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 looks ahead to 3.2, unveils the new Hercules Starlifter concept ship for sale next week

CIG’s Sandi Gardiner and Eric Kieron Davis are back with another installment of Star Citizen’s Around the Verse, bookending a brief check-in with the 3.2 roadmap and a Ship Shape double-header. The devs say they’re working on mobiGlass, quantum travel, cockpit scanning, space anomalies, procedural props, and the planet and moons of Hurston as they trundle on toward alpha 3.2. Then, in Ship Shape, you’re not gonna believe it, I’m sure, but yes, Star Citizen is debuting yet another concept ship: the Hercules Starlifter.

Up for purchase on May 11th, the Starlifter will come in multiple variants from the new in-universe manufacturer, including a high-capacity commercial hauler, a military version with more firepower, and a straight-up gunship edition. Reddit is already in love, and we haven’t even seen a pricetag yet.

Don’t want to wait for May 11th to buy something? CitizenCon is slated for October this year, and ticket sales are live now. $87 will get you in. Premium tickets are currently sold out until the next round goes up for sale this afternoon.

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One Shots: A well-rounded Hobbit (breakfast)

With the prodigious and well-known appetite of Hobbits, it’s a total surprise to me that the Shire hasn’t been stripped bare with these creatures’ all-consuming need for tummy fuel. Maybe that’s what the Scouring of the Shire was? It wasn’t in the movies, I wouldn’t know.

Anyway, Amorey contemplates eating 9,000 calories in one go: “Please note the very surprised look on my Hobbit’s face: ‘What about second breakfast ? Luncheon ? Afternoon tea? Dinner? Supper?’ Eleven years in LOTRO is a big milestone for a tiny Hobbit.”

Also, do they have food wars? Weight watchers? I have so many questions about the dietary lives of these people.

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Star Citizen shows off its sleek starter ship while Squadron 42 discusses its storytelling

The word “Origin” has a special meaning to Chris Roberts and the Star Citizen team, so it’s not surprising that there has been special attention given to the Origin 100 Series starter ship.

While a starter ship, the 100i doesn’t sound like a slouch: “With all the class and sophistication you already associate with Origin Jumpworks, elegantly presented in an attractive, compact frame, the 100 series has been designed specifically for solo pilots looking to turn heads without sacrificing functionality or reliability.”

The team answered specific questions about the ship this past week, including its specs and its comparison to other spacecraft that players might select early on in the game. The introduction of the Origin 100 means that the 300 series is due to get an upgrade in the future.

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Star Citizen deep-dives the guts and glory of the character customization system

Cloud Imperium Narrative Director Dave Haddock joins the Around the Verse crew for this week’s episode of the Star Citizen community video. The majority of the studios, the devs explain, are already moving on to the next quarterly release – that being the 3.2 alpha.

But the highlight of the episode is the first iteration of the character customization system that rolled out in 3.1. It’s a pretty complicated system under the hood that hooks together everything from facial structure, hair, eyeballs, and then colors and textures for all of those bits, all properly tagged and linked together to make it easy for artists to add new assets. Hats and hair pose problems too, as any MMO player who’s even been annoyed by clipping can attest. The whole episode is below!

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Massively Overthinking: What we really mean when we talk about ‘difficulty’ in MMORPGs

Massively OP reader Steve wants us to revisit the Daily Grind on making death more meaningful without making it more annoying. His letter was long, so let me paraphrase a bit:

“It feels to me like underlying point was, ‘MMOs are too easy, so how do we make them harder?’ The question of video game difficulty is something that is seldom ever tackled head-on, as it tends to draw out a somewhat vocal minority. There are so many worthy topics about how people define difficulty, twitch skills vs. depth, easy vs. hard, difficulty vs. accessibility, easy vs. engaging, shallowness vs. depth, and so on. These are things I’d love to really see discussed more online, and very few sites will actually touch it. But I think that MOP’s community is overall mature enough to actually have some discussions about this without it devolving into a fist fight.”

I’m sure you’ll prove him right! Right, guys? Guys? So let’s talk about MMO difficulty in this week’s Massively Overthinking. What do we really mean when we talk about “difficulty” in MMORPGs? Are games easier than they used to be, and if so, is there something studios should do to change that?
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Star Citizen promises shirts for its two million backer milestone

Back in 2015, Star Citizen passed a million registered users. At this point, the game has passed two million. Three years later, it’s doubled. It also means that the staff behind the game wants to celebrate by giving backers a shirt.

Not a real shirt, though; an in-game shirt! So you don’t have to just tell your co-workers that you were part of the two million backer mark, you can show it off to the people who are more likely to think you’re cool.

Preview art for both the two million backer shirt and the one million backer shirt are available now; the latter is blue while the former is red, so even if you didn’t notice the number on the back you can still tell the difference. There’s no ETA on when these shirts will be available as the game moves through its test phases, but until then you can enjoy a forum badge to ensure that everyone knows you were in on the ground floor. (Assuming the ground floor is two million.)

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Saga of Lucimia defends Star Citizen’s slow progress, Shroud of the Avatar’s transparency

One of the challenges for indie and crowdfunded MMORPGs is surely the nature of their development: plugging along without much fanfare, with players seeing only one part of the equation. Saga of Lucimia has a piece out meant to show what that behind-the-scenes iteration looks like in the construction of an in-game asset as it travels from art concept to 3-D model to textured asset to something that’s added to the world by a different team entirely. But then what might be a mundane art blog takes a sharp turn to talk about other MMORPGs and their communities and expectations.

