Season 2 Episod3 of my ongoing series on Star Citizen by Cloud Imperium Games is available on all support platforms. This episode’s topics include Looting, I’ve Seen the Light, The Genesis of Space Whales, Limited Fast Travel, and my NightBus Fan Fiction, Pod City The Fallen, Bird Cage.
by Alysianah Noire
Welcome to another episode of Casual Citizen. My experimentation with pseudo-A.I. voices has ended. The compromise I’ve reached to keep show production reasonable is that I will voice the game commentary sections and use an A.I. voice for the fiction which tends to be the longest portion. The vast majority of authors don’t narrate their fiction anyway so… boo!
No, for real, I’m actually back. It’s been a long time coming. Between real-life misadventures such as losing the first floor of my house in a hurricane. Relocating and accepting what would become the job from hell. To being diagnosed with two autoimmune disorders in November of 2020. Life has been, shall we say, hectic. And let’s not get started on Co-vid.
Since changing employers in June 2020 and establishing a healthier work-life balance, my desire and ability to return to creative pursuits have grown. I realize now that part of the issue was that I was actually sick. It wasn’t just the hellscape I was working in. Thanks to modern medicine and a boatload of prescriptions each day, I’m doing better. And although there’s no cure for autoimmune disorders, the daily prescriptions regime has returned my health to an even keel. Today, I feel more like myself than I have for a very long time.
What excites me most about feeling back to normal, is the ever-present desire to write and be creative. It wasn’t until I felt better and I’d escaped the pressure-cooker job that I realized how much joy was being sapped from my life.
An inability to finish my stories on a more regular basis is the main reason I stopped doing content. I dislike starting stories that I don’t finish as much as I’m sure followers dislike reading them. Struggling to find the time to breathe, let alone write, was a huge challenge.
A couple of months ago I hit on an idea for a cadence I believe will work. One that allows me to focus on my writing, which is how I arrived on this adventure. While continuing to share game commentary, how I started blogging. I’m moving into fixed seasons where I write all of the primary content in advance and add timely commentary for that week. With so much entertainment delivered in seasons, I figured people would understand that type of schedule.
All of the primary content for Casual Citizen Season Two is already in the can. I’ve written over thirty thousand words of fiction and ten thousand words of game commentary, that I’m excited to share. So, without further delay, welcome to Casual Citizen and Nightbus Season Two, Episode One.
The growth we’ve seen in recent months around C.I.G.’s ability to deliver timed events is encouraging. They haven’t been without issues. It’s alpha. Baby steps and all that. But I enjoyed them regardless. The standout for me is the Xenothreat. It’s the first time in a long time I’ve been excited to log into the game. Knowing without a doubt that there was content I could participate in without an excessive amount of sandbox-style planning.
I’m no longer excited by the various ship expos. I have more than enough ships. Especially ones that are flight-ready but lack their intended mechanics. Seeing more ships no longer holds any appeal. I want updates on the ships I’ve already backed. See progress toward what’s needed to deliver their mechanics. Beyond that, the shine of new ships has worn off.
I’ve mined for long enough. A profession I don’t plan to do in the released game. Even though I feel the mechanics have been done extremely well. I have no interest in bounty or cargo hauling. And box deliveries were broken for so long that I wrote that off as more frustrating than fun. Plus there’s little to gain from doing them.
Live Events, no matter the duration is motivation. Even when it includes mechanics I wouldn’t normally do. Like combat or grabbing boxes and hauling them to a location. It’s the context and server-wide participation that make it exciting to do. It’s the story that surrounds the doing. The scope and scale of being bigger than just me or a small group of others. It’s the largess that reminds me of open-world bosses in Guild Wars 2. Alterac Valley from World of Warcraft. Scenarios from Warhammer Online.
Guaranteed active content is why I’m looking forward to Theaters of War. Opportunities for quick-hit action. Versus the random roaming around getting a whole lot of nothing done. I like where Star Citizen is heading with the capabilities to host these events. I look forward to when there are more varied mechanics involved. But for now, I’ll take it.
I don’t always need events to be multi-layered or contain specialized mechanics. I didn’t bother to visit the showroom during the most recent ship expo. I skipped visiting the Javelin. Instead, I pulled out the 890 for a cruise with friends to watch the fireworks. Lacking swimwear, we stripped to our skivvies. And enjoyed a trip over to Microtech. We lined up the ship for a great view of the fireworks. Of course, shenanigans were involved. ChewedToy, the streamer I was with at the time, was tracked to our location by one of his viewers.
They arrived in a Mercury Starrunner and a tonk. Why wouldn’t we try to airdrop the tonk onto the 890’s hangar? I mean, what else would we do under the circumstances? Many deaths later, which were saved by the bell due to the available medbay. Eventually, 890 ran out of fuel. And we all fell down. Lots of laughs all the way around brought on by a spectator event.
I need more of these from simple spectator activities. To those with explicit mechanics that require group participation. Here’s hoping Xenothreat and Ninetails arrive with 3.14.
What are your thoughts on Live Events? Have you enjoyed them? Is it game-play you’d like to see more or less of?
