A Star Citizen blog representing the vast silent majority who only wish to make the game better.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Lonely Soul

Aren't too many Star Citizen bloggers out there. You can tell from my blog list that I haven't been able to find many. Anybody out there know of any?

More streamers than I can shake a stick at, though. For any of you just watching Star Citizen from the sidelines waiting for it to be released (aka SC 4.0) in a couple of years, I recommend Whispers Thru The Universe as a streamer to follow. He gives weekly generalized updates which point to more detailed info if something tickles your fancy.

There are streamers who report on every little nuance, represent large groups, and / or have giveaways. Hardcore stuff, that. There are streamers who mostly just play and gab adolescent nonsense. They're having fun. That's a good sign ... and it's still alpha.

I don't really watch people play Star Citizen all that much. Who would want to watch me play? I wouldn't inflict that on anyone. Just get out and go play yourself. It helps things along when more people are in the environments.

On another note, I might start looking at organizations. Hmm, what would I look for?

The NOs:

1 - no military structures ... I march to my own drummer, thank you
2 - no x-military wanting to be military (they have a disciple thing)
3 - no foul-mouthed idiots (I'd say mature but that doesn't seem to make a difference)
4 - no griefers or exploiters AT ALL ... I'm here to play the game; leave your EVE at the door

The YES's:

1 - egalitarian group
2 - quiet and unassuming
3 - altruistic in nature ... good people make good gamers and a good Verse
4 - moral (no vacon for breakfast) ... role players who aspire to be more are preferred

I like to think I'm a majority kind of player. Quiet and out of the limelight. So, HEY, if you're of a similar mind then let me know and we can put each other on our Contact List so we can meet in game. There should be a better way that ordinary people can be heard.

Maybe working off of a Contact List is better. Just hanging out with cool people I meet in the Verse. I actually have a list (on paper) that I've made of dedicated, good people on the forums. I made a naughty list, too, of a bad, overly pretentious lot but that isn't helpful as a game mechanic -- it should be useful, somehow, shouldn't it? Maybe as an in-game reputation decreaser? That sounds good.

Contact List  59:33

I have a BIG ship. Takes a fair sized crew. But I expect everybody else will have ships of their own. So I hope we can crew up with NPCs. I'm sure it will be a ball finding and training NPCs. I'm a good guy so they'll want to remain as loyal crew. Right? Can NPCs be on a Contact List?

Star Citizen. Really looking forward to it.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Nice Map

I was sent this nice map. It is composed of the ever popular tube map by Zhaff with my distance numbers added. Just so you know, I added a couple of numbers around the Baker system and corrected a couple of misses which were pointed out to me.

click to enlarge

The distance numbers really bring a map to life!

I've been playing with some trip distances. Large ships will have quite a go moving from sectors North-East, from South-West, or from East. Two bottlenecks trap the large ships in terms of long distances. I'm assuming fuel costs will be an impediment to travel.

Also, my numbers greatly overstate the distance from Earth to Terra, by about forty au. My numbers add up to about 118au. They don't adjust for the fact that fliers are probably straight-line traveling between the two most popular points. The numbers assume some dalliances along the way.

So, technically, each two-node trip gets a number. This number is essentially a best-guess number which quantifies the distance of where a flier could have come from to where a flier could be going to. This is to reflect the fact that planets will be orbiting the sun. Sometimes far from the jump point, sometimes near.

If you left from a non-specific area in a system to arrive at a non-specific area in a neighboring system then the distance would likely be close to the number shown on the map ... in Au. More specifically, in every case the numbers are the sum of the two distances of each relevant jump point to its Sun.

Hope it proves to be helpful.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Mass Effect: Andromeda Rushed?

OK, I don't have the game, Mass Effect Andromeda. But reading all the animation hoopla about it gives me an appreciation of why Squadron 42 has been delayed and an idea as to why ME: Andromeda was released.

Mass Effect took two steps back, it seems, in animation. Yes, the cut-scenes seem fine but cut-scenes do not a game make. They cheaped out. I figure ME was rushed releasing so as to beat SQ42 out the door. Fewer would buy ME once SQ42 comes out as SQ42 really will be a next generation game.

