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Star Atlas: The Road Ahead

Star Atlas Alive

Last night, the Star Atlas team published their long-awaited official roadmap! It lists all features that need to be implemented in order to realize the team’s full vision for Star Atlas!

Similar to the roadmap the team shared during their 2022 Breakpoint Keynote (though that focused primarily on their UE5 releases), the full feature set has been split into and divided over Pre-seasons and Seasons. Additionally, this publication also does not come with any (target) dates. Instead, it lists the rough order in which the team plans to release their milestone product releases and updates.

Where Michael (CEO) his overview of the 2022 Roadmap during Breakpoint was rather short, this new publication is more extensive and lists many more non-UE5 related releases. A major shout-out to Dominic (Community Manager), José (Chief Noot), and Danny (CPO) for assembling this document!

Some OGs may remember that before the 2022 Roadmap, the team used a living document to update the community on their roadmap. However, that one was not really well maintained and eventually just withered away. Hopefully, the team will manage to keep this new living Roadmap up-to-date over the next several years!

Let’s review the new roadmap!

2022 Roadmap

With the release of this new roadmap, it is interesting to look back at what the team originally envisioned at the tail end of 2022, before the FTX debacle and before the team was drastically downsized.

If you’re interested, in addition to the Breakpoint 2022 recording, the team also shared an article containing the roadmap images used during the presentation. Combined, this should allow you to catch up.

Introduction

The new Roadmap is divided into 11 categories. These represent the major milestones the team has planned on their journey to implement the vision laid out in their White Paper.

Like the previous roadmap, there are 8 main seasons, on top of the pre-season releases and Season 0. These are expected to be released relatively slowly at first and then gradually faster as more foundational mechanics are already implemented for the later seasons.

The R2.2, Pre-season, and Season 0-8 are not singular releases. Instead, they mark chapters during which the team will release the items listed. Once all items have been made available, the chapter is done, the milestone has been achieved, and the next chapter starts.
Sometimes, seasons will overlap. While one part of the team is wrapping up one season, others are already working on releases for the next one.

The new roadmap is a living document. Things will change over time, and the team will try to keep it up to date. None of this is set in stone! Expect things to change drastically!

Pre-season

The team changed their naming scheme a bit with this roadmap, which may trip some people up.

In 2022, the team announced four distinct Pre-Season releases (R1-R4). The Showroom R2.1 was the first of these, and the upcoming R2.2 release marks the second one. The remaining two pre-season releases have apparently now been merged together into what the roadmap now calls “Pre-season”.

This is slightly confusing, as all these releases have been part of the pre-season before. Clearly, the exact feature set of each pre-season release has changed during the past 16 months as well. Some items are gone, others moved to a different (pre-)season release instead.

For those of you staying up to date with our weekly newsletters and our Town Hall reports, the features listed for R2.2 are already known, so we’ll skip going over its feature list here and look further toward the future instead!

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Star Atlas – The Warp Gate: Under Construction [Concept art]

The Warp Gate Project

In the 2022 roadmap, the big pivot from the Pre-season game to Season 0 was marked by a Gates of Ahn’Qiraj-like event (for any former World of Warcraft players out there), where the whole community would work together to construct the Warp Gate for the MUD CSS (aka Volant Station, aka Showroom), which would unlock the rest of the Galia Expanse and allow players to venture out (with subsequent seasons).

This is sadly no longer the case. The simple reality is that SAGE development has overtaken UE5 development, and very soon, players will be able to contribute their materials to benefit their faction in Starbased and get LP and ATLAS in return. The Warp Gate project would just be another similar mechanic competing with those present in SAGE.

Changes

Let’s look at what has remained on the roadmap since 2022 and what is new and noteworthy. For the sake of brevity, we’re not copying the full roadmap here. Check the official roadmap for the full overview of all that is to come!

Still on the roadmap:

  • UE5 – Flight & Race (R2.1 + R2.2)
  • UE5 – Ship Skin Crafting

Not on the roadmap anymore:

  • UE5 – Multiplayer Instances
  • Showroom/SAGE interoperability

[Sort of] Still on the roadmap but more fleshed out/upgraded/expanded:

  • UE5 – Additional PVP and PVE Game Modes
    Expanding both Player-versus-Player (PvP) and Player-versus-Environment (PvE) game modes.

