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Article Summary | Delayed, scaled down – and yet groundbreaking

Welcome to some more Star Citizen, there have been a couple of GameStar.de Articles on Star Citizen recently I wanted to look at a summary highlights of one of them Star Citizen Alpha 3.3 – Delayed, scaled down – and yet groundbreaking.
The articles were in German so I enlisted the Help of Peoples on Reddit & Twitter as well as Google to translate them, so take them with that in mind, If you’d like to read the full thing and Support GameStar checkout the article here.

Star Citizen Alpha 3.3 – Delayed, scaled down – and yet groundbreaking:
Star Citizen is moving towards 6 years of active development & is making progress.
There have been previous set backs with Management errors, communication failures, problems with external studios (I think they are referring to Illfonic and issues with the FPS module), PR incidents & delayed release dates.
Star Citizen & Squadron 42 have now raised over $193 Million.
The money and over 500 employees at Cloud Imperium Games (CIG) are now also having a significant impact.
Release Dates are being hit regularly for the Quarterly releases.
With the release of 3.0 in December 2017 the Gameplay area expanded adding moons, over three million square kilometers to explore on the ground:
Cellin (around 851,000 km²), Daymar (an estimated 950,000 km²) and Yela (1.23 million km²)
There is also Delamar which is a planetoid/asteroid with the Levski Landing Zone on it, tho this will be moved to the Nyx System as soon as there is a Nyx System to move it to.

Frame Rates in 3.0 were bad.
3.1 improved this BUT they were still below 20 for a lot of players & there was hitching / seemly random frame drops. Tho this could of been due to players using the Reclaimer or Caterpillar and filling it with cargo, causing the servers to cry.
3.2 at the end of June brought significant improvements to performance. The low end framerates are closer to 25 – 30.
There is a huge amount to improvement at the moment, Everything that happens on the server, everything the 50 players do on this server, is loaded completely into the main memory this is sub optimal. As is the current network code and CPU usage.

Various Features from 3.3 that were planned in previous roadmaps were pushed back.
Originally 3 New Professions salvage, repair and refueling were planned to be added.
As well as the new Cloud Tech, allowing more interesting areas in space & fuel collection. CIG have reiterated that they plan to be sticking by these quaterly & not delayed releases.

3.3 is now releasing October 10th (at CitizenCon) rather than the end of September (a 10 day rescheduling as they want to release the 3rd major update each year at CitizenCon).
The Article does Suggest at one point that PTU not the live build will be ready for CitizenCon on the 10th of October, I am not sure if that is accurate or not. I do know that the Evocat are getting 3.3 as early as today & I thought the PTU waves were going out as normal with a LIVE build planned for CitizenCon. BUT even if it is just the PTU it should be available to everyone at that time. It may be a lost in translation thing as well.

The 3.3 patch contains the first full planet Hurston, a 12 million square kilometer industrial planet, eleven times larger than the largest Moon Yela
Hurston will include various biomes for the first time: savannah, forests, water bodies.
However, due to the extreme industrial exploitation of the planet by the weapons manufacturer Hurston Dynamics, there will also be vast areas of completely destroyed environments: large garbage and scrap areas, as well as areas with toxic puddles and other hostile attributes.
Loreville is a major city, it will incorporate a no-fly zone over some of the area, to help prevent players hindering other players.

The Article Suggests that The Lorville Business District has been moved to Update 3.4, scheduled for late December. This would be an expansion of the city and it’s generation.
The four Hurston moons Ariel, Magda, Ita and Aberdeen are complete. These celestial bodies alone will more than double Star Citizen’s planetary playing surface.

These additions will impact gameplay with players travelling between Crusader and Hurston & across the Solar System.
The currently longest travel distance in the Alpha 3.2 between the Port Olisar station and the planetoid Delamar is around 850k kilometers and takes around 40 seconds.
In contrast, the distance between Port Olisar and Hurston will be just under 32 million kilometers. This could take 25 mins to travel by old standards, without stopping for fuel!
CIG are overhauling the fuel system & they expect players to refuel every hour or 2 based on their usage.
They want travel times to be meaningful & for the System to feel massive BUT not to be overly cost restrictive nor constantly be delayed with refueling.
New Quest Givers will offer more mission variety like Mining Quests from Recco Battaglia.
There is also Clovus Darneely who was supposed to give Reclamation & Salvage Missions, it’s expected he’ll offer some place holder missions until salvage is fully online.
NPCs are being incorporated into Missions for actual PvE on foot.
This with the addition of Scramble Races, FOIP/VOIP, Wear & Tear should make 3.3 feel much more like a real game with depth.
However performance may be an issue OCS needs to work efficiently to improvement performance.
They asked what would happen if OCS isn’t ready for 3.3 or it doesnt work as intended, EKD answered:

“Our current plan is to deliver Alpha 3.3 by October 10, but at this point we all know that this kind of game development is difficult to predict. We make the best possible decision based on the progress we see in OCS and other tasks, but players will definitely get new content with the Alpha 3.3.”

The article ends by saying Update 3.3 remains ambitious, even without the new professions or Cloud Tech. The additions and a whole planet with lots of different habitats should take SC to the next level. There is a lot missing still tho to class it as a complete game. A successful 3.3 release would be a massive step forward, probably the largest for the game so far.
GameStar are confident that CIG can fundamentally realize its plans. Star Citizen’s development is a game of patience and waiting BUT very promising.