I’ve been playing MMO games for over twenty years. I’ve played every triple-A title targeted for North American gamers. My long-time blog, Mystic Worlds, has a list of titles I’ve played and written about across the period of time. Among my habitual behaviors, is that I will eventually stumble into a place that feels like home for me in that game. It either strikes my fancy of where my character would live if they lived in the world for real or it speaks to a character from one of my stories and where their adventure would take place.
It will become a place that I visit frequently when I simply want to exist in the game. Gaze out upon that view and imagine or write a story. Sit back and chat with friends in-game or a guild voice chat server. Other times I’ll head there while working and that view becomes my window scape. And in every MMO to date, I’ve found that place.
In World of Warcraft, it’s the Herbalist’s hut in Red Ridge Mountains. Floating over Stormwind when flying mounts arrived. In Guild Wars 2, it’s the Cornicpian farm in Gendarren Fields. Marianople in Arc Age. Qeynos Harbor in Everquest 2.
I always knew it would be Crusader in Stanton. The Ghost in the Shell of Arc Corp is cool and makes me feel like watching that or the Blade Runner 2040. In the same way that I’m fascinated with deep space, I enjoy techno and steampunk. But nothing is home to me like rolling fields or whimsy. The palette, open spaces, flowering trees, and sweeping lines of the platforms, are nearly fantasy in space.
I haven’t found my specific spot yet but I will. It’s my new port of call. I used to float above Area 18 in a Caterpillar with all of the cargo doors open. Better view than any cockpit or vantage point on the 890 Jump. But with it being Crusader and all, I’ll rest peacefully in the Captain’s quarters aboard the 600 I when I’m alone. I’ll save the fuel-guzzling 890 for special occasions.
What’s your port of call in Stanton? What do you think of Orison?
What I feel compelled to do is write. Whether it’s retelling the tales of my gaming misadventures, creating guides and sharing tips, writing in-game fiction, or spinning my own worlds, writing is what’s dearest to my heart. I’ve been blogging about my gaming adventures for over fifteen years on my Mystic Worlds blog. And I still harbor the dream of being a published fiction author.
What’s new for me is audio and video. Recording and editing audio takes time. As does combing the audio narration with music and visuals to create a nicely produced show. All the while, I’m usually thinking, I could be writing or relaxing.
I’ve recorded two shows recently that never made their way into episodes. Writing is writing – so it’s always good practice but a shame they never made their way into production. So where’s the middle ground? You just listened to it. I’m using text-to-speech voice cloning. I’ve scribed to software that over time, learns my speech pattern and turns my narration into a digital asset I can use to automatically narrate text. It’s not perfect and is a bit uncanny valley at the moment. It sounds like me. Some of the cadences are correct. But it bears the hallmarks of a robotic voice. This is an experiment to see if audiences can tolerate this compromise for those who prefer audio to reading the episode transcript and fiction posted directly on my website.
What are your thoughts? Is this something you’d continue to listen to versus there only being a text version?
Night Bus is the part of the show where I feature in-game fiction I’ve written inspired by the universe and mechanics being built by the talented Cloud Imperium Games. As a long-time backer, I’m awed and inspired by the vision.
The short story collection featured this season is Pod City, The Fallen. It contains a cast of characters and settings that will eventually be interjected into my own IP. A universe that I’ve been developing simultaneously. Without further ado, here’s Shifting Sands Part One of Two.
The Star Citizen Night Bus is exiting the station. Please stow all personal items. The transport is departing in three. Two. One.
At a glance, it was hard to distinguish the pilot from the cockpit. His retro-reflective optical camouflage flight suit was the best money could buy.
The accompanying Kevlar XI undersuit fits like a second skin. Viper, from CosmoGen, was the closest legal approximation of the Titan Master set produced exclusively for the United Empire of Earth military.
John sagged back into the pilot’s seat when he reached his assigned hangar. The ship’s vertical take-off and landing thrusters roared to life as they rotated downward to support his descent. The spacecraft vibrated violently beneath him as he gradually lowered it into the hangar. Overhead, he watched as the bay doors closed, eclipsing the red glow of the hangar’s external location markers. John arched his back and rotated his shoulders. His eyelids felt like sandpaper scraping across his eyeballs. “Need to give up these twenty-hour shifts,” he thought to himself. It wasn’t like he needed the money.
John powered down the ship and popped open the canopy. He swung his body out of the cockpit and onto the side ladder in a single fluid motion. His muscles screamed at being made to expand after being in one position for so long. A few rungs from the bottom, he hopped down. “Much better,” he moaned as he bent over at the waist and shook out his legs. John used the mini datapad on his wrist to close the canopy and lock the ship.
The hangar John was assigned was 500 by 300 meters. It was designed to house four Hawk Mark V ships, side by side. John removed his helmet and pulled back the skull cap. Without it, his ears were instantly assaulted by the thunderous hum of the floor-to-ceiling life support system and localized gravity unit. The hangar, bored into the side of the asteroid known as Grim Hex, was self-contained in case of emergency. The smell of heated steel, lubricants, and neglected lavatories permeated every breath.
Owned by the failing Green Imperial Housing Exchange, the station was a defunct mining and refining facility drilled into a small S-type asteroid orbiting Yela. A decade passed its prime; Grim Hex now served as a civilian utility station. The hangar was empty, except for John’s ship, assorted crates, and random piles of tools on the floor. John took a slow walk around the spacecraft, examining the exterior. He knew from the ship’s status report it hadn’t sustained any substantial damage. Still, he wanted to see it with his own eyes.
