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

Monday, May 29, 2017

Distance Update

I've just discovered that the Aegis Retaliator has a fuel tank size of 20,000,000 units. The most I've seen in Star Citizen so far. Oh, and the Misc Starfarer has the same range.

From my posting, What is Space Without Distance?:
In a previous post I cleverly deduced that one unit of fuel would drive a ship one kilometer. That sounds OK. Each fighter currently has 10,000,000 units of fuel. It can travel 10,000,000 kilometers -- about 0.07au.
Inter-planetary distances in Stanton are typically 3au, often more. There seems to be a bit of a dilemma here. How do fighters get from planet to planet?
Now we know why they make long-range fighters. The Vanguard series is a long-range fighter. The Aegis Vanguard Hoplite has an improved fuel tank holding 18,000,000 units. A total range of 0.12au. Still not enough to get around the Stanton system. Ha!
The Aegis Retaliator can fly 0.13 au. Not very far in terms of solar system scale.

When Star Citizen a3.0 drops, the Stanton system will have moon landing added to its game play. Three moons and a fracking big asteroid! To accomodate this I'm assuming larger fuel tanks or greater fuel effciency. I'm also assuming distances will become further as the Stanton system expands to accomodate the moons. We'll see.

It is possible that distances and fuel logic will remain the same. Stanton can accomodate the three moons as is. Perhaps expanding the Stanton system to its intended size is not part of the a3.0 drop. I haven't heard much about fuel tanks or fuel consumption so maybe they'll remain unchanged for the moment.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Reputation System

For those of you who follow this blog you know that I'm big, really big, on Star Citizen's reputation system. The reputation system has the power to truly make Star Citizen a premier game as opposed to an admittedly very glitzy shoot'em up. An Eve 2.0, so to speak.

It's kinda funny, actually. Eve had a rudimentary reputation system built into it at one time. But complaints from the large-corporation players that it inhibited their killing and griefing, made the developers eliminate whatever vestigial manifestations that may have been noticeable within the game.

I mention all of this because I don't see extensive elaboration and development of the reputation system within the game. I don't see any mention of it in communications. I don't hear developers stressing how important it is to the overall quality of the game's real Verse concept.

Just an after thought?

To let the game develop through various iterations without a good reputation system is inviting vociferous protestation later on. The killing free-for-all we have now will be carried forward. And when it begins to be suppressed, all the ass-hats will scream that this is a PvP game. The large organizations loaded with Evilites will rally their troops to flood the forums. They will use their intimate relations with CIG employees to flog their opinions. It will become very hard to bring in a proper reputation system let alone an excellent triadic one.

If Star Citizen is to be a truly great BDSSE then the reputation system needs to be treated as a lynch pin concept and have proportionate design and development effort vested within it.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Aegis Eclipse

The Aegis Eclipse. What a beautiful ship! I don't know about everybody else but the idea of owning a graceful stealth bomber is absolutely appealing to me.

I come from an Eve'l background (sorry, my bad). The stealth bomber was one of my favorite ships. It could be flown around with confidence. And it could, on occasion, just suddenly appear and mess up someone's day. I never fired a single shot at a PC with my bomber. It just isn't in me to grief someone. I did it once, for no reason, in another ship type (they escaped, fortunately) and I felt bad. But the beauty of flying the bomber, the luxurious feeling of it, sticks with me. And I just know it is going to be orders of magnitude better in SC.

I'm as close to buying as one can possibly get ... but perhaps I'll pass. As a solo player there is no role at all for the bomber. In Eve one could shoot-up NPCs to one's heart's content but not so in Star Citizen. In Star Citizen NPCs are people, too. Shooting anything in SC has an impact. So how does one play a strident neutral if one goes around blowing random soft targets up willy-nilly? Can't.

And it is expensive. The price of art, I suppose. I could work toward acquiring one in game. That aint going to happen. I'm not playing for credits or fame. I'll be making just enough to pay the bills all the while experiencing the wide Verse. This great game is no grinder for me!

