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Replace a star system with one from another universe?

Discussion in 'Starbound Discussion' started by temakixai, Jan 30, 2019.

  1. temakixai

    temakixai Scruffy Nerf-Herder

    Hiya. I''m looking for some help.

    Basically, recently because of some bugs to existing things after installing mods over time, I decided to reinstall my game and all of the mods and start a new universe and new set of characters after backing up the old ones in case I want to go back to them.
    But what I want to do is take my favourite star system, which I have a couple of planets I spent a lot of time on, one of which in particular I spent several days real time building an avali camp. and I want to insert the whole system from the OLD universe into the NEW one.

    I've tried just copying and inserting the original system into the game, from the backup to the storage > universe folder, but it appeared there was already a star system with those coordinates. When I did this, it didn't have any change to the existing system when I went there.
    I tried going to a new system in the game, saving and exiting, then copying the content from the system file and replacing the content in the one that was just created in the universe folder, and then copying the world files over and renaming the files to have the same coordinates as the system instead of the old coordinates.
    But it still didn't seem to change anything at all.

    Am I doing something wrong? I thought you'd be able to just put a system and world files in and have them just appear in the game but it isn't going my way.
    What can I do?

    Any help is appreciated.
  2. sirguylittle

    sirguylittle Void-Bound Voyager

    What you are trying to do ought to work and I have done something similar before.

    The universe is procedurally generated however if nothing has changed then it should generate exactly the same each time on your computer, so you will find the same star system at the same coordinates. I don't know all the rules about it but if you look at the top of the Starbound Discussion there is a pinned topic about Coordinates Megathread. This suggests that if you have the same OS and Starbound version as another player, all you need are the coordinates of a planet to find the same planet as someone else.

    My own experiments show that if you take just the planet file from one save and put it in another and then visit that planet, it should look the same as the saved planet.

    I have a tendency to start over and have a couple of planet files that I use as a starting point, like this:

    Maybe try just copying the planet files of the planets you want to keep?

    Edited to add that maybe changing the coordinates by renaming the files is the problem as each system will have a different arrangement of orbits and may be generating default planets that don't match with the ones you are trying to place there.
    Again I'm not an expert about this but my understanding is that the first 2 numbers in the filename are the coordinates, the third is a kind of seed number that the procedural generation uses and the fourth number is the orbit location (there may be another number if the planet is a moon of a gas giant).
    I would guess that you might be able to change the first 2 numbers, but if the other numbers do not match a planet that should be there, then there will be problems.
    Would it not be easier to just use the same system as the planets were originally and leave the filenames the same?

    I've done a little experimenting and it is possible to replace a planet in one system with a planet from another system, thought if it is a different planet type, for example replacing a forest planet with a lush one, then you will get some odd results in the navigation console as it will still refer to the original planet type.

    Here is what I did. I had my test subject in orbit around a lush starter planet in the following system:

    I took the second of the 2 files listed in my previous post and copied it into the universe folder and then renamed it as above:
    964363457_-604665213_-196609013_11.world > 289602076_-86302809_-30323984_11.world
    It had the name of the new system but looked like the planet I copied.
    I also tried:
    964363457_-604665213_-196609013_2.world > 289602076_-86302809_-30323984_11.world
    to see the effect of using a planet in a different orbit and it worked OK, with some items I had left on the original planet being found on the new copy.

    I next travelled to a forest planet in the same system:
    and tried the copy
    964363457_-604665213_-196609013_2.world > 289602076_-86302809_-30323984_10.world
    This also worked fine with the items I left on the original save being found there though, as I mentioned above, the navigation console still thought it was a forest planet. I travelled right around the planet as I had not done so previously in its original system and it generated as a normal lush starter planet as expected, including a mine and gateway.

    Note that in each case it is necessary to completely change the file name, not just the coordinates.
    I tried this, changing just the coordinates to the new system:
    964363457_-604665213_-196609013_11.world > 289602076_-86302809_-196609013_11.world
    but it did not work and the game generated a new planet in that location.

    Also it is important I think to quit the game before making any changes like this and to make sure your character is not on the planet by beaming up to the ship first.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 31, 2019
  3. temakixai

    temakixai Scruffy Nerf-Herder

    Thank you for taking the time to write all this! Not to mention the testing

    Yes I quit the game while doing editing with the files.

    As I said, the first thing I tried was just to copy over the entire system and set of world files, but it not do anything.

