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Star Citizen

Perfect Ten: Why the second half of 2014 will be awesome for MMOs

World of Warcraft, EVE Online, MMO Industry, Opinion, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Perfect Ten, Miscellaneous, ArcheAge, The Elder Scrolls Online, Destiny, Star Citizen, Elite: Dangerous, Landmark

In the midst of mid-summer doldrums, it's easy to fall into a mild depression thinking that everything cool that was going to happen this year already has -- especially in gaming. The spring launch blitz is now officially over, with two highly anticipated MMOs launched, and now some people might be wondering if the rest of 2014 will be all downhill.

Spoiler: It will not be.

We started talking the other day in the Massively office about just how much there's coming for the latter half of this year and why we're excited to see what the fall and winter months bring. There's so much to look forward to, in fact, that it was incredibly difficult to narrow it down to a mere 10 entries. But that's my job, and that's what I did. Here's why the second half of 2014 will be awesome.

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The Think Tank: Star Citizen and armchair speculation

Betas, Sci-Fi, Business Models, MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, Humor, The Think Tank, Crowdfunding, Star Citizen

Star Citizen pew pew
This week, Star Citizen announced it's now raised a total of $48 million in crowdfunding and revealed its $50 million stretch goal, which is an absurd amount of money (but still not as absurd as how much some other AAA MMOs reportedly spent). "As a professional gamer and armchair developer with several failed armchair projects under my belt," wrote Massively commenter computerhelfer with his tongue firmly in cheek, "I can safely say this project has acquired too much money. This project makes my armchair feel uncomfortable."

Apparently, large sums of money and large-scale projects make a lot of people uncomfortable, at least judging by the huge and sometimes nonsensical debates that sprawl across our Star Citizen posts. In today's Think Tank, I've asked some of the Massively writers to speculate on the future of the game, its impact on the genre, and how much higher that crowdfund number might go before all of the core pieces of the game have launched.

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Not So Massively: Hearthstone's expansion fee, Elite's console potential, and Destiny's mobile app

Sci-Fi, Business Models, Game Mechanics, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Mobile, MMOFPS, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, MOBA, Diablo III, Crowdfunding, Destiny, Star Citizen, Elite: Dangerous, Infinite Crisis, Path of Exile, Buy-to-Play, Hearthstone

POE
Welcome back to No So Massively, where every Monday we round up the highlights from the past week in the world of MOBAs, roguelikes, MMOTCGs, and other games that aren't quite MMOs.

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Star Citizen's $48 million mark means a commercial for the Retaliator

Betas, Sci-Fi, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Star Citizen, Buy-to-Play

star citizen
Move over, feathered millionaires, for Star Citizen now has more money than Scrooge McDuck. The space sim crossed the $48 million mark in crowdfunding today.

The stretch goal for this particular occasion is the creation of a commercial for the Retaliator spaceship. "The symbol of the United Empire of Earth's power is the next ship to receive a slick commercial," the site posted on its stretch goals page. "Aegis Dynamics is in dire need of good publicity since the end of the of the Messer era. We currently have the Cutlass and the Constellation commercials in production and now the Retaliator will be added to that list."

So what epic stretch goal reward is in store for $49 million? If players hit that milestone, then the team will add a plant to the game. But it's a Xi'An space plant, so you know you're getting your million dollars' worth.

Roberts' latest post peeks behind the Star Citizen development curtain

Betas, Sci-Fi, Bugs, MMO Industry, New Titles, Patches, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Star Citizen, Buy-to-Play

Star Citizen has opened another window on the world of game development, this time courtesy of a Chris Roberts post that details the investigative process behind Arena Commander's lag and rubber-banding issues. In a nutshell, the problems surfaced with patch 12.4 as Cloud Imperium expanded the pool of AC participants past the initial 60,000-player threshold.

