star citizen

Official Site: Star Citizen
Studio: Cloud Imperium Games Corporation/Roberts Space Industries
Launch Date: N/A
Genre: Sci-fi Sandbox
Business Model: B2P (Cash Shop)
Platform: PC

Star Citizen’s latest concept ship sale has already raised almost half a million bucks

Currently on sale in Star Citizen right now is a new concept ship, the Aegis Eclipse, on sale now for $250 for VIP backers and soon to be on sale for everyone else too. CIG has not given out ship stats, so you’re buying it blind if you’re buying it early, or you can wait for the full reveal today. You’re also buying it with cash (not credit) if you’re buying it early — part of CIG’s ongoing attempts to curb melt-down credit hoarding and exploits. The ship has thus far raised $400,000.

The sale is further teased in this week’s Around the Verse episode, in which the team checks in with the LA studio for a recap of its work on the new item system, plus there’s a behind-the-scenes update from multiple members of the team spread out over the world working on lighting and fog.

In sadder news, Rogue-Jaсk, a prominent Russian Star Citizen and dedicated translator of Star Citizen news, has passed away. Friends and gamers are currently posting in an effort to see him memorialized in the game come launch.

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Ashes of Creation’s very good, totally tubular, quite excellent day

For Ashes of Creation, May 16th will go down as one of its best days. For starters, the title was featured on Kickstarter’s front page as the project of the day. This honor probably helped to push the game past not one but two significant milestones.

The same day, the sandbox MMO hit $2 million in crowdfunding, a feat that has only been done by two other MMORPGs (Star Citizen and Camelot Unchained). And to put a cap on it, a second stretch goal, 11,000 backers, was also achieved. Not too shabby for a Tuesday!

Thanks to these met stretch goals, social organizations will be included in Ashes of Creation’s feature set and all backers will receive the exclusive Tidesnapper underwater mount. There’s a little over two weeks left in the campaign, which is plenty of time to hit another stretch goal or two. Next up is a playable Underrealm beast race (unlocked at $2.5M), exclusive dye colors (12,000 backers), and unique mount barding (13,500 backers).

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Star Citizen reverses course on CCU concept ship swap system

Cloud Imperium has reversed course on its plans to renovate Star Citizen’s Cross Chassis Upgrade (CCU) system in time for the sale of the Eclipse concept ship.

CIG’s Tyler Zyloh explains that the CCU system was originally designed to allow package purchasers to “melt down” the theoretical ships they’d bought in order to buy different ones without sacrificing other package components or causing customer service overhead. Last week, the studio introduced plans to raise the base price of CCUs to $5 in order to encourage players to spend the more than a million unspent CCUs floating around in the system, aid the design team’s metrics on ship desirability, and reduce future stockpiling and what Zyloh calls “exploits that do not benefit all backers.”

But CIG is now rethinking that plan:

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Make My MMO: Wild West Online debuts, Ashes of Creation nears $2M (May 13, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, 612 Games announced Wild West Online, a US western-themed game that the devs are definitely calling an MMO, though it looks decidedly hardcore and may not have as much PvE as we’re all used to. It will indeed be coming to Kickstarter eventually, so watch this space!

Ashes of Creation’s Kickstarter rolled along this week as well, nearing $2M as I write this. On Friday, we even sat down with the devs for a livestreamed interview.

Meanwhile, Shroud of the Avatar kicked off its free trial for the rest of May, Dual Universe’s Kickstarter update discussed its new digs, OrbusVR recapped its latest alpha and previewed the Musketeer class, ROKH prepared for this week’s early access launch, and Crowfall spent the whole week teasing… something! We still don’t officially know what it is!

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on.

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Star Citizen Around the Verse deep-dives its player interaction system

On Star Citizen’s Around the Verse episode this week, Erin Roberts checks in from the UK studios in Wilmslow, where the team is working on 3.0 as well as Squadron 42. Of note, there’s been progress on the player interaction system, air traffic control, player useables, conversation tech, fog, visual effects, and multiple ships, plus hundreds of animations, including facial animations for shooting guns, which is an absurd level of detail, I think you’ll agree.

The behind-the-scenes segment loops back to the player interaction system, mechanics critical to not just the player’s ability to function in the world but to immersion.

“The Player Interaction System touches everything. It’s a unified interaction across first person experience of shooting, of shopping, of looting,” Calix Reneau explains. “Being able to point at things with reckless abandon actually opens up a lot of opportunity for interactions of ‘I want to find out more about that,’ and we can give back contextual clues of the things that you can do.”

Check out the whole episode below.

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The Daily Grind: What do you want out of a space sim MMO?

Watching the whole development and phenomenon of Star Citizen from a slightly detached perspective, I’ve often wondered (as I’m sure you have) what this game will actually end up being in the end. Certainly, many grand and impressive-sounding statements have been put out there, but we’ve all been hurt by unfulfilled promises before.

What’s really got me thinking is how everyone interested in this project seems to project their own desires into it. Ain’t none of us want the same things for a space sim MMO, unless you’re one of those mad players who wave your hands around and say “EVERYTHING!” like you’re a kid at a toy store who can’t focus on a few important purchases.

So assuming that you’re interested in space sims, what do you want out of MMORPGs in this field? Is it narrative? Trading? Planetary exploration? Combat? FPS boarding action? Weird aliens? Your own starbase? Janitorial simulation? Hardcore survival mechanics? Softcore space visuals?

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Make My MMO: Ashes of Creation’s Kickstarter, ROKH’s early access, Valiance’s map (May 6, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Ashes of Creation made the leap to Kickstarter, raising (so far as I type this) 1.35M, far more than its $750,000 goal. The game has kept the MMO community busy all week, though it hasn’t been without its issues.

