The ultimate drone R&D thread

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    Yea, no... Seriously, no.

    Ship mass capped at 1k mass would so ridiculously limiting.
    That kind of setup would be on pvp servers.
    On servers where you want to display your cool looking ships the maximum ship mass would be much higher.(but on those servers you do not care about how your ship perform in a fight)
    I mean any ship above 1k mass is massively problematic as soon as it goes near a planet for example.
    Or when you can start putting more than 30 turrets on a ship(for pd purposes probably).(turrets increase ship count and collision calculations at a crazy rate)
    In fact It is often hard to have the game run at a good speed as soon as you reach masses like 30k during fights(while it does not seems that huge for me) and if you have multiple 30k+ ships it becomes less and less good
     
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    Dr. Whammy

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    Ckeeze,

    The reason I reject your "advice" is because absolutely nothing you have said applies to what I'm doing. Also, you're acting like a child and I'm too old to waste my time arguing with children and internet wannabe tough guys.


    Keptick,

    Will do. I'll probably just create a separate install folder and start an entirely new universe after applying the configs. Thanks for your help.


    Zoolimar,

    Thanks for the tips. I've been testing most of these combos in vanilla. I'll retest in the QF config when I set that up.


    if all goes well, I can create the kind of environment I'm aiming for on the new server I'm building. I'll let you guys know how it turns out.
     
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    Keptick

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    Note: All the tests and following information come from the latest QF configs. They do NOT apply to the current game release.

    I tested multiple different weapons combos with my small 194 mass drone. The weapons outlined below were tested against ships, not other drones. Here are the results:

    - Best overall: Cannon-beam at 100% beam slave. The reasoning behind it is that it has the highest per-shot damage of all the combos usable by AI, along with decent DPS, meaning it is the best against armor. Since armor is good against low damage hits, you'll want to maximize per-shot damage as much as possible on your drones, making this combo the best. Cannons also seem to have the best hit registration out of the 3 weapon types, making them ideal for applications that require a very large amount of individual projectiles (like drone swarms). As an added bonus, cannon-beam is one of the long-range weapons in-game, so the drones will be able to hit enemies at max weapon range, making them even harder to take out (It's incredibly hard to target such a small ship at 12km distance).​
    - Best against shields: Beam-missile is usable by AI but doesn't have damage/tick as high as cannon-beam, making it inferior against armor. However, it has higher DPS per weapon block, making it better against shields. This combo is also the best in theory against systems, but it seems like large amounts of beams suffers from the same hit registration issue as missiles (described below).​
    - Best in theory: Straight missile with 0% beam slave to give it lock-on capability. In theory, missiles would be the best weapon by far to equip on drones, since they have good dps AND ignore armor. However, from testing I can tell that the game really struggles to calculate multiple missile hits when missile count gets over a certain amount (an amount easily reached by a drone swarm). So unless you're using a very small amount of drones (example: less than 20) I suggest that you don't use missiles, because moss of them just won't deal damage. Until this issue gets fixed, I recommend that you avoid using missiles with drones, since there will inevitably be missile spam, leading to most of your damage simply not rendering on hits. There's also the issue of AI apparently not firing missile weapons until they are reloaded (ignoring the remaining missile capacity), which severely reduces the DPS of the weapon.​
     
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    Keptick

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    Here are some pictures for my drone, along with stats

    Front:


    Back:


    Side:

    Top:
    general
    - X: 15
    - Y: 9
    - Z: 11
    - Mass: 191.1

    Power
    - Reactor regen: 9000 e/sec
    - Stabilization: 100%
    - Total power consumption: 98.3% (with everything drawing power)

    Thrust
    - TWR: 3
    - Max Speed: 297.5m/s (max)

    Shields
    - Recharge: 50/s
    - Capacity: 7500

    Weapons
    - Single output cannon/beam (1:1 ratio)
    - 6400 damage per shot
    - 10s reload
    - 640 dps

    Amour
    - At least 1 block thick standard armor everywhere (except the engines)
    - 1 block thick advanced armor around/behind the "eye" (red forcefield)

    I conducted some tests against armor. Said tests were made using a 64 block total cannon-beam weapon (32-32 blocks), the same weapon system that is found on my drone. Here are the results against advanced armor (layer count increases by one to the right, so from left to right to target's armor layers go from 1,2,3,etc...):



    As you can see, the weapons start to seriously struggle when shot at 4+ armor layers, taking more than 1 shot to destroy a single block of armor. However, 3 and less show promising results: Even with only a single block destroyed at 3 layers, considering that drones are not alone that means 1 destroyed block per drone, per shot (at 3 armor layers or less). If you want better results against higher armor layer counts you'll have to use a larger weapon, which probably means a larger drone.

