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    • Dec31

      StarMade v0.199.357 - Texture Update

      Greetings, Citizens ~

       

      We hope you are having a wonderful holiday!

       

      As a nice way to wrap up the year, and as a holiday gift to you, we’re releasing some of Kupu’s beautiful eye candy.

      Our goal with this update is to step up the game’s visual fidelity without removing the familiar block designs and archetypes you’ve built your creations around.  As well as texture improvements, we’ve implemented a few post processing and quality-of-life changes. This update should seamlessly improve the game’s visual experience at no performance cost.

       

      Texture Update

      We’ve been working on an overhaul of our default textures for some time now, and this release implements the first and largest portion of that overhaul with all-new ship and structure textures.

      Taking advantage of recent lighting improvements, these new textures provide better material definition, allowing glossy metals and matte plastics, and removing highlights where light should be occluded.
      Please note all screenshots below are all using the Linear Mag Filtering (Block) setting, at 256 resolution, with normal maps enabled.




       

      We’ve also added a unique texture for the Auxiliary power block:


       

      Visual Logic changes

      ~ Logic blocks that do not emit a high or low signal themselves are now green colour-coded. For example, a Sensor or Area Trigger block will no longer be blue, potentially confusing the player that it is emitting a High state.


      ~ The Pick-up Point rail block now has an OFF state texture when toggled with an activator.
      ~ The logic pipes are a little less glossy, and a little more in line with the rest of the universe.

       


      Miscellaneous changes

      ~ Animations given to some decorative screens, water, etc. with more to come.
      ~ More blocks now make use of emissive textures, making those darker areas a little more exciting!
      ~ Fixed visual rotation errors. e.g. computers will now rotate correctly.
      ~ Water is now non-physical.
      ~ Lighting on 3D model objects is now a little more accurate.
      ~ New hotbar cursor, allowing better clarity when hovering over charged and charging systems. (Shoutout to Valck for finding this better solution in his mod).
      ~ Almost all artificially lit bevels within the textures have been removed, improving the illusion of cohesive lighting when rotated.

      What don’t we get?

      This update does not include terrain, flora, resources or capsule art.  
      Those will all be coming at a later date, as we still continue to refine the assets and implementation.

      There is a known issue of block shapes being harder to see in this icon set.  It will be amended asap.

       

      Shader Updates

      ~ New, softer bloomed suns.
      ~ New lens flare. Less lens glare.
      ~ Removed big Lens dirt.
      ~ Added smaller Lens dirt.
      ~ Cleaned up Display Modules a for extra clarity: the scan lines reduced in strength, the flicker removed, and colour brightened to fit better with surrounding screens and lights.
      ~ Patterns within the procedural backgrounds are now “softer.”

      Please note unless Procedural Backgrounds and Bloom are enabled, you won’t see the changes to the backgrounds or stars mentioned here.

       

       

      Asteroids

      Reworked the asteroid resource placement system and fixing a bug causing inconsistent placement since the chunk32 update. A part of that was already in the previous update but wasn’t mentioned in the news update.

      In the server config, there are 2 new asteroid related values:

      ~ Asteroid resource chance

      ~ Asteroid resource size

      This new system also adds the ability to generate more exciting features on asteroids in the future!  Ruins and debris, anyone?

       

      Extra Language Entries

      We’ve found ~250 missing strings for translation, which we have added into this update. We expect there are still quite a few stray strings out there, which will take a while to locate. You can help out by reporting missing strings to our bug tracker phab.starma.de . We aim to have all missing strings included in the next update, ready for translation.


       

      Bugfixes

      We’ve added some minor bugfixes during the holidays:

      ~ T2106 NPC Faction Descriptions contain typos

      ~ T2105 Faction window "tab" area font is too large

      ~ T2103 Faction expansion takes the wrong systems

      ~ T2098 Fleet location broadcasted to clients on login

      ~ T2093 No pickup text when picking up credits

      ~ T1945 Flight mode minimap shows radar icons for radar jammed entities

      ~ T1895 invert hotbar scrolling direction (Council)

      ~ T1796 Close button of build mode info panel does nothing

      ~ T1734 display cursor coordinates in build mode (Council)

      ~ T1715 Username is erased after hitting enter/tab on username in online play

      ~ T1567 Crash on startup - /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libstdc++.so.6: version `CXXABI_1.3.8' not found

      ~ T1394 Missile-Lock animation played after no longer selecting Lock on Missile

      ~ T1355 Mouse Option "Flip through hotbars... Without Control" incorrect

      ~ T905 Incorrect shield power consumption display values

      ~ T68 Incorrect texture face orientation




       

      Most of us here at Schine are currently taking a break over the Christmas/New Year’s period. Expect to see us back in full swing by late January to mid February.

