Starbound -  75

No mention of whether Dongcats will be even more terrifying than before, sadly.

A rather large patch for space-based build-’em-up Starbound has arrived on Steam, bringing with it a tonne of changes to the codebase. Most of which probably sounds a bit dry, but should have serious impact going forward.

Like, ooh, updates to “disk serialization” which means players and ships will definitely never be wiped again, and worlds will hopefully never be wiped again. Save files are now versioned. “Packed assets into database […] and included asset packing and unpacking utilities with the distribution” means that startup is faster, and mod distribution should be easier. Crashes fixed. Improvements to projectiles. Etc. Oh, and some minor stuff like “difficulty levels” and “permadeath mode.”

But you probably don’t care about that, do you? Thankfully, the changelog also includes a section called “Fun Changes.” Ironically, the top item in that section is not at all fun: holiday stuff has been removed from the game because it’s no longer the holidays.

The rest, though? The rest seems pretty neat. A Savannah biome has been added. Legendary weapons have been tweaked to be more powerful. PvP is now force-enabled in Sector X. All player drops are now persistent. New Techs. New items. New objects. New monster attacks. Cooldown times “actually matter.” Viking helmets. Landmines. Tweaks to loot tables. Some armors and some plants should look better. SECRET STUFF.

The full patch notes are below. Give ’em a read while you download the 500MB patch on Steam – and if you haven’t played Starbound, then you can always have a read of my adventures with an earlier build of the game.

Code Changes:

  • Absolutely massive changes to disk serialization (sorry reversers), which will allow us to never need to wipe players or ships again, and hopefully never need to wipe worlds again.
  • Related, we now have a proper versioning system for save files.
  • Added difficulty levels and permadeath characters to the game.
  • Packed assets into databases (speeds up startup significantly), and included asset packing and unpacking utilities with the distribution.
  • This should also allow for easier distribution of mods, and easier construction and management of slimmed down distributions for dedicated servers (official server paks coming soon.)
  • Fix some graphical glitches with the wire nodes.
  • Fixed some pretty nasty deadlocking bugs with networking.
  • Fixed some very strange memory leak bugs stemming from a gcc lambda capture bug.
  • Fixed various crash bugs related to a number of different issues (more specifics listed in “Info About the Upcoming Patch“– thanks for the bug reports, keep em coming)
  • Speed up improvements with falling sand and other projectiles.
  • More efficient databases storage layout.
  • Documentation for lua functions have been written, and we’re going to release them soonish.
  • Removed NaN floats from the code for performance reasons (reenabled -ffinite-math-only), we had been using them to signal that the float is disabled or in an invalid state, but we have a system for that now.
  • Some internal changes that make maintaining code much happier for us, including better enum to string handling and much faster compiles.
  • Other minor things, too numerous to list here (see “Info About the Upcoming Patch“).

Fun Changes:

  • It’s no longer the holiday, so we’ve removed the holiday stuff for now, we’ll put them back when we have a better way of enabling it for holiday time.
  • PVP is now forced enabled within Sector X.  If you’re in a party there’s no team damage though.
  • All player drops are persistent now.  So if you accidentally throw your diamond drill down a mineshaft, you don’t have to suicide trying to get it back before it disappears.
  • New Monster attacks (gravity slam! gust attacks! other stuff!)
  • Fixed Legendary Weapons damage (adjusted up to be more… well… Legendary.)
  • We’ve put in new Techs (such as a Glitch Mech).
  • New biome type enabled.  Savannah.
  • Boss Lore!
  • No more eating bandages and stims, they have their own thing now.
  • Better, more featureful .abc file support, and we have Wanderlust music in the game now.  (Thanks Leth and D2!)
  • Made NPC chatter more configurable and slightly more varied.
  • Added new objects (such as lava biome treasure chests).
  • Added new items (like nightsticks and bonesaws).
  • Sword swooshes are only active for 0.6 seconds instead of 0.9 seconds.
  • Making cooldown times actually matter without slowing down combat.  Also fine tuned their hitboxes.
  • Viking helmet?  Viking helmet.
  • Watch out for landmines.
  • Various changes to treasure drop pools (like Avian Guards actually dropping their guns…)
  • Minor tweaks to existing armors to make them look better.
  • Medieval Furnace now actually acts like a Furnace. (Rejoice).
  • Graphical upgrades to some existing plants, and new plants.
  • Lots more secret stuff! :OOO
Tim McDonald
Tim has been playing PC games for longer than he's willing to admit. He's written for a number of publications, but has been with PC Invasion - in all its various incarnations - for over a decade. When not writing about games, Tim can occasionally be found speedrunning terrible ones, making people angry in Dota 2, or playing something obscure and random. He's also weirdly proud of his status as (probably) the Isle of Man's only professional games journalist.

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