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Star Citizen – What Does Alpha & Beta Mean? | CIG on Griefing

Welcome to some more Star Citizen there were some really interesting posts over the last few days with CIGs Stance on Griefing and Stream Sniping, there was a really good post on what Alpha & Beta Phases mean for Star Citizen and there is a few little other bits too I wanted to talk about.

Excessive Griefing & Stream Sniping – Spectrum Post by Zyloh CIG

Hi everyone,

We’ve recently received a lot of reports detailing excessive griefing, and would like to take a moment to openly address the feedback and share our stance.

For a majority of these matters, a PVP solution is preferable. Frequently when these scenarios are reported to us, we encourage those who feel they are being targeted to rally with their friends and orgs in an attempt to fight back. We’re not here to protect players from aggressors, pirates, and PVPers. A big part of Star Citizen is about that dichotomy. That epic clash that occurs when opposing forces meet and rally others to their cause. The wars at Jump Town were a prime example of the exciting emergent gameplay that can blossom when a lawful player comes face to face with an outlaw.

However, there is a line that is occasionally crossed where players are going outside the bounds of immersing themselves as a Pirate/PVPer. Some users are going out of their way to leverage livestreams, and other mediums, to excessively grief. In many of these cases, it’s no longer about enjoying the game but rather, disrupting it. Stream sniping, pad ramming, firing into armistice zones, or utilizing various exploits to grief others… these are just a few examples of excessive griefing, which we do not tolerate. If you find yourself on the receiving end of this, we are more than happy to investigate, and in cases where it’s warranted, we will absolutely intervene. Simply reach out to us through our support page here, and make sure to provide as much information as possible (screenshots/video always help).

In addition to better monitoring/preventing excessive griefing, we’re also exploring a number of in-game changes that should help considerably. More info on that at a later time. And of course, in the future, the law system will also play a stronger role in creating consequences for unlawful behavior.

In the meantime (and all the time) take the sage advice of two wise individuals who once posited that we should all be excellent to each other and party on whenever possible.

I have a hot take on this… I don’t currently stream much Star Citizen LIVE Gameplay at the moment and my medium is mostly news and videos. However I have like a dozen accounts for the game so people don’t know it’s me if I am trying to film or do something in game.

When I am streaming… people turning up are content for me… whether they are idiots or no… yes if they are exploiting something OR repeatedly pad ramming you that could be annoying AND we need for the most part in game ways of dealing with that with the Fines & Law Systems.

“Naughty players” are emboldened by the fact there is no risk to a lot of bad behavior or blatant piracy. The game however is too young and dare I say it ALPHA to really have this conversation at length tho as there are Systems that CIG are implementing to deal with unwanted behaviors… Stream Sniping however will be a thing, if you are going to stream, that information is free for other players to use as they will, that in itself is not griefing.

If someone repeatedly pad rams me and is shouting constant abuse in my chat… I probably sneak away somehow or move server and ban the person in my chat, if they are spamming in the SC in game chat, I might screenshot and report if it was really bad… other things I’d do is outlast them suspect I have more ships than them xD OR I’d just change account and not show my name… not a privilege everyone has.

I thought I’d share that so you could get into my headspace, I’d rather solve an issue or make it part of my content than report personally BUT I haven’t really been targeted.

What I don’t want is people assuming every time they are killed that it’s a griefer or stream sniper. I am terrible for accusing people in Apex Legends of being cheaters… I mean some certainly are… but not the frequency that I accuse them of being xD

What “Alpha” means and what “Beta” means – Reddit Post by Matt Coville

Hey Citizens! I’m a game developer who’s been a designer on a couple of AAA titles and I see the following exchange happen here almost daily;

“Everything in this game sucks.”

“Yes, because it’s not a game yet, it’s an alpha.”

“That’s the same excuse I always get!!”

I thought it might be fruitful to talk a little about what “Alpha” actually means and then maybe a little about what to expect from a Beta.

First of all; different companies use these terms differently and every team I’ve been on has, at one time or another, argued about what Alpha and Beta should mean, so this post may not strictly apply to Star Citizen but based on what I’ve seen and read over the last 4 months, I think it’s basically correct.

Alpha is both a period of time, and a goal. This gets confusing even internally sometimes. Right now we are “in” the Alpha, but the game is not at Alpha yet. Some companies only use Alpha to mean “a period of time” and not a goal, or vice versa.