The Hawk Mark V was a lightweight interdiction ship favored equally by bounty hunters and smugglers. Small and agile, it possessed an impressive arsenal of lethal weaponry and stealth tech. Shaped like a hawk, it boasted a retractable holding cell that fell from its belly. When the pod was extended, it looked like a hawk carrying its prey.
John walked over to the holding cell perched below the belly of his ship. He tapped on the exterior stasis panel to check the occupant’s vitals. The prisoner was stable, but the perp looked a little worse for the wear. It was unfortunate he’d insisted on being captured instead of surrendering. The abrasions on the right side of his face had stopped bleeding. Contrasted against pale white skin, the bruise on his cheekbone had darkened to a sickening blue-black with a purple halo. “Unnecessary shame,” John said out loud as he shrugged away concern. Fully sedated, the would-be smuggler was prepped for a smooth transfer.
John changed into civilian clothing. He secured his flight suit and accompanying accessories in one of the ship’s external storage compartments. Afterward, he sat on a nearby crate waiting for prisoner transport to arrive. Relaxed, he hummed to himself while browsing the local entertainment feeds on his datapad. He looked up when he heard footsteps echoing across the stone floor.
“My man, JJ,” a boisterous voice offered. He was tall and reedy, with olive-colored skin. The knit cap he wore off to the side of his bald head matched his dark gray jumpsuit.
“What’s up, kid?” John replied in kind as they bumped fists in greeting.
“How are the skies treating you?” Larry asked as he looked beyond John to the Hawk.
“Same as ever. Another day is another day,” John replied with a shrug.
Larry patted the underbelly of the Hawk. “I hear ya. One day, something like this will be mine.” He walked over to the holding cell and waited for John to join him there. “Sure you don’t want to transport this yourself?” Larry asked, gesturing to the prisoner.
“Pass. I prefer to fetch, not carry, especially if any sort of investigation is needed. Too many strings and paperwork for my blood.”
Larry laughed. “Can’t blame you and not going to complain. I appreciate getting a chit on the board today. Another paycheck and a few things on the side, and I can afford the Bounty Hunters license fee and few ship upgrades. ” He pointed to the external stasis pad. “May I?”
“Sure, he’s all yours now.”
Larry looked the prisoner over through the observation pane. The edges of the vertical head-to-chest window were frosted with condensation. “A few dents and scratches, but vitals look good.”
“He’ll tag out as a clean extraction. No worries there.”
“You still doing the seventy-thirty split for your transports?”
“That’s the deal. Pod hatch can be unlocked from the outside.” Pointing his thumb to the station entrance, John said, “I’ve got a couple of errands inside, then I need to leave the sector for a while to handle some personal business. Think you can be done in the next thirty minutes or so?”
“Easy. I have a hover cart, and my Argo transport is only one hangar over. I’ll have this one out of your hair in no time.”
“Great.” John extended his hand. Larry shook it. “Good doing business with ya, kid.”
“Same. Keep me in mind. Trying to get enough tosses for a step up the old ladder.”
“Sure, kid,” John said as he headed toward the station entrance.
John walked up to the bar and introduced himself. “John James, plain name, simple life.” Followed by “or you can call me JJ. I’ve no preference.” He reached across the bar toward Maggie and gave her hand a friendly shake.
Maggie immediately warmed to his disarming smile. Was it a trick of the light, or were his eyes sparkling? “On drugs more like,” she thought to herself. Shit! She might have to find someone else. But he’d come so highly recommended. She stepped from behind the bar to join him on the other side.
Maggie was in her late fifties with spiky gray hair that she kept long on the top and cut close on the sides and at the back. The lines on her face aged her beyond her years. But the fact that she’d been a beauty in her youth was evident.
Maggie and John were standing at the bar of Maggie’s Red Dragon pub, a popular hangout on the station. The public space was a large rectangular room divided into distinct sections. The decor was a cheap, gaudy attempt at the Asian Revival design that had been popular two or more decades ago. Circular black and white rice paper chandeliers with missing panels hung from the ceiling. Scarred wooden dragons acted as vertical beams; the blood-red paint chipped and faded. A rumpled threadbare gold and purple lotus patterned carpet was stretched across the floor.
Maggie pointed to the areas as she described them. “I’ve got just one room here. Pool tables there.” She pointed to the back left corner. “Holo gaming tables there.” Back right corner. Looking toward the front half of the room where they were standing, “Up here is all dining.”
John absentmindedly scratched at the three days of stubble on his chin as he listened. He didn’t say anything, so Maggie shrugged and continued. Then, pointing to a door centered on the wall behind the bar, she added, “Back there’s the kitchen, my office, and restroom.”
“Just the staff?” He asked.
“Yeah. Public restrooms too much trouble. I kept finding empty syringes and vials. That Black Widow crap smells like rotting flesh. Vagrants sleeping, couples fucking — you name it.”
John laughed. He could imagine that and worse. “Hex customers aren’t known for their manners.”
“Drug busts in the men’s room. Last of it for me. I walled it off from this side and renting it out as a commercial stall on the other. Young kid doing tats out of the space. Name’s Ronnie. Seems like a good sort. Pays on time. Customers welcome to eat, drink, ‘n party here. Take care of their other needs elsewhere.”
