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Star Atlas Team flips Roadmap Around

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Earlier this year -after they finalized their planning- the team presented its new roadmap to the community. To many, the biggest surprise was seeing that the module they were expecting to launch next, dubbed MORE, was nowhere to be seen. Instead, we learned that we were going to welcome a different, richer module called CREAM instead. MORE was mostly about letting players build a mining operation on “placeholder” land (claims) in order to generate resources. The new CREAM module was going to build on top of that, by adding a ship creation loop on top of it through making sure those mined resources could be processed all the way up until a brand new ship would leave your shipyard!

However, somewhere between that announcement and this week, the team had a change of heart. Instead of adding a new staking-like mechanic to generate resources through mining land, they decided they would take a few steps back and instead focus on:

  1. Working on/Delivering game modules that would remain (at its core) functional in the future, instead of creating mechanics -like ship-staking- that would just serve as a stop-gap for future gameplay and would inevitably have to be thrown away at some point.
  2. Delivering actual gameplay, instead of gamified staking (like SCORE and the original idea for MORE/CREAM)
  3. Build out gameplay related to the assets everyone already has, and the team is releasing a lot more of this year: ships, before focusing on new areas
star atlas ships rainbow arc
Rainbow Arc

SCREAM

As a result, we can now wave goodbye to the short-lived CREAM and instead welcome SCREAM, or Ship Configuration, Resource Extraction, And [Ship] Missions.

This module’s focus will be fully on ship utility through missions. In that regard, it does remind us a lot of SCORE Tier 1, which had the same purpose. It looks like SCREAM is positioned to supersede SCORE, implying the latter will no longer exist.

There are 3 big parts to this:

  • Ship Missions – The team is trying hard to make sure these feel like actual gameplay! It will require players to compose a fleet for a specific mission, with the rewards (next to ATLAS) potentially being new components or modules for your ships
  • Ship Configuration – Note that Chypto warned us that this feature could come just a little bit after the module’s initial launch. This feature will allow you to start using your new components and modules!
  • Resource Extraction – This is where SCREAM differentiates itself from SCORE, and where things get interesting. Read on!

Mining & Refining

It’s interesting to note that Resource Extraction is still a part of SCREAM, even though we won’t be claiming land or be building mining rigs just yet. For this purpose, the team is planning to release mining ships this year, which will properly kick off people’s mining careers. As can be seen in the GAO Phase 2 Brochure, two mining ships are going on sale this year, both manufactured by Armstrong Industries, with one being a medium-size ship, and the other being a massive capital-class ship.

Now, not everyone will be able to get their hands on these, but fortunately, that won’t be necessary to start mining! Every ship is by default outfitted with a tractor beam (it’s the future after all), and that tractor beam can be used to mine resources as well. Of course, the mining ships mentioned above will be able to significantly outperform these non-specialized tractor beams, but at least everybody will be able to participate!

Another interesting tidbit shared by Chypto is that you will be able to improve mining [through your tractor beams] with specific components and modules as well. So there is a lot to look forward to with regards to this type of gameplay!

Now, as no land will be claimed and no mining drills constructed, mining with your ships will focus on asteroid fields and gas giants that are out there in space. You won’t be able to refine these raw resources all the way up to ships, ship construction is unfortunately not part of SCREAM anymore. Instead, you will be able to refine these resources into the R4, or in other words: the resources needed to re-supply your ships in SCORE. So mining won’t be just a fun way to spend your time, it could be somewhat lucrative as well!

Update March 7th: Added information regarding mining with a tractor beam & R4 (SCORE resources) – Thanks Chypto for the information!

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