Starbound Wipes Out Character Wipes With Huge Update

Hurrah! We're not all likely to just suddenly stop existing at any given moment due to forces beyond our control. Wait.

I had a Starbound character once. His name was Sir Face (named after the Microsoft Surface I was playing on at the time; it’s a long story), and he was a mohawk-sporting robot who punched bird people, stole their super cool altar beds, and did not give one single, solitary fuck. But he’s gone now. Forever. Beta tests are harsh, uncaring things, and I knew that Sir Face and I wouldn’t be able to dance among the stars (and also mine them hollow) forever. I still miss him, though – at least insofar as one can miss a walking trophy case for their videogame accomplishments. Fortunately, as of now I’ll never have to grieve for another Starbound character again, and neither will you. The game’s latest update should be the last one heralded by a character, ship, and planet wipe. Also, it adds crazy new enemy attacks, a permadeath option, new items, new biomes, and tons more. But oh man, characters don’t eat bandages anymore! I liked eating bandages.

Other biggies: player-owned items are now persistent in the game world, so no more disappearing picks, meticulously crafted items, or what have you. Oh, and Christmas items are gone, deflating my theory that Starbound takes place in a universe of Eternal Christmas. Bummer.

Here’s the full (and massive) changelog, per the gnarled fingertips of Chucklefish‘s changelog monkeys:

Code Changes:

  •  Absolutely massive changes to disk serialization (sorry reversers), which will allow us to never need to wipe players or ships again, and hopefully never need to wipe worlds again.
  • Related, we now have a proper versioning system for save files.
  • Added difficulty levels and permadeath characters to the game.
  • Packed assets into databases (speeds up startup significantly), and included asset packing and unpacking utilities with the distribution.
  • This should also allow for easier distribution of mods, and easier construction and management of slimmed down distributions for dedicated servers (official server paks coming soon.)
  • Fix some graphical glitches with the wire nodes.
  • Fixed some pretty nasty deadlocking bugs with networking.
  • Fixed some very strange memory leak bugs stemming from a gcc lambda capture bug.
  • Fixed various crash bugs related to a number of different issues (more specifics listed in “Info About the Upcoming Patch“– thanks for the bug reports, keep em coming)
  • Speed up improvements with falling sand and other projectiles.
  • More efficient databases storage layout.
  • Documentation for lua functions have been written, and we’re going to release them soonish.
  • Removed NaN floats from the code for performance reasons (reenabled -ffinite-math-only), we had been using them to signal that the float is disabled or in an invalid state, but we have a system for that now.
  • Some internal changes that make maintaining code much happier for us, including better enum to string handling and much faster compiles.
  • Other minor things, too numerous to list here (see “Info About the Upcoming Patch“).

Fun Changes:

  • It’s no longer the holiday, so we’ve removed the holiday stuff for now, we’ll put them back when we have a better way of enabling it for holiday time.
  • PVP is now forced enabled within Sector X.  If you’re in a party there’s no team damage though.
  • All player drops are persistent now.  So if you accidentally throw your diamond drill down a mineshaft, you don’t have to suicide trying to get it back before it disappears.
  • New Monster attacks (gravity slam! gust attacks! other stuff!)
  • Fixed Legendary Weapons damage (adjusted up to be more… well… Legendary.)
  • We’ve put in new Techs (such as a Glitch Mech).
  • New biome type enabled.  Savannah.
  • Boss Lore!
  • No more eating bandages and stims, they have their own thing now.
  • Better, more featureful .abc file support, and we have Wanderlust music in the game now.  (Thanks Leth and D2!)
  • Made NPC chatter more configurable and slightly more varied.
  • Added new objects (such as lava biome treasure chests).
  • Added new items (like nightsticks and bonesaws).
  • Sword swooshes are only active for 0.6 seconds instead of 0.9 seconds.
  • Making cooldown times actually matter without slowing down combat.  Also fine tuned their hitboxes.
  • Viking helmet?  Viking helmet.
  • Watch out for landmines.
  • Various changes to treasure drop pools (like Avian Guards actually dropping their guns…)
  • Minor tweaks to existing armors to make them look better.
  • Medieval Furnace now actually acts like a Furnace. (Rejoice).
  • Graphical upgrades to some existing plants, and new plants.
  • Lots more secret stuff! :OOO

That is a lot of things. I’m glad that “sword swoosh” is a technical term. And Avian Guards finally drop guns. Hallelujah!

The patch is out now. What changes are you most excited about?


  1. Gothnak says:

    I love the exploring and mining and happily don’t have to bother with the base building. Minecraft always drove me away with everyone’s talk of building stuff in 3D which seemed a bit too much like Level design for me. Can’t wait for Starbound to have more quests in it, they are what drive me forwards. My partner loves watching me play the game, telling me where to dig and what planets to fly to :).

