The ultimate drone R&D thread

    Dr. Whammy

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    And yea, the current dev build has issues with the server.cfg.
    Bummer... I was really curious to see just how far I could upgrade my fighters. After all, dimensionally, they're not much smaller than yours.

    I guess I'll have to be patient. In any case, thanks for all your help; all of you.

    Special thanks to the team who is "firing quickly".
     

    Keptick

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    Bummer... I was really curious to see just how far I could upgrade my fighters. After all, dimensionally, they're not much smaller than yours.

    I guess I'll have to be patient. In any case, thanks for all your help; all of you.

    Special thanks to the team who is "firing quickly".
    You can just replace the server.cfg manually, here's the link to the good file: alterintel/Quickfire

    You can also just copy/paste the text directly from alterintel/Quickfire straight into your game's server.cfg file :P

    The rest of the config files seem fine (I checked earlier), so simply replacing the contents of the server config should be ok.
     
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    Dr. Whammy

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    The new(er) build has me back in the game.

    After a brief test with a modified version of my X-37, I now see what you guys meant about the QF missiles. That's VERY interesting...

    So let me see if I understand what's happening here...

    - less overall damage
    - faster reload
    - more effective against adv. armor due to it having less hitpoints than other armors
    - less effective against std. armor or basic hull due to them having more hitpoints than adv. armor and natural resistance to explosives
    - much less effective against shields
    - beam secondary increases lock speed and range and adds some damage
    - no limit to blast radius

    Sounds fun.

    Is there anything else I should look out for?
     
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    - no limit to blast radius
    Well technically there is a limit. It's just 100 meters.

    Is there anything else I should look out for?
    Try some new PD setups. Cause with missile having HP after weapon update old 1:1 CC point defence turrets don't really work. You need some actual meat on them to deal with missiles. Something like 50-100 weapon blocks. It also may be worth it to use some pure CAN point defence mixed with CC on other turrers but that's up for debate.
     
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    Keptick

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    So I made a larger drone to use with my titan, for 4 reasons:
    1. The ship has more than enough space to carry larger drones
    2. Larger drone = larger weapon = more effective against armor
    3. In order to be effective against large ships (as in 100k+ mass ) I had to field ridiculous amounts of the small drones (like 400+). The game kinda struggles with that amount of ships. Having larger drones means that I can field less for the same total swarm mass, which will be easier on the game (and my computer)
    4. Because I can.
    I'll still be using the soul drones (the small one) with smaller ships. Anyways, here it is compared to a soul drone:



    I really like the look of the small drone, so I decided to base the larger version off it. I'll post some more pictures and stats as soon as I get some systems in there. But from the block count it'll probably be around 3-4 times the mass of the small drone.
     

    Dr. Whammy

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    Well technically there is a limit. It's just 100 meters.
    I see... :oops:

    You know, I find that this makes for some really nasty splash damage. A large enough missile can kill nearby astronauts or small units caught the blast radius. Could be useful for planetary assaults.

    Try some new PD setups. Cause with missile having HP after weapon update old 1:1 CC point defence turrets don't really work. You need some actual meat on them to deal with missiles. Something like 50-100 weapon blocks. It also may be worth it to use some pure CAN point defence mixed with CC on other turrers but that's up for debate.
    Ever since weapons 3.0 was released, I've been using pure cannon PD units. For aesthetics and for an early warning system, I will sometimes add a small CC system to my PD turrets. The extra light show makes it look like I'm firing a CIWS and lets me know when a missile is coming. The average size for mine is 80; though I may tweak that as I build new QF-compliant ships.

    Is it just me or do missiles have a hard time hitting moving targets in QuickFire? In my vanilla build, I had AI accuracy set to about 3000 and missile prediction set to 3.5 and was able to use missiles to shoot down fighters without too much trouble. On the QF build, missiles never seem to hit a moving target unlss it's very slow or very big. Do you find that there is a certain accuracy setting that works better with the 16km sectors?
     
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    Is it just me or do missiles have a hard time hitting moving targets in QuickFire? In my vanilla build, I had AI accuracy set to about 3000 and missile prediction set to 3.5 and was able to use missiles to shoot down fighters without too much trouble. On the QF build, missiles never seem to hit a moving target unlss it's very slow or very big. Do you find that there is a certain accuracy setting that works better with the 16km sectors?
    That's very strange. Because we were bugging Schema for a long time about missiles, cause their target prediction was broken. And he did fix it. If it doesn't work it means it broke again.
     

    Dr. Whammy

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    So I tooled around with my SF-37 model in QF and made a few changes.

    My previous version was built prmarily with aesthetics in mind. As such, its thin frame cannot hold a reactor large enough for decent QF modded weapons and thrusters. ...not without throwing off the look I was going for and still being grossly under powered. So I scaled up slightly from f-16 size (15x15x9 at 100 mass) to F-14 size (about 19x19x11 at 200 mass) to allow for a larger reactor and slightly better aesthetics. I figure an F-14 still falls within a (hypothetically) realistic size for an armed air/spacecraft of late 21st to mid 22 century earth.

