead of us).
     

    Dr. Whammy

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    Oh, i just realized. Manhattan did put everything into lock on for some reasons. I thought it had the same and old combo i did set up.
    That's what my tests showed as well.

    Any chance of bringing back heat-seekers without the MIRV function? They do come in handy in some situations.
    The M/M combo is interesting: Kinda like the old weapons 2.0 missile/damage pulse combo but faster. However, now we don't have the "bomb" anymore. Is that gone for good?

    We looked for a long time at systems only. But you have to agree that at one point we cannot balance shields without chambers THEN balance chambers. That's because we did it and it didn't worked. Because shields are a dumb mechanic from a gameplay perspective, applying chamber to them makes them even worst. All of that is because of extreme. You can go the other way around of instead of flying giant gun with thrusters you fly a giant shield blob with thrusters. One of the two solution, at least, gives something to come out of space battles. Finding the balance is in theory possible IF you don't have something that moves the balance around in only one way. Aka chambers. Either we nerf the chambers to being complete trash nobody uses them or we don't.
    To be honest; I think you're putting the cart before the horse. If we want to be fair, shields should keep with the same rock/paper/scissors motif you've been following with everything else. Specifically, they should have the same resistance options as the armor chambers, (including environmental so you can fly near a star, or whatever Schine's cooking up) so that when EM, thermal, and kinetic damage ratios become relevant, a player can set up their shields according to the threats a they feel they are most likely to encounter. ...then the enemy changes things up and it's back to the drawing board to counter the new threat.

    Obviously, QF can't make these kinds of changes but I don't think it's appropriate to nerf shields across the board because of an incomplete system.

    Perhaps that's another question for Schine.


    So now, onto the short tutorial.
    • First you'll need a code editor. Why ? Because it helps a lot. It helps to keep indentation automatically without worrying yourself about it as well as taking care of the format of the file for you. Of course coloured text is a must have for any code is a must have too. I personally use visual studio code (and every following screeshots will be made using it). It is a good editor though it can be a bit heavy in term of size and loading time because it has a lot of features you probably won't be interested in. As such, a lot of people (and what i recommend) use Notepad++. This code editor is really lightweight. However of course it is a bit crude in certain domain. It's ok for editing xml files, Ithirahad has been using it for all of his edits.
    • First, lets talk a bit about some generalities. The configs files for starmade are divided in 3 files. Blockconfig.xml is the file that takes care of the block individual hp as well as recipes for the factories when deconstructing the ore and stuff. BlockBehaviorConfig.xml is the file that takes care of everything else in the configs. Like power generation, shield capacity and so on. Then, EffectConfig.xml is for all of the chambers effects. However for this last one you will need to go into the ingame editor to change it otherwise the checksum with the hash won't be correct and thus the config won't load at all.
    • Now some other generalities about xmls.
      • In an xml when something is like that <Value></Value> it's the same as <Value/>.
      • In <Value>X</Value>, the X is the value of the element value.
      • In <Value Attribute=X/> the X is the value of the attribute Attribute. The attribute is one of maybe several other attribute of the element Value. There is no real difference between the two way of storing the data but they are really different in term of code and in the overall xml tree.
      • A xml file architecture is called a tree because it look like one. It doesn't matter to understand this for our purpose here but if this interest you there is plenty of documentation about it online.
    • Most of the values in the config files are floats. If you do not know what it is, it's simply a number with a coma. However it's not the case for everything. Sometimes you cannot place floats but like 99% of the time you can. Of course use points and not comma there.
    • Now onto more proper example. Here in this screenshot below you have the base cannon weapon.
    View attachment 57089
    Don't look at the OLD part, that's for the old power system. The NEW part is what interest us.
    • Here Damage is the damage dealt by each bullets per module. Which means that if there's 2 modules of basic cannon, they'll deal 40 damage and so on.
    • ReactorPowerConsumptionResting is when the weapon is resting aka when the weapon is charged and wait for shooting.
    • ReactorPowerConsumptionCharging is when the weapon is charging.
    • Distance is off the distance configured in server.cfg. In this example WEAPON_RANGE_REFERENCE in server.cfg is set up at 2 000, which means 5 000m, or 5 km.
    • Speed is based off THRUST_SPEED_LIMIT in server.cfg. Same way of thinking above.
    • ReloadMs is the plain blank reload time in mili seconds.
    • AdditionalPowerConsumptionPerUnitMult is the added power per outputs. In our case it's 0.
    Now onto slaves, that's where the fun comes in.View attachment 57090
    • First off, every value are for 100% slaves. Which means that if you have for example 10 dps per second per block, it would only be for 100% slave. If you are at 50% slaves, in this hypothetical case it would be 15 dps per block.
    • The style attribute can either be nerf, buff, skip or set.
      • Skip is the plainest of them all. It simply ignore everything else and you will have the same stats as the base weapon for this combo.
      • Set is quite simple too. When you use this, it sets up the value to what you write into value.
      • buff is when you want to add more to this stat. To calculate it, you take the value you did set up in the value attribute and then add 1 to it and then multiply the result with the base value for the weapon. To put a mathematic formula there it should look like this : ComboValue = BaseValue * (1 + ValueForCombo).
      • nerf is when you want to reduce the value for this stat. In this case it's simpler. You just need to divide the base value by the valye you did set up there. For a more mathematical formula it should look like this : ComboValue = BaseValue / ValueForCombo.
    • For every other elements for each combos it works the same. Don't touch about the linear stuff and keep it as it is.
    • Now, onto shields
    View attachment 57093
    View attachment 57092
    • ShieldLocalCapacityPerBlock is as its name suggest, the capacity added per block.
    • ShieldLocalDefaultCapacity is the base capacity of ships.
    • ShieldLocalRechargePerBlock is the recharge given per blocks.
    • ShieldUpkeepPerSecondOfTotalCapacity is as its name suggest it. it's the upkeep per seconds and per total capacity.
    • ShieldLocalPowerConsumptionPerRechargePerSecondResting is as its name suggest. The power used by the ship when the shields are resting per recharge. Same goes for charging. So to get the power consumption per block you need to multiply the recharge per block to know it.
    • Now onto thrusters
      View attachment 57094
    • ReactorPowerPowerConsumptionPerBlockResting is the power consumption per block, as the name suggest. And then resting and in use.
    • The tmr is the simple ratio between the thruster and the mass of the ship. So if you have twice the amount of thrusters than your mass you have a tmr of 2.
    • To get the amounf of thrusters you need to do this formula : TotalAmountOfThrusters = ((NumberofThrusters * UnitCalcMult)^
      PowTotalThrust) * MulTotalThrust.
    ...aaaaand BOOKMARKED!!!

