Star Citizen’s alpha 3.5.1 is live as CIG seeks feedback on ship customization pricing

    
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Ship customization rolled out to PTU testers this week as part of Star Citizen’s alpha 3.5.1, but CIG didn’t waste much time pushing it live for more backers Wednesday. Worth noting is that CIG has been soliciting feedback on the ship customization tools offered in this leg of the alpha; specifically, the devs want to hear about pricing, cosmetics, loadout kids, and website flow. A great deal of the feedback thus far has focused on pricing and the perception that everything is way too expensive, which was our general reaction earlier this week too.

Notably, MOP reader DK alerted us to the fact that this patch revived individual store inventories, meaning that it’s possible that high-demand items can sell out from specific vendors. Economy!

Meanwhile, the latest episode of Inside Star Citizen this week covers the patch and ship customization, so if you don’t want to fuss with the test client, you can just watch that for the basics. Plus there’s a segment on the flight model and the Origin 890 Jump.

Source: Official site. Cheers, DK!
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Roger Melly

To my understanding this customization includes cosmetics and also ship upgrades . I am perfectly fine with cosmetics but I suppose it depends what kind of ship upgrades these include . If its a coffee machine fine but extra cannons or shields would be just another example of pay to win in Star Citizen .

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Hikari Kenzaki

Sorry, tried to post this a bit earlier but it wasn’t processing on youtube (it’s on Twitch as well).

Natalyia and I did a tour of each of the new 300 series ships (not the 300i itself as it’s pretty basic, but all the others) and the customization system.

deekay_000
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deekay_000

-hey thanks for picking up the slack on producing a vid of the website side customization for the comments/readers lol. ^^

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Natalyia

It’s a very Star Citizen initial implementation. If it were me, the “tier 0” implementation would have let you recolor your ship in-game for aUEC. This would have been a lot less work UI-side, and would have tested the ability to recolor and persist the changes across ship claims, etc.

Then “tier 1” would have been adding the ability to pick the color when you got the ship. And it’d have tested the ability of the website to talk to the live game and all that side of things.

The actual website experience we have today would have been later. It’s very nice, and works quite well. But it feels a bit like overkill for the initial rollout, while possibly leaving people “stuck” with a color they liked in the web browser, but not so much in the game.

It’s mostly an issue for people who’ve spent a lot of money in SC – if you just bought a regular 300, you can melt it and rebuy (and thus recustomize it) as often as you like. If you got something “special” though, then that’s less flexible.

The gear options are another bit of a puzzle for me. I get the idea that a manufacturer would offer that sort of thing. But as a value-for-money thing (maybe also like the real world) I don’t think they’re a good deal. You can get all of it in-game with in-game money today, and can get exactly the setup you want instead of the whole collection of things in the packages.

I suppose there’s the convenience of not having to earn the UEC every few months, but – especially for something like a 300, the components just aren’t that expensive. And since it’s one of the things you can actually “play the game for” right now, it puzzles me a bit why you’d spend cash on that. If you want to give them more funding, then it feels like there are better ways to do that. *shrug*

deekay_000
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deekay_000

This would have been a lot less work UI-side, and would have tested the ability to recolor and persist the changes across ship claims, etc.

problem is they’ve depricated scaleform in the dev pipeline largely while they work on bringing the new w/e idk even what they’re using or cooking up in house? solution for the UI. reason it’s taking so long is the first iteration of the new ui has to touch every part of the game basically, from store kiosks to ship HUDs and MFDs to the mG to the F key interaction (and i think the actual inner thought thing is coming with it too? or at least waiting on it) as well as the dialogue trees for SQ42 (this is part of why the current conversations you can have with a few NPCs in game are the various states they are).

so i guess it’s actually less work to do it this way, having turbulent take care of it, building upon to some degree existant in game systems (also who wants to bet there’s an individual ship model asset for each of the many of the variants you can create here?).

now mind you, they should’ve totally done a voyager direct like thing with credit purchases in the web interface they’ve got going. and it really annoys me alongside the comms on this in the qna that it’s just not there.

also annoying the lack of recusomtization. i can see they wanna go with the gtao route of makign you pay for the change every time as if you’d never customized to begin with a la real life body shops, but.. it’s still annoying as shit from a consumer and player stand point.

