big things are coming:
Faction Point System
This system is a big addition. It will shape the multiplayer experience of StarMade, and takes it to a whole new level.
There was often criticism that there is not much to do after building, and this is the first step to change that. A lot more stuff will come in that regard.
This system was planned for almost 2 years now, and I'm finally having the core systems developed to a state where this is viable.
Also, one of the things that were most important to me, was that the design is abstract and can be adopted and changed should there be any need.
In a "lets just add this feature without making any groundwork" approach, I would have probably got it out way faster, but the problems that players and me would run in over time would have taken more time than getting the basics in an acceptable state for it.
The system is an essential part of the galaxy redesign. I've made it available first so existing servers can test it on the current universe structure. A lot of things of course don't matter as much or matter more as long as the structure redesign isn't released.
All numbers I mention in this whole faction point system explanation are all exposed in configs, so they are very simple to change.
But on to what the system actually is:
Faction Points are a new form of currency in StarMade and shall be abbreviated FP from here on out :). They are shared throughout the faction, and in the future can be made physical for reasons I will go into later.
Their value can not be compared to credits and resources, as their total availability doesn't follow the principle of an infinite universe like credits and resources do.
Their existence as the name says depends on the factions of a server. So on a server with more players the overall faction point count will naturally be higher (but the demand is also rising with that)
Faction Point Acquisition
A server now does hourly calculations. I'll call this a "turn" from now on.
At the end of a turn the following will happen:
- You get 50 FP for every online member of your faction
- You get 20 FP for every active online member of your faction (see member activity)
- You get 0 FP for every inactive member of your faction (see member activity)
A member counts as active if the member at least spent 10 minutes playing within 48 hours. After 48 hours after logoff, the member will become inactive and the faction no longer gets any FP from his membership.
There are several methods in place to combat FP farming with multiple nicks on the same server.
One of the biggest things to come with FP is the ability for factions to take territory. You can take a whole 16x16x16 sector chunk at once. 16x16x16 sectors are also known as "Galaxy System".
Taking a sector can be done easily with the faction module on a station or planet. If someone else has already taken the galaxy system, that faction module has to be destroyed before another faction can take the system.
Territory has the following advantages:
- Mining bonus in that galaxy system of 6x (other factions get 3x still in an owned galaxy system so be alert of eventual thieves.
- The faction gets a notice whenever a player enters their territory. You even get a faction news post if that player is an enemy. (No names are transmitted though)
- Scanning range (see scanning)
Faction point spending and loss
Of course you can't just go and claim every galaxy system as fast as possible. The following are the costs explained:
- Each owned galaxy system costs 10 FP each turn
- Each owned galaxy system costs FP in the distance in systems it is from the homebase (or a random owned system when no homebase exists)
- Each owned galaxy system costs FP in the distance it is from a galaxy center (something that will be more clear with the structure update. it is the galaxy system 0,0,0 in this case)
- The cost for center distance will decrease the more total territory is taken. This means, factions will probably move together a bit. Roaming vagabonds are still a thing since they don't use too much points (the first system is free). However they don't have the luxury of a bigger base of course.
You can also lose FP from player deaths
- Each player death costs a fixed FP amount
- Each player death costs also an FP amount times the amount of members in the faction. That means that while you get more FP each turn with a bigger faction, you lose more when someone gets killed. suicide does not count in that regard. There will also be a way to temorarily turn it off for minigames by admins.
- After dying, the player gets a 30 min protection of losing faction points again.
Repercussions for to few FP
Should at the end of a turn the FP of a faction be below zero, the faction will lose the galaxy system that is farthest from the homebase (random if there is none).
As an option for admins to turn on, the home base will also become attackable when the faction loses all its territory and are below 0 at the next turn.
This is a new block you can put on your ship or station. Its mechanics work similar to the jump drive as it needs to be charged up to do a scan.
But unlike the jump drive, the scanner will automatically charge. You are also only allowed one scanner per structure.
