Shake it off, Star Citizen: On this week’s Around the Verse, CIG says it’s “getting close to live release,” stress testing the current version of the game with 176 must-fix issues still to go. Is that too many to make it by 2018? Probably! Are they still trying anyway? Probably! The back half of the episode focuses on atmospheric flight (and yes, it’s just going to make Star Wars Galaxies fans sad) as the engineers explain how they’re making flying spaceships near the ground feel as real as possible for different sizes and types of vessels and atmo situations.
Meanwhile, as MOP reader Space Captain Zor pointed out yesterday, CIG has pegged December 20th for the Squadron 42 details promised for this month back at CitizenCon; that rollout will apparently include an exclusive newsletter, Mark Hamill teaser video, and report during next week’s streamed ATV. That’d be the same Squadron 42 over whose existence Crytek is currently suing CIG. 2018 is going to stretch our popcorn budgets thin!
Update: We’ve updated with CIG’s official statement to us below.
Crytek is suing Cloud Imperium Games and Roberts Space Industries, the companies behind the sprawling and controversial crowdfunded MMO Star Citizen.
In documents filed with the California Central District Court yesterday, Crytek alleges that CIG infringed its copyrights by using CryEngine to develop non-Star Citizen game assets – specifically, Squadron 42.
“Crytek has not been compensated for Defendants’ unlicensed use of Crytek technology in the Squadron 42 game, and has been substantially harmed by being deprived of that compensation, which would ordinarily include a substantial up-front payment as well as a substantial royalty on game sales,” plaintiffs argue.
It has become a long-standing tradition as Massively OP and our former site that we like to end the year by creating a list of titles that we anticipate for the coming one. It has always been a devilish list to create, full of loose dates and fast guesswork about which titles will and won’t be releasing during a 12-month window (just read last year’s list to see how spot-on I was).
This year we’re changing things up a bit by tossing out the qualifying factor of “will see a hard launch in 2018.” Instead, I drafted up a list of 20 MMOs that have the potential to do or be really interesting next year, whether that be a launch, a long-anticipated beta test, or some other significant development. Plus, hey, you get 20 for the price of 10, so no complaining now!
As an aside, this list isn’t going to cover some other exciting-looking multiplayer games that are arriving in 2018, like Sea of Thieves, The Crew 2, Monster Hunter World, DayZ, Red Dead Redemption 2, Stardew Valley, Conan Exiles, and State of Decay 2. And you old school fans won’t want to forget that Ultima Online has a new free-to-play option coming this spring.
As we do every year, today we’re going to peer back into the depths of last year’s staff predictions for the genre and the games within it to determine just how we fared. After all, what would be the fun of making predictions if we couldn’t have a laugh at how wrong we were a year later? So let’s dig in and find out whether we nailed it or failed it!
Is Star Citizen alpha 3.0 going to make it past the PTU testers to the live server by Christmas? It’s looking pretty tight. According to the game’s weekly Around the Verse, CIG is “making steady progress” thanks to the latest influx of testers, thousands of whom are helping the studio test stability and server performance on some of the heavy game features (like shopping). The team says it has 240 must-fix issues to go before 3.0 goes “live.”
The second half of this week’s episode digs into “gravlev tech,” which is basically a fancy way of explaining the physics system that makes bikes appear to levitate off the ground when traveling on planetary surfaces, without using some sort of kludgey “invisible wheel” to make it happen. Hoverbikes, basically, but as realistic-looking as possible. Check it all out below!
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.
On this week’s show, Justin and Bree get crazy into minimaps, probably more than you’ve ever heard a podcast talk about the subject. Trust us, it’s a good thing. As the year races to a close, there’s a lot to talk about with new patches, land for sale, the cost of making games, and more!
It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.
Listen to the show right now:
What’s Cloud Imperium been up to the last month? Oh nothing much, just frantically trying to prepare Star Citizen’s alpha 3.0 to debut ahead of the holidays – that’s the gist of the studio’s monthly report, anyway. “Since our last report, we’ve gone to Evocati and begun a staggered release to the PTU, so the team’s busy fixing bugs discovered by the testers and working on overall stability and performance,” says the studio.
