Space Clouds

Weekly Dev Meeting – 30th March

Bloggy

Blue Dwarf

I’ve been working more on my event system, there’s now support for starting and ending events automatically for the holiday periods. Additionally I’ve got some more bonuses that events can have done.
While implementing a bonus to increase chances of modded items I noticed that the way we currently choose modded items is… well… um… fudged up. The rolls were done in a set order, meaning certain mods were much less likely to occur than others. I’ve now rewritten it so all mods have equal probability, although with this the chances and rates will have changed slightly. I can’t say if it’s any better or worse (yclept ran the numbers for me), all I can really say is it’s less messed up.

yclepticon

We plan to remove the bonuses for permanent drones from Station Mastery and moving it to Drone Deployment capped at level 20. This will allow anyone with DD20 to gain full advantage of the benefits from previous permanent drone improvements without a level requirement. So characters will have strong permanent drones and not just the ones who have Station Mastery.

MicroCapacitor

Added 4 subspace base augmenters made via blueprints from the subspace arms which will give new variety to base setups!
Fixed a bug where weight augmenter bonuses wouldn’t affect bases which might do something with one of the augmenters.

Ryan

Ryan has finished working on a balance sheet for shield chargers to help assign rarity tiers. He has also changed Extraction Expert to scale linearly instead of exponentially, keeping the maximum bonus at the same level as current Extraction Expert 30, providing beefs for those who’re lower level.
Ryan has also worked on some code required for the UI changes Pixel has done.

Pixel

Pixel has been busy adding new Perl Perl Space AI names to the factions of: Cyborgs, Lunarians and Hyperion. Things like “Corrupted Potato”, “Corrupted Roll Back”, “Corrupted Pony”, “Eclipsed Moon”, “Outburst” and many more!

Will also be attempting to add a new permanent drone that can launch fighters but hopefully over a long duration so this doesn’t cause too much extra latency issues within a BvB scenario.

Auxilium

Auxilium is the new guy! He joined the team a while ago and he’s going to help on the balance and content development side of things.

The first thing he’s going to be looking into is a rebalance for missiles. Specifically the lower tech ones are far too strong compared to the available weapons, so expect those to be heavily modified once he’s done.

Reminder on Easter end date

Just a reminder that Easter ends on April 4th, at around 5PM GMT. Enjoy it while it lasts!

Weekly Dev Blog – 23rd March

Bloggy

Apologies it’s late, but here’s what’s beeng going on this week behind the scenes:

Jeff

Jeff wants to adapt part of the Character dialog to allow using Space Points from there.

Jey

Still struggling with a memory corruption/crash within the code, but hopefully once squashed will give us a strong estimate when the next patch will happen.

yclepticon

Brainstorming some new kinds of microtransactions for Steam release. More on this when we have a proper proposal written up.

MicroCapacitor

Fixed a bunch of issues within the game such as:

  • Fixing where players couldn’t transfer non-RadX slaves.
  • More detailed information on the peacemaking skill description.
  • Resolving an issue with certain items de-charging on healing damage.

Dokimastis

He joined the dev team about a month ago or two ago. He’ll be trying his best in organizing what needs prioritization over what should be worked on together as a group. He’ll also be helping other developers if short on staff for their projects to hopefully be able to speed up the progress for us to deliver the content to you.

He’s been tweaking the Nexus and formulating new solutions to help new players more when introduced to the game mechanics and concepts. He’s also been prioritising with other developers what should be worked on together first, in a more organised manner.

Theodore

Is still working on super secret content, but mainly waiting for the next patch to proceed.

Ryan

Been hard at work adding the rarity system to the existing content and found some bugs while doing this. Expect some modifications to certain fueled energies.
Ryan’s planning to change how Extraction Expert works, instead of providing an exponential bonus the skill would provide a linear bonus, but still grant the same bonus at level 30. This means level 1-29 will be getting slightly buffed (which I’m sure none of you will complain about).

Pixel

Permanent Drones
Again with more work on permanent drones and taking any player suggestions for new possible drones.
Click here for more information.

A note on Easter

Easter has been running since last Friday evening and will run until the Monday after Easter Monday. That’s the April 4th. Enjoy it while it lasts!

Weekly Dev Meeting – 16th March

Bloggy

Not a lot has happened this week, so this’ll make some light reading.

Morat

He’s been working on some changes to our tutorial. Unfortunately I don’t know what he’s done!

Pixel

Pixel has been improving the background in Graveyard.
Graveyard

Yclepticon

More collaboration work with Ryan (who wasn’t here this week unfortunately) on the industrial commodity system!

