Latest stable version: Checking...
Registry status:
    • Apr17

      StarMade Dev Blog - The weapons update

      Hello players,

       

      The first dev build is now available. There is a lot to cover in this update. The primary focus of this update is to make weapons more unique and give them a better feeling, as well as improving the overall combat experience.

      This is the first dev build of many, and there are other features to come still like the ability to zoom with weapons, weapon graphical updates and PD missile priority.

       

      Not all combat related aspects will be addressed in this update, ship movement might still receive some minor (but important) changes in the far future and the AI itself will definitely get the attention it needs in other releases.

       

      Also, there will be graphical updates to the weapons still. Most important, however, is to first ensure good functionality.

       

      Weapon Combinations

      Weapon combinations use the same mechanic still, but each combination and base weapon has been completely overhauled.

       

      We removed the Damage Pulse weapon (push pulse is still available), so there will be a total of three normal weapons plus nine combinations. All other weapons and support tools are handled separately and will no longer have any combinations. However, the default state of support weapons like the salvage beam will be upgraded to what people usually went for when there were still combinations for it.

       

      Recoil

      A new recoil system has been implemented. Not only will cannons and possibly other weapons now cause recoil on your cursor aiming, but there is now also physical recoil on your ship depending on your weapon. This means that you could technically propel your ship by shooting weapons. There is also impact force, which means that you will experience a physical force when weapons hit your ship. The force will scale with the damage of your weapon, but this can vary even more depending on the combination type where we can tweak it even more.

      Cannon

      The cannons have probably received the biggest update. To make them more viable, we completely changed their damage model to allow for an accurate damage to block destruction representation, while at the same time also interact better with the target’s armor for balancing.

       

      A cannon projectile now does explosive damage that, in theory, can reach the end of any structure. On impact, part of the damage will be expanded to the surrounding blocks and creep outwards till it runs out of damage. To keep the game running smoothly, a scaling algorithm was implemented to limit the number of operations per update. This means that in high load situations, it would not slow down the server. Instead, it would simply take a little longer for the same amount of damage to apply. We call this the “Acid” model since it, in a way, behaves like acid burning through a material but at a much faster pace.

       

      A cannon projectile has extra characteristics too now, such as type and width. The type is determined by the weapon combination and specifies the formula used for the Acid Damage to propagate. For example, one type of cannon could leave a cone-shaped hole in your target, and another type could have this one flipped around. The width of a projectile could then be used to limit how wide its damage can creep outwards.

       

      By putting blocks next to your cannon output, you increase the perpendicular size of it. The width is based on this. The more width a weapon has, the broader the “punch” will be, but the bullet will of course not penetrate as far, since it’s using up a lot more damage for Acid Damage. The weapon itself still needs the damage to do this though and it’s entirely possible that your wide projectile does not even destroy a single layer, or that a too thin projectile over penetrates.

       

      Armor

      Armor has also been completely redesigned. The old armor rating values that reduced incoming damage, and armor HP have been taken out completely to be replaced with a system that makes the armor and its thickness matter at the point of impact and does not over generalize the entire ship’s armor.

       

      When a shot hits armor, the system will test how many blocks in the line of fire are also armor. The armor value of those blocks is then summed up and compared with the damage.

      This is done every time a shot encounters a new set of touching armor, so you can absolutely have inner armor to protect your reactor.

       

      A projectile can have 3 states in total: Stopped, Normal, or over-penetrating.

       

      If the damage is lower than the combined armor value, the shot is considered ‘stopped’ by that armor. A stopped shot will only do damage to the first block. This means that you will only lose at most one block per shot if you have great armor relative to the weapon that hit you.

       

      If the damage is good but not too good for what it is hitting, you get a normal shot and acid damage will apply like you expect it work.

       

      A shot with overwhelming damage however, will be considered over penetrating against most armor plates. The acid damage model will still apply, but gets adjusted in such a way that less damage will be spent in acid damage, and you’re more likely to shoot right through your target with little damage done.

       

      As an example, if you shoot a relatively small ship with a huge cannon, the shot might just go straight through the complete ship, leaving only a 1-2 wide hole. This means that sometimes, using less powerful weapons against smaller targets might be more destructive.


       

      The next few dev builds will have us applying these acid damage formulas to each of the cannon combinations and you should start seeing a noticable difference between each type.

       

      Combinations

      The combinations of cannons are as follows:

       

      • Default: An all-around decent cannon

      • Cannon + Cannon: Fast firing machine gun with accuracy problems at higher damage values (recoil)

      • Cannon + Missile: Charge cannon with left click to charge, release to fire. Will have different shape for acid damage (most likely a cone. The amount charged on fire will change its damage, acid damage spread and other variables to change its efficiency.

      • Cannon + Beam: A slow firing, sniper/artillery cannon that will have a different shaped acid damage model once again. It will still be relatively efficient when over penetrating its target, but is hard to hit.

      Beams

      Beams have also been updated considerably. They now possess the ability to latch onto targets. This makes them a lot easier to use. Most beams won’t penetrate, as it simply jumps from one destroyed block to next closest block of the initial hit, preferring blocks that are on the surface over blocks that are deeper. Those beams are perfect for burning off the outer shell of ships and against shields.

      An entity can break a latch if it turns away from the firing entity. This will only be possible for the mother ship to prevent exploitations like rotating armor. Alternatively, a non-latch on beam can and will still be used with combinations.

       

      Tools like the salvage beam will not latch on and can be used normally.

       

      Combinations

      • Default: A latch on beam

      • Beam + Cannon: A beam that doesn’t latch on with some acid damage. The latch can break by turning away, but the beam will try to latch onto the next block that has a sight line to the beam output.

