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Star Citizen Alpha 3.18 Status & Feature Update

Star Citizen Alpha 3.18 is right around the corner and the live build of it is expected by mid November… CI have given us a Status Update for the patch as well as a follow up to all the features they have shown off over the last few months, what’s new and how they have improved… 

CI dropped a Star Citizen Alpha 3.18 Status Update with JakeAcappella CIG posting on Reddit & Spectrum

Hey everyone,

We wanted to give a quick update on the current status of 3.18, as we’re all eagerly awaiting the first build to be released to Evocati.

We’ve been testing heavily with our internal QA groups across our studios with great results, with a quick turnaround on bugs being tracked down during general server behavior. We are working on fixing a couple of recently discovered low-level network bugs causing instability in the Game Server to Entity Graph communication, which in turn can cause a large array of additional issues that are only exacerbated with additional players. Therefore, until we get these last few issues sorted out, it will be hard to utilize the valuable feedback we typically get from Evocati.

We greatly appreciate your patience as we get through this process. Persistent Entity Streaming is a massive technological endeavor, and we thank all of you for bearing with us. The Evocati release is being evaluated daily, and we’ll update once we’re ready for prime time. 

So evocati release could literally be any day now…

The Inside Star Citizen this week was Q3 Follow Up and expanded out how features have evolved and changed for the patch and what’s new with them:

Hull Scraping – What’s the Difference between the Reclaimer and Vulture in 3.18 for Salvage – The Reclaimer has 2 turrets and more space to store RMC than the Vulture so not a huge amount of difference in this implementation of Salvage. T1 in the future however will see munching of salvage too and the Reclaimer will be able to do that a much larger scale than the Vulture.

The Salvage beam will not work thru a targets shields… so if shields are down you can use it offensively.

The Repair mechanics with the multi-tool will only be able to patch up holes in the hull and not repair lost wings or parts. It basically replenishes the health of the hull.

You will be able to salvage player and NPC ships as well as “fresh” derelict sites that will spawn around asteroid fields, lagrange points ect… they are effectively minables for salvage, allowing for salvage without combat.

The greycat buggy track has seen improvements and bug fixes. Cars were going off the track, breaking out of the areas, taking short cuts that weren’t intended, so these needed to be appropriately fenced off.

Players don’t bring a buggy to the racecourse, they spawn on the side and you then bring them to the starting line… destroyed buggies will respawn back in the side area. There are always 8 buggies.

SPK has seen a lot of interna changes, new assets, paint job, branding and gameplay.

Low CS so level 1 & 2 will no longer make you a public enemy. You’ll be able to land at LZs and pay off these with fines.

You can also use the Fine Terminals to “surrender” to Law Enforcement, which will give you a 20% off time served for your prison sentence.

Prison – NPCs are actively walking around and in the mining area, they have lootable items that may be useful. There’s a Blackspot / New Mission which is all working, there are some new routes and areas.

Daymar Crash Site – Saw LOD improvements, the missions there were too easy so they added some more AI, with improved pathfinding for them too. The Cave with the crashed 600i is there but nothing else in there atm, they are integrating 3 mission types at the Daymar Crash Site Kill a Specific Target, Kill All Targets and Delivery. They are going to be making the Sand Nomads the NPCs here (but it will be the NineTails for 3.18).

The various floating islands around Orison will be host to some Missions in 3.18 when the Siege Event isn’t running. There will be various eliminate target / s missions.

There are new rivers on microTech & Hurston in 3.18 and river tech has improved too with visuals looking better than ever, new cliff edges around some areas of the river, additional rocks and asset distribution, refined spines allowing for more organic looking and smoother river paths.

There was a Follow Up On Reddit about Rivers… with one users saying…

1 – I’m surprised no one’s mentioned rivers. They look great!

Another Replying 

2 – They look cool, sure… but like… who cares? They’ve been working on the river for a year now. It’s ridiculous that it’s still occupying someone’s workload.

Figwig CIG Replied to this

Hey! So other people in the comments have addressed most of these, but just to confirm. That isn’t the same river. There are now 40 rivers saved out in the stanton system, and I generally generate a new river every time I do testing – so I’m always looking at a different one. For the person who said that maybe that one was an asset test, and

hand placed – we don’t have a way of manually directing a river, it’s absolutely always using the erosion stuff.

It’s beyond ridiculous that it’s still occupying someone’s workload.

Rivers are entirely my work (or the code is), but they aren’t my entire workload. It’s not even half. It’s just what I talk about on the ISCs as it’s the most visually exciting of the things I work on.

To answer some other questions that I keep seeing pop up –

  • Tributaries/waterfalls/multiple rivers leading into a lake/ocean etc are all coming. Most are blocked by our fairly limited water shading. This is actually what I’m spending Q4 on – proper flow mapping and water transitions. Important for many things in our games, including but not limited to rivers.
  • Does the river get wider/thinner? Yes – I’ve just shown sections of similar width.
  • Are we planning on using the river tool to generate other POIs (canyons, roads/tracks, etc)? Ohh yeah. This was all written with that sort of thing in mind. This will come. Also, using it to drive animal nests + other secondary POIs? Once we’ve got animal AI, I’m sure we’ll use rivers to drive this.
  • Why do rivers look the same they did a year ago? I don’t agree. A year ago there were no rivers in the game, for a start. The push to turn rivers from a tech demo to something we could put in game was a long one. It in theory sounds simple but being built on all-new tech it 
  • meant that it touched a lot of systems and that all had to be accounted for. That all happened this time last year. Then, most of my new river work has been on the new auto placement tool. This assesses a planet on scale and produces river systems around it. That’s like an entirely new tool with some fairly major algorithms involved. Only since then, I’ve been working again on visual improvements. And I’m fairly confident in saying thee rivers have completely transformed since the version that you can currently explore. I encourage you guys to check them out 🙂

There was also a small bit of Cargo…

In Response to CI not yet showing off the Cargo Refactor Disco Lando Posted on Twitter:

ISC is new info about features we’ve previously covered this season. That doesn’t include Cargo Refactor, which we’ll discuss next quarter closer to the 3.18 release.

Also it was the Last ISC Episode of the Quarter (3 week break returning 27th October)

The Frankfurt Office has moved into their new building.

The UK teams are preparing to migrate to Manchester starting Next Week.

Boom that’s it for today’s Alpha 3.18 Updates & Status Report… CitizenCon is NEXT Saturday for the 8th of October… that’s pretty hype.