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    What actually failed in Starmade - if you care to listen.

    Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by petlahk, May 25, 2019.

    1. petlahk

      Joined:
      Jul 30, 2013
      Messages:
      194
      This post was a reply I made to the recent thread discussion about "what happened to this game?" I don't plan to stick around, and I think that one of the suggestions there about perhaps trying to get old players back to revitalize the game is interesting, but I think it's too late. So, I hope you care to stay and read. I hope you care to consider that I might not be wrong:

      Hello. You probably don't know me. I've been poking around Starmade for a while, and my thoughts on this subject actually go almost entirely against the grain of what people in this community believe is the reason why starmade died - I think partly because I'm not afraid to be honest. I doubt you or anyone else from this community will take them seriously - as that has been my experience with this community, but I would ask that you read them and consider them.

      I don't actually believe that the power update is to blame for the death of Starmade. I think that the power update, replete with it's chambers and weapon changes was actually a much needed change, and I frankly place blame on a lot of the long-standing members of the community who left because they felt the changes were untenable without attempting to see them in a larger focus. I actually place a lot of blame on this community for demanding so much of the devs, and railing against every change the devs created - and this blame falls on myself as well. However, I don't even think that this toxicity and control exhibited by the community is the sole reason Starmade has died either.

      The reason Starmade died is because there isn't enough to do. I'm not the first person to suggest this by far. Many, many people have suggested this before me. The factory system is great, but there's no reason to use it because once you build a large factory and stock it you're essentially just playing creative mode with more grind. The pirates system is interesting, but the pirates have never been balanced right, there has never been any challenge to them, and their faction has never felt real. The shipyard system was an interesting idea, but has always been buggy. And the worst offender has been that the automated mining was one-quarter implemented and still hasn't worked.

      But those are just cursory glitches to the reason starmade died. The reason is that there has been no fleshing out of the universes. There has been no resource scarcity introduced. There has been no fleshing out of the AI in years, there has been no flora or fauna introduced. There is nothing for a single-player person to do once they have a semi-capable ship except fly around and blow stuff up. There's not even a goal in mind at that point. There's no endgame.

      Minecraft initially didn't have an endgame, yes, but it had plenty of interesting things to do, such as build massive buildings, and mess with redstone. Besides, the end and the nether were challenges added very quickly in Minecraft's development. Many people have never beat the enderdragon or the wither vanilla in Minecraft to this day - including myself - but I know that it's there, and it's something to work toward. Working toward enchantments is sometimes just a grind, but it's still at least semi-difficult, involving problem solving to make efficient in the form of mob grinders.

      I'm not suggesting that Starmade be Minecraft, I'm suggesting that Starmade have end-goals that are challenging and fulfilling. If an update had come out to fix universe scarcity and to fix immersion, and to fix factions 5 years ago then the Starmade community would not only have not stagnated and left, but would have grown. If players could have controlled the trade of an in-game galaxy through hard negotiations, challenging wars with the AI, and the building of a custom fleet in the vein of Mount and Blade and Avorion, then there would have been things to keep players engaged. If players were able to find and defeat some massively difficult space-station in the galaxy, or even the next galaxy over, then there would have been something to do. If AI fleets were challenging to raid but rewarding to, if there were an extra dimension to defeat, if you could hone your pokemon to defeat the elite 4, if you could beat the game 4x style through factional diplomacy or conflict or tech tree mastery, IF THERE WERE A TECH TREE, if there were resource-scarcity, then the game would have been interesting. And I think that if the universe had been engaging in 2016, even, then players would not have thrown such a fit about the weapons update - because PvP was the only thing keeping players engaged in this game, which I feel is a massive injustice to what the developers originally sat down to do.

      While I do place blame on the community for this, for seeking to control the game's development. I do place blame on the developers as well, although I love them as they are human beings. When I first purchased this game on steam by eldest brother said to me, "I don't think the developers have any long-term plan for this game, and I think that will hurt them in the long-run." I denied this for the longest time, but he was correct. I do believe that the developers have a long-term goal in mind now, but their community has been toxic and controlling through-and-through. It's turned into an abusive cycle of developer V.S. player that has left everyone with emotional scars that need therapy and conversation to heal - pardon the analogy, but I don't believe it's too far off.

      I began trying to say two years ago that the community needed to demand less of the developers, and that the developers needed to take a step back and learn from other games before continuing on. That people needed to study why Minecraft was successful, take a look at things like AI: War Fleet Command which is interesting battles against AI done right - although the AI blatantly cheats. Things can be learned from Avorion, and the failure of no Man's sky, and Mount and Blade. Things could be learned from Minecraft Mods and spinoffs such as Terrafirmacraft. And lessons could have been taken from the 4x-genre (which in all fairness, is where the devs were trying to go, much to my appreciation) and games about trading in space. Many of these lessons can be learned from watching Extra-credits for an hour or two each day.

