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    • Jul11

      StarMade v0.19318 New Explosions, Tools, and Bug Fixes

      Hello players,

      This update contains a brand new system for explosions, as well as new tools, updated textures, and a ton of smaller features and bug fixes.

      #hotfix 0.19319: Some player shops caused server crashes
      #hotfix 0.19320: Fixed AI not working and causing high server load. ALso fixed explosions ignoring shield sharing

       

       New Explosion System

       

      For the longest time, explosions were a big headache, not only because they were incredibly hard to balance, but also because their damage was unrealistic. Some visible cases of this are ships being hit inside hangars and players being killed inside ships, without the damage penetrating.

       

      Since a system with actual rays doesn’t scale well, a completely new and unprecedented algorithm was developed to make explosions, in a fully three dimensional environment with any number of obstacles, as realistic as possible. With the help of complex data structures, it’s possible to approximate the explosion as if raytracing was used. Not only that, but also the whole system works fully asynchronously so that most of the work can be done multithreaded.

       

      The performance can be finetuned through a server option which determines the maximal count of possible explosion threads. Server owners can increase that value by some, as it is currently set for a mid-level CPU.

       

      Additionally, a new update system for transporting the data to the clients has been developed which means a lot less network bandwidth being used.

       

       New balance for missiles and pulse

       

      The new explosion system gave us a ton of new possibilities to balance explosions, especially for shield damage, effects, and scaling. Since now damage to blocks is exact, the damage will only penetrate as far as the rays can possibly go.

       

      Missile damage has been adapted to compensate for the fact that on average half of a missile’s energy goes into the void of space if, for example, the missile is impacting a flat wall. They have also been adapted for armor on both ship and blocks.

       

      All explosive style systems have been upgraded including the pulse, which will now also emit in front of it’s output block. Pulse will also do some piercing damage. This makes it an excellent weapons to bypass armor when you get close to a target.

       

       

       AI targeting improvements

       

      AI no longer targets the center of mass of an object. It will now specifically target blocks of ship systems. Of course target-seeking missiles will now also do the same.

       

       Build Inhibitor

       

      Another little tool for boarding is the build inhibitor. This useful tool is turned on in the hotbar and prevents any building within a radius of 32 (which of course can be upgraded in the future).

      The tool is available to buy from all shop keeps.

       

      Note that there will be a lot more tools and gadgets coming for astronauts.

       

       Rebooting/Repairing Stations

       

      Rebooting stations either over structure tab or by pressing the reboot hotkey will now also repair all armor HP.

       UI Text Box Fixes

       

      The text boxes now have variable sizes. They also now automatically dock to the radar or build mode, so they will no longer block the advanced build mode when building.

       

       

       Textures

      Kupu has updated some textures. We are also updating some Hud elements soon to give pilots better information when flying.

       

       Council Applications for Next Term now open

      Applications for the Council of Intergalactic Representatives are now open! (You must sign in with your StarMade Registry account to apply) Everyone is free to apply. Applications have no set date for closing at the moment, but will not be closed before the 19th of July 11:59 PM UTC. You can learn more about the council here and be sure to check out the applications news post for further details.

       

       Music Submissions Update

      In the v0.19282 news we announced we’re currently looking for someone to create SFX and soundtrack for StarMade. We’ve received an overwhelming number of emails, thanks must go out to everyone who has showed interest in the open role. We’ll still be accepting submissions till the 17th of July at 11:59 PM UTC. So, if you have the skills and are interested, be sure to send an email to duke@star-made.org!
       

       Other things

      Work on Fauna continues and focus on it increases with this update. There will also be some graphical upgrades to the block engine to make it more and more shiny (always in the philosophy: make the game fun first, then make it pretty)

       Bug Fixes

       

      As always a big thanks to all the devs and testers!

       

      • T394 unable to repair armor and ship HP for stations

      • T387 Moving CBS links and vanishing blocks leaving behind links

      • T388 kick option broken for factions

      • T383 EMP effect power drain is multiplied by penetration depth

      • T376 Indestructible Warhead

      • T375 LOCK_FACTION_SHIPS = false on client, overrides server setting

      • T368 hitting an unshielded entity with damage pulse crashes game

      • T367 group power penalty does not work for most weapons

      • T321 EMP effect doesn't drain all power

      • T316 power supply/drain computer expected firing direction reversed from ‘normal’

      • T310 Network data too large: priceUpdateBuffer, controllerKeyNameBuffer and controllerKeyBuffer

      • T308 escape options menu, controls sub menu doesn't scale

      • T307 Ships can't undock from Rail Basics via Logic in certain directions

      • T284 forcefield and scaffold wedges don’t have icons

      • T277 overheating does not disable AI

      • T275 Storage box filter menu bug.

      • T274 Item duplication issue

      • T270 /shop_restock_uid and /shop_restock_full_uid do not work on player shops.

      • T269 Replace block with Active Slot - Factories

      • T265 Undeathinator not functional / Spawn point save broken

      • T247 Strange behavior on turrets attached to rail rotators

      • T222 Can reset cool down of long cool down weapon systems

      • T189 Blueprints incorrectly save wireless logic links

      • T180 Renamed planet. Name doesn't show on the galaxy map

      • T165 Trading Guild Resupply Convoys will resupply player-owned shops.

