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DevChat – August 18th to 25th Written Wednesday 26th of August 2015 at 11:14am by Nehkara

Hello Citizens! Welcome to another episode of DevChat, this time covering August 18th to 25th! First, a brief explainer. DevChat combs through the RSI chat logs, and picks out any interesting comments made by Devs. It...

Hello Citizens!

Welcome to another episode of DevChat, this time covering August 18th to 25th!

First, a brief explainer. DevChat combs through the RSI chat logs, and picks out any interesting comments made by Devs. It amalgamates them, and puts them here, with quotes. While I try to provide context to the comments made by Devs here, these comments sometimes have a very off-the-cuff nature, and everything here should be taken, maybe not with a grain of salt, but for what it is. Interesting, helpful, though not always 100% official, information.

That said, here comes DevChat!

DevChat

First, it’s been a few days since the last episode of DevChat, so this one’s going to be a bit big.  Apologies for that.

 

August 18

Really not much on the 18th.

 

Grabby Hands

Just another reminder that Grabby Hands will be good, but it will still be limited.

(4:18:22 PM) CIG Matt Sherman: Don’t over-estimate just how Grabby-hands is going to be setup. It’ll be good for interactions, but you won’t be Garys-mod-flailing your arms about.

 

August 19

Not much on the 19th either!

 

Social Module

Lando talks a bit about social module, which we hear a LOT more about later in DevChat.

(10:11:55 PM) CIG Disco Lando: The first version of the Social Module will be what you saw at Gamescom.

(10:12:08 PM) CIG Disco Lando: Walking around ArcCorp. Chat. Some emotes.

(10:12:14 PM) CIG Disco Lando: Very basic stuff.

(10:21:18 PM) CIG Disco Lando: I would say the Social Module will make it to PTU before the month is out.

 

August 20

Missiles

Tracking angles reduced on missiles in 1.1.6 but not speed; A lot of ship matchups will be down to who can fire missiles first but if you get past that 1st volley, it can take time to reload.

(1:48:13 PM) CIG Matt Sherman: Missiles don’t travel slower, they’re the same speed in 1.1.6 as they were in 1.1.3. Tracking angles were reduced, but not speeds.

(4:14:51 PM) CIG Matt Sherman: Plenty of ship match ups will come down to who gets the first shots off.

(4:15:26 PM) CIG Matt Sherman: Like a MIS getting the jump on anyone can do damage with the missiles, but if you get past that first volley, they’re not going to be instant-reload for a second round.

 

Ammo

Still trying to figure out how reloading ballistic weapon ammo from your cargo bay will work.  Upcoming changes with physically-based damage will have some changes for ammo so reloading will be re-evaluated at that point.

(4:55:26 PM) CIG Matt Sherman: Reloading ballistics from cargo space is still being sorted, no final decision on how that may pan out right now.

(4:56:17 PM) CIG Matt Sherman: There’s going to be some upcoming changes for ammo though when we get physically based damage in, so once that’s working, we’d re-evaluate the from-cargo loading

 

Modding

Looking at weapon mounts having specific tuning properties themselves.

(4:59:05 PM) CIG Matt Sherman: Weapon-type specific mounts are unlikely, too many arbitrary restrictions on a hardpoint-level, but we’re looking at different tuning aspects that can be applied to the supporting equipment like gimbals/etc.

(4:59:40 PM) CIG Matt Sherman: So a fast-tracking gimbal may have more spread to shots, or a high power/heat throughput having reduced range of motion.

 

August 21

Gameplay

Calix explains how a pirating crew consisting of a Super Hornet and Hull B might work.  It’s easy to see here why just having a Cutlass instead would be simpler and likely more effective.

(4:37:41 PM) CIG Calix Reneau: In the example of a hornet and a hull b, you have a ship that deals plenty of damage and ship that holds lots of loot.

(4:37:56 PM) CIG Calix Reneau: spread across 2 players.