    A size expansion of as little as 1 meter in all directions allowed for a reactor roughly 5.5x larger than the previous model while remaining in roughly the same size class. The remaining 2m increase in length/width was mainly for asthtetics (nose, thruster fairings, wings, etc.)
    SF-37 QF3.JPG SF-37 QF1.JPG SF-37 QF2.JPG
    Here are the stats for the new version of the SF-37.

    Reactor blocks: 112
    Stabilizers: 102 (Fully stabilized)
    Recharge: 11,200e/sec.
    Thruster blocks: 98
    Max Speed: 289.6
    Thrust/Mass Ratio: 2.9
    Shield Recharge blocks: 32
    Shield Capacity blocks: 32
    Shield capacity: 8000

    This setup can power roughly 72-74 weapon blocks.

    True to the Rock, Paper Shotgu... err... "Scissors" model that QF has brought to StarMade, weapon performance at this scale was as follows...

    - A cannon variant (Type-A, 8:1 C/B) has a medium rate of fire, and easily cuts through basic hull and systems. However it is very weak vs shields and adv. armor.

    - The missile variant (Type-C, 8:1 M/B) can destroy 9-10 blocks of adv. armor at once and can also damage systems underneath if the armor is only 1 meter thick. However, it is only marginally effective against standard armor and very weak vs shields and hull.

    - The laser variant (Type-B, 2:1 B/B) somehow managed over 5,000 damage against shields (Yikes!). It did fine penetrating basic hull and obliterated any system blocks it touched; applying acid damage for each tick. Obviously this comes at the cost of firing rate and damage falloff at range. However, this weapon barely scratched the paint on adv. armor; struggling to make it through one block.

    For kicks and giggles, I made a mech. ...Which turned out to have be the same mass as the original fighter but with a stronger reactor.
    Mech QF1.JPG

    Seeing how every other ship I've imported into my quickfire universe suffers from massive power drain issues (mostly due to the way QF appears to have nerfed "changed" high level shield regen), a refit will be needed on ALL of my ships. But I must admit this looks promising.
     

    Keptick

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    Very nice work Dr. Whammy , I kind of suspected that the problem with your smaller drones was the hull/system ratio (not enough space for systems). You managed to increase the system space while keeping a nice shape and esthetics, good job!
     
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    Dr. Whammy

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    Very nice work Dr. Whammy , I kind of suspected that the problem with your smaller drones was the hull/system ratio (not enough space for systems). You managed to increase the system space while keeping a nice shape and esthetics, good job!
    It's amazing how within a certain size threshold, just one meter in any dimension can make all the difference between something fitting and not fitting. I'm glad I could still keep it so compact since that is the key to my ability to build a carrier for these kinds of craft. I appreciate all the help I've received.

    So far, I'm liking the QF config and I'll be working on updating some of my designs to function on it.

    My only concerns are...

    1) As of ver.202.11a, missiles can't hit moving targets. I'll test again tonight to make sure the problem isn't on my end.

    2) Unless they changed things, beams purposely miss moving targets.
     
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    Keptick

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    It's amazing how within a certain size threshold, just one meter in any dimension can make all the difference between something fitting and not fitting. I'm glad I could still keep it so compact since that is the key to my ability to build a carrier for these kinds of craft. I appreciate all the help I've received.

    So far, I'm liking the QF config and I'll be working on updating some of my designs to function on it.

    My only concerns are...

    1) As of ver.202.11a, missiles can't hit moving targets and beam purposely miss moving targets. I'll test again tonight to make sure the problem isn't on my end.

    2) Unless they changed things, beams purposely miss moving targets.
    About the beam thing, that's a known issue. Seems like the AI is using cannon-leading code with beams. As for missiles, they work pretty well against decent sized targets. They do have issues hitting small drones however...
     
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    So far, I'm liking the QF config and I'll be working on updating some of my designs to function on it.
    I strongly suggest you hop there and check if there has been any updates on our git repository (link is in the post). There likely has been or will be updates to the configs and as such if you build systems you might find them with changes with later updates. Keeping you up to date with our repository means you won't have as much changes as you would have by waiting for a starmade build.
     

    Dr. Whammy

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    I strongly suggest you hop there and check if there has been any updates on our git repository (link is in the post). There likely has been or will be updates to the configs and as such if you build systems you might find them with changes with later updates. Keeping you up to date with our repository means you won't have as much changes as you would have by waiting for a starmade build.
    Gotcha. The words "subject to change" became etched into my keyboard, the instant I found out what your team was up to.

    Now that I have the game running again, I'm lurking the hell out of the QF threads. I'll definitely be keeping an eye on the repository.
     

