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  1. Update the forums to IP.Board 4.4.4. All appears to be working correctly, if you notice anything let me know. Release Notes:
  2. I just want to inform the group, so that if there are any problems with me in the future please refer to this post. I have......... Right hemisphere damage, Atrophy of the hippocampal area, Memory loss, Problems forming new memories, Cognitive impairment. Sometimes I........ Can't remember things, Appear irritated, Get confused/frustrated easily, Appear rude (sorry guys) Can't pay attention, Interrupt you when speaking, Have trouble communicating. If you wish for me to leave the group I'll understand, if I'm ok to stay I ask that I am treated the same as any other member. Thank you for your patience.
  3. Scally


    3.10 is out and ready to download https://robertsspaceindustries.com/comm-link/transmission/16487-Star-Citizen-Alpha-310
  4. There is a large IP.Board update I've been waiting to deploy until it had been out for a couple of weeks. Well it's been a couple weeks now so going to upgrade SCB tonight. Because it's a big update you may see some downtime and themes will be acting up. Once the update has finished I'll install the updated themes and style them as we currently have. Thanks
  5. Heads up, the boards will go down over the next few hours as I update the software. I'll post here once it's complete.
  6. The SCB site will be migrating to a new and improved server on 2/25/2016 @9:00AM EST. Over the past 24 hours the new box was built, installed and brought online. I ran a test migration without any issues so the final sync is planned for the date above. All data will be transferred. Expect a short downtime on Teamspeak as once the sync happens it will have to be taken offline on the old server and brought back up on the new. As for the forums, there is also a potential for a short outage, but likely won't be noticed unless you're online during just the right moment. Keep in mind as goes with all development that there is a possibility of extended downtime for any unforeseen issues, but I'll be on it. Thanks
  7. Side info links regarding the update: http://www.ghacks.net/2016/07/28/microsoft-removes-policies-windows-10-pro/ http://mspoweruser.com/windows-10-anniversary-update-will-come-with-more-promoted-apps-on-the-start-menu/ Windows 10 Anniversary Update ISO's will be available from MS on August 2nd. With this update Windows 10 Pro is no longer the choice for home-consumers and power users (of windows versions). All Windows 10 Fully featured versions will be: Windows 10 Enterprise, Education and Server SKU's. Windows home is the essential working package, pro will be will that plus Bitlocker and hyper-v. Note: These changes effect Window 10 Pro and Home. Can't say how much this changes for Window 7 users, though. Most of us already know that Windows 10 Home is basically a virtual ("federal" (?)) prison and Windows 10 Pro having an open jail door, custom options for features... Well soon with the Anniversary update that door will be closed! The Group Policy editor, or simply policies editor will have more restrictions imposed on Windows 10 Pro users (this editor is not available on W10 Home). Containing Group Policy restrictions such as (and probably not limited to): Microsoft consumer experiences policy: By turning this policy off you would prevent and block Window 10 (pro) from installing third party applications(mainly from the app store) and links. Well now that will not be possible. After the update, more promotions, ads and forced installed third party apps from the windows store will be pushed onto the user. Granted you can uninstall the apps afterwards, but still imposing that it's forcibly installed without your permission and consent. Lock screen policy: Most people, like myself, don't really care about this. When you go into lock screen you can customize that screen anymore. As well as you can't turn off this feature anymore where previously when you did, that your screen would go directly to the logon screen (if you used a password either from using email as account or a default account). Ads on your lock screen, right? The windows store policy: Yes, the Windows store could be turned. Now? Not anymore. This comes hand in hand with the "Microsoft consumer experiences policy" which forces ads and apps from the store. In Windows 10 Pro after the update you just can't disable the store for those exact reasons. For those that used windows 8, remember that horrible start screen with tiles and app store ads and apps? With random xbox tiles? It's coming back alright, well in the form notifications. Endless notifications! Nooooooo~ If you use Microsoft edge as your browser(can't imagine), it will now support extensions at the cost of eating up your ram twice as fast as Opera does, or 3-4 as much as either Firefox or Chrome. Cortana gets more core access to windows, your lock screen(automatically listening in), programs like skype, your email and agenda. Cortana is designed to 'listen' into your conversations and look up information that might be useful for the user... ... Upside might be that automatic agenda and appointment management? Well after reading and an email at least. And for the developers Windows 10 will come with integrated Linux Bash. Never used linux so i can't say much about it... More probably coming up, but this is all i know so far.. Pick your poison guys! ================================================= 21:26 UTC: In the Anniversary update, Cortana now has official support/feature to be turned off (for it's privacy features) and hidden from taskbar! http://www.windowscentral.com/you-can-disable-cortana-windows-10
