It’s that time of year again, a time in which everyone can test out and fly any of the ships currently flyable in the Star Citizen universe. The galaxy’s premier annual event, the Intergalactic Aerospace Expo (IAE) is in full swing on microTech!
Of course, some of us play a game within a game, the juggling of LTI ships.
What is a LTI ship? A LTI ship is a ship that comes with Lifetime Insurance. So what do folks like us accomplish during IAE, beside get a chuckle over Jaq Whitely’s misadventures and the opportunity to grab a few overpriced t-shirts and hats?
We get to dump our loser ships, ships that completely failed to deliver. Two such ships I dumped were two of the heavy fighters. These birds not only did not live up to expectations, but are terrible fighters.
We all know which ships we are talking about, the Ares Ion, the Ares Inferno, and the RSI Scorpius. The Ares were promised to be something that was initially delivered, but in large part due to citizen outrage, were nerfed to oblivion. The Scorpius never delivered period as the promise of controlling the turret by the pilot was just too much for the persistent universe to bear. At most, the Scorpius should have been a medium fighter, as it is it is far to sluggish to hold it’s own in a dog fight. Same can be said about the Ares, far to heavy and sluggish. In addition, the weapons of the Area Ion were nerfed to the point where landing a direct hit in AC barely scratch the enemy’s shields.
So what to do with these very expensive worthless fighters? Can you say CCU Banu Merchantman? Although the price was jacked up another $50 bucks, that is a small price to pay to clean the garbage out of my hangar.
While not quite the bold case of symmetry often contemplated by Einstein, combat speeds in Star Citizen remain symmetrical. Only in venues like Spectrum would a dark veil shroud the issue.
What you ask, is symmetry?
In the current FM combat speeds are irrelevant. In fact, the old SCM mode of yesteryear is obsolete. Combat speeds are negotiated by opposing pilots during the merge. Since the velocities are under pilot control, the combat ensues based on the relative combat speeds dictated by the pilots.
Would you buy a fighter if the salesman told you that the only way the guns would fire is if you engaged a velocity limiter?
Those parroting reductions in combat speeds (as a forced requirement of the FM) can be found in abundance on social media and in some of the sleazier back alleys in Stanton.
Why are citizens so quick to believe these alternate truths?
While SC is well on it’s way to defining AAAA gaming it has yet to release (by their own admission) multiplayer gaming mechanics. Even with the notable server cap increases to 100 players and more, a bump that had some crying for cap ships in game, game play still favors single players or small groups banding together in 1 or 2 man ships.
This sandbox works well when you are focused on releasing the single player game Squadron 42.
Of course many do try to run the multi-crew ships with skeleton crews and have found as of late, that really doesn’t work. It’s mostly those OP fighters!
Everyone knows the Gladius is a Hammerhead killer!!!!
Currently the weapon systems are the primary limiter for relative combat speeds. A weapon’s projectile speed and range have been tuned to hit (best as can be predicted) at target ranges around 800m (using laser repeaters). Canons have been nerfed by limiting projectile velocities and are no longer used in PVP. The large canons have had substantial RNG added, limiting their ranges and accuracy. Any canon larger than size 5 is useless.
In PVE cannons can generate higher sustained DPS.
Another limiter on combat speeds, rotational accelerations are higher on lighter ships. Which generally leads to tighter turns. To limit drifting, reduce velocity. The effects can be quite pronounced on large multi-crew ships, the infamous over-steer. More mass, less acceleration. Boost helps.
Fighters can “orbit” larger ships and lay down fire while easily avoiding turret fire. The biggest log on the “reduce combat speeds” social media fire. Orbital strafing is controlled by using the limited acceleration of the aux thrusters. Rarely does an orbital velocity exceed the notion of max SCM.
Orbital play in SC is skill based as opposed to the RNG events found in games like EVE.
More balancing is surely on the way as to which ships can be expected to defeat which ships. Certainly an Arrow taking down a Hammerhead would exceed any reasonable capabilities of the Arrow. One thing is clear, if you reduce combat speeds you lower the chance that a ship can evade an orbital attack.
Those who choose to roam the verse without adequate fighter protection should expect trouble from time to time.
When you hear talk about fixing the weapons, you can safely assume folk’s are referring to having the game server recognize that you hit your target. In patches of old it was frustrating to see your target light up on your screen while the server missed the entire show and displayed zero damage. That C# code on the server often disagreed with the C++ code on the clients.
HitReg issues have been with us since the early days of time-sharing. Accurately depicted in the Halt and Catch Fire (TV series). I was rolling as I watched them test who hit who when they both tried to fire at the same time. Apparently adding a timestamp to the hit data for the server to sort out was code (that fit) and could be run and worked well with those low baud rates.
We are talking about the 80s here.
While I mused at hearing Star Citizen Live declare that the “door” problem was the hardest problem in gaming, accurate hit registration using networked delayed and sometimes incomplete data easily tops that old saw about the doors. CIG has shown steady improvement and so far has resisted temptation to alter the speed of the game.
