Wishful thinking and the ship's progression have visions of the Drake Herald being hangar ready in Alpha 2.5 dancing in my head! Of my small ships, this is the one I'm most excited to have flight ready. I'm ecstatic about the game play options Star Citizen is building into small ships. They're not being left to play second fiddle! No, they're being given intricate game-play mechanics that can be done solo or with a friend. I can't wait just to walk around inside this ship.
Interactive Fiction (IF) is something I've been interested in for several years. It's part of the Text Adventure genre but is just as often used to simply tell a story versus being a game. The latter is what interests me about the methodology. The idea of telling a story with multiple paths, where the user has an impact on how the events progress, intrigues me.
I was recently asked to be the Roleplay Manager for a large Star Citizen organization. When it came time to write a short bio for my primary character in Star Citizen, I decided to do it as an IF story. Seemed like a perfect opportunity to try interactive fiction. I could write my bio as a small self contained story using one of the free IF tools available.
My character in Star Citizen will be named Bryony Noire. Her bio is an introduction to the circumstances that precipitated her decision to leave Earth. The story link was preceded by her character bio on our RP Forum's Character Profiles section. It explains that Bryony was born on Earth, is 25 years old, 5'7 and 125 lbs, has light brown eyes and red hair. She has no primary residence and is currently living on ArcCorp in the Stanton star system as a freelance Medic.
Back with another episode of Casual Citizen. This week’s show explores using the new features introduced in Alpha 2.4. It’s about getting back to playing Star Citizen. I hope you enjoy. Full show transcript is available after the break.
The more I've immersed myself in the Star Citizen Community, more opportunities for new experiences have surfaced. Although it's a bit of work and I can't always produce new video or audio content every week, I am thoroughly enjoying myself! It's surprising that this early in the development cycle of the persistent universe we find so much to do, review and experience. As of yesterday, I can add another new adventure to the list!
Last night I moderated my first Twitch stream for Dan Gheesling of Big Brother fame, and will be doing so on a weekly basis. I knew of Dan from having watched him on Big Brother. It wasn't until years later that I realized he was also an avid gamer! He's been following Star Citizen for quite some time, has pledged for several ships, did a stint as part of the CIG Community team and produces SC related content on a daily basis for his YouTube channel.
I started watching Dan's YT content a couple of months ago. He's hysterical by the way. I had no idea he was that funny. Occasionally, I caught him live on Twitch. He in turn had listened to a few episodes of Casual Citizen and enjoyed them. Out of the blue a few days ago, he asked if I'd like to mod his channel. Fan swoon Of course!! Last night was my first time. It was fun, exciting and felt completely natural. Following Star Citizen the way I do, I know quite a bit about the game and I enjoy sharing that information with others.
During yesterday's live stream he tripped into one of the most action-packed sustained high jinx Star Citizen gaming sessions I've seen! You absolutely have to check it out once he posts it on his channel. If you want to see him playing live and join in on the conversation, his Twitch stream is live on Wednesdays at 7 PM Eastern. Come on by, have some fun and chat me up.
More and more people are talking about Voice Attack software and Voice Packs. Want to know what it's all about? Check out my newest article on [REDACTED]. For me, using a voice attack program is an essential ingredient in flying effectively with a HOTAS/Joystick in Star Citizen. There simply aren't enough buttons on the average joystick for the basics, let alone using advanced combat mechanics. This article will help you understand what's involved and outline the basics if you're interested in giving it a try.
Saturday evening was my first opportunity to play Star Citizen since patch 2.4 was pushed to the Live server. For me at least, having persistence is a huge element that brings Star Citizen closer to being an MMORPG. Having all of my efforts lost upon exiting the game, provided ZERO incentive for me to have goals other than trying the new mechanics. Now that my progress is being saved, I have a few goals in mind.
My starting goals are to complete ICC Probe mission chain, complete Covalex Shipping Hub mission and earn 7,375 aUEC in order to purchase the Odyssey Flight Suit aka what Dan Gheesling refers to as The Yeezy.
Hopping into the Live game and knowing that it will now cost me money to repair my ship, refuel and replace ammunition, had an immediate effect on my behavior. I felt a bit more tension going into combat situations. I don’t want to spend aUEC gained from completing a mission on a ship replacement! Yes, I could call up a different ship at Port Olisar instead of paying the replacement fee. However, I’m considering that cheating in this little scenario I’m playing out for myself.
I’m looking to see how long I can go before having to replace a ship. How long it takes me to earn enough money buy the Yeezy. And what the full circle of what I’m accustomed to as “progression” in other MMOs, feels like being played out in Star Citizen. I suppose I could allow myself to use one of my other ships as a no cost replacement. You often have multiple sets of armor, mounts, etc. in MMOs but you don’t have those at the start. So for the first few sessions of game play, I won’t take advantage of my other assets.
I Know It’s All In My Head
I realize the difference between combat risks in 2.4 versus previous builds is mostly in my head. Regardless, my adrenaline was more hyped the first time I encountered a pirate ship. Oftentimes, frame rates in the Baby Persistent Universe (BPU) are not conducive to smooth game play. Optimizations are being made but full scale optimization is something that comes much later in a game’s development lifecycle. Combine that with wanting to capture video and it’s down right dangerous for your frame rates.
It’s hard to hit a moving target if you’re being lagged to death. There are considerably more collisions with the AI ships - mostly on their part. Your controls become less responsive. All of the above contributes to your ship taking more damage, wasting ammunition and/or getting your butt wrecked! One minute you’re alive and doing fine...lag...lag...BLAM...ship explodes in a fiery ball of death. In the past that didn’t matter. You resurrect, resummon your ship and be on your way. Same thing happens now except that it will cost me to resummon (replace) that ship.
