Welcome to our 82nd 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.
The team is on fire! We received our 3rd big release of 2023 last week, and it sure is garnering a good deal of attention outside of the dedicated Star Atlas community. It’s also good to see Michael (CEO) show up in interviews like he used to back in the early days of this project, in 2021. The media are writing articles, Twitter is buzzing, and most of you will no doubt agree: It was a good week in Star Atlas!
So, let’s dive right in!
Volant Station Showroom – R2.1
The big news last week: The team released the latest update for their Unreal Engine 5 game on Epics Game Store, Release 2.1! As we listed the new features in last week’s issue, and we extensively went over them in our Townhall coverage, we won’t rehash those here. However, Danny (CPO) did hint at some surprises, and we finally got our first look at the experimental mode, there is more to share this week!
The team also published an article on Volant Station Showroom R2.1, which is worth a read if you’ve been out of the loop.
By toggling the Experimental Mode, you can enter two additional maps that are still in active development. These are:
- ONI Central Space Station – The team has shared plenty of footage of their work-in-progress, and now you will be able to explore the whole station yourself!
- Outpost 39 – Early progress demonstration of outposts on planets and modular landing pads
- Showroom – A Showroom without borders
The official description states:
This mode provides an inside look into work in progress and unfinished levels, and even gives sneak-peeks of unreleased characters.
There may be some surprises out there (red: we’re looking at you, Output 39), but you’ll have to find these yourself!
In order to install the Showroom, you will need an access key. Of course, if you have already installed it, you can simply upgrade to R2.1 and get going. Like last time, you can get an access key by having a ship enlisted in Faction Fleet (aka SCORE) for at least 7 days. A new option available for now is that you can also get access by simply adding a fleet (ship) into Escape Velocity.
This means that there is an alternative pathway to get immediate access, by locking up 1000 ATLAS in the SAGE contract and spawning a new fleet. There is no further need to participate in Escape Velocity beyond doing this, though that is, of course, encouraged!
Note that these keys will end up in the same interface as the ones you get for enlisting ships. You will need to claim them on your profile on play.staratlas.com.
As mentioned before, the newly integrated Marketplace allows players to test some ships for free (in a single-player environment). Not all ships are available, however. The team is rotating between sets of 3 ships at a time (from two manufacturers), each of which will be available for 3 consecutive days. After this period expires, a new set of three ships will become available.
There is another limitation here. Only ship up to Large size will ever be available. Capital and Commander class ships won’t be available for a test flight this way. And, to no one’s surprise, Titan ships won’t be available either.
The following ships have reached the final stage of polish. As such, they are the best options, if you want to show off Star Atlas to friends or family:
- The Pearce X4
- The Opal Jet
- The Fimbul Lowbie
- The Fimbul Airbike
- The Pearce X6
- The Fimbul Ecos Unibomba
- The Floyd Liner
In response to questions, Danny shared that the team is building with consoles in mind. A clear example of this is that Gamepads received major support in R2.1. He added that when the team releases a public build, they’d want to tailor a console build as well.
That said, the various platforms will have to support games like Star Atlas (and their dependency on the Solana blockchain), but Danny said that they might even just release a sandbox version on consoles if such support fails to materialize.
Remember Ted? Go check out the interior of the Floyd Liner ship!
Also, for those wondering how much of the SAGE functionality will find its way into UE5, Michael had the following to say concerning the Smart Contracts/Programs that both will share:
Virtually all of the programs being employed in SAGE will also be used in UE. Movement and combat won’t function the same, but most other things. Extraction, crafting, player profile, coordinate systems, etc.Michael (CEO)
Last week saw two Surge events taking place, followed by a surprise 3rd Surge event.
The team had scheduled two Surge events for the past week. One of these ran for 3 days, improving the odds of Silver loot spawning by 14x, and another one where the odds of Platinum tier loot spawning went up by a factor of 150!
That last one would only last until the first loot from the Platinum tier would be looted. This happened relatively quickly. On May 31st, an Ogrika Sunpaa was found, ending that particular Surge Event.
However, due to popular request, a similar event was launched the next day, on June 1st. Once more, a tester found an Ogrika Sunpaa on the same day (in a matter of hours), again quickly wrapping up this Surge event.
Interestingly, a Pearce D9 was also found before the Econ team managed to end the first Platinum Surge event, leading to a total of 3 Capital Ships having been found! That is one extra lucky player!
Pearce X6 Video
Two weeks ago, during the Townhall on May 26th, the team released a great video clip of their now-finished Pearce X6 ship. The studio that created that clip, VertPaint, now finished the full version of that clip.
It’s good to once again mention that all three videos were shot fully in-engine, meaning inside of Unreal Engine 5!
The Pearce X6 is a small ship like the Medtech, and the Pearce X4 is, of course, XX-Small. What video will the team produce next? Perhaps an X-Small one, to fill the gap? Or will the team go big? It will most likely simply depend on which ship the team manages to finish up next. It looks like the team is planning to create a video of this kind for all of their ships!
Thirty Thousand Players
Michael was on a few interviews last week, and one of the biggest pieces of alpha he dropped is an update to the expected user numbers their multi-player solution will support.
As most of you know, with R2.2, the Showroom will drop the peer-2-peer multiplayer approach, and instead adopt a hosted solution with dedicated multiplayer servers, as most FPS games do. This upgrade will greatly increase stability and subsequently lead to the player cap being able to raise from 16 to.. a much higher number.
During the Townhall in early February of this year, Michael shared that the team is looking to support between 400 to 1000 concurrent players on a single map. This is not their end goal, of course, but they hope to start out with these levels following the release of R2.2.
During some of the interviews he did, Michael has gone so far as to suggest they may, in the end, be able to support up to 30k concurrent players.
Besides the recent time-limited quests, for the Townhall and the last two Atlas Brews, the team also added new permanent quests to Never Alone recently. This started with a few lore-based questions after the release of the latest Atlas Star newsletter, a few weeks back, but the team has also added two new quests that relate to the release of R2.1.
If you want to see an up-to-date list of all quests, their XP, and what to do, we warmly recommend you check out our Never Alone guide.
On a different note: At the time of publishing, you have 35 days left to complete all Mission 1 quests!
To close out this issue of the newsletter, if rumors are to be believed… The DAO Platform may launch as soon as this week! 🤫 Stay tuned!