While other studio teams are powering down for the holidays, it looks as though Star Citizen’screw is keeping up the pace. The team just put out Alpha 2.1 today, bringing with it the flyable Freelancer base and Sabre fighter, as well as several fixes for the Crusader region. Alpha 2.0 has seen over 80,000 players explore it since its December 11th release.
Chris Roberts posted an end-of-the-year pep talk for fans, thanking them for their support and helping to raise over $102M for the game. He also promised that future patches would adhere to a tighter schedule than before.
“Going forward we will be changing our patch release strategy to be less feature driven and more date driven. Our goal is to release a new update every month (so January’s would be SC Alpha 2.2),” he wrote. “We feel like this strategy will be better for both development and the community at large. It will ensure constant updates and patches and a good flow of features. But as we’re not defining which features make a particular release, we won’t be in a situation like we were earlier this year where the delays on the FPS development in Star Citizen ended up blocking game updates for the community.”
Following to the latest changes, today’s Gloria Victis update continues to expand the “Valley of Death” tournament – basing on the data gathered since the latest update, the NPC mercenaries have been added to support the losing team. Combined with the recently implemented capture-able flag, it is another great addition allowing us to test in the control environment, gather required data and improve the combat balance, as well as the core gameplay mechanics, such as AI of the NPC guards, capturing the territories, hits detection or synchronization of the characters’ positions.
The update also includes various adjustments to the game balance and resolves various issues occurring in the user interface, as well as greatly improves the synchronization of the characters’ positions. We are also continuously reworking the launcher and successfully fixing the issues reported by the players.
– Made changes to the balance of the weapons damage and the character’s base damage
– Made changes to the balance of the statistics of the NPC townsmen, guards and enemies
– Added a timer counting the time to start the next “Valley of Death” tournament
– Added the NPC companions to the “Valley of Death” tournament who are supporting a losing team
– Replaced the critical strikes of the NPC enemies with the minimum-maximum damage interval
– Added the names of the capture-able locations on the map
– Optimized the server-side player’s area of interest management system (please report if you will see ghosts or any objects that aren’t being loaded properly)
– Fixed an issue causing that the items icons used to remain on the screen
– Fixed an issue allowing to duplicate items with fast clicking in the NPC shop window
– Improved the visuals of the quick access bar – empty slots are not filled with the black background anymore
– Reworked the characters’ position synchronization system – frequency of the synchronization depends on the speed of the character’s movement
– Some parts of text in the settings window are not being displayed properly; the window will be reworked in the nearest future
There aren’t many games where the player can be a club dancer, strapped-for-cash and performing for tips in a sleazy bar. There are fewer where that bar is filled with fish people and space bears.
When Star Wars Galaxies first released in 2003, it did so under the tagline “Live in the Star Wars Universe.” A simple slogan that could initially be read in a number of ways, but one that turned out to be diametrically opposed to the rest of the Star Wars game library over the title’s lifetime. As opposed to the epic quests of games like Shadows of the Empire or the previous year’s Jedi Knight II, which could perhaps be summed up with “Save the Star Wars Universe,” Galaxies billed itself as a more personal take on the familiar space fantasy world. Players could still play out those movie-inspired dreams of being smugglers or bounty hunters, yes, but these more glamorous callings were only able to succeed because of the player-driven socioeconomic systems propped up by a whole in-game society stretching far beyond the fantasies of kids playing Han Solo and Boba Fett in their backyards. As the motto implied, this was a large-scale world inhabited by players who, if they so desired, could simply live meaningful lives on the small scale. In a way, Star Wars: Galaxieswas the Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru simulator we never knew we wanted.
Rather than relying on a simple variation of the basic warrior/thief/mage class structure so common to other games of the same type, Galaxies instead debuted with a multi-tiered profession tree of over 40 different jobs, each of which could be mixed and matched to a player’s content so long as they had enough skill points to invest across them. Among these jobs were combat professions like commando or Teras Kasi Artist, but also titles like politician, chef, musician, tailor and image designer. Players who didn’t like the idea of adventuring through the mud could instead focus on running cities, cooking healing items, helping other players with status-improving songs, crafting clothing, or changing the look of other players’ characters … all for a fee, of course. Those who were good enough at it could even open up stores of their own and become famous as brand names. It wasn’t uncommon for combat-oriented players to have a trusted armor guy or spaceship parts guy, regularly making pilgrimages to their shops, which were all set up in player-built housing within player-built cities, which were themselves run by a mayor who could take taxes as needed. You could essentially open a mall in the Star Wars universe, which proved to be more compelling than you might think.