Hello & Welcome to some more Star Citizen News, let’s summarize what’s been going on this first week of March and what’s coming in the near future.
Jumptown & the Ninetails Lockdown events are now over. However Alpha 3.17 is now on the Horizon with expectations that it will start testing on the PTU within the next couple of weeks at least with the Evocati. We saw in Inside Star Citizen that Alpha 3.17 would have a River on microTech added and that we would also be able to now go underwater without dying as long as we are wearing a helmet and do a little exploration. Also we will start to see Reputation and Hostility changes for factions like Security Forces and Pirates in Stanton, where if they like you because you’ve done a lot of missions for them, they will protect you and come to your aid… conversely if you have a bad reputation they may shoot you on sight.
It sounds like the lion’s share of these reputation updates are coming in Alpha 3.18 tho.
Beyond adding rivers the Roadmap Update did add one other thing,
The Dynamic Mission System which will allow select mission types to be dynamically tailored to the current environment, missions will be customizable and payment will accurately reflect the distance travelled and risk involved. It’s pegged to be complete in September, it would be great if it could make it in game by the end of the year.
This Week’s Sneak Peek appears to be a makeshift generator on a rundown Pyro Station.
We had a SC Live with the Narrative Team
They want to have reputation based missions with deep lore eventually, things like the Tessa Bannister missions but with systems in place to support the gameplay there more.
Lore can often be a launching point, inspiration or even concept for gameplay but may be there to just build out the feel of the Verse without inhibiting future plans or ideas.
Some of the Lore may be incomplete or there may be some references to a throwaway ship or animal, it maybe that they are planning to come back to some of these later and finish fleshing them out. They very much try not to fully lock in rigid lore as the process needs to be malleable for additions and changes… so they will retcon or change the lore… the game and it’s lore are very much still being built out at this stage.
The needs of ships, features and specific teams drive a lot of the lore for the game as does community feedback. If a creature concept is required, the artist would get some direction but they like them to be creative then get the lore to fit around it.
Banu trade slaves and that will be a thing in game, tho the UEE may sometimes ignore this as they are cultural differences and the star systems involved are vast. Tho it will create some interesting tension and choices.
CI also confirmed that the previously cancelled Gameplay Feature Teams Q&A will be rescheduled.
We had a pair of Monthly Reports for the Persistent Universe saw a lot of work move forward for Pyro starting to test out Pyro 3 in more detail, they are also building out Reclaimer Derelicts and settlements. Dynamic Events appears to be a major focus as CI work on various new events some of which we may see later in the year.
The Banu Merchantman is now in it’s GreyBox phase, which is awesome.
The Drake Vulture has had various paint schemes made for it as it approaches it’s 3.18 release along with the first version of Hull Stripping Salvage and repair.
Various parts of the Drake Corsair saw work and changes to it’s layout.
The Hull A and Scorpius are scrambling thru their final stages hopefully for a release in 3.17.
We also know that CI are working on a couple of unannounced vehicles/ships.
And the Starmap continues it’s overhaul which is direly needed in game.
Squadron 42’s Report had them brining a couple of chapters up to vertical slice quality, so these 2 chapters are extremely playable and finished looking at least at a glance, this could be for internal use or it might be something we may see later on in the year BUT SQ42 appears to be in a much more advanced state in many areas now as it starts to come together.
There is also more generally a massive push on AI and Engine with Cloud Imperium refining behaviours and combat ability as well as generally how NPCs will interact with not just the player but each other as they pass or are unexpectedly in a scene together. For the engine the move to Vulkan and the Gen12 renderer continues while also picking up some steam.
There is a lot potentially coming up in the next few weeks, but it’s Alpha 3.17 that is going to be the focus of attention. There doesn’t look like there is going to be a persistence wipe BUT that isn’t a confirmation. Beyond what we talked about with Rivers and maybe some reputations stuff and the Hull A / Scorpius we have expanded selling of FPS items and gear, ship to ship refuelling with the Starfarer now being able to fill up with Quantum and Hydrogen Fuel and sell it to other players that need a top up, the Hospital on Hurston is opening up, there are new variants of clinics on stations, we have deeper character customization detail and variety with the New DNA head updates, there are mining gadgets adding deeper gameplay to the mining loop and potentially the most exciting feature the coffee shop vendor AI… proving that a Starbucks can pop up anywhere, even in a games development… more seriously, it will be interesting to see what they have to showcase for simple job NPCs like this at this stage.