Medical Game Play in Alpha 3.16

Medical gameplay is one of the professions I’m interested in doing in Star Citizen. At least, I thought it was but I’m not so sure now. I’m realizing that my vision of it was more like how it plays out in The Sims, where patients arrive for treatment and I engage in a mini-game to deduce the malady based on symptoms and attempt to determine the right treatment. What we have in Star Citizen, as it stands today, is that the game detects the illness and applies the correct remedy.

When a character materializes into the game for the first time, they choose a home city. Unless you state otherwise, that’s also the city you’re returned to when you die. The hospitals, of course, look really nice. The facilities have actual treatment rooms with beds and all the accouterments of a doctor’s office. There’s a reception area that looks plausible, gurneys in the hallways, and NPC staff meandering about. There’s a pharmacy where players can purchase portable medical devices such as the Medpen, as well as the ParaMed from CureLife, a professional-grade emergency medical device designed to stabilize patients until they can be taken to a hospital or ship with a Medbay.

When you die, you wake up in a hospital room, laying on the bed in a dressing gown. Anything you were wearing or carrying is gone, as it remains with your corpse. You can attempt to retrieve your items using the map marker provided but that’s only if someone else doesn’t loot it all first.

Yep, Star Citizen has full corpse looting now.

Depending on the extent of your injuries, party members can stabilize you – bring you back to consciousness using the ParaMed gun or transport you to the hospital or a MedBay. In this way, you don’t lose any of your items. Since the ParaMed only stabilizes you, you must visit a hospital or MedBay at some point to have the actual injury cured, and as a result, remove whatever debuffs it applies.

Having your hospital spawn point clear across the other side of the star system will be annoying, especially if you want to attempt retrieving your corpse to get back your inventory. Therefore, you can change your clone location by visiting another hospital and using the Insurance Claim terminals to relocate your resurrection point.

Persistent resurrection clones sites, along with localized inventory means that logistics are important if you care about being efficient. 

You don’t want to leave your clone site set to the hospital near MicroTech, the outermost planetary system if you’re doing combat missions near Hurston, the innermost planet. There’s nothing like dying during a mission, only to find yourself waking on the other side of Stanton in a dressing gown. I actually like that you have to consider this when planning activities. Like inventory management, it grounds your character to the reality of the game’s universe.

I even think it’s cool that you wake up in a hospital bed, and if you don’t have any local inventory at that location, you’ll be buying armor at that station or leaving in the default flight suit. So far, so good, I do like medical. So what’s the problem? I don’t see the role I hoped to play as a medic. The hospital bed and Medbay perform the diagnostic and apply the treatments automatically. What remains is search and rescue.

You can be a mobile medic using the ParaMed gun to stabilize patients on the spot and give them a lift. You’re not providing direct diagnostics and treatment which is what I was interested in doing.

If you have the Cutlass Red, Carrack, or other ship with a medical bed, it’s essentially the same thing. Stabilize and offer the Medbay services or retrieve the corpse and put them on the MedBay to resurrect. While that might be what others are looking to do, it’s not what I wanted as a medic. I wanted the diagnostic and treatment opportunities, not EMS game-play.

Additionally, where does that leave the Hope Endeavor – the station-sized ship which acts as a floating hospital? Players arrive if they’ve opted to use your cloning services but what’s the gameplay for the shipowner? Stocking supplies? Security? I’m likely to melt my Apollo if medical remains as it is today, with the healing interaction occurring between the player and the medical bed. As for the Hope, I wonder what the ship owners are thinking now that we’re seeing the medical profession in the game.

All in all, I think medical is coming along nicely. Whether or not I’m still interested in it as a profession, remains to be seen.


The Return to Star Citizen

A combination of winter, work stresses, the family spread across 3 states now, and Jenn’s health crisis has left me feeling rather blue at times. We were all anxious to kick 2021 in the butt. However, nothing could have prepared us for the crisis mode we’d be in entering 2022. While always endeavoring to remain hopeful and manage what’s within our control, I’m in desperate need of my time away from it all.

