Space Clouds

Balance Talks P1: Ships

Balancing the Books

We have had many discussions about “Balance” on our Discord server these last few months. In this blog post I’d like to explain how we determine if something is “balanced”, the issues we are currently dealing with and generally talk a whole lot of math. If you are not interested in heavily theoretical discussions, feel free to ignore this blog post in its entirety. For everyone else: Welcome to my world. Let me show you around.

During the years I’ve worked on Star Sonata, one question has come up often: “Is this thing balanced?”. Initially, it seemed like a very easy question to answer: If the balance sheets say it’s balanced, it’s balanced. End of discussion. Assuming that the balance sheets are perfect, however, is dangerous. Star Sonata has evolved massively over time, do the basic principles used in the balance sheets still hold?

Star Sonata is a game of synergies. Any change in a ship’s equipment has a cascading, multiplicative effect. And most importantly: The resulting changes are usually very, very significant. It’s not a matter of doing 5% or 10% more damage, it’s more often a matter of hundreds of percentages of difference.

It is due to this fact that even just a few items being ever so slightly too strong can make the entire balance feel off. It would of course be disingenuous to say that no items currently existing in the game are more than just “slightly” too strong, but more on that later.

In Star Sonata, a ship’s strength is the product of its parts. To put it into very simplified, but mathematical terms, it would be something like this:

Player strength = Weapon * Energy * Shield * Ship * Augmenters * Skills

This means that if Player B had gear that was just 10% better than Player A, he would in fact be 10%^5 =61% stronger!

While this is a simplified way of looking at player strength (Would an energy bank that is 10% better really increase the entire player’s strength by 10%? Probably not), it does highlight the main challenge: If items increase in power over tech, this increase has to be handled very carefully to keep the gap between techs reasonable.

Armed with this knowledge, let’s look at how Star Sonata’s balance sheets work exactly.

Balance Sheets

All balance sheets have a set of parameters that they use to approximate how powerful an item should be. These parameters are:

  • Cost (Very, very cheap -> Insane)

  • Acquire Method (Common -> Hard Build)

  • Weight (Ultralight -> Extremely Heavy)

  • Size (MicroMicro -> Gargantuan)

Each sheet combines these modifiers into a “balance power”, a rough representation of the item’s allowed power, which is then translated into actual stats, which is roughly:

Balance Power = Base Item Power * Tech Modifier * Cost Modifier * Acq. Method Modifier * Weight Modifier * Size Modifier

Since the Base Item Power is constant for each type of item and Tech Modifier is constant per tech, it is only Cost, Acquire Method, Weight and Size that make up the difference in power between items at a specific tech.

 


 Tangent: Examples

To show how much of a difference these can make:

A normal cost, common, normal weight, normal size item would result in being exactly Base Item Power * Tech Modifier.

An expensive (x1.25 price), hard to build, normal weight, normal size item would be Base Item Power * Tech Modifier * 1.02 * 1.3, so 32.6% stronger than the base item!

And the extreme end:

An insanely expensive (x100 price), hard to build, extremely heavy (x10 weight), gargantuan (x10 size) item

1.2 * 1.3 * (1/0.9) * (1/0.6) = 2.89 , that’s +189% stronger than the “normal” power of an item at this tech!


The individual balance sheets have additional parameters that need to be entered, for example:

  • Lasers: Range, Firing arc and Damage type

  • Ships: Hull, Speed, Weapon Slots, Augmenter Slots, Visibility, Diameter, Resistances

In the case of lasers, the balance sheet is able to calculate a DPS and DPE from the item’s Balance Power and damage type. More “useful” damage types, such as mining and surgical have lower overall power. Mining has the lowest DPE, Radiation has slightly higher DPE, and Physical has the highest DPE. Size class has an additional effect on a weapon’s DPE: big weapons have a lower DPE (=more DPS), small weapons have a higher DPE (=less DPS).

The lasers size is calculated from its range, firing arc and size class.

Ships

The balance sheet for ships is a different matter. Calculating a Balance Power, which is then translated into actual stats is not feasible. Ships are simply too complicated for that. They have a myriad of stats that matter significantly. In order to automatically calculate stats of a ship of a specific strengths, the balance sheet would have to have a lot of restrictions. In essence we would be sacrificing variety for theoretical balance.

