Commission: The Resistance!

There is a new commission live in Starpirates. This is the second in a series of the new storyline, “The Resistance”. This is available immediately, and aimed at those level 40-42.

Future commissions will roll out monthly (more or less), as part of a larger storyline. This storyline is integrated into item launches, invasions, and more. Actually, some big changes may come to the games as well,

SpyBattle will have its own comingled storyline running soon, part of the series “The Spy Who Died Too Many Times”. Some game changes related to the commissions, including new items, have appeared in both games.

Initial feedback from players, on the commissions, items and overall game path, is very positive. Yay!

What is Project Phoenix?

Vast majority of Players supported Project Phoenix. OK, great, well what is Project Phoenix? It’s taking a game that was dying, and bring it back to life. And it’s working.

It’s a huge investment by the Admins into the game – a commitment that we’ll revitalise the game – through new features, content and hopefully returning players. This investment started in April 2019, and will continue throughout 2020 and into the future. You can see the results in StarPirates.net and SpyBattle.com now.

In exchange, Project Phoenix was also a commitment from the existing player base that they’re in. They want to play the game, and they’ll talk to friends who used to play and left from boredom. There were multiple choices placed in front of the players (including closing the games down!). The players, overwhelmingly, chose the path where everyone, SHG and players, do their part with this community project.

Note, this was for both for StarPirates (link) and SpyBattle (link). Interestingly the votes were almost exactly equal.

Checkpoints and Skulls are now Live!

Recently, Checkpoints (SpyBattle.com) and Skulls (Starpirates.net) went live! This is a fun one. Players are saying it’s a great addition. Yay!

Summary: This is a bonus for players who are working towards levelling, but not quite there yet. If you hit a certain fraction of a level, your resource bars refill.

A challenge with this game is that it takes SO LONG to acquire levels. We all need goals and a level can be too far away. But it’s way too late to adjust XP without massive game chaos. So…

It’s been discussed that for each level, there can be milestones where players get to that midpoint of the level, they’ll get a full refresh of energy, research, stealth etc. (yes, research too) Levels are no longer simply 45 or say 105, but are expressed as 45A, 105C etc. This makes players can have nightly fillups on the climb to next level.

These would be called Checkpoints in SB and Skulls in SP. They show up as icons, under the “Full Level” experience bar.

In StarPirates it works something like this
Levels 1 to 20 are normal.
21-25 have 1 milestone so A i.e. level 22A
26-30 have 2 milestones so A & B
35-40 have 3 milestones so A-C

etc.

NOTE: This would NOT be retroactive. So it either benefits you going forward (active play) or not at all. Historic Play and Passive Play are generally not to be rewarded, for the good of the ongoing game.

Learn more about Checkpoints (SpyBattle) and Skulls (Starpirates) in game now.

What is a Galelia?

So a player asked, what is a Galelia? It is a weapon? A shield? A boot?

Great question, thanks! First thing to know is that it is a Very Rare Plus item found in Star Pirates. It’s the first one launched in years. It is most definitely not randomly added. It’s well thought out, balanced, and is an important part of the new ongoing storyline. It’s name and concept shows great respect to a former player. But as all great content should, it also has layers of inside jokes, but those are a bonus. I’m pretty chuffed with all of that.

As for how it works and what it does, well it fits into a regular item slot. It projects a shield around the craft, but it’s not a normal shield. Not even close. It is an energetic shield around the craft. The shield absorbs energy – excess energy is dissipated into space, mainly on one side in a 120 degree by 90 degree or so cone. This excess energy comes out as beams. Dangerous beams. These beams appear from just normal operations as the shield rids itself of excess energy. But add energy, like firing beam weapons at it, and more of those come out, sometimes just as smaller “shooting stars”. Interestingly the beams are seemingly not intended for attack as they cannot target a specific opponent. So it’s a shield and a passive but very powerful weapon.

What are the origins? Unknown. Who would build something like this?

As for the naming, it’s pretty awesome if I do say so myself. There is a strong reference to Galaxiana. A great community leader who is no longer active in the game. If you’re new to the game, read up on her – pretty cool player.

As with every great item in Geekdom, there has to be layers. So the subtle inside jokes, stem from a thought chain. My daughter’s night light is a turtle which I had named Galelia. And this is a semi-turtle build item. And layered on that is that not sure if any of you have ever watched/read the show/book JPOD. Well, in the story, this group of gaming programmers have a new boss. He is a struggling single dad who forces the group to add a turtle to their game as his estranged son likes turtles. Oh, and naming items after stuff in a room is a bigger industry joke. So layered meta joke; makes me laugh, and hopefully you too.

Updated Retirement in StarCrash Games

For over a decade, players have had the option to retire from Starpirates.net and SpyBattle.com.

This is how players could leave the game but not have their accounts deleted. Players would lose some benefits etc., but remain around as targets for others. So far so good.

