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WHY THERE ARE NO ACTUAL PLANETS IN 3.0 DESPITE PREVIOUS PROMISES
I remember when planets were coming. Then we found out they were moons (Yela and Cellin) – of course because they are smaller, and easier to handle and build, than full blown planets.
Then, after promising the Stanton system back in 2016, they are now saying that they’re going to be moving (LOL!!) Delamar from Nyx to Stanton. You know why? Because they can’t do planets, or they would be building the Crusader planet, which is in Stanton already. Instead, since Delamar (within the Glaciem ring/belt in Nyx) is just a large asteroid the size of a small planet (hence planetoid), they are moving it to Stanton.
If they can move Delamar, they could very well have changed Crusader from a gas giant to a regular planet, built that, and left Delamar where it is. But that would mean having to build an actual planet which would require a larger surface area, more terrain assets, POIs etc. The problem with creating surface area in these games is that when you have air/space craft which can travel up to 350 m/s in space, due to the expanse, on a planet they will quickly run out of space to fly.
And Delamar, which has the Levksi landing zone, may not even be in 3.0 when it first launches.
It’s worse than that.
Nyx is an entirely different star system which they haven’t built. So leaving Delamar where it is, would have meant building the Nyx star system, when in fact they only have Stanton (15% built, if you counted all the elements in the Star map, compared to what’s in the current game client), and having to deal with player transitions from one system to another. So they just said, fuck it, we’ll just move it.
It’s a brilliant plan if you ask me.
Aside from that, having promised over 100 systems, and now saying that the game will “launch” (whatever that means) with only 5 – 10 systems, as of now, they haven’t even built a single one of the systems to completion. Stanton, where they started out, has four planets and several moons; and only two of those moons and the relocated Delamar planetoid, are going to be in 3.0. They are burning through over $30M a year from backer funding. Which means that if Stanton isn’t built by the end of 2017, it stands to reason that it’s going to cost millions more in funding to get the game to even 5 – 10 systems. That aside from the features required. And 5 – 10 systems at launch, complete with space and planet/moon regions, we’re talking another two years – at least. In fact, this latest news is in sync with what sources had told me a few weeks ago in May when they said the internal dev schedule for the promised game, doesn’t reflect the public facing one, and goes all the way to 2021.
Meanwhile, some backers still don’t get the fact that NONE of this tech or methodologies are actually new, and that CIG has basically been playing catch-up, while being firmly behind the curve. They’ve had over $155M of backer money, but yet somehow, they can’t seem to be able to build what most of us experienced devs deem to be rudimentary technology which, graphics aside, any competent developer with experience in the field, could have built by now. When you look at the amazing ground breaking work being done in the genre by small indie devs like myself and others (Helion, Infinity Battlespace, Dual Universe etc), you have to wonder wtf is going on with this project – and where did all this money go? Heck, Line Of Defense only has one populated planet, but it has four heavily populated, and fully built bases, complete with day/night cycles, weather patterns, unique topology etc.
As I wrote in an update from yesterday. All they had to do was this:
- Pick the right engine (not CryEngine) or build a custom engine from one that wasn’t designed primarily for one type of game
- Build the world editing tools for creating both space and planetary terrain
- Build the space terrain so that the entire space world (as seen in the Star Map) is there
- Build the space related missions and features
- Build the planetary tech. Since this would be isolated from all of the above, it doesn’t break continuity because, like what ED did, once you have it working, you LATER just edit your space world to handle planet entry into planets and moons
- Build the planet related missions and features
But no, that was too easy, and they had an incompetent buffoon who hasn’t worked in a dev team, let alone build a fucking game in almost two decades, at the helm. I would bet that, aside from Squadron 42 requiring ALL the tech they’re building for Star Citizen, it too probably has planet based missions. Which is probably why they’re now having to build this in 3.0, instead of fleshing out a “game”, then adding that later. All this time could have been spent on 3-4 above to keep backers happy and dropping their knickers with each patch. Then you hit them with planetary tech one day – and boom – all their clothes come off. But you see, as backers have been giving them money this whole time, they had no reason to plan properly, let alone show meaningful progress. I mean, 6 years + $155M later, look at this shit. LOOK AT IT!!
- 3.0 (Moons) is planned for Aug 2017
- 2.6 (Star Marine) // Dec 2016
- 2.0 (Persistent Universe + Multi-Crew) // Dec 2015
- 1.2 (ArcCorp Social Module) // Aug 2015
- 1.0 (Arena Commander) // Dec 2014
- 0.x (Hangar Module) // Aug 2013
3.0 EVOCATI WATCH
So according to the totally legit dev schedule, the Evocati (elite of the elite backer testers only) release window starts today, and through to Aug 3rd. If that one crashes less, it will then go to the Public Test Universe (pleb backer testers) which has a release window of Aug 7th to the 18th. The final release of 3.0 currently has a window of Aug 8th to the 25th.
From what I am hearing, of course they’re not bloody well likely to make any of those dates, unless they just throw it out there. After all, GamesCom is Aug 22nd – 26th, and that’s their second (only to CitizenCon in Oct) largest yearly fundraising drive where they get to lie – a lot – to keep up the facade, while fleecing gullible backers.
I will be at GamesCom this year, because I believe that it will be their last one. That is all.