      • Beam + Missile: An arc beam with shorter range but doesn’t break from target turning away. This is useful when trying to do focused damage on one spot.

      • Beam + Beam: A doom beam that penetrates the complete length of the beam, and adds acid damage. This would represent an actual death star weapon. Very overpowered right now and can easily be used for performance tests! The acid damage will be adjusted later on, and this beam will get other penalties to account for its high penetration and damage values. This could be the inability to aim with your cursor, having to drop your shield, require additional charging time, having to stop to fire, can not be used on turrets, etc. Stations are especially vulnerable to this type of weapon so we’ll make sure there are mechanics in place to balance it properly..

       

      Once we’ve established a baseline config, we’ll also be using a mechanic to reduce the damage of beams with distance.

       

      Repair Beam

      The repair beam has been completely overhauled as well and is now capable of repairing and replacing killed blocks. The reason this has taken longer is several problems to optimize this system for large scale, as well as handling the logic of connections. In the dev build, you can only replace the blocks in order (as if you pressed “undo”), however in release, you will be able to repair blocks that don’t have any connection (like hull) at any time, and only systems would have to be done in order. This method of repairing will use the blocks in your linked storage chest but is using ‘creative’ mode in the dev build for now.


       

      Tractor Beam

      The new tractor beam replaces the push and pull beam of the previous release. This weapon is able to hold another entity in place. It can also move with you as you either rotate or move yourself while still firing the beam. It comes with a built-in mode change so you can push the target further out or pull it in. In the dev build, you can change modes by right clicking. This function will be refined further in the GUI. There will also be a way to set the mode by connecting logic blocks to it.


       

      Missiles

      While the basic missile has not changed, there are some major changes to how they behave and fire.

      Missile Capacity

      To prevent missile spam, a ship will now have a shipwide missile capacity. This capacity reloads overtime at a fixed rate, and requires some additional power to do so. You can place extra missile capacity blocks on your entity to increase the base capacity. This means that there is a finite number of missiles you can use in a battle. To counteract that restriction, missiles will be made stronger and less will be more. Firing a missile should be a real decision rather than a no-brainer.

      This not only will help with performance during battle, but also will make missiles feel a lot more impactful.

      Combinations

      • Default: Very fast non tracking missiles

      • Missile + Cannons: Heat-seeking swarming missiles

      • Missile + Beam: Lock-On Missiles

      • Missile + Missile: A bomb with no self-propulsion and uses the ship’s velocity as its own. The bomb will ignore shields, but it is extremely hard to aim and use (almost impossible to fire effectively from large ships). The bomb does friendly fire and will arm itself after several seconds, which means you should clear away after firing one.

       

      We’re going to add proper missile prioritization for your Point Defense turrets in the next few dev builds, this will also include missile HP that would scale with the missile’s damage. This will allow for high damage missiles to get prioritized, but they will also require big enough PD weapons to take it down before it reaches the target.

      Effect types

      All damage will now be a combination of 3 damage types:

      • Kinetic

      • Electromagnetic

      • Heat

       

      When a cannon/missile/beam hits, damage is reduced or increased depending on what the target is weak or strong against. This reduction is only applied once for a projectile and missile but is applied every time when a beam does damage.

       

      The existing damage effect blocks have been removed for three new ones. These three are used to change a weapon’s default damage type composition (e.g. cannons are mostly kinetic damage).

       

      On the opposite side, you can use reactor chambers to strengthen your ship/structure against the damage types respectively. You won’t be able to get full protection against weapons, but it is possible against environmental damage. In the universe update, this will be used to add more variation and danger to your universe and with the right setup, allow you to live and build in an otherwise hostile environment.


       

      With armor thickness and these effects, we will be able to provide you in-game information to help with building and analyzing your structure’s armor. By just looking at your armor from any angle, you will see information to show the statistics of that particular spot and what is behind it, showing you potential weak spots, and how much damage your toughest armor can withstand without having to take apart your ship layer by layer.

       

      Mines

      With the removal of damage pulse, we decided to add something that is standalone from the weapon combination system to compensate, the minelayer.

       

      With this, you can lay down mines permanently in sectors, with a ton of possible configurations for each to determine what type it is.


       

      The mines could be seen as tiny mobile shipyards, with a Mine computer connecting to a Mine core.

       

      Next to the mine core you can place up to 6 mine-specific block modifications. The mine core block plus its modifications are used as a “blueprint” for the mine’s capabilities, while the constructed and deployed mine itself is not a block but a small 3D model.

       

      Constructing and laying a mine requires blocks from either the pilot’s inventory, or the storage that is connected to the Mine computer. The strength of the mine will be configurable through block consumption in the following dev builds.

       

      Newly laid mines are unarmed and remain so until armed via the Radial Ship Menu.

       

      To destroy any armed mine, simply shoot at it or ram into them.

       

      A mine has a detection radius and will activate based on what it is looking for.

       

      The following mine-types are available (for now):

      • Cannon Mine: This mine fires a cannon projectile towards entities in range

      • Missile Mine: This mine fires heat-seeking missiles as long as an entity is in range

      • Proximity Mine: The classic mine. Once activated the mine will follow the entity that triggered it and do massive explosion damage on impact. Once activated, the mine is used up.