    Thanks for posting this. I'll try and load it up in Dream weaver and see what happens.
     

    DrTarDIS

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    Oh, i just realized. Manhattan did put everything into lock on for some reasons. I thought it had the same and old combo i did set up.


    We looked for a long time at systems only. But you have to agree that at one point we cannot balance shields without chambers THEN balance chambers. That's because we did it and it didn't worked. Because shields are a dumb mechanic from a gameplay perspective, applying chamber to them makes them even worst. All of that is because of extreme. You can go the other way around of instead of flying giant gun with thrusters you fly a giant shield blob with thrusters. One of the two solution, at least, gives something to come out of space battles. Finding the balance is in theory possible IF you don't have something that moves the balance around in only one way. Aka chambers. Either we nerf the chambers to being complete trash nobody uses them or we don't.
    I'm going to point out that shields are hard to balance partly because you took away the shield-ignoring bomb.
    Rock Paper Scissors doesn't work when you ban scissors. That bomb was incentive to have armor (the other headache).

    I'll also point out that chamber balance would work just fine if Em/heat actually worked for their mult. effects. Again, R/P/S doesn't work without P/S.

    As for giant gun vs giant shield: both them have an outcome in combat. Weather you LIKE that the great wall of china stops your mongol hoard without firing a shot is beyond the pale when both come from the same 2 basic resource pools(Power and weight/volume/mobility).

    It's a crapshow for sure, but it would be less of show if spreadsheets and graphs were used to convey infomation.

    edit: to be fair also, this is what a combat encounter between ships without effective shields or armor looks like in a similar voxel game.
    Each of those ships represents around 3-5 hours of EFFICIENT mining/resource-collection. A similar Grind-bloat problem that starmade has suffered from with the economy being so...unbalanced. Imagine playing counter-strike, but to be allowed to spawn into a round first you must spend 2 hours on a bullet-press and loading mags.

    Mmmm so "fun" to spend time that way after:
    -I was doing crafting and gathering IRL for 40 hours to:
    --pay for the internet and computer so I can:
    ---spend hours in virtual crafting and gathering, so I can:
    ---- spend hours hunting down a combat opportunity so I can:
    -----Enjoy 45 seconds to 5 minutes of combat.

    The Real balance needs to happen with step 3-dashes there IMHO. Too bad no one wants to go through the giant ass crafting config and divide the resource cost by 10.



    ...aaaaand BOOKMARKED!!!

    Thanks for posting this. I'll try and load it up in Dream weaver and see what happens.
    Notepad++ works wonders IMHO.
     
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    I'm going to point out that shields are hard to balance partly because you took away the shield-ignoring bomb.
    Rock Paper Scissors doesn't work when you ban scissors. That bomb was incentive to have armor (the other headache).

    I'll also point out that chamber balance would work just fine if Em/heat actually worked for their mult. effects. Again, R/P/S doesn't work without P/S.

    As for giant gun vs giant shield: both them have an outcome in combat. Weather you LIKE that the great wall of china stops your mongol hoard without firing a shot is beyond the pale when both come from the same 2 basic resource pools(Power and weight/volume/mobility).
    Shields are not hard to balance due to bomb not being able to go through them. The only ships bomb threatens are very slow ones. Problem with shields is that they are all or nothing. How do you balance something that is basically just a HP bar? There is nothing to balance here for there is no mechanic concerning the shields which can be played around. It's a decent implementation of shields for an RTS game where you need to deal with dozens of units at once and can rotate them in and out of combat but not Starmade where you control the ship in question yourself.