Blue Dwarf

My event system hasn’t progressed much more this week. When it’s nearer completion I’ll write up a separate post discussing it indepth though.
Additionally, I’m looking to start the Easter event this weekend as next Sunday is Easter Sunday.

Weekly Dev Blog – 9th March

Bloggy

Morat

He’s been working more on the temporary drone repair cost works and giving some of the less loved drones some TLC to bring them up to scratch. He’s also been working on Station Management 22 with yclepticon.

Pixel

He’s been working a little more on UI changes, well, I say a little more, really more of lots of little more.
Ships dialog

Blue Dwarf

My event system is coming along, but it’s still far from done. Unfortunately not much else from me this week.

Ryan

Ryan has been fixing bugs! On an obscure type of augmenter we have which can have it’s bonuses change in line with your level weren’t working quite right so he fixed that. Ryan has also fixed a bug that’s become prominent in the recent BvBs where inactive (sleepy) galaxies wouldn’t extract commodities at the correct rate, some galaxies were extracting up to 30 times slower than they should have been.

Other than that, he’s still working on assigning rarity tiers to all the items (there’s a lot, 14,396 current count on live). Regarding Steam, we’re still waiting them to get back to us again, Ryan sent an email to chase it up yesterday.

Jey

Jey’s got his free trial of Intel Vtune around again, and has been working on optimizing for heaving BvB scenarios. Server side load of the bvb will be down by a factor of around 1200% (BvB should not have any noticeable server performance impact anymore after the next patch), for the client offering up to an 80% increase in FPS, hardware dependant.

Patch will be coming very soon, a blog post announcing it will be made as soon as a fixed date has been determined.

Jeff

Jeff’s done all our accounting and taxes for the year!
He’s also informed us we’re now debt free. When Jeff bought out the rest of Star Sonata from Adum he took out a loan to cover it and it’s all paid off now!

Weekly Dev Meeting – 2nd March

Bloggy

Morat

Morat has been reworking the repair costs for temporary drones to bring them in line with each other and much fairer for Engineers compared to other classes and superitems on the T22 ships.

Pixel

Pixel has been working on super secret tasks. If you asked him, he’d only try sell you Payment Protection Insurance…. Or solar panels… Or claim for your workplace ‘accident’.

Blue Dwarf

I’ve been working on something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time which is to make our bonus weekend events automatic. The new system will be pretty flexible and configurable by content developers, in addition far more many things will be possible for events, we have ideas ranging from the common like XP and mod bonuses to things like increased prospecting, faster spawns, extra DG loot and increased squad size. I have plans for this system eventually run all our holiday events for us too (with some new ideas for some smaller events in mind).

Web map

The web map which I made towards the end of last year is up and available to use, additionally the universe data used to generate the map is freely accessible from here. I’ll write up how use the data somewhere soon. Currently the data for the map isn’t automatically updated, but it should be soon.

Please note that the map uses a lot of HMTL 5 features and as such requires an up to date browser (that’s preferrably not Internet Explorer, milage may vary).

Weekly Dev Meeting – 24th February

Bloggy

Theodore

Theodore’s work on bringing the unavailable imperial skills to the game is complete, although I have no time frame for when they’ll be on live for you to train.

Jey

Jey’s been up to preparing our next patch which should be coming very Soon™ as well as more client crash fixes!

Ryan

Ryan has been up to more odds and sods, fixing the Transference Power mod and the Colonial Administration skill description. Additionally he’s fixed station inventories not showing the asterisk for modded items and allowed users to search their inventories for specific mods. Lastly Ryan has been through our lower tech ruin items and adjusted how the prices and balance for a lot of them is calculated, the overall result should be that some items are a bit cheaper, some are more expensive, but they’re more powerful than they were before.

Pixel

Pixel has been working more on our permanent drones and playing around with making some missions automatically start when you enter the galaxy. He’s also done even more UI improvements.

Blue Dwarf

I’ve been dipping my hand back in a bit, after a long time of not really doing much aside from running the weekend events (when I remember) and bugging (or being bugged by) players on all chat, I’ve fixed up the bug that affected Strontium-90 missions last week and fixed a bug charging the wrong amount to repair destroyed drones.

During our meeting today, myself and a few others of us retrieved the log in details for our Twitter account! So expect some potential ramblings or news or things appearing on our Twitter, which you can follow @StarSonata.

