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Star Citizen Todd Papy Interview – Alpha 3.6 & Future Gameplay Mechanics

Welcome to some more Star Citizen there was an Interview with Star Citizen’s Live Game Director Todd Pappy going over a lot of new Star Citizen content coming with 3.6, plans for the future, short term game design & updates for the game this is a summary and breakdown of that information.

VOIP & FOIP is still being refined and worked on there are some improvements coming for 3.6.

Sharable Missions are not part of 3.6, they need to take care of some baseline bits and edge cases before Sharable missions will be in game.

In broad terms, with the Law System they will define laws for the star system then have areas where they add more laws OR takeaway laws based off the main Systems Laws. They are working out what constitutes a crime in an area as well, especially regarding edge cases, is bumping a ship really a crime, if it is then by how much? They are going to have these areas flag illicit goods and have AI that detect them make appropriate responses. They may stop you and scan you.

Customs Areas will not be functional in 3.6

Quantum Travel Time can be long, this will be based on the size and type of quantum engine. Typically the smaller the engine the longer it will take.

There may be interesting events that happen during traveling, Todd would like them to include:

Distress Signals, Anomales, Exploration, POI, Risk of Attack / Interdiction, Repairs & Maintenance. Some of these could be enticing players to come out of Quantum rather than force them too.

Harvestable Entity Spawning Tech will be there for 3.6 and further iterations for 3.7.

Crates, Loots, Mineables, Gems this will control the spawning of these items.

This could also be used to spawn object containers like a whole derelict ship.

They want these items to be locally carried rather than place into a safe global inventory.

There are more potential uses for the tech and what it can control which they will look at in the future.

Server Meshing / SSOCS is being worked on right now.

There are things on the Roadmap that are not visible to us planned.

Being a Priorities does necessarily mean that a feature is going to be finished next patch, there are thing that can take Q2 or more that are a priority.

The New Shield Tech looks to be much closer hugging to a ships hull and hitboxes for that accordingly.

Some players have been complaining of a film grain type effect/post process that eats up system resources. I think it’s a lighting / fog subtle effect that’s snuck it’s way in. It’s extremely subtle BUT CI are now aware of it.

With RTT comm calls they want something that indicates if they are in an area with interference.

They are aware that missions aren’t paying out enough, they are working on a way to get better feedback for mission rewards. They are considering QT times, difficulty and balance when it comes to payouts.

These are things they want to be able to change on the fly and hotfix.

There are different HUD layouts/layers for wearing helmets, visiors, no helmet (contact lenses). They are still working out what they want exposed to players information wise. Its important that certain info is relied at all levels. The mobiGlas, a ship/vehicle and other items can share information between HUDs.

There will be helmets or items that focus on Combat HUDs, Explorer HUDs and others focused on particular gameplay.

The UIs they have at the moment are functional BUT they want them to look a lot better & have a lot more QoL improvements. This also includes what scanning information is exposed to players too.

The want to encourage players to not be in full suits of heavy armor all the time when operating a ship. They foresee players running around in flight suits when piloting.

Currently you can only spawn at a new major location if you travel there.

In the future they want players to be able to choose their initial spawn point.

Player Carriables 2.0 – expands what can be picked up and how it can be interacted with. It’s a prerequisite of local inventories. This will also see animations, grips and items get cleaned up and refined for players to interact with them.

The Personal Inner Thought System will allow you to do various actions, emote, interact with items you have on you, the personal inner thought system is on the backlog.

Weapon Attachments is the Customization of FPS weapons  – Including Sights, Barrel, UnderBarrel, Magazines of various types. They are working on this functionality.

Ships Rentals in 3.6 – will allow players will try new ships for a period of time in the PU, they haven’t decided on a rental period yet (1, 3 or 7 days) or different options. They are working out what happens if you have cargo onboard when your rental runs out or if you are still using it?

Multi-Tool 3.6 – They are planning getting the attachments working as soon as possible. The tool will be able to wield, cut, maybe mine & salvage. So they are building the systems for those, the weapon attachments will be finished before the multi-tool.

Mission System – They have been talking about exposing more mission information to players, where a mission is, how difficult is it, what ships / requirements / suggested group size. It’s something they are keeping in mind for the future.

Misfires 3.6 – You might get minor misfires at maybe 30-50% wear or so, then the more worn an item becomes the more likely it is to misfire and that to be more major.

The quality of the item may affect this, their will also be ways of being able to see when misfires have occurred some feedback for the player.

When we repair items in the future, they might not get 100% repair again without replacing the item, this will be based on a lot of factors, how many misfires has it had, how old / worn is it? This will mean that components do have a life expectancy before they are going to have to be replaced, thus driving the economy.

You will be able to buy refurbished and cheaper items in game.

They are going to be doing some work on the cockpit experience, how ships feel when they travel, lighting, QT/I effects.

They are planning to continuing having No-fly-zones in the future to prevent griefing and to keep players in certain areas, when over city planets or major landing zones, they do want to improve the system allowing spline paths/an AR flight Corridors for players to follow when landing or taking off, if you move out of there then an autopilot will pull you back in.

Green Zones are where weapons cannot be drawn/fired atm, Green Zones will be removed in the future and replaced with Law & Security. Players will have the choice of pulling out a gun and firing BUT will be punished if discovered doing it by security in an area where it’s prohibited. Bringing in a weapon to some LZ’s in itself maybe a crime.

The Landing Systems & ATC Systems will be polished in the future, at the moment everything is more being thrown together to get all the systems in place and functional.

They don’t want players to be able to relocate ships with them being physically moved OR reclaimed as they don’t want players to take shortcuts/exploit cargo hauling gameplay. We might see Service Beacons for players moving ships in the future.

In 3.5 now Todd Identifies, Combat in general still needs work missiles, convergence, balance, pips, edge cases… They are still using feedback to help solve this, some of these bugs and issues are solvable in 3.5.1 and the short term, other parts need new tech OR other features to come together.

Star Citizen’s Agile Development has upsides and downsides, it makes use of the community to help develop the game BUT the 3 month cycles and trying to get certain features out ASAP is a challenge. Once they have a patch content locked they typically have 6 weeks for it before it’s planned to go live.

Evocati is typically 4 weeks before LIVE and 1st wave PTU is a whole different ball game.