The Starmourn Blog

The most wonderful time of the year: Welcome to Winterflame!

By Argus | December 1, 2023 |
A snowy nature scene, a frozen river winding through the forest, surrounded by snow-laden trees.
Photo by Tengyart on Unsplash

It’s the most wonderful time of the year in Starmourn: Winterflame!

A Tukkav holiday at its core, Winterflame is the celebration where spacers of every race and creed set aside their differences to come together in warmth and friendship, to exchange gifts, and to build a chosen family that is as important as blood.

What to expect this Winterflame

Ironbeard is once again making his way around the sector, dropping presents for all! Follow the shadow of his ship for the chance to catch one every day he’s around.

Rohna has taken up her station on Omni Central, ready to welcome all who greet her to the festivities. Additionally, this year she has a special, rainbow-wrapped present for everyone who logs in and wishes her a warm holiday!

The mist has returned this year to the fairgrounds, but never fear! Montos Dath is here to lead you through if the rascally void imps and tendrils of mist are putting you out of the holiday spirit. Otherwise, dive in and make your way towards the sounds of merriment!

Within the fairgrounds, there’s much to do! The Winterflame Arena is open once more for snowball fights, as well as many quests for you to explore. Take time to talk to the various merchants on the grounds for your chance to participate and earn grand rewards for your service.

Giftcatchers and more!

In addition to Rohna’s special gift, we’ve stocked a shop in the Winterflame Grounds with giftcatchers- the artifact prize everyone loves and which was previously only obtainable as a monetary purchase from the website. Now that we are a Legacy title, these will be available for Winterflame and can be purchased with either marks or credits earned in game going forward. Hang a giftcatcher for your favorite spacer and watch their face alight with joy!

Another fun ware is stocked here, which should clue you in to the big release planned for later this month. It’s many weeks of work in the making, and we sure hope you’ll love it!

A note from the admin team,

We are so grateful to everyone who has stuck with us and for all of the new faces who’ve joined the Starmourn community during this transition. Many things are in the works behind the scenes, and we are absolutely bubbling over with excitement at the opportunity to share it with you.

Stay tuned spacers! There’s much to celebrate as the year comes to a close.

– The Starmourn Volunteers: Neritus, Argus, Marra, Elan, Senzei, Kauka, Figment, and Ferenzi.

Legacy Mode & Beyond

By Argus | July 24, 2023 |

Hi friends,

Last week, IRE decided to put Starmourn into “Legacy Mode”, which effectively means we will be fully volunteer run with no paid support from IRE. Paid promotional items will no longer be offered and payments will not be processed towards the game. Starmourn players can retire their characters into other games, but characters from other games can’t be retired into Starmourn.

More importantly, the server will remain active and everyone’s welcome to continue to play their characters or make new ones! Despite what you may have heard, this game is not anywhere near dead yet.

“Legacy mode FAQ” – text over a starry, turquoise background with a hand in the foreground holding a jar of galaxies

There have been a LOT of questions floating around, so we’d like to address some of the big ones right here and right now –

  • Omg everyone’s leaving aren’t they?
    • The volunteer team is still here, and Neritus intends to stay on in a volunteer capacity. We love the world of Starmourn and the community we’ve built together.  
  • Open PK everywhere?! 
    • Starmourn will not be going Open PK. Instead, we will simply continue to use the Lawlessness system as always should players wish to choose the Open PK lifestyle.

      An “Open PK World” would simply mean that there are no admin around in-game to address PK disputes. This will not be the case any time soon for Starmourn as our team is staying on. 
  • Does this mean no new dev work in Starmourn? 
    • Not in the slightest. It mostly just means paid promo items and other paid content will no longer have to be our focus.

      While development work may slow down from the absolutely insane velocity we’ve carried for the past 12 months, we’re ready to continue our projects as planned. Neritus will also have a follow-up post sometime in the next few weeks to discuss his plans, so be sure to keep on the lookout for that, too!
  • Anything related to retirement
    • For retirement-related queries, please reach out to Iron Realms directly via email at
“A quick retrospective” – text over a green sky with bright pink clouds.

