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  1. 6 points
    ichi

    Citizens and Members

    Recently we adopted a new Org rank system for the RSI site. Our current Org rank structure is: ExecutiveDirectorAssistant DirectorOfficerMember - Eligible to join divisionsCitizen - new to Org We recently promoted all existing citizens (over 1200 people) of the Org to Member. Congratulations! All new players who join Tactical Advance from this point forward will start at the Citizen rank. They'll be asked to review the Basic Training Handbook and certify that they are familiar with the content. Once they do that they're eligible to become a member and join a division. Please take the time to review the Basic Training Handbook. If you're familiar with playing Star Citizen you'll probably find a lot of content to be pretty basic, but ... everyone should read the first section, Introduction to Tactical Advance as well as the Introduction to Communication thanks to Roy, Bog, Groth, Snipd, Solar, Tac, and many others who helped develop this handbook. The next step will be to begin to develop advanced training and certifications for the divisions. if you have questions, comments, or suggestions for improvement, or if you'd like to help out as a part of the Academy, send me a PM or catch me on TS.
  2. 5 points
    SCCenter

    Route Planner

    Hello! I'm the author of the planner. I hope it will be used even after the MG.SKYLINE launches (navigation mobiglas ingame app), the plan is to have more features then the CIG apps, and already has a few (route preferences, custom template for strategic planning, custom tags for prospecting and Desktop apps).
  3. 5 points
    GrumpyCat

