Beta Features and Progress

About a year ago, pre-schedule reports, I compiled and organized all major features that were needed between 2.4 and whatever the initial SC beta would look like — at the time, assuming the SC beta would look kind of like the initial pitch and did not include things like procedural planets.

Keep in mind that the traditional definition of "beta" — a feature complete game with bugs and tuning to be worked out — doesn't really apply to the modern day MMO, since they will continuously add features. We are drawing a somewhat arbitrary line around features that would be enough to kick off the SC Persistent Universe. Some features that are not absolutely necessary are also included.

Now in 2.6.3 and with the 3.0 schedule released, let's see where we will stand.

Major Technical Systems

10+player per instance netcode

Although the server can hold 24, it's a major lagfest. To really feel like an MMO, SC will need 50+ people in an instance. I've been optimistically hoping for 100+ (so that we can have viable fleet combat), and we've even heard CR throw out larger numbers.

The new schedule includes two major features for 3.0 and several others late on that would hopefully move us towards this goal:

  • 2017-05-22 New Message Queue
  • 2017-05-29 Entity Owner Manager
  • 2017-05-31 Network Tokens
  • 2017-07-26 Network Bind/Unbind
  • 2017-09-04 Jobification of Network Writes
  • 2017-09-13 Continuous Serialized Variables
Single universe server w/ dynamic instancing

At the moment, the PU is separated into separate servers with a 24-player cap. The ultimate plan is to have one PU server that will dynamically load players into local instances. Although persistence is included, instancing is notably absent.

  • 2017-05-26 Persistent Damage, Ammo, and Missiles
  • 2017-05-29 Game Persistence
  • 2017-07-04 Repair and Restock system
hangar-universe interaction

ie, how to get a ship from your hangar into the universe.

push/pull/Grabby Hands

Needed for things like stealing cargo and nice to have for cargo in general.

  • 2017-05-24 Pick Up & Carry
NPC AI, including FPS, crew, traders, miners, etc

Let's face it: the vast majority of crew slots will be filled by NPCs. AI will be needed to fill those jobs. Additionally, the universe needs NPC guards, targets, traders, etc.

  • 2017-09-11 NPC Generation (Archetype)
  • 2017-05-08 AI Turrets
NPC conversation system + wingman orders
Delta patching

Downloading 30GB+ every month is prohibitive for many players and very expensive for CIG.

Procedurally Generated Planets
  • 2017-04-03 Planetary Tech
Planetary landing + atmospheric flight
  • 2017-04-03 Planetary Tech
  • 2017-05-05 Atmospheric Entry Gamecode
  • 2017-05-05 Atmospheric Entry Graphics
instanced planetary landing (for cities)

Initially, this was the only landing… now, it's almost an add-on to PG moons and landing. But there will need to be a modified or different system for landing in cities and landing zones.

  • landing and atmo stuff included in Planetary Landing
  • 2017-06-01 Delmar / Levski
  • 2017-06-20 Arc Corp / Area 18
  • 2017-11-24 Hurston
  • 2017-09-19 Crusader
  • 2018-02-14 Mircotech

General Universe Systems

Galactic Economic Simulation + Economic nodes
  • Truckstop (undated, 3.1)
  • 2017-04-21 Solar System Shop Service
  • 2017-05-12 Solar System Mission Service
Mission/Job Generation

Although the PU since 2.0 has had a handful of simplistic missions, they are not nearly enough to sustain a real game, which is what the beta should be approaching. Tony Z has often discussed missions being generated based on the economy and econ nodes, but even a basic system to create a variety of missions separate from that would still be good enough for a first iteration.

  • 2017-05-12 Mission Givers
  • 2017-05-12 Solar System Mission Service
  • 2017-05-16 Mission Manager App
  • 2017-05-31 Mission System
  • 2017-06-01 Mission Board App
  • 2017-08-11 Recovery Missions
  • 2017-08-21 Piracy Missions v1
  • 2017-08-22 Service Beacons v1
  • 2017-09-25 Patrol Mission v1
  • 2017-10-02 Assassination Missions
  • 2017-10-16 Piracy Missions v2
  • 2017-10-25 Transport Mission
  • 2017-11-10 Service Beacon v2
  • 2017-11-13 Smuggling Missions
  • 2017-11-20 Defense Missions
  • 2017-12-22 Patrol Mission v2
Public Transportation System

How to get around the universe without a ship.

Ship rentals (for people that lose their ship)
Remote Storage
multi-faction reputation system

This would enable you to track your standing with the factions in the SC universe. Right now, we only have "good" and "bad". So far, nothing more has made into the schedule.

  • 2017-08-19 Criminality System
traditional mmo grouping/party system

MMOs enable players to play together via grouping or parties — players can easily see each other and complete group tasks. This also enabled them to share rewards and targets.

  • 2017-09-12 Parties & Groups

  • Org management/visibility (who is online, ranks, etc)

org-web site integration

Long the promise of Org 2.0, this feature would allow things done via the website to translate into the game.

  • 2017-07-28 In Game Chat to use Spectrum
  • 2017-08-30 Spectrum Integration In Game
Org hangars

Not really needed for the beta, but no mention in any case.

Player to player trading

It's going to be odd if we can only trade with NPCs.

  • 2017-06-01 Inventory System Gamecode Engineering
  • 2017-06-02 Inventory System UI
Black Market system (Item ID/Stolen Item System)
  • 2017-11-13 Smuggling Missions
Navigation

Charting courses and not just a single QD.

  • 2017-05-12 StarMap App
Jump Point Navigation

No mention.

Interdiction

No explicit mention.

