Astronomy is one of the major gameplay mechanics of the Zenith. The sky of that dimension contains eight mobile planets and multiple static constellations; when a planet passes over a constellation, it may have a certain effect on the environment (mobs, terrain, or the player), with the planet determining the type of effect and the constellation determining what is being affected. Astronomy consists of the manipulation of this system to the player's benefit by means of the stellar altar.
Unlike the overworld, the Zenith has stationary stars that do not rotate with the sun and moon. Special large, twinkling stars in the Zenith's sky form a variety of constellations, shaped like different elements of the Zenith's gameplay (mobs, items, etc.). The following table lists each constellation and the effects produced by each planet while crossing over the constellation (detailed information on this process can be found in the next section).
|The Alchemy Table||
Ares: Deconstruction is more efficient.
Atlas: Reconstruction is more efficient.
Eirene: No effect.
Hermes: No effect.
Limos: Fewer possible outcomes are available in transmutation.
Penia: All alchemical processes are less efficient.
Persephone: Combination is more efficient.
Tyche: Transmutation is more efficient.
|The Blue Kite||
Ares: Kites do more damage and may pursue the player if he possesses a tamed kite and is near a nest.
Atlas: Kites can jump higher.
Eirene: Kites are less agressive toward the player.
Hermes: Kites sprint faster.
Limos: Kites are healed less by food.
Penia: Kites do less damage.
Persephone: Wild kites are much more likely to spawn an egg.
Tyche: Enemies killed by a kite drop more loot.
Ares: Increased spawning of enderwraiths in a wave against the skyknights.
Atlas: Enderwraiths do extra damage.
Eirene: Enderwraiths spawn less frequently.
Hermes: Enderwraiths teleport faster.
Limos: No effect.
Penia: Enderwraiths drop less loot.
Persephone: No effect.
Tyche: Enderwraiths drop more loot and experience.
Ares: No effect.
Atlas: No effect.
Eirene: No effect.
Hermes: Plants grow faster.
Limos: Plant-based food heals less.
Penia: Plants grow more slowly and yield less.
Persephone: Plants both grow faster and yield more.
Tyche: Plants yield more food and other items.
Ares: Tools do more damage to mobs.
Atlas: Harder blocks can be harvested with a tool one level lower than normal.
Eirene: Tools do less damage to mobs.
Hermes: Mine speed is increased.
Limos: Mine speed is decreased.
Penia: Mined blocks occasionally drop nothing.
Persephone: No effect.
Tyche: Mined blocks occasionally drop more.
Square planets move around the Zenith's sky randomly. Each planet is associated with a certain attribute; for example, Atlas is the planet of strength, while Penia is the planet of poverty and weakness. When a planet moves in front of a constellation, it confers an effect on the actual physical manifestations of whatever that constellation represents (such as the flower constellation affecting plants); this effect is an approximation of the planet's special attribute. For example, when Hermes, the planet of speed, crosses over the blue kite constellation, kites can move faster; their original speed returns when Hermes is no longer crossing their associated constellation. Some planet-constellation pairs are incompatible, however, (mostly when they would not make sense to be paired) and thus do not produce effects such as this.
|Ares||Planet of war|
|Atlas||Planet of strength|
|Eirene||Planet of peace|
|Hermes||Planet of swiftness|
|Limos||Planet of famine|
|Penia||Planet of poverty|
|Persephone||Planet of growth|
|Tyche||Planet of fortune|
The stellar altar is a block used as a means to lock or freeze the position of a planet. This is useful because the planet will continue to produce its effect on the constellation over which it is hovering for as long as it is frozen in place. The player may choose which planets to freeze and for how long; freezing one planet for a given amount of time will cost a given amount of experience, currently one level per fifteen seconds (but this was determined to be too expensive and will be changed to one level per two minutes). There is an incentive for freezing all the planets simultaneously and for the same amount of time, as this costs only as much experience as freezing a single planet for that amount of time; under this situation, the player accepts the consequences of all the planets' present positions, for better or worse. The stellar altar cannot be crafted at the moment, and will ultimately be crafted using the drop of a rare miniboss.Right-clicking on the stellar altar will lead to the block's GUI, which depicts the eight planets of the Zenith sky. Each planet's entry consists of, respectively, the planet's name, its special characteristic or effect, the constellation over which it is currently crossing (if applicable), and the amount of time (in minutes and seconds) that it will remain locked in place if it has been frozen. Right-clicking on a planet's entry allows the user to modify the last factor in exchange for the depletion of some experience, as described above. The middle of the GUI contains information on the cost of the planet freeze, in experience levels. Clicking the "Freeze planets" button applies the changes the user has made and consumes the appropriate amount of experience; clicking this button without a sufficient level of experience, or without making any changes, will obviously have no effect.
The antikythera device is a planned item that would be able to predict the future positions of the planets at various points in time up to a certain number of nights in the future. This feature is not yet implemented.
The telescope is an astronomy-related item that is used to zoom the player's vision so that he may see distant objects, like planets and stars, in detail. Right-clicking with the telescope in hand will allow the player to use this item; the Z key can then be pressed to zoom in and out. The maximum zoom factor is eight. The player loses some peripheral vision to the telescope's barrel while looking through it, and a large, black crosshair displays in the center of the screen. A second right click will deactivate the telescope.
- The stellar altar occasionally does not lock the planets in place but expends the user's experience anyway.
- The amount of experience taken to lock planets has not been balanced yet.
- The player's hotbar still appears when the telescope is activated.
- Planets render behind constellations as opposed to in front of them.
- Normal stars do not render brightly enough.
- The antikythera device will be added at a future date.
- Many more constellations, including those that have been described but not implemented, will be added.
- Astronomical effects still need to be added.
- The stellar altar model's depictions of the planets will rise and lower to express which planets are locked into place and which are not.
- The stars of constellations will be given a twinkling animation.