"Like doctors trying to identify a mysterious illness, we looked for common environmental factors," Roberts writes. "Was there a significant geographic distance between players? Surprisingly, no: in many cases, players with almost no latency between them were still having issues. The team moved on to examining our own code." He goes on to explain how CIG translates potential problems into JIRA tasks and assigns them to engineers who are responsible for repairs prior to the next patch.

[Thanks Cardboard!]

Not So Massively: Destiny's beta, The Witcher's MOBA, and the IeSF's gender ban fiasco

Betas, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Video, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Lore, Previews, PvP, News Items, War, Free-to-Play, Consoles, MMOFPS, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, Transformers Universe, MOBA, League of Legends, Crowdfunding, Destiny, Star Citizen, Elite: Dangerous, Hearthstone

NSM
Welcome back to No So Massively, where every Monday we round up the highlights from the past week in the world of MOBAs, roguelikes, MMOTCGs, and other games that aren't quite MMOs.

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Here's what CIG accomplished on Star Citizen in June

Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Star Citizen, Buy-to-Play

It's the beginning of a new month, which means it's time for Cloud Imperium Games to recap last month's Star Citizen progress. The big news was the release of Arena Commander and its four patches, but there are plenty of other interesting nuggets packed into the the latest update wall-of-text.

Foundry 42 studio director Erin Roberts says that capital ships are coming together, and his team has also begun work on multi-crew vehicles. CIG Austin studio director Eric Peterson says that his bunch has been "busy working on the persistent universe and backend server component," while Behaviour producer Mathieu Beaulieu says that his studio is hard at work on hangar revamps as well as Star Citizen's mobiGlas development.

Read all about those initiatives and more at the Roberts Space Industries website linked below.

[Thanks James!]

Not So Massively: Hearthstone's expansion, God of Destiny's greenlighting, and Dead Island's MOBA

Betas, Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Business Models, Events (Real-World), Expansions, MMO Industry, Patches, PvP, News Items, Consoles, MMOFPS, DUST 514, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, MOBA, Age of Wushu, Crowdfunding, Destiny, Star Citizen, Elite: Dangerous, Hearthstone

NSM
Welcome back to No So Massively, where every Monday we round up the highlights from the past week in the world of MOBAs, roguelikes, MMOTCGs, and other games that aren't quite MMOs.

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Stick and Rudder: How complex is too complex for Star Citizen?

Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, Opinion, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Stick and Rudder, Star Citizen, Buy-to-Play

I've taken a little while to let Chris Roberts' recent flight model manifesto marinate. In that time, my opinion has run the gamut from "funk yeah, simulation!" to "hmm, I hope I'm able to enjoy this title" and back again.

I waffled because as much as I'm salivating over Star Citizen and everything it represents, it's still one game out of dozens that I'm following. And as much as I'd like to, I can't realistically devote all of my free time to a single title!

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The Stream Team: Scoping out Star Citizen

Sci-Fi, Video, New Titles, Livestream, The Stream Team, Star Citizen

Have you wanted to sneak a peek inside Star Citizen? The game is not even to an alpha stage yet, but Massively's MJ will be diving in to show off the hanger and dogfighting modules that have been released to backers. Join us live at 3:00 p.m. for a look into the game that holds the crowdfunding crown.

Game: Star Citizen
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Thursday, June 26th, 2014
Time: 3:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Star Citizen tops $47 million, will continue to offer stretch goals

Sci-Fi, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Star Citizen, Buy-to-Play

Star Citizen has topped $47 million in funding on the wings of its recent Xi'An scout ship promotion. Cloud Imperium boss Chris Roberts talks about the ship and its unique thruster setup (and its corresponding unique flight characteristics inside the space sim's physics engine) in his latest letter from the chairman.

Roberts also reveals that 54 percent of Star Citizen backers voted for CIG to continue offering stretch goals. He says that the company will "honor that choice," but that there will be some changes. "I'm not comfortable promising additional features with each million unless they're truly additive," he explains. "When we have a new idea that really impacts the final game and needs the funding then we'll offer it here... but you can expect a number of player rewards and new ways of highlighting Arena Commander as immediate goals!"