    Same goes for effects. Hell, you can even switch your defensive effects more or less on the fly through the chamber tree. There is no indication of what effects the enemy has active or if he switched them. There is no engineering or any active gameplay mechanics involved. It's just a guessing game with no way to make an informed decision. You can fight the same enemy ship 3 times in a span of an hour and it can have completely different defensive effects each time.
    _____

    Armour can be made much more impactful easily (against cannons, missiles just explode everything and beams have their bugs), I had a config somewhere that makes it so, but it has a more radical approach to weapon stats. In theory beams could be made to 1 tick per pulse so that they work similar to cannons which should lower their propensity for fucking with armour calculations.

    There are just two points about it - you need spaced armour vs missiles which is absolutely in no way related to how you need to build your main armour layer, and the second point is that it was considered a little too swingy when I used this armour config in the past. It uses quadratic scaling instead of linear one that we have right now.
     

    DrTarDIS

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    Shields are not hard to balance due to bomb not being able to go through them. The only ships bomb threatens are very slow ones.
    So basicly, it counters the "great wall of china" Type of massive regen and capacity shields you can ONLY see on giant and by gamemechanics "slow" ships that was being talked about in the post I responded to? Imagine that, your "it doesn't work" is only valid in the case of tiny ships that it's not needed against. WEIRD. Almost like that would be a BALANCE...
    Problem with shields is that they are all or nothing. How do you balance something that is basically just a HP bar? There is nothing to balance here for there is no mechanic concerning the shields which can be played around. It's a decent implementation of shields for an RTS game where you need to deal with dozens of units at once and can rotate them in and out of combat but not Starmade where you control the ship in question yourself.
    You balance it by examining how long something takes to construct on average vs how long it takes to destroy on average to maybe make the game less of a full time job simulator and more of a GAME. But heay, that's just my opinion.

    I'm guessing you've never experienced the gamestates of 2013,14,15 where insta-gib coreing was a thing

    Don't really understand your RTS point, other than maybe as a dig at fleets?
     

    Dr. Whammy

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    I'm going to point out that shields are hard to balance partly because you took away the shield-ignoring bomb.
    Rock Paper Scissors doesn't work when you ban scissors. That bomb was incentive to have armor (the other headache).

    I'll also point out that chamber balance would work just fine if Em/heat actually worked for their mult. effects. Again, R/P/S doesn't work without P/S.
    Agreed.

    You balance shields the same way you balance any other system; by making it a counter to a certain weapon type and making other weapons serve as a counter to it. In weapons 2.0, Shields were easily countered by adding the Ion effect to your weapons. In weapons 3.0, we have an EM effect and we had the bomb.

    Those were our balances for excessive shielding.

    As for giant gun vs giant shield: both them have an outcome in combat. Weather you LIKE that the great wall of china stops your mongol hoard without firing a shot is beyond the pale when both come from the same 2 basic resource pools(Power and weight/volume/mobility).

    It's a crapshow for sure, but it would be less of show if spreadsheets and graphs were used to convey infomation.
    ...another prime example of proper shield balance; the irresistible force vs the immovable object. Both should be viable strategies since (ironically) they have the same counter. Mobility. ...both to evade the overwhelming force and to breach the otherwise impenetrable wall with a bomb.

    edit: to be fair also, this is what a combat encounter between ships without effective shields or armor looks like in a similar voxel game.
    Each of those ships represents around 3-5 hours of EFFICIENT mining/resource-collection. A similar Grind-bloat problem that starmade has suffered from with the economy being so...unbalanced. Imagine playing counter-strike, but to be allowed to spawn into a round first you must spend 2 hours on a bullet-press and loading mags.

    Mmmm so "fun" to spend time that way after:
    -I was doing crafting and gathering IRL for 40 hours to:
    --pay for the internet and computer so I can:
    ---spend hours in virtual crafting and gathering, so I can:
    ---- spend hours hunting down a combat opportunity so I can:
    -----Enjoy 45 seconds to 5 minutes of combat.

    The Real balance needs to happen with step 3-dashes there IMHO. Too bad no one wants to go through the giant ass crafting config and divide the resource cost by 10.
    That "combat" was hard to sit through.

    I mostly agree you on this issue; especially on the excessive grinding. Though, I think lowering the resource cost that drastically can easily backfire; as such things often lead to giantism. ...or at my scale, excessive fleet sizes. Both are things that cause lag and other problems on multi-player servers.

    While QF can tweak resource costs, this might be an issue that is best left to server admins and the Schine team to address.

    Notepad++ works wonders IMHO.
    Thanks for the link. Interestingly enough, the reason I was using Dream Weaver was because literally all of my previous downloads/installs of Notepad++ were flagged as malware. I'll give it another look.
     
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    So basicly, it counters the "great wall of china" Type of massive regen and capacity shields you can ONLY see on giant and by gamemechanics "slow" ships that was being talked about in the post I responded to? Imagine that, your "it doesn't work" is only valid in the case of tiny ships that it's not needed against. WEIRD. Almost like that would be a BALANCE...
    Who flies fiant turd shields wall ? Who fly slow as fuck ship ? Honestly ?
    Yes, things are much slower compared to vanilla but you still can't hit unless you have something bomber sized compared to the other guy. Which is not even close to the 1/100th of the mass mark. Bombs are and always were a meme weapon unusable in combat situation. Except against stations that don't move, because they honestly need more counter, or memeing someone at his HB that forgot to dock or is just undocking while you wait in your cloaked ship. Maybe if one day bobby is able to use properly the bomb that can be a thing but i don't think i'll live long enough for that.
    Instead of having only 5 % of their ship dedicated to thrusters pvp ship uses a much bigger portion of their size to gain a correct enough tmr. Because if you can't get hit, your don't need to defend against it.
    I see EM being talked about too, that's something we intended to bring back but the reality is that having full effect on a weapon with the correct base effects gives only 15% damage increase. Another thing we cannot do much without a change in code. Have i said already that effects are really, really dumb currently ?
     