“I’ve walked through some of those elsewheres,” he joked. “No entrance on this side to the tat place?”
“Nah. This work is only for here.”
“Okay – sounds good. It’s really just the one room, then. The kitchen looks secure,” John said, pointing to the hand scanner on the door. “The glass opening bulletproof?”
“Yep, I had that installed last year. Is this the kind of job you take? I know you’re contract bounty, but I was told you take freelance stuff too. You came highly recommended; I just wasn’t sure if this is your thing.”
As was his custom, John diligently using one finger to tap notes into his datapad. Noticing that Maggie had stopped talking, he looked up. John’s smile was genuine and raised his cherub-like cheeks high on his face. Dark curly hair rested on his forehead just above a bushy unibrow that arched gently over gray eyes. “I do most any security work on contract if I can fit it in comfortably. If I can’t, I’ll refer you to someone.” He continued tapping in notes. “No point in stressing to squeeze it.” Looking up, he said, “Or stressing you if I can’t be here when needed.” His face back on his pad, “I like to keep it simple. Works best that way.”
Maggie nodded her head, still uncertain if that meant he was taking the job or not. “Okay…”
“John James, plain name, simple life, is my motto.”
“Uh, sure,” was all Maggie could think to say again.
He stopped taking notes and gave Maggie his full attention. “Looks like I can fit you in. Friday and Saturday from 22:00 Standard Earth Time until close. Which is?
“Right!” He walked away from Maggie to survey the space himself. “I’d like to install security cameras in each section.”
Maggie walked toward the holo tables where John had wandered over to. “How much does that cost?”
He chuckled. “My expense if we can agree, I can handle emergency calls when the place is quiet.” He saw her eyebrows arch up and smiled. “Only local emergencies. I discount for the time I’m out.” He sauntered back toward the front and leaned on the bar. “Cameras are my eyes and ears. Also, solid evidence if you insist on pressing charges. I prefer to work things out in other ways, but here, you’re the boss.”
With concern in her voice, Maggie asked, “You expect that to happen often? Being away during my shift?”
“Never know. Just a precaution. This is side work for me. Filler. Chasing smugglers and routing vagrants are my main meal ticket. I’m a senior security and bounty contractor for Crusader, Hurston, and a couple of others’ round here. I get first dibs, so that’s my priority. If I don’t take a gig, I lose it and eventually get bumped down the ladder for future work.” His tone was light. His voice even.
Maggie came to stand beside him. “I don’t know. I had trouble a few days back. It’s why I started asking around.” She wrung her hands. “It got pretty bad. I need those hours covered. The place is rowdiest then. The station’s been seeing more traffic lately. Some looking for work or to shop. Others for trouble.”
He reached out and took one of Maggie’s hands. He patted it like they were old friends. “I hear ya. Totally understand. I can shoot you a couple of names. Either one of these would do just as well.” He started humming as he reached for his datapad. His head bobbed slightly to the tune that only he could hear.
Maggie interrupted him. “Oh, I hadn’t realized. I just asked around about who’s best…”
“That’d be me,” he said absentmindedly. “Here we go. Try…”
Maggie cut him off. “Several said you’re the best and actually a good guy. Everyone said that — good guy.”
“I try, Maggie, dear, I do try. I keep it simple. Live right. It’ll be alright.”
“Well, if you think it will work…” She hesitated. “I’m up for giving it a try.”
He looked up and graced her with the full force of his penetrating gaze and smiled. “Trust me; it’ll be fine. I wouldn’t steer you wrong. Do no harm is my motto.”
Maggie caught her breath. “Well damn,” she thought to herself, “His eyes actually do sparkle. Even if they’re a bit red.” To him, she said, “Send the contract, and I’ll authorize it.”
“Sounds like a plan.”
“Can you start this week?”
John extended his hand, and Maggie accepted it. “Sure can. Will install the cameras on my first shift.”
Maggie hoped she wasn’t blushing. John was too young for her, and he wasn’t even particularly handsome.” But there’s something about him,” she decided inwardly.
“Pleasure doing business with you with Mags. Off to my next stop.” John slid his hands into his jacket pockets and sauntered toward the exit. Then, over his shoulder, he added, “Don’t hesitate if something comes up before then. You’re one of John’s now. I’ll come as fast as I can.”
Maggie patted the sides of her hair and wiped gently at the edges of her eyes as if that could erase the heavy crow’s feet nesting there. “Okay. Sure. Thanks.” Her voice cracked on the last, and John gave her a knowing look. She turned away, her cheeks flaming.
“Now for the main event,” John said to himself. He checked the work queue on his pad to verify the habicube eviction request he’d received earlier was still active. It was. Maggie’s pub was at the back of Quad-D, one of the cleaner sections on the space station. The work request was in Quad-A, the worst area. The quickest way there would be through the tunnels.
The tunnels, as locals called them, are a network of secured maintenance routes burrowed into the giant asteroid turned industrial facility and housing exchange, now a self-governing powder keg. A few dozen legit merchants had stayed after the mining operation shut down. Having invested all their life savings in establishing businesses here, they couldn’t afford to pack up and run when Green Imperial had abandoned their industrial division. Without local administration onsite, the criminal element began infiltrating the station, trying to secure a foothold in Stanton.
