Starbound Beta dropped today and I wanted to post a bit about it. First off, the game is quite good for a beta, very well polished and lots of fun. The game isn't perfect though and I have ran into a few bugs already, but for such an early beta, the game is incredible.

Starbound take the formula we all love that was popularized by Minecraft and Terraria and spins it up such that what you are left with is a pretty unique blend of awesome. If you have been following the site for the last few days you have seen me post about the early game and how to start things out. I followed that closely and was able to get started pretty quickly. The game isn't easy to start and I died, a lot. The only penalty for death is losing 30% of your "pixels" (the in game currency) and at first, it might seem like a lot, but pixels are easy to come by.

I moved through the early tiers of the game starting with bronze armor and moving to iron. I have a full Iron Armor set and got a fancy new Iron sword and I can take mostly anything that naturally spawns on the starting planet. I found a army base and was able to take down the inhabitants with only dying a few times. One of the soldiers dropped a pretty weak laser pistol. When I shoot it it uses the green bar energy but doesn't deplete enough to matter as it does so little damage.

After getting the hang of mining I saved up enough coal to hop to a small moon and I decided to do a Let's Play of spelunking around the Moon a bit. I also head back to my starting world in the ship, so if you haven't see how that works you should watch the video above.

Overall the game is very good and I can't wait for it to go live.

**EDIT** I had a few recommendations originally, but as it turns out you can use BOTH coal and wood to fuel your ship. I have no issues with ship fuel anymore, wood and coal are both plentiful.

All that to say, Starbound is in beta and is already fantastic, I can't wait to see what they add before this thing goes live.

Travis   Admin wrote on 12/05/2013 at 04:14am

Yeah there are a few bugs. I'm now getting the one where the loading sequence hangs for about a minute on the Chucklefish logo. I had one earlier where I couldn't select anything in my inventory until I quit and came back in.

Overall, though, this is amazing. There has to be a better way to find coal, perhaps it comes later in the game, or they haven't added it yet.

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 12/05/2013 at 06:03am

Travis, I just found out you can use both wood AND coal to fuel your ship. I edited my post, I have no more issues with ship fuel :D

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 12/05/2013 at 06:04am

That said, replanting trees would still be awesome. :D

hardeyez wrote on 12/05/2013 at 09:16am

I think if you use an axe they regrow... could just be hallucinating though... :)

Timogorgon   Member wrote on 12/05/2013 at 09:23pm

My favorite part of the Lets play: When Panicked Thumb messaged you about losing all of his pixels right at the end there. :P

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 12/05/2013 at 09:43pm

@hardeyez: I haven't seen that using an axe allows them to regrow. As far as it seems now, trees don't come back. Not that it's a huge issue as random planets are plentiful BUT if you wanted to stick to a planet, it might be nice.

I actually wanted to see how much wood was on a normal level one planet and chopped down all the trees. Counting all the wood I used when I started, my estimation is that a typical level 1 forest planet has between 2.5-3k of unrefined wood. So yeah, that's a ton, but again, it would be nice to replant trees :D

@WhiteboySlim: Yeah, I did a take of the Let's Play where he messages me a few times and I am glad I scratched it because what he says at the end of this video is funny :D

Travis   Admin wrote on 12/06/2013 at 02:00am

If I'd known you were doing an LP at the time I would have shut up, but I'm glad I didn't under the circumstances.

Travis   Admin wrote on 12/07/2013 at 06:56am

Imminent character wipe! Sunday or Monday there's going to be a massive patch retooling a lot of the core mechanics of the game, so be prepared to lose all your progress!

http://playstarbound.com/coming-in-a-few-days-sorry-for-the-delay/

Timogorgon   Member wrote on 12/07/2013 at 07:15pm

Excellent, cleanse the universe with purifying fire!!! Err, sorry, got a little carried away there. I dunno how i feel about the whole reducing levels from 1-100 to 1-10. However, the whole damage penetration thing was pretty confusing, so I'm glad to see they're reworking that. Overall I look forward to the changes!

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 12/08/2013 at 05:29am

And this marks my end to playing the beta heavily. Now that I know my save is toast, I am out. It was a fun game for the bit I played it though but these changes are pretty big and knowing they will make them means they will make other huge changes through the beta again. Not that it's a bad change, I bet all the changes they implement will make it a great game, I just don't want to start over too many times.

I might write a few closing thoughts about the game in a day or so though as I wind down with the beta. It's a great game with a ton of promise and character. My only nagging feeling while playing the game was it was this limitless vast universe that was very empty. Pretty, fun, lots of exploration with little meat and potatoes. It's feels very "Minecrafty" in that regard, Minecraft always feels lonely when I play it. Starbound is the same feel right now.

Travis   Admin wrote on 12/08/2013 at 06:31am

I think the lack of meat and potatoes will be taken care of later on. It's still very early days and a ton of the content isn't done.

