Let's post our ideas for Star Citizen. The galaxy's a huge place, full of curiosities and splendor! Please be polite and have fun, while we discuss in detail the additions we want to see in SC. Constructive criticism is always welcome, keep it friendly...
Here are a few ideas I will start us off with:
Planets should have highly varied biomes and environments. These should include ocean planets, desert worlds, jungle moons, cavernous lands, ice planets, swamps, (and a personal favorite) lava worlds! It would be cool to have various atmospheric conditions, such as excessive heat or cold or toxicity, even radioactivity, which could have specified suits designed for protection from those environments (without which players would perish!). Planets should also definitely have varying levels of gravity, some with no gravity at all, and some with intense gravitational pull and pressure, suit required. Gas giants would be really cool, where traversing the upper atmosphere would be OK. There could be floating outposts, etc. Then moving too close to the core could crush most ships... Also would be cool to see asteroid-based outposts, with subterranean areas.
Weather should factor in on at least some planets, but not all. Some planets should remain placid, while others could have weather cycles such as: sandstorms, blizzards, high winds, etc. It would also be interesting to have electrical/radiation storms where again, special shielding would be required to survive. Another interesting addition would be meteor showers, perhaps not damaging to the player in most cases... Of course, the most intense weather should be on planets with lesser city-populations. There should also be 'weather' cycles in space the likes of radiation/electrical storms, where ships' shields would be rendered ineffective. Perhaps here or there, a neutronic wave front (Star Trek, Ahem)! Deadly nebula!
The ships so far are absolutely bad-ass. Can hardly put it into words just how right they look and feel. I do have one minor issue to discuss regarding player immersion: Planetary entry/re-entry seems a bit off... It feels somewhat awkward orienting the ship into a nose-dive and then accelerating toward the planet. While that should still be an option for entry, it seems lacking, if it's the only way. Players should be allowed to let their ships drift slowly downward towards the surface (with a horizontal orientation relative to ground), all the while getting pulled to greater and greater speeds due to gravity. Currently it seems as though there is no gravity, requiring ships to nose-dive and hit the thrusters. The level of gravity should also have effects on how quickly ships take off, and how much fuel is consumed. Also some of the more lightweight craft should be capable of water-landing and flotation, some, not all.
Weapons are also looking pretty nice, and I can't wait to hunt some bounties and pirates with the Scourge Cannon! Turrets on ships are awesome and so are the weapons additions to the ships main systems. Weapons turrets on ships should not be automated. Automation would detract from the challenge of the game, and we never want that! Instead the player should be able to either hire NPCs or other players to man different positions aboard their ship. Also it seems some of the infantry firearms are being slightly 'overdone', so to speak. For example the Devastator shotgun seemingly has way too much level of detail and unnecessary bulk added to it. My suggestion is to lean more on the side of realism. I know it's Sci-Fi. Still I hope devs don't get hung up on making things like fancy-diamond-encrusted-platinum-laser cannons with under-barrel flame throwers..! It would be amazing to see (in rare cases), Orbital Weapons Platforms that could, if accessed, rain supreme firepower down on the planet's surface, destroying small outposts, structures or towns... Of course it would be necessary to make accessing it an extreme challenge.
Accessories are nice. But keep away from over-extravagant weapon design.