    Dr. Whammy

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    Who flies fiant turd shields wall ? Who fly slow as fuck ship ? Honestly ?
    Yes, things are much slower compared to vanilla but you still can't hit unless you have something bomber sized compared to the other guy. Which is not even close to the 1/100th of the mass mark. Bombs are and always were a meme weapon unusable in combat situation. Except against stations that don't move, because they honestly need more counter, or memeing someone at his HB that forgot to dock or is just undocking while you wait in your cloaked ship. Maybe if one day bobby is able to use properly the bomb that can be a thing but i don't think i'll live long enough for that.
    Instead of having only 5 % of their ship dedicated to thrusters pvp ship uses a much bigger portion of their size to gain a correct enough tmr. Because if you can't get hit, your don't need to defend against it.
    I see EM being talked about too, that's something we intended to bring back but the reality is that having full effect on a weapon with the correct base effects gives only 15% damage increase. Another thing we cannot do much without a change in code. Have i said already that effects are really, really dumb currently ?
    Regarding bombs: Under the new config, the base speed of missiles is just 250 m/sec; much slower than most options we've seen in the past. If you made bombs into a dumb fire rocket in the 200-250 m/sec speed range; with projectile speed decreasing sharply as you add more blocks to the secondary system, that might make them more practical and less "situational".

    Regarding EM: What about using beams? Is there a way to give beams an edge against shields specifically? You know, something functionally similar to how you gave missiles an edge against armor?
     
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    You balance it by examining how long something takes to construct on average vs how long it takes to destroy on average to maybe make the game less of a full time job simulator and more of a GAME. But heay, that's just my opinion.
    There is a mismatch between actually building a shield and mining for it. Though even mining for it right now is very easy. And due to shield mechanics building them is just plopping a bunch of block blobs. So it's not in any way exciting or interesting. There are some tricks that can be used with shield blocks but most people who don't care about building ships with PVP in mind won't ever bother with them.

    I'm guessing you've never experienced the gamestates of 2013,14,15 where insta-gib coreing was a thing
    Before Quickfire changes you could melt your opponent of the same mass in around 10-15 seconds. It was just beams all the way from top to bottom. No need for coring, just burn most of the enemy ship.

    Don't really understand your RTS point, other than maybe as a dig at fleets?
    For current Starmade shields to show proper utility they need a full on RTS mechanics with direct control over ships. Only this way you will be able to get something more interesting than a pure HP bar out of them. If you could control ships a-la Homeworld with the same responsiveness and the game fights were based around 10-50 ships per player then current mechanics would be enough.

    But Starmade can't support something like this due to technical limitations and current AI setup.

    You know, something functionally similar to how you gave missiles an edge against armor?
    We didn't give missiles edge against armour. It's all due to the fact that explosions and cannon/beam damage is applied by completely different methods. It would be more truthul to say that there is no way to remove missile edge against armour without some really heavy handed nerfing on them in general.
     

    Dr. Whammy

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    We didn't give missiles edge against armour. It's all due to the fact that explosions and cannon/beam damage is applied by completely different methods. It would be more truthul to say that there is no way to remove missile edge against armour without some really heavy handed nerfing on them in general.
    You didn't answer the question.

    If you don't have an answer, that's fine but I'm trying to help find a solution. I'm not interested in more cherry-picked tangents.


    Edited to add:

    Looking back, a lot of what you said doesn't make any sense to me. I know most of your reply was meant for DrTarDIS but now, you've got me curious about your line of thinking.

    There is a mismatch between actually building a shield and mining for it. Though even mining for it right now is very easy. And due to shield mechanics building them is just plopping a bunch of block blobs. So it's not in any way exciting or interesting. There are some tricks that can be used with shield blocks but most people who don't care about building ships with PVP in mind won't ever bother with them.
    Regarding shields not being "interesting"; why exactly are you guys so intent on making all basic systems restrictive and overly complicated by default? Seriously; that's what logic and rails are for.

    Before Quickfire changes you could melt your opponent of the same mass in around 10-15 seconds. It was just beams all the way from top to bottom. No need for coring, just burn most of the enemy ship.
    Old school "coring" and death beam exploits are not even remotely the same thing. Have you played, pre-rails StarMade?

    For current Starmade shields to show proper utility they need a full on RTS mechanics with direct control over ships. Only this way you will be able to get something more interesting than a pure HP bar out of them. If you could control ships a-la Homeworld with the same responsiveness and the game fights were based around 10-50 ships per player then current mechanics would be enough.

    But Starmade can't support something like this due to technical limitations and current AI setup.
    Speculating or planning in anticipation of any RTS functions is kind of a moot point since that's Schine's turf and won't likely come out any time Soom tm ...