Nothing removes me from the present pressure-cooker like gaming, specifically, MMOs. And not one to game hop, I’m returning to Star Citizen, the game I hope to call home for years to come. Can it deliver enough variety and entertainment in the current alpha state? I’m about to find out.

The ability to escape into my own brand of fun is why I mostly solo MMOs. It’s a time when I don’t want to care about what anyone else wants. Where, what, when, and how of others is mostly off the table, especially during the week. And I definitely, without exception, am not interested in hearing some random player’s voice coming out of my speakers. I enjoy being among but not with other gamers when I’m decompressing. Social gaming is what weekends are for in my world. Of the game-play that Star Citizen has to offer at the moment, I’m most inclined to mine, do FedEx-type deliveries, and NPC bounties. The latter two offer opportunities to gain reputation standing with the various NPC factions.

I’ll likely rotate among the content as the mood strikes me. For now, I’m starting in ArcCorp, the planet-sized mega-city so that I can do the rooftop deliveries that seem to be more readily available there. Setting up your base of operations immediately requires that you consider the physicalized inventory and medical system available in 3.16. Given that you’re limited to the inventory, including the ships, you have stored in a given area, planning is a good idea. It also adds a lot of roleplay/depth to your decisions.

After selecting ArcCorp as my home planet, I elected to establish my base of operation at the orbital station. Baijini Point is a Trade Hub Space Station in geostationary orbit around ArcCorp, located above Area18. I elected to start looking for missions, which are regional, from that location. Additionally, I decided to mine on Arial, a moon of ArcCorp, with refining operations at ARC-L1. Officially named Wide Forest Station, ARC-L1, is a Rest & Relax owned Rest Stop located in ArcCorp’s L1 Lagrangian point.

Having made decisions about locations, it’s up to the player to actually transport their personal inventory to where it’s needed. I set my medical resurrection point/cloning insurance at Baijini along with the ships, armor, weapons, etc., I might need to do missions. I flew my mining ship, the MISC Prospector to ARC-L1 along with my Drake Herald. The Herald, designed to safely ferry data from Point A to Point B, is one of the fastest ships in the game. I’m using it for delivery quests since it’s fast getting in and out of atmo and serves as a quick shuttle between Baijini and my mining operations.

Getting this much established took a couple of sessions. I hadn’t used the inventory system yet. Additionally, playing after a wipe, I also had to travel around the star system equipping my ships, purchasing gear, and delivering things to the appropriate place. That was another couple of gaming sessions. Doing just this much made me feel more connected to the game and my character than previous stints in Star Citizen. These choices, while by no means permanent, have a session-to-session impact on your character, and going through the actions, makes you feel grounded in the game. In my next post, I’ll talk a bit about my adventures in mining and doing deliveries out of the ArcCorp which has been entertaining enough of a diversion.


Other Worlds: New World Closed Beta

Other Worlds is a section I will occasionally include about my adventures in other virtual worlds. Feel free to fast forward if you only care about Star Citizen. If I write enough about different games, I might break it out into its own show.

I’m positive you can guess the name of the Other World rolling into this episode since it dominated the MMO category on Twitch during its Closed Beta. I pre-ordered it when it was first announced. Sight unseen, I knew I’d try it because I play every triple-A MMO for the North American audience. Yes, it’s New World by Amazon Games. It’s here, and it’s glorious!

The quiet solo adventurer in me is in heaven. The end-game crafter, at my core, doesn’t know if she’s coming or going. Every profession adds value, and you can do them all if you dare. You can solo. You can group. You can PVP, or you can mind your damn business, safe from the machinations of others.

At least from what we see in the Beta, Amazon was right to adjust the PVP ruleset to hit a wider audience. No matter how much they RAWR, hardcore PVP will always be a smaller audience than the PVE playstyle in MMOs.

The active, heavily contested back and forth open-world PVP in New World shows that you can have plenty of PVP without forcing players it on players who don’t want to partake

More importantly, when all of the combatants are “here for it,” the combat is more competitive versus clobbering a player who doesn’t PVP and was simply out minding their business. They shouldn’t be forced into keeping escorts or playing in a party to avoid how someone else chooses to play a game. In New World, Everyone gets to enjoy their style of gaming.