    Lets address the elephant in the room

    TA, Your organization is NOT falling apart. There is a re-balancing going on due to some longstanding issues created by people with deep-seated machinations of power. If you have been on the forums over the last couple weeks, you will have noticed we have parted ways with a rapid fire group of people. These individuals while amazing assets to the organization, in the end failed to understand one very simple concept, its not about you its about the org. I'd like to state that I was a fan of every one of the players who recently left, but I am completely disappointed for the REASONS they left. The underlining issue with every single one of these departures is power, and their idea that they should be in control of more of it. So lets go over that shall we? While your dedication to the organization SHOULD be recognized and appreciated, we should not be promoting and placing people in key positions of power because they had more time to create a shiny thing. Everyone here appreciates the hard work that these individuals put in, sacrificing their time and energy in making this organization better. That does not mean however that they are great leadership material. The leadership we have in place at this very moment are there because they have proven time and time again to hold the ability to BE leaders. This is not to say no one will ever be given more responsibility down the road, but we are so far off from the start of the game that its impossible to see who will best fit those roles. The players that left, did so because they wanted to play a different type of game, a politics game. They wanted to scheme and maneuver their way to the top, and so they left for somewhere they felt they could do just that. I don't fault them for that, its up to them to decide whats important to them and how they want to spend their time before the launch. On that however I have to say TA does not need those sort of members. Whats even more unfortunate is that many of them showed qualities and dedication that could have been useful in leadership roles down the line, but were unwilling to see this org to game launch. We are all here because we believe in the vision that is TA that we WILL bring to fruition come game launch. A vision of an organization who's steadfast determination and unity will create one of the greatest orgs this game will see. Now I do not speak for anyone else but myself, but I can tell you that I have been to MANY different organizations, and I trust the people in charge as well as the people under them here to bring about that vision. I hope you do as well. -Grumpycat
  4. 5 points
    Competition and Cooperation in Star Citizen I think that Star Citizen will be very competitive. In gaming the concept of competition is frequently discussed in terms of PvP. In a general MMO sense, PvP can mean anything from arena-style combat with defined victory conditions to open world ganking depending on who you're talking with. Some purists bristle when the term PvP is applied to resource competition, piracy, and griefing, but that doesn't change several important aspects of gaming competition. Its not necessary to agree to PvP in order to find oneself in the middle of a fight (think piracy or ganking), and there does not need to be any tangible reward for doing it, because when attacked, even if for no reason, you're engaged in PvP. In SC I think there will be competition for resources, space, recruits, almost anything that people want to fight over. And because of the complexity of the 'verse and stated design of 90% NPC we will be competing against the game – trying to explore, earn credits, and acquire loots – and against other players. In some cases I expect we might not be sure if we're engaged in PvP or PvE. I think we won't be able to avoid competition/conflict/challenges. Group Dynamics and Structure In small groups, a family for example, the group culture and norms have been developed over time and may not ever be formalized, or even spoken. Everyone sort of knows what to expect from each other, and there's likely to be a lot of overlap in expectations and beliefs. As small groups transition into tribes there's still a lot of unwritten social rules and a pecking order, but we also start to see formalized hierarchy, titles and badges that confer authority and responsibility. Tribes still have a fairly common set of beliefs and goals, but there is competition as well as cooperation. When we get to large group size, its common to come into contact with folks who are strangers, despite being members of the same group. Those common understandings, goals, and beliefs might not be so common. At any size, the success of groups depends on how the individual's pursuit of their self interest promotes or enables the success of the group as a whole. The Nature of Organizations Game organizations have a set of characteristics that are important to understand. Its a game, its a volunteer system, and the members are not physically together. A worldwide org has an additional aspect, a potentially wide range of background and cultures and values and perspectives. Because its a game, some folks struggle to take the hard work of creating and running an org seriously. Gaming might not be a high priority, or someone may not understand what goes on behind the scenes of a functional org, there's a variety of reasons not to take this too serious. Because its a volunteer system, Org leaders have to replace the money carrot with other types of rewards. Its a lot harder to run a volunteer operation than one where there's a paycheck involved. It requires finding self-motivated people of like mind and keeping them happy while they do heavy lifting. Burnout is a huge factor because everyone is already busy living a life, and who wouldn't want to play more and manage less. Because we're not physically co-located, communication is harder. Can't see the grin on Bob's face when he cracks a joke, so its harder to tell if he was trying to be funny or just poking someone for reals. In a village setting I may not know Bob or spend time with him, but I can see he keeps his house and family taken care of and that he always helps out others. In an Org, online that kind of stuff can be missed. And of course, everyone has their own backgrounds and opinions and perspective, which can lead to misunderstanding or even real conflict due to a clash of culture. As groups grow above a certain size, it becomes important to set rules and guidelines, explicit norms for folks to try to adhere to. Since each member of the group might interact with strangers at any time, its important for there to be a expressed code of behavior. In modern corporate/government culture, that is done through policy. Small groups have policies too, they just don't write them down, everyone just knows. Solo v Group Play I believe that it will be not only possible, but very enjoyable, to play this game solo or in small groups. There will be players who log on for an hour or two and bop around and have a blast. But there will be a lot of content, maybe the best content, that will require larger groups. So while someone might have a great time running loads through safe space with nothing but an NPC waifu by their side, larger groups will be able to experience the game in ways that will be difficult for solos and small groups. The largest groups will be able to do the most, full on fleet fights or invasions, operating stations, claiming areas (maybe?) Fun and Success Its a game right? This should be fun. Now there's a wide range of what folks think fun is. My favorite bit about this is that “its only work if you'd rather be doing something else”, so maybe “fun is when you don't want to stop”. But for most of us, having fun entails being successful. In SC that means successfully completing missions, earning credits, winning fights, defeating pirates, etc. Lumpy My favorite analogy for Orgs are asteroid fields. Moving through space the asteroids attract other objects and the begin to coalesce. Sometimes asteroids crash into other during this process! (that's the conflict and drama part) After a while some more objects are drawn in, and some drift away. Over time the asteroid field changes members, size, and shape. (Yes, I just compared us all to lumps of space rock) In our case the first asteroid is Tac himself, he attracted other bodies and in turn grew the Org to over a 1000 members with a functional support system. Except one huge difference between an Org and a clump of asteroids is that we have the ability to be self-organizing. The nature of the individual asteroids and the rules (guidelines? Culture?) go a long way in defining the character of the Org. So how our little asteroid field will look over time will be influenced by our individual actions and behaviors, our group culture and policies, and the state of the game. Currently, development has been taking a little while, so a lot of our space rock friends are just floating around on the edge of field, ready to return when the s**t finally gets real. But ... Soon™! Core Principles Inform Policy This Orgs stated core principles are pretty straightforward. If we wish to have fun, continue to build a community (many many props to the folks who's time and effort has brought us to where we are), and be successful in-game (and in the meta-games) then there has to be a structure, a set of rules/guidelines/policies, and some support systems to make that happen. Those systems need to account for the realities mentioned above (alpha game, volunteer, etc) and follow some basic principles: There needs to be leaders, individuals with titles who have the responsibility to make progress and the authority to make it happen. Those individuals have to have the Orgs interest at heart and not their own benefit. “Supreme power derives from a mandate from the masses ...”There needs to be a system of delegation and control to spread the workload, avoid burnout, get broader group participation, and ensure that whatever we try to do is done properly and efficiently.There needs to be a system of recruitment, retention, and internal coordination and feedback.There has to be policies, I prefer to think of them as 'expectations' that the Org has of the members (for example, don't unnecessarily aggravate one of our allied Orgs).There has to be working systems in place to do the day-to-day work, and people to power those processes. These include recruitment/induction, member services, internal security, support systems (websites, TS), and information sharing (about the game and the Org).Those systems have to be the minimum necessary to accomplish our goals, with an all-volunteer army and for the reasons discussed above, everything that we create has to be managed and maintained. If we make a rule, we better be willing and able to hold people accountable to it. If we create a system, it has to be workable under the conditions we face. Much of this is in place, and some more work ins underway, and some stuff needs to wait for the game to catch up. TL:DR we'll be competing, in order to be successful we'll need some structure and some systems in place; those systems need to be designed around the realities of gaming life, and keep as simple, friendly, and acceptable as possible while still be effective. Just some thoughts after reading through the forums and chatting on TS. I'm impressed with the state of TA, a very active and healthy Org for a game that's in alpha. I'm interested in hearing from others about the whole bit, and hope that no one takes umbrage at my ideas. Although I've only been here a short while, what I've seen so far has prompted me to put forth some ideas, hopefully get a good response that will help me learn and understand, and maybe give others some food for thought. Or shoot me with missiles, I can handle it!
  5. 5 points
    I'll be breif, blunt & concise. I don't care that people left. I care about the people who left. They were some great people. Friends, and people I held in high regard. With due respect, the reason I say I don't care about this, Is because what I do care about in it's stead is the damage control on filling holes left in the org with suitable candidates and seeing if we can continue on full steam, which we can. Which we will. I care about finding individuals capable of picking up where they left off, and bringing new ideas into the org, and making this place what it should be. A community, and a pleasant one at that. People leaving the org will -Never- be an issue so long as we know their reasoning, and can use that as a learning experience to fix what they found fault with so there is no repeat dissatisfaction with a particular process or thing. In doing so, following a path of self improvement and making this community more pleasant and fun an atmosphere as we want it to be. Just keep in mind this is an experience for us all. And i'll finish with simply this: Perhaps this video will be relevant, perhaps not. But I think it's something we can take from as an org. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBMkrXG8KMY Thats my two cents.
  6. 4 points
    ichi

