Starbound recently came out of early access with version 1.0. However, I got in to it before that. I actually played through it a few times. I clocked over 200 hours before 1.0 was released. I've been playing it a lot since then, I even got my son a copy. As I was playing recently, I was thinking about the things I remember about the various development stages that I played through. I thought I'd touch up on them here.

I remember I started out playing a character of the Avian race. I liked using the Avian’s Tomahawk or Axe, but now I don’t like those weapons. When you click the left mouse button to attack, it raises your character’s hand(s) to attack. Letting go of the mouse button then lowers the hand(s) for the attack. So, holding down the button is the most effective way to get an attack at full strength. Swords and spears don’t act this way.

Speaking of the game’s races, I remember when the Novakids were added and I decided to try one. Since then, I haven’t switched. I think before 1.0 they specialized in guns, which are pretty effective ranged weapons, as expected. However, this time I’ve found my weapon of choice to be a spear or sword.

Quests, Missions, and Fuel:
I remember when Starbound's introduction was much different. I can't recall if Core Fragments were necessary to get your ship repaired right away. However, this is definitely different now as that's not even your first quest. So, I remember when Starbound didn't have a story introduction, in fact there was no story to it before 1.0, as far as I recall. Sure there were things you could read in the Codices, but nothing like it is now where you start out by waking up and having to attend your graduation. This is the new beginning and introduction to the game's basic mechanics. Once you get through that and on to your first planet, then you’re told that you need to collect Core Fragments. I seem to recall them located strictly far beneath the planet’s surface, at the core. However, I’ve noticed that you can easily find enough of them boxes in a nearby mine shaft. It used to be that you took them straight back to your ship, or so I seem to recall, but now you actually have to find a Gate on the planet’s surface and power it up with them. Once you do that, you can go to the Outpost where you end up talking to the main NPC in the game (the one other than S.A.I.L.).

I remember when the Outposts were added. I remember when they were there, but there was nothing there and teleporting on to their surface meant instant death. I remember later that other NPCs were added with their own shops. I also remember when NPC Quests were added to the game. There weren’t very many of them to begin with, but now they are very random and quite abundant. Not many of the NPCs at the Outpost have given me quests. A lot of the quests I’ve received have come from village NPCs that you may find on planets you explore. I am currently on a Jungle planet where I got tons of Quests from the local Glitch villagers. I haven’t even completed all of them and very many of them were similar. There is an Ancient Avian Tomb nearby and many of the NPCs requested that I go find a friend of theirs, save them from danger, and return them to safety. I eventually got tired of doing this. Some of them also wanted me to deliver something to another NPC, some times a note, then a reply, and some times materials. Some times I had to use materials given to me, or that I found, to create new materials. For instance, some of them asked me to locate some iron ore and then I had to smelt them into bars.

I remember when the Erchius Mining Facility became the first “questing mission.” It was tough and it still is, but it is now the first main mission you have to go on because you need to defeat the Erchius Horror to obtain Erchius Crystals, which enable you to repair your ship’s FTL drive. Reaching other planets brings me to another memory and that is when you could use coal and oil for fuel. That doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. Now you can either buy Erchius Liquid from the gas station on the Outpost or visit a moon and harvest Erchius Crystals. However, once you do (the latter), S.A.I.L. will tell you that harvesting this material will cause some creatures to come after you. Sure enough, there’s some kind of status effect you get when you start harvesting this material and you may eventually notice a big purple ghost coming your way. I tried to hit it with something, but it seems to be invincible.

Sandbox, Ship Upgrades, and Hunger:
Starbound is a sandbox game, kind of like Terraria. You can build houses and all kinds of things, but before 1.0 I never really had a reason to build on a planet. I crafted all the kinds of crafting tables/work benches I needed and placed them on my ship. When I ran out of room, I was able to upgrade my ship easily enough.

It is now much more complicated than that. In order to upgrade your ship, you need colonists. In order to get them, you have to buy a Colony Deed, which you place on a wall inside a house-like structure, just like you do when creating something for NPCs in Terraria. Once certain criteria are met and your Colony Deed is hanging on a wall, an NPC will teleport in. Then, you have to do quests for them, which will randomly generate. After doing some quests (I’m not sure how many it takes), they’ll decided to join your crew. Once you have enough crew members, you can upgrade your ship. You will find Ship Upgrades in your exploration and adventure, but you won’t be able to use them unless you have enough crew members.

This some what complicated system pretty much makes building on a planet imperative. However, you can also now buy Teleporters, which will let you teleport any where (even under ground). Although, you do need to obtain Teleporter Cores in order to buy a Teleporter. You can destroy a Teleporter, but you won’t get the Core back from it.

