Welcome to some more Star Citizen, we are looking at the updated Roadmap for Star Citizen Alpha 3.2 that will be released to a LIVE build at the end of June as well as talking a bit more about what might make it into 3.2 potentially and what each of the features should have and is the most accurate info I have from the 17th of April 2018.
We will see as with every patch balance changes, more missions, further iterations and improvements to current mechanics. Items may get moved forward, some may get moved back.
There will be major releases every quarter 3.2 June, 3.3 Sept, 3.4 Dec and minor patches and hotfixes in between where appropriate.
The Mustang Series (Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Omega & Delta)
And Avenger Series (Titan, Stalker & Warlock) Reworks are all in.
Expect some modelling and materials improvements to the Mustang Series. The Avengers however have been made around 20% larger, their internal space is much better, they may see some hardpoint changes too.
The Avenger getting the ability to mount any appropriate size gun on it’s nose too.
The Anvil Hurricane – 2 Man Turret-centric Heavy Fighter
The Aegis Eclipse – Stealth Bomber
The Vanduul Blade – Light Fighter, this is also likely to be used by NPCs in Vanduul Swarm.
And the Origin 600i – Luxury (Explorer Variant) are all being made flyable.
Travel & Groups
Improving the Quantum Travel experience with upgrades to graphics, audio, and functionality.
There is Quantum Linking – Giving players the ability to group travel with their friends when making quantum jumps. Quantum Linking also helps if you are interdicted, the whole group will be brought out of Q-Travel. This system will be used in tandem with AI or player-created missions through the service beacon, so the people hired to help will be linked to you when they jump.
There is also improvements to the Group System with the Ability to team up with friends to cooperate on jobs and missions, and integrated group chat features as well as making it easier to get into instances with specific players.
Missions & Gameplay
Mining – Adding the systems needed for a player to extract minerals from a planet or asteroid. This should include Scanning down of Asteroids & Ore, the extraction of the resources, then the transporting & selling of those materials. It’s also likely there will be Mining focused missions too.
Service Beacon Improvements – including new contract types, filters, and interactions.
AI characters will be able to interface with the system so that they too will be able to request help and provide assistance to others, which will in turn increase both how much of this type of “immediate” content we can offer at any given time, as well as the likelihood that someone – whether player or Non-Player Character – will be drawn to respond to your calls for support.
Service Beacon Escort [Missions] – Pay another player to escort you to a different location. By integrating Quantum Linking, the new Escort beacons will improve Combat Assistance by allowing your hired guns to more readily accompany you.
They are Performing an overall polish pass on the economic systems, from commodity trading to item prices to provide a better overall experience for players.
Item Kiosks – The feature includes the implementation of Shopping Kiosks in the stores and increased variation of available products, including ship items and weapons not physically available to display (or even buy) in stores.
This was said to be the last hurdle to ship & weapon sales in the Persistent Universe with aUEC. The weapons and more items are 100% confirmed, expect ships as well BUT they skate around the issue a lot of the time, basically ship sales are unconfirmed BUT likely in 3.2, there is no mechanical or technical reason to not have them in 3.2 now.
I think some people would argue that it will lose CIG money because people will not buy ships so much, I would argue it will make the game more playable, bring in more backers and help sell ships based on people trying them, they may sell less lower tier ships and more mid and higher tier ones due to in game ship sales.
Weapons & Items
There are new weapons that you’ll be able to purchase and use too – On the FPS side the R97 Shotgun, which is currently available in Star Marine would be available for players and NPCs in the PU.
Also the addition of the Gemini F55 light machine gun, Klaus & Werner’s Demeco light machine gun & Kastak Arms Scalpel Ballistic Sniper Rifle.
For Ships they are adding Associated Science and Development Distortion Repeater gun.
Gear wise there is a Revision to the Light, Medium & Heavy Legacy Armorsets for Marine & Outlaw.
A New Clothing Range Styled for “Port Olisar” for use mainly by the NPCs there as well as purchasable in the shops there.
Item 2.0 – Ship Systems & Weapons Updates : Focusing on Power Allocation & Item Degradation
This will include functionality for ship components, allowing for weapons to overheat, misfire, and suffer critical failures based on factors like wear & tear or damage, as well as the ability to configure shield generators, power plants, weapons, and other systems to meaningfully affect ship performance. This may also add sub components, allowing for upgrading and configuring & interaction with each system to a much higher degree. This will actually be a huge amount of new gameplay when it comes to how ships fly, how combat works, choices when it comes to customization. Arena Commander will play much differently AND other consoles in ships with multi-crew may have significantly more use and actually help the course of a battle as you’ll have to allocate power, shields & other systems and potentially have to swap components out on the fly.
