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    • Jul9

      StarMade v0.201.126 - Weapon Update

      Greetings citizens, ~

      ------------------------

      Hotfix-Followup #1: build [20180710_220426]: Fixed shaders crash Intel users. Fixed another big source of mini freezes (when blocks are being updated through logic/battle/building)

       

      Hotfix-Followup #2: version [0.201.127]: Fixed block desynch issue from mini freeze fix. Fixed beams doing damage through shields for one tick when firing while transitioning sectors. 
      Config changes (Chamber Capacity):

      • stealth jammer chamber -> 15% to 12.5%
      • stealth cloak chamber -> 35% -> 20%

       

      Hotfix-Followup #3: version [0.201.129]: Fixed remaining issues with block desynch. Fixed power comsumption of groups with different sizes belonging to the same block computer. Fixed beam issues.

       

      Hotfix-Followup #4: version [0.201.130]: Fixed two server crashes related to mines. Fixed some client crashes. Currently working to fix further crashes and fix ship rotation desynch issues. (Note: Cleanup update will contain a GUI update which will make it a lot easier to see all the statistics of the weapons you build)

      ------------------------

      After over 100 dev builds, the weapons update is finally here. It might be even bigger in scope than the power update. It not only introduces a lot of new features, it also has complete redesigns and code reworks of parts of the codebase. It also comes with fixes for a lot of the more serious bugs as well as stability updates and lot of minor fixes and upgrades.

      As always, make sure to do a full backup on your world and blueprints. We tested both fresh installation and upgrade multiple times, and couldn’t find any problem, but there is always a rest risk in updates this big.

      The weapon handling, projectile, and block processing code has been completely rewritten, as well as parts of the missile system, and a lot of other backend systems to improve performance and stability. This also allows for a lot faster development for these systems from here on out.

      In context of the main focus of this update we also improved combat stability and performance a lot, as well as hopefully fixed most of the nasty bugs that were affecting ship combat in the last release.

      There might still be some issues with some systems losing server synch temporarily under load, but those will be addressed in a follow-up cleanup update.

      Features

      We set out to do this update mainly to make combat and ship battles more interesting and fun. On the backend, this also gave us a chance to completely redesign the code of weapons and other usable modules in the game. A new code design was already partly set up with the power update, and this updates completes it.

      To make a more complete package, new features and improvements have been added all across the board.

      Weapon & Tool redesign

      The goal is to make weapons and their combination a lot more unique, while still being a viable option. Some weapons might be easier to use than most, but others could have a much higher pay off when used properly. As each weapon combination has clear positives and negatives, it is up to you to decide what weapons to make.

      We also wanted to give weapons and combat in general a better feeling. This incorporates a broad spectrum of features including the HUD, recoil, explosions, physical force, damage, armor, and many more.

      While we changed and added on existing weapons, we did remove the damage pulse entirely as it had no real purpose. It also reduced the amount of combinations possible which allows us to concentrate more on the remaining ones.

       

      Acid Damage model

      Acid Damage is the new damage model used by Cannons and Beams to increase block damage without affecting performance. In our tests, this system allowed us to get 90-95% of the original damage to be applied as block damage, giving us the possibility of one projectile destroying thousands of blocks without running into performance problems.

       

      This is achieved by propagating damage outwards, block by block, starting from an origin block.

      The propagation speed can be adjusted to move faster or slower depending on the processing power and bandwidth of the server. Several bandwidth optimizations have been made to make the information on removed blocks as small as possible. As a result, even large amounts of blocks get processed quickly without any hiccups.

      We can change its behavior while this is propagating as well, allowing for unique damage patterns to be implemented.

       

      Cannons

      Cannons are now mainly a high penetration weapon, capable of punching through thin armor and leaving a lot of damage in its wake.

       

      Like before, each projectile has a penetration depth based on its damage. This can range from 1 to 200+ blocks. Each block in this penetration line, acts as the starting point for Acid Damage to start from. The damage of the entire projectile is then distributed accordingly to end up with the appropriate damage shape.

       

      A general change to cannons is that all projectiles are now considerably faster, which will make battles at higher speeds a lot easier.

      Over Penetration

      Using cannons with too much damage can cause the projectiles to overpenetrate. This happens only when targets have little to no armor, compared to your shot. If this happens, then the penetration depth is stretched before the original damage is distributed on it. This may result in even more system damage...or it may come out of the back of the target and end up wasting most of its damage.

       

      Projectile Width

      By putting down blocks next to your weapon’s output, you can increases its projectile width. On impact, this will cause more damage to be redirected towards the front, basically shrinking your damage pattern and increasing its width. This can be used to counter any over penetration, or to destroy more superficial blocks if needed.

       

      Recoil + Impact force

      Every Cannon projectile applies a force on both the shooter and the target. The force and amount of movement created, solely depends on the weapon damage.

      The physical recoil on your ship is in the opposite way of the firing direction, the impact force on your target is in line with the firing direction as you would expect.

      There is also something we call ‘cursor’ recoil, meant to give a better feeling to cannons and reduce its accuracy slightly when fired manually. It’s kept at a manageable level, and scales properly with your fire rate and damage. There’s also a maximum cursor recoil threshold in place to make sure even the biggest of weapons don’t throw your aim around too much.