  • 2017-08-21 Piracy Missions v1
  • 2017-10-16 Piracy Missions v2
Contracting System (Give money to other players for jobs like escorting)
  • 2017-08-22 Service Beacon v1
  • 2017-11-10 Service Beacon v2

Player Roles and Role Mechanics

cargo hauling

This is probably the main economic job and is a crucial aspect of the game. It enables the economy to function, pirates to have something to do, and something for good-guy fighters to protect.

  • 2017-06-01 Cargo Manifest App
  • 2017-06-01 Cargo UI
  • 2017-06-02 Cargo Gamecode Engineering
  • 2017-10-19 Cargo v2
Passenger Transport
Rescue/Recovery System
Salvage

There are two conceivable types of salvage: taking out individual parts form a ship and crunching up a ship or parts of a ship into scrap. We have parts of the former mostly planned for in the schedule. For the latter, we need dedicated salvage ships and new mechanics.

  • 2017-05-26 Derelict Ships
Mining
Fuel collection
Bounty Hunting + Prisoner system
Cartography/Jump Point Mapping (Exploration)
Medical
Science/Research
Information running
Smuggling/Cargo scanning

In order to smuggle, you need:

  1. sell-able goods in the game
  2. the ability to label goods as illicit
  3. somewhere to acquire illicit goods
  4. somewhere to sell illicit goods
  5. a way for the authorities to find your illicit goods.
  • 2017-05-04 Kiosk UI
  • 2017-06-15 Shopping v2
  • 2017-07-28 Scanner Improvements v2
player-controlled external repair
Space Station Control (MVP++)
Racing Circuits/League (MVP++)

Ships and Ship Systems

  • Purchasing ships/ship components with ingame currency
Ship/component/cargo insurance
  • 2017-05-05 Insurance
Ship docking + carrier mechanics
multicrew station control / role assignments
Several multicrew station roles, like sensors, CNC, engineering

Several concepts, like radar + turret control, are in SC right now, but only in their most basic form.

  • 2017-05-05 Item 2.0 Power Supply/Pipes
  • 2017-05-05 Item 2.0 Radar System
  • 2017-05-11 Item 2.0 Operator Seats
  • 2017-06-08 Player Manned Turrets
  • 2017-08-04 Shield Rework
  • 2017-09-13 Radar
Panel Access to Components/Internal Repair
  • 2017-07-03 Interaction System
  • 2017-07-17 Interaction — Attach
  • 2017-06-20 Ship Damage
  • 2017-09-08 Ship Breaking
Component Tweaking/Tuning/Overclocking/Testing (MVP++)
ship locking / access control

This is often a major complaint of more casual players: "someone stole my ship off the landing pad"! For early access, this is certainly annoying. For a beta, it would be ridiculous.

  • 2017-10-24 Security/Access Control
Ship hacking / forced boarding / component disabling

Pirates will need to gain access to a ship to steal it or its cargo. Otherwise, it's not really piracy.

  • 2017-05-31 Doors & Airlocks
  • 2017-07-05 Item 2.0 Airlocks v2
  • 2017-09-18 Breaching
  • 2017-10-24 Security/Access Control
CPU Resource System
Electronic Warfare
Ship to ship refueling

Fuel is a base collectible resource that also is necessary for ship operation.

  • 2017-04-12 Item 2.0 Fuel
  • 2017-12-01 Ship to Ship Refuel System
Escape Pods/Vehicles

Characters and NPCs

Injury system with mobility effects
  • 2017-05-31 Stamina
  • 2017-08-07 Take down
  • 2017-09-07 Bumps
  • 2017-08-10 Knockdown and Knockbacks
FPS cover/recovery
Death system (I actually think character death can be MVP++)
Character Creation/Customization
  • 2017-05-31 Character Customization
Female character model
  • 2017-07-03 Female Player Locomotion
Lots of NPCs
  • 2017-09-11 NPC Generation (Archetype)

Assets

Landing Zones + Shops
Planets / moons / planetoids / asteroids
Star Systems

SC will have over 100 star systems. We currently have about .25.

  • 2017-05-31 Solar System Tool
Missions

This is more about custom missions and not procedurally-generated ones from the econ simulator. For example, the Covalex PI mission.

Clothes/Accessories
Ships for ship-limited roles (mining, recovery, etc)
  • 2017-05-05 MISC Prospector (mining)
  • 2017-08-10 MISC Hull C (external cargo)
  • 2017-09-06 Reclaimer (salvage)
Capital ships
Vanduul + Xi'an (I expect to get these with SQ42)

Extras/fluff/flavor

Planetary Exploration/Surface Combat

Ok, this became much more important to CIG over the last year. At one point, planetary interaction was only going to be in relatively small landing zones.

Plants/Agriculture

Only mentioned when the Endeavor concept was released.

Pets

A much-maligned stretch goal.

Tevarin

We've seen the concept, but the Tevarin are a somewhat minor race in the grand scheme of things.

Banu

Like the Tevarin, this race is not absolutely necessary for beta.

Kr’Thak

This is probably an expansion or patch that will come years after full release.

Alien languages
News Van

Introduced during Reliant concept sale.

Ship skins/paint

ship customization!!

Needed for SQ42

This is a new section, but this includes a few features that aren't necessary for the PU Beta but seem vital for SQ42 and allows us to get an idea of when we might see a full release. I do maintain, however, that we should see at least 1 playable demo this year (probably the SF search mission)

  • 2017-12-19 Landing Gear Compression

Keeping in mind how little of this was even on the radar in 2.4, it's amazing how close it ended up.

WIP.

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