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Star Citizen 1.1 Is Live! Here’s The Rundown

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In case you haven’t heard, Star Citizen 1.1 went live today! And that’s actually one of the biggest changes – Cloud Imperium has taken to naming it Star Citizen instead of Arena Commander due to the expanded activities we’ll soon all be enjoying in the ‘verse. Wether it’s throwing down in Star Marine or walking the malls of Area 18, the first-person universe is, in fact, coming together!

Here are the highlight of Star Citizen 1.1 that you need to know:

New Installer

The bad news is that you have to re-install Star Citizen from scratch. But the good news is that you have to re-install Star Citizen from scratch! Yes, you have to delete your current install of Star Citizen, but the new one you download will be much cleaner and more optimized, without all of the bloat that has crept in over time. The CIG QA department has a handy and simple guide to help you through the uninstall and reinstall process right here.

If you encountered any issues installing the new client, CIG cites some bad data on their content delivery network, and has since remedied the situation. If your download failed, you can find out more information here.

Rental Equipment Credits & Electronic Access

The new currency system for Arena Commander (as well as the upcoming Star Marine FPS module) is available. Rental Equipment Credits, or REC, are earned for playing the game.

Using this new currency, players can rent ships as well as weapons and shields through the new Electronic Access (EA) store. Each rental lasts for seven 24 hour periods and can be renewed at a discount.

As a nice bonus, players are granted 5,000REC to spend in the EA store as they see fit!

New Ships

Star Citizen 1.1 brings with it two new ships which you can purchase!

The newly-revamped Retaliator will now show up in your hangar, and the Gladius is now ready for flight & fight in Arena Commander.

Both of these are purchasable on the Pledge store for real money as permanent additions to your hangar, and the Gladius ROM for Arena Commander is available on the Electronic Access store for just 9,000REC.

The SimPod

Every hangar now comes with its very own SimPod! This new device is where you’ll access Arena Commander as well as Star Marine when it hits. You can no longer enter your ship to jump into Arena Commander.

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New Character Rigging

One of the chief complaints about Star Citizen so far has been the character animation. Well, it was always intended to be a placeholder and today we get a much better animation rig. Bask in the glory as you run around your hangar or exit your ship on one of the landing platforms!

New Damage System

The new damage state system is in place with the Gladius, but will be applied to other older ships over time. If you haven’t seen the preview, check it out below!

New Landing System

Something that has been missing so far is a systemic way for players to land their ships. That all changes with Star Citizen 1.1, which introduces a brand-new landing system. When toggled away from combat mode, this new system includes UI elements to assist players with manual landing procedures.

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Additional landing pads have been added to free flight modes and some are governed, which means players will need to request access to land, much as they would landing on a planet or docking with a space station.

New Weapon Mounts

This release sees the all-new weapon mounting system, designed to make things easier to understand and also alleviate some of the disparity between gimbaled weapons (ones you can aim independent of your ship) and fixed weapon mounts.

The jury is still out in wether this system is easier to understand, but it does make sense and afford realistic weapon customization across the entire range of Star Citizen ships. You can read a detailed design document on the weapon mount system here.

New Pilot’s Guide

This is a must-read if you’ve never read the previous version of the manual. This updated PDF can be found here.

Needless to say, this is a massive update to Arena Commander and sets the stage for all of the exciting things coming later this year. With the Star Marine FPS module due very soon, and the social module in April, Star Ciitzen is starting to feel like a complete game.

Now, perhaps its time to build that new PC…

Squadron 42 Story Drop Courtesy Of Chris Roberts (Spoilers!)

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At this point, two and-a-half years after the launch of the original Kickstarter campaign, much is known about Star Citizen: we’ve been dogfighting for almost a year in Arena Commander; we’re about to put our boots on the ground in Star Marine; and very shortly, we’ll be shopping ’til we drop in Area 18 on ArcCorp. As Chris Roberts recently stated, it’s all starting to come together.

