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Stellar Dawn Pre-Beta Guide


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Stellar Dawn, the Science-Fiction MMORPG that Jagex will soon release, is largely a mystery at this point. Not much, if anything, is known about the actual game-play. What Jagex has graced us with, however, is a few narratives, tidbits of information, and media to keep the anticipating masses' interest while the game goes through its pre-beta, developmental process.


Hopefully this guide can serve to shine a little more light on this still very-mysterious game!



I. Frequently Asked Questions

II. The Backstory

III. Media

IV. Links and Sources



I. Frequently Asked Questions


What is Stellar Dawn?

[hide]Stellar Dawn is an upcoming browser-based Science-Fiction MMORPG under development by UK game developer JaGeX.

Originally known as Mechscape, the project was scrapped and renamed after it was decided that the completed project did not meet the standards of the original design brief.The project was overhauled and formally announced as Stellar Dawn on 14 July 2010when Jagex released the official Stellar Dawn website.On 10 August 2010 the first official Stellar Dawn teaser was released.

The game is slated for a 2011 launch.As of September 2011 the most recent change to Stellar Dawn's homepage was on 18 November 2010,which has lead some to believe that, like MechScape, the game may have been scrapped. A September 2011 press release stated that the game would be released within the next twelve months.

So far, not much is known or has been released on the game, which has resulted in a frenzy of speculation. See our other pages to get a picture of what is actually known.[/hide]

So when will it be released?

[hide]Unfortunately, the release-date is entirely unknown at the moment. Jagex has stubbornly kept any sort of release-date information to their chestspossibly because they don't quite know themselves. After all, thousands and thousands of man-hours have to be put in before a game of this scale before it can even be considered for a beta release.


Two quotes from Jagex officials have been the center of much release-date speculation as of late. In a September 6th interview, Jagex's newly-appointed Chief Operating Officer, Daniel Clough, said the following: We have a hugely exciting twelve months ahead with the release of 8Realms, Transformers Universe and Stellar Dawn and very soon the noise from the Jagex corner will have people sitting up and listening. People have interpreted this to mean that the latest Stellar Dawn could be released is by September 2012.


However, some are quite pessimistic and say that it could be even longer until we see Stellar Dawn released to the public. To quote Mod Mat K from a lengthy post on the official RuneScape forum, ...as for Stellar Dawn, the only thing I can say is that we are not going to release it until we think it is good enough. If this takes another 10 years, then so be it. Let's hope it doesn't take that long. As things stand, it is still on its way. While no one realistically thinks it will take that long for Stellar Dawn's release, it definitely sends some mixed-messages, and serves to confuse anyone who has seen Coming in 2011 plastered all over the Stellar Dawn official site for quite some time.


As someone fairly confident in Jagex, this author thinks we will see Stellar Dawn's beta release sometime before 2011's end, so apply for beta if you haven't already![/hide]

Where will the game be set?

[hide]MechScape was supposed to be set in a star system with 13 planets and "countless moons". The Stellar Dawn homepage still says that the game will be set in an alien star system, and Jagex said that most of the plot would be re-used, so it's safe to assume that it will be the same one.[/hide]

Will there be player races?

[hide]One of the big features of MechScape was the four playable races - humans, mechs, Mortiga (rock-like) and Pliigi (plant-like). It's likely that all four races will still be in Stellar Dawn, but it hasn't been confirmed if all of them will be playable.[/hide]

Will there be skills?

[hide]Jagex originally said that MechScape would be skill-free and grinding-free, but when MechScape became Stellar Dawn, Jagex revised this and said that it would have an "accumulation mechanic" of some kind.[/hide]

What is MechScape?

[hide]In 2007 Jagex registered UK trademarks and various related domain names for the term MechScape.


At the 2008 E3 Media and Business Summit it was announced that Jagex were working on a new MMO to be called MechScape, expected in the first quarter of 2009. Henrique Olifiers, Lead Developer at the time, announced that it would be browser-based like RuneScape, but would be one or two steps beyond RuneScape HD's level of technology, that it would have a science fiction theme and that it would be aimed at an older audience.


