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Star Citizen – Invisible Players Are Ruining The Game – Are The Devs Listening?

Welcome to some more Star Citizen we are going to talk about the very major issues with Players being invisible in game with some CIG responses now and Ship Balance are CIG listening?

Star Citizen has a major problem with desync and player invisibility… and has for a while now. More recently this was VERY obvious when CI ran the JumpTown Dynamic event which tasks players to hold a structure where 2 dispensers keep on producing valuable goods. 

This highlighted how stressful and broken FPS mechanics could be when someone is invisible. But it’s been happen for age and it’s ship too not just players and not even just random players, it can be your party members.

CI need this fixed as it ruins the game for a lot of players and it feels on some levels Star Citizen is almost in a fantastic place BUT these kind of bugs smash you back down to the cold Alpha reality.

I have seen players argue that some are purposely becoming invisible and exploiting, others saying they are not being affected by it at all, it’s happened to me and players I am with a load of times and I think some enemies… I mean it’s hard to tell without death cams right? Because they might just be behind you or hiding… ANYWAY…

There was a Spectrum Thread What’s going on with player invisibility? 

The Original Poster Said:

Hello fine folks at CIG, the question’s in the title. While this bug has been around for ages at this point, the combat surrounding Ghost Hollow (a PvP more FPS focused Location) has made it more prominent than ever, giving reason for a public inquiry as to what’s occurring behind the scenes to diagnose and mend this issue.

There is a Relevant IC report with 465 contributions and 753 upvotes as of 31 July 2023.

This issue is one of the largest, if not the largest, plaguing PvP combat in the game currently. Given that the fix for the issue relies on the invisible party to relog, there has been a rise in players unknowingly (best case scenario) and purposefully (worst case scenario) using this bug for a combat advantage.

Any update on the progress of diagnosing, reproducing, and mending this issue would be greatly appreciated, as the Issue Council lacks any correspondence by CIG regarding this issue.

Breaded-CIG Responded to this:

Rather than it being one bug, there’s a combination of invisibility issues. Some of them were fixed but the remaining ones have been difficult to track down. Initially, the debugging needed to investigate this issue was pretty complex and I was helping out with gathering that information. As you rightly stated, our PvP community hates this issue so I joined a few different discord servers and asked for some help with getting the issue reproduced so that I could gather debug data on it.

This processes helped with two things. One, the developers improved the debug commands used to gather information on this in such a way that it no longer needed someone with admin permissions to easily gather the data, thus allowing QA to get the developers the information they needed. Two, it helped us discover that there were multiple invisibility issues.

The current state of things is that we need to see if the issue is still happening in 3.20, as there have been a number of changes to the code related to what might be causing the issue. If we end up continuing to see invisible characters, we’ll start gathering debug information again and iterating on the tools we’re using to do that until the developers can find a fix for the issue(s).

There is a potentially ray of hope then for Alpha 3.20 resolving some of these issues.

However it’s also possible the issue will still persist… it is however something very much known by CIG and they are actively trying to fix it. We will have to wait until 3.20 to see where we are…

There was a follow up from a backer as well regarding IC reporting and Devs / Players using Discord as a place to coordinate issues testing and fixes.

You having to or choosing to join discord Servers highlights a major problem in my opinion with the way the issue council is currently. We are all alpha testers and I feel if there is a need even without a PTU going on it should be posted in focus testing and also communicated to the backer base on well highlighted channels like TWISC. Thanks for helping to track down this issue.

Breaded-CIG Responded again:

The issue council doesn’t allow for real time debugging and the initial investigation for this required that we catch the issue as it’s happening rather than afterwards. I initially started out asking for help in our Spectrum testing channels but no one that was online was having luck reproducing the issue. As these things tend to go, it’s easy to get it to happen when a developer isn’t watching. Because of that, I had to ask for some additional help which resulted in me getting the data we needed.

I do think some integration of current known issues and testing focus would be great on the launcher and available in game.

There was a thread on Ship Balance and annoyance at the Ares recently More On Ares

Which we previously covered but there were a load of additional dev responses here from YogiKlatt that I thought were worth going into. Including one on if SC is P2W…

What is your definition of pay to win?

P2W for me means that you get measurable competitive advantages in a game. Our vehicle combat system is not setup for that. All ships are meant to have pros and cons based on the given ship brief and during the tuning process we actually do not know about the sale price. We just tune so the ship sit in a performance corner with similar ships. Sure some might offer small advantages (e.g. four instead of three gun hardpoints) but you do not get around the git gud part to capitalize on them.

That is why I do not regard SC to be P2W. I would maybe call it Pay 2 Advance Playtime or so. By directly buying a ship you just shorten the playtime needed to afford something with in-game currency. But I think that’s also okay because players have different amounts of available play time per week that they can put into the game.

Just my 2 cents…

The debate around what is P2W rages on… however you define and feel about SC sell ships but you can and will be able to earn them all in game. I believe skill and time played are going to be much more significant factors than being able to purchase ships.

Moving into questions on ship & combat balance:

Are you listening to the community or sticking too strictly to an idea that doesn’t seem to be panning out?

We always listen to feedback. We have a whole team (Baior’s Player Experience Team) for that which generates recommendations based on written feedback and ICs and checks back if the feedback is actually visible in the game data itself … that way we avoid bias effects. We usually wait for PET to create recommendations and they already created a backlog for us that has hundreds of issues and smaller improvements listed. We also meet weekly to talk about the weekly progress.

However whether or not we act on that feedback and more importantly WHEN is up up to us combat devs. We don’t just say “nope, not gonna do it” … I said multiple times the Ares NEEDS work and so does it weaponry. But it is certainly not as important as wider things like master modes, the gunnery system, etc that affect all players. We know at this point that practically the whole vehicle combat geometry of Star Citizen will change with master modes and the gunnery changes, so there is the question how much work we should put into something from which we know it will change soon(tm). Specifically for the Ion we actually invested some time a couple of months back to create a charge mechanic but we couldn’t get the required assists from two other teams. So I decided to shelve that work for the time being until those resources become available.

So the perceived lack of feedback is not really proofing that our approach doesn’t work … we simply didn’t get there yet, the combat gameplay is heavily under construction right now and there are countless of examples of this. The Ares is just one case that comes with a vocal user base but other ships suffer similar problems. E.g. almost all medium fighters are lacking atm. We’ll get to all of this in time.