Star Citizen discusses balancing for shields, energy weapons, ships, and thrusters coming in alpha 3.14

    
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While the upcoming alpha 3.14 build of Star Citizen has a number of headline features of its own like the Orison landing area, there are other things of note coming as well – namely, some changes to thrusters, shields, and weapons, and more, which were outlined in a pair of forum posts.

Shields are seeing adjustments between sizes one through three: Lower size shields will have lower HP but faster regen and a single “face” (referred to as a bubble shield) that takes damage rather than multi-directional faces, while size three shields will regen more slowly but have more HP and have quad faces or higher. There are also some ship-specific tuning adjustments made to certain vehicle shields.

Next, energy weapons are being changed, with every ship getting an energy ammo capacitor that determines how much of that ammo can be loaded at a time and how fast it regenerates. Any energy weapons that are disengaged will divert their capacitor power to energy weapons that are online, thereby increasing their ammo load and regeneration. The post goes on to further outline how much energy ammo and ammo regen different weapon types have.

Other adjustments in the works include thruster tweaks to grant different craft types a sense of role individuality; changes to boost that are intended to alleviate overuse by way of a capacitor charge mechanic that will replace heat; larger armor HP pools for various ship parts like wings and engine nacelles to make them sturdier and stop them from falling off easily; and some adjustments to the Power Triangle ship HUD element to make diverting power to shields, weapons, or engines feel more impactful depending on player choice.

source: official forums (1, 2)
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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ante b

Yawn

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Dankey Kang

From what I’ve seen, SC ship combat just does not sound fun at all. Gonna shoot the enemy? better divert all the energy from your shields, incoming missile, better redivert all that energy back to the shields. Sounds like a micromanagement nightmare, and one that, no doubt, you’ll have to master if you want to be competetive.

Then again I’m probably not in the target audience for this game, because personally I prefer game systems to be intuitive and just work, instead of being a literal episode of Star Trek.

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Joe Blobers

This Triangle model is the base of combat since Wing Commander and… Star wars games. Acclaimed by generation of space gamer.

It adds more depth to combat, especially when you have to make decision in combat with multiple ships or during missions with specific objectives.

For instance attacking a large ship while defending from smaller fighter or turret do require anticipation and understanding of both ships pro & con. The opposite of a simplistic gameplay.
It sounds complex but it is not. Not more than learning to drive automatic vs manual car gear. After a few hours, you start to react rather than think about what have to be done.
We are talking about fraction of second, not a full Star trek battle :)

At worst, there are others profession: medic, transport, mining, salvaging… Solo or multi.

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MothballShow

It’s a variant of the traditional (not the conspiracy) Iron Triangle. So instead of time/quality/cost you get to manage thrust/shields/pewpew.

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Kickstarter Donor
Peregrine Falcon

Many of the SC ships require more than one crew member. This might be why.

You know, one guy on the helm, one on weapons & shields, maybe even a third running sensors & ECM? You know, like an actual ship.

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MothballShow

But a Javelin, which has a crew of 12-80 confounds me. If more than three show up to a battle with a skeleton crew and a small group of snub fighters, that already maxes out the server. How can we participate in large space battles?

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Hikari Kenzaki

That’s the point of SSOCS and other recent tech. Eventually, you would have a LOT more than 50 people on a single server. The client would no longer need to keep track of every person and object in the system. Only the ones relevant to your current position.

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MothballShow

Let’s hope they catch that dragon. They’ve been chasing it for quite a few years now.

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Hikari Kenzaki

Yeah. It’s the make or break point. The servers have gotten more stable over the last few builds. They didn’t come screeching to a halt during the last free fly event. Hopefully, the large PvE events are giving them the data they need.

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Hikari Kenzaki

Fighters are fighters. They go in, they pew pew. Ultimately, however, it’s a space sim, not a pvp shooter. Ships that benefit from power transfer and better power management would be controlled by multiple people.
Some ships don’t even give the pilots guns.
I for one am looking forward to the point where you can be a co-pilot and be effective in a fight. We’re kinda there now.
Co-pilots can manage system power, fire missiles, run remote turrets, while the pilot focuses on actually flying the ship.

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MothballShow

I mean, it’s really no different than the modernized version of combat management seen in Star Wars Squadrons, and it looks like a lot of people enjoyed that game – even if the focus was on single-pilot ships instead of the multi-crew experience.

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Godnaz

Been watching iterations of the systems for this project for soo long now. Most of them are pretty damn good. The level of “RPG” detail put into every occupation, piece of equipment and vehicle, matches or surpasses anything we play today. We still have years to go though.

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CMDR_Cotic

Had more rebalances and do-overs than most live games and it still hasn’t left alpha.

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Kickstarter Donor
Greaterdivinity

But that’s like…the actual point of alpha. Figuring out what works and what doesn’t, and if something doesn’t work either trying to rework that thing or going back to the drawing board.

We just never really see that part of game development since by the time studios are ready for “public alpha” the game is usually very much in a nearly locked-in beta state. SC suffers from being so ambitious (rightly or wrongly) that its alpha process is taking longer than the full development cycle for most major games.

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Patreon Donor
Life_Isnt_Just_Dank_Memes

From what I gather this has really changed combat in the game drastically. I can’t wait to try out my Connie with S3 shields attached.