Star Citizen previews alpha 3.14 features, Orison landing zone, and Railen cargo ship

    
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The latest weekly video from Star Citizen — and the last for the spring quarter — is wholly devoted to alpha 3.14, starting off the first half by talking extensively about the new Orison landing zone and how the devs came up with the area’s design aesthetic, from visuals to lighting to cloud tech to music. The latter half of the video provided a rundown of the incoming patch’s other features like a new form of ship power management, missile operator mode and missile guidance adjustments, improved radar and scanning, the release of the Constellation Taurus, a surrender system, and the Xenothreat and Ninetails events.

On the subject of Star Citizen spaceships, CIG put together a little Q&A all about the new alien-manufactured Railen cargo hauler. The site answers questions about the cargo pods’ defensive value versus the Hull series’ cargo pods, confirms that shields will cover the pods, the upsides and downsides of the Railen versus other haulers, and the resignation that, while it’s not meant to haul vehicles, players will likely find ways to cram another vehicle into the thing.

Longtime MMORPG gamers will know that Star Citizen was originally Kickstarted for over $2M back in 2012 with a planned launch for 2014. As of 2021, it still lingers in an incomplete but playable alpha, having raised around $350M from gamers over years of continuing crowdfunding and sales of in-game ships and other assets. It is currently the highest-crowdfunded video game ever and has endured both indefatigable loyalty from advocates and immense skepticism from critics. A co-developed single-player title, Squadron 42, has also been repeatedly delayed.
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Tee Parsley

Star Citizen is the nerd and geek equivalent of a Harley Davidson buyer’s midlife crisis purchase.

Lifestyle and dream acquisition.

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Mikka Hansen

except instead your buying a .jpeg of the Harley Davidson for the full price

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Joe Blobers

Can you mine with an Harley Jpeg or battling a capital ship with Harley Jpeg, all for 45 to 35$?

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Bruno Brito

This news made me wanna buy E:D in the steamsale.

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Kickstarter Donor
Ken from Chicago

You might want to slow your roll there. Elite Dangerous fans are in a bit of a kerfuffle over FDev and their arguably deceptive announcements pre Odyssey vs post Odyssey statements.

If you’re really ticked at Star Citizen, Star Trek Online or No Man’s Sky might be a better choice to go for. STO has the benefit of being free from entry to max level.

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Bruno Brito

I’m not ticked about anything honestly. E:D is cheap because of the summer sale right now, which means i can get it cheaper than one pizza. I’m not huge into space sims and that’s what keeping me from buying it ( i don’t care for space combat even in SWG ), and if i could play terrestrial all the time, i would be on it.

But it’s cheap and it seems like it’s worth the money on the sale. I can’t speak for Odyssey or anything else. As for STO i know it’s good leveling but…cryptic/PWE shenanigans. And NMS is expensive.

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Joe Blobers

ED Horizon is a must if you have a 3D set and a close to mandatory experience even if you don’t as it is an icon of space games saga.

Better avoid Odyssey for now. They broke and change so much important thing between the two version it is better to wait till they fixed it… Also Odyssey does not bring much and lost for good VR. Their space leg+fps implementation is rather bad.

NMS is not so expensive. I grab it for test purposes for only 14$ through legit online key reseller.
Confirm my first feeling but I had to test it as a space games fan: I was not interest to continue login in after 30 hours.
Better check online extended gameplay videos… You may prefer to buy a new pizza after all.
Anyway kudo to them to have a so strong follow up over years despite a disastrous launch.

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Bruno Brito

NMS is extremely expensive for me because of conversion rates. I pay 5x the price, which is prohibitive.

As for ED, again: I’m not a spacesim player. Never really was. I feel like i should get the game just because it’s simply a good game and it’s cheap, but i have time.

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MothballShow

I completely agree with every point Joe made. (After what? A year of going back and forth? You’d better mark the date on the calendar.)

With the big discounts during the sale, there’s no reason not to pick up either ED or NMS (and a pizza) to see what they’re about. With ED, you’re not getting railroaded into Odyssey, so you can stick the base game. You can spend a lot of time doing just terrestrial stuff (and even underwater stuff) in NMS, given all the improvements they’ve made since the launch.

I used to play STO, but begged off after a while because of the shenanigans you mentioned. I’m not a fan of space combat in SWG, though I SWTOR, simply because almost everything was done on land in different settings, with the space stuff being small levels or a stand-in for fast travel (I should really reinstall that again – it’s been a few months).

