The game has progressed but not much. They've changed some systems around and added quests, but a lot of the game's core issues have not been addressed. I think the game is better but because they keep ignoring the glaring problems the game has, my opinion that people should wait if they've not bought it has not changed in any way. They've spent a very long time promising change and the amount of the game that has been fixed or updated is not substantial considering the time they've taken to get Upbeat Giraffe out to the public and into stable. In a year, one would expect most of the game to be done after having been released to the public for beta. Call it alpha all you want, it was a beta.
-Before I get to my points, something needs to be said here. There are accusations going around Steam (because the people here refused to go to the official forums and learn anything and then just repeat what they read here in review comments) that Chucklefish has scammed and lied. Not once has this ever happened. They are a small indie company, they're not EA. They can't just puke out a game with 50-200 people working on it. The unstable updates were consistent. If you were not aware of that and that was why you thought no progress on the game could be found, then your ignorance is to blame for your opinion. Go to the official forums, educate yourself.-
Here we go:
Rain comes through off screen blocks and causes indoor flooding. Large quantities of water do not persist as it randomly drains both off screen and on. These bugs have been around for a year and it is shameful that they're still there. I created a decent sized tub of water and the surface continued to drain over the course of 10 minutes despite my thorough placement of backdrop and border blocks.
Game still suffers from crippling framerate problems. The more blocks and decorative entities in an area, the worse the framerate drops. It gets more severe over time until it is unplayable. Using the 64 bit experimental launcher helps but not entirely. They've stated that they're going to optimize the engine when they're done adding new systems but, with their reputation, I would not hold my breath. It's definitely better across the board (especially server side) but it still gets bad. Server latency issues from CPU and memory not releasing properly still exist. Fresh reboot -> Guy logs in right after that and moves sand or water -> 2,000 ms latency on high grade server hardware with fios connection.
Mob spawning is extremely annoying. They spawn over and over even in areas where you've built lights and man-made materials. So, in towns you make, monsters spawn everywhere. I've not seen them spawn indoors but for them to spawn in such vast numbers right outside the door is unnecessary and irritating. Their behaviors were tweaked so fighting them is less annoying but that turns out to be a wash when they made up for that by increasing their spawn rate. Their behaviors are less annoying but they spawn way more frequently... no advancement made.
Building is still useless. There is no reason beyond aesthetic and creative reasons to ever build anything or revisit planets. The only form of protection we have is /settileprotection which utilizes 2 different area IDs I've seen. The IDs are 65535 and 65532. One stops damage to naturally generated objects and the other stops damage to player-placed objects. It affects the entire planet you're on when you use it and can be sort of useful... but randomly feeds back a 'Failure' error in the chat log when used. The error stops after a reboot but randomly comes back. So, if you're staff on a server and you're not the host, you may not be able to issue a restart since there is no method for remotely doing that. Meaning, if you toggle the protection one way and you need it the other way, you might get it stuck that way til you can contact your host for a reboot. Which also means if you turn protection off for editing purposes, can't get it back on and can't get in touch with the host, your server could get attacked by griefers and you'll end up screwed. There is currently a massive outcry on the official forums for more attention to be shown to server-side systems. Hopefully more than Linux will see attention.
We have to rely on thirdparty wrapper software made by fans like you and me in order to properly administrate servers. These wrappers often cause more problems than they solve. For example, StarryPy crashes users if they look inside of chests or other container objects on a planet that has protection enabled provided they are not on the planet protection list. These wrappers also cause latency issues because they use up more memory than the default server software. Having to rely on thirdparty software to fix problems that exist in the basic game is a problem gamers have had to deal with for decades. It, to me, is unacceptable for game developers to shoehorn in a multiplayer component to a game and then leave it up to shoddy thirdparty software to fix the problem.
It never does fix those problems and, most of the time, the creators of the thirdparty software (Starrypy, Starrybound) end up abandoning the projects or not being able to keep up with demand for one reason or another; usually their personal lives prevent them from being able to find the time or motivation to work on the projects. The programs end up outdated and useless. If the developers themselves would just fix the server-side components to their games, we could avoid that problem ENTIRELY and a lot of frustration would evaporate. Anyone remember Tshock for Terraria? Getting support for that game meant dealing with extremely hostile community leaders and developers who literally said they'd be nicer to people if someone paid them more. Don't even get me started on Minecraft's Bukkit. Developers create the online component then forget it exists.
Developers: fix your own damn games!
NPC guards have this behavior where they will follow you and assist you which you can toggle with the interact key. But, this variable does not persist off-screen. They will say they'll follow you automatically (annoying) then when you tell them to stay, walk away and come back even a couple minutes later, they've forgotten you told them to stay and they follow you again.
Novakids are very creative and the theme is interesting. Melding cowboy aesthetic into the 'Starpeople' race is pretty clever. Their weapons are revolvers and rifles. There is also a new delete button on the character screen, a welcome addition.
The quest system offers a very refreshing take on progression. Now, you talk to your ship AI in a console on your ship and are given quests to complete. These quests help you progress through the game instead of you just digging for ore -> making object -> crafting item to summon boss -> killing boss for drop -> repeat X times as it was in the previous stable update. Quests change this up so it isn't nearly as linear. Though, there is no option to skip the tutorial and once you've done it one time, you'll be sick to death of having to do it on other characters.
My previous review saw this game sitting at 5/10 and I suggested people wait it out even though the time it takes Chucklefish to do anything is questionable. The fact they have hired a group to sell Starbound T-shirts when we still have so much in the game that needs fixed shows that they have a problem with priorities. Liquid exists in the game but can't settle if there is too much of it, rain goes through blocks and hackers still make hosting a server a nightmare because files are still clientside... but we get t-shirts and some near useless outpost vendors. Fix the game, stop adding things. Focus your attention on making server hosting feasible without using a whitelist. THEN go add whatever you want to the game.
Multiplayer is your replayability. 5/10, no change. Wait it out.