A Star Citizen blog representing the vast silent majority who only wish to make the game better.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

System Count on Launch

It has been recently reported that there will be 5 - 10 systems on Star Citizen official launch. This is a change from the 100 systems we had been expecting.

I assume the system count change is because of the far greater fidelity being built into Star Citizen. Greater fidelity takes longer.

I'm disappointed in the system count change. So, too, are lots of people.

The main reason other people are upset is that there is apparently less space in which to play. Counter arguments are that there will actually be MORE space as the planets and moons are far larger and content rich than originally planned.


For me, however, the disappointment is different. I am disappointed because of the disconnect with Star Citizen lore.

I've been following the official lore for a long time. They have been fleshing out the descriptions of all the hundred or so systems. I have decided what I want to do and where I want to go based upon this lore. I've worked up trade routes as best I could. I've purchased ships according to my activities within the lore. I've identified friends based on what and where they have indicated they wish to play. So now I'm sad that it is irrelevant.

It is popularly predicted that they will only be able to create 7'ish systems per year. So it could take a dozen years or more for CIG to flesh out their universe. A depressing thought if one is hung up on lore.

The counter argument to my little depression is that CIG, the developers, will surprise everyone and get the 100-system Verse up and running in a greatly reduced time frame. They always are developing tools to speed things up without compromising on too much fidelity.

Time will tell.
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Monday, July 24, 2017

Driver's Licence

It took me four trys to get my surface operators licence. Four!

Never did like these tests. Reminded me of trying to get my Earth driver's licence. I failed the first time. Very traumatic. But, in my favor, I failed due to poor vision. I didn't even know I had poor vision. Then I got glasses. Zowie! Brick walls have bricks in them. Who knew?


Anyway, the trauma is terrible. Do you suppose it's on my permanent record? Will potential employers see my three fails?

I could quibble about what should be the correct answers. But as they say, can't argue with the powers that be.

Now I'm dreading the next test ...
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Monday, July 17, 2017

Still Waiting

Still waiting. Yes, but it isn't too bad. They show, every week, developed stuff that they are working on. It is very entertaining. One could build a storyboard montage with all the static images they're producing for our weekly entertainment.



A Ship Jacker NPC mock-up
(with a little happy face placed on for our amusement).

But I'm not posting because there is not a lot happening. Hmm, more grammatically correct would be to simply say that there is not a lot happening. Programming, programming, programming. It's down to the short strokes for Star Citizen a3.0. We just have to wait for it to drop. We know it is close. Mid-August, I guess. The old Star Citizen a2.6.3 just doesn't cut it anymore what with all the cool stuff packed into 3.0.
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Saturday, June 24, 2017

Star Citizen 3.0 August

Well, Star Citizen a3.0 is now not expected until some time in August. A delay from June. A bit of a disappointment, that. I'm old. My game-playing years dwindle with time. But I watched the first moon landing on TV and, by gum, I'll see the BDSSE published, too!

Truly, Star Citizen will be the most technically advanced game in existence. Essentially no resource limitations, no player limit, no shards or player instances ... creating the impossible, it is. And the fidelity is near AAA movie grade! Spectacular. So I can understand that there may be a difficulty or two in stitching all the pieces together.

I pretty much only do the occasional Vanduul Swarm as I wait for SC a3.0. Just to keep my skills from deteriorating.

Odd thing though, the other day I was instantly peppered with missiles from a player on my own team! Maybe it's a new thing now to kill unsuspecting team members. The killer just unloaded all his missiles and then signed off. I didn't get his name. Even if I had, what can you do?

I know, maybe an Anti-Contact list. lol

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Thursday, June 15, 2017

Bad Behaviors

I live in the country. A storm zapped my internet. Looks like I’ll be five or so days DISCONNECTED!

Probably for the best. The World works in mysterious ways, you know. I guess this was nature’s way of telling me to back off from Star Citizen for a bit. I could feel it coming. I had the option to step back but didn’t so nature took care of it for me.

It was that post about blatant racial discrimination on the forum. I read it and immediately pressed, “Reply.” But I couldn’t. It is a difficult topic. Hard to reply without being hypocritical, at least indirectly. How blatant does one have to be? And how much of the common vernacular is to be allowed to slip by?

In the end, I blanked my comment and eliminated it so as not to make the mistake of publishing it. Then I discovered that the original post was gone. Not to be found anywhere. I was saved by mysterious force yet again, I guess.

Is a video game the place where one should speak up? There are so many ass-hats on the internet and in game. How do we fight them? Or should we?



If you are a reader of this blog then you know that I suggest ways in which to avoid ass-hats. I don’t really know why game publishers don’t allow us methods to avoid ass-hats in game.

Some games, Eve for example, encourage ass-hat behaviors and cheer those players who prey on newer players who think there is a game awaiting them. Wrong. It is all about predation for the vets. And, of course, Eve players have flooded to Star Citizen with the hopes of being ass-hats in a far cooler, more technically advanced game.

In Star Citizen there is hope that a kinder more gentler style of gameplay will be presented. There will be a bigger, more logical Universe. Rewards will be based on difficulty, not risk. Ass-hats will be hard pressed to make a living as an impartial Star Citizen Verse will quickly turn against concerted ass’ism.

The vast majority of Star Citizens want to venture out into the Verse and explore, or discover, or be amazed at all there is to offer. Yes, there will be conflict but hopefully it is purposeful and with objectives.

So why don’t games have mechanisms to identify and isolate ass-hats? Why can I have a game-supported friend list but not an avoid-like-the-plague list? The Star Citizen Spectrum forum reveals oodles of people I would never associate with in real life. Why must I not be able to identify them in game? Some of the largest organizations have shit-heads for leaders. Can I not tag that Org as being Do-Not-Work-With?

Some people are shitty toward CIG, as though they were Gods commanding subservience. Some people seem to want to show off how offensive their language can be. Some are simply gross to the point of ridiculousness. I can pass on such behaviors in real life. I’d like to pass on them in game. Thank you.

Yes, I know, some super religious types may tag everybody as beneath their dignity. LET THEM! If they want to avoid me in game because I can’t praise Jesus fast enough or often enough then let them tag me as undesirable. That’s what they may do in real life; let it be so in game. Makes the game easier for everybody.

So back to the basement-dwelling, unemployed mother’s boy, loser racist ass-hat who feels he can bad mouth people, races, and everyone else who isn’t as low on the human scale of evolution as he,... I don’t know what CIG has done but he’s on my shit list. If we meet in game, I want to know that I don’t have to deal with him.

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Friday, June 9, 2017

Good-Guy Players

Someone posted in the Star Citizen Spectrum forum that they feel guilty when they kill another player, even if they are NPC players. I gave the post a like.

I, too, have this guilt twinge. Killing unnecessarily, or killing because the game left no other option, is an action which makes me feel badly. A realistic game should offer up real-life options: disabling, stunning, capturing, etc.. Of course, not all games claim to realistic or of having lifelike immersion -- in which case, it doesn't matter.

