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‘Star Citizen’ Still in Alpha, Version 3.6 Now Available to Backers

    • Added a hold to activate option for head tracking.
    • Added option to select head tracking source and camera selection.
    • Added additional crimestat hacking locations, terminals, and updated the hacking system.

 

Yes, some seven years after the project began, Star Citizen has yet to enter the beta phase of its development. Its alpha is now in version 3.6, which backers can download at the following link.

The last time I wrote about a Star Citizen alpha update, back in April, I gave a brief summary of its development delays and exploitative microtransactions. Consequently, there was a great deal of rage in the comments. But it turns out that the exploitation runs far deeper than I covered in my article, so I’ll include this video that goes further in depth. Please direct all complaints to Mr. YongYea.

Star Citizen Alpha 3.6 Release Notes

New Features

General
  • Added a hold to activate option for head tracking (available at the comms menu).
  • Added option to select head tracking source and camera selection.
Universe
  • Added additional crimestat hacking locations, terminals, and updated the hacking system
Hacking now requires a stowable, single-use device which can be found at various locations and shops and is stored as a gadget, retrievable using the “4” key. The devices vary in style and quality, with some more “legal” devices able to do the job with minimal required upkeep from the player but over an extended period of time. Other devices, of a more illicit nature, hack very quickly but require constant interaction upkeep from the player to keep in operation. Additionally, longer periods put the hacking player at risk as counter-missions can be generated to stop them. The updated behavior applies to removal of crimestat as well as shutting off comm arrays. The slow, reliable device can be found at some shops in the verse including Cubby Blast but the more illicit device may require seeking out less reputable vendors. Additionally, there are now expanded locations where a player can attempt to hack away their crime stat.
  • Added automated turrets to GrimHex.
  • Complete overhaul of the law and criminality system

Crimestat now directly impacts the level of opposition and how active their pursuit style. The higher the crimestat, the more active and difficult the pursuers. Crimes are split into less severe misdemeanors, which are enforced via fines, and more punishing federal offenses which will result in the player being engaged by hostile AI and bounty hunters. Law is enforced in a jurisdiction system with the main jurisdiction for the Stanton system being UEE, which tracks and enforces federal offenses. Regional jurisdiction is specific to a given area (ie. Crusader, Hurston) which police their own misdemeanors and have their own rules for control substances and unique security forces. The rules and crimes for each region will be listed in the mobiGlas “Journal” for that jurisdiction and are updated as you move through the regions. GrimHex is a unique case of a jurisdiction that does not respect the authority of UEE and does not report crimes to them. GrimHex also field dampens the area around it to protect its visitors. Misdemeanor fines are deducted from your account directly, provided you have the funds as a temporary measure until fine payoff kiosks are implemented.

Various security forces may also randomly approach the player as they move around the verse. If the player encounters these forces and is a felon or in current possession of a ship that has been reported stolen (another player has made an insurance claim on that ship), they will immediately be attacked. If not, the player will be requested to halt and submit to a scan via ship to ship comms. If the player fails to stop within a certain time period, with repeated warnings, they will be given a crimestat and attacked. If the submit to a scan and are in possession of illegal goods, they will be fined and the goods removed.
Stolen goods and illegal commodities can now only be sold at less than reputable locations, some of which may require some investigation to locate.

Missions

  • Added illegal style delivery missions for prohibited and stolen goods.
Ships and Vehicles
  • Added hover mode.
Hover mode will automatically engage near planetary surfaces with atmosphere below a certain velocity threshold. When engaged, ships will swap to VTOL thruster modes, which will include alternate thruster configurations when applicable. When in hover mode, the ship will hover level until the player gives an input. Pitch forward/backward will result in moving forward/backward and roll will result in lateral movement. If the ship attains enough forward velocity it will automatically switch to rear thrust driven forward flight.
  • Added ship purchasing kiosks to ship shops around the verse.
  • Added ship component degradation.
Ship components (coolers, power plants, shields) now suffer from noticeable degradation which can accumulate through time and through specific behaviors (frequent overheating, damage). Degradation can be repaired with any other ship damage at major stations.
  • Added “misfire” events to ship shields, thrusters, power plants, and coolers.
Some ship components (coolers, power plants, shields, thrusters) now have a chance to misfire. The base chance for a component in perfect condition is extremely low. Misfire chances increase with increasing degradation, damage, and heat. Misfires can be minor visual blips, major with periods of reduced functionality, or critical temporary shutdowns.
  • New Ship: Kruger Intergalactic P-72 Archimedes.
  • New Vehicle: Anvil Ballista
  • New Ship Weapon: MaxOx Neutron Repeaters
Rapid fire short-mid range weapons found in sizes 1 through 3. Uses “neutron” style damage, which has damage that increases over its range. Neutron Repeaters are available at Centermass in Area18.
  • Added nozzle flaps to the F7C and F7CM.
  • Grouped thrusters into a “power group” which can now be throttled to control thruster acceleration.
Thruster power throttle is default bound to RALT+mouse wheel and is available in the keybinding menu. To allow players to track current power throttle to thrusters, a meter of percent power has replaced what was the hydrogen fuel meter and hydrogen fuel has moved to a static percent readout on the bottom of the HUD.
  • Added a cargo grid to the Valkyrie.
  • Added ship hailing.
You can now start a video call with the pilot of a ship/vehicle that you’re targeting while in your ship/vehicle with a hotkey (6), selecting the target in either the Comms/Targeting MFD, or in your MobiGlas Comms app.
  • Added ship specific voice channel.

