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Star Citizen News – What Are We Getting With Alpha 3.9.0?

Welcome to some more Star Citizen News, we are still waiting on SC Alpha 3.9.0 to go to first wave PTU, we have a sneak peek at a new pistola, players might be able to choose an Imperator and with all the changes and delays what are we actually getting with Alpha 3.9.0?

First a quick news update. The Sneak Peek from the Newsletter this week was of the New Lightning Bolt Co Pistol planned for 4.0

We have seen it’s bigger brother weapon the Sniper Rifle in a bit more detail already, it looks like CI are still working out exactly how it’s damage type will affect objects and characters.

There was no inside Star Citizen this week, it returns on the 23rd of April.

We did have a SC Live which looked at some Lore.

They do want players to be able to influence the Imperator Vote in the future, at the moment they are building up NPC candidates and having that going out every month.

They want the Galatapedia to be available in game at some point with a mobiGlas App.

They regularly update the Galaticpedia on the website side regularly.

The Transmissions / Hacked Broadcasts in Alpha 3.7 were part of something that will become apprentant in the future.

Earth in Lore is overcrowded

They build Lore so that it shouldn’t need to be retconned in the future.

Lore will evolve within in game achievements, if a player discovers something or defeats a particularly powerful pirate that achievement will be recorded in the universe, though this sort of stuff will be uncommon.

Narrative are going to be tying some interesting dynamic changes to the economy and POI with the quantum system in the future too.

So what are we actually getting in Alpha 3.9.0 now?

3.9.0 is Progressing with the Evocati and once it’s stable enough to allow for more players it will go to first wave PTU… the most common suggestion is performance and desync probably causing issues.

In the Recent Roadmap Round Up we saw Performance Optimization, Prison Uniforms & the microTech Collection of Clothing / Armor are now in polishing BUT

The Restricted Area Rework has been moved from 3.9 to 4.0 & additional tasks added to the feature with CI giving a bit of an explanation.

“Although the team is happy with the progress being made on this rework, we’ve decided that it will need a little extra love to ensure it’s up to our standards and will end up missing the cutoff for its scheduled release.” 

This now sees 3.9.0 with the following Features:
New Babbage the Landing Zone of microTech is being added. It has multiple zones and locations, a spaceport that connects to a high speed train that takes you to the city proper either the Shopping & Commercy Areas or the Apartment/Player Hab Area. There are lots of shops, food courts with purchasable food, NPCs running around doing exercise, social areas which change based on the time of day, Wally’s Bar will have a laser show. In fact more generally you’ll see lights change on external structures in those day night cycles.

There is access to the Surface from the city and spaceport.

There is quite a lot to see and look around but it’s very much an Oasis on the harsh frozen surface of microTech, with clean beautiful domes, interesting GM Plants and open glass ceilings.

There are 3 New Moons for microTech as well, Calliope (Call-e-Oh-Pee) Euterpe & Clio.

These are built entirely from the start with the new V4 Planetary Tech and we will see Ocean, Frozen Ocean and other interesting focused biomes there. 

Another New Location Klesher Automated Prison on Hurston’s Moon of Aberdeen. This brings with it Prison Gameplay & Missions within Prisons. If you have committed certain crimes and are then taken out by/near security forces you will then respawn in Prison with a debt of Merits you need to pay off and no access to your normal inventory. You can earn merits by just being logged on in Prison BUT also you can use a mining tool underneath the prison to collect valuables and then deposit them for merits. Once you have enough merits you can leave.

The only other way of leaving prison is by escaping through the mines BUT you are going to need to find the right route and oxygen is needed as the atmosphere on Aberdeen is not breathable. Once you have escaped you need to hack your prison sentence away at one of the security depots like Security Post Kareah.

There are some New Laws as well, so look out for those.

Items & Gear Wise – We have Prison Flight Suits / Uniforms for when you are an escapee or prisoner.

The microTech set of new clothings and armors, including various thermal protective armors and gear.

More recently CI showed off some RSI Sub armor the Overlord Helmet, which will be in 3.9 as well and we are assuming that the rest of the suit will be available in game sometime in May. 

Player Status System updates are pretty major, adding light survival mechanics to the game players will have hunger and thirst necessitating Food & Drink that will be harvestable and purchasable around the Verse and this can give Buffs/Debuffs. They don’t want this to be overly invasive so don’t expect to need to eat and drink really often UNLESS you are on a hot planet or suffering a debuff.

Temperature & Environments are also a part of the system.

This should be adding stats to clothing and armor of all types to do with thermal protections.