What the balance sheet for ships does instead is the following:

Assign a value (i.e. X Weapon slots are worth Y) and a scaling (i.e. hull space is valued exponentially, sort of) to every stat of a ship. These values are added together and then compared to a guideline, which is the value a generic ship of this tech and rarity should have. If the ship’s value is approximately near (+/- 30%) this guideline, it is considered balanced by the balance sheet. It’s a relatively big range, but that’s quite intentional: With so many variables in play, there needs to be room for common sense.

 


 Tangent: Example: What’s the worth of a zebu?

Hullspace (75) is worth 18,8

Speed (100) is worth 33,97

Aug Slots (3) are worth 1,64

Weapon Slots (3) are worth 1,05

Vis (12) is worth 1,374

Diameter (=Reflectivity) (33) is worth 0,391

Taking the product of all of those results in a combat value of ~591.

The average combat value for a normal price, common, but heavier tech 0 ship is considered to be:

570 * (1/0,98) = 581,63

591 / 581,63 = 1,02 Great, it’s balanced!

…but there’s also some inbuilt aug stats in the zebucart that have to be considered, bumping this value up to 1.22. That means it’s 22% above where it should be. Still okay!


 Is this a good approach? Does this result in balanced ships?

Maybe. Nobody knows. Here’s why:

 

 

While the 1.0 +/- 30% holds for low-tech ships, newer additions over every tech have mostly ignored the guidelines the sheet offers.

It is also noteworthy just how much these numbers vary from each other. Something clearly isn’t working well.

So if we assume that these ships are in fact okay, a fair assumption to make as most of them are used (perhaps with the exception of the Wrathful Deployer and the Samgrahak’ayu), then it would be great to figure out a way to confirm that. If we can confirm it, ideally through some sort of math, we can definitively answer our initial question of “Is this thing balanced?” for every ship!

The root of the problem.

The initial approach of assigning a value to each stat is sound, but how valuable is each stat? For most stats, it simply boils down to “How much of this stat do we expect people to have” and “How big should the spread be”. If speed was a very cheap stat, everyone would have very fast ships. If more speed was more expensive (i.e. the exponent of its value was higher), then faster ships would have to sacrifice more from other stat. The same line of argumentation applies to most other stats, except…

Resistances

The value of resistances is calculated as follows (Note however that we don’t use the resistance here (i.e. 0.9 for 90% resistance), but rather the multiplier (i.e. 0.1 for 90%) resistance.

So in short: A HIGH resistance will cause the number at the bottom of the fraction to be LOW, which in turn makes the entire value HIGH.

But… Laser resistance is valued triple. That means Laser resistance has a higher effect on the resistance value than other damage types, but in a good way. In other words: It is easier to get away with having high laser resist than other types.

This is an artifact from ancient times, when lasers (i.e. weapons that hit their targets instantly) were nearly always laser damage. Getting killed instantly is no fun, so laser resistance was intentionally more common and higher. Nowadays, that assumption no longer holds. While Laser damage is a damage type with inherently higher power, so is energy. And energy lasers exist…

The lowest resistance is valued 4 times as much (or 6 if it happens to be laser). That means a high weakness would… wait a minute! We’re dealing with MODIFIERS (i.e. 0% resistance is 1.0, 100% resistance is 0.0). But in that last bit, we take the highest modifier OR 1.0, which will always be 1.0!

So a value that should scale like this (and therefore make a ship that is super resistant to everything nearly impossible):

instead scales like THIS (and therefore actually allows fully invulnerable ships without issue!):

Ooops.

Augmenter Slots

The other very interesting topic is Augmenter Slots, or the question: “How much strength does each augmenter slot add to a ship”?

The value of an aug slot probably depends on the value of an augmenter, which get stronger over techs (so an aug slot on a high tech ship is worth more than one on a low-tech ship). It probably also has diminishing returns due to the additive nature of augmods, but…


 Tangent: Augmod value

The value of Augmods is determined through relations between the different stats and assumptions about the general meta and educated guesses.

Damage is considered the standard, i.e. +100% damage is a value of 1, every other stat is derived from there. Rate of Fire is much cheaper, since it affects DPS just like Damage, but does not affect DPE. Multifire is slightly more expensive due to the high alpha strike damage potential, but the same principle applies.

