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

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.



Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Vociferous Crowdfunders

Well, it seems that the knee-jerk complainers have been quieted by many of their social peers approving of a grand information dump -- the Production Schedule. I'm a little surprised but this Star Citizen strategy seems to be working.

My worry is that, like porn, ever increasing content will be demanded. From the Spectrum Forum:
"A SQ42 status schedule would not be too far fetched to demand."
"Dear CIG, request/demand information on Retaliator update plans or community asked for reply!!!"

Demand? Demand? You mean demand like a kid screaming in the Walmart toy isle?

We've paid our pre-order money. Now sit and wait quietly if you can't be helpful testing modules. And I say pre-order money because, unlike most crowd-funded projects, this project is well on its way to successful completion. Very, very few would dispute that now. Next year. The year after. Essentially done. Pre-order people should be very, very happy. Gambled, and won.

Tolerating screaming Walmart children. Is this the price of having the most successful crowd-funded, backer-funded project of all time ($146 million so far)?

Probably feels good to be Chris Roberts, right about now. Success. Fame. Fortune. All virtually guaranteed. Fame, especially. A nice little bonus among several generations of gamers.

Chris Roberts 2012

I'm thinking that Chris Roberts' next project, in order to beat this one, will have to offer equity to funders. That will set the demanders to goin'! Let's hope it is a full World War II Grand Strategy game which runs the gamut from grand strategy down through to almost tactical. hint hint

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Monday, April 17, 2017

Star Citizen Production Schedule

The long awaited Star Citizen Production Schedule has come out. Everybody who has seen it has an opinion of one sort or another, it seems. I'm no exception. I'm happy for it.

End of Year Persistent Universe Timeline
It's a BIG picture!

I'm happy for Chris Roberts. I'm happy for CIG. I'm especially happy for all the people working on getting this game out to the backers. I'm happy for a great number of supporters and subscribers. But I must say that I'm not happy for the quick complainers. This is the internet and, sadly, they are ever present. So many people so quick to rationalize their hate.

Losers
I'm not a person who enjoys having his life force drained by the effort needed to tolerate our modern society's rejects. I'll be playing Star Citizen solo for the most part and, you know what, I think most backers will gravitate toward solo play. Why? Because the game allows us to exercise our preference. Hence the surprising preponderance of non-combat over combat poll results.

I'm gladdened by the Production Schedule. It shows that real progress is being made on a game of absolutely stunning technical difficulty, breadth and depth. I'm sure everyone wishes we could simply snap our fingers and have the game tomorrow. But for me, given a choice, a great game is better than a typical game.

It must be that the forum trolls are all paid agitators sent by a consortium of major gaming companies in an effort to derail the visionary project of Chris Roberts. Wouldn't that be nice to believe, instead?


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Friday, April 14, 2017

Star Citizen Wiki Wiki Wiki

I seem to remember Chris Roberts saying that the Star Citizen internal-Wiki will be available on our MobiGlas. Our MobiGlas is a wrist mounted device that projects all manner of information, both visual and auditory, to a holo-screen in front of us. Not the most private of tools but that's the intent. Eavesdropping will be a Star Citizen thing.

Mobiglas image from starcitizen.wikia.com
"The interface systems and the compatible entities found in the universe (practically anything) are interconnected, allowing us to link objects and characters to any relevant database and giving you fast access to the information you need."
A quick Google search for community-made wikis reveals not one but three English-language Wikis! So which one to use right now before we get access to CIG's developing wiki?

I guess the simple answer is simply to use Google for any questions and whatever pops up, pops up. But I took a quick look at the three, anyway.

Wikia.Com

Wikia brags 1,222 articles. It didn't have the Hoplite ship and links to Systems appeared to be indirect. Of course, it had an annoying big pop-up ad.


StarCitizen.Gamepedia.Com

Gamepedia brags 1,334 pages (448 articles). It also didn't have the Hoplite. Navigation to Systems was easy. It had orbit days which was interesting (Crusader 1554 Earth days). How do they know?



StarCitizen.Tools

Tools brags 1658 articles. It has the Hoplite! Navigation to Systems was good. This wiki seems to be getting lots of recent activity, too.


