The Starmourn Blog

Welcome to Level 75 – and beyond!

By Eukelade | March 23, 2020 |

Hi, Starmourners! Wow, the world has gone a bit crazy since the last time we posted, huh? While we can’t wait for things to get back to normal, we also want to encourage our players to stay indoors as much as possible, for the safety of themselves and those around them!

Which means that if you, like many people these days, find yourself with a lot more time on your hands than you used to – you might want to log back into Starmourn. We’ve made some changes, and if you haven’t played in awhile…they might be up your alley.

Power up with the new talent system.

Talents

Reached the level cap, and don’t know where to go after that? We’ve got good news for you! The game doesn’t end at level 75 anymore.

Once you are level 75, any normal experience you gain will be dumped into a new “talent experience pool”. When you have enough experience in this pool, you may spend it to gain a talent point. You can then spend this point to enhance a number of aspects related to your character. This system effectively removes the cap on experience gain, as you can continue to gain post-75 talent experience and points for a very long time. Naturally, the more points you get, the more experience it will cost to gain the next point.

To interact with the system, you can use the TALENTS command.

TALENTS LIST – List your talents and distribution.
TALENTS SHOW <name> – Show information about a specific talent.
TALENTS ACQUIRE – Acquire a new talent point (if you have the xp)!
TALENTS INVEST <name> – Invest a point in a talent.
TALENTS RESET – Reset your talent distribution.

This Xenoslayer really should have brought a friend or five…

Xenoslayers

Fantom Laboratories, a respected scientific institution, has recently broadcast a universal commsphere message filled with worrying news. It seems that, due to unknown circumstances, certain creatures in the wildernesses of the galaxy have begun exhibiting abnormal behaviors and enhanced physical and mental abilities.

The fine people at Fantom Labs have vowed to help keep the galaxy safe from these threats and to find out what lies at the root of these mutations. They are calling upon able-bodied hunters to bring these things down as they appear and bring them the corpses for scientific study. They will kindly alert everyone on a wide band frequency when a new specimen is spotted…code name and location included! And they swear, they probably didn’t have anything to do with this.

What deadly creatures lurk within this alien wilderness?

What does this mean?

Periodically, a random mob from a wilderness somewhere in game will be elevated to either Betarch or Apex status. This status will enhance that mob until its death and grant it new powers. A Betarch will receive one power, while an Apex will receive two powers. Alongside these powers, the creatures themselves will be tougher to kill and will deal more damage. If you probe them, you will see what powers they currently have – which could be any number of deadly things, from toxic poisons to berserker strength.

What you need to remember is that they are almost impossible to take out by yourself – you’ll need to bring friends in order to succeed.

Killing these creatures rewards MUCH more experience than normal, better drops and there’s a guaranteed loot token for each kill. Also, Fantom Laboratories are interested in the corpse (for science!), so whoever will deliver the dead creature to one of their laboratory locations on Krell, Kovalar or Delphi will gain a mark reward and increase their standing with Fantom Labs (you might want this for the future). If you’re looking to redeem your loot tokens, each lab has a secretary or accountant that will help you with this – each lab grants a different lootset from the past.

RANKINGS XENOSLAYERS shows the current top monster slayers in the game – will you be one of them, or will you be left in the dirt?

Danger and adventure wait around the corner.

What’s Next?

Don’t forget, Starmourn’s daily credit system has been up and running for awhile now. Logging on and participating in various activities will see you netting yourself a tidy handful of credits each day.

As for these new systems we’ve introduced – they are still in the balance stages, and we’ll be adjusting them on the fly for a little while to come. To that end, we could use your help! Please give us your feedback – our forums are a good place to start!

We know times in the real world are tough and stressful for a lot of people these days. Social distancing won’t last forever, but while it does, try to relax and have fun where you can! We’re with you, and we’re here for you, and we hope to see you in the stars whenever you’re ready.

Introducing Daily Credits!

By Eukelade | February 25, 2020 |
Log in and start playing to fill your bound credit balance!

Starmourners (and anyone else reading this), we’ve got some awesome news today and we hope you’re as excited about it as we are!

Starmourn is now introducing a way for all players to gain up to 20 BOUND Credits each RL day. Performing various tasks in game will reward you with 1-2 bound credits, up to the aforementioned cap.

You can easily keep track of the list of tasks and your progress within those tasks with the DAILYCREDITS command. The status resets every day at the Sync.

There are a few repeatable tasks that you can do several times a day, but they will give half the reward (so 1 credit) after you complete them the first time. These tasks are marked on your Daily Credit status in the appropriate column.