I'm an explorer. I plan on exploring every nook and cranny of my sector. That includes trundling along on all possible areas of each planet's surface. I'm going to meet good people all over the place. No place for a stealth bomber here. Stealth bomber pilots don't meet anyone. And it is short-ranged. An expensive toy.

Have I talked myself out of it, yet?

Friday, May 19, 2017

Progressing My Fighter Skills

Developing one's fighter skills is kinda important in Star Citizen. I bought into Star Citizen with an Aegis Sabre. Then, I went into Arena Commander, the Vanduul Swarm module (solo), to try out my ship. Didn't do very well.

In Vanduul Swarm, the best I could do was wave 8'ish. Drove me crazy. I told my wife that it was impossible! But the leaderboards implied that other players were able to do it.

I use a joystick (X52). The forum told me that aiming was better with a mouse. OK, that's not going to happen, says I. The immersion factor is more important than excelling as a mouse player. Others in the forum used a stick and did well stating that it was just a matter of more practice and excellent hardware. Well, I can do the more practice bit.

It soon became obvious that my poor performance was all the fault of my guns. Maybe not all, I admit, but I did need to upgrade my guns as much as possible. To do that I needed rec. Rec is the currency that lets one rent ships and hardware.

The fastest way to earn rec is to run a few races in the Arena Commander module. Racing is not my style. Don't really cotton to Mario-style space sims but sometimes one simply has to bight the bullet and get the job done. To earn rec all one has to do is complete one lap but I would always drive on to the end.

It didn't take too long before I had enough rec to buy anything I wanted. Took a little while to discover how to convert my rec. One has to go to the RSI Electronic Access store. Not too intuitive that name, I must say.

I started trying out weapon combinations. Weapons change all the time so don't get all huffy-puffy if characteristics change on you. Experimenting with the various combinations and options was sorta fun but I ended up asking Youtube for the best loadout. For my Sabre it was four Panther 227s. Then it wasn't. Now it is again.

Outfit with improved weaponry made a huge difference immediately. I was able to get up to levels 16 or 17 almost consistently. An investment in time and intensity finally got me over the top. Level 19! Yay! Vanduul Swarm (solo) conquered. Then I tried it with people.

It can be done.

It's hard getting a full complement of people. Most games are just with one other. But even then Vanduul Swarm can be done ... sometimes. Sometimes a really good player joins you and you're practically carried all the way to the end.

Solo play drops by the wayside except maybe to quickly test a loadout. Playing with people is more fun and interesting.

Graduating from Vanduul Swarm one moves to Pirate Swarm. It's a little different as the enemy ships are more varied. But it is just as doable. It has more tension as who wants to die in wave 17 or 18?

One thing I discovered is that the weapons one tries in Arena Commander often don't work in the Persistent Universe. Always a bit of a shock to realize, too late, that you are shooting blanks.

There are other PvP modules in Arena Commander. I have never played them. I don't plan on playing them. They are for the PvP people who seek to habitually kill other players in game. Not my style. I'm sick to death of shooters and pew pew. I'll learn how to fly but I'm not supporting PvP with my attendance. And I don't play Star Marine, either. Run'n gun not to my tastes. Maybe if they had a me against an NPC squad module.


Anti-Contact List

Just for the record, I published this in the Spectrum feedback section of the Spectrum forum a month ago. I sure hope Turbulent acts on it.