    Here we are, and its good

    According to SCStats we are the ninth largest Org (by actual member) in Star Citizen. Top Orgs by Actual Members RankSpectrum IDNameMembersAffiliatesTotalAMMAS1TESTTest Squadron - Best Squardon!68766440133164362XPLORXplor! - One small step for a man5127816713294-30403ADIAtlas Defense Industries4329108443742214IMPERIUMImperium410813412140955CORPThe Corporation364151318772-14906UOLTTLTT Conglomerate2362629299117337KRTDas Kartell22220222222228DRACULOrder Of The Dragon13532135513519TADVANCETactical Advance1291131304127810LAMPL.A.M.P.12503231573927 We are the sixth largest by AMMAS (AMMAS stands for Actual Members Minus Affiliates Score). The AMMAS rank is really the important one, IMO, because our members are going to be here, not spread over three or four other Orgs, because we're Exclusive Top Orgs by AMMAS RankSpectrum IDNameMembersAffiliatesTotalAMMAS1ADIAtlas Defense Industries4329108443742212IMPERIUMImperium410813412140953KRTDas Kartell22220222222224UOLTTLTT Conglomerate2362629299117335DRACULOrder Of The Dragon13532135513516TADVANCETactical Advance129113130412787MONGOOSEMongoose Nest Starfleet119326121911678TBSIBlack Star Initiative11586116411529LAMPL.A.M.P.1250323157392710SIBYLLASibylla89214906878 Think about it, we are the sixth largest Org in an game that, while still in alpha, has maybe a million backers. When SQ42 drops, I expect interest in SC to continue to grow, along with the number of citizens. With each new patch there will be more hype and more people joining. Over time, some of the Orgs on that list will grow, others will shrink, some will blow up. We're building an Org that will last, one that people will want to join, a fun, successful, strong Org. Yeah, its corny I know, a fun friendly guild with our own tabard! I get it. I also know that we have the potential to be the best Org in the game, but that's not going to happen automatically, not without a little effort. The Officers have been working during the last few months to update our systems and our policies. We're in a very good position to be able to handle the numbers of people we think we'll have. We still have some work to do, and if you're interested in helping out let us know. You're going to see a change in the activity level around here very soon. Drop in to TS, post on the forums or Spectrum, attend the meetings every other Saturday, hop on and play a game. The lack of content the last few months has more than a few members taking a break, and maybe after we've played 3.0 for a month or two activity will drop off, we don't know. But it might be time to dust off that joystick and free up some hard drive space, schedule a little play time.
  7. 4 points
    ichi