      But really, it's all of these things to blame. The developers lack of vision, the toxic control of the community, the lack of in game content, and the weapons/reactor update. All of these things are to blame for the failure of the game. At this point I believe it would be best for the developers to cut their losses, take what money they have, spend time on other projects, and maybe re-visit this game at a later date. I believe that the community needs to extend a truly open, and meaningful apology to the developers, and that the developers need to do the same to the community. Truly open discussion about why things failed, open minds, open hearts, and a tearing down of gate-keeping and toxicity is what needs to happen if this game has any chance of success left. And, if the developers do work on other projects, I strongly suggest they take the suggestion of Extra Credits - which was too late for this project - not to use Steam Greenlight.

      You asked why the game failed, all of those things are why the game failed. I just hope that people will one day actually read and think about what I have to say.
       
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    2. aceface

      Joined:
      Jun 20, 2013
      Messages:
      2,773
      There are many more things to build in StarMade than minecraft...logic is superior to redstone in every way, build mode is so handy, not only building on planets but also spacestations and spaceships etc etc



      Here are the end game plans:
      StarMade :: Endgame Document (ALL PARTS)
       
    3. Crashmaster

      Crashmaster I got N64 problems but a bitch ain't one

      Joined:
      Oct 18, 2013
      Messages:
      397
      Ha-ha, you fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders, the most famous of which is “Never get involved in a land war in Asia,” but only slightly less well known is this: “Never foresake your established playerbase to appeal to the fickle masses.”

      My only real disappointment in StarMade is that Schema abandonned his ideal of having blocks and block placement determine everything where every block counts, in favour of reactor levels and menu shit. It's not that big a deal though. The development time frame combined with predictions of future core mechanics changes are probably the most harmful to StarMade's popularity IMO. No one wants to put in the time needed to figure out a game as complicated and poorly documented as StarMade when it has a history of sweeping changes and the potential for more looming on the horizon. Also nothing works right.
       
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    4. Crimson-Artist

      Crimson-Artist Wiki Administrator

      Joined:
      Sep 10, 2013
      Messages:
      1,644
      unless you're really into building stuff like me there isnt really a reason to play.

      I havent played survival in years cuz like you said theres nothing to do. Starmade has alot of ideas but nearly all of them are half finished or abandoned (The pulse systems for example).

      The universe update is the games last chance. what are we 2-3 years into its development and from the posts that schema has made it could take till November/December for a release. Thats a long time for no real significant change to the game.
       
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    5. OfficialCoding

      OfficialCoding Currently Fleet Building

      Joined:
      Nov 8, 2017
      Messages:
      385
      Yeah I feel like The Universe Update is what will decide what happens to Starmade. If it's great then Schine could go ahead with advertising and then we could get more players. If it sucks well then we'll all be pressing F, but I'm holding out hope for now.
       
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    6. jstenholt

      Joined:
      Jul 29, 2013
      Messages:
      1,162
      tl;dr

      We're pre alpha testers, the game doesn't need a playerbase and can get one whenever it wants with the Steam adverts it hasn't used yet. etc etc...
       
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    7. OfficialCoding

      OfficialCoding Currently Fleet Building

      Joined:
      Nov 8, 2017
      Messages:
      385
      Yeah that's what schine has been saying for a while i think and its true. I think that we will get more players when schine thinks the game is on a good enough state to start advertising
       
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    8. Az14el

      Az14el Definitely not a skywanderers dev

      Joined:
      Apr 25, 2015
      Messages:
      834
      cool story but most of us are still here, and the answers still that the actual server gameplay is busted as hecc to the standards of the majority, so it's no brainer that they're almost all empty compared to before.
       
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    9. Neon_42

      Joined:
      Sep 11, 2013
      Messages:
      341
      Where are we in terms of development? From the roadmap it looks like we should be in phase 2 by now. I haven't seen anything posted in 3+ months.
       
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    10. OfficialCoding

      OfficialCoding Currently Fleet Building

      Joined:
      Nov 8, 2017
      Messages:
      385
      We asked schema on the discord a couple days ago and he said he's gonna be giving us an update in a few days (SoonTM). Apparently he's been busy.
       
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    11. petlahk

      Joined:
      Jul 30, 2013
      Messages:
      194
      I've noticed that the game pretty consistently updates at the beginning of Summer break.
       
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    12. Captain Fortius

      Joined:
      Aug 10, 2013
      Messages:
      271
      I think the OP is wrong on most counts.

      The community was no more toxic than in any other game (or perhaps even less so; there are tales of actual murders from some MMOS), and the world is no more barren than any other sandbox (that's why they call them that; it's a heap of dirt, dog poo and used syringes, and you need to use your imagination to have fun there).

      I doubt even the most retarded post on the forums was ever a demand; Rather suggestions and requests.
      The changes that made the game worse were certainly no one's demands either; most of the things that suck, Schema and Co. decided by themselves, often despite vehement protest by players who saw at first glance what disaster is about to be unleashed.