The Contact List might be used in game to better arrange groupings of players or accept missions. You are working on something along those lines already, I think. Great! Perhaps an Anti-Contact List would also be helpful but to do the opposite.
Players on a Contact List would receive a reputation boost relative to yourself. Players on an Anti-Contact List would receive a diminished reputation relative to yourself.
Both contact lists could be built from an option in-game and from Spectrum. There are so many unsavory players who present themselves in the Spectrum forum, especially lately. It would be nice to have a way to avoid having to play with them in game, too. Plus, there are a great many exemplary backers that I would love to have a greater chance of interacting with inside the game.
Hopefully, blocking will come to Spectrum. Blocking could be a way to populate, innocuously, the Anti-Contact List. BUT, I think a preferred way would be to have an Anti-Contact button within Spectrum itself. Also a Contact button in Spectrum. Coincidental Contacts (probably just from the Contact List) could populate an automatic Standard Contact List (as exists in-game now) and help bring people together.
The Anti-Contact List would greatly mitigate the desire for a PvP Slider ... which is not really an elegant solution to anything.
A Contact List is, of course, only relative to yourself. This makes trading or meeting people you respect easier and more favorable in-game. An Anti-Contact List is also only relative to yourself. This makes meeting those less savory, less likely. At the moment we have no way of carrying knowledge of reprehensible characters into the game; or, of those we greatly respect.

I may have refined my thinking on it a bit but the thought remains the same ... to reduce our having to play with ass-hats. Or more correctly, emotionally equivalent players will gravitate toward each other in-game and be able to avoid people of differing attitudes if they choose.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Star Citizen 50th Post

Well, I'll be darned, my 50th posting. Who would have thought I'd have that much to say?

Art Hornbie
Most everybody now knows that the next great update (SC a3.0) is coming mid-July'ish. That leaves a huge gap in time for backers to idle away. Already the forums are acting up as if some worldwide chemtrail experiment is taking place. Dissociative Mania has taken root: depersonalization, rationalizations, contemptuousness ... gives one pause for the human race.

I suppose it is all by design. It takes pressure off of our politicians to make a better world.

Just like most everybody else, I get my information and knowledge of the game through the Star Citizen YouTube site and through the Spectrum forum. From SC YouTube the Around the Verse episodes especially, which come out each Thursday (Friday morning for me as it is late). And from Spectrum the highly informative and least contaminated Economics and Employment thread.

Still, I have to place another plug for the Anti-Contact List idea. Currently, there is no method for sane, rational people to get together or self-identify within the Star Citizen environment. The Anti-Contact List allows us to weed out those proven by their own actions to be less desirable. We just read the Spectrum forum, click on a post's little Anti-Contact frowny face icon, and in-game, when the game starts, that person's reputation relative to us is downgraded.

The Anti-Contact List alerts us to avoid ass-hats. We know not to give them missions, buy their goods, fly or run with them ... . We'll know the good people from the less than savory; in game. Of course, all this assumes that the reputation system is viable and working. The reputation system is the lynch-pin element that will separate the construct of Star Citizen from all other games; mechanic speaking.

So, my 50th posting. Looks like I used it as a call for a reasonable game in the face of unreasonable players, yet excluding no one.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Star Citizen BDSSE

What am I going to do in Star Citizen?

When you think about it the answer is not so easy. The game is so BIG! Big in space, big in land mass, big in technology, big in flying, big in planet-side play ... it is many games in one. I could spend years simply trying to extend influence on a planet: exploring, mining, gathering, surviving. Don't even need a ship. Although I have four.

Initially, I plan on exploring. Not just any exploring but to search for Oretani, the lost system. Just search. And along the way, hopefully, make a few credits and pay the bills.

Starfarer and nice view.

I'll not be playing for credits. Not for ships, either. Not for glory. Not for organizations of the uncouth. Certainly not for shits and giggles. I'm going to hang out in my ship. Hang out for hours on end. Slow and easy. Let the Universe unfold as it should.

No more run'n gun. No more frenetic gaming. No more grinding for nothing. Star Citizen will be my escape into imaginary science fiction. I'll explore all the variety the game can throw at me, and then seek out more. Just me and my NPC crew. Explorers of the unknown.

Then, one day, Oretani will be discovered. I'm thinking that will take quite a while. So when it's discovered I'll switch over to a support role, medical maybe, in the vicinity of Oretani. As I will have spent so much time looking for it I may as well put down roots there. Planet-side. It will become my permanent base of operations.

