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Star Citizen 2020 Review

Hello & Welcome to some more Star Citizen looking at a breakdown of What Happened in 2020 with Star Citizen’s Development, Releases, Events, Successes and Failures in this very difficult year for many around the world! 

We had a very slow start to the year BUT Star Citizen Alpha 3.9 Locked Up & Loaded Released April 29th, which was a month behind schedule. This was due to various blockers and issues that needed to be solved. But also because the various CI studios had to start working from home due to the Coronavirus lockdowns.

CI was in a relatively good place compared to a lot of businesses as it was set up for remote working and is a global set of studios that had been working a similar (tho smaller scale) way for many years. It did cause some setbacks with them having to work out new ways to deploy massive game builds remotely, and getting PCs to their staff and dealing with employees that had to isolate or that were ill… and this is a theme throughout 2020. 

The 3.9 Patch added various major content, Prison & Associated Gameplay, New Babbage the Landing Zone on microTech and the planets 3 moons – Calliope, Euterpe & Clio, an improved friends list, weapon attachments, the Prisoner Transport Mission, Player Status Survival Updates and an Improved Player Inventory / Interaction System. 

We also saw implementation of the first Tevarin Ship by Esperia, the Prowler, the very cool Birds nest troop transport.

At the end of May we had ILW (Invictus Launch Week) Otherwise known as Fleet Week.

This was a massive FreeFly event that had a load going on, a Ship Sale of Military Styled ships which helped CI earn over $15m during the month.

This had the UEE Fleet with Idrises and a Javelin along with F8 Lightings and F7A Hornet ships flying around with fireworks being shot off around them… they moved between the major planetary space station (that had new large ship docks added to them) AND players obviously wanted to fight them so we saw various videos of Idris and Javelin takedowns. It was our first taste of Capital Ship combat… and even though CI tried to make the ships touger… players always find a way.

Also people were stealing the Military Fighters too Flying them around… it was a mad and cool event.

There was a Expo going on as well on ArcCorp where you could see and rent various military ships each day at a newly added location.

The event was both amazingly successful and an utter disaster tho as CIs servers were just hammered with a load of new players and the login servers went down… there were constant server disconnects, along with the standard bugs… It did however get CI to get to work on some server redundancy and robustness of backend services (which have since paid at least some dividends).

Cloud Imperium unveiled the G12 Series of Rovers the G12, G12A & G12R were revealed as concept vehicles during Fleet Week.

And obvious after the 3.9 Patch we have 4.0 oh no… I mean 3.10 CI decided to change their patch naming scheme to match major releases, so the moniker of 4.0 is being saved for Pyro, Server Meshing and Jump Points which will all come together in a future patch.

So Star Citizen 3.10 Flight & Fight Released August 5th over a month behind schedule. 

This patch overhauled the Flight Model & Combat changing the way ships flew in Atmosphere and Space. There was an overhaul to turrets, targeting and accuracy improvements we had Fixed Weapon Assist, Missiles and Countermeasures Changes.

They added a trading app so you could send merits and aUEC to other players.

There was Body Dragging, a New Damage Type with Electron and associated Pistol and Sniper to go with it, 

The ROC went straight to driveable this was a new Mining Vehicle that allows you to harvest new medium gem nodes that are around planets.

There are various updates to locations too and Pico the Penguin… hes a very good boy

Star Citizen Alpha 3.11 High Impact Released October 8th which was pretty bang on time wise, a week later than the estimated end of September release… and actually this was planned to coincide with it’s “Birthday” Celebrations.

The 2020 CitizenCon was cancelled due to the Coronavirus Lockdowns this is a major blow to Star Citizen in terms of hype, funding and marketing. CitizenCon allows the community to come together in a massive ball of hype, questions and celebration! People attend a massive event OR watch it live and there is a load going on, new ships, cool stuff being shown off and often a lot more. It’s the highlight of my Star Citizen year but instead we had a mini-Star Citizen Birthday event in game and on the website but nothing “live”.

There were In Game Events / Challenges to obtain Masks as prizes permanently on your account, one to visit benny henge… and another to kill 50 unique players throughout October… slightly more difficult. You had to do this in a Glaive or Gladius… which were available to everyone to use during the whole month. This caused a mixed bag of people being annoyed at random PvP going on about the Verse, some people farming kills in their Orgs by lining everyone up in EVA and mowing them down which caused some people to complain that was not a fair way to do it AND other people really enjoying there was something to actually try to achieve and strive for in the Verse.

There were some in lore Imperator Elections that players actually voted on to see who the new Imperator would be… this turned out to be Laylani Addison an avocate of science AI and bringer of Skynet… Maybe?

We had an AMA & Letter From The Chairman – With updates saying that Death of a Space Man and medical gameplay will start to be shown in mid 2021, they talked about computer blades giving extra functionality or automation to various systems on player ships and various Development Updates.

We had also been waiting on Squadron 42 Video Update for most of 2020 AND during the Birthday we saw 1 episode of the New Briefing Room series (which was over an hour and a quarter long) but CI have since decided to “can” it until SQ42 is closer to release with that in mind CR has more recently reiterated that SQ42 is done when it’s done and it’s too early to give a release date for the game.