       

      Happy holidays from Schine, and we hope you have a wonderful new year!



       

      And as always, thank you for playing StarMade,

       

      ~ The Schine Team

       
    • Dec18

      StarMade v0.199.349 - NPC Faction Update

       

      #Fix 0.199.351. Fixed issue of blocked being spawned in space when deconstructing ship in shipyard.
      #Fix 0.199.352. Fixed a few crashes, log spam, as well as some bugs.
      #Fix 0.199.353. Due to fixing the resource spawning on asteroids, planet generation broke in a few instances.This is fixed now.

      Greetings citizens, ~

      After weeks of non-stop work the first NPC Faction update is finally ready to release. By introducing a completely autonomous systems for AI controlled factions the universe will no longer be as empty and lifeless as it was before. Offering us more options to expand upon and create an engaging universe.

      This update adds the basic NPC factions and features with many more to come.

       

      It took a while to bring together all of these parts into one single update. And there were a lot of them, all with big potential of being disastrous if handled wrongly. We took longer for testing to make sure that everything is fine, but there is always a possibility that we overlooked something severe, and because this is such a big update that affects a big part of your universe, we urge all server admins and players to make backups of their universes. The launcher has been updated recently to make that process a lot easier.


       

      NPC Factions

      As mentioned in previous Dev Blogs, this update doesn’t require a universe reset and instead adds the NPC factions to all your existing universes without touching player created content.

      Each comes with its own config and blueprints. The config defines their basic behavior out of all those variables. Factions are dynamic in their block demand and they adjust their trading, expansion and production to that. If a particular block is more used than others, it will be produced and traded more, even the blocks needed to make this block will have a larger demand because of that.

       

      Other than what they have set in their config, demand and supply will also determine their expansion rate. They need to be able to build a certain amount of ships and stations before they can take more territory but they also need the same blocks to maintain what they already have. If they can’t, they’ll have to give away territory.

       

      Keep in mind that most stations used by these factions aren't ready yet for release and they're using temporary placeholders.

       

      Trading

      Based on their configuration and available blueprints, NPC factions will develop a demand for specific resources and blocks. Not only will they adapt their prices dynamically for that, they will also automatically trade with any trade node (human or NPC).

       

      This means that there is now an actual economy in the game. However, the old stick shops are still there for now. They will change into trade node access hubs when we release the update that requires a universe reset.

       

      They will select the trades they deem to be the best in terms of value. So if you will have a better chance to be traded with , you’ll have to make some good offers.

       

      There have been also countless bugs fixed for the trading system in general which will make it a much smoother experience.

       

      Physical Trade Fleets

      Possibly one of the coolest features in this update is that NPC trading fleets are fully physical. That means, they will have all the blocks used in a trade loaded onto them and you can actually intercept and raid them.

       

      Trades initiated by a player will still use the non physical simulation until we made sure the system fully works and isn’t exploitable, so any problem with the physical trade system will not affect players.

       

      Fleets and Fog of War

      An NPC faction has fleets in each system, as well as general fleets that get built for different purposes. You will likely see them fly by a lot if you stay in or close to an NPC owned system. They will mine and patrol, but also scavenge sectors where recent battles have taken place.

       

      One of the hardest parts of this update was to build a scalable system that can handle potentially hundreds of fleets without slowing down the process, but to not use the copout of spawning non persistent fleets just to fake activity. Once a fleet spawns, its ships are actually persistent.

       

      They will also attack fleets of their enemies as long as they are at war. NPC on NPC warfare will be fleshed out more in the future.

       

      You can now see routes of fleets if you are in an explored system and if a trade route goes through it you can also see where the convoy is located at that moment.