Exploration should be the fundamental, key point of the game. While some may argue that it is space battles, I tend to disagree. With so many space craft, vehicles and weapons, the gameplay will quickly become boring and the equipment redundant if there is not a vast amount of exploration. Here are a few thoughts on aspects of exploration: Artifacts, Flora and Fauna. Scattered throughout the verse there could be a plethora of different types of Artifacts to be found, only through rigorous exploring. There should be ancient ruins with old alien technology, perhaps rare weapons. There should be Obelisks and Pyramids and rare trinkets that could be sold or held as trophies. There could be mysterious devices, like the Orbs in Mass Effect (the first game) with strange properties. There could be alien tech that could be found and then saved for use at a far later date. Regarding Flora and Fauna, there could be a huge variety of harvesting options for certain crafting items. There really ought to be many creatures, perhaps mostly neutral/friendly. However some animals, in rare cases could turn out to be hostile, and highly challenging to face. Perhaps giant worms, or insectoids! Another thing could be infected worlds, or derelict ships (think Dead Space, or The Thing) where your only choice is to fight for survival or run for your life. There should also be intact derelicts. We've seen plenty of demolished ones. Some should be intact, abandoned in space, or even on land. Exploration should not, and I can't stress this enough, should not stem solely or mostly from missions! Let the missions be vast and varying in type by all means, a multitude of missions is always welcome. But please don't conflate missions and side quests, with exploration.
-Armor & Apparel-
The armor should of course have good variety. Weight should factor in, which I believe it currently does. Also there should definitely be highly specialized suits for specific tasks. Of course there'll be a space suit for EVA in outer space, but adding other specializations for other armor sets/suits would be great too. There should be a set more suited for enduring intense heat, or cold or radiation. There should also mostly be non-EVA capable sets IMO. Body armor should not be conflated with EVA suits, and they should for the most part be separate, with a few exceptions. It would be cool to see a lot of options other than simple armor for combat and space suits for EVA. One thought would be a stealth-suit with either quiet movement or even invisibility. Mostly I'm hoping it will prove an actual challenge to obtain armors, so that everyone isn't immediately buffed just after they begin playing. Let there be lots of varying, quirky outfits to be found.
NPCs for hire or available as crew members should use a rating system the likes of the one used in Metal Gear Solid V. They could have a certain class of career like 'linguist' or 'gunner' or 'medic', and within that specialty a certain set of ratings. Players should be able to activate distress beacons (false or genuine). If a player's ship is captured, they should be given the option to fight aboard the enemy ship in order to escape (think Han Solo and co, the capture of Millennium Falcon!).
Where are all the AIs? This is the future after all... There should be robots of some kind or another, even perhaps a sentient machine race!
There should also be a minimal amount of spawn/respawn actions. I realize this is counter-intuitive, given there's a massive universe to traverse. But it will add to the replay and return-to-game value; if people can easily spawn their ships and/or fast travel around it will make things overly-easy. It's nice that there's a wait-timer for summoning ships (at least destroyed ones). However, if a ship is not at the station at which you are staying, it should take time to arrive near you, and there should be a fuel cost and fee. Having all your ships easily at your fingertips will take away from the immersion and challenge of the game. It should also be more challenging IMO, to acquire cash. Gaining millions of credits should take a very long time. The quicker people progress in the game, the quicker the MMO will die.
I don't believe there should be a 'difficulty setting' option. The universe in general should prove pretty damn challenging, with areas of extreme and lesser challenges. Some mini-games would also be cool, so long as they remain within the Persistent Universe. Game modes are a bad idea. It's understandable at this point, given there are players currently in the game who want something working. But later on, when development is (mostly) "complete", having different game-modes will detract from the main MMO.
All hoverbikes should remain as hoverbikes, and not be turned into flying-space-hoverbikes! Please remove the flight-function for hoverbikes. Having flight for them is ridiculous and totally misses the point of a hoverbike. While I do agree that they should have some (slight) altitude control and perhaps a jump/boost, they should not be able to simply fly away, especially up into space. A hoverbike is like a speeder from Star Wars, it's not for flight; only for elevated, fast, ground travel! This goes for all ships and vehicles; if they have a specialty let them stick to that specialty, no blurring lines, except perhaps in rare cases.
Letter from the Chairman - Nov. 26th, 2014
Congratulations on helping us get to $63 million in crowd funding! Many backers have picked up limited or wave two ships during the anniversary sale, and I’m truly grateful. We’ve always stressed that you don’t need anything beyond a basic starter ship to be able to earn anything or go anywhere in the Star Citizen universe, but we acknowledge that the support the community gives by investing in bigger or additional ships allows Star Citizen to deliver a deeper, richer experience much sooner than we could otherwise. In addition your continued support is allowing us to make some smart investments in the world wide team and technology that will safeguard the future of the game.