When I'm not off being selflessly supportive somewhere I'll be gathering plant samples, or prospecting, or simply exploring planet-side all the interesting nooks and crannies of the planet. Make a few credits here, a few there. Just puttering about.

Star Citizen is essentially a big Velcro computer game. It will have near infinite expansions and an interesting, convoluted evolution of play. It is designed to be played for decades. A journey without end.

And along the way I'll make friends. Build community. Get to know good people.

Really looking forward to Star Citizen.

Friday, May 12, 2017

A Great Game Needs Great Design

A great game needs great design. Without great design the game becomes stilted and boring; short-lived. In Star Citizen I think the hidden jewel within its construct will be the reputation system.

Again I'm back to the "individual" triadic, "the enemy of my enemy is my friend." Or EMEMF for short. This encompasses a great deal more than is immediately obvious. In the forum's Economy and Employment thread it was exquisitely described:

It's a triadic statement so it breaks down into four non-exclusive triangular structures: the friend of my friend is my friend, the friend of my enemy is my enemy, the enemy of my enemy is my friend, and the enemy of my friend is my enemy.
In Star Citizen, one would also expect several planes of relationship to which the triadic statement applies: race, authority (UEE, non-aligned), organization, and individual. It would cascade through them, I think. As in, I attack you, it affects your organization, too. ...
... I have read that such models end up with friend groupings which is interesting to me as it could be a natural method of forming organizations.

The observation that, over time, organic groupings of similarly minded individuals would appear. It IS interesting. Perhaps a natural way of establishing player groupings for such things as crew or missions or organizations.

It would be an interesting bit of analytical design to accomplish incorporating EMEMF into the reputation system. It would be great but it wouldn't be the jewel in the crown. The pièce de résistance would be a fifth triadic (in addition to race, authority,organization, and individual): the miscreant (aka ass-hat).

The miscreant triadic would be friend / enemy / ass-hat. Attacking someone or killing someone in this triadic wouldn't alter the friend / enemy differential. But doing a game no-no would alter both the friend and enemy values negatively toward the ass-hat.

In game miscreant no-nos could be killing children, adult civilians, surrended individuals, slaves, etc ... possibly even voice detection of bad language (see how I snuck that one in). I suppose these would have to slowly nullify with time as there is no game mechanic to undo ass-hattery.

Why identify ass-hats in game? Well, it's a way to put some in-game consequences to their actions. Their missions would become less rewarding, they'd get poor prices for goods sold, or pay more for items, technicians would repair their equipment less reliably, etc, etc. Just what ass-hats deserve. And the sublimely sweet bit is that they wouldn't know; they'd only suspect. Perfect behavior modification. (Can you see me smiling? Such a joyful paragraph to write.)

The friend of my enemy is my friend. Such a powerful tool to weave into a game.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Aliens are Coming, Aliens are Coming!

Why should we have a perfect counter-balance for each alien weapon? Why they, ours?

I would not object to the discovery of a hostile alien race which has a weapon that can shred our ships. Nor would I object to a weapon that is next to useless against ourselves but effective against a particular alien shield.

Banu tachyon cannon
In Star Citizen lore there is the implication that it could have taken several UEE fighters to take down one Vanduul Scythe before the introduction of the Aegis Gladius. The only point in our favor was that of superior numbers. Is such an assumption unrealistic? I don't mind unbalanced forces being in the game.

More to the question is why would one think we should be able to perfectly adapt an alien technology? Geez, even poor little North Korea is having a bit of trouble developing ICBMs and nuclear warheads despite the tech being relatively well known.

Imbalance is not a problem but a challenge. It is the aliens that present the problem.

It may be reasonable to have perfect rock, paper, scissors, lizard, Spock within the UEE-developed technology. One would think the UEE knows the tactics of both deploying and defeating its own military hardware. But not so against alien races. A little desperation and panic on our part makes for good science fiction.


