[POLL] What do you think about... performance and moles

Hey guys,

while you are waiting for 6.0 and building and testing and have a lot of time (envy you) I give you some hardcore stuff to think about and everyone is welcome to share his / her thoughts on it. Bring as many thinkers into the boat as you can.


3D vs 2D terrain

That is the easiest headline I could think about. What I mean with that in detail:

You know already our Lucifer and Gabriel planets, right? That was invented by me and a quite good workaround to have non-destructable planets.


Gameplay wise I wanted planets where I can push deposits a bit up to the surface so only them are drillable or you let them sit into the planet to have Auto Miner battles. Also you are safe from these nasty moles, trying to trigger structural integrity or sneak in with tunnels, etc.
It is just that the best Base architecture survives.

Performance wise and this is the important part: non-destructable planets means a huge performance boost. Currently every planet generates .area files. At the beginning these .area files are generated by default and “stored” as default in the code. So the network doesn’t need to share them more than usual.
If you now start to deform the terrain it is like subdivision:

And the more triangles your mesh has the more performance hungry it is. I guess you know it already from the 4-Way-Connector block.

Now imagine a cheesy planet with million of tunnels, holes, etc. created by you. All these subdivided triangles are stored in the .area files. And every .area file represents a 500x500 area in the game. A complete discovered planet has about 110 .area files in the end.

Or let me take the example on the EU server. Gabriel is ~20mb big and Neptune is 223mb big - ONE planet - no fast internet speed = GG.

If you fly with a SV around on Neptune you will literally see how these big files get downloaded on the fly. Sometimes good, sometimes bad (turrets shooting at you from nowhere, etc.). And it was just you. Imagine 100 players doing it…

We have now multiple options I discussed with Eleon:

Option 1:

As a test we’ll implement 2/3 bedrock planets and 1/3 normal planets and see how it goes / your feedback is

Option 2:

We get a flag in the playfield.yaml file where we can have more cooler looking non-destructible planets where we don’t have Deposits anymore but only resources in form of Meteorites

Option 3:

The game will get rid of 3D triangle shader systems and the terrain becomes a 2D planet regarding drilling. This means you can drill a bit into the ground but no tunnels or something like this.
But option 3 will mean a complete game change. It is kind of “yes” or “no”.

The consequences the Devs told me for option 3 would be:

We could have easy ~200 players on the server, we would have network boosts you can’t imagine, a planet would be even more performant than orbits (currently orbits are, planets not) and all bad side effects would be gone regarding lag / ghost shots, etc.
Because these monster planets we have right now (the origin planets) dragging the whole server performance down to hell - in every playfield.

Last but not least where is the contra?

Well why people drill like crazy? Why they are building underground bases? Why they drill tunnels, etc.?

Because for example:

  • No working offline protection / protection in general on PvP
  • You can see the tag of bases, even if you can’t see them (underground)
  • other things like Railguns bigger range than turrets


What do you think Empyrion is about regarding terrain deformation (for 7.0)?

  • Option 1 - let’s test first and see how it goes
  • Option 2 - sounds cool but still give me the mole feeling from time to time
  • Option 3 - who needs cheesy planets?!? Give me all that boost and I build you tunnels with blocks

0 voters

Or just share your thoughts if you could imagine that Empyrion has no 3D planets anymore regarding drilling. Does cheesy planets belong to the game or is it just a nice to have? Do you want option 3 on Multiplayer but old system in Singleplayer? Would you first see a kind of stealth mode for bases / radar? A working offline protection first?

Let us know what you think because in multiplayer it could mean a complete new game experience!

Your HWS Team + Eleon


Sounds awesome! Option 3 sounds good to me! :smiley:
Best regards

I hate tunnels I have gone with option 3

Would you still be able to page down placing bases in this scenario? If so then Option 3 would be rife for exploitation ie underground turrets/cores/base parts you can never get to destroy. If it did stop from pagedown then that would have the opposite effect and be a good fix for that exploit instead of amplifying it further. It really seems like the ‘Nuclear Option’ here tho. So I vote Option 1. 1 & 2 together may be the best of both worlds. Don’t change the game just to suit pvp on a few servers. no way.

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I Choose option 1 for multiplayer
I think in single player you could continue drilling.
If you prevent drilling in multi you also prevend POI easy conquering.

I don’t even really like to play anymore with all the lagshots destroying my hard built ships. I’d rather play a spaceship game than a mining game anyways so I vote option 3

The fix for it is in progress in general.

Well it is more a general question. Do Empyrion need drilling that much? Thinking of survival…


i like Meteorites so easy to drill with a Hv and you can not break a leg dropping in a hole,
but the in game AM will be useless
there are already a lot of change on game, maybe this will be ok 2…why not
we can try it out first and see how it will effect gameplay , it will effect a lot of ppl

also nice:
http://empyriononline.com/threads/alpha-6-0-dynamic-weather.10506/ :wink:

The Case for Option 3:

Im looking at Option 1 and thinking that if this is implemented, it wont be a true test because the 1/3 of planets will still be mole warrens of underground turrets and tunnels and lag, which will drag the server down.