The basic range of the scanners is fixed, but also depend on the territory you are in. The recharge time depends on how many blocks you place, of course costing more power.
- In an allied territory you get twice the default scan range (as do the owners)
- The owners of a galaxy system ADDITIONALLY get the whole system scanned.
- If you scan in an enemy territory, your scan range is halved
- if you scan in an owned system, you always get the location of the station that has the faction module owning it.
This means with good strategy and infrastructure, as soon as your faction gets signal of someone intruding, you can send a player with a scanner ship into that galaxy system which can find out the exact position.
Scans are a snapshot, so to track moving targets, you need a very good recharge.
Scans are also persistent, so you always, even after logging out and in again, have access to the last 5 scans you made.
Future Uses for Faction Points
In the future, faction points will be the main currency for diplomacy and missions. The only way to earn additional FP is to do missions.
But also factions themselves can issue missions. A faction can pay FP for a bounty on the head of another player, or for a mission taker getting them an amount of resources. And many more.
Faction points will also be usable to replenish asteroids in a galaxy system.
Because nobody would be able to remember all the rules and keep track, the GUI has been expanded with several statistical functions regarding FP and scans.
Just click the "Faction Point" button in the faction tab, and it will tell you exactly how much you gained and lost, listed per type. it also gives you an overview of all your owned systems.
You can access your scans in your navigation panel.
Almost all the things you just read are already implemented. One big thing that is left is the galaxy map, which i hope to finish in a few days.
You can already check out the system in the current dev build.
The spawners explained
In the last update you saw the first occurrence of spawners. This system an abstract system which is not only there to spawn in creatures.
Spanwers have conditions and components.
Conditions plenty, and the first implemented are:
- Block exists
- Less than x creatures on that structure
- Less than x creatures in that sector
- Player proximity
Conditions can be configured and combined as pleased. If all conditions are met, all components are called. These include at the moment:
- Spawn creature
- Spawn meta item
- Spawn item
There will be many more coming, as the spawners will be a vital part of the mission system planned.
I hope you like the new additions,
Thanks for playing StarMade,
another update with new features and bug fixes. Due to some more pressing bugs with multi slots and some finally fixed server issues, this update is being pushed a little bit sooner than I thought.
Here are the new Features:
Build Helper Restriction
Build helpers now allow building restriction to be turned on and off. Build restriction means, that you can only build or remove inside the Build Helper area. This should make using them even easier. Furthermore, most of the work has been put into a thread to prevent the game from freezing and eventually disconnecting when selecting a build helper.
This last piece of the crafting update has now been done. Prices of items are now based each other
Secret little Special Feature
A secret feature has been added. I will talk about it in detail tomorrow. You will maybe run into it if you explore a neutral space station that has not been found before on foot. This is a proof of concept of what is to come next
Custom Server Textures and adaptive BlockConfig
This feature was requested for some time. Admins can now create their own blocks without having to resort to the default sheets, which eventually overwrite it. Also distributing custom texture has been not an easy task. Furthermore, a modified config had to be changed every time the game updates. All these problems are no longer an issue.
Here is how it works:
An admin can place the texture sheet and their normals (if needed) into ./StarMade/customBlockTextures/64, 128 and 256 as custom.png and custom_NRM.png. The game will create a the default structure when starting it once with the update. These textures are packed into pack.zip when starting the game and sent to the clients. The clients can accept or decline the download. Server admins are responsible for their content.
The adaptive BlockConfig works in a similar matter. Copy the BlockConfigImportTemplate.xml in ./StarMade/customBlockConfig/ to ConfigImportTemplate.xml. This file is a stub with two examples. The file will merge with the current block config, only replacing fields that changed, or adding a new block if it didn't exist before. In the blocks.properties there have meen made 256 values to use which won't get overwritten by something else in the game.