If you haven’t been following, what makes the PVP flagging work better in New World than other attempts I’ve seen is that flagging is only allowed in a city. You must make a conscious choice before leaving town. You can’t decide to punk out because you see a big group up ahead. You can’t grow false balls when you spy another player off on their own unprepared for your assault. If they’re flagged, they should be conscious of their surroundings and expecting to be attacked. If they’re not flagged you can’t do anything about it. They’re 100% safe from being attacked by another player.

I’m giddy about the fact that cooking is essential and not just for end-game consumables! I cook in every MMO that has it, even if it’s not valued. Harvesting crops, hunting for meat, and preparing meals makes me feel like my character is indeed a denizen of that world. And there’s fishing with a mechanic I enjoyed. It’s not cast and forget until you get a nibble like in WOW. It’s not silly let’s play keypress matching like in ArcheAge. It’s controlling the tension on the fishing line while reeling in your catch similar to real fishing. It was a lot of fun. I got into the habit of ending my gaming sessions with fishing to relax and unwind.

The zones are simply gorgeous. Even without players, they feel alive. Many pockets of content to explore. For me, there’s no joy in gaming more incredible than a beautifully rendered world with good mechanics, questing, and significant freedom of choice. There’s so much more I could say but this is a Star Citizen show. Suffice it to say, it felt good playing an MMO on the cusp of being a released game.


Real Life Trails and Star Citizen Update

The Trials of Real Life

At the start of 2019, I had three big goals in mind. Moving to a larger more diverse job market, leaving the Business Intelligence space and completing a novella. Deciding to move away from my family and friends was a hard decision. I’d been wrestling with the idea of moving for a couple of years at least. Establishing a 5-hour drive as the furthest I was willing to go, didn’t leave many cities I had an interest in moving to. And I didn’t really want to be five hours away. I was hoping for three or less. Career-wise,  I was completely burned out in the BI space. Every paycheck felt like blood money with a drip-drip loss of my soul. My third priority was establishing a consistent writing routine to help achieve my dream of completing a novella as a step toward returning to one of my unfinished novels.  Writing fiction is what I want to do in retirement at the latest, achieving it sooner would be awesome.

Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been working on these goals. In March I received a job offer that would move me 3.5 hours away, and take me into the banking industry. The act of moving was crushing. I cried when my middle daughter told me that she was devastated by it. Ugh, that’s the last thing you want to hear from your children, even if they’re grown and starting families of their own. We’re extremely close and it felt like a gut punch to all of us.

It’s nearing the end of September and the goals I set out for 2019 are well underway. I’m still a Product Manager leading software development teams but being in a new vertical market as breathed new life into my day. It’s no less stressful. In fact, some days it’s considerably more worse given the stakes of the solutions I’m managing. However, I enjoy learning new skills and meeting new people. Add to that, I love where I live. I miss my house but adore my apartment – the views, the big open sky, the energy, and convenience. And I rented a place large enough for two sets of my kids to come at the same time and stay here comfortably for the weekend, which they have.

On the writing front, I started a small support group that meets on Monday evenings. I wish I was further along but being 30K words into my novella is nothing to sneeze at. I’ve settled into a routine and have found writing software that works for me. It doesn’t have snazzy features – something I don’t need. I’ve always enjoyed writing in the barebones world of Google Docs.

The issue that StoryShop solved for me, was the tedium of tracking the elements of world-building. I’ve used tables in MS Word, spreadsheets and a custom database, all of which became a distraction after a while. Struggling to find what I called an item, place or minor character 10K words ago often ended in annoyance or continuity issues. Keeping track of ideas for future elements was equally annoying. Oftentimes, struggling with this issue tainted a writing session with frustration. StoryShop isn’t perfect but I really enjoy the features and it’s helped me to keep going. I’m hoping to turn up the volume in the last quarter of the year in order to complete my first draft.