Wondering what volunteer development in the future might look like? Well, let’s do a quick recap of some of the things we’ve accomplished so far this year as a primarily volunteer team –


  • Officialized the Starmourn Cultural Conflict channel, where we present to culture-minded players and get their feedback on upcoming changes
  • Released the first ever Hack Dungeon quest line with a new fave NPC Crake ++ added hacking QOL improvements – experience for ICE kills + hack queueing
  • Finalized the massive Facilities release with some player feedback and rebalancing.
  • Added 2 wilderness areas to give equal access to all factions
  • Created the new CRAFTPEDIA for crafters which would lead into the new design trends system
  • Began compiling all known lore and holes as the start of Project HomeYouBettaWerk
  • Argus made pod racing for a promo item and will never do better than that. Over 3,000 lines of prog in that promo item
  • Ran a mini event in the Deja Brew with a reunion of Song military squads that players can engage with and RP off in the future via RP requests!


  • Figment, Elan, and Kauka join the team to provide some much needed bug crushin’ love and code expertise
  • Created Krellstones as a functional game with special promo game versions to collect
  • Created SPACE RACING where players can drop checkpoints in space to create and run their own race courses 
  • Released TRENDS – the new design system by which players can contribute to the game and earn major marks
  • Ishvana Fleet incursions were dramatically improved and they hit much harder now (xoxo git gud, friends)
  • Ran a mini flower discovery event for Syzygy as part of their player plot journey


  • Created and released 18 new design tutors (1 for each tradeskill for each faction) with custom locations and backstories for each
  • Opened design quests to all players for the first time, via these tutors.
  • Added over 100 new materials, ingredients and colors into the Trending system.
  • Introduced ship furnishing shops on Iota with interactive furniture items, themed goods, and pet-like droids
  • You can now view SENT messages – significant QOL improvement


  • Elan crushed like 300 bugs in a weekend – Just one example of all the effort being put in by the team
  • Released the Archaeology system with SEVEN unique areas and 10+ things to discover with unique components to recover for each (and more to come!)
  • With Archaeology, released the concept of MUSEUMS through which each faction can complete free/open RP endeavors to study and recover artifacts and specimens through Archeology research


  • Major Cosmpiercer system overhaul released – The Ishvana threat looms more aggressively than ever before, now taking an active part in Cosmpiercer engagements with AI space combat, ground combat, and even hacking bodies
  • Major cache / ta-deth crystal overhaul – New ways to obtain crystal charges with options for noncoms to participate in crystal recovery. Also created the RICH cache system and timed releases to aid in coordination between the factions.
  • Ran a major RP event whereby the captains of the sector fought to defend the known Cosmpiercers from a massive assault. Resulted in many piercers being destroyed, but one was saved. Nice work, spacers!  
  • Saw the first real push for the mercenary system as factions blurred the lines to team up and fight the Ishvana threat!
  • Expanded on the RPWHO system, allowing players to auto-flag themselves with a CONFIG option.


  • Beachapalooza month long event – Released 6 new quests and several new NPCs to interact with on the Glittering Shores of Litharge. Poor Grilrek, probably still getting bullied today.
  • Began implementing physical changes to Janilyn as part of PHYBW, including a Customs House, interactive elements like the first Quest Board, racial shops, over 15 local produce items and meals, and a refresh of the map (with much more to come!).
  • Added quite a few additional design type options to the CUISINE tradeskill including fudge, tofu, and biscuits!
“The path forward” – text over rocky terrain with a brightly lit, starry sky background

While we don’t have a timeline for these items, projects on the roadmap ahead include reworking the newbie experience, the addition of some much anticipated tradeskills, several new areas, a new player race or two, the continuation of player plots, new arena types, the continued development within PHYBW, and so so much more. 

