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Star Citizen Alpha 3.19 Could See A MASSIVE Cargo Gameplay Update

Star Citizen has big plans for Cargo in 2023… Cargo Hauling and gameplay associated with the moving of boxes, cargo and the economy is a staple of making Star Citizen a deep and rich game.

Star Citizen is further expanding out it’s Cargo Gameplay beyond Alpha 3.18’s Cargo Refactor… in fact that cargo refactor is just the start and a framework for a of features that appear to be planned for 2023 and currently looking at CIs plans what might be part of Alpha 3.19.

In Alpha 3.18 the Cargo Refactor makes commodity cargo physicalized and moveable / stackable via tractor beam in 1 SCU boxes. 

There are some other bits that are connected… the soft death system has ships not exploding when they die unless they continue being shot at, they are instead permanently disabled, boardable, salvageable and their cargo intact & lootable… also their crew if players will have survived and can defend. 

PES means that items, cargo, ship wrecks all persist in the location that they left… and that servers save their states and load them back in after being restarted / crashing. So you can recover cargo from a fight, leave big stacks in an area and have the server be on your side rather than wiping everything constantly.

We also have better shop management and trade kiosks… tho they can always be better…

So what’s next for Cargo Gameplay & Potentially what I believe will be a major focus of Star Citizen Alpha 3.19…

CI have been working on Ship Scale Tractor Beams for a while. These will allow for the moving of larger cargo containers and lots of cargo at once. A load of ships will make use of Ship Scale Tractor Beams and they will assist in not just cargo gameplay but also towing vehicles/ships, moving minables & salvage… they are incredibly useful utility items.

We know that the Argo SRV has some work wrapping up in February as well… that mighty Tractor Beam ship is going to be really useful for moving Cargo… especially since…

Larger Cargo Containers have also been worked on, we know that CIG are keen to get in the 32SCU freight containers that will be integral to haulers like the RAFT and Hull Series.

The Hull-C is going to be releasing between now and the IAE… the ship is current on sale in fact at time of recording with CI saying it’s the last time it will be on sale before it’s release.

So you can probably expect it around the end of Q2.

All of these features nicely merge or fit together enabling the Hull-C to be able to make use of it’s intended cargo gameplay loop.

You’ll be able to attach and detach cargo boxes, move them around with tractor beams and fly around the verse in a true hauler…

There is much more to the expanded Cargo Gameplay tho with CI wanting Times & Costs associated with Loading & Unloading Cargo.

You buy from a terminal currently and it’s instantly loaded on your ship / unloaded when you sell… but you’ll have to pay fees and wait in the future for the loading/unloading process… now you maybe able to pay to have these times expedited or even do some of the process yourself… the facilities of the Landing Zone may affect these too.

I am actually expecting missions to unload other ships in game too. Like a Dock / Warehouse Worker…

One of the things you can expect at some point and hopefully at the same time is for the Cargo Decks on Stations to be more appropriately used for some of this gameplay.

You should be able to buy and rent cargo ships here.

As well as purchasing cargo space at a station to store your cargo.

You’ll be able to buy a large range of FPS and ship gear associated with Cargo Gameplay… including tractor beams & cargo for transport.

Cargo Missions will live here and most likely escort missions for cargo ships too.

Expect trade terminals and info to be at these places too. 

You can expect their to be more meaty delivery missions and hauling missions of various types… Take this large stack of cargo from A-B…. you’ll have to have certain levels of reputation to take more valuable missions… and losing the cargo will likely tank your rep or net you a penalty…

I’d also expect TDD (Trade & Development Divisions) and Trade areas on Planets to be similarly affected too.

As there will be more Cargo Gameplay and Missions… there will be counter missions, PvP, chances to find massive haulers destroyed in space…

It’s likely the Starfarers in the Gas Cloud with the XenoThreat Event will get changed to Hull-Cs at some point. 

I am expecting that Escort Missions will come into the game… you can expect player escorts more I suppose once we have Pyro and they expand out more Star Systems… that said Quantum Interdict is likely to be happening more… when there is profit to be made!

It makes sense as well that CI will likely rebalance the economy somewhat… and maybe even have more of Tony Zurovichs Dynamic Universe / Economy Sim ready.

With prices being affected by what’s happening in game, what missions are being completed, the amount of Rearming, Repair and Refuel that’s going on and what cargo is being traded.

I really want to see cargo being able to be bought & sold in vast quantities and shops to have large storages for that… I don’t want to be in a position where shops just aren’t buying ever because they are always full or their are artificial restrictions in place that limit purchasing to a little bit each minute… have the price affected yes…

Have missions created to move cargo from one area to another in the process of getting it to factory nodes and getting items made.

Yes sometimes cargo shouldn’t be able to be sold if the market is saturated… in the future when we have more star systems that’s the best time to buy then go somewhere else and sell.

There is going to have to be some placeholder systems and faking of parts of the economy and gameplay for a while tho, that is just the nature of Star Citizen being in Alpha…   

But hopefully this will all really add a huge amount of depth to Star Citizen’s Economy and Cargo Gameplay in 2023… there is a lot more to do after that for sure BUT it’s a big step forward. We might know a good lot more on February 8th as CI should be updating the Roadmap significantly… and set the tone for the year… 

Boom that’s it for Cargo Gameplay hopefully coming this year.