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

    
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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.

Source: Press release. Thanks, DK! <3

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Joe Blobers

A quick link drop from a guy who did run the new patch: “3.1 – First steps in New Update – 4K Ultrawide”

There are several magic moment but this one at 01:27:00 provide an epic cinematic view all from game engine:

If I had a doubt what and why I pledged for.. this is exactly for such a moment.

And for the sake of transparency, yes there are still a lot of work to make it more playable/enjoyable :)

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Life_Isnt_Just_Dank_Memes

can you get builds from them on USB yet? Is that still something they have planned? Is it only for release candidate that they are doing that or has it been scrapped entirely?

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primal

i think that was just a limited run thing for the release 1.0 with physical box, whether they’ll do it again later i dunno. PC is generally 99% digital these days so just for collection purposes really

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AngryPacifist

well done, update pacing is great now. The universe is breathtaking

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Rick Mills

So I guess main memory is a huge limitation on this game. I have a 4gb video card, but only 8 gb of main memory, and I only get 3 or 4 frames a second. i7 processor. Every game I have (I have lots of them) get great FPS, WoW gets >90fps (not a benchmark, I know).

This game cost more than advertised.

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primal

8GB is budget grade dude, 16GB is pretty standard now

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

eh 16gb only became standard ish on new installs/builds in teh past couple years. and there’s not a great deal of reason to upgrade if you already have an intel core i cpu made in teh last 8-9 years as it is.

also ram is supppppppper expensive right now for a couple different reasons (mainly smart phone makers exploding the amount of ram they spec their phones with). i had been window shopping for a new pc for the past couple years and i watched ddr4 go from super cheap ($40 for 16gb two dimm kit) to super expensive (same kit for over $200) in teh space of a single year.

i would’ve been tempted to get 32gb of ram on this build but the prices are rediculous eenough that even tho i have the money to burn on it it’s just not cost effective.

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primal

the guy is complaining 8GB isnt enough, theres plenty of games that go over 8GB total system ram right now. thats what im getting at

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

star citizen and what else?

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primal

FF15, Far Cry 5, Doom, wolfenstein 2… all therell be plenty more and that count will only go up not down

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

out of those i can see ff15 pc edition. the others not so much requiring more than 8gb as filling up the ram space if available. i know people with 6gb ram in their pc’s that play doom and wolfenstein 2 and there’s nothing about them that calls for a large amount of ram to be allocated to begin with.

can’t speak for far cry 5 but grw is similar tech wise and it runs quite fine with less than 8gb of ram (and even lowr amounts of vram). but ofc ubi has been absolutely destroying it on optimizations to run their games on low end hardware while still looking amazing for years now across their studios.

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primal

yeah maybe but still always best to have 16GB for best optimal experience these days. RAM requirement might go down when object container streaming is in

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Estranged

The issue is MMOs rarely need more than 8. I have 12 and never use it all.

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primal

most MMOs are very static to run on the weakest hardware it possibly can do and i suppose it relieves server load by having less to track, star citizen is completely the opposite direction

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Estranged

primal, yeah, it is going to be interesting to see just how many objects the engine can handle.

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Brother Maynard

I was lucky enough to get 32 GB back when the prices were cheaper (DDR3 only, though), but for years there wasn’t a single game that actually used more than 6-8 GB, no matter what.

SC was the first one that actually used more than the usual standard (max I saw it use was 12-13 GB), but I’d say 16 GB is more than enough for at least a few more years. And by then maybe the prices will be more reasonable again.

But perhaps that’s just me, I didn’t really play any of the recent gaming blockbusters, as they seem mostly rubbish to me and a complete waste of money – the 2-3 years old games rarely go above 8-10 GB anyway…

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zeko_rena

Due to the huge shortage of DDR4 ram and the massive price hikes my newest build PC is only running 8 gig of DDR4 and I can run SC no issues.

Couple of questions, what video card are you running, if its only got 4gb is sounding quite old, I run a GTX 980Ti again with no issues.

Also what do you have SC installed on, they recommend an SSD but I currently have it on a 7200rpm HDD, which is okay but if its on a 5400 HDD that could be causing issues as well.

