Hello & Welcome to some more Star Citizen, looking at what the Most Important Features for 2021 are, what it looks like CI are working on during the year and what we might see in terms of important tech and updates.
The much touted iCache is probably the most important of all things as it’s needed for so much, this is backend tech that enables the “floodgates” to open on various content and is needed for a huge amount of the game to start coming together… We are expecting by Q3 of 2021… this leads to things like full persistence, faster more optimized servers, server meshing and a whole host of game content… in fact a lot of the other content we are going to talk about that’s being worked on or coming in 2021 requires icache.
Personal & Physical Inventory this will remove magic bags of holding and you’ll have to store items you want access to proximately… on yourself, in a ship or hab or location… and these have limits… there will be an updated inventory and trade system coming at some point too and this will also allow for looting.
Ship to Station Docking this allows larger ships to be spawned and dock with space stations and a necessary step in expanding out the game and getting larger ship in and have more function.
Cargo 2.0 this is a lot of Cargo updates throughout the year including New Cargo Types, Larger Cargo Boxes, Moveable Commodity Boxes, loading and unloading times and general balance updates getting cargo ready for the dynamic economy.
Physicalized Components the Physical Damage System is something that CI are and have been working on for ages… it is essential to have the proper combat/flight and ship balance and a load of associated gameplay. This will remove artificial health pools on ships, components that get damaged on ships will affect the performance of a ship and that can lead to it being disabled, crippled OR destroyed.
There is a system of pipes/connections/relays that move and transfer power/fuel between ship components that will be able to be repaired, rerouted and interrupted.
They are also adding more components & functionality like shield emitters and weapon capacitors.
We should have SDF Shields coming online too, that form fits appropriately to a ships hull and looks much better.
Something that could turn out to be quite big is the Retaliator Room Swapping and Start of Modularity for Ships that CI has planned along with Ship Name customization thats coming and there are even hints of aftermarket customization for ships beyond that this year too.
There are a host of New Missions & updates to current ones,Timed Cargo, Dangerous Cargo.
Counterfeiting / Data Download mission that tasks players with infiltrating ships defended by hostile NPCs to hack terminals. There will be both lawful and unlawful variants of these missions.
We know that CI are working on expanding out the hacking gameplay throughout the year as well.
When implemented in-game this feature will be used to access systems and areas that have been previously closed to the player. The hacking process will be represented via a minigame that is displayed on the player’s HUD visor.
Dynamic Mission System will allow select mission types to be dynamically tailored to the current environment (and Quantum at a later date). These missions will be customizable and payment will accurately reflect the distance traveled and risk involved.
Racing at GrimHex
Reputation System Expansion – There will even be org perks and benefits to do with who you work with and your rep with them.
Bounty Hunting v2 – Enabling players to track criminals via a mobiGlas security app linked to distress beacons, comm arrays, air traffic control systems, cameras, and NPC informants. This will rely on various new backend tech, including Virtual AI, the NPC Scheduler, and Security Service.
One of the more exciting things coming SOON is the New Events like XenoThreat Fleet Battles but we should see more unique and interesting ones through the year as well.
We know they plan the Removal of FPS GreenZones that will allow for lots more gameplay.
There is loads of NPC, Dynamic Universe and AI Updates
Also The initial implementation of ‘spawn closets.’ These areas allow entities, such as NPCs, to spawn in areas outside of player view. These will be used to support missions, location populations, and security responses.
There is important work to Dynamic Population spawning… subsumption mission logic, NPCs reinforcing areas…
Generally better more efficient less dumb AI that are lighter weight on the Server.
There is also a huge amount of work going into the Quantum / Universe Simulation and getting the game to actually have a dynamic economy… though we may not see much of that in our actual hands finished in 2021 but they are starting to have everything brought together.
There are a variety of expanding out the Gameplay Area the first Gas Giant Crusader & it’s landing zone Orison that will be pretty big for 2021 BUT there is a few other things that would be massive IF they make the end of the year that being Pyro, Jump Points and Server Meshing. Server Meshing is probably the BIGGEST thing for Star Citizen if it makes it in 2021 allowing servers to seamlessly share data and each realtime server to mesh multiple servers together.
Whatever the state of Server meshing… We are expecting various Network Improvements, from helping with desync, to removing the artificial delay, better animations and prediction.
They are expanding out the Player Status System & Medical Gameplay. Expect new status effects, damage types, potentially things like hygiene being tracked, this will also lead to getting knocked down and being able to be revived as well as healing others.
Something CI have been working on for a long time is their Gen12 Renderer with Vulkan… when in this will make the game much more scalable and optimized on a wider range of hardware as well as making much better use of resources… we could see a host of graphics options in the settings as well after this is implemented.
And that’s it for what I think are the most important features of 2021 that are being worked on and many could be ready this year, icache is kind of the most essential there and then that leads potentially to Server Meshing which would be AMAZING to get BUT Have I missed Anything that you think is also important this year? If CI hit a large amount of those features do you think SC will be in a good state by the end of the year? What do you hope to see in 2021? Whatever your thoughts I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.