Star Citizen addresses alpha 3.13, stability, delays, bugs, and communication

    
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As is tradition with CIG, the devs are looking back at the release of alpha 3.13 and the Invictus Launch Week event of Star Citizen and offering some thoughts on updates that worked, things that fell short, and lessons learned with each feature’s release.

The post offers some acknowledgment of missteps such as problems with volatile cargo containers, problems using trolleys with certain ships due to ramp shapes and positions, the reputation system not having a lot of time to implement fully, a poor reception for the two-seater ROC Greycat DS mining buggy, and a “deceptively complex” AI service used to map live positions of mission-spawned NPCs among other things. As for what will change, the devs are working on making hover trolleys to alleviate problems with wheels not hitting ramps; providing better communication for cross-team features like the reputation system, mission systems, and dangerous cargo; and updating inventory behavior, the cargo system, and cave setups to help the Greycat DS hit the purpose it was built for.

Regarding Invictus Launch Week, CIG says the event went smoothly overall, while the event also let the team introduce dynamic shop modifiers that change the inventory of a shop dynamically based on in-game events and triggers that spawn missions when shop inventories hitting designated levels. That said, the workflow scale to make changes to these dynamic systems meant adjustments couldn’t be done quickly, so CIG is once again promising better coordination between teams to manage events like Invictus and related large-scale features.

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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Zero_1_Zerum

“Looking back on Star Citizen alpha 543,762,378.15, maybe we didn’t need to put each individual player’s avatar’s DNA sequence into the game, but we’re making the most realistic space sim ever! … I just hope the folks in the Alpha Centauri space colonies liked it. Keep buying ships!”

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Ardra Diva

I think there is a diminishing return in sharing stuff like “problems with wheels hitting ramps”. Most gamers realize you have to tweak the height of stuff so that it closely seems to walk on a the floor rather than float above it or sink into it, etc. Too much minutiae makes them seem lost in said minutiae and invites the perception that feature bloat has them drowning.

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Tee Parsley

But that’s exactly what CIG is doing: Drowning in minutiae from their feature bloat. It’s baked in to the game.

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Ardra Diva

They have created that perception. It’s possible they are working hard on an amazing game that will eventually seem like it was all worth it. It’s also possible we’re just watching wheels spin in the mud. But how they disclose and what they discuss creates said perceptions, that’s my point. They’ve certainly made up your mind… right?

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Dementropy

You also have to remember that a lot of what was sold was predicated on fidelity (however that’s defined). Players like seeing the nuts, bolts, greebles, etc. They’ve been conditioned over the years to be amazed by the details.

The new floating cart seems like a compromise to lower the temperature in the pot (as do other statements to mitigate the fidelity vs. functionality equation).