      Cannon Combinations

      The core idea of each combination is mostly unchanged, but they behave in different ways. It’s possible we still add or change parts of them depending on feedback, but the overall role of each support should stay the same.


       

      • Default: An all-around decent cannon, doesn’t excel at anything

      • Cannon + Cannon: Fast firing machine gun with fast projectiles. It uses the Cone: Wide-> Narrow damage shape.

      • Cannon + Missile: Charge cannon with left click to charge, release to fire. The longer it is charged, the better the efficiency and damage of that shot. It also uses the Cone: Wide-> Narrow damage shape.

      • Cannon + Beam: A slow firing artillery cannon with a narrow -> wide cone damage shape. Even when over penetrating, it will be relatively efficient, but it is hard to hit.


       

      We’ve changed the Damage <-> Power consumed ratio to be different for each combination. It allows us to balance the high risk weapons to reliable damage dealing ones. A slow firing cannon is always more efficient, as a miss or a bad hit is a huge waste of time and power.


       

      Each combination also has a default sniper zoom mode, toggled with right click. It ranges from 2x to 4x and greatly enhances accuracy on long range targets.


       

      Some examples of the damage left by only a few projectiles:

      ~ High damage projectile: 

      ~ Multiple medium damage projectiles:

      Damage Beams

      Damage Beams are mostly about doing surface damage and being easier to use. Beams only apply Acid damage on the block they’re hitting, damage will most likely not reach deep within the target unless you focus fire on a particular spot. The only exception to this rule is the Beam support version, where it does penetrate all the way.


       

      We’ve improved the functionality of Beams to allow for that. Some versions are capable of traveling along its target without you firing or aiming it again, they’ll deal decent damage as well but may not necessarily stay where you want them to be.


       

      Damage over Distance

      Unlike Missiles or Cannons, beams lose damage with the distance from target. At maximum range, it goes down to only 40% of its original damage. This increases the closer you get, till it reaches the original value at about 400 meters or less. This can vary depending on the combination and allows us to better balance a hitscan weapon.

      Combinations

      • Default: Latch on beam that breaks off when it has no direct line of sight with the current block.

      • Beam + Cannon: Aimable beam with short burst time and cooldown

      • Beam + Missile: Arc beam with a shorter range but doesn’t break when there is no direct line of sight anymore. Has a long burst time.

      • Beam + Beam: Penetrating beam that can’t be aimed with your cursor. The damage of the beam is distributed equally over the blocks in the penetration line. Requires to be charged before firing and stops your shields from blocking damage while you are charging.


       

      Repair Beam

      The repair beam or astrotech beam 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. At the moment, you can only replace the blocks in order (as if you pressed “undo”), but out of order repairing will be added as a follow up.

      If you connect any amount of storages to your beam computer, it will be using those for repairs. If there is no storage attached, the blocks will be taken out of the pilot’s personal inventory (if possible).


       

      Keep in mind that for balance reasons you currently cannot repair during battle.


       

      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. You can change the firing mode by pressing left alt (also now indicated in the context help).

      Armor

      Armor has been completely redesigned as well. There is no longer an abstract “Armor HP”. Armor now will count where it is and how thick it is, you can see this in build mode as well when looking at any armor block. Here is how it works:


       

      1. When a bullet hits armor it checks how many armor blocks come behind that block in its path.

      2. The count of armor will stop at any non armor block or air. That count defined the “armor depth”

      3. Each armor block now has an armor rating that will get added up (with possible additional bonuses on thicker armor)

      4. The resulting total armor value along the armor depth is then compared with the bullet’s damage

        1. Is the armor value lower than the bullet’s damage, the bullet will travel on as normal and destroy the armor blocks along its way

        2. Is the armor value higher than the bullet’s damage, the bullet will only do acid damage on the first block and stops completely

        3. Is the armor value much higher than the bullet’s damage, acid damage is not even applied and only a single block gets normal damage and stops completely

      5. This will be repeated for every continuous plate of armor the bullet goes through in a ship, so inner armor a very viable option


       

      This means, that a sufficient armor depth can stop any shot, and it also means that it depends on the angle of the shot, where that armor is, and what type of armor was used. These values mainly affect the penetration of cannon projectiles although beam acid damage gets affected by the armor rating as well.


       

      In addition, the HP of Armor has been increased to make it capable to absorb more damage.


       

      You can check your armor rating in build mode by just looking at your armor while having any armor block selected on your hotbar. It will tell you exactly how deep and how much armor the ship has from the angle you are looking from. Note that the armor rating does not scale linear with thickness but has increased values for every added layer in addition to the flat amount of the block itself..


       

      Missiles

      Missile Capacity

      To add another layer to using missiles, we added a Missile Capacity system that will also prevent you from spamming them. By placing missile capacity blocks on your entity, you increase the maximum amount of missiles to be stored. The missiles are reloaded in bulk, as soon as you fire a missile, the reload starts. When the timer runs out, all the missing missiles are filled up again.


