The Starmourn Blog

Starmourn 2021 Year in Review: Celebrating our Best Year Ever!

By Damiel | December 22, 2021 |
Actual Footage(TM) of Clover and Steve reminiscing on the year’s events. Photo by Jake Young from Pexels

Hello Spacers!

The time has come for our end of year roundup, and I hope you’ll all agree that it has been an AMAZING year for Starmourn. We saw the introduction of player housing, real world player shops, Hardcore mode (permadeath), daily streaks, battlebots, a ship arena, several major new areas, a new tradeskill, a complete modding tradeskill overhaul (including the first opportunity to hire NPC staff), huge changes to ship building, combat, mining and systems, asteroid exploration and spacewalk mining, LOADS of amazing roleplaying events led by both players and Storytellers, and so much more that it’s hard to summarize!

In fact, I was going to do a summary one for this end of year post, but I think it might actually be appropriate to post a full changelog of all the changes the game has undergone this year!

Today will also see the introduction of new years’ commendation awards, where you will all have a chance to nominate people for awards, prizes and most importantly warm, fuzzy feelings, which will then be announced in the new year post (stay tuned for the next announcement for full details!)

Build a bashing zone contest

Rylek on the search for new corporate interests. Photo by Lukas.

ALSO If you haven’t already done so, please do be sure to enter the current mega contest to design a whole new bashing area for the game! The deadline is the 16th Jan, and full details can be found by clicking HERE or by typing NEWS READ ANNOUNCEMENTS 313 in-game.

Thank yous

Starmourn being dragged into life by y’all. Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

I’d also like to take this opportunity to extend a huge, warm outpouring of love and gratitude for the amazing volunteer team, who have all worked so hard this year, and have all kept growing and learning and generally being amazing. So Soren, Saio, Argus, Nicnevin, Domin, Astor, Senzei, Ferenzi, Bricky and Bandus – and our new team of wonderful Worldbuilders, here’s to you. ~Huge standing ovation round of applause with flowers and various items of underwear thrown at the stage~

Outpourings also to Eukelade, Neritus, Garryn, Zersiax, and all of the other IRE staff who have helped to make Starmourn happen this year!

But… without you all, this would not happen, so most of all, let me drench you all in my undying affection and gratitude. <3 <3 <3

Changelog of significant non-combat/class changes

Without further ado… Here are the bajillion significant things that have happened this year (Neritus will be posting later with the combat related stuff!)…

January

Argo’s gonna daka in his crackers when he notices Poet sneaking up on him. Photo by Alena Darmel from Pexels
  • We started the year with some Scoundrel updates – and thanks to Mystor Phis’tor’s winning entry we became able to throw Pocketsand!
  • The hacking ability LURE was overhauled to lure at 10-second intervals, for 100 seconds total, to make it more useful as an endgame hacking ability.
  • We held a player-requested RP event at the “Jins & Juice” zine HQ in Bodean, with Poet, Gwoss and Ibo who held a very juicy photoshoot for the Voidwitch herself!
  • After its shady start in Tranquility Deepness, Kass Stareater’s Stareater Industries moved to a new and hi-tech HQ premises in Litharge’s Corporate Territory.
  • Our favorite cuddly do-gooders GCEPS also finally got a headquarters in the slightly less corporate undercity.
  • Both of the above were given high-level hacking terminals as a boon to high level hackers!
  • A LOT of new jewelry patterns were added to the types that Jewelers can design, including many race-specific types.
  • Design character lengths were increased based on many player requests for more space to elucidate.
  • We some new nonbinary-friendly messaging tokens to be used in designs: $(he_has$) and $(he_is$). They are used straight after $(he$) to replace the verb accordingly.
  • The Scrapston Art Gallery was created, as a place for all of you graffiti artists to run free and adorn its many many walls.
  • The withdrawal limit was removed from dynasty accounts no longer have a withdrawal limit.
  • We improved trade terminal searching and added some newbie friendly info and a datashard about how to use them.
  • Wiki editors added LOADS of stuff. AB messages from many classes and skills were added to the wiki, along with ship room descriptions, homeworlds, animals, plants and people, as well as a huge update to existing Jin lore, most notably the Bread Ritual and details about Ir-Vothiam, the Jin martial art.
  • We released a lot of great changes to our ship customization system so that ships now only display to the room they’re docked in if you choose to display them (CL5+ using SHIP VISIBLE ON – limited to 1 ship per player, or 2 with the arti), and they display by name, make, and model, instead of being grouped into a generic cluster of its class. They can now also be looked at by typing LOOK SHIPNAME instead of sorting through a massive list of currently docked vessels.
  • Ship customizations now feature in various messages to do with your ship, including docking, undocking, boarding and disembarking – so your ship design options now really matter!
  • Station viewing decks now show ships docking and undocking, too! So you can go watch the ships pass by (how romantic!)
  • We did some improvements on ship classes – making destroyers slightly more powerful, adding a better shipsim for superhaulers, making superhaulers handle slightly better and giving them a medium weapon slot, AND we introduced a new range of super ships for premium prices, to even up the playing field a little between auction ships and player accessible ones – there’s no fun in fighting if your opponent is always going to win!

February

Plagho landing a ship (too soon? Eh.) Image by Stefan Keller
  • Promo list trade-in values were all updated.
  • Soren and Damiel finished their BIG update to Selubir. There’s a lot to see, so you’re probably better off just giving it a visit, but Selubir has been given a lot more love, lore, and flavor. The windmill drones were made slightly less frustrating and an interrupt tutorial was added, we made 5 new quests for the Selubir levelling range and a newbie bashing area, 5 new animals to xenozoo scan, as well as a tutor, a weapon shop and a repair shop. It also finally got a transport from the Scatterhome voidgate!
  • We welcomed Nicnevin, Neritus, and Argus to the ranks of Starmourn’s Storytellers!
  • We did some balancing of the incursion system, so that the levels are a little more appropriate for the classes of warship (Easy = Interceptor, Medium = Corvette, Hard = Destroyer) and we added to all new Legendary incursion level, which is aimed at Cruisers.
  • We added a running total of cycles and power required to the shipforge, making ship building a whole lot more manageable.
  • We made gas harvesting drones a module that can be added to any class of ship, making mining a whole lot more accessible to screenreader users (and everyone else!)