Industrious opportunists stayed too. They squatted in available spaces, installed personal generators, and opened for business. Green Imperial retained control of the functioning self-service habicubes and continued to collect the revenue. But everything else on the station was an “as is” situation—no maintenance or repairs. When things stopped working on their now nearly defunct stations, they stopped working forever.
John whistled as he made his way to the closest maintenance tunnel. He unlocked the massive vault-like door with his access code. As the door retracted, he ducked his six-foot-four stocky frame through the opening. It was pitch black inside. He pulled out the flashlight he kept clipped on his belt.
With no maintenance crews on the station, lighting in the tunnels was spotty. A good distance ahead, John could see a pinprick of yellow light flickering. He panned his flashlight around him and forward to get his bearings. The jagged walls of the tunnel glistened with sweat. Rusted pipes overhead led the way forward. They hissed angry pockets of steam from cracked wounds. John started walking. His boots reverberated on the uneven craggy path.
Although it would be a reduced payout, John hoped the occupants had voluntarily vacated by now. The request was two hours old. He’d get his twenty-five percent fee for signing in at the location as evidence he’d checked it out. It would be easier for everyone if they were already gone.
Persuading vagrants to depart on their own was his preferred solution. Convincing would-be perps to vacate the area with words or by force was better than disabling, capturing, and hauling them to a Law Enforcement Station, or worse, planet-side for processing. “Everyday flying free above terraforma is a good day,” in his book.
Seasonal supplies and the mandatory annual physical required by his contract were the only times John went planetside. He was impatient, waiting at the medical facility, and fidgeted standing in line at the surplus warehouse where he bought non-perishable food supplies. John grunted, trying to maneuver around the other customers picking through clothing haphazardly tossed into “Final Sale” bins. If it wasn’t about his spacewear, he didn’t care overly much. Convenience was his priority.
John was almost at the other end now. He could see the door clearly from here. He pulled his Gemini L86 from the back waistband of his pants and checked the magazine. It was full. He reached down and grabbed a fresh magazine from the bottom right pocket of his cargo pants. He put away the flashlight. Just before stepping through the exit, he slid the pistol into his right jacket pocket and the fresh mag into his left.
He emerged from the tunnel and waited until the door locked behind him. Quad A was quiet. Fewer people than usual around. He wondered why but kept moving. He nodded to a group of guys decked out in grunge gear, hunched around a fist-sized glass vial full of red smoke. “Red Alice,” he mused to himself. A popular psychotropic drug that caused temporary paralysis when overdosed.
Just beyond the group of men was the grated metal staircase to the next level. John took the steps two at a time then turned left into Quad A’s shantytown. A dead-end of the lowest rate habicubes, fronted by illegal mylar tents. The smell of urine was overwhelming.
John coughed and covered his nose.
“Damn,” he muttered to himself. He hadn’t been on this side of the station for a while. With no merchants in the area, no one complained or paid for security to keep the place civil.
The cube he was looking for was second to last on the left. As he approached, he saw a bloody trail leading to the door. Drops of blood on the gray slab floor were like bread crumbs. A bloody palm smeared on a door frame. He eased his pistol out of his pocket and moved into the shadows along the opposite wall.
To Be Continued.
Breathtaking views in Star Citizen Alpha 3.4. Stunningly beautiful and atmospheric gliding over Lorville in the industrial Drake Caterpillar. Not an expected combination but it works.
I get why we have no-fly zones but wish there was a different option. Floating above the city, even at this distance, is amazing. If I could just get a little closer. I’d be right there. StarCitizen visuals + Pedro Camacho music is sublime.
Welcome to the Star Citizen NightBus, a quirky mixture of fact, fiction and opinion. I’m your host, Alysianah from AlysianahsWorld.com. It’s been a while since the last Causal Citizen or Nightbus. I hope to return with at least a monthly pre-recorded show and monthly in-game event via Twitch before long.
In this episode, I’m going to discuss my excitement for the new faces that have joined the Star Citizen streaming family since from the Anniversary event, the magic of Hurston, re-visiting Stanton lore for new listeners and a new piece of fanfic. Please sit back, relax and enjoy. The Nightbus is existing statis. Please secure all personal items. Departing the station in 3…2…1
You can watch the YouTube version here.
I didn’t partake in this year’s Anniversary Sale. With the fleet I’ve amassed over the years, it’s going to take a specialized ship to pique my interest enough to swap in something new. Note, swap-in. I’ve hit my ceiling on ship purchases. I know, I’ve said that before but this time I mean it!
What I have engaged in as a result of the sale and freefly, is the amazing influx of new players and streamers. It’s easy to spot new and returning players by the questions they ask. I enjoying helping out where I can – sharing information or giving a ship tour. It’s great seeing game chat alive with new names.
I’ve watched more SC streams since 3.3.5 than I have in a very long time. I like bopping between my long-time favorites, brand new low viewer streamers, and the mega Twitch names checking in. I haven’t laughed so hard or screamed at the screen as if watching a spine-tingling movie, as I have the past couple of weeks.
Lirik and crew simply had me in stitches. GiantWaffle was definitely entertaining. And the night they played together — my stomach hurt from laughing. At one point I was doubled over on the bed, crying at the hilarity. Seeing streams with thousands of viewers that aren’t a CIG hosted events is very exciting.