So… yeah. While last week’s news might’ve been scary, we’re not gone yet and we have no intention of leaving any time soon. The rest of the team and I look forward to continuing our work with this community and the ever growing world of Starmourn. <3

With love from your Starmakers and Storytellers,

Argus, Marra, Neritus, Elan, Figment, and Kauka

Hey beaches. Time for an event!

By Argus | June 6, 2023 |

From the desk of Jonti Yaghah

Stockpile that sunscreen, spacers – It’s time for a Beach Party!

Come on down to Glittering Shores Pleasure Beach to celebrate with style in the warm waves and shimmering sands of the hottest spot in Litharge. The festival theme this year is Love Your Neighbor, so we’re celebrating all things lovely and neighborly amidst the fun. Check in with me and Iffha in our tropical bar, Fronds In Low Places, for a fresh drink and snack to kick things off!

Never been to the Glittering Shores before? Head to the Glisal seaway just past the memorial area in the northeastern area of Litharge, then scramble down the cliff face and through the Dregend Beach until you get to our beautiful vacation destination. It’s worth the trip!

See you on the shores! Just mind your toes in the water as we’ve gotten reports of a new breed of selakki roaming the waves…

Jonti Yaghah, Development Aide for the Celestine Office of Cultural Affairs

A foam of white ocean water cresting a wave overtakes a bright beach, carrying clear blue water up onto the shore.
Photo by Herman. io:

From the desk of a tiny space kitten –

To celebrate the start of summer, we are hosting a month-long event on the Glittering Shores of Litharge!

Simply WALK TO JONTI in game before July 1st at 00:00 GMT to greet this hardworking beach manager and learn more about how you can help the beachgoers this season to earn rewards from Jonti herself.

We’ve created a plethora of new NPCs to interact with, six new quests that you can complete each day to earn points and build that beach cred, AND a brand new game – TASERBALL – which you can play with other players!

June promo is also out and about, but we’ll share the love for all of that in another post. For now, head to the beach! We hope you have a wonderful time kicking off the summer with us.

Argus, the tiniest feracht

You don’t want to miss this.

By Argus | May 3, 2023 |

The Ishvana threat looms overhead, ominously plotting amongst the stars…

Log in tomorrow, May 4th, at 23:00 GMT to tag in on the adventure and fight to save some of the sector’s greatest resources!

An ominous red cloud swirls in the distant galaxy, surrounded by the black skies of space and dotted with bright stars.

Join our Discord server to learn more about the event and connect with the Starmourn community!

You’re Invited:

Caches, Crystals, Energy, oh my!

By Neritus | April 20, 2023 |
Ta-Deth crystals under a microscope.

Welcome back to another devblog! Today, we will discuss changes coming to Caches, Crystals, and Cosmpiercer Energy. These changes will hit the Starmourn Sector on Thursday, May 4th, with a recommended play time at 23:00 UTC. We’ll be kicking things off with a dramatic event that you’re not going to want to miss! You might consider dusting off and stocking up your ships, too…

For now, keep reading for more information about the incoming Cosmpiercer reset and other Conflict Rework updates!

The Vision

Butting heads over a Rich Cache

The overarching goal of the Conflict Rework is to create meaningful pathways for all player archetypes to contribute in their own way to their faction. We want everyone to have content they can call home, and for that content to matter, mechanically. In the past devblogs and releases, we’ve talked quite a lot about what we are doing to bridge the prior gaps for many different play styles. This time around, we will discuss our attempts to stimulate the healthy competition for limited resources!

The Funnel

All hail the Content Mailstrom

One of our key goals in this round of development was reducing the available Cosmpiercers and crystal sources to encourage healthy competition for those resources. Basically, the following changes should funnel players into smaller numbers of more dramatic flashpoints via a Swiss army knife of changes to all interrelated systems.


Let’s talk about what is happening to Cosmpiercers themselves. In case you haven’t been keeping up, we’ve already launched a major overhaul to Cosmpiercers, which you can read about here.