       

      Fleets that are flying around will have a blue dashed line pointing towards their destination. The defense fleets stay within their system and go from station to station.
      Trade fleets go between 2 trade nodes, there is an additional green dashed line between those 2 nodes to indicate which ones are trading.


      For admins, we’ve added a scan button to the map as an easy way to see fleets and their stations.

      NPC Systems

      Like player factions, NPC factions can take systems as territory. They will also determine a contingent based on their blueprints and the relative position of the system to the faction’s home system. Most factions will have less density in the outskirts of their territory although you can adjust that in the config.

       

      Some will spread faster and uneven, some prefer to be a big dense blob. The expansion behavior is also preferred towards the resources they mostly need for their contingent. Empty systems and especially black holes are avoided, although they still go into empty systems if there is really no other choice.

       

      The contingent will also determine which and how many fleets will be in that system, as well as determining production and mining.

       

      If enough ships and/or stations of a system get killed, the faction will lose control over the system. If the damage isn’t too much, the faction tries to replenish their losses at their next turn, and if that is not possible, they will abandon the system.

       

      You can see the system status in the Galaxy Map at the top right to see how much damage the faction has taken in that system.

       

      For testing purposes, NPC faction home-bases are currently indestructible and will also refuse to abandon their home base system, but that feature will open up after potential issues have been resolved.

      Resources and Mining

      Systems now have a resource richness. This amount is hidden at the moment but will actually be reflected by spawned asteroids in an upcoming universe revamp. The factions will use their contingent to mine resources from their territory. The amount of resources they can mine is limited and will reflect on what the player actually sees when they go there. For example, if a system is mined out, there will be no more asteroids spawning. The npcConfig can define a resource replenish value if needed.

      Production

      Factions will produce more advanced blocks from their mined raw materials each NPC faction turn. The rate of production is bound to config values as well as how many factory stations they have in their contingent for each owned system. The blocks produced will try to match the faction’s demand although this can take a while due to the large amount of blocks needed to expand and resupply.

      Maintenance

      To counteract the introduction of countless blocks into the universe and to have a simple controller for NPC factions in general, they will consume general maintenance blocks per turn according to their config. This allows for an effective way to steer the growth behavior of NPC factions without touching other areas such as trading and production.

      Diplomacy

      Diplomacy right now is at a stage where most of its functionality is in but individual player relation scores aren’t tied together with their player factions scores yet. The lack of that connection will result in odd behavior and will make you end up in illogical situations.

       

      For that reason only, we force NPC faction to offer you peace after a few minutes of no aggression and your own peace offers will always be accepted. This is for this update only and diplomacy will be completely functional for the next one.


       

      As mentioned above, NPC factions have separate opinions of players and faction. That means they could declare war at you personally while not declaring war at your faction.

       

      The system for diplomacy is a point based system. There are two different kinds of modifiers: status modifiers that will apply to your points as long as the status is active, like being in a war.

      The other kind are dynamic modifiers that will affect your diplomacy points permanently over time. These are triggered and increased/decreased by actions. After an action times out, the modifier will diminish and eventually be removed, but the change it applied to the points will stay.

       

      This system will allow for a better approach of AI handling relationships than with just using status modifiers.

       

      They will not like it if you are in war with their friends but they will like you for attacking their enemies. They also don’t like it if you mine in their territory and the longer you do it, the less they’ll like it. You can aim for getting an alliance with them if you want to, or you can make them your enemies.

       

      Diplomacy is also fully customizable with each faction having conditions and reactions for actions in the configs for modders to customize their experience. It offers quite a lot of possibilities that also make it hard to balance.

       

      The diplomacy values given to the NPC Configs are far from final and will receive a complete makeover when the diplomacy feature is done.

      Admin Config and commands

       

      On starting new universes or on update, admins can control the starting conditions of NPC factions by copying the configs from ./data/npcFactions to ./customNPCConfig and modify them (for them to not be replaced on the next update). Most of the values in the XML should have comments on them for better understanding.

       

      There are also several admin commands for better control over the NPC factions. The admin command list on the forums will be updated but these are some important ones:

      ~ /npc_spawn_faction

      Spawning an NPC faction yourself using the ones in the npcFactions folder.

       

      ~ /npc_spawn_faction_pos_fixed

      Same as before with the ability to also set their home system.