CIG’s Tyler Witkin, who goes by Zyloh, made appearances in several streams. He was a mole on one, turning on his party after arriving at Kareah. Another night he was trying to give Lirik a look at the 600i. Unfortunately, Lirik’s fidget-jump-wiggle everywhere like he’s tiptoeing on hot coals playstyle, had him glitching into anything and everything an unlucky player could. At one point, I guess Zyloh was over it and not going back for his dead ass, so he used a dev command to drag him from where he’d resurrected at Lorville over to Port Olisar where the 600i had landed. Comedy gold, seeing the ragdoll float up then disappear out of the habicube then land on a pad at Port Olisar. All the while, Lirik is like wtf man… chat, wtf is happening??
Of all the new streamers I’ve seen taking up the Star Citizen torch, the group that surprised me most, but in hindsight shouldn’t have, are the roleplayers. I don’t know why I hadn’t considered that they’d come. I knew we’d eventually see killer machinima using the game. But RP streamers? I’ve never seen them bringing in numbers, even in World of Warcraft where there are strong RP servers. I’ve really enjoyed watching their shows. You can check out the New Faces post on Aly’s World for a more in-depth discussion and recommendations.
Hurston Is Magic
As most will realize, Star Citizen is still in its alpha phase of development. Many of us had hoped, things would be moving along a bit faster. There is no shortage of complaints about the plodding and sometimes painfully mundane pace at which features were being released in 2017. And for all the waiting and need for polish eschewed, as to why a feature isn’t being released for testing, there are still significant bugs on Live. Yep, there’s no shortage of complaints about CIG and Star Citizen, even among loyal backers, myself included.
I spent two days and several hours trying to get out of the new city, Lorville, after 3.3.5 went Live. It didn’t make me angry. After a while, it was so absurd that it became my own personal mini-game, escape from Lorville. I mean come on, players were trapped in the first city, unable to get out and explore. I laughed a lot on Twitter but there are some who didn’t find it as amusing.
Yes, development is taking longer than most would like. Bugs hang around for a long time, even ones that break gameplay for some. Personally, I refuse to do missions at this point. I’m not a fan of game generated checklists, to begin with, let alone subject my gaming time to ones that are broken. All of that melts away, in the face of what was delivered in Alpha patch 3.3.5.
Until now, I haven’t bothered with clothing or armor because they’re no female avatar. Hurston arriving as the first location with a breathable atmosphere made me want to walk around in clothes so I did. It bothered me that my avatar was a guy. It annoyed me that I lost text chat by removing the undersuit. Yet the magic of Hurston’s Lorville and beyond, can’t be denied.
Until the Lorville Business District, we’d only seen the low economy, grunge, and utilitarian environments in the game, beyond those who got to see the Mile High Club. With this expansion to the city, we’re seeing a different aesthetic and it’s a welcomed change. While gold and glitz isn’t my thing, in particular, it does serve to remind us that we will also have architectural, ambiance and design variety based on a zone’s economy and wealth. The breathtaking view when you exit the yellow line into the Hurston building is an amazing feat.
It’s coming together now. We can see it. Feel it. It’s just around the bend.
This is magic… It’s extraordinary… Why we keep the believing… This is Star Citizen.
When we consider the crowdfunded scope for the Star Citizen universe, there are 100+ star systems planned. The persistent universe we’re currently enjoying as part of alpha is the Stanton star system. It contains four Super Earths – Hurston, Crusader, ArcCorp, and Microtech, all of whom have tidally locked moons of their own. Stanton’s biome diversity is one of the reasons it was selected as the starting point for persistent universe development.
Stanton was originally discovered by independent explorers. Although the details are fuzzy, most agree that the star system was discovered by a free agent trader. Word of mouth, spread the tale, of a system that contained four Super-Earths. Privateers moved in to capitalize on this extremely rare find. Planets of this size, all within a wide green zone is unusual in its own right. Combined with the large variances in planet ecologies, even more so. When the existence of Stanton came to the attention of the UEE, they moved in quickly to claim eminent domain. The official reason was to protect and extend nearby jump lanes.
Unfortunately, the original settlers of Stanton hadn’t formalized their colonization by filing the necessary paperwork. Largely made up of homesteaders, prospectors and survivalists, the local populace had no legal rights to Stanton and certainly weren’t in a position to dissuade military forces when they arrived.
The uniqueness of the system and the potential resources notwithstanding, the UEE was in the midst of huge economic struggles. A down economy from a hundred-year colonization drought, the UEE could only afford to do the bare minimum to claim its new prize. Naval engineers performed the small amount of terraforming required and underfunded military outposts were established. Lacking funds to do more, Stanton wasn’t developed further.
Eventually, the decision was made to sell the system piecemeal to the highest bidders. Large corporations were discreetly contacted and asked to bid on whole planets. It’s believed that the winners must have bid trillions to acquire rights. The winners did the obvious, naming the planets after their corporations – Hurston Dynamics, Crusader Industries, ArcCorp, and MicroTech
Stanton as of Alpha 3.3.x
As of Alpha 3.3.5, the persistent universe was expanded to include the first of Stanton’s planets, Hurston, its moons and capital city, Lorville. Unlike the locations we’ve seen thus far, Hurston contains multiple biomes. There are also bodies of water and underground bunkers. While Lorville is still incomplete, it’s a must-see location that introduces a working railway system and habicubes with interactive objects. More locations are being added over time.