Daymar is extremely Hot for example, while microTech is extremely cold and you will need protection to survive more than a few seconds. A timer will give you a suspected survival time while being in dangerous temps.

Weather & Locomotion Updates are also here with your character reacting to wind or storms by slowing down or protecting their face.

There are New Commodities with Quantium Volatile Cargo being the one that’s the biggest change. You mine quantanium and then need to transport it quickly and safely to a sales kiosk. Volatile Cargos may lose value or become valueless after a certain amount of time AND may even explode if you take damage or josile it too much. The idea here is to add risk and reward. Eventually quantanium will be used in the manufacture of quantum fuel.

New Missions – Prisoner Transport (The Price of Freedom Mission), Co-op Assassination, microTech & New Babbage Hooked up to the Mission System

Bounty Hunting Improvements – In Addition to new Bounty Hunting Missions they were also adding the ability for the Bounty to evade and go to Quantum.

There are missions for Escapees and Prisoners, hunting them down, if someone is causing trouble in a prison the inmates may have to deal with them.

There are some pretty big AI Updates for ships… if they work.

Navigation – Collision Avoidance, Pathfinding Planetside.

This will allow AI ships some new functionality and less derp.

The system allows AI entities to reciprocally 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.

Also they are also getting AI ships to navigate in the atmosphere. The path search will use data from the elevation map of the planet and physical information about the additional objects present (buildings, rocks and so on) to set an obstacle free path. 

This is great if it all works but it is all essential pieces of AI of the future for sure.

CI confirmed that there would be no persistence reset for the most part so your progress of items, ships and aUEC should carry over from 3.8.2 to 3.9 HOWEVER players with huge sums of money that had used exploits may see a reset or some of their ill gotten gains removed.

Rewind Time Latency Improvements have been made with network prediction code used to ensure positions and states are accurate and as close to real time as possible between clients and server. This is mostly utilized for FPS & animations for the players BUT really you need high stable server tick rates for this to work as intended. I am hoping this may help with desync too BUT it could as with everything else cause new bugs too.

There are huge updates to the Personal Inner Thought Menu. This will allow you to open a Contextual Radial Menu, use inventory, Interact with whatever you are near easily with nested groups of functions. You won’t have to search around in the options menu trying to work out how to do something, you can find it in the innerthought menu and activate it there OR even set hotkeys for it there too both on foot and in a ship. 

To use the innerthought you hold F and Right Click.

Also you can access useables like food in your inventory and use it to quick switch weapons.

Talking about weapons you’ll also be able to mod them in real time now as well, changing out scopes or rail items.

CI and Turbulent have been working on a Contacts List Refactor orFriends List Unification – a single “Friends/Contacts Service” that both Spectrum AND the DGS (Dedicated Game Servers) can pull from in order to display a player’s contacts/friends list. This will allow for things such as “Pending” friend and party invites as well as visibility to whether players are online or not. The Front End UI will be rebuilt in our new Building Block Tech to allow for future expansion of the functionality. Additionally, the main goal is to allow for easier “player to player” connectivity within the SC Universe. By converting this into a unified service, it will also lay the framework to create better lobby functionality in the future for all game modes (with the initial focus being with connecting to other players in the PU).

As it’s real time you can add someone on the website/spectrum and they will be immediately available in your game as a friend and vice-versa. 

The Prowler is the only ship listed for 3.9, this is the first Tevarin Ship we have for the game, it’s a stealthy, armored focused drop ship allowing the ship to be pressurized with it’s doors open using air shields.

A New Straight to flyable ship or vehicle is a possibility as well though no confirmations beyond a teaser for something from Origin JumpWorks coming soon.

If 3.9.0 LIVE is stable and playable enough I would expect to see CI run a FreeFly Week with it’s launch BUT you should also see a flyable ship sale with the Prowler and anything else new available too.

I hope that CI are able to dial in SOCS and get rid of the terrible de-sync issues.

It was a shame that the Idris Mission, m50 updates, restricted city rework got pushed back to 4.0 BUT if 3.9 can be stable and playable then it will still stract my SC itch.

We also know there is a 3.9.1 Patch Planned

This should contain bug fixes and triage to the patch BUT also will include the P-52 Emerald Snub Ship.

And that’s it for this week and what we are preparing for in Alpha 3.9.0. I hope we get 1st Wave PTU REAL soon… and that LIVE build isn’t too delayed, realistically by the end of April now seems reasonable for the LIVE build.

I hope everyone is staying safe and sane during the current times if you need to reach out for company and sanity sake please do and if you are able to and have time to reach out to someone else to say hi and make sure they are doing well then do!