Star Citizen fans, I hope you have a cup of coffee or some other caffeinated beverage, because it’s time for the space sim sandbox’s April monthly report. As per usual, Cloud Imperium studios from around the world have checked in to report on their progress over the past 30 days, and it makes for an interesting, if lengthy, read.
CIG Austin’s persistent universe design team teases their work on the upcoming social module. “Where does a player start when he/she logs in? What do they experience as they participate in various activities around a landing zone? What happens when they interact with REDACTED??? All very important questions that ultimately helped shape the design for shopping, storage, NPC setup, and more. We’ll continue to break these down even further as we progress into next month,” the team explains.
There are also a couple of interesting blurbs about Star Citizen’s occupations, including the Pioneer, the Mercenary/Escort, and the Bounty Hunter.
[Source: April report
; thanks John and all our tipsters!]
If ever we needed evidence that e-sports are fast becoming more like real-life sports, this week’s MOBA news provided it. Dota 2 announced that a new seasonal Major Championship league will fill in the gap between world championships and that there will be strict transfer windows for teams just like in real life sports. Top North American League of Legends player Hai Lam retired this week due to an injury, and controversy unfolded over potential cheating in this week’s IQCI Finals. Heroes of the Storm got an official launch date of June 2nd following an April 19th open beta, and its ESPN-sponsored Heroes of the Dorm tournament finals were completed.
Hundreds of Grand Theft Auto 5 players’ accounts have been reportedly compromised due to a security breach at an unknown website, but Rockstar insists that its Social Club servers have not been breached. Path of Exile started the beta for its upcoming expansion, The Awakening, and SMITE revealed its next character is Mayian death god Ah Puch. Elite: Dangerous spoiled us with details of its Powerplay territorial warfare update that lets players pick a side in an ongoing interstellar war. Star Citizen showed off its plans to let players manually load and unload cargo and then sailed past the $80 million mark by selling MISC hull hauler ships.
Read on for detailed breakdowns of the stories above and other news from the wider world of online gaming in this week’s Not So Massively.
If your gaming preferences begin and end with combat, you might find the latest Star Citizen design blog pretty boring. If, on the other hand, you value non-combat gameplay and wish that the MMO industry valued it, too, Star Citizen’s cargo system may pique your interest.
Cloud Imperium’s virtual world will allow players “to more fully interact with their environment than any previous space game.” Cargo will be used both to customize your surroundings and to build a shipping empire or work the black market. The blog outlines how previous genre games have separated the pilot from the cargo with icons and menus, whereas Star Citizen will allow “maximum interaction directly with in-game objects.”
The developers have created a system called Grabby Hands — detailed in four separate videos — that enables extensive interaction without the need to create unique animations for each object in the game.
[Source: Design blog
; thanks Cardboard, Cotic, Rioinsignia, fastcart, and Darkwalker75]
Path of Exile has another big update on the way! It has fun new skills like Golems, Warcries, and Golemcries! Maybe not so much with the last one. The point is that there’s an update, it’s in testing, and you can help test it if you follow the right steps. Glorious!
Other testing news from around the test-web-blog-o-sphere (patent pending on that nightmare portmanteau, for the record):
You want some more testing goodness? Well, read on for our full list, ladies, gentlemen, and those who fall into neither category! There are more tests to be had.
League of Legends finally applied a nerf to controversial champion Nidalee, but players warn that it won’t harm her jungling potential. Riot Games has also decided to run this year’s World Championship tournament series in Europe and revealed the event venues it will use. Hearthstone‘s community manager confirmed that modding the game in any way is not allowed and those caught using any mods will be banned. Armored Warfare released a new sneak peek video on its upcoming M551 Sheridan tank, Infinite Crisis released new champion Lex Luthor, and Bloodline Champions ran its first cash tournament in a long time.
Star Citizen Alpha 1.1.1 was released this week, and developers discussed two new innovations to the game’s FPS module with its stance and breathing mechanics. MassivelyOP got an advance look at Path of Exile‘s colossal upcoming Act IV update, and signups have now opened for the Act IV closed beta to be released on April 20th. Five Elite: Dangerous players have won brand new Geforce Titan graphics cards in the game’s recent scavenger hunt contest, and the latest newsletter revealed the the highly requested cargo drone is coming to the game.
Read on for more details of the above stories and more news from the wider world of online gaming in this week’s Not So Massively.
This week in MMO crowdfunding news, we said goodbye to Descent Underground‘s fundraising campaign. It was a fond farewell, though, since the sci-fi space shooter reboot topped its $600,000 Kickstarter goal with just over three hours to spare.
Also this week, Star Citizen updated us on the progress made in March, showed off a new dev studio, released alpha version 1.1.1, and addressed community concerns about the length and accessibility of its Squadron 42 single-player campaign. The rest of our crowdfunding roundup is just past the cut.