       

      The following Mine Modifications are available:

      • Cannon Mine Mod: turns mine into cannon mine

      • Missile Mine Mod: turns mine into missile mine

      • Proximity Mine Mod: turns mine into proximity mine

      • Strength Mod: increases mine strength 10 fold but also increases cost 10 fold

      • Personal AI Mod: mine will not attack the one that laid it but everyone else

      • Friend AI Mod: mine will attack only enemies of the player

      • Stealth Mod: with each additional mod the mine will gain one point in stealth. Depending on recon strength while scanning the mine will be invisible at distance (distance depends on the difference of stealth vs recon)

       

      Raw Feature List

      Here’s a list to indicate all the items that went into this specific build.

       

      1. Completely Rewritten weapon handling and processing

      2. Effect damage

        • Effect damage block config capability

        • Effect damage block behavior config capability

        • Effect damage effect config

        • Effect damage attack and defense processing

      3. Effect armor

        • Global effect defense

        • Per block category effect defense

        • Per block type effect defense

        • Armor chamber effects

        • Environmental Armor effect

      4. Cannon width architecture system

      5. Cannon width pipeline

      6. Acid damage

        • Acid damage formula

        • Armor depth

      7. Cumulative optimized projectile block handling

      8. Beam optimized penetrate handling

      9. Beam latch-on functionality

        • Beam latch-on synchronization

        • Beam latch-on connection broken handling

        • Beam latch-on progression handling

      10. Repair beam

      11. Tractor beam

        • Tractor beam pull

        • Tractor beam push

      12. Cargo damage

      13. Mines

        • Minelayer blocks

        • Minelayer structure

        • Minelayer connection

        • mine graphics

        • mine network and db infrastructure

        • mine proximity checks

        • Mine hitbox checks

        • Minelayer inventory consumption

        • Minelayer mine composition calculations

        • Mine Stealth

        • Mine placement distance checks

        • Basic mine clearing admin commands

      14. LoD system

        • LoD abstraction

        • LoD mixed mode

        • LoD activation

      15. bBock change handle optimization

      16. Wep combination rewrite

      17. Missile capacity

        • Missile capacity handling/reloading

        • Missile capacity synchronization

      18. Thread instancing optimization

      19. HP data update (always making use of all available bits)

      20. Block Config parser rewrite

      21. Bomb missile

      22. Death beam functionality (penetrating/acid)

      23. Meta effect capability

      24. Raycast fixes and optimizations

      25. Beam optimizations

      26. Extended user controller pipeline in weapon usage

      27. Optimized repair storage

      28. Repair storage serialization

      29. Smaller fixes in between

      30. Inventory block-search reset when dragging from hotbar

      31. Mini freeze when building/starting game fix

      32. Major memory optimizations for handling damage and block changes in general

      33. Recoil

        • Physical Weapon Recoil

        • Physical Weapon Impact

        • Cursor Recoil

       

      Thank you for playing StarMade,

      The Schine Team

       
    • Mar27

      SSL Update

      Hello players,

      Just a small update to ensure the new SSL Certificate to be cached right. Expect a dev build for the weapons update soon.

      Thanks for playing StarMade,

      - the Schine team

    • Feb2

      StarMade v0.200.332 - Reactor System Enhancement and Fixes

      Hello players,

       

      This update contains some fixes for problems with the last update, as well as a new advanced system for reactor design.

       

       

      Reactor Dimension

      Our goal with this system is to make every entity shape equally viable. Stabilizer care about the distance between themselves and their reactor, which encourages you to build in one dimension. We worked on a method to allow this distance to be influenced indirectly by the size and placement of additional stabilizer groups. This mechanic does not change your existing ships but it allows you to now put the reactor in different positions with multiple stabilizers closer to it.

       

       

       

      How it works

      A reactor has 6 relative sides (Front, Back, Right Left, Top, Bottom) and we simply provide a bonus to your overall stabilization for every additional side that contains a stabilization group.

       

      The maximum bonus provided by a side, is set in the config so we can balance it if needed. You don’t immediately get the maximum bonus though, as that would be exploitable.

       

      To calculate the bonus of 1 of the 6 sides, we take the stabilizer group with the most efficient of that side and compare it with the most efficient group on the entire ship. If they’re equal sized, then you get the full bonus, else only a fraction.

       

      The bonuses add up where the maximum one would be used if you use all sides with equal stabilizer groups.

       

       

      Max bonuses:

      1 stabilizer side used: -> normal efficiency at 100% of regular distance

      2 stabilizer sides used: -> normal efficiency at 50% of regular distance

      3 stabilizer sides used: -> normal efficiency at 33% of regular distance

      4 stabilizer sides used: -> normal efficiency at 26% of regular distance

      5 stabilizer sides used: -> normal efficiency at 22% of regular distance

      6 stabilizer sides used: -> normal efficiency at 20% of regular distance

       

      This will not mean that a cube ship will be able to place stabilizers at 1/6th of the distance when using all 6 sides for bonus, but you will be able to place them a lot closer to make that shape comparable with a long ship in terms of efficiency, and therefore viable. The same goes for any other basic shape.

       

       

       

      The examples below normally require 100 meters distance between the reactor and the stabilizers. All 3 examples have the same stabilization and regeneration.

       

      1 group of 200 stabilizers at 100 meters.

       

      2 groups of 100 stabilizers at 50 meters.

       

      4 groups of 50 stabilizers at ~25 meters.


       

      Stabilization Axis

      The bonus system works on fixed axis for simplicity. However, it is possible to modify this axis freely. There is a new tab “Reactor” in the advanced build mode, which lets you do that. These are also applied and saved by individual reactor.

      You are only required to modify it if your stabilizer groups are in the “corners”, as then the game can’t really decide to which dimension it belongs to.