(4:38:23 PM) CIG Calix Reneau: To move the successfully gotten loot into cargo, at least one of those players has to get out of their ship

(4:39:03 PM) CIG Calix Reneau: (since neither the hornet or hull b can bring NPCs)

(4:40:24 PM) CIG Calix Reneau: if you brought a super hornet, sure, then you can have an extra guy – I was talking about the F7A, although I am now remembering that this is a military model that you probably won’t have

(4:40:39 PM) CIG Calix Reneau: so I should be talking about the super hornet. so Yes, you are up to a crew of 3

(4:42:29 PM) CIG Calix Reneau: also, let’s say that you have gone ahead and successfully loaded up the hull b and returned to your ships

(4:42:55 PM) CIG Calix Reneau: (although the ability to bring more NPCs or players to accomplish that task is, I think, meaningful

(4:43:32 PM) CIG Calix Reneau: and then someone responds to that distress signal and shows up – maybe even other pirates

(4:44:10 PM) CIG Calix Reneau: you still have a super hornet, nothing to scoff at – but it now has to protect the hull b, which can’t help

(4:44:25 PM) CIG Calix Reneau: the same for attacking, really

(4:44:49 PM) CIG Calix Reneau: I expect there to be additional flight considerations when flying in large world maps

 

NPCs

NPC use needs to be limited.  No personal armies.

(5:14:17 PM) CIG Matt Sherman: And however NPC’s are implemented, there’s going to be limits to what you can do with them.

(5:14:32 PM) CIG Matt Sherman: Don’t expect a giant NPC-driven spacefleet per person.

(5:15:45 PM) CIG Matt Sherman: Private armys would be terrible for the games long term health.

 

Disruption

Disruption damage jams power flow.  Can potentially cut off power if powerplant gets overloaded.  Full functionality still being setup.

(5:23:37 PM) [W-I] TheMightyWashburn: what does distruption damage do, exactly?

(5:24:14 PM) CIG Matt Sherman: Jams up power flow, though the fully intended functionality is still being setup.

(5:24:31 PM) CIG Matt Sherman: It’ll be more developed once physically based damage gets rolled out.

(5:25:22 PM) CIG Matt Sherman: It can cut off power if you manage to overload the powerplant.

 

Holoviewer

Holoviewer models are much less detailed than in-game models.

(7:45:47 PM) CIG Matt Sherman: Holoviewer models are no where near what the actual game-models of the ships would be in terms of detail.

 

August 22

Vanguard

You can sleep in the Vanguard – certainly the Warden and Sentinel.  Variant sale is Friday.  Vanguard unlikely to be in the game this year.

(4:34:20 AM) CIG Disco Lando: You can sleep in a Vanguard.

(4:34:51 AM) CIG Disco Lando: In the Warden and the Sentinel, definitely. Not certain about the Harbinger.

(4:35:09 AM) CIG Disco Lando: But I think so, yes. It wouldn’t be an effective “long-range” if you couldn’t sleep in it.

(4:57:38 AM) CIG Disco Lando: The sale of the variants is Friday.

(4:58:02 AM) CIG Disco Lando: If you mean when they’ll be in game, not before 2015 is over, most likely.

(4:58:29 AM) CIG Disco Lando: It’s not a ship you’re meant to start with, so no package.

 

August 23

Nothing of note.

 

August 24

LTI

Clarifications on when LTI was available for Reliant and Merlin.

(1:41:59 PM) CIG Matt Sherman: Reliant had LTI during its concept sale, and Merlins had LTI when they were sold with the Constellation Andromeda’s way back when those had LTI available.

 

Jokes

I would love to see wooden spaceships.

(3:44:23 PM) CIG Calix Reneau: I can’t wait for our newer ship designs to get into the game https://ceridwendesign.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/1932aec18b1f07e7-extra-one.jpg

 

Modularity

There will always be some limits to modularity but enough modules for meaningful customization.

(5:45:52 PM) CIG Matt Sherman: Not every module-bay for a ship is going to be fully interchangable between all types of ships.

(5:46:38 PM) CIG Matt Sherman: There’s definitely going to be enough supporting module choices though to let people meaningfully customize their ship, but there’ll always be some semblance of limits at work for these setups.