In a realistic game I like to project my persona into the game. I strive to be the better person in game than I can be in real life. Why would I want to fail in both realms?

To Catch a Thief

Even if I were to play a super criminal, my actions would be of the highest calibre possible. I would have distinctly noble behaviors. Funnily, as a youth I was fascinated by international jewel thief movies or clever casino robbery movies. Death and mayhem is not my fantasy. I always considered myself to be too intelligent to be so base.

I don't have to be a criminal. I can be a Mercenary or a Wanderer or Miner or Trader. No matter what, I would strive to play nobly. (Yes, that does come off reading as noobly, doesn't it?)

So when someone asks in forum if it is OK for a Bounty Hunter to destroy a plane full of people because one has a kill-bounty on his head,  I have to wonder about the persons base intellect. I guess there are some people (and some countries) who can easily rationalize such things.

In these times, power no longer seeks to protect the weak but seems rather to exert unbridled dominance. Animalistic behavior, I would say. Gone are the good'ol days when people measured their worth by striving to be Ladies and Gentlemen, instead.

To that poster on forum who felt guilty, ...  o7.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Friend System

Be still my beating heart! Can it be true that Star Citizen's Spectrum (forum) System will allow us to establish friends and not-so-friends? Long have I wanted this. Just search this blog for "Anti-Contact List".



It is nice that someone else has the same idea. This comment showed up on the Spectrum Feedback section of forum:


"I really perked up when I heard "Friend System" connected with Spectrum during the ATV. A great forum-based way to potentially connect, in game, with people of similar persuasions. However, it should work the other way, too. The people one finds to be totally incompatible could be reduced in relationship relative to oneself. In this way one has the option to not to deal with them in game or at least know that they are not people with whom we would normally associate."


Frankly put, identified ass-hats in the forum can be identified with a post's down-rep button, and this will carry forward into the game as a reduced reputation relative to oneself."

There are some real ass-hats out there with whom I have no desire to associate. In real life I can avoid these types of people. In game, I should be able to do so as well. They are easily identified through their despicable forum posts.

If such a mechanism existed then perhaps there would be more decorum in the forum itself.
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Thursday, June 1, 2017

Waiting for Star Citizen a3.0

This is a difficult time. The waiting. The waiting for Star Citizen alpha 3.0.



I'm not doing much in the Persistent Universe (PU). I've done everything many, many times before. It's nice to see familiar names every once in a while. And it is surprising sometimes to see what people are doing to entertain themselves. Ship surfing ... it's a thing. Who knew?

I avoid Star Marine like the plague. Run'n gun is such a horrible style of play. Can't say anything positive about it. Confined maps. Bunny hopping. Cheats. Purposeless (hey, that's a word!).

Arena Commander is pretty good. I only play Vanduul Swarm or Pirate Swarm. Not interested in the other options of players shooting players for no reason ... reminds me too much of run'n gun. I like being good in the swarms, at least enough to finish all the waves. That lets me know that I can handle my ship.

If Star Marine had a Vanduul Swarm equivalent then I would definitely get into playing it. I don't understand why we can test against NPC ships in the swarms but not against NPC soldiers in Star Marine. Don't they both require testing? I guess their NPC soldiers aren't up to snuff, yet.

The only other thing to do is to hang out in the forums. But with development concentrating on the gritty details of things there is not much to talk about. Most grandiose concepts have been fully elaborated ... at least as it pertains to SC a3.0. Well, maybe not FULLY elaborated but pretty much all we're going to discover until the next Around the Verse Youtube episode.

The last Around the Verse episode said NPC soldiers were learning to shoot. So what can we talk about other than when will they be available to shoot at us? We all know already that NPCs have to shoot so we can really suggest things like, NPCs should shoot at us ... perhaps in Star Marine?

So, I'm waiting. After the release of SC a3.0 everybody will be clamouring for the next steps up. That will be discussion worthy. I'm particularly interested in economic things, resources, production. Reason d'etra stuff. But it isn't in the game, yet.

Waiting. It is very hard to stay with the realization that they are writing the game as we speak. And rewriting. And refining. That's ALPHA for you. Waiting. And containing one's impatience AND excitement.

All I can do try to stay out of trouble on the forum. Star Citizen will be great. I'm sure the backers don't need my expert opinion on everything. Just wait patiently for each incremental step in game development. There are many, many, many more to come. Waiting.
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Monday, May 29, 2017

Distance Update

I've just discovered that the Aegis Retaliator has a fuel tank size of 20,000,000 units. The most I've seen in Star Citizen so far. Oh, and the Misc Starfarer has the same range.


From my posting, What is Space Without Distance?:
In a previous post I cleverly deduced that one unit of fuel would drive a ship one kilometer. That sounds OK. Each fighter currently has 10,000,000 units of fuel. It can travel 10,000,000 kilometers -- about 0.07au.
Inter-planetary distances in Stanton are typically 3au, often more. There seems to be a bit of a dilemma here. How do fighters get from planet to planet?
Now we know why they make long-range fighters. The Vanguard series is a long-range fighter. The Aegis Vanguard Hoplite has an improved fuel tank holding 18,000,000 units. A total range of 0.12au. Still not enough to get around the Stanton system. Ha!
The Aegis Retaliator can fly 0.13 au. Not very far in terms of solar system scale.

When Star Citizen a3.0 drops, the Stanton system will have moon landing added to its game play. Three moons and a fracking big asteroid! To accomodate this I'm assuming larger fuel tanks or greater fuel effciency. I'm also assuming distances will become further as the Stanton system expands to accomodate the moons. We'll see.

It is possible that distances and fuel logic will remain the same. Stanton can accomodate the three moons as is. Perhaps expanding the Stanton system to its intended size is not part of the a3.0 drop. I haven't heard much about fuel tanks or fuel consumption so maybe they'll remain unchanged for the moment.
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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Reputation System

For those of you who follow this blog you know that I'm big, really big, on Star Citizen's reputation system. The reputation system has the power to truly make Star Citizen a premier game as opposed to an admittedly very glitzy shoot'em up. An Eve 2.0, so to speak.

It's kinda funny, actually. Eve had a rudimentary reputation system built into it at one time. But complaints from the large-corporation players that it inhibited their killing and griefing, made the developers eliminate whatever vestigial manifestations that may have been noticeable within the game.

I mention all of this because I don't see extensive elaboration and development of the reputation system within the game. I don't see any mention of it in communications. I don't hear developers stressing how important it is to the overall quality of the game's real Verse concept.

Just an after thought?

To let the game develop through various iterations without a good reputation system is inviting vociferous protestation later on. The killing free-for-all we have now will be carried forward. And when it begins to be suppressed, all the ass-hats will scream that this is a PvP game. The large organizations loaded with Evilites will rally their troops to flood the forums. They will use their intimate relations with CIG employees to flog their opinions. It will become very hard to bring in a proper reputation system let alone an excellent triadic one.