    I then tried going to a new system, saving and quitting, and then essentially replacing the new system with the one I want to put in. Though as I mentioned, I used the exact same file name cus I didn't know about the seed thing.
    I also copied the entire name thinking it was just coordinates and replaced the entire filename of each planet with the same numbers except for the trailing number (the individual planet number following the underscore)

    What exactly do you mean in that last part, "Note that in each case it is necessary to completely change the file name, not just the coordinates" part?
  4. sirguylittle

    sirguylittle Void-Bound Voyager

    I must admit that I am not sure why copying the entire system did not work, though I have not tried that, only individual planets.

    The planet number is somewhat important. Each system has a number of possible orbits, around 12-14, but only some of them will be populated by planets by the game engine. There is more information about this on the wiki but that is not necessary for this discussion.
    Each system will vary in the composition of planets and it is best to illustrate this with a couple of examples, the two systems that I have been experimenting with:


    Marsin Stand


    Xetonarus Beta

    (I am using Erisss's More Planet Info mod which adds the Roman numerals to the planets as it makes it easier to follow)
    You will see that I have listed the world files according to which planet they relate to and there is not a 1 to 1 correlation, either between the planet number and its Roman numeral designation, or between the two systems.
    For Marsin Stand only the suffixes _2, _4, _5, _9, _11 would be valid.
    For Xetonarus Beta it's a bit more complicated as there is a gas giant which has 2 planets in orbit around it. So the valid suffixes would be _4, _7_1, _7_3, _10, _11.

    If I want to place a planet from Marsin Stand in the other system then I need to use one of the valid files names for Xetonarus Beta, not the planet number from Marsin Stand, although the outermost planet is easy as it has the same index.
    For example:
    964363457_-604665213_-196609013_2.world > 289602076_-86302809_-30323984_7_1.world
    would place Marsin Stand I in orbit around the gas giant of Xetonarus Beta

    The only way to find out which are valid orbits that I know of is to visit the system and go into orbit around each planet and let the game generate the files. It is not necessary to beam down to the planet, just enter orbit.

    I hope this is of some help :)
  5. temakixai

    temakixai Scruffy Nerf-Herder

    Oh okay I didn't realise some of this, particularly about it not copying the planets 1-1. also regardign what you said earlier about it not registering the planet type exactly on the nav window. (Speaking of that, side not: I was wondering if using the terraforming stuff would fix that?
    Like if the planet is a desert planet but that's basically just which blocks it's built out of and the game still consideres it not terraformed to be a desert planet? Could be an interesting experiment.)

    Basically I think I will need to take more care with this. I'll do what you suggested with visiting the orbit of each planet and then try replacing those planets individually with the ones I want to insert?
    and I should keep the number you described as being like a seed number the same as the old files but just change the coordinates?
  6. sirguylittle

    sirguylittle Void-Bound Voyager

    That's not a bad idea. I haven't played with terraformers yet so do not have any experience or knowledge of them.
    I did find this mention on the wiki
    "The planet description in the navigation panel on the player's ship will indicate that it's been radically changed through terraforming."
    That would seem to suggest that the game will be aware that the planet has need terraformed but not how. I do know that you can change a planet's type by terraforming more than 50% of it but not everything changes to match the new planet type. I think the tier for example remains the same as it was previously.

    You will need to change the entire filename to suit the new system and orbit that you want the planet located in. The first 3 numbers are needed for the game to find the planet correctly as they are the key for the system and the planet index to locate the correct planet orbit.

    I tried a couple of experiments to see what would happen if I didn't do this.

    I had my character in orbit around Marsin Stand VI on the ship, to recap the filename for this planet being:
    I deleted this file and made a copy of the file for Xetonarus Beta I:
    If I change the coordinates of this file but keep the seed (-30323984) so that it looks like:
    it doesn't work.
    On beaming down, the game ignored this file and generated a new file:

    Thus it is necessary to change the filename completely like:
    289602076_-86302809_-30323984_4.world > 964363457_-604665213_-196609013_11.world
    (Although we only use the first 2 numbers, the coordinates, to travel from system to system, the third number is part of the key to the system as indicated by the .system file, so all 3 numbers must match for the game to recognise the .world file as belonging to that system)

    I chose this example for another reason also as Marsin Stand VI is a Lush starter planet whereas Xetonarus Beta I is a desert planet that I have never visited other than entering orbit so as to generate the file.
    On beaming down it was definitely a desert planet and travelling around the planet generated correct desert terrain with appropriate features, like an Apex Colony and suitable biomes.
    This despite the Navigation Console still thinking it was a Lush Planet, lol
    Incidentally this is what the Nav Console shows, using Erisss's More Planet Info
    All the details shown are correct for the original Marsin Stand VI, not the desert planet that is now there.

