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

MMO blogger dives into the theoretical math behind lockboxes

MMO blogger Serrenity, whom many of you will recognize from his clever comments here on MOP too, has a compelling blog post on his personal site today diving deep into the lockbox debate. But far from merely offering another exhortation to stop buying lockboxes, he’s doing some complicated napkin math (and by napkin math, I mean python scripting) to try to understand why publishers are so fixated on selling them.

Since studios are generally not in the business of handing out detailed sales figures and drop rates, Serrenity is forced to calculate potential revenue based on publicly gathered data, which he admits upfront result in rough estimates. “This information is purely extrapolated and used for demonstrative purposes,” he warns.

Using Guild Wars 2’s wiki data on drop rates for the bank access token, he finds that the revenue from selling lockboxes vs. selling that item directly increases 14-fold – almost 1500% higher. And that’s just a minor, relatively undesirable item with a relatively high drop rate; admittedly, nobody’s going to go ham buying lockboxes just for that (we hope, anyway). Plugging rarer, desirable drops that would cost much more upfront (like weapon skins) into his formula sees the estimated revenue soar as high as 12500%. That is not a typo.

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Make My MMO: Dual Universe vrooms into another pre-alpha test (October 21, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, the much-anticipated indie sci-fi sandbox Dual Universe dropped a starship-load of tutorials on ship construction, the interface, territory, and more. They’re aimed at folks in the pre-alpha, another weekend of which kick off earlier today – it’s a nice chunk of backers, if the activity graph posted to Twitter earlier is any judge. (Cheers, Cotic!)

Meanwhile, HEX launched on PS4, Star Citizen confirmed it’s still granting refunds but isn’t launching S42 this year, Legends of Aria wrapped up its alpha, and Albion Online launched a new trial program.

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last couple of weeks and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.

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Star Citizen: Around the Verse, alpha 3.0 bugs, and the state of refunds

Let’s just get this out of the way upfront: There are 25 serious issues still on the docket before Star Citizen’s alpha 3.0 moves from Evocati testers to the next stage of testing, with fixes chiefly centering on doors, broken interactions, and multiplayer crashes. That’s a bigger number than last week, you’ll notice, because while some issues were fixed, new ones cropped up. Welcome to game dev.

The rest of this week’s edition of Around the Verse is fun, as it’s all about armor sets – specifically, how the team has gone about retooling and updating one-piece legacy armor to use new tech and split into separate pieces.

Meanwhile, there was a rash of claims on the (dodgy) Star Citizen refunds subreddit last week insinuating that CIG had stopped issuing refunds now that alpha 3.0 is in Evocati testing. You’ll be shocked to find out those claims have been rebuffed. We spoke to a representative from CIG who stated that the studio’s position on refunds has not changed at all. “If a request comes through within the statutory period, we take care of them, no questions asked,” he told us. “Everything else is considered on a case by case basis.”

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Star Citizen helps players find the right spaceship for them

With all of the many spaceships designed (and sold) for Star Citizen so far, it might be a little confusing which might be the best for any particular person or playstyle when one strolls up to the lot and stares at all of the options.

To assist with this selection process, the devs are releasing a 10-part article series revolving around a “new ship matrix” that clearly outlines the purposes and capabilities of each of the vessels available in the game for the upcoming Alpha 3.0. The first of this series separates ships into different careers and then further separates them by roles.

These roles include combat, transport, exploration, industrial, support, and competition (racing). The team went on to explain a few examples from this wide selection, such as going exploring as a pathfinder, hauling human cargo as a passenger transport, or offering tourists a lift as a luxury tour.

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No, Squadron 42 isn’t going to release this year

All right, let’s be honest, you probably didn’t actually think that Star Citizen’s much-delayed single-player Squadron 42 was coming out this year. Around this time last year, it was confirmed to have been delayed; now it seems rather definite that it’s not going to be this year, either, as the most recent update on the schedule for CitizenCon confirmed that it will be the focus of the game’s holiday livestream in December.

So it’s probably not going to be on display at the convention later this month, either.

CitizenCon will be focused on Star Citizen version 3.0 and beyond, which the announcement in question stresses is very important to the development on Squadron 42 and vice-versa. There’s been some ambiguity about which release windows qualify as stated release dates with the single-player game in the past, but the big takeaway is that you’re not seeing the game this year. Next year is still open for placing your bets.

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Betawatch: Wild West Online’s alpha just isn’t ready (October 13, 2017)

It’s not high noon in Wild West Online. It’s not any time at all, in fact. The game’s early access alpha would have established a time, probably, but that’s been delayed because… well, the game just isn’t ready for that sort of testing yet. Disappointing for those looking forward to the game? Certainly. But probably for the best in the long run, we hope.

This week has been thin in terms of beta news, but we’ve still got a few pieces here and there to show off, don’t we? Of course we do; check out this list.

Sorry there’s a little less news this week, but we do have that whole list down below; that’s something cool, right? You can let us know what you’re thinking about betas you’re playing in the comments, or you can let us know if something surreptitiously launched without us noticing as well. We would prefer that you not place your recipe for chili con carne in the comments; just mail that along.

