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.
First The Yeezy...
Next, the world!