       

      ~ /npc_remove_faction

      Removing any existing faction using their ID (visible in the Diplomacy menu)

       

      Soon to be updated admin command list: https://starmadedock.net/threads/admin-commands.1283/

      Known Issues

      The local ship AI as probably all of you know is still a bit wonky. There have been a lot of improvements made already for this update, like spawn collision avoidance to prevent fleet ships spawning on top of each other, as well as an unstuck system where ships with a move order will warp away if they’re in a sector for too long. Other issues, like NPC ships sometimes undocking their docks or cargo display issues, still exist but these will be addressed and fixed in the upcoming updates.

       

      Thanks to all the testers and bug reporters! Don’t hesitate to report any bugs you encounter on our bug tracker Phabricator. In case they’re severe, we’ll release a hotfix as soon as possible.

      Any other new NPC Factions  issues will be addressed in the following updates.


       

      What’s next

      Now that a big combination of single features is completed, the following updates will be used to address some older issues while improving the recently added NPC faction features.

      The next update will have bug fixes and something special from Kupu...It might be related to textures! It should be ready in 2 weeks.

       

      After that we’ll address some of our older issues and keep improving upon the NPC Faction system, how much we introduce or change also depends on your feedback so make sure to share those ideas with us.

       

      The main focus of that update though, will be to improve our existing combat systems, AI Behavior and ship control to give you a better combat and flight experience.


       

      Lastly a big thanks to all the translators! We will be including the most active ones in the credits screen that will be released with upcoming updates. Of course other people will be in there such as our most helpful testers.

       

      Thanks for playing StarMade,

      ~ The Schine Team

       
    • Nov19

      StarMade Dev Update: NPC Factions

      Greetings citizens, ~

       

      At this stage, our current version is ready to be tested on the Official test server. It contains all core features where we can expand on with the upcoming releases.

       

      The test server is running the build for a public test on play.star-made.org:4848.

       

      These builds are only available on the Dev branch; it’s highly recommended that you use a different installation location or make a backup of your entire StarMade folder before overwriting it with a dev build.

      Keep in mind that follow-up dev builds will most likely require you to also start a new world.

       

      To get a fresh install of the dev build, select a different install folder in the launcher and switch to the dev branch.

       

      Click on the gear (1), and change the build type (2) from “Release” to “Dev”, it is also recommended to use a separate installation directory (3). (Append a “DEV” to the installation path, to keep your original installation intact.)

       

      The dev build has mechanics that will be disabled in the next public release, but are a necessity for experimenting with the NPC factions:

      ~ Debug menu, press F1 + B

      ~ Extra logging in your logstarmade.log files

      ~ Disabled Fog of War

      ~ Shows all fleets

      ~ Shows info in the galaxy map if you go into a NPC faction controlled system

      ~ Will send extra information to clients so it might be a bit more bandwidth intensive and prone to lag in multiplayer as long as in debug mode

       

      In 2 weeks, we’ll release a stable public build for all servers to use.

      NPC Factions

      NPC factions are a new AI controlled entity in the game. They represent a faction in the main galaxy. Although it is possible to have them spawn in other galaxies too, we want to focus on the main galaxy to give players a good experience without endless repeating patterns the further you go out. While you will still be able to do that, and there might be something special to find, the action will always be in the main galaxy.

       

      Each faction has a config and blueprints that are copied from a set of faction configurations located in ./data/npcFactions/. There you can also add your own custom factions or edit the existing ones. When making a new world, they get copied over into the world’s database ./server-database/worldName/npcFactions/.

       

      We have a lot of new assets for the npc factions, possibly including the fleets from the contest. Some of them are already included in this dev build, and we’ll continue to do so for the full release. Expect to encounter A LOT of new high-quality ships across the universe. We will also be doing further contests to expand the arsenal of default factions.

      Spawning

      NPC spawning is the first step. On Galaxy creation the system will mark suitable spots, so it is efficient to select them later without having to iterate through every system and looking at its properties.

       

      Normal NPC factions only spawn in star systems. However there will be special ones, that will also spawn in the void.