  8. Update for everyone posted in discord a few moments ago. Thought we’d give a little update on our progress with 2.0 on PTU. We’re focusing on two major issues that we want to resolve before we release the next PTU build: • Poor client-side FPS. • Game servers bottlenecking when too many ships spawn at comms arrays. We've got a build right now that will go into testing, and we'll know from QA's internal testing whether or not it's good to go to PTU late in the day USA time. To be ready to publish 2.0 to Live, we want to nail down all of the below (please note this is a partial list of what we’ll fix): • The previously mentioned framerate and game server bottleneck issues. • Multiple GIM disconnects plus assorted dedicated game server and client crashes. • Party system improvements. • Error message overlay does not go away. • Client flickering when SLI is enabled. • Chat UI is too small. • Destroying small ships with a physics grid will sometimes get the character stuck in an unplayable state on respawning. • Damage states in multiplayer games are not consistently working. • Players in the seat or turret of a multicrew ship when it is destroyed can get stuck in their bedrooms on respawning. • Various fixes for spawn points, including wrong locations and being stuck after dying in multicrew turret. • Implementing EMP distortion damage (currently has no discernable effect). • When transitioning from zero g to gravity zones from above, the player character will fall – sometimes taking damage, or suffering lost functionality. • Players can’t use automated landing in Andromeda. • Main thrusters missing on 350R. • Main menu fixes, particularly infinite load screen for Arena Commander. • Top speeds fluctuating in IFCS/SCM modes. • Repairing ships do not reset the ship’s mass. This 2.0 PTU test has been an absolute success because of your involvement and assistance in finding these issues. I’ll shamelessly “borrow” Producer Jason Hutchins’ words and offer a reminder that our PTU tests are for finding all of the blocking issues before it goes Live for everyone else. Each build brings us closer to a full 2.0 release, and that just would not be possible without you. Thanks everyone and have a great day! Will(edited)
  9. For the people not in discord chat for PTU testing, here are some recent posts from Will (like just now), just to keep you guys in the loop WLeverett-CIGToday at 7:26 PM Hey guys I muted everyone for just a second for an important announcement. Don't worry, not to troll. ? So we're cooking a build right now that we will get QA tested this afternoon USA time. If QA signs off on this, I suspect the earliest we can go will be around 630pm CDT Austin time, which is 1230am GMT. We'll hoping to have limited party functionality with invites up to eight people. Again, this will have to pass QA muster before it gets released. We'll also have assorted fixes, but also substantially increased server logging. I'd say that this might affect you... but since we're all crashing every few minutes, it won't be that noticeable. ? In any case, we'll update further in the next few hours, but I wanted to let you guys know our immediate testing plan. WLeverett-CIGToday at 7:29 PM No more PTU invites until everything is stable. I'd say that's at least a week away and likely longer. WLeverett-CIGToday at 7:30 PM The reality is, the game elements are fun and playable, it's the game servers that are crashing. If we have some sort of stability, we'd then be looking at a Live push. But that is many days away of work, plus remember the USA has Thanksgiving holidays. WLeverett-CIGToday at 7:32 PM One last note for all of you dedicated tester clans... this one could be important. With a working party system, you'll be able to have eight people in a group. We don't have private instances, and we don't yet have the ability to whitelist players into an instance, but this will allow you to be a little more collaborative in testing. There's a real opportunity to work together to monitor all of the actions that are happening on a local game server, and when it crashes, find out who was doing what at that very moment in time. That, in conjunction with our increased server logs that we'll have when the next update goes out, will really help us isolate and fix these issues. WLeverett-CIGToday at 7:34 PM I'd expect fixes to take several days, so it's not something for the faint of heart. In any case, I think there is some opportunity to work together on this one, and we can use this Discord Crusader chat rooms or you can use your own to help communicate. I'll stop blabbing now. ?
