StarMade 0.18 - A new Universe
Hello and welcome to StarMade,
EDIT: The Faction Config is now automatically downloaded to clients connecting to a server. The game will create a ./customFactionCofig directory when starting (you can also create it manually). Just place the FactionConfig.xml in there, and it will be used to overwrite the one in ./data/config. Unlike the one in ./data/config, the one in ./customFactionConfig won't be overwritten on update, so you don't have to do work at every update. Several small fixes have been done for generation. There are also new admin commands to reset or make territory not claimable. The Admin Command Forum Thread has been updated.
finally the big update is finished! Enjoy!
Please make sure you choose to backup when updating, just in case!
This had a long time coming and is now finally here. It will switch to the new system once you reset your world. So you can use your old world as long as you please, but a reset is recommended.
Make sure to export all the sectors you need for the new universe.
A Galaxies in StarMade contains of 128x128x128 Systems, each containing 16x16x16 sectors. This means a galaxy is pretty huge.
However not every system actually has something viable in it. Most of a galaxy is composed of so called 'Void' systems.
Void Systems do not have a star, and will have an increased chance of spawning pirates. Note that in the future the pirate spawning will get ramped up even more the farther away you go from claimed territory. Also, claimed territory will make that system safe, and decrease pirate spawning in the surrounding systems (not in yet).
The most common viable system is a stellar system. A stellar system can have different variation or stars in different sizes, and can even be even binary system with two stars in one system.
Note that the damage rates and distances on stars depend on color and size: Blue stars are more intense and do more damage on a longer range, giants have 8 sun sectors in the system, and binary star systems count distance from the nearest star.
The view distance for galactic entities has been increased by a great deal, so you can now see planets and stars or other objects of your surrounding systems. It might look a little crowded with planets in the old universe, but gives you an idea on how much planets there were :)
Also, the stars in the background now represent the exact galaxy you are in, so you can get a kind of fell for where you are.
Of course there are a lot of other galaxies you can visit, and every one of them has a different look to it (although they all follow a basic pattern)
You can also find black holes in the galaxy. They form a wormhole network which warps you if you go into one. The network goes from the inner galaxy to the outer arms, and the furthest worm hole leads back to the closest to center. That means if you get lost, you can always find your way to the center if you follow the worm
holes. In the map you can arrows from near, and also have an indication of the line getting whiter in the direction of the destination.
Stellar Systems now also generate differently from the old universe. Every system has now a generated name, too, which players will be able to change in a future update. Each stellar system has a random amount of orbits, within the sectors that are intersected by those orbits, certain things will spawn. On planet orbits, a planet will spawn somewhere on the orbit, and there is a very small chance of a second one. The other type of orbit are asteroid belts. On asteroid belts a high amount of asteroids will spawn. Everywhere else there is only a small chance of finding them, and if they spawn, they do it in much less amounts.
Keep in mind that in a claimed system (see faction points), you get a 6x bonus to mining.
Since all of those things are not easy to navigate, there is now a galaxy map (press P) available to all players. It not only shows you the complete galaxy with all its systems, they also show planets and stations in each sector (that is open to change with the introduction of radars in the future).
You can see all faction territory in the map, so you can easily find your way around on a server.
You also see all the FTL connections in the map. Colors for faction warp gates will be added later.
You can now also easily plot a path for a waypoint within the map.
There are several filter options available which should be relatively self explanatory, like blending out orbits, objects, etc, as well as changing the color of territory to a per-relation color instead of a random color per faction.
Most of the information in this section is already in the dev update post.
Faction Point System
PLEASE NOTE THAT ALL VALUES OF THE FACTION SYSTEM ARE EXPOSED IN A CONFIG FOR ADMINS TO CHANGE (./data/config/FactionConfig.xml). That config doesn't distribute yet (next update), so please only try changing it in singleplayer.
Faction Points are a new form of currency in StarMade and shall be abbreviated 'FP' from here on out. They are shared throughout the faction, and in the future can be made physical for reasons I will go into later.
Their value can not be compared to credits and resources, as their total availability doesn't follow the principle of an infinite universe like credits and resources do.
Their existence as the name says depends on the factions of a server. So on a server with more players the overall faction point count will naturally be higher (but the demand is also rising with that)
Faction Point Acquisition
A server now does hourly calculations. I'll call this a "turn" from now on.
At the end of a turn the following will happen:
- You get 50 FP for every online member of your faction
- You get 20 FP for every active online member of your faction (see member activity)
- You get 0 FP for every inactive member of your faction (see member activity)
A member counts as active if the member at least spent 10 minutes playing within 48 hours. After 48 hours after logoff, the member will become inactive and the faction no longer gets any FP from his membership.
There are several methods in place to combat FP farming with multiple nicks on the same server.
One of the biggest things with FP is the ability for factions to take territory. You can take a whole 16x16x16 sectors at once. 16x16x16 sectors are also known as "system" as mentioned above.
Taking a sector can be done easily with the faction module on a station or planet. If someone else has already taken the system, that faction module has to be destroyed before another faction can take the system.
