Star Citizen, there have been some major changes with the PU Roadmap and I recently covered 3.9s Changes BUT what of the other patch that is actively receiving work & development, I want to look at changes to Star Citizen Alpha 4.0 the patch that is expected to go LIVE end of Q2 2020 / end of June. What’s Been Removed & What is now a focus for the Patch?
Various Features were Removed from the patch and as they haven’t updated to 4.1 or later yet we don’t know where these features will fall.
Atmospheric Combat Ship AI has been removed – Though the AI 3d Pathfinding Planetside & Navigation Collision Avoidance Features appeared in 3.9, so really I think we are getting the 1st implementation of the feature earlier really.
Flight AI and FPS AI Improvements and Polishing have both been removed from 4.0, however these features will be split and placed into other features as this better represents CIGs goals and progress.
Zero-G push & pull the ability to help propel yourself around terrain and the environment using your body. That’s moved off the Roadmap.
NPC Healing, the ability to use medi and oxy-pens on NPCs or other Players has been removed, which is a shame as it looked like they were going to add a few more medical mechanics in the short term, with those additions of medibeds.
Multicrew Expanded Pilot & Turret Gunner Role features have been removed. Tho there is a focus on multicrew & group gameplay this year it appears and CIG want to split & update the feature plans for the medium term, so we should see new features on the Roadmap to reflect this in the future.
The GP-33 FPS Grenade Launcher has also slipped off.
So in regard to things getting removed it’s not really that much, in fact most of has been removed is just going to be part of other features.
So what is in 4.0? A Lot of Features from 3.9 were Moved to 4.0.
FPS Combat Weapon Types – Basically different FPS loadouts for NPCs with a knowledge of how to use those weapons effectively.
FPS Cover Usage v1 the ability for AI to use different cover types, be aware of cover and move between it appropriately.
Death Animation Improvements – Combining updated ragdoll properties with the animation system to make the death reactions of players and NPCs more realistic.
We also have all the Weapons from 3.9 pushed here the:
Gemini C54 Ballistic SMG
Lightning Bolt Co. Yubarev Electron Pistol
Lightning Bolt Co. Atzkav Electron Sniper Rifle
Klaus & Werner Sledge Mass Driver Ship Weapon Revision
There were a few completely New Features Added to 4.0:
- Body Dragging – functionality for the player to move an incapacitated or dead NPC by dragging the body around an environment.
- Ship HUD Rework – Using the New Building Blocks UI System to make some much needed HUD & UI Improvements for Ships.
- QT Linking for AI Ships – NPCs can request and provide escort services and quantum travel with the associated players. This should open up a whole host of new missions and is actually pretty cool to see!
So that’s the Major Changes to 4.0 BUT the Patch Does have a lot of Other Features:
Crusader – Stanton II is Crusader, a low-mass gas giant that has an atmosphere which is breathable at high altitudes. Taking advantage of this, the planet became home to a military-constructed latticework of inhabitable floating platforms. The platforms proved to be ideal for Crusader, since normally their large-scale commercial transport ships would otherwise need to be built at a greater cost in space. Once Crusader Industries purchased the planet from the UEE, these platforms were further expanded upon to suit their production needs and are now used to build massive ships like the Starliner, Starlifter and Star Runner. The planet will be the first Gas Giant in game and have Tech being used for the first time with the Planetary Tech, the Planet will have various POI/Missions tied to it too.
Orison – With a webbing of eerily beautiful shipyards constructing Crusader ships suspended in mid-atmosphere, Orison is considered by many to be the most picturesque port in the Stanton system. As the main landing zone on Crusader, in addition to the shipyards, its latticework of platforms houses the company’s headquarters and employee habitation area. Beyond Crusader’s commercial needs, many tourists visit the world (often brought there by Crusader’s own Genesis Starliners) looking to experience the stunning vistas offered by Orison’s verdant gardens and the gas giant’s clouds below.
New Mission Givers – Lisa Gibbs & Devin Bautista they are community outreach officers for Crusader Security and will give you security lawful focused missions from their office in Orison.
The NPC Scheduler – it adds and removes NPCs to the Game, dynamically spawning them into and out of based on NPC Archetype, determining the maximum number of NPCs in a Given area (based on a ratio of players in the area and server performance), and the probabilities of those NPC Archetypes.
NPCs will need to spawn in a ‘Spawn Locker’ for every Landing Zone, spawning in a hidden location that is impassable by a player such as an invisible barrier or more likely an air-shield or turnstile that cannot be used by players.
FPS AI Combat Behaviors v2 – Creating varied and believable combat behaviors for enemy AI to adopt in battle. The AI will not only use a variety of weapons to create different combat situations but will have different ways to engage the player, whether in groups or solo. This task also includes creating varying levels of combat training and skill sets for specific areas or situations.
Ship-to-Station Docking – Adding the ability to dock and spawn vehicles connected to space stations. This functionality is required for some of the larger ships to spawn at certain locations. It’s also expected (at least by me) that ships & vehicles spawning could come at the same time as this feature.
The Security System – it 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.
New Shield Systems – Replacement of the legacy shield setup system with the new Signed Distance Field tech to allow for the future implementation of more dynamic, form-fitting visuals and effects, as well as improved performance for collision. This promises to fix a load of problems with shields and shield holes as well.
Server to Client Actor Networking Rework – much needed Improvements to the downstream part of the actor networking responsible for communicating actor state from the server down to clients. This will improve the positioning and movement of other players and NPCs on your client, with improved dead reckoning, helping to reduce perceived lag and instances of rubber-banding. This hope to have better hit reg, lower the added animation delay from 250ms to a fraction of that as well as help to eliminate desync.
And that’s it for what’s listed for 4.0 currently.
I would expect a ship or vehicle here as well, maybe something straight to flyable typically CIG wants to get a new ship or 2 in each major patch. Also there are various other content like new missions, commodities, gear, improvements, variations and gameplay that might also appear in the patch too.
There is actually quite a lot of content for this patch and after Crusader is added then really all the stanton system needs is Jump Gates and the Aaron Halo to be considered kinda of complete… I say kind of because they are going to be improving bits and adding loads of new POI and then the Dynamic Economy / Mission System… There is lots of new stuff coming to Stanton and areas of the game even after they are “complete”.