    Keptick

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    Gotcha. The words "subject to change" became etched into my keyboard, the instant I found out what your team was up to.

    Now that I have the game running again, I'm lurking the hell out of the QF threads. I'll definitely be keeping an eye on the repository.
    You may want to join the QF discord if you haven't already. That's where most (if not all) of the discussion is taking place.
     

    Keptick

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    I finally stuck systems into the drone. You can get it here:




    The latest dev build has a fix to the missile problem I spoke of earlier in this thread, so it is now possible to use missiles on drones without fear of bogging down explosion calculations on a server! I used missiles on the drone above, and it works perfectly, even with 200+ drones firing at a target :D

     
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    Dr. Whammy

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    I finally stuck systems into the drone. You can get it here:




    The latest dev build has a fix to the missile problem I spoke of earlier in this thread, so it is now possible to use missiles on drones without fear of bogging down explosion calculations on a server! I used missiles on the drone above, and it works perfectly, even with 200+ drones firing at a target :D

    Ooooooh!!! Someone made a spherical planet!!! I'm telling!!! :ROFLMAO:
     

    Dr. Whammy

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    Yes! YES! In time, ALL will convert and embrace the Schiney Sphere!!! 😈

    Back on topic: As a result of your influence/inspiration, I too have upgraded my fighters a bit. As always; aesthetics and size are my key goals.

    The SF-37 refit has about 11,000 power regen and 8,000 shields. Definitely not a PVP level drone but not bad for something built almost entirely with aesthetics in mind.
    SF-37 QF1.JPG


    When I set out to build the arcade "Shoot-em-ups" protagonists' ships, I ended up pulling off a slight buff to power (12,000) with shields ranging from 5,000 to 15,000. It wasn't easy fitting all those systems into these guys but "Axelay", (the orange one) had some extra room and ended up being the strongest. I tried to make all the ships follow the same 19x19x11 scale. With the exception of the R-Grays (4th and 5th ships) I succeded but on those two, I added logic to retract their wings, when they dock.
    Gradius 1.JPG Axelay2.JPG FA-37 Strega.JPG R-Gray 1 New.JPG R-Gray 2 New.JPG SA-77 Silpheed.JPG Thunder Force 02.JPG


    For my latest test, somehow, I managed to fit 20,000 reactor regen and 17,000 shields into this guy, build it within the same scale as the others and still make it look like a fighter. I wonder how much more I can squeeze out of this size class before it starts to get ugly... 🤔
    SF-38 C.JPG
     
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    Keptick

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    Yes! YES! In time, ALL will convert and embrace the Schiney Sphere!!! 😈

    Back on topic: As a result of your influence/inspiration, I too have upgraded my fighters a bit. As always; aesthetics and size are my key goals.

    The SF-37 refit has about 11,000 power regen and 8,000 shields. Definitely not a PVP level drone but not bad for something built almost entirely with aesthetics in mind.
    View attachment 55376


    When I set out to build the arcade "Shoot-em-ups" protagonists' ships, I ended up pulling off a slight buff to power (12,000) with shields ranging from 5,000 to 15,000. It wasn't easy fitting all those systems into these guys but "Axelay", (the orange one) had some extra room and ended up being the strongest. I tried to make all the ships follow the same 19x19x11 scale. With the exception of the R-Grays (4th and 5th ships) I succeded but on those two, I added logic to retract their wings, when they dock.
    View attachment 55385View attachment 55380View attachment 55379View attachment 55377View attachment 55384View attachment 55383View attachment 55378


    For my latest test, somehow, I managed to fit 20,000 reactor regen and 17,000 shields into this guy, build it within the same scale as the others and still make it look like a fighter. I wonder how much more I can squeeze out of this size class before it starts to get ugly... 🤔
    View attachment 55375
    Yea, it's pretty hard to make ships at that scale with good armor/system ratios, along with good looks. Thankfully slabs have improved that a bit.
     

    Dr. Whammy

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    So I made a new fighter variant by bolting a set of engines and a cockpit to a 232 e/sec. reactor and then strapping a BFG onto the bottom of it. I'm going to stop upgrading this thing because...

    1) It has a single output 21K damage medium range missile that it fires continuously every 4 seconds. These things are mean little bastards vs unshielded targets.

    2) I'm dangerously close to crossing from aesthetically pleasing to making the mother of all "uglies".

    Anyway; my dilemma is that my 1,000 damage/shot point (pure cannon/no secondary) defense guns (which were highly effective in vanilla) can't one-shot these small(-ish) missiles. I've set AI accuracy to 3500 to rule out the likelihood that the cannons are simply missing but I can see the cannon projectiles hitting the missiles and not stopping them. I saw some talk about "missile HP" in the discord recently but I didn't get a chance to read the discussion. Just how many hit points did you guys give these things? 😵