Firstly, we want Cosmpiercer assaults to be truly momentous, so we are reducing the number of Cosmpiercers in the Starmourn Sector. Come to the recommended playtime noted above to be among the first to find out exactly how.

The energy generation formula has also been completely rewritten and there are no longer any diminishing returns punishing factions from owning too many Cosmpiercers. Thanks to the Mercenary system, even factions who find themselves shorthanded on the battlefield can get their slice of the energy pie.

The process of how energy is generated and how abilities are unlocked with it is also changing, and vouchers will no longer exist. There is quite a bit going on here, so we’ll discuss it below!

Caches, Crystals, and Crystalline Facilities

Ta-Deth crystals are currently collected from Caches and used each day at Sync to maintain a faction’s collection of held Cosmpiercers. We’ve received plenty of feedback that this process has felt like a chore and is not engaging players with the PvP component expected of open PK zones such as Caches.

We want Ta-Deth crystals to truly feel valuable with this update. Thus:

  1. We are introducing tighter algorithmic controls on the number of Ta-deth crystals seeded into the game compared to the number of crystals removed from the game via Cosmpiercer maintenance. The game will no longer shower factions with way more crystals than they will ever need.
  2. To allow for finer control, crystals will also now come with “charge,” indicated by adjectives like “faintly glowing,” “shimmering,” or “radiant.” This allows us to ensure a healthy count of crystal deposits to fight over in a cache, but we can fine-tune the actual amount of “charge” they hold. Factions will not spend crystals, but rather “crystal charge”. The storage limit for a faction is no longer counted in the number of physical crystals, but rather is a “crystal charge limit.”
  3. Caches will appear 3 times per day and a new command, COSMPIERCER CACHES, will provide 7 RL days of advance notice about the precise time at which a cache will open. Scheduled cache times will be slotted into three out of the four possible 6-hour time slots in the 24-hour day, ensuring caches will reliably be available for you to engage with no matter your IRL time zone.
  4. We are also introducing a new variety of cache, the Rich Cache. Rich Caches are scheduled to appear every 4 RL days and contain a much greater wealth of crystals. If normal caches aren’t able to inject life into the PvP scene on a daily basis, it’s our hope that at least Rich Caches will provide factions an opportunity to achieve glory on the battlefield and take home some hefty winnings as a reward.
  5. Lastly, a portion of crystals seeded to the game will be made available from a purely PvE source, Crystalline Facilities. FACILITY REPORTS will now include an extra line which hints at how many crystals there are available to be found in crystalline facilities, which will constantly build up day after day! In turn, the Crystalline mutation will now require the No Cloning mutation.
  6. You’ll at last be able to COSMPIERCER STORE ALL. If it would put you over the crystal charge deposited limit, it will store as many as it can. The future is now.

More on energy, vouchers, and unlocks

A voucher, now extinct, a curio in a museum

One of the goals of the rework was to make it so that factions could decide for themselves who gets access to Cosmpiercer abilities, rather than it requiring participation in Open PK content. After all, Cosmpiercer abilities come in a wide range of varieties and offer a lot of quality of life improvements to everyday Spacer living!

As stated previously, vouchers, the currency used to access Cosmpiercer powers currently, will cease to exist. Instead, Cosmpiercers will now store energy locally, and factions will gain a powerful new FACTION ENERGY syntax. This allows faction leaders to allocate how much energy per Sync the faction’s positions, ranks, or individuals can withdraw, as well as the energy accessible for everyone by default.

At Sync, Cosmpiercers will consume Ta-deth crystals in order to be maintained. If one cannot be maintained, it will not generate energy, and any energy stored at the Cosmpiercer will be made unavailable for purchasing powers (but will stay in reserve). Factions will be able to set a percentage (between 0 and 100%), indicating how much newly generated energy should go towards their Unlock Queue (see below), and how much should go to local storage on the Cosmpiercer. If it’s set to 50% and a Cosmpiercer generates 300 energy at Sync, 150 energy will go towards the next unlock, and 150 will go to storage on the Cosmpiercer.