  10. https://player.vimeo.com/video/144917841
  11. Just updated the boards again, some small fixes, but thing are continuing to improve. Key ChangesIn addition to many bug fixes and performance improvements, some specifics include: New Features & Settings Legacy PayPal gateway to allow for older PayPal Subscriptions to still be recognised.Attachment Type Restrictions: You can now choose from three options for file attachments in any post content: No files, Images only (this will actually check to make sure an uploaded file is a valid image) or All files (this is default) - If you choose "All files" you have the option to provide a list of allowed file extensions.Merge Concurrent Posts: If a user makes a post or comment and then makes another post or comment on the same item before any other user, the posts will be merged. There is a setting to disable or set the time limit for this to happen. There is a clear, visual indication when a merge happens to avoid confusion to the end user.Moderators can click and hold on topic and other item titles to quickly edit.New setting to optionally set products in Commerce to have a grace period to remain active for a period of time after expiration.New setting to specify domains to exclude from having rel='nofollow' added to links.The "+ Create" menu at the top of the page now has an option to create an announcement.New button to post a status within the status updates widgetYou can now embed Pages database entries by pasting their link.New widgets for blog entry, gallery images and downloads files feeds.Widgets displaying content feeds can now be given a custom title.Other Improvements The subject lines for emails sent about new content have been changed slightly so email clients can group them better.Some widgets providing duplicate functionality have been merged. For example, "Latest Topics" has been merged into "Topic Feed".Announcements now show on every page by default (but can still be removed).When upgrading, if you have a large database you are presented with an option to run queries manually. You can now opt to run them anyway.
  12. 1.1.4 Publish to Live at 11am CDT/4pm GMT WLeverett.CIGWLeverett_CIG Posted: 6:26AMEdited: 6:33AM by WLeverett_CIG Happy Tuesday everyone! It’s been a bit since we’ve had a release, and we’re very excited to bring you the first of some super cool updates in the coming weeks!We'll be bringing down the servers today for the 1.1.4 Publish to Live, a relatively small 40MB patch for flair only. • Two Gamescom Trophies • Special Version of the Gamescom Trophy for SubscribersAlso…We continue to work feverishly on the later stages of integration and testing for the upcoming 1.1.5 Publish to PTU. We’ll have a new Live Service Announcement specifically for 1.1.5 that will include additional information plus a link to the full patch notes once we’re ready to publish.Please note: The 1.1.5 Publish to PTU update will be a considerable 25GB (I will verify size before sending). As such, 1.1.5 to PTU is NOT recommended for anyone with slow download speeds or bandwidth caps, particularly since we could have multiple, sizable 1.1.5 bug fix updates, and you'll have to download the 25GB again when we publish to the Live service.Please also note: The 1.1.5 Publish to PTU release will not include Star Marine FPS.
  13. Hey all! Heads up: the first weekly Star Marine update is up, as promised in the recent FPS-centric Letter from the Chairman (which I summarized and addressed here). So, what did we get this week? TL;DR: Leadership and tracking changes, weapon tweaks, game awareness adjustments (e.g. knowing when you're hitting target, being hit, damage states, etc.), interacting with the environment, FPS free flight (fight?), in-game chat implementation (in-game VOIP en-route), environment updates (easier to tell where you are/going in Gold Horizon), WWise audio optimization (esp. spatial audio), more juke/locomotion animation development, and HUD design (6 different HUD's! One for each armour type). Personally, I'm satisfied with that. If you'd like a grammatically correct version (hehe), read the update; it's short and you can glean a few inferences from what they say. All in all, it's shaping up well.