The addition of Hurston brings the landing sights to:
This doesn’t include CryAstro fueling and repair of the various Truckstops located around Crusader and Hurston.
It’s worth noting that Delamar’s presence in Stanton is temporary. Delamar belongs in the Nyx star system, a dangerous unclaimed star system. However, it was placed in Stanton for testing purposes when its tier 1 development completed. You can find a more in-depth overview of Nyx on my YouTube channel as well.
Welcome to what will become a reoccurring segment on Nightbus. A Day in the Life is a fictionalized retelling of an actual in-game event. Where I set off for the evening with completing a particular task in mind, and turn whatever the outcome might be into a piece of fiction. I’ll rotate these shorter stories in between the longer fiction I have planned and other standalone sections. Let me know in the comments if this kind of content piques your interest. I have mining and passenger transport planned. You can read this episode’s ADITL here.
Thanks for tuning into Star Citizen Nightbus episode 8. I hope you enjoyed your time here and will visit again. Your comments and feedback are welcome. Be kind and fly safe! This is Alysianah signing out until next time. The Nightbus is re-entering statis. Please disembark. Hibernation sequence begins in 3…2…1
Introspective INFJ that I am, I cherish activities and spaces that help me melt into myself. Shed the outer coil of everyday stresses and anxieties. Recharge my batteries and regain an inner balance. EVE Online used to be my go-to Sensory Deprivation Chamber. Dark colors and muted lights, I could roam its vast landscape doing missions or freelance salvaging in a serene setting. Sure, there was potential death and mayhem lurking around every bend but that was a side dish, not the main course.
Captaining my spaceships in Star Citizen takes things to a whole new level. The combination of fidelity and a physicalized universe is immersion on steroids. The visuals, sound effects and utterly sublime soundtrack by Pedro Camacho is a soothing balm.
I don’t have to be happy about or agree with every step they take. The beauty, ambition, and achievements to date, can’t be denied.
In Part 1 of my Star Citizen Alpha 3.0 PTU experience, I expressed my concerns about the game in general. Now for the rest of the story. There are a lot of strong feelings surrounding Cloud Imperium Game’s development of this title, on all sides of the fence. Things are rarely black and white, and neither are my opinions about the game. Check out Part 2 of Casual Citizen Episode 29 to hear more.
It’s been a while since I’ve posted about Star Citizen or produced one of my related shows. It’s not because I’ve lost steam or interest in following the game. I’ve just been very busy with real life commitments, some of which, are the result of producing my SC content.
Nightbus Episode 7 discusses the following:
Hello, this is Alysianah from Alysianah’s World of Star Citizen. Welcome to a stand alone record of my fan-fiction set in the Star Citizen universe. The story you’re about to hear continues the journey of Cami from Chop Shop which aired in Nightbus Episode 3. Moving her into the star systems where John and Maggie from The Exterminator reside. You can catch up with John and Maggie’s take starting in Nightbus Episode 5.
I wrote Journey to Stanton as an experiment of doing audio content that uses more than one narrator. Wanting to dip a toe into the pool without dramatically complicating the production side, Journey is written from four distinct points of view. I’d like to thank BoredGamerUK & Twerk17 from Redacted and Andrew from OldBloodandGuts for lending their voices.
Regardless of whose channel you hear this on, please stop by to give the other participants some love too. You’ll find links in the show notes. I’d also be interested in knowing if you’d like to hear more collaborative narrations.
Be kind and fly safe!
Cami | Medical Freelancer – Alysianah Noire
Silas | Hull B Pilot – BoredGamerUK
Keokuk | Freelancer Pirate – Andrew OldBloodAndGuts
Huyn | Herald Pilot – Twerk17
Welcome to the Star Citizen NightBus, a quirky mixture of fact, fiction and opinion. I’m your host, Alysianah from AlysianahsWorld.com. There are only two show topics this week since both are rather lengthy. Alpha 3.0 Planetside Content and the conclusion of The Exterminator. You can hear part one of The Exterminator in NightBus episode 5.
Please sit back, relax and enjoy.
The Nightbus is existing statis. Please secure all personal items. Departing the station in 3…2…1
THE STAR CITIZEN EXPLORER PLAY STYLE TAKES FLIGHT
I gaze as far as the eye can see and I can go there if I please.
With the coming of Alpha patch 3.0, Star Citizen backers will be experiencing what I’m dubbing Explorer 1.0. It’s our first taste of seamlessly moving from space to a planetside location and back. Our first look at a free-roaming borderless planetside location. Where if you choose to, you can walk, fly or run the full circumference of a world. No barriers. No invisible walls.
In Richard Bartle’s classification of player types, I’m predominantly an Explorer. In Marczewski’s Hexad, I’m a Free Spirit and Philanthropist combo. I play MMOs to experience someone else’s vision of a fantastical world. Share stories about my adventures and help others along the way. I revel in turning what was provided to everyone into a unique experience that speaks to me and of me. I want to excel at the things that delight me most – crafting, trade and the economy. The content coming in Alpha patch 3.0 is the first beacon of light for my particular playstyle.