An Augmenter is considered balanced if the sum of the value of its bonuses is exactly the value of the augmenter power progression curve for its tech. In short: Add all the bonuses together, compare to the expected value, done.

 


…what about synergies? An individual augmenter CANNOT be balanced around the synergies it provides, nor can it be balanced around every combination with every other aug possible. A single aug with +100% Damage and a single aug with +100% RoF provide the same bonus to DPS individually. In a 1 aug setup, you can use either aug and get the same DPS. In a 2 aug setup, you could use any combination and get the same DPS. In a 3 aug setup however, using either 3 +Damage augs or 3 +RoF augs would suddenly be worse than using a combination.

The issue quickly escalates with more stats. Certain numbers of aug slots open up nicer possibilities for augmenter synergies. Going from 1 aug to 2 augs is MORE than 100% stronger since you no longer need to rely on the synergies provided by a single aug. Going from 7 to 8 augs however is nearly irrelevant.

No matter what, to find out (more or less) exactly how much an aug slot is worth, there is no way around making some calculations with augs that are actually in the game.

Unfortunately, explaining the exact math behind the calculations is too difficult for the scope of this blog, but the gist is simple: Augmods are additive. If I have lots of +Damage from augmods already, more +Damage will not do much. In fact, the more +Damage I have, the more effective +RoF becomes. If I have tons of +Damage and +RoF, then +Critical Strike Chance and Strength becomes very valuable.

The same is true for Shield Recharge and Resistance. And Shield and Resistance. And so on.

After taking the brute force approach and generating millions of augmenter setups using high tech augs, these are the results:

Each row shows the average value of a setup above a certain percentile. The columns containing percentages show the percentage increase in power per increased augmenter slot.

The values for 1 aug make a lot of sense: Augmenters generally hover around ~2.0 in the augmenter balance sheets. Even the very best aug is not THAT far off, even with synergies included.

Going from 1 to 2 aug slots increases the effective stats provided by over a hundred percent. Even going from 3 to 4 is not +33%, but significantly higher!

So lets plug in these values into our current assumptions:

 

Oh my. Worth noting that the calculation to estimate the value of an augmenter slot was severely changed after the Hephaestus Machine and the Prawn. It is also worth considering that the value of an augmenter slot is only needed to compare different hull types (since ~all ships of the same hull type have the same number of augmenter slots), but there are of course some exceptions that would benefit from having proper calculations here (PBF, BS) and getting something accurate would open up interesting possibilities in the future.

… TO BE CONTINUED

 

Developer Blog – 1st February

Hi everyone, here’s an update on what we have done lately. As always, some of these changes may be finished but awaiting patch, so just ask if you aren’t sure if they’re live.

Star Sonata 2012-07-12 15-35-33-59

DarkSteel

We have put together some plans to iron out the cost of Tractoring skill levels 15 through 19.  The provisional idea is to make these skills obtained by turning in various DG-dropped tractor beams.  Alternatively, you will be able to use Adamantium Traction Modules to skip directly from 14 to 19.

NCC

I need a lot of help from the player testing for Red Photon, please pm me on discord for any squads you might have that you would like to attempt my Turret fight with. Possible changes coming in about a 25 man squad but will need to rebalance for that possibility. I have the ability to fix the Lion V2 if I can figure out what is causing it to be tiny!!!

enkelin (me!)

I am project manager for a design pass on the Gunner class.  My role is to supervise Contributors who are putting together the specifics of this project, and to make sure that any changes are fully vetted by the dev team and Jeff himself.  Here’s what Contributor Hober Mallow would like to report about the project.

We all know that Gunners have, for quite some time, suffered from feast or famine gameplay. Anyone who has played a Gunner knows this scenario well: You warp into a galaxy, lets say the first level of a DG, and there are 8 targets. You start firing on them, with your Deathblossom equipped of course, and decimate them quite quickly. You destroy them even faster if you have splash or chain weaponry. But as soon as there is only a single target left, your damage drops off like a rock. The current iteration of Gunner is not fun for a variety of reasons, and we hope to address them in the upcoming months. Gunner skills are going to be adjusted as neccessary, in the interest of making sure Gunner is fun for both single target and multiple target situations.