I'd be very, very suspicious of any "tools" this site may provide to you. My advice would be to wait for CIG to provide appropriate tools through our Mobiglas.

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Thursday, April 13, 2017

Time to Travel

How much time to travel around a system? I keep hearing that it takes about 20 minutes. Well, can't prove that by me, at least not in the Stanton System.

A simple test is in order.

So how long does it take you to fly away from Tessa Bannister to the first ICC mission? It takes about, let's SWAG it out as 5 seconds. Maybe someone will use a stopwatch and get the number more precisely than my Scientific Wild Ass Guess. That's 5 seconds for a 750,000 km one-way trip. See where I'm going here?

Many longer distances in Stanton are about 3 Au'ish. That's 450,000,000 kilometers.

Corvette: Idris.

So based on the time of ICC missions (750,000 per 5 secs) we can conclude that a 3 Au trip would take 3000 seconds. That's 50 minutes! Not 20. And I'm not complaining. I like it that we may never completely explore a system. And I like that exploring the outer reaches can be an intrepid thing.

On the brighter side, there aren't any fighters that can fly from planet to planet, yet. Changing planets for fighters should not be a trivial matter. If our mining ships have the range for getting between planets or to various points in the asteroid belt then we'll be really safe. Probably good for testing things out, debugging, and learning techniques. Yay!

Do I sound happy? We'll have to see if it stands.

I'm a strong proponent of a non-instant gratification game. Space is BIG and should behave accordingly. This is in opposition to the many, simple shooty-shooty voices out there acting like they should be able to shoot anything, anywhere, anytime. The Verse, to me, is logistics and economics applied toward a challenging environment. Diametrically opposed in viewpoint to those preferring FPS.

Civilization is built upon a complex interaction of cooperative forces. That's my Verse. You'd think it would be reflected in the BDSSE.

Anyway, better minds than mine are designing Star Citizen. I'm sure it will be great.


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

What is Space Without Distance?

The Stanton System is Star Citizen's alpha test system and it's small right now. And I say this relative to fighter range. But with SCa3.0 coming, distances will suddenly become very, very big as access is opened up to the entire system.

In 3.0, we might be able to travel to various places within the system and be out of range of the many and varied fighters that currently populate the planet Crusader in the Stanton System. I expect that once in space we civilian professions with our longer-range craft will be free of pestilent fighters shooting us down left, right, and center. Maybe?

Fighters, especially the best fighters, should be short-range killing machines. Designed not for distance but for death. Front-line fighters are set now to a range of just 0.07au. That will keep them appropriately bound to a planet and its surrounds.

Aegis Sabre Comet

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!

Long-range fighter: Aegis Vanguard Hoplite

I suppose the only fighter ship-moving method which will be available in SC a3.0, given current parameters, is to hire a big NPC carrier to come and carry your ship (and yourself) to a new planet in the system.

But there is another way. A rare but way cool way.

There is talk of a new map coming out. We've seen videos of devs placing planets'n stuff in orbit around a sun. But I'm thinking it's just a new tool with all the placed objects still in the same orbit distances. Yes, it means distance will be dynamic but still will remain practically true to the existing ARC Star Map.

Placing stuff on the new Star Map.
Stole this image from somewhere. Can't remember where.

Maybe if one wanted to change planets then the orbit timing may, on occasion, allow the range between planets to be within the capability of a fighter. But it would be rare. A stopped clock is right twice a day'n all that.

Still, if there were media outlets in the Verse you'd think they would be right on top of this sort of thing. They'd have planetary alignments on the front page of everyone's viewers, maybe?

Way cool.





Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Star Citizen Star Chart

Oh, man, the Star Chart in Star Citizen is screwing with my head! It lies to me.

Actually, I guess it is what might be called a relational map. It just kinda shows things in relation to each other. It doesn't portray distance well AT ALL! Fools me every time.

The Star Chart says that Moon Yela is 1.28au from Planet Crusader. That's all fine and dandy. But in my previous post I calculated that my ship can only fly 0.07au. This revelation threw me into a tizzy because I fly to Yela all the time! How can it make it? And with plenty of fuel to spare. Whatz up wit that?

