The beta of starbound will come in three different stages.
Stage 1 will be move at a breakneck speed. This will be the buggiest and busiest stage of the beta. A bunch of unfinished features will be disabled whilst we finish them up. Updates will come thick and fast, sometimes as often as multiple updates a day.
If you choose to take part during stage 1 you should expect bugs, lots of balance changes, you shouldn't get too attached to your character or universe as we may make changes that require you to start from scratch. You should expect the game to be broken at points as we make sweeping changes but you'll get to enjoy exciting new content added constantly. The engine won’t optimized during this stage of the beta so performance could be poor on some low end machines.
You'll get to see a bunch of ‘behind the scenes’ content at this stage and provide feedback during this crucial period.
Stage 2 will be largely feature complete. You’ll still find the odd bug but they’re unlikely to be game breaking and the chance of you losing your character or save is minimal. The main quest line won’t be in yet but the sandbox experience will be near complete. All sectors of the galaxy will be available including sector X (End game content). Much of the focus in this stage will be on bug fixing, optimization and balance.
Stage 3 is largely about prepping for v1.0, this means finishing up the main quest line and implementing the post beta content. i.e. the Novakids, fossils. By the time stage 3 is complete Starbound should be ready to launch as a finished game. Worry not however, we plan to keep adding new content for at least a year after release, perhaps a lot longer.
Summary of changes
v. Pleased Giraffe
August 25, 2015
v. Upbeat Giraffe
January 28, 2015
v. Enraged Koala
February 18, 2014
Valentine’s Day items including swords, costumes, decorations, bow, etc
Engine feature, tech can now be granted by armors
Keybinding reconfiguration, minus the UI (you can reconfigure keys through a config file)
Server stability fixes for servers with many players
New death animations
Engine feature, all objects are now scriptable and interactive
More Avian weaponry
Dogs can now be captured (lots more pets coming soon)
A bunch of new items and smaller pieces of content
New (actually sounds good!) microphone instrument with sounds provided by Smooth McGroove!
Bug where warping to magma/volcano biomes caused crashing was fixed.
v. Furious Koala
January 26, 2014
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 (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.
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.
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 avianguards 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!
We look forward to hearing what you think about the patch. This was a very big one this time around.
v. Angry Koala
December 23, 2013
A ton of new content in this update. We’ve added a bunch of new features to world generation,
which might require you to start on a new universe. To make sure you get access to all the new
crafting items you either need to unlock sectors again or create a new character.
Worlds/quests/ships were wiped this update, characters were not.
Added skyrails based on Apjjms mod!
Added a brand new weather system, moddable weather/new environment effects
Hydrophobic objects are destroyed by all liquids
Trees can now be planted
Critical items stay on the ground longer
Some new monster behaviours
You must now be orbiting a planet to set it as your home
Free teleportation to home planet from ships teleporter
add acid rain, meteor showers, water collecting during storms and more
made species mods easier to combine with one another
add support for keysignature and keysignature changes for the abc system
Disable speedlimit for default projectiles to fix inaccurate bullets
New craftable turrets based on Healthire‘s mod
You can now land on asteroid fields, based on hints mod
Tech now has descriptive instructions
Tons of Christmas stuff!!
Pos no longer 1 hit kill you
You can no longer breath on moons or asteroid fields without the proper equipment
Better fix fall damage
New barren planets perfect for building
Gravity now varies from planet to planet
Some planet backgrounds improved
Existing biomes can appear with different liquid types
You can now craft racial flags, to show you’ve been to a planet
NPCs will now switch to melee weapons up close
More random encounters
Pos can now be captured
Wiring station can now be built to access to a ton of different wiring tools
fixed mech legs
tons of server improvements
v. Offended Koala
December 15, 2013
There are a whole bunch of improvements to balance here, particularly in the early game. We aren’t wiping characters or worlds, but if you want to experience the proper balance you should make a new character/worlds to play it on!
Experimental gun rebalance
Experimental biome settings
Streamlined mod support, more details here
Unique monster changes
Enable plasma guns
Fix naked NPC merchants
New portable pixel printer item (you must unlock tier 2 for it to show up in crafting).
Tons of new blocks and items to craft
New random encounters with unique items to find
Lots of work in progress server changes
Pets only attack npcs that are attacking the owner
New songs to play on instruments including christmas carols
New novelty hats
Pets now level up
You can no longer warp to gas giants
Lots more fixes and small additions
More coming really soon!
v. Indignant Koala
December 11, 2013
NPC's and Enemies
There are a whole bunch of improvements to balance here, particularly in the early game.
We aren’t wiping characters or worlds, but if you want to experience the proper balance you should make a new character/worlds to play it on!'
Nerf the hell out of birds, they no longer attack you at long range, lower damage, don’t follow you forever.
Monster projectiles across the board better balanced
Shields better balanced
Early armors better balanced
Melee weapons better balanced
Ores better balanced
You are now invincible on your ship (this requires a new character)
You need to be hit a lot harder to get knocked back
Drills now destroy 3×3 blocks
Nerf fall damage
You can now craft lanterns (similar to sixxes’ lantern mod!
You can now craft a new back armor to help light caves
You can now turn 10 unrefined wood into coal in the furnace
New “melting” status effect on lava makes lava super dangerous (watch out)
Fixed the bubble gun crashing on mouse over
Improve grass ( Suggestion by Dracyoshi)
Some UI updates
Other misc changes!
v. Frustrated Koala
December 10, 2013
Corrected issues with the new leveling system that caused some weapons to have the stats of their old level (e.g. lvl 35), when there are only 10 levels in the game.
No character wipe was done, but if you want to use none overpowered items and worlds, best to make a new character.
Uranium, plutonium and solarium now work as fuels
You can now REALLY craft a grappling hook
Boss balance has been tightened even more
Platinum armor is now unlocked on tier 5
You can now ‘recapture’ pets
some more fixes
v. Annoyed Koala
December 10, 2013
This is a HUGE balance patch, every item, creature, armor and weapon has been rebalanced. The leveling system has entirely been rewritten. However although the balance is unpolished in the new leveling system, the system is much better than the old one and we can now improve balance over time.
This patch implemented a Character Wipe.
Added early implementation of creature taming (more features coming soon)
Added a stance system to weaponry, not currently used but will allow us to add secondary attacks to weaponry very soon.