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Beyond Star Citizen Alpha 3.17

What’s coming Beyond Star Citizen Alpha 3.17? What can we expect over the next quarter as part of it’s patch cycle and then 3.18… I want to talk about Fleet Week AND Alpha 3.18 as well as what we might see from salvage and the cargo refactor.

Fleet Week Is one of the largest events in the Star Citizen Calender each year typically running at the end of May for around 10 days.

It is a huge in game expo run at one of the major landing zones BUT it has a lot more going on as well.

A huge amount of the games combat and logistics ships are on sale and it is one of the best sales periods for the game.

This mirrors what is at the expo as each day changes what manufacturer is available to see.

They also have a freefly event running concurrently allowing you to rent whatever is on the expohall but also you can expect anyone to be able to try the game for FREE for the 10 days of fleet week entirely for free too.

They often release a new ship or variant… typically this would be something that is combat or logistics based.

The UEE fleet also flies around the Low Orbit Stations of the games planets with F8 lightnings, F7A Hornets all being seen as well as IDris, Javelins and last year we also saw the mighty Bengal that was combat operational too, this is one of the biggest ships in game and seeing it fly around was a real treat.

You could even tour the internals of the Javelin… with a load of voice actors giving you a look at life on a UEE Military Destroyer the Warhammer.

My excitement for this event comes as CI have improved it, year on year, that’s not a guarantee that it will be the same this year BUT I live in hope. It is incredibly hype and as for all backers and followers of star citizen, there is something for everyone.

In fact at that expo, they often have limited ships like the F8 on show, ships that aren’t complete but have their externals done can appear on show and they often show a variety of ships in the holoviewer area of ships in concept, white or greybox.

It is important however that 3.17 is a stable well performing patch. Otherwise it could really hamper the event. 

We might see some updates to the Referral Program, CI like to incentivise new player signups around these events and often there will be a little promo.

I am expecting that Fleet Week will have it’s Expo Hall at New Babbage at microTech this year as it’s the most updated ExpoHall and the planet tech their is the most advanced too currently. It sort of makes sense… showcase that new river, the clouds look good, the expohall is massive and consistently works well… it’s a pretty landing zone… that’s not a confirmation it will be there tho.

I am interested to know what you think we might see at this years IFW (Fleet Week)

What combat ships and vehicles do you think make sense for CI to add?

Actually that’s a good point, at the end of Fleet Week, Drake take over a nearby hall for their DefenseCon, it’s possible we could see something on the Corsair?

Alien Week – Fleet week doesn’t really showcase anything… Alien…

And Around the 12th of June CI typically have alien week, this is more of a celebration of alien ships, an alien ship sale. Last year we had the Gatac Railen Concept Sale

There are typically a few community things to get involved with, this is true of fleet week too with screenshot and various other competitions going on. And sometimes some very cool looking marketing videos.

So boom you’ve got Alpha 3.17 maybe a 3.17.1 patch has come out as well… you’ve had Fleet Week and Alien Week… the next major thing is Alpha 3.18 which is only just over 3 months away at time of recording and it’s a big one for a couple of reasons…

Salvage Gameplay & the Cargo Refactor….  In fact that is all that CI are currently revealing about the patch.

Salvage wise we have the Vulture with it’s ability to Hull Strip being added, you’ll also be able to hull strip by hand and repair using the same resource.

To what extent repairs will actually help and be necessary in this way remains to be seen.

So does the actual way that we Salvage, will it be all ships that can be salvaged, or just set points in 3.18? Will there be missions associated with this too? Certainly eventually but we don’t know for 3.18. I think you can expect something similar to mining and it’s UI and laser beams but it is an important gameplay loop that will then continue to evolve.

The Cargo Refactor is perhaps more important.

This refactor of the ship cargo system will allow both found and purchased cargo to be picked up, moved around, and placed into the cargo grid of a ship. 

This should enable you to do a whole lot more with your ships cargo and it expands out gameplay to have pirates actually looting ships and having reasons to board ships rather than blow them up.

Now there is a huge amount more coming with Cargo Updates BUT I am not sure what is a 3.18 feature and what is coming later.

More Cargo Boxes & Types of Cargo, so if you want to carry fuel like in the Starfarer but at a small scale, some cargo will be in cannisers or different shaped boxes. There needs to be a lot more cargo boxes of different sizes too… especially on the larger size as this helps reduce burdens on servers by having less entities to track.

Interactive (cargo in cargo) Cargo Boxes, CI want to have each individual container or box have an inventory you can interact with, the best case scenario would also be that some boxes are able to have items you can literally pick up from like it’s a weapons rack… that said I think that weapons racks and armories provide all the functionality for that you would need and they could get away with just individual UIs for boxes and cargo. But I am interested to know what you think on that?

Ship / Vehicle in Ship Spawning is kinda of part of having this expanded cargo… at least it seems that way to me. We have been waiting for the ability to attach / spawn a vehicle as part of our ship when we spawn them at landing zones for a while now. This will be in game at somepoint and I am now thinking sooner rather than later.

We know that there will eventually be Costs & Timers associated with Loading / Unloading cargo at landing zones… this will be based on their facilities, manpower and exactly what you are loading / unloading but this will really change the cargo meta and well the economy should heavily change because of it.

Cargo Decks should be getting more features, be able to Rent Space and generally serve all your cargo based needs. 

Persistent Hangars were supposed to be in Alpha 3.17 originally but needed to be pushed due to needing more persistent streaming tech in and potentially the cargo refactor, so this will enable you to store things in your hangar, rent additional room etc… I wouldn’t expect anything super customizable to start with… more just a glorified warehouse and exit point.

All of these things will require various Economy Rebalancing… and we may see a load more commodities and places that deal with them too.

We know that Tony Z want’s to have more Dynamic Universe Things in as quickly as possible… with the price of fuel, repair as well as econounters all being dynamic driven… we don’t have a timeline for this BUT they wanted it in last year and 3.18 or 3.19 looks like the perfect time to me.

Throughout the next quarter as well there are possibilities of new General Events & New Missions, we know CI are working on a few beyond just Fleet Week, XenoThreat, Jumptown, NineTails Lockdown and even with them they want to improve and expand on them.

BUT we could also see something entirely new too.

Boom thats it for your Star Citizen what to look forward to over the next quarter or so and beyond 3.17. That 3.17 should be going to evocati pretty soon! But what do you think are you excited for Fleet Week, what do you think might be new? What about Alpha 3.18, what else do you think we could see in the patch? Are you excited by the Cargo Refactor, what about Salvage? CI please no delay salvage again… whatever your thoughts I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.