If Star Citizen is to be a truly great BDSSE then the reputation system needs to be treated as a lynch pin concept and have proportionate design and development effort vested within it.
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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Aegis Eclipse

The Aegis Eclipse. What a beautiful ship! I don't know about everybody else but the idea of owning a graceful stealth bomber is absolutely appealing to me.



I come from an Eve'l background (sorry, my bad). The stealth bomber was one of my favorite ships. It could be flown around with confidence. And it could, on occasion, just suddenly appear and mess up someone's day. I never fired a single shot at a PC with my bomber. It just isn't in me to grief someone. I did it once, for no reason, in another ship type (they escaped, fortunately) and I felt bad. But the beauty of flying the bomber, the luxurious feeling of it, sticks with me. And I just know it is going to be orders of magnitude better in SC.

I'm as close to buying as one can possibly get ... but perhaps I'll pass. As a solo player there is no role at all for the bomber. In Eve one could shoot-up NPCs to one's heart's content but not so in Star Citizen. In Star Citizen NPCs are people, too. Shooting anything in SC has an impact. So how does one play a strident neutral if one goes around blowing random soft targets up willy-nilly? Can't.

And it is expensive. The price of art, I suppose. I could work toward acquiring one in game. That aint going to happen. I'm not playing for credits or fame. I'll be making just enough to pay the bills all the while experiencing the wide Verse. This great game is no grinder for me!

I'm an explorer. I plan on exploring every nook and cranny of my sector. That includes trundling along on all possible areas of each planet's surface. I'm going to meet good people all over the place. No place for a stealth bomber here. Stealth bomber pilots don't meet anyone. And it is short-ranged. An expensive toy.

Have I talked myself out of it, yet?
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Friday, May 19, 2017

Progressing My Fighter Skills

Developing one's fighter skills is kinda important in Star Citizen. I bought into Star Citizen with an Aegis Sabre. Then, I went into Arena Commander, the Vanduul Swarm module (solo), to try out my ship. Didn't do very well.

In Vanduul Swarm, the best I could do was wave 8'ish. Drove me crazy. I told my wife that it was impossible! But the leaderboards implied that other players were able to do it.

I use a joystick (X52). The forum told me that aiming was better with a mouse. OK, that's not going to happen, says I. The immersion factor is more important than excelling as a mouse player. Others in the forum used a stick and did well stating that it was just a matter of more practice and excellent hardware. Well, I can do the more practice bit.

It soon became obvious that my poor performance was all the fault of my guns. Maybe not all, I admit, but I did need to upgrade my guns as much as possible. To do that I needed rec. Rec is the currency that lets one rent ships and hardware.

The fastest way to earn rec is to run a few races in the Arena Commander module. Racing is not my style. Don't really cotton to Mario-style space sims but sometimes one simply has to bight the bullet and get the job done. To earn rec all one has to do is complete one lap but I would always drive on to the end.

It didn't take too long before I had enough rec to buy anything I wanted. Took a little while to discover how to convert my rec. One has to go to the RSI Electronic Access store. Not too intuitive that name, I must say.

I started trying out weapon combinations. Weapons change all the time so don't get all huffy-puffy if characteristics change on you. Experimenting with the various combinations and options was sorta fun but I ended up asking Youtube for the best loadout. For my Sabre it was four Panther 227s. Then it wasn't. Now it is again.

Outfit with improved weaponry made a huge difference immediately. I was able to get up to levels 16 or 17 almost consistently. An investment in time and intensity finally got me over the top. Level 19! Yay! Vanduul Swarm (solo) conquered. Then I tried it with people.

It can be done.

It's hard getting a full complement of people. Most games are just with one other. But even then Vanduul Swarm can be done ... sometimes. Sometimes a really good player joins you and you're practically carried all the way to the end.

Solo play drops by the wayside except maybe to quickly test a loadout. Playing with people is more fun and interesting.

Graduating from Vanduul Swarm one moves to Pirate Swarm. It's a little different as the enemy ships are more varied. But it is just as doable. It has more tension as who wants to die in wave 17 or 18?

One thing I discovered is that the weapons one tries in Arena Commander often don't work in the Persistent Universe. Always a bit of a shock to realize, too late, that you are shooting blanks.

There are other PvP modules in Arena Commander. I have never played them. I don't plan on playing them. They are for the PvP people who seek to habitually kill other players in game. Not my style. I'm sick to death of shooters and pew pew. I'll learn how to fly but I'm not supporting PvP with my attendance. And I don't play Star Marine, either. Run'n gun not to my tastes. Maybe if they had a me against an NPC squad module.

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Anti-Contact List

Just for the record, I published this in the Spectrum feedback section of the Spectrum forum a month ago. I sure hope Turbulent acts on it.

The Contact List might be used in game to better arrange groupings of players or accept missions. You are working on something along those lines already, I think. Great! Perhaps an Anti-Contact List would also be helpful but to do the opposite.
Players on a Contact List would receive a reputation boost relative to yourself. Players on an Anti-Contact List would receive a diminished reputation relative to yourself.
Both contact lists could be built from an option in-game and from Spectrum. There are so many unsavory players who present themselves in the Spectrum forum, especially lately. It would be nice to have a way to avoid having to play with them in game, too. Plus, there are a great many exemplary backers that I would love to have a greater chance of interacting with inside the game.
Hopefully, blocking will come to Spectrum. Blocking could be a way to populate, innocuously, the Anti-Contact List. BUT, I think a preferred way would be to have an Anti-Contact button within Spectrum itself. Also a Contact button in Spectrum. Coincidental Contacts (probably just from the Contact List) could populate an automatic Standard Contact List (as exists in-game now) and help bring people together.
The Anti-Contact List would greatly mitigate the desire for a PvP Slider ... which is not really an elegant solution to anything.
A Contact List is, of course, only relative to yourself. This makes trading or meeting people you respect easier and more favorable in-game. An Anti-Contact List is also only relative to yourself. This makes meeting those less savory, less likely. At the moment we have no way of carrying knowledge of reprehensible characters into the game; or, of those we greatly respect.

I may have refined my thinking on it a bit but the thought remains the same ... to reduce our having to play with ass-hats. Or more correctly, emotionally equivalent players will gravitate toward each other in-game and be able to avoid people of differing attitudes if they choose.
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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Star Citizen 50th Post

Well, I'll be darned, my 50th posting. Who would have thought I'd have that much to say?

Art Hornbie
Most everybody now knows that the next great update (SC a3.0) is coming mid-July'ish. That leaves a huge gap in time for backers to idle away. Already the forums are acting up as if some worldwide chemtrail experiment is taking place. Dissociative Mania has taken root: depersonalization, rationalizations, contemptuousness ... gives one pause for the human race.

I suppose it is all by design. It takes pressure off of our politicians to make a better world.

Just like most everybody else, I get my information and knowledge of the game through the Star Citizen YouTube site and through the Spectrum forum. From SC YouTube the Around the Verse episodes especially, which come out each Thursday (Friday morning for me as it is late). And from Spectrum the highly informative and least contaminated Economics and Employment thread.