The only other thing to hope for is obviously as it progress in development they will improve performance over time.

EDIT:
One last thing I thought of, how long since you did a fresh install of your OS, could be getting clocked up with junk.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

are you talking about PU or AC/SM?

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Joe Blobers

And what about the GPU product code name? 4gb means nothing. In 3.0 I did have 4Gb and got consistent 20/25 fps with and old I5 x4 cores without multithreading.
Also which type of monitor? I got that 20/25 FPS with a 2560×1440.

Current performance does not describe what performance can be end of 2018 with several performance patch iteration.

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Alberto

Fps in the mid 20’s and low 30, but still getting hitches/stutters every once in a while. Haven’t tried a mission yet if they actually work this time i may actually start playing this regularly again instead of Just every big patch. Most Impressive for me is that CIG actually Hit a Freaking date!! ( to be fair they have hit dates its just been More Miss then hit lately)

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primal

they should hit them all the time now seeing as they’ve changed there philosophy on releases which is to not hold a release back just to put something in but i think 3.0 was fundamentally such a massive update that they had to get the foundations in otherwise it just wouldnt work

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ichi sakari

lots of little updates and tweaks, which is good, looks better plays better than 3.0

its obvious 3.0 was rushed out the door for the holidays, if they can figure out how to get things right in fewer iterations we might see this actually get developed; if everything they do has to be re-done several times they’re doomed

cmdr_cotic
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cmdr_cotic

Feels like this was rushed out just to make the Q1 deadline because it is buggy and unstable as hell for me, loads of stuttering too.
Hopefully they can patch a few of these things out over the next couple of weeks and don’t just bulldoze on to 3.2.

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primal

it will be buggy for quite a long time. they cant really fix anything properly while the code is changing but maybe they can get any crashes under control

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

tbh this feels way more polished to me in live than it did in ptu and way better than it’s been since 3.x has been around.

but if you’re getting those issues in live (ptu was a cluster fuck compared to my experience yday in live), then i dont doubt.

anyways don’t count on hotfixes/smaller/quicker patches. they spent all of 3.0 promoting backers to buy copies for their friends and loved ones while only hotfixing a single time to add a whale monocle.

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TheDonDude

Not a bad patch. On time and contains most of what was planned. Still iffy on playability, though.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

no more 60fps. buy i did complete a mission for the first time in 3.x and on the first try too. so i am feeling good about this one.

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Cyclone Jack

Nice! I may have to hop in and try it out. Nice Cutlass, btw. ;)

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Cyclone Jack

Well, no go for me. Tried 3 missions, all got the weird box bug where I stop carrying the item and it’s just attached to my hand. Can’t drop it unless I pick up another box, which ends up doing the same thing. I’ll try again for 3.2.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

seems a fair number of people are having this issue. if you watch the video when i get to the box handling part i can’t put it down “normally” and end up dropping it by opening my mobiglass.

however a friend yday ran into this issue and nothing seemed to work to drop the fucking box on the ground for him among the things i suggested trying.

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Ken from Chicago

Actual praise, from deekay_plus, of Star Citizen?!! Be still my beating heart. Now that’s ginormous.

Seriously, though, Chris Roberts and CIG raised the bar of expectations for Star Citizen. While I haven’t played the game, other than to get an Aurora and, after 2 years, the Avenger while it was on sale before it got embiggened (though the general consensus is that it’s the best bang for the buck starter ship wise), I can imagine how it’s felt for those for whom it’s been buggy, stutterry and/or crashy. It’s been easier for me to be more forgiving of delays since I had only been watching other people’s livestreams and gameplay videos.

Still, if they are going to raise expectations, someone had to hold their feet to the fire. I’ve been interested in computers, software and games since the 80s and there have been many who’ve pushed vaporware, many whose reach has been beyond their grasp, many who simply didn’t have the technology to accomplish what they hoped.