I miss my family. I ache over not being able to see them multiple times a week which was our norm. I hate that I’ve missed birthdays. Unfortunately, driving that distance during the week simply isn’t feasible. However, I do feel blessed that missing my house and family aside, I’m happy where I am, enjoy my new job and have done more writing for a single story than I have in many years. I think this is the first year in many, where I’ve made serious progress on all the goals I’d prioritized at the start. I guess it’s feeling the tick tick of the clock reminding me that I’m not getting any younger. *Smile*

What’s Up Star Citizen?

All of the above means I have very little time for gaming. Additionally, I sometimes have a love-hate affair with the development pace of Star Citizen. I believe in the dream and their continued intent to deliver on what they’ve promised. However, I think there will be compromises that feel painful to some backers in order for this extremely ambitious game to BETA and out as an officially released game. Plus there’s the war of focus between Squadron 42 and the MMO game. Having the number of released ships that are still missing meaningful mechanics does start to grate.

Yet out of the dust storm, they routinely release content that makes your jaw drop which breathes more patience into most of us. I put SC on dark mode when I feel overly annoyed. This is my last hoorah. There aren’t any choices with even half of these features, let alone the ones I’m most interested in consuming. Trolls like to wanker on about sunk cost fallacy but that’s not why we wait. We wait because you can’t point us to a legit alternative. If you could, I’d be playing that in the interim.

The Q2 patch was very very late and for me, the shining star of what was being delivered had to be pushed to a dot release. The granddaddy of luxury ships, the Origin 890 Jump was released a few weeks ago. The first flyable capital ship is a space yacht. It’s 4 levels of enormity. I’m cobbling together an interior map so I can stop wandering around in circles.

The ship is a full-featured luxury experience – Captain’s Quarters, 4 guest suites, 5 crew cabins, galley and rec room for the crew, dining, bar, conference room, saunas, swimming pool, lovely vistas, a and two-level atrium for guests to relax and mingle in. I’m not sure how I feel about owning such a large ship given my playstyle but I’m hoping to host community events for a change of pace. My first use of the ship is as the backdrop for a story I want to write in the SC universe after my novella. The plot is already worked out. It’s what I’ll do in between doing edits on the novella.

My biggest pet peeves about the 890 J are that someone decided that luxury is cold stoic colors and angles. It doesn’t at all match the vibe of the concept images. The whole ship should be styled more like the saunas which is a better representation of the original concept images. Hopefully, we’ll be able to change some aspects of the interior lighting and color themes. Second, it feels like they didn’t bother to check to see if you can actually see that magnificent views when seated in the designated areas around the windows because you can’t. It’s the same thing with the Origin 600 i. You have to stand to see outside which is very very silly. They need to adjust the thick waist high trims and ledges so they don’t block the views. Last is that they didn’t bother adding a large enough landing pad for it at Port Olisar. You can only spawn the 890 at Lorville and Area 18, which is very inconvenient. It also means it can only be fueled at those two locations.  I’ve seen lots of 890s crashing to the surface as they run out of fuel trying to make it down the gravity well to refuel. Then after wasting the long trips to refuel you get to dump 25% of it getting back out of atmo. Grrr. Please fix soon!!

Patch 3.7 is Coming

The Q3 content patch for Star Citizen will finally add something to do on the planets other than FPS and take screenshots. Caves and harvestable items are coming to a planet near us, along with handheld mining tools. I’m the odd type of solo exploration styled gamer who enjoys farming/harvesting in MMOs. I find it a relaxing activity to do at the end of a gaming session to unwind. I often use it as a passive activity to do when I simply want to be in the game world without doing a whole lot of thinking or interacting with others. The items will be rare gems that can be mined, harvestable produce, dropped salvage, etc.

I’m looking forward to having an activity I can do under my own steam and timeline, using any of my ships I want. I remain disappointed that I have 7 flyable ships and only 1 of them has the planned game mechanics – Sabre for combat. Sure we can go do missions to carry crates but that got old a long time ago. Now, if I can reliably relog aboard my ship, a feature that’s supposedly coming in 3.7 – whew, we’re starting to feel like a space MMO.