Still, I have to place another plug for the Anti-Contact List idea. Currently, there is no method for sane, rational people to get together or self-identify within the Star Citizen environment. The Anti-Contact List allows us to weed out those proven by their own actions to be less desirable. We just read the Spectrum forum, click on a post's little Anti-Contact frowny face icon, and in-game, when the game starts, that person's reputation relative to us is downgraded.

The Anti-Contact List alerts us to avoid ass-hats. We know not to give them missions, buy their goods, fly or run with them ... . We'll know the good people from the less than savory; in game. Of course, all this assumes that the reputation system is viable and working. The reputation system is the lynch-pin element that will separate the construct of Star Citizen from all other games; mechanic speaking.

So, my 50th posting. Looks like I used it as a call for a reasonable game in the face of unreasonable players, yet excluding no one.
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Monday, May 15, 2017

Star Citizen BDSSE

What am I going to do in Star Citizen?

When you think about it the answer is not so easy. The game is so BIG! Big in space, big in land mass, big in technology, big in flying, big in planet-side play ... it is many games in one. I could spend years simply trying to extend influence on a planet: exploring, mining, gathering, surviving. Don't even need a ship. Although I have four.

Initially, I plan on exploring. Not just any exploring but to search for Oretani, the lost system. Just search. And along the way, hopefully, make a few credits and pay the bills.

Starfarer and nice view.

I'll not be playing for credits. Not for ships, either. Not for glory. Not for organizations of the uncouth. Certainly not for shits and giggles. I'm going to hang out in my ship. Hang out for hours on end. Slow and easy. Let the Universe unfold as it should.

No more run'n gun. No more frenetic gaming. No more grinding for nothing. Star Citizen will be my escape into imaginary science fiction. I'll explore all the variety the game can throw at me, and then seek out more. Just me and my NPC crew. Explorers of the unknown.

Then, one day, Oretani will be discovered. I'm thinking that will take quite a while. So when it's discovered I'll switch over to a support role, medical maybe, in the vicinity of Oretani. As I will have spent so much time looking for it I may as well put down roots there. Planet-side. It will become my permanent base of operations.

When I'm not off being selflessly supportive somewhere I'll be gathering plant samples, or prospecting, or simply exploring planet-side all the interesting nooks and crannies of the planet. Make a few credits here, a few there. Just puttering about.

Star Citizen is essentially a big Velcro computer game. It will have near infinite expansions and an interesting, convoluted evolution of play. It is designed to be played for decades. A journey without end.

And along the way I'll make friends. Build community. Get to know good people.

Really looking forward to Star Citizen.
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Friday, May 12, 2017

A Great Game Needs Great Design

A great game needs great design. Without great design the game becomes stilted and boring; short-lived. In Star Citizen I think the hidden jewel within its construct will be the reputation system.

Again I'm back to the "individual" triadic, "the enemy of my enemy is my friend." Or EMEMF for short. This encompasses a great deal more than is immediately obvious. In the forum's Economy and Employment thread it was exquisitely described:

It's a triadic statement so it breaks down into four non-exclusive triangular structures: the friend of my friend is my friend, the friend of my enemy is my enemy, the enemy of my enemy is my friend, and the enemy of my friend is my enemy.
In Star Citizen, one would also expect several planes of relationship to which the triadic statement applies: race, authority (UEE, non-aligned), organization, and individual. It would cascade through them, I think. As in, I attack you, it affects your organization, too. ...
... I have read that such models end up with friend groupings which is interesting to me as it could be a natural method of forming organizations.

The observation that, over time, organic groupings of similarly minded individuals would appear. It IS interesting. Perhaps a natural way of establishing player groupings for such things as crew or missions or organizations.



It would be an interesting bit of analytical design to accomplish incorporating EMEMF into the reputation system. It would be great but it wouldn't be the jewel in the crown. The pièce de résistance would be a fifth triadic (in addition to race, authority,organization, and individual): the miscreant (aka ass-hat).

The miscreant triadic would be friend / enemy / ass-hat. Attacking someone or killing someone in this triadic wouldn't alter the friend / enemy differential. But doing a game no-no would alter both the friend and enemy values negatively toward the ass-hat.

In game miscreant no-nos could be killing children, adult civilians, surrended individuals, slaves, etc ... possibly even voice detection of bad language (see how I snuck that one in). I suppose these would have to slowly nullify with time as there is no game mechanic to undo ass-hattery.

Why identify ass-hats in game? Well, it's a way to put some in-game consequences to their actions. Their missions would become less rewarding, they'd get poor prices for goods sold, or pay more for items, technicians would repair their equipment less reliably, etc, etc. Just what ass-hats deserve. And the sublimely sweet bit is that they wouldn't know; they'd only suspect. Perfect behavior modification. (Can you see me smiling? Such a joyful paragraph to write.)

The friend of my enemy is my friend. Such a powerful tool to weave into a game.
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Thursday, May 11, 2017

Aliens are Coming, Aliens are Coming!

Why should we have a perfect counter-balance for each alien weapon? Why they, ours?

I would not object to the discovery of a hostile alien race which has a weapon that can shred our ships. Nor would I object to a weapon that is next to useless against ourselves but effective against a particular alien shield.

Banu tachyon cannon
In Star Citizen lore there is the implication that it could have taken several UEE fighters to take down one Vanduul Scythe before the introduction of the Aegis Gladius. The only point in our favor was that of superior numbers. Is such an assumption unrealistic? I don't mind unbalanced forces being in the game.

More to the question is why would one think we should be able to perfectly adapt an alien technology? Geez, even poor little North Korea is having a bit of trouble developing ICBMs and nuclear warheads despite the tech being relatively well known.

Imbalance is not a problem but a challenge. It is the aliens that present the problem.

It may be reasonable to have perfect rock, paper, scissors, lizard, Spock within the UEE-developed technology. One would think the UEE knows the tactics of both deploying and defeating its own military hardware. But not so against alien races. A little desperation and panic on our part makes for good science fiction.

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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Star Kitty

Well, it's kinda funny watching people with cartoon avatars argue against other people having a cartoon Kitty logo in-game. The game, they presumably feel, should be adult-themed, skull & cross bones styled, drug paraphernalia encouraging, and slavery oriented. That's the future, and a Kitty logo breaks the immersion.


Adult-themed, skull & cross bones styled, drug paraphernalia encouraging, and slavery oriented cartoon logos isn't the limit of my immersion, buckos.

My immersion is of a wider expansive Verse where the greater battle is striving toward a Utopian society free of disease, poverty, and war. I always play on the side of good and hope that the bads gradually get whittled away into some meaningless and self-deserving corner. There is room, even for them, in Star Citizen's Verse.

Women can play in my game without having to adopt the machismo of society's worst classes. They might have a different vision of a sci-fi future, too, 50% of the population'n all that. Maybe one that includes pink!

Even children could be represented as being in lower-order NPC families within the game's vast cities to add to the realism. Child avoidance could even be a tactical challenge for successful mission completion. Also as another way for the game to identify, punish, and isolate the yuks & giggles crowd.

