September 19, 2022

Alysianah's World

All things Star Citizen

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.