Astroneer devs prioritising dedicated servers
Per Trello ad astra
Astroneer's [official site] devs have published their game development roadmap. To be clear, there is no road and no map. It's actually a Trello board which explains they are prioritising things like dedicated servers for multiplayer and a new pass of the terrain in general. Fun fact: There is also no map and no road in Astroneer itself. Instead you drive your little rover over whatever terrain you're surrounded by and hope like heck you're heading towards the marker you think you're heading towards.
I just tried to add "roads" to the Trello board but they made it read-only. Maps is in there under Cartography though!
So! You can go over to the board and check in on the various tasks as well as how they have been prioritised. The big one (which Graham seems excited about and which makes me wonder if he is expecting me to collaborate or play together on a planet with him) is probably the online persistence stuff which is one of the immediate priorities. That's where the multiplayer changes are to be found:
"An expansion of Astroneer's multiplayer capabilities. Including dedicated servers and player profile persistence."
I am interested in multiplayer to the extent that I could do with some minions to take my researchable cube things back to my base for me but it ends there, REGARDLESS of who is whose managing editor or who has a performance review coming up with whom.
People who indulge in a bit of hobbyist engineering when it comes to these sandbox games might also be interested to note that a mid-term priority is looking at including a certain amount of programmability in the modular structures/vehicles/objects. No idea to what extent that would affect automation - whether you could make a factory or just streamline a process slightly - but interesting nonetheless.
Most of what is mentioned is stuff I had assumed System Era were working on anyway. It's things like expanding systems which are currently in the game in a basic state or re-evaluating existing systems to make sure they're working well. The backlog column hints at particular implementations - a farming system for food, aggressive flora and/or fauna, player-driven economy...
Perhaps the most interesting stuff longer-term is the idea of complex encounters and discoveries, but that's still so vague as well as being something I'd assumed the team were working towards anyway: "Combining terrain system, research system, environmental systems, narrative, and more to create exciting, discovery-based gameplay for Astroneers."
As a final point, the game is in early access and this is a roadmap rather than a pinky swear so features might get canned/expanded/moved/rescheduled or change in some other entirely unpredictable way. This stuff is promising and interesting but, as always with early access, I still wouldn't advise you buying into the game yet unless you're happy with what's in it right now.