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Never Alone: Stronger Together

Stronger Together

Day 7/20 of the year 2,623. Ancient MUD Calendar

Location — One of the bigger space stations in the Medium Risk Zone, a few hops from the Scriptorium of Lumikir.

The bustling bazaar of the space station hums with feverish activity as merchants from various corners of the galaxy are vying for attention in hopes of selling their exotic wares.

You deftly maneuver through the throng of bodies, making sure one eye remains fixed on Saand while seeking fragments of familiarity amidst the sea of alien artifacts. The Punaab, who enthusiastically runs from market stall to market stall, seems blissfully unaware of the perils lurking in a place like this.

The flash of a nearby display suddenly catches your attention, and you see a picture of Chior.eldr, portrayed side-by-side with Vaor Scarka. The scene reminds you of those sports broadcasts where they show the two contestants in a duel this way, right before the match begins. A slight feeling of unease settles over you.

The image fades, and a Mierese news anchor, who seems vaguely familiar, seems to start providing some commentary on the segment. You move a few steps closer to catch what is being said.

Abruptly, a hand lands on your shoulder, jolting you out of your focused state. Reacting instinctively, you pivot, swiftly grabbing the stranger’s arm and unholstering your weapon in a seamless motion. However, with a quick flick of the wrist, the arm slips from your grasp as its owner withdraws, leaving you momentarily off balance.

Before you stands an alluring human woman, her figure swathed in stylish yet practical-looking garments. Her open palms, raised in a gesture of non-aggression, serve as an invitation to trust.

“I mean no harm, Captain,” she says quietly, her words clearly only meant for you.

As your eyes quickly scan her for concealed threats, she continues, “I hoped to meet you here. I can tell you are wary, so I will get right to business. We have a vested interest in your companion.” Her head subtly nods toward Saand, who, momentarily forgotten, seems engrossed in examining hologram cards depicting planets from the fabled human Sol system.

Your mind races as you try to keep a steady aim, your standard-issue weapon pointed directly at her gut. “Captain?” you repeat, a mixture of surprise and confusion coloring your words. “Do I know you?”

“You do not, but we know you,” she replies, her hand grazing the edge of her long dark coat, briefly revealing an emblem you right away recognize, even though, until this moment, you’ve only seen it in the onboarding documents you received when you affiliated yourself with Aephia Industries. Her eyes lock onto yours while your brain connects the dots.

With a minuscule nod, you convey your comprehension and put your weapon back in its holster. Best not to antagonize someone who claims she is an Aephia Intelligence operative.

Her lips curl into a faint smile, acknowledging your astute comprehension of the situation. “Any help you provide us won’t be forgotten,” she says, pausing briefly before adding, “And… there may be… something more concrete in it for you too.” Her unspoken words hang in the air, promising potential benefits if you choose to comply.

Before you can inquire further, her eyes briefly flicker over your shoulder, and she interrupts your thoughts. “It would certainly help both of us if you’d keep a closer eye on your friend!”

Quickly whirling around, your gaze lands upon an angry shopkeeper leaving his stall, heading in Saand’s direction. “Not again,” you mutter under your breath, realizing your companion’s penchant for attracting trouble.

“We’ll be in touch.”

Turning back to the woman, you discover an empty space where she just stood. You look around, but it appears that she has blended seamlessly back into the bustling crowd.

Her disappearance adds an air of mystery to the encounter, leaving you to ponder the implications of her words. You weave through the market, pushing past onlookers to reach your companion before any harm befalls him.

As you approach Saand, you quickly intervene, defusing the escalating situation with the angry salesman. With a few calming words and a well-placed ATLAS transfer, you manage to appease the disgruntled merchant and ensure Saand’s safety.

The encounter with the Aephian operative has left you with more questions, mostly about the true nature of Saand’s forgotten memories. What value do they hold?

With resolute steps, the two of you leave the bustling bazaar behind you, your eyes sharp and your senses heightened. You’ll get Saand his memories back. You’ll help him find Etira!

Stronger Together Intro
…Before you stands an alluring human woman, her figure swathed in stylish yet practical-looking garments…

Never Alone – An Extension

Earlier this year, ATMTA launched a Social Campaign on Zealy that we so far have very much enjoyed. And, as we shared in our earlier announcement, we liked it so much that we envisioned building upon that campaign with an extension of our own. Really, the first concept of our Stronger Together campaign was born within a week after Never Alone: Mission 1 went live. When we were brainstorming about ways to incentivize our members to keep their unlocked Never Alone Memories in their bags and redeem them at the conclusion of Never Alone for the loot bundle & DAC competition points, this was the very first idea we had. It resonated so much that we did not look any further.

