After over 100 hours of play in the beta, it has become clear to me that I play Starbound a bit differently than my peers. We have had a server going for a while, and as I watched my nomadic friends strike out to new sectors and planets, building better gear and killing more ferocious aliens, I lagged behind, always making sure to set up a stable base of operations, with a greater focus on construction and farming. The recent update on the Starbound development blog is meant for me.
Currently, players progress between sectors by crafting new star maps, with each successive map only available using resources new to the most recent area. In the future, the standard game will exist within one main sector, but the higher level planets will be gated off more organically, through environmental hazards that require certain technologies to overcome.
More exciting is the idea that there will be three separate progression trees, each with a different focus. In addition to the standard adventuring, players will also be able to progress through the game by building or farming. Soon, all of the time I have spent on building will have more than just intrinsic value.