  14. John Pritchett will be doing another design pass on decoupled and 6DOF flight modes soon
  15. Greetings Citizen This morning, we held a “go/no-go” meeting to discuss whether or not we could launch Arena Commander V0.9 today. The decision from the production team was that we are not go for release at this time. While we hope that today’s build will resolve some of the last remaining blockers we do not want to release a build that has not been thoroughly tested as these fixes may have had knock on effects. Additionally, Star Citizen’s team members have gone above and beyond lately so we didn’t want to make people work straight through the weekend again, as some worked over Labor Day and we’ll be immediately sprinting to V0.9.1 and ultimately V1.0. We know some will be disappointed not to play this weekend, but we’re also cautious about releasing an untested build to our community. Last week, we had a number of backers asking about specific features planned for V0.9. Here’s the “short list,” which I think you will find represents a major step forward for Arena Commander! Murray Cup Racing Mode: As shown at Gamescom, players can now race their pledge ships in a specially designed upper-atmospheric scenario! Vanduul Swarm Co-Op: Take on the alien hoards with a friend, or competitor! Flyable M50 and 350R: The M50 and the 350R have been readied for flight to kick off the race mode. These ships will now be flyable in all Arena Commander game modes. Private Matches: Tired of being matched with random players in AC? Private matches will let you play with friends! Friend Codes: We’re launching a code system for both private and public matches so you can connect with your wingmen. Leaderboards: Your performance in Arena Commander’s various modes will display on the RSI website and allow you to compare with others. Updated Ship Performance: We’ve increased the speed and acceleration of every ship. With this we’ve also reworked the afterburner mechanic to increase acceleration instead of top speed. HUD Update: We’ve overhauled the usability of the visor HUD interface so you can customize your ships systems much more easily in flight. New Hangars: We’ve remastered all of Star Citizen’s Hangars with the new forward-looking room system and added the Asteroid Hangar. New Pause Menu: Our refactored pause menu is a large step forward ascetically and will support new features like custom keybindings in the future. In the meantime we’ve included selectable profiles for the most common peripherals. 6DOF: With the improvements to the IFCS and flight physics we are now ready to introduce 6DOF movement for an entirely new way to fly. Some of these are big, headlining features that we know backers are eager to get their hands on; Like Murray Cup Racing and Vanduul Swarm Coop! The reality is that the less flashy features are some of the most important in the long run and also some of the most challenging. You’re seeing the individual atoms of the persistent universe coming together before your eyes. The Friend Code feature represents the first step towards connecting you with friends and organization members from the web platform in the game itself. Likewise the leaderboards involve building the platform/client connection that will someday let you interact with your character through the RSIwebsite and will serve as the basis for stat tracking and rating based matchmaking! Other features are a direct result of your feedback. The HUD improvement is designed to address how players have responded to HUD navigation and interaction. Every patch we release involves listening to our backers, watching them play and aiming to improve the experience. We hope that you will find the HUD much more user friendly, functional, and intuitive than it has been in previous iterations. We’re also giving pilots more control over how they fly their ship. In addition to adding 6DOF (six degrees of freedom) controls pilots will now have the ability to “overboost” directional thrusters, at the expense of more fuel burn. This allows you to temporarily increase the thrust output of your maneuvering thrusters to better arrest undesirable angular velocity such as in a tight turn. The physics modeling and damage feedback have also been improved. We’ve resolved some ongoing issues with the damage modeling but more importantly we also provided increased feedback to players on incoming damage and the direction it came from. You are now jostled in your ship based on the direction and power of a weapon impact. We have changed the g-force animations to more accurately reflect the physics g-force has on your character. With a patch that adds so much and is thusly so complex as V0.9 issues are inevitably going to come up. Due to the diligent work of our team we have been able to solve most of the biggest blockers: leaderboards, rubber banding, stuttering in Vanduul Swarm Coop, and friend code issues. While these issues and a few other appear to be nearly resolved we need a couple more days to test and validate that our fixes haven’t created any new issues. Our goal for V0.9 isn’t just to add exciting new features, it’s to keep improving every aspect of Arena Commander (and ultimately Star Citizen) based on your testing and feedback. We very much look forward to being able to share V0.9 with all of you as soon as it is proven to be stable enough to release. We are aiming for the middle of next week and we will update the community on Wednesday, September 10th about the status of the build if plans change. Until then we appreciate your patience and support as we engage in this open development process together. Source: RSI
