Starmourn’s first year as a publically accessible game in open beta has come and gone, and the months since December 17th, 2018 have whirled by in a blur of new features, squashed bugs, and player-focused roleplay events.
By January 2019 we’d already fixed hundreds of bugs, done a pass on classes, and enabled a myriad of quality of life improvements to tradeskills, areas, the economy, cloning, and more. We’d also figured out what sort of movies humans managed to bring with them off that penal colony on Callisto – it’s thanks to Top Gun that the alien races of Starmourn know what aviator sunglasses are.
In February 2019, we started our first round of classleads and opened retirement for all. We performed a big overhaul to how ships function, making the whole shipforging system more fun and intuitive for players to use. February also saw the introduction of the Bounty Hunters and a bunch of new content, including the spooky, ancient halls of Tranquility Deepness and the corrupt laboratories of Wundishu Biotech.
March 2019 was sad for all of us as we said farewell to our star quarterback and biggest contributor to Starmourn’s success, Justin Walsh (Tecton). We didn’t let that slow us down, though, introducing new content in the form of level-scaled hacking dungeons across the main faction cities, along with an overhaul to quest rewards. The economy and pvp continued to be refined and improved as well, and our first Storytellers were introduced to the game, cementing Starmourn’s continued focus on player-driven roleplay.
In April 2019, a Ry’nari tribe revolted against the new Lord Commander of the Song Dominion, resulting in a shocking kidnapping, while elsewhere in the sector, whispers of a black market began to circulate among those less inclined to legality. Also in April, we welcomed our new producer, Ioan Sima (Ilyos), with open arms. An IRE vet of over a decade, Ilyos hit the ground running with a roadmap to the game’s future, changes to the game’s economy, and a finished set of classleads.
We were all about ship customization in May 2019 – with our new system, players were able to personalize their vessels for the first time, pimping them out with snazzy colors, patterns, hull shapes, and more. We took another look at Cosmpiercers. We introduced the vehicle system for hoverbikes and speeders of all kinds. Let’s not forget the Cerebral Augment Chambers and faction missions, either – those were also new, as of May.
In June 2019, the Bushraki living in Scatterhome’s Oldtown came under threat by a charismatic but unstable interloper. Players were heavily involved in influencing the direction of a plot which ended with the death of Chrome Skulls ganglord Kuda Shayato and the formation of a Bushraki colony on an Iota system asteroid. New Dikamazi swiftly became known for its odd fusion of organic and cybernetic plantlife.
Exploration was the name of the game in July of 2019. From the new xenozoology system cataloguing the animal life in the sector to the new wilderness zones filled with resources located throughout the game, players roamed everywhere this month. Not only were these new features introduced, we also ran the game’s first auction and finished up the player-driven plotline in New Dikamazi with the defeat of Tsake Shayato. Phew! It was a busy month!
Everyone was a star in August of 2019 as the PERFORMANCE system was introduced, allowing players to sing, play instruments, form bands, and put on concerts. Naturally, this system was quickly taken advantage of by the game’s first music festival. Song on the Verge had a lineup of rockstars a lightyear long, with the Song City Hippies arriving as surprise, last minute guests. Pirate refineries were released in August, adding a new layer of depth and combat to space. We had our first Discord-hosted staff/player discussion in August, something our wonderful Discord moderator has continued to host for us every month or two.
September 2019 was the month we all went back to school. Along with two new tradeskills for players to learn – Mixology and Furnishings – we also introduced multiclassing.
In October of 2019, a strange dynasty rose to prominence, aggressively recruiting members. The Congregation of T’rath, led by the fanatic, mysterious Shoko T’rath, began to spread a message throughout Litharge, urging citizens to take a stand against life extension technology which they saw as immoral. A violent terrorist attack saw the temporary closure of the cloning bay in the Celestine Crossings, and an appearance by H.E.T.E. representatives. Thanks to player actions, the leadership of the cult was soon rooted out, and the cult of death chased back to the shadows.
November 2019 was all about hacking. We increased the level cap for the skill, introduced the new HACKING CONTRACTS ability, and revealed FRAY Outsourcing, a mysterious enterprise hiring players to retrieve items of worth from corporations and businesses across the sector. Also in November was our much-talked-about Cosmpiercer revamp, and it lived up to the hype, deeply enriching the PVP element of Starmourn and giving all of us something to fight about.
Hearts were warmed in December 2019 with our first Winterflame, a month-long event filled with winter-themed festivities. Players traveled to the festival grounds on Uycheon III, where they assisted with icehorn slaying, marshmallow roasting, ice skating, akbaz grooming, gift-giving, dung collecting, and more. The first Winterfest music festival was also a smashing success, headlined by Talking Tukkav. Another round of classleads was opened, netting us hundreds of responses to sort through and implement.
We hope you enjoyed this look back at 2019. Starmourn’s first year was a fantastic voyage of adventure and discovery. Together with the playerbase, we navigated uncharted space, and at the end of the year, we feel a lot more confident about what we’re able to accomplish as a team and where we’re headed next. It’s astonishing how far we’ve travelled, and we’re excited that the coming months look to be even more exciting and filled with fun! Stay tuned for our next post, where we’ll take a dive into our plans for the coming year. See you soon!