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Weekly Star Atlas Newsletter #119

R2.2 Test

Welcome to our 119th newsletter on Star Atlas! This weekly newsletter, published by Aephia Industries, focuses entirely on the development of this ambitious game. Here, we try to aggregate all the newsworthy tidbits revealed [mainly by the team] throughout the past week.


This past week was a blast! The Community Week saw a ton of activity, which really brought the community together! On top of that, the Town Hall came with a ton of alpha, announcements, and reveals. We have news on R2.2, Starbased, Crew cards, COPA, the Joni Awards, and more!

Let’s not waste any more time; let’s get to it because this is a big one!

Star Atlas - Community Week
Star Atlas – Community Week

Community Week

This past week, the community celebrated the first-ever Community Week! During the week, the team gave away dozens of prizes (ships) to community members who tweeted, were first to answer questions, or guess hand-drawn (live) images of ships (to mention a few). Many hundreds of people tuned in daily to watch the events unfold and join in on the fun and activities! This event really seems to have brought the whole community closer together.

A shout-out then to Santi (Community Director), Dominic (Community Manager), and José (Noot of Lore) for putting in tons of time and work to make this happen!

For those who’ve missed it, José also finally doxxed himself during the 100th Atlas Brew on Wednesday!

Screenshot 2024 02 28 at 19.27.12
Star Atlas – Atlas Brew #100 – José’s (ZeSKK) face reveal!

Town Hall #42

This past Tuesday, Santi (Community Director) and Michael (CEO) hosted the 42nd Town Hall. It was a big one, with a special guest: Chris (Head of Game Economy).

There are several ways you can catch up with the nearly 2-hour event:

In this newsletter, we cover the highlights of the Town Hall. If you want to ensure you are not missing anything, then make sure to jump deeper through one of the above links.

Faction Fleet Sunsetting Soon

When Starbased goes live in a few weeks, Faction Fleet (aka SCORE) will be fully sunset! This means that no more ATLAS will be rewarded to those who stake their ships in that program. It also means that the only viable way to earn ATLAS going forward is to play SAGE: Starbased instead.

Faction Fleet went live on December 16th, 2021, and was the only way to earn ATLAS with your ships until September 22nd last year, when SAGE went live. ATLAS earnings have remained stable since its inception, though the team did cut them by 33% in late December last year.

Now, after having run close to 2.5 years, the program will soon come to an end. This move has been highly anticipated by many in the Star Atlas community. It marks a major turning point, where only gameplay will be rewarded with ATLAS from then on, and earning ATLAS through staking will no longer be an option. It also means that gameplay earnings will go up, as ATLAS emissions in Faction Fleet plummet to 0.

Misfire

During the Town Hall, the team announced that Factiuon Fleet earnings would be cut in 50% (or, another 33% reduction from how it was at first) this past Thursday, coinciding with the SDU change in SAGE (see below).

However, the team backtracked on Thursday, as they found the costs to make this change (on-chain) were significant (~$25k). As Starbased should be going live in a matter of weeks, the team did not find this a worthwhile use of their funds.

Faction Claims

Faction Claims will live on for the foreseeable future, but when Faction Fleet winds down, Mining Ships will stop producing yield (R4) in Faction Claims!

SDU Changes

SDUs have been the primary lever to keep the economy (and ATLAS emissions) in check in SAGE. When the game launched, up to 1200 SDUs could be found per minute. Recently the team changed this to 1500/minute, but this past Thursday the team updated this again, to 2000 SDUs/minute.

With a clear increase in the use of automation tools, the SDU scanning gameplay has been hitting the ceiling put in place consistently. This asset type is, however, the only way the team can limit the creation of Council RFRs and hence the outflow of ATLAS.

Soon, when SAGE Starbased goes live (see below), the limit will be removed altogether. As the ATLAS emissions will be fixed per epoch, there is no longer a need to keep it in check through SDUs.

Star Atlas - Guns
Star Atlas – Guns, lots of guns

SAGE: Starbased

During the Town Hall, Michael announced the release of SAGE: Starbased in a matter of 2-4 weeks [target date]. Though this release is an incremental upgrade of SAGE (Labs) it will radically change the meta!

Where, at this moment in time, people are gathering resources to craft Council RFRs (or ships) that can be traded for ATLAS on the marketplace (or added to ones fleet), this will no longer be possible when Starbased is live.

Instead, the only avenue to use your resources in-game will be spending them towards upgrading Starbases and keeping these bases operational (upkeep).

The core gameplay change is that in this new game, Starbases will not start at their max tier (Tier 5). Instead, they will start at Tier 1, severely limiting the refining & compound crafting that can be done there. Note that the Central Space Stations (CSSs) will stay at Tier 6, meaning all crafting recipes are available there.

The core economic change is that the only way to earn ATLAS is through the collection (and redemption) of Loyalty Points (LP).

These LP can only be earned by contributing to your faction’s goals, which in this iteration of the game can be done in one of two ways:

  • Contributing to the upgrade of a Starbase in your faction.
  • Contributing to the upkeep costs to keep the Starbase running

ATLAS Emissions

Where at present, Faction Fleet (SCORE) and Council RFRs are the two sources of ATLAS; this will move to LP redemption only. The way this is set up is different from how it works currently but is exactly as the team always promised it would work eventually.

4.5 million ATLAS (this number may change) is going to be awarded per day (epoch). Each faction will give out exactly one-third of that amount (1.5 million). To partake of that ATLAS allocation, you will need to spend LP during an epoch (a cycle, let’s assume 24 hours here) in the LP shop.

Then, once the epoch has ended, the total LP spent will be tallied, and you will receive your slice of the 1.5 million ATLAS pie based on the ratio of LP you spent / total LP spent by your faction.

This means your exact ATLAS earnings may fluctuate based on:

  • LP awarded for your contributions in-game
  • When you choose to redeem ATLAS with your LP
  • How many others choose to redeem ATLAS that very same epoch (cycle).

Consequences

With ATLAS earnings available in-game, there will no longer be a need to move your resources out of the game. The best earnings are at the frontier, as that is where Starbases still need to be upgraded (which provides better rewards than providing upkeep). This will radically change the flow of resources and will undoubtedly reduce the resources flowing out of the game.

Of course, instead of earning your ATLAS through LP redemption, you can still put them on the Galactic Marketplace to earn ATLAS from your fellow players.

SAGE Migration

You will need to move your assets out of the current SAGE game and into the new one when Starbased launches. Mining and scanning output will dry up when the new game goes live. In other words: you will be unable not find SDU’s from that point onwards, and neither will mining asteroids result in any resources.

So, the first step is moving your ships and materials out through your faction’s CSS. The next step would be to move your ships (and whichever resources you want) into the Starbased game, though your faction’s CSS there.

During the Town Hall, Michael mentioned the team would make it easier for players to move out of fhe current game, some time after Starbased’s launch. However, due to the community highlighting some aspects in which this could lead to abuse, the team later came backtracked and axed that planned update.

R2.2 Test
Star Atlas – Volant Station R2.2 – New gameplay mode [Sneak peek]

Volant Station R2.2

Stresstest

The next multiplayers stress-test is planned for late March, though it could slip into April. The team is aiming for 2000 concurrent users and -to get there- is planning to incentivize players to join. The team will track player participation and reward it with ATLAS and Crew Cards. The exact amount will depend on the milestone achieved. The current (tentative) plan is to have the following set up:

  • 0-500 concurrent players: Tier 1 rewards
  • 500-1000 concurrent players: Tier 2 rewards
  • 1000-1800 concurrent players: Tier 3 rewards

Note that these rewards are based on time spent inside of the game during the test.

A new, undisclosed game mode will be available for that next test, which will see faction-based competition and new mechanics for jetpacking [see image above].

Private Beta & Launch

The team is looking to launch a private beta of the R2.2 build of the Showroom (aka Volant Station) this summer (June 30th is the target date, but it could slip into July or even August). Players will have to earn access, but it will be worth it, as exclusive rewards will be earned inside!

The private beta will run for somewhere in between 2-4 months. Depending on the results, the team hopes to launch R2.2 in late Q3 (targeting Breakpoint end of September). However, it may very well slip into Q4.

CSS Progress

The team did not really put effort into further construction of the Central Space Stations these past few months. However, during the Townhall, Michael announced that they managed to hire two former Star Citizen level designers, who have since resumed work on the ONI CSS. The plan is that they will rotate to the other 2 Faction CSSs as well at a later point in time.

If all goes (very) well, then it may be that players will be able to set foot on the ONI CSS at the end of this year and select a plot of land for their hab (if they purchased one). This would also open the doors to selling Commercial plots, which would bolster the team’s coffers.

Ship Crew & Components

The team plans to mint 10 million crew members as compressed NFTs. They would need 2.1 million at present to account for drop to ship-owners, but expect this number to have been raised to 2.5 million by the time the drop happens. They added that each crew member will have a unique bit of history, created by José with the help of (lore-fed) AI tools.

Speaking about drops, there won’t be an actual snapshot of ships, nor will you go and simply claim your assets. Instead, the team is currently working on a conversion program. You can think of it like a currency exchange. You take your ship, send it to the program, and get the individual parts back: hull, components, and crew members. The input gets burned.

The team expects to bring this live around mid-April of this year.

Star Atlas - Copa '24 Winners
Star Atlas – Copa ’24 Winners

COPA ’24

Roughly 20 months after COPA’s previous (first) edition in 2022, the second edition has now concluded! The 9 finalists got to present their DAC, showcasing their progress and the effort put into growing the Stars Atlas community to the world, including the three judges from the team:

  • Drew – Blockchain Engineer
  • Brad (aka MagicPuncher) – Gameplay Engineer
  • Gareth (aka Wrath) – Econ Team

Ultimately, the judges unanimously concluded on the number 1 and 2 spots, while the third spot required some discussion:

  1. Aephia Industries
  2. Rome
  3. Shadow Loyal

Just losing out for the third spot (honorable mentions):

  • Skull & Bones
  • Heimdall Industries

For those interested, here is the winning presentation:

Joni Awards ’24

The day after COPA, the second Joni Awards ceremony took place. This award show was created to highlight community members and their contributions. While the previous edition had some guild-related categories as well, those were stripped for the second edition, allowing the focus to be solely on individuals instead.

As mentioned in our previous coverage, for this second edition, the rules were changed to ensure the most active DACs would not be able to sway the outcome in their favor. For this second edition, the team’s vote carried a weight of 80%, while the community only had a 20% say in the matter. This applied to both the nominations and the final outcome. This makes it much less of a by-the-community competition than the previous one, but that is the direction the team chose.

Category Winners

With that out of the way, below we list the nominees and the winner of each category:

Community Member of the Year:

  • Arktype
  • 🏆 Siggy
  • Yaawn
  • Ghazinor

Content Creator of the Year:

  • 🏆 Beyond the Horizon 2620
  • Metaverse Nomads
  • Metaverse Explorer
  • Siggy

Most Entertaining Star Atlas Video of the Year:

Best Educational Video of the Year:

Best Community Tool of the Year:

  • SAI Fleet Composer
  • Aephia Flipside Dashboard
  • 🏆 SLY Labs Assistant
  • Eveeye Interactive Map

Community Helper of the Year:

  • Torinder
  • Ghazinor
  • 🏆 Odvb
  • Morpheus (Star Atlas Froggies)

Most Knowledgeable of the Year:

  • Yaawn
  • 🏆 Funcracker
  • Eoganacht
  • Prometheus

Best Star Atlas IP Project of the Year:

  • Galia Merchants
  • Galia Art Station
  • 🏆 Atlas Grace
  • AEP Life Form

Best In-game Star Atlas Photo of the Year (winner only):

GFoHck9WAAAOrud
Photographer & Winner: [-U-] Ryecoe

Congratulations to all of the winners!

News Tidbits

Small bits, but with potentially big bites:

  • Two titans, the Pearce T1 & Fimbul ECOS Superphoenix, have been removed from the Star Atlas marketplace. Michael has been quite cryptic, but hints at them having been sold, and that they may be in someone’s hands very soon. No 3rd party stepped forward to confirm they are in the process of buying one of these ships.
  • With the recent value uptick of the value of ATLAS, the Star Atlas DAO sits on top of a treasury worth about $5 million.
  • Star Atlas finally made their music available to everyone! You can listen to Star Atlas: Volant Station Vol. 1 on Spotify, Apple Music, and Deezer.
  • Fimbul Sledbarges on the USDC sold out – the team added a new allocation (and re-pegged the ATLAS side)

Storywriting Competition – Results

At the very tail-end of the 100th Atlas Brew, José announced the winners of the short story writing competition we organized in December. Krigs was the winner with his story, The Safe Harbour. Runner-ups were Boen in second place with Peace, Mixed and Different, and MrBakisha with Outpost 39 Trio.

Congratulations to all three! Meanwhile, the ALFs have been distributed, and the ships should be on their way soon!

Sneak Peeks

Besides some of the images we already included above, the team released two video clips worth watching! The first shows the Pearce X5 ship configuration animations:

Star Atlas – Pearce X5 animations

And the second shows off the various looks for a Tier 1 Ustur (Racer):

Star Atlas – Ustur (Racer) Tier 1

That is a wrap! See you next week!

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