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Star Kitty

Well, it's kinda funny watching people with cartoon avatars argue against other people having a cartoon Kitty logo in-game. The game, they presumably feel, should be adult-themed, skull & cross bones styled, drug paraphernalia encouraging, and slavery oriented. That's the future, and a Kitty logo breaks the immersion.

Adult-themed, skull & cross bones styled, drug paraphernalia encouraging, and slavery oriented cartoon logos isn't the limit of my immersion, buckos.

My immersion is of a wider expansive Verse where the greater battle is striving toward a Utopian society free of disease, poverty, and war. I always play on the side of good and hope that the bads gradually get whittled away into some meaningless and self-deserving corner. There is room, even for them, in Star Citizen's Verse.

Women can play in my game without having to adopt the machismo of society's worst classes. They might have a different vision of a sci-fi future, too, 50% of the population'n all that. Maybe one that includes pink!

Even children could be represented as being in lower-order NPC families within the game's vast cities to add to the realism. Child avoidance could even be a tactical challenge for successful mission completion. Also as another way for the game to identify, punish, and isolate the yuks & giggles crowd.

Intelligent sci-fi people can establish economies and trade, gain affluence, discover new and wondrous things, make friends, and all the while having a ball doing it.

There is room in Star Citizen for the unimaginative, solely pew-pew minded. Off in a corner somewhere hopefully learning that crime, greed, avarice, and gluttony is a hard row to hoe. There, they can live in a world where everybody wears tweaked-up armor, carries heavy weaponry, and wakes up in the morning looking to kill somebody. For them, science fiction at its deepest.

So, yes, bring on the colorful, happy, culturally festive logos. Space is pretty dreary without some gaiety and positive self-expression. Maybe people will actually have a chance to be happy and free of persecution in the future.

There is also an argument made for organization logos on ships. Oddly, not too many people arguing that they will be immersion breaking. Even though we all know how disconcerting such advertising can be in real life, it is representative of how people's thoughts have become accepting of an organization's identity. Doesn't Starbucks have a stylized mermaid for a logo? Not very different from a stylized cat, is it? Just another method of self-expression in a constrained environment. Is the Starbucks logo a real life immersion breaker?

I'll be exploring. Joining a networks of fun players. Marveling at the technology and variety. Enjoying the fictional Verse. And wishing, as always, for a better world.

Aren't all Star Citizen avatars also cartoon characters? To me, the ground-breaking, futuristic game of Star Citizen has a greater glory than yet another space pew-pew and its passé trope trappings.


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

What is Mission Difficulty?

What is mission difficulty? It is a question but I'll answer it myself so you don't have to.

If I'm flying an Aurora and I accept a high-paying mission to transport several hundred SCU then I would expect that mission to be very difficult for me. If I'm flying a Type-C transport then perhaps the missions is just a petty diversion.

So what is mission difficulty?

Some have mentioned risk or loss? Well, low-paying or high-paying is irrelevant if the mission happens to be in a dangerous area ... stuff happens anywhere.

Saying that a difficult Outlaw mission will take place in UEE space is a bit misleading. If the mission is to intercept an escorted ship and bring back the contents then I'd say that was a mission fraught with difficulty. And if you are in a poorly appointed fighter then it is even more difficult due to possible confrontations and SCU transport limitations

So as I see it, a whole raft of missions will be offered. Those who reach beyond their grasp will say that the mission difficult and risky. Those who pick the easy milk-run missions will say they are not too difficult at all.

So it all boils down to the player: stupid, smart, gambler, desperate, swashbuckling ... that is the difficulty / reward system. At least in SC a3.0.

I'm steering the conversation away from risk / reward as that implies space zones. Yes, there are zones but a smuggling missions already incorporates that in the title. The difficulty is in type of material and volume. A pirate mission already implies conflict. The difficulty is in subduing an objective.

So I'm saying that the harder the mission then the greater the reward. Difficulty / reward, not risk / reward. Rewards should be everywhere, logically placed; not placed in bait-like zones.