Related Content


Aly's World EMag - May 2019

As mentioned on Casual Citizen Episode 32, at the end of my content writing cycle, I will produce Casual Citizen or Nightbus, as well as combine all the content into an eBook. In addition to working more on my own fiction, I’m also teaching myself interior book design and self-publishing. This gives me the opportunity to use one of my guilty pleasures toward a future goal. I hope you enjoy.

You can easily find directions on YouTube if you want to actually import the associated format into your Kindle, iPad or Nook. Otherwise, go for the Print or EPUB format.

AVAILABLE FORMATS

As mentioned in the show, I’ll be compiling the content produced during a cycle into an eBook/eMagazine for those who might enjoy reading the articles as chapters with the ability to use bookmarks and whatnot.

eBook Formats

I hope you enjoy.


1 Profession, 2 Ships and Go!

The number of people trying to tell others what they should be enjoying about a game never ceases to amaze me. I find it quite flabbergasting that they’re willing to assume their brand of fun, something so subjective, can be articulated as the one truth.  Worse is that progression in a sandbox game is this, this, and that specifically – no more and no less. Can we get serious here about trying to quantify a single definition of what progression and fun means? Please stop. I’m floored by the proponents of such narrow perspectives and beliefs that don’t allow variation beyond their playstyle. Those for whom having more ships, grinding money, beating others in combat, having the best gear, etc., is perceived as the only possible point of it all. While players who deviate from this so-called “right way to play an MMO” are doing it wrong or are Roleplayers. What the…

There’s so little tolerance in the world, in general. It confounds me that people bring the same problems into a game. An environment designed as entertainment and escape. Instead, they form new battlefields over how to engage in a form of entertainment. I suppose my ‘live and let live’ nature simply can’t comprehend their closed and demanding point of view.

In considering the incessant debates of … Is Star Citizen is P2W cause X, Y, and Z, ‘cuz surely they’re the only things that can matter! The insistence that people who have multiple ships are ruining progression for themselves! Why play if you already own the ships you want? Clearly, there’s only one way to define enjoyment in a sandbox game. If you can’t hear it in my tone, feel free to insert me rolling my eyes and shoving a finger down my throat.

One the back of all this nonsense, I concocted an exercise that illustrates how differently someone such as myself, goes about playing MMOs. To coin an alternate definition of the word, I’m an immersionist. I don’t RP and I have limited enjoyment chasing generic ticks on a list handed out by the game. Having more isn’t the aim, goal or victory. It’s about having a subjective path to a valued journey.

For short periods of time, I live in that world. That is all and that is it. This style doesn’t work for completionists. It certainly doesn’t speak to the killers. Full blown explorer types probably wouldn’t be satisfied. Gregarious social butterflies might find it too demanding. It’s likely a weird combo of a semi-social adventurer. Thinking through all the noise made me wonder what would I do if the pledging had been artificially limited? Would I be as excited? Yes, I would.

One Year. One Profession. Two Ships. Go!

The rule of this musing assumes all professions are released. If for one year, you can only do one profession and only possess two ships, what would your choices be? And no matter how much money you earn, for that year, you can’t buy any additional ships. It’s literally, one year, one profession, two ships and go!

Of the professions I’m most excited about, I think medical will provide me with the most content and group composition diversity.

  • There will be standard fare missions for evenings when I want passive gameplay.
  • Players and NPCs will provide opportunities for small scale ad hoc interactions.
  • Participating in orchestrated and scheduled events will provide large scale content options.

Solo, small group, large group – all available in one profession with two ships.

There are three ships dedicated to the medical profession. The Cutlass Red, RSI Apollo, and Endeavor Hope. There are other ships that have a medbay, but for this exercise, I’m choosing to pick dedicated vessels. Given that the Apollo is a Connie sized ship and only has two crew stations, it will be viable as a solo operation. I imagine myself free-roaming densely populated areas. In particular, locations where FPS missions or PVP skirmishes occur. In those instances, players likely want to return to the action as soon as possible. Unless there’s a medical outpost nearby, a field medic in the area will be considerably faster than seeking attention planetside.

