Star Citizen Alpha 3.13 is incoming and will be in testing shortly and it’s planned to have it’s live build by the end of the month… the patch has seen some changes over the last few weeks BUT now is reasonably stable in terms of what features we are expecting to see…
New Vehicles & Ships
We have the Nova Tonk, this is a true battle tank… tho we don’t know to what extent that Star Citizen will make use of this beast in 3.13… will it just be a cool thing for emergent gameplay and orgs to use OR are their going to be some more focused missions for ground gameplay.
Such a large vehicle needs a specialist transport… and the Hercules C2 and M2 are in the patch too, though they are expected in a 3.13.x patch AFTER the initial release of 3.13.0. The Hercules has been widely anticipated and should be a solid vehicle transport being able to take upto 2 Tanks AND/OR a Cargo Transport as well.
It looks to me like it’s more able to deal with atmospheric flight and landing in more places that some other cargo ships too.
Locations & Environment
The Planetary Tech and Visuals are getting a bit of a polish with assets, object presets, planet painting and the global data of all planetary bodies in the Stanton system seeing Updates.
There are 2 new cave entrances to the PU. ‘Drive-in’ entrance will allow players to enter using a ground vehicle, while the ‘sinkhole’ entrances will require players to enter and exit using a ship.
This actually has whole new cave systems, exploration and gameplay opportunities as well.
Asteroids are seeing updates replacing the old ones with ones with much more variety that are also lighter weight on the server/client… so we can have giant fields of asteroids that don’t look like copy pasted rocks.
The Refinery Decks are getting some polish with the addition of overlays that might show off warnings, what the output of the refinery is, helpful reminders to workers.
There was an interesting showing of the push pull gameplay recently… trolleys… which are basically vehicles that you can push and pull, load up and move around for your cargo or body moving needs. There will eventually be a lot of things we can push or pull but even at this stage I am very much looking forward to these mechanics!
Ship to Station Docking allows large ships to be spawned at Space Stations as well as them come into to dock their. You’ll align your ship after requesting landing and the collar will extend to hopefully the appropriate airlock.
This is also new areas for Space Stations to support these docking collars and reception areas for them.
The Constellation & P52 Docking/Undocking is finally coming. The P52/72 will be able to target a (undocked) Connie and then request landing, which will auto be accepted if you are the owner of the Connie, if not then the owner will have to confirm. You can then align yourself and dock.
The P52 itself will be able to be attached to the Connie in the VMA and is the first example of “vehicle in ship spawning”.
Visual Wear and Tear is a great looking feature for 3.13, it will have environments contribute to dirt that builds up on your ship. Colors and decals may fade. Scratches and damage might start to build up too. Also along with this feature there is also ship cleaning that may see us having an almost new Reclaimer… I really want to see that.
Will we be able to work out if a ship has been on Daymar over Loreville just visually?
Ship Names & Serial Numbers are here. The ability to name your ship is only currently going to be for the Hammerhead, Reclaimer, Mercury Star Runner, 600i, 890 Jump and they also added the Carrack. The names will appear on the sides of your ship, also ships will have unique serial numbers. Names must be unique to each specific hull and currently is ongoing waves of backers waiting to name their ships, this is for pledged ships only and done via the RSI Website… I’ll link the full details below.
Force Reactions are adding Staggers, which will be if you take a heavy hit or interia change BUT not one that’s enough to knock you over… you’ll lose some control in your movement and might be knocked around.
They are adding much better versions of Mounted Guns that can be controlled by players and you’ll see these around some POI to use. They are currently only in gatling gun flavors.
Shield Effects V2 see more ships using the SDF tech as well as shields changing color based on the damage taken in an area.
There are Mining Sub-Components allowing players to customize their lasers to suit specific jobs and encounters. For example, some will make mining easier, some will make it faster, and some will have great stat boosts at the cost of serious trade-offs elsewhere.
Something I expect to be quite a big change as I think it might lead onto more gridable missions is updates to the Reputation System. You’ll be able to see reputation with the important NPCs and organizations you have interacted with. This will also include a total list of reputation ranks, including those that have been completed and the ones you’re actively working on.
You might get more funds per mission or discounts or access to gear or titles… there is a huge amount we could start to see from this and is actually part of the Guilds System that CI have been working on for a while BUT has been broken down and renamed.
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.
This feature has the “Mission” prefix on the Roadmap so hopefully it’s going to be used in missions in 3.13…
That’s not all… cloud imperium have been work on some other bits in the background.
There is a strong possibility of straight to flyable Ships/Vehicle either at 3.13 launch or during it’s patch cycle. That patch cycle ends at the end of June when 3.14 should be released.
Expect to see iterations to a lot of the current mechanics in game.
CI have spent a lot of time trying to improve performance and stability.
I would expect trade and the economy to be in a good place and actually working as intended (as far as a placeholder for it can).
I do think a lot of the focus on 3.13 is on ground or more FPS gameplay… spawn lockers, the tonk, trolleys and more all contributing to that, we should see some new missions too hopefully making use of those new mechanics and additions to the Reputation System.
We know that Fleet Week at the end of May is going to be part of the Patch Cycle, that should be quite a big affair, with UEE Fleets, FreeFly, Ship Sales and be markedly better than last years offering.
We have heard of another major event The Nine Tails Lockdown which is very possibly going to be part of the 3.13 cycle… this would potentially have a fleet of pirates flying round locking down space stations and planets until the force is dealt with by a large enough group of players.
Whatever events CI have as part of 3.13 expect them to try and make use of the new mechanics where sensible!
For those of you wondering Missile Updates and Surrendering did get pushed to Alpha 3.14 recently which is why it wasn’t mentioned here!