Our journey from deep space to a planet will be entirely under our own steam. No magic portal system handwavium lives here. From Port Olisar, I will request one of my ships and depart. Using the upcoming in-game Starmap, I’ll be able to choose a destination and quantum travel there, much like we can today, except that planetside locations will also be available. If I prefer the slower route, I can simply point my ship in the right direction and go.
As seen in the Gamescom 2016 demo, your ship will transition from space flight to atmospheric entry, and finally to atmospheric flight. This will be a seamless transition. No loading screens. Content will be streamed to your client as needed. After descending into the atmosphere you can put down at a designated landing zone or free roam, and land anywhere The only game controlled landing we expect to encounter, is if you deviate from authorized approach lanes, in densely populated cities. Beyond that, fly to where your desire leads.
A TRAVELER’S GUIDE: SETTING EXPECTATIONS FOR ALPHA 3.0 CELESTIALS
In order to create and continually populate CIG’s ambitious universe, they’ve developed technology for procedurally generating planets, painting biospheres, controlling weather effects, day/night cycles, dynamic lighting and the construction of modular surface outposts. Players will be play-testing the results of all this new this technology for the first time in Alpha 3.0. This is probably one of the reasons that the surface locations in the upcoming patch are three moons and a planetoid sized asteroid. By and large, these aren’t the types of locations you’d expected to be populated with dense cityscapes. It’s an alpha. They need to refine and test the tech’s core abilities first.
That said, there is diversity among the locations themselves:
In addition to exploring these three Crusader moons, two new mission-givers will be introduced. Miles Eckart and Ruto, both of whom made appearances in the GamesCom 2016 demo. With cargo hauling, trade, inventory management and grabby-hands arriving in the same patch, I’m certain we’ll see a diverse set of missions on planet surfaces and in space.
Given that this is a sandbox game, we can’t neglect the infinite opportunities for players to create their own fun – impromptu planetside PVP warzones. Dragonfly cannon races ala pod racing in Star Wars. Ground vehicle races using the Ursa Rover which will be available for the first time. And lots of RP type shenanigans.
Haters will denounce the release for starting with the moonscape type locations. I believe that you walk before you run. A slew of new tech is being rolled into Alpha 3.0 for play testing. I think we’ll enough on our hands to help test and bulletproof without the complexity of vast cityscapes.
Although space exploration is why I backed Star Citizen, I’m an MMO Explorer at heart. I enjoy seeing the sights and sounds of strange new worlds. I delight in finding quiet out of the way places. I’m fascinated by poking around the dwellings and artifacts of those worlds, discovering what they say about that supposed culture. Alpha 3.0 is where that journey begins for me.
BHAG – BIG HAIRY AUDACIOUS GOAL INCOMING
To augment the procedural generation of planets and modular building sets, CIG will also be hand-crafting many zones to ensure that the universe feels unique and varied. Many have dubbed these efforts Hero Zones. One such zone has been included in the Alpha 3.0 schedule as a stretch goal. Meaning, if it’s ready, it’s in. If not, it doesn’t hold up the release.
The BHAG Zone for 3.0 is the inclusion of Delamar and its Levski landing zone. We saw a video of the landing zone quite some time ago and expected it to be added last year. However, CIG’s improvements to their development process with new technology and systems, sometimes means that completed content has to be reworked to fit the new standard.
Delamar and it’s landing zone will be added into the Alpha using sleight-of-hand. It’s not actually located in the Stanton star system, which is where the persistent universe alpha takes place. Delamar’s home is Nyx, an unclaimed star system populated with Anti-UEE activists, political radicals, and criminals.
For testing purposes, it will be temporarily placed in the Stanton star system. I’m crossing my fingers this zone makes it into 3.0. There’s cool lore about the subculture living there and the opportunities that can be found IF you’re willing to go off the beaten path into the underbelly of the beast. I’m no criminal but hey, it’s all in the name of testing.
I can barely contain my excitement. With this one patch, CIG breaches the siloed play testing we’ve experienced thus far into a unified game. There’s lots more coming in Alpha 3.0 – commodities trading, cargo hauling, true piracy targets and a reason to actually be a mercenary, all which I’ll discuss in NightBus Episode 7.
THE EXTERMINATOR PART 2 OF 2: You can read the conclusion of The Exterminator here.
That wraps up another episode of the Star Citizen Nightbus. I hope you’ve enjoyed it. If you have, please considering subscribing to my channel and giving this episode a thumbs up. For more game commentary, lore, reviews, and other Star Citizen coverage, including mobile-friendly easier to read version of the official ARK Starmap data, please visit AlysianahsWorld.com. Be sure to register on Aly’s World for an exclusive Monthly Newsletter.
You can also support my videos, Alysianahsworld.com and my Star Citizen fiction efforts through my Patreon. A big thank you to my current subscribers. Your sponsorship is greatly appreciated!
If you haven’t created an account yet on RobertsSpaceIndustries.com, you can earn 5K in-game currency when the game goes live by using my referral code when you do and I’ll also earn some in-game goodies. You’ll find my referral code in the show notes.
This is Alysianah signing off until next time. Be kind and fly safe!
The Nightbus has arrived. Please watch your step while departing. Re-entering stasis in 3…2…1