Welcome to Star Citizen, Alpha 3.6 looks to be delayed but it’s not all doom and gloom it should be going to wider PTU very soon. Let’s take a look at some of 3.6s additions as well as work going on with improving the AI and even a little look at the Carracks Captains Quarters.
We take a look at Inside Star Citizen: Destination – Alpha 3.6
Alpha 3.6 focuses on improving and expanding out the current gameplay as well getting the PU ready for some new features down the line. The patch is currently in Evocati Testing and then it will go to wider PTU soon and eventually to everyone before a LIVE build, so it looks like 3.6 will be delayed which is unfortunate. Alpha 3.6 still has to have more of it’s features tested and there are many “blockers” in the form of bugs at the moment. I had hoped they would of been able to get a wider PTU or even PTU for everyone out by the end of June (Wave 1 PTU is still possible to be here this weekend or early next week), hopefully the LIVE build is only delayed by a couple of weeks.
Inside Star Citizen is taking a few week break it’s effectively the end of season for the show as 3.6 is about to launch, giving the devs some more time to work on the release of the patch and it’s aftermath as well as get new content for the 3.7 season planned.
3.6 see the Law system, this helps tie together and expand the current gameplay in the PU.
There are laws for different areas of space which give you penalties if you violate them.
From Criminal Ratings & Getting Chased by the popo to instant fines.
This will allow for smuggling, selling stolen goods, more bounty hunting.
There are new Junk / SalvageYards where you can take stolen ships to be sold.
GTA Star Citizen Style!
Narcotics could be more profitable now as they can more appropriately balance risk v reward.
Hover mode is incredibly important making low speed flight in gravity believable, giving use and function to VTOL and really helping with that new flight model. Atmospheric Flight will effectively be more dangerous and ships have more weight to them.
Comms and Party Systems are getting improvements.
Ship Hailing, an audio widget that tells you who you are talking to, auto joining a channel when you enter a ship there are lots of improvements, VOIP is enabled by default (though it’s still push to talk DONT WORRY), with the hope that VOIP & FOIP are more widely adopted.
The Vanguard Warden is looking amazing being made closer to concept.
Ship Purchase Kiosks will allow you now to buy a large range of the flyable ships in game, they will persist on your account until a reset.
Space Station Exteriors are now massive and this is apparently the smaller ones.
There is a wide range of variety too with circular ones, telescopic ones, tall ones…
Moving on to some bits that are being worked on now and extend beyond 3.6.
They showed the captain’s quarters for The Carrack, a little platform and desk so the captain sits higher than visitors, as well as some display monitors for being able to show things to the crew. There is a glass ceiling. Shelves, mini bar, private sleeping quarters and bathroom. The ship is planned to be flyable in Alpha 3.8, at the end of 2019.
Artificial Intelligence – They have been working on useable & behavior setups focusing on vendors and then they will be moving onto more of the Civilian AI.
This includes working on getting NPCs moving around and using seats, beds and the environments.
Shop Keepers need to be believable and engaged in work.
They show some updated Squadron 42 Footage of the Quater Master interacting with the player.
Combat AI – They are replacing the current FPS Combat AI with a more modular behavior tree.
Every AI will run the same behavior but will run different tactics based on their loadout and the cover. They know when their cover gets compromised and when they need to retreat now.
They also try to position themselves optimally for combat when fighting from cover or in a more open space.
They want to polish and get these tactics working flawlessly before moving on to more.
They are still getting some glitches & delays tho. Ideally, when it’s all smoothed out, the NPCs will have a faster/smoother and much more lethal reaction to seeing the player
The combat AI team has access to multiple people with military training which is helping with their behavior sets.
Ship AI – They have been working on Ship AI Combat Behaviors
They are now able to do oribital Strafing manuevers, flybys and breakaways.
Target selection wise the AI distribute sensibly over all targets available based on distance, ship type, loadout.
There is Self Preservation factored into the AI as well, this will have the AI breaking under fire or holding their nerve, if they lose a shield face they may take extreme evasive action.
3d Path finding will bring a lot of this together allowing AI to more effectively move around environments and use them during combat without crashing into everything.
I think at the moment working and then challenging AI is what I am looking forward to the most in the game. It obviously integral to Star Citizen’s Success and will go a huge way in fleshing out the Dynamic Mission system as well as the PU at large.