Here’s what you can expect. Splash weapons will no longer do less DPS than a comparable non splashing weapon, instead they will have worse DPE and have better DPE than a comparable weapon when you are hitting enough targets. The Deathblossom will now use extra energy for each extra shot. The Adv Class Subskill that gives +100% Splash Range will be removed. Missile Mastery will be removed, and Missile Launchers will gain bonuses to give their missiles more damage so that players can scale their missiles up via better launchers. This will be accompanied by an adjustment to missiles at various tech levels, transferring their power into the missile launchers. Finally, the Gunner Analyzer (Shield Remodulation Scanner) will no longer increase the energy used by your weapons for increased resistances. Instead, it will take a portion of your incoming damage and apply it to your energy bank!

The details of these changes will be made available later, stay tuned for further updates!

 

Developer Blog – 16th January

Hi everyone, here’s an update on what we have done lately. As always, some of these changes may be finished but awaiting patch, so just ask if you aren’t sure if they’re live.

Faranight

I have been working on two primary projects.
The first is a Kalthi manufacturing themed item line to invite more interaction with the Kalthi Depths and make Perilium more reliable to farm.

There will likely be wider applications of these assemblies as the technology is explored.

The second is a low tech Paxian Travel ship to use through the mission chains, and serve as a suitable replacement for the Aether Scout’s bugged inbuilt now that it is fixed.
Introducing the Pax Felicitas.

Equipped with dedicated navigation avionics, the Pax Felicitas is ideal for long adventures into the unknown.

Good luck, and safe travels.

NCC

The balance test pass on the Red Photon Turret Challenge Boss went well. Thank you all who attended! We will be adding additional features and hosting another test run in a short while. Afterward just need to come up with some loot numbers and get it good to go.

urza

I have recently reworked the Paxian exploration missions. It was discovered that in the last third of the chain that missions would switch between ones that f2p can complete and only p2p can complete. Changed so that all of the p2p only missions are in a block at the end. Also found and fixed some issues with missions not rewarding enough credits to pay for items purchased. Added 2 new travel ships and a micro warp device. As well as linking missions between all 4 ai stations so players will know the chain continues at the next station.

enkelin (me!)

Based on conversations with the dev team and the press corps, I have made some revisions to the planned revamp to galaxy assault.  Here’s a short summary of the changes that are remaining in the project:

Base mining vulnerability is removed, base projectiles impart vulnerability aura to players and temporary assets, unattached permanent assets receive vulnerability aura near planets and wormholes (in addition to suns), base and permanent drone targeting code is revamped, and PvB nanites are worked over.

Galaxy Assault Revamp Announcement

Hello everyone! In this post, I will fill you in on the work the dev team has been doing to make galaxy assault more enjoyable. I would like to emphasize that we are more than open to discussing the particulars and making changes to the proposal. Let’s view this as a first official communication between the dev team and the community and build from there.

attached_kit

Introduction

In the current galaxy assault mechanics, most of the action takes place between two lines of bases, while players are relegated to tractor ship battles, blocking pulses, and spectating as spirits.  None of these behaviors is aligned with what players actually enjoy doing in the game, i.e. using their ships to deal and mitigate damage.  This represents a gap between the types of game activity that are rewarded in PvE and PvP environments, and the types of gameplay that are necessitated during BvB.  It should come as no surprise, therefore, that many players feel powerless and out of the loop during BvB, which is not how we want the game to feel!

However, there are certain positive aspects of the current galaxy assault system which should not be abandoned without cause.  The conditions on deploying BvB kits (active war, 24 hours owned adjacency, presence of amps if more than five kits) are in place to prevent large-scale surprise attacks, instead giving players some time to anticipate an assault on their space.  The flattening of the power progression of base gear both in terms of tech and tier, and the introduction of inbuilt X gear, have also created opportunities for players (especially newer players) to build respectable defenses without incurring unreasonably high sunk costs.  Lastly, while the preeminence of bases in galaxy assault pushes players to the margins, it does also gesture toward an important consideration of limiting the effect of player activity on the outcome of war.  The reason for this objective is that the game cannot effectively cater to casual players if galaxy assault depends strongly on the ability to play the game at all hours of the day and night.  While we do want to reward player activity, it cannot be allowed to be the single most important factor in galaxy assault.  It’s important to note, however, that this objective is not currently being achieved in the first place: use of ships to block pulses, tractor bases behind obstacles, and create excessive server lag have proven to be decisive strategies even in the face of numerically superior enemies.