Crusader to Yela 1.28au

On consulting the map, it SAYS that the Covalex shipping hub is 0.01au from Yela but SHOWS it further away. Whatz up wit that?

Covalex to Yela 0.01au

Argh! The map drives me crazy. At least now I know how my ship can fly to all these places without running out of fuel.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Fuel Usage

I was wondering just how far my Star Citizen ship could fly on a tank of fuel. So I got out my pen and paper, a calculator, and prepared my mind for some good old fashioned grade-school math.

I signed into the Persistent Universe, jumped in my ship, and undocked. Then I looked around for a point far away that I could jump to, or, since we're in grade school now, to which I could jump. My ship starts with 10,000,000 units of fuel.

Thought I would go visit Tessa Banister. Jump computer said she was 471208 km and 5% of my fuel away. So away I went. On arrival my fuel gauge read 9528798 units.

Tessa  gave me a mission. It was 760332 km away and promised to use 8% of my fuel. So's aways I go's. On arrival my fuel gauge shows 8768496 units.

Everybody with me so far. Not intimidated by the math problem, yet?

Summary:

Trip to Tessa's --- 471208 km used 471202 units of fuel.
Trip to mission --- 760332 km used (9528798 - 8768496 =) 760302 units of fuel.

Ergo, except for a few kms buzzing about one may conclude that:
ONE km uses ONE unit of fuel.
and
Jump computer rounds UP in telling percentage of fuel usage.

Math is so tough.

What does that mean?

Well, 1 Au = approx 150,000,000 km*. My ship starts with 10,000,000 units of fuel. That means --
I can travel a maximum distance of 0.07 Au.

Most distances in the Stanton System are about 3 Au. So I guess we can buzz about within Stanton pretty much only locally. That means right now only about Planet Crusader and locale.


* 1 Au = 149,597,871 kilometers.

EDIT: the math was too tough for me. Had to edit numbers.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

SC a2.6.3

Oh no, 2.6.3! Another Star Citizen patch to download so soon. Shoot. Guess it's a network hotfix.

It takes almost three solid nights and lots of daytime hours for me to download Star Citizen's 31'ish gigabytes. Maybe I'll just skip this one and wait for the SC a3.0 patch.

Oh crap. I know I can't do that. Patch SC a3.0 will most likely come at the end of August, during GamesCom. You know, marketing.

So I'll have to bite the bullet and download it. Maybe Squadron 42 will come out. That would really pass the time! No, they'll probably hold onto that till CitizenCom (October). You know, marketing.

Squadron 42 Overview by BoredGamer
[I think this overview is already obsolete.
AI, animations, fidelity have been upgraded.]

The delta patcher can't come too soon. It transfers only items that have changed, not the whole shebang. Maybe in SC a3.0.

Then again, maybe the release of SC a3.0 and Squadron 42 will be reversed. They keep saying Squadron 42 is nearing completion. But they are so closed-lipped about revealing or demonstrating some of its contents.

Anyway, I'm pretty sure they'll want to hit those marketing opportunities with something stellar.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Orbital Dynamics Confirmed

Well, orbital dynamics have been confirmed for Star Citizen. That means planets will rotate about their axis and rotate about their Sun. Also, ships can orbit a planet. Space stations, too. Things won't be standing still anymore.

This also means that maps will become ever more complex and difficult to create. I'm glad I don't have that job. Not only is everything dynamic but we'll need bookmarks both static and dynamic relative to objects. We'll need information on objects, too. I'm very curious to see what ends up being created.

But initially, there probably will not be any rotation. It's alpha, after all.

Probably the Stanton System will be the first alpha system we'll get to diddle about in. And it occurs to me that I do not know too much about it other than a bit of familiarity with the names. So, to get a better appreciation of the Stanton System I laid out some maps of it.

Stanton System

It isn't too big, I guess, relative to other systems. Flitting about within Stanton seems to be about three to five Au. I don't know yet how doable that is for ships. Kilometers per unit of fuel is still unknown.

