Star Citizen Alpha 3.17 is the next major patch for the Persistent Universe and it’s planned for the end of Q1 2022 however as we are all aware by now CI often release these patches to open PTU and test them beyond that before making them LIVE BUT I wanted to talk about what is expected in that patch currently as it’s quite a lot, partly because of a smaller 3.16 end of year patch… Now some of these features might slip or not be ready HOWEVER I hope they are… there are also various events and other features that may turn up too.
Let’s start with what is planned for the patch on the Roadmap:
There is a major change with Persistent Hangars that players will be able to own.
This will bring changes to the Cargo gameplay loop by allowing players to buy cargo and send it to their hangars, then maximize their cargo storage space by allowing them to pack the goods themselves.
There are expectations of customization and the purchase of additional space at these hangars tho we don’t know if it will all come with this implementation.
This prepares the way for the Cargo Overhaul that is planning to come with Alpha 3.18.
We do know along with these Persistent Hangars comes with a mobiGlas Manager App that emulates the functionality of ASOP terminals, allowing players to spawn ships, claim insurance and access the array of landing services to maintain their ships.
The Feature I think I am most looking forward to in 3.17 is Selling Items to Shops. Expanding out the system to allow you to sell items from your local and ship like Weapons, Armor and Loot that you have found on bodies and in chests. Which gives you a lot more reasons to loot after a fight or look around areas to get greater rewards.
Jumptown after a long fight might be worth looting even after the narcotics have stopped being produced if there are enough bodies there!
A feature that was originally pushed from 3.16 that now lies here is the DNA / Head Updates for Characters. This should provide more variety in faces and their features. So you can expect some better customization for your character with this as well.
Not sure if it’s going to have any new hair styles or facial hair… but it might.
The Maria Pure of Heart Hospital is being added to Lorville. This means it has all the facilities of the other landing zones at least in regards to medical gameplay and respawning, healing and purchasing equipment like the medical gun. That will complete the major medical facilities needed in the Stanton System… Tho I think we could see infirmaries pop up on the ground like at Klesher Prison.
Again another feature originally in 3.16 but moved here are Mining Gadgets. These have you EVAing out of your ship or approaching a mineable deploying the mining gadget, then having to attune the gadget to be optimal.
There are various Gadgets that give different buffs and efficiencies. This will allow for many more rocks to be mined by solo miners for example BUT when you are fiddling with your Gadget you are going to be vulnerable and so will your ship if you were in a Prospector for example.
Ship to Ship Refueling CI said this was essential to get into the game before they put Pyro the new Star System in which is a good sign. The Feature here will allow players with ships like the StarFarer to refuel other ships and get paid for it. You will be able to fill up your fuel tanks at Stations and Landing Zones then ferry it to the needy… could we get more ships that are able to do this… well we know their are ships like the Vulcan that has drone refueling there will be hand refueling in the future too and mighty ships like the Kraken are basically space stations with better facilities.
What we do know of the Starfarer refueling is that it will use a refueling arm and it’s expected to be a bit like the snub docking of the P52 with the connie to connect the ship you are refueling to the arm.
This should allow the Starfarer to also sell fuel to other stations for profit too.
You want to be a Taxi Driver? Well we have NPC Taxi Missions being added 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.
This is incredibly important as a milestone as it has NPCs being able to able to traverse from ground to ship to the and then get off at their destination… which will eventually be used in a huge amount of missions, bounty hunting, rescues etc…
CI are also trying to improve the Interaction Experience with a holistic array of complementary features and systems, all related directly to the player. Player status, item status, environment status, as well as interactions with both the game world and the objects within it, are covered under these systems.
Expect better Tooltips or mission tracking, a better cockpit experience all that sort of jazz.
We have the RSI Scorpius Heavy Fighter, it’s a 2 seater X-Wing looking ship with a lot of firepower and the co-pilot controls a mobile remote turret that can move from the top to the rear of the ship to shoot pursuing targets.
There is also the MISC Hull A the first of the Hull Series of ships and an entry level hauler.
You can expect a lot more bug fixes, balance and tweaks too.
It’s very likely that we will see more component variance for ships, new missions making use of some or all of the new gameplay features.
There are a few other maybes in terms of features that might be seeing work for 3.17.
That new CNOU Hover Bike is possibly something that will be released here.
There’s been rumors of a New Mobile Refinery Ship over the last few months that might turn up too.
Something that was left out of 3.16 was the Quantum System updates that affect fuel and repair prices as well as encounters. It’s something that might be here in 3.17.
Star Citizen is very pro Event at the moment, with the NineTails Lockdown and Jumptown 2.0… I am actually expecting to see XenoThreat 3.0 in the new year or the 3.17 branch with a whole host of improvements… I am very excited to see that as the XT2.0 was the best fun I have had in Star Citizen to date.
Also Fleet Week should be part of the 3.17 cycle… which we should see at the end of May.
This is a massive event with ship sales, an expo where you try ships for free all focusing on combat ships and SC is likely going to be free to play here too… now the last FW also had the Bengal Carrier flying around with the UEE Fleet which is a ridiculously large ship. We could tour the internals of a Javelin. So we could see some new things to do OR just the same again!
There are various features that are also being worked on that we can see on the Progress Tracker that will see completion potentially in Q1 2022 or have even seen completion in Q4 2021 now some of these might turn up in the patch too BUT CIs new release strategy means that they typically go into testing and improvement in the SQ42 branch for a while before being sent to the PU.