Intelligent sci-fi people can establish economies and trade, gain affluence, discover new and wondrous things, make friends, and all the while having a ball doing it.

There is room in Star Citizen for the unimaginative, solely pew-pew minded. Off in a corner somewhere hopefully learning that crime, greed, avarice, and gluttony is a hard row to hoe. There, they can live in a world where everybody wears tweaked-up armor, carries heavy weaponry, and wakes up in the morning looking to kill somebody. For them, science fiction at its deepest.

So, yes, bring on the colorful, happy, culturally festive logos. Space is pretty dreary without some gaiety and positive self-expression. Maybe people will actually have a chance to be happy and free of persecution in the future.

There is also an argument made for organization logos on ships. Oddly, not too many people arguing that they will be immersion breaking. Even though we all know how disconcerting such advertising can be in real life, it is representative of how people's thoughts have become accepting of an organization's identity. Doesn't Starbucks have a stylized mermaid for a logo? Not very different from a stylized cat, is it? Just another method of self-expression in a constrained environment. Is the Starbucks logo a real life immersion breaker?

I'll be exploring. Joining a networks of fun players. Marveling at the technology and variety. Enjoying the fictional Verse. And wishing, as always, for a better world.

Aren't all Star Citizen avatars also cartoon characters? To me, the ground-breaking, futuristic game of Star Citizen has a greater glory than yet another space pew-pew and its passé trope trappings.

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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

What is Mission Difficulty?

What is mission difficulty? It is a question but I'll answer it myself so you don't have to.

If I'm flying an Aurora and I accept a high-paying mission to transport several hundred SCU then I would expect that mission to be very difficult for me. If I'm flying a Type-C transport then perhaps the missions is just a petty diversion.

So what is mission difficulty?



Some have mentioned risk or loss? Well, low-paying or high-paying is irrelevant if the mission happens to be in a dangerous area ... stuff happens anywhere.

Saying that a difficult Outlaw mission will take place in UEE space is a bit misleading. If the mission is to intercept an escorted ship and bring back the contents then I'd say that was a mission fraught with difficulty. And if you are in a poorly appointed fighter then it is even more difficult due to possible confrontations and SCU transport limitations

So as I see it, a whole raft of missions will be offered. Those who reach beyond their grasp will say that the mission difficult and risky. Those who pick the easy milk-run missions will say they are not too difficult at all.

So it all boils down to the player: stupid, smart, gambler, desperate, swashbuckling ... that is the difficulty / reward system. At least in SC a3.0.

I'm steering the conversation away from risk / reward as that implies space zones. Yes, there are zones but a smuggling missions already incorporates that in the title. The difficulty is in type of material and volume. A pirate mission already implies conflict. The difficulty is in subduing an objective.

So I'm saying that the harder the mission then the greater the reward. Difficulty / reward, not risk / reward. Rewards should be everywhere, logically placed; not placed in bait-like zones.

That's how I see it at the moment.
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Monday, May 8, 2017

Mission Tree

I'm looking at the newly revealed conversation mission tree. In this tree you essentially pick lawful or outlaw missions.

Conversation Tree
The first thing that strikes me on viewing the tree is that there are, in fact, lawful and outlaw missions. This dichotomy seems to be relative only to the UEE.

Where is the possible argument that the freedom fighter battling against the UEE is actually being lawful relative to their organization or region? Maybe it is because we just have a portion of the Stanton System in game initially.

I would have thought, and I was expecting, a mission system that showed missions reflecting relationship deviations and, of course, reward. For example I could accept a mission which will directly drive down my reputation with Mr X of XYZ NPC organization by 25 basis points, but pays out handsomely on successful completion. [See previous post for possible indirect reputation variances.] Of course, in the performance of this mission I might run afoul of the UEE and suffer a reputation hit with them, too. The mission giver should probably tell me the likelihood of that, too.

With respect to "the Enemy of My Enemy is My Friend" stuff, I wouldn't expect to be told by the mission giver how any of that could play out. Maybe some mission research is required or maybe some missions' consequences are just intuitively known. The path we walk is fraught with unknowns and moral decisions often have consequence.

It could be that reputation is independent of lawfulness. UEE cares if you have broken the law. It doesn't care if you're an ass-hat. Maybe one can have an excellent reputation and still be a criminal in the eyes of the UEE. Or, one can have a terrible reputation and not be an Outlaw.

And how does one become an UnOutlaw?

Star Citizen a3.0, due to drop mid-July, is the long awaited release that gives some life to the Verse. But with the reputation system not yet included and with the death mechanic also not done, it may be a big shootfest test.

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Friday, May 5, 2017

The Enemy of My Enemy is My Friend

Let's just assume in Star Citizen that the enemy of my enemy is my friend (EMEMF). It is a powerful assumption but let's theorycraft with it anyway. So the tool we get to play with here is: relationships.

Relative to me, my relationship position is: UEE Citizen in an Organization, and all Vanduul are hostile.

Without appling the EMEMF principle, if I attack a neutral Citizen then my relationship diminishes relatively to that Citizen. Probably also to the Citizen's organization. If in UEE space, then my reputation also diminishes with the UEE.

For quantification purposes just assume each increase or decrease in relationship is +1 or -1 per event.


Now let's apply the EMEMF principle.
-- My reputation with the Vanduul goes up. They are happy with such behavior and wish to encourage it.
-- My reputation with all of the Citizen's positive (+) friend's goes down.
-- My reputation with all of the Citizen's Organization's positive (+) friends goes down.
-- My Organization's reputation with all of the Citizen's positive (+) friend's goes down.
-- My Organization's reputation with all of the Citizen's Organization's positive (+) friends goes down.
-- My reputation with all of the Citizen's negative (-) friend's goes up.
-- My reputation with all of the Citizen's Organization's negative (-) friends goes up.
-- My Organization's reputation with all of the Citizen's negative (-) friend's goes up.
-- My Organization's reputation with all of the Citizen's Organization's negative (-) friends goes up.

And the whole thing kinda goes in reverse if I successfully do a neutral Citizen's posted mission. Vanduul reputation goes down.

One of the more obvious aspects of this is that one's reputation with the Vanduul could go positive enough to overcome the initial or starting deficit. [Just for arguments' sake one could assume a starting Vanduul position of -100; and, a starting position of -100 with all individual Vanduul.] Ergo, trade with the Vanduul is possible, or even safe harbour, for that matter.

What really intrigues me about all of this is the information lag between systems. All of this upping and downing of relationships has to be dispersed throughout the Verse. There might be a strategy here to intercept those information packets and destroy them. Well, some of them at least. Remember, there is no FTL information transfer in the game. Information has to be carried physically through jump points. So information propagation is a profession in itself.
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Thursday, May 4, 2017

NPC to PC Ratio is 10:1

The NPC to PC ratio is stated to be 10:1. The Verse is alive with NPCs. PCs, in fact, aren't even needed for Star Citizen, as a base number of 20 million NPCs will be running and flying around. It's autonomous with NPCs fulfilling all roles. The overarching rider is that if PCs are not in the area then NPCs are not instantiated (embodied); they'll exist only as an economic and employment algorithm.