New and noteworthy on the roadmap:

  • UE5 – Additional ship role mechanics
    The Star Atlas Pre-Season will introduce new mechanics tailored to a variety of ship roles, expanding beyond the previously focused fighters and racing ships. This enhancement aims to provide a more comprehensive and diverse gameplay experience by incorporating unique functionalities and strategies for different ship types.

Review

Though Danny mentioned multiplayer instances before, they are not listed on this roadmap. That could be because the team does not regard this feature as worth mentioning, however. Another item that disappeared is the Showroom/SAGE interoperability.

Though no specific roles are mentioned, it is great that more ship roles will receive their own mechanics before the Pre-season ends. It’s unclear what this means exactly, so we’ll just have to wait and see.

Regarding additional PVP and PVE modes, the 2022 roadmap did mention Defending against ECOS attacks and fighting PVE elements. Things may have changed meanwhile, and PVP is, of course, a great addition that was not in the original scope in 2022 at all!

Star Atlas Alive
Star Atlas: Alive [Season 0 branding]

Season 0

During the Breakpoint 2022 keynote, Michael proudly presented the name for Season 0, Star Atlas: Alive. Danny (CPO) confirmed this is still the official name planned for that release.

The goal was, and still is, that with the release of Season 0, there will be a fully playable game that is entertaining and engaging. It will contain on-chain progress, many customization options, and fully-fledged racer and fighter careers. This is why the team chose this name: Star Atlas: Alive!

Changes

Still on the roadmap:

  • UE5 – Fighter career
  • UE5 – Racer career

New and noteworthy on the roadmap:

  • UE5 – Shipyard Module
    Your one-stop shop for extensive configuration capabilities. Customize your ship with skins, exchange components, manage the crew, refuel, and purchase new ships, all in one place!
  • UE5 – Ioki Open World
    Ioki expands the in-game universe with an open-world map to Star Atlas. Ioki is the homeworld of the Ustur Species located in the Eternity Sector. This immersive new environment offers players the opportunity to explore the lore, environment, and culture of the Ustur Species
  • UE5 – Commercial and Residential Real Estate
    In-game utility for real estate, encompassing both commercial and residential plots within Ustur’s home planet, Ioki. Residential areas offer benefits to players’ crewmembers, while commercial zones provide opportunities to offer unique services and sell goods, substantially influencing the dynamics of Star Atlas’s free market.
  • UE5 – Character Creation
    Create your first avatar with a species that is determined by your permanent faction. This avatar will be locked to your account unless you pay a transfer fee which decouples your avatar from your wallet and makes that a tradable NFT.
    Customize your cosmetics, race, body, gender, and more to create your perfect Star Atlas crew member.
  • SAGE – Player-2-player trading, distress signaling, repairing, refueling, and rescuing
  • SAGE – License Leveling and Perks
    Level up your licenses and enjoy new career-specific mechanics!
    As you progress, unlock unique rewards in the Loyalty Points store.

Review

This is where we can find a real surprise on the roadmap! Sure, the team has hinted at us seeing the homeworld of Ustur, Ioki, before any other, and that it would not be that far off, but this is the first time this comes together with the notion of an open-world map. It’s unclear what this exactly means, but the description makes it clear that we will be able to explore the planet itself besides the Ustur culture.

A pending question: Will this mark the first planet that is open to exploration by players, or will there be less interesting planets that come before that can be explored as well?

Michael hinted at commercial options becoming available relatively soon, as the team has re-initiated work on the faction’s Central Space Stations, but the Commercial and Residential Real Estate mentioned here is located on Ioki! That is definitely a surprise as well, and it looks like (looking at this new roadmap) this will come before commercial real estate is even sold on the ONI CSS.

Yes, Crew Cards will come this year, and you can select one of those cards as your personal avatar. But the real, fully customized Character Creation will come with Season 0! Here, you will be able to create a character that looks exactly as you want them to!

License Leveling is an important feature, as it will allow players to really specialize in the aspects they care about most. And while doing so, they will start to get better at it, and receive various bonuses related to that acticvity.

Season 0 will introduce licenses for Combat, Data Running, and Piloting. Subsequent seasons will slowly fill the roster out until every activity is covered.

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Star Atlas – Armstrong IMP at work [Concept art]

Season 1

After the completion of Season 0, the next 8 seasonal content releases will be more akin to game expansions that many traditional MMOs get. When Season 8 is fully released, the team will have completed the vision laid out in their White Paper, and then some!