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Randy Savage

Chris Roberts reminds me of a televangelist trying to raise money for a private jet because “Deus Vult” or something.

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Joe Blobers

Quote Randy: “reminds me of a televangelist”

but this is acceptable from Blizzard with monthly subscription fees, DLC’s charged +30 on average, micro-transaction at +25$ and convention ticket starting at 229$ up to 750$… Billions $ over years and charging more than a new company which have to build everything up from scratch.

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Bruno Brito

Why is that acceptable from Blizzard? Do you even realize why people flock to other games or pservers?

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Joe Blobers

I am not saying it is acceptable or not. Just pinpointing many (if not all) others companies are doing the same, some which have already secured Billions $ over years while CIG is spending all cash to build this project.

What I have learn from both auction bids and share market is that the market (consumers and bidders) do drive it, not the opposite, for the worst or the best.
CIG while keep pushing tech and contents to release SQ42, is starting to test what is mandatory without monthly subscription (something WOW do have on top of micro-transaction and B$ of cash).

Calling this phase televangelist is at best a shortcut… Now feel free to suggest a working model allowing a +500 team to keep delivering after release of SC.

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Randy Savage

Apologizing for one carpetbagger with a “yeah but what about this other carpetbagger…” is not an effective argument to make.

deekay_000
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deekay_000

so…. fixed weapons are back and so are missiles! wew lads! pvp is back!

i’ve never felt remotely this dangerous in a reliant of any kind before, man i am glad i picked this one back up after so many years of being meh

and in the final days of 3.5.0 my buddy snelly finally got on with me and we had a bit of an explorationy sight seeing rp screenshot taking adventure!

anyways just to note if you’re thinking of picking up any of those component packs for your 300 series customizations – while they offer convenience in some regards there are two major things to consider:

their in game credit prices (ie the cost of the components in game currency) are cheaper than the default loadout parts they replace (the packs are not in addition but replace them fully). the more expensive the part the lower the in game credit value of the parts.

customized loadouts(ie custom gear on your ship) is now being retained on death/ship loss and insurance reclaim. making buying in game for your ships alot more attractive.

ofc as noted in the article, you’ll have a more… involved shopping experience in 351… :D >>

whowutwhen
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whowutwhen

Like whats the road map for this game, years later still in alpha with no sign of even a beta. When is this game launching.

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Alex Hyer

When its ready.

Unlike Fallout 76
Unlike Anthem
Unlike Mass Effect: Andromeda
Unlike No Man’s Sky
Unlike Star Wars: Battlefront I
Unlike Star Wars: Battlefront II
Unlike … eh….

They’ll tell you its released when its ready.

Maybe its in a few years. Maybe its in 20 years. Who knows. Its insanely ambitious and they’re taking their sweet ass time with it. Its filled with things that games (and non gamers) are questioning the ethics of.

Maybe it’ll never even launch at all.

One thing is for sure though, It is progressing. Arguably at a snail’s pace. But that being said… there’s nothing else being made thats going for the same kind of thing that this game is aiming for.

When its ready. Or maybe never. Who knows!

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silverlock

Yeah it’s not like I don’t have a thousand other games to play so I’d like to see this one be something more and while I don’t regret the money I dropped on it years ago their is no way I’m dropping any more.

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Roger Melly

I suppose the difference between the games you listed and Star Citizen is that none of them were still trying to raise money from the public after 7 years development and still in alpha status .

I suspect if Chris Roberts hadn’t been so overly ambitious with his stretch goals and feature creep ( like sign language ) then the game would either have been released by now or much closer to release .

It probably also would have been done without having to adopt pay to win elements to the game as well . That is Star Citizens biggest problem outside those who are backing the game most of who will support it come what may there is a perception among many gamer’s that it one of the most blatantly pay to win games ever developed .

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Joe Blobers

Quote: ” perception among many gamer’s”

Precisely this: A perception.

Remove many by some (% of 1.2M backers), now add the fact that we (MOP readers) add already full comments section about the perception it is or not PtoW based on each ones argumentation and we are back again at the same point: No ships sale = no project.

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Sean Norwood

Most games take years to develop. You just don’t hear about them because they aren’t crowdsourced.

Godnaz
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Godnaz

The image header used for this article is of a ship that doesn’t exist anymore when when part of the article is about its replacement. Not a big deal, just thought it was strange.

