Roadmap for the future of Star Citizen
There has been a lot of discussion around what the future of this project and what it should look like for release. As of 3.6 we see more concepts promised by CIG start to appear in game for the standard backer. Security and law in the game has been improved with security forces and sectioned security zones within the Stanton System. Additionally crime stat and hacking to remove your criminal rate on your character. Development continues to bring additional features and advance the content we already know to make the universe feel real and dynamic. Game mechanics are not the only focal point either. New ships and additional options for weaponry continue to improve the general variety in which we can test features within the game. In a personal opinion I believe this makes testing feel less stale and keeps me on my toes when I encounter new and unknown elements of gameplay.
Whats New in 3.6/ 3.6.1
Attachments for firearms have been added to stores across the solar system. Currently attachments are limited to scopes of varying sizes, from red dot sights to marksman scopes for long distance rifles. These can be equipped to the majority of firearms depending on the size of the scope and firearm. This is a huge step for FPS based gameplay because the mechanics can be expanded for further customization in shorter periods of development, potentially.
Flight within star citizen has continued to become more advanced and realistic from a relative perspective. For instanced improved physics and gravity within atmosphere when flying has called for new features for flying to maintain realism. For instance, hover mode and rotating thrusters, to keep you in the air when at lower speeds. The thrusters on your ship will now rotate, if applicable, to an angle that will be appropriate to maintain your current trajectory. Additionally if your velocity drops significantly your thrusters will point straight down to keep you hovering in place. When at low speeds it is important to know that your ship will operate more like a modern helicopter. Basically if you pitch your ship below 0 degrees you will move forward, or if you pitch above 0 degrees you will move backwards or slow your speed. These additions to mechanics of flying and physics will change what you are familiar with when flying in previous versions of the alpha. I have needed to practice further with my atmospheric flying because I keep making sweet love with the ground, resulting in death.
Past Alpha to Release
Lets address the elephant in the room and talk about the persistence within the game. Firstly, the character wipes after every major patch for the game can be discouraging for current testers. Understandably its hard for common players to make big progress when their efforts are gone after some time. The first step to overcome this is to get true persistence in the sense that your actions and what you own make an impact on the world. For instance your ship being damaged in atmosphere and crashing into any celestial body and staying there for you to recover or be looted by scrappers. Ships, bodies, and equipment do not simply disappear after damage or a players death. What remains should be intractable even if its reduced to garbage. From my research this is what I could find of the goals from CIG for star citizen.
Character customization and additional player features are continuing to be worked on by CIG. Additional hair and other cosmetic presets are being worked on to help make each character feel more unique. There are rumors of a pipeline developments or hair grooming, as in the avatar’s hair will need to but cut and maintained as time within the game passes. My assumption of this feature will be a lot like Ark Survival Evolved where your hair will grow to a max point where your hair will be very wild and long before stopping. These concepts operate much like VTOL and sub VTOL mechanics.
What About Inventory?
Currently we manage a minimal amount of equipment via the mobiglass, the in game multi purpose menu. Weapons, attachments, ammunition, and other utility based items can be equipped and moved via this method. Based around what i have heard from the community I believe that the vision is to keep EVERYTHING being managed as physical assets rather that menu based items. What does that entail? To further explain, lets say you want to stockpile weapons. You would purchase or acquire the equipment and have to physically carry it to a storage location. Storage locations can be your personal habitations on planets or within lockers and containers on board your ship. Transporting cargo already uses a early version of this mechanic and will be further advanced as time moves on. The general idea is to purchase cargo and physically move it onto your ship for transport to a profitable location. However you can hire station service NPC’s to move it onto your ship. These features have started to appear within the game as early tests of the mechanics and need a lot of work to reach the goal.
How Alive is the AI?
To create an immersive environment, the people living within it need to feel alive and dynamic. AI currently exists within the verse but at a basic level at best. The goal is to have NPC’s living their lives off of 24 hour schedules that will help them feel more alive. They will eat, sleep, and work at appropriate times based on schedule presets. Additionally when it comes to performing tasks NPC’s can be a huge help! The future will allow you to pay NPC’s to perform tasks like operate machinery or move cargo, and based on rumors, help operate manual turrets on ships.