Clients ask for a hashcode before downloading so they can verify if they already have the textured cached for that server, so each client only needs to download the textures once, or when they changed.
Server save optimization
This optimization should help servers that have huge lags when the server is saving the game, especially with bigger stations and planets. It also increases performance if a lot sector changes are done.
Server crash fix
Another crash on servers has been fixed. This harder to find issue was caused by a running condition.
As always, thanks to the testers!
Multiple warpgates are now working on the same space stations (as it was always intended). Also the multislot bugs should be fixed. If not, please report.
Thanks for playing StarMade,
another update is uploading now. Of course there has been further work on the universe, but it's something that needs a lot of fundamential ground work so it will take some more time.
Here are the new features and changes:
Calbiri put in a lot of work to make crafting more enjoyable and more balanced. The essential system is still the same.
When putting raw resources into the capsule refinery you will now get 10 generic resources (alloyed metal mesh and crystal circuits depending on the raw type), as well as 5 capsules of the raw flavor. But the 5 extra capsules will only be made in the capsule refinery. In the personal refinery, you will just get the generics.
You can turn the capsules into generic resources in the micro factory, too, but depending on strategy it might be better to hold on to them, since they are needed in more advanced recipes.
The micro factory also can process scrap, which I will talk about in the next section.
There now are 3 types of factories: The basic which replaces the macro, which can make all essential block needed for survival, the standard factory which you can make from the basic, which has most of the ship building materials, and the advanced which makes all the effects and more advanced stuff in the game.
Please note that all placed factories/refineries consume power as long as they are switched on, even if there is nothing to produce.
All newly generated/spawned neutral stations will now be scrap. This means harvesting blocks will get you scrap, instead of the blocks themselves, which you can turn into generic resources. You can repair a scrap station by pressing M on a block of the station. This will turn all blocks into real blocks, but the price to repair is the price of all blocks in that station.
This is done to prevent the get-rich-quick method of stripping down space stations. They still have a lot of value, but it's much more balanced now. A trick is for example to strip a space station down to one block, and then repair it for cheap, to have a very cheap space station, since you only pay for one block.
IMPORTANT: Placing blocks on a not repaired scrap station will turn any block into scrap, so you will lose that block, unless you buy the station. Only newly generated Station are scrap station, so if you have build on them already, everything is like it was before on those.
Raw resource texture switch
As it was often pointed out, and also our own opinion, the overlay texture for metal looked more like crystal, and vice versa. These textures have now been switched around. We have planned that for some time, but we waited for the crafting update to do it, so it's all in one with the new system.
You can now manage multiple universes (databases) in the same client. You can also import and export universes to share with other people. The button to do that is in the startup settings.
Another change are multi slots. Those were harder to implement as I though, since there are so many cases of those slots interacting with other multi-slots, compatible multi-slots, other compatible single slots, incompatible single slots... you get the idea ^^
Basically these slots hold all shapes of the same type of block in one slot: Normal, wedge, penta, tetra, and corner. You can just drag them together to form a multislot, and right click them to take specific blocks out. To use in buildmode you can just scroll over them to select the block you need to build. This will make building a lot faster and more efficient, as the number of objects that can be in the hotbar at the same time rises to max 5 times what it was before.
Server Lockup fix
A bug that has been around for a very long time has been finally caught in the act. This bug caused servers to lock up, and all players to disconnect until a forced restart.
Other Bug Fixes
there were other fixes, too, but I will go in detail in the next update. As always, thanks to all the testers!
The next update will have something special (if everything goes well).
