Star Citizen has had an issue with PvP Gameplay in the Persistent Universe. I want to talk about Star Citizen’s PvP Gameplay and it Getting Much Needed Love in it’s New Patch and is a bit of a focus it seems in the near future beyond this too.
Currently There is a very limited amount for PvPers to do in game.
Yes there are various Criminal Missions that enable players to play on the other side of the law but that is much more PvE focused.
The Current PvP available (pre-3.14) mainly focuses on Lawful Bounty Hunters getting missions to take out Criminal Players.
There are some more focused Counter Missions that have PvP elements… this has an asymmetric anti-mission produced for when a player is doing certain missions…
but haven’t been given much love for a while and lots of them are buggy, broken or temporarily removed.
There is also more FreeForm PvP… where PvPers will attack players who are going about a task, miners, cargo runners or players running other missions.
Sometimes this is seen as griefing, tho typically it’s just players trying to find something to do AND is representative of some of the future mechanics when players are able to disable, board and loot ships.
I have seen players threatening an attack if they don’t get paid, or locking down areas BUT I’ve also seen players camping Port Olisar and just blowing up ships on pads as they spawn… that’s a bit more griefy… for sure.
There are some Legal Systems in Place like Prison, criminal ratings, security forces, station defenses and Bounty Hunters Hunting Criminal Players…
This helps keep some RDM behavior in check for sure.
But for the most part the Bounty Hunters get missions to deal with the Criminals and Criminal PvPers… but there isn’t much gameplay for Criminal PvPers themselves.
We previously had JumpTown that saw Star Citizen in a Golden Age of emergent gameplay… an area that cargo runners could make huge profit and saw a huge amount of different action… Orgs locking the area down for hours at a time, PvP attacks from lawful / vigilante players dealing with players trying smuggle the illegal goods from there.
This saw the use of Escorts (which are severely under used in Star Citizen Currently) but the high foot flow and profits made for great gameplay and lots of more fun PvP.
Hopefully CI will try and incentive players to use Escorts not just here but when they are doing trade runs and mining AT least in certain areas of their travels.
There were various XenoThreat Issues during the first major “dynamic” event that CI ran in 3.12. PvPers would turn up to interfere with certain parts of the XenoThreat mission and especially during the cargo phase players had very little they could do to stop them blowing up cargo ships that had volatile cargo on AND/OR couldn’t QT
There is a constant argument of what constitutes PvP vs Griefing… as there is very little that PvPers actually can do to make money currently in game.
These issues are compounded around Port Olisar as it’s Station Defenses are woefully poor at defending the smaller station area and greifers can just pew pew with very little worry and threat themselves.
Some of the more major core mechanics… combat is Star Citizen hasn’t been great either.
There are network and server issues with Desync / Prediction
The weapon and ship Meta of the game is a bit meh
General Flight & Combat well It’s Not Finished and needs a load more balance
The PvP that is there is not fun and for people that get attacked when they are mining or think they are safe… well a lot of them don’t enjoy that… and many ask… why are you PvPing when you literally don’t get anything out of it other than inconveniencing me?
There are a whole host of Combat Changes some of which are planned for 3.14…
There is the new Power System & Capacitors, you putting power into ship systems, shields, engines and weapons will really affect the performance of your ship.
Capacitors will store extra energy that will give you short term boosts to performance.
It’s going to matter a lot more when you fire, rather than spamming, laser weapons make use of capacitors that need to charge so they have regenerating ammo basically.
The New Missile Operator mode, gives players a dedicated mode for selecting, locking and firing missiles, solo pilots will have to switch between normal piloting and firing, scanning and missile operator mode, multicrew ships can have these roles split.
Also missiles have been updated to a new locking and tracking system.
We know that CI have had to Rebalance all the ships and weapons for Alpha 3.14 partly due to the power and missile changes. I can’t talk about specific goals as some are only released in evocati form however… Weapons, Shields and role it’s all changing.