"... we have a detailed simulation running 20 million AI on a server that communicates with game servers and our solar system servers ..."

Subsumption

That WAS all well'n good UNTIL the development of procedurally generated planets. Specifically, cities that will be a type of terrain just as are the rocks and trees to which we have become accustomed. These cities will have to be animated.

I'm thinking of Earth. Earth is one big city.

Earth animation will be far more dense with NPCs than that of Space. In Space just a few ships or NPCs have to be instantiated if a contact has been made. On Earth, there will be near constant contacts.

BlueWanderer@BlueWandererThe "verse" should have trillions of sentient beings in it (10s or 100s of trillions even).
If Earth is covered by a giant city, that's trillions of humans right there.
However, the 9:1 ratio is not about players versus all other beings in the verse, it is about beings that players interact with...I think it is more specifically geared at the economy and how much influence players have... Given that, 9 out of 10 shipping contracts will be for NPC goods, 9 out of 10 cargo ships hauling those goods will be NPC ships (NPC owned/operated).Maybe 9 out of 10 pirates attacking those cargo ships will be NPC pirates, etc...

The number of NPC count must now be viewed differently. Yes, probability of bumping into space-faring NPCs will remain 10:1 structured and based on various factors such as distances, economy and populations. But bumping into land-based NPCs, in some places, will be near 100% and constant.

What I'm getting at is that planet-side, node-based traffic must also be emulated. This has never been mentioned by CR and CIG. This is required in order to establish logical and likely encounters of trade, bandits, vehicles, etc. Just as it is in space. No random pop-ups as in most games.

CIGs planetary placeholders in the economic system (ie Earth has a trillion people) must be modelled in more detail. Nodes, for example, must be estimated on a per square kilometre basis.

I'm thinking the NPC to PC ratio will be closer to 10,000 : 1. And by my math that is 20 billion AI NPCs. I'm pretty sure they are developing a new instancing technology to do it, too.
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Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Death Mechanic Not Enough

Everybody dies in Star Citizen. The good. The bad. The fair to midland. So death needs to be equitable to everyone. That is why it will not be very effectual in regulating behavior. Behavior regulation will fall heavily on the reputation mechanic.

Your reputation is relative to each other player. It is not one overall qualifier. You might have a great reputation with one player and a dreadful reputation with another. Presumably your reputation also has an effect on your organization, if you are in one. This means the organization itself may kick you out if you are not good or bad enough. The more powerful organizations (incl UEE military and Advocacy) may end up driving you out of their spheres of influence.

"As long as the reputation system can be seen to funnel the ass-hats down into their own little areas, I'm happy. People can play amongst their own kind. That's pretty much a given. The game actually needs ass-hats to keep players on their toes. 
But what about alternate characters or accounts? And how does one work their way back?
ATM I'm of the opinion that all the alts should be the same (bad) rating. An ass-hat is an ass-hat. Same with other accounts (based on credit card or phone number or device). Linking accounts helps to prevent throw-away ids. 
Working their way back from bad to good should be at least 10x more difficult than going the other way. The difficulty disparity due to the very watered-down death mechanic (death affects the good as well as the bad). 
Large organizations will orchestrate protest but, tough. Should probably limit organization size anyway."
So how do the accidentally bad clear their name? And how does the game distinguish between accidental and ass-hat?

We've all had to clear a reputation hit at Kareah. It can be a little daunting if the security station is bustling with activity. But for the ass-hats it should be far more than daunting.

Yes, bad guys should have an ever more difficult time building their reputations back up (assuming, of course, that is an objective). Far more difficult than for good to regular (N)PCs.

Ernesto "Che" Guevara
What is needed is a second-order equation, an exponential curve, tasks of increasingly increased complexity ... to battle one's way back to gooder graces. Those who predate upon others should really have to pay a penance and be accountable for their actions.

Nothing makes a profession more real than to be accountable for the decisions made in its activity.

Gifting or transfer of ships and assets should not be allowed between players of differing reputations. Buying one's way out of the bad books should not be an option. Nor should the passage of time mitigate a diminished statistic, nor should it reduce a high statistic. Yes, I can see a player deliberately driving down reputation for notoriety and infamy. And, yes, in the extreme I can see the person being unable to transfer their ships and other assets upon purchase of a clean account. Make the bed, sleep in it -- kinda thing.

Git reel.
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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Earth is One Big City

Earth is one big city in the game Star Citizen, unfortunately. Unfortunately, because I'm sad for mother Earth. Such a beautiful blue marble of a planet ruined by hundreds of years of so-called progress. But it's great because it is essentially one big huge battle landscape ... the ultimate Stalingrad!

Sol, Moscow
http://starcitizen.wikia.com

So, yes, the plan right now is to restrict us to three peaceful, monitored landing zones. They are Moscow, New York, and Shanghai. Not too much battling to be done in these areas. The good news is that buildings, blocks, neighborhoods, cities will eventually be procedurally generated and expanded to cover the globe. Add to that the fact that the governing UEE is in decline and the alien Vanduuls are menacing the gates. Earth's future may not be that rosey.
Vanduul

I'm not holding my breath for it. I'm am, however, looking forward to it. I'm imagining an Earth filled with NPCs of various descript and character. Of individuals or organizations trying to carve out a block or two for setting up production nodes. Of motorcade groups wandering the citified planet looking for their sworn enemies' infrastructure with looting in mind. Interesting play, indeed.

Because the Verse is, indeed, a galaxy of sorts, one need never leave Earth. Could be plenty of adventure there. Star Citizen's dynamic, non-repeating mission system ensures just as much planet-side action as space-based action. And Earth is only one of many procedurally generated planets, moons, belts. Lots of BIG terrains in the Verse: rock, city, forest, desert, islands, volcanic, etc. Space for everybody!

Everywhere in Star Citizen is potentially a game in itself. State-of-the-art NPCs indistinguishable from PCs are everywhere. All that matters is your relationship with them.

Star Citizen is not just a space shooter. Not that I want to go No Man's Sky'zy (is it too late?), but Star Citizen could be the beat-all and end-all of MMOGs -- until Cris Roberts supplants it with the ever popular WWII themed game.  ;)

BBSSE! Coming to a monitor near you. Soon™.

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Monday, May 1, 2017

Finding an Organization - Search

Oh, man. Trying to find an interesting organization is agonizingly painful. There are thousands of organizations but differentiating them is very difficult. Also, most organizations right now are single person so a good search can help to make in-game friends!

There is a search function but the parameters are next to useless. Almost all organizations are, or will be, set up the same. So differentiation is well nigh impossible.


Organizations have a mix of players: casual, regular and hardcore. Few orgs are exclusively hardcore. Roleplay: sure, try it. Size: well, things will change. Archetype: who knows what significance that has on anything. Primary language: OK, that's helpful. Recruiting: I suppose some aren't.

All in all, not too helpful.

