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.
My unease about player professions hasn’t improved since their culling from the original 2017 Roadmap
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 happy 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 over a dozen 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 has removed salvage which will be placed into a later quarterly patch. Hopefully, one in 2019. Frankly, If we can’t start seeing the first implementation of professions at least 1 per quarter? OMG, how/when will the ships we’ve backed provide the intended gameplay and hence value?
I’m less concerned about star systems after experiencing how little there is to do in one without the player professions.
Let’s do the math, even if we start consistently getting one profession per quarter, that’s what, three years to release tier 0 for 12 of them. So far, we’ve yet to see that level of consistency. I’m not sure what they can do if they just don’t have the manpower to get them done at a more aggressive pace. I mean, we’re just stuck and we wait. Even more concerning is that CR’s description of the pillars CIG considers the foundation of a viable release candidate didn’t include having the player professions. Wait. What?? Having a fleet of ships that are little more than flying showpieces isn’t my idea of a game. We can have all the fancy tech in the world. We can have 100 star systems. If a majority of the committed professions, against which concept ships were sold are MIA, Houston, we have a serious serious problem. I will find it insulting and offensive for that scenario to carry the moniker of a Minimum Viable Product.
I enjoy sandbox but it can’t replace having a variety of content types and game play features available.
Players making their own content is fabulous. I’m glad so many are enjoying themselves. I have fun watching but it’s not the type of gaming I do, not what I pledged for, not why I backed and therefore isn’t the content I care about. As professions slip and slide on the roadmap, my angst of them being delivered increases. I’m anxious for the day when the available content moves beyond FPS, ship combat, racing, mining and cargo hauling. I can only do the latter two in small spurts as filler. It’s very disappointing that Alpha 3.5 won’t be delivering anything new on this front.
I have the professions I’m most excited to see arrive – food production, medical, commercial transportation and data courier for my slow and causal solo time but at this point, I’d be happy to see ANY OF THEM make an appearance. What about you? Are you concerned about the snail’s pace for delivering the player professions to make the ships we’ve pledged for functional? What professions are you most excited to see?