Stanton I - Hurston

Four moons around Hurston. I only know a line or two of lore about them. Practical knowledge is absent.

Stanton II - Crusader

All kinds of stuff around Crusader. Things are likely changed for SC a3.0, I assume. Less SCC CommArrays, for example. Perhaps no asteroid belt around Yela

Stanton III - Yela

We pretty much just know some of the inside of ArcCorp. The outside should prove to be interesting, and its moons.

Stanton IV - MicoTech

And Microtech. High tech here.

So I don't know how complete the SC a3.0 release will be but I'm really looking forward to it. Along with everyone else, I suspect. Maybe my Hoplite will be able to reach some of these places.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Aegis Vanguard Hoplite

Well, I finally got SC a2.6.2 downloaded last night, or more correctly, two nights ago assuming I publish this tomorrow. And what's the first thing I do? I mount up my Aegis Vanguard Hoplite and go for a spin.




I know, you're asking, "Why do I have a Hoplite?" Answer: I don't know. I think it is what happens when you get caught up in the hype of a big Star Citizen ship sale. It was my Bridge too Far.


So they say the Hoplite was rushed into service as a drop ship for Squadron 42. Presumably Squadron 42 needs you to be in a drop ship to accomplish something or other during the course of the single-player game. But for Star Citizen there are a couple of other special purpose drop ships in the pipeline which are better suited for the purpose. They just won't be ready for Squadron 42's release.

The Hoplite has a crew of two and space for six Marines. Yes, I know, that's some kind of useless ship for a solo player. I suppose I could hire six NPC Mercenaries and go wup-ass at some planetary station. Not really my way to cause trouble, though.

Well, here's my thinking. The Hoplite will be redesigned into something really cool. It will be all modular'n stuff so it could end up being a generalized all-purpose utility ship. That was my thinking anyway. See what happens when you make your own beer.

Anyway, guess I'm stuck with it. Maybe I can trade it for some planet-side thing-a ma jig.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Star Citizen Improvement Suggestions

I've been rambling along for a few weeks now and I've noticed some game suggestions have popped out in my posts. I thought put them in one place just in case some person of influence should happen by.

Manually Influence Reputation

We don't know how reputation in Star Citizen fully works yet but that hasn't stopped me from suggesting a thing or two. We should be able to affect Person Character (PC) to ourselves reputation.

It is obvious in games that some people are simply obnoxious. And some people are wonderful examples of human beings. We should be able to manually apply an additive / subtractive indicator to the reputation of a particular individual relative to us.

This can be done through our Contact List. Anyone in our Contact List gets a reputation boost. A non-Contact List needs also to be created. Anyone in it gets a reputation drop.

By using Contact Lists we can marginally manage the reputation quantifiers without needing a complex game mechanic.

NPC Combatants

I was watching https://www.twitch.tv/thebaseradio featuring Sean Noonan and this idea popped into my head: that NPCs be snuck into episodes of Star Marine and Arena Commander. Great for testing AI and also for helping to fluff up some short-staffed rounds.

Sean Noonan

I don't think PC participants should be told of these sneaky infiltrators. Maybe some will make it to the top of the leader boards. Cool.

Map Scale

Yes, the map could use a scale. Just opening up a system and looking at it gives no indication of how big it is. A scale, pretty basic, I think.

Fuel Usage

In the PU when you select an object to Quantum Drive toward, you are advised as to how much of your fuel will be consumed. The Star Map should also show that when plotting inter-system travel so we can better plan out our fuel needs.

Time or Distance Constraint on Quantum Drive

It might be nice to place a time constraint on the Quantum Drive. This allows more precise course charting. If the Quantum Drive speed becomes variable (it's currently tacked at 0.2c) then specifying a desired distance may be preferable.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Wormholes and Exploration

Every system in the Star Citizen Verse is connected by a wormhole, usually more than one. There is no faster than light (FTL) travel so all inter-system activity is by wormhole.

Wormholes come in various sizes allowing the passage of large, medium, or small ships. The permanent wormholes are fixed in location and size. I haven't counted but there are likely over 200 permanent wormholes.

