The Next Major Star Citizen update is Alpha 3.12 we have had some information about what the patch contains, what it doesn’t and hints about what it might contain too.
Typically the Q4 patch each year goes live mid December before Christmas as CI have their holidays. Expect the Evocati and PTU phases early December.
Let’s First Take a Look on What’s On the Roadmap for Alpha 3.12:
There is a mystery upcoming player armor set for the patch, CI said there is a lot going on with this new armor.
They said the are is “especially challenging to implement” due to changing geometry in the variants.
There are community rumors from Titan Suits, to Medical, to Bounty Hunter to Pirate to some form of Cargo Utility Type Armor. I had heard that they are working on some iridescence to armor… so it could even be something extra tevariny?
Space Gas Clouds and New Spacescaping for POI and backgrounds are being added. Some space stations or missions will be nestled within these massive clouds with various interesting pockets of interest.
They are Implementing Refineries for Space Stations as well as associated gameplay.
In a similar vein of Cargo Decks, Refinery Decks are dedicated areas in Rest Stops that allow players to drop off mined materials to be refined or buy new mining equipment.
They will have kiosks that allow you to refine mined ore. There will be cost and time associated with this and once completed you will be able to pick up the order, which can be sold at some locations for a lot more than unrefined ore.
They are Improving the AI Avoidance System to identify hazardous entities such as heavily guarded zones, etc. and steer clear of peril accordingly. This is going to be useful for AI attacking by or avoiding stations and potentially dangerous areas in Gas Clouds.
I hope this will lead to missions where you can retreat to safety from a dangerous force of ships.
Weapon Zeroing – enables players a way to change the zeroing on their weapon sights. This allows shots at further distances without having to alter aim to account for bullet drop.
The Push Pull Mechanic allows players to grab a larger object and move it around an environment by either pushing or pulling it. Players will be able to manipulate trolleys and other ‘pushable’ objects.
Potentially linked to this there is also The Tractor Beam device that allows the control (movement) of an object without the need for an actor or other entity to be in physical contact. It’s a module that will be available for the multi-tool.
The expectation is that those 2 mechanics combined are part of expanding out cargo, looting and associated management (expect things like more cargo containers on ships/vehicles to be potentially accessible beyond the ROC).
New Elevator UI Panels are replacing the last of the buttons and innerthought switches.
They are Combining updated ragdolls with the animation system to make the death reactions of players and NPCs more realistic.
They are implementing Surrendering for criminals, when Security Forces say for you to stop, then you can power down your ship to be arrested and have your ship impounded rather than die.
We have at least 2 new ships in 3.12 the Esperia Talon & it’s variant the Shriek Tevarin Light Fighter. These are very birdlike iridescent ships… they are very cool.
The Shriek is going to be interesting as it’s a missile boat, we don’t know how it’s going to perform tho.
There are much touted Networking improvements to better communicate player actions from the server to the client. This will improve the positioning and movement of other players and NPCs on your client, with improved dead reckoning, helping to reduce perceived lag and instances of rubber-banding. We know that CI had an issue where there variable smoothing for their animations and syncing had broken so it’s expected that this will be implemented here too.
Cloud Imperium have mentioned a few other things beyond what’s on the Roadmap too that might make it in… maybe? Question Mark…
We know they want More Updates to Prisons, more missions associated with them, more sophistication to their mechanics, what exactly forms that will take in 3.12 remains to be seen.
We know Cloud Imperium have been working on various Cargo Updates… The Various Cargo missions are being prepared for the dynamic universe sim. They’ve been working towards larger cargo boxes and some of the push/pull and tractorbeam tech is likely to be part of this.
There are Further Improvements to planets planned for 3.12 too – the organic shader and its biome accumulation feature, expect prettier and prettier planets / moons.
SDF shields have seen a lot of work though we don’t have a proper indication of when they will be complete currently.
Something that is possible for us to see is the Hard Docking with the P52 / P72 to Connie
Something less likely for 3.12 is Ship to Station Docking BUT it is being worked on, they have a functional prototype of it that we saw a few weeks ago.
Ship in Ship Spawning has been talked about for a while… I WANT TO HAVES IT!
Talking about Ships it’s very possible that the C2 Hercules & maybe even the Constellation Taurus that have seen a lot of work over the last few weeks.
We know that CI have been working on some new FPS Weapons a Behring FS-9 LMG and Gemini A03 sniper rifle.
They have been working a lot of additions to space stations (and POI), their internals and externals, emergency lighting, areas for EVA Missions, functionality to the cargo decks.
We’ve also seen spotlights from guard towers around Lorville almost like Prison towers…
CI are updating a huge portion of their UI systems with “building blocks”, a mining UI refresh, new mobiGlas Apps, ship HUDs (that will be themed for manufacturer starting with the Gladius) have all been mentioned for coming at some point.
We know they are working on a Reputation & Guilds System.
The Mission Manager is going to be getting new functionality.
We know that CI have been working on various improvements for FPS and Ship AI… things like realistic reloading, surrendering, melee weapon usage.
Something that I really hope that CI get in for the end of the year is their Gen12 Render & Vulkan Support… basically more scalable, better performing game.
Again something CI have been working on are NPC Spawn Lockers to allow for the spawning and despawning of FPS NPCs when needed. This could allow for security forces at stations for the interior, mission reinforcements and a more believable movement of NPCs.
Also they said that they’ve been working on some larger scale missions & events – “we are already in the process of constructing more of these dynamic scenarios, some of which are far more sophisticated.” That’s referring to things like the Fleet Week UEE Fleet roaming around.
They went onto say – “The ultimate plan is to periodically break up the routine with distinct events that serve to draw a lot of players to a common cause, although they might not always be on the same side.”
I would expect a bit of an economy pass, especially with the refined materials coming BUT ALSO the fact that in 3.11 some of the “shady” trade consoles got removed on space stations and some narcotics cannot currently be sold. They suggested areas like Salvage Yards, GrimHex, Levski would potentially be able to deal with them in the future tho.
Could we see something with ToW Theatres of War? Maybe… we are awaiting some updates for CI to know more at the moment.
What’s Not In For 2020 and 3.12
No iCache or Server Meshing
No New Pyro System
No there could be more Inventory updates BUT they need iCache for the proper Fully Physicalized Inventory Systems
It’s also unlikely but The Aegis Gladius had component access added across the exterior, assumedly in preparation for physicialized components… I assume that’s something we are waiting on iCache for as well BUT I don’t know for sure.