    However, I am forced to ask; what exactly do you consider "proper shield utility"? How do you; an early 21st century human determine this when no such device exists in reality? I ask because I'm getting a very biased vibe from your statement.
     
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    Regarding bombs: Under the new config, the base speed of missiles is just 250 m/sec; much slower than most options we've seen in the past. If you made bombs into a dumb fire rocket in the 200-250 m/sec speed range; with projectile speed decreasing sharply as you add more blocks to the secondary system, that might make them more practical and less "situational".
    Not possible. Either your slave has the lock-on status and thus won't ignore shields or it's a bomb and will do everything it does.

    Regarding EM: What about using beams? Is there a way to give beams an edge against shields specifically? You know, something functionally similar to how you gave missiles an edge against armor?
    Nope. And as zoolimar said, we didn't do anything concerning armor and missiles. Let's do a little story time.
    Schema just at the start implemented the armor damage reduction but only on cannons. We kinda cried out loud when we realized it was only for cannon, a bad enough weapon. Then he added it to beams thankfully. So now on impact there is the armor formula for cannon and beams. But not for missiles. Since we thought it could have been interesting to have this sort of rock paper scissor mechanic plus coupled with the fact that missiles are already countered by PD turrets and baffled armor it would've turned ok.
    The wish was prude, in the end everything was just spamming missiles because it was easy and bobby can't even hit the death star at point blank range. Though, since missiles have inconsistent damage againsts shields (because geometry is still used to determine their damage when they do hit shields for some reasons) this wish could still be true. Maybe. End of story time.

    And, as a matter of fact, beams are better than cannon against armor. Because acid is for some reasons doing way more damage than their cannon counterpart, even though the damage applied is reduced correctly. To quote someone : "acid is on acid". Or maybe cannon have something in their damage model that means a lot is lost in the process. So in the current state of things : giving beams the edge on shields is not a good idea.
    Old school "coring" and death beam exploits are not even remotely the same thing. Have you played, pre-rails StarMade?
    Not even the need for beam exploits. Just use plenty of old sticky beams and wait for your opponent to melt. Since it's acid the damage will propagate through your whole ship. And since the weapon is sticky, no need to aim. Wonderful, isn't ?

    Regarding shields not being "interesting"; why exactly are you guys so intent on making all basic systems restrictive and overly complicated by default? Seriously; that's what logic and rails are for.
    Rails and stuff are just "cool" but they don't add anything in the stats of the ship itself.
    As you quoted in the previous page people liked power 1 because it was "interesting". Don't get me wrong, it sucked. Hard. But it was "interesting" because you had this in mind when building your ship : "I have X size. How am i going to get as much power as possible in this restricted space ?" but now there isn't even that. Just slap blobs and call it done. You could do it too previously but you had this wonderful possibility to tinker with your build the more time passes.
    Starmade is a wonderful spaceship building simulator. And thus, if there's no challenge or complexity in building there's nothing to do. It's not because someone says building is a chore to him that it isn't for others. A lot of people in starmade especially liked previous statement. But if we can't do it via the power generation at least try to have a little bit of everything in every systems ? Weapons have their various setup that can be interesting to tinker with. Armor has his thickness and distribution overall into your ship to be interesting. Power have nothing but that can't be changed. Thrusters, merp. What do shields have too ? Nothing.
    I'm guessing shield will be more interesting when we can more around and change the shape of the shield's bubble. This will allow so much interesting stuff. But until now : Stuck with that boring hp bar.
     

    Dr. Whammy

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    Not possible. Either your slave has the lock-on status and thus won't ignore shields or it's a bomb and will do everything it does.
    Hard-coded huh? That's unfortunate. Did you guys decide whether or not you're going to leave bombs and heat seekers out from now on?

    Nope. And as zoolimar said, we didn't do anything concerning armor and missiles. Let's do a little story time.
    Schema just at the start implemented the armor damage reduction but only on cannons. We kinda cried out loud when we realized it was only for cannon, a bad enough weapon. Then he added it to beams thankfully. So now on impact there is the armor formula for cannon and beams. But not for missiles. Since we thought it could have been interesting to have this sort of rock paper scissor mechanic plus coupled with the fact that missiles are already countered by PD turrets and baffled armor it would've turned ok.
    The wish was prude, in the end everything was just spamming missiles because it was easy and bobby can't even hit the death star at point blank range. Though, since missiles have inconsistent damage againsts shields (because geometry is still used to determine their damage when they do hit shields for some reasons) this wish could still be true. Maybe. End of story time.
    Yeah, I read that Schine made it so that cannons and beams are using a linear effect to calculate penetration and block damage. Meanwhile, missiles dump all their damage onto one spot; radiating outwards...

    If I interpret you correctly; it sounds like beams and cannons were changed code-wise by Schine to create this armor effect and missiles don't actually "ignore" armor, but rather, the penetration formula simply wasn't applied to them so they end up destroying more std. and adv. armor blocks due to sheer damage output against an overall, lower block HP count than what you'd see on a same-sized mass of basic hull.

    Am I missing anything?