      • T146 "Destroyed" ship core blocks weapon projectiles

      • T142 Placing a salvage beam computer on an Asteroid causes Nullpointer

      • T108 build mode camera issue when hitting escape

      • T98 missile damage radius on nearby entities significantly higher than direct impact

      • T95 missiles hit behind a wall

      • T74 creating a new universe sets all blueprints to enemy usable/others and owner to none

      • T65 Turrets get stuck in collisions

      • T44 Rail enhancers consume power but running out of power does not change anything

      • T33 moving through walls exploit

      • T26 stack split item loss

      • T20 Logic Rail Detection on docking doesn't trigger

      • T14 mouse sensitivity sync

      • T11 Enable/Disable all AI only works for last chain

      • T6 shield damage applied by shield sharing is multiplied per chain

      • T4 controller block system exploit

       

       

       

      Thanks for playing StarMade,

      - schema and the Schine Team

    • Jun19

      StarMade v0.19282: Putting more fun into battles. Also, boarding!

      Hello Players,

      #hotfix 0.19289:

      We forgot to announce that Kupu updated the Pixel texture pack, so check that out ;)

      • fixed beam aiming for AI turrets
      • fixed missing logic signal when docking to a rail block
      • fixed defeated ships not being salvageable when overheating
      • fixed defeated ships not giving errors
      • fixed several issues in Galaxy Map.

      this update is all about fixing a lot of things that still felt wrong in the game, and adding some more fundamental design changes, which will once again change a part of the game’s meta completely.

      We redesigned how ship battles work, adding a completely new system, called the “HP-System”. There are also a lot of other enhancements and fixes in the update.

       

      Here is a video that explains the new features:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iF0fe6EBMuA

       

      Hitpoints

       

      System-HP

       

      One of the biggest constructive criticisms we get for the game is that ship battles are basically a race on who can take out the core of the other ship. Which makes it a single focus point for everything. We long wanted to fix this problem, but first had to solve a lot of other problems along the way, ensuring that the new system is not more boring or broken than the old one, but intuitive and fun.

       

      A Hit Point System was the goal, but while it sounds easy on paper, it actually required a lot of problems to be solved for integration.

      Here are some of the problems that came up along the way:

       

      HP is always represented by two values: Maximal HP which indicates how many Hit Points an entity has, and current HP which indicates how many Hit Points the entity currently has left.
       

      The first problem was with determining how to keep track of HP.

       

      One idea that seems natural was to keep a copy of the ship in the status of full hp. This however would cause a lot of problems, as it would essentially double the size of ships in RAM, on disk, and cause problems managing it, as every change that modifies max HP would also modify that copy. All that for just two values seemed a very bad deal in cost-value.

       

      To combat that problem we are using a block count system, which has existed anyway. This however means that HP is based on the blocks, so if a block is damaged it still provides HP as long as it’s not destroyed.

       

      This means we can have a very small and fast way of keeping track of maxHP vs currentHP.

       

      Now, what is the max HP based on? If you would add a block to a ship, you would want your maximumHP to go up based on what you have placed. The same would have to happen if you removed a block.

       

      This all works fine, but what happens if you lose a block due to damage. Naturally you wouldn’t lose maximumHP, but only current HP of course. However, what happens then if you place a block? Would you get the HP back? Would that mean if you place another you would have more HP than maximumHP, would both HP and maximumHP go up? What is the actual ship’s state that the max HP is based on?

       

      • If your HP is at 100% adding and removing blocks will instantly update your HP keeping your HP at 100%.

      • If you are below 100% placing a block will NOT give you any HP, but still increase your maxHP.

      • If you are below 100% removing a block will deduct from your current HP, but not decrease your max HP. This means you will lose percentage when removing blocks from a damaged ship.

      • If you reach certain damage below 100% you will get negative effects like power/shield regeneration loss, loss of thrust, control, and at the end the “overheating” state. This means that you don’t have to kill every single block to kill a ship, but only a certain percentage.

       

      So, what can you do to get back to 100% once you have lost blocks? The solution was to add a mechanism called “Reboot”.

      A reboot takes your max HP to what the ship’s blocks currently represent, and also brings your current HP to 100%.

      You probably already saw the potential problem that brings: Just quickly reboot in battle and you will be at 100% again. However, rebooting actually takes time. The time is based on the damage taken, as well as the overall mass of the ship. You also can neither modify or fly a ship that is currently being rebooted, and power and shields go down to 0. It is also canceled if more damage is done. All these things make it relatively silly to try to reboot in combat.

       

      The most Hit Points are provided by system blocks like power, weapons, support, etc. So ships now have actual weakpoints.

       

      Furthermore on overheating you will no longer die instantly. You will get thrown out of your ship (it is now implemented that you automatically align to a ship when exiting it) and you can get to your escape pod, or stay and fend off a possible boarding party. You can’t enter your ship while it is overheating, and your only way to stop it is to reboot by pressing ‘r’ on the core. When a core is rebooting from overheating, you will not be able to enter it until it is done overheating.

       

      Armor-HP

       

      To further add more depth to ship battles, armor HP has also been introduced. Armor HP is the complement to System HP. The only blocks providing armor HP are actual armor blocks like hulls.