We’ve also been told that there will be missions generated to service NPCs. Accepting missions in the Apollo is precisely my plan for doing causal solo gameplay. This is my preferred M.O. during the workweek. Accept a mission, do the mission, and on to the next, while enjoying the atmosphere of being in that virtual world. For me, this is pleasant, relaxing, low key and avoids trying to coordinate with other players when I’m short on time and patience.

More People. More Risk

The Apollo will also be perfect for small group sessions – structured or ad hoc opportunities with my family, friends or gaming buddies. We can take on relatively safe content via missions in high-security areas or venture off on freelance journeys to where other players become our content pipeline. Outfitted to defend ourselves and with an escort in tow, we can venture into locations where players are participating in FPS or ship combat. Unless there are medical outposts nearby, our services will be more convenient.

With the expanded planetside content, I think FPS will be a staple for some players. Player run outposts, contesting harvestable resources, and bounty work, both the lawman and the target, will provide ample opportunities for an eager field medic.

I can see myself participating in structured combat encounters such as the scenarios Rexilla is popular for orchestrating. Instead of the combatants being sent elsewhere, the Apollo can be located in a no-kill zone where players from both sides can be healed and sent back into the breach.

Big Ship. Carefully Considered Choices.

Lastly, is the hulking Misc Endeavor Hope. A ship I’m only likely to use in high-security areas unless part of a coordinated event. When I’m captaining a ship of this size, I’m after experiencing the top tier interactions for that profession. I’m looking for the contemplative immersion of being aboard a ship of that size, likely crewed with up to a dozen people just to maintain that one ship. I’m not interested in combat or orchestrating external activity such as escorts. I simply want to have fun being a doctor.

In most cases, I’ll float around an armistice zone, acting as a spawn point for players who’ve died and tend to any residual damage.  Players who are arriving at the starbase to conduct business or summon ships can also stop in to have old wounds healed. Much like we repair our ships before heading off to the next adventure, the Hope can do the same for the player character. Here again, if the current travel on planets holds true, my hospital will be considerably more convenient than going planetside just to see a doctor.

If the organization I’m part of is having a large scale skirmish, I would also participate by having the ship close enough to give us the advantage of returning our people back to the fight faster. Of course, this would be the highest risk scenario and I’d expect to have escorts and protectors. If we go boom, we go boom.

Other professions can provide similar diversity in content – game generated versus finding freelance work. A spread of group size – solo, small and large. Opportunities where I can choose to take calculated risks. However, of them, I think medical will be in higher demand.

So with one profession and two ships, I can experience all the facets of gameplay I expect in any MMO, especially ones that lean toward being a sandbox. I don’t care what other players are doing, how many ships they have or how much money they can make in comparison. I focus inwardly on defining strategies that let me be successful in doing whatever content I enjoy most.

It’s Not About the Benjamins

The reason I have so many ships is the result of setting up these options for the professions I’m most interested in experiencing. Whether it’s medical, transportation, data running or exploration, I’ve simply pre-established the scenarios that suit my personal objectives for playing Star Citizen.

Any modern MMO worth its salt should cater to a wide range of player types – social, completionists, adventurers and killers. When, where and how they take risks should never be forced. The content should be compelling enough across all spectrums and the risk versus reward artfully designed, that it entices players to cross their normal boundaries on occasion.

For me, content options are king in MMOs and combat-only scenarios will never be an inducement. This is why I harp on professions. Without them, there’s no content I’m interested in consuming much of. I’m fine with combat being a means to an end, which is all it is for me in games that have levels. But if that’s all you’ve got, you don’t have a game with staying power for my playstyle.

For more details on what we know about the planned medical profession, you can check out a full discussion here.


Roadmap Disappointment

Backing Star Citizen has always been about two things for me. First is traveling and exploring the universe described by the robust lore.  Second is the diversity of player professions which take MMO immersion to a completely different level. In particular, bonafide exploration mechanics, managing large scale food production, commercial transportation, operating a floating hospital, info running, luxury touring and building outposts. These two things combined are the crux and motivation for why I’ve pledged and to the degree that I backed the game.