However, one aspect of Star Citizen has been conspicuously absent from all of the hoopla and information dumps: Squadron 42.

Squadron 42 is of course the spiritual successor to Wing Commander, an offline, single-player mission driven story campaign.
It will introduce players to the Star Citizen universe, along with the locations, ships and characters. Not only that, you’ll be able to play co-op with your friends. Roberts has mentioned the first set of missions for the campaign will release in the fall timeframe of this year.

Outside of those precious , we knew precious little about the campaign. That is, until yesterday.

In an interview over on Blastr, Chris Roberts was asked about Squadron 42. We’re no stranger to Chris’ uncanny ability to answer a question as thoroughly as any human possibly can, but he went even further this time. When asked about the story of Squadron 42, he game some exceptionally detailed information. To the point where I’m sorta mad that I read it! Continue reading ‘Squadron 42 Story Drop Courtesy Of Chris Roberts (Spoilers!)’ »

PAX East Recap & Roundup

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In case you didn’t notice, there’s a PAX happening this weekend! That’s right, PAX East is going on in Boston, and there were indeed Star Citizen things happening. Amazing things. Happy things. Let’s get caught up…

Show Floor

Star Citizen didn’t have it’s own presence on the show floor, but instead opted to bunk in the Logitech booth.  Here, there are demo stations set up so players could get their hands Star Citizen if they hadn’t yet experienced it before. An opportunity to greet some new converts, if you will.

Star Citizen Backer Event

While Star Citizen may have not had a full-on booth of their own at PAX East, Cloud Imperium more than made up for it with a special backer event on Saturday night, held at the Royale night club. And here, my friends, is where they brought the goods.

Chris Roberts took the stage to cheers of backers, and opened by announcing that Star Citizen 1.1 is live on the Public Test Universe. This is an important naming change, as it no longer makes sense to call it Arena Commander when it will be so much more soon — including the FPS and social modules.

Rental Equipment Credits (REC)

After covering some of the mechanical changes in 1.1, Roberts briefly went into the Rental Equipment Credits (REC) system coming with the patch. These credits can be spent in-game through the Electronic Access store so players can try out new weapons, ships and other things. Chris pointed out that Electronic Access (EA) was bought out by Original Systems, and is now a shell of a brand name at this point. Original Systems just uses EA as a digital storefront. Heh.

Improved Damage

If anyone can make damage sexy, it’s Chris Roberts and CIG.

Roberts talked about the tech behind the old damage model, and some of the problems that it could bring, given the level of fidelity of Star Citizen. The new damage model is not only a huge optimization which will allow the system to perform better, but an incredible visual upgrade as well. Check out the video!

Retaliator – Hangar Ready!

No words. Just Watch.

The Ground War & Star Marine Hands-On

The big news, of course, is the FPS module reveal, which has been given an official name – Star Marine!  Star Marine is created by the in-fiction development company interDimension Software (id Software. Get it?)  It will run along-side Arena Commander inside of the brand new Simpod that’s been installed in your hangar.

Chris showed slides of the initial armor and weapons which will be included at the launch of the module. These items will be able to be used in one of two maps; Gold Horizon Platform and Battleshphere.

Battlesphere brings with it zero-gravity gameplay, and makes use of a number of abilities to push and pull yourself around the environment, including a grappling attachment for your pistol. Backers at the event were able to hop into the Battlesphere to play live against some CIG devs, and good fun was had by all!

CIG had hoped to release Star Marine during PAX East, but their pursuit of perfection is keeping it in the oven for a few more weeks. But by the end of March, players should have the first iteration in their hands.

Looking Forward

Star Citizen 1.1.2, to be released in the April timeframe, will bring with it the social module, allowing players to leave their hangar for the first time to explore Stanton, an ArcCorp planet-side landing zone.  It wasn’t confirmed if you will be able to walk around this area with other players yet, but they’d mentioned that at a previous event, so here’s hoping!

