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.
WOW! 3.17 has been a nice ride. As I took a breather, I ran into a droid that claimed it knew me, that I had been severed from the force for far too long. Fascism was rapidly consuming our galaxy and I was needed elsewhere.
Fascism is thought to have started in a forgotten place, long ago buried by the ocean. A place called Florida.
BD-1 reminded me that the upcoming 3.18 patch included a wipe, so gains from further grinding would soon be lost along with several million aUEC (credits) spent on numerous ship upgrades and personal gear. Further pilot training has certainly been clouded by “Master Mode” and its state of flux – kept out of site as a well guarded CIG secret.
I first learned the ways of the force in “Knights of The Old Republic”, an XBox classic. It was the last time I held a controller other than to check out Battlefront and Squadrons, neither which impressed. But KOTOR left vivid images in my dreams.
The original Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic was a truly groundbreaking achievement: an award-winning RPG of incredible scope, immersion, and ambition with an epic narrative to match.
None of the on-rails based Star Wars PC titles found early on could compete, although I took some solace in “Star Wars Galactic Wars” and “Empire at War”, both strategy game play(RTS). Of course along came “Star Wars the Old Republic” and I experienced my first MMO.
“Jedi Fallen Order” plays like “KOTOR” but on a much faster scale. While not a new release, it certainly looks great and playable. I look forward to reestablishing my connection to the force.
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 on to 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.
Seems just like yesterday. I struggled to move around in a make shift hangar using my 2nd generation Intel hardware. But by spinning my helmet – I got to sit in the cockpit of my very own spaceship! This was Star Citizen. Truth be told, today this alpha release(3.17) is hands down the best damn space game I ever played.
The pandemic drained much of the pageantry from CitizenCon. That, and we no longer need to see the game, we can play it. In addition, this year it appears a good chunk of the budget went into creating a new spaceship office, for Lando!
Too bad the boss sat in his chair!
The summaries of the images of Pyro and the various feature sets whizzed by. The Resource Management System stole the show. Can’t wait to blow my first space pirates out of the hatch! Seems my engineering background may actually come in handy, not. So just when it appears that this year’s event was to be short and sweet, the main act took the stage, or rather took a chair. If anyone can double the length of a presentation, it was Chris Roberts.
A great deal of care was taken to frame the Squadron focus (dev) teams have taken into a plus for the PU. Many citizens have been concerned with the development effort for the PU. What CR outlined was that developing a true cloud-native application the size and scope of Star Citizen, requires an end to the various Tier level feature sets and their quarterly release goals.
The Squadron umbrella allows a greater focus to fully flesh out features and eliminate the repeated re-factoring that has been occurring.
Thus CIG hopes to shift from developing features, to developing a game. So CR is showcasing more features and spent the next few hours teasing us with splashing new ways to traverse the sandbox and some new AI initiatives that hopefully will put and end to the nonsense we have come to know as NPC AI.
All cool stuff, but no way Squadron gets released in 2023!
Of course the paradigm shift means that various improvements to the PU like the building blocks HUDs, updates to the weapons systems and flight model, and a whole list of other improvements that have been teased to us over the years, well, those system will come to us at a much slower pace. The show was headlined as “Journey to 4.0” and they really meant “Journey to 4.X”.
The move should prove timely as the major updates that will have the biggest impacts on the PU, namely PES and server meshing will surely consume CIG well into next year.
The new FM, the Master Mode was finally introduced. We have all known it was coming, the lack of progress on weapon balance meant that CIG had not come up with a solution to the HitReg problem unless they limited combat speeds. So rather than own up to the issue we were forced to listen to two false justifications.
Speed results in endless jousting. Orbital attacks occur outside of turret ranges.
I find this type of gaslighting insulting and the resulting animosity clouds any meaningful discussion of the real advantages of slower combat speeds. Those folks at CIG that continued to repeat that nonsense have forever earned the red-eye laser beam thingy Lando was talking about.
This Advanced Tracker License Certification (VHRT) will cost you 10K aUEC to attempt and I had to travel across Stanton to Security Post Thaquray on Daymar. Fortunately the altimeter was working as the Security Post was on the dark side. I targeted Jarad first as his wingman did their best to lobe a few missiles my way.
After my initial attack I heard the all too familiar “son of a bitch” as I circled around to finish him off. A cutlass was next, “shit” he cried as I worked my orbit. My canons didn’t take long and soon I was working on the last of Jarad’s crew. A final “asshole” managed to escape over the comms as German “Cumberland”‘s ship exploded.
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).