How about X boxes for something like this:

Structure: Egalitarian / Democratic Leadership / Military Hierarchy

Play: PvE / PvP / PvA

Language: PG13 / Mature / X-rated

Time Zone: + or - n hrs around a tz

Hours: MWF evenings / weekends / Sunday afternoon

Attitude: roleplay / fair / aggressive / gamey

Reputation tendency: UEE+ / UEE- / Vanduul 0 / Vanduul - / Banu + / Banu - / typical players 0

That kinda thing. Might work much better.

Large organizations simply say join us for great game play. Ya, right. Their leadership is usually megalomaniacal (yes, it's a word) and nasty, and it gets fostered down into the group. We should be able to start with people of similar mind to our own.

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Friday, April 28, 2017

Joining an NPC Organization

Maybe we could start as crew instead of pilot. Gasp!

Bantam Cumberly (@twentysquares), posted in Spectrum the idea of simply being an egalitarian crew member in Star Citizen. Well, of course that appealed to me, being an egalitarian supporter'n all. But now that Star Citizen has expanded from its humble space ship-based concept to a super huge Verse with planets and everything else, another option could be considered. It occurred to me that the Star Citizen buy-in could be different.


One could have the option of starting on a UEE capital ship, or on a planet-side base. Starting as a crew member on a large ship would train us in the basics: repair, scanning, EVA, gunnery, cargo inspection, etc.. Or maybe we could start as a mercenary based planet-side as most people are used to land-based gaming or, better yet, as a Rover driver / explorer. Jumping right in with a complete ship might be a bit much to start off with.

Marine

In the normal course of events I'm pretty sure we can get in good (or bad), relationship wise, with an NPC organization. I started to wonder if it would be possible to join one. Then it occurred to me that people would simply concentrate on destroying its reputation. Or maybe improving it relative to another org. That's a problem, I guess, but maybe not so much with a new player.

Alternatively, it could have the effect of having the NPC organizations drift apart, relationship wise. That's a good thing, maybe. And it's an opportunity to make life-long NPC friends ... or enemies.

I have imagined having the option of joining an existing, active UEE ship or a marine group probably displacing an NPC on sign-in. That could be cool for fun play. On a big ship doing a Vanduul space incursion, or being a marine and taking out a land-based terrorist node.

Oh, well. Maybe later. .

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Solo Play

I'm of the opinion that most players in Star Citizen will play solo. Yes, I said it, solo.

True, there are ships in Star Citizen that can crew scores and scores of players. And carry many more. But, really, who wants to crew as a profession? Everyone has ships of their own. And fleeting-up, why bother? There won't be much call for fleeting. It won't make anyone credits. It will just incur costs. Fleeting probably will give organization leaders a buzz but who cares about them?

Being paid to participate in fleets is another thing entirely. That's being a mercenary. Solo play. And a job in itself. Leaders don't like to pay; they like to tithe. No need to join an organization and let them make you fleet-up for free.

Star Citizen is big and beautiful. There will be scads of space. Players will have the opportunity to spread out throughout space and not be too bothered by the ass-hats. EVE had no space. It was all choke points and camping.

Star Citizen has complex, non-repeating, procedurally generated adventures. Now this could end up being as boring as hell but I doubt it. A lot of work is going into making things interesting for planet-side play and space play. Elite Dangerous had big space. It was hollow of content and purpose.

MISC Prospector - solo mining ship

Other people are also looking forward to the solo aspects of Star Citizen play:

Basically intending to play it like a travel simulator, absolutely no interest in PvP and will avoid PvE at all costs, visit as many planets as possible, send myself digital selfie postcards, perhaps dabble with "in-game landscape photography", all from the comforts of my Retaliator RV.

PvP is just a waste of money and time. It should be avoided to enjoy all that SC has to offer.

That's why I call my Carrack the "Greymad" (retiree in a caravan)

It's my intention (when development permits) to operate as an 'alien artifacts/creatures procurer and exporter.

 looking to get a Polaris if they ever go on sale again... not scared of using NPC crew.

I've always been a solo player with the rare occasion to team up with a buddy who happens to be as into PC gaming/MMOs/etc as I am - Star Citizen was that interesting game the seemed to hit home on the right points that gaming community had been asking/looking for

Though I am lead for a gaming group/org, I am primarily a solo player as well. Like you, age it taking its toll on my effectiveness in hostile game environments. I find myself embracing my exploration tendencies more and more.

Or you could do what a select few of us are considering. Don't have a ship at all. Just run around planet side exploring. Heck they say it will take real life weeks to walk around a moon. Now imagine that on a large planet or several planets.

The Cutlass Red will be a great ship for S&R. This ship can be operated solo or bring along a friend and or NPC to help out.

I've been toying with the idea of being a space hobo for a bit, if I get the itch to do solo stuff.
Try and get around the verse on the goodwill of others. Or maybe in a cargo hold, if that's feasible.

I'm planning on being a solo Explorer, and my Ship of choice is the Freelancer DUR

I am not interested in combat gameplay and, I am also more interested in solo playing

Lots and lots of people seek good solo play. Myself included. As for friends in the Verse'n stuff, well, that's what the Contact List is for. I've posted about that before.


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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Arena Commander - Vanduul Swarm

Hey, I've completed to Wave 19 in Vanduul Swarm! So says the leader board. But not really.

I was teamed up with a good player, Necronominal, I think, and that player made it to the end. I only made it to wave 16. My own fault really. I flew into the boundary once wasting one of my three extra tries. Might have made it, maybe. But I stayed logged in for the Rec points. Turns out that grants me the bragging rights to say I made level 19.

You know, I wondered how all those players on the leader board could make wave 19 with only 53 minutes of game play. Although that is what Necronominal did: wave 19 in one go. Witnessed. Must be pretty good.

Arena Commander - Vanduul Swarm

It's a small nitty kinda thing, I guess. Not really a complaint. But I don't think I deserve a wave 19 credit.

I noticed that Necro uses a mouse. I use an X52 joystick. The joystick lets me feel more like I'm flying than using a mouse. The X52 gives me more immersion. [Note to others: get a better stick.] Though, to be honest, I can't say I've ever used a mouse for flying in Star Citizen.

Huge ka-fuffle on the forums about mouse vs stick. Don't really understand it so I don't participate in the debate. One of those can't win things, I guess.

I think the mouse works well because the designers of Star Citizen have been told that expensive extra peripherals should not be necessary to play the game. Of course, the people with expensive extra peripherals think they should get an advantage based on dollars expended. They don't seem to be able to reconcile a loss of accuracy for increased immersion. And some game pits are very well appointed, indeed.

Ah well, that's my take on it.

So I'm not wave 19, yet. Probably will be soon. :grin:

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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Egalitarian Organizations

First off, why would anyone join a Star Citizen organization that isn't egalitarian?

A non-egalitarian organization will tithe (tax) you. The leader will essentially own all the assets; not you. The leadership can kick you and certainly won't refund your investment in them. They order you around and have expectations of you.

On the flip side, everybody is equal in an egalitarian organization.

