Welcome to some more Star Citizen… Alpha 3.13 is the next major Star Citizen patch cycle with it’s target release date for LIVE being the End of March 2021… so what can we expect for the patches release, what events could see during it and what could be the patches major gameplay focuses.
The first thing we will have is an Evocati Phase… this is an early test with around 2000 hand chosen testers know as evocati. Expect to see this early to mid March OR not to see it… what I mean by that is the build is NDA’s (non disclosure agreement) meaning evos such as myself can’t talk about the specifics of the patch we are testing or record content on it… you might see leaks from naughty people tho.
The Next is the PTU Phase which goes in waves… once the patch has progressed to a point in Evocati where it’s actually somewhat playable OR requires greater stress testing it will go to 1st wave PTU… this build is embargo free… and you can freely talk about the patch notes, make content and play it… well play it if you are a RSI Subscriber, Concierge OR Evocati. They then open it up to more players after a few days typically.
Both during the Evo and PTU Phases you might not have all of the content the patch has to offer… they add bits as the go for testing and to minimize elitism… maybe? That said there is always a bit of drama now during the PTU phases as content creators typically get access to all the new ships during this time too.
However during the PTU Phase the game is still buggy AND features can be cut or become blockers for the LIVE build, that can cause delays. And although the target is a end of March LIVE release sometimes this can be delayed by a week or so.
When the Patch goes live there will be a Flyable Ship Sale so that’s anything that’s new in the patch like the Tumbril Nova, Hercules Starlifter C2 and M2… well the C2 & M2 are actually supposed to be part of a 3.13.x patch and not part of the initial deployment… so bare that in mind I would still expect them to be on sale again. It’s also possible that magic has happened and they could make the 3.13 launch.
We might see some other ships and vehicles that are yet officially announced in the patch too. Things that have been rumored for a while are the 400i, Xi’An Cargo Ship and a Mobile Refinery… so we could see one of them here.
The 3.13 patch cycle ends when 3.14 is planned to be released at the end of June.
And during this 3 month Period 3.13 will be hosting various events… 1 of which we know to be Fleet Week at the end of May… this is one of the biggest events for Star Citizen each year at least financially for CI. It will combine a Free Fly with the ability to view and rent Military/Combat/Support Ships for Free at an Expo.
Last year this was held at Lorville on Hurston BUT there was also an event going on above… the UEE Navy were flying around between the Planets in Game in Javelin, Idris Capital ships and a load of Military Fighters, with fireworks going off, military docks added to stations so they could come into port.
This had players realizing they could steal these ships… and also fight them and was a awesome first look and happy accident for capital ship combat.
Now I happen to know that they wanted to do a bit more with fleet week last year… they wanted to have ships flying down into atmosphere doing flybys… like in the promotional media for the event… and this year CI are really focusing on making interesting Events anytime they get an excuse to.
There may well be another event during the patch cycle… and the one we have heard about is the Nine Tails Lockdown… Nine Tails are a Pirate Org in the Stanton System and the expectation of the event is that they fly around in a similar way to the UEE Navy Fleet to different planets and stations but be much more combat ready and there are likely going to be open missions like with XenoThreat to go and fight them.
I was told by some people at CI that with events they want to try to test new mechanics that have come online with the patches as well as pushing the boundaries of what they can do with the tech at any given time.
With work going into repair and additional mission areas and like engineering sections of stations I suspect something that makes use of that, push / pull mechanics, ship to station docking and spawn closets maybe… we will have to wait and see.
So that’s what to expect from the Patch Cycle in regards to events and patch plans for 3.13.
We will take a look at the latest plans for 3.13s features in greater detail later this week once we have the Roadmap Update as that should provide us with more info on what’s cut and anything else new added to the patch.
To me it looks like with the Hercules, Tonk, Spawn Lockers (which would allow for NPCs to spawn / despawn in stations and structures), Push Pull for moving boxes, Updated Caves and Mounted Guns we might be seeing gameplay and missions focused on FPS & Ground Gameplay. That is a hunch rather than a confirmation so bare that in mind.
Something else that I would expect to see is Ships that are currently not purchasable in game BUT are flyable as of 3.12 to likely be purchasable in game with 3.13… tho with the MSR it’s possible that CI want to wait until Orison’s implementation in 3.14 before making it available to purchase in game.