What happened to Starmade?

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    If our sole existence was the game's main problem, then why two years after our departure is the game still dead?




    The power update was something that almost nobody asked for. What are you trying to say?




    I never saw a Empyrion or a SE server populated with more than 60 players online at the same time to make this imaginable. Also, last time I checked SE's current multiplayer modes are FUBAR so people are even avoiding to play online.





    You are kinda new here, so I'll just tell you that people were not ´"trying to turn", the game was this way since it's early days, and was like that on its golden period of servers flourishing with people, fights, and salt. PvP gives the game purpose, especially in this state when there is NOTHING to explore.
    Oh, okay, thanks for informing me. Man, I have to watch the forums more often from now on.

    Guys, where’s the switch for this thing?...
    Here it is...
    —transmission end —
     
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    I have been thinking about the power update, and i think they completely dropped the ball there. But lets look at what caused the problem:

    Docked Reactors. Now docked reactors were awesome. They were cool. We had a hard cap on power generation, and docked reactors bypassed this. They came in all shapes and sizes and you had to spend time to design them. They used a logic clock system to transfer power and shields to a main ship.

    Some of the best youtube content that ever came out of this game came from really nasty ships with shield recharge modules. I was watching the Aristozka defense force battle one ship, and 3 of them had a hard time taking it down, but succeeded. There were some nasty designs out there, because that system rewarded it.

    So why remove this system? LAG!!! tons and tons and tons of lag. So they killed the entire system, and made it that docked entities could not transfer power or shields. This was hailed by most of the community as a good thing, not because they hated the docked reactors(some did), but because the lag was really that bad.

    This was a mistake. What appears to be a better solution in hindsight, is disabling the power transfer beam from docked entities, and creating a new core: the aux module core. We would have then created an aux dock that would allow direct power transfer from the docked entities. This would have resulted in several things: awesome ships without the lag.

    Now, i have not played with the new system, i am coming back after 3 years, but i don't think they should scrap it either. Why not have two systems? why not have the old way and this way? Why limit ourselves to one type of design?

    We make ships by placing cores. At the moment the core is how we also fly the ship, and it serves as the starting block to create the ship. So why not have multiple types of cores? Have a type of core that makes the ships like the old system, and another type of core that makes the new power system.

    This has all sorts of advantages: it allows players choices to build ships that they like. It allows for simple ships, and complicated ships.

    It's something to consider. Granted, long pauses during development happen. Especially when massive updates are going on.
     
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    Damn I'm getting old! 5 and a half years ago I found a very interesting game called Starmade. Roundabout 2.5 years it was a lot of fun. Every month we were waiting for new exiting features.

    But now these times are gone. The online servers are empty, bugs were not fixed. I quit Starmade 3 years ago and never regretted it. Last year I gave the single player mode a try, but found the same bugs as two years ago.

    What happend to Starmade? Imho the project went out of control. They tried to build a better starmade and lost the spirit and the players.

    It would be great if one day the star of Starmade would rise again, but I don't think that's the masterplan...
     
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    Damn I'm getting old! 5 and a half years ago I found a very interesting game called Starmade. Roundabout 2.5 years it was a lot of fun. Every month we were waiting for new exiting features.

    But now these times are gone. The online servers are empty, bugs were not fixed. I quit Starmade 3 years ago and never regretted it. Last year I gave the single player mode a try, but found the same bugs as two years ago.

    What happend to Starmade? Imho the project went out of control. They tried to build a better starmade and lost the spirit and the players.

    It would be great if one day the star of Starmade would rise again, but I don't think that's the masterplan...
    There is a stage in early access games that takes a while. This game is in that stage now. I suspect after the universe update the game development will start picking up speed.


    The thing about early access games, is that 5 to 10 years for development is normal. We are spoiled by AAA development, but they have armies of disposable programmers and artists that they throw away when the project is over.


    Now here is the important thing: Player feedback is something that the AAA games lack and is what makes these indie games amazing. The testing that we do is important, and what i have noticed is that the early access games that become successful. Minecraft, kenshi, star dew valley, and almost every successful indie game was successful because they had a fan base that gave honest feedback and the devs listened and did their best to meet the players half way or all the way if possible. with that said,

    i think the big thing for feedback is not the power, i think that is almost on point, but the weapons systems need a lot of tweaking.
     
