Of course, we are talking about the FM. Since the Star Citizen FM was converted to a wasd shooter style of play (face-to-face ToT contests) from the original most beloved WWII dog fighter model(based on the law of uniform circular motion (UCM)) the popularity of PVP has plummeted.
This difference is so stark that dedicated PVPers actually prefer the 3.5DOF FM of Star Wars to Star Citizen’s 6DOF FM. Of course, flying with a gamepad isn’t in the cards for me, but there are a few things to learn here.
My impression is that after 10 years, CIG expects its backers to log in and test the game rather than log in and have fun playing the game.
Today my daily grind with my new alt was interrupted by news that the 3.20 PTU was available for wave 1 and wave 2 backers. So I do the drill, I go to my settings page and low and behold I cannot copy my account to the PTU despite being a Space Marshal concierge member.
“[M]any players only log in once per PTU phase to briefly inspect the latest features or new ships before waiting for the live release. This led to very high player loads in the first hours of each wave release, combined with comparatively high server costs and download provisioning, but not the sustained play testing we would have preferred. As a consequence, towards the end of a PTU phase, we sometimes lacked the necessary numbers of testers to put the servers under pressure once the most significant bugs had been fixed.”
You have to love today’s politicians. Most have failed to come to grips with the fact that anything they said yesterday was immortalized in a vid for all of time. Yet, despite that, they feel free to deny and lie about what they said, sometimes on the very next day.
Precisely, what was said.
So it is sad that it has come to this. Years of promoting Evocati status. Years of providing a ruse that folks should make use of the Issue Council. Years of moderating Spectrum so as to make it nothing more than a sounding board for white knights.
Bottom line, all CIG needs from us is our hard earned cash.
Sharpening the Tools? Seriously? CIG believes that their preferred group of testers are those that play the most or subscribe for $10/month. Most folks qualified for testing have lives a bit more complicated than playing SC 12 hrs/day. Thus they(CIG) have granted this group higher testing rank that those of us that have invested thousands of dollars over the years to back the game.
One should expect the track record over the the past decade of delay after delay to continue on, well into the future.
CIG could start to address its testing requirements(failures) by weeding out the rot in their Evocati group, these folks couldn’t test a wet noodle. Time after time I experienced problems in wave 1 that should have been resolved by the Evocati. It has been that way since Alpha 3.0. Or how about fixing all those known issues before asking anyone to test, dealing with that is a supreme waste of time which discourages many.
I am sure that you and I have lots of thoughts on how to improve things, but we now know that CIG has already thought of everything and anything that we could offer.
So, unless CIG wants to pay for my time I will continue to play the game and try my best to ignore CIGs efforts to grab more than my cash. If they can’t handle the load, too fricken bad.
And oh yeah, go buy another ship!
And don’t forget to join me and sign all your crash reports with ¯_(ツ)_/¯
So I did it, after several decades I finally bricked a computer, my trusty i7-4790k. That beast always ran hot and I bricked it testing out the liquid cooling solution I had been using, pushed it past its thermal limits. Not much of a loss since it pretty much just burned juice since ETH mining ended.
With the disaster that was SC 3.18 it seemed like a good time to work on my first SC alt. The idea is simple, along with creating my alt I would add a second pc to run side by side my current pc so that I could use my alt to pilot my larger ships and then use my main to fly from the base ship. Seems that the mini carrier I’ve had on order, a Liberator, is due to be delivered along with the Pyro system so a second platform to run SC is in order. Until then I’ll try living off my Carrack once I get it stocked for extended service.
After replacing the MB and installing a refurbished i7-9700K along with a daring venture into Win11 I had a new PC ready to roll.
I would also later replace the 10yr old power supply and upgrade my GPU to a RTX 3060 gaming edition.
The question remained, how to incorporate the controllers. My desktop space leaves little room for a new HOTAS/HOSAS setup and I am none to hot on the MK combo. Let’s give the GamePad a whirl. As long as I am not engaging in PVP, racing or low flying the GamePad could be a viable option?
Naturally I turned to Google for some hot tips and low and behold the GamePad Elite came with glowing reports, that yes, you could run SC with it without touching your keyboard! Perfect for today’s thumb based device crowd. Several citizens offered up mappings, at least claimed to offer up mappings but I was not interested in shelling out $200 for one of those so called “elite” controllers which are nothing more than a mini-keyboard sandwiched between the mini-joy ports.
