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CitizenCon 2018 Summary – What’s Next for Star Citizen & Squadron 42?

Welcome to a Star Citizen CitizenCon Summary, this is highlighting the most important parts of the main keynote presentation that took a look at the near future gameplay of Star Citizen in 3.3.5 from waking up in your bed in Lorville to completion of a mission as well as the 2 new ships that were unveiled, a Squadron 42 Trailer and the Roadmap to “a full game experience”.

There was a new Squadron 42 Trailer released as well showcasing
Squadron was waiting on OCS, so there are no more blockers
They are adding the Roadmap for it’s full completion in December to the Roadmap we have for the PU.
The Trailer showed off lots of capital ships, some impressive scenes and a lot of famous faces. As well as the Vanduul ships and ground forces. Admiral Bishop looks many magnitudes better than he did in the Speech. It’s looking really slick.

Star Citizen Alpha 3.3 PTU
The 3.3 PTU has been released to wider PTU. It should be in everyone’s hands now.

Drake Kraken – Assault Carrier
The Drake Kraken was unveiled – It’s a large capital attack carrier. It’s about half the size of a Javelin, similar in size to a Idris but more square. It is a big target but has Five manned & 4 remote turrets.
It has 6 landing pads, 4 fighter sized ones for ships like the Buccaneer & 2 larger ones for cutlass sized ships.
It also has a internal multi-purpose hangar and a seperate dragonfly/small vehicle bay.
It’s a massive ship but currently is not purchasable, you have to register your interest by  the 15th of October on Kraken ship page & they will update us with more info on the 22nd.
There are likely to be very limited numbers of these ships but there isn’t even a hint of what they will be priced at.

The Keynote  this year was Gameplay of 3.3.5 (and some of the gameplay we have in 3.3)
They started off as a player spawining in a Hab, Habs will eventually have persistence, you’ll be able to own/rent real estate on various planets, moons and stations. They have big enough cities to support this for players, you may have to take a train out to your house.
The interaction system they showed off was much better than before, there is lots your can do with objects, a lot of objects will be interactable in some way & lots will have multiple parts. Like a coffee machine & cup, then you can drink the coffee, put things down, keep them in a ship or hab, their liquids system is pretty cool for their containers too.
They are not going to full hard simulation when it comes to survival, but you will occasionally need to eat and drink. The NPCs can do exactly the same thing as players.

The Hab area they are in is massive, full of NPCs who are starting to get schedules, they will have 24 hour patterns for work, sleep, eat and their lives.
Each of the Hab=Blocks on Lorville can house 100 players, they can add more and more.
The Security NPCs in Lorville are oppressive, they will stop and check NPCs and ask you to more on, sort of a HL2 combine vibe.
There are specific animations for Barmen and patrons.

Lorville is massive (around the size of Austin), and has a spaceport, shopping areas, and huge hab zones.
There is a huge hospital too that you will respawn at if you die and you’ll need to visit if you get injured.

They get a mission to meet Clovus Darnleely for a Salvage Quest.
His facial animations, mocap, quality and voice are all amazing.
They have to get retrieve parts of a satellite that’s fallen out of orbit.

FOIP wasn’t working very well in the demo, but the VOIP was working great.
That said having tested it myself it’s reasonably good.
The whole of Lorville was well signposted, they bought some bits for the mission in a shop.

The city has a fully functional Transit system which they use to move around & get to the space port. Trains seem to come every min or so.

There are 6 different gates the player can enter the city from and the spaceport.

NPCs will be able to use trains in the future to move around & trains will have multiple stops.

There is a checkpoint, at the spaceport. These will expand with a law and order system to have gameplay with criminals and smuggling.

They show the Kraken docked at the spaceport. I doubt it’s flyable yet but who knows.

They spawn a reworked Mustang Beta at the port, in a large hangar, this is because they haven’t finished the small hangars yet.

They are forcing restricted zones in lorville, so you have to get to a certain height before you can move forward after taking off.

In 3.4 a large business district will open up for Lorville.

Hurston is built out of 6 biomes Desert, Polluted Coast, Savanna, Acidic, strip mined, trash.

It’s Earth Sized but in their scale, which is 1/6th of the actual size a planet should be.

They are also making a executive gardens and weapon testing area biomes.

The new flight model will be in 3.4, aerodynamic ships will perform much better in atmosphere than those that are not.