Cloud Imperium had a busy Friday, as the firm released Star Citizen Alpha 1.1.1 to backers and also published a couple of notable blog entries. The first was penned by Chris Roberts and it concerns version numbering. Since the dev team is gearing up to release bigger chunks of Star Citizen beyond the Arena Commander dogfighting module, Roberts says that it makes sense to start using Star Citizen Alpha 1.1.1 (for last night’s patch) and Star Citizen Alpha 1.2.0 (for the upcoming Star Marine FPS functionality) instead of AC 1.1.1, etc.
The second post is a high-level look at the design goals for the first person shooter module’s stances and breathing mechanics. “When we pitched a ‘living, breathing universe,’ we weren’t kidding,” CIG says. “Stamina and breathing will be an important part of Star Citizen’s FPS mode, simulated in order to make first person combat a much deeper and more tactical experience than many familiar FPS titles.”
Finally, the 1.1.1 alpha patch made the Anvil Gladiator into a flyable craft, introduced multicrew mechanics in the form of functional turrets, and featured “a variety of bug fixes, balance changes and general updates intended to improve the Arena Commander experience.”
[Source: 1.1.1 notes
; thanks LordofBread and Cardboard!]
Would you like to talk about Black Desert? Stuff’s happening with the game. You can learn how to hunt whales, white or otherwise, and you can learn about the game’s next class. Or you can read a fandom rant about the issues that have cropped up with the game during its testing phases, although as always you might want to take that rant with a grain of salt or two. It’s a good habit to get into.
Elsewhere in the MMO space, meanwhile:
You want more? Ah, all right, jump on past the break and check out our full list as always.
Cloud Imperium recently opened a new studio to work on Star Citizen. It’s located in Frankfurt, and it’s called Foundry 42 Germany. Chris Roberts introduces today’s behind-the-scenes video that examines the new studio, which he says is exciting because “the core part of the team in Germany are some of the people who built CryEngine in the first place.”
Most of the small dev team is featured in the video, including senior physics programmer Christopher Raine, who talks a bit about his plans to work on fluids and smoke simulations that “will make the player feel even more immersed in the Star Citizen universe as we’re building it.”
You can see the full clip after the break.
Are you a bit confused about the Squadron 42 component of Star Citizen? So are quite a few other backers, if a mini-brouhaha on the official forums is any indication. Questions about the single-player campaign’s length and accessibility were recently raised following Chris Roberts‘ comments in his most recent 10 for the Chairman video release.
Community manager Ben Lesnick then took to the forums to clarify what’s going on with Star Citizen’s single-player campaign. “Squadron 42 is not any smaller than it was the day we set out to make it. Content isn’t being cut or subdivided or parceled out for extra revenue or anything like that,” Lesnick wrote. “If we mentioned 20 hours in one interview and 50 in another it’s because someone was having two different thoughts about the same amount of content… it’s in no way indicating that we’ve removed anything from the initial pitch, because we absolutely haven’t.”
; thanks Cardboard!]
Descent: Underground has passed the 50% mark on its Kickstarter campaign and promised to add singleplayer to the title but has only four days left to secure over $200,000 US. Path of Exile pulled a hilarious April Fools’ Day prank on players and revealed details of its upcoming Act 4 update, including the highly requested loot filter feature. League of Legends ran the 2015 URFitational tournament as part of its April Fools’ Day celebrations and unbanned reformed professional player Nicolaj Jensen.
Blizzard revealed details of Diablo III‘s upcoming third game season, including season-exclusive legendary items and achievements. Nosgoth got a huge update with a new map called The Crucible and a system for punishing people who quit games early. SMITE released its Written in Stone patch along with iconic new hero Medusa, the Gorgon. Star Citizen passed $78 million in crowdfunding this week and released its monthly progress report for March. And Heroes of the Storm‘s $450,000 college scholarship tournament got off to a shaky start as some teams didn’t bother showing up for their matches and others were unable to report their match results.
Read on for a detailed breakdown of all the above stories and more news from the wider world of online games.
Star Citizen’s latest monthly report was published this weekend. It covers most of the progress made in March, 2015, which was substantial according to the preamble. In between convention appearances, Cloud Imperium released version 1.1 to backers, it “made significant updates to the server side of Star Citizen thanks to thousands of new players joining us,” and it “made amazing progress on the FPS module, Squadron 42, the persistent universe, and more.”
As usual, the report features a whole lot of textual updates from CIG studios around the world, as well as a few relevant video embeds.
[Source: March report
; thanks James and Cardboard!]
This week in MMO crowdfunding news, we said goodbye (apparently) to Greed Monger. We also said hello to Pathfinder’s early access head start and, of course, we heard from Crowfall, Star Citizen, and the rest of the usual suspects.
While Greed Monger isn’t officially dead in terms of an announcement from its developers, things don’t look good now that it’s lacking a lead programmer. Read the rest of this week’s MMO crowdfunding news after the cut.