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See: Star Citizen

Star Citizen shows off atmo moon landscapes, dishes on the studio’s dev process

In this week’s Around the Verse, Star Citizen’s Sandi Gardiner and Chris Roberts have a stack of gorgeous environmental pan shots for your to feast your eyes on – that’s because the design team has been working hard on the atmospheric moons. The devs are also focused on scramble races, the UI, props, and a pair of ships.

Meanwhile, if you’re curious about the development process behind the game, check out a new piece from Wccftech; the site’s got an interview with CIG’s Eric Kieron Davis. It’s pretty granular, but the writer hits on a few topics of note to the watchers of the game. For example, at one point they talk about the “technical debt” of a project, the legacy code that can trip up a project, but Davis says Star Citizen’s isn’t really that bad. Davis also addresses employee churn, suggesting it doesn’t affect the studio as much now that it’s grown so much larger.

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Battle Bards Episode 126: Out of this world

It’s time to boldly go where no podcast has gone before — by exploring MMO space themes! It’s perhaps the flat-out goofiest and silliest Battle Bards episode to date, so you’re going to have to excuse a whole lot of diversions, arguments, and giggles. Because that’s what space does to people? We do not know. This episode is also notable for Syl’s all-time greatest quote, “Planets are usually in space.” Usually.

Battle Bards is a bi-weekly podcast that alternates between examining a single MMO’s soundtrack and exploring music tracks revolving around a theme. MOP’s Justin co-hosts with bloggers Steff and Syl. The cast is available on iTunesGoogle PlayTuneInPocket CastsStitcher, and Player.FM.

Listen to Episode 126: Out of this world (or download it) now:

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A judge has mostly denied Star Citizen studio’s motion to dismiss the Crytek copyright lawsuit

MMO-watchers will recall that just before the turn of the new year, Crytek filed to sue Cloud Imperium, the company behind the sprawling and controversial crowdfunded MMO Star Citizen. Crytek alleged that CIG infringed its copyrights by using CryEngine to develop non-Star Citizen game assets in the form of Squadron 42 while misusing Crytek’s logo in marketing materials and Crytek’s CryEngine in the form of Star Engine. As recompense for this supposed breach, Crytek demanded a significant sum, including direct damages, lost profits, and punitive damages, as well as a permanent injunction against CIG’s use of CryEngine.

CIG, for its part, has denied the accusations, calling it a “meritless” lawsuit; it’s pointed to the licensing agreement that limits liability and damages from contract breaches, as well as asserted that it’s not using Crytek’s engine (any more) and that name changes to and expansions of Star Citizen’s “online universe” do not constitute a new game.

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Star Citizen highlights community rover events, the group system, and atmospheric worlds

Cloud Imperium’s Sandi Gardiner and Chris Roberts are both back in the latest instalment of Star Citizen’s Around the Verse. You’ve probably noticed the shift this summer that ATV is taking; the team is now spending the first chunk of the video showing off just what the community is up, thereby demonstrating what’s actually doable in the game right now and causing would-be players to visualize themselves inside it. This episode does the same, highlighting three player events: the “cyclone challenge” in which people drive rovers over starships, the “rover fun” race, and even a rover cruise. Lotta driving of cars in Star Citizen, in other words.

On the development front, CIG says it’s working on the group system, specifically the chat channel system and the entire suite of notifications and permissions that will govern how players control their communication and friends. The devs further show off ongoing efforts to improve aiming and turret input as well as breathable world environments.

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 181: Some devs just want to watch the world tree burn

On this week’s show, Bree and Justin sift through the ashes of World of Warcraft’s burning developments, make sense of Chris Roberts’ “You win by having fun!” mantra, get cozy with werewolves and tieflings, and more!

It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.

Listen to the show right now:

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Star Citizen’s Chris Roberts downplays currency stockpiling controversy: ‘You win by having fun’

Pay-to-win? What’s that? That’s just your silly imagination getting worked up over nothing.

This seems to be the company line concerning RSI’s Star Citizen and the recent decision to remove the pre-launch real-money currency cap. While the community is in an uproar over the ability for players to stockpile huge amounts of currency before launch in order to gain a competitive advantage, the studio seems to think that this is much ado over nothing.

Last night, Chris Roberts followed up on a rather tone-deaf PR statement from this past week, downplaying the issue and pretty much denying that pay-to-win is a thing that could possibly affect the sheer joy that is Star Citizen. “This may be a foreign concept to gamers as the majority of games are about winning and losing,” he said, “but Star Citizen isn’t a normal game. It’s a First Person Universe that allows you to live a virtual life in a compelling futuristic setting. You win by having fun, and fun is different things to different people.”

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Gamers played a Star Citizen web game to earn a chance at a medical ship variant

Players who would like to roleplay the fantasy of being a high-tech emergency medical rescue service can get their chance with Star Citizen’s Apollo spaceship. The spotlight was on this rapid response ship this week, with fans even given the opportunity to earn a a chance to win an upgraded variant of the ship by playing a browser arcade game on the site.

“The legendary Apollo chassis from Roberts Space Industries is the gold standard in medivac and rapid emergency response,” RSI said, “having provided critical aid to the known universe for well over two centuries. When one thinks of first class medical rescue, one thinks of the RSI Apollo.”

