Star Citizen releases alpha 3.12, celebrates the holidays, and gives away a hoverbike for referring a friend


Star Citizen has kicked out a bunch of updates and details in what we can only assume was a mad rush from the game’s PR department to turn in its final pieces of work before dashing home for the holidays. There’s a lot of ground to cover, so let’s get started with the bullet points:

  • The top story, of course, is the release of alpha 3.12: Assault on Stanton, which brings a number of features that have been talked up over the past few video digests to the multiplayer sandbox like refinery decks, the new Talon and Talon Shrike light fighters, the tractor beam multi-tool attachment, weapon zeroing, better capital ship AI, and an improved mining UI among others.
  • Alpha 3.12 also features a dynamic events system that promises unique missions and server-wide activities with every quarterly patch. As a matter of fact, the last episode of Inside Star Citizen for 2020 hints that there will be “a brand-new threat coming to Stanton from another system that will require everyone on all sides to push back.”
  • That ISC video, by the way, takes a much deeper look at the final creation of the refinery deck, talking up the work of light, sound, and art designers. It also wraps up the past year’s updates and features.
  • The release of alpha 3.12 also heralds the release of a new referral program that gifts all backers a Drake Dragonfly hoverbike for free until January 11th. Recruit a friend to the game, however, and you both get to keep the vehicle forever along with lifetime insurance.
  •  Star Citizen is also celebrating the holidays with a number of seasonal events including several different contests, free goodies for clicking a link for six days, and discounts on game packs.
  • Finally, there’s a cinematic called The Reunion that’s filled with all sorts of Star Wars adventuring vibes and a Crusader Mercury in action.

All of the linked videos can be watched in the embeds below, while patch notes for alpha 3.12 can be found here.

sources: press release, official site (1, 2, 3), YouTube (1, 2)

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Hikari Kenzaki

Dropping 3.12 straight to live was super unexpected.

I was looking forward to the full release of The Reunion and ISC had some cool bits, but Assault on Stanton had me in the “Wait, what?” mode.

Haven’t got to play with it much yet as we were jumping into Neverwinter on the MOP Twitch. Other than everyone piling on the servers in surprise, seems good so far.


For context the hoverbike, like most of the game’s ground vehicles, is super cheap to earn in game, maybe a couple hours worth of playtime. Compared to the ships, the real $ to in-game currency ratio is really poor. Even for committed players, there’s no reason to ever buy one with real money, except for if it has LTI, in which case players use it as an LTI Token. Basically they can upgrade it later to a more expensive ship and the LTI carries over.

What it all means is that this is how a lot of people use the referral system:
1. Create an alt account with a referral code
2. Buy a game package
3. Gift the game package back to your main account
4. Convert that game package into store credit on the main account.

Congratulations, you’ve now “saved” $40 on a future ship purchase with that free hoverbike, plus you get that oh so valuable Lifetime Insurance that people have convinced themselves is super valuable when it’s just a marketing tool.


Excellent way to lose a friend, I think.

Joe Blobers

… or make some understanding what Alpha means:)


I do not think any game that is being sold, has cash shop active, and sports a subscription can in ANY way be termed to be in Alpha, or even Beta.

It is released.

Just because it is a crap game, totally unfinished, and overpriced does not make it any less released.

Joe Blobers

You should try harder to dismissed all disclaimers, hundred of articles and thousands of threads stating Alpha.. for a reason.
… Or even better. Just pretend crowdfunding model equal release because… :)

Bruno Brito

Or even better. Just pretend crowdfunding model equal release because… :)

Fully functional cashshop.

It’s released. It’s a shitty game. Period.

Joe Blobers

Not correct Bruno and you know it:
Alpha with a pledge shop since 2013… end of kickstarter was Nov. 2012

This is the crowdfunded model from start and will be till the very day of official release.

Bruno Brito

Fully. Functional. Cashshop.

It’s a fucking released bad game, and anyone buying into this shit should be ashamed of themselves.

Period. End of discussion. You’re wrong. We’re done here, bootlicker.

Joe Blobers

No Bruno. This is a fully Alpha game based on crowdfunded model: pledge to get the product you want delivered.
No need to pledge more than the initial starter package of 45$.

You can ‘end’ the discussion… you won’t end SC development progress :)

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Schlag Sweetleaf

Recruiters will see the Drake Dragonfly show up on their web-hangar the moment their recruited player meets the referral criteria ($40 USD). The new player will see the Drake Dragonfly show up on their web-hangar on January 11.

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