There will be dynamic weather and a load more biomes being added in the game.

Scanning will give you a rough area where a POI is but will also help narrow it down further.

The player finds the crashed satellite in the savanna. There is lots of fire.

Fire in the demo didn’t damage the player, but eventually it will, also fire will suck oxygen out of the area, very dangerous in space or a sealed area.

In the demo he got injured by missing a jump and bleed out, BUT they used console commands to return to where they were.

The player gets to a control panel and it ejects some certain boards or blades.
He is looking for a prototype blade BUT it’s not here, this is an example of a multipart mission and the modular system. He may of found it there but didn’t now he has to track the part down. Using his multi-tool he hacks a panel in the satellite to allow him to find the mission item, or at least show it on his HUD BUT his ship gets destroyed by a Cutlass before he can get in, he may be on the same or similar mission.
The player calls in a friend to come help.

He turns up in a new flyable ship in 3.3 the Anvil Valkyrie.
The ship features in Squadron 42 as well, which is one of the reasons they needed it.
The Valkyrie is a Dropship with room for a Turreted Cyclone buggy OR Ursa Rover and 20 troops.
It has heavy armor and solid firepower with 2 size 3 remote weapons & 2 size 3 manned turrets and is built to get troops in and out of dangerous situations.
Pilots, Gunners and Passengers the ship can house 25 in all.

They make short work of the cutlass and it’s crew and then fly off an assault an outpost/underground facility that has the prototype part of the mission in.
It has AA turrets, so the drop ships fires at range and deploys a Cyclone TR (which can be deployed from a height).

They clear the turrets and enter the facility, the lift goes down really far.

And there is a big FPS fight, showing off FPS AI. They aren’t perfect yet, it’s their first pass for the multiplayer FPS AI but they do work. Reinforcements might be a thing on some missions too.

The players clear the facility and find the item they are looking for.

They travel back to Lorville in their Valkyrie.

There will be a procedural road and river system for certain planets and biomes too.

There are no fly zones in certain parts of Lorville, so they decide to drop the player off outside one of the external city gates, gate 2.

They show off the scale of Lorville here, it’s massive.

There are little shanty towns outside the main city.

They player goes through the security gate, then deposits the part in a delivery and pickup terminal to complete his mission.

They get another train around the city, trains will come a varying times based on where in the city they are at the moment, at the city outskirts it can be 5 mins between trains.

Eventually they want to show trains in transit on maps at the terminals, so you can see how long you have to wait.

Buying Ships in Game
Ship Dealers will be in game with Lorville in the 3.3.5 patch. New Deal is the name of the one they show in the demo.
You will both be able to rent and buy ships with in game aUEC.
They want to have various dealers eventually all of which specialize in different ships.
NOT ALL the ships will rentable / purchasable with 3.3.5.
They are still working out what prices the ships should be, but expect them to get messed around with from patch to patch.

Road to Release
In terms of plans for release dates and features
Star Citizen will continue to add major content every 3 months and drive content that way.
They are less concern about hard dates for when the game is going to Beta / Full release and more about adding as much feature wise as they can patch to patch.

Part of that will mean a better QoL and User Experience with each patch as well, as they are going to make it as accessible and playable as possible but also focus on the core of the game in the short term.

They have OCS and Bind Culling coming in now.

Ship rental & purchase is the next big thing for them, this will give players a solid gameplay loop.

Organization System is after that, getting Org mates together and being able to organize their communication, share missions and funds.

Full Persistence – the ability to go anywhere and to leave items around or ships and for them to be remembered where they are. This will allow you to come back to an area to salvage, or repair your own ship for example. You’ll be able to store stuff in your habs, hangars and ships. Wear, Tear, Aging & evolving of the universe that’s not constantly reset.

Server Meshing is the last of their major pillars to have what they deem  “a full game experience”, bind culling that they already have should allow them to increase player caps in servers somewhat BUT SM allows for the massive universe full of players.

Full Persistence and SM is where they have said is their maker for when they want players to go wild. I actually personally won’t consider it a Beta until they have all the basic gameplay loops in for science, outpost building, salvage, repair, medical and the like BUT this is certainly a massive step in that direction.

They are also going to allow people to see all the telemetry data from your machine and against others too. This will give some interesting info for those who are interested. This will eventually show server performance too.