It goes without saying that the biggest refactor, like ever, would needlessly consume CIG resources for years if SCM/CRUISE modes were reintroduced. I got a glimpse of the chaos (as an evocati) during the 2.0 patches (much smaller codebase and maybe a dozen ships) when they really did slow combat speeds.
The currently announced weapon balancing effort started many patches ago, remains unfinished.
I’ve read many interesting ideas on how to improve the FM. Reducing combat speeds with the reintroduction of a SCM/CRUISE mode is not one of them.
Since it appears that we will be put through the pain of reduced combat speeds, let’s be clear. If that is the only change we get, it will not fix the biggest issues. That CIG, aka Lando, hasn’t done a better job of selling the update is all the more troubling.
Aside from my disagreement with the lukewarm acceptance of a 600-700Km/s speed limit (planet based bounties are often hundreds of Km from a jump point) offered up by Avenger__One, I think the remainder of Avenger__One’s suggestions bear merit based on my thousands of hours of game play. It is unfortunate that players so eagerly exploit hardware cracks in the FM (wobble) that makes it more difficult for us all.
Seriously, would a real pilot “wobble”.
Desync is a much bigger issue in my experience(non professional PVP).
CIG has outdone themselves with the latest announcement of new ships. And no, I am not talking about the 400i.
This ship ties everything together for the savvy freelancer who prefers to work alone or with very small groups of trusted friends. With the new inventory systems coming online it will be critical for marshaling your forces beyond your home base. Up top the Liberator can carry 3 ships, mostly all of the single seaters. Inside you can fit almost any of the ground vehicles including the ballista and the tonk. Plenty of cargo space to boot.
I didn’t have to think long before adding this beauty to my hangars.
SMUGGLE, HIJACK, RANSOM, EXTORTION AND DEATH (SHRED) is a smaller right-wing org with less than 100 members with a goal of becoming pirates whose preferred game loop is interdiction with the intent to demand ransom under threat of death. Of course, this org wouldn’t be the first or the last to lay claim to this game loop, a game loop unlikely to generate anything other than salt.
Their past game play amounts to seeding salt in the verse by hanging out at various ports and insulting nearby players to goad them into a fight, they will attack regardless. Usually they fly a Hammerhead.
The biggest problem with the org, other than they haven’t been flying much as of late, is their discord channel. Laced with gay insults and science denying right wingers reciting decades old GOP talking points, these folks believe anything that is not an “alternative fact” is propaganda and are quick to call anyone based in the real world a commie, or worse. Unfortunately these vocal wanna be libertarians do not understand that conservatism, at its heart contains no populism and furthermore these folks are unlikely to fly. If you are a devote right winger, this org may be for you. For the rest of us:
Every year in May, we gather to celebrate Invictus Launch Week. Though a time to honor those in the Navy and other armed forces for their tireless service, aerospace and defense manufacturers across the galaxy also take the opportunity to showcase their vehicles designed for (or influenced by) the military.
It is that time of year again, the time of year for which we save up all our creds. If you are wondering what to do with all that stimulus money, look no further! For 12 consecutive days you can test drive and buy almost all ships currently in production. You can also take the opportunity to fill any holes in your personal fleet.
We have been promised tours of the UEES War Hammer, a Javelin destroyer!
Ships that are scheduled for delivery this year include the entire Crusader Starlifter series, the long awaited Taurus, and the Ares Starfighter. Also check out the current loaner ship matix.
It is nice to see some fundamental game play mechanics take shape. During the 3.9 patch I have been altering my loadouts trying to minimize both my IR and ER signatures, primarily for the Arrow, Anvil’s light fighter of the future. JUB has posted a new instructional video, one of many in the Legacy Instructional Series (a source I have relied on for years) explaining exactly how radar works in the latest patch.
A somewhat pejorative term in recent patches, this term is often used to refer to the “users” experience flying CIG’s ships, abstracting away the underlying systems. I will admit it took me years to understand what was going on. My early years were plagued by questioning folks claiming that uncoupled flight was the only true 6DOF and that somehow flying in space was a magical place for space ships. My irritation at these folks did get me banned from what is now known as Spectrum for a short time.
Nothing to see there, move along, move along.
After we lost the “knife fighter” rendition of the FM after the 3.0 patch folks lost all interest in AC and the really cool instancesin Squadron Battle and Battle Royal – just disappeared. I was again at a loss to understand what had happened.
It was clear that a group of self proclaimed skilled pilots with not much to offer but tropes labeling anybody who disagreed with them a Care Bear, were making a lot of noise. Still, I failed to break through the noise. These folks had nothing technical to offer.
I found little to protest with CIG’s onward experimentations with the FM/IFCS as many of the updates made sense (other than hover-mode). Clearly the model needed to evolve. The loss of HUD features that were removed waiting for new UI tech provided CIG some political cover. My initial reviews of the post 3.0 FM pretty much centered on WOW, at last, I can control my ship! But those knife fights never returned.
Obviously something was wrong, with alpha. Go figure. So I am happy to see someone spelled the issues out, clearly.
Spoiler Alert! The SCM mode limiter was a good thing!