I’ve had a number of backers ask me why I don’t ‘stock pile’ letters and have them ready to go immediately… especially during an event like this. My answer is that I don’t feel right assuming things like that when it comes to backers providing the project with millions of dollars! The letters may take a few extra days now, but they’re always from the heart.
The $62 million stretch goal was the penultimate ‘wave four’ ship design:
Genesis-class Starliner – The Genesis is yet another landmark in Crusader Industries’ proud history of transport designs. This ship utilizes award-winning manufacturing techniques and the highest quality parts to create one thing; a next-generation passenger ship at a price that won’t break your budget. Crusader Industries’ proprietary NeoG engine technology offers some of the most efficient flight for a ship of its size. The Genesis line has been cited in Whitley’s as “one of the most reliable and safe public transport ships on the market.” Genesis Starliners are available in a number of stock configurations, focusing on everything from passenger capacity to freight to overall comfort. The UEE military operates multiple Genesis conversions for support roles, including SWACS and starflight test operations.
I love options like this, because they’re more than just fighting ships. They help us populate a living breathing universe… after all, most people are more likely to encounter 737s than F-22s in their daily lives! For the next goal, a whopping 50% of the vote went to the MISC Reliant to be the third starter ship:
MISC Reliant – With the success of the Freelancer “Built for Life” campaign, MISC has moved to join RSI and Consolidated in the single-seat introductory starship arena. Their silver bullet? A starter ship with more than one seat… and their ace in the hole: Xi’An technology. Where the Aurora is a pure utilitarian platform and the Mustang is a delicate, maneuverable personal transport, the Reliant is MISC’s most Xi’An tech-heavy ship to date. Featuring impossibly sleek lines, two separate crew seats and a vertical fuselage design, the Reliant’s streamlined cockpits glow with some of the finest xenotechnology available!
And since we’ve already hit $63 million, the Reliant is in the bag! It sounds like backers are interested in seeing more alien technology! That’s one thing Star Citizen will deliver on. As I said last time, never say never for the other concepts… I especially liked the Drake ‘space motorcycle.’
We’ve added a lot of ships lately, and so we’re making the $64 million goal a fun one.
Pets – We have repair bots, we have fish… but we haven’t implemented a traditional pet system in Star Citizen yet. At $64 million, that changes. From Jones the Cat in Alien to the Battlestar Galactica’s Daggit, pets have a place onboard starships… and we want to give you that option in Star Citizen. Expect traditional terrestrial options, plus anything exotic we can dream up in the Star Citizen universe! (Those Torshu Grey crabs that keep escaping are just the start.) This stretch goal is in honor of Paddington, Strike Dog of the UEES Paul Steed. In one of our first videos Paddington helped us get to $4 million back in the initial campaign, and sadly passed away recently.
For those looking ahead to $65 million, we have a major feature we’re investigating as an option. Suffice it to say, we’ve heard a lot of your feedback about modular ships and we want to expand our plan for how to do them… so check back next letter for more information!
I can’t say it enough: thank you. I often finding myself sitting down to play Arena Commander and just admiring what we’ve made together. Sure, we could have done this behind closed doors… but it wouldn’t have had the same heart and soul, and it wouldn’t be coming together in the same way. Arena Commander is a microcosm of Star Citizen: your backing made it possible, your feedback is making it work the way we imagined together… and your belief in what we’re doing here (and patience with real software development!) is going to push us to continuously iterate and improve. As we deliver more aspects of Star Citizen, from first person combat, to planetside exploration to a gripping single player narrative story to planets and star systems you can fly between, I think it will dawn on all of us just how groundbreaking and unprecedented the journey that we are all taking together is. Nothing of this scope has ever been attempted, and never in this fashion.
See you in the ‘Verse!
— Chris Roberts