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Weekly Star Atlas Newsletter #68

PRC X6 Struts 1

Welcome to our 68th newsletter on Star Atlas! This weekly newsletter is published by Aephia Industries and focuses entirely on Star Atlas. Here we try to aggregate all the newsworthy tidbits that were dropped by the team throughout the past week.


We had a quiet week in Star Atlas’ corner of the metaverse, with the only real news coming from the foundation-room channels on the official Discord server. But… That news was pretty juicy, with Danny (CTO) sharing a good deal of new information about upcoming UE5 gameplay, and some enticing pictures to go with it!

Let’s dive in!

Star Atlas – Pearce X6 (UE5)
Star Atlas – Pearce X6 (UE5)

Central Space Stations

The biggest revelation last week was no doubt Danny sharing that the faction icons resemble (a top-down view of) the faction’s respective Central Space Stations!

To illustrate this, he posted a picture showing all three CSSs in SAGE, noting that the Ustur one was not scaled correctly. The resemblance to the icons is pretty clear from this view:

Faction Icons
Faction icons

MUD CSS

The above revelation was brought forth by a discussion related to another reveal, namely a good chunk of the future MUD CSS that we’ll spend time on in the UE5 game:

r3 concept
MUD CSS (UE5)

Note that the arrow points to the current Volant Station location, which you might recognize by the semi-circle boundary that also exists in the Showroom today.

When looking at the SAGE model above, it becomes clear that we are looking at the “back”-part of the CSS. Danny also clarified that the current Volant Station will one day evolve into a rear spaceport, once the full CSS has been unlocked in UE5.

As a refresher: Besides the recently announced Player-vs-player gameplay, R3 will still come with the features announced previously, including the ability to contribute building materials towards the construction of the Warp Gate that will, at the conclusion of the pre-season releases, unlock Season 0 (target-date: Q4 2024).

GAN hand gun
GAN Hand Gun

R3 – Handheld Weapons

Besides a sneak peek of the MUD Central Space Station in the Unreal Engine game client, Danny also shared some additional pictures and information on the hand weapons we’ll be able to use when Showroom R3 will be released.

The primary manufacturer of hand-held weapons is named General Arms Negotiate, or GAN for short. This corporation is the Council of Peace (CoP) approved manufacturer of handheld weapons for use within the three faction regions.

Each gun consists of at least three different parts that can be exchanged and upgraded. These include the muzzle, slider/upper, and grip. The GAN grip is a part that fits any of their weapons and is personalized via a bio-sensor. If anyone would ever get a hold of your weapon, they’ll get all the parts except your grip. Instead, they would have to attach one of their own grips to the weapon in order to be able to use it. An “upper” is not usable without a grip.

GAN Gun animation
GAN Gun animation

The bio-sensor in the grip is primarily there to make the lore work. Danny clarified that if you have a grip in your inventory, it is considered yours. The main reason why these grips exist, is because it allows the CoP to control where you can use them. This allows them to define zones where guns can, and can not be used. In other words, it is what (lore-wise) makes the weapons stop functioning in the Safe/Security Zone.

The team is also looking into allowing certain license holders to use their weapons within a Safe Zone and on a CSS. This would allow bounty hunters to still apprehend a fugitive, with force.

Danny ended his alpha sharing spree, stating: “I think it would be fun to open the black market usage here; not sure if we want to go full jailbreaking for safe zone usage, but in the high-risk zone, none of these GAN restrictions apply.”

Pre-Season

Those of you who were around during Solana’s Breakpoint event in early November 2022, might remember this table from the team’s presentation at the time:

Breakpoint - Pre-season Releases Overview
Breakpoint – Pre-season Releases Overview

You might wonder about the labeling applied there, because Flight/Race & multiplayer functionality only arrived with the R2 release, which seems to match the description of Release 1 in the table presented at the Breakpoint conference.

Today, we’ve learned that the above structure has been overhauled completely, with all of the remaining, planned functionality for the pre-season being put into the R3 release, targeted for November this year. That means that, if all goes well, the pre-season will wrap up as planned during Q4 of this year!

Of course, this release will also include the Player-vs-Player mode, which was announced during the last Townhall. In short, there is a lot to look forward to with regard to the UE5 gameplay!

Season 0

To wrap up this week’s issue, here is one final, short tidbit that Danny shared today, concerning gameplay in Season 0 (which is -again- targeted for Q4 2024): The primary environment season 0 takes place on is the Ustur homeworld!

Note that this is not referring to the Ustur CSS, but the actual world they call home!

We know that Season 0 will introduce the first careers, specifically the Racer and Fighter careers, and some form of integration with SAGE. Other than that, not much is known at this time.

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