  16. Arena Commander V.9 Status Update Greeting Citizens, We have been working around the clock to have Arena Commander V0.9 ready for our backers. As of tonight, there are several remaining bugs that we feel would not provide the best possible Arena Commander experience and which would ultimately be detrimental to our process of community testing/feedback. We had hoped to have these ironed out and ready to go today (and in time for PAX Prime and Dragon*Con!) but have made the tough decision not to release until it meets the standards you’ve come to expect. With version 0.9 we’ve added the Murray Cup Racing map and game mode, the Vanduul Swarm Coop game mode, and the now-flyable M50 and 350R. The patch also includes our first implementation of private matches and the option to select multiple control schemes (more control customization will arrive in another patch shortly after this one.) These features in particular have required that we concurrently add a number of new features to our nascent backend infrastructure to support their introduction. By introducing features we have not rolled out before, we are seeing new bugs with our backend for the first time as well. These issues include problems like being unable to join a private match, frequent issues connecting to servers with the new game modes and map, and some new gameplay crashes. These are all major issues we want (and expect) to resolve shortly. The most major “blocker” bug, as discussed in the Gamescom presentation, is the introduction of the new Leaderboard system to this build. The leaderboards are going to be for all modes in Arena Commander, including the recently added Vanduul Swarm Co-Op and Murray Cup Racing (racing without placement scores isn’t much fun!) From a technical standpoint, Leaderboards are a big deal. They’re the first time the game will be consistently passing significant amounts of data between the client (what you download and play) and the platform (the web side of things.) Even if you aren’t looking forward to comparing scores with friends, getting the back end of Star Citizen to talk to the backend of the Star Citizen website is a huge deal. What we’re hooking up today is also going to allow features like the Galactapedia, Interactive Star Map and the Star Citizen mobile app to communicate with the game. Our goal with Star Citizen is to build a universe with a highly connected community at its core and Leaderboards, along with the stat tracking and backend infrastructure that allow for leaderboards, are a significant step in building that experience. Allowing backers to get the first taste of a larger persistence in the ‘Verse is something we feel is very important. We know that it is disappointing that we’re not quite ready to share our progress with the community, but today’s build is just not yet to a state where it achieves our vision. We will be working around the globe through the holiday weekend to deliver on the promise of V0.9. And for those interested in the process, we will be providing continued updates in the coming week on the status of the release. The entire Star Citizen team will be working as hard as possible to make sure you’re racing ships and taking on the Vanduul together soon! //End Transmission
  17. Arena Commander Patch Update Greeting Citizens, Last week, we posted about our process for solving the lag and rubber banding issues currently impacting Arena Commander’s multiplayer mode. As you know, we increased the player base by eight fold when we released patch 12.4. Doing so exposed variety of emergent issues within the game client, game servers, and backend infrastructure that only became apparent under the increased player load. We’ve made a lot of progress in addressing these issues and have seen great improvement on all three fronts, but the patch is not ready for release today. This is the kind of testing is exactly the reason why we chose to pursue the open development model. The discovery of these kinds of issues this early in the process are going to greatly improve the player experience in the long run and increase our efficiency by getting it right from the beginning. Patch 12.5 is responsible for adding the jukebox, pictured here, to the Hangars’ of current subscribers so they can liven up their hangars with their favorite music. Your jukeboxes have been attributed to your accounts, but will not appear in your Hangars until the patch goes live. Additionally, on this week’s Around the Verse, we talked about a mysterious new Vanduul threat destroying UEE ships. This threat will be added with 12.5, at which point Citizens are encouraged to go hunting for it! While there will not be a patch today, we would like to share what we’ve been working on so far and how we’ve been approaching the problem. The QA Team has been hard at work investigating the lag that is being experienced on the public servers. We know that this has been a huge frustration, and QA has thrown its full weight against isolating and reproducing this problem so that engineers can solve these issues. In Arena Commander multiplayer your client is receiving updates from remote clients via the server and, in the case of movement, your local client’s IFCS is actually simulating the physics of each remote client that you see based on these updates. Your client is then reporting back to the server all the positional and orientation data for each of the remote clients that you are simulating. The server is authoritatively checking this against its own calculations and those being reported by the remote clients themselves. If there is divergence in the reported numbers the server will provide your client with how far its remote client simulations are off and inject that into the IFCS physics calculations to nudge the remote