       

      For AI controlled ships, the reload only starts when they run out of missiles, this helps control the amount of missiles flying around.


       

      In addition, you require additional power for the missile capacity blocks. This should normally not be a concern unless you’re deliberately trying to store too many missiles for your ship’s size.


       

      Missile Shield + Point Defense Prioritization

      Each missile has its own its shield, protecting it from Point Defence turrets. The strength of this shield scales with the missile’s damage and should also encourage firing more high damage missiles than trying to flood the field with low damage decoys.


       

      We’ve also implemented proper anti-missile prioritization. You can set any of your AI to fire at a certain category first:

      • High damage missiles

      • Low damage missiles

      • Random (Closest First (old system))


       

      Missile Combinations

      • Default: 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 and does friendly fire as well. It will arm itself after several seconds, it won’t detonate (dud) if it isn’t armed yet, so you can’t fire it at point-blank range of your target.


       

      Volley Fire

      Changing firing mode from focused to unfocused has been changed to a keyboard toggle for all weapons (default: left alt). We added an additional mode for cannons and missiles as well: Volley fire. This mode will take the time to reload the weapon, and divide it by the amount of groups connected to that computer. When firing, the groups will fire one after another.

      Volley fire can also be set in the Bobby-AI module for turrets and drones to use.

      New HUD graphics

      The HUD graphics have been improved to improve usability and distinction between objects and improve the general look.

      All indicators now also have been moved to the center of mass of entities. They will still be on the core if you are aligned or in gravity of an entity.


       

      Undocking

      Entities will no longer undock when their rail or rail docker is destroyed. However, until those are replaced at the exact position, or manually undocked and docked on a different one, the dock will not receive any power from the mothership.

      This will greatly help with lag in larger ship battles, where the undocking of turrets and other docks was one of the biggest parts of lag-causing elements.

      Improved graphical effects

      The graphical effects for cannons, beams and missiles have been improved. Also more and better explosions have been added.

      Also an all new LoD system has been implemented which is currently in use for the mines to be able to have a lot of them in one sector without problems. The system is written in a way that it can be used for a lot of other things in the future.


       

      New Textures

      Kupu has done an exceptional job in upgrading the texture to be more crisp than ever before, fixing many previous tiling issues and colour inconsistencies.

      Lead indicator

      Cannons and missiles now also have a lead indicator based on the selected weapon’s projectile speed. Currently the indicator is based on the target’s center of mass.

      Effects

      The old effect computers have all been removed as most don’t have a purpose anymore. We’ve replaced it with a 3 damage type system with base values for each weapon type:

      • Kinetic (Cannons)

      • Electromagnetic (Missiles)

      • Heat (Beams)


       

      You can adjust the basic damage distribution of each weapon by linking it to the specific effect computer you want it to have.

      There are also defensive reactor chambers to strengthen your ship/structure against these damage types respectively.

      Any damage in the game is now a composition out of these three effects. For example, a sun will now do heat damage. We plan to further expand on this system for the universe update.

      Sector Size Weapon Range independency

      To make it easier to customize the game for bigger sectors, we added a seperate value in the ServerConfig to set the base range for weapons independently from the sector size. This value will be used as reference for all range config values in the block behavior config. This value can also be set on the fly with an admin command (/set_weapon_range_reference).

      If the value is set to 1, all config values will be interpreted as fixed block units (meters).

      Mines

      The ability to place down stationary mines was added. This feature comes with an all new LoD system that will be reused for other model based things in the future. The Minelayer works like a tiny mobile shipyard, with the Minelayer connected to a Mine core and a storage chest to pull the mine blocks from.

      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 its linked storage. All newly deployed mines are inactive. You can activate them by right clicking, or via the radial ship menu for more options.

      Mines can be destroyed by being shot, or simply physically running into them (which may not always be the best idea).

      Mines can also be laid via logic by connecting a logic block to the mine layer.

      The following mine-types are available:

      • Cannon Mine: This mine fires cannon projectiles when in range

      • Missile Mine: This mine fires heat-seeking missiles when in range.

      • Proximity Mine: The classic mine. Once a targets gets within range, it activates the mine and will follow the entity that triggered it, explodes on impact. Once triggered, it 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 damage

      • Personal AI Mod: mine will not attack the one that laid it down

      • Friend AI Mod: mine will only attack the enemies of the person who laid it down

      • 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)


       

      Cargo Damage

      Storage chest blocks (the controllers) don’t get physically destroyed anymore unless they’re empty or have no linked used volume remaining.

      This block (or group of blocks) is destroyed on passthrough if the connected storage has no remaining items. If the storage has remaining items, the damage is done to the stored items themselves, meaning that items are being destroying emptying the storage. HP are irrelevant to these blocks as every shot will do passthrough damage. The shot will not lose any strength and continue. The storage will lose items on every storage block the shot passes through.

      The storage block has the same mechanics as the cargo blocks.

       

      Integrity changes


      Warpgate, racegate, activation-gate, doors, factories, cargo, logic connections, all rail connections, mass enhancer)  transporter, sensors and shop will now completely ignore integrity.

