Starbound character wipes a thing of the forgotten past; “Watch out for landmines”

Starbound character resets were a grim necessity of its Early Access status.

I think I’ve worked out just how it is Chucklefish keep up their unmatched rate of development on Starbound. They’ve extra incentive to retain the game’s upward trajectory, I’ve theorised, because as soon as their nose dips they’ll feel obliged to change its name to ‘Earthbound’, and thereupon enter a protracted legal dispute with friends of David Morrissey, the monstrous Governor from TV’s Walking Dead.

Nobody wants that. And so among the many improvements in today’s update comes “massive changes to disk serialization” – which means, apparently, an end to character wipes.

Starbound’s v. Furious Koala update has already attached itself to the game, which makes the January patch that took our Fraser’s beloved Beep Boop away from him was the last reset we’ll ever have to endure.

Players particularly fond of losing everything they’ve worked for, though, will be pleased to meet the new permadeath difficulty level. The rest of us can walk right on by, whistling nonchalantly or perhaps pretending to be on the phone.

Christmas is a more distant a memory than Beep Boop, and so Chucklefish have removed any and all holiday features from the game (“We’ll put them back when we have a better way of enabling it for holiday time”).

What else? Items dropped by players are now persistent – “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”. And monsters have acquired whole new Pokemon-like movesets, including gravity slams and gust attacks.

Oh, and one more thing: “Watch out for landmines”. Gulp. Find the full changelog below.

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

Did you lot know the writer of the excellentSepulchre, Ashton Raze, is now working fulltime on Starbound? Expect open world traversal to become a deeply upsetting experience over the course of this year.

Thanks, PC Gamer.