Choose My Adventure: Sorry, everyone, but I had fun in Star Citizen

    
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In spite of best efforts and even better advice, it’s often pretty easy to have other folks bring you down for enjoying something. We all have those hobbies or books or movies or games that we like in spite of the greater zeitgeist of fandom. So it is with me and Star Citizen, a game that’s (for lack of a better word) contentious in our little MMO circle. In spite of the arguments that spring up around this title, the times I had in-game thanks to this column definitely made me enjoy Star Citizen more.

I say this not as a convert to the Cult of Chris Roberts. As a matter of fact, I like to think I still keep some of my cynical edge with regards to Star Citizen. What changed for me between the last time I logged in on my own and the time I’ve spent in-game for CMA has been the people.

Case in point: on a lark, I was joined in-game by a person who goes by the name of Wrathschild, a member of the organization I’m a part of. He invited me to join him aboard his Constellation ship for a couple of missions. We headed to the appointed destination and, for some reason, found that his minimap stopped working. I hopped out of the copilot seat and took command, picking a mission I had in my list while he took a seat in one of the ship’s turrets.

The mission I selected was a patrol mission, which saw us going to certain jump points to take down any enemies in the area. It was the first time I had flown a ship as massive as the Constellation into combat, but my steering and Wrath’s gunnery skills saw us through. It also didn’t hurt that the ship was much larger than the things we were taking on, of course.

After we completed the mission, I noticed that my criminal reputation had spiked, likely as a result of taking control of someone else’s ship. We jumped back to Port Olisar to head to Security Post Kareah to see if we could clear my name. We first hopped into Wrath’s two-seater 85X Runabout and scoped out the location to see if anyone was patrolling. Sure enough, shortly after we got close, a player ship opened fire and spaced us.

Knowing that we had a threat on our hands, we returned to the location once more in two different ships — he in his Hornet fighter and me in my Avenger Titan fighter. By this point, the ship that fired upon us had landed, but the station itself was opening fire on us. After we attempted to return fire without success, we elected to land anyway, see if we could clear the station of threats, and remove my criminal status.

We both sneaked our way around, carefully navigating the different rooms at the station. Several hostile NPCs were in the area, and a firefight immediately broke out. We were making some pretty good progress, but eventually they won out and I was taken down. So now, not only did I still have my criminal record, but now I also dropped my gun there and lost it forever. Overall, it was delightfully tense.

This is just one of several stories that I’ve shared in this column in my time with Star Citizen, and they all relied on the randomness and brilliance and delight of other people in-game. Star Citizen by itself is just a vehicle — a toy, as Wrathschild put it — for the encounters you’re meant to have with other people. Whether it was with Wrathschild or Ichi or the person who was piloting that Hammerhead at that mining colony that hit me with a spotlight, people are the difference.

The people in Star Citizen are, by and large, remarkably friendly right now. Global chat is generally active and free of bile from what I’ve seen. There seem to be about as many folks willing to guide and help as there are blow you up. In spite of what this game’s detractors would have you believe, many of the folks in-game seem to be pretty well adjusted.

Of course, this doesn’t absolve Star Citizen and Cloud Imperium of everything that makes me lean back in my seat with concern. Chris Roberts, from what bare little I know of him, is an ideas guy who has a hard time accepting “no” as an answer. For all intents and purposes, he seems just about as unhinged a game designer as Hideo Kojima on whatever things Guillermo del Toro is feeding him. There are features in the game that are next to useless like the FOIP tech. In terms of scale of game versus scale of budget, it would absolutely seem like things are being mismanaged fiscally.

In spite of all these observations, though, I really had a great time in Star Citizen and will very easily continue to do so. Because of people like Ichi, Wrathschild, DK, and any number of others. Doing stuff in this game is fine, but doing it with others is an absolute blast.

Someone had asked in the comments when I started this edition of CMA whether having different ships was directly related to enjoying yourself in Star Citizen. After my time with in-game friends and their hardware, I can absolutely say that the answer is a pretty resounding “yes.” Here’s the trick, though: Many of these ships beg for a crew.

I’m reasonably certain that someone can find spots on the larger ships to occupy, or you can bring their own smaller ship into a wing to do stuff with others. You don’t have to burn hundreds of dollars on a massive multi-seat luxury space yacht; you can just make friends with someone who has one and enjoy time together. Crewing these ships solo is pretty dang lonely, and I’m almost positive that there are organizations looking for people to fill those seats.

In the end, enjoying Star Citizen hasn’t been something I’ve done because I was smart; it’s because I was acting with my heart. I’m not rushing out to grab tickets to the next CitizenCon, but the people and the experiences I’ve had have absolutely captured me and enriched my emotional connection with the game. The fine folks I’ve met and am yet to meet are the reason I had fun. Sorry if that gets in your craw.

It’s time now to put that behind us here at CMA, however, and move on to my next space-based adventure. By a pleasantly wide margin, Elite Dangerous got the nod for my next game, and I for one am looking forward to seeing where this game and Star Citizen intersect, if anywhere at all.

I’ve had some flight time in Elite Dangerous before, but nothing of major consequence. I’ve done all of the training missions and the opening introductory mission where you net an easy 10,000 credits. As it stands, I’ve got some additional opening missions awaiting me that appear to be tracking me towards one of four different types of profession one can do in-game, for lack of a better word. The question, then, is what to do with my time?

What activity should I chase in Elite Dangerous?

  • Trade. 10k credits is nice, but you could get more. (13%, 73 Votes)
  • Combat. Hunt bounties and nav beacons and make space explosions. (31%, 171 Votes)
  • Exploration. Sniff at the stars with your scanner. (38%, 208 Votes)
  • Planet surface missions. Hop into the SRV and do stuff. (18%, 99 Votes)

Total Voters: 551

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Once more, polls will close at 1:00 p.m. EST on Friday, January 4th. Until then, I’m looking forward to seeing what new adventures in internet spaceships will happen.

Welcome to Choose My Adventure, the column in which you join Chris each week as he journeys through mystical lands on fantastic adventures – and you get to decide his fate. Which is good because he can often be a pretty indecisive person unless he’s ordering a burger.

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Kowie Mc Zowie

FOIP looks kind of cool tbh role players/Machinima makers are going to have tons of fun with it in this game and maybe others in the future, besides its a independent company thats working on FOIP as far as i know CIG is only spending resources getting it to work with their engine.

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Ken from Chicago

Chris, as the new guy, I understand being nervous about liking a game that’s not just “controversial” among players but has had “mixed” reaction among your colleagues and boss. It’s okay to like the game. Your colleagues–and especially your boss–would respect you giving your honest appraisal even if it differs with their own.

That said, yeah, from the various YouTube videos I’ve seen people tend to like playing STAR CITIZEN more when they are playing with more people. A lot of that is probably because the PvE elements have been slowly incorporated–and think it’s with the latest 3.4 patch, that there’s been a big boost in PvE missions added–so you’ve had to more likely come up with your own fun in the game.

Thank you for your review. BTW, are there videos of your STAR CITIZEN adventures online or can we just backtrack through your CMA postings for the links?

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digitalsignalx .

HEADLINE: Writer for MMORPG site discovers games more fun with other people; completely ignores fact that positive experience was result of two game breaking bugs (failure of ship owner to pilot vessel and having a crew member take control counting as theft).

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Tremayne Carr

neither of these are “game breaking”.

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digitalsignalx .

You’re trolling me right? Or are you seriously so much of a Fanboy/Apologist for SC that actually being prohibited by a bug from flying a ship you own is not game breaking? The Game is actually about flying ships. And you can’t fly your own ship!? This actually BREAKS THE GAME.

There’s wiggle room on the theft issue, but when the owner of the ship is standing next to you, on your friends list, in a party, and you are considered hostile for stealing his ship if you fly it? To me that’s also game breaking as evidenced by having to deal with security and dying when you land. It’s still game breaking to me, never would you expect it to make you hostile. It’s obviously a major bug, if not game breaking.

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Joe Blobers

Digital this is for sure breaking your experience with a specific ship. However purposes of Alpha is not to play a game but helping developers to improve, fix, implement features till most of them (preferably all) have been around out.
Participating to Alpha = frustration. The all article is about sharing with others including bugs.

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digitalsignalx .