      Integrity will no longer lower while a ship is in battle. When a system block is destroyed, integrity will not update for 5 minutes and only then update itself to the new correct value. This timer resets every time a system block gets taken out.

      This means any ship is equally viable in terms of integrity, as long as its integrity is positive when going into battle. It will also help with lag from explosions and the snowball effect once a ship dips into negative integrity.

       

      AI

      The AI now uses a better system to gauge their weapon range. Also their aiming has been fixed and improved.

      Shield changes

      Shields now always regenerate over time again and when under fire only lose regeneration when the shield HP goes down. When not under fire, shields will always regenerate at full speed. Any shield starts in its strongest configuration and can be weakened through high damage weapons if it is a recharge focused shield. Or by a steady stream of small weapon fire if it is a capacity focused shield. The config was changed to allow for that and you may end up with a disportionate amount of regeneration vs capacity with your current builds. Make sure to double check if your regeneration is still positive

       

      New Isanth

      Lancake has updated the old Isanths’ systems to use new power and the new weapons. Be aware that these ships pack quite a punch now.

      The new model will automatically replace the blueprints of the old ones upon start, so if you have modified and overwritten those blueprints (with the exact same name), be sure to make a backup before running the new version.

       

      Block Hitpoints

      All block HP are being migrated to a new system that supports any amount of HP. While at the same time not increasing amount of data used for HP for memory reasons, the only difference would be that a block with max HP higher than 127 will needs a minimum damage dealt to it for its HP to decrease.

      The minimum amount of damage is x/127. This means that you need at least ~8 damage to hurt a block with 1000 Max Hitpoints.

      New Admin Commands

      • /kick_players_out_of_entity_uid [entityUID]

      • /kick_player_from_entity [PlayerName]

      • /bp_info [BluePrintName]  (populates information about a specific blueprint)

      • /delete_bp [BluePrintName] (deletes a specific blueprint)

      • /bp_setOwner [BluePrintName] [PlayerName] (sets a blueprint to be owned by a specific person)

      • /clear_mines_here (clears mines in current sector)

      • /clear_mines_sector [X] [Y] [Z] (clears mines in specific sector)

      • /reset_repair_delay (Resets repair delay on selected/entered vessel)

      • /reset_integrity_delay (Resets integrity battle delay on selected/entered vessel)

      • /rail_reset (Resets rail (undock/redock) rail of only the selected or entered entity)

      • /rail_reset_all (Resets rail (undock/redock) rail of all (sub)entities of selected or entered entity)

      • /set_weapon_range_reference (Sets the weapon reference range distance in meters, which the config values are multiplied with (default is sector distance))

      • /faction_set_entity_uid [UID] [FactionID] (sets faction of an entity by UID)


       

      All entity info commands have been updated with more info. Also the sector_chmod command has been updated for all sector mods.

      The rail commands can be used in case there is still some sort of misalignment or to fix old blueprints quickly.


       

      The list in https://starmadedock.net/threads/admin-commands.1283/ has been updated accordingly

      Optimizations

      Several optimizations have been made to the game.

      • The rewrite of the weapon and general usable module system made the amount of steps involved in pretty much everything weapon and module related a lot less. Not only does this result in much cleaner code, but also a general speed up.

      • The update system for modules is now on-demand, which means the system will not bother to even check if the blocks of a group changed as long as there hasn’t been an actual notification for that. This means that the general idle time for all entities has been cut down significantly. This is very noticable in sectors with a lot of entities and docks.

      • Block processing has been optimized to minimize the amount of lookups by grouping all changes by chunk. This also cuts down on synchronization time between threads and cleans up the code considerably in that section. This makes block processing in general a lot quicker, especially during battles.

      • Block change recording has been completely rewritten to minimize memory usage and serialization size.

      • Beams have been optimized to work a lot faster.

      • Removed some bottlenecks that were occurring in big fights.

      • Thread spool up to remove short freezes after starting the game, e.g. in build mode.

      • A ton of smaller optimizations across the board.

      • Memory optimizations for the particle systems.

      • Log cleanup during ship battles

       

      Config Changes

      Blocks:

      • Advanced Armor

        • (Effective) HP: 1000 → 2000

        • Armor Rating: 1000

      • Standard Armor

        • (Effective) HP: 250 → 800

        • Armor Rating: 750

      • Basic Armor (previously Hull)

        • (Effective) HP: 75 → 250

        • Armor Rating: 500

        • Recipe:

          • 1 Metal Mesh

          • 1 Crystal Composite

          • 1 Fertikeen Capsule

      Systems:

      • Shields

        • Shield Capacity / Block: 400 → 250

        • Shield Recharge / Block: 20 → 25

        • Default Capacity: 200 → 0

        • Default Radius: 25 → 10

        • Shield Local Radius Multiplier: 10 → 7.5

        • Shield Upkeep % of HP / sec: 0.5% → 2%

        • Shield Power consumption resting / Block: 1 → 0.4

        • Shield Power consumption charging / Block: 1 → 0.8

        • Shield Under Fire Time: 30 seconds since last shot

        • Shield Minimum Recharge: 20%

        • Shield Minimum Recharged reached at: 50% Capacity

      • Overheat Timer

        • Minimum Time: 60 seconds

        • Maximum Time: 600 seconds

        • Time added / Block: 0.001 seconds

      • Stabilization Stream

        • Max Cooldown when hit: 60 → 15 seconds

        • Power Regen in Cooldown:  20% → 25%

      • Reactor

        • Chamber blocks needed per reactor block:  0.5 → 0.25

      • Integrity

        • Start Value: 200 → 400

        • Collection Integrity Update delay under fire: 300 seconds

      • MineLayer

        • Layable Mine Distance: 10 meters

        • Cannon Damage per Strength: 1 000

        • Cannon reload: 0.5 seconds

        • Cannon speed: 2 x universe speed

        • Missile Damage per Strength: 10 000

        • Missile Reload: 10 seconds

        • Missile Speed: 1.5 x universe speed

        • Proximity Damage per Strength: 10 000 (bypasses shields)

        • Proximity Speed: 0.5 x universe speed

      • Tractor Beam

        • Moveable mass per module: 5 mass

        • Maximum Force : 10 x Target mass

        • Power Consumption resting / Block: 10

        • Power Consumption charging / Block: 50

        • Distance: 400 meters

      • Salvage Beam

        • Salvage ‘damage’ / Tick: 10 → 25

        • Power Consumption resting / Block: 3 →  5

        • Power Consumption charging / Block: 15 → 25

        • Ticks / second: 40 → 16

      • Repair Beam

        • Blocks / Tick / Module: 1

        • Power Consumption resting / Block: 5

        • Power Consumption charging / Block: 25

        • Ticks / second: 20

        • Repair out of Combat delay: 60 seconds

       

      Bug Fixes

      • T1496: Fixed visual glitches for some block icons

      • T2392: Fixed missiles not targeting systems

      • T2796: Fixed tooltip displaying on block preview rotation arrows

      • T2838: Fixed beam texture staying after the shooter overheats

      • T2849: Fixed shields not always providing protection against weapons

      • T2941: Fixed stabilizers dropping to 0.0 - 0.1% during block placement/removal

      • T2942: Fixed crash caused by undoing a large amount of blocks

      • T2973: Fixed issue where thrust does not consume the right amount of power

      • T2997: Fixed crash caused by linking mass linking logic or other similar blocks with Shift + V

      • T3032: Fixed Warp gate distance not displaying correctly

      • T3037: Fixed stealth strength not increasing with chamber strength lvl 3

      • Several fixes related to weapon config values

      • Fixed shipyards (several issues) and added shipyard logs

      • Fixed turret aim and rotation not working correctly/stopping after a while

      • Fixed sudden rail misalignment

      • Fixed horizontal turrets

      • Fixed chunk corruption (couldn’t confirm 100%. If there is still a case of that, please report)

      • Fixed missiles not working on sector borders

      • Fixed slot desync causing players to see wrong weapons being fired at them

      • Fixed lag compensation causing entities to not rotate correctly for clients (hitting a ship with damage appearing elsewhere & desync)

      • Stalling missiles now timeout to not cause performance hit (will be fully fixed in follow up)

       

      What’s next

      Next is going to be a bug-fixing and cleanup round. We will be trying to make the game as stable as possible for the period of the universe update development. Other changes might include reactor chamber balance changes and small changes to weapons based on feedback.

      We already started with some aspects of the universe update in the background, and we will now focus more and more on that.

      We can’t promise a universe related dev build for a while, but there might be a few highly experimental test builds before that.

       

      Thank you for playing StarMade,

      • The Schine Team

       

       

    • Jun24

      StarMade Weapons Update - Prebuild

      Greetings citizens, ~

      EDIT: added integrity changes

      The weapon update just entered the pre-release state. All the features we wanted to add are now implemented.

      In terms of content it is probably as big if not bigger than the previous Power update. It completely overhauls all weapon, adds a lot of new features, graphics, optimizations, fixes and other improvements.

      Some parts such as updating the block icons, textures and finalizing the config files, are still in the works but everything else should be there for you to test. We already went through a lot of bug fixing and this version should be playable. We strongly advise to backup your universe or use a completely separate installation. You cannot revert your world to the current release version without a backup.

      The current pre-release version can be downloaded and installed from the Pre branch.

      With more exposure, it will be easier to find those less critical issues and ensure stability before we can release it to everyone to use.
      If you come across anything new that doesn’t work or you believe you’ve located a new bug, report that here to help us out: Report a Bug (Release Candidate)
      In case you’re not too sure about it, feel free to leave a comment on this thread.

       

      Features

      We set out to do this update mainly to make combat and ship battles more interesting and fun. On the backend, this also gave us a chance to completely redesign the code of weapons and other usable modules in the game. A new code design was already partly set up with the power update, and this updates completes it.

      To make a more complete package, new features and improvements have been added all across the board.

      Weapon & Tool redesign

      The goal is to make weapons and their combination a lot more unique, while still being a viable option. Some weapons might be easier to use than most, but others could have a much higher pay off when used properly. As each weapon combination has clear positives and negatives, it is up to you to decide what weapons to make.