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Star Citizen’s Around the Verse isolates 23 more 3.0 alpha bugs, details immersive cockpits

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.

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Make My MMO: Star Citizen is hosting parties for space whales (October 7, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, I hope you’ve got your special black Star Citizen VIP card because CIG has invited concierge-level backers — sorry, space whales — to what it’s calling the first of many “pop-up parties” this coming Tuesday near its LA, Austin, Frankfurt, Wilmslow, and Derby bases. The studio’s also issued its monthly report, which coincides with the latest Around the Verse, during which it was revealed that the long-delayed alpha 3.0 is finally in the hands of the Evocati player testers. (Thanks Josh!)

Meanwhile, Valiance Online confirmed sidekicking, Crowfall discussed its soft launch checklist, Dual Universe hit pre-alpha, The Exiled extended its free-to-play trial, and Shroud of the Avatar delayed its launch.

Stay tuned for more from FrontierExpo as MOP’s MJ is there checking out Elite Dangerous!

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’re following.

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Betawatch: Wild Buster has opened a limited alpha (October 6, 2017)

Is this a real game? Did this happen again? Wild Buster added Serious Sam alongside Duke Nukem. We must acquiesce, neither is in the first alpha test; this is a small test, runs through October 9th with a little map, little squads, lots of guns, the lore is odd. If you want to play it, there’s an IndieGoGo that’s on. Now that’s done.

Readers! We have more news. We put it in a list, read it now, you can’t resist.

Now that we’ve gotten Queen references out of our system and shared some other news with you, we feel comfortable showing you a list of games in testing. If something in here has soft-launched without us noticing, please, let us know down in the comments. Things get missed sometimes, you know how it is.

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Star Citizen’s alpha 3.0 is finally in the hands of (some) player testers

Get your “it’s happening” gifs out: Star Citizen’s alpha 3.0 is here. Kind of. Sort of. It’s here if you’re a member the 800-member Evocati group, who are generally high-dollar-amount donors and hardcore bug-reporters. But hey: It’s non-CIG testers. This is really happening, and you can put away your tired old “scam” cards.

If you’ve learned anything from the Burndown segments on Around the Verse, it’s that organizing and producing the schedule for a game this big is boring. But in case you hadn’t figured that out, today’s episode has 25 minutes of meetings to remind you again.

The fun part of the update is all about the ongoing turret gameplay overhaul, which is actually pretty cool for anybody who’s played a rare MMO with multicrew ships – in fact, apart from the 2017 graphics, the whole system looks an awful lot like climbing into a YT-1300’s turret dome and pew pewing. Watch along below.

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Star Citizen debuts Origin X1 racer concept ship for sale

If you need a break from counting down the time until Star Citizen alpha 3.0 is here, you could always just go buy a new concept ship. The new Origin X1 racing bike is a stylish futuristic speedster is more lightly armed than its contemporaries but makes up for it with a second shield generator and extra toughness. In lore, it’s described as

“a fast, maneuverable open-canopy racer that’s as much of a work of art while at rest as it is in motion. With thrusters seemlessly integrated into the sleek hull, the X1 organically fuses function with form and continues Origin’s proud legacy of luxury perfection.”

The low-end version will set you back just $35, but if you have cash to splash around on pixels, there’s a $1200 addon pack as well. You should probably check the new Q&A (and maybe yourself) before whipping out a credit card, however, as the X1 will not actually make it into alpha 3.0; it’s set for a more distant date.

Last week, the team at one point had the must-fix bug list down to 0, but it crept back up, forcing another delay for Evocati testers. Expect the latest update, in addition to the monthly report, by tomorrow.

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 138: Mystery MMOs and the mobile revolution

On this week’s show, the amazing duo of Bree and Justin look at another beefy Camelot Unchained interview, talk about several new mystery games in development, and boggle over the mobile MMO revolution that has arrived.

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:

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Make My MMO: The Thargoids should win Elite Dangerous (September 30, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Elite has finally begun to sound “dangerous” indeed. After just a few days of owning players, the alien race that “returned” to the game’s universe in its long-awaited 2.4 update has finally begun suffering casualties at the hands of players. In fact, it appears the first player to down one of the Thargoids’ ships was none other than the player who caused the massive drama over last spring’s Salomé event. This is because time is a flat circle and karma is literally dead. It’s not entirely clear that the Thargoids are really the bad guys here, but when has that ever stopped us before?

On Massively OP, we chatted with Camelot Unchained’s Mark Jacobs, who explained just how the game’s social systems will differ from what MMORPG players are used to.

Star Citizen also continued inching along the path toward alpha 3.0, reducing its bug count last week by two.

Meanwhile, Legends of Aria began its final alpha, Shroud of the Avatar patched up to R46, Albion Online released Joseph, Valiance Online posted its latest roadmap, OrbusVR discussed its artificing skill, City of Titans posted the finale to one of its lore series, and Pantheon gave players a look at how its art is coming along via stream (thanks, Reht!), plus Brad McQuaid explored his vision for the Holodeck future of the MMO.

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’re following.

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