       

      Armor HP provides a damage reduction to all damage taken to an armor block. Upon damage, 50% (config value) of the damage is going to Armor HP and the other half will be the damage on the ship, as long as there are any Armor Hit Points left.

       

      Armor HP does NOT reset with a reboot, and can only be repaired at ships (or future ship yards) for credits. Ships can also reboot instantly at shops for credits.

       

      Losing armor HP will not give you any negative effects, but they are a vital resource to have on a good ship.

       

      Both System-HP and Armor-HP give a whole new feeling to ship battles, making them a lot more fun and exciting. All values of course are not final, because as always we took care that all essential values are available in the blockBehaviorConfig.xml. You can also go back to ship core based combat from the serverConfig if you would like to do so.

       

      Center of Mass

       

      Center of Mass is also no longer the core. It will now calculate the center of mass of a ship precisely on any mass placed anywhere.

      This doesn’t yet include docked entities, but it will soon. Also, in the future there will be options to have a more realistic physical model based on the shape of the ship in terms of being able to turn the ship.

      Implementation wise, the new Center of Mass system doesn’t cost any performance and is updated immediately (best to try it out on a planet)

      AI has also been updated to now aim at the Center of Mass which gives them a much better chance to hit something vital.

      You can also switch on an indicator for center of mass in the advanced build mode.

       

      Individual Block Mass

       

      With the new center of mass implementation it was also time to integrate individual block masses. This means, decorative elements will now barely add any mass to the ship, while armor and other blocks will add more than usual. Of course the center of mass will also reflect individual masses.

       

      Cannon and Beam damage rework

       

      Since now every block counts in terms of a ship taking damage, the missile seemed really superior as while it has similar total damage, it just takes out blocks a lot faster.

       

      Cannons now do damage to multiple blocks by default. The more damage a projectile has, the more blocks will be affected. Starting at 100 - 900 damage goes one block deeper per 100, from 1000, every 1000, and so forth.

      The damage is then distributed so that the first block hit will take the most and the last one the least damage. Accurate numbers can be looked up in the structure panel.

       

      A beam will do the exact damage no matter if the block got taken out or not (what in the past the piercing effect did), but it is stopped by any block that provides armor HP.

      The cannons has to take out a block to get to the next one, so if the damage of 1 block deep is not enough, the damage that would go in the second block will be used on the first until it is taken out. Any damage more that it took to take out a block is however still lost. Overall this still means a lot less damage is lost from cannons and more blocks are taken out per shot.

       

      All values are of course still not in a final state and are available in the config.

       

      New tools and boarding mechanics

       

      Two new tools have been added and are now available from the shop keeps. These keeps can now also be respawned in the middle of the glass area of Shops that had them.

       

      Grapple Beam

       

      This beam aligns you to an object on a very far range. It doesn’t automatically reel you in (yet), but you will have time to get to the object before the grapple expires. This makes it possible to get on objects from a good distance and board them.

       

      Torch

       

      This useful tool does little damage but has a very distinct advantage: It bypasses armor and shields and throws the pilot out of the core if the core was brought down to 0 HP with it.

      This means you can use the torch to take over enemy ships. Be warned though: The pilot will receive a warning if a torch is being used on his ship.

       

      New Turret AI option

       

      Since with the new mechanics, you not only have to defend your ship from the outside, but also from the inside. This new AI option makes turrets only target astronauts.

       

      Ship info window now customizable

       

      It is now possible to resize and move the ship info while holding control in build mode. You can now also change the size of the text so it is much easier to read on higher resolutions. A general size option will also come later for all menus.

      Multiple weapon hot bars

       

      Another requested feature was the addition of more places to put weapons, especially with inner ship logic now being a thing, so we added 9 more hotbars. There are multiple ways to switch through them.

       

      • Pure mouse scroll: upon going to the end of a hotbar you will switch to the next one. This can be disabled in the ingame options.

      • Control+Mousewheel switches through hotbars

      • Control+number selects a hotbar directly (with ‘0’ being the 10th)

       

      Additional Chat Controls

       

      More chat options have been added to enhance the experience.

       

      • Client-side ability to ignore other players

      • Admin Mute Command

       

      They are usable via the right click context menu.

       

      New bug tracker

       

      We switched to a new bug tracker, which will make tracking a lot easier and streamlined with the development process.

       

      Colored Missile Trails

       

      The trailed of colored missiles are now also colored.

       

      Bug Fixes

       

      A lot has been done since the last update. Thanks to all the testers!

      One thing to note is that missile turrets have been upgraded to now being able to hit missiles a lot better. Turret rotation is now mass based, so smaller missile turrets are better in aiming and leading a target. Also the “aim at selected” AI option has been fixed.