A lot of encounters out in the verse will be hostile
AI has been seeing a lot of work being that they need a dynamic and realistic working AI for the story driven Squadron 42 campaign. They continue to improve both ground troops and naval AI systems for both games. Something to note that all development and improvements to features of Squadron 42 will be seen in the multiplayer Star Citizen where applicable. One such feature that has seen a lot of work is the naval AI landing and takeoff mechanics. This means we could see hostile AI become more dangerous during missions to potentially deploy enemies while your looting or exploring. However this also means we may see dynamic passive AI performing jobs like cargo runs and additional law AI features. Moreover this could make the universe feel more alive with many more ships moving around the universe with actual jobs being performed.
Even More on AI.
Needless to say right now AI is a huge part of what makes this game feel alive and you’re not just roaming around an empty universe. What does it take to make AI feel real? Well we want them to act and react the way we as humans would. Trust me when i say CIG has a plan and has put this plan into motion. AI will react to players in new and additional ways, such as more com’s communications when detected. For instance, in Star Citizen when encountering hostile naval AI you can get hailed on com’s and threatened by them in numerous ways. From warnings to engagements, many more dialogue options for AIs are coming. Additionally AI will react to sounds and determine the best course of action depending on the stimuli accordingly. This is just speculation but potentially if AI hear more than 1 type of gunshot they may react more carefully than if it was just a single gun shot.
Lets not forget about passive AI either. AI civilians are getting work as a part of their job mechanic to allow them to interact with usable entities and work them appropriately. We could see more dynamic AI traffic within shops and spaceports to further improve the immersion the game offers. This potentially would allow us to see AI ships being loaded up with cargo after the AI itself has performed the transaction. Additionally if you think about it, this could set the stage for the dynamic economy which could dictate prices across the universe. For instance AI cargo ships being raided/ destroyed withing a certain celestial body’s orbit could affect prices within their shops.
Multiplayer & Servers
Right now upon connecting to the universe you will connect to the regions best server that has an opening. 50 players max per server can make it difficult to get groups more than 5 people together. The ultimate goal of Star Citizen is to have everyone on one server but for now any improvements are welcome. Based on rumors and speculation its believed once server side object container streaming is completed or at least stable that we will see further expanse of server population. As The client and server side performance is enhanced, via optimizations, and object container streaming is implemented on both sides, many believe that is the start to a more persistent universe. Testing this project has been great and cant wait for it to expand even further!
If you are looking to get into Star citizen the cheapest method is to buy an a game package ship for 45$. The Aurora or the Mustang packages will allow you into the alpha and beta stages as a Live Backer. The gallery below will show these ships. Slot one is the Aurora and slot two is the Mustang. You can find the packages here: https://robertsspaceindustries.com/pledge/game-packages
You will need to make an account through the website and proceed to the Game packages to make a purchase. If you do decide to join the game consider using my reference code for an additional 5,000 aUEC (the in game currency used). This means you will start the game with 10,000 aUEC rather than 5,000 depending on your game package. This will transfer after wipes in addition so you will always start with this amount.
Reference Code: STAR-RZSR-SJY5
There is so much to this project that it is difficult to cover everything that the game has to offer and will offer in the future. If you would like additional information outside these articles I highly recommend Bored Gamer on YouTube. He covers the development process of Star Citizen and any additional projects and media CIG releases. His videos have made it easy to spice up these articles with additional information and public opinion from time to time. Please support his videos! Thank you Bored Gamer for your videos and letting MaxLevelMag share them on our website!
Bored Gamer Twitter: http://twitter.com/BoredGamerUK
Bored Gamer YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/BoredGamerUK/featured
To see updates and new stories as they come out please consider following us on Twitter. You will see all of our new stories on Star Citizen and other games and projects you may be interested in! Thank you for following this story!