      I think Power 2.0 did in fact play a large part in causing the current lapse of interest in Starmade, not because it's new and requires re-learning stuff (though that's the easiest thing to cite in it's defense), rather because it's quite simply bad to build with and bad to fly with;

      It's difficult to judge how many blocks you'll need, where to put them and how to keep them in the right arrangement. It's tedious to put sufficient shielding on your vessel in a way that it remains operational, and it's unclear if integrity still affects them or not.
      Funnily enough, these are not as much of a concern if you're building a solid brick ship, which is sadly the most common creation in this game and thus became the norm for testing.

      However, even a brick ship will fail hard in the 2.0 system when it comes to combat; Cannons are rather useless, as they would likely miss the target even if you were shooting it from the inside of it's main hold. You can have even less effects ("chambers") than in the old system, weapons are less diverse, and weapon ranges are even more static.
      And when you do manage to hit your target it'll hardly matter, as it'll merrily keep flying full of holes, since the only kind of damage that can destroy a ship now is reactor damage.

      Now of course, it's possible to pretend that this is in fact good gameplay, and everyone here's an ungrateful sod with no idea on what's really good for them, that we're too simple and rigid to accept and understand this great change, but from my point of view it's rather like trying to accept being forced to walk backwards with buckets on our heads and acknowledge it as an improvement.
       
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    13. wiesshund

      Joined:
      Nov 7, 2015
      Messages:
      43
      I was away for a while, mostly because the PC that i was able to run the game on met with a fatal accident and then life decided that
      the potato that i had that still ran would suffice fine (Sure, long as i didnt intent to run a game)

      I can actually run the game again now, and the 1st thing i noticed was that the very populated server i had always played on
      lazygamersz' GenXnova server, was gone, no more.
      That was sad as there was always people online there.

      I started on a new server, there was not many to choose from.
      couple guys invited me to join their faction, and i was trying to learn all the changes, and that server sends out a
      So Long and Thanks for all the fish message, and poof it went offline, and did not come back.

      I have monitored the remaining servers, but see no people on them except one server that i think is in france
      which, between language and ping, that just isnt going to work.

      I am not sure what happened, what changed or didn't change etc, but what i am seeing right now is not good.
      I hope something comes out soon that changes it.

      Offline was never something that sold me on this game, sure you can build lots of interesting things, and it is great for proving out an idea
      but beyond that, its kind of empty, for me anyways.

      The game never had any kind of AI that would make for engaging offline play, it was the fact that you could make things online
      with other people, or at least try to (i only ever played survival, creative was no fun aside from testing)
      Sure there were annoying aspects, like one guy trying to land on a planet causing the entire server to lag to hell, or breakoff never working
      because it crashed everyone if enabled, but there were enough good aspects that we had lots of people.

      If that does not return, it seems we have reached a bad end
       
    14. JinM

      Joined:
      Jun 11, 2016
      Messages:
      1,128
      Where are you from?

      Brierie has 14 players online right now. And when I checked yesterday evening also 10.
       
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    15. aceface

      Joined:
      Jun 20, 2013
      Messages:
      2,773
    16. OfficialCoding

      OfficialCoding Currently Fleet Building

      Joined:
      Nov 8, 2017
      Messages:
      385
      lol I'd like to see some proof to back that up.
       
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    17. wiesshund

      Joined:
      Nov 7, 2015
      Messages:
      43
      It is in the UK, i am in the USA

      I tried Brierie for giggles, bout 1200ms ping spawned in, US servers i average bout 40ms
      shame as there were people there
       
      #17 wiesshund, May 31, 2019
      Last edited: May 31, 2019
    18. jstenholt

      Joined:
      Jul 29, 2013
      Messages:
      1,162
      Cool alt account spouting nonsense. This forum needs a dictator.
       
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    19. ManhattenProject

      Joined:
      Jan 12, 2015
      Messages:
      7
      it doesnt matter how much advertising you do when any new players first impression of the game is this[​IMG]
      --- Updated post (merge), May 31, 2019, Original Post Date: May 31, 2019 ---
      the game didnt only die from a lack of content, a player base can make content in a sandbox

      what a player base cant fix is broken game mechanics

      p2 and w3 both killed the game, as they took the old mechanics from p1 and turned them into piles of garbage. starmade has always had tons of bugs and has always had a lack of content, but what kept people around was the fact that it had the most solid building and engineering of any game of its type. no other similar game comes close to what you could do with starmade.
      p2 and w3 threw those mechanics away
      they replaced countless hours of engineering and optimization with a few blobs and some bad menus
      they replaced tons of variability in what was effective with a boring meta any idiot could master in 30 seconds
      they replaced solid mechanics with garbage
      will the universe update fix any of this? no
      will advertising fix any of this? no
      you can go on thinking that all starmade needs is extra fluff to save it, but if the base mechanics stay the way they are, this game will never have a player base again
       
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    20. StormWing0

      StormWing0 Leads the Storm

      Joined:
      Jun 26, 2015
      Messages:
      2,103
      I think there needs to be a few more Earlys behind the one there at the rate things are going. XD
       
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