    • fish99 says:

      There’s as little (or as much) building as you want in Minecraft. You can play it just for adventure and spend no more than 10 minutes on a simple base. I’ve never played the game just for building, for me the fun of the game is in exploring caves.

  2. In Zod We Trust says:

    I’m glad the “last of the character wipes is here”. Our team was working well and building some nice stuff. I always held off because I knew it would all come down eventually.

    Now, sadly, I have a new router and issues with static IPs and port forwarding so I can’t host the MP server like I had hoped. Fingers crossed the one other technically savvy player will agree to host again so Cuddlefighter (my bird guy) can explore the galaxy again and dig the shit out of it.

    Also, I’d like to take over one of those Women’s prisons again and sneak in and fix up the place while they weren’t looking to make it nice to see if that would make them less murderous.

    Or move into an Apex apartment block and go all Beverly Apes 90210.

    So many options…

  3. RedViv says:

    Byebye, Scythian.exe. Hello, Scythian 2.0!

    (And hello, nihilistic alt-text.)

  4. frightlever says:

    “Iron Honk” found a pirate ship on the second planet he visited, so that’s turned out well.

    They didn’t incorporate any of the ship mods into this update then? Shame. I’m kinda wary of modding the Beta but I guess I’m going to have to.

    • Sharlie Shaplin says:

      Stabkiller the mad Florian found a toilet, that lead to an underground base populated with poo monsters.

  5. strangeloup says:

    This seems like it might be the point where it gets sufficiently un-beta-y (shut up, it’s a word) to buy in. Any thoughts, folks?

    • Harlander says:

      This post on the beta stages is probably the best analysis of how beta-y you want it to be: link to

      • strangeloup says:

        Thanks :) As far as I can gather, it’s pretty much at stage 2 now, then? Seems like a reasonable time to take the plunge.

        • Harlander says:

          I’m pretty sure this is still stage 1, changes to the serialisation to remove the need for character wipes aside.

        • Shadow says:

          Thankfully still stage 1. The game still needs a lot of work.

        • Bassen_Hjertelos says:

          It’s still firmly set in the land of Alphas.

    • FFabian says:

      So there are no main quests implemented so far apart from the tutorial?

      • Harlander says:

        ‘s right.

        • SgtStens says:

          I guess you could call ‘craft x item to unlock tier y boss’ a quest, but that’s about it as far as the main story goes.

          I’m stoked about the gun drops. Time to hunt some avian guards!

  6. Kelron says:

    Nice product placement.

  7. Lemming says:

    “Fixed some very strange memory leak bugs stemming from a gcc lambda capture bug.”

    Half-Life 3 confirmed?

  8. Lobotomist says:

    Notice this :

    3 early access games are top of steam sales these days:


    All of these are survival games.

    2 are aimed at psychopaths
    1 is aimed at creative socializer


    Anyways. The game is pure Joy to play. And even more now that there are no wipes anymore and multiplayer servers are getting consolidated.

    Starbound is bound to be big in 2014 :)

  9. derbefrier says:

    Pretty cool patch so far. Really happy bout the no more wipes thing. Jumped right back in it even found a floating ship yesterday and a morphball powerup!

  10. Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    And now for the question we’re all waiting for the answer to with bated breath: Does this break compatibility with the White Supremacy mod? Are there people crying into their copies of Mein Kampf as their Planet Swastika Death Fortress is reset?

    • Harlander says:

      Is… is that a real thing?

      … because there was a sudden uptick in racist rhetoric on the public chat channel in Shores of Hazeron, and.. you know.. it could be a wider trend…. *tails off*

  11. hurrakan says:

    I like the idea of Starbound, and I like Minecraft – but I really hate Terraria. So would I like Starbound or not?

    • Uboa Noticed You says:

      Well, the game plays like Terraria for the mining and resource gathering aspect, but from what I’ve seen it’s much more about exploration than just building things. I was (sorta) in the same boat as you: Enjoyed my time with Minecraft, couldn’t stand Terraria. But I really enjoy Starbound, I have almost 100 hours invested (more realistically 70 since I have a habit of leaving the launcher open but the point still stands). I think a lot of it has to do with the atmosphere of the game, it just feels bigger and more complex. If possible, try the game out first, either at a friend’s house or maybe if Valve implements the family sharing feature any time soon.

  12. The Main Man says:

    Rest in peace Chiirashi. a better hylotl warrior there will never be, and you built one cool ass city.
    now begins the saga of the apex Pandemonium. at least as soon as the spear glitch is fixed.