clients you see back to their proper positions as they fly. If the divergence becomes too large for IFCS to gently nudge the remote clients then they are warped to their proper position and the simulation commences again. As we have been investigating this issue it has all revolved around discovering what is causing the simulations of remote clients to sometimes for some people become so divergent from the server and the remote clients themselves that the server is forcing a warp. We first investigated potential issues with the game servers by performing some optimizations to load balancing and by reducing the number of servers on a physical machine from 8 to 2, which dramatically decreased network traffic from each machine and reduced CPU pegging but did not reduce the lag players were seeing. It did however result in increased stability and minimizes server CPU frame spikes which will generally improve performance for players across the board. We then approached the situation from the client side, creating a controlled environment in which no one shot any weapons or used any boost, and then began increasing the number of players over time. Noticing that this yielded no lag, we then started to introduce more variables into the match. Shooting weapons without hitting any players caused no issue, but once ships began to fire on each other, lag began to crop up with players skipping around. We were able to reproduce that lag, but we needed a more specific cause, so we attempted to narrow it down. Speaking with the engineering team, they speculated that the power drain caused by firing weapons and absorbing shield impacts could in turn be reducing the available power to thrusters. It was possible that due to lag or CPU spikes the amount of power available for thrusters wasn’t being properly propagated from the remote client to the server to your machine for your physics simulation to account for. This would cause synchronization of thrusters across players to have been off, causing positional jumping when performing erratic maneuvers. Engineering then armed QA with a version of the game that allowed us to have greater control over the thrusters so that we could pinpoint the problem. Once we disabled all energy fluctuations to the thrusters and enabled maximum power to each, we were still able to get the problem to occur, although less frequently. This testing exposed an issue in the way that the shields consume power in giant spikes and resulted in some balance improvements and code hardening.. Our networking team investigated packet size and bandwidth issues. Their efforts also seemed to have improved the player experience and drastically reduced packet size and thusly network traffic however it did not entirely resolve the issue. Concurrently, we introduced some additional changes to the way that servers are logging and storing information. We first discovered that certain non-critical errors were spamming the server logging and causing performance drops which can lead simulation discrepancies. We’ve adjusted setting to the logging system to eliminate spam and we are going to be moving the logging function off the main thread entirely as well so that its impact is lessened. Again, this has seemed to have improved the issues but not eliminate them entirely. It has had the knock on effect of improving server stability and performance. We are generating a build tonight that introduces changes to the way that we synchronize physics calculations. These changes to help better keep all clients and the server in better synch on physics time steps should greatly reduce the incidence of divergence between client, server, and remote client physics simulations and give us better tools to catch and correct for it without warping. Now, as I am writing this we have just uncovered a new potential issue that could contribute to the incidence of poor multiplayer synchronization having to do with improperly handled client disconnections. We’ll have to investigate this over the weekend. The great news is that even when we’ve pursued an avenue that hasn’t directly fixed the rubberbanding, we’ve still ended up improving the game. The work that’s going into 12.5 isn’t just going to fix this specific issue, it’s going to enhance the Arena Commander experience all around. We’ve also worked directly to on some other fixes for 12.5 that should bring more stability to the multiplayer experience and correct issues backers have been seeing. As follows: Joining a Game: Currently when joining a server, a large spike of data is transmitted, which can cause lag and some teleporting. Our network engineers have been working on ways to compress this data which will reduce the size of these connection packets by 40%. You can see the current bandwidth usage in the included data graph. Attempts to join full servers: Servers currently have a bit of a delay marking that a max player count has been hit. This means that a server can be almost full, and any number of players can try and join, with only one of them getting in, and the rest getting kicked back to hangar. With players leaving, making the server almost full again, this issue can consistently occur throughout the match, and coupled with the high bandwidth of a player connection cause some serious lag. Our server engineers are working on a fix for this right now. Kicked back to hangar: Our as of yet implemented VOIP system was connecting to all players, but not disconnecting when a player dropped unexpectedly, causing the majority of kick back to hangar issues on public. A fix for this has been created. Thank you for engaging in the development and testing process with us, your efforts exposing and cataloging these types of issues has been immensely helpful and we wouldn’t be able to find them all without your participation! We fixing these multiplayer issues as quickly as possible and look forward to further expanding the testing of Arena Commander to all Citizens as soon as we can. As you can see there has been an awful lot of work going into improving the multiplayer across the board from the client to the server to the backend infrastructure and we feel that the 12.5 patch will greatly improve the player experience once it is ready. We’ll let you know how we’re doing next week, and will issue patch 12.5 as soon as we’re confident that it offers a broad improvement to the Arena Commander Multiplayer experience. //End Transmission