In short, the computer science, video games and mmo games has a history that invites and even justify criticism, skepticism and even a bit of cynicism. Even now, look at concerns about Star Wars Battlefront, No Man’s Sky, Destiny, Star Wars The Old Republic, not to mention various crowdfunded games. The field invites dreamers but engineers, coders and bean counters have to do the hard work of building said dream–or even determining what’s possible with a given set of resources.

Elite Dangerous is arguably the closest game in genre and type to Star Citizen and has earned lots of praise for its many accomplishments, yet even it also had issues with having quality of life features in the game due in part to a lack of resources and in part due to their philosophy of releasing a game with a limited set of features and building on it as they go.

Star Citizen started out with similar mindset but with the unexpected amount of crowdfunding let to a change in philosophy of trying to a more comprehensive set of features first and then build on it. That was first seen when they change their plans of releasing the single-player Squadron 42 then adding the multi-player Star Citizen universe aka the “Persistent Universe” afterward (much like the 1990s model of game releases) and instead build the multi-player universe first and then develop the single-player game as a subset so it would be a greater consistency between the two.

The bottleneck in that multi-player universe is deciding on the standards for the multi-player universe and developing the tools needed for world-building and iterating on them. That bottleneck was finally reached with the release of Alpha 3.0. That laid the foundation for Star Citizen (and Squadron 42) going forward. Now, features can be added, patched, polished, individually, without holding up other features that are ready.

The game has been a GINORMOUS ASK OF PATIENCE.

For many who have watched the mmo field we’ve seen games come, stumble and fall in the half decade since Star Citizen’s initial kickstarter video of October 2012. And I think CIG have made some unforced errors in business and communication that have compounded matters. For those of us who still think mostly positive of the game, that it will actually launch, I don’t think we’re special. Personally, I’ve stepped back from following SC news as much, because for the past year or two, there had been some slow spells. For those who gave up on it, I understand, especially those who followed it from the beginning and had hoped to have at least S42 by now. Maybe they’ll return as visible development picks up pace. Maybe not.

If work for mmo news, you have a front row seat to games rising and falling, people promising the moon and stars only to trip on their own two feet. You’ve seen people with unrealistic expectations, naive hope, disconnects from reality and others who have studied the field and seen how fairness isn’t the only deciding factor to whether a good game lives or dies (for those waiting for the obligatory City Of Heroes or Star Wars Galaxies reference, here ya go), I understand your concerns. Most (though not quite all, and the tone in print can “sound” a bit harsher than one might have intended, something I’ve learned the hard way) of which I think are valid concerns and are justified in holding the feet of the most successful crowdfunded project to the fire.

— Ken from Chicago

P.S. Ironically, your wishes for a triple-A mmo, that is an actual virtual world, not merely a murder-simulator but where players can craft, mine, farm, explore, entertain, do in-game reporting, and engage in a variety of professions, besides pew pew or stabby stabby, much like SWG of old or customize their character so that no two characters are alike COH of old, I’d argue STAR CITIZEN is your last, best hope for the mmo you’ve been clamoring for all along.

“Look, Bree and Justin, your hands are soaking in it.” ;-)

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

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Ken from Chicago

A long road indeed. Good things come to those who wait.

Plus, Star Trek Online is my favorite current mmo. While the lyrical Enterprise theme is not my favorite Star Trek theme, I don’t have the seething hatred of it that other trekkers do.

P. S. My favorite Star Trek theme:

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

that’s my fave too followed by undiscovered country’s opener and OST in general.

i like the ent theme song but i posted it more because it was appropriate to the occasion XD

deekay_plus
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AngryPacifist

RIP James Horner….

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Estranged

Ken – there is always something else coming. Last is not accurate, IMHO.

That is one issue I have with this game and the marketing. It is not the most ambitious game in history, as advertised. Also, it is not the end of hope, if a failure. Like all games, it is limited by the engine. Better tech will come. It always arrives.

One danger of SC is the industry will pass it, due to such a long development cycle. We see this time after time with MMO development. Throwing money and employees at a project will not help this issue.

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Joe Blobers

Quote Estranged: “It is not the most ambitious game in history, as advertised”

> Name a few more that have the scope and pushing tech/features in one single project.

