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Star Citizen News – Alpha 3.7.1 FREEFLY, WIPE & Where are my SSOCS?

Hello & Welcome to some more Star Citizen News, we have progress on Alpha 3.8, where are we with SSOCS, there is a new 3.7.1 mini Patch with a progression reset & details of a FreeFly Event!

There is a FreeFly Event allowing anyone to try the latest LIVE build of Star Citizen for free.

Starting Monday the 28th of October, you can test-fly five of Star Citizen’s latest and greatest ships for the whole week, and get in the game for free. What’s more, if you refer a friend and they end up backing Star Citizen, you’ll receive your very own Kruger P-52 Merlin. 

Players that already have access will also be able to try these ships for free during this time too.

This week’s Sneak Peek from the Newsletter is of a Medbay of an undefined ship or location.

Alpha 3.8 features are starting to be completed.

3D Pathfinding v2 has moved into polishing for both SQ42 and the PU’s needs, this is an incredibly important part of Ship AI allowing them to move around more appropriately in the verse. In fact for the Squadron 42 Roadmap they have completed various tasks for FPS Navigation v2 , Flight Mission Logic Additional Control & FPS Weapon Loadouts.

Back to Alpha 3.8 though MicroTech, New Babbage, Bartenders, Restricted Area Rework & The Carrack have all completed tasks. FPS Combat has completed it’s first task of 6 as well.

We saw the New Space Station Interiors and Annuciator Panels for 3.8 in Inside Star Citizen this week too.

Alpha 3.7.1 Deployed a NEW mini-hotfix Patch to Live that also reset everyone’s progress.

This was due to a large number of players having issues which a reset would largely address. In addition to that

  • The player lens should now respect aspect ratio.
  • Personal inner-thought should now display correctly at wider aspect ratios.
  • Player ships should no longer spawn without components.
  • Ship reclaims should now work consistently.
  • The Pirate Gladius should now be available.
  • TheyFixed a server crash & players will now see an error message if they are unable to connect to the game on initial load.

This cuts down the amount of known issues BUT there are still some that might be worth solving in the short term and CIG did say that they were planning on a 3.7.2 patch too, which would make sense as there are Quantum Travel, Starmap, AI & various other sometimes game breaking issues.

In Star Citizen Live this week they made a BigBenny’s Noodle Bowl Prop / Asset.

Jump Point

Glasses & Drinkies were leaked a little while ago in a 3.7.1 data mine BUT in Jump Point they talked a little about you’d be able to get different drinks from the Barman and showed off some future facewear.

SSOCS & it’s journey to date was talked about in a huge article, I’ll do a bit of a summary.

Object-Container-Streaming is the umbrella term for all the technology that makes a vast seamless universe possible & can provide an extremely large virtual world through which the players can move without seeing a loading screen.

As Star Citizen is a Live environment they have to decide or come up with ways to introduce the Object-ContainerStreaming changes in a way that allows the game teams to gradually adapt to those new laws while keeping the game working

Object-Container-Streaming has been in development for several years. 

The Star Citizen Alpha 3.3 Branch over a year ago saw the amalgamation of various tech and tasks that allowed for Network Bind Culling & CSOCS which saw significantly better performance and less ram usage it’s made up of:

  • Levels split into building blocks (the Object-Container)
  • Entities (which make up a large part of Object-Container) implemented without LUA and as components 
  • All entity runtime state organized in Serialized-Variables for easier state communication via network 
  • Multithreaded creation of engine-side resources (textures, meshes, characters etc.) Multithreaded creation of most component types 
  • Proximity information between all entities and players provided by the Entity-Component-Update-Scheduler 
  • The ability to track dynamic entity groups (the Entity-Aggregates) 
  • Efficient ways to spawn Entity-Aggregates on clients 
  • First real-world usage of client game-simulation with partial world knowledge via Serialized-Variable-Culling

OCSS also decouples the client from universe content. As each client has only loaded the small set of entities required for its local view, the clients are no longer affected by the amount of entities we place in the universe only by their immediate surroundings. 

Currently however, the server still has everything loaded and has to pay the performance cost. And while having bad server performance doesn’t affect the clients frame rate, it causes jerkiness when objects move (as it is very likely that client and server disagree with the entities position). Which is also a serious problem, but something we want to tackle with Server-ObjectContainer-Streaming

This now leads onto work on SSOCS, that will freeze server states of areas if no players are there.

When Server-Object-Container-Streaming is done, we will have a technological solution for content scaling on the server. This means that we can place way more content into the virtual world, while the server performance is only affected by the areas where all players are active (which is a much smaller set than the whole universe). But Server-Object-Container-Streaming also comes with several additional problems, all of which the involved teams are working on in order to deliver it as soon as possible. 

They have built out some of the tech for SSOCS and can already be used to a certain degree by the devs who are working on a whole bunch of areas and problems the tech may encounter. 

The work won’t be over when the first iteration of Server-ObjectContainer-Streaming is delivered. While the first release should give us way better content scaling on the server, we will still have several areas to work in.

The next step will be the ability to save server states between servers.

And then move onto Server Meshing that allows multiple servers to be responsible for an mega instance of a System or Area of space.

There Game Content Editor also will be made “OCS” aware once SSOCS is completed, allowing them have much more optimized content, missions and locations. There is no hard date for SSOCS & Server Meshing, some of this could be targeted for 3.8 I suspect we will know more at CitizenCon