Star Citizen Alpha 3.16 the Q4 end of Year Patch has been almost completely gutted and changed… a mixture of awesome and lame…
We knew there were changes coming to Alpha 3.16 as CI had their new release strategy and today we have a pretty big Roadmap Update that massively reworked the content for Alpha 3.16.
Salvage has been delayed but expanded with current salvage work for Squadron 42 planning to be finished for Q1 2022 and then the PU feature set being added in Q2 2022.
The initial release is no longer just the back-end tech implementation, but will introduce both hand-operated salvage, as well as ship-operated salvage (Hull Stripping & Repair) using the systems onboard the Drake Vulture.
So that’s no salvage in 3.16 but it appears to be ship & hand hull stripping salvage as well as the Drake in 3.18.
For Alpha 3.18 (Q2 2022) along with Salvage we have the Drake Vulture Drake Interplanetary’s light salvage ship.
We have seen some other features temporarily removed from the release view and pushed from alpha 3.16.
The M50 Engine Swapping, Dynamic Door Alignment, Player Slide and Prone Updates as well as updated weapon handling. The biggest thing to get pushed back for me other than salvage tho is the Physicalized Shield Emitters.
What’s Been Added to 3.16 then?
Derelict Spaceships Points of interest that will be scattered on planets. They will be derelict spaceships with some type of activity (puzzle, traversal, hostile AI) and some type of reward for resolving said activity.
Mining Gadgets, these will help to modify the rock and assist the player with mining a deposit. The player can attach a device physically to a mineable deposit in FPS to modify its stats, making mining either easier and safer, or quicker and riskier.
Ship to Ship Refueling allowing players flying specific ships to refuel other ships and get paid for it. The player can fill those specific ships’ fuel tanks from a station using an updated Rearm, Restock, Refuel interface at Landing Zones and Space Stations.
Updating the Dying Star map by increasing overall size, adding new playable areas, more cover options, and new space assets.
A significant Gravlev Physics rework of the flight and driving model for gravlev vehicles when hovering. The aim is to improve general feel and stability, resulting in a far better experience for players using hover bikes.
Art updates for DNA archetype heads that will improve the quality of all DNA heads, both for players and common NPCs.
We still have the Area 18 Hospital here as well as Shop & Patron NPC Updates and laser trip mine gadgets as well as the mighty Hull-C, that heavy cargo hauler. These are all from the patch and still here, they have not been changed and remain part of 3.16’s plans.
Beyond that we have some more changes to the Roadmap:
Selling Items to Shops – Players will have the ability to sell items from their local inventory to shops using a new interface powered by Building Blocks. This supports the recently added Loot Generation feature, allowing these items to be sold for money. This Feature is now pegged for Alpha 3.17 (Q1 2022), tho it’s the first time on the Roadmap they had originally implied at CitizenCon it was going to be in Alpha 3.16… it’s a shame it’s not there for sure.
Something very interesting for 3.17 is NPC Taxi Missions
NPCs will request transport between rest stops in this mission type, with the rewards determined by the speed, safety and comfort in which the player delivers the NPC to their destination.
Yeah, that’s some massive changes right there. Salvage remains a cursed mechanic. I had hoped that the basic hand salvage was far enough along that they would release it in 3.16 but that’s not to be. They are going to be releasing ship based salvage at the same time… maybe if salvage does turn up in 3.18… it’s still a bit of a fresh wound… fool me once shame on you, fool me 5 times… well I am hoping it won’t be 7.
There appears to be a bit of a focus on FPS POI and ground vehicles recently and 3.16 compounds some of that with the trip mines, derelicts and gravlev updates.
We should be seeing some new missions with Alpha 3.16 that should make use of all of this.
We also are expecting to see the JumpTown V2 event and even the first implementation of Qunta the dynamic universe sim… with dynamic prices of fuel & repairs as well as dynamic encounters and combat assist beacons.
There could be more besides that and some of those features we talked about today could indeed slip BUT that’s what 3.16 currently looks like. It would be a lot more exciting if it hadn’t of removed some features I was already keen on for sure.