 Designer talking motion capture.
Mass Effect: Andromeda vs Mass Effect One

Squadron 42 will be much better, says I with near 99% confidence. And why do I think this? Because Squadron 42 will have a great majority of its animation based upon motion capture. Motion capture can produce a more precise and realistic portrayal of action.

Jillian Anderson suited up for motion capture.
Go ahead, click on picture, I dare you.

So I suspect that Squadron 42 was originally like Mass Effect: Andromeda. But somewhere along the way, probably because of highly successful crowd funding ($145 million), the decision was made to upscale the project. Money talks. This helps to explain the many production delays. That's my thinking.

Squadron 42 comes out this year! as opposed to Soon™.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Still Waiting for Star Citizen 2.6.2

Yup, still waiting. I haven't been playing any Star Citizen per se while I wait for the alpha patch to be released to the live Player Universe. I don't want to get too attached to game mechanics when they are all probably going to change a bit.

I could download the Persistent Test Universe (PTU) being as I'm a special person'all. But it takes at least three solid evenings for the download, for me at least. It's 30 gigabytes, and growing. So I'll just wait.

Any day now.

My mapping project is all done (previous post). I've been mulling over how to improve upon it.

Some suggestions for the Star Map. Maybe one of those travel-distance things at the bottom-right of every fanfold travel map. Cities labeling the horizontal and vertical axis, and then distance as a cross-reference.

Or something to indicate map scale. Again, distances are so hard to judge. Even when looking at a single system map there is no indication of distance. A visual scale-bar would be helpful. Maybe something in Au and Km*100?

Possibly also a drop line -- Point A to Point B and it tells you what percentage of your fuel would be consumed to make the trip. Similar to what they have in the Persistent Universe (PU).

Edit: Added Star Map link.

Monday, March 27, 2017


OK. I'm done. Working on distances is getting tired. This is about the best I can do without rolling up my sleeves.

Ya, right, click to enlarge, eh.

I admit it was kinda fun doing these distances. Please note that they are not exact numbers. And the lines! Don't use length of line as distance ... use thickness of line as an indicator. Length of line is difficult. No map that I know of has accurate distance by line length.

Distance is kinda a relative thing. Star Citizen systems my be billions of light years apart. It is the distance to and from the jump points that is more accurately indicative. So your destination might be 50au to a jump point and only 2au from the arriving jump point. And then, if its a planet you are going to, where is it in its orbit (assuming orbiting comes online)? So I've averaged out a few things. Take the numbers for what they are worth.

I thought an example or two would be nice. Get your favorite tube map. Now figure out how you would go from Pyro to Hadrian in your Freelancer Misc.
Via tube map or Transit Network map: 77au
Via distance map: 45.4au or 43.19au or even 47.3au.

And, there are only two ways into Sol: through Davien or Croshaw. Which would you pick?

So, ya, knowing distances may be helpful.

Edit: Terra - Magnus is 5.41au.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Data Analysis

It's a love / hate relationship. In the good'ol days I was pretty good at computer stuff. This recent plotting of nodes (see last post) has triggered a bit of a resurgence of interest.

My first thought was to download Java and LibreOffice. Took FOREVER to get the SQL working. Pissed me off no end so I uninstalled it. The I installed Python. More trouble. Finicky. So I uninstalled it. Then I downloaded Java again. Will I never learn? Uninstalled it. Downloaded LibreOffice. Then Java. Just couldn't get it doing what I wanted.

Back to Python. This time I downloaded a simple IDE to go with it. Finally started making some progress.

All this fussing around. Good thing Star Citizen's communications this week are a tad weak. Not that interesting compared to the blockbuster of the previous week. So I have plenty of time to continue working on this node thing.

It kinda pisses me off that distances can't be easily visualized on any off the Star Citizen star maps. I wonder if I'm the only one bothered? I haven't noticed anyone complaining about it. Perhaps it is because the maps imply a distance, false though it is.

Planets and moons and stuff will eventually be orbiting a sun (or suns). This makes distance calculation a tad more difficult. An API is needed but I don't know if one exists that I can access. So I have to approximate distance ... or type in a zillion constants that will just end up being obsolete when orbiting is implemented. Yup, approximation sounds good.

Anyway, still working on it.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Star Citizen Distances

The distance between systems in Star Citizen is ... indeterminate. We don't know! I think nobody knows, not even the game designers.

