Starbound update ensures no more character wipes, does other stuff too

Starbound's update naming scheme takes the form of increasingly agitated koalas. It started back in early December with version Perturbed Koala. Less than two months later and we're already at Furious Koala. This is escalating far too quickly. Sure, Chucklefish can still patch a Seething Koala, or an Incandescent Koala, but what happens after that? Throbbing Veins Koala? Murderous Rampage Koala? Emotional Equilibrium Through Extensive Counselling And A Treatment Of Mood-Altering Drugs Koala?

Whatever the state of the 2D sandbox's future koala's, yesterday's one brings a whole heap of changes and additions. One of the fixes may ensure that things are a lot calmer in future: thanks to "massive changes to disk serialization" (no, me neither), Chucklefish will no longer need to wipe characters or ships, and are confident that worlds are safe too. In addition, players get more efficient mod distribution, as well as new biomes, monster attacks, tech, and an enforced PvP zone.

Here are the patch notes:

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.

  • "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."

"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!"

Starbound's v. Furious Koala is out now.

Phil Savage

Phil has been writing for PC Gamer for nearly a decade, starting out as a freelance writer covering everything from free games to MMOs. He eventually joined full-time as a news writer, before moving to the magazine to review immersive sims, RPGs and Hitman games. Now he leads PC Gamer's UK team, but still sometimes finds the time to write about his ongoing obsessions with Destiny 2, GTA Online and Apex Legends. When he's not levelling up battle passes, he's checking out the latest tactics game or dipping back into Guild Wars 2. He's largely responsible for the whole Tub Geralt thing, but still isn't sorry.