Changes

Still on the roadmap:

  • UE5 – Space Miner career
  • UE5 – ONI Central Space Station
  • UE5 – Space Habs
    Free-floating space habs in the Low Risk Zone.

[Sort of] Still on the roadmap but more fleshed out/upgraded/expanded:

  • UE5 – Crew Station Modules
    Crew station modules open up opportunities for cooperative gameplay, allowing players to collaborate and oversee every activity on the ship together. Additionally, they allow players to temporarily control specific parts of the ship where crew member activity is crucial.
  • UE5 – Crew NPC Conversations
    Through advanced conversations and artificial intelligence features, players will engage in more profound, meaningful exchanges with their crew. This update aims to enrich the narrative experience, allowing players’ choices and actions to have a tangible impact on the lives of NPCs.

New and noteworthy on the roadmap:

  • UE5 – Meta Holodeck
    A special mode that can be accessed through the title screen and activated in specific world locations, which allows players to load into and travel to other metaverses (solo or with their friends). These metaverses feature experiences created by other players.
  • SAGE – PvE
    This expansion of new Player vs. Environment enemies enriches the variety of challenges players can encounter, ensuring that adventures both on land and in space are filled with fresh, diverse threats.
  • SAGE – Random Events
    Random events that are designed to surprise and challenge players. These can be, but are not limited to, asteroids, wreckage, and escape pods.
  • SAGE – Component and Weapon Crafting

Review

Let’s start with the, perhaps most, unexpected item on the roadmap for this season: A Meta Holodeck. Though some no-doubt expected the team not to start building the metaverse foundations of Star Atlas before most of the game would be finished, not so! It looks like the team wants to get this going sooner rather than later, and it’s not difficult to imagine why. Web3 collaborations are a constant topic of conversation, but perhaps more importantly, that first-mover (or, early-mover) at becoming the linchpin in the future metaverse is really quite important!

Remember that Tokes announcement from Michael from a good while back? He mentioned that the brand (the co-founder’s former company) would live on as one of many 3rd party created worlds that would be made accessible directly from within Star Atlas. Well, here you find the foundations required to do that on the roadmap!
Expect to see access unlocked to other UE5 experiences that partnered with Star Atlas. In addition, players who have been creative with UE5 also get a shot (most likely paid?) at making their module available here!

Moving on to the ONI Space Station, it is interesting to see the CSSs for the 3 playable factions have retained their slot on the roadmap. During the last Town hall meeting, Michael mentioned that the team hired formed Star Citizen map designers who are working on the ONI CSS at this point in time and will work on the other ones next. He was so bold as to suggest the ONI CSS may arrive at the end of the year (2024) and the others not long after.

This clearly would not align with the roadmap plans, which place all these CSSs much later in time. Perhaps a distinction must be made between the map being done and traversable and the map being fully alive, plugged in, and liveable.

Space Habs have been on the roadmap since 2022, but this is the first time the team has shared more details. Apparently, these will be found in the Low-Risk Zone (LRZ), aka the Secure/Safe Zone (SZ), and they will be free-floating. This surely sounds interesting, but it also still leaves plenty of room for speculation!

The 2022 roadmap also simply listed “Crew” without going into any details whatsoever. It is unclear if the team’s plans changed, but they likely now simply provided more details. Note that in 2022, the team was already planning to release Crew Cards well before Season 1. In fact, the team’s (leaked) plans pointed to these coming in 2023.

Anyway, allowing players to take over parts of the ship is a key component of the full-fledged Star Atlas game and will definitely spur increasingly interesting gameplay in UE5. On top of that, conversing with a crew member using the latest AI technology sounds like an MMO player’s dream come true! It’s unclear if the NPCs retain a memory of prior conversations, but if so, that would be the pinnacle of NPC interaction in a persistent universe!

Looking at SAGE, the addition of Player-vs-Environment will raise the stakes and may make life more surprising even behind the front line. Most of all, it will provide more opportunities to have fun while making the game feel more alive! Adding to all of that are the random events that will also take place in the Galia Expanse. Look out for José’s handiwork here!