    Happy boy

    look what arrived in the mail today, my new humongous SC mouse pad forgiveness please for the low light shot
  8. 4 points
    https://www.humblebundle.com/store/rising-storm-game-of-the-year-edition?hmb_campaign=spring_sale_2017&hmb_source=bundle_page&hmb_medium=banner_cross RISING STORM GAME OF THE YEAR EDITION
  9. 4 points
    AMD Launches Ryzen: 52% More IPC, Eight Cores for Under $330, Pre-order Today, On Sale March 2nd The biggest x86 launch for AMD in five years is today: Ryzen is here. As always before a major launch, AMD gives a ‘Tech Day’ for relevant press and analysts, and through this event AMD’s CEO, Dr. Lisa Su lifted the lid on one of the most anticipated products in the semiconductor industry. AMD knows how to control the level of enthusiasm for its fans, and today is the end result, with processors going on pre-order from major retailers today at 1pm EST, ready for a general hard launch on March 2nd. All the information today is from AMD, and AMD’s internal testing, and pre-orders also start from today for users ready to put down their money for a launch day part. Reviews of the CPUs, as well as when the CPUs will ship to customers, is on March 2nd. This also happens to be right in the middle of two annual shows, Game Developer Conference (GDC) and Mobile World Congress (MWC), making the time between receiving pre-launch samples and being able to provide independent verification of AMD’s performance claims relatively frantic. We’ll do our best! The Ryzen FamilyWith a new processor launch, naming the parts and positioning them within the market is critical. So with Ryzen, the processor stack will be split into three based on performance and price: Ryzen 7 at the high end, Ryzen 5 in the middle, and Ryzen 3 for more price-conscious consumers. Both Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 3 are set to be launched later, and Ryzen 7 is the first portion of the family to be released. Ryzen 7 will have three CPUs to start, all having eight cores and supporting simultaneous multi-threading: Ryzen 7 1800X will be the high-end part, featuring a base clock of 3.6 GHz and a turbo of 4.0 GHz, within a TDP of 95W, and for $499. Next to this is Ryzen 7 1700X, launching at $399, with a base/turbo of 3.4/3.8 GHz. The final part for the launch is the Ryzen 7 1700, providing eight cores and sixteen threads for $329 at 3.0/3.7 GHz frequencies. Processors will initially be available for pre-order from 185 retailers and OEMs worldwide, either as individual parts or pre-built systems. What, not 40% IPC? 52% IPC??Enthusiasts and analysts use the term IPC, or ‘Instructions Per Clock’, as a measure of how much the underlying microarchitecture improves from generation to generation. Two decades ago, a good design on a smaller node could net a healthy double-digit gain, whereas in recent years 5-10% gain has become the norm. When AMD initially announced that the new Zen microarchitecture they were developing was aiming for a 40% IPC gain, despite the low IPC they were starting from, users remained skeptical. AMD rehired Jim Keller to work alongside long-term AMD architect Mike Clark and produce a team with several goals in mind: high-performance x86, simultaneous multithreading, and a product to be relevant in the computing, PC, server and mobile space again. So despite this, 40% IPC always seemed a somewhat lofty goal, because Bulldozer was so underwhelming, and despite this low starting point. For the Ryzen launch today, AMD is stating that the final result of that goal is a 52% gain in IPC. This is something we will need to test in due course! The Ryzen Silicon, and the FutureAMD pointed out that the new 8-core silicon design runs 4.8 billion transistors and features 200m of wiring. Through previous announcements we’ve examined parts of the microarchitecture including cache sizes, threading, front-end/back-end design, and so on. AMD Zen Microarchiture Part 2: Extracting Instruction-Level Parallelism AMD Gives More Zen Details: Ryzen, 3.4 GHz+, NVMe, Neural Net Prediction, & 25 MHz Boost Steps AMD’s CEO was keen to point out that this is a from-scratch design for AMD, using the knowledge gained from features developed for previous products but ultimately under the hood it looks like ‘a typical x86 high-performance core’, with AMD-specific features and tweaks. We were told that AMD’s roadmap extends into the multi-year range, so while the focus for 2017 will be on this family of products, back at HQ the next two generations are in various stages of development. BENCHMARKS PLEASESo despite the 82+ motherboards going to be available, 19 initial PC system builders moving into 200+ through the first half of 2017, the big question on everyone’s lips is how exactly does it perform? Well, AMD gave us the following numbers: AMD's benchmarks showed that the top Ryzen 7 1800X, compared to the 8-core Intel Core i7-6900K, both at out-of-the-box frequencies, gives an identical score on the single threaded test and a +9% in the multi-threaded test. AMD put this down to the way their multi-threading works over the Intel design. Also, the fact that the 1800X is half of the price of the i7-6900K. In a similar vein, again with the Cinebench 15 multi-threaded test, the Ryzen 7 1700X scores over and above the Core i7-6800K (its price competition) and higher than the Core i7-6900K which costs 2.5 times as much. We’ll tell you what our benchmarks say, with official retail processors. But you will have to wait until March 2nd. Sorry. The Ryzen Revolution – i7 6900K Class Performance For 1/3rd The Price & Less Than Half The PowerAs if these figures aren’t mind boggling enough, the mainstream Ryzen 1700 is listed at $320. Which comes in at one fourth the cost of its Intel rival, which regularly retails for over $1100. To put the enormity of this into perspective, you would practically be able build an entire high-end gaming machine around the R 1700 for the same money that would cost you just to get an i7 6900K chip on its own. You'll notice that Ryzen chips with the -X suffix are rated at 95W whilst their equivalents without the X at the end are simply more energy efficient variants with a lower 65W TDP. The -X stands for Extended Frequency Range, enabling the user to reach an even higher boost, provided there is sufficient cooling. However, all Ryzen CPUs without exception feature fully unlocked frequency multipliers. *Rest of the Ryzen Family not confirmed. CPUCores/ThreadsL3TDPBaseTurboXFROverclocking UnlockedPriceAMD Ryzen 7 1800X8/1616MB95W3.6GHz4.0GHz4.1GHzYes$499AMD Ryzen 7 1700X8/1616MB95W3.4GHz3.8GHz3.9GHzYes$399AMD Ryzen 7 17008/1616MB65W3.0GHz3.7GHzN/AYes$329AMD Ryzen 5 1600X6/1216MB95W3.6GHz4.0GHz4.1GHzYes$259AMD Ryzen 5 16006/1216MB65W3.2GHz3.6GHzN/AYes$219AMD Ryzen 5 1500X4/88MB65W3.5GHz3.7GHz3.9GHzYes$189AMD Ryzen 5 14004/88MB65W3.2GHz3.4GHzN/AYes$169AMD Ryzen 3 1300X4/48MB65W3.4GHz3.8GHz3.8GHz+Yes$139AMD Ryzen 3 12004/48MB65W3.2GHz3.5GHzN/AYes$119 More Benchmarks located at: http://wccftech.com/amd-ryzen-1600x-cinebench-r15-performance-confirmed/ Sources: http://www.anandtech.com/show/11143/amd-launch-ryzen-52-more-ipc-eight-cores-for-under-330-preorder-today-on-sale-march-2nd http://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/amd-ryzen-pricing/ http://wccftech.com/amd-ryzen-7-1800x-8-core-benchmarks/