Industrial Commodities System

Background

Currently, AI bases purchase any non-commodity item at reduced rate, unless its server value is above a certain amount.  Players have been using this mechanic to convert unlimited quantities of raw materials such as Metals into credits.  The most popular conversion is through Station Extension Y’s, which net 17.435 credits per Metals when built by the thousand.  This project expands the idea of converting resources into credits by creating similar options for all basic commodities, not just Metals.  It also makes the whole system more natively supported by game mechanics by introducing a proper player-driven economy.  Finally, it creates new possibilities for trading by encouraging players to ship resources beyond team territory and seek out arbitrage opportunities between AI bases.

Overview

We have created seven new lines of manufactured commodities that are all produced by base-equipped factories.  Like standard commodities, these items can be bought and sold by AI and trade slaves and appear in the same trading tab.  The lowest tier of each theme is manufactured from a tier 0 resource such as Metals.  Higher tier manufactured commodities are constructed from higher tier extracted resources such as Plasma Crystals or Adamantium.  Each AI base has a theme that goes with one of the lines of commodities, and will only trade in manufactured commodities of that theme.  AI bases will consume their supply of commodities over time in order to balance the total number of credits created per day.

Details

The average value of the new commodities is balanced to be comparable to the exchange rate for Metals that is obtained in current mechanics.  Resources that extract slower than Metals are valued proportionally more.  Higher-tier commodities are produced from multiple lower-tier commodities in addition to high-tier resources.  For example:

  • Steel Girders (1000 Metals): average value 20,000
  • Adamantium Reinforced Girders (1,000,000 Metals, 50 Titanium, 5 Laconia, 1 Adamantium): average value 155,000,000
  • Sentient Chatbots (500 Silicon): average value 15,000
  • Overclocked Chatbots (100,000 Silicon, 300 Psion Icicles, 5 Plasma Crystals): average value 20,500,000

Actual prices will range between 50% and 200% of the average value depending on AI base supply levels.  Since AI bases will steadily consume their supply of each commodity, it will be possible to fully automate the process with trade slaves.  Of course, if too many players attempt to route their manufactured commodities to a single AI base, the market will saturate and someone will have to ship goods to another base instead.  We want AI bases to gobble up plenty of resources, but we don’t want them to be infinite resource sinks either.  In order to get the balance right on this, we have done a careful review of AI base placement in the universe generation code, and will adjust pricing and consumption rates on an ongoing basis if the first draft doesn’t get the balance right.

Important notes

We are planning to add the manufactured commodities and associated factories to the game before the end of the universe on test server so players can get a head start on figuring out the new system. Also, along with the introduction of the new manufacturing economy next universe, AI bases will no longer buy items that have been built from blueprint.  The code governing AI base purchases is only intended to allow players to sell unwanted loot such as augmenters and tweaks.  There will no longer be any reason to build an item just for the purpose of selling it to an AI base, so that functionality will be removed.  We are committed to replacing that old system with something that is not only comparable in economic reward, but also truer to the free market principles of the game and more rewarding to industrialists and traders alike.  We look forward to player feedback when the new economy goes live so that we can achieve that goal as soon as possible.

Star Sonata Episode VI: Return of the Blog

Bloggy

Hello again everyone! It’s been a long time since our last dev blog, but don’t fear we’ve still been having our meetings and stuff is stll going on behind the scenes (as many of you have seen on the forums).
I must confess the fault is mine, really, our last blog was 16th December which was also our last before Christmas. After we picked things back up I was back at university with a nice shiny new 9AM start every day, naturally this doesn’t fit well when our meetings often ended at 1 or 2AM my time so I had been missing meetings. We’ve now moved our meetings back by a couple of hours though, meaning I can attend and resume doing our weekly blog post.

Enough jibber-jabber with missed posts though, time for some 4 weeks worth of updates!

A new member has joined our team, known to us as Dokimastis.

Theodore

A large portion of you may not know this, but there exist six more skills in the same lines as the five Imperial Seal skills, while the skills were implemented and work they were never made available in game for players, a small number of lucky players were awarded levels in some of these skills for various things. Theodore has been working on getting these so far hidden skills being available to players to train. Once the work has been done all six of the new skills will be added to the current five. The current Imperial Seal Skills will not be changed.

Theodore has also been working on the Tweak Super Item suggestion that’s residing in our suggestions system, although with some slight changes from the original proposal, such as moving the source to be from Blueprints obtained from Shadow instead of missions from Perpetual Motion.

Jey

Jey’s been working on his global event system that’ll eventually encompass the AI trading events.
He’s also been working on fixing client and server crashes and working on the recent server lag that’s been a result of the recent BvB battles between Red Faction and Resident Evil.
Lastly from Jey, a full server and client patch is coming up soon, expect the announcement some point this or next week.

