Icelandic developer, Solid Clouds, has released their MMORTS game, Starborne, for open beta after five years in development and nine alpha variants. The open beta also brought a new map, the largest yet for the game, spanning a space of 825,356 hexes. In addition to the greatly expanded space, a new safe zone was made to help new players. The resources on the map were drastically increased in order to encourage players to expand and play more aggressively. “Incentivise expansion and make gameplay more dynamic,” Solid Clouds commented.
Starborne will now have three primary paths to achieve victory to help boost playstyles that were emerging in the previous alpha builds. Previously, military conquest in the core of the galaxy would lead to a victory in a match. Now, victory is achievable with an industry milestone by making a mega structure and an expansion mode by claiming a certain portion of the galaxy. These changes are designed to bring the game closer to other 4x style games like Stellaris and Civilization.
A plethora of minor quality of life updates were added as well. The changes range from a reduction in alliance sizes, overhaul of the user interface, a brand new in-game tutorial, and achievements to measure in-game progress. The changes were done to make Starborne far more accessible for new players instead of only retaining the current base that is used to the higher learning curve.
Despite achieving a milestone in Starborne’s development cycle, Starborne does not have a projected launch date for a full release but anyone can sign up for the open beta on their website. Starborne itself is an MMORTS, where players are starting off with a single spaceport in a corner of an empty and must expand from there, everything is connected in real-time with a match lasting eight weeks before the board resets. The time limit attempts to encourage players to play aggressively and keeps the game’s fresh by not allowing players to explore every path.