Star Citizen claws back in-game currency stipend in 3.17.2 thanks to ‘overcounting’ error

    
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This story requires a little bit of background: Regular players of Star Citizen’s last alpha build were going to receive a stipend of credits (aUEC) when alpha 3.17.2 dropped based on their amount of in-game play time. However, it turns out that CIG ended up “overcounting playtime and inflating payouts per playtime minute,” and so the original grant that first arrived to player wallets was recently reeled back in lieu of a server wipe.

The aUEC removal will most keenly be felt by those with many hours of in-game time due to the stipend amount tapering off after a certain point, and those who gifted aUEC to others will see that gift revoked. Additionally, those who purchased items with the surprise influx of digital cash should “most likely” see those purchases stick, provided players spent “a reasonable amount.”

The adjustments, by the devs’ reckoning, should still be enough for players to engage with the content they want. Given examples include a player with 20 hours still able to get themselves properly outfitted for the Siege of Orison event and afford a ship, or those with 100 hours to afford an Avenger Titan. “This is the kind of advantage we intended to give to players with our stipend award: enough to reward your previous efforts in 3.17.1 and give you a head start in earning more, not enough to immediately acquire a 10-ship fleet before your first bounty mission,” the announcement explains.

As one might expect, a lot of the player replies are unhappy with the decision. Most cite that 3.18’s release would end up wiping out aUEC anyway, and others argue that having a sudden influx of cash in the game’s economy (such as it is) would make things interesting and provide useful test data. Be that as it may, the decision is made and regular players are not getting quite as handsomely rewarded.

source: official forums, thanks to Eggbert for the tip!
7/31
CIG has reversed course on this decision; we’ll be posting a followup article later this morning.
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 2022, it still lingers in an incomplete but playable alpha, having raised over $450M 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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