Welcome to our 91st 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.
Last week saw a surprise visit from Michael (CEO) at the Atlas Brew, which turned it into an alpha-leek bonanza! We’ll get into everything discussed there below! Other than that, a few clarifications were given on Discord in response to questions, but nothing major was announced through any of the official channels. Not a problem; the Atlas Brew was enough to fill this newsletter with!
Let’s get to it!
Let’s start by quickly recapping the story so far: SAGE Labs is everything that was promised for SAGE: Starbased, formerly known as SAGE: REC (see our guide for the full low-down), but without the fancy 3D WebGL interface. Instead, Michael likened the UI to that of OGame during the Company Update (which we wrote about last week).
During last week’s Brew, Michael shared that the team will be using the UI design from SAGE, which we have already gotten a taste of with Escape Velocity. It is important to note, however, that SAGE Labs will not come with a 3D map like Escape Velocity had. Instead, the user interface elements will be used, such as menus, pop-ups, buttons, frames, and other elements. This means the interface will definitely feel like SAGE and Escape Velocity, as these elements have been crafted for SAGE specifically. But you will, like OGame, not be able to directly take control of a fleet on the map.
It’s also good to point out that SAGE Labs is a lot more complex than Escape Velocity, so the interface will be more involved!
When SAGE Labs goes live, there will be a few weeks -Michael suggested around four- where players can start crafting Golden Tickets, but no raffle will be held. After this period is over, weekly raffles will start for 8 straight weeks. This will give everybody the time to craft and accumulate the tickets and then choose with which raffle to spend them. Once spent, they are burned, whether you win or lose.
Every raffle comes with a different set of prizes. It looks like the team won’t publish the full table for all eight weeks in advance, but will instead only release a prize overview a few days before each raffle takes place.
As to the sort of prizes that can be won: Michael shared that there will be Claim Stakes and Central Space Station habitats among these, but also ships (including the Fimbul Mamba EX) that have been previously only dropped to Start Sequence participants. In addition, there will be (not every week) a grand prize of 5.6 million ATLAS among the prizes. When locked in the ATLAS Locker, this would be enough to reach Tier 4, resulting in a 45% reduction on any fees paid when selling items on the Galactic Marketplace.
As part of the promotion, the team will also be offering assets in exchange for items crafted. Michael mentioned during the Brew that there will be around 300k (in VWAP) worth of assets part of a fixed loot table, which anyone will be able to claim in exchange for a certain amount of crafted components.
Besides these, other items that can be crafted (not exhaustive) are:
- Components that will see use in later iterations of SAGE (and possibly UE5). Note that these likely have some use in Labs as well.
- Golden Tickets
- Fuel, Food, Ammunition & Toolkits (R4)
The End of SOL Transaction Fees!
Some may have missed the ATLAS Fee Payer announcement during the Atlas Brew, but this is truly big news for the ecosystem!
When SAGE Labs goes live, the team will also bring a brand new Solana Program, the ATLAS Fee Payer, online. All SAGE Labs transactions will include this new program, which will take care of paying the SOL fee required. It won’t do this for free, however. It will charge you an equivalent fee in ATLAS in the very same transaction. The program will fail to pay SOL if it does not receive any ATLAS.
The end result: Your SAGE Labs transactions will not require any SOL at all! Instead, you will be paying the transaction fees in ATLAS.
This is part of the concerted effort to lower the barrier to entry into Star Atlas.
On the topic of lowering the barrier to entry, another way to do this is to allow players to convert their fiat straight into ATLAS tokens! Unfortunately, this is not yet possible at this time through their partner, MoonPay, at this time. However, the upcoming MoonPay integration will allow people to convert their fiat into SOL or USDC for now.
In the future, when ATLAS (& POLIS) have been listed at one of the exchanges that MoonPay partners with, everyone will be able to convert to ATLAS directly. Until then, you will have to use a service like Jupiter to convert your SOL/USDC to ATLAS after your fiat conversion!
Once upon a time, special “Year of the Tigu” Pearce X4 skins were dropped to players who had their ships staked in Faction Fleet (aka SCORE). There were three different skins, and the exact skins dropped were dependent on the (maximum) time that account had their ships staked in Faction Fleet.
Last week, Danny (CPO) shared a first glimpse of those Pearce X4 skins being applied to the ship within the UE5 environment:
Ship Skins will be coming to the Showroom (Unreal Engine 5) with R2.2, which is targeted for the end of the year. The plan is to support these in SAGE in the future as well.
Note that only team-created skins will be available with R2.2. User-created ones will not come into play until later.
Right before publishing this newsletter, Danny also shared a short video clip of the Nanobyte skin for the Pearce X4 (unfinished):
StarPath V2, the team’s new referral program, will be released around the same time as SAGE Labs. This week we’ve learned two new tidbits:
Golden Ticket Reward
Instead of getting a Golden Ticket whenever someone uses your referral link for the first time, as we reported last week, these will be distributed based on the total sales volume by the referred person. Based on the amount of money they spend on the marketplace, certain thresholds will be reached where the referrer will earn a new ticket.
Michael noted that Starpath V2 won’t be a significant source of Golden Tickets compared to SAGE Labs. In fact, he mentioned that it will be around 40 times easier [or more productive] to craft the tickets than trying to get them through the referral system. But it’s a nice bonus nonetheless!
Two weeks ago, Michael was talking about sharing a roughly 30% share of the price of any primary market sales made to the referred person, which meanwhile has been fine-tuned to (in the neighborhood of) 25%.
However, Michael also shared they were looking to also give a benefit to the person referred as well, potentially to the tune of a 10% discount.
Exciting developments, and we won’t have to wait much longer before all will be revealed!
To wrap up this week’s newsletter, let’s go into some smaller bits that were shared last week!
- Michael confirmed more directly last week that Crew members will be 1-of-1 NFTs. This is a major deviation from the current setup, with the team having only sold or airdropped assets that were SFTs (Semi-Fungible Tokens). There have been some distinct NFTs that were sold through FTX in the past, however. Perhaps these will also be added to the marketplace once the team has the upgrades in place to handle NFTs.
- Crew members are targeted for the end of 2023
Partnerships & User Growth
- Besides MoonPay and BuddyLink, other partnerships with Solana teams are in the works. More news on (some of) these should be coming later this month.
- The team hopes to grow their daily active users (DAU) from roughly 10k to 30-40k during the year’s second half. Besides the aforementioned partnerships, Michael has also been talking to some big guilds outside of the Star Atlas ecosystem and shared that the team is planning something specifically to appeal to potential new players in South-East Asia and some parts of South America.
- Michael shared that there are, at present, 46 people on the UE5 development team. This is a correction from the 36 he mentioned last week.
- CORE Act 2, Episode 1 sales have been extended by one week. There seems to be an interesting story behind “why” this decision was made, which we should hear more about soon. Michael says it has something to do with stimulating more demand for all covers.
- Besides sharing the public interface of their SAGE programs and Typescript files that interact with these, the team is also considering making the 3D assets (crafted by their co-dev studio, The Lost Pixel) available for community-created content. These 3D ship models (used in SAGE) will likely come with the restriction that they can only be used when the end user owns the corresponding on-chain asset.
Until next week!