      We also wanted to give weapons and combat in general a better feeling. This incorporates a broad spectrum of features including the HUD, recoil, explosions, physical force, damage, armor, and many more.

      While we changed and added on existing weapons, we did remove the damage pulse entirely as it had no real purpose. It also reduced the amount of combinations possible which allows us to concentrate more on the remaining ones.

       

      Acid Damage model

      Acid Damage is the new damage model used by Cannons and Beams to increase block damage without affecting performance. In our tests, this system allowed us to get 90-95% of the original damage to be applied as block damage, giving us the possibility of one projectile destroying thousands of blocks without running into performance problems.

      This is achieved by propagating damage outwards, block by block, starting from an origin block.

      The propagation speed can be adjusted to move faster or slower depending on the processing power and bandwidth of the server. Several bandwidth optimizations have been made to make the information on removed blocks as small as possible. As a result, even large amounts of blocks get processed quickly without any hiccups.

      We can change its behavior while this is propagating as well, allowing for unique damage patterns to be implemented.

       

      Cannons

      Cannons are now mainly a high penetration weapon, capable of punching through thin armor and leaving a lot of damage in its wake.

      Like before, each projectile has a penetration depth based on its damage. This can range from 1 to 200+ blocks. Each block in this penetration line, acts as the starting point for Acid Damage to start from. The damage of the entire projectile is then distributed accordingly to end up with the appropriate damage shape.

      A general change to cannons is that all projectiles are now considerably faster, which will make battles at higher speeds a lot easier.

      Over Penetration

      Using cannons with too much damage can cause the projectiles to overpenetrate. This happens only when targets have little to no armor, compared to your shot. If this happens, then the penetration depth is stretched before the original damage is distributed on it. This may result in even more system damage...or it may come out of the back of the target and end up wasting most of its damage.

       

      Projectile Width + Bullet Customization

      By putting down blocks next to your weapon’s output, you can increases its projectile width. On impact, this will cause more damage to be redirected towards the front, basically shrinking your damage pattern and increasing its width. This can be used to counter any over penetration, or to destroy more superficial blocks if needed.

       

      Recoil + Impact force

      Every Cannon projectile applies a force on both the shooter and the target. The force and amount of movement created, solely depends on the weapon damage.

      The physical recoil on your ship is in the opposite way of the firing direction, the impact force on your target is in line with the firing direction as you would expect.

      There is also something we call 'cursor recoil', meant to give a better feeling to cannons and reduce its accuracy slightly when fired manually. This represents a similar tequnique as shooting a gun in most first person shooters. It’s kept at a manageable level, and scales properly with your fire rate and damage. There’s also a maximum cursor recoil threshold in place to make sure even the biggest of weapons don’t throw your aim around too much.

      Cannon Combinations

      The core idea of each combination is mostly unchanged, but they behave in different ways. It’s possible we still add or change parts of them depending on feedback, but the overall role of each support should stay the same.

       

      • Default: An all-around decent cannon, doesn’t excel at anything

      • Cannon + Cannon: Fast firing machine gun with fast projectiles. It uses the Cone: Wide-> Narrow damage shape.

      • Cannon + Missile: Charge cannon with left click to charge, release to fire. The longer it is charged, the better the efficiency and damage of that shot. It also uses the Cone: Wide-> Narrow damage shape.

      • Cannon + Beam: A slow firing artillery cannon with a narrow -> wide cone damage shape. Even when over penetrating, it will be relatively efficient, but it is hard to hit.

       

      We’ve changed the Damage <-> Power consumed ratio to be different for each combination. It allows us to balance the high risk weapons to reliable damage dealing ones. A slow firing cannon is always more efficient, as a miss or a bad hit is a huge waste of time and power.

      Each combination also has a default sniper zoom mode, toggled with right click. It ranges from 2x to 4x and greatly enhances accuracy on long range targets.

      Some examples of the damage left by only a few projectiles:

      ~ High damage projectile: https://i.imgur.com/JR213Wr.png

      ~ Multiple medium damage projectiles: https://i.imgur.com/UUjJZ5X.gifv

      Damage Beams

      Damage Beams are mostly about doing surface damage and being easier to use. Beams only apply Acid damage on the block they’re hitting, damage will most likely not reach deep within the target unless you focus fire on a particular spot. The only exception to this rule is the Beam support version, where it does penetrate all the way.

      We’ve improved the functionality of Beams to allow for that. Some versions are capable of traveling along its target without you firing or aiming it again, they’ll deal decent damage as well but may not necessarily stay where you want them to be.

       

      Damage over Distance

      Unlike Missiles or Cannons, beams lose damage with the distance from target. At maximum range, it goes down to only 40% of its original damage. This increases the closer you get, till it reaches the original value at about 400 meters or less. This can vary depending on the combination and allows us to better balance a hitscan weapon.

      Combinations

      • Default: Latch on beam that breaks off when it has no direct line of sight with the current block.

      • Beam + Cannon: Aimable beam with short burst time and cooldown

      • Beam + Missile: Arc beam with a shorter range but doesn’t break when there is no direct line of sight anymore. Has a long burst time.