In an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, then CEO Geoff Iddison stated that Jagex have "got a very, very big investment into another MMO" and that it was expected to be released "early next year, Q1 2009" - when asked if he was referring to MechScape, he replied "I can't say too much more, I'm afraid."


On 29 October 2009, Jagex CEO Mark Gerhard announced that MechScape had been cancelled prior to its release, describing the decision as costing "tens of millions of pounds."


Much of the game, including its engine, was intended to be reused in Stellar Dawn, however everything in Stellar Dawn was reinvented with the exception of some concept art.[/hide]

How much will it cost to play?

[hide]Jagex hasn't released any specific price figures. The only think they say on their main site is, "The game will be free to play, with extra areas and opportunities available to subscribers."[/hide]


II. The Backstory


The Great Silence

[hide]As you're probably acutely aware, there has been a 'Great Silence' of sorts on all Stellar Dawn information and interaction from Jagex. This is undoubtedly helpful in securing that no information is accidentally leaked, and also might serve as a marketing strategy to generate hype.


Whatever the original intentions of this silence, Jagex has found a way to work it into their backstory.


You see, all was normal until a series of 'technical problems' started progresively making it harder for Jagex mods to post onto the Official Forum.


The first evidence of these staged 'problems' was on October 4th, when Mod MarkG left the following message:


Hey, it's human nature to want to know more and

I'm sure it won't be much longer before xghgh

hhhh hioplll


The next day, MarkG left another strange post:


Ha ha Carrot! There's some technical problems

seemingly at the minute. Hmmm


These unexplained 'technical problems' resuluted in the activation of something Jagex called Protocol K89, which is stated to 'suspend all unsecure transmissions.'


After the K89 was activated, Mod Comnet left the following message on the Official Forum:


ExNet breached. Protocol K89 activated. Unsecure

transmissions suspended, radio silence indefinitely.

ExNet still active. All transmissions free and

unvetted. Use with caution. IntNet still active, no

breach detected. ExNet usable but information unverified.


Likewise, the Official Stellar Dawn Twitter and Facebook page said similar messages.


And thus, the silence that lasts to this day began.

It is suspected that the silence will continue until Stellar Dawn's release.[/hide]


Lamanai Dig

[hide]The Lamanai Dig was an interesting bit published by Jagex on the Official Stellar Dawn forums over the period of a couple months in 2010. The story consists of journal entries from a woman by the name of Helen Grange, who was hired to investigate the mysteries of some ancient pyramids in Central America, at Lamanai (This is real location. Search Lamanai on the web to see the pyramids and such).


Her journal entries span from October to November of the year 2043. I don't want to influence any speculation before you've read the journals, so I'm just going to post them as they were on the Official Forum:


4th October 2043

Today I arrived in Belize for the secondary investigation into the new Lamanai pyramids. We are very lucky to have acquired the distinguished talents of Professor Catherwood; his expertise in Mayan archaeology will be invaluable to us in establishing the reason for the presence of osmium and tungsten in the recently discovered artefacts. Dr Ashkenazy is a little difficult to understand, Im having trouble believing we will be able to converse effectively during this secondary visit. His experience with astrophysical modelling will give us a much clearer insight into the possible intentions of the constellation markings on the artefacts and first structure, as well as giving us some indication of age. He assures us hell have finished a preliminary model next week to work from, and the date should be proposed soon after that. My bet is on eighth century CE, but Professor Catherwood is convinced its closer to sixth century. Ill write again soon to let you know who was right!


Dr Helen Grange

Maya Archaeometallurgy Institute


6th October 2043

Another eventful day today. Arriving at the dig sixteen miles north-west of the current site at Lamanai, we have been able to ascertain that the site features at least one primary pyramid structure, apparently built below the surrounding ground level. We have yet to uncover the full depth of the basal plate that the pyramid is likely built on, but it would seem to be too large for a structure of this size. Given their propensity for placing three pyramids on each basal plate, were hopeful of finding another two. Since we first identified the site eight months ago, we have excavated to a depth of 16m, but I expect we will need to go further to uncover the entire basal plate.