    And, as a matter of fact, beams are better than cannon against armor. Because acid is for some reasons doing way more damage than their cannon counterpart, even though the damage applied is reduced correctly. To quote someone : "acid is on acid". Or maybe cannon have something in their damage model that means a lot is lost in the process. So in the current state of things : giving beams the edge on shields is not a good idea.
    Unless your team has made a change after the one you've recently confirmed, beams are still broken but in different ways.
    - they seem to fire a single tick rather than amount of ticks that are posted in the stats and Discord config info.
    - BC in a 1:0 ratio has an inexplicably high damage output; both in DPS and damage per tick. ...far higher than you'd expect.
    - BB actually has about 30% less damage per shot than an unmodded beam array; despite having 2.5 times the cool-down time.

    Not even the need for beam exploits. Just use plenty of old sticky beams and wait for your opponent to melt. Since it's acid the damage will propagate through your whole ship. And since the weapon is sticky, no need to aim. Wonderful, isn't ?
    Yeah... I remember that weapon... Definitely broken but still very different than the old core-popping days.

    Rails and stuff are just "cool" but they don't add anything in the stats of the ship itself.miss
    As you quoted in the previous page people liked power 1 because it was "interesting". Don't get me wrong, it sucked. Hard. But it was "interesting" because you had this in mind when building your ship : "I have X size. How am i going to get as much power as possible in this restricted space ?" but now there isn't even that. Just slap blobs and call it done. You could do it too previously but you had this wonderful possibility to tinker with your build the more time passes.
    Starmade is a wonderful spaceship building simulator. And thus, if there's no challenge or complexity in building there's nothing to do. It's not because someone says building is a chore to him that it isn't for others. A lot of people in starmade especially liked previous statement. But if we can't do it via the power generation at least try to have a little bit of everything in every systems ? Weapons have their various setup that can be interesting to tinker with. Armor has his thickness and distribution overall into your ship to be interesting. Power have nothing but that can't be changed. Thrusters, merp. What do shields have too ? Nothing.
    I'm guessing shield will be more interesting when we can more around and change the shape of the shield's bubble. This will allow so much interesting stuff. But until now : Stuck with that boring hp bar.
    I understand your point of view. However, I think it is possible to add reasonable amounts of complexity to systems without making them confusing, overly restrictive or eliminating certain common strategies outright. To pull it off, you'll need to use the chambers as originally intended; as accessory systems that buff primary systems. Unfortunately, that too, is up to Schine to address.

    Thanks for taking the time to fully break down the "why" and "how" of your team's decisions. This clears up several misconceptions I had.
     
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    If I interpret you correctly; it sounds like beams and cannons were changed code-wise by Schine to create this armor effect and missiles don't actually "ignore" armor, but rather, the penetration formula simply wasn't applied to them so they end up destroying more std. and adv. armor blocks due to sheer damage output against an overall, lower block HP count than what you'd see on a same-sized mass of basic hull.
    Schema changed cannons and beams during transition to P2/W3 but initial formula was so weak it could as well not exist. We just asked him to change the formula which was used for calculating the damage applied to armour using already existing mechanics. He didn't need to code much for that as far as I understand, just change a couple of math functions.

    Missiles do not have the armour depth check at all. They explode on contact so there is no way to hook them to the armour formula without Schema changing how they work. And yes explosions just dump the damage radially destroying as much as they can. Trying to hook them to armour formula will lead to an unsustainable amount of checks.
     

    DrTarDIS

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    There is a mismatch between actually building a shield and mining for it. Though even mining for it right now is very easy. And due to shield mechanics building them is just plopping a bunch of block blobs. So it's not in any way exciting or interesting. There are some tricks that can be used with shield blocks but most people who don't care about building ships with PVP in mind won't ever bother with them.
    Not what I was talking about, I was talking about the time invested in gathering resources for THE ENTIRE SHIP. Design time construction time etc not withstanding. If it takes 2 hours just to accumulate the resources for a ship(including processing tics in a factory assuming you have a factory already made to do it), I'd think it SHOULD be able to face-tank something in it's same class for around 2 minutes at the very least. An HP bar like a shield is one of the things that does that.

    Getting insta-gibbed just leads to ragequit.
    Before Quickfire changes you could melt your opponent of the same mass in around 10-15 seconds. It was just beams all the way from top to bottom. No need for coring, just burn most of the enemy ship.
    Ok, let's pull out the epeen rulers. In the pre-system-hp era I was talking about I could offline/overheat a ship TEN TIMES my size in under 1/10 of a second.

    To be precise, with a specific cannon build, I could destroy around ~90,000 advanced armor blocks /second with an engagement range of 8 sectors. There was NO SHIP that could survive, period.

    That's what happens without shields.

    Tell me, which is more "boring"?

    For current Starmade shields to show proper utility they need a full on RTS mechanics with direct control over ships. Only this way you will be able to get something more interesting than a pure HP bar out of them. If you could control ships a-la Homeworld with the same responsiveness and the game fights were based around 10-50 ships per player then current mechanics would be enough.

    But Starmade can't support something like this due to technical limitations and current AI setup.
    I completely disagree, mainly because I have played with the above standards as well as every one from 2014 - 2018 actively, and "touched in" for 2019 and 2020.

