Welcome to our 96th 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.
Another week went by, and SAGE Labs is closer to release than ever before. However, it does look like we’ll need to wait a little longer. Meanwhile, limited community playtesting has begun, which ruffled some feathers in the community. Beyond that, not much happened last week. We did get a bit more insight into the roadmap going forward, and the team shared some shots of a new ground race track environment that you’ll be able to explore in Showroom R2.2. It’s not much, but…
Let’s jump in!
SAGE Labs has not been released yet, and the team has not given us a new target window to look forward to. XCode (Product Manager) was kind enough to host a small ad-hoc AMA in the general channel of the Star Atlas Discord early last week, and through him, we’ve learned about some of the roadblocks that the team hit on their way. Here are two examples:
- Solana recently updated to version 1.16. The team had been developing on Solana 1.14, but -as always- upgraded as well. Unfortunately, they found out that some of their tooling broke down with that upgrade.
- The team stumbled upon an (unspecified) Hello Moon/data bug that occurs on Solana mainnet, but not on their own testnet (called AtlasNet).
XCode also shared that the Atlas Fee Payer (aka “Prime”) implementation is taking much longer than anticipated. Michael later clarified that this would not hold up the release, as it’s a nice-to-have feature.
Community “Beta” Test
Last Friday, a small community playtest of SAGE Labs was kicked off, with about 10 community members being been selected to test the game and report bugs.
Some community members questioned the process of how these community members were picked, and the lack of transparency surrounding this. Santi (Community Director) had the following to say on that:
We quickly selected some active users to help find bugs and provide feedback. The playtesting will only last a few days.
We left formalities such as an application process for testing aside as we are really moving at a speed where the goal is to release LABS as soon as possible. We knew that it was maybe going to generate problems as there were limited slots and there are many active people who have added value in this community. The people who were chosen were not measured on “how much value they added to the community” but on different profiles of users who are active and can provide different types of feedback. I read everyone’s comments all the time, and there are many lessons learned from our side, next time it will be executed differently.
That said, what the playtesters are experiencing will probably be shared later (during this week and before launch) with the community. We just needed a couple of people to quickly help identify things that need to be changed.
It really hurts to see valuable people feeling bad about the testing when we should be happy that something we have been waiting for a long time is pretty close to being live, again, lots of lessons learned from our end and the approach will be different for the next time.Santi
As the playtesters are under NDA, they are not able to share any further alpha at this moment.
CORE – Issue 8
This coming Wednesday, September 13th, the team will publish CORE: Act2, Episode 2 on the Galactic Marketplace and Magic Eden!
This issue will only be available for 2 weeks and will cost 20 USDC on the Galactic Marketplace and an equal SOL equivalent on MagicEden.
As always, both marketplaces will offer a unique, distinctive cover for the new issue. You will, of course, still be able to read the new issue for free on the Star Atlas website, or on Apple Books.
Aephia’s Data Runners keep their ear close to the ground, and, every now and then, release an updated roadmap to the Star Atlas community. This roadmap is assembled using all the information we have on potential timelines from the team’s many subtle suggestions and by reading between the lines. Last week, they created a new one, and we saw fit to share it with you here as well:
On top of this, Michael had the following to say with regard to what the team would work on after the launch of SAGE Labs:
I’m currently leaning towards a focus on DAC platform, since it is super close to ready. Jeff is going to pick up design efforts on Star Atlas Account after Labs, which is where we will see progress on permissions and account management. When [Star Atlas Account] is ready, it would be nice to have the auto approve functionality online.
After Labs is out, we’ll keep a smaller team on it, because there will be improvements, hotfixes, and QOL improvements we can make. Some people will move over to SAA, some people will move over to REC[/Starbased].Michael (CEO)
Being asked when Claim Stake support would end up in the game, Michael gave the following answer:
Difficult to say, but I would expect us to work on claim stake functionality next year. Might be mid-year before we begin work. Total estimate right now. But otherwise, claim stakes will continue to derive utility from Faction Claims.Michael (CEO)
- The team still has a few (2-3) people working on Starbased (aka REC). Before the reorganization, they were working on the Starcomm integration for Starbased and they have simply continued that work. Michael suggested they have been making meaningful progress since then.
- When Starbased is released (expected Q1), the team plans to keep Labs running in parallel. In fact, Labs will be kept up to date and will likely even be the first to incorporate some of the future features on SAGE’s roadmap. Michael also suggested they may include SAGE Labs in the Mobile app, as it will be optimized for mobile devices shortly after its initial release, which is not the case with the full SAGE release.
- Last week, we reported that the team had planned an announcement regarding StarPath V2 for that week, but no such announcement has come to pass. It’s unclear what the holdup is, but we expect to hear from the team soon.
- The team’s Claim Stakes Tier 1 supply completely sold out last week. There are early indicators that demand for Tier 3 variants has gone up in response to this.
As you’ve seen these past few weeks, the UE5 department has continued their work on ships and ship weapons. They have also continued work on R2.2, where ground racing will become a really enticing multiplayer game mode. The team was kind enough to share a few images of the updates that will be made to the track:
See you next week!