welcome to some more Star Citizen with a Roadmap Update for Alpha 4.1 the Q3 2020 Patch for the Persistent Universe and what’s included there, we are also going to have a look at a couple of features that have moved to 4.0 and some general patch progression news as well as some updates to Prison Gameplay Coming this March.
Star Citizen Alpha 3.8.2d is on PTU currently, the Carrack in that build, anyone that has a Carrack or is evocati / concierge should have access to it for testing.
Also Rented ships should no longer appear as owned after filing insurance claims or waiting beyond the rental period.
The Carrack is extremely cool as a ship visually and polish wise.
There have been a couple of Roadmap Changes with 2 of the 3.9 Features they just announced slipping to 4.0 as they need more time this being 2 things related to ship combat the New Targeting Methodology (changes to how targets are tracked on and off your screen, with UI updates to improve the visibility of locked and tracked targets, and the return of pinned targets.) & High Speed Combat (This feature is going to have things like shields being less effective if you are travelling above SCM speeds and maybe you can’t launch missile or go into quantum… we will have to see what CIG decides to run with BUT it’s basically risker to fight at higher speeds) this delay is because CIG want this to now align with the Ship HUD Rework, as the included Building Blocks UI will be greatly beneficial for those features, it looks like 4.0 is being setup as a significant balance and combat improvement patch now.
The New Alpha 4.1 Roadmap was also shared at least partly, it’s reasonably bare at the moment CIG have said:
“Keep in mind that we plan on additional cards/tasks being added in the coming weeks as some ongoing discussions wrap up. To be more specific, locations/environment require the input of all other teams and what they are aiming to achieve, so they tend to be some of the last to fall into place in planning. Character tasks will also be added following locations, as the character priorities are dependent on the locations included in a patch.”
The implication there is that Pyro, the Aaron Halo and POI like New Stations & other locations. This could also be some expansion to areas and have new mission givers too based on the areas planned.
So that’s listed for 4.1 currently and what do the features do?
There is Realistic Weapon Handling for FPS AI – Adding functionality for AI to evaluate their proficiency with different weapons, use the one best suited to the situation, and manage ammunition accordingly. This will lead to a wider variety of loadouts and tactics employed by NPCs.
There is also Combat Improvements and Polishing to the FPS as well with various finishing touches – This polishing pass contains final work on behaviors and balancing, as well as bug fixing. The overall goal is to improve the look and feel of character combat in the game. There is an implication that AI should be in an extremely good state for FPS combat at this time… which seems outlandish seeing how NPC AI is in game currently
Ship AI: Hazard Awareness and Avoidance – Adding the Ability for AI to identify hazardous areas and react accordingly. This should see them recgonise heavily guarded zones, environmental hazards etc. and steer clear of peril accordingly.
There is also some physics and object interaction focus with:
Combined Throw – Improving grenade throwing to make it more accurate and reliable, as well as expanding the throwing mechanic to accommodate other objects in the world unifying it all. So you’ll be throw items to each other, using them to distract people and maybe even for some basket ball or minigames.
Object Push and Pull which allows players to do that with various size items & boxes including large ones.
The much loved Mercury Star Runner smuggling, cargo, data running multi-role ship is here.
There is a Missile Operator Mode – which gives players the option to select and fire specific missiles while operating in ships, such as the Vanguard, which allow for different types of missiles and torpedoes.
Greycat FPS Multi-Tool Cutting Attachment – Continued development of the existing Multi-Tool to allow players to cut through specific objects. This will primarily include the ability to free-form cut on specific surfaces. This is expected to allow for lots more mission types and ways of playing, opening vents, cutting out components, this should eventually be part of the salvage and maybe repair mechanics too.
There is also the Behring GP-33 Grenade Launcher, which from a data leak a while ago looked like it might have a lot of different ammo types in the future as well. Ever since the days of Quake I have loved grenade launchers.
That’s all that’s listed there for the moment BUT there is a lot of other things that 4.1 could see as well… they range from features like Gameplay loops like Salvage or Data Running, Physicalized inventories, the Physical Damage System, Physical Components, Other New Ships or Vehicles, as said earlier locations / POI, there is almost certain going to be some new missions, I am hoping we see the Dynamic Economy and Mission System start to come in here too BUT we will have to wait and see.
CIG did have some information from the Ship Experience team that work to improve the feel of the game from that we also know that CIG want to improve turret gameplay at some point as well, they have been working on improvements like aim assist and ESP as well for ships and turrets… We should be see various HUD Improvements to various parts of the game from patch to patch, the Carrack for expample moves away from inner thought for it’s buttons on elevators and panels having you choose from the UI of the object itself.
We should see parking / belly cams at somepoint (expect a low res basic thing showing where the ground is), they will be working on balance for things like fixed weapons in the future too. Thruster outputs are getting tweaked for atmospheric flight , this should really help with the criticism I have with that part of the flight model.
They also are working on weather effects on ships, storms and more.
There was a Sneak Peek at part of the New Babbage Plaza on microTech for 3.9.
There was a Prison AMA from the guys that are implementing them for Alpha 3.9, giving us a lot of information about how they will work in the short term.
They want prisons gameplay itself to not be frustratiting BUT they do want to have it as somewhere that prevents players earning UEC or commiting more crimes for a while.
The merits you have to pay off in prison are tied to you criminal record NOT your current crime stat.
Once you have enough merits – you can report to a Release Processing terminal and apply for release, at which point you fade down and wake in your last spawnpoint prior to arrest.
We won’t be able to smuggle items into a prison yet BUT, you will be able to smuggle items out that you find in the prison that you might not be able to find anywhere else ( like shivs). And they will be making missions where the objective will be to escape and deliver items collected inside the prison.
Only those who survive the escape will get a Klescher Souvenir Jumpsuit.
They are pushing for environments that change dynamically over time and I’d love to do an abandoned prison at some point anyone could go explore.
There is currently only 1 “planned” escape route from the Klesher Mines
Once you are on the surface of Aberdeen after escape it would be
“Best to have someone ready to pick you up. There is a single URSA locked in a garage (it does respawn), but you’ll have find the code to open it and take a gamble on it not already have been stolen.”
You can catch players that escape, before they hack their criminal rating down, they will have an extra large bounty on their heads.
Escapees will not have access to their global inventories until they hack down their criminal rating. This is sort of a placeholder until with have local inventories.
For future risks in Prisons – Automated turrets will police the cell blocks, but gangs in the mines will be an issue. There will be the notion of Violent Inmates for those hurting other players, these will likely have a bounty put on their head for other inmates to claim. Violent inmates will likely not be able to accrue merits. We will be monitoring this kind of behaviour closely.
Eating and Drinking and acquiring more oxypens are things that you will want to do in prison.
Players will be able to get some of the way into prison from the outside BUT not all the way in apparently.
They are releasing a mission where players must assault a prison transport Caterpillar and identify the inmates in cryopods and begin their revive procedure. You can also identify the “snitch” and take them out.
If a criminal surrenders then others may be affected if they are on the same ship…
If the ship is stolen it will be despawned. If it is owned by a criminal it will be despawned and impounded. All players aboard will be likely be a criminal (if only for harbouring a felon) and wake in prison.