We have also expanded the COSMPIERCER UNLOCK syntax. Factions will now be able to set up a queue, unlocking abilities in a predetermined order. Set it and forget it. Also, abilities no longer expire or require maintenance. Once you’ve unlocked an ability, you will have it until the next conflict Cycle starts.

Once an ability is unlocked, COSMPIERCER PURCHASE will withdraw energy from Cosmpiercers to create the relevant item directly. This means there is no voucher-in-the-middle required, provided the purchase would not exceed the player’s daily energy.

Lastly, energy stored at a Cosmpiercer will not be wiped after a faction claims it from another faction. It will remain. Any energy withdrawals also pull equally from all Cosmpiercers with available energy, making it very difficult to deliberately withdraw energy from a specific Cosmpiercer your faction believes is under threat, unless of course you’re willing to withdraw ALL the energy from all your Cosmpiercers. You will also not be able to withdraw energy from Cosmpiercers in Lockdown or under Siege. We hope this setup provides incentive to contest especially the high level Cosmpiercers, which are very likely to have quite a lot of energy banked up.

The last thing to mention is that there will be a new trade-in shop on Omni Station which allows players to trade crystals in directly for Cosmpiercer abilities, albeit at a steeper crystal cost than if the abilities were unlocked with Cosmpiercer energy. Factionless? Faction didn’t unlock what you want yet? Now you’ll have an avenue to get just what you need!

Invasion Day approaches…

Oh… it’s… big…

With this release, we will have everything in place to tie the Conflict Rework up into a bow and launch the very first of our cyclical seasons, which we have decided to call Cycles, and will come with epic rewards and unique opportunities for all players. As for May 4th: since we are reducing the number of Cosmpiercers, fairness dictates that we must also wipe all Cosmpiercer ownership. We also need to wipe Ta-deth Crystal Storage for technical reasons. One thing we will not wipe on May 4th is your faction’s Cosmpiercer ability unlocks. These will be wiped at the start of each Cycle, just not now.

That’s it, that’s all! Thanks for reading and we hope to see you on May 4th!

A Starmourner’s Guide to Archaeology

By Neritus | March 28, 2023 |
What hidden secrets lie buried in this ancient rock formation on Nadru?

Welcome back to another devblog, Starmourn! Today, we’ll be covering Archaeology. This system’s been cooking for awhile now, and we’re excited to announce that it will, at last, be available April 1st (not even an April Fool’s Joke)!

So let’s get our hands dirty and dig deep. Here’s everything you can expect from Archaeology.

Dig sites

A hard-working dig site intern

All archaeological work begins in the field. To get started, you will interact with an NPC at a museum, select a celestial body to target your investigation, and assemble a team. Archaeological teams will be made up of various NPCs with a Trait and a Profession. You then travel to the wilderness entrance for the chosen celestial body, enter the separate dig site instance (having no effect on your normal wilderness instance or its cooldown), and your team will get to work unearthing fossils and fragments over the next 1-2 RL weeks.

Every so often (not more than once per RL day), a new complication will arise. The traits of your team members will determine the sort of complications that might arise over the course of the dig that your team members will want you to resolve to proceed with the dig at maximum speed and effectiveness. Skittish team members may ask that you clear the zone of mobs before they’re prepared to continue working. Posh team members may ask for a particular Furnishing or Art pattern to continue working. Design patterns which plug into archaeology this way are pulled from a list of approved designs of your own OR designs that are currently available in shop autocrafters, providing a new mechanical incentive for non-designer players to seek out the wares of designers. Since you will be able to pick and choose the traits of your team, you’ll have control over your dig site experience. Not interested in PvE? Avoid the ‘Skittish’ trait! Not interested in Cuisine or Mixology? Avoid the ‘Foodie’ trait!