The goal of the Alpha is to get the game to “feature complete.” You make a list of everything you expect the player to be able to do in the final game. Everything. This includes things like…move. Look around. Open doors. Buy a weapon, switch weapons, fire, reload, take off, land, take a mission from an NPC, complete a mission, get paid.

A Feature is just a building block. When all features are complete…the game is not done. It’s not really even begun. All you’ve done is built all the TOOLS you’re going to use, to make the game.

It’s a long list, but the good news is; some of the things on the list you can check off right away because the Engine has done the work for you, but some things; like core gameplay loops, are very complex lists which include lists inside them and are very design intensive, require a lot of code support, custom UI, animations. Tens of thousands of man-hours of work.

This is the state we’re in now. They’re literally just going down a list of features, and checking them off when they’re done.

But those features are not content. In the finished game, you might be able to customize the paint job of every ship. Right now, only one. Having successfully implemented ship customization for one ship, they can check that off and move on. There is probably no plan to make more ships customizable any time soon. Because that’s content.

In other words, they developed all the TOOLS they need to customize ships, they proved them out with one ship, and having done that…they’re done. That feature is at Alpha. Ship customization is feature complete.

Now, they may decide…hey we have some folks who are blocked because something they need to do their jobs doesn’t work yet…let’s have them make more ships customizable. That’s something they can decide to do. But that’s sorta how it would work. “Well, we can’t make progress on X right now, let’s do more iterations of Y.”

Contracts work the same way. There’s probably only going to be a handful of different contract “templates” in the finished game. Once they have one “go find this dude and shoot him” contract in and working, that template is done. That feature is at Alpha. They can check it off. The finished game will probably have THOUSANDS of contracts, but the Alpha won’t. All they need to do for Alpha is show that they have all the TOOLS necessary to make lots of contracts.

That’s why the game feels so shallow right now, they could probably take just the contract functionality they have right now and duplicate everything World of Warcraft had at launch with the exception of, like, raids and instances.

But that process, “make tons of really cool quests each with little variations and different rewards” hasn’t even begun yet.

Because that’s the Beta. Alpha is “working toward getting all the features in and working.” Beta is “use the game’s features to make tons of content.”

Alpha is ‘feature complete.’ Beta is ‘content complete.’

That includes ALL the stuff we associate with a finished game, factions and reputation and NPCs and contracts and quest chains and battlegrounds and just everything.

What we’re playing now, isn’t a game. Of course it sucks, all we have is like…half of the tools. THEN they have to use those tools to make the content. THAT is the game.

Here’s something that’s not in the Alpha OR the Beta. “Fun.” You can reach Alpha, check everything off…and the game’s not fun. You can imagine salvage gameplay, and then design it, and implement it…and it’s not fun. And it may never be fun. There isn’t a switch in CryEngine or Lumberyard for “make it fun.” No amount of money, time, or technology can MAKE something fun.

I’ve watched entire games, finished games you could play, including games built on Lumberyard, that were never fun and were ultimately canceled before release. Hundreds of man-years of work, flushed down the toilet.

Star Citizen still has years to go, and I guarantee you, some of the things you were promised will never get there, because they couldn’t figure out how to make it fun.

But someday we will probably enter Beta and at that point we will see an EXPLOSION of content come online. Everything up until now has just been a trickle.

Anyway, just one developer’s point of view. Thanks for reading!

I just thought that was a solid insight and opinion. We all have different views on how we would like certain mechanics to be in game and all our fantasies of a finished product are going to look very different from one anothers. I am enjoying the journey that is Star Citizen’s Development very much, I love the project, devs and community, I am looking forward to something akin to a Beta in a few years time!

Calling All Devs returns later this month (March)! I don’t have the exact date as we’re still finalizing details, but you can expect the first episode in the next few weeks.

There was a Crusader Portfolio Post as well going over details of the company in lore, it helps reinforce that Crusader ships are likely to be getting more attention in 2020 beyond just the Mercury Star Runner, obviously the planet of Crusader and it’s Landing Zone are also a big factor here as they are also planned in the next few months.

I would optimistically hope to see the Hercules Starlifter and maybe even the Genesis OR Ares later this year too.

Also in that lore blurb they talked about

“In 2812, Crusader’s first carrier, the Jupiter, rolled off production lines. At first, it solely used the Jupiter to deliver its shuttles to other markets, but it wasn’t long before word of the ship’s solid craftsmanship got around and orders trickled in. Sales rose quickly after the first year and surpassed the company’s production capacity. The Army even signed a new contract with the company to use its vehicle transports to move ground-craft to the frontlines”

Maybe a BIG Carrier one day from Crusader!