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Alpha 3.11 Station Defenses & Green Zones

Welcome to some more Star Citizen, Cloud Imperium have been really on it with the forum posts and on giving out information about Alpha 3.11s new features during the Evocati phase and we have had some more updated information on Station/POI Defenses, Security Forces and some new associated laws in a post entitled Alpha 3.11 | Rest Stop Armistice Restrictions Update:

“Hello again, everyone!

Coming at you with another update as we get closer to Alpha 3.11! Like we mentioned before, teams are putting the final touches on their work that you’ll be able to see in the ‘verse come patch day, and we’re taking the opportunity to provide some additional insight into some of the upcoming improvements!

In tomorrow’s Roadmap update, a card will be added detailing the relaxation of armistice restrictions. Beginning in Alpha 3.11, we are allowing ship combat in Armistice Zones around all rest stops. The caveat is that it’s ship combat only – FPS weapons combat is still disabled inside or outside the station due to a limitation which should be rectified in a later release. Obviously, we couldn’t simply allow ship combat without also ensuring our stations were adequately protected and policed so there have been big developments in this area.

We wanted to give you a bit of a deeper look into the changes that will be made alongside the armistice relaxations, so we once again caught up with Luke Pressley and the design team to break them all down for you:

  1. Destructible defenses of a few sizes and varieties have been added on and around the rest stops. These range from the small S4 turrets (now destructible) placed on landing pads, through S6 sentries seen in the Claim Jumpers missions, to ALL new S10 turrets on and around the perimeter of the stations. Once destroyed, these currently respawn after 5 minutes (subject to balancing), but in future we aim improve this simplistic system.
  2. We have created a Security Response system which while still quite simplistic, adds the CrimeStats of all players in the area (we’re calling this internally the “heat”) and spawns security ships of increasing number and strength in response. The system responds quickly to increases in an area’s heat by spawning in new ships and despawning out any weaker ships they replace. The system responds slower to the killing of its own members (should the heat not be raised by this) and slower still to decreases in heat (to keep security patrolling for a time to ensure the threat doesn’t return any time soon). We will develop this system further in the future to also take into account the type of ship the players are using.
  3. A new infraction has been created called the Armistice Violation. This is a felony and is given should players damage other ships or station defenses within the Armistice Zone. It does have a grace period and allowance in which the player is warned that further infractions will result in a felony. For it the first implementation, this new infraction will only remain active on the player’s criminal record of 1 day.
  4. Should the player enter the Armistice zone while having a CrimeStat or gain a CrimeStat whilst within the zone, they will be shown a warning telling them to leave immediately.

As usual we’ll be monitoring your feedback closely as soon as soon as you get your hands on these changes, so be sure to let us know what you think! We understand this is a fundamental change and fully plan to iterate until we’re in a good place.

We hope you enjoyed this update! Like we mentioned before, we don’t have a set schedule for these types of updates but we’ll be continuing to follow up with other teams in the coming weeks to see what additional 3.11 fixes and improvements we’re able and ready to share early with y’all. Stay tuned!”

There was some follow up questions to answered by Luke Presley:

Does this in essence mean “green” players can defend themselves if they are getting attacked by pirates in safe zones?

You can defend yourself as long as you didn’t initiate the hostilities (same as usual) and you can attack those with Crimestats who enter without incurring an infraction.

Is this coming with any changes to torpedoes whatsoever?

Starting to lock a missile/torpedo within an Armistice Zone will generate a felony. Also, torpedoes are currently being rebalanced and AI made to be capable of targeting them, so the turrets will hopefully be capable of defending the area from them in the very near future.

How about locking a missile on a target that is in the armistice zone while I am outside of the armistice zone?

No crime there, but the Armistice Zone is 12km and will be adjusted to match the longest lock on distance of torpedoes if they increase beyond that in future.

However as mentioned in the Law System Updates post – Locking a missile ANYWHERE (not just around an armistice zone) on a ship will now count as hostility and allow that ship to attack you in self-defense. Also locking an NPC Security ship counts as a felony.

How will this work with the Comm Array system? Will players attacking a station still get a crime stat and increasing “heat” if the nearby comm array is down?

One thing we neglected to add was that each station will now have their own monitored zone not able to be disabled (for now).

Luke Also said:

We are actively working on allowing security and defences to fire at trespassers without the need to give trespassing players felonies. This will mean that while Bounty Hunter may still be attacked for trespassing, they will not be given a lasting felony.

They are looking into addressing “Combat Logging” to avoid Bounty Hunters

The Turrets mean that we can attack and assault stations BUT also potentially it may help fix some exploits preventing players shooting into an armastice zone and players NOT being able to return fire… also the potential for lockdowns means that maybe we will have to organize players to dislodge enemy ships… that said spawning at a station constantly and not being able to leave it because there is an enemy fleet there might be rough BUT that’s where the GTA5 style heat comes in….

It looks like that security might get quite tough and push back the more players anger them and the lawful players and NPCs… If I can stage my own fleet battle GREAT!

The new laws associated with the armistice zones might be a little too forgiving but a lot of this will be balanced and tweaked in Evocati and PTU phases.

I can’t wait to try this all out more publicly hopefully in the 1st wave of PTU.

Also it will be interesting to see how and when they implement FPS free fire in armistice zones… because that’s going to allow for a lot going on…

Thank Chris Roberts that they have a reasonably functional prison system to support this, it should actually make for a lot of gameplay for bounty hunters and criminals alike.

The question I have is will there be missions and reasons to attack players near aramastice zones in 3.11 / 3.12? Because otherwise it’s cool and I see what it’s working towards but if there is no point to do it mechanically OR only for sandbox then I’ll be a little disappointed… but still something that moves closer to the final intentions for various elements of the game.