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    There is a stage in early access games that takes a while. This game is in that stage now. I suspect after the universe update the game development will start picking up speed.


    The thing about early access games, is that 5 to 10 years for development is normal. We are spoiled by AAA development, but they have armies of disposable programmers and artists that they throw away when the project is over.


    Now here is the important thing: Player feedback is something that the AAA games lack and is what makes these indie games amazing. The testing that we do is important, and what i have noticed is that the early access games that become successful. Minecraft, kenshi, star dew valley, and almost every successful indie game was successful because they had a fan base that gave honest feedback and the devs listened and did their best to meet the players half way or all the way if possible. with that said,

    i think the big thing for feedback is not the power, i think that is almost on point, but the weapons systems need a lot of tweaking.
    Yeah, i think you are right, some time ago we were excited by common updates and new features, but now there’s almost no updates and some promises that shine made us haven’t been yet implemented, and development is reeeeally slow right now.

    A good example is the official StarMade twitch streams, we haven’t had any in the past year or two.
    But I think that this “dark age” of StarMade will come to an end one way or another. With the universe update or with some strange, exciting new feature or update
     
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    Yeah, i think you are right, some time ago we were excited by common updates and new features, but now there’s almost no updates and some promises that shine made us haven’t been yet implemented, and development is reeeeally slow right now.

    A good example is the official StarMade twitch streams, we haven’t had any in the past year or two.
    But I think that this “dark age” of StarMade will come to an end one way or another. With the universe update or with some strange, exciting new feature or update
    The lack of twitch streams is concerning. I have found that the best indicator for if a game is good or not, is the content it generates on the platforms. Having an official stream, while time consuming, helps sell the game, in a very big and practical way: people see the game, how the game is played, and make an organic decision on if they like the game.

    Spanj and Kage848 sell emperyon. They sell those games by simply playing them. Gmodism made some good content, and there were other content creators out there, but lately it seems they have either abandoned their channels or moved on. Then again how much of that was Starmade and how much of that was youtube being stupid and disconnected?
     
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    I still think that StarMade is going to get out of the swamp of oblivion after the universe thing, or with some crazy great fix or update.

    Quickfire i a great way to improve starmade, some devs have looked at it, and ir rebalances every broken thing, so the devs could get some advice from it, not copy paste it, just Look at it and maybe fix some of the things quickfire says that are wrong
     
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    I still think that StarMade is going to get out of the swamp of oblivion after the universe thing, or with some crazy great fix or update.

    Quickfire i a great way to improve starmade, some devs have looked at it, and ir rebalances every broken thing, so the devs could get some advice from it, not copy paste it, just Look at it and maybe fix some of the things quickfire says that are wrong
    I have high hope with the universe update. It seems they are moving from the "giant empty universe" to the "smaller funsized universe" and i like that idea a lot. Do you visit every sector now? will you visit every sector in the next update? ELite dangerous has this giant universe that is super empty, the entire fan base has only explored 3% of it, as it is a 1 to 1 ratio with our known universe. Elite dangerous is also boring.

    So them making a more detailed and small universe is a good sign.
     
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    Yeah, and that could also fix the problems with my GPU:LOL:, overall the universe update will be a great boost in both gameplay and technical aspects
     
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    ELite dangerous has this giant universe that is super empty, the entire fan base has only explored 3% of it, as it is a 1 to 1 ratio with our known universe. Elite dangerous is also boring.
    Elite Dangerous players are like the Farming Simulator players of scifi games.
     
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    Dr. Whammy

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    One of the key things that has plagued this game for years is a severe lack of content.

    Schine has repeatedly chosen to rewrite basic fundamentals of the game rather than expand on what we already had. If some kind of content was introduced into StarMade besides mining asteroids and shooting at NPC ships, the game wouldn't have devolved into what is essentially a cross between a space Lego beauty pageant and "Fight Club".

    It's easy to place the blame solely at the feet of Schine but to be honest, the community as a whole is just responsible for this to some degree. We have (or at least, had) a lot of talented builders here. With all the players who are skilled in things like logic, rails, interiors or environments, we could have easily created our own interactive environments, and the basic components needed for quest mechanics and sustainable single-player and multi-player campaigns; both cooperative and competitive.