Distances between systems aren't known because inter-system travel is exclusively by wormhole. Yes, that's right, gate camping, bottlenecks, zones of control, ... shit like that. What can you do?

Well, some people have suggested adding faster than light (FTL) travel to the game. In the game now, the fastest speed is 0.2c. Once area compression is taken into account the effectual speed works out to be 1.6c.

At 1.6c it would take 2.73 years to reach Alpha Centauri, our solar system's nearest neighbour. About 1000 days. So, in game play terms, in order to get there in a whopping TWO days we would have to fly 800 FTL. It's a game, so why not? Well, Star Citizen has 100 - 400 systems planned with several planets, asteroid belts, stations, and whacks of other stuff all littered about. The reality of Alpha Centauri would limit things greatly.

The nearest system to Earth in Star Citizen is Croshaw. It is an unknown distance away. It could be twelve bazillion light years. We don't know! But we get there by a wormhole ... 20 minutes, tops. The effectual distance from Earth to Croshaw is actually just the distance from you to the Croshaw wormhole entrance. It's kinda irksome knowing that there may be all kinds of alien civilizations between Earth and Croshaw.

Distances are very difficult to discern in Star Citizen. Most maps simply show size relationships between systems. Size being whether large, medium, or large ships can enter the wormhole. I'm unaware of any map that shows distances. So I started making one.

I'm using rudimentary network graphing software to do this. I no longer have software languages such as Python or graphics packages such as igraph. But it seems to be working, sorta.

This is a SIZE relationship map. There are lots out there (see last post). It shows,via line thickness, whether a small, medium, or large ship can jump through a wormhole. Distance, counter-intuitively, is not relayed at all so don't be fooled.

click to enlarge
Thickness of connecting line portrays size of ship that may pass.

For comparison, the following is a DISTANCE relationship map. The thickness of the connecting lines implies distance: narrow for short distance, medium for medium distance, and thick for far distances. Remember to keep in mind that the length of the connecting lines is not relevant.

click to enlarge
Thickness of connecting line portrays distance between points.

It is just a partial network. I edited in the distances as my software wouldn't display the strength of the line, it just adjusts thickness of it. Need to pay extra for labeling, I guess. Anyway, I plan on expanding this for the whole Star Citizen galaxy.

Oh, I should mention the software used: Google Fusion Tables. It's free.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Trade Route Planning

Planning trade routes is always a difficult task. And in Star Citizen it currently has an extra layer of difficulty. It's in ALPHA, stupid. Nobody knows anything. But, the player community seems to be able to work around any problem.

A while back I found this map of logical trade flows. Really, really sorry as I have forgotten who made it. Must have been a great deal of work putting it together. At first I thought someone was just imagining the trade possibilities but after a while the methodology behind it started to dawn on me.

click to enlarge
Sol - Terra Trade Route

It is expected that the Sol - Terra trade route will be the busiest route in the known Universe. Sol, being Earth, and Terra, being a newer and better Earth. Does this remind you of The Expanse?

I was so impressed I started building my own map for my 'hanging out' area of the Universe. That's how I know it takes a bit of work.

Trading is not going to be my profession. I have no trading vessels and don't plan on getting any. I expect I'll be concentrating on exploring, instead.Well, you never know.

So I've done a three system chart so far. On the outskirts of the Universe. It isn't looking that helpful, tradewise. Maybe my trading instincts just aren't there. If I were a true trader perhaps the data would be more forthcoming. Maybe I need to add a couple more systems.

Monday, March 20, 2017


I used BDSSE (Best Damn Space Sim Ever) in a post recently and for some strange reason I've been troubling over my use of it. Maybe I'm just a crazy Star Citizen fan boy. So I did a bit of a search on the forums to see if others thought so, too.

Here is one endorsement written by a citizen perhaps not as crazy as I --

S1rmunchalot@S1rmunchalot writes:
So much about Star Citizen is going to hit the gaming community like a lightning bolt. There will be 2 types of games in the future. Those before Star Citizen and those after Star Citizen, just as there was horse and cart and the internal combustion engine.
Obviously a bit of an understatement, but you get my drift.

Just for a bit more unbiased opinion I found this quote --

Erin Roberts, Global Head of Production / EU Studio Director writes:
... Star Citizen will be the best damn space sim ever.

