Persistence & Progression is what currently Star Citizen’s Persistent Universe lacks. It’s a major core feature that is needed before the game can be considered a mmo or by many gamers worth playing. I have seeing a lot of confusion and questions about Persistence, Permanent Progression and Resets which I thought a video would be useful.
Currently in Star Citizen progression is reset at least every 3 months with each major patch and some minor ones, your progression being your aUEC, Purchases in game, mission log, reputation, ship status and current location even you character data is purged and you have to remake a new character.
One of the reasons for this is due to the current way CIG store data and those databases as well as constant interactions and changes to the core tech and backend of the game with their current pCache which can only deal with small amounts of players and data.
Platform Persistence is the first stage of persistence for the PU and is planned to be coming during the 3.8 patch cycle in a 3.8.x patch sometime in 2020.
Platform Persistence allows CIG to more readily store and transfer database information, what this means in terms for the game is that some information can be saved between patches, more specifically this will see aUEC Balance and aUEC Purchases made in game like Ships, Items, Components saved, thus giving actual progression HOWEVER this will still see database wipes / resets just more rarely.
There are still many major issues though, Server are still volatile so when a server crashes or you log off the server hasn’t saved any data and the server is reloaded fresh & new, though your location might be saved if you had logged off in a bed still, this is a bit more of a faked kind of persistence tho.
Full Persistence is the next major step in this process in Permanent Progression and is Planned for mid – late 2020 the major backend part of this is the iCache, which you will be hearing a lot about though 2020 – It provides an indexing and query system that can be utilized by other services for specific and complex item queries.
It will be able to save data of even small object between sessions and servers, so you could potentially hide a multi-tool under a rock on a random planet and get it a few days later.
Items will have a level of importance before they degrade or are removed by the server tho.
Shell Casings, trash and shrapnel being obvious things that the server might want to clean up rather than save.
This also comes with a robust database system and means that progression and player information can be saved between major patches and not just aUEC, Ships and Items BUT also things like Server information with locations, mission progress, reputation, criminal rating, character data.
You could Log back on where you logged off even after a major patch and have the same character with all of the ships and aUEC you had made previously.
One of the other things this solves is server volatility and hand offs, so server data can be saved when a server goes down or crashes or moves over to a new patch, it also means that data can be passed on to a new server which is a prerequisite to Server Meshing which requires the seamless movement and data transfer between servers as well as redundancy.
Although Resets may still take place though even with this stage of full persistence, this could be due to Database & Game Issues, because CIG wants to test something and when the game goes to a next deployment phase moves on from Alpha to Beta, Live Release.
What else does Full Persistence allow for?
It’s the prerequisite to a lot of content for the game and opens the floodgates to a
True Dynamic Economy, we should start to see bits of the economy coming together over the next few months but we need progression and data to be constantly saved and be able to be handed off to have a true one and for all of this data to effect the game world, what missions are generated for the needs of the economy and changing elements in the verse. This certainly will see some elements and parts completed before it
This will also see better resource tracking on planets and asteroids, expand POI to allow for new locations like new asteroid fields to be discovered and then that locational data to be saved beyond the current session.
There is the potential we could see Personal Hangars & Habs and even land claim gameplay once full persistence is in, though some of that might be tied to Server Meshing, server meshing is also one of the features that requires full persistence as it allows that seamless transfer of data between servers and for server data to be saved. This also has CIG increasing Server Caps and with Fully Fledged Dynamic Server Meshing potentially everyone being on the same mega-server.
So when will we have Permanent Progression?
This is actually expected before CIG is technically fully completed and will basically be heralded by the switch to UEC from aUEC and that being permanently tracked on your account. When the PU starts using UEC then we should have permanent progression without resets, at least to your financials in game. I would expect this move over to aUEC in 2020 and probably not in 2021 either.
Is the game considered LIVE or released when we have permanent progression?
Well it’s going to be based on what other features are complete by that time, I think realistically you should consider it less in hardline definitions.
Permanent progression (kind of) means the game is live BUT we won’t see a feature complete beta for star citizen for quite some time and then even after that CIG need to build a 100 star systems and they also want to add more ships and more features beyond what they already have.