    Unfortunately, Schine dropped the ball again; as they have missed several opportunities to capitalize on some really cool ideas and make (or at least, help make) some of these environment and game-play elements a working part of the game. Why did they fail to do this? ...because at some point, a lot of people forgot that this is first and foremost, a game about creativity. I'll give them credit for their fleet and station contests, but as it stands now, they've scared off a lot of the players by focusing too much on engineering (for the sake of PVP) and forgetting that the creative aspect of the game is what attracted players in the first place.

    They also failed to reduce the number of system blocks required to make a functional combat ship and thus, allow for a blend of both combat effectiveness and internal aesthetics; with neither forcing players to compromise on the other. Now that QuickFire is in on the action, stabilizer distance is gone and most systems are so nerfed that combat not only favors "death bricks" over aesthetic interior but practically requires them.

    Another key issue that hurts the game is that no one has been able to agree on the concept of scale. Schine gives us 300-600 meter wide planets and holds contests to promote small to medium NPC units. What does the player base do? ...Set ridiculously high mining bonuses on virtually every server and build capital ships that are longer than the planets themselves and can one shot the NPCs... This continues even now; despite the fact that it's been repeatedly demonstrated that most multi-player servers (not to mention any client PC that loads your sector) cannot handle the level of scale and complexity that advanced mega-builders bring to the table.

    TL; DR;
    - Schine scared off casual players by repeatedly breaking everyone's builds and making the systems harder to understand.
    - They missed out on chances to turn cool ideas from players into new content that would have made people stick around.
    - Creativity and content took a distant back seat to PVP.
    - QuickFire is promoting (and essentially forcing) block spam as a requirement to make a ship capable of PVP.
    - Players have not outgrown their "need" for excessive giantism; which negatively affects multi-player for those with lower spec computers.


    With all this having been said, I think QuickFire has the ability to solve the giantism and block spam issues but it's going to take some open minds on their part rather than the traditional "PVP is everything" mindset.

    Shine might be able to salvage this situation, but they'll need to make this universe update insanely good to get players interested again.

    Regarding the players themselves; think a bit further out side the box. Learn to make the foundations for your own content then petition Schine and Quick Fire to make the changes needed to turn ideas into actual game play elements.
    Planetoid 01a.JPG
     
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    I should note that scaling ships down is not a problem for PvP. In fact it would be very good for it as long as the most numerous ships don't go below around 1k mass to skirt around "quantum" effects related to the fact that everything is made out of 1 meter size blocks. It's very easy to make shps over 20-30k mass to be more or less immobile bases, who is going to agree to it? PvP inclined players probably will grumble but they use what works. A great amount of creative ships will immediately fall into "to be bombed to death" group.

    As for block spam and interiors it can't be changed with configs. You need to completely remake how ship systems are built to encourage different configurations instead of placing blocks into blobs of larger or smaller size. Systems don't have structure, they have no drawbacks or advantages to different configurations. This all allows creative builders to build the ships in any shape they want but this is also what allows the PvP builders to build their ships without any restrictions on system placement.

    If Schema adds crew/pops to ships it may add a little more structure to them. Thing is it will in no way alleviate block spam as it is not directly related.
     
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    Az14el

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    variety has always been good for pvp lol, the distinction in SM's case is super pointless in the first place
     

    Dr. Whammy

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    I should note that scaling ships down is not a problem for PvP. In fact it would be very good for it as long as the most numerous ships don't go below around 1k mass to skirt around "quantum" effects related to the fact that everything is made out of 1 meter size blocks. It's very easy to make shps over 20-30k mass to be more or less immobile bases, who is going to agree to it? PvP inclined players probably will grumble but they use what works. A great amount of creative ships will immediately fall into "to be bombed to death" group.
    Given the current config, I can agree with this somewhat.

    Reason: The QF speed and rotation curve has made large craft less able to avoid bombs, draw a bead on agile opponents and intercept distant enemies. Strategy and AI fleets will no doubt, be used to counter (and exploit) this weakness. Players will have to start thinking like generals/admirals rather than fighter pilots. Not gonna lie; I kinda like the prospect of this since my build style has a strong emphasis on fleet operations.

    As for block spam and interiors it can't be changed with configs. You need to completely remake how ship systems are built to encourage different configurations instead of placing blocks into blobs of larger or smaller size. Systems don't have structure, they have no drawbacks or advantages to different configurations. This all allows creative builders to build the ships in any shape they want but this is also what allows the PvP builders to build their ships without any restrictions on system placement.