“There’s a major disconnect with some players when it comes to the misconceptions regarding iterations over the course of the game’s development,” argues Lucimia Creative Director Tim “Renfail” Anderson. “We see a lot of anger around the ‘net in regards to how things change over time with almost every MMORPG’s development, with many claiming the developers lied about how something was going to work, or how something was perceived as being a certain way, and then when it doesn’t work out quite the way players perceived, they claim that the developers deceived them, and that the launched product isn’t anything like what was initially discussed during the development process. The perfect example of this is Star Citizen/Squadron 42.”

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Star Citizen runs down ships and kicks off a free-fly weekend

On this week’s Star Citizen Around the Verse, I can’t decide whether Sandi Gardiner or Eric Kieron Davis has the cooler shirt, but it also doesn’t matter because internet spaceships! No really, this episode is all about spaceships thanks to the fact that the entire piece is one long Ship Shape segment, sales pitch, and tease for a new ship.

Well, almost the entire piece. If you stick around for the endcap, you’ll note that CIG has laid out a free-fly event all weekend, running through April 16th, meaning that everyone – even if you’re not a backer – can jump into the game and check out the 3.1 patch.

You can watch the whole episode down below, complete with a lot of handwaving (literally) from Disco Lando, plus the chart listing off all the ships (and which ones are actually usable right now) courtesy of Reddit.

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Make My MMO: Camelot Unchained marches on; Albion players murder half a million bunnies (April 7, 2018)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Camelot Unchained continues inching along toward its planned summer beta. According to the game’s latest update, CSE is running internal tests on a new server while tweaking tooltips, the banes and noom system, capture-the-flag mode, item placement, armor, environment assets, and animations, including new idles for each class.

Meanwhile, Crowfall released its 5.5 alpha, Ashes of Creation announced alpha one will land by the end of the year, Albion Online balance-patched armor and GvG while counting a million dead bunnies, Dual Universe released its April newsletter, and Dogma Eternal Night hit the skids.

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

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Betawatch: Defiance’s beta, TERA’s console launch, and Eliot’s in the brig (April 6, 2018)

Welcome back to another look at all the MMO beta happenings of the week! I’ve stashed Eliot in the brig so that I can take over Betawatch and do some extra work on Friday! Wait, I’m not really sure I’m doing griefing right. Anyway, here’s what’s up.

  • Defiance 2050 is hunting for beta testers! Make sure you’re all signed up.
  • TERA formally launched on consoles, bringing an end to its beta.
  • Soulworker likewise moved from soft launch to full launch.
  • Made of money? A big chunk of cash will get you into Pantheon’s pre-alpha next month.
  • We got our hands on Conan Exiles’ launch build (and loved it).
  • Ashes of Creation is targeting fourth quarter 2018 for its alpha one launch.
  • Camelot Unchained is testing, testing, testing.
  • Crowfall is now in 5.5 pre-alpha, having introduced a new map and lady centaurs.
  • Arcfall may still be in pre-alpha, but now it’s also free-to-play.
  • Star Citizen rolled out 3.1 and then 3.1.1, but then rolled back to just 3.1 because bugs.
  • And Occupy White Walls was the bright star of the week, offering alpha testers the chance to play around in an MMO art gallery.

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Star Citizen homes in on the mobiGlas, checks in with the UK team, and rolls back alpha 3.1.1

The Star Citizen team is still riding high on the launch of alpha 3.1 last weekend. The latest episode of Around the Verse checks in with the UK team, which is working on, among other bits, interiors and exteriors of space stations and the tech to support them. Improved optimization, ship detail passes, and particle effects are also on the menu, and the audio team actually took a field day to play around recording banging metal up against other pieces of metal. Incidentally, I’ve just figured out what I want to be when I grow up, and it’s that job right there.

The larger half of the video revisits the mobiGlas system, which as Star Citizen watchers know is basically an elite smart watch with holograms that can tell the player everything about everything through a slick in-character UI.

Incidentally, CIG did push out 3.1.1 yesterday, but very quickly rolled it back to 3.1 because of a nasty “frequent crash-to-desktop” bug. The company stresses that the rollback is temporary but does affect insurance claim tweaks right now.

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Make My MMO: Shroud of the Avatar sheds its early access… shroud (March 31, 2018)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Shroud of the Avatar formally launched with the release of R52 this week, which might be confusing to gamers who’ve been playing the soft launch since mid-2016, but this one’s official. Richard Garriott-backed studio Portalarium has since published details for its first three post-launch updates.

Meanwhile, Star Citizen’s alpha 3.1 went live, a former WoW designer is Kickstarting a huge coffee table book, Ship of Heroes talked engine upgrades, Dual Universe founder JC Baillie made the case for Ready Player One as reality, we chatted with the Legends of Aria team at GDC, Star Citizen dinged up to 2M accounts, Chronicles of Elyria showed off its character creation, Valiance Online teased auras, and Swedish crowdfunding platform FundedByMe passed half a billion SEK (about 60 million USD) in crowdfunding across all its projects.

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

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Star Citizen’s 3.1 alpha is live for the holiday weekend

If you’re bored on the holiday weekend, and you happen to be a Star Citizen backer, you’re going to be taking to the skies, thanks to CIG pushing live the 3.1 alpha on the livest of the live test servers, playable by everybody. Everybody who’s a backer, anyway.

“New features in the 3.1 update include the much-anticipated character customizer, allowing players to add a distinctive look to their in-game avatars by personalizing their physical appearance, as well as the Service Beacon feature, providing players the ability to send out distress calls which other players can detect and respond to.”

CIG is also touting polish on a bunch of December updates (“planetary technology, IFCS (flight control), AI, the Personal Manager tool on each player’s mobiGlas, ship weapons, ship damage physics and overall performance optimization”) plus the addition of the five ships that were up for sale (again) earlier this month.

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