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Star Citizen 2020 | Bounty Hunters & Prison

Star Citizen has had a lot of planned gameplay moved around on the roadmap but exposed a lot more of the plans for certain gameplay loops. Star Citizen Alpha 3.9 and throughout 2020 it appears that Star Citizen plans to get a lot more in depth Outlaw, Law, Bounty Hunting & Security Gameplay. I had a lot of requests to cover these topics so here we go.

CIG are working on some features…. For Outlaw Gameplay with a number of things including Law System Improvements: After specific infractions and capture by authorities, criminal players will wake up  in  prison, and must either serve time, earn merits, or find a way to escape the prison with or without the aid of fellow players. 

Prisons are planned to be created by mixing and matching  procedurally developed caves with bespoke entrances and hubs attached. Kind of like a mixture of caves, underground bunkers and I suspect some new prison assets and architecture.

I would expect at least 1 prison per Star System that has some form of law system.

I also think there will be slaver gameplay that will be similar to this, but anyone (not just outlaws) potentially captured or killed in certain areas could wake up in a slaver prison or area.

There is a lot of Bounty Hunter Gameplay Additions now coming in Alpha 3.9.

3.9 – PvP Bounty gameplay to allow players to hunt other players with bounties on their heads & NPC Improvements that allow hunted NPCs to use quantum travel to evade the player as well as general updates to bounty behaviors.

This will also tie into AI Improvements that are being made now BUT also the Dynamic Mission System that will generate NPC bounties, this could see bounties that go uncompleted get more valuable and potentially more difficult.

Player bounties at some point are expected to be able to be set by other players and NPC factions.

This will be both reputation and criminal rating based but also if someone doesn’t like you… then maybe you better check your back.

POI & QT Events are likely to generate bounties or bounty hunters coming after players as well. NPC bounty hunters will be very interesting indeed.

The Bounty Hunter Armor Set was originally planned for 3.7 but has been re-prioritized to align the asset release alongside the Bounty Hunting gameplay (Bounty Mission NPC Improvements & PVP Bounties) coming in 3.9.

CIG are also working on Joinable Factions, In-Game Orgs  &  Reputation Systems: In real life, if you join a membership club, you might get some benefits attached – think discounts at certain merchants, free or discounted roadside assistance, etc. This feature-set will be tied to elements of the existing reputation system and introduce gameplay and in-game benefits  related  to  being  a part of specific  in-game organizations. 

Players should eventually be able to align themselves with pirate factions or NPC outlaws.

Reputation is going to be the closest thing that the game has to exp/levels in my opinion (though you could argue actual skill at playing the game, UEC amount and your fleet are effectively your level too)

There are plans for Bounty Hunter Guilds allowing players to get info on available bounties and their last known locations. Some of the ideas behind this gameplay loop is that players would Scan for Criminals on a ship or some way in FPS mode and they would be able to see a character’s criminal record and rating.

As a point of theorycraft… I am hoping that players can choose to have a name displayed over their heads (via the HuD) potentially of their choosing that can be different from their actual character name and then if you were in a party with them OR scanned them you’d see who they are in detail.

We do know that CIG have been working on FPS and general scanning improvements as well.

Eventually CIG will re-add the Security System Feature to the Roadmap:

The security system controls who has access to areas and objects based on various factors such as reputation, ownership, keycards, and faction. It will automatically issue warnings to people breaking the law and, if ignored, will flag them as criminals to security forces.  

We should after that see The Removal of Armistice Zones, these will be replaced with a more meaty Law System, Turrets, Security Forces (both ships and FPS)

I believe that they can find in game systems that will deal with most types of griefing without removing legitimate assassination & outlaw gameplay.

Ram a guy on a landing pad & you could have a big fine… do it again and you could be in prison for a couple of hours.

The Law System needs to expand out to new star systems when they are released, 

Some systems are going to be incredibly secure, like the UEE core worlds, some entirely lawless or warzones and other other in between like the Stanton System we find ourselves in currently

I would expect to see missions for all of these gameplay loops as well.

Breaking NPCs or players out of prison, bounty hunting, defending targets both individuals and locations.

Counter missions are something that CIG like to build too so expect many of these to have some other avenue to play.

I would like to see rewards for each individual ship cleared from POI and pirate nests, variable reward missions.

I expect that we will see ways to track ships and players as well via scanning, if someone escapes into Quantum can we track them by scanning their trail OR are we able to attach a beacon to them or something? Maybe scanning them alerts the Authorities and other bounty hunters in the area & they are more likely to get interdicted if in a lawful area.

We know that Tony Zurvovic will be answering questions on some of these topics in the not too distant future & some of these features will be seen on the roadmap soon. CIG have also more recently said that they like to evolve some of these mechanics based on the needs of the game and player feedback rather than having more detailed plans of a final implementation, so expect these gameplay mechanics to change based on how they are received.