Ok guys so we decided to make this update a lot bigger. It’s going to take a day or two to complete and I wanted to explain exactly what we’re doing with the balance of the game to open it up for discussion.
Currently the damage system in Starbound is built around an armor penetration system. This system was put in place to account for the 100 planet levels, 100 monster levels and so on. Whilst the system works it leads to a difficulty curve that can be confusing to navigate as well as stats that are a little more difficult to understand. (A weapon that does 40 damage, only does 40 damage to a monster of the same level as the weapon. Otherwise as the distance between armor penetration/armor level grows the damage increases/decreases.)
It’s hard to know exactly how much damage your weapon will do to any given monster and it’s difficult to know which of two weapons is the most effective.
Another problem with this system is items that do a static amount of damage. For example in the current alpha sector it’s possible to find throwing daggers with 5 armor penetration. These daggers are extremely powerful in the lower half of the tier but near useless in the upper half.
When working with 100 levels, without the armor penetration system you end up with absurd damage/health values that are far too big to be manageable and that’s the reason this system was originally in place.
So over this weekend we’re going to work on the solution to this problem. We’re going to reduce the number of planet levels from 100, to 10. *This is not a decrease in the amount of content, it’s simply a change to how leveling functions*. The smaller number of levels means that we can remove armor penetration entirely and simplify weapon damage. You’ll be able to directly compare weapon DPS which will now appear on the weapons tooltip. Armor will become easier to understand and will gain additional buffs, such as increasing player max health. We’re also now able to remove armor from monsters and simply give more powerful monsters more health, this way you always know how much damage your weapon will do.
Monsters will no longer have a level, instead monsters will be given an easy/medium/hard marker, that shows you how difficult a monster is in the context of the sector it’s in. For example, a hard monster in sector 1 will be roughly the same strength as an easy monster in sector 2. The difficulty of monsters will increase the lower you dig, but so will the rewards.
Items with a static amount of damage will be manually balanced and useful for the entire sector you find them on. Given that the range of health difference will be lower now, we can ensure that items such as throwing daggers will be useful for the entire sector. We’re also able to make sure that when you craft the best armor in a sector, you’ll be in good shape for the next sector. By ensuring that the hardest monsters in sector 1 match the easiest monsters in sector 2, you’ll be able to progress without having to face instakills on either side.
I suspect this game will drastically improve the balance of the game and make the extra wait worth it.
Coming along with this update will be a bunch of bug fixes and some new content.
Shortly after this update we’ll be adding a complete sector 4, delta sector.
This update will probably require a character reset (I’m sorry! Beta :( )
Give us your thoughts guys