Star Citizen Live goes all in on piloting, outfitting, and landing internet spaceships in a Q&A

    
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At it’s very core, Star Citizen is all about the spaceships. It’s the closest to being like Top Gear for fake vehicles. It’s practically internet spaceship pornography. Naturally, questions about said spaceships are foremost in the mind of players of the developing title, and the devs took some time to answer a number of those last week.

In an hour-long marathon of a Q&A session, Vehicle Pipeline Director John Crewe and Gameplay Programmer David Colson talked about a variety of matters surrounding Star Citizen’s most important pieces of hardware, from hover mode control to armor to weapons range among other topics.

Of particular note is the fact that the team is working on improvements to hover mode to make landing in hangars and maneuvering in tight spaces easier, with plans to introduce some form of UI element that will help guide players to the ground. There are also plans to introduce a toggle for hover mode, though there are some things that need to be designed around and exploits to be considered. The team is also working on making ship armor operate differently so that a player’s sidearm can’t actually do noticeable damage to a capital ship like it can now with the way ship armor works.

As mentioned before, it’s an hour’s worth of information, so make sure you’ve got some time set aside to soak in all of the details, or have a look at this rather handy summary of the Q&A if you’re in a rush.

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Tee Parsley

Was hover something that was always in the cards, or is it just being bolted on, after discovering the previous ideas didn’t work well?

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Solaris

Pretty certain hover has always been planned, but now is becoming more of a priority and quality of life mechanism as the game is actually becoming a game and there is content to play.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

it’s been talked about for a while, at least vtol. there’s a i think 3.0 or 3.3 demo with hurston and a valkyrie they talked about it. going further back it was talked about in reference to weather conditions in atmospheres at various points for a long time. going further back it’s been referenced in relation to the connie ship commercial if not others as well.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

so basically hover mode is a bit messy for a number of reasons, but one of those reasons is that it depends on the pilot utilizing the new acceleration limiter – which only the new gladius has ui elements for afaict, and uses a weird keybind (right alt + mouse wheel scroll).

the other reason is… it has a tendency to jump and move around without any control input at all or in unexpected ways based on the control input you give it. or hug the “ground” surface and refuse to do what you need it to do to land or take off.

hopefully they’ll sort it out before too too long as right now it really is just awful unfortunately. at least when trying to land.

currently i feel vtol should be a special mode for specific ships with vtol capabilities – the connies, the reliants, the valk, etc. ships that have a clear design note towards special flight modes.

ofc the current vtol mode would have to be concieved of any other desire than to mollify complaints from “i studied physics” types that don’t get the thrusters in our space ships are powerful enough to hold our advanced technology space ships set 1000 years from now in place, and that this makes perfect sense from a physics perpsective under the atmospheric conditions presented thus far within the context of the simulation of that advanced tech within crytek physics engine. as opposed to a needful gameplay or otherwise perspective. so yeah.. it ends up being more than a little unfortunate that way.

anyways alot of stuff in PTU isn’t fully there for the 360 live state goals for them yet. but one thing that is new that is cool is the new variations in interdictions (and watch out smugglers for police scanning travellers for prohibited goods!)

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

oh yes something that helps a bit with landings is space brake which is holding X.

for all you intrepid ptu testers wrestling with the horror show that is hover mode rn.

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Solaris

I haven’t had that much trouble with hover mode, but I’ve not flown anything recently but my Arrow and Sabre. Spacebrake (‘X’) is definitely useful. I will be happy to see a landing HUD implemented. Especially for ships like the Reclaimer which can be a nightmare to land depending on space.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

it has a tendency to jump around and be problematic on pads in space as well as the vertical hangars, as well as when repairing/refueling etc as well as when getting out of your ship with the engines still on…