~ fixed some blocks not being consumed in blueprints
~ fixed macet ore not spawning
~ Fixed problem with blueprints and worlds that weren't converted to chunk32 yet (For broken blueprints please use the automatically made backups to have them converted in this fixed version)
~ Fixed double typing problem on macs
~ Fixed Beams not being able to hit objects in other sectors
~ Fixed old tempaltes being broken
~ Fixed door wedges being misaligned
~ Fixed Radial menu popping up when it shouldn't
~ Added default shape stickies
~ Fixed IME letter input not being registered
~ Fixed functionality to press keyboard numbers reapeatedly to select subslots
Greetings, citizens ~
We have a lot of new stuff cooking at the moment. Some of it has been planned for a while, but it’s finally done now.
Important notice for players with NVIDIA cards: The latest nVidia driver (version 378.49) is broken and prevented the game from loading correctly. This also affects other games like Minecraft, reports of severe performance issues on other games. We've managed to circumvent the issue by calling javaw.exe directly, we've modified the new launcher to do this. Since we pre-package Java with our latest launcher, we were able to avoid NVIDIA's driver issues altogether.
If you have installed the driver and are still getting crashes, you can easily install a previous driver from December.
Drivers can be found here: http://www.nvidia.com/Download/Find.aspx?lang=en-us
http://www.nvidia.com/object/driver_rollback.html to rollback without download.
This one was suggested for a while now and brought to our attention by the Council. Because every block shape (wedge, penta, tetra, etc.) is an individual block type, we and also many of our players noticed a huge amount of menu clutter, especially in manufacturing. Having to build each shape separately is very tedious and doesn’t add anything to gameplay, so we’ve combined all of them into a single “root” block.
You can now use every available shape of a block by having the basic block in your inventory. Changing to this new system without breaking worlds, including inventories, took a bit of time to implement. All other shapes in your inventory will be automatically converted into their root block and combined. You won’t lose any blocks with this update.
Similar to slabs, when you pick up a shape variation of a block you will always get the root block back.
New Shape Selection UI
We’ve implemented a customizable shape selection menu to make building faster and easier. This adds convenience without marring the functionality veteran players are accustomed to.
For each block with multiple shapes, you can now open a radial menu and either directly select a shape, or use your right mouse button to sticky a block to the build bar. Sticky blocks work exactly like multi-slots in that they get added to scroll over vertically in the hotbar. The difference is that you can now decide what blocks will be in that stack, including slabs. The same system is now also used for any other block that uses an additional version of a root block like LOD blocks.
New LOD Blocks
A big part of why we made the change now is the arrival of new and upcoming LOD blocks.
First up, a corner variant on the Light Bar.
Pipes have received a T-junction, 90 degree corner, and 4-way intersection variant.
Lastly, an all new shape has been added, the Grate. A barrier that comes in three shapes. A straight section, a corner and a wedge.
More LOD objects and further refinements to their textures will be coming in the very near future.
Extended Texture Blocks Preview
This is another feature that we’ve been planning for a long time and now have a working mechanic to start preparing new textures for. While it is not active on any blocks currently, we would like to take this opportunity to preview the functionality, as many have spotted it in development builds and wondered exactly how it would work.
With this feature, a single block can use multiple textures depending on their position in the world’s grid. This reduces the frequency of tiling effects and allows us to add more variety to a larger surface area of the same block type.
To demonstrate what’s happening, let’s use this example texture. The complete grid we have overlaid represents the full combined texture space for this block (4x4 tiles). Each numbered block represents a single cube within the gameworld.
As shown here on a surface area of 8 x 8 blocks, only 4 unique texture tiles are repeated where as before the single unique texture would be repeated 64 times.
It is our primary intention to use this technique on terrain blocks and a hull type per colour (TBC) within the second part of our texture overhaul.
Due to new requirements, including ones from this update itself, the internal chunk format was updated. The basic array now consists purely of ints, which cost slightly more regular memory (no increase in graphics memory) but comes with an average of 20% speedup for all block operations. The speedup of this optimization affects all block operations from building/removing to damaging and applying changes to blocks. Using natives instead of byte arrays will in the future also speed up operations and save a lot of memory in other places.
Toggleable Light Bar
We’ve also moved a bit from Block HP to orientation. This enables us to use the active bit for blocks with more orientations like the light bar, allowing you to turn them on and off.
The max block HP of a block does become 127 now, but we can compensate for that by increasing its armor value.
We’ve started on reworking some of the weapons and resolving balance issues as we go. Thanks to our bug reporters and the countless suggestions on the forum, we already have a nice list of balance concerns.
Beams received 2 changes to bring them up to par with cannon block damage:
~ They apply explosive damage to every hit block now, instead of the 1st hit block of that tick
~ Beam damage with penetration now stacks on any armor block till it dies, then proceeds to distribute any remaining damage normally till it encounters another armor block again.
Their hit indicators changed slightly too, and the explosive effect hit indicator was removed due to a large amount of clutter caused by it. Most likely we’ll do the same for the explosive cannon hit indicators since those are not always accurate.
Explosive effect for cannons and beams changed too since it had scaling issues. As many of you may know, getting more than 10% on explosive effect didn’t actually do anything extra.
Now the radius of these weapons is always 1 when linked with the explosive effect, but the damage distributed to the surrounding blocks scales with your effect ratio instead.
The piercing effect’s armor efficiency bonus used to always apply even with a 0% effect ratio, making them extremely useful against any armor without getting any penalty for shield damage.
Now the armor efficiency bonus scales with your effect ratio too.
