Welcome to some more Star Citizen, Alpha Patch 3.5.0 has gone to first wave PTU so let’s go through the patch notes in some detail. This also includes the 3.5.0g mini update too.
The PTU is out to 1st wave, which means the Evocati Early Testers, Concierge and Subscribers all have access. The patch does not include all of the features of 3.5 that the LIVE build will have and more bits will be added and evolve over the PTU testing phase.
The patch will go out to more waves of backers in the coming days, with the LIVE build planned for the end of the month.
The Testing Focus for the patch is:
- The New Flight Model / IFCS: Heat Rework, Atmospheric flight, Arena Commander
- Balance with Manual gimbals, auto-convergence, cannons, repeaters, scatterguns & ship roles
- New Gameplay area ArcCorp, Area18, Lyria, Wala
- Star Marine: All game modes
- Female Character & the DNA face customization system
The next update to the patch has already been greenlight for deployment hopefully fixing the issues with ArcCorp’s Landing Zone & more.
Let’s go through the New Features & Major Changes of that 1st wave patch.
DNA face customization & Female Characters
Character selection and creation now uses a DNA face customization system. Initially you will be able to choose a gender, then select from a set of currently available characters and customize the blend of their facial features that will be represented in your own character. System includes “Simple” and “Advanced” modes that allows you to customize your face with preferred level of complexity. Additionally, “Eidonomy” selection provides the ability to select individual traits such as eye and hair color, skin tone etc.
- Planetary Locations: Planet ArcCorp and its moons Lyria and Wala.
Unlike the other planets in the Stanton system, the ArcCorp has the distinction of being almost entirely developed and built on. Nearly every square kilometer of the planet has been allocated for habitation, commercial use, industrial plants, and massive warehouses. As such, a strict, low level no-fly zone is in place for protection, though many choose to construct their buildings taller than the zone in order to offer landing opportunities. ArcCorp has two moons: Lyria, an icy moon dotted with cryogeysers and cryovolcanoes and Wala, a low density moon notable for its large crystalline outcroppings.
- Major Landing Zone: Area18.
Area18 happens to be one of the few landing zones designated by ArcCorp for interplanetary traffic and is one of the main commercial ports for the surrounding region. If travelers manage not to be overwhelmed by the hectic sights and sounds of this landing zone, they can find a variety of goods from trusted names as well as unique local providers. ArcCorp has contracted with the PMC group “BlacJac Security” to ensure that their world and its surrounding environs are kept safe and open for business.
- Added new mission giver: Tecia “Twitch” Pacheco.
Twitch came up as a soldier who transitioned into freelance security work after her service ended. Things seemed to be working out until she suffered nerve damage on a job for BlacJac Securities and they unceremoniously cut her loose. Now, left without employment and with a very specialized skill-set that she couldn’t use, she turned to the criminal element that she used to hunt. These days, she lurks around the back alleys of the megacity Area18, making deals and introducing people or as she calls it “enjoying her retirement.”
- Added Hurston Security ship variants for areas in and around Hurston.
- Visual updates and refinement for Wallace Klim.
- Re-entry VFX are now systematically driven by IFCS atmospheric physics.
- Clean up and minor improvements to NPC collision avoidance system.
- Updated sound effects and ambiances for Lorville’s CBD.
- Updated lighting at various rest stops.
- Added an automatic door to Constantine Hurston’s office.
- Updated some shopkeeper animations.
- Updated text for armor types to include color variants.
- Added a patrol mission to Delamar.
- Destroy satellite missions into Hurston area.
- Additional delivery mission variants.
- Expanded black box, investigation, collect, and kill confirm missions to additional derelicts.
- Reduced the shields on the satellites for the destroy probe mission set.
- Updated steal and ECN missions with new waves of enemies and different “protect” ships.
- Improvements to delivery mission assets.
Ships and Vehicles
- Added: MISC Reliant variants Tana, Sen, and Mako.
- Anvil F7C-M Super Hornet Heartseeker.
- Added voice feedback for events while mining.
- Items and components now wear at a very slow rate & can now be repaired.
- Ship weapon auto-convergence
Fixed and gimbal weapons now auto-converge disparate weapon velocities and ranges into a single pip based on the slowest and shortest range weapon you have equipped. Additionally, gimbal and fixed weapons have a very small amount of target convergence (still being tuned).
- Revision of the Gallenson Tactical Systems GT-870 series ship weapons.
- Updated Gladius entry/exit animations.
- Added faster bed animations to the Prospector.
- Improved and updated the ship heat system .
- Full balance pass on thruster power usage.
- Updated death VFX for Vanduul Scythe.
- Adjusted the Freelancer landing pad position to avoid the rear of the ship being too close to an edge.
- Adjusted Hornet seat position to be more consistent for all variants.
- Increased the self-destruct timer for the Reclaimer.
- Missile guidance should now work between different zones.
- Updated AI pilot behavior to include break-away under fire tactics and separate lateral and frontal attacks for larger ships with turrets.
- The mining arm of the Prospector will now shake when firing the laser.
- Minor updates for entry, exit, and pass-out animations for numerous ships to eliminate pauses.