AI & NPC Improvements
FPS AI Combat – The first stage of getting combat AI into the Persistent Universe. This would expand mission types by introducing the risk that an AI could be waiting to ambush you on a distant moon, or in a hulk drifting in space.
Implementing basic FPS Combat AI behaviors to allow for players to engage with enemy targets on the ground or in ships to add an action element to some of the missions.
Flight AI – Improving existing and developing new and deeper flight behaviors and characteristics for AI pilots. This not only includes enemies to fight, but also includes civilian and security personalities.
They are working more on Player and NPC functionality for manned turrets on vehicles. Expect to see more improvements to turret gameplay in general but this will be turrets and weapons on ground vehicles too.
Network Bind Culling
This work aims to help improve performance in multiplayer by cutting down the number of entities that exist on clients. Entities too far from a player will be removed from the local client, and when the player moves or the server otherwise detects new entities entering the player’s range they will be added to the client. Because clients will then only consider updating entities that are near to them the overall CPU load will be reduced and performance should improve.
(Though this is a much needed improvement, it will be much more leveraged when Object Container & Network Entity Streaming come in 3.3 in Sept)
Ship Persistence Improvements – Improvements to the core system responsible for persisting ship records on the PU. This system enables many features including persistent damage, ship variables, and ship consumables.
mobiGlas Improvements – Improve the visual presentation, functionality, and usability of the mobiGlas apps focusing on the Vehicle & Personal Manager Apps.
There is ongoing performance improvements with specific quarterly goals to increase overall framerate with all PC specs. General optimization and engine improvements to increase stability and performance for players. This includes continued transition of gameplay systems to Item 2.0 as well as investigation and resolution of possible memory leaks and performance spikes.
IFCS & Grav-Lev fixes – Not on the Roadmap but Confirmed that it should be coming for 3.2 are much need improvements to the IFCS (Flight Model Mechanics) & Grav-Lev (Hover Bike on Surfaces) Tech. Splitting the both into 2 parts Control Logic & Physics Processing for greater optimization & stability as well as fixing the raycasts for those grav-levs.
Other Info & 3.2 Potential Additions
aUEC & aUEC purchases will be reset every major & most likely each minor patch.
3.2 should be when we see a Players account UEC be their Starting aUEC each reset too.
Salvage is the most likely large gameplay mechanic to come into the game, potentially it could make 3.2 IF there is time.
Also Guilds & Associations have been talked about – They are going to create member associations within the Universe that give players different benefits. These will ultimately include the Bounty Hunter’s Guild, Merchant’s Guild, etc., but there will also be member-based services, themed to fit different player types. For example, the United Wayfarers Club provides repair and refuel assistance for pilots broken down in space and also grants discounts for these services at CryAstro. This may make it into 3.2.
Expect EMPs & Distortion weapons to see changes in 3.2 & 3.3. With the combination of the Avenger Warlock Rework, Item System 2.0 warrenting EMPs and Distortion damage to be a lot more relevant as a gameplay mechanic.
Fuel & intake mechanics are getting work at the moment, with multiple types of fuel coming on line in the future. We may see fuel intakes be implemented more properly and updates to Boost & Afterburners too, as well as fuel being expended much more while in atmosphere.
The intention is that use of your thrusters will expend fuel and that can only be re-generated via intakes or refueling via another ship / cry-astro or similar fuel station. So potentially we might see some of this in 3.2.
Snub & Expanded Docking They are working on multi-grid tech for 3.2 / 3.3
Then they can start work on the docking for the snubs & other new forms of docking that are not “landing”. It requires AI to help align and push you in place.
The Multi-grid tech also allows for ships to separate fully allowing for the endeavor, caterpillar and more to separate and reconnect their bridges BUT for ship parts to act independently when seperated by this method OR thru damage.
We will also start to see Ship to Ship Docking too. This is all mostly likely coming after 3.2 BUT it’s worth mentioning it just in case.
Quantum Interdiction will be getting better and better each patch too, eventually players will be able to equip the QI device, potentially that could be in 3.2 as well, more likely in 3.3 tho.