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Star Citizen Alpha 3.9 – What You Need To Know

Star Citizen, Alpha 3.9 is the next major SC PU Patch and it’s right around the Corner, here is What You Need To Know.

The 3.9.0 Patch is planned to be LIVE by the end of March 2020 BUT Because of the way CIG have been recently with Patches and Releases I would expect them to want to start the Evocati phase as early as possible, potentially as early as this weekend, next week at the latest. After evocati it will go to 1st wave ptu for Subscribers and Concierge then wider PTU to active backers & bug reporting backer before going to OPEN PTU to everyone with a GamePackage, then LIVE. 

Long Term Persistence Should make it so that your aUEC and Purchases in Game NOW carry over to 3.9 and potentially 4.0 as well… be aware they may be reasons for CIG to still do a full wipe AND LTP may be buggy and not fully transfer your Progress.

There has been a lot of change to the Roadmap Content for 3.9 over the last year BUT we have seen the cutoff now, so hopefully no further features will get cut.

Food, Drink & Player Status System

The Player Status System is being expanded to track thirst, hunger, temperature & new buffs / debuffs. Previously this has only tracked health, stamina, oxygen, limb damage and bleeding.

Players will be able to see on their mobiGlas their status and what’s affecting it.

Food and Drink have a Nutrition and Hydration Value, with the higher the number the better.

These and other consumables may also have a buff/debuff associated with them too.

Giving you more stamina or hydrating you for longer, poisoning you, affecting your vision, giving you a little health regen. Various Harvestables and narcotics will also be consumable.

It’s expected that medi-beds will be able to cure some of these undesired statues.

Temperature will also cause you to have debuffs if you get too hot or too cold. You will also have a life expectancy readout when not wearing the appropriate gear… or even when wearing it I suppose.

Food, Drink & Consumables are expected to be purchasable at Food Courts and makeable in ships that have the appropriate facilities.

Prison Gameplay – Players that have a criminal record with crimes that are not spent or paid off or removed may find themselves in prison.

If you Die or Surrender in range of bounty hunters or security and you meet the criminal requirements you will spawn in the Klesher Automated Prison on Aberdeen a moon of Hurston.

You are given an Orange Prison Jumpsuit and helmet BUT you are locked out of your normal inventory until you have either paid off your merit debt OR escaped Prison and then HACKED your fugitive Status at one of the Security Posts around the Verse using a Crypto-Key.

There is only one known route for escape in the mines of the Prison that CIG are aware of.

In Prison you will be given merits for just being logged on in there that you can then use to leave. There is a terminal in the centre of the prison that will have information on your merits, when you have enough you will be able to Request Release here and then you will respawn in the last major area you visited.

The other way to gain merits is to Mine, Klesher will furnish you with a Mining Tool and you can go mining and then when you deposit this you will given more merits.

You can also use merits to purchase now important food, drink, oxy and med pens from vending machines.

Oxygen is real valuable as the atmosphere is not breathable on Aberdeen… this also hampers escape attempts, though there are refill terminals for oxygen at certain areas.

The Prison is Automate SO NO NPC GUARDS, there are automated anti-personnel turrets around the Prison and exterior defenses tho that will fire on trespassers and escapees alike BUT also players that violate the rules in prison too, you could even see more merits added to your debt.

There are stashes hidden around the Prison / Mines and you might find useful items, food OR even shanks/shivs.

There is a Boxing Ring for players to blow off some steam.

There is also a vehicle garage where an Ursa Rover Spawns to aid in escape attempts.

There are supposed to be Prison Missions as well these could take the form of resupplying a prison, hunting fugitives, smuggling something out of a prison and missions for inmates to take out other problem inmates.

You will be able to surrender to security by coming to a halt and powering down their ships when ordered to. Security will halt their attack and arrest criminal players aboard the ship, impounding the ship if owned by a criminal. This could also see players aboard that ship be imprisoned as well for working with or harboring the criminal.

microTech Updates

New Babbage – The city is a major social and economic trading hub on microTech. Although it features microTech’s flagship store, the landing zone is also a haven for smaller tech companies. There is a Interactive Hologram that can give you various info on the city, shops with gear both new and old. As part of that there is New Clothing & Armors. I believe all Clothing and armor will have differing thermal ratings, protecting you from the elements BUT there is new armors with that focus in mind as well.

The Planet & It’s Moons will be Hooked Up to Missions to make use of this new Gameplay area.

Tho not 100% tied to microTech Weather is a major thing, there are going to be storms and conditions that affect your character locomotion, so wind slowing you down, covering your face with your hand AND as part of the play status System, being too hot or too cold will affect you and eventually kill you, wearing protective gear will help mitigate this.

3 Moons of microTech Clio, Cal-Eye-Oh-Pee, You-Ter-Pee I believe that is actually the correct pronunciation, they are all named after Greek Muses – These are built entirely with the new v4 Planet Tech, you have one with an Ocean, one with a Frozen Ocean and one with no Ocean. They should all be looking rather pretty. 