      • Beam + Beam: Penetrating beam that can’t be aimed with your cursor. The damage of the beam is distributed equally over the blocks in the penetration line. Requires to be charged before firing and stops your shields from blocking damage while you are charging.

       

      Repair Beam

      The repair beam or astrotech beam 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. At the moment, you can only replace the blocks in order (as if you pressed “undo”), but out of order repairing will be added as a follow up. 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. You can change the firing mode by pressing left alt (also now indicated in the context help). The tractor beam mode can also be set via logic by connecting logic blocks to the tractor beam computer:

      • No active logic block connected: hold
      • One active logic block connected: pull
      • Two active logic blocks connected: push

      Keep in mind that the mode set by logic is only used when the beam itself is also fired by logic, otherwise it will use what the player set.

      Armor

      Armor has been completely redesigned as well. There is no longer an abstract “Armor HP”. Armor now will count where it is and how thick it is, you can see this in build mode as well when looking at any armor block. Here is how it works:

      1. When a bullet hits armor it checks how many armor blocks come behind that block in its path.

      2. The count of armor will stop at any non armor block or air. That count defined the “armor depth”

      3. Each armor block now has an armor rating that will get added up (with possible additional bonuses on thicker armor)

      4. The resulting total armor value along the armor depth is then compared with the bullet’s damage

        1. Is the armor value lower than the bullet’s damage, the bullet will travel on as normal and destroy the armor blocks along its way

        2. Is the armor value higher than the bullet’s damage, the bullet will only do acid damage on the first block and stops completely

        3. Is the armor value much higher than the bullet’s damage, acid damage is not even applied and only a single block gets normal damage and stops completely

      5. This will be repeated for every continuous plate of armor the bullet goes through in a ship, so inner armor a very viable option

      This means, that a sufficient armor depth can stop any shot, and it also means that it depends on the angle of the shot, where that armor is, and what type of armor was used. These values mainly affect the penetration of cannon projectiles.

      In addition, the HP of Armor has been increased to make it capable to absorb more damage.

       

      Missiles

      Missile Capacity

      To add another layer to using missiles, we added a Missile Capacity system that will also prevent you from spamming them. By placing missile capacity blocks on your entity, you increase the maximum amount of missiles to be stored. The missiles are reloaded in bulk, as soon as you fire a missile, the reload starts. When the timer runs out, all the missing missiles are filled up again.

      For AI controlled ships, the reload only starts when they run out of missiles, this helps control the amount of missiles flying around.

      In addition, you require additional power for the missile capacity blocks. This should normally not be a concern unless you’re deliberately trying to store too many missiles for your ship’s size.

       

      Missile Shield + Point Defense Prioritization

      Each missile has its own its shield, protecting it from Point Defence turrets. The strength of this shield scales with the missile’s damage and should also encourage firing more high damage missiles than trying to flood the field with low damage decoys.

      We’ve also implemented proper anti-missile prioritization. You can set any of your AI to fire at a certain category first:

      • High damage missiles

      • Low damage missiles

      • Random

      Missile Combinations

      • Default: 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 and does friendly fire as well. It will arm itself after several seconds, it won’t detonate if you fire it at point-blank range of your target.

       

      Volley Fire

      Changing firing mode from focused to unfocused has been changed to a keyboard toggle for all weapons (default: left alt). We added an additional firing mode for cannons and missiles as well (can also be switched to by using left alt): Volley fire. This mode will take the time to reload the weapon, and divide it by the amount of groups connected to that computer. When firing, the groups will fire one after another.

      Volley fire can also be set in the Bobby-AI module for turrets and drones to use.

      New HUD graphics

      The HUD graphics have been improved to improve usability and distinction between objects and improve the general look.

      All indicators now also have been moved to the center of mass of entities. They will still be on the core if you are aligned or in gravity of an entity.

       

      Undocking

      Entities will no longer undock when their rail or rail docker is destroyed. However, until those are replaced at the exact position, or manually undocked and docked on a different one, the dock will not receive any power from the mothership.

      This will greatly help with lag in larger ship battles, where the undocking of turrets and other docks was one of the biggest parts of lag-causing elements.

      Improved graphical effects

      The graphical effects for cannons, beams and missiles have been improved. Also more and better explosions have been added.

      Also an all new LoD system has been implemented which is currently in use for the mines to be able to have a lot of them in one sector without problems. The system is written in a way that it can be used for a lot of other things in the future.

      Lead indicator

      Cannons and missiles now also have a lead indicator based on the selected weapon’s projectile speed. Currently the indicator is based on the target’s center of mass.

      Effects

      The old effect computers have all been removed as most don’t have a purpose anymore. We’ve replaced it with a 3 damage type system with base values for each weapon type:

      • Kinetic (Cannons)

      • Electromagnetic (Missiles)

      • Heat (Beams)

      Any damage in the game is now a composition of these effects and they are aplified depending if what they hit is stong or weak against that effect. Even environmental damage like sun damage (heat) is now part of this system. This will be further expended upon in the universe update.

      You can adjust the basic damage distribution of each weapon by linking it to the specific effect computer you want it to have.

      There are also defensive reactor chambers to strengthen your ship/structure against these damage types respectively.