W know they’ve been looking at ships trying to get them to fight their roles more appropriately. Expect Light, Medium & Heavy Fighters to all have more focused roles for example.
They want 1v1 dogfights between ships to last a couple of minutes.
You’ll probably see energy weapons used a lot more especially for PvE and long engagements BUT Ballistics start to get some power boosting as their downsides are you need room for the ammo and that might start to be expensive. It will however be a staple of PvP player loadouts.
We know they want bubble shields for fighters and small ships and 4 facings for larger ships. You can expect larger ships to have a higher time to kill potentially as well, as CI push towards making multi crew ships more viable and as they work towards physicalized components… meaning ships will be repairable during combat and targeting / focusing fire will be extremely important in the future.
The goal of all of this is to make combat as well as PvP more fun and viable.
In the future when we also have physical damage and physicalized components that’s when I think things will truly start being fantastic… but the current plans are steps towards that.
Some more Gameplay focused items coming soon…
XenoThreat Remastered is part of 3.14 and might have been tweaked more appropriately for PvP… it is mostly a PvE event from what we previously saw BUT it should be more aware of the issues that PvP players could cause… so expect something to be in place.
The Nine Tails Lockdown Event is probably the most exciting PvP focused new gameplay coming in the short term beyond the general changes… it will have players choosing a side
Lawful Crusader Security or Criminal Nine Tails and actively have players engaging in protecting / assaulting ships as well as a bit more later in the Event around Space Stations.
As it is PvP focused everyone knows what to expect and as long as it attracts players it should be good fun. The event will run multiple times over 3.14 and in future patches too.
Cloud Imperium have mentioned Jump Town v2 that will be coming soon… if they can recapture the joy of jump town I will be happy for sure… but part of the joy of the original was th emergent nature of the gameplay… maybe it will just be trade opportunities, locations and the tools we need to have a good time tho.
There is Surrendering, letting players surrender to Law Enforcement in 3.14 but this is a Minor feature until the future… once we have mortality and players wanting to survive because of the Death of a Space man mechanics (basically if you die a load… eventually you’ll have to make a new character)… I think this will really effect player actions and choices. Death of a Spaceman and physical components should mean that players prefer to eject and try and survive rather than ram OR fight until they explode… infact ships will explode much less too, being more often crippled… that stuff is a bit further out BUT it is what they are working towards and is mega important.
Something to curb more grief or low hanging fruit PvP murder is new station defenses, we are getting New Missile Turrets to defend stations at long range.
Landing Pads are being replaced with hangars on a lot of these stations too.
And Port Olisar will be getting replaced at somepoint with a new station like Port Tressler or one of the other major planetary stations.
We know they are going to be removing the FPS GreenZones at stations and locations soon and actually that’s going to be great for PvP… when a criminal gets out of their ship at GrimHex to buy food… take them down then in FPS. We will see security forces and laws to match this change when it’s in AND there are planned Bounty Hunter Improvements and even less than lethal weapons for if a target is wanted alive.
Eventually and hopefully soon you’ll see the Counter Missions all fully working again and tweaked for the new changes too, being able to readily play the
Twitch – Drug House Clearance Mission or the Darneely – Hurston AI Blade Capture missions would be great if they fully worked and were updated for the new features.
All of this together much of it coming in the short term all helps PvP gameplay matter a lot more and be a lot more fun. If the ship combat changes feel good and work as intended and the balance is good, then this should but Star Citizen in a much better place for all types of PvP… Criminals wanting to go murder, escorts wanting to protect, focused missions and goals and reasons to get involved… as well as that competitive element and choosing the right loadout and ship and the right time to engage, fire and use your power…
On paper this is all great… and looks promising BUT we will have to wait until Alpha 3.14 live to see how a lot of these big changes actually affect the game… and at the end of the day it’s all academic if the servers or game is mega unstable or gameplay is desyncy… tho admittedly Star Citizen is getting better with that each patch too…