Option 2 would be awesome. I like no deposits, just meteors… forget about auto-miners, for now.

Option 3 looks like we get a huge performance boost, no deposits only meteors and no moles. i now shouldn’t have to defend the underside of my base (on planet) only the x y and top of the z… that makes since.

Im okay with loosing the AFK Autominer for the ability to fight properly.

I like the idea of 2, and i also like the idea of 3. Option 1 is a decent easy “try it and see” scenario, but will probably tell us what we already know – Performance will go up, but the 1/3 will end up dragging down the server eventually.

Option 2 - Love this idea, and it means that you would still be able to have AM’s in places where this flag is not set – but in others like Arma, you could make it like Lucifer and still have a pretty good experience – STILL doesnt address the risks in Option 1, however – as planets without this flag would/could eventually be a drain on the whole server.

Option 3 - I think this is where im landing. I personally dont have anything invested in drilling, so i will not miss the feature – however im sure others will depend on it. So it will be a please some, but definitely not all option. however i think in the end, the meta will evolve and embrace it for the trade off in performance. The fact that we can no longer mole will probably impact a small portion of the game – but planet life today is already uncomfortably difficult. At least if you could play ON the planet with good performance, the loss of protection from underground bases would be a good trade… and also the benefit of no more moles wouldnt suck either. In situations like Arma 12 pve 12 pve, no more tunelling in PVE hours too!

Interested in this discussion - im sure there will be lots of passion around it.

I tossed my chips at Option 3.

EDIT: @RexXxuS: would the option 3 “amazing performance boost” extend to laggy performance in orbits? Say, for example, CV battles (not talking lag shots, but just general performance)

  • Hops
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I would have too say all options would have negative impacts, taking away a lot of the work thats been implamented so far, that actualy makes the game nice.

I wounder why just stopping drilling near/around resources has not be implamented from the server configs.

AntiGriefDistance: 70 # Distance (in m) around a faction’s base where no other faction’s base can be built

AntiGriefZone: All # Zone where the AntiGriefDistance is valid (All, PvP, PvE)

These two lines after testing myself seem too stop any grief including digging/drilling around base areas if set too All NOT just PvP or PvE as servers are normaly set too PvE.

AntiGriefOresDistance: 70 # Distance (in m) around ore deposits where no other faction’s base can be built

AntiGriefOresZone: All # Zone where the AntiGriefOresDistance is valid (All, PvP, PvE)

These two lines after testing myself seem too stop bases being built on/around if set too All NOT just PvP or PvE as servers are normaly set too PvE.
(as long as they dont use the drone exploit too place the base while standing out of range of the restriction ofcourse - this needs a fix)

Distance around areas could also be set, but Ive tested with 70m on both and this seems a good distance.

Thus having these options enabled, does reduce terain damage, as people are less lightly too try digging into the side of a base to avoid guns, because they cant get close enough too do damage, however with the SV guns still able too do damage, it would still be possible, so SV gun damage would have too be written into the code, to stop grief with such weapons directy around a base perimiter./ore deposit are.

So as I said Pro’s/Con’s on all options really…

I personaly think going option 3, could destroy some nice game play situations, as ok this would vastly increase performance. but would remove gameplay elements that people do like too use.

The biggest probelm IC with any option that doesnt equal just a sold ball which is undigable, is that SV guns along with base guns during defnece also cause a lot of terain damage, its not entirely the moles per say.

I think overall that damage too the terain from any type of non drilling gun/turret should be reduced quit heavily, this in its self would reduce the surface damage around groups of bases.

My personal recommendation would be too, if possibel make the planets surface a different layer, that can take some damage, then every thing under that layer is what we call bedrock.
Id say mayb the layer would only be as deep as the largest deposit on said planet.
This would then ofcourse mean 0 underground bases/tunnels, however I would assume mountins would still be usable as they are objects above the surface layer anyway.
One issue I see with this though is that lakes/ocean areas would no longer have deep waterways, as the surface area would become a lot smaller.

Overall im going to refrain from placing a vote, as I think more options and more info on outcomes of such options should be presented. Thus not destroying balance along with the beauty of the game we all love.



A less laggy playfield is so worth the sacrifise of not being able to drill holes! Option 3!

Good input, Era50r! I think that the problem with delaying or reducing the terrain damage is that over time, the impact will continue to wear on the server, and as far as the area file is concerned, it doesnt matter if the drilling is done in one area over another (think deposits), the act of drilling and creating a more fine mesh would be absolute across the entire area file. Thus, this may or may not impact performance heavily and would likely not have as great an impact on long-running servers with no surface wipes.