March

Zarrach is SO tired of your daka. Photo by cottonbro from Pexels
  • Song got a newbie kit! New Song citizens are now given a welcome pack by the Peacekeepers at Danica, and offered some choices of career (for flavor only, it just affects the items they get). They can also start their path as pilots with the Song Fleet.
  • We introduced Daily Streaks and Milestone Rewards as an enhancement to the daily credits system. Log in every day and either play for at least an hour and earn at least one daily credit, or earn 10 daily credits and you’ll start streaking. Streaks will cause your daily credit limit to increase over time, and streak milestones will award you with unique honors, titles, and increasing amounts of bound credits. The more you play, the bigger your rewards!
  • We made the list of stations when using the STATIONS verb now populate without you having to disembark from the ship at a newly docked station. Simply docking to a new station will now add it to the list.
  • A new config option, IgnoreUnownedShipMessages, was added, allowing you to significantly reduce the amount of ship-related messages you see when you are on a ship that is not your own.
  • We distributed Three Card Smash tables throughout the bars and casinos of the land, so you can now play a simple betting game with your friends or against the house!
  • We fixed the annoying bug that made you leave followers behind because your movespeed was faster than theirs.
  • You can now CRT and FT while hacking.
  • Neritus’ first offering to the world was Flogger, which launched in March. We knew he’d go far right from the start! “CLEVE! WHERE ARE MY CIGARETTES!” https://www.starmourn.com/news/public/418/

April

Holgorath knew he shouldn’t have called Morgan a “lady”. Photo by Stefan Keller.
  • We made some BIG changes to the LAWLESS system. LWHO/LAWLESSWHO, shows other connected lawless players. If you have hacked the BOUNTY LOCATE terminal in Tranquility Deepness, this command shows you the areas where you can find said lawless players. We also introduced RANKINGS LAWLESSNESS with honors and titles galore!
  • We held a body art contest, which drew in some wonderful entries, who knew how we lived before chintacles?! Thanks to the winning entries: Eltohan – by Afesotinuilar Matari, Ry’narian Heraldic Sigils – by Kass Stareater and Gei-Vothiam – by Poet Yi’jiaru!
  • RANKINGS HONORS became a thing. Each honor in the game is worth a certain number of points, which go towards your total honor points. Honors and titles for these, too!
  • LANDMARKS and DIRECTORY were overhauled, making it easier to navigate around the sector. (We added a holographic sign at Reynolds central terminal that gives players up to level 10 the directions to Marle, too!)
  • We made custom emote (and later standard emote) commands go to the chat window on Nexus, and they’re now available on GMCP Comm.Channel.
  • Commodities are no longer seized after extended inactivity. You’ll still need to pay your cargo fees before accessing them, though. Autofactories and refineries will also now finish their job queues after going inactive, but no new jobs will be able to be added to them.
  • We fixed the bug where you couldn’t interact with anything in space outside of the current zone – so tethering, beaconing, etc etc. We also fixed REVERSETHRUST so that it actually works, and will move you exactly 1 SU backwards if you’re stationary.
  • The range in space at which Cosmpiercer generators will reset was increased, meaning you can now fly further away from the generators without them resetting.

May

Afesotinuilar finds a new member for the Matari Dynasty. Image by Stefan Keller.
  • We launched the Battlebots system!
  • Crew Spars! ARENA CREWCHALLENGE will initiate a crew challenge against the target player’s crew. You and the other player must be in crews, and all crew members must be in the staging room.
  • We added a new wilderness area in New Dikamazi with some new kinds of weird and wonderful mobs.
  • Junk received a much-needed rework. Now, when you receive your first piece of junk, you will hastily assemble a junk bag. All the junk you receive will go in this bag. You can still use said bag like normal and GET junk from the bag if you want to interact with the items like normal. When you JUNK SELL, you will turn in all the bags you have and all the junk in them. When you die, you will drop the bags, and others can pick them up. Now, the server doesn’t need to worry about dropping thousands of items all at once and sending all the related GMCP updates and such.
  • We held a wonderful player-led RP event for the opening of the new Voidseeker tribehall in Hororeon https://bit.ly/3bARljm. Thanks to Gwoss Brinn and Shardclaw Dragonlord for the wonderful idea! We then opened a brand new quest based at the tribehall.
  • We introduced Battlespace – a VR arena for ship combat!
  • We expanded the SHIP EVA ability. You can now SHIP EVA from a ship you are on, and STATION EVA from station docks, to initiate a spacewalk deliberately. SPACEWALK BOARD will let you board ships you own or have permission to enter. You can also SHIP EVA from another player’s ship and SHIP BOARD if you have permission.
  • We added the command NEWS CATCHUP, which will mark EVERY SINGLE NEWS ITEM AS READ!
  • We added the OOC command, and those words will appear in game prepended by a handy dandy [OOC] label. OOC color can be configured just like everything else that uses the config command. Going forward, the ‘say’ command will be intended for IC words only – any OOC words you would like to communicate to people in the same room as you, you should communicate using OOC.
  • We added a HUGE batch of new predefined emotes, including the introduction of class-specific emotes!
  • We moved servers, which made the game much more zippy!
  • We made Flogger hackable!
  • The Gnomon Institute had a thorough overhaul, to make it a great L70+ and group bashing area.
  • The Blood Ark got a big new quest for all you potential Soulhunters, and Jin lore gained even more depth on the wiki.