Starting the ICC Probe Missions
I’ve done parts of the ICC Probe mission chain before with cheeky Tessa. They were randomly sequenced and alternated between finding an object at a location, routing pirates at a location and protecting a ship from pirates at a location. For whatever reason, I mostly received the “go find” variants in the past. And at the very least, it always started with a “go find” mission. Either the lack of persistence was just messing with my luck-of-the-draw or they’ve decided to add pirates on the “go find” variant now too.
Video Clips of the Adventure
Before entering the persistent universe, I went to my ship hangar to reconfigure my Sabre with the new ship loadout I tried on the 2.4 Private Test Universe. Flying the Sabre with four Panther is a very sweet build. The new Item Port System allows you to interact directly with ship components to configure your loadout. Check out an article and video I did for REDACTED.TV to see it in action. Ship load out settled, I logged into Crusader to start my journey to The Yeezy.
Walking out of the airlock I’m greeted by the new music. “Ahh!” It’s so hauntingly beautiful. I hop in my ship, start the engines and head to the ICC Probe location. Tessa has her say and hands me my first mission location. I’m off.
After coming out of the quantum jump, I could see a red light blinking straight ahead of me. From experience I know that it’s the flight recorder left behind in a shipwreck. I shift into cruise mode and head straight for it. I’m almost close enough to consider ejecting to investigate the scene when my ship’s radar AI announces hostile targets. Normally, this is good news. I like fighting in and around the asteroid field. But today there’s persistence, poor frame rates and I want to record video which will decrease my frames some more.
Three pirate ships spawned a short distance at my 3 o’clock. I could have tried ignoring them, hopping out and activating the flight recorder to complete my mission. Sometimes the AI pirates will ignore a ship if it’s completely shut down, which is what happens by default when you exit it to do EVA. However, today wasn’t the day I wanted to test that theory. If that behavior has been fixed, it could result in having my ship blown up on my first mission in 2.4. No thanks. Let’s not start off having to replace a ship.
Into the laggy breech I went. I didn’t make a good showing but in the end, they all died and I didn’t, which is what counts. I took the risk of recording video here and there, while fighting the motion sickness lagging frames gives me. Pirates dead, I headed back to the flight recorder, activated it and got paid. Chaching 2,500 aUEC.
I visited Tessa twice more during that gaming session. All three missions included combat at the target location. One of the missions was an escort mission of sorts - protect a civilian ship at a specific location. The civilian ship however, spawned so close to a cluster of asteroids that it was hell trying to navigate the area safely while fighting off the pirates. After successfully defending, I noticed a green light blinking off in the distance. Remembering that crates of goods can be found in wreckage, I made a detour to check it out before heading back to Port Olisar.
I navigated my ship as close to the green hazy wreck as possible. Then exited my ship to search for loot. YES. There was a closed crate in the wreckage that contained boxes of cigars. It allowed me to loot it three times but I couldn’t immediately tell if I was getting any money from it. Later on I realized it must have given me around 1K aUEC.
In one gaming session I completed 3 missions, helped another player route pirates while I was cruising through Yela, found my first loot cache, didn’t lose my ship, earned 8.7K aUEC and BECAME THE PROUD OWNER OF THE YEEZY FLIGHT SUIT. Baby PU game play is starting to have legs.
Much to my surprise, the Alpha 2.4 release of Star Citizen remains exclusively on the Private Test Universe. The development team is facing a few critical blockers such as ships floating above the landing pads when summoned, player invisibility which often results in death leaving Port Olisar as your spacesuit is missing, client crashes and unstable frame rates. We're up to patch P, which isn't much better than O in regards to the aforementioned blockers. Until the content is on the Live Server, I've been reluctant to start pursing a few avenues I'd like to write about. We've had one PTU wipe. I'd hate to be midstream documenting and adventure only to start over. My time is a little too tight for that. I may move forward with trying out the new item port system on PTU if this lingers much longer. I have new weapons I'd like to try out.
One aspect of Alpha 2.4 that is 100% safe in making it's way to the Live Server, is the new music from composer Pedro Camacho. I'm a huge fan of the music we're heard so far for Arena Commander and ArcCorp. More of the soundtrack has been introduced to the persistent universe areas. I've published an article on [REDACTED] discussing the additions and included a mash-up of my favorite interludes, overlaid with some the game's background FXs. Please pop over and give it a read.
Back for another fact and lore filled episode of Casual Citizen. I'm late again - apologies. This week is another MISC Ship, the Reliant. You may have noticed that my ship coverage focuses on those designed for player careers. This is no exception. Please enjoy.
Real life and Star Citizen are still chugging along, as is doing some paid work as a voice over artist. For that reason Casual Citizen is a bit late again but will be released tomorrow. In the meantime, I have what I consider very exciting news!! I've been invited to be a member of the [REDACTED] Content Team.
The [REDACTED] Content Team is a consortium of players who are making content for the Star Citizen community. They're predominantly Twitch streamers and YouTube veterans. I think I'm the only member who's mostly known for blogging and just beginning their YouTube journey. Although writing articles on another website adds more to my plate, I'm looking forward learning from their experiences. And belonging to a group of people producing entertainment for Star Citizen. None of whom would be doing it, without being as hyped for its release as I am!!
Selfishly, it also presents an opportunity to get help from real people instead of turning to Sir Google when I have audio or video questions. I hope that I'm also able to contribute in a mutually beneficial way to them as well.
Star Citizen Alpha 2.4 is bringing lots of subtle changes that taken as a whole, really expand the game-play mechanics. You can read a highlight of the features coming in 2.4 here. For my very first[REDACTED] article, I focused on persistence and how that one word, is adding so much to the game. I can't WAIT for it hit the Live server!
Please show me some love by following my exploits on WWW.REDACTED.TV, in addition to here. It will not be repetitive content.