Rethinking the MISC Reliants

I miss having an active MMO to play. More than just enjoying a wide variety of content, I miss the idle times. Logging in to do brain-on-pause tasks or perch in a favorite location to watch other players, all the while soaking up the atmosphere. For a variety of reasons, one being it’s still in development, Star Citizen can’t consistently supply those moments yet. I considered booting up an old MMO, but the prospect didn’t excite me. Instead, I logged into the 3.4 alpha to find something to do.

Casually Soaking up the Atmosphere

Scrolling through my list of ships, the first criteria that came to mind was a great view. If I’m going to travel around in space to relax, the cockpit vista is an essential component. Choosing between the 600i and the Reliant, captaining the 91.5 meter 600i felt overkill for my purposes. At 14.5 meters, you can’t beat the view from the Reliant’s bubble canopy, the ship’s cockpit HUD ughness aside.

Ship on the launch pad and flight ready, I began my journey by accepting a waste removal mission for the first time. The directions have you visit two different locations and clear three waste containers from each. From Port Olisar to Yela is a quick trip. The Reliant’s thin vertical profile in the third person screams sci-fi. Once in the atmosphere, skimming over the terrain provides stunning scenery. Performing that actual mission tasks was easy and secondary to my motives. I fulfilled a couple of these maintenance type missions then logged off.

During another session, I used Reliant’s small cargo bay to do speculative trading. In doing so, I finally cracked how VerseMate, the fan made commodities site, works. I don’t actually need the money. Consequently, the small payload wasn’t a concern. Using VerseMate, I planned an intentionally short-hop trade route. It was profitable but only just. My flight plan started at Port Olisar where I purchased Medical supplies. From there, a quick ride to Bensen on Yela where I’d sell them the Medical supplies and buy Fluorine. Lastly, fly back to Port Olisar to sell the Fluorine and start again. Due to a bit of server instability and other random bugs, I wanted a limited travel route that got me back to my home station often.

When the mood hit me again, the next adventure I conjured was doing delivery missions to the R&R rest stops. R&R stands for Rest and Relax, the owners of the rest stops located at the Crusader and Hurston Lagrange points. For the first time since the delivery kiosks appeared, I got them to work. Whoray! I’d abandoned them when they first arrived and would refuse to open. Nothing like traveling for ten minutes to have the kiosk reject interaction attempts. I specifically wanted to include the rest stops in at some point since one is featured in an upcoming piece of fiction for Nightbus.

Possibilities of a Reliant Trio

What I appreciated about flying the Reliant Kore was its simplicity. It’s a small ship so getting in and out is hassle free. It’s fast with a lovely view from the cockpit. It supports having a co-pilot seat for a friend. With the extra place, you can also participate in player generated transport beacon requests. I enjoyed the restrained but focused experience, perfect for some idle time.

My recent enjoyment of the Reliant Kore piques my interest in the Sen and Mako variants. The Reliant Sen will be equipped to do science – whatever that’s going to mean in Star Citizen, as well as exploration. The Reliant Mako will be a media ship equipped with components to make it a mobile broadcast vessel. Like real-life news vans, I think it would be fun to capture video and images of the game and what other players’ shenanigans.

While I’m most excited about the robust professions and the intricacies of carrying them out aboard the larger ships, my time and temperament won’t always make those an option. With the Reliant Kore, Sen and Mako, I foresee being able to find entertaining content in short bursts that can be done solo. My version of flying over Goldshire to people watch. Heading to a favorite zone to harvest resources. Dropping a fishing pole in a scenic location. I had planned to melt the Kore. Now I need to decide what to upgrade from or melt when the Sen and the Mako are available for purchase in March, which is when they’ll make their debut in the game.

For more details about the Misc Reliant series, you can take a look at a review I did when they were first announced. The ship has had its size increase since then and I believe the Sen and Mako are getting a bed to accommodate longer excursions. Causal Citizen Episode 18 – The Misc Reliant Series.


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.


Sit back. Relax. Unwind.

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.

https://youtu.be/vqe7kZReUZM


Voice Attack Revisited

Several of the roleplayers who’ve recently started streaming Star Citizen use Voice Attack profiles. I’ve seen many comments asking if that’s part of the game or how they’ve accomplished it. Today I just want to hit the high points for those who aren’t familiar with how VA works with SC, which is how it would work with any game.

Voice Attack being used with Star Citizen has been around for quite a while but not so much by those who are streaming the game. I wrote a detailed step-by-step article and uploaded a sample video in July and September 2015, all of which you can find on Aly’s World.

WHAT IS VOICE ATTACK

As an ability, Voice Attack, which from here out I’ll refer to as VA, is a method of using your voice to initiate keystrokes.  The name is a bit of a misnomer. The capabilities are not tied to attacking. You can use VA to carry out any set of keystrokes. For example, you can launch a game or establish your starting setup in an application. Outside of Star Citizen specific tasks, I use it to control Fraps allowing me to capture video and screenshots in any game using my voice.