Quote Estranged: “due to such a long development cycle”

> 6 years end of Nov. 2018 starting from scratch with 12 guys and 6 M$ compared to Publishers.
Is 6 years long in a human life? yes. Is it in game development industry? absolutely not.

Quote Estranged: “Throwing money and employees at a project will not help this issue.”
> Yes it does. For sure 200 hundred less employees and no pledge will help to mature any project right? They do have now both the right team size and funds. Only time is mandatory for quality and create something different than regular triple-A from Publishers and pledges are needed because employees like to get a salary every single month :)

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Estranged

Joe, when we are talking 2-3+ years away (I’m being nice) – a decade is a long damn time to develop a video game.

BTW, most video game projects start with a small team. Big deal.

A lot of the “pushing tech” in this project is just feature creep and adding on an average shooter like Star Marine, for instance. Is that “pushing tech” or more like my grandmother making a quilt out of scrap cloth? What is game changing about developing a single player RPG and a persistent game concurrently?

Nah, money spent and total employees tells me little about quality production. However, it can let us in on something simple: how long can the boat float?

The most ambitious game makers, in my opinion, had little resources and severe hardware limitations. No war chest, no flock of sycophants.

I would also look at games (game series) like Ultima Online, Grand Theft Auto 3, Witcher 3, Zelda. Flight Simulator and Wolfenstein 3D. King’s Quest?

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Joe Blobers

Quote Estranged: “a decade is a long damn time to develop a video game”.

Well a decade is a long time, so far I count 6 years in advance based on end of Nov. 2018.

Let’s see how far we are from SQ42 by next Citizencon. For sure Star Citizen won’t be Gold released end of 2018. That is the beauty of doing two Triple-A, each one using common assets, SQ42 being the first to keep support SC development.

No need to rush, no need either to wait for a decade. CIG do have to release SQ42 to keep the boat in the right direction. As per some, they collapse so many time during the past 3 years while almost doubling the team size…
I have zero worry about finance, my interest is only about salvaging, mining, exploring, transportation and others gameplay. At least 3 of those jobs will be implemented this year.

And to be honest, if the Publishers’s Billions of $ or developers with lot of limitation hardware and little ressource were so eager to release a SQ42 + SC like games, they had 2 decades to make it :)

We got ED, EVE, NMS, Endless Space 2, Stellaris, Eve Valkyrie… all different approach of the Space genre but none equal what backers are building with CIG.

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Cosmic Cleric

“Look, Bree and Justin, your hands are soaking in it.” ;-)

Could someone explain for me the subtle winky-face meaning of this comment? Me no get it.

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Armsman

okay, what happened to the REAL deekay_plus? Actual commendation for a CIG patch to SC????!!! ;)

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

chris roberts put himself into the game. lmao.

StarCitizen 2018-03-31 11-32-50-26.jpg
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primal

you sure? it looks chinese

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

looks like they 3d scanned him then gave him a face lift XDDDDDD

33209_06_star_citizen_s_creator_chris_roberts_will_speak_at_gdc_next_2013.jpg
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primal

could be the facial blending tech, like you can take bits from multiple faces and itll all come together in the run time rigging IK stuff

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

naw it’s 110% modeled after him. the eyes are a bit off as you point out but seems more unintentional error/youngifying than anything else.
edit: i’m pretty sure all the faces are CIG employees in general. had this thought before this particular face was even available (they seemed to mix up the face selection almost every ptu patch)

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primal

yeah most will be, may as well use the people youve got, some are backers to that have gone to visit. im not 100% sure but either at a gamescom or star citizen show they might have captured some people there. not sure about that though its in the back of my head. better to do that and save some money by not paying people to come in

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

at least it doesn’t seem they kept the one really unfortunate face with severe underbite that was in on the first day of concierge/sub ptu lol

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primal

or they intiated the company dental plan and corrected it!

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Armsman

I believe they said a majority of the CIG Dev team had their heads and faces scanned as they were testing and refining the mo cap system. I don’t find it surprising they’d make use of that data if possible. ;)