    We didn't give missiles edge against armour. It's all due to the fact that explosions and cannon/beam damage is applied by completely different methods. It would be more truthul to say that there is no way to remove missile edge against armour without some really heavy handed nerfing on them in general.
    Or just use the unobfuscated codebase, Copy, paste, test, tweak, test, repeat. If Shine had unobfuscated while SYSHP was a thing I'd have done it myself by simply changing the SYSHP variable to Signed instead of Unsigned and making functional things like shields/weapons/power -SYSHP, basic hull and every "decorative" block +SYSHP, and armor Neutral SYSHP with the AHP pool being exactly how it was.

    You want to play the "balance is hard" card I'll gladly throw 5 textbooks worth of "just steal this cause it works" data at your face.

    Every combat game ever requires 3-point counter-builds at a MINIMUM and usually only get interesting at 5 or 7 point cross-counter.

    The 3 basics are Attack, Defence, Mobility inherant in the build type relying on a basic resouce for balance (mass in starmade). They all have to draw from a secondary base pool for temp buff(energy in starmade, stamina or mana in most other games like SNK or Warcraft) if you want it to be a "fight" instead of "full hard counter" depending on relative placement.
    Winchell Chung's Analysis and ship type graphics are particularly of use here. Though very similar analysis can and has been done between the DPS/TANK/CC archtype trifecta in other MMO.
    shipgrid11[1].jpg <-How to read the graph
    shipgrid1[1].png <-what it means

    What happens when you add a "block bar" or "shield bar" like Streetfighter or gasp starmade is that you prolong engagement time and discourage "sneak attack instagib" and "light punch spam." In any game that isn't a guaranteed fight within ADD-interval of clicking "ready" this is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT. Starmade (except for the NEVER USED COMBAT-ONLY MODE) is this type of game.

    When you apply secondary "off balancing" like Effect chambers or "elemental type and resistance" of MMO, you need to make sure one of 2 avenues of attack is still a hard counter. EG: If you gain resistance to Lizard, a Spock build is still countered by Paper and a Paper build is still countered by Scissors. Feel free to rename these arbitrairilly as "EM, Heat, Kinetic, Acid, Explosive" or "Poison, Ice, Fire, Wind, Dark" or whatever other names tickle your curly-hairs. Follow that chart and it JUST WORKS.
    ltfS9m[1].jpg

    On balance and mechanisms specific to Warships and Space combat in general, there are many people smarter than everyone reading this thread who have gone IN DEPTH on balance and mechanics. Go read them. For combat games and every arcade varient under the sun it's the same: this game is broken because it tries to be "special" and ends up "special education."

    Beyond that there is of course SKILL which is where "balance" cannot and should not try to force an outcome. There's a reason you CAN "tech" an entire super in streetfighter. There's also a reason Shroud Pwns Noobs even out-geared and from a bad position.
     
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    Ok, let's pull out the epeen rulers. In the pre-system-hp era I was talking about I could offline/overheat a ship TEN TIMES my size in under 1/10 of a second.

    To be precise, with a specific cannon build, I could destroy around ~90,000 advanced armor blocks /second with an engagement range of 8 sectors. There was NO SHIP that could survive, period.

    That's what happens without shields.

    Tell me, which is more "boring"?
    The coring one. I just don't see the 10 second to burn as much better. With QF config you at least have around 3 minutes of combat. More or less depending on designs.

    Or just use the unobfuscated codebase, Copy, paste, test, tweak, test, repeat. If Shine had unobfuscated while SYSHP was a thing I'd have done it myself by simply changing the SYSHP variable to Signed instead of Unsigned and making functional things like shields/weapons/power -SYSHP, basic hull and every "decorative" block +SYSHP, and armor Neutral SYSHP with the AHP pool being exactly how it was.

    You want to play the "balance is hard" card I'll gladly throw 5 textbooks worth of "just steal this cause it works" data at your face.
    I don't see what QF has to do with it. We literally can't do something like this. We have only configs. Changes that we asked for were either clear bugs or easy to do on the side while Schema was doing something else.

    I also don't see what Projectrho has to do with Starmade as it deals with possible real life applications of technology.
     

    Nauvran

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    The coring one. I just don't see the 10 second to burn as much better. With QF config you at least have around 3 minutes of combat. More or less depending on designs.


    I don't see what QF has to do with it. We literally can't do something like this. We have only configs. Changes that we asked for were either clear bugs or easy to do on the side while Schema was doing something else.

    I also don't see what Projectrho has to do with Starmade as it deals with possible real life applications of technology.
    NO WE NEED CORING BACK
    I NEED MY 2 SECOND TTK!!!!!!!!!!
    WHILE YOU'RE AT IT BRING BACK OLD TURRET AI SO I CAN SIT SAFELY AT MY HOMEBASE AND KILL ANYONE IN A 10 SECTOR RADIUS
     

    DrTarDIS

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    I don't see what QF has to do with it. We literally can't do something like this. We have only configs. Changes that we asked for were either clear bugs or easy to do on the side while Schema was doing something else.
    Go here: Index of /build/
    Get a java decompiler. Use it.
    Look at the code for the modules that are buggy
    Fix them.
    It's not that much more complex than the config files that are being messed with.

    Again, the only Issues *I* had a couple years back was that the code was obfuscated, meaning all the variable names were switched to random characters like "QW23ESA4DS12ADI" instead of "energy." Shine said the codebase is no longer obfuscated like that so it shouldn't be that much more effort if you're already balancing/fixing anyways.