Lastly, Season 1 will introduce component and weapon crafting in SAGE! This has the potential to really ignite the economy further and take some pressure off the LP-to-ATLAS conversion. In other words, it may lead to your LP becoming more valuable again, or at least cause the LP inflation to slow down! Handing component creation to the players will be a great milestone in the game’s economy!

AR 01
Star Atlas – Automatic Rifle [Concept art]

Season 2

Still on the roadmap:

  • UE5 – FPS Combat
  • UE5 – Game Hunting career
  • UE5 – Creature mounting

New and noteworthy on the roadmap:

  • SAGE – Claim Stake utility
    This utility enables players to utilize Claim Stakes not just as a means of marking territory but as a foundational tool for establishing interstellar bases. These bases can be developed and defended by players to extract valuable resources, adding a new layer of strategy and engagement to the Star Atlas universe.

Review

Regarding first-person shooter combat, Epic just announced that it plans to release full FPS support with a future update to its engine. This may allow the team to convert their (still experimental?) third-person shooter to first-person more easily.

The Claim Stake utility will excite a lot of people, though no doubt some will be disappointed they’ll have to wait for Season 2 before this is implemented. People have been looking forward to Claim Stakes getting actual utility in-game. Looking at this roadmap, it seems the team has changed course and will not implement temporary planet-side mining options before Claim Stakes become a thing. Instead, they will stick to (and upgrade) their asteroids for this purpose.

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Star Atlas – Tigu [Concept art]

Season 3

Still on the roadmap:

  • UE5 – Bounty Hunting career
  • UE5 – Ustur Central Space Station

New and noteworthy on the roadmap:

  • UE5 – Pets
  • SAGE – Mission system
    The ability to take on missions for the different licenses available SAGE.
    Example: Accepting a bounty hunting quest from an NPC, completing it, and gaining XP towards your bounty hunter license.
  • SAGE – Faction & Manufacturer Reputation
  • SAGE – Faction DAOs
    Faction DAOs empower players to actively participate in the political decisions of their respective factions. This democratic approach allows players to influence key aspects of faction governance, including taxation, diplomacy, faction-wide objectives, laws within faction jurisdiction, and the allocation of faction funds to achieve collective goals.

Review

Tigu is coming to Star Atlas with Season 3! At least, in UE5. Tigu will join you in SAGE in the following season (Season 4). Can we expect to see Puri and/or other pets as well? Fat chance, with the Game Hunting career already providing a foundation for several different animals, requiring fully 3D rigged & animated models.

As to the Ustur Central Space Station, the remarks made regarding the ONI CSS (Season 1) apply here as well. Further clarification from the team would be welcome.

SAGE gets a lot of new stuff here, which is quite exciting! NPCs providing missions that contribute to your licenses is a throwback to the original plans for the web mini-game (SCORE – though minus the licenses, likely).

Faction & Manufacturer Reputation will add an ingredient that helped elevate other MMORPGs and will undoubtedly do the same here!

Last but certainly not least are the Faction DAOs! This will introduce a new dimension to governance, one where governance can really set factions apart from each other. Fun times ahead!

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Star Atlas – Busan Pulse [Concept Art] – Coming to UE5 with R2.2

Season 4

Still on the roadmap:

  • UE5 – Smuggler career
  • UE5 – Freighter career
  • UE5 – Player-owned Space stations
  • SAGE – Space Stations and Decks

New and noteworthy on the roadmap:

  • SAGE – Crew & Pet system
    The crew and pets system refers to the implementation of pets into Star Atlas: Golden Era and the boosts/morale those pets give to a player’s crew.
  • SAGE – World Events
    Star Atlas is set to enrich its universe with the addition of more world events, expanding gameplay possibilities both on planets and in deep space. This update is designed to significantly impact the game’s dynamics and depth, intertwining the players’ journeys with the cosmic currents of fate. As different seasons and unique scenarios unfold, the game will transform, introducing time-sensitive resources, new monstrous challenges, and undiscovered exploration points, thereby enhancing the lore and immersive experience of the Star Atlas universe.
  • SAGE – Regional DAOs
    Smaller units of governance enable players to engage in more localized and direct political decision-making processes. Through the Region DAO system, players will use their locked POLIS tokens to vote on crucial issues such as regional taxation, intergalactic diplomacy, regional military strategies, and more, significantly enhancing the depth of political gameplay in Star Atlas.
  • SAGE – Localized Markets (Space Station Markets)

Review

Player-owned space stations will be quite a thing in SAGE. But seeing them in UE5, in full 3D, and all yours is, that will give a great feeling! For SAGE, this marks another key milestone in adding further complexity to asset production.

