There are already lots of things in Starbound. Even in beta, the game is a vast sandbox of possibility and weird cave-dwelling gum creatures that shriek and bounce at you like a pogo stick possessed by the soul of a deathrow inmate. It's a big place, but this is only just the beginning. Previously, developer Chucklefish wriggly giggled out word of directors, mods, and a PVP endgame, but those lofty goals are in the far flung future. On the horizon, meanwhile, is a complete overhaul of the infinite voxel universe's progression system, which is currently just a series of intergalactic gates. The plan, however, is to make it more like a Metroidvania that will ultimately split off into three main paths: adventuring, building, and farming. I can't wait to have my own corral of horrifying night terror space sheep.
Chucklefish outlined its next steps in a blog post:
"First of all we’re removing the different universe sectors. In the final game there will be only three sectors. The sector the majority of the game takes place in, a pvp sector and a creative sector without dangers. Instead of progressing through the game sector by sector, you’ll advance by upgrading your tech to allow you to visit planets that were otherwise inaccessible due to hazards. An example being a planet with no breathable air. Progression will be less linear and more akin to the kind of progression you find in modern metroidvanias."
"We’re building the game with 3 main paths of progression that branch off later on. Farming, adventuring and building. We want players to be able to advance through the game whilst doing whatever they enjoy most."
Admirable! The current system won't disappear entirely without a trace, though. You'll still start out (star)bound to a single planet, which you'll have to make your way off by completing quests that more or less teach you individual elements of each progression path. Sounds like a solid idea, though it remains to be seen how well it works in practice.
Each path will then expand outward, with farming eventually adding animals as an option, for instance. New locations called Outposts will serve as hubs for all this hubbub, offering safe havens for trading and quest-taking.
And so, an infinite game's expansion continues infinitely, as is nature's way. And also, my space sheep farm will totally be able to beat up your space sheep farm.