June

Zoe Qaln debating whether they should ban smoking in the Guardian lounge. Image by Pretty Sleepy Art.
  • The Art tradeskill was launched.
  • We launched the ‘Omnicrafter’ contest – which is due to be repeated regularly. The winner will be awarded with a Crafter’s Omnipass, a title and a trophy, as well as an RP awards event if they are available/willing to do so! This one was won by the talented Afesotinuilar Matari!
  • We fixed a LOAD of quests around the place.
  • Thanks to the sleuthing of Senzei, we discovered that the game was running 1000+ ship autorepair updates every three seconds, pretty much all of which were on the ships of inactive players. This was due to a bug which prevented autorepair from exiting cleanly. That’s been fixed. Autorepair will now end if: a) The ship has no bots or repairkits or b) The ship has been inactive for a period of time. You now need to SHIP REPAIR AUTO when you launch after a period of inactivity, but the game will run much faster!
  • In the shipforge, the game now takes pity on you, accepting either SF LOAD <#> <item> or SF LOAD <item> <#>.
  • COSMPIERCER MAP now displays the Cosmpiercer’s rank instead of an asterisk.
  • You can no longer undertake/abort Passenger Missions ad infinitum to spawn all the cannon fodder you desire. Assassins will only spawn once even if the mission is undertaken multiple times.
  • NPC band the Chrome Trash Cutthroats played at Tox Populi in New Dikamazi in a fun little roleplaying event.
  • The Yellow Feather, one of the galaxy’s most refined destinations for pleasure and good company, is finally open to the public on Usum Usutti. Conceived in a joint venture between Sabika Ironbound and a Shen hospitality conglomerate, the Yellow Feather welcomes everyone (everyone who can afford it, that is) to experience the charming architecture, charming food, and even more charming companions that live on the premises.
  • Added some new available tasks to the DAILYCREDITS system: Participate in a Battlebots fight, Slay a Xeno mob, Fulfill a personal NPC market order, Complete a station mission and Complete a FRAY contract. Additionally: “Submit a Design” is now repeatable up to 5 times. “Kill enemies in incursions” now applies to all space mobs.
  • We added lists of design types for all tradeskills to the wiki.
  • We removed a huge number of inaccessible rooms from exploration %, which resulted in there now being a far smaller total for exploration. Players ALL saw a higher % now in HONORS STATS for exploration and many climbed the rankings.
  • We expanded on the item customization system, allowing players a lot more freedom to request additional and individual functionality for their stuff!
  • Saio introduced some revolting edible mold to Oldtown in Haven City, and added the new functional design types ‘fungus’ and ‘toadstool’ to the cuisine tradeskill.
  • Factions now get lines of Ta-deth crystals deposited in their main organization log. This fires every RL hour and takes the cumulative crystals deposited per person in the last hour. Crystals consumed by Cosmpiercers are also logged at Sync.
  • The Almasi asteroid, in the Diamond Belt, received a small update, with a new zone for shops called the Gleamway – home to Hal’s Atelier as well as Tajhan Echanini, currently preparing for their grand opening. Also new: the Diamond Belt trade network! An ultra-exclusive, ultra-expensive network meant for the rarest and priciest of items.
  • We reskinned TELLs to be sent via mindsim so that they’re more thematic.
  • We made it so that Storytellers are visible and identified as such when they choose to put RPWHO on, indicating that a Storyteller is available for spontaneous roleplay. We also made it an option for Storytellers to turn RPWHO on for the NPCs they are animating. So if a Storyteller is playing Poffy they can enable RPWHO to let the Sector know!
  • Eukelade stepped down as Starmourn’s Lead Producer after five years of pouring her creativity and love into the game.
  • Neritus and Damiel were appointed Co-Lead Producers, with Neritus heading up coding and combat, and Damiel leading Storytellers and creative direction.

