Welcome to some more Star Citizen, the Alpha 3.5 Roadmap has been massively changed with new features, some moving out, some staying the same so let’s go over it.
What’s Moved out of 3.5
Ship wise the P52 Merlin & m50 Improvements and the Constellation Taurus.
Parallel Network Jobs, Lobby Refactor, and the Organic Shader have moved out.
The Parallel Network jobs being the biggest loss there, this was the ability for servers to take more connections and therefore more players per server, however with current performance it isn’t out of the question that they could still test and increase players per server anyway.
Most Disappointingly Salvage v1 and Reputation/Law v1 have moved out, CIG are still planning the milestones and scheduling for patches for 2019. They are going to be adding additional information and expanding out the Roadmap in the very near future.
The Core Features of 3.5 are still there for me being;
ArcCorp, it’s Landing Zone Area 18 and it’s 2 Moons Lyria and Wala.
Female Characters and the DNA New Character Customizer System.
And the New Flight Model which has expanded a bit to include:
- Rebalanced thruster strengths for more momentum in flight
- Deeper integration with item 2.0 systems such as heat, power, and fuel
- Redesigned throttle for more direct control
- Redesigned afterburner and cruise mode
- Redesigned ESP algorithm
- New gravlev handling
- Numerous bugs and issues solved with previous flight model
Ship AI will also benefit at this stage from the Flight Model Update & There is additional Ship AI Combat Behaviour Improvements – to allow ship AI to be better in combat, add challenge and realism, using tactics like surprise deceleration and break aways when under fire.
What else is the same?
The 300 Series Rework, Banu Defender & Reliant Variants are all still in.
Projectile Manager – a physics system that will improve projectile functionality, performance & realism in-game.
We have the Gemini’s S71 assault rifle & Kastak Arms’ Coda ballistic pistol still there for FPS weapons as well as the GT-870 Tarantula series of ballistic cannons (S1-3) for ships and
The Banu Singe Tachyon Cannon was obviously going to be added with the Banu Defender but it’s now showing on the Roadmap too.
There is still multiple improvements to the Hard Surface shader, providing greater texture detail.
So Whats New?
A new mission giver Tecia Pacheco to be added to ArcCorp.
The previously listed OCS Components (that needed finishing from Client Side OCS) have been renamed and incorporated into a couple of other Network Improvements.
Asynchronous Disconnection Refactor – Aiming to improve efficiency and usability of the asynchronous disconnection code. Refactoring this will clean-up a lot of bugs such as infinite loading screens, server crashes, and client crashes, while also helping to assure that more of these issues don’t occur in the future.
Network OCS Stall Fixes – Fixing network-related processing stalls during entity binding/unbinding as a result of Bind Culling and OCS.
The entire Gameplay Updates Section of the 3.5 has pretty much been rewritten, let’s go over the whole thing:
- Improvements to the Heat System to provide a more systemic experience between items and vehicles, from how heat affects various components in a ship to incorporating heat values into the room system, all the way up to defining the ambient heat of a solar system.
- AI Bounty Hunting in Environmental Missions – An Environmental Mission in which NPC bounty hunters attack players with bounties on them & where NPC security forces attack players with high crime stats.
- Vehicle Scanning HUD Improvements – to support additional scanning and ping features, including confidence levels for newly identified objects.
- AI Distress Beacons – a Combat Assistance Service Beacon mission where players can assist NPCs in distress.
- Vehicle Radar v2 – allowing the management of different radar upgrades and adding functionality for radar range and abilities based on location including environmental hazards impacting the radar’s effectiveness.
- Quantum Travel – Continuing to improve the Quantum Travel mechanic with upgrades to UI, interaction & spline jumps.
- Vehicle Scanning Improvements – General user experience updates. This includes the ability to create false signatures and balancing the distance in which contacts can be detected between pings and scans.
- Ship System Degradation – Functionality for wear and degradation causing reduced performance and it persisting on ship components. Adjustments to overclocking to drastically increase the wear rate.
- Vehicle Tech Updates v1 – Adding a variety of vehicle improvements, such as vehicle states for modal behavior, and updating the vehicle paint system.
- Groups System Improvements v4 – General QoL with smoother MobiGlas & invite experience.
- VOIP & FOIP Improvements v3 – allowing for better performance and higher levels of accuracy.
- Bounty Mission NPC Improvements – So that hunted NPCs can use quantum travel to evade a player.
- Distortion Damage Improvements – Functionality for distortion damage to correctly impact performance of items and be used via environmental hazard areas.
- Gimbal Weapons Improvements v1 – with automated gimbal mounts and general updates.
- Extending Delivery Missions to ArcCorp and surrounding Rest Stops.
Updates to the Vehicle Paint system make sense as they have previously stated starting with the 300 rework in 3.5 they want to have the ability to customize some aspects of ships and their loadout from the RSI website.
It’s a shame to lose Salvage & Parallel Network Jobs, thankfully the core of the 3.5 Patch still remains and has been expanded upon absorbing appropriate updates from the SQ42 Roadmap and adding a few more.
We seem to be getting more missions and risk/reward associated with Bounty Hunting and being an Outlaw too.
For me the success of the New Flight Model is key to this patch being fun and “successful” if done right then it’s going to be amazing for the game… if it’s crappy or mega buggy then not so much. The Alpha 3.5 is set to be LIVE for the end of March 2019.