 

The Caterpillar

They still know the Caterpillar exists. :)

(5:53:34 PM) CIG Matt Sherman: The ‘Pillar is still going to be made, everything has its place and priority in the schedule. Plus, it’s at that ‘just right’ size for a ship where it really needs more of the other supporting systems for the game on-line and running before it gets fully built out.

(5:54:08 PM) CIG Matt Sherman: No, I mean the ‘Pillar, since that’s what I’ve called it since 2012.

 

August 25

Exploit Reporting

Will need player support in rooting out cheating/exploits and also honesty from those who report.

(2:50:37 PM) CIG Matt Sherman: Something important to consider though with any possible exploits is making sure they’re reported and not pocketed away.

(2:51:17 PM) CIG Matt Sherman: That’s also going to be a big thing in terms of helping to prevent cheaters/botting in the game, the community will need to be super-narc’ing on any/every bot/cheat-author around.

(2:52:48 PM) CIG Matt Sherman: @Badger: That’s the best course, direct-email full details of the issue, but also to fully detail the extent that you may have used that exploit in terms of testing it.

(2:53:23 PM) CIG Matt Sherman: Because say there’s a credit-exploit, reporting it after you’ve abused it and not detailing the extent of the abuse is just as bad as not reporting the exploit in the first place.

(2:54:14 PM) CIG Matt Sherman: Also, in terms of anti-cheat stuff, I’ll never directly comment on what measures would be taken. No reason at all honest players need to know, and any info would just do more to help cheat-authors preplan on what they may need to workaround.

(2:55:13 PM) CIG Matt Sherman: Ya, it’s not something we’re gonna let slide, but not something we’re going to show our hand out the gate.

 

LTI

Even with LTI, need to keep in mind that ships will take time to replace in the PU.

(3:07:19 PM) CIG Matt Sherman: Something to keep in mind though with the insurance, LTI or not, is the plans for replacement times on those ships.

(3:07:43 PM) CIG Matt Sherman: You won’t be getting your ship back instantly like AC does in the PU.

 

Weapons

Expect most weapons to be changed in the future, some sizes are way out of line.  Different weapon projectile colours will often indicate what those weapons do (ballistic, disruption, energy, etc).

(4:09:37 PM) CIG Matt Sherman: Expect most weapons to be getting some change ups in the futures.

(4:09:58 PM) CIG Matt Sherman: Some of the sizes are just way out of line for sensibility, especially for how large of a bore some of the ballistic rounds would end up being.

(8:43:36 PM) CIG Matt Sherman: Varied energy-weapon colors are something we’re looking at, though part of our goal would be that those shots would need to be cleanly identifiable in terms of what they do.

(8:46:37 PM) CIG Matt Sherman: A lot more of the color-usage is going to hinge on the performance/etc of the weapon in question. It wouldn’t be “pick your projectile color” or anything, but more so different weapon types have different projectile looks.

(8:50:02 PM) CIG Matt Sherman: Don’t expect fully transparent shots. Projectiles with no discernable tell are bad design.

 

Ships

Starfarer and Orion are both waiting their turns.  Neither in active development.

(8:35:20 PM) CIG Matt Sherman: Orion isn’t actively being built, so atm, nothing is going on with the interior, it’s just waiting its turn.

(8:41:41 PM) CIG Matt Sherman: Starfarer is waiting its turn just like every other ship waiting to be built out.

 

Stats Page

The ship specs page is vastly out of date and needs updating but can’t be updated until the component overhaul is done.

(8:55:09 PM) CIG Matt Sherman: Specs Page is WAY out of date, but needs a lot of the pending work for the component overhaul before we can properly update it.

(8:55:23 PM) CIG Matt Sherman: But it’s definitely a pressing concern for a lot of the component work I’m doing.

 

Landing / Transitions

Elevator ride from hangar to ArcCorp will eventually be seamless as will space to planet transitions (you’ll be on autopilot for landing sequences).