Erin Roberts
click to enlarge if you must

There you go, folks, clearly I'm no crazy fan boy. I am simply in possession of a well-supported and popular opinion. My advice to all who read this, Go Get Star Citizen! But use my code (upper right corner) for bonus in-game credits.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Star Citizen Good; EVE bad

EVE certainly was built by griefers for griefers. This said by Cigg@cigg in the Star Citizen Spectrum forum,

Everything about EVE was designed so that older players could eat newer players for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Ridiculously skewed risk and reward, content, monetary mechanics, and end-game, all for the established vetset. Their biggest complaint was a lack of new fodder. Their biggest want was greater access to the free meals of the safe space ghetto.

Star Citizen, bless its heart, is set up in a logically ordered, lore-based Universe. Its population set cannot be controlled by older elements. Resources are logically and realistically placed instead of as lure and bait. Content is not org biased or determined by vets.

The flavour of SC will be an immersive PvA as opposed to a meaningless dry PvP. In-character roleplay will affect everyone. Even criminals, especially criminals, will have to roleplay with some of the twenty million NPC characters to succeed in the necessary making of NPC friends.

click to enlarge
April 2015, 3620 votes

For the dry PvP'rs not happy with a mere 10% of the well-designed Star Citizen Universe's functionality, I bid you adieu. Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Star Citizen will be the Best Damn Space Sim Ever! (BDSSE)

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Operation Pitchfork

Operation Pitchfork (OPPF) is a player-driven event at the end of the Star Citizen beta development period, just before the game is officially release (aka Star Citizen 4.0). The event's purpose is to invade a neighboring alien domain; the Vanduul. Star Citizen lore describes several planetary systems lost to Vanduul attacks. The purpose of Operation Pitchfork is the recapturing of these lost lands and liberating the humans in hiding there.

One of the neat things about Star Citizen is perma-death -- death, the loss of life and assets. So play is for keepsies. It's not the end of the world, though. You get reborn with a new identity and life. Details.

I am devoting one life to OPPF. Assuming I don't die on a launch pad or by smacking into an asteroid, my first life will be to take part in the massive opening chapter of the OPPF operation.

Yes, OPPF is massive. So far four thousand seven hundred and seventy-seven citizens have signed up for the adventure. The organization of the project is beginning to gel. At the moment, I have a fighter spaceship, I'm thinking I'll be in a reserve pool, waiting to be attached to an operational group.

Some clever person has gone to the (non-profit) trouble of making up patches. I'll be ordering these three, just for fun. (Maybe the Canadian dollar could be a bit higher before I do.)

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Star Citizen 2.6.2

Well, Star Citizen alpha 2.6.2 is coming up. I suppose I'll have to download it or else I won't be able to test play any of the modules. It is mostly bug fixes and network stuff. That's good, I guess.

You can tell my enthusiasm is underwhelming. It takes me a solid three evenings of download to fully load it. I live in a remote area.

alpha 2.6.2
click image to enlarge

I hope they get the "smaller download" patcher code finished soon. The code base for Star Citizen is growing by leads and bounds. Just downloading what is required instead of the whole thing will be great!
“Work has started on a patching system that will only download exactly the files you need,” Roberts said.
The really BIG download will be 3.0 coming in three months'ish.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Star Citizen Swarms

Lots of space flight practice pays off. I initially thought the Swarm modules were impossible to defeat. Slowly I got better. Then, finally, my first Victory. Others then followed.

My ship is a Sabre. Fitted with Panther guns. Standard missiles.

There are run'n gun FPS modules, too. I haven't tried them yet. They are so damn un-immersive wrt game play.

Really looking forward to Star Citizen alpha 3.0 when rudimentary trade, mining, and pricing is introduced for testing in the proxy Persistent Universe

Sunday, March 12, 2017

ICC Mission Nine (9)

Tessa Bannister of the Imperial Cartography Center probe (ICC-849) sent me out to investigate an unknown signal mix.

Upon investigation I discovered two destroyed UEE Starfarer vessels.

A through search resulted in the acquisition of two information black boxes.

Hopefully the proper authorities will be able to determined just what happened to these two large vessels and the souls upon them.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Using Props to Explain Animation

Steve Bender was using props to explain animations in today's Happy Hour Interview.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

BennyHenge -- Accident Explained

An investigation is on to identify the owner of that UEE Sabre Comet.

Accident explained.