       

       

       

      Fixes and Additions

      • Fixed a bug that would fill up VRAM slowly (causing fps drops)

      • Added a system to search an entity by block type. Select a block in the dropdown in “Selection” in advanced build mode and hit the “highlight” button. All blocks of that type will be highlighted, which will help a lot when refitting ships

      • Turret aiming left click will now focus fire (like beams) if your cursor is on a structure. Right click will be unfocused fire.

      • AI now prefers to aim on reactors, chambers and stabilizers (will use the scanning system in the future)

      • Fixed several crashes

      • Fixed some chunks not being editable anymore

      • Fixed some ships not loading due to memory optimization using compressed chunks

      • Fixed warp-gates not loading due to data discrepancy

      • Fixed sector import failing with certain entities

      • Fixed reactor HP removal on block destruction issue

      • Fixed reactor overcapacity issue

      • Fixed energy stream not always disappearing

      • Fixed old blocks still appearing in factories (set deprecated to false to bring those back)

      • Fixed RHP not deducting correctly on integrity explosions

      • Overdrive, Ion, Piercing and EMP Effects are disabled now as they don’t work fully and will be replaced in the weapons update.

       

       

       

       

      Work is continuing on the weapon update. There will be some news soon amongst other things on new mechanics making armor a lot more viable.

       

       

      Thanks for playing StarMade,

      • The Schine Team

    • Jan21

      StarMade v0.200.315 - Small Patch

      FOR SERVER ADMINS: You can deactivate the old power completely if you turn off "ALLOW_OLD_POWER_SYSTEM" in the server.cfg. Keep in mind that this  will not be revertable.

      Hello players, ~

      just a few small fixes for the last update:

      • Some entites weren't loading right or would disappear (they will reappear in this version)
      • Thruster integrity now displayed in the build mode statistics in the top left
      • Fail-Safe for old hp when switching from old to new power back. Ships should no longer accidnetially overheat
      • Stabilizer energy stream radius halved. We are looking into options for the weapons update

      Thanks for playing StarMade,

      - the Schine Team

    • Jan20

      StarMade v0.200.311 - Power 2.0

      Greeting, Citizens ~

       

      The power update has been finally released.

      Features

      Power 2.0

      If you kept track with our last few dev blogs, you will already know how the majority of it works. We did change some features along the way to resolve the issues that were brought up and it might not be a bad idea to go through it once again.

      There is an all new power system in this build. Old ships are still loadable and fully usable but the old power and its related blocks are disabled in shops, creative mode and factories. They can be re-enabled in the block editor if needed (set inShop to true) or you can still access them through the admin command /give “player_name” “block_name” if you’re an admin or in single player.

      There is an option in the ServerConfig to completely disable the old power system should a server admin want that. It’s advised to not switch from allowed to disallowed and back again constantly though.  

      If old power is allowed, the system will detect which version to use based on the structure’s root entity (mothership, station or planet) and check if that has any old power blocks. All structures will be counted as “new” power until you place down an old power block at which point they will convert to the old system.

      Anything that still uses the old power blocks, will stay like that till the very last old power block is removed. Make sure to clean out your old power before adding the new power components to your ship.

      Motivation

      The main motivation to update the power system comes from a few basic issues that the old power system has.

      • Scaling of power versus the surface area of ships

      • Filling ships with power and systems is almost impossible to change afterwards without tearing it down completely

      • Additions of bigger features was hard on existing system

      • Consumption model was not consistent and didn’t scale well in terms of balance.

      • Implementation based on partly outdated code

      • Exploits to abuse power system mechanics

       

      There is a lot more in this update than just the power system itself. Additionally, a change of this system allowed for a massive code overhaul of some very fundamental systems. Not only will that reduce bugs, it will also speed up the process of finding any remaining issues, as well as adding new features a lot faster, easier and streamlined.

      Consider this update as a way to prepare the game to enter a phase of rapid development. A lot of foundation had to be made so that adding new stuff wouldn’t cause a problem in the end. While we could have skipped this step, it would have probably cost more time after just adding new features, so we went for the option to fix the foundations first, and then add new stuff, as well as finish other incomplete features.

       

      Power Basics

      The new power system is relatively simple but has a lot of depth if you are going for optimal building. However, it can be difficult if you build ships with the old power system in mind and expect similar results. Ships will perform similar as before, yet power regeneration and consumption values were changed drastically and simply can’t be compared easily with the old power system.

      Our main goal was to make the power reactor components smaller, making sure that anything that uses power is also kept at a relatively small size.

      The only way that this is possible, is if there isn’t a reason to fill up a ship with it. We went through a lot of iterations like restrictions compared to dimensions as well as mass, but all of these had major problems that would enable players to just circumvent the restrictions and fill a ship with systems regardless. Our system should be working with as few special cases as possible.

       

      Reactor <-> Stabilizer

      The system we went for is a combination of two blocks:

      • The Main reactor block

      • The Stabilizer block

      The idea is that a reactor needs to be stabilized beyond a certain value to function properly and that the stabilizer blocks have to be a sufficient enough distance away of the main reactor to be effective. That distance is measured from the stabilizer block to the approximate shape of the main reactor.

      The bigger the reactor, the more stabilizers you need and the further away from the reactor they need to be. This puts a minimum span on each reactor size, ensuring that a ship cannot be filled up with reactors entirely.

      You get 10 blocks worth of free stabilization for any reactor, so that really small reactors don’t need any stabilization blocks to function. Small ships can be a little bit more compact, as you also need to protect 1 less vital component on your ship.

       

      A reactor is fully operational with a stabilization of 25%, however there is a risk to that. A stabilization below 100% will cause the reactor to suffer from damage penalties. From very little at around 99% up to three times damage taken from all weapons at 0%. The concept of building with low stability is very risky but can of course have high rewards.