The current task set is as follows:
1 Fulfill the daily Xeno bounty – 1 credit
2 Complete any 10 quests (REPEATABLE) – 2 credits
3 Hack 10 points worth of terminals – 2 credits (Level 1-5 terminals award 1 point, 5-10 award 2 points and 10+ award 3 points)
4 Harvest a Ta-deth crystal – 2 credits
5 Win a duel – 2 credits
6 Kill 100 mobs (REPEATABLE) – 2 credits
7 Kill 5 enemies in incursions (REPEATABLE) – 2 credits
8 Have a design approved – 1 credit
9 Refine 5 asteroids/gas scoops (REPEATABLE) – 2 credits (This counts when you queue up the goods)
10 Complete 2 performances – 1 credit
11 Craft 10 items – 1 credit (This refers to items crafted via tradeskills)

We’ll be monitoring this system over the next few weeks and make adjustments and fixes as necessary! Above all else, we hope that this change will encourage people to play the game we all love – after all, more people online means more fun for everyone else, right?

So play on, Starmourners – we will see you in space!

Discuss this post in our forums.

Love, Death, and Robots

By Eukelade | February 11, 2020 |
A stylish Scoundrel contemplates smashing some faces with their new ability, FACESMASH.

So, Starmourners. I bet you’re wondering what we’ve been up to since the beginning of January, right? Read on, because we’re gonna tell you!

Since the turn of the year, implementing the playerbase’s hundreds of classlead suggestions have taken the bulk of January’s development time. It continues to be a focus for our lead coders, with substantial refinements to the B.E.A.S.T., Fury, Nanoseer, and Scoundrel classes, with decent inroads on the Engineer. We’re continuing to listen to your feedback, here – don’t be shy about filing bugs if you notice something amiss with the new features.

February So Far

The Amory’s hallucinogenic viral marketing techniques are rather, erm…pointy.

Open on Omni Station this month is The Amory’s pop-up store, stocked with a whole host of sexy things designed to enhance your love connection. Tokens for the Amory can be found in this month’s boxes, which you can get as prizes for Playing Cupid with all your friends in game – or for being the target of a Cupid of your own. Surely people won’t mind a little nanite dart. There’s more exciting Valentine’s Day news in the works, too!

Also introduced this month as an IRE-wide change is the addition of new Iron Elite membership options. Now, when you purchase an Iron Elite membership, you have the ability to purchase a 3, 6, or 12 month bundle, with an immediate windfall of credits and XP bonuses for you to enjoy.

Upcoming Features and Events

So…what about the Death and Robots part of February?

A little later in the month, we’ll be unveiling a feature-rich new game which we think most of you will rather like. The hint is in the image – so keep playing! We’re still in the testing phases, but when we release, you’ll know it!

Love and Anarchy coming up in Scatterhome

And at the beginning of March, log in to participate in ANARCHY, A Scatterhome Music Festival. Organized by one of our most prolific players, Scatterfest promises to be an extravaganza like none other. In true Scatterhome fashion, we’re sure the event promises to delight with a few twists and turns nobody could possibly be expecting…

That’s it for our glance back at January (and some of February), and our peek into the next few weeks! Don’t forget to pick up a bag of conversation hearts at The Amory so you can tell your loved ones “I’LL KILL U LAST”.

Happy February!

Looking Forward

By Eukelade | January 6, 2020 |
Press play on the future.

The new year is here, and Starmourn feels more refined and grown up by the day. The game has advanced in leaps and bounds from its fledgling beginnings to something that we all feel truly proud of. Not bad, for something that’s barely a year old as of this writing!

We hope that 2020 will be just as jam-packed with new features and events as 2019 was. The development team is full of ideas for the future of the game, defining a path for the coming year that will lead us out of open beta and into a full release. Keep reading for some peeks at what the team is most excited about and actively planning to work on and release in the coming year.

What’s Next?

Making a wish for our favorite features to be developed first!

Classleads are the first thing on our agenda – with hundreds of entries, we have a lot of work to do! And we heard you – the B.E.A.S.T. class in particular will be getting some major TLC. A new system for continued experience gain after level 75 will be implemented, giving us all exciting new goals to strive for.

On the PVE side of things, the main questline will be revisited in 2020, taking us further along the journey with Voxxi, Cassandra, the Ishvana, and all our old friends (and enemies). For roleplay, we are planning a major overhaul in the way Storytellers can interact with players, giving them a way to directly influence the directions of play and make the world seem rich and alive. Roleplay in general will continue to be a focus, with new tools and code specifically for enriching your experience and deepening your sense of immersion in an ongoing story of your own design.

Where will you stake your claim when colonization is released?

Also in 2020, we hope for our dreams of a colonization system to come to fruition. We are still in the planning stages, and don’t want to spoil any surprises, but this is already shaping up to be the biggest project of the year. The team is enthusiastic about making this feature the one that will change the face of Starmourn – and MUDs in general – in a huge way.