After all I had an XBOX ONE controller stashed around here somewhere…
On my first attempt I setup the GamePad using SC’s bindings editor, carefully weighing what to bind to what. It seemed clear up front that while using the left mini joy port for WASD works on the ground, it does not work well in flight. With only 10 buttons the use of the right(RB) and left(LB) modifiers were mandatory. Much to my dismay it turns out that the d-pad could not be modified using the RB so right away I was short bindings.
As pointed out by daddy Papy, SC uses ALL of the keyboard bindings.
So on my next attempt I added a slight of hand provided by JoyStick Gremlin. When configured with vJoy and HidHide you could in theory setup 9 separate profile modes (max allowed vjoys in SC) and extend those 10 buttons to something usable. So I thought. After a week with fighting with the Gremlin UI I finally had a prototype ready to go featuring a base template which mapped all the function keys, overlaid with a flight mode template and a ground mode template.
Well, OK, that worked! Maybe I am on to something. After all SC is rumored to be going big supporting the GamePad with the someday to be released Squadron 42. I see $$$.
Realizing my GamePad was an older model I ran off to BestBuy to pickup one of the new GamePads. That is when the shit hit the fan and I realized just how old my XBOX GamePad really was. Seems that somewhere along the way Microsoft changed the GampePad to use the XInput API and had tossed the older DirectX protocols. This introduced some problems.
The biggest problem is that up front, the GamePad only works in the currently open window. This works just fine for Window’s XBOX Gamebar, but Gremlin gets blocked. So you are forced to use SC’s limited keybinding tool. A quick DM with Gremlin’s author presented little to zero hope that Gremlin would be modified to support XInput. If it did, then there is a mode in XInput that would allow it to run in background albeit with only 4 templates. If that were not enough, it turns out that when your BlueTooth connection times out you lose your connection ID and Gremlin.
By now I had invested a couple of weeks into this experiment, the best I could do is hook my ancient XBOX GamePad and reconfigure all the software once again. Absent a viable product for the SC community perhaps I could still make use of all the work.
And I did. Gremlin was configured to call out “flight mode”, or “ground mode” when I switched to and fro. Indeed I had a nearly sufficient set of bindings that keyboard use was greatly reduced. By now the 3.18.1 patch had arrived so I set out in my alt flying my space truck starter package, the Nomad.
Progressing from simple takeoff and landings I refined my bindings until I had mastered fairly smooth takeoff and landings. So off to a few box missions. Even with a few tweeks use of the GamePad was janky and prone to errors. This would never be as precise as my trusty VPCs, not even with hundreds of hours of muscle memory training.
The biggest issue is of course the mini joy ports. Extremely course granularity due to the very limited throw inherent with a thumb port. Precise aiming is near impossible no matter how practiced or how damped. Certainly running 4DOF(5 axis total) in a 6DOF world hurts. This is definitely a controller that requires aim assist.
After a few successful box missions I thought well maybe, I could use this for flying larger ships, right? Then I ran into pirates. That was the end of the experiment.
Is the GamePad a better controller option than the standard mouse and keyboard. I’d give it a big fat NO. The lack of buttons and the lack of aiming precision squarely position the GamePad in the worthless category.
A grade of D- at best.
My current solution:
And in the if I had thought of this in the first place I could have saved myself some time, a simple USB switch. Of course, I did learn more than I expected about Joystick Gremlin and the GamePad controller including taking Window’s XBOX Gamebar for a spin. It’s kinda of cool, I was able to tune in Star Citizen radio!
And a big thank you to redlir for his vids on Gremlin!
Didn’t matter what CIG added to the 3.17 PU to stir the pot, those of us fortunate to have fought our way through the 3.18 PTU, well 98% of us, never logged the PU again.
PES is a game changer!
Despite frequent wipes, with a little luck you could spin up some rep and spend hours running the bunker missions on Orison. Collecting enemy armor and guns is a popular hobby with citizens lugging large crates behind their operations to collect the stuff. And yeah, friendly fire is a CS3 offense where GrimHex will be your only shelter to ponder your life choices.
The security terminals at the newly renovated Security Post Kareah are heavy guarded by Crusader and a successful takeover of the station will grant you free and clear of your CS and if you work it, some easter eggs too.
SPK is now the only location where a Crime Stat(CS3+) can be hacked. CS1 and CS2 are resolved via fines.
Point her up
next crate here I go
This role is a nice blend of basic piloting skills and a progressively dicey mix of FPS. Getting started is a snap and can be a lot of fun with just the right amount of challenge for Citizens looking to round out their skills.
PES allows for some interesting emergent game play in the event of your death or loss of ship. You can, after all, go back and cleanup any mess you might inadvertently make.
Anything to save that rep.
Delivery: Loot your way to a supply surplus while you transport packages from protected POI to protected POI. Any starter ship with some accessible cargo space will work. Work your contracts quickly for the best chance to avoid needless entanglements. Contracts start at 4000 aUEC.
Derelict outposts: Liven up your deliveries by including derelict POIs where you will need to get past the local “bad mens” to grab the package. Shoot from the sky or land and pick off the guards from the ground. But work quickly as a support cutlass will inbound shortly to check out your incursion. Get caught with your pants down and you will lose your ship. That is when things get interesting. Contracts starting at 4000 aUEC. BONUS: npc loot, cutlass.
Recovery missions: None of that needless loot here save some npc armor. Get in, grab the package and get out. Enemy Cutlass support craft highly likely. Scenic roof top deliveries! Contracts starting at 4000 aUEC. BONUS: npc loot, cutlass.
Advanced weapons(protect sites): bolster your merc rep and your armory by signing up for the site protection missions. You’ll have but 15 mics after you clear the facility to collect your loot and run, assuming you avoid friendly fire – a CS3 offense.
Recommended ship: While any starter ship with cargo space can get you started, the preferred ride is the Avenger Titan. Upgrade to hard weapon mounts(Rhino/Panther), or mount an AD4B ballistic gatling if you want to toss some serious bullets around. The additional upgrades to mil spec shields/power/coolers and an Atlas QD to kit out will add another $110k aUEC.
These upgrades should give you a fighting chance against both PVE and PVP interdictions and allow you to easilyquickly travel Stanton end to end with a bare minimum of fuel.
Get your Jason Statham on in Star Citizen’s 3.18 patch. Wave 1 has been in the wind for several weeks now and if you are lucky enough to get a higher frame rate server, things look good. New missions for the delivery profession have emerged into a new profession – The Transporter. Hiring yourself out as a mercenary transporter who moves goods from one place to another. No questions asked.
Dangerous complications ensue.
As a Jr. Runner you can choose between local delivery routes or retrieval ops. Complete 5 of them and you earn Runner status and access to higher paying missions and ops. In order to complete your Jr. level training you will need to settle on two issues. Which ship? Which weapons?
It’s tempting to call up the Cutter, Pisces, or the Mustang Alpha for the deliveries to protected space. It’s all fun and games popping baddies with your blasters from the comfort of your cockpit, that is, until reinforcements arrive – in a cutlass. You’ll want a bit more fire power!
The Cutlass is a solid choice but I found another look at the Avenger was in order. A GT-220 Mantis coupled with a pair of badgers bring it. The all varipuck mounting makes aiming a breeze. And the Avenger can easily pull 20Gs. Aegis’s radar is clearly superior to anything Drake can offer.
Runners can’t avoid FPS, so it helps to equip a gun that works for you. Find a gun that works at the ranges you are comfortable with. As a starter profession you are unlikely to have acquired more advanced weapons, so choose wisely. The P4 works for me. Note, the NPCs on high tick servers are deadly. And don’t forget the loot boxes!
As nothing more than a teaser, little was learned today on Star Citizen’s Twitch stream. Much of the stream was laced with assurances that CIG has thoroughly vetted the user community in their design of master mode. And as if to wipe our face in it, Sir Richard once again declared that speed was the issue because two fighters cannot engage in battle if they approach each other at 1000m/s.
Really, he went there AGAIN? It is hardly worth deciphering a heavy british accent for those types of words of wisdom.
The only thing we really know is that the FM was split in two to prevent problems when ships start moving past a certain velocity. I posited this issue way back in the pre 3.0 days and today this was the one and only piece of info presented ringing of some truth.
So the real reason they are shutting down the shields at higher velocities is to prevent coding obstacles. Likewise hitreg is bound to improve at lower velocities, more coding issues. And still, not one word of the velocities we can expect to see for both our ships and our ship’s weapons.
Amongst all the patronage we have a classic corporate tight rope walk as this team was required to assure the entire company, that this project wouldn’t break everything in the universe. Believe it, there are some careers in play.