(1:13:26 AM) TZurovec.CIG: I was actually talking about the elevator ride between your hangar and ArcCorp/Area 18. That will eventually be seamless, just like the planet-to-space transition. You are correct, though, that when approaching/leaving a planetary city you’ll effectively be on auto-pilott

 

Social Module PTU

Tons of info on the Social module PTU and the future of the Social module.  Highlights:

– Next round of invites will be players who have played AC recently, so if you want a chance then jump in and play some AC!

– An update per day this week to PTU.

– Chat still being worked on.  Ignore function and chat channels coming in updates.

– Visiting friends hangers will be Social Module 2.0.  Most of the code is done but is in a different development branch currently.

– Tony Zurovec will be writing up information on the future planned milestones and updates to the Social module.  This will come with the full public release of the Social module.

– Grabby hands will come with either the AI or Character Customization update to Social module.

– Character customization via clothing will come before body/face/hair customization.

– They’re hoping for full release of Social module on Friday but may very well hold it if something comes up.

– Network can do 50 players in an instance right now, and will increase in the future.  Graphics are current limitation.

– That limitation will be eased once 1.2.0 is merged with the GameDev stream and can benefit from a lot of graphics work that has been done in GameDev. Social module had to launch from 1.2.0 because it was the stream with the GIM (Generic Instance Manager).  Huge priority to merge 1.2.0 with GameDev.

– Progression:

  1. Social module release.
  2. Persistence and shared hangars.
  3. Functioning shops.

– Nyx is incredible and nearly finished, looks way better than Arc Corp.

– Current accessible area in ArcCorp is only about ⅓ of Area 18.

– Crusader is in its early stages of development.

– Current focus on Nyx, Hurston, Crusader, and Microtech

– Terra Prime will be far larger than Area 18.

– Nyx will come combined one of the milestones.  Perhaps late October or November.  Initially Nyx will just be accessed via the magic hangar elevator.

– Casaba Outlet is undergoing some changes which is why it is currently closed.

– Once you have the Social module you can change your character’s outfit by pressing F6 while in the hangar.

 

(1:52:39 AM) WLeverett.CIG: Hey guys! We won’t be adding more invites tonight… but here a ProTip! If you want in on the next round which is coming in the next 24 hours, make sure you log on to AC right now as the next round will be from players who have acitvely logged in the last couple of days. :).

(3:04:10 AM) TZurovec.CIG: Yeah, but I’ll feel better in 2-3 more days when we’ve patched it a couple of times…I’ve already got half a dozen things that I really want to tweak/fix.

(3:05:06 AM) TZurovec.CIG: We’ll be doing an update per day this week..

(3:25:35 AM) TZurovec.CIG: Chat window spamming? Yeah, you’ll have the ability to ignore other users fairly soon….

(3:26:16 AM) TZurovec.CIG: Chat is currently totally global. Tomorrow’s update will make it global per server instance.

(3:26:50 AM) TZurovec.CIG: Chat channels will come in an update. They’re already supported at the network service level, but the user interface doesn’t yet expose them.

(3:28:52 AM) TZurovec.CIG: Blockers? There are no actual blockers, but lots of things that will be getting updated – some within the next few days, and some over the next few weeks.

(3:31:07 AM) TZurovec.CIG: Going into friends hangars will arrive with what I’d call Social Module 2.0. That’s the next major milestone, but I’ll likely aim to slot a half-point upgrade before that once we’ve back in the main development stream.

(3:31:53 AM) TZurovec.CIG: Ironically, most of the code to share a friend’s hangar is already done. It’s just in a different development stream.

(3:32:59 AM) TZurovec.CIG: The fun really starts after the Social milestones…. I’ll talk about those with the release text for the public launch of the Social Module.

(3:34:17 AM) TZurovec.CIG: The Social milestones are more about laying groundwork and testing base functionality – network functionality and performance, in particular. Two months ago we couldn’t put a dozen players into ArcCorp without cratering the frame rate. Now at 25 the bandwidth is irrelevant…and it will be getting much better over the next couple of months.

(3:34:46 AM) TZurovec.CIG: This particular PTU version? It’ll be outdated by tomorrow night.