I’ve played far too many MMOs to be enamored by ground-based missions. I don’t enjoy FPS and I’m bored to tears by the small variety of interactions games with the traditional fetch, find, fight, follow mechanics. I’ve seen it all before. And while I might do them occasionally as part of downtime, it’s not something that excites me outside of my chosen professions.

Before the culling of professions from the first iteration of the 2017 Roadmap, my chief concern was how many star systems we’d have at release. Huge honking planets are appealing to some but I backed a SPACE SIM. Ya know, doing shit aboard my ships. I have very very little interest in running around flat-footed on a planet. Other than base building, farming and sightseeing in the major cities, planetside content simply holds no appeal. But hey, they pulled off the tech to expand the scope of planets, a fact that pleases some backers. It doesn’t however, add a lot of value to those of us who backed to be in space and satisfied with the original scope for planets.

1, 5, 10, 20 or 100 star systems at release, means very little if the vast majority of the player professions are missing in action. This has become my chief concern. The diversity and uniqueness of them lead me to believe they can’t be churned out with the assistance of tools beyond generating missions AFTER the mechanics are in place. We have 15 very specific professions, not including combat and racing, of which the first iteration of two have seen the light of day – cargo hauling and mining. The update for 3.5 saw salvage removed and put into the Q4 2019 release. That gives us another year where only one new player profession was delivered. I think it’s fair to be concerned at this pace, especially if this is the type of content you backed to play. Simply doing the math, this pace doesn’t project a  good outlook for backers waiting to experience these professions for the first time aboard their ships much less, moving from alpha to beta to release. Yes, yes, MMOs are never finished but they do have release dates.

I enjoy watching players making their own content via FPS but I don’t play FPS games and have zero interest in doing that in Star Citizen. The pace and the fact that CR’s discussion about minimum viable product pillars didn’t mention the professions at all, for me at least, is cause for some concern. I wouldn’t say it’s a red flag. We know where they’ve shifted the resources to and why. However, it doesn’t leave me feeling warm and fuzzy about progress.


Roleplay Versus Immersed

I do not consider myself a roleplayer. I’ve never belonged to a roleplaying group in an MMO. I don’t speak in a particular vernacular or voice. I don’t chat to match the game or my character. My playstyle is what I consider immersion based which is why the avatar matters to me.

When I’m playing the game, I’m not doing anything else but that. I don’t listen to other music. I don’t have the television on in the background. I’m not having side conversations in real life. I’m present, and in the moment with my character. I’m living out her life within the context of that game’s universe. When I’m questing, farming or crafting, I’m carrying out the tasks necessary for that character to survive in that world, and making the decisions I would if it were me. Survive. Thrive.

The more an MMO creates a well-rounded gameplay loop and existence, the more immersed I become. I will always choose to engage in crafting and the economy to earn a living, as most of us are required to do in real life. Doing so contributes greatly to my feeling of being a citizen of that world.

I’ve never had as much fun as a character, as I did in EQ2, with its vast crafting and player housing systems. Or Archeage with land ownership, player housing, farms, and livestock. I adored how those two games, in particular, allowed me to take production mechanics and turn them into full-blown professions. In EQ2 especially, where I went on to form a long list of customers for my interior decorating services which included making custom furniture pieces.

I play MMOs to be part of fantastical worlds and have improbable adventures. I don’t have to be on the hero’s journey. In fact, I’m more enamored by how the everyday person survives than the fabled knight. As such, I consider my gaming style as immersed vs. roleplay. It’s a chief reason why anything that forces me out of the moment is odious and a mechanic I’m going to complain about. That doesn’t mean that I revel in tedium. I’m more than willing to suspend disbelief to improve the overall gameplay experience.

Star Citizen has a fine line to navigate between its simulation asperations and producing fun and engaging experiences. I’m not going to accept “this is realistic” as an excuse when an activity doesn’t add value to my game time in a meaningful way. When a feature or expected task becomes a bothersome cockblock it immediately breaks your immersion. For example, my pet peeve, elevators. I don’t care if they’re not realistic – not logical based on the physical layout of the location. What I care about is standing there wondering why a fake elevator that can only be one floor away is so long. The fact that it’s not “real” is meaningless to me. I’m not scrutinizing a blueprint of the location while I’m playing. It’s that I encounter a fair share of elevators in a gaming session and the annoyance adds up over time and takes me out of the moment.

