Star Citizen Alpha 3.16 is the Q4 2021 major patch and it has had a few changes and a confirmed addition that may well be one of the best event updates to the game.
Let’s take a look at those changes, what 3.16 is confirmed to contain now, when we are likely to get it.
The committed & confirmed Features for the patch now are:
There has apparently been a tech breakthrough for Grav-lev and how they handle it in game. So your hover bikes & the like and how they behave on planets should be seeing improvement.
With CI saying it is – A significant 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.
JumpTown v2 this is something I am massively excited for.
Jumptown 2.0 is a new dynamic event. Inspired by the historic events of Jumptown, this new event features both lawful and unlawful mission paths. As I understand it an outpost location will be announced on the server and start producing very valuable potentially illegal goods for free for a period of time. This will encourage players to fight over that areas to get those goods.
Tho lawful players might be turning those goods in to law enforcement or destroying them.
As this can happen with different commodities, at different locations and for different lengths of time it should be quite interesting.
Area 18 is getting it’s Hospital with all of the Features that you’ve seen at New Babbage and Orison’s.
Derelict Spaceships are being expanded on for POI with some type of activity (puzzle, traversal) and some type of reward for resolving said activity. This should encourage players to explore and search an area and be more inclined to visit POI when they see them.
Laser trip mines will be part of this, eventually they will also be available to be used by players BUT in this release they will be used as traps. You can blow them up or throw things through the lasers to set them off.
Mining Gadgets will now be available to buy and deploy on mineables via EVA.
You’ll then need to interact with the gadget to find the right waveform and then this will enable you to mine your rock more efficiently… there are a variety of mining gadgets giving different bonuses and it’s meant to make solo mining more viable as well as generally giving extra tools to a miners arsenal.
Arena Commander is seeing some more updates too and in a similar way to how they treated broken moon they are Updating the Dying Star map by increasing overall size, adding new playable areas, more cover options, and new space assets.
There is 1 last feature that is on the Roadmap Release view but isn’t locked in yet and that is DNA Head Texture Updates… Implementing art updates for DNA archetype heads that will improve the quality of all DNA heads, both for players and common NPCs.
This is supposed to add greater customization and better looking faces I believe. I do think it’s quite likely to still be here.
2 Features have slipped from 3.16 tho and actually it’s what I had expected:
Ship to Ship Refueling
After its final review, the development team has determined that additional time is needed in order to provide a smoother gameplay experience. Therefore this feature is being relocated to the Alpha 3.17 release window.
Shops and Patrons
Following its final review, the AI team has decided to polish this feature further while also waiting for some additional usables to come online. Therefore this feature is being removed from Release View temporarily until these schedules are aligned.
Id had originally thought that 3.16 LIVE would be pushed to Jan 2022… but due to the lightness of the patch or at least that it doesn’t have any major new mechanics and that I heard that CI are really pushing to have this done before xmas lead me to believe that they might get that live build out this year… and not at the end of December either potentially.
I think it’s aimed between the 17th and 24th… but that could just be hot air… we will have to wait and see.
I also think that there is the possibility of more showing up in 3.16:
New Missions making use of the new POI, trip mines and generally helping populate the universe. We might see an updated Nine Tails Lockdown for example.
New Vehicles or Variants are possible, CI like to release things with each major patch and we are still waiting on a Mobile Refinery ship I think, assuming the Odyssey they revealed at the IAE wasn’t that.
There are almost always New Armor Suits
We know that CI are pushing ahead with their Gen12 Renderer which will start moving into Vulkan integration soon but you’ll see related improvements each patch.
Expect more Balance tweaks & potentially more Component Variance
As well as bug fixes and optimizations.
A major addition that may still make it is Dynamic Universe Updates allowing the Quantum System to take control of Fuel and Repair Prices / Commodities which will then change in areas based on supply and demand as well as controlling Encounters and Distress Beacons.
Hopefully that will make this 3.16 patch as it’s hugely important for the dynamic economy.
Beyond 3.16 there were some Other Roadmap Changes
The MISC Odyssey Massive Explorer has been added to the Progress Tracker with Narrative and Concept Art Teams expected to finish their work Q2 2022. After that for the rest of it’s development we don’t know yet. I am keenly awaiting it’s Q&A to see how it is suppose to stack up against the Carrack.
The Liberator Versatile Transporter has also been added to the Tracker, with similar work already being completed it seems in October. Again no indication of when the next phases of it’s work will start yet.
Boom that’s it for your Roadmap Update and 3.16 Expectations.