When entering a ship, you now join its ship channel. When selecting the ship channel after you’ve joined it, you can VoIP and Chat with other members that are actively in that ship channel. You’ll automatically leave the ship channel if you leave the ship for a period of time or move too far from the ship.

FPS

  • Added customizable weapon attachments
Some FPS weapons can now be customized via various attachments. Available attachments are red dot (1x zoom), holographic (3x), a telescopic (4x), and a telescopic (8x ). These can be found at FPS weapon shops that carry compatible weapons.
  • Added the ability to free look and activate head tracking while holding a weapon.
  • Free look in first person now operates as a hold rather than a smart toggle.
  • New FPS Weapon: Behring S38 Pistol
This reliable Behring sidearm features a streamlined design and a lightweight polymer frame that helps to minimize recoil. And with the quick fire semi-automatic fire mode, it’s easy to see why the versatile and dependable S38 has become a standard sidearm across the Empire for both citizens and law enforcement officers. Can be purchased at Center Mass and Port Olisar.
  • New FPS Weapon: Klaus & Werner Lumin V SMG

A solid and dependable laser submachine gun with a reputation for durability, reliability, and accuracy. Can be purchased at Center Mass and Conscientious Objects.

UI

  • The comms visor display now displays which channel you are VOIP broadcasting to, who else is in the channel with you, and who is speaking.
  • Players can now invite an entire channel into their party.
  • Players now default auto-join the global proximity VOIP channel.

Post Comment

  1. This game is taking way too long to develop and is has been a money pit for ages. Just ask Razorfist and the countless others who have broke this down.

  2. Full disclaimer, I am a backer. However, this situation is FAR more gray then you give it credit for instead of just “exploitative microtransactions” or “yet to enter beta”. Frankly, for an Alpha, it plays better than other AAA games do at release using similar gameplay/microtransaction models (*cough* FO76 *cough* Anthem *cough*).

    First, the Kickstarter was in 2012 . . . and the company didn’t have a foothold or truly begin development until 2-3 years later. That means only 4-5 years development, not 7. They literally had to build a company from scratch, with only about 7 people in the beginning looking to build a company to make a AAA grade game.

    Second, this development has been more open than the development of any game ever. Getting to watch the development of the game from the idea level stages (technically before a AAA developer would even give a green light for assigning a prototyping team) has caused more scrutiny on the project than anything else out there. This has been both insightful to watch but causing more controversy and scrutiny than any game developer has ever faced. I personally think one of the biggest reasons for all of this scrutiny is because we’re getting to see the many years, a game normally spends developing in the shadows, before we ever hear of it at a big convention/PR announcement.

    Third, CIG has had to build an engine essentially from scratch. First utilizing CryEngine and later Lumberyard to act as a basis, but having to overhaul most of the core programming to meet the needs of a game pushing boundaries that other games haven’t remotely dared to touch (unified singular animation set without faking 1P vs. 3P, true “holograms”, etc.). Most other developers are using an engine that was already built for them or do NOT include the engine development time/costs in the game development.

    Fourth, lets look at a small sampling of other AAA games that have had LONG development cycles:
    1. Diablo III – 11 years – all Blizzard, and started a mere year after D2 launched.
    2. Duke Nukem Forever – 15 years – rebuilt from scratch multiple times, involved in a lawsuit, AND changed developer hands.
    3. Prey – 11 years – rebuilt multiple times, engine built from scratch.
    4. Team Fortress 2 – 9 years – engine rebuild/migration and multiple iterations.
    Honorable Mentions . . . Anything Bethesda, who take many years (admitted by Todd Howard as a decade or so on average) to develop iterations on their IPs when they’ve been using the same engine the whole time.

