Tutorials/Power Management

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Power: by far the most important part of your ship. At the best of times it's a fun puzzle, but there are times when you'd rather throw yourself off a building if you don't know what you're doing; let's go over all the mechanics and get started on some super-efficient reactors.

The Basics

In StarMade, power is used for everything: propulsion, weapons, shielding and stealth modules all use power from your ship's power-storage tanks. When these tanks are depleted, your modules will cease functioning until more power is generated from your ships' reactors. In effect, StarMade's power system is based on two things: energy storage and energy regeneration. Both of these are important, although depending on the size of your ship and its role you might want to focus on either more storage or more regeneration. Smaller ships generally don't need storage modules, while larger ships might see great potential in them. This is because power bonuses increase and decrease depending on the size of reactors and power storage tanks. We'll cover that later on, however.

Power Storage

File:Power Tutorial Tank Small 1.png

Power storage is fairly straightforward: more power storage tanks = more power storage; the more tanks you connect the bigger the bonus you get on their overall storage.

So for example, if on my ship I were to connect 5 tanks together I would see a bigger storage increase than if I had 5 separate blocks on it. But this bonus scales! If I had 10 tanks connected up I would get a bigger storage increase than having 2 rows of 5 connected blocks, etc. Connect as many of those tanks up as possible to get the biggest possible bonus!

Power Generation

File:Power Tutorial Small 1.png

This is what you should NOT do when building a reactor. Now, for the power regeneration: first things first, every power regeneration block adds a basic 25/s regeneration to your reactor. Secondly, and this is where it gets a little more complicated, power regeneration is not just based on the amount of connected blocks, it is also about creating the biggest possible box dimension for every separate reactor resulting in the biggest possible regeneration bonus in a limited amount of space.

A box dimension in essence is nothing more than the game looking at every connected group of power blocks and looking at the furthest connected block on every axis. If I had a reactor that were built out of a solid 5x5x5 cube of power blocks, the game would scan this group of blocks and determine that the x,y and z axes are all 5 blocks long, and so the resulting amount of blocks that expand the box dimension is: 5+4+4=13.

File:Power Tutorial Small 2.png A reactor only needs one line of blocks to extend the box-dimension in any direction.

File:Power Tutorial Small 3.png Now, use the space you saved to gain double the regeneration bonus in the same space

But what if I were to build only one line of 5 blocks on the x axis and connect 4 blocks on the y and z axes to the first block of the x axis? Wouldn't I get the exact same regeneration rate, since: x5 + y4 + z4 still equals 13?

Why yes, you would. It might seem somewhat unintuitive at first, but a solid 5x5x5 group of power blocks is a giant waste of space and materials. To get the exact same regeneration rate you really only need a minimum of 13 blocks extending 5 long on all axes to create that same size of box dimension. So in that same 5x5x5 space you could set another 5x5x5 box dimension in the opposite corner to get twice the regeneration rate in the same volume of space as long as the groups of power blocks don't connect directly.

File:Power Tutorial Small 4.png After doubling your bonus output, try getting even more by stuffing in as many and as big possible reactors.

File:Power Tutorial Small 5.png

Reactors are not limited to a certain shape, build away in any direction and size you want. Now to take it one step further: try to add even more box dimensions of as big a size as you can fit until you can't fit a single unconnected block in there anymore to get as high a regeneration rate as possible. This is sometimes referred to as the '5x5x5 challenge'. Additionally, remember to always make your box dimensions as big as possible since more volume equals more bonus regeneration - not unlike the storage system - but here it's all about the biggest possible box-dimension, not just sheer amount of connected blocks.

Note, however, that these volumes of space you can cram with all this power regeneration aren't necessarily confined to a square or other geometric shape of any size. It can therefore be a good idea at times to first build your ship's hull and then try to stuff many large box dimensions inside for the largest amount of regeneration. If you succeed in cramming a ton of regeneration in your ship, you might well find yourself laughing at your opponents' futile efforts to bring down your superior shielding, fueled by your thoughtful reactor design.


Lastly, note that the largest possible bonus you can get from box dimensions is capped at one million. After this, box dimensions will simply cease to provide any additional regeneration. This may seem like a faraway boundary, but on the bigger classes of ships it can be very easy to hit, hence making storage a much more efficient approach for any additional power systems in these cases once the limit has been reached for regeneration.

Power Regeneration Equation

The equation for power regeneration was previously:

   {R=[(2*(Z-1)+1)+(2*(Y-1)+1)+(2*(X-1)+1)/3]^1.7*100} R <= 1,000,000 + (BlockCount*25) = total ship regen

Doesn't include the box dimension efficiency decrease curve.

The current equation was posted by CyaNox on the official forums[1]. Rearranged for readability, that equation is:

   2000000 / ( 1 + 1.000696^(-0.333*(SumDimensions/3)^1.7) ) - 1000000 + 25 * Blocks

...where "SumDimensions" is the sum of the X, Y, and Z lengths of the axis-aligned bounding box that contains the generator group and "Blocks" is the actual number of SD HCT xm3.4 Power blocks in that generator group.

For extremely large generator groups, the power regeneration due to the dimensions of the generator group asymptotically approaches 1,000,000. This bonus regeneration divided by the sum-of-dimensions for the generator group peaks at X+Y+Z=596, or 594 SD HCT xm3.4 Power blocks. If one had an infinitely long line of power blocks, then it would be ideal to break that line into segments 594 blocks long each. (Of course, a segment that long is already over half the length of a sector.)

Power Transfer

Recently, power transfer beams were added to the game. The purpose of these beams is to either transfer power to or from a friendly, neutral or enemy ship.

Place the controller for one of these beams on your ship and make sure it is highlighted (if not, look at the block and press c) then place the corresponding beam in any shape and amount you like, bind it to a hotkey through the weapons menu and fire it like any other weapon in the game. Note that these beams deal no damage and you might only see something happen if either you absorb power and you have space to store it, or you are transferring it at a rate higher then your regeneration rate.

Current power beam math:

   7/(Blockcount^1.2) 

is how many seconds it takes while firing the beam for it to register a hit. Each group hits for a flat rate of 10k power per hit

See also

References

  1. http://star-made.org/comment/20043#comment-20043

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