We had a rather juicy Star Citizen Arena Commander, ToW and Alpha 3.20 Special Video from CI. There was a load of dev information here… with things like Star Citizen Alpha 3.20 Currently Being In Testing, Multi-Crew Modes Delayed, ToW being worked on… Right let’s jump into this Q&A Summary.
Is Multi-Crew Still Planned for AC Alpha 3.20?
They had problems with the multicrew lobby… this might be delayed to a later patch.
As it didn’t pass it’s go no go. If it’s not in 3.20 initial it will be in a “follow up patch” not sure if they mean a 3.20.x or next major patch.
In the future in most modes it seems to be the plan to be able to get out of your seats and walk around to change seats and repair. You won’t be hot switching unless you die and spawn in a different position.
Theatres Of War?
It is currently being worked on. This is the Mutiplayer Combined Arms Team Objective Based Mode that was first unveiled at CitizenCon 2019. They want to get ToW into an Experimental Mode in the future and get players properly involved in it’s development.
Master Modes In Arena Commander
Evocati are currently testing Alpha 3.20 Master Modes in AC.
It’s a fundamental feature of the flight model.
It’s a full re-tuning of every ship. They are currently running the test with the Gladius.
This sort of thing allows them to run multiple tests in parallel with other testing going on in the PU and other AC modes.
Can you explore Planet Green in AC?
Yes you will be able to in FreeFly. Run around and explore the beaches… the map isn’t built specifically for that BUT you can do it.
Also they have the “real” pyro sky box in the Dying star map.
Any Updates On Private Lobbies?
They had previously removed them due to not be able to support them as they had refactored some other systems, they wanted to get them back quickly but it kept being delayed. They planning to bring them back for Alpha 3.20. These are now known as custom matches, they are expanding out their functionality. They know this feature is mega important for players to set up these private matches in AC.
They are going to experiment with player / team limits in the different modes.
Will Orgs & Groups be able to set up matches without Random Players?
Team organisation will be there. They will be adding even more mod and custom features for this in the future too. One of the goals is to bring back competitive play.
Will there be a Ranking / MM System to play against appropriate skilled players?
Leaderboards and MM are being worked on. They are pushing Squadron Battle & Duel for more competitive matches. Don’t expect skill based MM for 3.20.
Any Unlockables in the new AC for Alpha 3.20?
They are keeping the VS Glaive & PS Pirate Gladius / Caterpillar Unlocks as rewards for completing those modes… that enables you to buy those ships.
There are new spectrum badges for those modes in 3.20.
There are also badges for winning Tank Royale / Team Tank as the highest scoring player. This is true of other modes like Gunrush too.
There are going to be various other rewards in the future too, even skins and things.
They want a bit more progression too and a bit more of a connection between the PU and AC potentially with reputation, and your ships in the PU affecting more AC.
Will we be able to Access AC from the PU?
They do want to get Simpods in the PU around LZs to access AC.
They have some far In the future plans to go to AC from anywhere even while QTing. That would however make your character relatively vulnerable while playing AC, they aren’t planning to log you out of the PU when you are in AC BUT you might get a notification you are in danger while in AC.
Conversely they’ve also tested AC as an entirely separate executable as well.
Will There Be a Spectator Mode?
Yes, Sean sees the potential of spectators being newscasters. Maybe even having a physical presence. They certainly are in the PU. But yes there will be a solid spectator mode for AC.
Will Players Be Able to Save Loadouts?
Spawn screens are coming to Alpha 3.20 for AC.
You will be able to change your loadouts here BUT in the future you will be able to customise this a lot more.
Medical Gameplay In Star Marine?
It’s very likely coming in the future, they want the SQ medical updates in before they add it here. There will be various moes that it will be really useful in.
Downed isn’t a state in AC currently, you just die.
How is Desync & Networking being addressed?
They are trying to make performance the best it can be.
Framerates in AC / SM are much higher than PU typically.
They’ve been testing 144 /120 tick servers.
They’ve been doing large scale player testing.
There are a lot of Networking issues with Desync.
They tested spawning over 300 Vanduul Ships and had their AC servers running at 60 tick.
They are trying to solve Networking issues currently.
The Jericho Station Map helps with this even more in AC as it’s very lightweight.
Capital Ship Boarding Modes for AC?
Theatres of War type combined arms gameplay is coming to AC at some point.
Attacking Capital Ships with a fleet, then boarding it.
Are they working on New Unique FPS Maps for AC?
The team for the AC stuff is pretty small and that’s by design.
Maps for AC / SM they prefer them to be using PU / SQ42 assets. Rather than building any full custom maps, you can expect most of what the add or use to appear in the PU somewhere or to be built out of these assets or be piggy backed on that content.
Testing for new PU locations could be done in AC very rapidly.
Any plans for PvE Missions In AC?
Experimental Modes will be a testbed for this BUT not in 3.20.
They want to add PvE gamemodes and missions into AC. Technically any mission of Dynamic event could be added like XenoThreat or Jumptown.
They could also have mining and other non-combat roles in AC and supported by FreeFlight in the future more readily.
They are aware that players are interested in a bot mode for SM the Good Doctor Map was actually made with that in mind it was a PvE FPS Survival Map, like Pirate Swarm in FPS.
This is still on the to do list, spawn closets and other tech they have now make it alot more doable.
Is AC supposed to be a standalone experience, or just for testing things, what’s the intention?
AC & SM is an important place for testing of balance, features and gameplay.
But also an alternative to playing in the PU. It focuses more on a quicker Arcadey experience BUT it’s sections of focused gameplay and testing for potentially PU type scenarios. It will be able to stand on it’s own.
It might be a good start for players begin SC with some playing in AC.
How will you prevent “Teaming” in Battle Royale and Deathmatch modes?
They want to focus on competitive play in Duel and Squadron Battle.
Battle Royale should be more fun. It’s hard to prevent “teaming” and hard to prove.
They might not have a leaderboard for BR.
They are looking at various other competitive modes, 2v2s things like that. They will try a few different things in Experimental Modes. They will check to see if players like them and then might make them into their own mode, it will be data driven.
Will Chain Link Fences and other small objects pose an issue for a Tank?
Maelstrom is the internal name of the Physical Damage System and destructibles
They want vehicles to be able to plough thru certain things.
It’s easier to make things like this work in AC than in the PU as they want the damage to persist BUT also I suppose for some things to get regenerated / rebuilt.
Other Gameplay Modes?
They talked about infection gameplay modes, asymmetric gameplay and multiple teams, Goliath 1 v 6 mode.