Another balance issue some may have noticed is that your Armor HP could be destroyed relatively fast by weapons that barely destroy enough blocks to justify the amount of Armor HP lost.
Now the Armor HP deducted is capped to the amount of Armor HP that specific block offers + the same amount multiplied with your Structure HP Penalty. For beams, it’s slightly different and is multiplied by the potential penetration depth.
However, this is only a temporary change; we’ve been looking for a different way for Armor HP to handle incoming block damage. Thanks to our community, there are several different suggestions related to it which gives us a good insight of what you expect armor to do, and how we could implement that.
Advanced armor (and its equivalents) had their HP lowered to 100 HP.
Its armor values were bumped up to 90% so their Effective HP should stay the same as before.
Smoother sector crossing
This issue has been in the game for a long time and should now be a lot better. Crossing a sector should be a lot more smoother on Multiplayer servers. There might still be a small “wobble” from lag reduction firing when it shouldn’t, which we hope to completely eliminate in further updates.
AI bumping into ships
An entirely new collision system used for avoidance is in the works, but not yet complete. In the meantime, we’ve applied a hotfix: AI ships bumping into your empty ships will now behave as if they’ve run into a space station: halting their movement, but without flinging yours off into deep space. (If they’re persistent enough, however, they may be able to push your ships, albeit very, very slowly.)
We will try to fully resolve this issue with a complete collision avoidance system and a completely reworked AI flight behavior in the coming updates.
Copy & Paste Rotation Fix
All blocks and LOD elements should now rotate correctly using advanced build mode. See T954
Chat fix for Languages using IME
Languages that use IME like Japanese and Chinese are now fully functional in chat.
Minor Texture Fixes
The last few (we hope) texture rotation fixes have been made, correcting Jump Modules and Rail Dockers (bottom face) in specific orientations, as well as the directional arrows on Pick Up rails.
Pick Up / Shoot Out rail blocks have received a cleaner texture which now tiles correctly across all 6 faces, at all rotations.
Ingot block specular settings have been improved.
Block icons have been improved to help legibility of different block shapes.
Fixes (most were mentioned above)
~ T346: Explosive effect stops scaling after 10%
~ T1024: Damage beams apply inconsistent damage against armor
~ T1642: Piercing effect armor efficiency doesn’t scale
~ T2154: Crash related to NPC system loss
~ Some player sector locations being logged were removed or changed. There are probably more of them; please report them if you find any.
We added more missing translation strings, and that should also take care of the last big batch to be added. It’s still possible that we find a missing one here and there, though.
As always, thank you for playing StarMade!
~ The Schine Team
To all NVIDIA card users that updated their driver to version 378.49 release on Jan. 24: Unfortunately this update breaks some basic OpenGL functions. There is currently nothing we can do but wait for NVIDIA to fix the issues. Other games (e.g. minecraft) are affected as well.
Drivers can be found here: http://www.nvidia.com/Download/Find.aspx?lang=en-us
http://www.nvidia.com/object/driver_rollback.html to rollback without download.
Thanks for playing StarMade,
the Schine Team
Greetings citizens, ~
Unfortunately, some of us caught the winter flu, and we are just now fully recovering. We weren’t able to do as much as we wanted but it’s nothing more than a small delay to our schedule. We’ll simply move what we wanted to do to the next cycle now that we’re back up and running.
Luckily not all of us fell ill and for the last 2 weeks, Kupu kept himself busy refining the texture pack so that we could have an update nonetheless.
~ Texture coordinate fixes (rotation fixes): All blocks should now be correct.
~ CPU Top Faces: are now all the same and correctly orientated.
~ Overdrive + Pierce modules: Assignments fixed to display unique textures for each. Texture colour difference increased to help differentiate.
~ Gravity Module: Sides point to the right direction.
~ Activation Gate: Fixed non mirroring wires on the unique face.
~ Gold / Silver / Bronze bars: Reinstated after mistaken removal.
~ Pick up point: Alignment (partial fix - rotation when activated doesn't work with non symmetrical texture. requires minor redesign).
~ Red force fields: A little less glowy.
~ Thruster: Heat haze / wobble removed from the thruster ring. (Based on community feedback).
~ Blast Door: Reduced damage on texture, altered contrast and saturation. (Based on community feedback).
~ Build Block: Reduced damage and worn look on texture. (Based on community feedback).
~ Bloom: Slightly more performant.
~ Lens flare (Bloom mode): Changed so the sprites don't distort to screen resolution ratio + Improved sprites.
~ Lens dirt: New, improved lens dirt texture (subtle), the texture should no longer multiply sun brightness (as much).
~ Pixel Pack: Now updated for new layouts (possibly not 100% bug free)
To report more texture related bugs we may have missed, feel free to post it in Kupu’s thread: https://starmadedock.net/threads/kupus-thread.839/
~ T2125 Sensor does not compare right values for Thrust (now uses max ship speed
~ T2128 Armor HP bonus adds extra structure HP damage
~ horizontal divider in trade menu fixed
~ fix for a rare issue involving diplomacy messages (could crash server)
~ dynamic prices also work now for (raw) ores and (raw) shards
There is now also an additional modifier for dynamic prices that increases the price of a block’s basic resources, that way the more complicated blocks will end up a bit more expensive to promote trading a bit.
Set it to 1.0 to keep previous dynamic prices:
~ DYNAMIC_RECIPE_PRICES_MODIFIER in server.cfg
thank you for playing StarMade,
~ The Schine Team
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.
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.
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.
~ 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.
~ 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.
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.
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
#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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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:
Spawning an NPC faction yourself using the ones in the npcFactions folder.
Same as before with the ability to also set their home system.
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/
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.
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