On the survival sandbox front, Mars-themed ROKH released a new trailer and screenshots. It’s slated to hit early access later this month.

Meanwhile, Legends of Aria (fka Shards Online) suffered a delay, Crowfall has a big reveal coming in May, OrbusVR ran its second (brief!) closed alpha with the runemage rework, Grim Dawn teased its upcoming new gear and Inquisitor in a new trailer (below), Pantheon unveiled the Monk, Elite Dangerous’ Salome event ended in disaster, and Valiance Online posted several updates — including a mock-up of its map!

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on.

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Mark Hamill caps off Star Citizen’s latest Around the Verse

This week’s episode of Around the Verse sees Star Citizen’s Chris Roberts and Sandi Gardiner bookending the Austin studio update and tech check-in. The Austin branch is focused on major features for 3.0, Producer Jake Ross says, from commodity trading and the mission-giver experience to landing zones (yes with smuggling) and ship damage modeling. Work on Spectrum — that’s the huge in-game/out-of-game communication tool being custom-built for the game — continues as well.

The behind-the-scenes segment will be music to the ears of those of you who want to hear all about how the game and its builds are hosted.

The episode concludes with what is probably its best bit, a May the 4th tease that amounts to “a little glimpse of Mark Hamill in the cockpit of Squadron 42.” We’ve tucked it down below.

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Make My MMO: Crowfall adds geomancy and architecture skills (April 29, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Crowfall canceled its weekend playtest, but not before issuing a dev blog updating the community on some of the crafting changes that are in the latest builds, including the addition of Geomancy (using precious stone, wood, and ore to make land parcels that can combine into larger ones) and Architecture (which lets players craft deeds for buildings as well as crafting stations and city structures — sound familiar, SWG vets?).

Out in space, a group of core Elite Dangerous community developers went on strike briefly this week, bringing their websites and tools back online once Frontier had agreed to better support them. That was good timing, as players are in the middle of a massive roleplay event that will affect the outcome of an in-progress novel based on the game.

Meanwhile, Shroud of the Avatar dropped Release 41, City of Titans talked about its “aesthetic decoupling” philosophy, Pantheon updated players on its finances, OrbusVR completed its first closed alpha test, and the Dual Universe team moved into a new office.

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on.

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‘This universe is going to be awesome’: Chris Roberts on Star Citizen’s evolving moons

On this week’s Around the Verse, Star Citizen’s Chris Roberts and Sandi Gardiner bookend two key segments. The first is a studio update with Foundry 42 checking in from Frankfurt; Brian Chambers describes the team’s efforts on procedural planets, spawning, moons, performance capture, the conversation system, NPC AI, and missions headed into Squadron 42.

The moons “are getting cooler every week, and they’re actually a really great test example where we’re sort of pushing our tech for the planets, which will also pay off on the more involved planets like Hurston or ArcCorp or Microtech and beyond,” Roberts says. “So it’s a great test bed, and it’s kinda fun for me, and we share it with you guys, but I sort of see the progress weekly in it, and it gets cooler and better. So this universe is going to be awesome.”

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Global Chat: Which MMO developer do you most appreciate?

Recently, Ravalation carried on an annual blogger tradition called Developer Appreciation Week. During this week, gamers would put aside their usual vitriol and criticism for devs to pen posts about the appreciated side of studios. It was certainly nice to see a bloom of positivity and praise, that’s for sure.

“If there’s something I’ve learned from my fellow participants during this year’s DAW it’s that 1) game developers work extremely hard purely because they love their games, 2) bugs frequently appear in complicated coding, and 3) devs are usually aware that bugs exist when content goes live and feel terrible about it,” she wrote.

Join us after the break for more MMO blog essays, including a tour of Star Citizen’s luxury ship, more thoughts on Secret World Legends, and the enduring love of a World of Warcraft fan.

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Make My MMO: Star Citizen’s Star Kitten, Project Gorgon’s gorgeousness (April 22, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Star Citizen built on the contentious infodump of last weekend with the news that it’s running a contest to encourage backers to, well, bring in more backers. Those who do earn a chance to win the big prize (a free trip to Gamescom in Cologne, Germany) or the little prizes, and those are what have players scratching the heads in confusion, as they’re themed around Star Kitten, an in-universe character that appears to salute… Hello Kitty?

Meanwhile, Ashes of Creation picked May 1st for its impending Kickstarter, Project Gorgon got pretty (!), Shroud of the Avatar and Grim Dawn and Path of Exile all previewed upcoming content in videos, Crowfall penciled in more pre-alpha test dates, City of Titans dropped a lore bomb, Hellion previewed its crew quarters, and TUG updated backers on its progress.

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on.

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Star Citizen’s Around the Verse deep-dives the Banu, begins referral contest starring Star Kitten

Still reeling over the last Star Citizen infodump? You’re getting a breather with this week’s Around the Verse as the bulk of it is centered on… lore. Specifically, the Banu, one of the alien groups in the game initially based on elements of Persian culture and the first to make contact with humans. There’s also a check-in with the Los Angeles team (recently expanded to 74 peeps); they’ve been working on ship temperature and cooling systems, the game’s control manager, shopping systems, character gear, and the Anvil Terrapin.

But the best bit is the studio’s new referral program contest, which aims to entice followers to bring in new players and backers in return for a chance to everything from a free trip to this year’s Gamescom in Germany to Star Kitten-themed in-game merch. Star Kitten, by the way, appears to be an in-lore knock-off of Hello Kitty, so expect to see her everywhere.

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