  10. 4 points
    PC Gaming is an emotive subject, whether it’s fanboy wars between AMD, Intel and NVIDIA, what brand of accessories/components you prefer, what games/genres you like best. Perhaps one of the more emotive subjects in recent years for the gaming community has been that of Star Citizen. Pitched in late 2012 as a PC exclusive and a return to the long underserved space-sim genre with no publisher oversight, it’s fair to say that the crowdfunding campaign captured the imaginations of a large number of gamers with over 1.7m unique accounts (note, this does not necessarily equal backers of the game since people can have more than one account if they wish) and over $142.7m raised in the last 4 and a bit years. In that time, scope has grown massively and as the funding dollars have rolled in, the game has spawned a huge following with both supporters and some critics. Star Citizen is also an emotive subject for me as it’s what brought me back to PC gaming in 2012 after my decade and a half in the console hinterlands of occasional and casual gaming at most. So yes, full disclosure, I am a backer of Star Citizen. I loved playing Chris Roberts’ Wing Commander games as a kid and over the last 20 odd years I’ve repeatedly AltaVista’d, AskJeeves’d, Yahoo’d and of course Googled semi-regularly for “new wing commander” until in late 2012 the search returned the Star Citizen Kickstarter. I watched the video introduction and immediately backed. Since then, following the game has been a wild ride. Seeing a big game studio business be built and the game I’ve been waiting for a long time coming together piece by piece has been great fun. There have also of course been those who think the game is impossible to finish, scope has grown too much and the entire thing is a scam. Personally, I think there are easier ways to go about running a scam, development hasn’t been the fastest but at the same time when you consider that the team has been putting out regular patch updates and increasing functionality all the time, as well as trying to effectively build a studio from scratch, I don’t begrudge the pace of development. That much being said, the last year or so feels like the company as a whole has largely been up and running. Development continues, however there is some risk that the community fades away after years of waiting. CIG does a good job of putting out regular update posts and video shows to keep the community engaged and by the visible metrics (money raised annually, new backer accounts annually), there is a steady stream of new backers and money coming into the game, so the risk would appear to be small. I recently had the opportunity to go on a studio tour to Star Citizen’s largest development studio (a little over 200 staff) in Manchester, UK and also got some time to sit down with Erin Roberts (Chris Roberts’ brother) who runs Foundry 42 (the European development arm of Cloud Imperium Games) and put some questions to him. The tour itself and some of the conversation topics were covered by a non-disclosure agreement so there is a reasonable amount I saw and learnt which I can’t write about (yet). But the interview with Erin was still an interesting one and there is a reasonable amount I can say. The InterviewWccftech: Hi Erin, thanks for taking the time to chat to us. I wanted to start with something that is perhaps slightly peripheral to the game itself and discuss Brexit. Obviously we had a couple of emails last year about the topic in advance of the vote and there was mention of a possible risk to the UK videogame tax breaks. Given that we now know the outcome and the UK will be leaving the EU, is there any immediate impact to you guys? Erin Roberts: As a company, we’d probably rather that the UK didn’t exit the European Union as a lot of our staff are from all over the EU, we’ve got some great people here and there is uncertainty as well as potentially making it harder for us to hire the people we want. That much said, in terms of the immediate impact to the company, it’s actually been somewhat surprisingly positive because of the change in exchange rates and the fact that we as a company do the majority of our development in the UK, but of course the majority of our revenue is in US dollars, it actually meant that given the Sterling crash, UK development has effectively become cheaper. Additional to that is the tax credits situation from the UK government, that law is likely to change due to the way it was implemented as a European-wide law, but right now at least the UK government is promising that will stay intact. So short to medium term looks ok, obviously we have a 2 year period while the UK negotiates its exit from the EU, longer term is of course still unpredictable until we get the detail on how the exit works. Close to perhaps 25% of our staff are from the EU and given that we support a global community, the language skills they come with are also very beneficial to us. W: The big question is obviously 3.0. There were a lot of appetising bullet points on slides discussed about 3.0 last year at GamesCom and it feels like 3.0 is in many ways the next big thing with the gaming really starting to come together in terms of new gameplay mechanics and a significantly larger number of interest points in the persistent universe. What is the situation there? ER: We’re working hard on 3.0 right now and you’ve hopefully seen some great stuff we’re putting into it on the tour. We’re still at the start of the year and there is a lot of scheduling work going on so I’m obviously not giving dates today and of course we want to give the juicy information to the community first, but we’re looking at putting out perhaps 2 or 3 big releases this year which significantly push the amount of locations, gameplay mechanics and content that the players will be able to experience and give feedback on. W: A while ago, Tony Zurovec put out some design posts regarding careers and envisaged gameplay mechanics. They were all quite high level at the time because obviously no systems had been built out and they were more conceptual Obviously as we approach more actual professions being available to backers over the course of the year, presumably there needs to be quite a bit more detail given to the community in terms of how are we going to be doing these things and what are the mechanics involved, is that something that’s coming soon? ER: Definitely, there are a lot of systems being put into place which will basically support everything the player will do. I can’t remember the name we have for it internally right now but there is a whole system for players etc communicating while in space with regards to jobs. So let’s say you want to send out a distress call. You can send that to just your friends or anybody, some people may come and help you, some may try and kill you, who knows. That entire system is basically the same system in which if you’re out in your ship and you run out of fuel, you’d put out a tender to say “Hey, I’m at this location, please bring me fuel and I’ll pay you X”. This is all the system we’re building out now and it’s part of the whole new