Dr Ashkenazy has joined Prof Catherwood and I in our speculation of the pyramids age. His guess is second century. I cant believe that this structure could be so much earlier than the other artefacts discovered in the area, but it does seem to make sense from examining pottery fragments in the region. We will have to continue our wait for the results of the testing and Ashkenazys astronomical figures to see whos right.


Dr Helen Grange

Maya Archaeometallurgy Institute


12th October 2043

It seems that the post is no longer reaching you. I have sent my journal directly to the location I mentioned last time we met to ensure you can continue to read about the progress here. It will be useful for you to let me know when you locate my journal.


Dr Helen Grange

Maya Archaeometallurgy Institute


12th October 2043

I can't help but wonder if my letters are being received. I'm sending responses as quickly as I can but I'm not sure that you are receiving them.


Dr Helen Grange

Maya Archaeometallurgy Institute


14th October 2043

Dr Ashkenazy has revealed his astrophysical model based on the markings discovered so far, and although he concedes that some features make little sense, the overwhelming body of evidence he has gathered has enabled him to estimate an actual date for the original structure. Remarkably, he places the date between 750 and 600BCE! If this is true, the site is over a thousand years older than the other structures at Lamanai.


It seems strange that our ultrasound scans have revealed no third structure as yet. If there are only two pyramid structures it would mark this site as deeply unusual. There does seem to be a series of smaller objects around the basal plate, however, which are almost certainly stelae. The sight of Prof Catherwood with his walking cane is becoming something of a fixture around the temple and roof comb. His fascination with this site is beginning to concern me. Im not sure what he expects to uncover, but he certainly seems to think there is more to this site than anything the rest of us might have expected.


Excavating the basal plate will take at least another two weeks, but should provide further data for analysis. The tension on the site is mounting and I feel like the entire team has a sense of purpose and energy. Ill write again when we get through to the basal plate.


Dr Helen Grange

Maya Archaeometallurgy Institute


19th October 2043

We have now uncovered half a dozen stelae or at least the upper portion of the stelae. They alternate between depictions of crocodiles and the same recurring face. The face seems to be broadly featureless most notably the absence of teeth. Although the face seems to be generally the same, with only minor variations, they all bear an ajaw logograph.


There appears to be no third structure, which is remarkable in itself it has always been supposed that the normal triple structure reflects the positions of the stars in Orion, as Dr Ashkenazy tells me. He is working on a new hypothesis, which is now consuming most of his time. There are stellar markings and notations here that fall under his specialisation, and to say he was confused by many of them is an understatement.


It is becoming difficult to store the volume of new information and reports coming out of this site. I never would have imagined that Lamanai would yield so many surprises and mysteries. I havent been able to find time to write to you since last week due to the amount of enquiries and reports that have required a response. I hope to continue sending you an update each week.


Dr Helen Grange

Maya Archaeometallurgy Institute


21st October 2043

After seeing your latest messages, I thought you might like to see some photos I took of the old dig site at Lamanai on my way through. I have some sketches of the new site in my notebook, which I will send next week. The team seem to be enjoying the weather here. Ill be in touch next week with more information about the progress.


Dr Helen Grange

Maya Archaeometallurgy Institute


26th October 2043

Our resident geological advisor Jim Nuneaton informed Prof Catherwood that the radiation levels seem to be behaving oddly for a site of this nature. Wild fluctuations in background radiation indicate an abnormality about the larger temple structure which we have still to expose completely, although I can confirm that Ive found no evidence of radioactive isotopes beyond the normal range.


Since giving up on the problem of the twin pyramids in the hope of finding fresh data, Dr Ashkenazy has been throwing himself into the back-breaking labour with renewed vigour after Prof Catherwoods rousing debate over dinner last night. The possibility of discovering something of such significance would be an immeasurable boost to any academic career. The sheer volume of workers on the site now is beginning to rival even the largest digs I have been involved with. Word is spreading that something special is unfolding here in Lamanai.


Dr Helen Grange

Maya Archaeometallurgy Institute


1st November 2043

Sorry I forgot to send you these sketches last week. With so much happening I didn't get the opportunity to take a photo of my sketches.


