Welcome to our 94th 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.
After the information-packed last weeks, the past week was again a more quiet one. The Atlas Brew was filled with lore from José (aka ZeSKK – Star Atlas official Penguin) on the various systems we’ll get to explore in SAGE Labs, and how this lore ties into the other lore that is already out there. In other words, a lot of lore-alpha was dropped, but nothing regarding gameplay or timelines.
Fortunately, Chip (Director of Game Systems Design) was feeling generous, answering many SAGE Labs-related questions on Discord. This led to some interesting insights into how different ships behave in that game, which you can read about below.
Last week, the team had their first DRiP collaboration, specifically with Degen Poet (aka Solana Poet). Degen Poet shares new art every Monday, which he derives from the art/style of the Solana projects he partners with. He collaborates with three different projects per week, one being legendary-tier, one rare-tier, and the last one common. The rarity assigned determines the rarity of the artwork he drops.
The Star Atlas piece was last week’s legendary piece, which means that only 100 lucky subscribers received this artwork. The other subscribers will have received either his rare (limited) or common (unlimited) drop instead.
Chip has been sharing additional tidbits of information all week on Discord. Most of this info can also be found in our guide, but as always, we publish the new details from last week here as well.
Game Map Setup
First off, he gave a very concise summary of the state of the galaxy map that, though not new information, we copied verbatim below:
- There are 10,201 total sectors available to travel to. 101 x 101 grid.
- 51 of those sectors host a single star system
- Each star system has exactly 1 Starbase and 1 Asteroid belt within it among other cosmetic planets
- Each faction owns 17 of the 51 star systems
- You can travel to, but not dock or mine at a system owned by a faction you aren’t part of
- You can craft every recipe at every SB/CSS
- There are 3 CSSs (included in the 17 SBs), so 16 non-CSS SBs per faction
In later releases, SBs will not be prebuilt/upgraded and will need to be built/upgraded by the factions using the crafted products.Chip (Discord Foundation Room)
On top of that, partially in response to some preliminary data having been leaked by leeks, he gave an explanation of how speed works. We compiled it into a number of bullet points as well:
- The Galia Expanse consists of 10201 sectors (the 101 x 101 grid map)
- Distance is expressed in “Atlas Unit(s)”, or AU
- Every sector measures 1 AU x 1 AU
- Ship speed is expressed in AU per second (AU/s)
- Warping is faster than subwarping; neither is instant
- Every ship has a maximum warp distance it can travel per warp. This number differs per ship
- There is a period after each warp where the engines have to cool down (or recharge), where you can not perform another warp. This is called the warp cooldown, and the exact time it takes differs per ship as well.
- All this to say, speed is not the only factor in determining the amount of time it costs to traverse the Galia Expanse
Golden Ticket Art
To conclude this SAGE Labs section, here is the art for the Golden Ticket SFT:
Though the Ships Config V2 has recently seen an update, the team is preparing a pretty radical change to the way ship stats are determined. The hull, components, and modules of a ship determine the efficiency, or score, of a ship in many different areas. In Ship Config V2, the base numbers these components provide would then be altered using three different tables:
- Make Component Variance: Each of the ship manufacturers has a core component specialty as well as a weakness. Effectively, this means that each ship’s manufacturer puts in oversized components (one size category bigger than the hull) and an equal amount of undersized components (one size category lower than the hull) to balance things out.
- Spec Bonus: Each ship has a certain “spec”, such as fighter, bounty hunter, or freighter. To ensure a ship stands out in that specific type of gameplay, the team applies bonuses to certain stats depending on a ship’s spec.
- Make Bonus: To further distinguish between manufacturers, the team introduced another set of bonuses solely based on the manufacturer. These come on top of the “Make Component Variance”.
The big change that is coming is that the Make Component Variance table has been dropped, meaning ships do not come with any over-/undersized components any longer. Here are some of the reasons the team (in the person of Chip) gave for this:
- It led to some existing ship specs being too crippled because the manufacturer variance conflicted with the spec of the ship. For example, using Ship Config V2 as it is published today leads to some stealthy bounty hunters/data runners with undersized heat sinks, which was counterproductive.
- Expectation management proved quite hard. Accounting for ships with oversized/undersized components where the expectations that those components are 2-3x more/less powerful was challenging, if not impossible, without collapsing the power spectrum. Doing this would devalue larger ships.
- The power and heat management system the team set up had difficulty accounting for components that generated/consumed 2-3x more power/heat than the other components in the correct class.
Luckily, the team found a good alternative! To ensure ships are actually good in the type of gameplay their spec dictates, the team will tweak the tiers of the ship’s components instead.
Let’s take a step back: The Spec Bonus is a fixed bonus that depends solely on the ship’s hull. It is a constant bonus that is not dependent on anything else. The Make Bonus, however, applies to the individual components that make up the rest of the ship. These can be swapped out for different ones, including higher-tier versions.
The latter is exactly how the team is planning to solve the aforementioned conundrum. By providing higher-tier components they will be able to make sure a ship performs well in the type of gameplay associated with its spec, while also making sure the prices that each ship sold at originally are reflected in the ship’s component makeup.
For Labs, however, this new system is only half in play. The Make Component Variances have been dropped, but all ships still come with Tier 1 components.
To make up for this, the team has boosted the bonuses provided by the spec and make of a ship, making these more important for SAGE Labs gameplay.
The Make bonus does not have the same weight as the Spec bonus initially. Using Tier 1 components, the bonus is about half as strong as the Spec bonus. However, as the Tier of the components increases, the Make bonus weight increases as well, all the way up to 2x, bringing it in line with the weight of the Spec bonus.
In other words, a fully maxed component doubles the Make bonus it provides, compared to a Tier 1 version of that same component.
The way the team is setting up the new component tier-bonuses, a ship with fully maxed components (so, max tier variants) is almost as powerful as a ship one (size) class higher, which has (the same amount of) default components (so lowest tier).
Last week, the team shared additional images of the Ogrika Niruch, including its dashboard/HUD and some skin options. You can see these below, but the team also shared the video that seems to be the source for these images: