Happy Wednesday, everyone!
Every two weeks, we accompany the Roadmap update with a brief explanatory note to give you insight into the decision-making that led to any changes. This is part of an effort to make our communications more transparent, more specific, and more insightful for all of you who help to make Star Citizen and Squadron 42 possible.
With that said, let’s go ahead and dive into this week’s Roadmap Roundup!
-CIG Community Team
Notable Changes for October 4, 2023
This week, we’re introducing the 3.21 column to the Roadmap, which will house features/content that were previously listed for 3.20.x. We’ve made the decision to increment the Alpha 3.20.x patch nomenclature to Alpha 3.21. The primary reason for this increment is to signify Star Citizen approaching the next major milestone in its online/networking technology, which warrants a proper step-up.
During the 3.21 patch cycle, we will introduce a new testing channel aimed at graduating new underlying technology. This new channel allows the dev teams to get players on a version of the game that matches the current live release in both content and features but that introduces large tech changes that must be validated, graduated, and ultimately mission-proven before making their way to a Live release.
In short, this is the next step towards Server Meshing after deploying Persistent Entity Streaming earlier this year. With the Replication Layer moving off of the game servers, this allows the game server to be an authority over a specific area, rather than the entire game universe. While the player experience won’t change much at first, and the game server will stick with managing Stanton to start with, this is a major step forward to Alpha 4.0 and beyond.
For more information on the Replication Layer, Persistent Entity Streaming, Server Meshing, and how this will affect the future of Star Citizen, please check out our panel from CitizenCon in 2021: CitizenCon 2951: Server Meshing & The State Of Persistence.
With this publish, we’re clarifying where each of the features previously slated for 3.20.X would land in the patch cycle. Below is the full list, with a pair of new cards marked as such. All 3.20.0 cards have also been marked as Committed.
New Crusader Platforms
Adding three new points of interest in Crusader’s atmosphere, providing new locations for missions and loot.
New Missions – Retrieve Consignment
A new mission type where players are tasked with locating critical items in consignment lists, then safely extract them.
New Missions – Steal Evidence
(NEW) A criminal mission type where players are tasked with infiltrating Security Post Kareah and stealing files from Crusader Security for a hefty payout.
Crusader A1 Spirit
Building, balancing, and implementing Crusader Industries’ light bomber, the A1 Spirit, into the game.
Replication Layer Update
(NEW) Over the course of the 3.21 patch cycle, the Replication Layer will be moved off of the game servers and set up as its own standalone service. In the short term, this allows for greater server recovery in the event of a crash. This is also a critical next step toward Server Meshing.
Our current goal is release Alpha 3.21.0, ahead of launching the Preview Channel with the Replication Layer update. Once this Preview Channel comes online, it will run in parallel to our live servers. Once we feel the Replication Layer work is reliable, we’ll migrate it over to the live servers in a 3.21.x patch.
You can expect to learn more about the Preview Channel and its critical role in bringing new technologies online soon.
Vehicle Tractor Beams
Implementing tractor beams attached to ships, either remote-operated or a turret-like attachment. This allows players to move and tow bigger objects, including other ships.
Building, implementing, and balancing Tumbril’s light tank, the Storm, as a game-ready vehicle.
Crusader C1 Spirit
Building, balancing, and implementing Crusader Industries’ small multi-crew cargo ship, the C1 Spirit, into the game.
Building, implementing, and balancing Argo’s tugboat, the SRV, as a game-ready vehicle.