Dr Helen Grange

Maya Archaeometallurgy Institute


2nd November 2043

Im not sure how many more messages I will be able to share with you we have discovered something amazing in a chamber within the base plate, roughly beneath the primary structure! Dr Ashkenazy and Prof Catherwood went in with a small team to explore the inner chambers of the larger temple. It revealed an intriguing mass burial site: the bodies were positioned in a radiating fan of concentric circles around a central structure; some kind of device. From their excited descriptions, I assumed it was a new sort of Mayan sculpture, but when I saw it for myself...well.


Its utterly unlike anything else here, in every possible way; the materials, the finish, the design. Nothing about it seems to fit with what weve seen from Mayan culture, not even at this site.


The government suits arrived less than an hour ago. Theyve started confiscating the site reports and artefacts. I am hoping this message will reach you before they complete their communication lockdown. They are taking over from here. Ill be in touch somehow, soon. I promise!


Dr Helen Grange

Maya Archaeometallurgy Institute



Special Projects Group

[hide]The Special Projects Group (SPG) is a group with currently unknown intentions that appeared on the Stellar Dawn Official Forums on the 10th November 2010. It is unknown if it will be featured in the game or not.


It has 2 operatives in this sector, known as Dimitris Georgiou and Alexandra Novak. Currently very little is know about the group and operators, except from some info from the few cryptic posts they have posted. It is revealed that their current project is leaded by a very powerful, and possibly dangerous figure.



  • The Special Projects Group is an operative with an unspoken objective. The group first appeared on the Stellar Dawn Official Forums in November of 2010, in a thread titled Operation 5464FC.
  • In the initial thread D Georgiou said that he was going to be working with Alex Novak and that he had heard good things about her. They exchanged confirmation codes, when forum goers entered the thread Demetri and Alex reacted negatively demanding confirmation codes from them and ultimately calling a protocol and locked the thread.
  • In the discussion thread made afterwords they came and said they were monitoring us, an L Georgiou posted but was a fake, D Georgiou confirmed he had no brother. He had at one point but Alex Novak said he was KIA (killed in action). That brothers name did not start with an L.
  • In the discussion thread made afterwords they came and said they were monitoring us, an L Georgiou posted but was a fake, D Georgiou confirmed he had no brother. He had at one point but Alex Novak said he was KIA (killed in action). That brothers name did not start with an L.
  • They asked questions about Helen Grange, ultimately we posted all the journals, which has sparked Alex Novak to realize that she is being lied to. Alex believes she is being used because of her father.
  • Alex said she is not one to cancel on a contract though so she is still involved in the mission. (Maybe contracts are the new quests for stellar dawn.)
  • Alex made one final announcement that once they have the information they want phase 2 will begin.




D Georgiou

"This line of questioning is filled with risk, as is breaking into a secure communication channel.

You are being monitored."


Stellarnomad posted that he had tried to decrypt the confirmation codes for any hidden messages*

L Georgiou -a fake- enters and starts trying to communicate*


Alex Novak

"Tell me Stellarnomad, how familiar are you with decoding & decryption, and what were you doing at 12:40 GMT today?

Thanks to procedure nothing was gained by this stunt no matter who was responsible.

Dimitris and I will be amongst you conducting our business, and I hope for all your sakes, that any further 'issues' will be avoided.

Please note we are the only 2 operatives in this sector, impersonation of an SPG operative is an unhealthy option, you have been warned."


D Georgiou

"The department we work for is known as the Special Projects Group, not that this knowledge will help you. The organisation is classified and you'd know if you needed to.

We can breach any conversation at any time, you should understand this and our unlimited reach. You may have been lucky with your communication breach, but we now understand how this was achieved.

You may indeed prove useful to us."


Alex Novak

"'L Georgiou', I have read D Georgiou's dossier, and you clearly have not! His brother was KIA many years ago, he's alone just like me. To lose family.....is to lose part of yourself......But surviving makes you strong, it's what makes us good at our jobs.

Only one part of your hoax is true. I have no doubt that the puppet-master behind this operation is very capable, powerful, and therefore spectacularly dangerous.

If you waste our time you are wasting his money, remember that.

All things considered, I think we should adjourn for the day. Tomorrow we start anew, bring answers."


