Like so many things in the Starbound, the current player progression system is a temporary measure. If the early access survival sandbox was a cyborg, its existing set of tiers and sectors would be a cardboard cut-out of an arm, with the words "add cool stuff here" written on in marker. In a new post on the Starbound blog , creator Finn "Tiy" Brice outlines what that cool stuff will eventually consist of.
One big change will be the removal of universe sectors as a obstacle for progression. In the finished game, three sectors are planned - all mapped to different game types. Players will be able to choose between the regular sector, the PvP sector, and the non-violent "creative" sector.
Rather than use tech to switch sectors, then, players will advance through upgrades that will allow them to visit more hazardous planets. Tiy uses the example of a planet with no breathable air, saying, "progression will be less linear and more akin to the kind of progression you find in modern metroidvanias."
Later in the game, three progression paths will be made available, allowing players to advance through farming, building or adventuring. "We want players to be able to advance through the game whilst doing whatever they enjoy most," writes Tiy.
To facilitate this change, a new planet type will be added. Known as an Outpost, this small planet will be populated by members of each species, and will act as a quest and trading hub.
For more on Starbound's eventual progression update, check out the full post on the official site.