    Fifth, costs. AAA publishers typically aren’t including their company-wide overhead in the development of their various titles. CIG is one company developing their first products and going straight for AAA level. Non development expenses to get established have been a HUGE burden for them . . . likely more so than they imagined. While they’ve raised $230 million to develop the game, other AAA games, like “Star Wars: The Old Republic” spent $200 million to develop JUST that game (inflation value approx $223 million for 2019 comparison) from established company Bioware. To say it’s been a huge money-sink that’s greater than any other game is stretching the facts and horribly manipulating them to push one narrative.

    Sixth . . . it isn’t one game, it’s two. Squadron 42, the full AAA grade single-player game is set for Beta Q2 next year, theoretical release Q3-4 the same year. Star Citizen is the MMO that is set to be a persistent universe. Granted, the two piggy-back off of each other a LOT, but they’re still two separate and independent titles with a variety of independent needs (S42 doesn’t need network coding, for example); and unless you’re a legacy backer then they must be bought separately, as well. Therefore, having the single player game set to release within a year actually puts it ahead of ALL of the games I listed in the fourth point for production time. How is that abysmal development?

    Now, am I saying the game is perfect and that everything is amazing? No. I have my concerns, as well. The first few years of development did include HUGE amounts of feature creep. The engine migration hasn’t been without issues. I’m concerned about how monetization will work in the LONG TERM, not during development. I’m concerned not about the ever-accelerating development, but the prioritization of the development (some ships developed before necessary gameplay implemented, etc.). I’m concerned that Chris Roberts is micro-managing things too much for his own good and slowing things down too much.

    There are reasons to be concerned, but if 2.3 million people have spent only about $100 on average to fund the games, that’s still less than many people spend on “special” editions and preorder bonuses for many singular AAA games. Yeah, there are whales, but that’s no different than any other game with microtransactions out there. Besides, CIG’s microtransactions aren’t “surprise mechanics”, gambling, or other BS . . . people are buying precisely what they want.

    It’s not perfect, but the opening statements of this article (and the whole previous article) don’t do it justice at all; and frankly YongYea’s videos on the subject seem to contain a LOT of bias themselves. The truth isn’t perfect, but it’s not as terrible as either of you are making it out to be.

    • Taha Ziad on July 21, 2019 at 7:13 pm said

      Yeah this article was pretty garbage. You should have written it tbh

    • Bigslam1993 on July 22, 2019 at 10:25 am said

      I do agree with most of your points, but the listing of games is cherrypicked garbage.

      Yes, those games took long to develop – but they are notorious for having stayed in development for so long. Normal AAA development is not that long.

      SC is taking long, because its doing something new – but it should have come a lot further in the time they have taken. The saving grace is the open development they are doing, so the backers can see that their money is not just “gone” – if it wasn’t for that, I assume many many people would have pulled back from it.

      Yes, I also gave them about 100€ – but they better deliver on them before I even consider giving them another cent. I hope most of the 23 million people who are in the same backing-range have the same mindset as me.

      • That’s precisely WHY I chose those games. Those are -mostly- blockbuster AAA games (especially Diablo III, that still has a solid following in 2019) that took a notoriously long time to develop; and yet because CIG’s two games are approaching the 5 year mark of actual development, people are losing their minds. Although the fact that I can include ANYTHING from Bethesda, an entire developer, on the list (that up until FO76 has been nothing but extreme blockbusters) does remove a bit of the cherry-picking bias. There are entire companies that focus on lifelong customers and decade-long development plans.

        Although, I’m in the same boat, in that the money I’ve spent is all the money I’ve spent. I will not spend more until at least S42 is done and in stores. I am a legacy backer, so I’m already slated to receive both games. Considering S42 was the original game being backed, publishing that game IS delivering on their primary Kickstarter goal; and I’d consider that the “mission accomplished” moment.

        Regardless, I think we’re mostly in agreement.

        However, it’s amazing that putting forth reasonable arguments, while still expressing concerns, has people like us labed as “copypasta”, “fanboy”, “scammed”, and “crying babies”. It goes to show that there are just as many toxic people, who want CIG to fail, as there are zealots who defend the game no matter what.

        • Bigslam1993 on July 22, 2019 at 10:05 pm said

          Weeell, there is a lot of zealous fanboys out there, who need to justify their excessive spending on the project by defending it to the last drop of metaphorical blood. Its the reason I don’t visit the subreddit.