The next day they returned


D Georgiou

"So you want answers? Why? To what end? You wouldn't know what to do with them if they smacked you in the face.

I'll give you something for free though. My family history is my business but there sure ain't anybody called L in it."


D Georgiou

"So you think we have the answers? You may be right but does that mean we give them for free?

Nothing is free in this world, let me tell you."


Alex Novak

"Interesting it seems that many of you candidates assume so much, take my gender, or the fact you think we are some simple 'government suits'.

Krono Jovia: you mentioned a name..Helen Grange, you speak of her openly. What do you know of this woman?

Major Haxzy: Have you been to Belize?



Alex Novak

"It's only natural resist, I understand that, but by helping us you are helping yourselves.

If you don't know about Belize, then you are of little use to us.

You mentioned journals?.......... What exactly did she write? How did you come across them?.... Where can I find said journals?



D Georgiou

"Are we the good guys or the bad guys? Wow, now that's all dependent on our project at the time and your point of view. I'm sure anybody we "locate" would think us the bad guys, but it's not all black and white.

I wish it were... "


Journals were being posted here*


D Georgiou

"We'll be checking out this information. I don't like having my time wasted, so I hope for your sakes this is genuine. "


The journals have been read*


Alex Novak

"Wait, Dimitris what is this!? I picked up this contract based on the pay, and because of what the SPG did for me in Mexico....It was all a lie, everything was a lie.......... This all makes sense now.

This is about my father's work isn't it, and you think you can use me like you use everyone else! Your playing a dangerous game, but hell this is wasted on you, you're just a puppet, a ghost who walks among the living!"


D Georgiou

"Novak, enough!

We'll talk, but not like this. A job's a job and you've taken the contract. I won't stand for this, and you'll finish what you started."


Alex Novak

"Hmph, I'm not one of your SPG dogs Dimitris, you might be their chosen one, but don't cross me!

I am my own woman, and I am free, I accept the cost no matter the danger.

You are right though, I did accept the job, and I always complete my contracts.

But don't mistake compliance for acceptance.

Let's continue, we need to establish the source of these 'journal entries', there's no proof that they are genuine."


Alex Novak

"This process is not about what we may or may not know, it's about what you know. Once we establish this we can move on to phase 2.

Some of you have freely shared what you know, some of you are resisting, but it's just a matter of time before we have what we want."


Posted in Lamanai Dig*


Alex Novak

"Have you suffered any recent trauma? You seem confused and disorientated. Don't panic, the SPG can help you......they can .help. all of you.

It's unfortunate that you have become involved, the things you may of may not know are why we have made contact, and the results of our investigation will determine the course of your future.

Today we have been assigned a secondary objective to observe your community, many of you have already shown promise.

We will be watching.



On Operation 5464FC*


Alex Novak

"Swart Goud: Do you see visions, or experience unexplained colour flashes? Do not panic this is all normal anxiety commonly experienced in phase 1 of this process.

You have already given us useful information on Helen Grange, we have catalogued every detail. Though we will need to ask further questions, we wanted to reward you for your cooperation.

All you need to do is clear your Browser cache, which should automatically indicate top performers.

I look forward to further observation, this contract is beginning to become a lot more intriguing than I first thought.


(Note: Clearing you browser cache would lead to a forum avatar update.)


D Georgiou

"Obedient. That's good. We might be able to work with this.

Alex, 73.45% obedience rating, not bad. Highest since Morelia."


Alex Novak

"Indeed, subliminal manipulation is most effective in these cases, and those figures are pleasing.

I have been running some of the background data, and it seems like a small percentage may have been in direct contact with Grange. I would need to gain direct access to the subconscious of key individuals to see if they are storing additional data."


D Georgiou

"So quit yapping about it. You have the clearance so let's get moving."


Alex Novak

"This isn't as easy as exploiting your infinite clearance level. It's a delicate matter, and potentially dangerous for subjects.

Noninvasive methods will not work here even if the subject complies there will be measures embedded to prevent direct access. There is a more invasive measure I am familiar with, but there are some nasty side effects for subjects.