    If Schema adds crew/pops to ships it may add a little more structure to them. Thing is it will in no way alleviate block spam as it is not directly related.
    Actually the opportunity to fix block spam was abandoned when Schine did away with the ship-structural-HP system. It was pushed even further out of reach when stabilizer distance was taken away via QuickFire.

    However, there is a solution if anyone is interested.
    One effective way to eliminate block spam and allow more open space without messing up PVP balance would be to do all of the following...

    - Keep the stabilizer distance/angle mechanic but with a twist... By default, require the same power/stabilizer ratio as QuickFire's current config so that any shape or dimensional proportion is possible with no penalty. But allow for less stabilizers to be needed, the further you build from the reactor. In short; you are creating an incentive to space out your stabilizers rather than a requirement.

    - Multiply the effectiveness and power requirements for weapons and shield blocks so that the same firepower or defense can be had with fewer modules but at the same power cost. This allows for similar balance to what we have now but with a smaller space constraint.

    - Retain the current (or similar) thrust curve to continue to balance ship mass vs maneuverability. Rebalance the curve and the mass of armor blocks, as needed to give players a choice between a reasonably maneuverable ship (interior), an abysmally slow block of armor (block spam,) or something in between.

    - Bring back the structural hitpoint system; also with a twist... Give ships/stations one hit point for every, non-decorative block they have. When a block is destroyed, subtract 1HP for hull/armor blocks, 3HP for system blocks and 10 HP for reactor power blocks. This way, you can destroy ships by either depleting their hitpoints or destroying their systems/reactor directly.

    If done correctly, this set of changes will allow/incentivise open space for crew, aesthetics, cargo, vehicles, fighters, etc. without penalizing compact builds.

    If that ship has already sailed (meaning; both the QF team and Schine have already made up their minds and are no longer open to further changes) then so be it. But the fact remains that there is still a way for them to paint themselves out of this corner they've painted themselves into.
     
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    - Keep the stabilizer distance/angle mechanic but with a twist... By default, require the same power/stabilizer ratio as QuickFire's current config so that any shape or dimensional proportion is possible with no penalty. But allow for less stabilizers to be needed, the further you build from the reactor. In short; you are creating an incentive to space out your stabilizers rather than a requirement.
    That's more or less the vanilla config with stab distance. And it means that PVP ships will have stick/star shapes and have 5-10% mass advantage over non PVP designed ships.

    - Multiply the effectiveness and power requirements for weapons and shield blocks so that the same firepower or defense can be had with fewer modules but at the same power cost. This allows for similar balance to what we have now but with a smaller space constraint.
    Fewer blocks leads to much better defences (armour) and lower overall mass compounding both lower system mass and lower armour mass. Doesn't stop block spam as it is in no way prevents you from just plopping more blocks.

    - Retain the current (or similar) thrust curve to continue to balance ship mass vs maneuverability. Rebalance the curve and the mass of armor blocks, as needed to give players a choice between a reasonably maneuverable ship (interior), an abysmally slow block of armor (block spam,) or something in between.
    It already more or less works like this. There is no way to make your ship 100% protected against attacks of ships in a similar weight class. Even excluding current bugs. And missiles/bombs always allow to speed up armour destruction and allow even very small ships to deal some damage.

    - Bring back the structural hitpoint system; also with a twist... Give ships/stations one hit point for every, non-decorative block they have. When a block is destroyed, subtract 1HP for hull/armor blocks, 3HP for system blocks and 10 HP for reactor power blocks. This way, you can destroy ships by either depleting their hitpoints or destroying their systems/reactor directly.
    Yeah, SHP would be better than reactor HP but that's again up to Schema. Can't be done through configs.
     

    Dr. Whammy

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    That's more or less the vanilla config with stab distance. And it means that PVP ships will have stick/star shapes and have 5-10% mass advantage over non PVP designed ships.
    No. Vanilla penalizes you for having stabilizers too close. I have several builds where I have 2-3x more stabilizers than power blocks, just to maintain 100% stability. QF eliminates stability restrictions altogether. Now one can fill their ship completely with 50% reactors and 50% stabilizers with no restrictions; creating the the old "death brick" scheme all over again.

