Starbound's future features outlined: includes space combat and story missions

Given that Starbound has both a grappling hook and the ability to create a cutesy rendition of the Morrowind theme , you'd be forgiven for thinking that it's already finished. But no, those are just the most important features of a long and winding development road. In a new post on the game's official site , designer Finn "Tiy" Brice has outlined some of the things planned for future updates.

"We have a lot more than this in store," writes Tiy , "but Xealaz over at reddit compiled such a nice list of the stuff we HAVE discussed that I wanted to share it with you. As always, things are not set in stone."

The list includes everything from fixes and balance tweaks, including a smoother difficulty curve and rebindable controls, to long-term planned features, like space combat and planetary modifications. You can see the full thing below:

  • " NPC Spawners & Building Logic: NPCs will scan the structures you build around them and the contents of chests; they will have improved inventories/behaviors depending on how valuable their surroundings are.

  • " Macro Terrain Changes: Affect an entire planet's terrain and weather

  • " More Planet Scanner Data: See details in the planet scanner like planet occupants/dungeons

  • " Underground: More secrets will spawn below the surface

  • " Space Combat: Way in the future, expect space combat and the ability to board other ships.

  • " Spaceship Dungeons: Very large, size of a planet.

  • " Biome Hazards: Sandstorms, icestorms, meteor showers, toxic planets, airless planets.

  • " Ore & Difficulty: Higher difficulty planets will have improved ore distribution

  • " Story Missions: Eventually each tier will end with a story mission that ends with the bosses you see now.

  • " Ship Navigator Changes: Still not set in stone; but the new idea is to give a local map with fog of war. Instead of sector buttons you have to fly out of a sector and into the next one by uncovering more of the star map. The final sector would be infinite.

  • " Smoother Difficulty Curve: Better indication of the difficulty of an area. Difficulty will change within tiers as well as between tiers. There will be fractional difficulty (for example, Difficulty 1.12 in tier 1 would be easier than Difficulty 1.52, while still in T1)

  • " Monster Generation: Right now, monster parts just have stat boosts, but eventually rolled monster parts will affect their behavior and abilities. For example, monsters with spider legs can climb walls; fiery monsters inflict burning. You might get a burning spider dropping on you from the ceiling. Projectiles may be tied to specifically generated heads. Biome may influence monster part generation.

  • " Mini-Map: Rotating circular map showing highlights only such as the location of friendly players, spawn points–but no major details. For the details you'd use a mapping item to create a map as you travel.

  • " Teleporters: Stargates between planets and eventually between servers.

  • " Dramatic Planet Modification: Not going to be implemented any time soon. Ability for players to modify huge chunks of planets through things like orbital bombardment; removing the entire first layer of a planet and leave behind a lifeless surface.

  • " Tech Priority: Eventually all techs can be active at once, but a categorization system is in the works to assign priority to conflicting techs, preventing issues. A hotkey to switch the active tech will be added as a temporary workaround until the priority system is completed.

  • " Server Commands: More server commands and control for chat and port listening.

  • " Villager AI: Villagers will aggro when you steal from them and follow you more aggressively.

  • " World Storage: Improve world storage and organize *.pak files to improve modding. Add launcher integration.

  • " Spawn Points: Change spawn points on individual planets.

  • " Controls: Reconfigure controls; keybinding.

  • " Ship Size: Upgrade ship/increase size.

  • " Racial Armor: Racial abilities will not be inherent but will be tied to racial armor. For example, Avian armor can glide downward.

  • " Capture Pods & Mercenaries: May be able to capture NPCs with pods. Summon NPC Mercenaries by using the pod as a beacon.

  • " Reduced Wipes: Working on a system to patch without requiring as many character wipes in the future. This will require one more wipe and that's it.

  • " Other Changes: Colorblind Mode & Engine Optimization. FTL animation being revamped to reduce memory strain."

For more on Starbound, check out Cass's largely enthusiastic early impressions .