One additional question i thought of while writing this, however, is that i assume Option 3 woudl also do away with the LAND FILLER TOOL, as this would also create additional areas to track.

  • Hops

You mean that orbits will be less laggy or more laggy with option 3? As I said - good performance on planets = good performance in orbits.

Good point. That was also in discussion and would count as a kind of option 4. But there will be still parts which are drillable to cheese. Or just another technical way instead of bedrock.
Because right, with gun damage you can still dig tunnels etc. This should be “fixed” soon I hope in general.

AntiGrief has another problem in multiplayer where you can’t build near your friends or if you crash with your SV near a base you can’t dismantle for example.
Also there is a non-exclusive or implemented which is not cool:

AntiGriefDistance: 70        # Distance (in m) around a faction's base where no other faction's base can be built
AntiGriefZone: All           # Zone where the AntiGriefDistance is valid (All, PvP, PvE)
AntiGriefOresDistance: 7    # Distance (in m) around ore deposits where no other faction's base can be built
AntiGriefOresZone: PvE       # Zone where the AntiGriefOresDistance is valid (All, PvP, PvE)

The first entry kills basically the second with the “All” setting.

By the way Auto Miners can still be set because deposits even in Option 3 can still be implemented. Remember you can still drill a bit down (vertically). But not horizontal any more.

And option 3 is not like “there will be still terrain deformations due turret fire etc.”. I mean yes that is true but Option 3 is a complete different technical situation. They would use a complete different unity library which is a huge huge boost in the overall quality.

Oh and I forgot that with option 3 you could have awesome looking textures… what you see now is the price for cheesy planets

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Yep. Thats what i thought it meant, but wanted to be clear for all who read. We lose tunnels, but get better performance in nearly everything else. Tough sell.


Option 3 all the way, iv had enough digging to last me the next 10 years. It’s a huge time sink when deploying bases, and you only need to drill because others can drill. Having a complete 2D planet will make defending your base a lot easier.


I hate builder games. I have mocked, belittled, teased and tormented builder gamers in general.

I need that to be clear when I say the following: I LOVE THIS GAME!

I don’t like any of the above options. It is a sandbox game and you are talking about throwing out the sand. I’m not a mole player but reality as a threat to defend against is a major draw.

I love drilling into a mountain to make hangers for a base. Heck the mountain is the base in a lot of respects. Where does the “Ground” stop? Is the bedrock a sphere, I’m sorry two flat planes separated by a green line, with drillable terrain on top?

I just dumped 3k on a computer to play just this game, specifically HWS. It’s overkill for the Unity engine but I like to be prepared in case they make changes. (Yes I like this game that much. It is the only game. Ask Dr. Flux as I play no other now.)



I think the question is are we playing a mindcrafty-voxil-manipulate-the-terrain-game or are we playing a game of base and ship building and battling.

It seems to move forward, we can have one or the other but not both.

The anti-grief-ing settings are all well and good, but they don’t solve the underlying problem of performance. every-time you change the surface of the planet the amount of memory for that planet increases. It doesn’t matter if they are digging under your base, or just making a massive tunnel network for their own base, changing the surface creates an ever bigger file. imagine 30 people all manipulating the planet.

Even if I don’t live on Neptune where there are massive tunnel networks for example, that lag is transferred to me and all the galaxy. Compound that by every planet in the galaxy all with warrens of tunnels on going and never ending. the amount of memory used to hold each and every persons tunnels up, leaves less memory for ship to ship or ship to base battles. compounded, over the entire galaxy.

Drilling is what you have to do to get to play the actual game.
Underground bases are what you have to do to have a chance to play the game.
Placing turrets underground are what you have to do to survive long enough to play the game.
Drilling underneath an enemy base is how you exploit the game mechanics to get around base defenses.

If the game mechanic is flawed, lets just change the game mechanic.

YES. We should suggest changing game mechanics… especially if they are the root of all problems.

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Option 3, we can adjust to everything being above ground. This game/server NEEDS performance more than anything. PvE and PvP.

If you’re going to go back to 1990 Colin go for it. If option 3 is chosen the option 2 should be mandatory. Only meteorite resources. No more Auto miners.

If the resources slow down people won’t have 4-5 mega killers stored in their factories and litter the planets during battles.

This is not a Jab at OP4 (I luvs u!) or Lot (We kool) in any way but watch @mcprouty stream on the first Ice invasion we did with you all.

Lot had 999 of every turret and piles of CS waiting in his base.He was rebuilding his ships over and over on the fly. You guys were dropping Worldbreakers like candy. It’s too much. WKN spent over 3 hours there holding on with everything we had. It broke our bank but we still threw.

Resources should have value.

@RexXxuS if your going crazy revamp then Option 4 - Complete Reset Combine Options 2 and 3. Wipe all OCD’s and reset all HWS Auto Miners. Lets set HWS to “Hard” Mode.