      1. T255 can't load old templates
      2. T253 Old docking system makes astronauts stop moving
      3. T213 Numpad Enter causes newline in dialog, instead of "submitting" the value
      4. T196 Blocks dropped on death do not spawn properly
      5. T184 Diaply.Hide Help Screen typo
      6. T160 TAB + F8 nullpointer
      7. T155 texture faces are rotated
      8. T139 Damage Pulse modules listed as "beam unit" in Weapons menu
      9. T132 Hotbar indicators are missing
      10. T131 Selected waypoint sometimes wrong color after closing Navigation menu
      11. T130 Cannot access ship storage after removing named chest
      12. T127 "Killing" the ship core kicks pilot out
      13. T125 removing blocks as astronaut doesn't update ship or armor HP
      14. T123 Destroyed entity will cause you to go back to where you got in.
      15. T114 blocks discarded on deletion as astronaut when not enough inventory space
      16. T112 HP System - tiny ships and cores cannot be killed
      17. T110 shooting factioned planet with missiles crashes all players not in that sector
      18. T88 Area triggers are invisible
      19. T77 escape key does not close options menu
      20. T60 Inner Ship Remote labels don't work until weapons menu is opened
      21. T58 Joining a faction when not being in one causes all factionless players to recieve a "<playername> has left your faction" notice
      22. T49 Crash when holding weapon menu items in your cursor and opening inventory
      23. T48 rail basic acts like turret axis block
      24. T38 Faction systems do not work for all 12 planet segments
      25. T35 Scan history nullpointer
      26. T31 Oculus Rift DK2 Error
      27. T30 Anti-missile turrets ineffective
      28. T23 Station not saving
      29. T21 /explode_planet_sector explodes planets in all loaded sectors
      30. T15 Serverlist ping-check only trying TCP
      31. T13 Ship HP damaged systems does not change anything
      32. T12 Rail turret blueprint and nullpointer issue
      33. T10 Rail entities are not properly synced across clients
      34. T7 Ship always inherits faction after reloading sector
      35. T5 local rail blueprint errors with multiple chains
      36. T3 Require auth + not uplinked does not show a clear enough error-message on connecting

       

      Music

      We're currently looking to create SFX and a soundtrack for the game, if you're interested and have the skills, please send an email to duke@star-made.org with some samples and info about yourself. We're aiming for orchestral, classical and ambient elements, however any sample you think will impress us is fine.

      Coming up

       

      There is a completely new launcher nearly done. It will be built to make the installation of java for the game absolutely obsolete. It will also eliminate any java version problems, as well as add a lot of other features. It will also be the starting point for finally having an ingame menu, as well as ingame server switching (which are easy to do but held off for solving other problems around the game). Also, work on the creature system will now switch into full focus.

       


      Thanks for playing StarMade,

      - schema and the Schine Team

    • May10

      StarMade v0.19226 Rail System and more

      Hello and welcome to StarMade,


      EDIT: fixes in 0.19228: New blocks now have recipes. Lag should be much less for other players when someone mines (still will be optimized even more). Also:
      #RM1788 Cannot delete waypoints
      #RM1961 Fix hidden error message for faction names too short.
      #RM1127 Fix float rounding causing imprecise build helper values.
      #RM1692 Fix escape key not closing all windows, and sometimes closing parent window.
      #RM156 Fix build mode flashing issues
      #RM337 Fix outer radius size of atmosphere.
      #RM2039 planets and asteroids now have a default power capacity of 501


      Finally the time has come to release the much anticipated Rail System. This update contains a full redesign of the docking and turrets system, as well as a lot of new features. The new rail/docking system also solves a lot of old problems.  

      Furthermore, thanks to the new devs, a lot of work has been done to fix bugs. With them getting more and more familiar to the huge codebase, bugfixing and work on new features will continue to pick up the pace.

      Here is the news in youtube form:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUEGEXCbwww&feature=youtu.be

      Here you will also find a list of tutorial youtube videos by bench:

      https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL76wZEm2fRBsB-UDoQZDtt_nVxSBCuun5

      Rail System

       

      Here is a short overview of all the systems. They are explained in detail at the bottom.

       

      Complete Redesign

      Due to the lack of usability and dynamic in the old docking system, we have decided to completely redesign the system from the bottom up. The new design is a lot more suited for all the current demands, as well as things to come.

       

      The old system is still functional and no ships, blueprints, or other structures will break. The only restriction is that the docking beam is replaced with a pure activation beam, but if necessary the docking can be turned back on in the server config.

          

      Rail basics (docking)

      The new Magnet block can be docked to any Rail so long as the docking ship will not encounter a collision by doing so. This means no more docking zone boxes. Also, the orientation of your docked vessel can now be fully customized.

       

      Rail movement

      In addition to the removal of the docking zone, Rail blocks can be chained together in paths to allow for docked objects to move along them. The system is completely dynamic and allows for full control with the logic system.

       

      Rail rotation

      Rails are not the only new block allowing for docked objects and movement. Rotor blocks can be placed in your rail designs, or separately from them. The direction and angle of rotation can also be customized.

       

      Rail interaction

      Logic signal interactions and linked speed control blocks can dictate the direction, distance and speed of movement/rotation of the new Rail and Rotor blocks. Also, power and some of the shields are now shared between the rail-docks and the mothership, as well as every object in between.

       

      Rail logic

      The new rail blocks also come with complete integration with the the logic system in Starmade.  

      New Turret System

      Since the old docking also included the turret system, it now has also been redesigned. Turrets can now be divided into multiple rotational axes. In the most common example that would be a turret base that can rotate horizontally, and a turret top which would rotate vertically.