The studio’s July recap report is out, with attention given last month to shoring up Alpha turret bugs, creating the new Anvil Hawk ship, decorating the Freelancer interior, working on hair and head technology, piecing together Squadron 42 outfits, developing animations for females, redesigning the 300i, laying out more story scenes, shaping moons with various biomes, stabilizing hte game editor, and (most importantly) transforming a bar scene into a “living breathing environment.”

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Star Citizen fans raise pay-to-win objections over removal of in-game currency stockpiling cap

Our inbox exploded last night with Star Citizen tips, and that can mean only one thing: money shenanigans. In-game money, that is, but this is Star Citizen we’re talking about, a game where out-of-game money very much buys you in-game stuff.

So here’s the deal. Up until now, backers were able to hoard some in-game credits (UEC) but not gigantic piles. That’s no longer the case, as the total cap on this currency has now been lifted, meaning that early backers can stockpile bajillions and bring it with them into the launched version of the game, which is probably still years away. That’s a lot of piles of cash.

Cloud Imperium has confirmed that the hard cap was removed intentionally; it wasn’t just a bug. “It seems the cap was removed when UEC melting was brought in,” CIG’s Kraiklyn told Spectrum-goers. “However, there is still a daily cap of 25k per 24 hours.”

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Star Citizen’s Around the Verse covers ground races, 3.3 ships, and security checkpoints

Hey guys, log into Star Citizen, I wanna do a Death Race! Yeah, maybe that isn’t the best nickname for the Scramble Race, which is actually literally a 16-person race, with a ground-vehicle version as well as one in space and no weapons to actually cause death. CIG says tests on the ground version are “really, really positive.” The latest episode of Around the Verse also includes mention of work on derelict ships, fog, 3.3 ships like the Mustang series, audio for props, mass transit, delivery lockers, and security checkpoints.

“Security checkpoints are going to become very important as soon as we move away from the armistice zones we currently have in the games and when we switch to a more nuanced system. And we’re currently working on the high security version which is going to be needed for Lorville but we can easily adapt it to other locations as well. It’s going to work very similar to how security checkpoints in present day airports work. They will come in different sizes and security levels depending on the local laws. There’s a list of items that are illegal in the area beyond the checkpoint and players pass through a scanner and if they’re not carrying anything illegal they can just go through. If they are carrying an illegal item then they will be stopped and they will be asked to give up the item or store it. They can choose to comply or they can choose to resist and then they will have to face the consequences. Skilled and clever players might be able to find ways how to circumvent security altogether in certain locations.”

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Star Citizen is working on the AI patrols to make griefing much harder, reveals medical concept ship sale

On this week’s episode of Star Citizen’s Around the Verse, Sandi Gardiner and Chris Roberts recap “emergent gameplay” events recorded by the community, including a humorous take on the Cry Astro protest we wrote about last week.

“The mission team has been working to implement FPS AI into persistent universe locations, and they’ve recently started testing AI patrols around Cryo Station,” Roberts says, hinting an end to the protest fun may eventually be coming when the NPC lawmen show up even if players can’t break the lines themselves. “This is the first step to bringing a more robust law system to the EU, which will eventually make it harder for players to throw their weight around like they’re doing at Cry Astro right now.

Meanwhile, CIG has revealed the RSI Apollo, a medical concept ship that will run $225 to $270 depending on variants chosen; there are packs up to $1550 too. That’s in real dollars.

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 178: #womenarecosmetic

On this week’s show, Bree and Justin mull over how necessary it is to actually provide MMOs with those icky, wonderful girlie-types. They deliberately deliver a light-hearted episode after last week, full of funky fresh frivolity. Will gaming ever be fun again? It has to be!

It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.

Listen to the show right now:

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Star Citizen backer took CIG to small claims court over his refund request – and lost

The Star Citizen refunds subreddit is often the home of big words and tall tales, but Redditor firefly212 did more than just talk: He actually tried to take Cloud Imperium to court over his refund request. Unfortunately for him, he lost in small claims court and the case has been sent to arbitration, as the judge apparently agreed with CIG that its retroactive policy regarding refund arbitration should apply even to donors and package-buyers who began contributing to the game before that policy existed.

“In mediation, CIG/RSI would not agree to refund the portion of my account not covered by the arbitration agreement. Though lawyers aren’t permitted, CIG/RSI lawyers drafted and submitted statements that were permitted. The judge declined to hear anything about the conscionability or lack of consideration in the TOS. Despite the top sentence on the TOS, CIG/RSI successfully argued that the arbitration clause should be applied to transactions even before the clause existed. CIG/RSI repeatedly argued that there is a playable game and that funds have been earned, but the judge did not rule that either. Following application of arbitration clause to transactions outside covered dates, court orders matter to arbitration, case is dismissed without prejudice.”

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Global Chat: Looking back at World of Warcraft’s Legion

Now that the next World of Warcraft expansion is almost upon us, it’s time to say farewell to Legion and all that that entails. MMO blog Leo’s Life took some time for a retrospective that examines the highs, lows, and patch rollout over the past two years.

“Aside from the penalties to alts, I think Legion delivered an amazing package,” he said. “The timing of content release was good, the content was relatively bug-free, the lore was solid, the flows inside each zone worked… it was all rather seamless.”

We’ve got plenty of additional MMO essays for you after the break, covering topics such as player housing, grouping, events, ageless MMO thrills, and more!

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