That's how I see it at the moment.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Mission Tree

I'm looking at the newly revealed conversation mission tree. In this tree you essentially pick lawful or outlaw missions.

Conversation Tree
The first thing that strikes me on viewing the tree is that there are, in fact, lawful and outlaw missions. This dichotomy seems to be relative only to the UEE.

Where is the possible argument that the freedom fighter battling against the UEE is actually being lawful relative to their organization or region? Maybe it is because we just have a portion of the Stanton System in game initially.

I would have thought, and I was expecting, a mission system that showed missions reflecting relationship deviations and, of course, reward. For example I could accept a mission which will directly drive down my reputation with Mr X of XYZ NPC organization by 25 basis points, but pays out handsomely on successful completion. [See previous post for possible indirect reputation variances.] Of course, in the performance of this mission I might run afoul of the UEE and suffer a reputation hit with them, too. The mission giver should probably tell me the likelihood of that, too.

With respect to "the Enemy of My Enemy is My Friend" stuff, I wouldn't expect to be told by the mission giver how any of that could play out. Maybe some mission research is required or maybe some missions' consequences are just intuitively known. The path we walk is fraught with unknowns and moral decisions often have consequence.

It could be that reputation is independent of lawfulness. UEE cares if you have broken the law. It doesn't care if you're an ass-hat. Maybe one can have an excellent reputation and still be a criminal in the eyes of the UEE. Or, one can have a terrible reputation and not be an Outlaw.

And how does one become an UnOutlaw?

Star Citizen a3.0, due to drop mid-July, is the long awaited release that gives some life to the Verse. But with the reputation system not yet included and with the death mechanic also not done, it may be a big shootfest test.


Friday, May 5, 2017

The Enemy of My Enemy is My Friend

Let's just assume in Star Citizen that the enemy of my enemy is my friend (EMEMF). It is a powerful assumption but let's theorycraft with it anyway. So the tool we get to play with here is: relationships.

Relative to me, my relationship position is: UEE Citizen in an Organization, and all Vanduul are hostile.

Without appling the EMEMF principle, if I attack a neutral Citizen then my relationship diminishes relatively to that Citizen. Probably also to the Citizen's organization. If in UEE space, then my reputation also diminishes with the UEE.

For quantification purposes just assume each increase or decrease in relationship is +1 or -1 per event.

Now let's apply the EMEMF principle.
-- My reputation with the Vanduul goes up. They are happy with such behavior and wish to encourage it.
-- My reputation with all of the Citizen's positive (+) friend's goes down.
-- My reputation with all of the Citizen's Organization's positive (+) friends goes down.
-- My Organization's reputation with all of the Citizen's positive (+) friend's goes down.
-- My Organization's reputation with all of the Citizen's Organization's positive (+) friends goes down.
-- My reputation with all of the Citizen's negative (-) friend's goes up.
-- My reputation with all of the Citizen's Organization's negative (-) friends goes up.
-- My Organization's reputation with all of the Citizen's negative (-) friend's goes up.
-- My Organization's reputation with all of the Citizen's Organization's negative (-) friends goes up.

And the whole thing kinda goes in reverse if I successfully do a neutral Citizen's posted mission. Vanduul reputation goes down.

One of the more obvious aspects of this is that one's reputation with the Vanduul could go positive enough to overcome the initial or starting deficit. [Just for arguments' sake one could assume a starting Vanduul position of -100; and, a starting position of -100 with all individual Vanduul.] Ergo, trade with the Vanduul is possible, or even safe harbour, for that matter.

What really intrigues me about all of this is the information lag between systems. All of this upping and downing of relationships has to be dispersed throughout the Verse. There might be a strategy here to intercept those information packets and destroy them. Well, some of them at least. Remember, there is no FTL information transfer in the game. Information has to be carried physically through jump points. So information propagation is a profession in itself.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

NPC to PC Ratio is 10:1

The NPC to PC ratio is stated to be 10:1. The Verse is alive with NPCs. PCs, in fact, aren't even needed for Star Citizen, as a base number of 20 million NPCs will be running and flying around. It's autonomous with NPCs fulfilling all roles. The overarching rider is that if PCs are not in the area then NPCs are not instantiated (embodied); they'll exist only as an economic and employment algorithm.