If you have not yet had a chance to read more about the origin and idea of Stronger Together, please do so now. From here on out, we will dive deeper into what this campaign will look like.

Social Campaign

A Social Campaign is simply a reward structure that incentivizes people to help spread the word. These started with a heavy focus on social media, such as Twitter, but have gradually been enriched with support for various online platforms and other “tasks” (such as quizzes).

Zealy, which we use for Stronger Together, rewards each completed task with a certain amount of XP, a Discord role, or both. However, we can also define custom rewards, though the downside is that these can not be automatically fulfilled.

The Stronger Together campaign will award XP, Discord roles, and various other rewards. The XP you earn has the potential to land you the biggest prizes, however!

Rewards

You will appreciate that, unlike the team, we can’t just mint an infinite amount of new Star Atlas assets. We also can’t guarantee everyone will get a Star Atlas asset. So, we had to come up with an alternate way to reward everyone for their participation.

Category A – Raffle

First, at the end of the year, we will raffle off all Star Atlas assets in our prize pool. This pool is made up of a variety of member-donated ships, Claim Stakes, and other SFTs. A few AEP Life Form NFTs are also in there (more on those soon!). In the very near future, we will outline how you can donate assets for this cause and why you may want to do so.

Every 100 XP gathered between now and the end of the campaign will yield you 1 raffle ticket. After the campaign has concluded, we will raffle the full pool of prizes to everyone who participated. This will be done in the following way:

  • Every day we will draw 5 tickets
  • We will start with the most expensive/wanted items
  • If you won 2 items, your wallet can no longer receive any other rewards

The first item is done to make this an event we can enjoy for a few days. The other two need to be seen in conjunction. If we limit the number of assets you can win, we should start with the top prizes instead of with those that you attribute the lowest value to.

Category B – Aephia Prizes

Because Star Atlas won’t support user-generated content anytime soon, it makes no sense to promise you such things. And even if they would support this, the costs involved would be unknown, making this a risky endeavor regardless.

There is, however, one asset class, something we won’t share much about at this stage (but stay tuned for COPA 2023), that we can give away. Throughout this campaign, you’re able to earn three different backgrounds/skins (SFTs) to cosmetically enhance your future Member Badge (NFT). These will be limited editions and only ever earnable through this campaign.

As mentioned before, we’ll provide further details at COPA 2023!

As to how you can earn these: You will need to reach a certain level in Zealy to unlock the first background/skin. Another one can only be earned by contributing at least 40 points to the Never Alone Guild Competition at the end of the year.

Category C – Extra/Collab Prizes

On top of the above two categories, we may add additional prizes to specific quests or levels reached. These may come in the form of another cosmetic Aephia Member Badge upgrade, but they may also come in the form of time-limited quests with a “mini” raffle tied to them.

This last variant is also very handy for collaborations with other (Star Atlas) community projects. In fact, the first of these has gone live today!

Dark Core Roasters

To celebrate our 2-year anniversary, we partnered with the Dark Core Roasters coffee gurus to bring you a special limited-edition coffee brew, Aephian Pulse Drive! Read all about it in our special announcement!

And, of course, we are going to give away a 12oz bag of Aephian Pulse Drive to 8 lucky winners! In order to join the raffle, you will need to complete a special quest.

It’s important to know that this quest will only be available for 7 days! You will need to complete it (and follow all steps described) before July 27th, 16:00 UTC.

Everyone is welcome to participate in this quest! This is not just for Aephians!

Stronger Together

Stronger Together

This campaign will run from July 20th, 2023, until the conclusion of Never Alone. As the team did not yet provide us with a date, we can’t give one either. It will likely be around the end of the year! The exact reasoning for this end date can be found in our prior announcement.

When you visit our questboard, you will see quests in various categories. We’re starting slowly. More quests, including quests that will progress the story we have thought out, will be added over time.

The lore you read at the top of this article is the prelude to our storyline. One of the quests we’ll add next will pick up where that piece or prize left off. We can’t wait for you all to explore

No Further Missions

Unlike Never Alone, this side-questline knows only one “mission”. We will constantly add to it, ensuring the storyline wraps up as the campaign ends.

Best of luck, Captain!

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