Star Citizen XenoThreat postmortem talks co-op gameplay, performance issues, and PvP imbalance

    
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Players of Star Citizen certainly have opinions about how the game’s first dynamic event played out, but how do the devs at CIG think? A postmortem about the event has some insight as several teams chimed in on what went well, what went wrong, and what plans will be made to improve things for the future.

According to persistent universe director Tony Zurovec, aspects like the shared income pool, a social distribution of tasks and gameplay types, and the cooperative nature of cargo unloading were “immensely popular.” That said, there were a longer list of things that didn’t work out so well, like the event’s overall workload adding more tasks to several teams; a lack of communication about how long the third phase of the event would be; the Idris fight being too simple; performance requirements forcing the game to have far fewer enemies than desired; and the problem of PvP players simply attacking those trying to participate in the event, with the attacked having little ability to counter.

In terms of what can be done better, the devs want to focus on things like AI, performance, better PvP design to support both PvP and PvE playstyles, and adjustments to the law system to account for things like friendly fire and accidental damage that occurred during the event.

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Holden Nagata

it’s weird seeing this article go up alongside Kotaku’s expose on the Austin studio being expected to work through the horrible snowstorm Texas just got

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Natalyia

I had an utter blast in Phase 2. The feeling of being part of an “event” was real – you had people doing all the things “people don’t do anymore” in MMOs. Solo players, guilds, small teams all doing stuff together, chatting to help figure out what needed to be done when, bringing people up to speed on how it worked.

There wasn’t any “you’re not well geared enough” or “you need a better ship” – if you showed up, there was something you could do. Finding hijacked cargo ships, defending those that had been reclaimed while their cargo was offloaded, doing the reclaiming, hauling the cargo back, there was always something you could lend a hand with.

Even the big fights against the Idris? Yeah, the torpedo-bombers were the big guns there, at long last they had something to shoot at worthy of those big torps. But they weren’t going to do it alone, and even someone in a starter ship could do something in those fights.

Were there bugs? Yeah, but not as many as I was expecting, frankly. They pushed a lot of the existing mechanics in the game for that event, and they all worked well enough not to break the event almost all the time. :) I’ve certainly had buggier events in released MMOs that were simpler and not as much fun when they worked.

SC gets a lot of (deserved) flack for how little of it is “done” after all this time. But this was *fun* – and it was fun in a relatively unstable and unpolished game where a lot of the tools they can use to make events like this aren’t there yet. If this was a glimpse at what they can do going forward, I’ll be happy to see what comes next.

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Ironwu

Ultimately, I think it is the performance issues that are going to kill this project stone cold dead. It simply does not run well, even with the reduced player population and limited NPC loads.

Maybe in another decade, the hardware to run it (server side and client side) will be generally available. Maybe.

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Armsman

If they get Server meshing to work – that may alleviate a lot of the current performance issues. They keep saying “This year” – but they were saying that for 2 years constantly before their version of SOCS hit the servers in a usable state.

At this point I’ve given up trying to predict when anything WRT SC will materialize. Hopefully I’ll be able to play a somewhat realized version with 5 – 10 available and working star systems before I’m either dead; or too arthritic to have anything like an enjoyable experience.

I’m 58 now, so we’ll see.

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Joe Blobers

Server meshing is all about using current hardware not some laboratory experimental SiFi servers.
The work is on software to split players in a specific area through x servers which are located in the same rack or room. The more players in an area, the more server focusing on smaller areas.

At some point, a balance have to be done of servers cost versus population density. Thousands players in a km square would be very costly, having +2 hundred and beyond would match MMO concept perfectly.

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cannotweep

I don’t have much of an opinion because I haven’t even learned to fly my ship properly yet lol. I’m still waiting until the game works a little better.

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Hikari Kenzaki

The event was generally fun. I don’t know that PKers were really a huge issue and they were easy enough to deal with. Trolls bumping the wrecks while you were trying to load cargo was more troublesome than someone you just need to shoot. If someone is shooting at you, you can shoot back. If someone is griefing the objectives, you’re the one that gets the crime stat for killing them.
And yes, after such a fun phase 2, phase 3’s “Go here, shoot this” was a let down.