Summary of changes

 

Issue

Resolution

Players tanking pulses

Base mining vulnerability removed, base projectile damage increased, and base resistance increased to match.

Tractor ships and sun tanking

Unattached bases and permanent drones will be rooted when they take damage, and will receive serious vulnerability auras when near a sun.

Players spectating in spirits

Base and permanent drone target prioritization is revamped and new mobile permanent drones are created for base assault to help players take cover.

Base healing meta

Base resistance is buffed further, but base healing weapons are nerfed. Each base will be a lot tankier now, and there is less incentive to have so many healing-oriented bases.

Players having no combat role

A design pass is made for player-delivered base nanites that have various debuffing properties.

 

Details

Mining damage

The following changes are being made to match base resistance profiles better with player ships. This is a necessary measure before player blocking of base pulses can be addressed. The changes are also helping to create a greater variety of effective base weapons for galaxy assault, instead of limiting players to Achilles Pulse Gun.

  • Base mining vulnerability will be removed. On a typical base kit, all resistances will be the same.

  • Base weapons will have their damage adjusted to reflect the change to base resistances. All damage types will be comparably effective against bases after this change.

Base damage and tanking

The following changes are being made to prevent players from blocking shots that are intended for a base. They are also helping to disrupt the current defensive meta that relies mostly on healing-oriented bases.

  • Base projectile weapons will do a lot more damage, especially those with short range. It will no longer be feasible to block pulses with player ships or drones.

  • Base resistances will be increased to compensate for the increased damage of base weapons.  Base healing will be reduced.  The upshot is that bases will individually be a lot tankier versus bases than before, but base healing will be less useful.

Target prioritization and player cover

The following changes are being made to help players stay alive during galaxy assault. They will effectively be able to hide under the cover of their bases and permanent drones.

  • Base target prioritization will be changed in the following way. If enemy bases are in range, shoot one of them.  If no enemy bases are in range, look for an enemy permanent drone and shoot that if possible.  If no enemy bases or permanent drones are in range, shoot an enemy player (or player asset).

  • Permanent drone target prioritization will be changed in the following way. If enemy players are in range, shoot one of them. If no enemy players are in range, look for an enemy permanent drone and shoot that if possible. If no enemy players or permanent drones are in range, shoot an enemy base (if any).

  • Players will be afforded a small number of “assault slots” for permanent drones, and new mobile permanent drones will be made available that are designed with a view toward this use.

Player debuffing of bases

The following changes are being made to give players the ability to actively undermine the bases of their opponents.

  • Nanite-injecting weapons that affect base shield regen, energy regen, damage, and rate of fire will be introduced and current weapons of this type will be revised for balance.

  • Base exterminators will be revised for balance.

Design principles

In this section, I set forth a few general principles that we are aiming for in this project. Some of these aren’t possible to achieve precisely, but they will still be helpful in guiding our work.

  • Current popular configurations have ⅔ to ¾ HPS bases. After the change, it will be better to have around ⅓ HPS bases. We will approach this goal by increasing base effective shield regeneration and reducing base healing output.

  • With no players in support, and no sun tanking or other unintended mitigation, it currently takes the attackers 1-1.5x more bases than the defenders to prevail.  After the change, this figure should be somewhere around 3-5x (assuming comparable levels of tech and tier).  Player support should be able to reduce this figure to 1-1.5x, if the defending players and permanent drones are overwhelmed.  In short, an overwhelming player force makes bases 2-3x as powerful.

  • The marginal benefit of additional supporting players drops off substantially, so that a small group of active players is only somewhat less effective than a large group, assuming both are unhindered.

  • BvB amplifier mechanics are revised. Instead of building multiple amplifiers in a single galaxy, players will upgrade a single built amplifier to higher and higher tiers.  Each successive tier is rather more expensive than the previous one, and the expense hinges not only on credits but also substantially on ICs such as Sub-Shield Buffers and Reactors.

