System Era Softworks’ open world aerospace venture Astroneer has undergone monumental changes to its core game loop that introduce “an entirely new way” of playing.
A member of the development team used a forum post to outline a list of what’s new, which covers everything from generic bug fixes to a completely rebuilt Research System and improved Research Chamber. The update should now be live for Early Access players. See below for some further details.
Research System – Astroneer Update 0.5.0.0
- Bytes – Provide a new way of unlocking items
- Acquisition of Bytes – Requires researching of items at new Research Chamber. Researchable items currently include Research Chests, Compound, Resin and other resources.
- Backpack Catalog – Unlocks blueprints. Collect enough Bytes to access desired items, open backpack Catalog, then send data to Exodynamics in exchange for blueprint of desired items.
- ‘Streaming’ Power – (1) Allows you to research objects directly to accumulate data. Research Chest is no longer required. Can use accumulated data to unlock items from backpack. (2) Base modules don’t rely on power bar anymore. They search the network for power sources and stay connected so long as power is being shunted.
- Overclock – Overclocking the Research Chamber enables quicker Byte accumulation. Once a researchable item is added to Research Chamber, the process can’t be paused without destroying inner contents.
Backpack Catalog Module
- Central Hub – Unlocks printable blueprints for items. Use backpack key to open Catalog once you’ve collected enough Bytes. Top display indicates Bytes Per Minute (BPM), bottom display indicates researchable items which can be unlocked.
New Resource Colours
- Extra realism – Items such as malachite reflect real world versions more accurately.
- Usability and Informational Tweaks – New prompt informs you if old save is buggy or has less than ideal performance. New message of the day added to home screen which links to patch notes.
New In-Game Tutorial
- On-Screen Prompt – Explains updated mechanics and new content. Accessible anytime via F1 key.
- Game auto-saves properly when force-quitting (via ‘x’ window or ALT+F4)
- Client player’s dropship lacking thrusters in Multiplayer repaired
- Players can’t hold objects after death or during orbit re-launch animation
- Quick stowing items now interact better with backpack printer
- Terrain Brush colour ring now reflects player colour in ‘tool disabled’ state
- Client players getting trapped in Rover wheelie during Multiplayer repaired
- Soil burn-off on drill now displays correctly during Multiplayer
- Xbox One ‘No Power’ text and symbol is now visible during Multiplayer
There are also a bunch of major features in the Roadmap Highlight which will be implemented during 2018. Expect dedicated servers, bigger, more complex basebuilding, and a challenging weather and hazards system.