There’s the usual round of check-ins from the globally scattered studios and several notes about the long-delayed Squadron 42 as the teams work on parsing MoCap data and animations: “Lots of Squadron 42 specific tasks were tackled. [… W]ork ranged from Coil-specific plasma experiments, to mysterious debris clusters, and distant storms brewing.” Indeed, as some teams – like the lighting team – finish their work on 3.0, they’re turning back to S42, and the holiday livestream is set to feature the standalone game prominently as well.
All week, CIG has been rolling out multiple anniversary videos in a mini-series for Around the Verse, the most notable of which heralded the new land claim sales that have some backers and watchers all riled up. We’ve recapped them all below.
One thing you can say for the MMO industry: It never ceases to surprise all of us. No matter what predictions we may make at the beginning of a year, by December we will all be proven fools who lack vision and foresight.
Although 2017 isn’t quite over yet, we here at Massively Overpowered wanted to count down the biggest news stories that crossed over into our neck of the woods so far this year. We witnessed controversies and delights, shockers and sadness. We saw launches and shutdowns, expansions and bugs.
So before we move into 2018, let’s take a look at the year that was and remember the biggest stories that dominated headlines.
The Star Citizen community was once again rocked yesterday by the addition of new pixelstuff to buy ahead of launch, this time in the form of land claim licenses. Running $50-$100, the licenses “[entitle] you to claim a single 4km x 4km [8km x 8km for the pricier version] parcel of UEE land that has been zoned for commercial, residential or industrial use as well as a GEOTACK marking beacon.”
While people-who-are-totally-OK-with-this and people-who-have-totally-had-enough fight this out on Reddit, Cloud Imperium has stressed that the claims are not pay-to-win.
“Will I have an advantage over other players if I buy a claim license now? No. Licenses can be bought for UEC in game and no one will be able to claim land before the mechanic is available in game for all. People that own claim licenses now, during the anniversary sale to support development, and people that earn the money in-game to buy one will be on equal footing assuming they have enough UEC, especially as there will be millions of locations for people to explore and claim within the Universe over the life time of the game.”
This week’s Star Citizen Around the Verse doesn’t pull any punches: Indeed, it heralds the expansion of 3.0 testing to several more tiers of backers and testers, meaning you should go grab the PTU launcher and get to work having fun.
“The goal of this initial PTU release is to increase our total player count in an effort test concurrency,” CIG says. “We also need you to focus on testing the traversal system by quantum traveling, landing on moons, locating and visiting Levski, and just exploring the great expanse of space around Crusader. Please note that the complete Alpha 3.0 experience is not in this build, as some features are still being implemented and refined. These features will be added to future builds when ready for wider testing.”
With the studio rumored to be in crunch mode and heading into the holidays, the ATV itself is short, focusing entirely on an extended Burndown segment that reads like a game dev reality show. Eric Kieron Davis does say the team burned through enough of the outstanding 179 issues from last week to get to this point. “From here we’ll be releasing updates to more and more PTU testers until we feel thorough improvements have been completed, then 3.0 will be released live.”
If you lost your mind over Star Citizen’s procedural cities reveals at CitizenCon a few weeks ago, you definitely need to tune in to this week’s Around the Verse, where city tech is the star of the episode (if a bit backloaded).
“We are just working on human cities at the moment,” CIG’s Wai-Hung Wan explains. “I would love to see how we tackle alien cities. Is that going to be completely random? Are we going to have some or a greater degree of refinement by hand? I don’t know yet. I would hope even on an alien civilisation they have some degree of control and they would make logical, intelligent choices about where they would place specific buildings – even recreational facilities – so each time you visit that location it will look exactly the same as you left it.”
Studio Director Eric Kieron Davis says the team has checked in over 700 updates since last week (with 197 total issues, not bugs, remaining to address 3.0). “We are making steady progress to get [the 3.0 alpha] into your hands as quickly as possible,” he says.
Did you know about all the MMOs I hate? I sure as heck didn’t! I mean, I knew there were a few games I hated (Scarlet Blade, Alganon) and some that I have pretty poor feelings toward for various reasons (Star Citizen, EVE Online, League of Legends, H1Z1: Kash of the Kow), but those are also games I discuss only in particular circumstances.
Yet thankfully, I have been informed over the near-decade of writing about MMOs that there are a number of games I thought I liked but that I do, in fact, hate. This was a surprise to me, but I think that for purposes of comprehension, it’s best for me to list for reference all the games that I apparently utterly despise. It’s all very confusing to me, but I’m confident that by sharing and making the occasional off-color joke, I’ll be able to decipher it all.