July

“Business meeting in the Undercity.” Photo by cottonbro from Pexels
  • We kicked off July with an auction and our first auction-concurrent contest! Players were offered the chance to get their very own shop by either bidding in the auction, OR by entering our design contest. The contest was put up for the very first player voting system and the triumphant winner was Mairon T’rvati with his wonderful Song Restoration Society establishment on the surface of the Planet Song, at Tabby Outpost.
  • Items now show calories, capacity and worn slot when probed/looked at, AND in DESIGN SHOW and on the trade terminal, where appropriate.
  • We increased capacity on a load of clothing slots. Want to decorate yourself with 20 pieces of flair? Now you can. 10 flowers in your hair? You got it. Decorate your branches with 10 ornaments for winterflame? WHY WOULDN’T YOU? HELP CLOTHINGSLOTS was updated with all the deets.
  • Weapon/armor drops were fixed to be assigned the short name “a pair of ” where appropriate – so no more “a brilliant knuckles”!
  • The Floating Market was launched, offering some brand new lore, amazing wares, awesome RP opportunities and the first ever chance for players to rent their own stall for the event and to sell their own stuff in a physical shop! It was very well received and will be popping up many more times, I’m sure, so get saving up your marks! Honors and titles were given out to all the stallholders, Afesotinuilar Matari sold the most individual items (shortly followed by Shulamit Moonchild), Poet Yi’jiaru made the most money (shortly followed by Sabika Ironbound) and Rylek Ironbound had the highest average price per sale (by a country mile – but Poet came second).
  • We had a Xenohunt, (if you’re familiar with other IRE games, that’s a Space Great Hunt) too! During the hunt players enjoyed double XP for hunting and a double junk marks cap (to recoup some of those marks they spent at the Floating Market!) The winners this time were: Levels 1-50 – Zalla, Levels 51-74 – Syzygy Moonchild and 75+ – Abohamos Sunnysyde. Well done to everyone who participated!
  • We expanded two popular bashing areas, too, as space was tight during the event – New Dikamazi gained 31 new rooms and 72 new mobs, while Ixsei Desert was given 30 new rooms and 75 new mobs.
  • The loot drop softcap was made aware of your class, so that you’ll now have more chances to drop loot in a given period of time if your class has more weapons. Additionally, the Loot Drops talent was fixed to actually work! CONFIG SMARTLOOT ON was added, which causes your weapon drops to evenly distribute among your class weapons, and your armor drops to evenly distribute among your armor slots.
  • Drinks stocked as designs on the trade terminal will now be delivered in more appropriate containers – tall glasses, tumblers, beer bottles, wine glasses, aluminum cans and slushie cups.
  • The TRADE verb was improved, and should work properly in all cases now. You can now trade resetting items and items that are owned/loyal to you and the loyalty will change to the buyer when the transaction is complete. If the thing is a resetter, it will default to reset to the buyer’s inventory after the trade is complete.
  • Config expshown on/off was added and when enabled will display your experience gains and or losses (including hacking and captaincy exp!)
  • Player kills that are finished off by mobs or by being pulled from the air now properly credit the player who did the most damage – and they also have some super fun deathsights now, too!
  • We added a load of W’hoorn stuff to the wiki. Go take a look at https://wiki.starmourn.com/The_Right_to_Challenge and associated links!
  • All Cosmpiercer items can be searched for and sorted now by using the cosmpiercer alias, this does not pick up crystals or vouchers, just the items themselves. So you can now use II COSMPIERCER to look at all the cosmpiercer items you have in your inventory.
  • We had a great RP event with players, revolving around a mysterious disappearing skull – details here: https://www.starmourn.com/news/events/18/
  • We added the option to skip the novice introduction.
  • We finished the month as the best month since the launch of Starmourn! We stayed at #2 in the Top Mud charts for the entire month, with over 1000 votes. We sold the most promos and you all fired nearly 2000 mission control batteries during the month, which we never ever expected was even possible.
  • We declared our player community the best in all of the lands and planets and star systems ever and thanked you with a limited edition arcade machine!

August

Ah Solus! You had Wes’ Winter-Flamin’ Hot noodles today? Image by Pretty Sleepy Art.
  • In a first for Iron Realms, August saw the release of HARDCORE MODE! The first permadeath system in the realms.
  • We said goodbye to Zersiax as Lead Coder, Damiel and Neritus were put fully in charge of Starmourn.
  • We recruited two new Storytellers to the team – The wonderful Domin and Astor!
  • Player shops became a thing! By purchasing a deed in one of the player shop areas, you can now have your own physical shop which can be placed in designated shop rooms, or by requesting one anywhere you like (as agreed with a producer!) These shops link to a trade terminal in the area your shop is in.
  • The BIIIG weapon/armor modding rework was completed by the amazing Neritus, and weapon/armor mods as you knew them are no more. The system is now hugely fun and rewarding, and you even get your own modding workshop with a manager and assistants to do your work for you!
  • Masks were given the added option to PUSH them, which switches your in-room anonymity on and off. MASK TOGGLE still toggles your anonymity on WHO, if you want to be anonymous in-room but not on WHO. But this PUSH option overrides WHO anonymity, effectively connecting/disconnecting your mask from the comms.
  • We equalized the value of a gear requisition token across the classes when redeeming weapons, so that it’s easier to build a fully combat-ready set of weapons for your class. The REDEEM command has now been changed to REDEEM WEAPONS to give you a full weapon set for your class.
  • We reduced the maximum talent points you can invest in Critical Hits to 10, and it has gone from 2.5% per level to 5% per level, so the maximum remains unchanged. So if you had more than 10 points in CriticalHit talent before, you should now have those talents free.
  • We added WILDERNESS RESOURCES to show you all your available materials from triangulation awaiting pickup, as well as increasing the amount of commodities granted.