mission framework system. Let’s say you’re quantum travelling and you get interdicted by pirates and you communicate for help, it could be players or NPC’s and it’s basically a jobbing system. The overall system is the same basic one whether it’s for distress, asking people to do something, asking someone to join you and so forth. That system effectively gives a huge capacity for players to get together and do stuff in game. We need that system along with interdiction of course if you want to do cargo runs. There is going to be the “buy 500 tons of this” and we’ll have to balance that and pricing and I’m sure it will be difficult to balance, but if you can just buy stuff, fly somewhere and then get your money, well there’s no risk to that and that’s no fun, there should be a well-balanced risk/reward. When we put in mining, same thing, you’re mining away and then get attacked, distress or need someone to come and haul stuff you’ve left nearby away etc and you’ll pay them X. These are all jobbing type systems and of course there will be mechanics for mining and everything else, but these systems are much simpler to do than all the core tech stuff we’ve been working on like planets, making the game 64 bit etc. The main things we’ve got left now, the planetary stuff is there although we’re continuing to refine it, the AI in terms of both the subsumption walkabout AI as well as the combat AI, although they work it’s not to the level that we’re happy with yet and also then the object container stuff. Object containers, all they do is say “something is here” and then as you get closer to them, they say “OK, you’re getting closer, now I need to load” and it could be layers like just external stuff you can see initially and then internal stuff. Right now what we’re working on is the intelligence for when things stream in which is what we need for the next big release. Once we have that, core tech is basically done and then it’s about layering on a bunch of very cool gameplay. So with the next big release a lot of the underlying game is there and then we can look at transferring people between servers so we can have hundreds of thousands of people maybe in one instance, but that doesn’t come online until later. Planets are great but we need to generate the content there for the players to consume, like the homestead mission you saw, somebody perhaps takes a rescue mission to a planet and maybe it’s a trap and you’re ambushed, or maybe another time it’s just a simple rescue mission, or we have ground vehicle racing on planets etc. We also don’t want to have you coming to planet where you just use your ship and shoot everything easily, the balance should make it so that you have to physically land your ship and come out on the ground whether there are air defences or something else to force you down. W: One of the big issues that players talk about are PU framerates. There’s been a lot of talk about network code refactoring, regional servers coming online with 2.6.1, number of player limitations etc, what’s happening here? ER: Regional servers doesn’t tie into this so much and of course is about lag. If you look at Star Marine for example, frame rate is fine and there is no reason why we will not have the PU to that kind of frame rate. The reason is because in Star Marine, we only load in what we need. In the PU there are several things going on. Some of the mission givers are obviously run by AI and that AI isn’t optimised at all and a lot of what we’re working through now is making stuff a lot faster in the AI. Secondly, we’re basically loading a huge amount into memory so there’s no real streaming in. Lumberyard will stream textures but the reason we have these object containers, right now you can turn the object containers on or off, but when you’re in the PU, you can be over here and your friend can be 100,000 miles away and some stuff which happens at one location is affecting the frame rate at the other. There is some extremely basic culling right now but we can do more in this space. We’re not massively render bound right now, the PU is much more CPU bound and we have all these draw calls we’re still drawing even though we don’t need to. The next big release improves things significantly because of the new object containers which turn stuff on and off, not just turn it off but everything else which is going on in there so people should see a dramatic improvement in performance, not necessarily the finished article, there are still other things to come but this should make things a lot better. W: Quite a while ago, we were shown very early stage art for the Pegasus Escort Carrier. Since then we’ve not heard much about it, is this still being worked on? ER: It will still be a ship we use but it will appear in the 2nd instalment of Squadron 42. In the first part of the trilogy you’ll still see some really good ones, the Idris obviously, as well as the Bengal and Javelin, plus one or two others we haven’t really talked about yet. W: Economy/AI then, a concern for the community is that players want to feel like they’re progressing and that the game is a challenge, but don’t necessarily want to have to play for a year to load torpedoes on their Polaris or something. How do you combat inflation, giving players a sense of progression, gold farmers, mission giving etc so that one month after the game launches, not everyone has every single ship under the sun and there is a sense of if I pull the trigger on this there is a real cost to me in doing so? ER: It’s really about the way the game is intended. There will be a lot of balance iterations on the economy side but if you really want one of the bigger ships, you’re kind of going to need a team of people. Like on the Enterprise, you’ve got Kirk and Spock etc. Running some of the larger ships will cost significant resources and you’ll need people to contribute to that. Missiles will of course also cost. Right now, if your ship blows up, so what, in the future though it will carry real consequences. People are really going to need to work together to figure this stuff out and fund it. W: So this touches on something that gets asked a lot in terms of multi-crew mechanics. Pilots are obviously taken care of, same with gunners, both are quite interesting jobs. Everyone else, the concern is that they’re basically going to be playing a bunch of whack-a-mole minigames and then the rest of the time just sitting around doing not a lot. How do you keep things interesting? ER: So let’s say you’re on an Idris, being the engineer I think is probably the most interesting job and it’s their job to balance the entire ship and keep everything running. It’s like Scotty in Star Trek. When the ship is taking damage and we have the whole power node system (W: I saw this earlier on the tour, very cool), power or systems go down and people have to run around the ship and go to locations to reroute power etc. Sure there may be some guys who are marines and waiting to be boarded but the number of different things there are to control. I suspect there are going to be some people that when we first release the Idris are going to be spending weeks running training scenarios about what happens if this happens and should we put more