"... we have a detailed simulation running 20 million AI on a server that communicates with game servers and our solar system servers ..."


That WAS all well'n good UNTIL the development of procedurally generated planets. Specifically, cities that will be a type of terrain just as are the rocks and trees to which we have become accustomed. These cities will have to be animated.

I'm thinking of Earth. Earth is one big city.

Earth animation will be far more dense with NPCs than that of Space. In Space just a few ships or NPCs have to be instantiated if a contact has been made. On Earth, there will be near constant contacts.

BlueWanderer@BlueWandererThe "verse" should have trillions of sentient beings in it (10s or 100s of trillions even).
If Earth is covered by a giant city, that's trillions of humans right there.
However, the 9:1 ratio is not about players versus all other beings in the verse, it is about beings that players interact with...I think it is more specifically geared at the economy and how much influence players have... Given that, 9 out of 10 shipping contracts will be for NPC goods, 9 out of 10 cargo ships hauling those goods will be NPC ships (NPC owned/operated).Maybe 9 out of 10 pirates attacking those cargo ships will be NPC pirates, etc...

The number of NPC count must now be viewed differently. Yes, probability of bumping into space-faring NPCs will remain 10:1 structured and based on various factors such as distances, economy and populations. But bumping into land-based NPCs, in some places, will be near 100% and constant.

What I'm getting at is that planet-side, node-based traffic must also be emulated. This has never been mentioned by CR and CIG. This is required in order to establish logical and likely encounters of trade, bandits, vehicles, etc. Just as it is in space. No random pop-ups as in most games.

CIGs planetary placeholders in the economic system (ie Earth has a trillion people) must be modelled in more detail. Nodes, for example, must be estimated on a per square kilometre basis.

I'm thinking the NPC to PC ratio will be closer to 10,000 : 1. And by my math that is 20 billion AI NPCs. I'm pretty sure they are developing a new instancing technology to do it, too.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Death Mechanic Not Enough

Everybody dies in Star Citizen. The good. The bad. The fair to midland. So death needs to be equitable to everyone. That is why it will not be very effectual in regulating behavior. Behavior regulation will fall heavily on the reputation mechanic.

Your reputation is relative to each other player. It is not one overall qualifier. You might have a great reputation with one player and a dreadful reputation with another. Presumably your reputation also has an effect on your organization, if you are in one. This means the organization itself may kick you out if you are not good or bad enough. The more powerful organizations (incl UEE military and Advocacy) may end up driving you out of their spheres of influence.

"As long as the reputation system can be seen to funnel the ass-hats down into their own little areas, I'm happy. People can play amongst their own kind. That's pretty much a given. The game actually needs ass-hats to keep players on their toes. 
But what about alternate characters or accounts? And how does one work their way back?
ATM I'm of the opinion that all the alts should be the same (bad) rating. An ass-hat is an ass-hat. Same with other accounts (based on credit card or phone number or device). Linking accounts helps to prevent throw-away ids. 
Working their way back from bad to good should be at least 10x more difficult than going the other way. The difficulty disparity due to the very watered-down death mechanic (death affects the good as well as the bad). 
Large organizations will orchestrate protest but, tough. Should probably limit organization size anyway."
So how do the accidentally bad clear their name? And how does the game distinguish between accidental and ass-hat?

We've all had to clear a reputation hit at Kareah. It can be a little daunting if the security station is bustling with activity. But for the ass-hats it should be far more than daunting.

Yes, bad guys should have an ever more difficult time building their reputations back up (assuming, of course, that is an objective). Far more difficult than for good to regular (N)PCs.