September

A traditional Scatterhome Salute. Photo by cottonbro from Pexels
  • September saw a new improved version of the NEWBIECHALLENGE, no longer called Challenge 75, because instead of pursuing MIL 75, players could instead pursue Admiral 1 in Captaincy or Guru in Hacking. Completing one of these three tasks, and four of seven secondary tasks completes the challenge. New Hardcore characters were also welcome to participate, and they had the extra advantage that their winnings would roll over into their Hardcore Credit Pool for their next character.
  • Skipdrives were removed as a module for ships, as they are so essential that they provide no meaningful choice in ship designing. “Skip Drive” is also just generic lore terminology for the technology behind how all ships move. We’re not entirely sure how or why the skip drive was introduced as a module, as all ships inherently have skip drives, or else they would not move.
  • Ship missile ammo was given 10 charges, rather than one as well as less time reloading, this means less marks dumped on expensive ammunition.
  • SHIP TARGET was changed to no longer require the target to be in your cone. Additionally, some bugs were squished to do with this – SHIP TARGET will now prioritize its result based on a) whether they are in your cone followed by b) their distance to you. But of course if you want to ignore this behavior entirely, you can still use id numbers.
  • We did away with small, medium, and large slots for ship modules and weapons. Instead, superstructures now have a hardpoint capacity and a module capacity. Small weapons/modules cost 5 points, mediums cost 10 points, and larges cost 15.
  • Asteroid Exploration reached the Starmourn sector this month! AKA blowing up big rocks. These asteroids work a bit like wildernesses, but they’re in space. Instead of triangulating, you’ll be placing charges at weak points in the asteroid surface. The bigger the rock, the larger the area and the more weak points it has. We integrated spacewalking with the ground exploration experience to make this awesome system as immersive as possible, with some new mobs for both space and ground and lots of commodities to be had by exploding these bad bois! STATION ASTEROID LIST will show you where they are!
  • A lot of exciting changes were made to mining, as we introduced the Ore Crusher and the Gas Compressor modules. These are medium-sized modules that enable the SHIP CRUSH [STOP] and SHIP COMPRESS [STOP] commands. These commands will break down tethered asteroids or syphon gas from scoops and compress it, delivering unrefined commodities to your cargohold ready to scoop and tether more as you fly! They also stack, so the more of each module you have, the faster you can process commodities.
  • We moved the Tether ability at Level 1 Captaincy, so all new players can tether out of the gate.
  • We significantly increased the captaincy gain from mining in an effort to make it a more viable career as far as XP gain is concerned.
  • We deleted the harvestdrones skill. You can just go ahead and use them without any associated skill now. We also increased the capacity of each harvestdrone module to six, which means that the first 1-6 drones you have in your cargo will modify the tick speed of your gas harvesting. Afterwards, for every 6 extra drones you send (if you have another module), you’ll collect that many extra units in one go.
  • Ship weapons also got a balance pass – with existing weapons getting some stats tweaks and the exciting introduction of ship laserbeams and turrets (available for production in batteries autofactories, too!)
  • We moved away from the system of faction-tied Storytellers, with the team taking a more skills-based assignment of tasks. The existing storyteller names still appear at the top of faction help files, and those people will obviously continue to work on the projects they are already involved in, but we think it’s important that, for example, the person who is especially good at and enjoys roleplaying, is able to do that aspect of an event, while the one who prefers making quests does the quests etc. Happy Storytellers = Happy Players = happy game!
  • We created the new Worldbuilder Role, and Builderboard, which is similar to other games’ ‘Mortal Builders’.
  • Senzei added ‘dot syntax’ to interacting with items, so you can now use . and . e.g. GET 3.cup will pick up the 3rd cup in the room’s inventory list! You can also now use PUT IN HERE to skip checking if it is in your inventory. Omitting the ‘HERE’ will revert to checking your inventory first.
  • We added SHIP PATH SCAN – which conducts a scan for impassible objects that would obstruct your current trajectory, out to your ship’s normal beacon range. Includes the name of the obstacle, its radius, and its distance to you.
  • Fish dropped in a water room on board your ship will no longer kersplat if your ship explodes!
  • Many more ship improvements – tractor beams now work against ship targets, You can now SHIP CONE OFF, you can now CARGO STORE ALL [comm/commtype]. Valid “Commtype” options are indicated in CARGO syntax and include: raw, refined, processed, finished, and consumable, the eighth asteroid tethered to a superhauler no longer falls off and REFINERY QUEUE ASTEROID now automatically chooses an asteroid relevant to the refinery type!
  • Saio added our first tradeskill specific quest in Ishbi – it’s called, ‘Now that’s a Paddlin’ and only players with 90 lessons invested in Cuisine can take it.
  • We added a big new area to W’hoorn homeworld Benu Wen, as well as expanding its lore in the wiki.
  • Memorial areas were added to all player race homeworlds. Including several in Litharge and a wonderful addition to Hororeon by new Storyteller Astor.

October

The Song Fleet arrive on a Cosmpiercer. Image by Yair Cerón
  • We introduced a new version of Space Halloween, called Rapadruk – a Krona festival of the dead.
  • Candy Dan went out a-visiting again, for players to collect candy treats throughout the whole month.
  • Memorial areas were all spoopified for the month, too!
  • We ran the second annual ‘Scare the Storytellers’ contest, and received lots of terrifying entries, the winner was Afesotinuilar Matari for his myth of the Suahagan, accompanied by a spine-chilling short story: ‘The Sorrow of Suaha’. Well done Sot! Due to the very high quality of the entries, we’ve also decided that runners up are appropriate and those players were Nyx T’rath and Alder. Their terrifying creations will also become lore, and we’ll be giving them each a prize too.
  • We held a series of admin-run RP events centered around the brand new HugTech factory, in orbit around Litharge. The event saw the disappearance and rescue of a local child, Ely Erling, as well as the introduction of lots of new quests, including a group quest and boss fight. Huzzah! Players who participated were awarded with medals, titles and honors lines!
  • We added an artifact cart to the website, allowing players to purchase artifacts directly for the first time. It has some significant discounts compared with buying credits, and even more for those with an Elite Membership!
  • We implemented a no loitering policy in Mission Control rooms, to discourage people from setting up triggers to snipe the big prizes. They’re all now no teleport rooms too, so no mark returning etc. The rooms outside are the same as they were, it’s just to hopefully make it clear that you shouldn’t be going AFK inside the actual game rooms. We also tried to make it clearer that although sniping is part of the minigame as not everyone has the money to buy 50 batteries to make sure they get the prize they want, we do also expect folks to be considerate (as in all aspects of our community), and that setting up triggers to snipe people is strictly against the rules as per HELP AUTOMATION. (Tl:dr – If you’re going to snipe someone who’s just shot lots of batteries, it may be prudent to expect that people may be upset about it, so just… please play nice, spacers!)