    I am personally ok with the results I'm getting, since I'll be using these particular drones as support, and not as my main damage source. I don't know what the tendency for armor thickness/ total mass is, but my guess is that the drones should do fine against 50k mass ships (and maybe more). Also keep in mind that a ship will rarely have the same armor thickness all around, and drones tend to spread out and fire at targets from every direction, meaning that if a spot on the ship has less than 4 layers or armor, it will get hit. Turrets also represent ideal targets for my drones, since afaik a turret with 4 layers of advanced armor all around is a very rare occurrence. And finally, drones present a distraction to the enemy, so it also has the perk of dividing their attention.

    With all that said, there is probably a minimum drone size you'll want if you're facing targets with specific armor thickness. For a given drone swarm total mass, larger drones will be able to face targets with heavier armor, but won't benefit as much from the thrust curve (so less power left for weapons). Meanwhile, smaller drones benefit fully from reduced power consumption for thrust, but will struggle to pierce thicker armor. Time will tell what the standard armor thickness on "competitive" ships will be, making it easier to standardize drone sizes. For now however, I don't have enough data, so all I can say is go how you feel, and if it's not enough for the stuff you're trying to kill, then go bigger.
     

    Tsnonak

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    Very nice... many thanks for the informative post!
    The test results are looking very good as far as drones damaging armor is concerned...
    as you stated; up to 3 layers, beyond which it will turn into a grind...

    I'ts feeling like the double-bonus should-may-be abandoned or nerfed?
    On the one side you have more layers + damage is mitigated... maybe KISS it goodbye?

    Personally; I think it would be much nicer to see drones capable of at least a little more "consistant" shredding once shields have been dropped.
    More battles, not grinding battles, we doo want stuff to go boom, (please no endless-eve-style-tanking) or no?
    Somehow, that doesn't really fit to RTS or games in general either... take Monopoly as a reference point, you land on the boardwalk, you pay the rent, you - are bankrupt!

    My greatest concerns are actually more focused on the ships themselves; call em what you will, drones or fighters... AI controlled or player controlled...

    That's a very nice little drone you have there!
    I also have trouble building really small (under 100 mass or 15m x 15m x 9m), it is very hard todo, but some do...

    wait what?!?...

    At this point I must ask you to please upload this "drone" to the dock...(installing the latest config later no prob)...
    but I am running v202.6 and unless there have been some "serious" changes to the config...
    I cannot imagine; That drone with those stats being possible...
    starmade-screenshot-0056.png
    Nevermind the huge pile of systems on top, (the entire inside is already filled with thrusters and still not max speed), there is no room for it... or I totally missed something (yes I can see you made some changes to the hull-front)!

    [Edit here later, out of time now: This has been cleared-up, nothing to see here, My apologies!]

    Clarification: I am not looking for another "hostile" debate, I am simply sharing my concerns and thoughts on the subject and the coming changes.
    Goal is: clarification / information for the entire community.
     
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    Keptick

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    I really don't think armor should be changed. If you make it easier for drones to kill armor you also make it easier for everything else, effectively making armor useless (again). Drones have some pretty heavy advantages already in terms of power ratios thanks to the thrust curve, they need to have at least some disadvantages. I think that it's balanced atm, that way you can have different drone classes/mass to go up against different ship types. If all drones could damage armor, no matter the ship size, that would be very boring and lead to less variety in designs.

    As for the drone you're using, it was built for systems 1.0, so it definitely won't work. I haven't posted the updated version yet. You can tell that it's even different visually compared to the updated version.
     

    Tsnonak

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    Ok Armor...
    I am not talking about "making armor easier to kill", fact is; it gets harder to kill (a single block) as you add layers = grind.
    Honestly, I don't even understand the whole "armor is useless" gig, guess I'm just dumb like that...
    basic<standard<advanced<layers... thats all thats needed, but I must admit... I am a KISS kind of guy.

    As far as that drone goes...
    I'm using the stats you posted, refit the hull you posted with them, it cannot be possible in those dimensions...
    Yes it is visually different, but same dimensions.
    wtf?
     

    Keptick

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    Ok Armor...
    I am not talking about "making armor easier to kill", fact is; it gets harder to kill (a single block) as you add layers = grind.
    Honestly, I don't even understand the whole "armor is useless" gig, guess I'm just dumb like that...
    basic<standard<advanced<layers... thats all thats needed, but I must admit... I am a KISS kind of guy.