Crew & pet system – The title may put you on the wrong foot, this is really all about pets and how they influence crew.

World events are what José has been talking about all this time. If you see him being emotional around the launch of this feature, please be kind to him and hand him a handkerchief! This marks the moment when the universe truly comes alive! Not just with players. Not just with NPCs standing around for friendly conversation and missions. Here, the Galia Expance itself becomes a force to be reckoned with! Planets stop being docile, dead beings, and instead have a mind of their own! Figuratively speaking, at least. Or, well, in most cases!

Regional DAOs will further allow clusters of the Galia Expanse to distinguish themselves! DACs can start to enforce certain rules within their dominion, or fight governance battles if no one DAC dominates the area.

Localized Markets will allow players to trade with one another using an actual marketplace, without having to leave through the CSS to utilize the Galactic Marketplace.

What is interesting here is that the team has casually mentioned localized markets a few times in very recent history. Even the Starbased UI that was shared during a recent Brew already showed a button to access it. It would seem such a crucial part of SAGE gameplay that one would expect this earlier, rather than later. But, here it is, for season 4.

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Star Atlas – Tufa Spark [Concept art] – Coming to UE5 with Pre-season

Season 5

Season 5 is a major one for SAGE, introducing the high-stakes gameplay the team has been promising us since their White paper!

Changes

Still on the roadmap:

  • UE5 – MUD Central Space Station
  • UE5 – Manufacturer Career

Not on the roadmap anymore:

  • UE5 – Mining Outposts

New and noteworthy on the roadmap:

  • UE5 – Land Miner Career
  • SAGE – Ship Crafting
    Ship crafting allows manufacturers to construct ships for the Galia Expanse.
  • SAGE – Megastructures
    Crowd-created structures that require the pinnacle of player collaboration and strategic planning.
  • SAGE – High-Risk Zone
  • SAGE – Area Bosses and Raids
    This update invites players to collaborate and devise strategies to confront and defeat formidable enemies. Players will test their combat skills, teamwork, and strategic planning in high-stakes encounters designed to enrich the gameplay experience with epic battles and rewarding loot.
  • SAGE – Deep Space Exploration
    The ability for players to explore the procedurally generated depths outside of the Galia Expanse.

Review

Season 5 sees the MUD CSS arrive in UE5. Given that the Showroom (Volant Station) is actually part of the MUD CSS, one would think that this would arrive sooner, but here it is!

In more interesting news, the Land Miner career is coming! One would expect this would mean Claim Stakes will be incorporated in UE5, but it does not explicitly state this. Nonetheless, this marks one more important feature that is making its way into UE5.

Perhaps the highlight of this season (at least for us) is that Ship crafting is coming to SAGE! But that is not all, Season 5 will also introduce the High Risk Zone in SAGE! It’s likely not a coincidence that the HRZ and Ship Crafting are released in the same season. One allows players to create ships, the other allows them to destroy them instead.

With the HRZ, exploration is also coming to SAGE! Now that the stakes are real, players are cordially invited to venture into the HRZ to lose their precious ships find rare resources and other loot!

Another big SAGE feature is the addition of Megastructures, or rather, Megastructure projects. These are construction projects that require a tremendous amount of materials, time, and effort to create and, therefore, multiple players to complete.

Teamwork is also very much needed regarding the dangerous entities (monsters?) that will be added to the game. These area bosses require unique strategies and a ton of firepower to defeat, but the loot will be worth it!

Season 6

If Season 5 was a big one for SAGE, Season 6 is a big one for UE5! This season will introduce the Grand Strategy Game mode from SAGE into Unreal Engine 5!