The autonomic nervous system can be easily compromised leading to rapid shutdown of vital organs. We would also need to have access to a medical unit and an E.E.G to monitor brain state. The adapted hypnosis is relatively harmless , depending on application, but an extraction should be painless. Then there's deletion, if this is something also desirable then I will need access to a comprehensive pharmaceutical stock.

It's not simple, and it's completely ethically unsound. If this is something the SPG wishes to pursue then I can't condone it, but my contract would not allow me to refuse. Frankly I advise we give our existing methods more time.



D Georgiou

"Novak, you were brought onboard for your expertise, and I'm not going to argue with that.

But, I want things done as quickly as possible for obvious reasons. Good start."


Alex Novak

"We do not keep 9-5pm hours, but we do a lot of communication during these hours. My contract stipulates that I will be on call for the duration of the operation.

Those that have volunteered to undergo the invasive subconscious extraction, I commend your bravery, but trust me when I say I am sparing you much suffering by sticking to less invasive methods for as long as possible.



Alex Novak

"I have a meeting to attend, please make sure you rest up and eat well. It's important to keep you all healthy to ensure we keep the success rate of phase 1 up.

I am due to investigate a lead this weekend, but I will make contact if I have further questions. Dimitris will be on decryption this weekend, frankly having him out of the way makes my work easier.

Alexandra out."


The next day.


Alex Novak

I'm here.

My meeting was a waste of time, another dead end and another person who thought wasting my time was not a problem. Well his silence will now be permanent.

The idiot underestimated me, and was obviously an amateur trying to extort or bribe. He even brought his leverage with him, which meant that my little trip hasn't been a total waste. I have in my possession documents that may indicate one of you may be in possession of an item from the dig site you clearly know about, as demonstrated by the journal extracts you willingly shared with us earlier.

So I feel we need to establish how much you know about Helen's time in around Lamanai.


Alex Novak

What do you know about any discoveries she may have shared with you?


Alex Novak

You must understand that I can not keep communications open all the time.

There is much discussion about the reward we gave you, this is good. Brain activity is up 10%, rendering some fantastic results.

It looks like the SPG are almost satisfied that none of you are a threat, and that all communication has stopped.

Dimitris found something in the Data tonight.....


Alex Novak

........We're moving.

Irregular chatter, talk to no one.[/hide][/hide]


III. Media


Official Videos


"Launch" Trailer, posted 14 July 2010



"Brace for Impact" Trailer, posted 10 August 2010




[hide]Official Pictures on StellarDawn.com

Fan Art and Other Pictures[/hide]

IV. Links and Sources

Stellar Dawn Official Site

Official Facebook Page

Official Twitter Page

Official YouTube Channel

Stellar Dawn Wikipedia Article

Lamanai Dig Thread: 84-85-32-80731

Special Projects Group Thread: 84-85-100-83261

Dawners.com Stellar Dawn Fansite & Community



Hope this guide was helpful, guys. I made it exclusively for TIF! Criticism/suggestions welcome.

And don't forget to apply for Stellar Dawn Beta. I think we're in for a treat.




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Verrry interesting! I want to play it now. :D The images look really nice.


Thanks for sharing. :)


Must have taken you quite a while to put all together.


Edit: Signed up for the beta, but I have a crap computer so it's doubtful... :P


Grr..looks like somebody has taken my username already...o_O


"Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death. I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children. I shall wear no crowns and win no glory. I shall live and die at my post. I am the sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the shield that guards the realms of men. I pledge my life and honor to the Night's Watch, for this night and all the nights to come."

"An imperfect man can do great deeds, and a great man imperfect ones.

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I thought Stellar Dawn was MechScape.

It's the revamped mechscape project, yes.


Still looking forward to it, but this delay is not cool. I'd understand if it was a few months, but the site was released more than a year ago..

"It's not a rest for me, it's a rest for the weights." - Dom Mazzetti

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That's what you get when you've got a developer without a deadline.

*Looks at DNF*

Many believe that the 1980 eruption of Mt. Saint Helens was a catostrophic geological event, in reality it was the day that Jimi Hendrix returned to Earth from the next world and actually stood up next to a mountain and chopped it down with the edge of his hand.

-Random Youtuber

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