Starbound players, this is the development news that we've all been waiting for: Starbound will finally be getting it's big 1.0 update!
A plethora of gameplay improvements, content expansions, and overhaul mechanics come with the final version 1.0 and here are some of the new features developers back at Chucklefish Games have been working on.
Developers have been calling this release the "story update" and this holds true as the complete story arc of Starbound has now been finalized. Quests have been integrated smoothly along with gameplay progression so as to keep the lore of the game unified. Communication with NPCs, dialogue prompts, and side quests, among many others, have been revamped to stay true to the overall background of the game.
This doesn't mean that the game's sandbox feature will be compromised. Players still get to choose their own path in game progression to complete the quests and story arc. Quests can be approached in a variety of ways, depending on the player's style.
Planet Generation And New Dungeons
Over the years, planets have usually contained one major biome and little sub-biomes. The new update broadens planet generation as most planets will now contain a number of major biomes "in interesting combinations." Players may now encounter volcanoes within a jungle biome or derelict towns in a desert biome. Procedurally generated planets now contain more gameplay possibilities "for variation and interesting content."
New dungeon designs have been added to improve and build upon the story update and revamped planet generation. Along with fresh dungeon maps, new villages and "beautiful micro dungeons" have been added. The "Hylotls" race now has a "complete set of dungeons and villages in the game."
New Side And Generated Quests
Side quests have been broadened to complement the overall look and feel of the game. NPCs can now ask players for help, depending on the planet they are on and its existing mobs. These generated quests allow NPCs to be fully aware of their surroundings and integrate planet statistics in their requests.
The quest system has also been updated with a "quest tracker, compass, and multi-part quests which update as [players] undertake them."
Crew Members And Mercenaries
Players can now add crew members by either inviting colonists or hiring mercenaries. These new crew members can interact with various objects in the game, follow commands from the player and have their distinct roles to play during different scenarios: "soldiers will fight alongside you; medics will heal you mid-battle; mechanics will make your ship more fuel efficient; and stylists can outfit your crew in custom uniforms."
The ship can now be upgraded in two ways. Players can either reach a required number of crew members or buy license upgrades from the black market back at "Penguin Bay." Developers also add that they are now exploring the idea of giving players the choice of making "custom built ships."
New Crafting Progression
The crafting graphical user interface (GUI) has been updated and new crafting tables have been added. Craftable items have been categorized and the GUI cleaned up to help players easily look for their targets. Recipes now unlock more logically "and the improved UI makes crafting less of a chore."
Players can now craft fossil equipment that scans the earth for bones, which can be displayed using craftable display stands. The player has to complete a minigame in order for the scan to gather bones successfully.
Hunger Is Back
An option to add hunger back into the survival mode has been returned. Food can now play a vital part during gameplay, and the UI has been updated to track food's spoilage. Craftable refrigerators keep food fresh for later use. Outside of survival mode, food can now heal the player's character for a certain amount of health points (HP).
New Weapons And Combat Updates
New weapons have been added to the game's existing choices that are "extremely unique." They can be retrieved from either quests or "backer requests" and add even more diversity to the game.
The combat system has been fixed and is constantly updated to improve balance. Players now have increased invulnerability states when hit and monster's attack rates are paused whenever they are damaged. This means players can no longer be attacked when they use their weapon's second ability.
Revamped Pet And Augment System
Massive improvements have been added to the game's pet and augment system. More creatures can now be tamed, "capture animations" and pet behaviors have been upgraded, and tamed creatures will now appear in the player's inventory. Players can also craft healing and tether stations that allow them to keep pets in one location while they heal. Pets can also be equipped with collars that give them abilities.
The augment system now allows players to add special effects to their equipment and armor, which includes "increased damage and speed to fun special effects."
A New Style Of Multiplayer
Previous complex setups to allow multiplayer options will now be simplified. Developers have announced that they are still looking into improving this feature, which has always been "a bit technical to get off of the ground." The aim is to use available options in Steam to further tweak multiplayer options. Two kinds of multiplayer gameplay are currently in the works: a "drop-in drop-out" system that allows players in singleplayer mode to invite their friends over and is limited to a maximum of four; and the existing dedicated servers that will continue to use the game's "server/client model." The developers hope to remove the complex processes involved that require players to undergo a number of steps before establishing multiplayer contact.
Polish, Performance And Optimization
The overall look and feel of the game will be polished to allow optimal player experience. Current game mechanics will be enhanced such as: "code, sound, graphics, design." Performance and stability will also be improved upon regarding server side and client side issues. Frame rates on the client side and update rates on the server side will be significantly boosted for smoother performance. The developers write that "[they] will be pushing a release candidate of Starbound to unstable some time before 1.0 whilst [they] continue to polish for the final release."
As always, players can track the progress of the game before the final release date, which is yet to be confirmed, on the developer's website. Chucklefish Games will continually work on the game's internal system and other features they plan to release will be posted on Chucklefish Forums, like they have always done in the past two years.
Their previous update on the game's combat system can be viewed below: