It’s been a busy summer for Cloud Imperium Games, the developers of Star Citizen! Besides reaching the $52 million mark in donations for the game, CIG has also released the first bit of actual game play for backers in the form of the Arena Commander. Arena Commander is but a small snippet of the full game, letting backers actually fly some of their ships that they’ve pledged for in an AI swarm mode called Vanduul Swarm, as well as some rudimentary multiplayer modes including Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, and a mode similar to CTF called Capture the Core.
So far, this little bit of the game looks great, and with each patch the game play has become more stable while adding in new features. But now, the current build of Arena Commander has run its course, and CIG is preparing to launch a major patch to bring it up to v.9, and thus one step closer to the full v1.0 version of Arena Commander. CIG is hoping to get the patch out by the end of the week, if all goes well.
So what all is in store for v.9? Quite a bit, actually, from the introduction of new game modes to the improvements on everything else already in the game. The full list from CIG is below:
• Murray Cup Racing Mode: As shown at Gamescom, players can now race their pledge ships in a specially designed upper-atmospheric scenario!
• Vanduul Swarm Co-Op: Take on the alien hoards with a friend, or competitor!
• Flyable M50 and 350R: The M50 and the 350R have been readied for flight to kick off the race mode. These ships will now be flyable in all Arena Commander game modes.
• Private Matches: Tired of being matched with random players in AC? Private matches will let you play with friends!
• Friend Codes: We’re launching a code system for both private and public matches so you can connect with your wingmen.
• Leaderboards: Your performance in Arena Commander’s various modes will display on the RSI website and allow you to compare with others.
• Updated Ship Performance: We’ve increased the speed and acceleration of every ship. With this we’ve also reworked the afterburner mechanic to increase acceleration instead of top speed.
• HUD Update: We’ve overhauled the usability of the visor HUD interface so you can customize your ships systems much more easily in flight.
• New Hangars: We’ve remastered all of Star Citizen’s Hangars with the new forward-looking room system and added the Asteroid Hangar.
• New Pause Menu: Our refactored pause menu is a large step forward aesthetically, and will support new features like custom keybindings in the future. In the meantime we’ve included selectable profiles for the most common peripherals.
• 6DOF: With the improvements to the IFCS and flight physics we are now ready to introduce 6DOF movement for an entirely new way to fly.
With the game still well into development, a lot of this stuff is bound to change before the full game’s release, especially the flight model and the way private matches are set up. Still though, it’s really going to be nice to see the full “world” start to come together, as the newly redesigned hangars will give you a chance to see the new room system, where you’ll eventually be able to add rooms to your hangars like bedrooms, workshops, and map rooms to your hangar. The hangar won’t just be a place to store a ship, but rather it’ll work more as your home base on a planet.
Right now there is no set date on when CIG will release this major patch, but if all goes well we should see it by the end of the week. CIG has promised to inform the community of the status of the build on Wednesday, and will let us know if the patch is ready for release. I for one am hoping to see it soon!