Space Clouds

Weekly Dev Meeting – 16th December & Universe Reset

Bloggy

Jey

Tracked down and fixed weird crash issue relating to Control bots.
Preperation for Christmas to go live in a few days.

Ryan

I’ve been working on some brand new christmas content! I think everyone will like it a lot, there are 11 new gals and a boss that scales based on how many people are attacking it (and everyone will get personal loot).

Pixel

Worked on some lots more pretty artwork which you’ll be seeing in game soon, as well as some cool sounding items

Astro-Santa Letter Competition

The Astro-Santa letter competition is now drawing to a close with just a few hours left, so if you want to be in with a chance to win, you better send your letter to Astro-Santa!

You can find out more about this here.

Universe Reset

The Scientists have been at the eggnog, getting their party on early and in their drunkness have missed the prediction of the universe’s imposion. Fortunately, being the time of Christmas, Astro-Santa’s Astro-Elves have been hard at work making all the presents as well as conducting research for new ideas! Amongst their research findings the Astro-Elves have learnt that the universe is becoming unstable and have predicted that it’ll eventually suffer a total collapse at 540 on 9th of Aer, 153rd Grand Age of the Elves. However, due to also being drunk the Elves have made a mistake and actually the date of the collapse will be around 14 Earth days later, making the demise of our universe occur on January 16th, 2016 at 1PM EST.

Server/Client Patch 12.09.2015

This patch may appear smaller than our usual full patch. But this is because it is a preparation patch for the holiday event coming up and also fixed an issue that prevented me from releasing new beta clients (due to compatibility issue between server and client).

Additions:
* Added new look for most base types (adamantium, laconia, titanium etc) Only newly deployed base will have them tho (currently existing bases will still show the default look)
* Station dialog is now resizable
* Neuro training background is now animated upon training a skill.
* Added new base shield transferances (t1, t6 and t18) bps
* Base Overloader BPs have been added to Free Market
* /help and /lkc help to use the blackbox interface (easier to read)

Changes:
+ AI bases conversion to the animatrix format (instead of their current animated mesh) / small changes to some of their look.
* Changed it so that you could turn in a batch of augmenters of their respective tiers instead of Condensers in the Augmenter Tweaking mission chain.
* Changed Olympus boss gates from asking for neuroKeysyncs from mini bosses to checking if those mini bosses are alive or not
* Removed NeuroKeysyncs from oly mini bosses drop table
* Changed the gate from maelstrom to diablo to check for the “Doom Guard”
* Removed neurokeys from the infernos/Doom Guard only in maelstrom
* Renamed the second “Rats!! Undead Rats!” mission to “Rats!! Undead Rat Queen”
* Changed t20 base weapon colours to red Anni lasers and mags
* Changed zebu gunship to heavyfighter and increased diameters

Fixes:
* Raised T9 and T12 ai base and junkyard kit mining weakness to match the Fortified kits of the same tech level
* Checking that the destination is a base before denying transfer of higher tech base bound item to lower tech base. This will fix the issue with not being able to transfer junkyard gear to lower tech ships.
* Fixed an issue where unteamed bases would count against ownership score
* Fixed an issue where loyalty score would sometimes not save
* Fixed an issue causing projectiles to be ignored from the rendering when they shouldnt be.
* Multiple spelling errors

Weekly Dev Meeting – 3rd December

Bloggy
We’re back after a week of downing Turkeys and some weekend shopping madness which seems to infecting the grand British empire!

Jey

I finalized an improvement I’ve been working on to optimize the performance of large inventories. The final result was an improvement by a factor of 60 (30s to 0.5s when transferring 24,000 item stacks).

Patch preparation to make Christmas event patch run smoothly.

More work on the global trading event

Ryan

Working with a Steam employee who contacted us to help get things in line for them so we can get on Steam!

Pixel

Worked on some more pretty artwork which you’ll be seeing in game soon, hopefully.

Blue Dwarf

Not really an update, just a plug that our annual Astro-Santa letter competition is now running and you can find details here.

Player questions!

Didn’t do any this week, we’re running low on the good ones! So ask us more more!

And what would you like for Christmas?

Astro-Santa is soon returning to our universe to dash our systems with his presents. He’s made his list and checked it twice but he doesn’t know what to get anyone?!

Can you help out Astro-Santa by writing him a letter claiming what you want?

Yes, it’s time for our annual Astro-Santa Letter competition.
The challenge is simple and easy to do, write a letter to send to Astro-Santa and submit it to us. Your letter doesn’t even have to be a letter, it could be a song you’ve made up, a poem or haiku about Christmas. As usual bonus points for apt references to Star Sonata.

