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Star Citizen Alpha 3.17.2 MAJOR UPDATES – NPC Reinforcements & New Colonial Outposts!

Welcome to some more Star Citizen we have a Roadmap  and Alpha 3.17.2 Update for you today. Alpha 3.17.2 is currently in Evocati and I am expecting 1st wave PTU by the end of the Month currently BUT there have been some meaty Additions to Alpha 3.17.2’s Roadmap & Features.

Colonialism Outposts – Derelict

Implementation of derelict outpost locations throughout Stanton with a Colonialism theme. These locations will launch with missions, loot, and hostile AI encounters.

The Colonialism themed outposts I thought were supposed to be implemented in the Pyro System first, but this appears to not be the case now, with CI wanting to flesh out more gameplay area and POI with these. I think they will really add to planets and moons where they are located.

AI – Dropships and Reinforcements

Enabling AI ships to land and deliver reinforcements on non-structured ground areas, such as planetary terrain, where a predefined landing area and assistance from Air Traffic Control is not available. Assumidly this makes use of the Planetary Nav Mesh tech also in Alpha 3.17.2. This is a major step forward for the game and missions / areas that make use of these mechanics should actually give players something to think about and even potentially reasons to use ground vehicles more, especially if waves of NPCs are coming and you want the extra firesupport of some armour making you less venerable while you are moving valuable loot to your ship.

These are surprisingly massive additional features for Alpha 3.17.2… tho it is based on their implementation and scope. How extensive are those new outposts and are there reasons to go to them. Are Dropship & Reinforcements just going to be used at those new outpost areas in the first implementation or will that also be at other zones too. Will they also appropriately use the planetary nav mesh tech for these deployed troops.

There was a thread Desync’ed hitboxes on Spectrum asking:

With Desync issues that are in 3.17’s branch and the need to lead shots and problems with hitboxes. How high is the priority to fix this? Can we expect a fix for 3.17.2? Or will it be later on?

YogiKlatt Replied:

The physics team has provided fixes this week (don’t hold your breath!) but it is unlikely we will ship them with 3.17.2.

The changes contain a lot of low level physics code changes and experience tells us that most of the edge cases take 6 to 8 weeks to be found. Other than that they come at a performance hit specifically for the server … that is not a problem in the main dev stream as it has tons of other optimizations on collision code. However those changes are not in 3.17 either. So in all in all it’d be a pretty volatile change and the physics team does not feel it is ready for the live environment.

What we will do though is test those changes in ETF environments soon to get a first round of feedback. But everybody else has to wait at least (!) for 3.18 as this gives QA enough time to deep test all possible scenarios surrounding collision detection.

Hope that makes sense.

We also had some updates to the Progress Tracker which looks at CI’s work schedule but doesn’t commit the features to any particular patch release.

Asteroid Facilities

Adding new Asteroid Facilities to the persistent universe. Hand-crafted traversable areas offering different gameplay opportunities both in the interior and exterior of asteroids. This deliverable has been added to the EU Sandbox 1 Team’s schedule with their work planning to warp up by the end of the year.

These should help expand out the universe quite a bit with some interesting locations.

There are a load of ships have been pushed off the progress tracker CI said:

Due to a shift in priority for the Vehicle Concept Art team, both to await specific systems coming online as well as additional resources needed on other upcoming vehicles, the following deliverables have been temporarily removed from the Progress Tracker until additional resources are allocated:

  • RSI Orion
  • MISC Hull B
  • MISC Hull D
  • MISC Hull E
  • Crusader Genesis Starliner

Have all been paused. That does mean that the VCA Team are going to be working on a variety of other ships & vehicles (and potentially environments/buildings/interiors). It should be noted that these being paused doesn’t necessarily mean they will take longer to get into our hands than they otherwise would of as they would still need various teams to then take the ships into the pipeline and actually built out. CI’s studio expansion may help with a lot of these resource & scheduling issues assuming they can attract and keep talent you should see less things slip and more things added to the Roadmap and actually get completed without as many delays.

That all said the Hull C is still very much on the Progress Tracker with work on it wrapping up mid June.. hang on that could mean work has already completed on it. Interesting. I suppose we might see in in Alpha 3.18 with the Cargo Refactor?

Anyway that’s it for your Roadmap Update… Alpha 3.17.2 is shaping up to be a much bigger set of features than initially expected with lots of new locations / POI, Missions associated with them, more missions in general  too, NPC navigation and reinforcements and that siege of Orison Dynamic Event. Lots of potential gameplay and if that patch has good performance and stability… then that will be awesome… the fact it’s still 3.17 branch means that is more of a possibility.