       

      Energy Stream

      Additionally, there is a non-physical connection between your stabilizers and your reactor. A stream can be hit by any weapon projectile, and apply a temporary power regeneration nerf to the reactor. The duration of this nerf depends on the amount of damage that passes through the stream. Protecting these streams is just as important as protecting your reactor and stabilizer components, not only from enemy ship fire, but also from boarding parties.

      A stream’s path can be bent and redirected with one or more Stream Node blocks. These blocks can be connected to each other to build a custom path by linking with C + V. Any stabilizer group will connect to the closest Stream Node and follow its path back to the active reactor.

      Consumption

      Another important goal was to update and make power consumption more consistent. All power consumers now consume power over time and not instantly on use. This means that there is no instant power drop, and significantly reduces the need to have large amounts of power in storage.

      All weapons now consume power when reloading. They also require a lower amount of power per second to keep themselves loaded, as they lose charge over time. If you can’t provide enough power to reload, the weapon will just reload a bit slower. It will only appear discharging if you cannot provide the lower “resting charge”. This means that you can now build weapons far bigger than your reactor technically supports, which will make for some interesting gameplay decisions.

      Usable modules like thrusters will, like the old system, only consume power when in use. Some modules that are only active for a certain duration, only require power to charge it up and none when it’s active.

       

      Power Consumption Priority

      Additionally to this new consumption system, you can now also customize the priority in which power is consumed. You prefer being able to fly and having shields over your weapons recharging? You can set that now by just dragging your preferred priorities in the new power reactor panel.

       

      Rail Power

      One major problem of the old system was the way it handled rails and system inheritance. This is now streamlined and pretty straight forward: Only the mother ship’s reactor can be active. Its docks and turrets are also part of the priority list so you can make sure that your turrets always get power if you want, or you can prevent them to consume so much power that you cannot maneuver anymore. A docked ship’s reactor will go back online once it undocks.

       

      Chamber Tree

      Chambers are an all new feature that will help specialize your ship for certain tasks. All stand-alone effects, all “one-block” functionality and some “one-group” systems have been incorporated into this system. Effect blocks can still be used as-is in combination with weapons, however it would be advisable to not use them too much as they will change within the weapons update. (more information will follow shortly)


      The chamber system can be understood as a physical skill tree that is on your ship or station. As an example, while a weak version of the jump drive is now available by default, you can use the chamber system to make it possibly stronger and suit your needs. You can reduce its power consumption, increase its recharge speed, change functionality such as allowing it to hold multiple charges at the same time, etc. Each change, represents a node in the tree and which parts you want is up to you.

      Other chambers now include cloaking and jamming. There is also now a way to set artificial gravity, as well as set warp gates to an arbitrary position in reach, that doesn’t even have to have a warp gate on the other end.

      To build chambers, you have to place down the basic chamber type and connect it to your main reactor through a chain of touching Reactor Conduit blocks. After that you can select a specification in the Reactor panel or simply press ‘R’ on any reactor component to bring you to that menu. In there you can see how your chambers are currently connected with each other. You can specify what each chamber does.

      Adding additional blocks to an already specified chamber will automatically increase that chamber’s size. The minimum size requirement for chambers to function, depends on the size of the reactor.
       

      All of this system is based on a new feature we call the “Effect Config System”. The ECS was implemented to allow for any effect on an entity from any source. At the moment, the only source used is a ship’s own chamber tree, but in the future this system will be used for several other things, including changing sector/system/region conditions depending on where you are in the galaxy (for example nebulae disabling all sensors, etc).

      We also implemented an easy to use GUI to mod it, as well as insured that it is very scalable as it syncs between client and server with only a few parameters.

      Multiple reactors

      Multiple reactors are possible and encouraged as not only do they provide a fail safe system, they also enable ships to carry multiple sets of chamber trees and of different sizes. Stabilizers can be reused for multiple reactors, but keep in mind that the stabilization distance is calculated based on the biggest reactor.

      Switching reactors can be done in the reactor panel. A switch is instantaneous but there is a cooldown to switch again afterwards.

      One major advantage of multiple reactors is also, that only an active reactor can be scanned.

       

      Reactor HP

      A ship’s HP is now determined by the active reactor and its chambers. Reactor HP is tracked for each reactor separately, but only the active one applies for your ship’s health. The reactor tree is consistent and keeps tracks of which blocks have been damaged. If your Reactor HP ends up too low (<20%). Reactor HP will affect more of your ship in the near future with the weapons update.

      You can chose the reset the HP to their new maximum to stop overheating, but you only do that out of battle as any damage will reset the timer. This consistency will also eventually lead to a repair mechanism that can replace destroyed reactor blocks.

       

      Local Shields

      Shields were always a big pain to balance out especially when rails came out, as they always covered the whole ship, no matter where the shields were placed or where the ship parts were located. This, paired with no extra power cost with capacity increases, not only encouraged players to excessively use shield capacity blocks, but it also enabled far away “islands” to be fully shielded, something that has much more of an impact with the new power system. Shield sharing within rails also was the cause of major exploits and confusion when building ships.

      Shields no longer apply on your entire ship through inheriting. Now each shield recharger group has its own radius that it will shield blocks from damage. Any shield capacity group within this shield bubble, will auto link to that recharger group and provide it shield HP.

      The radius of a shield recharger group, depends on its size.

      You’re able to have more than one of these shield groups on your ship as each one has its own recharge and shield HP, allowing you distribute its strength to different parts of your ship and in different proportions. These spheres can overlap partially, but as soon as the recharge group (the center of a sphere) is placed within the influence of another sphere, it will disable itself. If a block that is within the radius of multiple shields is taking damage, each shield will receive the damage.