       

      New logic blocks

      Several new logic blocks were added to expand the functionality of the logic system with StarMade’s gameplay and to help integrate the new Rail system.  These new blocks include:

       

      • Button block (Provides a short (0.5 sec) ON signal then deactivates)
      • Flip-Flop block (Will only change its output when receiving an ON signal)
      • Wireless block (Allows logic systems to connect from ship to ship)
      • Remote block (Allows access to ship logic to be triggered from your action bar. Each block’s label can be changed by hitting ‘R’ on it)

       

      Bug fixes

       

      An issue has been resolved that caused lag spikes whenever a new player join on more populated server. Also the configuration for the hotbar is now set by ship. That means when you load a blueprint after setting it, you will get the exact hotbar you saved the blueprint with.

      This unfortunately had the effect that currently all hotbars reset once, but in the long run the new system is a lot more comfortable.


       

      The login procedure on servers that require authentication has been improved so that non-uplinked players now get an explanation as well as a prompt to enter their credentials or go to the registry to setup a new account. Also, the pesky error messages which blocked the real message have been gotten rid of.

       

      We fixed some bugs probably causing a lot of java version errors, making the code more strict to its version dependencies, so hopefully a lot less problems for new players will occur related to that.

       

      Closed:

      • Dis-Integrator do not work on asteroids
      • unable to track down path calculation failed
      • Map: Interface skips the sectors near a system border
      • Sniper rifle can zoom in the galaxy map
      • Admins getting revoked of admin after logging on/off of server
      • Logic on asteroid crashes the game (ClassCastException)
      • IndexOutOfBoundsException with some handheld weapons
      • Non-linear camera movement speed
      • Ending tutorial brings you back to global spawnpoint
      • Weapon menu not refreshing correctly
      • Tab + F10 - Can be used to see cloaked entities
      • Asteroid name mismatch (Zerkaner & Zercaner)
      • Large, nearly complete blueprint quotas round to 100%
      • NEW claimed systems do not get saved
      • Overdrive power consumption doesn't scale with ratio
      • 1th and 2th typos in Faction Rank
      • Renamed entities cannot be searched for
      • cloaked ships still have the "pilot" marker visible
      • Cannot enter build block on asteroid - prevent placing it, not entering it
      • docking module on asteroid crashes game on activation - prevent placing it, not activating it
      • Lag/Freeze on autocomplete
      • Tutorial fails to import sector correctly
      • Launcher's world manager has no scrollbar
      • /search only searching loaded entities

       

      Resolved:

      • Gui Error - faction menus refresh too fast and endlessly

       

      (All bugs fixed caused with the rail system itself are unlisted)

       

      Rail Docking Explained

       

      This part will serve as an in-depth explanation and reference for all new systems.

      Rail docking basics

       

      The simplest kind of rail docking, which essentially replaces the old docking system, requires two blocks:

      • Rail Basic
      • Rail Docker

      Rail Basic

      The basic rail block serves as a docking access. You can dock to it using your rail docker. Placing only one basic rail serves as a static dock. Using more than one in a line produces a track a docked entity can run on.

       

      Rail Docker

      This block is needed on the entity that you want to dock to a Basic Rail block. Each placed Rail Docker contains a docking beam that can be assigned to your hotbar in the weapons panel of the ship. On firing, this block emits a docking beam. When that beam hits the Basic Rail Block of another entity, it will attempt to dock to that block.

       

      All rail blocks have a direction not only indicating the direction of the track, but also determining the docking orientation. On docking, the arrow of the docker as well as the direction of the Basic Rail, or any other dockable rail block, will be matched together like aligning the poles of two magnets so they will stick together.

       

      The only restriction that docking has is that the docked entity has to fit. This means no block of the docked entity may overlap with any block of the structure it wants to dock on, as well as any other already docked entities.

       

      Upon docking, a ship will also retrieve the faction ID of the structure it is docked to. This however now only lasts for the time it is docked and will revert to its old id when undocked. Also any ship docked to a rail block that has a public exception block next to it will keep its original faction while docked.

       

      The docker has one logic input and one output. Linking an activation block to the Docker will cause that docker to undock on activation. Placing an activation block next to the docker will cause it to activate on docking, and deactivate on undocking.

       

      Rail Movement

      As said, you are now able to make rail tracks by using the basic rails as well as the rail rotators explained below. Movement can be done in all three dimensions, and the rail docker will move on, as long as it has a tail track it can go to. It will stop if anything is in the way, or if there is no more rail to go onto. The direction of the rail to go onto can be different from the rail the block moves from as long as the primary face of the rail still touches the rail docker block.

      Rail Rotator

      There are two types of rail rotators. Clockwise and counterclockwise. Upon docking or moving onto this block, the docked entity will do a 90 degree turn, and then move on in the direction the rotator block is pointing if it can. The amount as well as the degree of the block can be dynamically modified with the logic system. Connect up to 9 activation blocks to any rotator block to control the amount of rotation. The amount of active activation blocks determine the block’s rotation. Each active block will add 45 degrees. If all 9 are active, the block will constantly rotate.

       

      Keep in mind, that to re engage a rotation, the logic system as explained below can be used.