power to the main railgun but then maybe that takes the shields down for 30 seconds, ok so what can we do about that etc. Some people will of course say “screw this, just give me a gun and I’ll be a marine” but there are going to be a lot of interesting things to do to keep players involved. W: There have been a lot of questions about APIs and what kind of tools the community will be able to create that hook into the game. Looking at the moment we have the ARK StarMap but if you want to create anything out of that, it’s obviously a manual combing through it process. Similarly, if my Org has say one member in system 1 and another member in system 2, maybe I’d like to have some kind of commodity ticker which tells me the prices of goods there etc. ER: There are obviously APIs and these kinds of scenarios are definitely the kind of thing we want the community to be able to do. In terms of priorities, it’s obviously not the highest at the moment so I don’t think we’ll look at exposing any of this in the next year or so. This is all great stuff but at the same time it’s the biggest game I’ve ever tried to build in my life. It’s more like 4 or 5 games in one we’re building here in terms of the technology, the company, lots of moving parts etc. For me personally it feels like the last year maybe is when we’ve actually bedded down and the maturity of the team is there that we can really get better at predicting what we’re producing etc as we get rid of the big technical hurdles. Our ship pipeline is awesome. I can tell you right now with a good degree of accuracy, how long a ship will take us to do. 2 years ago we were still trying to define the style guides and what they were and the brands etc. Now we can say “it’s a small ship aimed at doing xyz, this will take 12 weeks, 16 weeks etc” and be reasonably confident in it. W: So are you guys working in an agile/scrum based workflow? Earlier you mentioned about huge planning exercises for the year etc? ER: We do work in 2 week sprints and have a reasonable forecast for stuff that is 1, 2 or 3 months out. The planning is more around what are the main goals and prioritisations, of course stuff which blocks may mean reprioritisation at given points in time. W: So at some point, when/who says (and we all really love Chris obviously) to Chris “please stop giving dates to the community!”? ER: To be fair, Chris isn’t really giving hard deadlines, he says we’d like to do XYZ and we would, we’d all love to give everything as soon as we can, but this is something that gets brought up repeatedly and this was why at the end of last year we really started opening up with our production schedule to the community. I’ve done this all my life though and it’s often, you know developers saying “oh yeah, we can do that!”, it’s not Chris making up dates, people want to give their best but then a roadblock appears, some contingent work isn’t finished in time or sometimes priorities change. It’s like last year when we delayed Star Marine and everyone reported that we’d killed it (W: We didn’t! In fact we reported it was still coming!) but we needed to reprioritise for other things. So now sure, now there are often frank conversations saying “OK, I know you think you can get X out in 2 days, but what happens if all of a sudden you need to fix bugs for a day or some blocker happens or how sure are you that the other team delivers you what you need when you need it?” etc. As we mature as a company, things continue to improve. When I was doing the Lego games for 10 years, it was so easy. There was no tech change. It was literally, ok this time we’re going to do Lego Batman, so reskin it all and put in 2 or 3 new gameplay features, bang, we could knock those out every 4 to 6 months. This is an order of magnitude more complex. W: Thanks very much for your time Erin, it’s been great to see the studio and meet you. Wrapping Up: Where Next for Star Citizen?The studio tour itself was interesting but unfortunately I can’t really report on any of the detail of it yet since it was covered by NDA. What I would say is that there is a lot of very cool stuff coming in the pipeline, so whether you’re looking forward to capital ships, alien ships, or human ships, new FPS modes, PU improvements or new gameplay mechanics, there really is something for everyone. What I would comment on is the sense of pride that is evident at Foundry 42 and which its people take in showing you what they’re working on. The level of detail in what is being developed is amazing, certainly beyond any game I’ve ever seen and the people there are truly passionate and solving problems every day. Personally, I do feel that CIG have been slightly naïve in some of the ways they have done things over the last year. It sounded originally like there would be less events than they have traditionally done and I think it made sense, particularly when GamesCom went from originally being a stand with pop-up social events to a full blown presentation event, that left little meat to be released at the end of the year and some subsequent criticism to the end of year stream. When you look at the project in its early stages, there were lots of disparate strands to demo and release (hangar module, dogfighting module, PU, FPS module, PU persistence etc) but as the last major “module” to be released (Star Marine, the FPS mode) was released last year, there really aren’t the kinds of levels of work being produced which allow for such huge event reveals anymore. There is iterative work taking place, primarily in the PU and of course there is also Squadron 42 (the standalone single player campaign) to come, but Squadron 42 has limited reveal potential without giving spoilers to what is primarily a storyline driven campaign. Am I still a believer in Star Citizen? Absolutely. The game still has problems to overcome but given what has been achieved thus far, there is little doubt that they can be resolved assuming funding doesn’t dry up. The company feels like it’s in the right place to be able to do what it needs to do and deliver the final push towards launch (I suspect sometime in the next 18-24 months). It does feel like perhaps there could be better understanding of some of the principles of agile/scrum based development and forecasting at some levels but I remind myself that in my 18 years working in financial services, I’ve seen a lot of game developers/project managers etc make the jump to finance but never seen the reverse be done. When those people come, on a fairly regular basis, significant training is needed on “professional” development principles. Spending a fortune on agile training is likely not a high priority in the game industry (even where it occurs in the financial services sector, a lot of people still don’t “get” it) and as long as the developers continue to put out good content, overcome their blockers and deliver as a backer, I’m happy. It’s been an interesting glimpse into the development of one of the big games currently in development. As ever, I’ll be following the coming stages with great interest. http://wccftech.com/star-citizen-exclusive-interview-erin-roberts/
  11. 4 points
  12. 4 points
    TL,DR: Transcript courtesy of Relay.
  13. 4 points
    Dan