November

That can’t be healthy. Must be one of Grek’s designs. Photo by cottonbro from Pexels
  • We launched November with another big auction, which turned out to be the biggest we’ve ever held! Competition was fierce for two player ships, the first two player habitations and many more goodies.
  • Credit shops were added to all the faction stations’ trade terminal rooms. You will now find that a lot of the utility things you might win in a promo are available around the world with credit prices attached to them. These are bought with bound credits only, and are available whenever you feel like buying them!
  • We also added all of the standard promo pets to the pet shops of the sector, as well as some other premium credit items here and there, so keep your eyes peeled for credit items in NPC shops! (Pets have currently been removed for bug reasons, but will be readded very soon!)
  • We added a creator field to designer/mixologist/chef designed items, as well as showing whether it is spiked or harmful by looking at/probing it. If it has a mixologist and a creator (a player designed cocktail in a player designed glass, for example) it lists both separately.
  • We added lots of new design types to cuisine, art and fashion.
  • Storyteller Argus launched the first player contest to design a whole new bashing area, with a deadline of the 16th January (so you still have time to submit if you want to!) – this is an unprecedented opportunity to really make your mark on the game’s lore and landscape!
  • We made the Dynasty Ships perk into a dynasty permission (power) attached to their position in the org (or assigned to be a default power if you like!)
  • FACTION SHIPS are now a thing! People in positions with the Faction Ships power will now be able to designate/undesignate/claim/list faction ships, and they work pretty much like dynasty ships – designating/undesignating and claiming will now also be added to the faction/dynasty’s log.
  • Customization requests for items now automatically take basic payment on submission – if you have atomic matter articulators in your inventory it will take them first as default, then it will take the rest from your bound credit balance if necessary. If you don’t have enough then you won’t be able to submit the request, and if you’ve requested additional features beyond nondecay, resetting and description for your customization, this will be taken by a producer afterwards. If for whatever reason we reject your submission, these things will all be refunded/returned to you.
  • We held a successful ‘Cyborg Monday’ sale, with bargain lessons and a brand new bodymod artifact – Bushraki Wings! This new item introduced the ‘Body Mods’ description section to players’ appearance and paves the way for a new bodymodding system.
  • The black market was improved and you can now trade up to 1000 (received goods) in one go, and the cost ratio increases much more slowly. The outlay required now goes up by 1 for every 150 comms sold of that type globally on the black market. So if you start with 1 iriil being worth 3 ultarine, and you buy 300 iriil with 900 ultarine, the ratio will then go up to 1:5 etc etc. This resets every RL day with random commodities being listed the following day with base ratios.
  • Made the $(me$) variable actually work in the worn and eaten events of designs.

December

Happy Holidays!

  • The long-awaited HABITATIONS system was released, so that players may finally own their own homes around the sector, rather than all living in their ships! Details of the systems can be found in HELP HABITATIONS and HELP REALESTATE. Player habs cost credits, but we’ve made sure that there’s something on the list to suit any budget, starting from 100cr for a basic hab in a less affluent area, all the way up to a palatial 12500 mansion in the Diamond Belt! Big shout out to our Storyteller and Worldbuilder team for all their work writing the default descriptions for all 74 new room types.
  • We added functionality to buy a habitation attached to a player shop owned by you!
  • Opened the Winterflame area, with some extra bits and bobs including snow angels and some new wares. The Floating Market is also visiting the festival this year with a pop-up market, with lots of goodies on sale until the end of the month, AND a new quest!
  • We made a new ‘effects’ system for appearance related sparkles. These are viewed on your description and can be managed with the EFFECTS command.
  • Released an Admin Transparency statement to clarify how we work, play and what we allow our volunteers and producers to do!
  • The 15th December saw Starmourn’s 3rd birthday, and my, how far we’ve come! Every player who logged in on the 15th or 16th received a special commemorative badge and a free simple giftcatcher on us!

And… that about sums it up so far. We still have a couple of weeks to go, which will see rewards galore for Winterflame Helpers, and much merriment throughout the holiday season.

Looking forward to 2022

Where will we be zooming off to next? Image by Peter Fischer

More of our plans will be revealed in our New Year post, but here’s a hint at what’s (provisionally) in store…

  • Shipmodding.
  • Bodymodding.
  • Improvements to the industry, economy, and Market systems.
  • Development of PvP conflict systems.
  • Improvements to the performance/arts systems.
  • Expansions to the hacking system.
  • More collectibles sets.
  • RP events and some exciting new areas.
    And much, much more…

PLEASE feel free to discuss on the forum in response to this post, what YOUR priorities would be for Starmourn in 2022. We want to be led by player needs, so we welcome your input!

When creating new systems and fixing up existing ones, we keep all of your ideas and feedback close in our minds, and rely on you the players to help us to move forward in the best way, so please do keep submitting your IDEAs and BUGs, and discussing the things you enjoy and the ways you hope the game will progress in our Discord channel, as we take all player feedback and suggestions seriously! This is YOUR game, and we want to see our community flourishing and happy.

Thank you so much for joining us in 2021 – now ON TO 2022!

Many, many loves, and Happy Holidays!

Damiel <3

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Grab a free gift on us! – Happy 3rd Birthday Starmourn!

By Damiel | December 15, 2021 |
Us devs holding onto you, our precious and sparkly players. You beauties, you.
Photo by Brigitte Tohm from Pexels

Today – the 15th December 2021 – is Starmourn’s third birthday!

And hasn’t it been quite the year?!

(full annual update post to follow at the end of Dec, but this is just a summary!)

We started the year with ship customization improvements, and a new batch of Storytellers – Nicnevin, Argus and Neritus! We introduced Smash tables, newbie kits and daily streaks. We added lawlessness as a proper thing, crew spars, spacewalking and a ship VR arena, as well as an ooc command, class emotes and soooo much more.
In June we lost our previous Lead Producer, Eukelade, as she moved on to pastures new (on good terms, and she does come back to help out every now and then!) and Neritus and I took over as co-leads.

Actual evidence of Neritus and Damiel surveying their new kingdom. Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

Since then we have launched Hardcore mode which was an IRE first that saw permadeath being a thing for the first time in all the realms. We (read: Neritus) did a HUGE revamp on armor and weapon modding, giving you your own team of employees for the first time. We recruited MORE new Storytellers (welcome, Domin and Astor!) and more volunteer coders (hi there Ferenzi and Bricky!).