       

      Rail manipulation

      Rail manipulation allows for full control of rails. It works like a template copy & paste system:

      All logic blocks that are placed next to a rail block have this rail block as an input to overwrite other rail blocks.

      That means if you place an activation block with a basic rail block pointing forward next to it, and then connect that activation block to one or more other rail blocks, upon activation, all connected blocks will be replaced with the rail block pointing forward. If more than one rail block is next to an activation block, the system will take one pretty much randomly, so that is not recommended. The same also works for rail rotator blocks. Using it on a rotator block also resets it so if there is an entity currently on the rotator block, it will then rotate again with the new parameters. Basic rail blocks and rail rotator blocks are also interchangeable, allowing for more control over how docked entity move and rotate on a single rail layout.

       

      Rail Logic

      Everything rails is controllable via the logic system. The rails have inputs which is the rail manipulation mentioned above, but they also have outputs. Every activation block that is next to a rail is activated when the rail docker block of the docked entity moves on it, and deactivated when it leaves it. The new button block also works in this way to detect a docked entity, sending out a 0.5 second on signal when the rail docker block passes over the rail next to it.

       

      Rail Speed Control

      The rail speed controller is another block that can be used to manipulate how fast a rail moves a docked entity. It can be connected to any amount of activation blocks. The ratio of active blocks to inactive blocks determines how fast the rail will move in percent of the maximal speed. So connecting 5 active and 5 inactive is 50% speed, the same as connecting 100 active and 100 inactive. The rails that should be under influence of the speed controller also have to be connected to it. Using shift-V on rails connects straight lines of rails quicky. Also, mass plays a role in rail speed. Should the mass get too high, the speed of the rail will get slowed down eventually to a minimum. To combat this speed decrease, rail mass enhancer blocks have to be placed to increase the load every rail on the ship can take. These blocks do cost a little power.

       

      Reasoning why rail controls work this way

      Some people might think: “Why can’t I just set the amount of rotation and speed in a menu?”. The reason is, that it would be then a static value, unless scripting is used. The rail system is fully dynamic and gives visual feedback. So you can change speed, rotation, and rail directions at any time manually or triggered by the logic system. Having it in a script would firstly be harder to understand and learn, secondly break with the game’s principle of using block architecture to solve problems, and lastly would be more a simulator or programming studio than a game.

      Allowing dynamic control through logic enables a lot more control of movement.
       

      Here’s one example of this as created by Crimson-Artist

       

      Rail Turret

      With the rail system, turrets have been completely redesigned, too. Over are the times where turrets would glitch into the ship, and would look awkward with limited options to manipulate and control them.

      The new system works with a 2-axis system. That means you can use at minimum one and at most 2 separate entities to form a turret.

      The first one is the turret basis. This one can only be moved horizontally (rotate left/right), probably best imagined like a turret works on a battleship. The second one is the turret’s barrel, that, again like on a battleship can move vertically (rotate up/down). The cool thing is, that if you enter the turret on the barrel, you will have control over both parts at the same time, which would allow for turrets with full 360% freedom in all directions. However be aware that the turrets also now check the collision with its mothership and other docked entities and will restrict its movement in doing so.

      The AI is fully integrated as well, and will work with almost any turret when placed on the barrel part. While in the turret its rotation can be reset by pressing ‘C’. You can also reset all turrets to the orientation they were in when you docked in the structure menu (under ‘rail system’).

      AI will also reset the turrets after a while of not fighting. Currently it’s instant movement on reset to avoid getting stuck, but in the future the reset will also be smooth.

      Please not there are still some minor issues with some turrets controlled by AI getting stuck. We are trying to fix that ASAP. Meanwhile please use teh reset feature.

       

      Power and Shield Sharing

      To provide even more freedom when designing rails, you can now use the full power provided by the mothership and any docked entity in between.

      The same goes for shields: If a turret or other dock gets hit, the chain to the mothership will check if any ship in between can take the hit. The requirement for overtaking a hit is that the ship must have above 50% of its shields and at least as many shields to take the full hit for the turret.

       

       

      Thats all for now,

      Thanks for playing StarMade,

      - schema and the Schine Team

    • Mar22

      Recent Q&A

      Greetings Players,

      Recently the team was contacted by members of our Russian speaking community asking if us to contribute to a Q&A that they might translate for their fellow players.  The following is what was discussed so that all Starmade players might have some more insight into our current and future plans.  

      -Q&A with the dev team-

      Bobby AI, would it be able to be coded, or more commands and modes available.
      Ingame coding. Scripting like in Space Engineers?

      This is planned so far, but not in the near future. Lua support is already in the game, although it is currently only used for conversation scripting with NPCs. Although, it is not an easy task to create more specific commands before all game mechanics are fully implemented.

      Official mods, will it be able to mod the game via official API?
      Yes

      If available, what abilities will get the API? Change NPC, balance, gameplay, blocks, AI?
      There are already a lot of options to alter the game server-side without need of any third party files being installed.
      Besides the “server.cfg” located in root directory of the server,
      please check /data/config/ directory of the server.