(3:35:24 AM) TZurovec.CIG: Once we’re back into the GameDev stream and get all of the graphic goodies waiting for us we’ll be able to crank it up another notch….

(3:35:53 AM) Erik ‘The Cat’ McKetten: @Tony, Sean: Question though – we’ve been told, and since we can’t find any other single causal issue, consequently believe, that the massive FPS loss in Arena Commander right now is due to network issues. Does that mean what you have done with the Social Module may have a positive impact on AC as well?

(3:38:43 AM) TZurovec.CIG: @Erik…not really. The PU’s efforts are currently focused on network optimizations for FPS players and characters. Ship optimizations will require a separate effort. It’s likely we’ll focus on that after getting the character stuff working really well.

(3:41:16 AM) Cabbagehead: @Tony: Will we see anything about grabby hands in the coming weeks or months?

(3:42:59 AM) TZurovec.CIG: @CabbageHead…you’ll likely see a grabby hands update with the AI Module, or possibly the earlier Character Customization Module where you’ll be able to change your clothing.

(3:43:30 AM) Manic: Tony: In case you didn’t see: what sort of avatar customization do you envision for the PU? Clothes aside, I mean mostly face and body. Are we talking sliders, presets? How detailed will we get and how extreme can we customize?

(3:47:00 AM) TZurovec.CIG: @Manic…Clothing customization will come first. Facial and body customization will come a bit later. The exact elements haven’t yet been decided, but the basic thinking is that you’ll be able to select your sex, possibly some level of height/weight, hair, skin tone, facial texture, possibly eyes and nose, likely distinguishing marks (like scars), and other such things.

(3:54:00 AM) TZurovec.CIG: PU Alpha is too vague. It means different things to different people. The schedule is broken down into PU milestones, each of which focuses on different parts of the basic foundation that’s needed for the ultimate game. I’ll touch on that a bit with the release text for the Social Module release to the general community.

(3:57:10 AM) Dr. Rockso: @tony thanks. It seems like Social Module w/persistence for purchases and the like will be like a very alpha PU. Kind of like a building block

(4:01:11 AM) TZurovec.CIG: @Rockso…Exactly. The problem with “PU Alpha” is…can you shop? How are the prices and availability determined? What will the TDD pay for your commodities? Can you mine? What other types of missions are available? Is there AI? To what level exactly – walking around shops? Available for hire? Piloting ships in capacities other than combat pilots? Etc. etc.. It’s impossible to try and describe an alpha in a couple of sentences without everyone having a different idea of what’s going to be delivered. I’m going to try and add some more specificity to the near-term goals with the text for the Social Module release to the general public.

(4:06:19 AM) TZurovec.CIG: The networking could easily handle 50 players at the moment. It’s the graphics performance that’s the limiting factor. That graphics performance will take a substantial leap forward as soon as we’re back in the “GameDev” stream. It’s a long story, but basically Star Citizen split the code base into streams for Star Marine, and we had to do the Social Module in 1.2.0 – which doesn’t have access to the latest graphics stuff – because that’s where GIM was, and we had to do GIM in 1.2.0 with Star Marine because it needed a more robust matchmaker.

(4:07:37 AM) TZurovec.CIG: We’ve still got a lot of substantial network optimizations in development. We’ll be going higher than 50.

(4:09:18 AM) TZurovec.CIG: This is just the start. There’s a lot more on tap that you’re not seeing.

(4:09:37 AM) TZurovec.CIG: Wait’ll you get a load of Nyx. Way better looking than ArcCorp….

(4:13:09 AM) TZurovec.CIG: Casaba is still being modified, so we just closed it off rather than show something that wasn’t quite ready. ArcCorp is actually getting a facelift as well. The store facades will look much better in the near future…the main building below Astro Armada will get a big bump in its visuals…and we’ll go to lower-poly but parallax occlusion mapped objects to get better performance while maintaining high visual fidelity.

(4:14:31 AM) TZurovec.CIG: Functioning stores will appear two milestones from the Social Module. In between there is a persistence/shared hangar milestone.

