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Star Citizen Alpha 3.15 Has Some Meaty Gameplay & Additions

Star Citizen Alpha 3.15 is the Q3 2021 Patch typically falling between the end of September and Mid October sometimes to coincide with CitizenCon, which this year is on the 9th of October.

I wanted to talk about what’s currently expected in the patch, put it in a bit of context and talk about what else could make it.

CitizenCon this year is a virtual only event and it’s possible there will be some in game things to do and see at the same time.

Also the 3.15 branch will cover both CitizenCon and the IAE… tho there could be some 3.15.x patches in between.

We know that CI have multiple in game events planned this year and we should see some of these in all their glory during the 3.15 cycle.

And there is potentially some yet unannounced content that CI will want to try and get into this patch.

Ships & Vehicles

The re-concepted Redeemer is expected here. We know it’s now a focused gunship, tho it might have some modularity coming in the future potentially allowing it to actually be more of a dropship again too. The standard model however will have lots of powerful forward firing weaponry & turrets.

The Hercules A2 is also here. This is the Bomber/Gunship Variant of the Starlifter. That you can use to get cargo through dangerous areas, as a assault craft attacking heavy targets while dropping off a Tank, or as a deadly bomber… dropping a series of MOBAs… mother of all bombs… 

Bombs… huh… we don’t have them in Star Citizen yet… well in 3.15 we will Players will have the ability to drop powerful bombs over targets in atmosphere from ships and at least one of those ships will be the A2. However the A2 for me is a ship I’d want to buy in game… as it’s price is  so ridiculously high at $700… when it was last on sale… and expect it to go up more in price when it’s released.

There are even more ships with the Ares Ion & Inferno. These are heavy fighters that effectively are a S7 weapon with a ship attached… due to the single seater nature of these ships and the fact they have massive weapons I am expecting them to be very popular.

The Ion has a S7 Laser Cannon & the Inferno S7 Ballistic Gatling which are also planned for the patch… THESE ARE BIG GUNS.

It’s very possible we will see more vehicles or ship or variants turn up too.

And we typically will see More Ships in the in game Shops that were released in the previous patch this time from 3.14.

There is a new feature here to make all these ships run better too… Vehicle Interior / Exterior Culling, this has the game engine no longer rendering the interiors and exteriors of ships when not required.

This has large performance gains, whether it be with one ship or when you are fighting a fleet. In Fact it seems odd to me that this wasn’t done a lot earlier BUT there is a lot to do… but expect a bit of a higher frame rate in the Verse.

New Gameplay Features

Medical Gameplay is now one of the big ticket features of this patch after being pushed back from Alpha 3.14. This is a selection of features:

Healing T0 – Includes all back-end tasks related to the initial implementation of the Healing feature, that will be used in future location and mission updates.

NPC & 3rd Party Healing – Enabling players to heal other players and NPCs. This will allow players to use items with healing properties, such as the MedPen, on other player characters and NPCs.

You can jab someone else with a medipen OR use some of the new healing tools…

The MultiTool has a Healing Attachment module enabling you to do some basic heals.

There is a Dedicated Medical Tool as well, giving you deeper details of the particular health of the individual in question and eventually you will be able to adjust the drugs levels on the tool giving you better ways to heal them.

We may very well get some Hospitals & Clinics at Space Stations and some of the landing zones in game that are ready at this time too. These are locations where you can get healed, buy medical gear, respawn when you die… all your healy needs.

FPS Scanning & Radar will allow vehicles and players on foot to use a scanner and ping to find items and targets. This will help with objectives, pathfinding and general combat and is pretty similar to the Ships Scanning and Radar but scaled down. Infantry will have detectable signatures in the future that’s based on their gear and weapons as well as their movement and environment.

We should be getting Hacking, with this first pass of the feature being used at some locations and in missions.

It 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 we saw some concepts of in an Inside Star Citizen… It looks to me like an evolution of a pipe or linking game that you would of seen used for many games before but skinned for SC. Not a terrible idea, tho we don’t know exactly what’s planned until it’s a bit more developed.

We do know that CI have been spending some time making little side areas and engineering zones for landing zones potentially as areas you can break into as well.

Personal Inventory Updates – Players will physically store weapons, gadgets, consumables, healing items, and more on their person and in vehicles via backpacks, pockets, and containers. This utilizes the new iCache for persistence wherever players travel. I also believe this allows for the first stage of local inventory, so you can move items from your characters to ships to hangars while in appropriate proximity AND even potentially loot body containers too.

Other Potential Gameplay

Anything that gets pushed back from 3.14 and any features that are ready ahead of schedule will make it in 3.15 as well.

Something that slipped off the roadmap that could reappear here is Ship Modularity with the Retaliator suspected to be the first ship to get this allowing the torpedo bays to be swapped for potentially living areas, cargo bays, a drop ship module OR whatever else CI might have planned.

You can expect some combat, economy and mission tweaks.

There are various AI Updates that CI have been working on too.

We know on of these is the Infiltrator Dynamic Event… that sounds like sabotage, espionage or sneaking type missions… we saw something like that in 2019s CitizenCon with the microTech research heist BUT also FPS Scanning and Hacking Gameplay also make sense to be connected to something called infiltrator.

Please remember that things could get delayed… features do get pushed back and new ones turn up… it’s just part of Star Citizen’s Development.

Boom, that’s it for what I wanted to talk about with Alpha 3.15 today. But what do you think?

Will some of the features here get pushed back? Could we see some additional features, if so what do you think is most likely? Could we see some surprise ships? Whatever your thoughts I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.