For Ships there are Improvements to the m50 bringing it up to Standard as well as the addition of the Long Awaited Prowler, the First Tevarin Ship in the Game and a stealthy drop ship focused on getting it’s troops delivered safely via EVA or on the Ground.

There is the expectation of something else vehicle of ship wise here as well that isn’t on the Roadmap, there was an Origin JumpWorks Teaser of something recently as well.

There are some extremely important AI Updates with 3D Navigation – Collision Avoidance & Pathfinding – Planet Side

The former allows AI entities to avoid each other as well as collisions with the environment. The system considers the projection in time of the position of the agents, their size and their target velocity, and provides a steering command that is as close as possible to the original intention of each agent.

The latter allows AI-controlled Ships to navigate in atmosphere using information from physics and planetary tech to set an obstacle free path. 

These together are the base for AI to navigate planets, POI and move around the Verse appropriately.

Also the AI is supposed to be tied into the Status System allowing them to understand where is dangerous, cold when they need to eat and drink too BUT to what extent in 3.9 isn’t clear.

Interaction System is seeing Improvements providing appropriate player feedback when items can’t be used, adjusting UI elements to scale/place correctly with geometry, and the ability to bind commonly used actions to hotkeys.

Also expect to see HUD/UI updates with further integration of the new Building Blocks UIs making elevators, buttons and interactions be more tactile and less inner thought based.

CIG were working on a Quick Action Wheel to allow you to change weapons and take off / put on your helmet quickly to allow you to eat and drink more easily that is likely to fall in 3.9.

There is a Restricted Area Rework allowing the AirTrafficControl to open up paths for players to enter the restricted area and fly to a landing pad with guidance. These areas will become more natural and won’t require obtrusive materials to show their presence. This should really make the cities feel more tangible when you are flying near them.

There is going to be general mission improvements but a focus here is Bounty Mission & PvP Bounties with Additions to the space bounty mission type that allow hunted NPCs to use quantum travel to evade the player as well as gameplay to allow players to hunt other players with bounties on their heads.

There is a big swath of Content that is planned for 3.9 that is not on the Roadmap too.

There is a Prison Transport Mission – The Price of Freedom from Twitch Pacheco, which tasks the player with assaulting a disabled Caterpillar Prison Transport, taking out the escorts, boarding, taking out the guards, using data-pads to work out what prisoner pods to open and an optional to take out the snitch in one of the pods too.

There is the Idris Mission as well, with a fully fledged NPC Idris to fight against, this is part of the Arlington Gang Bounty Hunt Missions that are currently in game with the final one having the Idris to try and take down. We don’t know if we will be able to board the Idris or if we may be able to steal it even, tho CIG can certainly lock out chairs like in the 890 Jump Mission.

Volatile Cargo is planned, this will have cargo types that may be dangerous, time dependent or perishable. Don’t get it to it’s destination in time and it’s worthless OR take too much damage and BOOM! You get the idea. CIG elaborated on this saying:

“It will need to be taken to a refining kiosk quickly and carefully to prevent it from detonating inside the ship.”

Updates to Various other Aspects of the Game are expected too.

Ship in Ship Spawning – We know in January they implemented vehicle-to-vehicle loadout spawning, which will enable players to store and spawn vehicles within the cargo bays of other vehicles. My assumption is that this is still planned for 3.9.

Balance & Economy Tweaks, just the addition of new babbage as a place to trade will affect the economy quite a bit. There were various new Narcotics & Commodities that CIG have been working on, including Quantanium for Quantum Fuel.

We know that CIG have been working on mining consumables that can be added to some of the mining lasers in game and will allow you to quickly aid in your mining with one time uses, preventing an explosion, giving a power boost OR making a rock easier to mine.

Talking of Rocks it’s also supposed to be a feature of 3.9 that mineables are in veins that will run dry… so this will have players moving around the Stanton System looking for mining areas that will change over time.

SSOCS is still being dialled in so expect some server side and network code updates here too, I am hoping that this will address the desync issues. We know that CIG have at least played around with increasing Server Limits though if we will see further testing in 3.9 of this remains to be seen.

From Data-Mines it looks like there is going to be the separation of Backpacks from Armor, so they will be their own items that you can attach to most armors.

Some other missions that were data-mined include assassination/bounty hunts that require you to work together with another player, taking out 2 targets in 2 different locations similtaniously.

We know that Theatres of War should go into testing at some point, though I would sort of expect that separate to the 3.9 / 4.0 patch personally.

And that’s kind of it. I am pretty excited for the Patch BUT then I always am for any major release. I am in 2 minds whether I should grind in 3.8.2 now for 3.9… that said I’ll be busy with Evocati Testing I suspect soon, so that will be academic.

There are possibly more additions, patches and more that might make it into 3.9 as well especially missions, commodities. It’s unlikely but possible that features could still slip from 3.9 BUT it should be pretty locked in now.