We have many potentially astounding features coming our way. I’d just like CIG to have a care for when real becomes a distraction or bothersome.


New Faces

Free Fly Success

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 tour of a ship. 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 enjoy bopping between my long-time favorites, brand new low view 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 25K viewers that aren’t CIG events — very exciting.

Zyloh made appearances. He was a mole on one stream. Rode with them to Kareah and then turned on his team. Another night he was trying to give Lirik a look at the 600i. Unfortunately, Lirik’s ADD fidget all over the place like he’s tiptoeing on hot coals manner, 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!

New Faces

If combat is your thing – PVP and FPS, Rexzilla is a good watch. Like all MMOs I’ve played, while I don’t consider myself a PVP player, I will engage if attacked and enjoy watching others do their thing. Whew, they had some hot fights happen at Kareah and over at Jumptown. Very cool stuff to check out if you want to see what kind of impromptu combat can happen even in these early days.

Visiting new streamers is equally entertaining. Seeing their enthusiasm is infectious. Watching their jaws drop approaching Lorville. Their heads explode the first time the EVA. Always grateful to be given help or offered to try a ship they don’t own. Sure, we go in hard on trolls but this is definitely one of the most helpful gaming communities I’ve been a part of. I enjoyed the time I spent with BruceCooper and Harry0. For the first time in a long time, I actually joined a streamer live. We were talking about vehicle types and Bruce hadn’t seen a Dragonfly, so I joined live to spawn one for him. Coasting on a hoverbike on a high fidelity alien planet – that right there can only happen in Star Citizen.

The RP is Real

If you’re interested in watching roleplay in the Star Citizen universe, strong contenders have entered the atmosphere. They’re all new to actually playing but are learning quickly with the help of the community. I’m happily surprised by the enthusiasm and number of RP streamers that have landed. Among my favorites so far are Timmac, PMSProxy, and Koil.

If you’re a long time backer, you know this game isn’t the easiest thing to pick up on your own. Hop in a few new channels to share your knowledge and love for the game. To all the new players and streamers, welcome aboard. Welcome to the community. See ya in the verse.


Squadron 42 All-Star Cast

When you think of the biggest names in Sci-Fi, Mark Hamill would be high on any list. So for him to be only one of the major cast members of Squadron 42 says a lot about how amazing the cast of this game is.

Hamill’s relationship with Chris Roberts spans back to the days of Wing Commander. When he was approached to play ‘Lt. Cdr. Steve ‘Old Man’ Colton’  in Robert’s new single player game, he claims he didn’t even have to read the script to know it would be good. He was there from the moment the game was announced.

This must have helped to some extent. Whilst Hamill alone in any game would be a coup, the casting for Squadron 42 just gets better and better!

  • Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour, Dark Knight, The Fifth Element, Bram Stroker’s Dracula) plays Admiral Ernst Bishop.  
  • Gillian Anderson (The X-Files, The Fall, American Gods) has been cast as Captain MacLaren
  • Mark Strong (Kingsman: The Secret Service, Sherlock Holmes) voices Captain Thomas Wade
  • John Rhys-Davies (Lord of the Rings) plays Randall Graves.
  • Andy Serkis (The Lord of the Rings, Rise of the Planet of the Apes), and probably the biggest name in motion capture technology has been cast as Thul’Óqquray, an alien character who speaks in a fictional language created for Star Citizen.
  • Liam Cunningham (Game of Thrones) plays Captain Noah White

We haven’t yet been told how big each role will be, but one can assume that casting such huge household names to take part in a game of this size would mean that their parts are substantial.

There are numerous other well-known names cast. At the time of writing,  the IMDB ‘main cast’ list sits at twenty-five people, with ‘Other Cast’  sitting at sixty-one people and rumored to be over one hundred!

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