       

      Initial Growth

      A NPC faction can grow initially to simulate them being further ahead in time. It will use a particular algorithm to determine the way they will grow. They will look at potential resources which are now distributed in the universe. They will also prefer star systems over void systems for that reason. Depending on the faction’s config setting, they will also either try to be densely clustered or expand much more loosely.

       

      Faction Demand

      A faction wants to grow and to do that it needs blocks to construct the new stations and ships it will add. We call that “demand” and it’s calculated from the blueprints that have been made available to them. Each faction has an individual config and individual blueprints they can and will use. The demand is calculated not only considering the actual resources used but also what resources those blocks are made of. The result is weighed to determine what resources a faction prefers and how much.

       

      Faction Inventory

      An NPC faction will keep track of all its possessions in a central inventory. Its start inventory will be filled according to a faction’s demand. You can change that in its’ NPC Faction config to adjust which and how many blocks they will initially get.

       

      Trade Prices

      In the next step, the faction will set its trade prices. Each faction’s homebase serves as a trading station, which can trade with other NPC factions as well as other players. The prices are set by demand. That means it first will look at the faction’s general demand as determined in the previous steps, but also how much of that demand is satisfied. If the amount is within a certain range, which can be adjusted in its config, the faction will be trading it. It will also adjust the prices depending on how much of its demand is already satisfied. So for example, if the stock is low but there is a high demand, the faction will pay more for it and at the same time stop selling that item.

       
       

      Contingent

      A contingent is the collection of entities a faction could possibly own. Each NPC faction can spawn a certain amount and types of ships per owned system. The types and mass distribution can be defined in the config. There is also a distribution by distance from the home system. That means you can have the faction spawn smaller fighters and outpost stations on the outer edges of its territory, and bigger battleships and factory stations the closer you get to the home system. A blueprint can now be saved with a classification that determines its usage. These classes are then used to look up ships in a faction’s available blueprints. Blueprints will now also save their capacity, so they can spawn with items if necessary (trading ships), and a score based on salvage beams.

       

      The contingent will adapt over time as the faction grows. Keep in mind that a contingent is only possible ships which are then spawned on demand when a player gets close.

       

      This solution is used to combat scalability issues you would have if we would spawn everything when they’re created. It also helps to respond to player actions with specific ships.

       
       

      Fleets

      A faction has system fleets and general fleets. System fleets will include everything within an owned system of an NPC faction. This includes patrolling ships that will respond to any attack, mining, and other events. There are different fleet types like attack, defend, mining, scavenging and more that can be configured to contain weighted amount of ship classes. So if there is an asteroid that needs mining, the faction will spawn a mining fleet if the contingent allows it and send it to mine that asteroid. Patrol fleets are going from station to station and will react to any potential threat that is entering the system.

       

      General fleets, however, are mostly for faction wide events. This includes actual trading fleets spawned on trading with the actual resources traded, but also attack fleets in case of war, scouts, scavengers and more. Those fleets can then be encountered outside of NPC territory.

       

      We will also add more ways to scan for fleet activity. The dev build is very verbose currently and will show all information.

       

      System Status

      A system keeps track on what ships it spawned from their contingent. That means it also knows how many resources are invested at the time, including cargo. When a faction ship or station gets blown up, the amount of resources are considered lost.

      This can then be used to apply a system status percentage of resources lost. This status will be visible to the player. When the status gets below a certain point, the system will be abandoned by the faction due to losses. If the status doesn’t go below that point, the faction will focus to replenish the resources first using their own inventory before considering expanding again. If the faction can’t replenish enough resources to bring the status back over a threshold, the system will still be abandoned after all.

       
       

      Diplomacy

      An NPC faction will also enable diplomacy both with other factions and with individual players. The diplomacy will be based on a point system. Those points can range between a minimum and a maximum value to represent the relation to another entity.

       

      There are two ways that can modify your relationship points with a faction:

      ~ Status effects: these effects add or remove a constant amount of points based on status. This means that if you are in war with a faction, they will apply -X points to your score, though the points will go back to its original point value as soon as that status no longer persists. This means, that status effects don’t actually permanently change points. There are several advanced status effects available including having close territory to them, being at war with their allies, or positive ones for being at war with their enemies.