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Paragon Lost

Does the ship exist but no one can buy it? Or was the ship completely replaced in the game so that truly doesn’t exist now? Just curious.

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TheDonDude

Rebuilt from the ground up. So it’s there, but looks different.

Mind you CIG themselves used that very video of the old version as recently as yesterday, so I don’t think it’s a huge deal.

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Paragon Lost

Thanks, I wasn’t following closely enough to catch that. :)

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Fervor Bliss

Star Citizen = too expensive. This is really an issue now? A $500 plus sparkly pony has been accepted for so long.

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silverlock

It’s a lot cheaper to get into then most other crowd sourced games. People focus on the big ticket items but when I joined you could get complete access to the game for $40.

deekay_000
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deekay_000

they’ve had limited deals for $20 packages a few times years ago too. but i think those got scripted up which is part of why they stopped doing that kind of sale i suspect.

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TheDonDude

Customization that you can kinda-sorta-mostly only do once (unless you want to melt & buy back, which would make you lose stuff)? Ick!

Of course it’s something they might kinda-sorta-maybe improve later on, but until then… ick!

Godnaz
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Godnaz

Customization that you can only do once.

You can only customize your ship once? Where did you get that information? Doesn’t that go against the idea of selling design themes?

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TheDonDude

From the ISC show. Basically you customize it when you buy/upgrade to it.

Godnaz
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Godnaz

I watched it and didn’t hear or see anything about one-time custom design use. Infact, the guy stated that you can login to the website to make change whenever your want to make changes to your ships loadouts and look.

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TheDonDude

Did he not say something about being careful, since you’d have to melt your ship down for store credits if you wanted changes?

I cannot verify the video right now, but I am 99% sure this was the case.

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Gene Elder

Its like an actual car sale. When you go to the dealer, you can customize your vehicle however you want, and that’s the vehicle you take home, and there is no more customization. Unless you want to go to a third party and add after-market items and components, in which case, you need to insure those items separately, because if you total it, you get your factory options only.

deekay_000
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deekay_000

you need to insure those items separately, because if you total it, you get your factory options only.

while higher grade components will be higher cost to reclaim or w/e in the future the ones you can buy with these would costs less than normal presumably given their in game credit costs being lower than teh default loadout gear

deekay_000
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deekay_000

i twas in teh qna doc too. and something else. that some things would be limited or harder or more expensive to modify vs others.

fwiw you can swap out skins, but how to collect multiple skins that will work on your 300 series (or other ships that have skin slots)? right now it’s limited to buying multiples of the same ship chassis (ie i have reliant mako and tana, i can swap the skins – idk if this works for 300 series skins) unless you have an aurora and some of it’s purchasable ($5 each) skins, some of which have special functions that aren’t working yet.

but i think different things have varying levels of recustimizability in the design notes advertised so far.

but for now? it’s just melt/rebuy and the existant skin function that’s in game.

deekay_000
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deekay_000

for people with fancier 300 series packs it’s definitely a concern.

for people with non fancy packs (ie if you buy the version that is normally always available doesn’t come with anything special at all) it’s just a matter of melting and repurchasing with credits.

i hope they do open it up in the future. as it is i wish there was a voyager direct analogue since they went through all the trouble for this interface on teh webstore.

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silverlock

Now you got me scared to log on and check out my 315P as I’m afraid I’ll screw something up.

deekay_000
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deekay_000

yeah i’m not sure, i don’t wanna suggest either way honestly as i consider how to reply here. i would like to think an email to customer service could have any money or w/e spent on customizations reversed without impacting the actual Package Contents, but i really have no idea if they have that capability in this specific instance with it being what it is. you could certainly email them to ask.

also if you have free credit space.. like i kind of suggest like ideally to use store credit with it if possible

the customization options aren’t totally amazing, what’s interesting about to me at least is just having the 0.0.0.2 implementation (.1 to me is the precursor elements that have been in game for a while) and the potential for future customization along the areas so far defined across the various ships in my own fleet as well as others ofc. (honestly i picked out the orange paint job for my 325a cuz even tho it’s ugly the more involved designs are too pedestrian and samey so far).

i’ll more than likely melt the 325a i credit purchased for playing with it more (and for testing the combat capabilities of these ships from my own perspective) before too too long really myself,

but i wanted to put out there that for folks with fancier packages