Takes a breath

We introduced the art tradeskill, we had a full round of classleads, we built, stocked and evented the Floating Market, we made player shops a thing, we launched player habitations, enabling you to own your own home in Starmourn for the first time. We made credit shops and broke records for the number of missioncontrol shots fired in one month. We reworked ship weapons, and mining – introducing ore crushers and gas compressors and making harvest drones universal. We made faction ships a thing, and made large asteroids explorable and explodable BOOM!

Real life image of Gwoss Brinn yelling at an asteroid. Image by Geralt.

We introduced Rapadruk, and held a great roleplay event for halloween centered around the HugTech factory. OH MY GOD WE ALSO INTRODUCED SPACE TWITT… Flogger!

Sooooo much has happened this year that I’m legitimately staring at the 2021 announcement posts boggling and actually feeling really very proud of all of our staff, volunteers and players. We may still be the little sibling in the IRE family, but we sure as bala pack a punch, right?!

…and we have no plans on stopping!

To thank you all for sticking with us, or to welcome you back if you’ve recently returned (it’s been amazing to see so many old faces returning lately), or to welcome you for the first time if you’re new – we on the Starmourn Team would like to give every player of the game a little anniversary present.

This could be your actual face of joy if you log in to Starmourn today or tomorrow. Legit. Photo by Adrienne Andersen from Pexels

If you log on in the next couple of days, you’ll receive a limited edition, interactive item and a simple giftcatcher – no strings attached.

Thank you again, from all of us. Here’s to another year in space!

Damiel

New year, new area! Player submissions now open.

By Argus | December 9, 2021 |
Can you imagine it? Your own little spot in the sector. How dreamy.
source: https://images.unsplash.com/

Your chance to create a permanent area in the Starmourn sector! Read on for more info.

In what we believe is an unprecedented contest, we are offering an opportunity for one lucky player to win the chance to work alongside myself and any other storytellers who may be interested to create a playable area that will be a permanent feature in lore.

That’s right! A whole area with quests, things to hunt, denizens to interact with, and lore material inspired by YOU.

Oh wow! That sounds so cool! I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited!

– definitely not Argus

I know! It’s exciting!

In order to ensure we have a really good idea of what you’re proposing, your entry should include the following:

  • A summary about your area.
    Where is it located? Who lives there? Why does it exist? What lore element(s) does this tie into?
  • What MIL player would use this area?
    General gist – Is this for new players? Something to challenge the vets?
  • Three huntable mobs in the area.
    What are they, what do they look like, and what do their attacks look like?
  • One idea for a quest in this region.
    Who gives the quest? What’s the goal?
  • One mob shop or service in the area that players will be able to frequent.
    Who runs the shop? What do they sell?

It’s absolutely absolutely okay to think of more options than what I’ve listed before, but for the sake of fair judging and to keep the project feasible we ask that you please stick to the requirements listed above for your entry.

Wait… Argus, were you just quoting yourself about how excited you are?

Yes! But only for now. I know you’re all going to be just as excited, if not even more so!

Storytellers are not able to enter this contest – This is all about our players! We know we’ve got a super creative group, and we want to see how much you can challenge yourselves. We’ll make it happen for whoever gets creative and really comes forward with a fun story to share.

Entries should be submitted as either a Pastebin file or a Google doc (make sure those permissions are right!), and you can either message the link to me in game or on discord.

All submissions are due by sync on January 16th, 2022. That’s loads of time. You’ve got this!

You got some questions? Fire off a message on discord or in game – I’m here to help!

Argus, the tiniest feracht

Hab yourself a merry little Winterflame! (Christmas, in space!)

By Damiel | December 3, 2021 |

December in Starmourn is all about Winterflame and our brand new HABITATIONS system, where you can buy your very own space home.

I hope you’ve all got your winter bobble hats ready and your elasticated space jeans on, because this December is a complete treat glutton, you lucky things, you.

Grab yourself a tankard of hot chocolate and celebrate Tukkav style this Winterflame!

Winterflame is here again…

For the uninitiated – you can read the backstory/lore of the season here!

As usual, transport to the Winterflame Festival area will be available from Omni Station, or it’s accessible from Tosmar Hunting Preserve.

Just like last year, you can expect things to happen all month long as we add new faces, introduce new features, create new content, and keep things rolling along just like a snowball.

You’ll see various quests around the Winterflame Festival area, and most of them count towards a running total of points, for which some extra special rewards will be given at the end of December. Our favorite Halloween event kids, Eddie and Ely have been added to the quest children and there will be more added to the Winterflame area as time passes… it’s only just getting set up! You may even see some familiar faces FLOATING about!

There are a LOT of prizes in the giftcatchers this year, and many of them brand new, with details of exciting new artifacts, items and ship rooms in Announcement 319.

As always, you can go and enjoy the snowmounds, start a snowball fight, make some snowmen (be sure to PUSH mounds and snowmen), learn about Winterflame and get accustomed to the cold climate. You can also now SNOWANGEL SNOWMOUND to make snow angels and give yourself a sparkly little EFFECT.

Effects

Oh yes… we now have an ‘Effects’ section in our descriptions, where us admin types can pop pretty little add-ons to your appearance. More to add to this, for sure, but for now, you can use the EFFECTS command to view and remove any effects you have!

Where will Ironbeard be handing out daily gifts today? Check STARCHART IRONBEARD in-game to find out!

Ironbeard is back!

The SS Ironbeard is also back this month, and while whoever pilots this massive capital ship remains a galactic mystery that would stump the wisest Rek Chronomaster, what ISN’T mysterious is the packages full of goodies that it rains down upon whatever planet it is currently orbiting.

