Over the weekend, CIG opened up release 2.4 to general testing on the Private Test Universe (PTU). First wave in were 5K of the most frequent participants in bug reporting and/or active in playing. The next wave in, likely to help with stress testing, were subscribers - players who contribute a monthly subscription to support community content creation, such as all the weekly shows produced. I used to make it into PTU wave 1 but it's been many months since I played regularly, preferring to focus on creating content for followers and avoid burn out.
Not having much free time, I only dabbled with a few elements - changes to how we interact with hangars and see another one of my ships that'd made it to the hangar-ready state. The world is also coming alive and in technicolor. The hangars, Port Olisar, rooms, shops, etc., are being updated to include more color variance. Here's a rundown of the huge changes 2.4 is bringing to the Star Citizen Alpha.
Pictorial View - A few of the Star Citizen Alpha 2.4 Changes
A single word, whose implementation has an immediate and lasting impact on Star Citizen alpha game-play. Without it, our characters have had no progression other than what can be achieved in a single gaming session. Without it, there are no lasting consequences of your actions – for good or bad. All of that changes with this first small step, in the iteration of implementing PERSISTENCE.
- Missions now provide an in-game currency similar to earning gold in other MMOs. And although missions are still thin on the ground, doing them has more meaning and benefit. Mission completion is saved across sessions AND they provide monetary rewards – alpha United Earth Credits (aUEC).
- With aUEC being earnable in game, the next thing you want to do is use them and you can, in the new shops that have opened. Casaba Outlet on ArcCorp has finally opened its doors to shoppers, with a small offering of player clothing. Shirts, jackets, pants, saps and shoes, are now available for purchase. Cubby Blast has new weapons and more importantly, space suits you can buy. All items can be previewed on your character before being purchased. While this is excellent news until we have the female avatar, I won’t bother. *Smile* There are also smaller shops available around Port Olisar as well.
- There be people in their underwear. The ability to put clothes on, introduces the ability to take them off. Why are we such predictable creatures? Beware of civilians running around in their skivvies. *Smile*
- Sustained consequences of your actions is now “a thing” because we have persistence. Even if you don’t care about customizing your character, you will want to earn aUEC to support your space habit. Replacing a lost ship will now cost ya, as will ship repair, refueling and ammunition replacement. Enjoy ramming other people’s ships for grins? It’s going to cost you to fix and/or replace yours! None of the fees are exorbitant in these early days of implementation and testing but the fact that it exists is a huge YES! Additionally, player outlaw reputation is now maintained long term as well. Double YES!
- YOU NEED AIR to survive in the vacuum of space. Leaving Port Olisar in civilian clothing will kill you. You won’t even make it outside. You’ll die in the airlocks used to exit the space station. There’s a new sign posted on the doors as a reminder. You can change your clothes using the locker in any of the resident rooms on Port Olisar or by interacting with the ones conveniently placed near the exits.
- Ship configurations now persistent across gaming instances. TRIPLE YES. Hating the Holotable + having to reconfigure a ship every time you logged in, kept me in stock loadouts. I’m not into leaderboards so there was no motivation to bother repeatedly reconfiguring ships in an alpha. NOW I will start messing with different loadouts and begin using the pool of REC I have available to purchase upgrades.
We knew it was coming but I hadn’t heard that 2.4 would be its debut. How the hangars work in general has evolved. Some of it great. Other aspects of it in need more iteration, which is to be expected.
- You can now select which hangar you want from within the game. It’s the first choice in the Options menu. Yeah, no more using the external RSI website.
- More freedom in ship placement. Minus the grid implementation on RSI, you can combine ships in more varieties of formations because we’ll be placing them ourselves while inside the hangar. The downside is that the orbs you’re looking for on the floor are horrifically small and difficult to find!! CIG please spare my eyes. I don’t want to go blind at an early age, as some of your design choices are inducing. *end sarcasm* I’m sure they’re hearing this enough that it will change soon.
- Customize the placement of items in your hangar beyond the ships. Where items are placed on the floors, walls and surfaces, is up to you. There’s still a grid of sorts and size restrictions for what can go where but considerably more freedom than before. I should note the current lack of a “Place all” which is essentially what we had prior to 2.4. I’d like that back and then simply tweak things. The hangars are large. I have 100+ flair items in addition to ships, all of whom would have to be placed. I don’t really care where all 100 go – only some of them. I wanted my jukebox downstairs and my fish tank in my office. But do I really care where the 20+ posters I’ve earned go? Not so much. Do I want to hand place the 30+ surface chotskies I’ve earned? Pretty please, NO!
Holotable Removed from the Hangar
The Holotable is gone – long die the Holotable. Sorry, but that 3D snazzy interface for customizing your ship components was birthed from the devil. I know the design was somebody’s baby and they loved it. But… No, just no. The Holotable will be redesigned as an interface that is accessible from your Mobiglas. In the interim, we have the first iteration of direct interaction with ship components.
- To change a component, locate the blue spheres that appear as you get close. When you’re close enough it becomes active by turning green. Pressing F to use it. It will then display a list of components you own that can be placed into that slot.
- Not sure what happens now if you completely bork a configuration. Without persistence you’d just go to your RSI hangar on the web, remove the ship then put it back to reset it to its default.
Ship owners awaiting their Precious, are always happy for progress on their ships. I have good news times two with this update.
- Both MISC Starfarer variants are flyable! This is the first time I recall the base model and variant being made flyable at the same time. Typically, base variants come in a future patch. Hell the Freelancer still only has the base model flyable. This is likely evidence that the new pipeline process, style guides and ship manufacturers being made by certain teams must be working well for them.
- MISC Reliant is now hangar-ready. This is a small dedicated hauler with a unique pivoting cockpit design. I own one and it will be the topic of the next Casual Citizen video cast.
Completely New Control Scheme
Things have been changed significantly. Everyone will need to come up to speed and/or reconfigure their custom keybinds and Voice Attack Profiles. One of the objectives of the change was to provide consistency of inputs across space flight, EVA and being on foot. Hooray for consistency. Boo for fixing my keybinds and VA profiles. *Smile*
That’s it in a nutshell. The highlights of changes in Star Citizen 2.4 that is currently being tested on the PTU. I think we’re likely to see it hit the Live server in the next 7 to 10 days. Cheers!