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Star Citizen State of The Game – Alpha 3.17.2 Is Actually Pretty Good!

Star Citizen Alpha 3.17.2 is at time of recording is Open PTU and looks to be imminently going to LIVE. That could literally be between later today to mid next week based on some bug fixes and stability of release candidate patch builds. I want to talk about the state of Star Citizen’s PTU and it’s viability of going to LIVE… it’s problems and it’s successes.

FPS Gameplay, AI, Combat, Desync & Playability has been the focus of this patch and PTU Cycle. As well as new gameplay area, New Missions with AI reinforcements and the Siege Of Orison. The patch is actually pretty gameplay heavy for an update that I originally thought was going to be empty.

AI are reactive to players in the latest PTU and the patch seems stable however it is a couple of seconds before the AI / NPC reacts.

Lots of Elevators were entirely broken but in the latest PTU patch a lot of them are now fixed. Elevator / general gameplay area accessibility issues are almost as bad as unstable servers / clients… they still need to fix the remaining ones lest we be cut out of certain areas in the game. The biggest offenders were microTech’s New Babbage and Bunkers when I was playing in previous patches… I didn’t have an issue in the latest R patch with the Bunker I entered.

We have seen a few Siege Of Orison playtests throughout those patches (This is the new FPS PVE Focused Dynamic Event) and the latest test was pretty tight… I was able to play through the whole of the event without noticeable issue. AI were moving around and engaging. Tho they did take a while to react so quite low threat. For me this is in a good enough state for LIVE, it is a massive explorable area, which some difficulty and a lot of time investment with pretty easy accessibility.

CI have been testing raising the player server cap from 50… to 100 but they now have been testing more than that… with some servers hitting 130 players or more.

I wonder if they will try 200?

Testing for that seems to have gone pretty well but it’s going on at the same time as a load of bugs and netcode bits are being tweaked for 3.17.2 so we really want to know what CIs conclusion of those tests are. They have siad the plan isn’t to raise server caps for 3.17.2 live… but I think we are one good test away for potentially seeing higher server caps personally. That could be here or in could be after server meshing… quite the window.

The Roadmap was updated just to show the Centurion AA Vehicle is part of the 3.17.2 release. Other than that the update added some of the downstream teams like VFX to tasks already on the Progress Tracker. When a major patch is about to be released these updates are pretty minor. I actually quite like the Centurion, eventually we are going to see loads of these used by NPCs to defend areas in absence of static turrets and I think they are a much needed addition to the game… tho aren’t very useful in the hands of a player YET.

Over the last few days CI have been ploughing through PTU patches trying to fix a ton of bugs and improve AI & Server Performance and in those P,Q&R patches we saw multiple updates:

  • There were server performance and stability improvements
  • A Performance polish pass for FPS AI behavior
  • There was a Performance polish pass for FPS AI behavior

They made a further balance pass to combat assistance beacons. Increased enemy reinforcements on some difficulties. Removed generic criminal spawn groups and increased difficulty of the highest encounters.

This should see players having a good level of difficulty to combat beacons and them be much more fun and sometimes intense.

  • Improved the URSA Rover Brakes and Reverse Speeds

Star Citizen Alpha 3.17.2p PTU

  • Fixed an issue causing enemy AI NPCs to not react or be hostile to players
  • AI NPCs should no longer receive the bleed state and bleed out
  • AI should no longer become stuck in the environment and float upwards
  • Hijacked 890 Jump should no longer despawn at inappropriate moments and potentially leave the player stranded in space
  • Discreet Delivery Missions should now populate for Criminal Players
  • Player to Player service beacon reputation should now persist
  • Performing a takedown should no longer have a chance to prevent the player from moving
  • Fixed and issue that allowed players to complete the Failed Negotiations mission without solving the puzzles
  • Fixed an issue causing recovery from crash to desktop being inconsistent

Star Citizen Alpha 3.17.2q PTU

  • UGF and grimHEX Elevators should now operate correctly
  • EZHAB and Landing Zone elevators should now operate correctly
  • Fixed an issues causing Party member markers to go missing
  • Fixed an issue causing AI to be slow to respond when engaging players in combat
  • Combat Assistance Beacons should now correctly appear for players if they have been disconnected due to a server crash
  • Fixed an issue to cause Medical beacons to not complete mission/payment when player is brought back from incapacitation
  • There should no longer be invisible collisions in front many space station hangar doors
  • Fixed multiple shield holes on the Aegis Hammerhead

Star Citizen Alpha 3.17.2r PTU

  • Fixed an issue that was preventing multiple beacons of the same difficulty level from appearing to the player
  • Fixed Various visarea issues with elevator doors throughout the PU
  • Fixed an issue with various Elevators become unresponsive and lose floor collision
  • Fixed an issue causing terrain to damage players at multiple Derelict Outpost locations
  • Fixed an issues causing Multiple ships to lose their engines after repairing and storing the ship
  • Hercules Starlifter variants should no longer spawn with the MFD’s pre-set to show two targeting MFDs rather than showing target & self status
  • Heal and Revive Beacons generated by players should now always generate a visible notification

Through those 3 patches we alsol saw CI Fix 5 Client, 11 Server Crashes & a Main Thread Deadlock.

The Known Issues list is actually quite small now and I think that CI can probably fix a few more then release to LIVE.

  • (Ongoing improvements and testing to NetCode, AI & Actors)
  • Repairing a lost ship weapon storing the ship and claiming it again weapon is missing
  • Some Delivery Boxes Cannot Be Placed to Progress Illegal Delivery Missions
  • The Destroy the Reclaimer Objective (During a Mission) Results in Crime Stat.
  • Ships on landing pads end up in “unknown state” for location and have to be reclaimed after the ship is stored or streamed out
  • Bunker Missions are sometimes missing NPC spawns to complete the mission
  • Weapons holster or un-holster unintentionally

There are some more minor issues too like 

  • Blinding lights during planetary flight near the Snake Pit race track
  • All weapons are held like a pistol whilst moving in EVA
  • Missing Ships on SCOUNDREL PACK (and others) on PTU 3.17.2 (This is a PTU only issue that is being worked on)

CI are just trying to fix those more major issues, problems of gameplay and area accessibility and getting the servers and AI in as good state as possible for a live release. We could see that release this today / this weekend or early – mid next week.

We are in that zone of if CI get a good build that will be a release candidate and then 3.17.2 will go live. You can expect that Centurion to go on sale and potentially a variety of ground and combat ships… probably focused on FPS Gameplay, Dropships, Vehicles all on sale and maybe even some FPS Weapon bundles?

Please remember as well that Alpha 3.17.2 is going to have a persistence wipe of everything except reputation, so any aUEC, Merits, Ships or Items earned in game are going to be reset, you’ll keep anything you bought with real money, gifts & promo items tho. That might go a way to making the servers even more performant too.