New Content Dev Team Structure

Lead Content Developer

I’m pleased to announce that I’ve taken on the role of Lead Content Developer for Star Sonata. This means that it’s my responsibility to manage the content development team and make content recommendations to Jeff based on the team’s work.  In my five years on the dev team, I have found myself drawn to managerial roles since these happen to align with my real-life profession quite well.  I see this new role as the best way for me to contribute my skills in management and organization to the betterment of Star Sonata.

Star_Sonata_Bot_-_Happy[1]

I want to acknowledge that I have obtained a greater level of influence over the game with this promotion. In light of this change, I do not believe it would be appropriate for me to continue to lead an aggressive endgame team as this would simply invite too many conflicts of interest. At the same time, I feel I would be unable to make informed content recommendations if I quit the game entirely. The middle ground I have chosen is to lead my team (Traders) into a less competitive era, while still playing the game with my teammates and keeping an eye on endgame issues. I have also decided to permanently retire my player forum account, as I will no longer be participating in player disputes on the forum. The following is an excerpt from my new job description that makes this clear:

  • As a player of the game, the Lead Content Developer should avoid conflict or disputes that might reflect poorly on the dev team.  He should also avoid involvement and the appearance of involvement in the affairs of the competitive endgame community, except as is essential to his duty of creating informed content recommendations.

My first project as Lead Content Developer is to reorganize the content development team in order to clarify the roles and responsibilities of our volunteers.  I have summarized these below for your information.

Press Corps

Responsibilities

  • Attend weekly content meetings.

  • Provide a community perspective on dev discussions.

  • Report to the community on dev discussions and practices.

How to join

Simply contact Jeff or enkelin to introduce yourself and tell us why you are interested in volunteering for Star Sonata.

Contributors

Responsibilities

  • Address balance issues with item stats.

  • Create new items, bosses, and content zones.

  • Collaborate on larger projects as assigned by developers.

How to join

In most cases, Contributors start on the Press Corps to get familiar with the team and how we operate.  Exceptions may be made if you have a special skill such as professional coding experience, graphics, or audio production.

Developers

  • Provide vision and direction on major game balance matters.

  • Manage major projects with the assistance of Contributors.

How to join

This rank is reserved for individuals with a long track record of successful development in Star Sonata. Furthermore, since Developers can have a large influence on the direction of the game, they are held to particularly high standards of professionalism and impartiality.  As players of the game, they are expected to avoid conflicts or disputes with other players and to limit their involvement with the competitive endgame, except as is essential for crafting informed content recommendations.

 

Server Patch 1.3.2018

Just a small one today to address an issue with some super items that would allow you to deploy more drones at once than intended.

Changes:
*Ares Aegis Generator super item changed to 120s charging time.
*Trident Generator changed to 120s charging time and lifespan.

What’s this? There’s something in the air. What’s this? It’s CHRISTMAS

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It’s finally here! Astro-Santa has taken to the skies to deliver all his goodies, and let’s not forget the mischevious Astro-Grinch who’ll try to stop him. Astro-Santa and his Elves will be doing their good work until the 3rd of January.

The prediction made by Earthforce Scientists was correct (much to the surprise of the Lyceum Scientist, they think they know everything) and a wormhole has materialised within Sol which leads to Lapland.

Lastly a quick reminder that there’s the Astro-Santa Letter competition to take part in, information can be found on the blog post announcing the event and competition and submissions can be made directly to the forum topic.

Happy Holidays!

Server Patch 12.06.2017

This is a relatively small patch, a few internal changes to help tracking (and eventually fixing) the causes of server lags and was required before i could simplify how dev request patches to be applied live.

Fixes
* Fixed credit cost on entertainment station suites
* Fixed Engine Mounts on Glauco Phoenix and Hawk.
* Fixed the Zeus’s Antu to properly use Siege Mode
* Fixed fusion tree cutter manhour cost, was 172800, should be 1728000