    What I think happens when a planet is generated is:
    First we choose the system and planet, either by starting a new character, in which case the game chooses one a random, or we travel to one using the Navigation Console.
    The coordinates are entered into the procedural generator and the third number is generated along with the parameters for the system, name, number and type of planets, etc.
    You then enter orbit around one of the planets and further details about that planet are procedurally generated from the numbers that are used to create the filename for the .world file and this information is included in that file.
    From then on the information in the .world file, and not the filename, is used to generate the planet procedurally.
    When you make changes to the planet, digging it up and building on it for example, this information is also stored in the .world file.
    This is why we can move a planet to a different system but it will still look and generate as we would expect that planet to look as it gets the information from the file contents and not the filename. Once the file has been created, the filename doesn't matter other than for the game to find it when you select a planet to visit.

    As an aside, thinking about terraformers and what you are trying to do to build a custom system, there is also a mod 'Planet Transponder' that allows you to create an empty barren planet in any system, provided there is a free orbit space. It works a bit like the station transponder, though I have not tried it myself.
    It might be a way of adding extra planets to your chosen system which you would then replace with your backups, just a thought!
  7. temakixai

    temakixai Scruffy Nerf-Herder

    That is definitely worth a look at.
    I also tried putting the old world file in and changing jsut the coordinates and yeah it didn't change anything so I'll try again with the entire filename though I thought I did
    Just in case I did somethign wrong

    Ah! Success! For whatever reason this tiem it did work. I replaced the filename completely and when I went down, it was one of the planets from the old system. There were basically two major planets from two different characters I found out later were in the same system haha. This was the older of the two where I had a sort of living base with tenants built into the ruins of a hylotl castle because they're pretty (and the natural spawn point so happens to be RIGHT outside it which is so convenient)
    Unfortunately there's SOMETHING in that castle which is broken and has me immediately kicked back to the ship and I haven't been able to pin down what it is or how to remove it.

    Anyway I don't actually know which world file corresponds to which planet so I'm gonna do some trial and error to find my lovely avali desert camp.

    You helped me a lot sirguylittle, thank you!
    I will try the terraforming thing too to see if I can get this all sorted X3
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 2, 2019
  8. sirguylittle

    sirguylittle Void-Bound Voyager

    I don't know if this might help, there is a mod WEdit (World Editor) that lets you change quite a lot, but you need to be able to get close to the part of the world you are editing. I've just started to tinker with it and it is quite powerful, being able to do things like copy and paste structures, etc. Needless to say it is also powerful enough to do a lot of damage too, so backups are essential!
    I just thought that the mod also has a no-clip mode that allows you to fly around without interacting with the terrain, so you can fly right through a mountain, or the walls of a structure, just maybe that might let you get into the castle and find out what the problem is?

    I'm glad that I have been of some help. It has been a useful exercise for me too as I have furthered my own knowledge of the workings of the game. I sometimes get just as much enjoyment from tinkering with a game and finding out how it works as I do playing it, lol I'm gradually learning more about modding as well as there are a lot of good mods but sometimes they don't quite do what I want them to. I dream of creating a custom village or something and finding a world to place it in :)

    You might find Erisss's More Planet Info useful in your search. In the image of the planet info in my previous post the Surface Analysis doesn't show anything as it is just a starter planet but if you are looking at a higher tier planet that has settlements on it, they will be listed in that section. The mod supports the Avali race so it might be a way to quickly check if the planet has an Avali settlement on it. You just need to enter orbit and do not need to beam down to the planet or to travel around it.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2019
  9. temakixai

    temakixai Scruffy Nerf-Herder

    Ooooh that sounds awesome!
    yeah though unfortunately I can't get close to the thing causing the error.
    It's be nice if there was something like how terraria had that map editor application that let you edit a world as little pixel blocks haha
    so I could find what was causing the problem and remove it directly.
    it'd also be lovely if starbound just removed the item causing errors and didn't kick you back to the ship or crash.
    I was messing around with the world I was looking for since I found it and put it in successfully but unfortunately I just started receiving the same problem. Gonna make a post about that in a sec.

    Oh yes I've had that mod for a long time. It's just that I obviously don't have access to the old universe without switchign all my files over which I don't want to risk. so I didn't know which file was the correct planet.
    fortunately however, the first file was the old planet I mentioned with the castle, the second file I tried was the correct planet with the avali base. That was good luck haha

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