Going back to the Alpha 3.11 Release tho:

Cargo Decks were added, tho they only really provided a location rather than new gameplay, we had weapons being able to be fired around stations, which opened up station assaults, they were given turret defenses, there was a new law and reinforcement system.

Force Reactions were added, having players flinch at impacts and get knocked over by enough force from an explosion or a ship getting impacted. They added a Shotgun and Grenade launcher too!

And a whole range of objects became throwable as well as giving grenades an AR Arc to see where they were being thrown.

Planets and moons got a whole host of visual improvements.

Prisons saw various improvements AND the in game UIs saw updates, one of which was a cleaner personal inventory.

The Origin 100 Series of Starter ships were added, that’s the 100i, 125a & 135c.

In November we had the 2950 IAE this is the massive ship sale and freefly event that Star Citizen has every year… It had a huge amount of new players trying the game, and everyone was able to try out pretty much every ship in game for free over this 12 day event.

You could visit a new expo hall location at New Babbage and see all these ships that changed every day. 

We had the Perseus Anti-Large Ship Gunboat go on Concept too, this seemed to be an incredibly popular ship.

The Consolidated Outland Nomad went straight to flyable, this was a new 2nd tier starter ship that was a bit of a hauler.

At the same time as the event the Mercury Star Runner became flyable in game… this was one of the most hyped ships and it did not disappoint, having secret passages, hidden panels, it’s doors and lights all hooked up to buttons and generally looked great. During the 1st wave PTU cycle of this patch some content creators were (breifly) given access to the ship that hadn’t bought it… this was so that they could show it off on streams and make content on the ship this caused some polarization in the community with some feeling that everyone that bought it should be given it at that stage even in the test patches… that said it was only 1-2 days earlier than others got it so… I mean, in my humble content creator opinion, I think CI wants the free publicity it gets from people making content with the ships… 

During the Expo tho there wasn’t anything new in game mission wise no big UEE fleet to fight or watch… It was focused on ship sales and freefly but felt a little empty because of that. Financially tho it’s the best CI have ever done… so what do I know AND the servers were a magnitude better than in May with Fleet week… that said the site and servers went down for an hour or so when the event started BUT was quickly back up!

New Turbulent Studio

Star Citizen Alpha 3.12.0 Assault of Stanton was released on December 17th 2020.

The last Major Patch of 2020 brought us updates to mining and the new Refinery Decks and associated gameplay allowing the gameplay loop to be even more fleshed out.

Rest Stops found themselves in new Gas Clouds and Nebula.

Bounty Hunter and Reputation was expanded out (tho there are some bugs with it currently) this allows you to gain rep from doing missions that’s then tracked between patches, reputation with BH missions will allow you to unlock new missions and tiers of hunts.

They added the Idris into the game for NPCs to use as part of security protecting space stations, hunting dangerous group of pirates and as part of the Arlington Gang Mission set.

They released a hand held tractorbeam module for the multitool for picking up boxes and traversal in EVA. There were even more updates to planetary visuals, they added tobii eye-tracker support. Missiles and Counter Measures saw more updates and balance.

The Tevarin Talon & it’s variant the Shriek were announced as concepts in August 2020 tho you could argue that they were talked about first at CitizenCon 2019 as the Tevarin Fighter they were made flyable in Alpha 3.12.0.

Dynamic Events are part of the 3.12 branch BUT have yet to be enable in fact the XenoThreat Missions and Server Event was delayed at the last second, they wanted it in before Christmas BUT during testing they decided there were just too many bugs and a little bit more refinement would go a long way… this is disappointing as I think this is what I was looking forward to most in 2020 and for a while HOWEVER it should be in game early 2021 (hopefully in Jan). The event will have large scale fleet battles with Capital Ships and players being able to jump in and help with the fighting and other related events. It was also suggested that these events would change from each major patch… so we will have to wait and see what the next patch brings in March 2021.

Wait there’s more!

We were Waiting on New Roadmaps for a big portion of 2020… CI even gave us a roadmap to when the new roadmaps would arrive… which didn’t go down that well however the New Roadmaps eventually came out in late December and showed what’s being worked (or planned to be worked) on by 20 of the 50 teams that are working on the games. We are getting more updates to this in January as things like Server Meshing / icache aren’t on the Roadmap yet and we only have a release view of the 1st Quarter and the 3.13 patch currently.

There is currently a Christmas event you can find boxes that you can sell… starter packages of various ships are on sale.

And the year ended with a big letter from the chairman stating that 2020 was the best year in terms of money and new players and achievements for Star Citizen even against coronavirus and a changing world. The games will be done when they are done BUT Star Citizen will be more playable every quarter.

Star Citizen Earned over $78 Million according to the Funding Tracker which is a ridiculous amount of money compared to previous years… their best year BY A HUGE MARGIN but we will look at the financials in another video!

And that’s it for Star Citizen 2020 a big year for Star Citizen… but then every year is there were certainly some disappointments and delays BUT it’s also made strides towards being a real boy! What do you think tho? Were you disappointed by the Progress in 2020? Had you hoped to see a lot more? What was your favorite patch or feature? What did you enjoy the most during the year? Whatever your thoughts I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.