On this week’s episode of Around the Verse, Star Citizen’s Sandi Gardiner and Chris Roberts bookend segments on the ship pipeline in the game. Did you know Star Citizen has introduced 114 ships, vehicles, and variants since the start of development? Neither did I. Here comes another one: the Aegis Vulcan. The adorably ugly and chunky ship is essentially a utility starter support spacecraft that packs in repairing, refueling, and rearming. Says CIG,
“It’s a versatile support ship. It’s there to support other ships. It’s not great at combat. It’s not great at transport. It’s not great at racing. It’s there for helping out with other ships. So if you’re that sort of person that is interested in the not more active combat side but helping others, then this is a really great entry into that, because it does allow you to help out massively for ships that run out of fuel, ships that have minor damage, ships that run out of ammo and any of these ships could be stuck out in deep space. They can call for your help, and you can go out there and give them just enough to get them where they need to go to. It’s sort of like the space AA or AAA for America. You call them up. They give you just enough to get to where you’re going, and then you can do your full repairs, rearm, refuel there.”
It’s also for sale as part of the early VIP optioning system. It’s $185 right now (warbond price), and
it is actually scheduled to no, it won’t make it into the 3.1 alpha (thanks Dividian).
Chris Roberts is joined by CIG Leader Writer Dave Haddock for this week’s episode of Star Citizen Around the Verse, during which they check in with multiple studio reps who reinforce the decision to move to quarterly releases as well as better organize projects within the individual studios to actually deliver 3.0.1. And the deep-dive this week? It’s all about weapons. Pew pew. Specifically weapon balancing.
“We want to make sure that each weapon type – say the scatter gun – is relatively balanced towards a cannon weapon type or a hypothetical beam cannon type,” Tech Designer Andrew Nicholson explains. “So the scatter gun will do more damage that a regular cannon but obviously it’s rate of fire is slower. And we just make sure that all these parameters fit in the correct range that we give them on a per size basis, and that nothing is too strong or too weak.”
Meanwhile, the Crytek lawsuit continues. As of yesterday, the judge in the suit canceled the hearing with oral arguments set for today, noting she would be considering the existing arguments for and against dismissal.
Star Citizen just wouldn’t be Star Citizen without its obsession with meticulously crafted starships, and they’re exactly the focus of the Ship Shape segment in this week’s Around the Verse. After an interminably long round of introductions, Chris Roberts and company discuss how ships are born.
“It’s a long process,” Roberts quips. “It involves approximately 49 years of obsessively watching science fiction films and TV shows and reading a lot of science fiction novels, plus being a bit of a World War I and World War II enthusiast, and taking all of that and then coming up with various ideas for ships that have sort of been inspired by things that you’ve seen, things that you’ve read, things you know in the real world that fill in the various roles that we have in the game.”
Things like, you know, Serenity or the Millennium Falcon, to which you surely have an “emotional attachment,” he posits. “So we balance the combination of the practical needs that we want to fill in from the game requirements with the sense of an emotional attachment, so it’s not just a purely kind of cold pragmatic science.”
The bombshell of December 2017 was the news that Crytek was suing Cloud Imperium Games and Roberts Space Industries, the companies behind the sprawling and controversial crowdfunded MMO Star Citizen, alleging that CIG infringed its copyrights by using CryEngine to develop non-Star Citizen game assets in the form of Squadron 42 while misusing Crytek’s logo in marketing materials and Crytek’s CryEngine in the form of Star Engine. In its initial filing, Crytek demanded a huge pile of direct damages, lost profits, and punitive damages, as well as a permanent injunction against CIG’s use of CryEngine.
At the time, CIG told Massively OP that it was aware of the complaint but that the lawsuit was “meritless” as CIG hadn’t used CryEngine since it switched to Amazon’s Lumberyard. And now we see its promised “vigorous defense” action, as CIG has issued a volley of its own in the form of a motion to dismiss the entire suit.
Massively OP’s not-so-serious end-of-the-year awards conclude today with our blooper award for Schlag meme of the year, given to and in honor of MOP commenter Schlag Sweetleaf, who’s well-known as a snarky and insightful mememaker in the chatter under our articles. I know I’m not alone in frequently skimming the comments hunting for his jokes.
And the winner is…
We’re taking a time-machine back through our MMO coverage, month by month, to hit the highlights and frame our journey before we head into 2018!
September dazzled with Guild Wars 2’s Path of Fire launch, while indies lit up PAX West, Destiny 2 rolled out to consolers, EVE Online dabbled in drama, toxicity became the new buzzword, and Chris Roberts got fed up. The oldest living games of the genre had their day too, as Ultima Online turned 20 years old and announced free-to-play.
Read on for the whole list!