Anyway, there you have it – two very divergent minds with the same opinion.

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Bruno Brito

My problem with SWG is that the part of the game i wanna go into ( the combat ) is extremely weak. And i do mean EXTREMELY.

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CMDR_Cotic

They have spent a crazy amount of time on this planet. Everyone used to tout that once the tools and pipelines were in place they could smash these moons and planets out in no time. That is not ever happening.

The location team has spent as much time on a single planet as you would for an entire AAA game….
They have 300-400 more planets to do.

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Tee Parsley

Years ago, I put my over/under for systems at ‘release’ to be ….. four. Still looking like a reasonable call.

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Kickstarter Donor
Ken from Chicago

It’s already happened. However Crusader is different from other planets being the first gas giant in-game and CIG introducing volumetric clouds. So, yes, that took more time than the average ball of rock.

If it’s any consolation, there’s other stuff you can hate on them for.

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Joe Blobers

That simply means most Publishers are bad at creating anything ambitious… Look at AAA and their ‘detailed’ maps counting in kms not a surface equivalent to 1/6th of real planet.

For information creating full planet from their up-to-date pipelines takes less than a week to 3 devs.
Orison had taken more time and/or more devs because of its very unique assets and 3d clouds tech. That is the very first planet of its kind.

Many planets will be structurally unpopulated or with structures used from previous assets (but slightly modified, reshaped or built to look different, growing over time due to players/NPC’s quantum based economy.

They did created a new studio in Montreal dedicated to… full systems creation.

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CMDR_Cotic

For information creating full planet from their up-to-date pipelines takes less than a week to 3 devs.

To create the shell of a planet.

It then needs everything else added to it which is taking CIG years.

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Armsman

Whereas FDev can’t even get their copy/paste planets working right in the game you tout so highly as something done right (compared to SC).

My point? ED White Knights in the glass houses (aka ED Odyssey) shouldn’t throw stones.

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Joe Blobers

Not correct.

That is more than the shell of a planet but a planet with unique biome characteristics, 1/6th size of a real one.

What you call ‘everything else’ are point of interest like cities, outposts, stations or wreckage.
You will be happy to know they have developed pipelines allowing to create realistic full city-planet in a matter of days: Arccorp since… 3.5
Same to create stations or caves with multiple level, using simple built in house drag and drop tools.

Of course that require assets have been created before those creators team are able to use tools. This is done by others team in parallel. They do add new props every week/month to SC libraries, not years…

Here is a live demonstration:
Star Citizen | Planet microTech & New Biomes from 2019.

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Joe Blobers

Quote: “That is not ever happening”

Because cloud tech v1 is not spread over others planets does not means it won’t happen.

It won’t happen… in 3.14 but they will keep improve V1 so it:

– get even better for Orison specific artistic choice (more Alien vibe). A first tech version is always fixed/improved several times,
– Get spread out to others planets and moons ensuring each have appropriate settings to create ‘unique’ visuals pertaining to their location. That could start as soon as 3.15 or later on.

Star Citizen Roadmap

So again CMDR_Cotic you are jumping to biased conclusion while providing… proof of the opposite. You don’t even care to look at what was supposed to be something proving your point lol

There is a name for such behavior and it shows hard today from you in this very comment section.

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Oleg Chebeneev

I love how all planets and cities are so different in SC. Orison didnt disappoint.

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Ken from Chicago

True.

Then again, there are only four planets and several moons in the game.

However, once the Canadian studio really get up and running in making the scores of planets so SC can surprise the skeptics and actually deliver on a hundred worlds then people can complain that species keep making cities that resemble each other.

Fisty
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Fisty

Seems weird a big update is numbered 3.14, not 3.5 or 4.0, something milestoney. I think I might enjoy this game one day.

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Kickstarter Donor
Ken from Chicago

The big news is not that Orison is gorgeous, because Star Citizen is all about eye droppingly beautiful scenery. The big news is that Orison is the last planet to complete the Stanton star system.

There may be some moons left but this basically completes the first star system that they have been working on for the past 6 years or so. Contrary to Star Wars and Star Trek, there’s more than one point of interest per planet, so it’s bigger deal than it might seem at first blush.

Now (more) attention can turn to the second (or maybe even third) star system as well. Although the way they have talked previously, they have a major bottleneck blocking more than one system, Server Meshing–and it comes after iCache, needed to keep track of everything.