Using VA requires three broad aspects:

  1. Purchase VA software – the application that will execute keystrokes and mouse interactions.
  2. Purchase or create a VA profile for a specific for Star Citizen.
  3. Start VA while SC is running. Like Fraps, you can set VA to start with Windows so it’s always ready.
  4. Fine tune the profile you purchased which runs off the game’s default keybinds. If you’ve changed any of those, you’ll have to change them back OR modify the VA profile.

PROFILES VS. VOICE PACKS

Most of the players you see using VA with Star Citizen have purchased a Voice Pack. A Voice Pack is a Profile that enhances the execution of commands by adding a significant amount of voice over and audio work. This is often done using professional voice actors or celebrities and may include additional narration that is not directly tied to executing commands, such as role-play conversations. HCS offers multiple Voice Packs for Star Citizen, as well as other games. However, purchasing a Voice Pack isn’t a required component. All you need is the Profile – series of commands you want to be executed using your voice.

Although it takes a bit of time doing it the first time, creating your own Star Citizen profile using the VA application is free and straightforward. The drawback, of course, is that we’re in alpha and keybinds change regularly. This can be avoided by saving your keybinds to an external file you can maintain and import back into the game after a patch. Then you’d just add new commands to your profile if you wanted them to be voice activated. If not, you’re golden. I always have a quick tutorial on preserving your keybinds across patches.

CREATING AND EDITING A VOICE ATTACK PROFILE IS EASY

The steps for creating and/or editing a Profile is very straightforward. The most time-consuming part is looking up that actual in-game keybinds if you don’t know them by heart.

At a high level the steps are:

  1. Pick the command you want voice controlled and note the keybinds needed.
  2. Create a command in VA that uses an easy word you’ll speak to activate the command and enter the keystrokes needed in SC to carry out the action.
  3. Test to be sure it works as expected.
  4. Rinse. Repeat.

It’s tedious more than it is complicated but is amazing to use once you’re done. Remember, you can refer to the tutorial on Aly’s World if you want to give creating your own a go. Otherwise, search for Star Citizen Voice Packs and choose one with the voice actor you’d enjoy hearing.

If you don’t want to dabble in keeping the profile updated as the game’s keybinds change, it’s important to read the fine print and purchase a pack that’s going to provide you with free updates, such as those sold at www.hcsvoicepacks.com.


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.


Star Citizen Nightbus Episode 8

SHOW TRANSCRIPT

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.

New Faces

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.

  • Waking in a semi-interactive habicube.
  • Landing a hangar bristling with activity.
  • Departing during the day to see the cityscape.
  • Leaving at night is like seeing Paris lights.
  • Alone on a Dragonfly, surfing sand dunes in the dark.

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.

Revisiting Stanton Lore

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:

  • 1 planet
  • 7 moons
  • 2 asteroid based locations
  • 1 starbase
  • 2 space stations

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.

A Day in the Life

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


Hurston, Take Flight

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.


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.


Alpha 3.3.5 - 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 content was 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. It was so absurd that it became a comical challenge to Escape 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.

  • Waking up in a habicube that looks considerably more realistic as a place someone lives in.  
  • The rudimentary interactions available inside the rooms give us a glimpse of where things are headed.
  • Riding the train from one part of Lorville to the next.
  • Seeing the imperfect but improved NPCs co-populating the city.
  • Having a drink at a bar and taking it with you as you continue on your journey.

 

 

Until now, I haven’t given a damn about clothing since there’s still no female model. Seeing other players walking – not running, walking around in civilian clothing changed my mind. Now I strut around in my Concerige outfits and made my way to Tammany & Sons to buy a few more things to wear. No, I’m not happy that we lose chat if not wearing a helmet since that’s an unnecessary negative side effect of wearing civilian clothing. One that I hope, they will change in short order. It’s fun seeing other players starting to roleplay now that we have our first planet with an atmosphere.

As the first city on the first planet implemented in Star Citizen, only a relatively small part of Lorville is accessible. Regardless, there’s no shortage of spectacular views.

  • Watching the everyday activities of those living in outer space.
  • Seeing the underbelly of how Hurston Dynamics runs the planet like a slumlord, doling out slave wages and workers living in filth and pollution. You know this type of scenario would and will exist if humans become an interstellar species.
  • Walking into an active hangar – NPCs and services around you.
  • Departing during the day to see the cityscape.
  • While leaving at night is like seeing Paris lights.
  • Alone, surfing sand dunes in the dark.

It’s coming together now. We can see it. Feel it. It’s just around the bend.

One trip in particular really gave them feels. I’m standing there in my semi-steampunk looking gear on an alien planet. Tallgrass is swaying while the wind blows around. It’s fading from dusk into darkness and I’m staring up at the night sky. I mean come on, I haven’t and can’t have this experience in any other MMO. None. You simply can’t name one with this scope and breadth.

This is magic…  It’s extraordinary…  Why we keep the believing…  This is Star Citizen.