Ernesto "Che" Guevara
What is needed is a second-order equation, an exponential curve, tasks of increasingly increased complexity ... to battle one's way back to gooder graces. Those who predate upon others should really have to pay a penance and be accountable for their actions.

Nothing makes a profession more real than to be accountable for the decisions made in its activity.

Gifting or transfer of ships and assets should not be allowed between players of differing reputations. Buying one's way out of the bad books should not be an option. Nor should the passage of time mitigate a diminished statistic, nor should it reduce a high statistic. Yes, I can see a player deliberately driving down reputation for notoriety and infamy. And, yes, in the extreme I can see the person being unable to transfer their ships and other assets upon purchase of a clean account. Make the bed, sleep in it -- kinda thing.

Git reel.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Earth is One Big City

Earth is one big city in the game Star Citizen, unfortunately. Unfortunately, because I'm sad for mother Earth. Such a beautiful blue marble of a planet ruined by hundreds of years of so-called progress. But it's great because it is essentially one big huge battle landscape ... the ultimate Stalingrad!

Sol, Moscow

So, yes, the plan right now is to restrict us to three peaceful, monitored landing zones. They are Moscow, New York, and Shanghai. Not too much battling to be done in these areas. The good news is that buildings, blocks, neighborhoods, cities will eventually be procedurally generated and expanded to cover the globe. Add to that the fact that the governing UEE is in decline and the alien Vanduuls are menacing the gates. Earth's future may not be that rosey.

I'm not holding my breath for it. I'm am, however, looking forward to it. I'm imagining an Earth filled with NPCs of various descript and character. Of individuals or organizations trying to carve out a block or two for setting up production nodes. Of motorcade groups wandering the citified planet looking for their sworn enemies' infrastructure with looting in mind. Interesting play, indeed.

Because the Verse is, indeed, a galaxy of sorts, one need never leave Earth. Could be plenty of adventure there. Star Citizen's dynamic, non-repeating mission system ensures just as much planet-side action as space-based action. And Earth is only one of many procedurally generated planets, moons, belts. Lots of BIG terrains in the Verse: rock, city, forest, desert, islands, volcanic, etc. Space for everybody!

Everywhere in Star Citizen is potentially a game in itself. State-of-the-art NPCs indistinguishable from PCs are everywhere. All that matters is your relationship with them.

Star Citizen is not just a space shooter. Not that I want to go No Man's Sky'zy (is it too late?), but Star Citizen could be the beat-all and end-all of MMOGs -- until Cris Roberts supplants it with the ever popular WWII themed game.  ;)

BBSSE! Coming to a monitor near you. Soon™.


Monday, May 1, 2017

Finding an Organization - Search

Oh, man. Trying to find an interesting organization is agonizingly painful. There are thousands of organizations but differentiating them is very difficult. Also, most organizations right now are single person so a good search can help to make in-game friends!

There is a search function but the parameters are next to useless. Almost all organizations are, or will be, set up the same. So differentiation is well nigh impossible.

Organizations have a mix of players: casual, regular and hardcore. Few orgs are exclusively hardcore. Roleplay: sure, try it. Size: well, things will change. Archetype: who knows what significance that has on anything. Primary language: OK, that's helpful. Recruiting: I suppose some aren't.

All in all, not too helpful.

How about X boxes for something like this:

Structure: Egalitarian / Democratic Leadership / Military Hierarchy

Play: PvE / PvP / PvA

Language: PG13 / Mature / X-rated

Time Zone: + or - n hrs around a tz

Hours: MWF evenings / weekends / Sunday afternoon

Attitude: roleplay / fair / aggressive / gamey

Reputation tendency: UEE+ / UEE- / Vanduul 0 / Vanduul - / Banu + / Banu - / typical players 0

That kinda thing. Might work much better.

Large organizations simply say join us for great game play. Ya, right. Their leadership is usually megalomaniacal (yes, it's a word) and nasty, and it gets fostered down into the group. We should be able to start with people of similar mind to our own.