Keep voting in the station contest,
Thanks for playing StarMade,
The polls for the new default stations are up and tallying votes! Check out the Trade Guild / Abandoned / Pirates polls to browse the the thumbnails, look up their content pages, even find the Dev Server locations of each station to have a look in person, then cast your votes. You may also download all the station entries Here. Many thanks to AndyP for helping sort out all the stations, links, pictures, downloads and information. Each player may vote for 5 stations per category, you may change your votes at any point, but the polls and votes will lock once the polls have reached their 21 day time limit. To access the Dev Server, make sure you are running the latest dev build, then in the launcher, select the multiplayer option and this IP play.star-made.org:4242
Many changes have been occuring to crafting in the dev build and players who have tried the recent dev builds have been quite helpful with their input. After listening to some issues and concerns and doing a bit of playtesting ourselves (Schema won a Race to Space survival match!) We have found that some of the changes to crafting costs didnt transfer over very well. These issues, mostly revolving around resource refinement, should be fixed in the latest dev build being uploaded today. There have also been several other major changes to resource gathering that we felt important to inform players of rather than forcing players to discover through trial and error (and frustration)
- Capsule Refining - The players personal refinery (the one in your inventory) will no longer grant capsules, instead it will grant 10 Alloyed Mesh or 10 Composite Crystals, depending on the raw resource used. To obtain the named crystal and metal capsules used in the more advanced crafting recipes, players will need to craft and place the Capsule Refinery block. When using the Capsule Refinery block, raw resources will be processed into 5 capsules (based on the raw resource used) in addition to providing the 10 Alloyed Mesh or 10 Composite Crystals. Processing the new rocks in the Capsule Refinery block will yeild 30 capsules of the appropriate type, these are useful for making paint and making carved stone, as well as possible future recipes.
- The players personal salvage beam has a 25% chance to obtain one bonus raw resource when mining, since players have an easier time spotting additional resources within a block that a ships salvage system might otherwise miss.
- Using Build Blocks to strip mine no longer yeilds raw resources as they lack the proper mining and sorting hardware found in specailized salvage equipment.
- We are working on changing how the salvage beams mining frequency occurs to close up a salvage speed exploit some players had found in specific ship setups.
- Abandoned Station now spawn in with a new condition applied to them. When you try salvaging them, or building on them, you will receive a warning message informing you that the station is worn and decayed. Placing blocks onto the station in this state will cause those blocks to also become worn. Blocks placed will still function on these stations, but when picked up or salvaged, all blocks on Abandoned Stations will yeild only Scrap Alloy or Scrap Composite. These scraps can subsequently be refined by a Micro Assembler to create additional Alloyed Metal Mesh and Composite Crystal Blocks. This makes abandoned a decent source of materials for begining players, instead of a get rich quick scheme. If players find they enjoy a particular station and would like to make it their own, they can pay to have it refurbished. This will charge the player a price based on the blocks on the station (including any blocks placed by the player). This then allows the player to salvage normal blocks, as well as giving you the opportunity to rename the station as you see fit. A good strategy for newer players may be to salvage the decrepit station down to just a few blocks, then pay a cheap price to have it refurbished, giving a fair amount of starting resources as well as a cheap base.
- The Capsule Refinery will now also display what items are created from refining specific resources.
Players looking into the new dev build will notice that there is now a World Manager button in the launcher. This will allow players to play on various different single player saves without needing to reset their universe or run multiple starmade folders.
Thanks for playing!
Schema mentioned that we would be holding off on releasing the new crafting system recipes so that we can get some play testing done on it. So, now that version 0.1726 is available to download as a Dev version, you can update to this latest build and try the crafting system out for yourself. The Dev Server will be running the latest builds, so if you want to test the crafting out in a multiplayer environment, use this IP
Speaking of the Dev Server, you may also use it to preveiw all the stations entered win the Default Station Contest. The first poll for that is now available http://starmadedock.net/threads/default-trade-station-poll.3560/
Check out the stations on the server, check out their content pages, browse the pictures, and then vote a total of 5 times for your favorite stations. This poll is only for the Trade Guild entries, the next two polls should be up within a day or two.
Other news on the Dev Build is that new item descriptions are in the works (many are already in) the shop lists are getting some vitally needed re-organization.
Remember to remind your friends to vote on the stations!
Thanks for playing