Hello my fellow gamers (and developers). I come to discuss a very important topic today: Desire. There are a lot of beautiful things to desire in a sandbox style game like Starbound. Lots of different races. Lots of different planet types. Lots of different creatures to discover. Weapons. Armors. Vanity items. So many different types of blocks = WONDERFUL. But then there are tiers. Before I go further, I want to state that some of the issue I'm about to address is being addressed. For instance, the new weapons are WONDERUL in that all of them are viable and none are vastly superior over the others (ignoring flamethrower for now). The player can choose how they wish to play instead of be forced to only use the best, highest tier single weapon. Having three late-game armors is also great; choosing how you wish to optimize what you already have is a great way to add more variety to the game. Also, aesthetic slots for how the player looks are fantastic. But with all that said... Tiers break desires and force needs onto the player. Progression is good, but not if it makes the player feel like nothing they progressed through is worth having anymore. I cannot count how many times I dumped all the crap that wasn't highest tier. Hatchling set? Gone. Too many times to count. Tiers don't create variety. They create an ocean of obsolete with a slim shoreline of optimal. So let's talk about exploring and why tiers hinder it. As a player, I have no desire to explore anything on a non-extreme planet. I don't get as many pixels, find nearly as good of items, find incredibly less ore, etc. There is NO desire at all to go backwards. Fiery stars are the ONLY stars to venture to, because they are optimal. I should find the difference in terrain, block variety and dungeons to be interesting, but I don't. Because they're not optimal. They're not as good. They're inferior. It's as simple as that. So how can we make these more interesting again? Well, the latest nightly seems to be on the right track: Having different techs do different things makes some more suited for a specific scenario than another. Nothing is optimal, everything is viable (ignoring certain tech requirements for certain atmospheres). Let's pretend, for a moment, there were not any tiers in the game. Let's pretend the first armor you craft is just as good as the highest tiered armor you craft. Now let's also pretend the starting planet (we'll call it a jack-of-all-trades planet) has every single ore in the game found equally below the surface. Since the armors are made of different materials, you simply have to find the material to create that particular armor. One isn't better than the other, but maybe they enable the ability to use a certain tech. The difference merely comes down to what ores you had the desire to find, and maybe give a slight viable benefit to play the game a certain way over another. So, about those ores. Maybe having every single ore on a starting planet is silly. Instead, I believe making certain ores only found on certain planet types (or maybe even biomes) would incentivize explorers to go to unique planets instead of just to a "highest tier." Now, if you want that particular tech, you'll need to brave an icy world. Or, if you want to upgrade that item, you'll need to find materials only found in a jungle. I mean, they got it right with oil. How many times have you looked through your galaxy map wondering "where is that Desert Planet so I can get my Lantern on a Stick?" Now think if this is how you searched for another particular resource for a desired item, like titanium. Or gold. Or rubium. To get that special gun. Or storage locker. Or ship upgrade. Incentivized, desired exploration. Boom. And even then, maybe you mix up planet types with atmosphere types. Because hey, we're still pretending tiers don't exist. You could have a hot jungle planet. You could have a non-oxygen desert planet. You could have a freezing cold forest planet that is radioactive, but is loaded to the gills with silver (which you need for that one thing you desire). The variety expands, but it doesn't restrict the player from exploration. In fact, it opens up the possibilities. It creates viability. It creates a desire to explore. All of this is possible ONLY if we pretend there weren't any tiers. So how do we get rid of tiers? If you've braved this long post, I'm curious as to what you think as well. Am I right? Am I way off? Tell me what you think.