NEW CONCEPT SALE – JULY 21
So of course now that they are rushing to implement moons in the upcoming 3.0 build, it makes sense that they would want to give players vehicles to drive around. There’s the Nox racer, a sort of hover bike, but today they unveiled the Cyclone, 4-wheel vehicle. Note that this is a “concept” sale. Meaning that it exists only in pictures. No model. No implementation in the game. And no guarantees that the project would still exist by the time they get around to implementing this vehicle. There are many concept ships they previously sold, and which are still not in the game in any way, shape, or forum.
2016 FLASHBACK – GERMAN MEDIA DUMPING GROUND
Over the years, due to the size of the fan base there, as well as having a studio in country, CIG has made German media their dumping ground for Star Citizen propaganda because those guys will print anything. The US media, aside from few updates, are basically now taking a wait and see approach. This one, Star Citizen – New screenshots and details for version 2.7 unveiled, was back in July 2016 – a year ago this month – when procgen planets were totally coming in the 2.7 patch (which morphed into what we now know to be 3.0) due out later that year. Please read it. It’s absolutely hilarious.
2014 FLASH BACK – PERSISTENT LIES
As far back as late 2014, having completely missing the original Nov 2014 ship date, increased the project scope and funding to the tune of $65M, they were still doing bullshots being passed off as in-game, while touting this massive world they claim they were building.
“The cities are done to such a level of detail that it would be totally impractical to build each one from scratch,” Zurovec said. “As a result, we’ve adopted a multi-step process whereupon once the art assets have been created and properly set up, we can quickly create a lot of areas that look dramatically different.” – Tony Zurovek, Polygon Interview 2014
2012 FLASH BACK – THE ADVENT OF A DISASTER
Long before I got involved in this farce, and promised never to quit until either 1) CIG and/or Chris Roberts apologizes to me for lying about why they refunded me and 2) CIG comes clean with backers about the true state of the project and the finances, a lot of industry vets and media, already saw the signs of lofty promises and the potential for disaster.
One such person was Ben Kuchera who, in an Oct 2012 Penny Arcade article, called Star Citizen “a bad bet”, to which Chris Roberts responded (because why not?). These are some of the statements which, when you look back, you have to wonder how Chris Roberts is going to explain away how he ended up not only blowing through over $150M of backer money, plus what most believe to be investor money, bank loans etc, to the tune of over $285M (source rumors) on a project which , six years later, isn’t even 15% completed. It’s also one of the earliest statements (the other was to The Mittani) he made, in which he claimed that there was already a working build of Star Citizen from back in 2011.
GORF’S BACK! HE BROUGHT A SHIT-STORM.
You think I’m verbose? Then you don’t know Gorf, a highly regarded (even Shitizens scurry for cover when Gorf writes) member of the Goon enclave. After creating what has become the de facto standard for backer outrage in his Star Marine chronicles, he had taken a step back from following the project. So, without notice or forewarning, what did he do this time?
He created a 3.0 infographic which has the Star Citizen community ablaze, while sending ripples throughout the far reaches of known space. You simply can’t argue with pictures. And Gorf loves his pictures.
He also penned a memo to backers.
So it took me awhile to read through all the comments about the chart on /Games. Though there were lots of crazed invocations of Derek Smart, demonizations of goons, and other overreactions, I did see a few fair criticisms that I’ve addressed in this latest update.
1). The inclusion of the reduction percentages was redundant. Fair enough. I deleted that.
2) Chris’ quote didn’t include his “I get shot for making promises but that’s our goal” escape clause, the line that retroactively makes it all okay. So I included that, too.
3) I also added his mention of the 30 to 40 space stations that would be coming in 3.0. (We’ll see how that turns out.)
4) I also fixed a graphical problem that had white boxes behind the Planet names in the Stanton layout.
So here’s the latest version. If you’re a DS lurker who feels like the last one was flawed or shortchanged Chris’s quote, hopefully you might find this an improvement. I’m trying to be fair, even if stern.
I have to admit, lurking friends, some of your reactions were a little frustrating, given that I’d tried to avoid editorializing. The focus of the piece was timelines, quotes, and scopes for Star Systems in Alpha 3.0.
The accusations that the infographic was a part of some organized FUD campaign were especially ironic, given that some of you tried to preemptively trying to counter an anticipated Derek Smart tweet and in so doing ended up creating a non-paywalled source for the r/Games OP to reference.
“They put so much work into this. We record it we make some comments and that’s it. Smarties have absolutely no reach beyond their own echo chamber”
I didn’t make the chart hoping for a r/GAMES thread to blow up, or a MassivelyOP mention, or a psychodrama to unfold on r/DS. I made it for my friends here on the forum, most of whom I haven’t interacted with in a year, because organizing historical facts is something I like to do. It’s clear to us by now that Chris Roberts doesn’t learn from history because he keeps repeating it, so we keep discussing it, yet what I don’t understand is why you keep defending it?
Surely I have my own biases, as do we all, but why rage about what strangers think on some random forum? Your recurring tendency to discount the observable past while exaggerating the imagined future produces the present tensions that discomfit you so. The relief you seek yet can’t find won’t come from excoriating random nobodies for discussing their opinions about troubling development issues or deceptive sales tactics. You are the publisher. The ones to whom pledges have been made for accountability and openness. You’re intellectually and emotionally malnourished from the parody of it served up by a guy who believes himself accountable to no one and above all reproach. A man who hasn’t once in the entire history of this project ever apologized for anything despite having either intentionally or inadvertently mislead you about matters of genuine consequence for years.
You deserve better than to be full-time apologists for that. I sincerely believe that — why don’t you?”
Gorf’s 3.0 infographic