Massively Overpowered’s end-of-the-year 2017 awards continue today with our award for Biggest MMO Industry Blunder of 2017, which we awarded to the industry’s VR obsession last year, and I just need to point out that some of you mocked us for that pick, but we’re feeling mighty vindicated this year, and you’ll soon see why. This isn’t an award we particularly enjoy giving, but I think it’s a fitting complement to praising trends and big stories: We must consider the mistakes of the year so we don’t make them again and so we can be prepared for how they’ll affect us in the future.
The Massively OP staff pick for Biggest MMO Industry Blunder of 2017 is…
Think of all the wacky things devs have said in public in front of gamers and journalists this year.
Now imagine what gets said behind closed doors!
For this week’s Massively Overthinking, I’ve asked our staff to select the best (and worst) developer quotes from the year and reflect on what we’ve learned from them. Let’s dig in – we’ve got some whoppers.
While it surely won’t comfort anyone angrily counting down the days until alpha 3.0’s eventual release to all backers, Star Citizen’s CitizenCon 2017 delivered an enticing look at what players can expect in the more distant future of the game’s development: specifically, the persistent universe mechanics brought down to the city scale. Cloud Imperium’s Chris Roberts likened the cityscapes to Star Wars’ Coruscant or Blade Runner’s dystopian sci-fi urban settings as the demo video zipped across the planet’s smoggy surface. The downside? There’s no ETA for when these ideas and demos will be realized as truly playable.
The Star Citizen subreddit has exploded over the last couple of days as attendees and home-viewers pile in to share clips and interviews, bicker over the business model, and trade notes on the 3.0 demo. Roberts did tell attendees the game will be switching over to “date-driven content release schedule“; he also clarified his old “5-10 star systems at release” misquote and spoke to the game’s post-launch monetization, telling Eli Paley that the studio’s goal is to charge only for game packages, though it will reassess if that doesn’t properly support the game post-launch. “Our goal is that you buy a game package, or you can buy some credits, or you can earn money in the game – that’s our monetization strategy,” he says. “That’s what I’m planning. We have other things, like subscriptions, for people supporting community content.”
As part of its CitizenCon 2017 reveals this morning – or this afternoon, if you’re local to Frankfurt, where the event is taking place – Cloud Imperium announced a partnership with Intel. Why do you care? The deal means an in-game Star Citizen ship will be provided along with your real-world purchase of an Intel Optane 900P Series SSD.
“The Intel Optane SSD 900P Series delivers incredibly low latency and best-in-class random read and write performance at low queue depths – up to four times faster than competitive NAND-based SSDs – opening incredible new possibilities. With the new SSDs, users will unlock more potential from their platform. The Intel Optane SSD 900P Series is ideal for the most demanding storage workloads, including 3D rendering, complex simulations, fast game load times and more. Up to 22 times more endurance than other drives also gives the heaviest users peace of mind.”
In this week’s episode of Star Citizen’s Around the Verse, the team says it’s gotten its must-fix bug list down from 20 to 16 blocks, improving load times, repairing disconnection issues, and tweaking inventory use. The feature segment of the episode is the second part of last week’s legacy armor, how the team is updating (really, re-doing them) for the latest tech, and even how the team is working the older-looking armor into the lore.
Meanwhile, CitizenCon 2017 officially opened its doors just an hour ago in Frankfurt, Germany, where attendees are being treated to science panels, booze, dev demos, booze, playable demos of alpha 3.0, more booze, and of course, presentations by Chris Roberts himself. Watch the opening ceremonies below!
Star Citizen’s annual CitizenCon event is almost here, kicking off in the Capitol Theater in Frankfurt, Germany, on Friday, with plenty of player panels, science discussions, science-fiction discussions, developer demonstrations, and of course, the requisite presentation by Chris Roberts himself.
And yes, attendees will be treated to playable demos of alpha 3.0., along with what will presumably turn into copious amounts of booze at the pub. Pubs. Plural.
The whole shebang will be streamed live on Twitch for those who can’t be there in person beginning at 3 p.m. local time Friday with an opening address from Chris Roberts. Frankfurt is six hours ahead of the US east coast and nine ahead of the west coast, so bear that in mind if you’ll be trying to watch from the US.
On this week’s edition of Star Citizen’s Around the Verse, Sandi Gardiner does a happy dance as Chris Roberts updates viewers on how Evocati testing of the 3.0 alpha is going. CIG says that the testers are getting daily builds and finding fun new bugs, which has brought the must-fix bug total back up to 23 before it moves along to release (and backers no doubt find even more).
The feature segment of the episode is all about cockpits. Get your snickers out of the way, folks, because this actually looks awesome. You’re not just sitting in a chair; the cockpit experience is trying to be fully immersive with all the sticks and gizmos and buttons and screens and g-forces and hit reactions you’d expect if you were actually flying (a spaceship) in combat. Things might even catch on fire! You might even need to hit eject! Maybe watch the whole episode first, though. It’s down below.