Aly's World Release 1.1 - Usability Enhancements

Before charging forward with new pages, I’m implementing a few usability enhancements. This saves time for Dossier pages that are essentially using the same template. Expected completion date is September 10th.

  • Starmap Matrix Page
    • Persist the header row as the data scrolls down
    • Filters will now operate as an “and” condition instead “or” to support iterative refinement of data displayed
    • Adding New Filters
      • Type
      • Gov
      • Population (red, yellow or green)
      • Economy (red, yellow or green)
      • Danger (red, yellow or green)
  • System Composition Page
    • Improve readability and use of horizontal spacing  – rounding to 3 decimal places:  Age, Distance, Size, Axial, Orbit
    • Trim Jump Point names to remove the Star System name & hyphen off the front to reduced clipping.  Ex “Bacchus – Garron” will become “Garron”
  • Dossier Pages
    • Move description after Jump points to align  descriptions for the Star System and Celestial objects
    • Jump Points table – default to sort desc by count
    • Adding New Filters
      • Type
      • Gov
      • Population Filter (red, yellow or green)
      • Economy Filter (red, yellow or green)
      • Danger Filter (red, yellow or green)
  • Implementing Google Analytics on all starmap related pages

Please leave feedback for this release in this post’s comment thread.  Comments locked until the release is live.

KNOWN ISSUES

  1. No known issues.

Please leave feedback and issues found in the comments thread below. Thanks!


Baby Steps

Last night I was thinking about a few enhancements that would improve the usability of the Starmap related pages. After  reviewing the actual pages this morning, I’ve decided to make these changes before introducing the Galactic Guide data planned for Release 2.0.  It’s better to do them now, versus adding more content across which these modifications would have to be replicated.

Because I depend on the Starmap data myself for writing shows and articles, you can count on continuous enhancements.  Well, as time allows and funds allow. 🙂 Primary elements I’m looking to improve during this next pass are  filtering capabilities and visual clarity.

Hope you’re experimenting and discovering useful information.

Aly


Aly's World Release 2.0

Planned Enhancements

  1. Lore data back-end database integration
  2. Secured lore data entry interface
  3. First wave of lore data integrated into the existing Dossier pages
  4. Addition of Trade Dossier page
  5. Fix any critical defects

Official Release Date October 26, 2016

Comments are now locked.  Please leave feedback in most recent release.

KNOWN ISSUES

  1. NEW: Using Government pick-list on Trade & Cargo page clears the Lore Table info
  2. Sorting of celestial bodies on the Detail Composition page is inconsistent. Will fix in next release.

Please leave feedback and issues found in the comments thread below. Thanks!


About Alysianah Noire

Welcome to Alysianah’s World of Star Citizen, a portal to my Star Citizen related content. During the three years I’ve been following the game, the content I’ve created has been spread across locations  – my blog, SoundCloud, iTunes and other websites. The long term plan is to create and/or link it all within this website.    

As a gamer, I’m an avid MMO player who enjoys blogging about my adventures, sharing information and creating guides and tutorials. I came into MMOs through a dark tunnel. I’d been diagnosed with cancer and was often required to spend time away from home receiving treatment. I began blogging as a way of whispering my fear of dying into the void and to deal with the idea that I might potentially be leaving my family behind.  I turned to online gaming as a diversion and a way of spending time with my children while I was away.  Together we entered our first MMO and my gaming persona Saylah was born.  More than a decade later, I’ve remained in remission and have raised children who are all hardcore gamers.  We’ve infected nieces, nephews and cousins along the way, and have had amazing experiences together, regardless of who lives where. 

When I started covering Star Citizen in earnest, I moved beyond blogging. I created a narrated version of the Star Citizen Writer’s Guide to help other writers. I ended up embracing YouTube when I needed somewhere to host videos I recorded to accompany blog posts. Eventually, I combined narration and video to produce my Casual Citizen vidcast.  

A recent focus has been exploring how information from the ARK Starmap, can be combined with the Galactic Guides, to inform player professions. This journey started as a manually generated gnarly Google Sheet that I shared with the community.  Today, it becomes an automated website. I’m elated to have this first iteration completed and hope you find the information valuable, informative and entertaining.

With the exception of continuing to publish Casual Citizen on YouTube, SoundCloud and iTunes, all of my content will now originate from this website.  My Mystic Worlds blog, will remain as a journal of my personal adventures, has it has been for all the other MMOs I’ve played throughout the years.

Obviously, I’m a huge fan of Star Citizen and Cloud Imperium Games. I think that on the whole, we have a diverse and supportive community that I’m proud to be a member of. See you in the ‘verse!


Aly's World Release 1.0

Welcome to the first release of Alysianah Noire’s World of Star Citizen, a portal of my Star Citizen related content. This is the first iteration, reflecting the bare minimum of what’s planned.  I’m excited to share this information with the community and hope you find it useful. More features will be added as time allows. Please keep in mind that this is a labor of love and not a full time occupation. I will address issues as I’m able.  Keep your feedback constructive and polite.