    My idea was to use stability in its current QF state with bonuses granted, the further you place stabilizers from the reactor. They don't have to be huge bonuses; just enough to make putting your stabilizers further out worth while; in the form of needing less of them for the same ship/reactor size. An intermediate solution would be to require 2 stabilizers per reactor block in order to reach 100% stability, while a 1:1 ratio would grant 50% stability, which would still allow full power generation but at the cost of double the number of reactor HP lost per block destroyed.

    Fewer blocks leads to much better defences (armour) and lower overall mass compounding both lower system mass and lower armour mass. Doesn't stop block spam as it is in no way prevents you from just plopping more blocks..
    You say this... but then...
    It already more or less works like this. There is no way to make your ship 100% protected against attacks of ships in a similar weight class. Even excluding current bugs. And missiles/bombs always allow to speed up armour destruction and allow even very small ships to deal some damage.
    In any case, the point isn't to stop block spam but to allow players to not have to engage in it just to have a combat effective ship.

    Assuming you don't want to make armor heavier again, your thrust config is a good way to rebalance the added armor defense. Even still, if HP are lost for each armor block destroyed, your ship will eventually run out of hit points. This is inevitable if you stay in combat long enough, since armor does not regenerate like shields,

    Once again, you have to choose; speed or durability.

    IYeah, SHP would be better than reactor HP but that's again up to Schema. Can't be done through configs.
    Then we're pretty much stuck. As it stands now, ALL ships must use block spam to maximize their combat effectiveness.

    I'm curious how Schine intends to implement crew and other space related features; given the current limitations.
     
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    RHP Can be applied to non-reactor blocks in config as is (just as under SHP), the setting just doesn't yet take affect in game beyond reactor based blocks right now

    it'd work straight up better though yes
     
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    DrTarDIS

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    I've been a long term follower and player of this game ever since one of my best friends introduced it to me. Eventually, I befriended a couple of admins throughout my history and even joined factions of them on a few servers, even some Youtubers dedicated to this game.

    For a pretty long period of time, I've been away from here since the power system was changed. (To this day I still don't understand why such a change was deemed necessary when the community itself was already content with what we had before) I have a lot of fond memories here, lots of in-game moments on servers that I could only dream of reliving, and made some great friends.

    I've thought about coming back recently, and I have mixed feelings about doing so. I looked at the official StarMade server list and noticed something quite ominous: There's little to no people online on any of them as if the population of the player base is gone. A part of me hopes this is just the result of me only looking at the lists on weekdays when people are less likely to be on.

    So my question is, did our beloved game die? And did the Power Update cause it from people having to rebuild and gut their own ships/stations? If not, what's happened to the community here and why are most gone? It makes me feel worried about this game's future.

    I give my word I'm not trying to sound like a whiner here, it's just that I haven't been able to reach out to anyone I used to play with or get a straight answer from on what's been going on with StarMade. I really hope this is just me being paranoid. If anyone can provide me with an honest answer, it'd be appreciated.
    Like the others point out: there's LESS to do now than before. With Less to do, people went into hibernation. I made a deconstructivist post on why it became this way a while back... Ahh here it is. It's reasoning even withstood the test of time. click the spoiler tag. https://starmadedock.net/threads/weapons-2-0.30590/post-368434

    Maybe universe update will reverse that trend and give things to do and rewards for doing them. We shall see.

    Edit: JinM makes the point in slightly less caustic manner too https://starmadedock.net/threads/pv...majority-over-all-the-other-playstyles.30633/
     
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    The Power Update definitely killed my enjoyment of Starmade. I check back every month or two to see if anything has changed, but right now I (and I think other veteran players, too) are sitting out. I spent months building my perfect titan, months more developing the perfect stealth ship, and even more months just in R&D to get the edge in the servers my friends and I played on. Since the Power Update, a large majority of our work has simply been invalidated. In hindsight, had I known all of that work would amount to nothing, I never would have started playing this game to begin with. In all fairness, it was fun while it lasted. This post is the most active I've been in two years lmao
     
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    I think a lot of you forget this game is still early access/alpha, I have over 6k hours playing over several years with multiple accounts, with that being said I enjoyed rebuilding everything over the years....isn't that kind of the point of a sandbox voxel style game? I mean who joined this game to build only one ship and be done? That's boring. I personally don't care for the newer power system but honestly won't give up on this gem because of it either. I lay in wait for them to get finished and am excited to play this game again even if it is different then the 6000 other hours I've already experienced!