- Power priority is now functional.
- Slightly raised the Sabre’s flight HUD.
- Disabled look behind view for shop parked ships.
- Moved the power plant and quantum points on the MISC Reliant away from the wings to avoid loss of control when they are damaged.
- Ship thrusters should now be damagable via direct fire.
- Updated audio for some ship weapons and weapon impacts.
- Thrusters should now be damagable by direct fire.
- Reduced all ship weapon velocity with a greater reduction for cannons.
- Rebalanced cannon damage.
- All ship thruster output and tunings have been reworked for a more drifty feel.
- IFCS netcode has been updated for more efficient performance.
- ESP has been updated for new flight tunings. SCM and PRE bespoke modes have been removed.
- “Afterburner” as has been removed.
- Comstab has been removed.
- “Boost” is now referred to as “Afterburner”.
- Added “speed limiter” functionality
The speed limiter is a preset velocity that is applied to all strafe directions and is controlled independently of ship motion. Core ship movement is now controlled via “strafe” in the desired vectors. Additionally, there is a “cruise control” (C key) toggle that activates automatic thrust forward for longer distance travel.
- Velocity is now shown as actual velocity.
- Ship audio has been reworked including new thruster audio, new ship sounds, and audio linked ship vibration.
- The center flight HUD has been reworked to better fit the updated flight model.
- Atmospheric flight has been re-tuned and now includes lift in addition to drag.
- Gravlev control has been reworked.
- Updated vaulting animations for smoother usage.
- Added additional aim recoil to the KSAR Ravager.
- Updated the perception of FPS combat AI to react to players better.
- Added: Gemini S71 assault rifle
A well balanced and designed Assault Rifle, favored by wealthier private military professionals who want to make a display.
- Added: Kastak Arms Coda pistol
A no frills, raw, heavy ballistic pistol that packs a heavy punch if it connects. What it lacks in fire rate and magazine size, it more than makes up for in range and power.
- FPS weapons now have dry fire audio when out of ammunition.
- Added color variants to many armors and undersuits.
Echo-11 has undergone a complete redesign to create better pathing between zones, more varied cover and positions, and better flow between each point of interest or control point.
- Control area capture now has updated gameplay mechanics
You can now start the capture by just tapping F, which will interact with the keyboard for 2 seconds. You will then automatically detach, allowing you to protect yourself against any incoming players. While the capture is taking place an AR marker appears in-world displaying the capture area. If you step outside of this area the capture will slowly decay back towards its last state and if more members of your team join you inside the area, the capture will go faster. If members of the opposing team step into the area, the capture will go slower – or stall completely if there are the same number of players from each team. Capture points also now go via a Neutral state, so if you die part way through a capture your progress (past half way) is “saved” and the point has to be re-captured by the opposing team.
- Last Stand is now three rounds instead of four.
- Reduced Star Marine elimination player cap to 12.
- Added a smaller version of Station Demien, “Station Demien Comms”, which will be used for elimination.
- Adding “headphones” setting in audio menu.
- Updated carry and pickup animation transitions to smooth out motion some.
- Updated some of the carrying animations for EVA.
- Updated lighting for Lorville hangars.
- Default keyboard and gamepad controls have been revised.
- Updated footfall and general first person audio.
- Changed the keybind for gimbal lock to R which will (eventually) cycle between gimbal modes.
- Added several new ship UI icons for additional kinds of contacts.
- Temporarily removed visible geometry from helmets that was impeding mobiGlas visibility.
- Replaced claim/retrieve buttons and ASOP terminal with a single, context sensitive button.
Bugs & Fixes
- There have been Various performance optimizations AND Fixes to a number of OCS related stalls, 8 client crashes, a server crash & deadlock
There have been dozens of bug fixes & tweaks with UIs, Ships, animations, locations, missions, clipping, HUDs, QT, weapons notably
- Missile lock UI should no longer remain after firing the missile.
- Chaff should now function properly as a countermeasure.
- There should now be audio for UI comms hailing.
- Mineable resources should no longer flicker on approach and remain physicalized/scannable.
- Levski hangars should now have correct lighting.
- Ship radar pings should no longer have their cooldown sluggish, unresponsive, or inconsistent.
- Rebound exiting “try on” mode to “E” to avoid conflict with interaction mode key (F).
- Using an EMP should no longer knock out your own shields.
- The aim PIP on turrets should no longer jarringly “snap” to target.
- NPCs should no longer occasionally be standing on seats rather than sitting.
- Updated sky-box and brightness of objects in and around the planet Hurston.
There are some Major Known Issues with the Patch:
- Some parts of Area18 have an invisible no-fly zone that will kill the player.
- ATC at Area18 is unresponsive.
- Female characters are missing their visor UI.
- Dying at Area18 results in a blood loss death loop. W/A: Logout and back in.
- Locking gimbals will not allow you to return them to free.
- Some aspect ratios do not work well with the ship HUD.
There have been load of keys changes, I recommend rebinding them to your liking, like the leave seat key which is now [U] BUT there could also be some more changes to this before 3.5 goes to live, we will at some point go over the full changes for each of the features, and play though the new flight model thoroughly.