  18. What’s in a name? Apparently a new record! 670+ Responses on the post along with the various threads on the forums, and over 16,000 people have made their opinions clear on the polls! We want to thank everyone for their various ideas and passionate feedback, and considering my own feelings wearing my “gamer” shoes, I’ve decided to revise the system proposed in Friday’s post. While more than half of the voters (56%) indicated that they would be fine with the ability to pay for a handle early, it seems unfair that people would be at risk of losing their current username in the transition to the new site. The good news is that we’ve worked out a solution that will let everyone keep their display name while keeping the migration to the new site a relatively smooth transition. The Challenge First, a bit of technical background on the current system: On the original setup, the intent of the username field was that it would be used for login purposes only and was meant to be kept private. The intent of the display name field was to act as your front-facing moniker in all community interactions including the forums, chat, and post comments. The intent of both of these fields became inconsistent however when we switched our forum software to vBulletin as it requires that the public usernames be unique. Since the site’s display names were NOT unique, our only choice was to use your login username as the vBulletin username. As a result, many complaints arose regarding identity mismatching as well as the security issues. We take the concerns of the community very seriously, which is why we decided that the new site, and later, the game, would feature a public “handle” that would be completely separate from your login username. The difference between this “handle” on the new site and the old display name is that it needs to be unique since we also need to use it for the numerous social features we plan to implement in the site/game (e.g. your profile URL, friends list, personal messages, chat, and in-game mission tagging). This is precisely why we can’t have handles conflicting with each other. The problem is that display names on the current site are NOT uniquely constrained! There are over 20,000 users who have a display name that conflicts with another user. This poses a serious challenge for user migration into the new system. How do we resolve the many conflicts in trying to port this non-unique data into a new unique field? Who should get to keep a particular name when many others want it too? Our original thought was to have everyone create a new “handle” that conforms to a unique constraint, which lead us into thinking about how to give that process some order, with one option to allow people to pay for an earlier “window” to get a jump on a desired name. Thinking about it some more, there is no reason why we can’t just give people the option to take their current login username as their website / game “handle”. The current login usernames are unique, which means there will be no collisions in the migration process, and also since we have already pretty much compromised the privacy of this field by having it display publicly in vBulletin as the forum name. The Solution But even if we decide to map the current login usernames as the new handle, most people will still desire for their current display names to be used instead, which would still result in a free-for-all type of scenario where some people would still lose out. In order to have everyone retain their current display name and keep the intent of this field consistent in the new site, what we’ve decided to do is introduce an additional non-unique field called the “Community Moniker“ which will act as your main identity in the community on the new site. Your Community Monikerwill be accompanied by your unique handle in order to differentiate any duplicates there may be. What this does is it scales down the importance of your unique handle to mainly determine your profile URL, as well as being something other users can use to add you to their friend list. With this solution: [*]Everyone’s display names are retained despite there being duplicates [*]The intent of the display name is kept consistent on the new site [*]The unique handle acts to differentiate any duplicate monikers there may be And In Game? Once in the game itself, the Community Moniker is replaced by the Character Nameof the character you have chosen to play in your current session. The constant between the website and the game is your unique handle – which in the game is your United Empire of Earth identifier, which serves as a way for people to tell that “The Dread Pirate Roberts” is actually “Christopher Roberts” on the website. In closely studying the community feedback, we believe this is the best solution to move forward with considering the challenges we face on our end. The Transition Process Our proposed solution also eases the transition process, but there are still some challenges at hand. Here is how we plan to tackle user migration: 1. First by default, we will take all current display names and map them to the Community Moniker on the new site. We will also take all current login usernames, and map those to the unique handle on the new site. This leaves one additional field to be specified when logging into the new site: your new Login ID. 2. When first logging onto the new website, you will be asked to specify aNEW Login ID for obvious security reasons resulting from the current site and forums. 