       

      ~ Action effects: these effects create modifiers that add or remove points permanently over time. In war for example, in addition of the status effect, you’ll also get a negative action modifier for starting the war. This modifier will slowly remove points over time as long as you are in conflict. This means that you will end up with less points permanently after the war. There will also be negative modifiers for any aggression towards the faction and their allies. So no matter how much they liked you in the past, if you start to kill their stuff, they will get mad at you depending on how much of that you do. Action modifiers, when no longer reset by repeating the action or by a persistent status will slowly fade out till it runs out of penalty points or enough time has been spent since then.

       

      Actions include:

      Attacking them, their friends or their enemies. Mining in their territory. Getting territory close to them. Going to war with them, their friends or their enemies.

       

      Also some effects don’t have a modifier but trigger a reaction like offering peace, or offering an alliance.

       

      Right now diplomacy requires a lot of testing especially with the action modifiers that change over time.

       

      NPC Faction Turn

      A NPC faction turn are triggered periodically and that amount of time can be adjusted in the NPC config. Currently it’s every 15 minutes. In each turn, a faction will do the following actions in that order.

      Mining

      For each owned system, the faction will simulate mining. Each system calculates a total amount of resources depending on what resources the system is rich in. The system then looks at its contingent and how many mining ships it has. It then calculates a score based on the blueprints used as mining ships and from that calculates how many resources are mined. This is in addition to the actual resources mined by mining ships when a player is close by.

      Each mined system has a max amount of resources it can hold and how fast they replenish each turn. This resource status is then used for actual asteroid generation when a player gets close. Sectors with a low amount of available resources will not have many asteroids spawning or any at all if it is completely depleted..

       

      Production

      For each owned system, the faction will simulate factory production. It will take all the factory class stations it has in its contingent and craft items. The amount of raw resources used for production can be adjusted. The types of resources produced will again be focused on the faction’s demand (which changes based on the amount of systems the faction has). The production turn has multiple steps to ensure that higher level items are crafted from the lower level ones, that have been produced in previous steps.

       

      Resupply

      The systems will now use their faction inventory to resupply themselves based on resources lost. These resources are taken out of the faction inventory. If a system can not resupply to put its status above an adjustable value, it will abandon the system.

       

      Consume

      As an additional block sink and tool for balancing, a system consumes blocks each turn based on its contingent. This is used to balance the ability of mining and producing everywhere at once. It can be set to be temporary, so a new system will only consume items up to a certain point, which makes it handy to control faction growth.

       

      Trade

      One of the most complicated parts of a faction turn is the trading turn. A faction will look at all available trade nodes. Then it determines the price difference of its buy/sell price with the other node’s buy/sell price and how much can be bought/sold based on stock and money. From this difference the faction accumulates a trade value. The value also goes down the further the other node is away in the universe. That means that trading with far away nodes is only done when it is determined to be very lucrative or in very large amounts.

      The best value is then selected and the trading will start. Depending on config settings a maximum amount of items to trade with can be set, so a faction can potentially do multiple trades at once.

       

      Since an NPC trade is not dependent on the Trading guild, it will spawn an actual trading fleet that will be attached to the route. This makes it possible to raid NPC trading ships. We will be making the same for trading guild ships with some modifications for extra security. In the future we will also allow players to use their own fleets for trading so they no longer have to pay the trading guild, at the risk of losing their ships in a raid of course.

       
       
      Expand

      The last part of the faction turn is the expand turn. The faction will assess its current inventory and determine if it can expand. Expansion cost is dependent on the demand and how many systems the faction already owns. If the faction can expand, the cost is immediately consumed and the system is then taken.

       
       
       
       
       

      Testing the entire system is extremely time consuming and complex, especially when you’re looking at the scale. Minor mistakes could have major consequences. In the coming days we’ll also add more in depth descriptions to the NPC Faction config to clarify what each config value exactly does.

       

      Thanks for playing StarMade,

      ~ Schema and the Schine Team

       
    • Nov5

      NPC Faction Update Video

      Greetings citizens, ~

      due to the scale of the update, its impact, and amount of parts, we unfortunately weren't able to release the NPC update this week. However, we created a video for you watch, outlining how the NPC factions will work.

      Watch it here:

       

       

      As mentioned in the video, an after and with the NPC faction update, AI will be revamped and upgraded on all fronts. It was always the plan to wait with that for NPC factions so all parts can come together. We also will adress and overhaul weapon/ship-structure/resource balances in these coming update circles.