      Stealth vs Recon System

      This new system is incorporated in the chamber system. You can setup your chambers to gain stealth/recon strength. When your scanner or stealth drive is active, this strength is applied to your ship or structure.

      The system compares your current scan strength with all nearby entities (and vice versa for stealth strength -> scan strength). Depending on the difference between you and a target, you’ll get different results. If your scan strength vastly outweighs the target’s stealth strength, you see every bit of information possible and also counter all of the target’s active stealth drive effects. Cloaker and jammer are now addons  for the stealth drive, so these can be countered by scanners still provided your scan strength is high enough.

      • To counter Jamming, your ship needs an equal amount of recon strength than the other ship’s stealth strength

      • To counter Cloak, your ship needs 1 recon strength less than the other ship’s stealth strength.

      • For scanning weapons, your ship needs 1 recon strength more than the other ship’s stealth strength

      • For scanning chambers, your ship needs 1 recon strength more than the other ship’s stealth strength

      • For scanning reactors, your ship needs 2 recon strength more than the other ship’s stealth strength

      System Integrity

      Unrelated to power, to combat general exploitation of shapes of systems, a new mechanic has been introduced: integrity.

      Essentially, if a group of modules is below a certain density, it will receive additional damage when being hit. Generally this will not affect most builds, as long as there are no overly long lines or giant plates of systems being built.

      For each group of systems, there’s a starting value of 200 integrity which will go up or down depending on how many blocks each block touches within that group. The penalty only applies if your integrity goes below 0, so small ships generally don’t have to worry about it at all.

      • Touches 0 blocks: - 10 integrity

      • Touches 1 blocks: - 8.5 integrity

      • Touches 2 blocks: - 7 integrity

      • Touches 3 blocks: - 4 integrity

      • Touches 4 blocks: - 2 integrity

      • Touches 5 blocks: + 0.5 integrity

      • Touches 6 blocks: + 2 integrity

      The integrity mechanic applies to all usable systems, but not hull.

      There are a few special groups worth mentioning:

      • Thrusters will be considered as the same group, they all share the same integrity value.

      • Stabilizers group if close enough, get combined into a single group. This can easily be seen when looking at their outline in build mode with a stabilizer block selected in the hotbar.

      • Shield integrity will take the lowest integrity of both rechargers and capacitors within a shield radius. A shield with low integrity will also receive damage on a shield hit, which means that this is the only module where integrity is an absolute necessity.

      User Interface Changes

      There was a large amount of GUI items to add for the new power system, along the way we’ve changed other ones too:

      • All new build information panel

      • New power reactor panel

      • Font sizes have been adapted to be more readable at higher resolutions

      • GUI drawing optimizations

      • Effect Config System GUI

      • Several help and information bits based on context

      • Updates to chat (more to come in weapons update)

      • Several message popup fixes

      • Right click on brush size scrollbar resets it

      • A faction member’s position can now be set as waypoint in the faction member list

      • C+V on remote logic (was already in but we missed mentioning it)

      • The infographics you see in this post are available in the game as a quick reference in the top left corner when building a ship.

      Ship Information Panel

      The information panel you see in build mode has been updated to be more dynamic, and to be less in your way. Each section gives you information of a specific system and can be minimized, allowing you to customize the amount of info you see on screen. The entire panel can be minimized too if needed.

      Any large value that doesn’t fit will display as a tooltip if you hover over it.

      This panel also has more functionality tied to it, such as faction module options and AI options.

       

      HUD Context

      Even if set to “none”, you will still a few power related ones in build mode as they are need to know information and doesn’t get in the way either as it depends on the block you’re looking at, and the one you have selected on your hotbar.

      Manual Turret Aiming

      Turrets have now the option to be manually controlled. To do that, just set the checkbox in the bobby AI panel. Then you can assign the control for all manually controlled turrets on the hotbar of your mothership. As long as the icon isn’t selected on the hotbar, the turret will be using normal AI targeting. If it is selected it will switch to manual aiming. Additionally, using right shift to look around when manual turret aiming is selected will enable you to aim in all directions (right shift will be the old normal behavior if manual turret aiming isn’t selected).

      Repulsor Block

      A new block has been added that enables you to build hovercrafts and other contraptions. This block essentially works like a directional magnet that always pushes yourself away. This block is based on the physics system, so you will have to find the right balance for your ship. There are some options in the Thruster configuration for it, too.

       

      Storage/factory pull/push limits

      You can now put individual limits on how much a storage can pull of each item and how much a factory can produce. This should make managing factories and inventories a lot easier.  Keep in mind that factories will also pull enough resources for one extra production step.

       

      Graphics Config Presets

      Since StarMade’s graphics config in its development state is a bit hard to manage, we added simple config presets for all kind of systems. All old options have been moved into an advanced config tab and can be accessed and set as they could before.

       

      Config additions

      A large amount of config values were added to the blockBehaviorConfg and effectConfig, giving you the ability to modify and change system values completely. This is not only to enable basic modding, but also for us to explore and experiment with different setups in the game.

      Optimizations

      Several optimization have been made to different parts of the game.

      • Sped up general chunk loading by streamlining client requests

      • Sped up module group calculations by avoiding unnecessary runs

      • Reduced general RAM usage of ships, stations and asteroids by using dynamic chunk compression.

      • Fixed several memory leaks

      • Optimized RAM usage in several other places

      • General drawing optimizations

      • Several bottlenecks removed

      • Reduced VRAM being used considerably by overhauling frame buffers.

      • Fixed and reduced VRAM usage for antialiasing.