The SS Ironbeard will orbit racial homeworlds (and Haven City, since it counts as a racial homeworld. But not Glisal II or Song) and will toss gifts to everyone who happens to be on the surface at the time. You can only get these gifts in an outdoors room, and you can track him by doing STARCHART IRONBEARD. You may only receive one such free gift per day.

Where in the sector will you choose to live? What kind of home does your character inhabit? Let us know on Discord!

HABITATIONS ARE HERE!

It’s the announcement you’ve all been waiting for… you can now buy your very own home in Starmourn!

Ranging from the absolute basic accomodation priced at 100 credits, up to the opulent luxury of the Diamond Belt at 12500 credits, there’s a lot to choose from, and something for any budget.

More info on the brand new HABITATIONS system can be found in Announcement 318 and HELP HABITATIONS.

THANK YOU!

Thank you SO MUCH to all of the Storytellers, Worldbuilders and coders who have been working their little butts off to get all of this ready for you all. Please show them lots of love and give them lots of praise. They deserve it!

More to come… but for now…

Happy Flameday, one and all!

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Cyborg Cyber Monday is here! A new Bushraki Artifact and more…

By Damiel | November 28, 2021 |

Helloooo Cyborgs!

Photo by Rakicevic Nenad from Pexels

Just a little update before we dive headlong into December. We’ve been hard at work on new artifacts, systems and content for you all these past few months and I think Neritus is gonna post a whole post about all of that, but I’m just dropping by to say I’m super excited about the new artifact we’ve just dropped for Cyborg Monday.

The galactic forerunners in body modification, The M0DIF1KA Collective, a Bushraki organization based in New Dikamazi, have created a brand new body mod, now compatible with every race in the sector!

Introducing… The ‘M0DIF1KA R-153’ – fully integrated rocket wings!

Image by Pete Linforth

(OooooOOOOOoooh)

Crafted from charcoal brushed paristeel by master Bushraki modders The M0DIF1KA Collective in New Dikamazi, these mechanized wings are implanted in the body subdermally, fusing with the wearer’s shoulders and wetwiring system to be a fully integrated modification.

The primary, secondary and scapular thermoregulated rocket boosters will allow their owner to fly, no matter their class skills, even up to the mid elevation within the winding tunnels of their creator’s home asteroid, or indoors anywhere else, for that matter.

MODIFICATION <INSTALL/UNINSTALL> WINGS is the command you’ll need to surgically implant the modification into your body, and they will show in your desc in the brand new ‘Body mods’ section on your LOOK description.

Once the wings are installed, they will:

  • Activate the bhrk_wings artifact.
  • Only work for you.
  • Will allow you to FLY no matter where you are, and what your class skills are.
  • Only one pair of wings can be installed at a time, but you can buy multiple pairs if you have more than one character, at a discounted price (an additional 20% off for every extra pair you buy, up to three!)
  • In order to do this, you need to purchase the number required via the ‘Artifact Packages’ tab on the credits page and then in-game you’ll be able to CONSIGN <wings#> <NAME> to send them to an alt.
  • You may only consign artifact items to characters on the same registration.

This very special artifact is available to buy direct just for today, but I’m sure it will appear again as a promo item, as it’s way too good to only drop for one day.

Some of the keen-sighted among you might also be wondering whether this paves the way for more body modification shenanigans… well… I am here right now to absolutely not deny that at all! There’s a new body mod slot available on your descriptions, and we fully intend to use it! (Not like that, you heathens).

Stay tuned for a Winterflame extravaganza in December, with a whole heap of new artifacts, rewards and the long-awaited release of Habitations!

Happy swooping,

Damiel and the Starmourn team

Battlespace, Battlebots, and more!

By Eukelade | June 12, 2021 |
A starship pilot from Scatterhome contemplates strategies for her next virtual space battle.

Wow, it’s June already! Time really got away from us over the past few months as the team has buckled down on a lot of really big projects we’ve all wanted to tackle for awhile.

All the changes that have happened since March are available in game on our Announcements newsboard, but to keep the website content fresh and current, we’ll start posting a backlog of all the shiny new things we’ve created recently! Today we’re going to focus on BATTLE STUFF of all kinds, so keep reading for a variety of new ways to be aggro on your fellow players.

Battlespace!

Virtual reality software continues to improve in the Starmourn Sector. Introducing: BATTLESPACE, a VR arena for ship combat!

In Almasi, north of the transports, you can access BattleSpace. In Space VR, ships and ship supplies are free. So practice your maneuvers, fire off some cannons, and build up the biggest, baddest, prettiest ship you can imagine. The only things off limits are luxury liners and auction ships.

Battlebots!

A Fury prepares for battle with her beloved fighting robots by her side.

Bot fighting is a popular past time within Starmourn sector. Bot kits, fabricated and sold by corporate members of the Mechanized Entertainment Combat Cooperative (or MECC), are wildly popular among young and old.

In other words, after an extended period of development, we’ve finally made Battlebots available to Starmourn’s playerbase!! It was a long haul, but we got there in the end. Build your bot, name it, boost its stats, and watch it climb RANKINGS BATTLEBOTS to the champion’s platform. What glory will you gain with your fighting robot by your side?

We have plenty of artifacts to enhance the Battlebots experience, too – including Battlebot life extenders, honorable retirement chipsets, repair discounts, and more. Check out our artifact store in game!

Crew Battles!

Pose as a team, because shit just got real.

A change has been made to arena battles that will enhance your understanding of group pvp combat in Starmourn. ARENA CREWCHALLENGE has been added, allowing your crew to challenge another crew in team combat.

Practice for the next cosmpiercer meeting or simply test out team mechanics between the different classes without having to deal with the sweet sting of a HETE payment.

Stay tuned for more updates coming really soon!

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