Starbound update brings a lot of improvements to the combat system

It feels like forever ago (in Internet years anyway) that Starbound launched in Early Access and while I've seen it updated many times, the patches never excited me enough to reinstall the game.

Today's patch is different story however. With the addition of new monsters and weapons, as well as a big rework of the combat system, Starbound is once again back on my radar. Here's what's being added:

 

The main feature of this update is the addition of secondary attacks for weapons, with each one having their own unique style and function. For example, the hammer showcased in the video is able to project a defensive shield around the user allowing you to go wild on the enemies.

Speaking of shields, there was also a pole-arm looking weapon that had the ability to "draw" a protective barrier on thin air which is pretty damn cool if you ask me. You can expect to find around 45 of these new secondary attacks, some of which you can see in the video above.

Some weapons have also received changes to the way they function. Hammers can now be charged in order to release a forward shockwave giving you a much needed ranged option. Spears have received the ability to stay extended after striking allowing you to more easily fend off enemies. Small changes but they will go a long way towards making these weapons a lot more enjoyable to use.

Besides simple changes there are new weapons as well, though most seem to be designed as rare and hard to find loot rather than something you'll have easy access to. They are: boomerangs, chakrams, first weapons, flame-throwers, remote detonated mines and grenade launchers, quite the diverse assortment.

These changes, even though simple looking, are going to impact the game in a very big way because combat is a major part of Starbound and improvements to it will improve your experience of the game as a whole. 

A Spear in Starbound's Latest update allows you to draw a protective shield

I can only hope you have complete control over the shape of the shield

Naturally, when you have an update focused on combat you can't just improve the player's arsenal, you need to raise the power level of monsters as well. And this is indeed what is happening. There are now a bunch of new dangerous enemies with unique attacks and abilities that will prove a challenge to any explorer, and to keep it fair, all monsters will now have better telegraphed attacks so you can dodge on reflex more reliably.

There is one part of this that I disagree with and that is the addition of contact damage for all monsters. Why add that in the same patch as fist weapons because I can't see that working out unless you're extremely careful all of the time which contrasts poorly with Starbounds "go mess around" attitude. 

On the quest front there are now random, procedurally generated quests in your settlements that will either improve the colonists house or social standing. I have a feeling this system is unfinished and will most likely be further updated in the future because let's face it, you don't do quests for the benefits of others, you do it for the sweet, sweet loot.

Biomes are also getting a bit of an expansion. There are now two brand new planets, Midnight and Frozen, as well as a bunch of variations to already existing biomes.

And finally, you can ride around the planet in a hoverbike, solo or with a friend sitting in the back waving their hands like a madman. These can be damaged and will require repairs so do be careful, you wouldn't want to blow up your fancy new toy as soon as you get it, now would you?

Starbound combat update brings player controled hoverbikes

The guy in the back sure is excited for the jump ahead

That's it as far as the big features are concerned. If you want the nitty-gritty details head over to the full patch notes

As far as I'm concerned I'll probably reinstall it and give it a bash once more, the combat system seems like a good way to have fun for a couple of hours while I wait for the much anticipated 1.0 patch. That one is set to do a massive overhaul of all things story related and you know me, I love games with a good bit of lore.

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