      Sector Size Weapon Range independency

      To make it easier to customize the game for bigger sectors, we added a seperate value in the ServerConfig to set the base range for weapons independently from the sector size. This value will be used as reference for all range config values in the block behavior config. This value can also be set on the fly with an admin command (/set_weapon_range_reference).

      If the value is set to 1, all config values will be interpreted as fixed block units (meters).

      Mines

      The ability to place down stationary mines was added. This feature comes with an all new LoD system that will be reused for other model based things in the future. The Minelayer works like a tiny mobile shipyard, with the Minelayer connected to a Mine core and a storage chest to pull the mine blocks from.

      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 its linked storage. All newly deployed mines are inactive. You can activate them by right clicking, or via the radial ship menu for more options.

      Mines can be destroyed by being shot, or simply physically running into them (which may not always be the best idea).

      Mines can also be laid via logic by connecting a logic block to the mine layer.

      The following mine-types are available:

      • Cannon Mine: This mine fires cannon projectiles when in range

      • Missile Mine: This mine fires heat-seeking missiles when in range.

      • Proximity Mine: The classic mine. Once a targets gets within range, it activates the mine and will follow the entity that triggered it, explodes on impact. Once triggered, it 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 damage

      • Personal AI Mod: mine will not attack the one that laid it down

      • Friend AI Mod: mine will only attack the enemies of the person who laid it down

      • 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)

       

      Cargo Damage

      Storage chest blocks (the controllers) don’t get physically destroyed anymore unless they’re empty or have no linked used volume remaining.

      This block (or group of blocks) is destroyed on passthrough if the connected storage has no remaining items. If the storage has remaining items, the damage is done to the stored items themselves, meaning that items are being destroying emptying the storage. HP are irrelevant to these blocks as every shot will do passthrough damage. The shot will not lose any strength and continue. The storage will lose items on every storage block the shot passes through.

      The storage block has the same mechanics as the cargo blocks.

      Integrity changes

      Warpgate, racegate, activationgate, doors, factories, cargo, logic connections, all rail connections, mass enhancer)  transporter, sensors and shop will now completely ignore integrity. 

      Integrity in Battle

      Also, integrity will no longer lower while a ship is in battle. When a system block is destroyed, integrity will not update for 5 minutes and then set the new correct value. This timer resets every time a system block gets taken out.

      This means any ship is equally viable in terms of integrity, as long as its integrity is positive when going into battle. It will also help with lag from explosions and the snowball effect once a ship dips into negative integrity.

      Shield changes

      Shields now always regenerate over time again and when under fire only lose some regeneration when the shield HP goes down. When not under fire, shields will always regenerate at full speed. Any shield starts in its strongest configuration and can be weakened through high damage weapons if it is a recharge focused shield. Or by a steady stream of small weapon fire if it is a capacity focused shield. The config was changed to allow for that and you may end up with a disportionate amount of regeneration vs capacity with your current builds.

      AI changes

      AI will now have a better orbiting range based on their lowest weapon range. This can be further customized in the server.cfg

      AI should be able to use all weapons with the exception of mines and charged shots currently (will be fixed for release).

      Optimizations

      Several optimizations have been made to the game.

      • The rewrite of the weapon and general usable module system made the amount of steps involved in pretty much everything weapon and module related a lot less. Not only does this result in much cleaner code, but also a general speed up.

      • The update system for modules is now on-demand, which means the system will not bother to even check if the blocks of a group changed as long as there hasn’t been an actual notification for that. This means that the general idle time for all entities has been cut down significantly. This is very noticable in sectors with a lot of entities and docks.

      • Block processing has been optimized to minimize the amount of lookups by grouping all changes by chunk. This also cuts down on synchronization time between threads and cleans up the code considerably in that section.

      • Block change recording has been completely rewritten to minimize memory usage and serialization size.

      • Removed some bottlenecks that were occurring in big fights.

      • Thread spool up to remove short freezes after starting the game, e.g. in build mode.

      • A ton of smaller optimizations across the board.

      • Memory optimizations for the particle systems.

      • Log cleanup during ship battles

      • Gif recording performance has been improved (quality setting in settings.cfg)

      Major Fixes

      Besides a lot of smaller fixes, some fixes have been made for more major and annoying bugs that were plaguing the last releases:

      • Shipyards have been fixed. Additionally, shipyards now have a seperate logs to catch any future problems
      • Docked entities (turret or not) being surrenly misaligned has been fixed
      • Fixed hp problem for ships becoming 0 and then not taking damage after that, making a ship effetively unkillable.
      • Fixed shields (fix came with rewriting the system)
      • Fixed bug that would spam the log with exception during battles causing major lag
      • Fixed bug on chunks not drawing correctly (wrong lighting)
      • Fixed warp gates
      • Fixed turret AI not being able to shoot at a target after a while

      There are a lot of other bug fixes which we will list in the release news post.

       

      This post contains mostly the features. We will go more into the technical aspects and all the new backend systems that have been created, and the exiting ones that have been completely rewritten for this update in the release news post.

      Thank you for playing StarMade,

      - the Schine Team

       

       

    • 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