Of course nearly two years into the project there are only but a handful of ships tuned to Master Mode. All for Squadron, which we have once again been assured has more than a handful of ships in game! There has been ZERO work on the UI, which makes it hard to imagine any game speed testing is even possible. We are also told that porting all these changes to ALL of CIG’s ship will be a long and arduous task taking what? Years?
Right now I tend to view Master Mode as the mechanism that will allow implementation of easy, medium, hard, and expert modes for playing Squadron 42. Several times they mentioned a speed dial of sorts.
The first we are likely to see of Master Mode is in Squadron 42.
By the time it rolls out to the PU(years) there are likely to be more elegant and less intrusive algorithms devised after studying the problem divided. Master Mode may be no more.
And we have seen nothing of patch 3.18 other than to the evocati. More than a few statements from CIG employees lay recent delays to problems with the build pipelines which seem to be producing a number of unusable builds. Sean was almost in tears over the issues on Thursday’s Journey to 4.0. The triage protocols are sound, versions of these protocols have been in use for decades.
This “Terror Never Sleeps” event can be played by all, all month long. A bit of exploration required! Just fly to any POI and if you can land without getting shot – explore the various buildings. Inside look for the infamous “loot” crates which generally come in three flavors.
This is a great way for beginners to “loot” their way gaining food, clothes, weapons, and armor. And of the course, the grand prizes “Horrific Helmets”. And who knows, along the way you will have learned to land at many of Stanton’s points of interest.
Get your Vala Mal Doran on with your share of the loot!
OK, as if learning to play Star Citizen wasn’t hard enough. Now we have to learn something called disengagement theory. One of the coolest things about theories is that they are generally far easier to disprove then they are to prove. It is clear some are rolling it back on just hard it will be to disengage under Master mode. Not that anyone clearly understands exactly how Master mode will play out.
I was actually a bit surprised to hear claim that under the current FM larger ships can never disengage. It always will be an energy management problem. Larger ships bring far more energy to the table.
“Throttle to full, spool up QT. Full power to shields. Lock onto the nearest waypoint, helm evasive pattern corkscrew, keep us in that synchronization window. Ready countermeasures. All right steady, steady, and PUNCH IT”
Of course you could also drop out mid jump if you wanted to get lost. So yes, disengagement is possible under the current FM.
I also believe most folks completely understand quantum travel. And have also come to understand that when spooling up, their shields would continue to work.
With Master mode we now have an added short qt jump. How does that change queuing up a normal QT jump? And why would I want to use a short qt jump over a normal QT jump during disengagement?
In the new FM ships will only be able to pass each other in the night in three speed ranges. QT, QT/10, or SCM.
And these deadly long range orbital attacks? Sure, if you have an hour to blow. Feel free to down that Hammerhead. I crewed a Hammerhead in the PU in previous patches, I don’t seem to remember any fighters surviving long. So I am not feeling it. Get a new pilot dude.
Most folks run orbital attacks close up, around 500m. Why? Because that is the only range HitReg reliably works.
Going up against a Hammerhead is much more fun when you’re lobbing torpedoes!
Face it. Keeping a ship operating in the verse ain’t cheap. Bar back at the local watering hole won’t cut it. And even the most hardened criminals in the verse need cash flow. With several wipes under our belts, I have had the opportunity to test various bootstrap economic alternatives short of starting a Twitch stream with subs whom anoint my account with the creds they earned grinding in the verse.
There are some virtuous souls that want to start out life in the verse with just a starter ship and earn their way to the top. I tried this out during 3.15 in an Aurora LN vowing to use it for my first million creds. Good news, you can actually accomplish this feat. I only made it to $500k though as rearming the missiles was difficult at best. I was spending too much time chasing a full missile loadout. I later learned the missile issue was systemic when I switched to other ships to continue hunting bounties.
My go to financial bootstrap is of course bounty hunting. Now that Delphi is up and running, perhaps they’ll stop wiping rep. Trading requires capital and up until recently was very risky due to server disconnections and crashes where a single server loss could wipe out days of hard work. I lost roughly a quarter of the 1 million 1 time stipend CIG generously gifted after the last wipe to those server crashes.
I admit, spending time cracking rocks at Klescher wasn’t in the cards. I spent all of my prison time offline. Asteroids on the other hand, could be fun. Enter the first ship in my fleet, the Prospector. For some funny reason(Vulture loaner) I have two of them.
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).