Arena Commander

So my updates on Star Citizen have been sorely lacking. I’ve still not played any more since my last update, time is tight and ED is fun despite me having to trade grind to get a single gimbled pulse.

I’ve not kept up with the forums and the fallout over the flight mechanics of Arena Commander 0.8 (AC) however Chris Roberts put out a long and detailed explanation here.

It’s a very good read, lots of detail in to their motivations, reasons and implementation. To try to summarise it all simply:

As this isn’t a traditional MMO, there are no skill trees for bettering the player directly and the same ships are available to all, they need something to act as the differentiator between the players.

They therefore want realism in the physics modelling so they can add depth and complexity to the flight and ship mechanics. This then enables them  to offer various level of control to the players, from simply leaving all the aids on and just flying, to constantly tweaking systems and aids to be able to perform advanced space specific manoeuvres. This is before equipment load outs, cargo loads and dynamic damage modelling is taken into account.

Whilst I applaud this goal there was something missing from this update and AC’s first feel: Is it fun?

Now I do not want to come across as too harsh, AC is a really early release and they’ve put it out to get feed back. I have not played it enough to give any form of constructive criticism if any is needed once I’ve played it enough.

One issue I have noticed in the very short time I’ve played is the ‘decoupled’ mode which I guess is meant to be like ED’s Flight Assist (FA) off. Yes you can can change your orientation without changing your vector but that’s the exact problem with it at the moment. You basically become a moving turret which, as CR correctly points out, is not over powered or an unfair advantage in a true dog fight and would in fact put you at a disadvantage if you stayed in that mode too long.

In it’s current iteration it isn’t great; I prefer ED’s FA off mechanic where you can act as a moving turret if you wish but you can also change your vector without re-enabling FA. Now I’m hoping that this is just down to the lack of knowledge on my part; IIRC AC has more flight assists that you can enable/disable which I do not know how to do yet, this may give me the desired result. I also think that the key mappings are very incomplete for the x52 pro at the moment, for example I do not have the vector thrusters available for strafing and thus Six degrees of freedom (6DoF) flight that I should.

I really need to go through and look at custom controller set up via their XML files, a good (as yet unread) thread about it is here.

See how much an early release AC is? Giving CR and all at Cloud Imperium (CI) a hard time doesn’t seem fair. We wanted it now, they’ve given it now.

A couple of days ago they extended their Multiplayer (MP) roll out beyond the few good testers to the first 20000 Citizens (I’m about 32k). I need to have a look around Youtube and twitch for some good vids!

See you in the ‘verse soon! 🙂

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