(4:16:13 AM) TZurovec.CIG: Terra Prime has had some development, but the primary focus is on Nyx, Hurston, Crusader, and Microtech.

(4:16:26 AM) TZurovec.CIG: Yes, Nyx is almost complete.

(4:16:33 AM) TZurovec.CIG: Looks way better than ArcCorp.

(4:16:49 AM) TZurovec.CIG: Crusader is in the very early stages.

(4:17:21 AM) TZurovec.CIG: Terra Prime is far larger than ArcCorp/Area 18. It’s basically three connected maps.

(4:15:12 AM) Zyloh-CIG: You can change your armor in the hangar by pressing F6.

(4:16:40 AM) Zyloh-CIG: Right now you can choose between 6 characters. Light, Medium, and Heavy Marine, and Light, Medium, and Heavy Outlaw.

(4:16:51 AM) Zyloh-CIG: They are the FPS character models without their helmets on.

(4:18:41 AM) TZurovec.CIG: No, what you are seeing in terms of ArcCorp is actually about one third of the city.

(4:19:28 AM) TZurovec.CIG: The area just past Dumper’s Depot ends at a fence. You’ll be able to go past that eventually. The area to the left of Casaba and heading away from the Skywalk ends at a fence. You’ll be able to go past that as well.

(4:22:45 AM) Bottaccio: @Tony after Social module first release, how fast do you think will updates released?

(4:24:07 AM) TZurovec.CIG: @Bottaccio…you’ll see SM updates daily this week. Going forward, the plan is to start releasing updates far more regularly. I’d like to put at least two more major PU updates out this year, and at least a couple of minor ones.

(4:25:41 AM) TZurovec.CIG: There are certainly still issues – it was painful to let this go out the door because I’d prefer to resolve anything remotely significant – but we’ll patch it tomorrow and I’ll feel better then as that should knock out all of the stuff of significance, at least that I know about as of now.

(4:27:03 AM) TZurovec.CIG: I don’t refer to “PU Alpha”…I mentioned earlier how everyone has a totally different idea of what that means. Instead, I’ll be talking soon – in a post on the web site – about specific milestones and functionality. I want everyone to be on the same page – to know what’s coming, and to have a rough idea as to when.

(4:29:43 AM) TZurovec.CIG: Social for everyone? We’ll try for Friday, but I’ll hold it a bit if there’s a serious issue found. It’s definitely very close.

(4:31:50 AM) TZurovec.CIG: Nyx will be rolled into one of the other major milestones. It all factors into the release schedule – going forward, the plan is to start putting out regular updates – roughly every 6-8 weeks or so. I’d guess that we’ll release Nyx sometime around late October or November.

(4:39:04 AM) Stoof: Tony, how will we travel from Arccorp to Nyx?

(4:40:53 AM) TZurovec.CIG: @Stoof…how will you get from ArcCorp to Nyx? For the short term, we’re probably going to crank up your elevator juice…. That is one magical elevator. For the longer term., of course, you’ll fly there.

(4:46:44 AM) TZurovec.CIG: Merging 1.2.0 and GameDev is a huge priority. It’s a long story, but basically the code base split when Star Marine was supposed to launch, and most of the main (not FPS specific) development occurs in the GameDev stream. We had to launch the Social Module from 1.2.0 – without the benefit of a lot of cool stuff in GameDev – because we needed GIM and the other updated networking tech, and that had specifically been done in 1.2.0 for the benefit of Star Marine. So…long story short…we’ll take a quantum leap once we’re back in GameDev.

 

Arena Commander 2.0

Tony thinks we’ll see AC 2.0 this year but feature set is TBD.

(4:27:33 AM) BlackEagle: @Tony : how reasonable do YOU see a AC 2.0 release this year ?

(4:28:43 AM) TZurovec.CIG: @BlackEagle…I think you’ll see an AC 2.0 this year, but the exact feature mix is hard to say. There’s still a number of things being debated there.

 

Nehkara

Founder

Writer and inhabitant of the Star Citizen subreddit.