      • Fixes for 4k resolutions

      • Beam drawing optimizations

      • Several block editing optimizations

      • Networking optimization

      • Use of advanced graphics card functions for cards that support it

      • Faster debris handling

      Planets have been made smaller by default to not have them impact performance until they are replaced completely.

      Bug fixes

      • Fixed building while flying at high speed

      • Fixed normal mapping tangent space

      • Fixed many small fixes for textures

      • Fixed several crashes (without issue attached)

      • : Weapon output added to HUD context

      • : Added safety checks for removal of an in-use inventory, warpgate with set destination, faction module and shop module

      • : Fixed sounds not playing after 5 plays.

       

      Known issues

      • Tutorial videos are not up to date yet. Update video will follow shortly.

      • NPC Assets are not using power 2.0 yet, will be converted along the way.

      • Lighting bug on some sprites and girder

      • Long range scanner not functional yet (placeholder for universe update, will be temporarily serving as the scanning module of the old version)

      • Sensor block currently doesn’t function with the reactor. To fix it will probably be sensing the current consumption versus recharge percentage.

      . Exploits or any other method of abusing mechanics can also be reported here, as bug tasks are private on creation.  

       

      What’s next

      Now that everyone is able to use Power 2.0 in a state that it’s supposed to be, we’ll continue to tweak it when balance or mechanical issues arise.

      While the QA team keeps a watchful eye, the rest of us will work on the next update to revamp Weapons and possibly some support tools.

       

      Weapons update

      Here’s an overview of what we plan for our next update. Changes can still be made as we haven’t decided on everything just yet. If you have any ideas, concerns or suggestions related to these changes, make sure to share that with us on the forum.

      Although weapons will change quite drastically, the base combination system (master + slave + effect) will remain the same as there’s fundamentally nothing wrong with it. The combination themselves will be tweaked though to make each one of them stand out more.

       

      Cannon and Beam Damage model

      Just like with missiles, we set out to change the damage model of Cannons and Beams to fulfill several requirements:

      1. Performance, it has to have as little impact as possible on both the client and the server.

      2. Scales better, the ultimate goal of a 1:1 damage to block damage ratio with no penetration loss. (over penetration is OK though)

      3. Adjustable damage model to create unique variants

      The biggest problem we have with performance, is that it all has to happen within a single update. If a weapon is capable of destroying 20 000 blocks, it has to find, calculate and destroy 20 000 blocks within a single update, something that is simply not possible without major hiccups.

      The damage to block damage ratio, is also terrible, as each projectile can only deal damage in a single line. This requires you to make a lot more outputs to up your block destruction, but this extreme number of projectiles also drags performance down.

      As a solution to both, we decided to handle destruction over a period of time, something we currently call the “acid” damage model.

      A projectile that hits, registers a line of blocks to apply its damage too, just like it is in the current release version. Each one of those blocks gets a portion of the projectile’s damage (this can be weighted, the front section can have more than the back) and the damage will creep outwards from each one of those registered blocks over several updates.

      This process happens fast and does not cause any performance problems as it can handle a small enough amount of calculations every update.

      Further hits on the same area that is still applying acid damage will get handled at the same time too. This will result in minor damage loss as some areas can overlap, but since that area is already taking damage, it doesn’t make a noticable difference.

      The radius it creeps out can be till it runs out of blocks, yet also depends on how much damage it starts with or it won’t reach far or deep enough. We can also set an actual radius to it.

      That’s why we give the player the option to adjust their weapon’s output width which will decide how far it will creep outwards.

      If your output width is too big for the projectile’s damage, you’ll get a wide but a very shallow hole.

      If your output width is too small, you’ll most likely overpenetrate and end up with a lot of wasted damage.

      Of course, what you want can vary from situation to situation. We can also apply modifiers to the weapon based on the projectile’s width to further encourage using a variation of projectile sizes for different weapons and uses.

      Scaling your projectile will be done through building, it changes with how many blocks are touching the output block, perpendicular to the firing direction. There’ll be mechanics in place to prevent you from extremely underpowered but large projectiles though.

      This damage model also allows us to distribute damage along the line however we fit and create different damage patterns to make beams and cannons that much more different from each other.

       

      Point Defense Prioritization

      We already have a system to assign Health Points to every fired missile, but point defense itself does not prioritize properly for this to work well. Missiles will be assigned to several damage categories (low, medium, high) and each Point Defense AI can be set to prioritize one category of missiles over the other.

      The HP of each missile will ensure that you need to apply a certain amount of damage to it before it dies, instead of the current system where any hit kills the missile.

       

      Weapon Combinations

      It may not surprise you, but we’re removing damage pulse from the game.

      As a standalone weapon, it’s extremely situational to the point where it’s just useless.

      As a support, it can be useful but it has the same effect as the Beam support so there’s no real reason to keep them.

      We’re still figuring them all out and it’s too early to share the details already but if you have any ideas yourself, make sure to share them on the forums.

       

      Minelayer

      The new weapon update will also introduce an all standalone weapon system: the minelayer.

      The system will consist of a mine layer core block and a set of unique blocks that can be put next to it. A mine layer can have up to 6 touching blocks and these will determine the type and damage composition of that specific mine.

      There can be a wide range of types, from mines that shoot on proximity to the ones that turn into a heat seeking missile when triggered, maybe even mines that temporarily create a disruption field around them. Mines when placed down, are static and also save with the sector. They’re persistent but when triggered, they can do pretty much anything we want as they are a one time use.