Balance Changes / Additions
* Crystals (crates) now show how much space they’ll need to be opened as part of their description
+ Added Engine 19 to the AI base in Vervaardiger Processing at the cost of 1 Gigantic Fission Thrust
+ Added Electrical Engineering 19 to the AI base in Enigmatic Sector at the cost of 1 Gigantic Obsidian Ionizer
+ The Dark has been moved to Warp 3 Eathforce Layer, allowing F2P players to obtain Radar and Cloaking 19 (the Ai base that allows Radar 20 to be trained has been locked to be premium only)
* The Harrier is now marked as an Exotic ship instead of an Uncommon ship.
* Transcendantal Hull Expander / HullEx have been renamed to Transcendental.
* Reduced Twisted Striker fighters energy requirement from 130k to 13k.
* Split the Combined Aspect Tablet drop table from the other Emp items dropped from Emperor Shaddam
* Capital Slave Traveling Field has been renamed to Capital Bot Traveling Field.
* Reduced Sniper Analysis charge time to 2 minutes, bonus is the same
* Changed Anni Beam to no longer need a TRL(seer weapon) to build, incorporated trl build costs into the anni beam bp
* Removed all Lore skills from Lore Ruin Items. Added Skills based on item type to preserve stats.
* Removed Grem from Platform Drones
* Aspect of the Mastodon augs have multiple lesser chances to drop from Emperor Shaddam Kilrathi IV in The Serengeti now. His guards chance to drop Aspect of the Mastodon has been reduced from 25% to 2.5%.

Developer Blog – 5th December

Hi everyone, here’s a small update on what we have done lately. As always, some of these changes may be finished but awaiting patch, so just ask if you aren’t sure if they’re live.

NCC

Two weeks ago, I spent my Friday working on the Glaucopennia and Phoenix rebalance they are currently on test however you will require this client to access it.  Just unzip it into your SS folder and run the client. If you need any assistance testing this new ship please send any issue requests to NCCIntrepid on discord. I also updated the Zeus Antu to properly use siege mode. Lastly, I removed the grem off of Platform drones for next patch. This week I have been providing some dps testing on drones for Ingendum.  The image below details the new stats of the Glaucopennia and Phoenix.  Here are links for the build cost and stats on the inbuilt tweak.

ncc1

SunDog60

The new Recycled Armada Augmenters mission in Serengeti Blockade will be replaced by a new set of five missions. They work similar to the mission they replace, however you can choose which Spirit blueprint you will get in exchange for 4 blueprints. The original “Armada Augmenters” mission will remain as the way to obtain Spirit augmenters for Zaphragi Research Diplomas, but the newer mission that gives one random Spirit BP in exchange for four will be removed.

enkelin (me!)

I am working on a document that details the plans the dev team has drawn up to revamp the way galaxy assault is carried out. Our plan is to release this information to the players as soon as possible so that we can workshop any issues, and then get things implemented and on the test server well in advance of the next universe reset.

Christmas & Letter Competition

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Christmas is here, or near enough, with our Christmas event kicking off this Friday. Astro-Ginch better watch out, as those pesky terrans will seek him out for his tweak generator and other goodies.

Christmas will run from the 8th December for a bit over three weeks, ending on the 3rd of January.

The event this year will feature the normal festivities, including the return of Astro-Santa, spreading his jolly cheer and giving all the (nice, and definitely not naughty) citizens of the universe their presents.

Earthforce Scientists have predicted that a slight destabilization in the Sol system will cause a new wormhole to form. It’s expected that this wormhole will lead to Lapland, where missions and related content can be found.

Astro-Santa Letter Competition

Astro-Santa would like to hear what all the nice Sonatarians have to say, be it a letter, poem, song, or a wishlist of what you’d like to receive. Your letter doesn’t even have to be to Astro-Santa, but could be to that callous Astro-Grinch. Rules and how to enter the competition listed below.

Standard rules for the competition apply:

  • You are allowed to make multiple submissions.
  • This competition is open to all players.
  • Deadline for submissions is Friday 22nd December, 00:00 EST (05:00 GMT). Submissions after this date will be ignored.
  • Submissions to be posted in the topic for this post.
  • If you want your letter to be counted as from your player name (or any other name) instead of your account name, include it.
    • Ideally, put your letter in a [quote][/quote] block and leave other comments outside to make it clear what you want in your letter.
  • Submissions may be excluded for reasons we see fit (such as plagiarism).

Once the deadline has elapsed, a maximum of five winners will be chosen, which’ll have their letters created for the following year. They’ll also recieve a unique permanent holoprojector and various Christmas items.

Happy Holidays!