Ongoing, of course, will be further refinements to existing systems, plenty of player-driven events, class balancing, and bug squashing. We’d like to see further ways to work with our unofficial Discord community. We’re kicking around ideas for a new class! We’re even talking seriously about robot battles thanks to a player suggestion (you know who you are).

The features and events we’re planning for the coming year are putting stars in our eyes. We’re hopeful that you’re as excited about the future as we are, because we can’t do it without you. The stars are waiting, space travelers. We’ll see you out there!

Our First Year in Space

By Eukelade | January 4, 2020 |
Looking back on a year of adventure in the stars.

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. 

At least the humans of Starmourn will always have this face.

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. 

Remember when retirement wasn’t an option for a second?

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.

Happy trails, Tecton – thanks for everything!

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.

The Citadel of Hordes.
A discontented faction on Hororeon caused trouble for the new Lord Commander of the Song Dominion – but she proved equal to the threat.

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. 

At last, the spaceship of your dreams is possible with ship customization.

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.

Kuda Shayato and his hostile Chrome Skulls were quickly dealt with thanks to the decisive actions of the playerbase.

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.

Get your gear! There's a whole lot of worlds in our world...
Unveiling the joy of exploration and xenozoology.

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!

Don’t get stage fright – just picture everyone in their underwear.

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.

We had a lot to learn in September!

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.

Identities were hidden as the cultists of T’rath ran rampant through Litharge.

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.

Hack the planet, Morty!

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.

Player enthusiasm was the fuel for our winter’s flame.

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.

Looking Forward

See that? 2020 is dead ahead.

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!

Discuss this post in our forums!

Celebrate Winterflame!

By Eukelade | December 1, 2019 |
The skies over Uycheon III’s Tosmar Mountains are especially crisp during Winterflame

Uycheon III is a cold and overcrowded place. The native Tukkav population has, by necessity, been forced into close contact with both each other and with other races, as their overpopulated planet has forced many of them to migrate off world. Many rituals and traditions have been created among Tukkav tribes related to growing closer and keeping the icy weather of their homeworld at bay. Most of these traditions revolve around sharing music, warmth, and companionship.

A snow fox from the Tosmar wildlife preserve

Five hundred years ago, a Tukkav by the name of Laus Koldain began a new tradition, which he called Winterflame (sometimes also called Winterhearth). The holiday was modeled after traditional Toof Circles, but with a decidedly more inclusive bent. Occuring once every quarter century, Winterflame is focused around togetherness, a way for Tukkav in all corners of the galaxy to extend their natural feelings of hospitality and warmth to non-Tukkav. This multi-racial holiday has become rather popular, with gift giving, story circles, and of course, drinking, as popular mainstays and traditions. Some of the few remaining wilderness areas on Uycheon III are even opened to outsiders to come and join in the festivities, even ones that are normally reserved for only Tukkav.

Tourists enjoy the festival grounds in the Tosmar Preserve

The philosophy of a ‘chosen family’ is a central component of Winterflame, with blood bonds (which are more celebrated in traditional Toof circles, and during the Ouran) being seen as less important than the ones that are consciously built and maintained. One of the common, easily recognized cultural images of the holiday is a group of unrelated individuals sitting around a mobile camp stove or electric heater (sales of these usually spike during the holiday.)

Common Winterflame phrases:

  • “Happy Hearthday”
  • “Happy Flameday.”
  • “Warm greetings.”
  • “Different planets, same family.”
The SS Ironbeard in orbit.

The SS Ironbeard

It seems even pirates take an interest in Winterflame. Nobody knows who captains the mysterious Ironbeard, but this enormous ship that flies the flag of the Iron Corsairs emerges from the pirate fleet every twenty five years to make its stately way around the galaxy. When it falls into orbit around a planet, it is always an ominous sight – surely, such an immense vessel would pack enough firepower to obliterate a civilization. Instead, however, the SS Ironbeard does nothing but discharge ordnance in the form of harmless gifts, delivered to lucky recipients on the planet’s surface.

So, Where Is It?

How do you get to Winterflame? Head to Omni Station and speak to Rohna Guzmas in the transport hub to get directions. Arrangements for transportation (courtesy of Araxi Lamentation) have been made from Omni to Tosmar for those that are generally unwelcome on Uycheon III. They’re still setting up the festival grounds on the Tosmar tundra, but new activities, treats, quests, and prizes will be added to the area all month, which means you’ll have to keep logging in to check out the updates and celebrate the festivities. Warm hearts and warm hearths, Starmourners. Happy Flameday!

Discuss this post in our forums.

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