I started down this road after becoming intrigued by the information presented in the official ARK Starmap. It was entertaining to explore what will become our physical universe and read the bits of lore it contained. I enjoy the lore for its storytelling aspects. I also endeavor to include lore and star system information in my content to enhance the context of the topic being discussed. The star system information is also very relevant to player careers, a huge focus for me in MMOs.

This site reflects a desire to have the star system information more accessible and open up opportunities to more easily add relevant lore from the Galactic Guides. I also tend to do research for articles on a mobile device and the ARK Starmap isn’t mobile device friendly.

WEBSITE CONTENT

  • Starmap Matrix – list of all known star systems according to the ARK Starmap
  • Star System Dossiers – star system information focused around specific player professions
  • Universe Timeline – slideshow of Star Citizen universe historical timeline
  • Ship Reviews – collection of ships I’ve reviewed
  • Player Professions – collection of player professions I’ve reviewed
  • Guides & Tutorials – discussions about game mechanics
  • Articles – various articles I’ve written
  • Casual Citizen – Casual Citizen YouTube series
  • Site Updates – Information on updates to this website

STARMAP RELATED PAGES

  • Daily retrieval of data from the official ARK Starmap – frequency will be increased as necessary
  • Starmap Matrix page that shows all known star systems
    • Designed to support easy scanning of high level system data
    • Supports searching for a specific system
    • Clicking column headings will sort the matrix by that attribute
    • Clicking a star system name opens up the System Configuration Dossier for additional information
  • Star System Dossier Pages
    • Detailed System Configuration – detailed info on a single star system
    • Gas Giants – star systems that have gas planets. Relevant to refueling career/ships.
    • Asteroid Belts – star systems that have asteroid belts. Relevant to mining career.
    • Green / Habitable – star systems that have green planets. Relevant to careers such as trade, import, export, etc. that rely on consumers.
    • Fair Chance Act – star systems designated as protected for developing species. Relevant to science and potentially contraband/black market activities.

Read more


Ballistic versus Laser Weapons

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BALLISTIC AND LASER WEAPONS

Star Citizen Alpha 2.4’s Item Port System simplifies customizing your ship’s configuration, making it very intuitive to experiment with varying ship loadouts. As mentioned in a previous article, one of the first things I did was change the weapons on my Sabre. That said, how did I decide on the type of weapons I wanted to use? To begin, you need to understand the difference between ballistic and laser weapons.

BALLISTIC WEAPONS

Ballistic weapons fire physical ammunition at a target. As this is a physical object with mass, it’s slowed down by the targeted ship’s shield but is able to penetrate it to do damage to the ship’s hull. The amount of damage that passes through the shield to hit the hull is based on the class of shield being penetrated. For example, an inexpensive civilian class shield may have a 40/60 split. This means 40% of the incoming damage is absorbed by the shield. The other 60% of the damage hits the hull.

Additionally, as a mechanized device, ballistic weapons do not utilize your ship’s energy to fire and generate a minimal amount of heat. If enough energy exists for the weapon itself to be brought online, that’s all that’s required. This allows you to sustain other ship components that require energy better. And ballistic don’t contribute greatly to your ship’s overall heat signature. Here’s a summary of the advantages and disadvantages for ballistic weapons.

Advantages

  • Hitting the target always delivers some damage to the targeted ship
  • Doesn’t consume energy
  • Emits minimal heat signature
  • Supports longer targeting distance

Disadvantages

  • Requires ammunition – which is a finite amount in the chamber
  • Ammunition costs credits and must be continually replenished
  • Slower rate of fire and velocity, causing increased difficulty in hitting highly agile targets

LASER WEAPONS

Let’s get the part where Star Citizen’s laser weapons are more akin to plasma weapons out of the way up front. I agree with the portion of the player base that prefers calling them energy weapons. A true laser beam travels at the speed of light and is therefore invisible to the naked eye. This is an energy based weapon and as such, it utilizes energy from your ship’s available pool to function. They also generate heat. How much heat tends to be directly proportional to the quality of the laser weapon, speed and damage output.

Unlike ballistic weapons, 100% of a laser weapon’s damage is absorbed by a ship’s shield. This means that before you can start damaging the targeted ship, you must do enough damage to deplete its shield first. Yes, there’s a reason why you can see where your shields are depleted and adjust, as well as see the same information for the targeted ship. Good news is that once the shield is depleted, direct laser weapon damage tends to be higher damage than a ballistic weapon of the same calibre. This is part of the design balancing act between ballistic and laser weapons. Here’s a summary of the advantages and disadvantages for laser weapons.

Advantages

  • Doesn’t require ammunition
  • Faster weapon speed compared to same calibre ballistic weapon
  • Hits harder against exposed target (depleted shield) than same class ballistic weapon

Disadvantages

  • Must deplete the shield before you can damage targeted ship
  • Consumes ship energy from your ship’s available pool
  • Easier to overheat and can’t overheat be used until they cool down
  • Generating heat increases your ship’s overall heat signature

IN SUMMARY

Now that we’ve discussed the basic differences, you can make a more informed decision about which type or combination you want to configure on your ships. Overall time to kill is relatively fast at this stage of the Star Citizen alpha, such that you can go all ballistic or all laser and be fine – for now.