Ryan

Ryan has been working on lots of things of late, from working on more things to get us on Steam and fixing the colony suitability bug to our current top voted suggestion; Item Rarity Tiers.
Item rarity tier preview

He’s also implemented a new kind of item like the station tech upgrades but for ships. Using this item will increase the tech level of your ship by one, however it’ll also limit your ship to the normal number of augmenters for that hull class (sorry, no T22, 4 aug Prawns for you). This can also be done multiple times to the same ship but it will get very costly.

The synchronized lockout system is done and is has been setup for the Serengeti for next patch, before being pushed out to more bosses. Instead of being locked out for so many days, the lockouts from the new system will reset together at a set time resulting in less coordination required between teammates and friends as your lockout cycles are always synchronized.

Ryan has also been helping Pixel a lot providing code needed for various UI changes that some of you have already seen on the forums, and will see soon in the client, but more of that in Pixel’s section. Speaking of which….

Pixel

Pixel has been doing loads of cool stuff.

Going back a few weeks he was working on creating a new set of items which have already hit live, but I’ll cover them briefly if you missed it. Blueprint Packs are a new swish style of blueprint item which actually contain multiple blueprints, this means you can set your station up with blueprints for the full Achilles station gear suite from just one item.

He’s also been on more of a spree of making everything look AWESOME. From fancy looking holoprojectors for your space stations to reworking sections of the user interface. You can see a lot of his changes in his forum topic over in Star Sonata General Discussion. Here’s a picture of the new space station control panel.
Space station control panel

Also, say hello to the shiny new and red Annihilator Pulse Gun.
Annihilator Pulse Gun

Stronium-90 missions

On Saturday night, a large portion of your lost your progress on your Strontium-90 missions. This was due to a funky bug and was kind of intentional in the way you wouldn’t expect. The issue is unlikely to strike again and we’ll be fixing it so that Strontium-90 missions don’t forcibly abandon themselves. Apologies for inconveniences.

Server Patch 1.23.2015

This was a small patch to fix some issues that have cropped up recently. To compensate for the colony suit bug for the first week of the uni colonies will be ticking 50% more often for the next week. (1 hour 20 mins instead of 2 hours) Fixes: *Colony suitability issues fixed * “AI Base 1″ visage fixed *Certain overweight bps have lost some weight *Base OLs have had a small credit cost added.

Server/Client Patch 01.16.2016 (Uni Reset Patch)

A client patch will be required with the reset, but available for manual download around 12h00 EST. Just run your patchbot to get the update beforehand and avoid having to wait once the server come back up after uni reset.
You can also connect to livetest.starsonata.com to automatically download the patch instead of running the patchbot.

Additions:
* Added the Vermilion Behemoth skin for the Behemoth, Behemoth+, Emperor’s Behemoth, Assault Behemoth, Assault Behemoth+ and Divine Behemoth.
* Added Flaming Harrier skin for the Harrier and Hawk.
* Added Cubic Sphere skin for the Singularity Sphere, Battle Sphere and Merchant Navy Contriver.
* Added New Skins: Lord Narwhal and Neon Narwhal
* Added beer freighter skin
* Added Cyborg Dark Freight Skin
* Added Kalthi Deployer Frame skin for the Kalthi Deployer, Kalthi Armored Deployer and Kalthi Wrathful Deployer.
* Added Bule and Faranji kits to ruins.
* Fix for Dragonslayers Presence holoprojector
* Added Golden Attached Kits V and VI
* Added prefab attached / unattached tech 0, 3, and 6 kits
* Added t0 and t3 base exterminators

Changes:
* Updated Clench, Burst and RNF Licin Stats.
+ Reduced Whiskey Outpost respawn times.
+ Changed Earthforce Outpost mission to just require a kill of the outpost instead of kill and loot.
* Lowered the size of Apollo and Ares shield trans
* Brought the build cost down on the new T12 spirit augs to match other T12 augs
* Adjusted Nexus galaxies vis to make it easier for new players to see.
* Removed unnecessary skills from Janitor’s Outpost in Nexus.
* Increased lifespan and weight of some of the Nexus starter drones.
* Updated shard missions to accept unstable dust and stable dust at the same time
* Most ruin related userbases were reworked, enjoy.
* Changed Amzuadiz Bhisaj from Transference damage to Surgical
* Lowered snake hole rock health one third
* Weakened the mobs in Nexus Bana, made a few mission tweaks.
* Reduced number of kills necessary for a Volcom mission.
* Only base type items and items marked as “Base Only” can be equipped on bases

Fixes:
* Nexus fixes, made small pest drones unobtainable from the AI base, typos, re-added tunnels and droppings mission indicator.