    As far as that drone goes...
    I'm using the stats you posted, refit the hull you posted with them, it cannot be possible in those dimensions...
    Yes it is visually different, but same dimensions.
    wtf?
    Note: All the tests and following information come from the latest QF configs. They do NOT apply to the current game release.
    QF configs (or a variant of them) will be adopted as default, no point in using vanilla.

    As for armor, it's not a grind if your weapons do enough damage per shot. And it makes sense that thicker armor would reduce damage more.
     

    Tsnonak

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    QF configs (or a variant of them) will be adopted as default, no point in using vanilla.

    As for armor, it's not a grind if your weapons do enough damage per shot. And it makes sense that thicker armor would reduce damage more.
    I cannot even the see the relevance, I am talking about v202.6, but ok, guess that sounds pretty "official"...

    ... thicker armor reducing damage?
    As far as I am aware, damage is a constant, thickness is a variable.

    It only takes a few seconds to load a blueprint to the dock?
    I will just leave it here "as is" and with another famous quote...
    "don't trust any statistics you didn't fake yourself"
     
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    ... thicker armor reducing damage?
    As far as I am aware, damage is a constant, thickness is a variable.
    In QF no. There is Incoming Damage - the damage weapon outputs. And then there is Applied Damage the damage that target actually receives. The thicker the armour the more difference there will be between them.
     

    Keptick

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    I cannot even the see the relevance, I am talking about v202.6, but ok, guess that sounds pretty "official"...

    ... thicker armor reducing damage?
    As far as I am aware, damage is a constant, thickness is a variable.

    It only takes a few seconds to load a blueprint to the dock?
    I will just leave it here "as is" and with another famous quote...
    "don't trust any statistics you didn't fake yourself"
    Wait, are you seriously implying that I faked the drone's stats? Lolwut?

    The reason I didn't upload the drone is because the QF configs might change again (they're in the middle of testing stuff), so there's no point in me uploading the blueprint if it'll be obsolete in a few days...
     
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    Dr. Whammy

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    Silly question: How do I get StarMade to stop altering my server config?
     

    Tsnonak

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    Ok, for starters I will say; bravo! That is some pretty darn good handywork stuffing all those systems, (I piled on top of the drone), inside that hull, (i think the front looks even better now)!

    This is possible due to the thruster changes and an error on my end which I missed: 297.5 m/s is not even possible in v202.6.
    It is also nice to see BossHoss is no longer a speed-demon, infact it's even a little slower and heavier than before!

    I offer my sincerest apologies for incinuating that you faked the stats!
    I threw the quote in jff, in meta-gaming times like these; trust no-one, (yes I have trust issues and like to see the facts myself)!
    I hope a new Dev-release is coming soon, the current one is useless at this point and should be avoided!

    Edit: Thank you for uploading the drone!
     
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    Dr. Whammy

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    A clean and new install.
    I tried that; thinking my existing install was the problem.

    On both my old and a new clean install, I add the QF server.cfg; which the game overwrites as soon as it launches. Adding GameConfig has no effect and adding the data folder causes the game to either hang or give an error.

    I've tried this a few times on the latest release and Dev builds; as well as the new and classic launchers with no luck.

    Is there a specific build I'm supposed to be using? A specific sequence in which to add the modified files?
     

    Keptick

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    I tried that; thinking my existing install was the problem.

    On both my old and a new clean install, I add the QF server.cfg; which the game overwrites as soon as it launches. Adding GameConfig has no effect and adding the data folder causes the game to either hang or give an error.

    I've tried this a few times on the latest release and Dev builds; as well as the new and classic launchers with no luck.

    Is there a specific build I'm supposed to be using? A specific sequence in which to add the modified files?
    Might be because the default config still hasn't been replaced in the dev build, it was supposed to be in the latest update though.... I'll check once I'm on my computer.
     

    Dr. Whammy

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    Might be because the default config still hasn't been replaced in the dev build, it was supposed to be in the latest update though.... I'll check once I'm on my computer.
    The strange thing is my previous (pre-QF) install has a modified config that I set myself. Larger sectors, better AI accuracy, turned off NPC factions (god I hate those), etc. Everything was great until I updated the game.

    Did they just recently add this overwrite-to-default function?
     

    Keptick

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    I offer my sincerest apologies for incinuating that you faked the stats!
    I threw the quote in jff, in meta-gaming times like these; trust no-one, (yes I have trust issues and like to see the facts myself)!
    I hope a new Dev-release is coming soon, the current one is useless at this point and should be avoided!
    No problem, just don't do it again please :P

    And yea, the current dev build has issues with the server.cfg.
     
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