Zhatt's Transit Map with some Au distance indicators superimposed.

An exploration sub-task is the seeking out and discovery of temporary wormholes. There will probably be lots of them. I expect there will be many hundreds of them just waiting to be discovered. They will however be temporary and maybe even mobile on one end or both. That kinda makes them slippery things.

I expect that there will be a lot of temporary wormholes because there are several wormhole detecting ships. The Anvil Carrack, RSI Constellation Aquilla, Misc Freelancer DUR, and possibly the Anvil Terrapin are ships capable of wormhole detection. There may also be modules that ships can attach which could be helpful in finding wormholes ... but I'm currently thinking, not.

Anvil Carrack approaching a wormhole.

Simply because of the number of wormhole-detecting ships there will be lots of wormholes to discover. But they will be fleeting, I'm sure. Based on the fact that knowledge of them is to have considerable implied value, I'd hazard a guess that they will have a duration in the neighborhood of weeks to months. The larger holes being longer lived than the smaller ones.

Why, you ask? Well, that's just the way I would do it were I the great CR god. Anyway, that will do until we know for sure.

I expect that wormholes will be of similar distance to other, permanent wormholes in the area. I do not expect that one will travel to the other side of the Verse relative to one's current position. The programming of that might be a bit tricky. Each wormhole origin system probably just have a short list of potential wormhole destination systems. Keeps things tidier this way.

Putting a value on transient wormhole locations is another tricky bit of business. Initially the UEE will simply pay a set price thus establishing a floor value. But as more citizens join the Verse and organizations tend to grow larger then there may be logical reasons for one organization to pay bigger bucks for some wormhole information.

Monday, April 3, 2017

I'm an Explorer

First and foremost I'm an explorer. And, like many others, I have an Anvil Carrack. The Carrack is slated for release in the SC a3.3 update. That means not very likely this year. Next year, most likely.



My ambition is to rediscover Oretani. The single wormhole connecting Oretani to Sol collapsed, isolating the colonists. I've examined all the star maps and studied the lore. I have a hunch as to where my searching will begin. And even if I'm wrong, ya gotta explore someplace, right?

Oretani is 10au wide and has six planets.
Perhaps even a surviving population of colonists.

SC a3.3 will be the last big release before the game goes live with 4.0. The intervening beta releases should give me time to learn how to operate the ship and use its many supportive modules.

Currently, the Carrack is listed as coming complete with a land Rover and a scout ship. A Pisces-class scout ship! And that doesn't mean much because I don't think anyone outside of CIG knows what that looks like or what it will be designed to do. But the Rover, vroom, vroom!



The Carrack has a maximum crew of five. Hopefully I'll be able to earn enough from incidental exploration to keep my NPC crew well paid. I expect that I'll sell any discovered small wormhole information to some deserving small organization. More monumental information I'll probably sell to the appropriate UEE authority for the good of all.

Jadrien Cousens' Carrack


Saturday, April 1, 2017

My Kingdom for a Ship

One moment I'm just sitting in my comfy swivel chair contemplating the Star Citizen Verse when suddenly it hits me ... I have no ship!

I'm thinking how nice it will be when the SC a3.0 upgrade comes out. We'll finally be able to do stuff. We'll be able to test a few new and interesting mechanics, and contribute feedback as to how well they play. Then it hits me, my ships don't exist in the Verse, yet. They are all pledge ships for the future. Not one is built for in-game use. Am I going to be stuck with flying a Sabre or a Hornet indefinitely?

Do you suppose the mining ship, the Prospector, will be a free-to-fly thing? Or will there be a ready Freelance DUR for exploration? one System exploration but exploration nevertheless. Perhaps I can play merchant with a loaner Vanguard and its wee-tiny cargo space.

Must ... resist ... temptation ... to buy a Prospector.

Prospector

OMG, and what happens? A big Drake Interplanetary 10-day sale! Oo, the Buccaneer.

Drake ships

I'm resisting, so far. Looks like I'll be flying about in a loaner Freelancer, learning the new cargo mechanics, just waiting for others to play pirate on me. Not looking forward to that.

:(