Personally, I’ve been expecting Server Meshing to be done toward the end of next year, 2022, and with that, multiple star systems being opened up–in 2023 (and the actual beta release in 2025).

If they finish early, that would be amazing but I’ve learned the hard way not to hold my breath ever since seeing in 2016 the Call to Arms 2016 trailer and thinking a beta would Shirley be released by 2018 and that claims of 2020 release date were ridiculous. Yeah, that doesn’t hold up so well. 🤣

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Oleg Chebeneev

Yep, thats a huge milestone for Star Citizen.
Pyro system is also in advanced stage of development and since there wont be such complex planets, will be out much sooner.

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angrakhan

I wouldn’t hold your breath on server meshing. It’s one thing to build out a PowerPoint deck of fancy slides full of techspeak to explain some theory you have about how things will work. It’s another thing to actually make it work. See also: the hype around SpatialOS versus the number of games that have actually been released using it.

Honestly I think they’re treading water in hopes some other company will develop the technology necessary to implement server meshing. If it was feasible given today’s technology considering how much time has passed between when they announced server meshing and now, it should be done.

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Tee Parsley

Very on point, imo. CIG promised a lot, with no actual idea how they’d do any of it. So it’s sit and wait on it, picking the low hanging fruit, and all the while polishing the ship sale pipeline.

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Joe Blobers

Your guess are wrong about server meshing. They don’t expect others companies to make it, they are working actively on it.

Why? simply because the all MMO depend on it and they did not wait from anyone to implement full 64bits precision in game engine, dynamic weather, OCS to name a few.

CIG did tackle each technical obstacle over time, server meshing IS definitively a tricky one but is not either a coding nightmare requiring a team of 150 IQ network experts.
It require plan (check), dedicated team (check), roadmap of incremental implementation (check).

For further interesting details, I suggest this link from Clive Johnson himself:
How is server-meshing possible?

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angrakhan

My argument is that it’s easier to talk about solving a technology issue with big technology words than it is to actually solve the problem, and your rebuttal to my argument is to link me to a post from CIG (not exactly an unbiased opinion) that is talking about solving a technology issue with a bunch of big technology words.

I hope you can see the flaw in your rebuttal strategy.

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Joe Blobers

Well… I base my answer by comparing none professional of such coding providing an opinion versus several professionals knowing the subject with precise goal and osteps to reach it through several iteration.

What I could add is that CIG may pay contractors to help them speed up the process.
In short CIG is not solving issues they met with big technology words they used to explain their objectives, they DO solve them by working hard.

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CMDR_Cotic

What I could add is that CIG may pay contractors to help them speed up the process.

Because that has worked out really well for them before…

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Tee Parsley

He quotes folks who work for CIG, and whose jobs, arguably, depend on holding to the company line. And it’s not like such pronouncements have been flawless before.

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Joe Blobers

Sure. The same employees who lies about OCS, dynamic planetary weather tech or explaining in Citizencon 2019 link I gave to CMDR_Cotic, how they can create city-planet size:

Star Citizen | Planet microTech & New Biomes from 2019.

It is funny that what they show like big circular rest-stop station and refinery are now in game (7:49) or Microtech (17:48) or that tools to create large structure effortlessness were coded by others SC employees… probably also lying about they ability to create such tool for sure.

But no, don’t look at it. It is NOT possible. it can’t be. Fake newwwwwws!!
They obviously lied to keep their jobs :)

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Tee Parsley

They obviously put the best spin on it they can — to keep their jobs. Nobody wants to be the messenger that gets shot.

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Joe Blobers

You are obviously missing all facets of the answer, including tangible facts because implemented in game, visible by everyone.

CIG employees do perform constantly what they are paid for. Proven through all patch released and demonstrated above with a list of achievements.
Your obsession to demonstrate what does not exist proven wrong by just login in SC is amazing lol

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Bruno Brito

Don’t call me Shirley.

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Kickstarter Donor
Ken from Chicago

Would you prefer “Leslie”? 🤣🤣🤣

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Godnaz

Reading Reddit comments, this appears to be the biggest update in about 2 years?

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Kickstarter Donor
Ken from Chicago

Essentially it’s a new planet being opened up, or quote Disney’s Aladdin, “A whole new world!” 🎵🎵🎵🤣

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Ardra Diva

a… surrender system? “all your ships are belong to us…”

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Kickstarter Donor
Ken from Chicago

Not quite. It means not every fight with an npc is a fight to the death. You can surrender (or the NPC might choose to surrender) without someone dying to end the fight.