When the competition ends, we’ll choose a few of our favourites, depending how many entries there are (maximum of 5), and award the players who submitted them. Winning players will get their letter added to the game with a corresponding mission to go with it and a collection of items will be given to each player too.

  • Players are allowed to make multiple submissions.
  • Deadline for submissions is Thursday 17th December, 00:00 EST (05:00 GMT).
  • Submissions to be posted in the topic for this post.
  • If you want your letter to be counted as from your player 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.

The State of BvB in Star Sonata

I would like to briefly address where we’ve come from, where we are at, and where we are going as far as base versus base combat (BvB) is concerned in Star Sonata.

Previous to our base rebalance about a year ago, there were a number of problems with bases, but foremost was that it was too easy for a player or couple of players in very strong ships to fly through and destroy an entire galaxy worth of bases with no cost to the attackers. It was just too easy to attack, and it was too important to be online in order to defend.

Many changes were proposed, discussed with all the devs and the players on the forum, and agreed to. Mainly, bases were made much stronger in comparision to ships, so BvB supplanted PvB as the way to attack galaxies. This has been tremendously successful in deterring wanton griefing and piracy of bases, as used to run rampant. Now, if someone wants to attack a galaxy, the attacker has to declare war, put down and defend an outpost, have that outpost survive counter-attack for 24 hours, then spend the time and effort to actually BvB at great cost. Not only is it no longer cheap and easy to destroy bases, but the defenders have a real chance to actually defend. Since the base rebalance, we are not aware of any base griefing or piracy as used to occur, and the only bases destroyed in anger have been in wars between teams.

Balancing bases and BvB will continue to be an ongoing project. We already had in the works a change so that, starting next universe, bases will no longer be able to equip or use any gear that isn’t specifically for bases. This includes weapons, shields, tweaks, augmenters, grav disrupters, etc. This is to address some instances where very expensive or rare ship gear feels required to compete at the highest levels of BvB. We are also creating some new base items to fill the slots where we consider that ship gear is currently legitimately being used on bases, and the BP’s for the new gear will come out in advance of the next universe, so people will have a chance to build the new items.

In addition, we have a proposal that I would like to put forward to the players to discuss, and that is a new rule in the game where permanent bases and drones in a galaxy owned by the same team can not be aggressively tractored. This means no dragging out drones or bases one at a time in order to isolate and kill them, and less need for the defending team to be online in order to fight off tractor ships or pop disruptors. The defenders can still tractor attacking bases, though. The dev team feels like this would be a good change, but we would like to hear what you guys think.

Unscheduled downtime

**Update** issue has been fixed and server is back up. **

If you recently used spacepoint in game, had them removed from your account, but did not receive the aug reset / skin / ship form. Please make a ticket in the account category with for title SP Bug:accountname where youll replace accountname with the name of the account on which the problem occured obviously. http://support.starsonata.com/

If you already had a ticket, for simplicity sake (and to expedite it), please make a new ticket under the specific name format provided here and include the tracking ID of the previous ticket in the ticket message.

In the ticket be sure to include which ingame transaction had the problem, and if you attempted it multiple times or not. You are welcome to add how much SP you think you lost altho I will still have to verify everything before refunding spacepoints. The special name format is simply so that i can handle those tickets asap since i do not normally handle tickets. Those tickets will be handled as fast as i can do them, but depending on the volume please expect up to 48hours delay.

Weekly Dev Meeting – 11th November

Bloggy

Jey

Steady progress on the global event system. All the code required to implement the event system is done, prototype for the trading event is nearly functional.

Pixel

More even fancier visages for ai stations!
The End of the Universe Diner
Rock with Radar!

Col Legno

I finished up the palace fixes.

Ryan

After getting everyone’s opinion on team skills, it was pretty solidly in favor of making team skills small perks so we’ll go forward with that. I added a “Blueprint Pack” item type that will add several blueprints of a certain type, so that we can remove some clutter from AI bases and drop tables. Website patching is in progress, so we’ll have Blue Dwarf’s shiny new website map up soon as well as a publicly available api for anyone to grab map data from.

Player questions!

Didn’t do any this week, we’re running low on the good ones! So ask us more more!

The future of team skills

The Problem

As many of you are aware, we have a problem currently with team skills. There are a small number of them (namely Roster and Galactic Control) that are absolutely essential for teams to function beyond a certain size while the rest of the skills are mostly ignored. This also creates additional difficulties for new teams as they don’t have the required skills. After several discussions we have a couple possible solutions, and we’d like to see what everyone would prefer.

Solution 1

Team Skills reset every uni and the acquisition rate is increased significantly. Skills like roster and galactic control would not fit under this system and would be removed. Other skills would be beefed to have pretty sizable effects by the end of the uni. This would eliminate permanent team progression, which could be seen as both good or bad.