      FactionConfig.xml - Alters all faction point related settings
      GameConfigDefault.xml - Allows setting the starting items, credits, blueprints

      blockConfig.xml - Edit every blocks hitpoints, texture, armor, other stats (supports adding new groups for the shop for example)
      blockBehaviorConfig.xml - alter all weapon stats, jump settings, it is even possible to create or remove the ability to link specific weapons

      there will be a lot more, and there is a full API planned, but as long as the game is not finished yet (particularly missing features), it wouldn’t make any sense to release a full api, as many mods would have to be rewritten on every release, and this causes a lot of confusion, delays to updates for players and also some problems that we may not be able to predict at the moment.
      However, almost everything is already moved to config files, so its already possible to replace and alter all blocks and functions in the game and also their behaviour to some extent.

      Official documentation of game formats (like .sment, smb2 etc.)
      this is partially done already in our wiki:

      http://starmadepedia.net/wiki/Blueprint_File_Formats

      More logic blocks, elements?
      We are open to all useful additions, feel free to forward suggestions to us.

      Availability to restrict any kind of entities, like planets, asteroids, pirates, stations etc. via config?
      This is currently only possible in battle-mode, this allows a size and mass limit per ship.
      Restricting the total server wide amount of entities of some type is not planned at the moment, though it might be something the API would allow later on.

      Will we be able to configure servers in a way to make it accessable only for players who bought the game, like Minecraft? For ex. I don't want to accept players without buying the game to prevent griefing or something.
      While we are still free to play, there is no configurable difference between “upgraded” and “limited” accounts.
      However, it is already possible and default to require an account per ingame name (there is also a server setting to allow a set number of names per account).
      Beware: even “upgraded” accounts can have multiple ingame nicks.
      But with both options form server.cfg:

      USE_STARMADE_AUTHENTICATION = true //allow star-made.org authentication

      REQUIRE_STARMADE_AUTHENTICATION = true //require star-made.org authentication (USE_STARMADE_AUTHENTICATION must be true)

      You can enforce every nickname on the server to be identity safe.
      To limit everyone to one-identity you have to use the whitelist feature.
      You can either whitelist accounts, which allows every account to have multiple in game names on the server, or whitelist names, which effectively limits every name to be registered with your administrators (together with above settings they are also protected to belong to a single name then.)


      What about rails? When?
      There is no fixed ETA at the moment, but they are one of the next two main features coming up.

      Reactors are now very complicated, will you make it simpler, or harder, or may be you will change formulas for other blocks?
      Reactors are not very complicated at the moment, Please read our wiki regarding this:

      http://starmadepedia.net/wiki/Power_Systems

      its currently relative easy to set them up.
      However, this concept is not set in stone,
      once we see the need for a change or addition we may change it.
      Other blocks like shields and weapons are constantly tweaked to the needs of players and other development steps. We are often considering improvements to various systems, whether or not we actually plan to change them. 

      New mobs? Custom models for mobs?
      Animals, aliens, evolution, meteor strikes, quests during space adventure and so on?

      New Mobs, yes, they are planned, (evolution might be a hard thing to pull off though.)
      However, the other functions (quests, aliens/npc-factions) are a sure thing for the future but not for now.

      Gas and gas planets? Anomalies?
      We would like to add these yes.

      Moons for planets?
      Also planned

      Shipyards? Automatic building ships?
      Yes shipyards are a confirmed long term feature we are working towards.
      The blueprint meta item was one step towards them. Rails are also a step on the way to have automated shipyards of some type. 

      Repairing ships via blueprint?
      Yes, this is planned.

      Limit of ship size via configs?
      Currently only in battlemode, 
      although this implies it could become a regular server setting in the future.

      AI fleet? 
      Commands to AI?

      Yes, we have plans to implement AI and fleet control functions as well as personal commands you can issue to NPC’s under your control.

      Economy, what's next?
      The universe overhaul was one step for it, in the long term it’s planned to build some automated and self sustaining economy by utilizing AI-Fleets and NPC-Factions to create a universe that lives and reacts to player actions. Like flooding one area with cheap system blocks will make the price drop in that area and cause NPC-Fleets to distribute them to other systems, while this may lead to another set of tasks, quests for the player (escort fleet, Paid cargo transfers, etc.)

      Automatic prices change, availability to change the range?
      This functionality is in the config now, some of the controls were more recent, others have existed for some time. Further controls are also planned (custom rarity settings per block per shop, bulk purchases of low value item types; ie, dirt/rock/plant stacks for less than 1 credit per item.)

      Factories on ships?
      Factories on ships is possible now, however, we have held off on implementing them, as we feel there needs to be a method of counterbalancing this “perk” on a ship. We have a type of non combat system balancing planned called “capital systems” this won’t make your ship a capital ship, but it would typically apply to things you would find on larger ships with a specific non combat role (like a giant factory ship.) These will dynamicly apply a range of potential downsides depending on what and how much you have of number of non combat functions. 

      Cabin for pilot, not the abstract core?
      We have talked about this, and are interesting in implementing it yes. We’re pretty sure how we want to go about it, we just have not had the time to update this yet. 

      Armor, that will take % of damage, not fixed values?
      May indirectly be covered by an upcoming armor/hitpoint overhaul.

      Limit size of storages?
      Yes, planned by limiting stack sizes at some later point in the game.