However, as larger ships are introduced and the component system enables upgrading shields, you’ll want to balance your weapons selection against things like:

  • Most likely or planned targets – agility, likely shield strength, etc.
  • Your ship’s role in an engagement – hit fast and fluid vs. less mobile brawler
  • Your ship’s component configuration – ability to regenerate energy, effectiveness of cooling components
  • Your playstyle – how you prefer to size up and dismantle targets

In everyday situations, it may be wise to have a mixture of ballistic and energy weapons. However, if you’re a scout or doing infiltration work, using weapons that increase your overall heat signature is probably counterproductive. These are the types of circumstances we’ll have to consider as larger ships are made flight ready and the game’s mechanics mature.


Search and Rescue

Show Transcript

To provide a gaming experience that is more tactical and varied, Star Citizen has devised a limb-based injury system which includes varying degrees of damage severity and permanence.  It’s not going to be the more common scenario where after sustaining damage, a player runs and hides until his health magically regenerates to full.

In Star Citizen, various areas of the body go through damage states from Normal (no injury) to Ruined (not usable or gone).  To recover from a state below normal, player intervention is necessary. A detailed overview of the health system can be found here.

WHAT WE KNOW

If a player is incapacitated in proximity to his allies, they can be dragged to safety. Some assistance can be provided on the spot using field tech, such as the ability to stem bleeding.  However, field tech cannot be used to heal a player back to full capacity.

Beyond moderate injury or to be returned to a normal 100% health state, a player must undergo more intense treatments, such as those provided by Medbays and Medstations.  This is where Search and Rescue (SAR) comes into play. Given that Star Citizen has a permadeath mechanic, I expect SAR services to be in high demand.

Based on the Healing your Spacemen article, we know for certain that a robust SAR system is being designed. Requests to rescue players and NPCs is one of the major mission types being planned. Players will be able to send distress calls if they’re shot down or otherwise stranded in space.  A fellow player, whose ship is SAR equipped, can retrieve them and provide medical services aboard their ship.  If the injuries are beyond what they can provide, the responder can stabilize the patient and transport them to a dedicated medical facility.

Beyond what CIG has published on the topic, we know that providing SAR will range from small operations to larger player run medical services, based on the ships being developed.  They’ve talked about a large medical treatment ship being delivered in the 4th wave of Persistent Universe ships.  I have no idea what wave we’re on now but SAR capable ships are already in the line-up.

Here are the small to mid-tier SAR capable ships that have already been announced:

PLAYER SPECULATION

If MMOs have taught me anything, it’s that the vast majority of players like to pew-pew at every opportunity and even a cautious PVE carebear dies.  There will be no shortage of players needing medical attention.  Even if you die in space, there’s a possibility that your body can be healed if you receive intensive medical attention in time, which will save you a tick on your permadeath life counter. Yup, medical services will be in demand.

Even with the little, we have to go on beyond the ships announced thus far, player run organizations are forming around this career. One such group is Corporate Search and Rescue, which is 325 members strong at this point.  And there’s a SAR association for players who are in the medical/SAR career – even though the career itself hasn’t been announced.

SC backers are not short on imagination or enthusiasm for carving out their personal niche in space. Here’s a player made video illustrating what he thinks the SAR/medic role will be like in Star Citizen.  And a thread where players are discussing which ships can be used as space ambulances – no real treatment, has gotten traction.

As for me, I think SAR will be an interesting and diverse career that will also provide a lot of social interaction with the community.  I’ve already decided on commercial civilian transport as my primary career.  However, there’s always room to play multiple roles in MMOs.  I’ve picked SAR as a secondary.

I think SAR is a support role I can provide for guild/corp PVP operations or any endeavor where one of us might get hurt.  It’s also a service you can provide after the fact!  A friend is hurt while out mining, exploring, doing PVE, etc., and makes it back alive but with long term injuries. I can bring them aboard my ship to take care of their injuries, likely saving them some coin and hassle. I can also do sporadic rescue services while exploring.

DRAKE INTERPLANETARY CUTLASS RED

My decision to purchase the Genesis Starliner to accompany my goal of obtaining a commercial pilot license left me with redundant ships based on their roles.  I had a Freelancer MAX with the idea of doing salvage and hauling cargo but I missed the concept sale for the dedicated salvage ship and am not sure when/if I’ll pursue it at all now.

Lacking an exploration focused ship, I exchanged the MAX for the DUR variant, which left me with a store credit.  I also had the Aurora LN which is a combat ship but one that’s inferior to the Origin 325A I purchased.  I decided to melt the LN, which gave me full credit for the original purchase price.  Using my store credits plus $50, I bought the Cutlass Red, a dedicated SAR vessel.

It’s the smallest of the SAR ships announced thus far which is all I need.  I’m big on PVE in MMOs.  Although not typically a completionist, I like to do as much of the PVE content as possible, assuming that it’s decent.  Knowing that there will be missions specific to SAR, I decided that owning one was a something I wanted up front.  I also plan to team up with my guild from ArcheAge which contains a LOT of PVP/FPS gamers.  I think I’ll have a plenty of bodies to mend.