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Star Citizen – The Physical Damage System

Welcome to some more Star Citizen there was a lot of information about Armor, the physical damage system, ammo types, UI and sound all give to us around CitizenCon and I wanted to compress that info and share it here, the weapon and armor stuff is especially juicy.

Armor

Armors will do a number of things and can affect the players:

Environmental Resistances

Physical Damage Protection

Amount they can carry & inventory

They will affect HuDs that the player has.

Sensors & Detection 

Armors and items for that matter produce power as well as a signature which can be detected.

Armor will provide players with Life Support and will effect.

They will affect a player’s movement speed as well as a players stamina (which is going to receive some work soon) being affected too.

You’ll be able to choose different types of armor for each body part tho some armors might work together well or be designed to make use of another item or piece of armor some might just not work together.

They can have different sub components as well based on available slots you could affect protections or give modifiers to your armors utilitarian systems or have more inventory space or lose space for extra speed.

With item and armor choices you’ll be able to specialize into mining, exploring, scouting, being a field medic, various types of ground infantry.

There will be some very specific combat vs utilitarian armor pieces.

You’ll see some armors for carrying loads of cargo OR having big EVA packs OR lots of oxygen capacity.

Armor and clothing at a glance will give you a good idea of what a player is focused on and even their thermal protections. Also running around in your boxers is preferable to running around in full anti cold gear when you are on a hot planet BUT less advantageous on microTech.

Environmental data is handled by the room system which can individally look at atmospheres in a room, building, entire biome, planet or space as well as a players suit of armor if it’s fully sealed then it’s consider it’s own atmosphere. 

Armor covering each location will be important as some may have different resistances and operating ranges.

We will start to see more of this type of gameplay coming in with the Actor Status v1 and new armors coming in Alpha 3.9, this will also have food & drink being factored in for light survival mechanics.

Armor will get wear and damage like ship systems.

You’ll see visual signs or wear and use of gear and this will also be based on where the gear is being used. You’ll see water droplets, condensation, ice on your visor … all based on where you are.


Weapons

The Game just like it’s armors has weapons made by different manufacturers.

Weapons typically come with a basic archetype of Shotgun, SMG, Rifle, Pistol,Sniper ect… BUT the manufacturer will vastly change how the weapon performs.

There are some more exotic and unique weapons too like the Salvo Pistol and Railgun.

Attachments allow weapons to handle & fire differently as well as adding things like scopes.

Weapons will deal a damage type typically being in categories 

Physical with Ballistics

Energy with Laser, Plasma, Electron & Tachyon

Distortion with EMP Damage

Chemical / Radiation with Gamma coming in the future

Some weapons will be able to change Ammo, so you could see various types of ballistics available for an SMG including less than lethal rounds for example.

We also know that there is going to be various types of grenade for example and some of these are for utility like flashbangs and concussion grenades for Zero G. 

Each damage type typically will have different modifiers and armors will have resistances. Lasers fire quickly with low damage, plasma has a DOT and could deal more damage the more you get hit, Electron has an EM effect and can stun, Tachyon will likely be accurate and hit scan.

Distortion can damage and disable components (assumedly without actually damaging them permanently), Chemical or Radiation Damage is likely to Poison you.

This is also going to be part of the physical damage system that ships are part of too and weapon damage will affect the area it hits based on the hull, armor, any items and the exact location. 

Using the right weapon or armor for the right task and to counter each other is going to be incredibly important & we could potentially see weapons or FPS items literally being destroyed if they take a direct hit with enough damage.


UI

There is a huge amount of improvement that UIs in game need.

They are going to put a large core UI Update out in a future patch with improvements to pretty much everything HUD, UI, Screens, MFD, mobiGlas & Panel and button related. They are going to favor diegetic buttons over inner thought where possible too. We will start to see elevator panels and doors in the shorter term get the more tactile buttons.

They want players to be able to use buttons on lift or fiddle with their mobiGlas BUT for other players to see what player is doing & looking at too. This is a major challenge BUT they are working on it!

Different gear, ships and brands will have their own styles of UI


Sound

There isn’t supposed to be sound in space BUT Star Citizen focuses on fun and action and rule of cool over some of the more realistic elements, it is a game after all and feedback on where threats are OR where your ship is damaged OR if one of your engines is struggling is all part of game systems that make games more enjoyable.

The in lore reason for hearing sounds in space is that your gear or cockpit is giving you a sound simulation basically positional audio and sounds in space BUT you could turn this all off.

Sound systems are now much less resource heavy and have been decoupled from graphical effects which means they can do more with them and should see less problems.

You’ll see groupings of sounds associated with manufacturers, biomes, locations and brands.

Sounds in Star Citizen are typically a load of different layers all happening at the same time.

Each thruster is it’s own sound source that can be affected by damage and the environment.

You’ll also see sound attached to item condition, so you’ll be able to workout how damaged something is, even in the dark.

Weather will change and affect sounds that you hear and how your ship reacts.

They will be adding a sonic boom sound in the future.

There will be sound focusing for certain situations allowing you to know when you are being targeted or are getting hit by lowering the volume of “less” important sounds at that time.