      Putting down a mine basically involves constructing it on the spot, like a mobile shipyard that uses a template/design. You need to have it connected to an inventory since constructing mines requires actual blocks. The minelayer core and the 6 touching blocks act as template, and when constructed simply put down a copy of themselves. The raw strength/damage of a mine depends on how many times more blocks you want to use for each.

      The mines themselves will for performance and gameplay reasons not be displayed as blocks but rather as a 3D model that will have several stages of level of detail to allow for bigger amounts of them to be shown on screen. Even though it will be a fairly high amount, there will still be a limit on the amount of mines per sector.

      This minelayer system won’t be part of the weapon combination system though, as it’s simply too different to any of the other 3 weapons.

       

      Armor

      Armor is currently underwhelming, and most weapons simply melt through it. With the new power system, everything’s more localized so in theory you already need less armor blocks to provide the same amount protection and perhaps this might make it already much more powerful than it used to be. It’s hard to say what we’ll need to do exactly with armor as the weapon damage model change will affect it as well.

      A major issue is that it does not scale well, as we cannot make armor blocks individually stronger for larger ships, without also making it overpowered for smaller ships.

      We do have several ideas to work with, to buff and nerf armor where needed. Some of these ideas may not end up in the actual release, or be scrapped entirely so keep that in mind.

      Armor Rating

      Armor rating will be changed to be a linear factor. Currently the armor rating of a block is between 0.0 and 1.0, not allowing us to increases its effective HP dynamically without running into scaling issues. 0.5 armor rating doubles your HP, yet 0.99 armor rating increases it a hundredfold and that is a huge issue as you can not have a simple rule to adjust armor rating and expect a similar increase of effective HP.

      It will just be a simple multiplier now, so that we can do this during damage calculations:

      Effective HP = HP * (1 + armor rating).

       

      Armor Scaling

      This allows us to dynamically scale your armor block’s strength based on your AHP. Each one of the 3 armor types, basic, standard, and advanced, most likely will end up having an independent minimum armor rating and maximum armor rating, starting and ending at fixed values of your current AHP. This makes the same armor type individually less tanky on smaller ships, while bringing it up for larger ships.

       

      Armor HP Absorption

      Damage Absorption through AHP will be removed, and instead you lose AHP from receiving armor block damage.

      A large amount of small ships will not be able to punch through capital armor, but they will trickle away the AHP of that ship and start dealing more and more damage as the armor rating starts declining.

      Depending on how acid damage applies to your AHP, it may need to change a bit but the idea stays the same.

       

      Armor Integrity

      While Armor HP gives you a good indication of how many armor blocks are on your ship, it does not give any information of a particular spot.

      The real benefit here is that we can end up with different bonuses depending on the composition. Advanced armor touching 6 basic hull blocks may end up behaving completely different than if it was just a solid plate of advanced armor.

      This reinforces the armor at the point of contact, but also applies to every other block where damage propagates towards. Thicker and wide armor plates will be exceptional stronger.

       

      Damage types

      We will also be looking at making a simple weapon damage type system. It will be fairly simple and will also apply to natural damage, like taking damage from being too close to a sun.

      A weapon’s output would be one of those types or a combination.

      • Heat damage

      • Kinetic damage

      • Proton damage

      (names are WiP)

      Cannons would do mostly kinetic and a bit of proton, while beams are mostly proton with a bit of heat. Missiles would do mostly heat and a bit of kinetic.

       

      This system will be represented as weapon effect blocks to change your weapon’s basic damage type to what you prefer. The majority of the current  in-game effect blocks will also be replaced by them.

      Armor blocks and shields will also have specific damage resistance values. The Shield damage resistance type could be adjusted through chamber effects while the 3 basic armor types would just have a fixed resistance.

      For the universe update this means something very interesting. Since the plan is to make regions different from each other, with extremes in some stellar phenomenons, certain weapon and armor types will be a lot better in some regions than others. So it will not only matter what ship you fight with, but where you fight with it.

       

      Zoom

      To help with long range combat, a zoom function will be provided while in ship mode. Similar how the sniper rifle works right now.

      Most likely this will end up being part of a chamber, with a hotkey to quickly access it while flying.

       

      Docks and Physics

      Docks have always been a performance problem, especially with internal docked structures coming loose if its rail was destroyed.

      Entities will not undock anymore if their rail docker, or the rail it is docked to, is destroyed.

      Instead, that entity simply does not get power inherited anymore or at least get penalties to it, preferably something that scales more dynamic.

      You can still undock those entities manually ,as the hotbar undocking is global and still usable. The entities who lost their rail, will also have it displayed in their name and have a different signature colour, so it should be easy to find them after a battle.

       

      Storage Damage System

      We will also change how damage on storage and cargo works to make fighting more strategic. Projectile will pass through cargo and directly destroy its content. This means that the storage will empty out when being shot. This of course makes the decision to fire on a cargo ship a lot tougher, if you had plans to acquire its content.

       

      Decorative blocks

      All decorative blocks will be flagged as such in the blockConfig, to make them stand out from any of the real armor or system blocks. They’ll propagate damage differently as it simply gets destroyed when hit but does not register as a real hit.


       

      After the weapons update

      After the weapons update, we will begin on the universe update which will be the hot phase in the game. This will not only consist of new features, but also contain the completion and fixing of existing ones like AI, Fleets, and others. Also, of course, it will contain tons of optimizations and bugfixes.

      The development cycle for the universe update will be rather long, but that will enable us to work more efficiently, especially since I (schema) can now work again like I did in the very beginning of development, which I look forward to very much. Updates will be made in the form of dev builds, which of course will be very unstable, but they should provide a good snapshot of progress.



       

      Thanks for playing StarMade,

      ~ The Schine Team