Not So Massively: GTAO's update, Hearthstone's tourney, and LoL's Summoner's RIFT revamp

Betas, Sci-Fi, Video, Business Models, Game Mechanics, New Titles, Patches, PvP, News Items, Mobile, Consoles, MMOFPS, Community Q&A, Post-Apocalyptic, Not So Massively, Sandbox, MOBA, League of Legends, Diablo III, Firefall, Destiny, Star Citizen, Elite: Dangerous, Infinite Crisis, Path of Exile, Hearthstone, The Division

NSM
Welcome back to No So Massively, where every Monday we round up the highlights from the past week in the world of MOBAs, roguelikes, MMOTCGs, and other games that aren't quite MMOs.

Continue Reading

Star Citizen's new persistent universe director loves economic, strategic gameplay

Sci-Fi, Video, Game Mechanics, Interviews, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Dev Diaries, Sandbox, Star Citizen, Buy-to-Play

How important is Star Citizen's persistent universe? Important enough that Chris Roberts has hired game industry veteran Tony Zurovec to oversee its direction.

"The game has become so big that I can't actually direct every single aspect of it every single moment of the day," Roberts explains at the outset of a new 40-minute interview vid posted on Cloud Imperium's official site. Zurovec previously worked with Roberts at Origin and Digital Anvil. He also developed the Crusader series and brings a love of economic and strategic gameplay on a galactic scale to the table.

Roberts also mentions Zurovec's work on an unreleased Digital Anvil game called Loose Cannon that was essentially "Privateer on wheels" and a pre-cursor to the sort of open-world sandbox mayhem found in Grand Theft Auto III and its sequels.

Click past the cut to watch the full interview.

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Leaderboard: How much time do you spend getting good at a game?

Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, Opinion, Sandbox, Leaderboard, Star Citizen, Buy-to-Play

Yesterday's Chris Roberts post on Star Citizen's flight model got me to thinking about game systems, learning, and the lengths we'll go to to be good at a particular title.

It's too early to know for sure, of course, but it seems like Star Citizen might be one of those sim-before-game exercises that requires both a lot of practice time and a lot of study in terms of knowing both your ship capabilities and those of your opponent's ship.

What about your current MMOs, though? How much time do you spend getting good at your favorite in-game activities? Vote after the cut!

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Roberts on Star Citizen's work-in-progress flight model

Sci-Fi, Video, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Star Citizen, Buy-to-Play

If you're keeping up on Star Citizen current events, you probably know that there's been quite a debate brewing amongst the game's backers with respect to the controls and the flight model in the recently released Arena Commander module.

Cloud Imperium has heard the feedback, and Chris Roberts has responded with a huge post that clarifies his goals for the game's Intelligent Flight Control System (IFCS) as well as the flight model going forward. If you're a flight sim fan, you'll likely find it fascinating reading. If not, the primary takeaway is that Roberts and CIG are confident in the direction of the model despite community concerns. As Roberts says, "a portion of our community clearly feels the current flight model is 'wrong.'"

"We actually allow for a lot more variation and nuance in flight and combat than a simplified Wing Commander/X-Wing-style flight model," Roberts counters. "Like learning to drive a car really well... it requires some learning. You have to anticipate where you want to be and plan for it." He goes on to explain how most space games use an atmospheric flight baseline with predefined pitch, roll, and yaw rates as well as capped speeds and linear acceleration applied to a simplified mass point.

"Star Citizen doesn't do that," he writes. "We model what would be needed on an actual spaceship, including correct application of thrust at the places where the thrusters are attached to the hull of the ship -- in our model moment of inertia, mass changes and counter thrust are very necessary. Star Citizen's physical simulation of spaceflight is based on what would actually happen in space."

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