After that, around mid-year, players can look forward to Arena Commander 2.0, which will include the much-awaited multi-crew ships.

Toward the end of the year, the first episode of the Squadron 42 trilogy will launch, closely followed by the pre-alpha Persistent Universe. Players will be able to land and trade and interact in about 5 star systems around the galaxy.

Roundup

There are some other great spots on the web you can check out what’s happening with Star Citizen at PAX East… here are just a few!

 

While PAX East may be coming to a close, SXSW will be just gearing up – and that’s where we’ll get a deep reveal of the social module. Fans won’t have to wait long – the SXSW event is next weekend!

Stay tuned to Delta Colony for more Star Citizen coverage during SXSW and other upcoming events!

Arena Commander 1.1 Is Live On The PTU

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ArenaCommanderLogoSkinnedWhat shiny, new toys do we find ourselves waking up to on this fine PAXmas morning?  A brand-new build of Arena Commander, that’s what!

Arena Commander 1.1 has been released to the PTU for players to get their hands on. So what’s new with this release?

For starters, you no longer access Arena Commander through entering the cockpit of your ship. Instead, you have a shiny new Simpod in your hangar where you’ll access AC as well as the upcoming FPS module.

There's a new toy coming to your hangar. Meet the Simpod.

 

Arguably, the biggest feature of AC 1.1 might be the Rental Equipment Credits (REC) system. This system, which was announced a few weeks ago to some controversy, allows players to earn REC, a new in-game currency, just for playing Arena Commander (as well as the upcoming FPS module.) These credits can then be spent to “rent” ships and weapons inside of Arena Commander, allowing players to fly ships and use weapons without buying them by pledging real cash.

There are some other highlights as well, such as the ability to now fly and fight with your Gladius, the initial stages of the new damage state system, multi-player free-flight (now, with automatic and assisted landing and more platforms) and a ton more! Check out the full AC 1.1 patch notes over on the RSI forums.

mobiGlas Micro? Apple Watch? You Decide.

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At the end of every episode of Around the Verse, Ben and Sandi typically treat Star Citizen fans to an art “sneak peek” at some sort of upcoming hotness… and today’s episode doesn’t disappoint! It’s of particular interest to me since I’m all about the Persistent Universe.

Last month, we learned through a design deep-dive exactly what mobiGlas is. For those if you who haven’t read it (and we totally recommend you do,) it’s an in-game device used by players to get an augmented view of the world around them. Through the use of “apps”, it will help players track bounties, do some shopping, plan your jump route and a whole lot more.

In the article, it was further explained that mobiGlas is a brand-name, owned by in-fiction company MicroTech. There will apparently be other devices with similar capabilities available from other in-world manufacturers, and perhaps that’s what we’re seeing in today’s art sneak-peek.

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If you look closely,  the device clearly has red, green and blue (RGB) “projectors”, presumably to accommodate full-color holographic projections. This is interesting since it was mentioned during the Persistent Universe demo at PAX South, that they’d gone with a ‘blue-ish’ color for holographic projection, as it was pretty much the accepted pop-culture sci-fi standard.

Does this mean that perhaps this is a different type of device? A more advanced version from a different manufacturer? Or maybe it’s a tradeoff – vivid color for limited functionality?

On the other hand… what if it *is* an Apple watch? Cloud Imperium Games has already done a deal with AMD to feature a far-future fictional version of the real company, complete with the AMD logo we all know and love. Perhaps, too, we’ll see at Apple-branded iGlass. Or maybe a TAG Heuer HoloWatch. Would you be ok with that kind of thing? Let us know in the comments below!

 

 

The RSI Orion Mining Platform Has Arrived!

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It’s a big day for all of the future Trade & Industry magnates out there. Not only do we learn exactly how mining will work in the Star Citizen universe, but the vessel born for the task — the Orion from RSI — is finally on sale!

Carrying a price tag of $325 and coming with a lifetime insurance policy, the Orion represents the first of the big task-specific ships since the Carrack to reach the concept sale phase.