Territory has the following advantages:
- Your faction gets a mining bonus in that system of 6x (other factions get 3x still in an owned system so be alert of eventual thieves)
- Your faction gets a notice whenever a player enters your territory. You even get a faction news post if that player is an enemy. (No names are transmitted though, so you have to go there with a scanning capable ship to check out the location (see scanning))
- Scanning range (see scanning)
Faction point spending and loss
Of course you can't just go and claim every system as fast as possible as you like. You also have expenses each faction point turn. The following are the costs explained:
- Each owned system costs 10 FP each turn
- Each owned system costs FP in the distance in systems it is from the homebase (or a random owned system when no homebase exists)
- Each owned system costs FP in the distance it is from a galaxy center (something that will be more clear with the structure update. it is the system 0,0,0 in this case)
- The cost for center distance will decrease the more total territory is taken. This means, factions will probably move together a bit. Roaming vagabonds are still a thing since they don't use too much points (the first system is free). However they don't have the luxury of a bigger base of course.
- There is a flat expense of 1 FP
FP loss from player deaths
- Each player death costs a fixed FP amount
- Each player death costs also an FP amount times the amount of members in the faction. That means that while you get more FP each turn with a bigger faction, you lose more when someone gets killed. suicide does not count in that regard. Admin commands are in place to allow admins to protect players against faction point loss (that will be broadcaster on death to all players to avoid abuse), and making sectors safe against FP loss, so minigames can be played there without problems.
- After dying, the player gets a 30 min protection of losing faction points again.
Repercussions for to few FP
Should at the end of a turn the FP of a faction be below zero, the faction will lose the system that is farthest from the homebase (random if there is none).
You also can NOT take any territory if your faction has below zero faction points.
Home Base danger
This is an admin option in the server.cfg. If a faction has below zero FP and no territory (this will only happen if a players get taken out repeatedly), the home base becomes attackable. Server have also the option in the faction point config to set a flat FP expense every round (as mentioned in expenses). This will make it possible that completely inactive factions (depending on config) will get attackable eventually.
This is a new block you can put on your ship or station. Its mechanics work similar to the jump drive as it needs to be charged up to do a scan.
But unlike the jump drive, the scanner will automatically charge. You are also only allowed one scanner per structure.
The basic range of the scanners is fixed, but also depend on the territory you are in. The recharge time depends on how many blocks you place, of course costing more power. The textures are of course made by the great Kupu (Tom)
- Default scan range is 4 sector radius
- In an allied territory you get twice the default scan range (as do the owners) (8 sector radius)
- The owners of a system ADDITIONALLY get the whole system scanned.
- If you scan in an enemy territory, your scan range is halved (2 sector radius)
- if you scan in an owned system, you always get the location of the station that has the faction module owning it.
This means with good strategy and infrastructure, as soon as your faction gets signal of someone intruding, you can send a player with a scanner ship into that system which can find out the exact position.
Scans are a snapshot, so to track moving targets, you need a very good recharge.
Scans are also persistent, so you always, even after logging out and in again, have access to the last 5 scans you made.
Future Uses for Faction Points
In the future, faction points will be the main currency for diplomacy and missions. The only way to earn additional FP is to do missions.
But also factions themselves can issue missions. A faction can pay FP for a bounty on the head of another player, or for a mission taker getting them an amount of resources. And many more.
Faction points will also be usable to replenish asteroids in a system.
Because nobody would be able to remember all the rules and keep track, the GUI has been expanded with several statistical functions regarding FP and scans.
Just click the "Faction Point" button in the faction tab, and it will tell you exactly how much you gained and lost, listed per type. it also gives you an overview of all your owned systems.
You can access your scans in your navigation panel.
The great Omni (Keaton) has made some nice sitting animations for dave. You can sit on blocks and wedges. Just press 'O' on a block to do so. Your sitting position depends on how close you press on an edge. You can also sit on the ceiling/etc if you have the gravity to do so :).
An upgrade has been made to how fast the StarMade database grows. More then 70% reduction in growth has been achieved by not saving planets and generated station in the database as long as no block is modified. This change was always delayed by planets being generated to slow.
Planets generation speed
Planets now generate up to 4x faster. On top of that they now use the full power of multithreading (something planets could not use until now since they need a huge amount of data and parts of them depend on other parts).
Beside a lot new admin commands for the faction point system, such as setting faction points, protecting against faction point loss on death, and even protecting a sector so no one dying in it will lose faction points, server admin management has been added. Admins can now allow and disallow admin commands by admin and command. This should help server super admins to manage their admins much better, and reduce admin abuse. This can also be done on the admin file directly, if you need to do a lot of it. Make sure to disallow other admins to use the allow/disallow commend themselves, or they can grant themselves the rights to use anything.
Default Sector Size
The default sector size has been upped to two times the value it was before. This value will only apply if you either remove the server.cfg, of change the value yourself (or do a fresh install of course)
Calbiri has been working hard on getting the game balanced further. The power usage of tertiary effects have been reduced to make it more managable on ships. We are not going to allow a good for all ship, so block counts keep the same. Also there have been several changes to other weapons and support systems. As always, this is not final, and you also have the option to modify the configuration yourself if you disagree with what the balance should be. Support beams are also currently being worked on to make them also fit into the bigger picture.
This post is unfortunately too long to mention a lot of the smaller teaks, fixes, and updates made.
Station Contest Winners
Thank you all for voting. You can see the winners in the repective threads. The stations are not yet included as we need some time to go through them and do a last check up. Once they are in there will be a news post dedicated to that.
Missiles should now have a much better lag reduction, meaning that they should much less rubberband around.
Most of the fixes have been done on the active dev builds, so they are not listed here, since they never were in the current release.
With this update, in one week, we have to up the price to 10$, as more and more money has to be spent on manpower and servers.
Thanks for playing StarMade,