The article, in fact, is about his positive experience in SC despite its detractors. An experience he fails to emphasis that is predicated on two major bugs. In other words, without the flaws his experience would have been dramatically different – for better or worse we can’t say. But what I can say is that when your positive experience has it’s foundation in game play that shouldn’t be there, then the ride was fake. Come back when it’s working and write about your positive experience.

It was not about the unpolished nature of Alpha and feedback to the devs.

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Roger Melly

Why be sorry for having fun ? If you enjoyed it cool .

I may have fun it if and when it releases too . It really depends if they can release it in a polished state before the money runs out and if the whales dominate the game to a point that it is so pay to win that I find there really isn’t much point in playing it .

I suspect given that they are now taking investment from other sources outside of crowdfunded backers then they will have to compromise a lot with the so called “suits” which will affect their original vision for the game and increase pressure to monitorize it even more than we are seeing now .

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Joe Blobers

Does everybody will be happy withe result? No, not a chance it is not possible to please everyone.

Like a metronome, Roger delivering his message of not Doom (yet) but it would be amazing if one of the last past years “drama” do not turn the all project in something it was not intended to be… :)

A year and half to beta, 46M$+ 14M$ secured plus a year and half of more pledges (because quarterly patch and new comers), plus unknown amount of money that a company can legally keep in accounting as future expenses. The soft version of “collapse 90 days top for sure”.

Meanwhile, two roadmap (SC one still missing Q3 and Q4) overlapping/complementing each others and a company valuation of close to 500M$ (that will mathematically grow up even more in coming quarters).

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Roger Melly

Unlike yourself I try and retain a balanced view of this game , I admit it has potential yet you see fault in that because I also voice my concerns about how much outgoings the developers have compared to the rate of development and whether that money will last until it can be released in a polished state .

I have long suggested in these forums that eventually they would have to take investment external from mere crowdfunding to reach that goal and when I did those who white knighted the game like you are doing now said it wouldn’t happen but that is exactly what happened last year and I suspect it will have to happen more in the future . An investment firm who puts 46 million into a game will want results and unlike yourself will not be happy to just be willing to sit back and wait .

Mark my words this will not be the only 46 million they will seek from private investment and this is what will get the game made but it will also mean that CIG will lose a lot of control over its business model and their creative control will be affected by outside pressure too.

I doubt you will agree with anything I have said because you are a believer in this project and like those with faith they seldom base it on reality .

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Joe Blobers

Quote: “An investment firm who puts 46 million into a game will want results”

And this is precisely why I am totally confident. Not only Beta is not 10 years away or never as per some but a year and half but an audit done by professional ends up to 46M$ for only 10% total share. This is a very good sign.

Also I am not a blind follower to anything: religion, people, ideas. My past remarks were always based on reason not prey for a precious.

The good thing with current situation is that we are going to get in 2019 more contents we ever had (because pipelines) and will be able to see after next Citizencon if Beta expected date will be achievable. Squadron 42 is the tip of the spear. It must be done right.

Patience always pay off :)

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PhoenixDfire

If you need any ‘Mentoring’ to get through the learning curve of Elite:Dangerous, Drop me a line at Lave Radio and I can help you through the basics. ;-)

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Baemir

This is the way I feel about Atlas. I’m being burned at the stake for enjoying the game even in its current, admittedly abysmal state.

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Utakata

This is why Mr. Wolfyeyes is a true #influencer. That is, willing to be critical of the game he enjoys.

Thank you for that! /bows

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Skoryy

Having fun and not being a jerk about it is nothing to apologize about. You had fun, that’s good! What’s there more to say?

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Joe Seabreeze

Maybe all the negative press (and personal bashing) will actually make it an enjoyable game. It will keep out all the riffraff and only serious fans will play it. I nice, niche community. Nothing wrong with that.

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Bruno Brito

Hey, i’m happy you had fun. Nothing wrong with it. It doesn’t erase the game’s shortcomings, and said shortcomings doesn’t erase people’s fun.

Hamblepants
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Hamblepants

Liking for the sanity, holy moly it’s like a waterless desert out there when it comes to people not losing their ****ing minds when it comes to this game lol.

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Bruno Brito

I don’t need to rimjob a game to like it. I like plenty of mediocre or outright bad stuff. Everyone does.

I think both extremes are pretty damaging. Hence, i’m happy that someone just had fun with the game, we are critical of Star Citizen enough as it is.