    I also don't see what Projectrho has to do with Starmade as it deals with possible real life applications of technology.
    It's because it's mainly about game balance and real-life reasoning for that balance. They examine quite a few different systems from table-top to computer games if you bother looking and reading. I wasn't kidding when I said

    I'll gladly throw 5 textbooks worth of "just steal this cause it works" data at your face.
    ... 'cause there's easily 2 textbooks worth at that one link, and more where that came from if you bother looking.
     
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    Go here: Index of /build/
    Get a java decompiler. Use it.
    Look at the code for the modules that are buggy
    Fix them.
    It's not that much more complex than the config files that are being messed with.
    If you find the beam bug that makes them penetrate armour 3-4 times better than they are supposed to and do it without consistency I'm gonna say a big thank you. But there were people looking at the files and I don't think they found it. Some other bugs, like defensive effect chambers yeah, those got caught.

    It's because it's mainly about game balance and real-life reasoning for that balance. They examine quite a few different systems from table-top to computer games if you bother looking and reading. I wasn't kidding when I said
    The problem is we know at least the basic ideas for balance. You need actual values to implement them. And for that you need to work with the systems that Starmade has. At least QF needs to do it, because we can't just rewrite the game. Projectrho ideas may be decent in vacuum but applying them to Starmade just doesn't work in many cases.

    Even simply going through ship types you can see the problems:

    Control ship - you kinda can do it, but it is much more limited in it's application due to AI and top speed. Also it's much less powerful due to armour and shields in Starmade actually being able to stop a lot unlike in real life.
    Kinetistar - you can kinda do it, but it's not the same. Because projectile top speed is in no way related to ship size. There are no mechanics like this in Starmade.
    Kirklin Mine - worthless. While dedicated PD ship may be useful you still want it to be a ship of size comparable to your other vessels. Because missiles have HP.
    Lancer - doesn't work because Newton never was invited to Starmade. You can make a smaller ship armed with CM but it is nowhere near the same.
    Laserstar - works. Before QF was basically the only viable design. Still probably the best, though you may want to throw some missiles on it to better strip armour if your beams suddenly don't bug out.
    Carriers/Fighters - problem with AI. Technically a big carrier plus 3-5 smaller player ships, but still pretty large (with total mass around equal to the carrier), can be viable. With carrier providing jump drive chambers and smaller ships being pure combat builds.

    So, out of all the variants provided only 1 can be implemented properly. All others have some or a lot of caveats and clear problems. In many cases Starmade was never intended to support them.
     

    DrTarDIS

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    So, out of all the variants provided only 1 can be implemented properly. All others have some or a lot of caveats and clear problems. In many cases Starmade was never intended to support them.
    I love how you've fixated onto some particular subset as if that's the be-all end all, not like that's just a single page out of an entire textbook sized grouping. But yeah, you being lazy is obviously the same as you being correct. Thumbs up to you! I'd whip out the epeen ruler again but it's not worth my time to spoon-feed someone who needs airplane noises and swoops to get it into them.


    The problem is we know at least the basic ideas for balance. You need actual values to implement them. And for that you need to work with the systems that Starmade has.
    Based off what I've read from you, no, you do not understand balance. Particularly you don't seem to understand the basics of it and that's throwing off the results of your high-level application and reasoning. Basics: Attack, defece, mobility; how they counter each other and why they must be balanced from one common resource pool(which is not the way you've been trying to balance them and why it's always off and "difficult"). You have those tools in the .XML and are not using them it doesn't even need .jar->.java it need you to look at the BASICS and not the HIGH LEVELS to start. That's most likely why you are using "we need RTS controls." It's like you're trying to balance a pile of books on a 3-legged stool while ignoring the lengths of the 3 legs of the stool being different! also why you're using some minor roll of the dice bugs as an excuse for not looking at that FOUNDATIONAL TRIPOD.
     
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    Based off what I've read from you, no, you do not understand balance. Particularly you don't seem to understand the basics of it and that's throwing off the results of your high-level application and reasoning. Basics: Attack, defece, mobility; how they counter each other and why they must be balanced from one common resource pool(which is not the way you've been trying to balance them and why it's always off and "difficult"). You have those tools in the .XML and are not using them it doesn't even need .jar->.java it need you to look at the BASICS and not the HIGH LEVELS to start. That's most likely why you are using "we need RTS controls." It's like you're trying to balance a pile of books on a 3-legged stool while ignoring the lengths of the 3 legs of the stool being different! also why you're using some minor roll of the dice bugs as an excuse for not looking at that FOUNDATIONAL TRIPOD.
    And how do they not stem from one common resource pool? As far as I know, bar chamber effects that are not linearly related to their mass, everything you put on the ship takes blocks?

    At the start we also wanted to make long range weapons heavier but there were problems with that. As in some modifiers just didn't work properly.

    You have energy which comes with blocks. You have systems taking energy directly and you have armour which takes it indirectly. Weapons with lower range have higher DPS. Maybe still too low but there are certain problems with using quadratic scaling when functions in the game can handle only linear one.

    Can you provide example of solution for Starmade not vacuum based.