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To go along with the ship, CIG has posted a design deep-dive that’s all about how mining will work in Star Citizen. It speaks of each crew member’s potential responsibility, and what you can do with that delicious ore once you’ve got it in your hold.

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There was also supposed to be a new mini-game to play on the RSI website, however a tweet from Ben Lesnick seems to indicate item might have been delayed. No mention for how long.

So, what do you think Imperium T&I? Is the Orion everything you hoped for?

Chris Roberts Weighs In On Rental Equipment Credits

 

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Chris Roberts took to the official Star Citizen forums tonight in response to Friday’s design post about the Rental Equipment Credit (REC) System. It seems that some players were concerned with the way it was being handled, but it turns out a good chunk of confusion may have been the primary source of the frustration.

In short, the REC design post described how players would be able to earn in-game Rental Equipment Credits — REC — just for playing Arena Commander (and the FPS module in the near future) in certain ranked game modes. These credits could then be spent on things to use in Arena Commander without spending real money  on a pledge, or with UEC credits players may have earned with a pledge package or bought with real cash. Besides REC, players can be awarded medals for their prowess in these matches — which, in turn, could award bonus REC.

With Arena Commander via the SimPod being a permanent part of the game in the future, even when the Persistent Universe launches, this is a system they were planning on delivering later anyway. Roberts explains:

 

We are specifically implementing a way for backers to earn ships via gameplay much earlier than we originally planned because this has been one of the main community requests. But it does take engineering time both on the client, the game servers and the web platform, which means it costs money – and takes away engineering time that would be spent on other aspects of the game.

In our view it is worth the investment as it will allow someone that has supported the game to have the same choice that they will have in the final game to play the game to earn new ships and items or if they don’t have the time to do this pledge for new items, which supports the ongoing development and running costs of the game (and yes 300+ people, petabytes of data and dozens of servers are not free).

 

Further in the original post, it was explained that the rental equipment that players purchase would last for 7 days of “real time.” This seemed to be the primary source of confusion for players, and Roberts took the opportunity to further clarify in his forum post:

 

One thing that wasn’t clear from the Friday post was that REC time is not real life time – its based on daily play. A week in REC is not necessarily a week in real life as the 7 days don’t need to be concurrent. If you log in over 7 days over a month that would be the same as logging in for 7 consecutive days. The example in Calix’s design overview of needing about 7 hours to “earn” a Hornet for a week was on the rational that playing 1 hour a day for 7 days would earn you a Hornet to fly for 7 days. Seems a pretty fair trade off – especially for a ship that others have contributed $110 for the right to fly the same ship in the PU and AC.

 

This means that players end up with 168 hours of actual play time for their rental purchase.

Still have questions or concerns? Head on over to the Star Citizen Base forums thread to discuss.

Letter from the Chairman: Happy New Year

Greetings Citizens,

2014 has been a huge year for Star Citizen.

We launched Arena Commander v0.8 in June and since then we’ve shown the ambition of the First Person Universe we are building with a prototype of multi crew ship combat, the scale and detail of the planet side environments and demonstrated the visceral action of the First Person Combat that players will experience in Star Citizen.

We’ve delivered 23 updates to Star Citizen / Arena Commander, four of them being major feature updates (v0.8. v0.9, v0.9.2) with the last one being the largest, Arena Commander v1.0, with fifteen new ships for backers to fly (all the Aurora and Hornet variants, Mustang family, Base Avenger and Cutlass Black) as well as significant gameplay additions like the signature system and social features like the first version of the lobby system allowing you to join up with your friends.

Star Citizen’s backers downloaded 13.7 PETABYTES of data from Star Citizen’s CDN during 2014 up from just ONE Petabyte in 2013. The community logged over two million sessions and one million hours playing Arena Commander which has been split approximately 80% single player and 20% multiplayer.

Continue reading ‘Letter from the Chairman: Happy New Year’ »