          I would even go as far as to say that there are people continuing to spend money on the project to help them succeed. Because if SC failed literal thousands of dollars would be wasted – making them spend even more money on it to do their part to make it not fail. Thats just a dumb theory tho, I haven’t taken a look at the funding-statistics in a long ass time.

          Also, even if they succeed – how long will the lifespan of the MMO (lets call it that) be? 2 years? 5 years? And would it really be worth it the money some people spend on the game? I can see why Star Citizen Superfans (or Whales) are seen as overzealous…

          as for the “Scam” thing, i wouldn’t call it a scam. They are actively developing and they have made significant progress in various areas – not to mention the stuff they might be keeping secret for the big Squardron 42 reveal. Although it is far from optimal and I am not satisfied with the rate of development myself. S42 should have been out years ago.

          If it turns out to be a scam, the name “Chris Roberts” will go down in History as the worst Kickstarter/Early Access-Scamer ever (and probably for a long time).

          In the end it doesn’t matter. Either they deliver or they dont. At this point I wouldn’t cry a tear for the money I gave them literal 6 years ago. I would laugh it off and go on my way – and keep it in mind for further Kickstarter/Early Access type games. It might even kill the entire Early Access Model of financing games entirely…

    • Spot the redditor, this read like a copypasta

  3. deathsmessenger on July 21, 2019 at 7:59 am said

    whats pretty funny is that you bang on about “it’s been 7 yrears and still in beta” elite dangerous took 22 yrs where was your complaining then. bens comment explains it well, i thought this site was supposed to be different from the normal gaming media…what a shock its not.
    lolol he got his info from yongyea lol may as well have gone straight to derek smart lol seems the writer wants to be a victim and post bs articles in hopes of getting a slice of that victim pie sad dude just sad

  4. Lulz. Scam Citizen brings a lot of entertainment value for all the wrong reasons.

  5. Backed this game in the original run. Knowing that this was Roberts’ project, I expected it to be a year late, and be similar to Freelancer. I was obviously wrong in every expectation I had.

    Haven’t asked for a refund because I still have a slim hope of this actually materializing as a game that isn’t as awful as it currently is shaping to be, and because I don’t mind it if a bunch of cultish folks drop thousands on the project so it may actually be finished one day. Anyone with a lick of sense hasn’t invested in this at all. Anyone who got taken for a ride like me has shown a lack of sense in this regard, but it was a different time, back when we were hopeful we’d get a good game probably hasn’t invested any after initial buy-in.

    And anyone who still spends a dime on this game before release… Frankly, at this point, if you’re this stupid, you need professional help to mange your assets.

  6. Korkapotomis on July 21, 2019 at 11:33 am said

    All you babies crying…. Yours games a bag of trash just get over it.

    • Purveyor of Quality Comments on July 23, 2019 at 3:46 am said

      You know this is why I come to the comments. Well written educated insights into the nuances of a particular situation.

  7. Calling it a scam is not fair!

    You can doubt the game will ever be finished but the people who bought it knew what to expect. The devs did not try to deceive anyone IMO.

    It’s investing in a dream and you can’t know if it’s going to be worth it.

    Exactly like every crowd-funded game ever.

    As a 150$ backer I already had my money’s worth. If the game delivers it’s going to be epic, if not I don’t care there’s so many good games to play anyway.

    My 0.02$

  8. bloodfistzero on July 21, 2019 at 10:22 pm said

    I backed this back when it first was announced, as a huge fan of wing commander and privateer I was pretty excited to see Chris Roberts make a new game. But I never asked for fps or half the other shit that has been tacked on. The original pitch was just fine. Feature creep is what ruined this game!

  9. BrigandBoy on July 22, 2019 at 4:00 pm said

    I picture the Exclusively Games team sitting around a table in Jeremy’s basement, looking pensive.

    Jeremy: “Star Citizen has done something newsworthy again. Any takers?”

    Most of the writers find something to look at other than the boss, as they all become coincidentally interested in the table top, or a corner of the basement, or their fingernails.

    Jeremy: “Not a single one of you? Cmon, it’s not THAT BAD guys.”

    Anon writer: “Seriously dude? If it isn’t a fan-fic of that Roberts guy, we get burned at the stake. For what, $20? I’m good. I like my peaceful life.”

    Several heads nod in agreement.

    But one man looks up.

    Jack Lindsey: “Wait, did you say $20? Are you saying we get PAID for this? I had no idea we were getting paid for this. I’ll do it. Unreasonable fanboys hate me already. It can’t possible get worse.”

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