-- Want the money? Take it. There probably won't be much. Purchases can be made spontaneously.
The last organization I was in couldn't even give members credits. Not because people didn't need it but because everyone was set on earning for themselves -- that's the game.

-- Want an organization ship? Take it out or take it for a spin. The members decided it was needed.
If members decide to invest in an asset it stays available for everyone. Not much need for common assets though, as members simply help other members to secure their personal income streams.

-- Leadership. Well, egalitarians can have respected leaders, too. No need to cast it in stone.
No need to define leadership. Some people just become more respected or more knowledgeable than others. Everybody decides for themselves who to respect.

-- Communication. Organizations have their own forums and comm channels. No prob.
It's a social construct. Communications can be set up any way members want ... and it often changes depending on activity.

-- Growth. Hey, that's what Contact Lists are for. Make friends. Vet the ass-hats there.
Vetting new members is a joke. No assets, remember? You meet a good egg then simply bring the egg into the group. When you play with people of lesser couth (ie uncouth) it shows pretty quickly.

-- Ships. Well, everybody has a ship or two (or more). There's a fleet!
Everybody has ships. No need to bestow ships upon the undeserving leader.

-- What to do? Hang out, man! Scheme. Explore. Use yer forum and chat.
Most members are busy doing their own thing. Why make people obligate to do something? Want group play then simply organize it and those wanting to participate, do.

-- Training. Training is play. Play is training. Ohmm.
Nuff said.

Organization structures are so archaic. Passé. Contact List groupings should be the new thing. No need of those authoritative organizations. Play with your peers.

No one is chattel, cannon fodder, grunt, worker, or drone. This is the future. YOU rule! Assert your rights. Unionize!! OK, maybe just the Contact List. YOU control that.

If you insist on surrendering your hide then join an NPC organization! There isn't an undeserving, self-annointed megalomaniac leading it.

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Monday, April 24, 2017

Risk vs Reward

OK, I have an Eve background. So naturally I've heard Risk vs Reward a lot! It is the basis of Eve ... to lure people into danger zones so others more knowledgeable and skilled can kill you with impunity and laugh about it.

So when I see the phrase used in Star Citizen the hair automatically stands up on the back of my neck. As far as I know, Risk vs Reward is not an inherent part of Star Citizen. And I'm sure glad for that!
"If you don't enjoy PvP aspect of games, there will be a place for you. Stay in UEE space and it will be rare for someone to attack you. Leave UEE space and you leave behind the protection that it brings you. Risk vs reward." says Solomors@Solomors 
Solomors most likely is (or was) an Eve player. Yes, there is safer space. Yes, there is more dangerous space. But so far as I know, rewards are logically and rationally spaced throughout the Verse. There is no zone where known riches are dangled to entice noobs to the slaughter. In fact, pirates in Star Citizen are going to have a very hard time making a go of it.

United Empire of Earth

It can't even be said that UEE space IS safer. Some areas will be safer than others, yes. It all depends on your reputation and your behavior. Safe space could change for you in an instant. And, possibly, visa versa.

In Star Citizen, you have to make enemies. If you haven't made any enemies then you are sorta safe. There is nothing stopping someone from deciding, suddenly, to not be neutral toward you. So, long story short, players who piss everybody off will not have very much safe refuge, or even if they have any safe refuge at all.

If you are in a big organization and its members piss people off then that is likely to blow back on you in a negative manner. So watch out who you choose to hang out with.

But, again, the risks you incur through your behavior or that of your associates has little or nothing to do reward. This is not to be confused with accepting harder missions. Of course harder, more involved missions will carry more reward.

Star Citizen is not Risk vs Reward. Maybe we could say, Harder vs Reward.
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Friday, April 21, 2017

Nice Shirt!

OK, where can I get this Star Citizen shirt? How can I get this shirt?

Star Citizen shirt

I grabbed this snapshot from the last Citizens of the Stars, April 17, 2017. My first thought was, "I want that shirt!" My second thought was, "Maybe not in that size."

So I looked in the merchandise store. Poster set, hoodie, playing cards ... nope. Not there. Then I Googled merchandise. No help. But it did help me to figure out what to call this kind of shirt: military style or cotton, cargo military style.

Now that I have a description what do I do with it? PM Disco Lando? or tweet Sandi?

Later

Tweet'd Sandi. No reply. I'm starting to feel like a stalker.

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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Economics - Elasticity

I've read every posting in Star Citizen's forum Economy and Economics thread. Yes, both the old forum and the new Spectrum. It is one of the better threads. Better because it is watched over and supported by some knowledgeable and wise backers. And I've followed CIG communications closely. But I haven't seen anything on economic elasticity.

Sounds kinda deep and complicated, doesn't it? Well, it's really simple. It's just about the answer to a few obvious kinda questions about how trade centers work.

Will there be elasticity of supply in SC? I know that shops will have inventory control but will there be mechanisms to clear inventory in favor of items in greater demand? Sales to promote business? Advertising that is pertinent to the economy and isn’t fake?



Not that most people care but it would be nice to see the economic model’s construct. Or, perhaps, to ask for answers to a few simple questions:
When demand increases, how much will price go up?
How do you know when demand has increased?

The questions are super simple, yes? So I'm kinda curious about what the programmatic algorithms would be.

I think Tony Zurovic has said that when demand goes up then price will go up. Simple stuff, this economics. Inventories work on a min quantity, max quantity, and a reorder point. But if demand is not quantified then is a simple inventory reorder proof of increased demand?

Since the economy is largely driven by NPCs and other assumed populations, then how are supply runs rigged to satisfy demand?

Somebody is programming this. It would be nice to hear the economic model described in a bit of detail. Maybe in an ATV? Don't you think?

I know ... no.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Where are the Ladies and Gentlemen of Yore?

I've been following Star Citizen related media lately. Some Streamers are quick to post and are excellent. Many are very good, behavior wise, if not all that entertaining. I've mentioned Whispers Thru the Jump Point as a fine example of a gentlemanly, generalized YouTube'r. Of course there are lots that aren't. Fortunately I can choose not to watch them.

I Want It Now!

The Star Citizen Spectrum Forum also has mixed breeds of posters. Lately, however many low-brow types have raised their heads a little higher. A quote from the forums:
"The quantity of the despicable, degrading, low, base, contemptible, shameful, sordid and frankly detestible posts that are currently being made in this forum are frankly unacceptable!"
Yes, it's hard to read them. The openess of CIG's communication with backers is unparalleled and with that is an implied open invitation for people to be communicative in return. Unfortunately, many parents have not raised their internet-dwelling children to be well mannered.

The release of the SC a3.0+ Production Schedule was a very happy moment for most of us, I would think. Yet there remained people not content with this large information dump and valuable reality check. Acting out, is all I can call it.

Maybe we could have, instead of a PvP slider, a jerk slider instead. Well, we know that can't happen. But we could have an anti-Contact List instead.

An Anti-Contact List would downgrade a players reputation relative to your own. In that way you'll have the choice not to deal with them in game! And we should be able to start building that Anti-Contact List right now in Spectrum.