My big complaint at the moment is the pure randomness of it. My starter system, the one where I spent most of my time, barely had any activity in it beyond a couple of houses and a bandit camp. I went to a second system and found a planet with an Avian pirate ship, and that planet had a moon with an Egyptian-style temple. I created a new universe on my Mac to set up a test server and when I joined that, the starter planet had a full-on village where I found tons of interesting stuff and vendors for everything under the sun. This is the kind of thing that would have been really helpful in the early hours of the game but due to the randomness you may not get it.

Timogorgon   Member wrote on 12/08/2013 at 07:39pm

The randomness is kind of rough. My starter world had very little in the way of anything. I only had one small avian temple with no chests :p. the next planet had a HUGE underground tomb filled with tons of stuff and I found more resources in half an hour on the new world than I did during the two hours or so I spent on my starting world. That said, this is still an early beta and I am pretty impressed with what is there already. Once they start to flesh out the quest system I think it is going to really shine. I also read something on the forums about being able to start your own village and populating it with NPCs that do different things, which sounds really cool.

Travis   Admin wrote on 12/08/2013 at 07:40pm

I'm actually a bit worried at how this is going to play out.

I'd say generally people who preordered understand what's going on. They had the email they sent out a while back detailing the different phases of the beta and that in the early days, character wipes would be common.,

And, for rapid development like this, Steam makes a ton of sense for getting updates out. Having people manually download new clients would get annoying fast.

But just putting the game up as Early Access might burn them a bit. There are a ton of people buying this that may not have any idea they'll be losing their saves soon. Early Access means what it says it means, but I'm not sure what kind of precedent there is for losing everything. It would have been nice if they could have given Steam access to people who preordered and nobody else until stage 2 or 3 of the beta.

hardeyez wrote on 12/08/2013 at 10:36pm

Yeah, I don't like character wipes as I'm having lots of fun with this... each world is so different and you find fun stuff on it. So it's really check it out and bounce if it's not fun on that world (you just need a few trees to move along, unless you've got a full tank).

But I've been playing a lot, and probably will keep doing so. It'll be much faster to recover after a wipe, but I'll miss the blueprints I've found for the weird stuff. But I basically hit the end of the tech for now (I think, could be missing something)... 3 sectors, 2 bosses down. Just need to find the more exotic ores to build stuff... Fun.

I will miss my ship also, found fun stuff in some USMC bases (i.e. I have an arcade machine and a fun sofa you can sit on in my ship).

So the discovery is fun. I wish they would just convert the chars instead of a wipe. However, when changing the whole weapon system, the old weapons might need to go... I'm more fine with obsolete weapons disappearing (or breaking down to base resources) than loosing everything. But yeah, your character is mainly what you've found/crafted.

Timogorgon   Member wrote on 12/09/2013 at 07:46pm

Hmmmm... I checked the steam page and I didn't see anything on there warning about potential character wipes. They probably should put something on there just as a heads up for anyone who doesn't read the forums or subscribe to the newsletter.

I cut off my playing once they announced the incoming character wipe, but I will jump back in after the update. I'm intentionally limiting how much I play/progress in the game so I don't get burned out until the game gets closer to completion. :)

On a side note, we briefly talked about a group multiplayer map just to screw around in for a night or two. Is that anything you guys are still interested in? I think that'd be good to do after the update hits.

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 12/09/2013 at 08:54pm

Travis is working with getting a server going, but yeah, I am open to trying it out after this next patch.

Traveeto?

Travis   Admin wrote on 12/09/2013 at 10:13pm

Yeah, there's very little that you can configure at this point so I'm a little wary of keeping it up for long, but I'll host for a couple of days.

Also, Traveeto?

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 12/09/2013 at 10:27pm

Nice, hit us up with the server details when you have it.

> Also, Traveeto?

Travington!

Timogorgon   Member wrote on 12/09/2013 at 11:19pm

Yeah, I'm not talking about running a full on server for any length of time. I was thinking something just to screw around for a night or two and see how multiplayer works/holds up.

The Travster? Travisty? Traverino? Grand-Master Trav?

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 12/10/2013 at 01:22am

Travisty?

/grin

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 12/23/2013 at 09:05pm

Recent patch:

http://pastebin.com/qJXf3LSE

"Trees can now be planted"

Yay.

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 12/23/2013 at 09:08pm

"You can no longer breath on moons or asteroid fields without the proper equipment"

Even the Glitch? Hmmmm.

"More random encounters"

Awesome.

Travis   Admin wrote on 12/24/2013 at 12:02am

I think race-specific traits are coming in a future update. Hopefully that's one of them, because seriously, the glitch shouldn't need to breathe.

Travis   Admin wrote on 12/24/2013 at 12:05am

- You must now be orbiting a planet to set it as your home
- Free teleportation to home planet from ships teleporter

I now have a reason to actually build a home base.

- NPCs will now switch to melee weapons up close

Oh this is awesome. Trying to fight all those guys with guns was terrible. Now at least you can shield rush them and then have a fair fight up close.

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 12/24/2013 at 12:46am

Teleportation to home planet for free really does give you a reason for a home planet. And a reason to have a house. Plus now you can re-plant trees so even better.

hardeyez wrote on 12/24/2013 at 02:39am

Yes!!! I hit Tier10 equipment and was kinda sad, but now new stuff to play with :)

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