Changes

Still on the roadmap:

  • UE5 – Homeworlds for all Species
    Homeworlds for all species inhabiting the Galia Expanse. This allows players to delve into the origins and cultures of the species that populate the game, providing new environments for exploration, lore discovery, and NPC engagement. Each homeworld is crafted to reflect the unique characteristics, history, and societal structures of its inhabitants, offering players a deeper understanding of the Star Atlas universe
  • UE5 – Fleet Battles
  • UE5 – Project Galaxy Commander
    Simplifies the complexities of controlling larger fleets and individual ships within a fleet, providing players with advanced command capabilities for strategic deployment and engagement.
  • UE5 – Territory Conquest

[Sort of] Still on the roadmap but more fleshed out/upgraded/expanded:

  • UE5 – High Risk Zone

New and noteworthy on the roadmap:

  • UE5 – RTS to FPS Toggle
    Provides the ability to switch between Real-Time Strategy (RTS) and First-Person Shooter (FPS) views. This allows players to transition between commanding fleets and units from a strategic overview to engaging in direct combat or exploration on an individual scale.
  • UE5 – Meta Warp Drive
    Meta Warp Drive brings the metaverse further to life by allowing players to warp to player-created content, as well as other games and IP who’ve joined the Star Atlas metaverse.
  • UE5 – Earth Prime (ECOS)
    A new realm of exploration and interaction within the Star Atlas universe. Players who have cultivated their relationships with the ECOS faction are able to visit and delve into the unique lore, goods, and services offered on Earth Prime.

Review

After years (by then) of enjoying the Grand Strategy game in SAGE, it is finally coming to the flagship product, the UE5 Star Atlas experience! Command fleets, wage war, conquer territory! This is the big one!

Though the HRZ was not explicitly mentioned in 2022, Exploration was. And without a High Risk Zone, there is no real exploration to speak of, of course.

Being able to seamlessly switch between controlling your entire fleet or a single ship has been in the cards since the inception of Star Atlas. It was, however, not explicitly included on the 2022 roadmap. This much more elaborate roadmap does include that feature, albeit described as an RTS to FPS toggle.

Remember the big surprise from Season 1, Ioki? With this update, homeworlds for all species will be added. Of course, the Ustur homeworld, Ioki, was already added in Season 0. It will be interesting to see what the team has in store for the MUD, as their homeworld was destroyed. It’s also unclear if the ONI sub-factions each get their own homeworld, but it would seem so as the text says “all species”, instead of “all factions”. Either way, an awesome addition to the game!

It’s not just homeworlds for the player factions that get added, however. The ECOS base of operations, Earth Prime, will be added to UE5. This marks the first of three non-player-organization headquarters to be added, with the others (Jorvik & Council of Peace) coming with the two remaining seasons. If you are in good standing with either of these factions, you will be allowed to visit their home base. Earth Prime is the ECOS home, and in order to enter in one piece, you will need to have worked hard on your relationship with them!

For those of you who have played other MMOs, Earth Prime and the other two such locations are areas on the map you only get access to once you’ve reached a certain amount of reputation with the faction that resides there. In other MMOs, these areas often serve as quest/mission hubs for the next batch of assignments that will allow you to increase your reputation beyond what you needed to end up there.
On the other hand, if your reputation is sub-par and you’re approaching such an area, you will be considered an enemy and fired upon.

Lastly, the Meta Warp Drive is the next evolution of the Meta Holodeck (Season 1). You will now be able to warp straight to these other (non-Star Atlas) universes, including experiences created by players for Unreal Engine 5.

Season 7

For the observant, for the last three seasons (6-8), only UE5 features remain on the Roadmap. Most everything else may be considered done, but it’s likely that this is too far out to be even remotely accurate with the team’s predictions. And, yeah, for SAGE, everything is kind of done after Season 5.

Changes

Still on the roadmap:

  • UE5 – Repair career
  • UE5 – Salvage career
  • UE5 – All ships flight-ready
    Every aspect of every ship, including both exteriors and interiors, is now fully realized and functional. Players can expect a comprehensive and immersive experience, with meticulously designed ship models that are ready for exploration, combat, and interaction within the vastness of the Galia Expanse.

New and noteworthy on the roadmap:

  • UE5 – Pirate’s Den (Jorvik)
    The Pirate Den is the largest outpost belonging to the notorious Jorvik outlaws pirate faction, located in the medium-risk zone of the Galia Expanse. This location opens up new avenues for players who have cultivated a relationship with this faction, allowing them to delve into the lore, access unique goods, and utilize specialized services that the Jorvik pirates have to offer.

Review

All ships are flight-ready! If there is a single item on the whole roadmap that really makes you realize the time window for which this roadmap has been defined, it is probably this one. Sure, ships will go from concept to fully in-game ready faster and faster as the team optimizes its internal development pipelines. But there are over 140 ships coming to Star Atlas, and if you’ve followed along with the speed of progress so far, it’s not difficult to imagine the vast amount of time needed to complete all of them. Even when taking into account that the process will speed up, the team will hire more people to work on them, this will take years!

As to the Pirate’s Den, re-read the Season 6 snippet concerning Earth Prime. It’s exactly like that, but it’s the Jorvik we’re talking about here. Good stuff!

Season 8

Changes

Still on the roadmap:

  • UE5 – Rescue career
  • UE5 – Refueler career
  • UE5 – Politician career
  • Project Metaverse Standards (Fully decentralized)
    Project Metaverse Standards marks a revolutionary expansion in Star Atlas, transitioning control of the metaverse game to the Star Atlas DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) and making Star Atlas fully open-source. This update embodies a shift towards a fully community-led approach in all aspects of the game, from development and updates to governance and decision-making.

[Sort of] Still on the roadmap but more fleshed out/upgraded/expanded:

  • UE5 – All Species Game Ready (Star Atlas V1)
    All in-game species will reach their golden stage, signifying that each species’ design and unique game mechanics are now fully functional and implemented.
  • UE5 – IRIS (Star Atlas V1)
    Introduction of the Cataclysm, the most perilous region in the Star Atlas universe! At its core lies Iris, the Rogue Planet. This expansion brings players to the center of an unknown space, where logic-defying environments and exceedingly challenging encounters await. The Cataclysm and Iris guard the most coveted resources and deepest secrets of Star Atlas. Adventurers are cautioned to approach this area with the utmost care, as Iris harbors terrifying secrets and exerts a reality-altering influence that reaches its peak within this enigmatic zone.

New and noteworthy on the roadmap:

  • UE5 – Council of Peace Station
    The Cradle is the central space station and mothership of the Council of Peace. As the richest and most formidable station in the galaxy, the Cradle serves as a hub of power and diplomacy, offering players a opportunity to delve into the lore, engage with vibrant environments, and participate in quests. This update allows players to develop their relationships with the Council of Peace, Galia’s strongest political group, and to explore the intricate dynamics that govern the balance of power within the Star Atlas universe.

Review

The 2022 Roadmap listed Star Atlas V1 among the items for Season 8. It would be easy to shove everything on the new roadmap under that one item and suggest it was already announced previously. Instead, we decided to add only the two items listed on the 2024 roadmap that clearly are prerequisites to complete the White Paper’s vision and be able to call Star Atlas V1 fully finished. These are the All Species Game Ready and IRIS.

IRIS, the planet in the center of the Galia Expanse, whose riches are central to many (sketchy) stories and dreams, will be added to Star Atlas! This is the most brutal end-game content in the game, so it makes sense to add it last. Iris gameplay will be unlike what most will expect, with the cosmic currents wreaking havoc on anyone even remotely near the planet. In short, the team is saving the best for last!

In other news, The Cradle, the legendary space station of the Council of Peace, will be added to the game as well. To get a better understanding of what this means for you, please re-read the Season 6 snippet concerning Earth Prime. It’s exactly like that, but it’s the Council of Peace we’re discussing here. In other words, if you have not tried hard to become jelly with the nemesis factions of the Council of Peace, and instead have been a good, law-abiding citizen, you will be able to visit this space station and continue your journey to become a hero of the republic!

That’s a wrap!

We attempted to go over the new roadmap, shed some light on certain items, and share our thoughts. There is, however, plenty more to be said about the many items that found a spot on this multi-year roadmap! And, if no one else will, we’ll continue sharing some of those things ourselves.

Lastly, everyone is wondering how fast the team will work their way through these seasons. It will take many years, folks! Remember that at the game’s inception, the team shared a 5-7 year timeline. But one year later, that had already become a 6-8 year timeline.

In some (leaked) materials, the team (optimistically!) set the target year for Season 8 in 2029. In those same materials, however, the Pre-Season would have wrapped up late last year, with Season 0 arriving at the end of 2024.
Currently, the team is working full-speed to get R2.2 out in Q3 of this year, so you can do the math.

Two more things to keep in mind:

  • The team incurred several setbacks with the FTX debacle and massive layoff in mid-2023. These come at a cost, of course.
  • The team has been notoriously bad at predicting release dates and has always been far too positive.

In other words, 2029 is a highly optimistic target date at this point!

Thanks for reading!

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