Solution 2

Team Skills stay in their current form, but are re-balanced to all be “nice perks” with skills such as roster and galactic control being removed/nerfed. New teams would have accelerated XP gain for the first several levels, so that they can get some meaningful perks faster.

Other changes

Team Skills Resets

If we go with solution 2, we will add the ability for teams to reset their skills for a cost. This should allow teams to experiment with their skills without feeling locked in permanently. The cost would scale based off of how long it has been since the team last reset their skills.

Alternate Team XP sources

We’ll be adding new sources of active team XP aside from just the passive xp gain from score. The primary of these will be boss kills with teammates. Teams will be able to get roughly equivalent XP through this system as a current top 5 team gets passively through score (as a max) and will be the primary method for new teams to get their XP.

Survey

We’d love to hear your opinions on these two directions we could take team skills! We have a poll setup here that we’d like you to fill out to get a rough feeling for how everyone feels about where we head from here.

Weekly Dev Meeting – 4th November

Bloggy

Jey

No real changes on my side, still working on the global event controller stuff. It’s progressing pretty well. Lots of internal changes in the code, but nothing that players can really see xD.

Pixel

More snazzy base visages: http://forum.starsonata.com/viewtopic.php?p=747470#p747470.

Col Legno

I fixed some bugs including one in which you couldn’t transfer higher tech base bound gear to lower tech ships. I also changed the SM 21/22 commod dynamics from being a palace like base to a commodity that can be put onto any user base to make the SM commod spawn. Put in a fix for current palace issues that needs some testing, but then should be good to go for patching.

Blue Dwarf

Coursework done! Hopefully will get some time to work more on the item viewer over the next week.

MicroCapacitor

Tracking down and removing galaxies using the neurokey system and replacing them with the auto unlocking system on their wormholes.

Theodore

Began working on creating superitem versions of common tweaks as per on the suggestion system!

Player questions!

What race would you be from Star Control?

Jeff: I’d be the Shotfixti.
Jeff: So I could get the 1000 Shotfixti maidens or whatever that was.
Jey: Orz !
Blue Dwarf: Isn’t there special also the fact that they could commit suicide?
Jeff: Yeah, but they get 1000 Shotfixti maidens before that.
Blue Dwarf: Also you hope.
Jeff: That was a plotline, there was like one old Shotfixti that was the last guy and then they like found a bunch of women him, then he repopulated the whole race by himself.
Blue Dwarf: Pretty sure that counts as incest.
Jeff: Nah.
Pixel: You sick.
Blue Dwarf: Um… I don’t know what race I’d be. I quite like Pkunk, just flying around shooting in all directions and shouting insults at your enemy.
Pixel: Ur-Quan Kzer-Za
Pixel: totally not iq’bana
Pixel: Syreen.
Pixel: Oh sorry, got a bit carried away with this.

How did you find Star Sonata?

Jey: I… don’t remember…. too long ago ><
Theodore: Found it on one of the list of mmo websites.
Blue Dwarf: The 3d Monochrome Tint advert back in late 2007 on http://freewebarcade.com while playing silly flash games.
Jeff: http://goproblems.com
Pixel: I wanted to build bases in a MMO environment where I knew they would function while I’m not online, and then I found SS.
Ryan: I was slacking off on schoolwork and stumbled onto it from who knows where.
MicroCapacitor: I found it randomly on a computer downstairs and played it with a friend.
Precursor: I was searching for a sci fi mmo and found SS in early 2003, back when Adum / Jeff / Kilroth and Mhammett still played off and on lol
Precursor: Or was in 20002. I don’t remember now

How did you come up with the Ur’qa and subspace alien languages?

Jeff: You’d have to ask Calypso about that.
Blue Dwarf: I kind of know about that anyway.
Jeff: I think Adum made the original, some of the original, ur items just kinda randomly, but maybe I’m wrong.
Blue Dwarf: Pretty much yeah, from what I know he he sorta came up with stuff and then Calypso just like added stuff and then made that translation document.

Blue Dwarf: For the Aveksaka, Calypso looked and picked a real language to use to base the language on, he found a translator and we started translating and concatenating words together. The language he chose was Sanskrit.

Before that though, we need some more questions as we’re running low on the good ones! So please ask away.

Weekly Dev Meeting – October 28th

Bloggy

Jey

Still working on the global event system

Ryan

Web server stuff in preperation of somethings waiting to go in.

Pixel

Lots of snazzy base visages
Base Visages

Col Legno

Discussed ways to rethink the SM21 commod base to make a more seamless experience in obtaining SM21 and 22 commods. Going to get working on that.

Player questions!

We didn’t do any, but I have a snazzy idea to make them better in the future.

Before that though, we need some more questions as we’re running low on the good ones! So please ask away.