    New game - Hellion

    So I'm surprised that no one else has posted about this yet, but there's a new space survival game in the works that will be released into an early alpha sometime in the following week. It looks amazing and would be a great multiplayer game to play while we wait patiently for the release of star citizen. While it may look similar to star citizen since its set in space it's very different as you will see it the trailers. It has a Hardcore feel to it like rust where you can't really trust anyone and there is nothing stopping you from killing everyone you are working with and taking the ship for yourself. Also in my opinion one of its best features is that it uses orbiting systems similar to KSP where everything is constantly moving including your ship, space station and even the planets. Anyway here are some vids to watch that explain everything very well. TLDR: New Hardcore Space survival game coming out (into early alpha) sometime this week, also it looks amazing (although very different from Star citizen). Here are some links to check out: https://www.playhellion.com/ https://www.playhellion.com/faq.php https://www.playhellion.com/story.php
  14. 3 points
    Bought a new GPU GTX1080 G1. Not happy with the price but ow my its a massive upgrade for me.
  15. 3 points
    Akanoes

    Get Payday 2 for free!

    They are giving away 5 milion free copies! Click on the image to get it =3
  16. 3 points
    Tactical Advance

    UTC Clock added

    All, I added a UTC Clock to the forum. You can miss it lol. Thanks TA
  17. 3 points
    Carrack is hopefully starting a little later this year.No chance of sneaking it into 3.0   (The Carrack, that is)Ship prices for 3.0 - haven't made the final call yet, but if any change it'd just be ships that have their status changed.(So stuff coming flyable... which I can't tell you what it is yet :))There'll be at least one new concept piece with the Merchantman in it this month.Design is working on turrets; Chris actually asked for a special focus on that after the Hurricane came out.Aurora update is in progress now.Vanduul ships for Squadron will be in the PU. Can't share more on that yet.Game design always looks perfect on paper a year before it matters, but when you finally implement your ideas you find out what you didn't know.I do think the Hurricane is going to be stupid fun. No modules to announce yet.Q:why do we hear in space? Shouldn't there be silence because there is no air? A: rule of cool on that one. I assume your ship's computer is simulating the sounds!It's a bigger thing than making more turrets, we need to figure out how to make them function for the turreted player first. So looking at stabilization, feedback, etc.They're changing the process for merchandise to reduce the 'preorder' time... but it has meant less merch in the short time while we stock up. Expect to see a few items soon!I do not know what the ETA for the docking tech is. Docking tech is not being ditched. It's necessary for many important things beyond the Merlin.Q:What's the most exciting thing you're waiting to go in that you can tell us? A: I know it's pretty basic sounding, but planets and the first careers (which are in the next patches) are going to be huge. The game will make a lot more sense to folks  I do not believe there's been any talk of a rear turret on the Constellation.Terrapin will be flight ready later this year, we'll bring it back then.Can't give an estimate for 3.0, sorry!no buzz, no plan to change the snub dock. Plan is to get it up and running.Q: why is there not starter pack with the tir 2 starter ships in them?? A: good question! Packages are going to get a refresh that'll include that.We've got 2.6.2 in the works right now. After that, we'd have to see. I'd say it'd depend on when things come online. If we get something awesome ready to go before all the 3.0 features are locked we could do an interim patch... or not, if it all happens at the same time.600, eh... never heard of itQ: will we be getting cruise speed back so we can go into cruise and get out of pilot chair and walk around the ship? A: not sure on cruise speed, that'll be up to the balance guys.Super Sabre, eh... never heard of it.  Next concept ship is going to be the... I want to say so badly:/ But it's not the 600.Concept sales don't block 3.0 at all; the ship pipeline is pretty taught!think letting what someone else thinks of you change what you want to do is never a great plan.Chris likes aggressive schedules because they motivate the team--but they don't always work out.We do spend money on marketing - things like the brochures for the concept sales take an artist's time. But we don't do traditional ad buys, commercials from outside contractors, etc.Chris has all these old DAT tapes with Wing Commander stuff on them, gotta figure out how to read them and preserve the data.Q: how is the Wing Commander Academy boxes coming along?A: slowly! It took two months just to organize everything. We're about a quarter of the way through the scanning now.But it's stupid fun to do. They are DLT III tapes.Yesss I wish we had the WC rights. (We have the movie rights!)I've got an Amiga 4000, an old Powermac, an FM Towns, a PC98, a 386 and two early Pentiums. I think Ali would murder me if I had anything else  (We have an original Mac too, but that doesn't run Wing Commander... more of an art piece :))I would be so happy if EA were doing Wing Commander... but they have Star Wars so it'll never happen.Unfortunately no, Freelancer is Microsoft. Although unlike EA, I do know that there are people who remember Freelancer very fondly over at Xbox.End of March is most likely for the next concept.Yes to support ships, our next chunk of concepts that are being kicked off now are more support/career focused (the current ones that are finishing up now are largely combat oriented)I'm told that UEE authorities categorically deny the existence of any so-called Project Eclipse. I would encourage you to report any Citizens discussing such topics to the local Advocacy office.Q: do you know if the Xi'an are working on some khartu-al scout updates? A: Nothing to share on the scout, sorry.Q: when is the greycat getting some love? A:I love the Greycat right now! And I am eagerly looking forward to loosing them on some moon surfaces. (The Greycat being named after my parents cat remains the most surreal thing about Star Citizen for me)her name is Grey Cat. She is a grey cat.Q: Ben what ship (to be flight ready/hanger ready) are you most looking forward to seeing? A: Endeavor for me!The noodles are actually not me, Benny is one of the writers' pugs  Alright, I need to hop out for a bit. I'll check back soon! Have a good lazy Saturday, everybody.https://robertsspaceindustries.com/spectrum/community/SC/forum/3/thread/saturday-afternoon-est-unplanned-spectrum-q-a-with
  18. 3 points
    The world is full of all sorts of people. Some are captivated by fine art; others find solace in music. Some rep Pac, while others back Biggie. Some people believe pineapple constitutes an acceptable pizza topping. Some – and by some, we mean many, many, many – have backed Star Citizen, Chris Roberts’ ambitious space exploration game. Correspondingly, the universe must have room for even more people. Most of those people, by chance, like whizzing about in spaceships, swapping space whats-its and blowing each other up. But bobbing about in the vast void of the infinite, there are also people who like numbers. “How big?” They cry, in wonder, as a new planet blinks into view. “How far?” They clamour, plotting course for an uncharted system. “How heavy?” They demand, as the gargantuan hulk of a space-freighter drifts silently past in the black. Which is a weird thing to ask about something in a weightless vacuum – but darn it, these people will have their answers! It is in honour of these great quantifiers, these brave pioneers, that we present Red Bull’s very own Star Citizen infographic, summarising Cloud Imperium Games’ epic journey so far, upending not merely a video game genre, but an entire industry business model in the process. For in a hostile universe alive with pirates, duplicitous human pilots and giant sand worms, are these placid few, boldly going out with their galactic tape measures and weighing scales, not the true heirs of Kirk, Picard, Janeway and the guy from Deep Space Nine? Peaceful charters of the stars: We salute you.
  19. 3 points
    It isn't normally like this here, we are just washing some laundry in public at the moment. While it isn't pretty right now, I somehow think it is better for potential applicants to see the good and the bad.
  20. 3 points
    As a prospect applicant, I'm somewhat confused as to why this sort of thread is available inside a public-viewable category. Every collective has its own internal issues, but to plaster it in the face of potential recruits is a strange move, in my opinion. (The reason I say this is because I haven't been part of a clan/guild/group since I co-ran one of the most successful clans for Unreal Tournament 2004 more than a decade ago. Thus I'm doing some homework based on experience before applying to an organization, and stumbling upon this doesn't put TA in good light.) I say this with best intentions and feel this could put off people who otherwise could have signed up and contributed to the organization. I assume there's a private section for discussion within the organization that's separate from what's available to guest accounts?
  21. 3 points
    GrumpyCat

    Friends and Foes... Fairwell o7

    Blah.. the HR thing was stupid , but you shouldn't fault leadership for trying out new things. I don't expect them to be perfect about everything, just to hear me out when I tell them they aren't being perfect. I doubt you will find an organization that doesn't have these types of issues, trust me, I've been in a lot of them. Tac is still leading the way in this org and thats mostly all I care about, I dont need tons of people diluting the power at the top leading to eventual coups or something, or worse yet poor management of the Org. The executives we have are there for a reason, and the responsibilities are divvied out fine imo. Good luck to you, but I think you are wrong, and I am annoyed to see you and all these others go to some supposed "greener pastures" while taking a dump on the people you leave behind by airing dirty laundry and than splitting.
  22. 3 points
    I made a video today about the Hornet's and then SC make a video two. They are copying me lol.
  23. 3 points
    Character Art Director Josh Herman joins Community Managers Jared Huckaby and Tyler Witkin as they play Star Citizen with community streamer BristolBoy88. TL,DR:
  24. 3 points
    DrZombieBWC

    PvP with other orgs Feb 2nd

    Greetings Citizens, Our multi-PvP events continue to be a success, so we’ll keep organising them. However, attendance is very variable at times, so we would like you to fill in this survey to see if we can come up with a different time or day to get an even bigger crowd. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Q6X573C We’ll be playing a mix of Star Marine and Arena Commander. Date: February 2 Times: 20:45 Australian Eastern Time zone 20:45 Central European Time Zone 20:45 Eastern Time Zone Communication: We’ve opened dedicated channels on our teamspeak server Teamspeak address: the-bwc.com No password required for the dedicated channels You can download the teamspeak client for free at http://www.teamspeak.com/downloads Be aware that we require users to set up a push-to-talk-button. Commander comms will be set up. We will have a common room and separate rooms per org. Please be on TS ten minutes before the start of the event. Streaming/twitch. Feel free to stream to your heart's desire. We would appreciate it if you would add following message to your stream: “If your organisation would like to participate in these PvP events, please leave a message for DrZombie at www.the-bwc.com.” DrZombie. Black Widow Company.
  25. 3 points
    zeus_anoxia

    Around the Verse - Pirate Swarm

    TL,DR: Transcript courtesy of Relay
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