      Version 1.0? When?
      Version 1.0 will happen when we have implemented all the major features that we feel are vital to gameplay and have resolved the bugs that come up as these features are completed. Theres never really an accurate ETA on this. 

      Changing of build mode? More tools in advanced mode?
      Build mode will be limited in some way, once the shipyards are done.
      However, there are already a lot of tools like replace, build helpers and templates to copy and paste sections between ships and stations. If there is anything useful/awesome missing, feel free to bring it to our attention in the suggestions section.

      Weapon system, will it behave more realistic? For example like linear ships XVIII ages. I mean weapon sight can't deflect more than 10-20 degrees?
      The topic of restricting the aiming reticle is pretty highly contested. However, we believe there is a dynamic solution (for all types/sizes) available that we will try out at some point.

      Newton physics? Movement like in reality?
      There are currently some settings in your configs to modify the linear and rotational drag you experience in the game. In addition to this, we are looking at modifications to our flight mechanics (ships & missiles) to cause them to perform in a more natural (and less limited) manner. 

      Faction module. Individual permissions?
      Currently its only possible to set edit permissions per faction rank. 
      We would like to have name based permissions, but this may end up being difficult to achieve without potentially impacting performance, as it means additional meta data needed per ship per name. Still, it would be cool to have.

      Shops, availability to control shop for few persons or whole faction?
      It is already possible to add individual owners to a shop, leading to a per-person control over the shop. Adjusting the groups able to use the shop is currently generalized to:

      “All”,
      “Allies Only”
      “No enemies” and
      “Faction only”

      As multiple stations in one system are no problem, it would be no problem to set up one shop for the faction, and another for the public, or even a separate for allies only.

      -- Schine Team

    • Mar16

      StarMade v0.1917: Completely new advanced Chat

      Hello players,


      HOTFIX #1 (v0.19171):

      • Server
        • Console input using /chat will now be sent to the general channel.
        • The /chatchannel "channelname" "message" command can be used to send to specific channels.
        • Chat output in log has been restructure to be easier to parse for server admins.
        • Skin validation has been fixed, so skin distribution should now work again
        • Skin upload/download rates can now be defined in the server.cfg
      • Client
        • Fixed window not scrolling to the bottom on multilined chat

      HOTFIX #2 (v0.19173):

      • Server
        • fixed server crash on specific skin upload requests
        • fixed server crash and general problems of the unique id of entities being too big (DATABASE TRUNCATION)
        • fixed log output spam from requesting zones

      another update has just been uploaded. While work is still going on on all the new gameplay features, which will hopefully come out in short succession to each other, here is an update that will make chatting ingame a lot more comfortable to use and manage.

       

      Redesigned Chat

      Since we didn’t want to go for an only slightly better chat, we tried to go for the full package: That means a full channel systems with passwords, moderators, auto-rejoin, and on-hud-customization.

       

      Channels

      The chat is now structured in channels. There is a general output always on your hud where all messages from systems, and channels you have joined but aren’t currently open for hud are displayed.

       

      But of course if you open the channel and fix it to the hud, the messages will only display there.

       

      There are a few default channels that are autocreated. These channels also can’t be left and there is no moderation. The General channel, and the Faction channel (which is auto-created for each faction). Moderation in the General chat is equal to moderation of admins in general. Moderation for faction channels can be done by removing someone from a faction.

      But the most important channels are the custom channels. Any user may create temporal channels. These channels exist as long as there is at least on online player in it, and will automatically be removed otherwise (to prevent channel spam and abuse).

      Furthermore admins can create permanent channels, which exist as long as an admin doesn’t delete it. It will also still exist if the server restarts. The channels password/options are saved.

      Each channel has moderators. They have the ‘@’ sign in front of the name. Furthermore you can now identify server admins have the ‘§’ sign additionally. Admins always have moderator powers, and can join any password protected channel.

      Also all messages are still logged on server in ./chatLogs, now by channel. The protection against other clients has been improved significantly. It is now impossible to hack a client to read other players PM’s and messages of a channel the client isn’t in. This is done by single casting messages only to the clients that are supposed to get it. It’s a more complicated system to design, but has many other advantages also, like less bandwidth used.

      You can private message now with any player conveniently by just right clicking on his name in any chat. A private message channel is handled like a temporal channel and will only exist as long as both players are online (in fact the channels exist on the clients only, as the server just forwards the message to the specific clients).

       

      On-Hud-Customization

      Also all chat panels can now be pinned to the hud. that means multiple chat windows can be displayed at all times exactly where you want them to be. This will get some additional improvements in the future like color coding of the background, and more.

       

      Auto-Rejoin Channels

      Channel positions and options are also saved on logout. While a client will also never receive a password of a channel, the system saves the last password the client has used.

       

      This means on rejoining (each by server of course), the system will automatically attempt to rejoin all channels that were open.


       

      ATI and Intel problems

      There have been some bugfixes for both Intel and ATI cards. If there are further problems, please create a ticket and we will try to solve the problem asap.

       

      Other stuff

      I feel a little bad for not bringing any gameplay features lately, so I will work extra hard to get new shiny things to you as fast as possible!


       

      Thanks for playing StarMade,

      - schema and the Schine Team