Completing complications will make the dig progress more quickly overall, and will also activate the team member’s Profession bonus. At launch we have 4 professions: Intern, Supervisor, Palaeontologist, and Anthropologist. Interns are careful and cautious, providing a boost to the quality of your finds. Supervisors keep everyone on task, making the dig take less time overall. Palaeontologists specialize in fossils, improving the likelihood that your finds will be fossils, and improving your chances of finding rarer fossils. Anthropologists specialize in material culture, and thus receive bonuses like Palaeontologists, but for fragments.


A museum exhibition somewhere in Starmourn

Each faction has their own Museum where players can deposit the finds from their personal dig sites. At a museum, factions will be able to browse their collection and conduct Research (see below). Players with the new Curator power can exhibit items in display cases, exhibit DNA reconstructions in hardlight projections, and write informational blurbs about their exhibit.

We want factions to have full control over their museums and for them to also be persistent, mapped buildings. Curators will be able to redesign the museum’s physical space, rewriting museum room descriptions, and factions will be able, via Requests, to expand the museum if they wish to at a commodity cost.

We currently have no plans for a factionless museum, but factionless players will certainly be able to sell their finds to a faction or keep them for their own private collections.

Research and Discoveries

A collection of samples, in a museum backroom somewhere

Archaeology will feature a free-form Research RP system. In the back rooms of Museums, players will be able to conduct research sessions on particular fossils or antiquities either alone or with others. These research sessions are completely free-form. All in-room communication commands (like emotes and says) from participants in the session are logged and, after the session ends, posted to a public Research Board.

From the Research Board, you can view the research sessions of other players in the last 30 days and upvote them for good RP or downvote sessions done in bad faith. This allows us to let players provide some first line of defense moderation if players aren’t using the system in good faith (such as starting the session, writing some gibberish, and ending it, just to get research progress for their faction’s museum). Note that we’ll be watching downvoting in particular. Downvoting is strictly to help us identify players using the mechanic in bad faith, and not to be used if you simply don’t like someone or don’t like their brand of RP. Whenever you make any vote, up or down, you will also gain a bit of extra bonus progress to your next research session, providing incentive for players to keep tabs on the research boards and vote.

Every 20 upvotes you receive, you will also gain a Kudos. A Kudos is a super powerful upvote and can only be granted to players in factions not your own. When you grant a Kudos to someone, both you and the recipient gain a powerful bonus to the discovery progress made for your next research sessions.

After enough research progress on an item within a faction, the faction will unlock a Discovery on the item, revealing more lore for this particular tidbit of a celestial body’s ancient ecology or material culture.

Note that anyone with access to the backroom of a museum will be able to conduct research for the museum, including the factionless and members of other factions. Curators will be able to control who has access to the room via Permissions.

Tying it all together

Everyone gather ’round

Once the conflict rework is fully assembled, Museums will comprise 1 of the 3 main pillars of a faction’s Cultural Score. “Museum Score” will be a measure of progress towards completionism in the breadth and quality of the museum’s collection, exhibition, and research.

And now, a disclaimer. We have been hard at work preparing fascinating fossils and antiquities for you to unearth across the Sector. We do intend for every celestial body with a wilderness in the game to have archaeological objects eventually, but in the interest of ensuring a high quality standard here — doubly so for racial homeworlds — we will be gradually releasing new archaeological objects into the game more piecemeal over the next year or so. Thus, at launch we will only have so many wildernesses available to target as Dig Sites.

We are also paying close attention to the number of current wildernesses in each faction’s subsector. For now, we will ensure factional wildernesses are released in equal proportions (i.e. we would not release Archaeology for the 3rd Scatterhome wilderness until we are done the Archaeology for Song and CA’s 3rd, too). But eventually, we want each factional subsector to have the same number of wildernesses overall. Archaeology for neutral celestial bodies, on the other hand, may be released at any time whenever it is ready.

That’s it, that’s all! We are terribly excited to bring this massive new system online starting April 1st. See you in the field!

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