Star Citizen Alpha 2.4 is live. This episode takes a look at the content available for testing.
Welcome to another episode of Casual Citizen. An on-going series about the upcoming first person MMO Star Citizen by Cloud Imperium Games. I’m your host Alysianah from the Mystic Worlds Gaming Blog.
It’s been awhile since Casual Citizen covered “playing the game” – talked about what’s going on with the game itself and not its assets. The release of patch 2.4 to the Live server brings new gameplay to chat about, so let’s!
Please sit back, relax and enjoy.
Setting up shop
Anyone who has followed my gaming blog over the years knows that I enjoy meaningful player housing. Housing where having that personal space brings gameplay mechanics that impact the persistent elements of the game. Things like being able to craft or sell items out my house.
The closest equivalent to player housing we have thus far in Star Citizen is our ship hangars. Here we can see our ships, configure our ships and display hangar decorations and furniture we own. It’s your personal instance in space. For testing purposes, we can enter into our hangar via the game’s menu and only one exists at any given time. When the game releases, these hangars will be located on a specific planet in a particular star system that you’ll have to travel to. It will be your ship’s garage and a place to store local inventory similar to how stations behave in EVE Online.
The fact that the game was placing my inventory automatically made the hangars feel like a generic waiting room. Like walking into a stranger’s office or home. Patch 2.4’s new Item Port System changes that. We don’t have 100% control over where things go – certain size items can only go in slots of a similar size. But nothing is placed in my hangar that I don’t explicitly place myself. It feels more like it’s mine now. Hence the very first thing I did when 2.4 was pushed to the Live server was decorated my hangar.
I started with the Aeroview because I like the art style better. It’s has a homier feel to me. I like the observatory office’s layout. But after spending more time decorating it, I realized it was too dark for my tastes and had to return to the Revel & York. And while I don’t enjoy it’s modern somewhat austere corporate style, I prefer brightly lit rooms and so far, Revel & York is the only hangar with bright lighting.
I got a kick out of placing my ships by hand. Walking around placing my furniture and decorations where I wanted them. I can’t wait for more hangar variety such as reflecting the aesthetics of the planet where the hangar is located.
Configuring My Combat Ships
I had a strong dislike for the holo table. Coming from the easy to use Ship Fitting tool in EVE Online, it seemed blasphemous to deal with that thing. I’m sorry. I know that was someone’s baby and they like it… But no, just no. Without persistence retaining my efforts made using the hellatable, I couldn’t be bothered. The new item port system removes that barrier so I went whole-hog on trying new weapons on my primary ships.
For combat, my go to ship is the Sabre, a single seater fighter from Aegis Dynamics. There’s no interior other than the cockpit. I don’t have to worry about stowaways boarding her in the persistent universe and she’s so sexy. Such a sleek sexy looking ship.
Her original weapon configuration was two CF-117 BADGERS, which are size 2 laser weapons and two CF-227 PANTHERS which are size 3 laser weapons. I opted to change over to using four size 3 PANTHERS for more damage and a single target pip.
Before settling on the four Panthers, I had tried replacing the two Badgers with two TARANTULA GT-870 MK3s, which are size 3 ballistic weapons. But I didn’t like the slower rate of fire on a fast ship like the Sabre. I do realize that for optimum configuration, I shouldn’t have all laser or all ballistic but at this stage of the game, it’s fine. Instead of letting the Tarantulas go to waste, I put them on the slower moving, designed to hit heavier, Freelancer. Like the Sabre, I outfitted my Hornet Ghost with Panthers.
Interacting directly with the ship to test different weapons combinations was much more intuitive. It’s also a great way of learning what components make up your ship – the names and sizes of your ship’s components, for when reconfiguring more of our its systems is brought online.
Adjusting Voice Attack for Game’s New Control Scheme
I can not fly without Voice Attack – period. I fly with a HOTAS and there simply aren’t enough buttons to achieve even the basics. If you’re interested in more details about the ins and outs of Voice Attack, you can find articles I’ve written on the subject in the show notes.
2.4 included a complete overhaul of the game’s control scheme. This meant that everyone’s voice attack profiles had to be reconfigured. Changes like this, which are to be expected in an alpha, are why I keep mine very bare bones. It wasn’t much of a hassle to fix mine and I decided to integrate using my own voice as A.I. responses, as early testing for creating voice pack I have considered undertaking. It won’t be a command-oriented voice pack. It will be about lore, gameplay, and roleplay. More on that in a future show. For now, I tested recording a few things and integrating them into my profile. I think it turned out well for a first attempt. Here’s a small sample. A completed version will have star system information and lore.
Earning aUEC to buy my first flight suit
Hangar, ships and voice attack profile all set, it was time to hit the 2.4 persistent universe. I had one and only one goal in mind – obtain The Yeezy space suit! To know more about the origin of how the Odyssey Flight Suit was nicknamed The Yeezy, check out the show notes for a link to an article on my blog. It’s a bit started by Dan Gheesling that’s caught on among his Star Citizen followers.
Purchasing The Yeezy meant accumulating 7.3 thousand aUEC in game. You start off with 2.5 thousand. If you don’t have to replace or repair your ship, successfully completing 2 or 3 missions should earn enough credits. The fastest route, with the smallest risk of encountering PVP, is doing missions from the ICC Probe. These missions occur in far-flung parts of the Yela asteroid field, which tends to be quieter than other parts of Crusader.
I took three missions in succession. The first one was rather a poor showing combat-wise. I encountered lag when the NPC pirates spawned and created more lag by needing to capture video footage. Once things hit 15 FPS or less my motion sickness kicks in pretty hard but I was determined to finish.
My Sabre and I were able to successfully route the pirates. I even helped out another player in between my second and third mission. EVAing out of your ship in the asteroid field is pretty damn spectacular. The lighting. Feeling the immenseness of space as you glide away from the safety of your cockpit. Interacting with objects in space to complete the missions such as retrieving voice recorders from wrecked ships, does not get old!
I didn’t spend time exploring Yela for the new wrecks with abandoned cargo that have been introduced. But I lucked up on one. I noticed a wreck a short distance away from where I was completing a mission. When I arrived at the location, it was a crate of premium cigars. I quickly looted them and vacated the area.
Now that repairing your ship costs credits, I’ve noticed more players flying around with partially damaged ships. It’s actually funny to see how quickly the 2.4 changes have infiltrated the mindset of the average alpha player. I waited until after I’d purchased The Yeezy to assess whether or not I wanted to repair and restock missiles. In the end, I did. It cost less than 1 thousand aUEC so I figured why not? I’m not interested in FPS weapons. I’m unlikely to bother with buying civilian clothes until the female avatar is in the game.
The Yeezy out of the way, next I want to complete the Comm Array mission that culminates in you being asked to defend Port Olisar. And I want to try out the pirate mechanic just once and using the hacking system and Kareah to erase my criminal record. That’s going to be an adventure and a half!
I’m extremely pleased with the features introduced in 2.4. I’d like to spend more time in the persistent universe now. If I can eek out the time. I’m excited about what’s to come in the immediate future as it’s only up up up from here!
The Show notes will contain links the articles I’ve written about using Voice Attack. A more detailed retelling of getting The Yeezy Suit that was written from my blog and a sample of the Voice Pack I’m working on for Star Citizen.
Voice Attack Articles
What’s all This Voice Attack Stuff?
How to Add Voice Attack Profiles
And So It Begins. The Road to Obtaining The Yeezy
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As ever, be kind and fly safe. This is Alysianah signing off until next time.