The problem was that just about every player who retired, didn’t want to after a while. It seemed inevitable they would ask for their account back a year or two later. So while this was a great idea if the games last ed a few years, it’s been 12 years at this point.

So time to revisit this idea. What was decided, by the DEV team, but in conjunction with the player base was to make a change.
– Retirements are now a year long. So players can retire, but it’s for a year, not lifetime.
– This is grandfathered, so that most retirements are no longer active.
– Any autoretirements are no longer a thing either. For a time players had been autoretired if they did not log in for 4 years.

These changes went live end of Dec, 2019. In the months previous to that, as part of Project Phoenix, some players had been unretired and have come back to the game. These were approved on a case by case basis, and turned out to be great for the community.

If players want to remain retired, they simply need not log in.
If players want to be erased, as as per Europe’s GDPR “right to be forgotten”, legislation, then they can request this of the Admins.

Upgraded Saturnalia – or, Party like it’s 2299!

What is Saturnalia, you ask? 12 days of contests and giveaways at the end of December, in StarPirates.net.

Lots of winners, and lots of action with the many themed invasions. The ever powerful Krampus has already made his appearance (edit: and now back in his cave for a year).

All of this is on top of the Sinterklaas event in early December, when C.O.A.L. is handed out to all the good…errr, not so good pirates!

It’s true. We’ve had a number of bigger events this year, since the start of Project Phoenix. This is the first one run by Chord, and it went super well. With Chord available more often as part of the Team we will be planning many different special events with greater detail, rewards and surprises to come. So please, keep active and don’t miss out!

New Findables in SP and SB. Oh and a one-time sale!

Hi All,

I’m thankful, and grateful, that you’re part of this awesome community. As a token, enjoy the 2 Bonus Special Days! (Notorious Agent in SP, Special Agent in SB).

More exciting news – the first new items in years went live!
SP: The Galilea (VR+) and CET (rare+)
SB: EQ Coat, IQ Coat, Q Glass
Plus, both games had research boosting consumables go live. Named after James Bond and Dr Who references. Heh. Good fun.

Also, for the first time, to help you with finding these items, there is a one-time points sale = 5000 points for $20. This will end Friday Nov 29th at 11.59pm (server time). Only one pack per person.

We may have future sales, but none are planned for now. We’re often asked, why not have sales? It’s about respect, believe it or not. We feel that sales make everyone unhappier, and play on players impulses unfairly. It preys on FOMO, and that’s not who we are. We don’t want to prey on others to feed our families. Longer conversation around that but basically sticking with the position even after 12 years. That said, there is a change – we’re open to occasional sales if they feel relevant. If we launch a consumable we might do packages for that, of if a player hits a certain milestone perhaps there is a custom one time for that.

If more gamewide sales do come, they’ll very limited in number to be purchased and how often we do it. Likely it’d be timed to big, new in game content that can be sped up through point use (think Ascensions, big new item launches, etc.). That seems fair, and not a big hit on the wallet even if it is impulse driven – sales CAN be fun, we just want to do it right. Plus, it seems a bit more democratic that players would have more of a shot at fun content. And although we are gamemasters first and foremost, we are also business people. Bringing in addition revenue the right way is never a bad idea.

Again, let me share my gratitude for such an awesome community.

Happy US Thanksgiving!

Scanner Helmet Upgrades

Ever wonder why there is a V1 Scanner Helmet and a V2? And no way to turn gold (V1) into platinum (v2)? Well today is your lucky day in the year 2165! (Then again what day isn’t a lucky day in the paradise/dystopia of Earth 2165?)

For a limited time, you can now trade in double handful of Scanner Helmets V1 for a V2.

Also, the V2 has improved. V2s have gone from +2 to +3 energy for MkIII & MKIV. More impressively, the MKV is now a mighty +4 energy! This change is permanent.

Want to learn more? You can view full details on the thread here.

NPCs Visual Upgrade

Hallowe’en has left some eye candy in Starpirates.

Most NPC graphics have been dramatically improved. 90% of NPCs in the belts use updated images, with each NPC getting their own look and feel. In the past we had a very limited number of images that we used for multiple encounters. No more!

We’ve also fixed the size difference factor. If you’re in a big ship, and your opponent is small, they now look small. Same goes in reverse.

If you play clean mode, without graphics, you may get no benefit from this. But, if you play graphic modes (like I do), then you’ll see the big difference. I still want the pods, clouds and platforms further updated but that’s ok. Big, big difference for now, and big step forward.

New CSR – Chord is “back”. Sort of.

New Coke is here! Cherry flavoured too.

Wait, not. Typo there. New CHORD is here. The Chord account is active again, and CSRing. While not the same person running Chord, the new Chord is fully fluent in the ways of Starcrash. If you raise an in game ticket, you’ll (re)meet the Chord. 🙂

AAB EDIT: Very glad we have Chord here. Making life much better for the rest of the team, and letting us get more done, in less time. Yay Chord!