3. At this point, you will also have the opportunity to change both yourHandle and Community Moniker. For the handle, we will allow you to check to see if the new handle you are considering is available before you give up your migrated login username as your handle. Your community moniker doesn’t have to be unique and is separate from your character names, but similar in concept. When posting on the new website, your community moniker will be shown with your handle below it. For example, my community moniker would be Christopher Roberts and my handle would be croberts68. To friend / PM or generally interact with me, you would need to click on my handle or use it to look me up. 4. In order ease the inevitable load on the new site, we will spread out access to register for the new site during its testing phase. What we plan to do is send out email invites to the community in daily batches that are based on your original sign-up date and modified by your pledge level as well as your subscriber status. Roughly, the idea is that the first 3,000 people having signed up back in September AND are backers would be the first batch invited to test the new site. The second 3,000 the next day and so on. Having a higher pledge level or being a subscriber will move you up in priority. For example, if you’re a Vice Admiral, you would get bumped up two slots (think of the level as a + modifier). Being a Centurion subscriber is also a +1 modifier, an Imperator a +2 modifier. If you don’t respond to the email until a few days later, then the world moves on. You won’t lose your reserved handle / user ID, but someone may have taken the new user ID and / or handle you wanted. We think this process is the most fair and allows the most flexibility in transitioning to the new site and setting up your eventual game account. Hopefully you will agree, but if not, I’m sure we’ll hear from you! Finally, I would like to address a few concerns that some had about the handle system being “immersion breaking”. As you all know, I’m very big on immersion, and for me, I think it’s very likely in the future that identification would be similar to how we propose. You already have user IDs for various websites / online sites that are exactly like the system we propose – things like Skype, but also more official sites and accounts – your local electric utility… or much more on point – my local Department of Motor Vehicles. None of these insist I enter a series of numbers, and while a US Social Security Number may be all numerical today, who says that your United Empire of Earth ID will be all numbers? Almost all license plates or aircraft tail numbers are a combination of numbers and letters. I think the Skype handle analogy is probably much more likely than a purely numerical one like the US Social Security Number, mainly because it affords more variety and can be easier for an individual to remember. I also think that this handle would be something you could broadcast or hide, or other people could try to ferret out – again much like a Skype handle. I think the nuance of this will afford a lot of possibility and challenges in gameplay which for me is exactly the kind of system I am looking to bring to Star Citizen – I want to blur the boundaries between the Roberts Space Industries website and 2942 in the United Empire of Earth. As a small gesture of my appreciation for helping us through this seemingly “unsexy” process, I’d like to share with you some of our latest and more exciting concept art. This depicts the approach to Prime, the capital city of Terra. Prime will be a major player in the overarching story we hope to tell in Star Citizen. This conceptual ‘look and feel’ piece will be used by the team to create the ground levels you will visit when you land on Terra. Please note that it isn’t quite finished: we just sent notes back to the artist for laying out the buildings differently and adding some additional air traffic around the city… but it was impressive enough that I thought it worthy of sharing with you today:
  19. Attention Citizens! The deadline to sign up for your personalized Citizen Card is just FOUR DAYS away. You need to enter your personal information via the Shipping Information link in your My Account page by this Friday in order to make sure your card is customized with your name and unique ID. If not, you will receive a blank card shipped alongside the game. For more information, check out the FAQ. Metal Upgrades We’ve had several requests in recent days to upgrade the bronze and silver level cards from plastic to metal. We’ve investigated this and it is possible for a limited fee - only if there is enough interest for a full production run and to cover manual labor cost of fulfillment. This would also create a delay in delivery date. As such, we’ve decided to poll the community. If you are expecting a bronze or silver card or you would upgrade for this, please fill in the poll. It does not matter if you have filled in the shipping form already or not. Go here and vote!
  20. http://www.robertsspaceindustries.com/the-pledge/ Heed the Emperors words. Knowledge is power, guard it well
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