In a recent post on Starbound's official website, developer Tiy chats about portions of the game's in-depth combat system.
Weapons in Starbound can be placed in either the left or right hand (which correspond with the left and right mouse button). Some weapons are two handed, others (like shields) are one handed. Picking two weapons or tools that compliment each other is a big part of being combat effective. Will you choose two daggers? A sword and a shield? An axe and a gun? It’s up to you.
A bindable action bar gives players tons of combat options. The goal is to rival the depth of combat seen in modern RPGs such as Skyrim or Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. Starbound's L/R mouse button to hand system combined with the way attacks work in the game opens up combat to blocking and counter-attacks.
Touching (most) enemies in Starbound won’t damage the player directly, instead enemies must go through an attack animation to damage the player.
Once equipped to the left or right hand, shields are brought out by holding the corresponding mouse button. If the player is attacked during this period they take a small percentage (depending on the level of the shield) of regular damage that’s applied to the players health bar as white “recoverable” health.
Once combat is over this health will regenerate, however if the player is hit they’ll lose all of their white health. If the player strikes an enemy shortly after blocking an attack the player gets a “counter attack” which is a guaranteed critical hit. We’re experimenting with increasing the counter attack damage further based on the amount of white health the player currently has. Block many attacks and your next counter attack will be devastating.. but slip up and lose it all. Major risk/reward gameplay.
The full blog post can be found at the official site, and is open to comments. So far combat sounds massively intriguing in Starbound, and we can't wait to see what's revealed next! The update is also outlined in this video by Starbound Community Manager WelshPixie - be sure to follow her YouTube channel for future Starbound content.
Expected to be released around the end of Summer 2012, Starbound contains a story within a sandbox. While main quests are available, gamers can be kept busy forever simply finding a crew, conducting research, catching rare creatures, and unlocking/customizing facilities. Join us as we discuss the ongoing development, the team's favorite features, and what's in store for future Starbound players!
Starbound begins with you fleeing your homeworld in a space shuttle, just as it’s destroyed by an unknown enemy. With nothing to guide it, the escape pod shoots into space without direction, becoming hopelessly lost in a sea of stars. As luck would have it, the space shuttle makes contact with an abandoned space station and an adventure begins that will take you hurtling across the universe. Starbound contains both quests and story driven missions, buried inside its vast sandbox universe.