      Thanks for playing StarMade,

      - the Schine team

    • Oct7

      StarMade v0.199.253 - Fog of War and Display Block Upgrade

      Hotfix #1 (no server update required): Possible fix for Nullpointer involving display variable configurations. Fix for skin shader error.
      To all Servers that got a Database error: When the server was forced to shut down or crashed the last time before the update, the updated Database library couldn't handle the recovery file. The new database library increases performance significantly, so reverting to the old version permanently would not be good. However, here is a confirmed working solution to fix the problem: https://starmadedock.net/conversations/craftau-update-error.9237/#message-73155 

       

      Greetings, Citizens ~

       

      In the process of working on NPC Factions, we’ve been doing what we can to release those pieces of it that work on their own. One such piece is the Fog of War.


       

      Fog of War

      Most of you already know this mechanic in one way or another. This is how it works in StarMade in its current state:

       

      Fog of war happens on a per-system level with local granularity. This means that any sector and its neighbors become ‘scanned’ instantaneously when visited, and they keep being visible in the map until you log out (for personal usage) or the server/game restarts (for faction usage).  You can ‘scan’ a system if you have visited at least 15 of its sectors (trackable in the galaxy map) or if you simply use your scanner. A system will be always visible in the map once available.

       

      The reason for this two tier-system is simply scalability, as it would cause immense database load (and size) for an entirely per-sector fog of war.

       

      Keep in mind that the Fog of War system is subject to change, since it’s an important piece of the NPC update. Scanners will also likely be rebalanced to be better at exploring. The system also already supports trigger based and time based “re-fogging” of areas.

      Faction Sharing

      Factions share their fog of war. This not only means that newly scanned systems are instantly available to all members, but it also means that factions share progress per system: if a 16-member faction all warps into different sectors within a system, they would reveal it instantly.

       

      There is also a new permission available for faction ranks: Fog of War Sharing

       

      This means that factions don’t have to share their information to new members they don’t trust yet. However, once the information is shared, the player will retain the gathered fog of war information, even in the event they lose the permission or get kicked from the faction entirely.

       

      At the same time, a player will always share their personal fog of war information when they join a faction, even at a rank that doesn’t provide the player with any faction fog of war data in return.

       

      Additionally, a member with the ‘Faction Edit’ permission can share the faction’s fog of war information with other factions. This option is available in the diplomacy panel.


       

      Display Block Upgrade

      In addition to last update’s new copy function, you are now able to modify the content of your display blocks in even more ways. When copying the content from one display block to another, you can now use the following tags:

       

      [shield], [shieldCap], [shieldPercent], [power], [powerCap], [powerPercent], [auxPower], [auxPowerCap], [auxPowerPercent], [structureHp], [structureHpCap], [structureHpPercent], [armorHp], [armorHpCap], [armorHpPercent], [mass], [blockCount], [sector], [system], [name], [docked], [cloaked], [jamming], [speed]


       

      ~ '[PASSWORD]text': The text in this block will not show up.

      ~ '[ADD]text': The text after [ADD] is added to the existing text of the connected block ([ADD] must be in the very front)

      ~ '[DEL]number': Removes an amount of characters from the conneted block ([DEL] must be in the very front)

      ~ '[REPLACEFIRST]regexp[WITH]replacement': use java conform regular expressions to replace specific text ([REPLACEFIRST] must be in the very front)

      ~ '[REPLACEALL]regexp[WITH]replacement': use java conform regular expressions to replace specific text ([REPLACEALL] must be in the very front)

       

      You can also use the sensor block to check if two display blocks have equal text content. Just connect the sensor block to two display blocks as input.  The [password] tag is ignored when comparing text.

       

      All this information is also available in the ‘Help’ panel on any display block!


       

      It’s worth mentioning that, with enough logic circuitry, you could write a command parser using the above additions.  You could, quite literally, type “open airlock 12” into a display block and have your ship execute the command.



       

      Further Development

      Progress on the NPC update is steady, but we might need a 4-week release period to get the NPC update done more quickly.


       

      As always, thanks for playing StarMade!

      ~ The Schine Team