I remember, when I first played the game that hunger was a part of the game that was later removed. It’s been added back into the game in 1.0. However, during character creation, you can choose the “Casual” level of difficulty which removes hunger and the death penalty. The reason I mention this here is that I now have another reason to build on a planet, so that I can do some farming. Farming has been expanded as well. Not only are there a good variety of crops that you can grow, but there is also livestock you can raise, too, although I haven’t yet explored that part of it.

The game’s default difficulty level is called “Survival” which means there is hunger and a death penalty. While I don’t mind hunger, I do dislike the death penalty. I don’t mind so much that I lose 30% of my pixels (currency) upon death, but I also drop almost all of my items. This means I’ve often died and then had to try to locate where I died so that I could collect what I dropped. I didn’t like this part in Minecraft either, but luckily I could disable that with a command. In Starbound you can either play on “Casual” difficulty to avoid this or install one of the mods, which is very tempting.

Progression (The reason there’s a story?):
Progression has changed a few times since I first played the game. I remember when it was relatively easy to transcend through the various tiers of weapons and armor by obtaining ore that’s found only in certain kinds of star systems. While it wasn’t necessarily easy to do so, I spent very little time in each tier. That became the only reason to visit certain planets. I’d also like to mention that Tungsten Ore has replaced Steel, although Durasteel is still there. Now, I think the story could have possibly been added to give reason to progress through the tiers and reason to visit various star systems. Instead of obtaining Tier 1 and moving to Tier 2, you have a variety of things to do make it to Tier 2 and then more for the next and so on. While I found the game’s new introduction to be quite unoriginal, I think it’s still cool and gives the game a bit more depth that it needed. Although, (as I mentioned in a comment on another Starbound post here), Terraria doesn’t have a story and is perfect just the way it is. Although, another similarity the two games share is a variety of bosses. I remember originally fighting a few of them throughout this game before 1.0, but now there seems to be more of them.

The Hotbar and Inventory:
The Hotbar/Toolbar has changed. It no longer contains individually separated slots. The slots are now smaller (I think) and are in pairs. Each slot represents a left-click or right-click, a left hand or right hand. Many things, especially weapons, use both hands and therefore both slots that make up a pair. However, some things are one-handed, which means the other hand’s slot is available for something else such as a shield or flashlight. You can also lock and unlock the hotbar so that items do or don’t automatically go into it when you pick them up. You can also switch between two hotbars. I’m not really sure how I feel about the new hotbar, I guess I have mixed feelings about it.

Inventory is nicely organized now, though. There are a few tabs for blocks, food, etc.

Tech and Matter Manipulator Upgrades:
If you’ve played Starbound before, you know there are Techs in the game which give you different abilities, like being able to dash on ground or in the air. Throughout the game you will find Tech Cards which can be collected and then used at the Outpost to unlock new abilities.

Upgrading the Matter Manipulator works in much the same way, too. You collect upgrades for it and when you have enough of them you can select which upgrades you want, like the ability to paint, collect liquid, or increase it’s distance and power. Upgrades to Tech and the Matter Manipulator seem to be easy enough to obtain.

There are also two kinds of pets. One never leaves your ship and each animal is different for each race. These seem to be mostly cosmetic, although they have their own random personalities (likes and dislikes) and you can feed them and do other things with them, too, I think.

The other kind are the monsters you can catch using Capture Pods. This works a lot like Pokemon in which you get a monster below half health, throw a Capture Pod at it and it’s yours. Toss the Capture Pod out in the open and it comes out and fights with you. Unfortunately this “pet” can die, but you can revive it and don’t have to go capture a new one. However, in order to do so you will need a Pet Station which can only be crafted after you upgrade your initial Inventor’s Table (or whatever it’s called) twice. I captured a Moontant from the Erchius Mining Facility, but it died and I wasn’t able to restore it to health again for quite some time later in the game.

Oh and speaking of pets that can fight along with you, your crew members can do the same. I now have one pet and two crew members who follow me. I think there’s a limit on how many followers you can have at a time though, I’m not completely sure. If your crew member dies, it will teleport back to your ship. You can teleport back to the ship to get them to follow you again. You can also hover over them with your mouse and press the “E” key to get them to stay or follow. This became kind of problematic for me as “E” is used to interact with everything else and I sometimes accidentally told a crew member to “stay.”

Anyway, this is plenty of text to read, these are just a few thoughts I would share about 1.0. I may add more things in later. If you would like to talk about Starbound, feel free to do so here or on one of our other Cheerful Ghost posts!

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