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Calico Maxhog - Weapons Bay
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Weekly Star Atlas Newsletter #134

Calico Maxhog - Weapons Bay

Welcome to our 134th 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.


Another week went by with little news. However, the team did share top-notch alpha in the form of an image (and explanation) listing all the Crew Perks the upcoming Crew members will be able to work toward! Beyond this meaty topic, the team did make an announcement regarding a few expected Starbased updates, which we’ll look into as well!

Without further ado, let’s dive in!

Starbased

The team has not yet managed to roll out the Starbase SDU Upgrade costs update, but they did provide the new numbers they are planning to bring online soon! Ignoring the upgrade to Tier 2, the SDU requirements for each Starbase Tier upgrade will be lowered to roughly 1/6th of what they are today. Tier 1 to 2 will stay constant (as it is now), but every other Tier will be adjusted. That means Starbases will end up with the following SDU requirements:

  • Tier 1 to 2: 3,114,576 (team would opt for 17,288,685 if they would update T1 to T2 requirements – which they do not)
  • Tier 2 to 3: 20,081,472
  • Tier 3 to 4: 23,840,893
  • Tier 4 to 5: 28,246,457

Auto LP Contribution

Last week, we wrote about the team planning to roll our auto-LP contribution (or deployment) to ATLAS. As part of their (minor) announcement on Discord, they also included more details on that feature roll-out!

The change will auto-deposit LP for ATLAS rewards in the very same transaction where you claim LP. Players will no longer be able to sell LP for ATLAS manually anymore. That is, unless they had some (old) LP stored, as there is a 2-week window of time where this LP can still be deposited. Afterward, no (old or new) LP can be manually exchanged for ATLAS.

As part of this change, each component used in Starbase Upgrading and Upkeep will see its LP reward updated to “help with game balance and avoid undesirable advantages for certain player demographics.”

There is, as of yet, no date known for when these two changes will go into effect.

Crew Perks

During last week’s Atlas Brew, the community team revealed the Crew Perks the team came up with! Individual Crew members will be able to unlock these and improve upon them over time as the game catches up with the required gameplay.

The team defined 8 areas, or Aptitudes, in which crew members can earn experience (XP). Experience is earned whenever a Crew member has been assigned to a ship’s crew station (or -in the future- claim stakes) while that ship is performing an action that relies on that specific station.

All crew members earn XP, no matter their boosted aptitudes (see next section). Such bonuses only mean that the crew member will earn XP faster than normal when assigned to a crew station associated with the aptitude.

Do note that you won’t be able to assign crew to ship stations immediately when Crew (Packs) goes live. The team will have to first roll out that level of “Ship Customization”. No ETA has been provided for this.

XP Bonuses

The team already disclosed that crew members will have one or more minor and/or major aptitudes, which will add a bonus to how quickly they earn XP when assigned to a related crew station.

Aptitude bonuses:

  • Minor: 25%
  • Major: 50%
  • Anomalous: 100%

In other words, a crew member with a Major Aptitude in Flight will earn 1.5x more XP when assigned to a ship’s pilot seat when compared to a crew member without aptitude bonuses to Flight.

A question that remained is why we would want to own crew members with multiple aptitude-bonuses. It would seem that you would assign crew to a station for which they have a bonus once and then leave them there to accumulate XP and specialize.

However, as we learned last week, this may not be the most optimal play, as specialization is not rewarded when it comes to crew! This has to do with what the Perks that earning XP unlocks, and how their bonuses stack.

Star Atlas - Crew Aptitudes and their associated Perks
Star Atlas – Crew Aptitudes and their associated Perks

Perks

As is common in RPGs, as crew members earn XP for an Aptitude, they will achieve new Aptitude levels at certain thresholds. Each new level achieved grants a Perk Point for that specific aptitude, which can be assigned to any of the Aptitude-related unlocked Perks.

One Perk is unlocked immediately at level 1, with the remaining three becoming available at levels 5, 10, and 15. Each aptitude offers exactly 4 perks in total.

A Perk Point can be assigned to any of the unlocked perks (within that aptitude), which will activate the bonus. Additional perk points spent on the same perk will improve the bonus the perk provides.

Each point assigned to a perk will improve two associated in-game activities. One in SAGE and one in Unreal*. These abilities have some interesting characteristics:

  • Diminishing Returns — Each new point assigned will yield an equal or smaller benefit than the previous point assigned to that same perk, never greater! This means that the first 5 points invested in a perk will earn you a greater relative bonus than the next 5 points you add.
  • No Cap — There is no limit to the amount of crew levels that can be achieved (and perk points earned). Similarly, there is no limit to the amount of perk points that can be assigned to a specific perk.
  • Ship Wide Effect — No matter what station a Crew member operates, any and all of their Perk bonuses are applied to the whole ship/team.
  • Ship Station-independent — Though crew members only earn XP while at a station actively used in gameplay, all Perk bonuses they unlocked are actively applied across the ship/team, no matter the station they have been assigned to. Have a crew member assigned to pilot the ship with several bonuses unlocked in the hospitality perk? Those bonuses are active, even while they are piloting your ship!
  • Bonuses Stack — When different crew members provide a bonus to the same game mechanic (because they have invested in the same perks), these bonuses stack! In other words, those bonuses are added together and applied to the whole ship!

* Note that this is slightly confusing, as SAGE gameplay will, of course, end up in the Unreal Star Atlas game as well, one day. But Danny (CPO) used this distinction based on the situation today and in the near future. Another way to see this distinction is that one perk is ship-oriented, and the other is (on) foot-oriented.

Generalization over Specialization

These last two points suddenly make crew members with multiple aptitude-bonuses a whole lot more appealing! Given the diminishing nature of the bonuses, additional points put into the same Perk provide, relatively speaking, less of a benefit than the points put in before. It is actually beneficial to have 4 crew members who each have only 5 points invested in the exact same perk than a single crew member with 20 points invested in that perk!

As such, it would make sense to move crew members around so they can level up different aptitudes and provide an additional bonus to your ships. With those early points being worth the most, having crew members who have 5 points in every perk available would provide a great boost over having crew members specialized in one perk each.

News Bits

Here are a few more short news blips:

  • The Town Hall is coming, but we’ve not yet received a date. Do note that these can happen in a matter of days after being announced, meaning one may still happen this week.
  • The Ogrika Ruch has sold out on the ATLAS side of the market. This is primarily due to the decline in ATLAS’s value compared to USDC.
  • On that note, the team will repeg their ATLAS offerings to the value of USDC on Friday, June 21st.

Sneak Peeks

Lastly, the team shared a few images showing off the Calico Maxhog’s weaponry, installed in its Weapons Bay:

Calico Maxhog - Weapons Bay
Calico Maxhog - Weapons Bay
Calico Maxhog - Weapons Bay
Calico Maxhog – Weapons Bay

That is it for this week! Thanks for reading, and until the next!

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