Help me understand the truth about SC!

I’ve had my eye on SC for a while, especially as an ex-EVE player who took a break and hasn’t gone back yet. I see two camps: those who say it’s never going to come out, it’s taking too long, too many problems …and… the other who says that it’s still early and it’s probably going to be fine. I was thinking about trying it out at 3.0 but some folks here said to wait a bit, so here I am. Is it a good time? I don’t want to play a game that’s broken but at the same time, if there’s enough to do I might piddle around for a while. I have room for 1 more game and I’m looking at SC, Pantheon and Ashes of Creation early access (While playing Project: Gorgon and Everquest project 1999), so I want to pick a game that has the most bang for my buck right now. Is SC it? Or would you suggest to wait a bit longer?

There is no short answer to your question.

First and foremost, SC is not a scam, not vaporware and not “taking too long”. The game is coming along at a speed typical to any other development of its kind. The difference is that we have been given a window into the development MUCH earlier than ever before with any other game even close to this magnitude.

Second, and this is very important to understand, the game is still in Alpha. That means that most of the game features do not even exist yet. A lot of what you see now in the game is just placeholders for what will come in time. Many systems such as refueling, multi-crew gameplay, AI crews, heat and power, mining, salvage, piracy…they are all either not in yet or in the game only in the most rudimentary form.

So when you say you don’t want to play a game that is broken I have to caution you. This game is not broken but it is far from finished. IF you understand the difference between the two and you are ok with that, then continue reading. If not, then you can already assume SC is not for you at this time.

Another important point to make, based on your own background in games, is that this game is NOTHING like Eve. Well, both happen in space. After that they diverge entirely.

There is plenty to do in the game right now, especially if you enjoy a sandbox. IF you are looking for a long list of scripted quests and deep story driven NPC interaction then look elsewhere. SC doesn’t have that, yet. But if you like to forge your own path in games, if you are the kind of player that can enjoy the scenery and spend time alone in the deep without losing interest, then, maybe SC is for you.

Finally, and probably the absolutely most important point of all: This is a marathon not a sprint. Be prepared for the long haul, as this game is bigger than anything like it that has come before it. We are probably less than halfway through the development cycle to take us to a live release and we are more than 5 years in.

So in summary: Unfinished but not broken. Alpha not feature complete. Sandbox not theme park. Marathon not sprint.

For many SC is not the right type of game, at least not in this stage of development. But for just as many it is the perfect development experience, where you can truly be a part of what they are building. You can test and interact with the devs, offer constructive input about new game features, enjoy the game mechanics as they grow and mature. For many, SC is a wonderful experience that is more than just the game and it’s features, it is about the ride and the destination.

So if you think it might be a fit for you, jump in at the starter package level and ask around here to try out some ships. And if it isn’t sounding like your cup of tea then put it on the shelf for a year or two and wait for it to mature a bit then come back and check in.

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I appreciate the thoughtful reply! The distinctions between “broken” and “unfinished” are noted. I am a sandbox, unscripted, forge my own path kind of player and that is what attracts me to SC. If it were in the Beta phase, I would already be in. It’s just a tough call on when to pull the trigger with two other early access titles competing for my debit card number. What do you consider a “best buy” range for a starter ship package to get a good feel for the game? I know in the past I was looking at the Freelancer and other exploration options but that was a year or more ago. Does the base $45 package leave more to be desired?

I would wait for a bit (all due respect to Sim) and I agree with his description entirely, however there’s more than enough “media” you could catch up on to really get a feel for the game.

But if you really want to get your feet wet and get a chance to play early when 3.3 gets closer than buy a starter ship and become a Subscriber. $10 a month will get you some little extra perks but moreover early access to the Player Test Universe when they start testing for it.

Currently that would get you access to the Gameplay features in 3.3:

If everything stays in the pipeline as they are now than you’d have access to test the first iterations of repair, refuel and salvaging in game. Those will get you access to play around with the Starfarer and Reclaimer most likely, two ships designed to use the refuel and salvaging gameplay features.

There’s more to be sure, but it’s late and I want to go to bed.

I backed SC in 2012, and recently tried the 3.0 branch, and for me it was unplayable.

It appears I’m not the only one with a high end system that has serious problems with just walking around the hangars.

I get Simdor’s positiveness (he better be as the CL :slight_smile: ) but I can’t agree with everything he says.

Personally I’ve seen far too many “Next release” goals being pushed forward again and again.

So yeah, it’s Alpha, it’s unfinished, and I would probably have fired the manager a dozen times over by now :smiley:

We’ll see. But I think you’re fine waiting a couple more years.

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Simdor, as usual, nails the current state of development very well. I’ve been a long time backer, mainly just to buy in at the cheaper price as I know that “someday” it’ll be closer to being done and then I’ll fire it up and play it.

I’m usually in the minority group when it comes to games like this, so there’s not a lot of enjoyment for me in participating in the development forums. I did play fairly frequently when it first came out, but each new update usually had some change to the mechanics of game play, and I quickly figured out I didn’t want to start developing habits and muscle memory to mechanics that were constantly in flux. I have fired it up once or twice but have to honestly say that it’s been so long since I’ve done anything in game that that last time I was in I couldn’t accomplish much of anything short of running around the place. I figure I’m on the sidelines until Squadron 42 gets released.

Chris Roberts has always created games that pushed even the high end of PC’s, so there’s the additional cost of a new PC that’s not advertised that you’ll need to get to enjoy the game.

If you’re buying in now you do have to be in the right state of mind, that being you’re supporting the development of the software and that you’re willing to wait for it. Know your budget, that all ships are acquirable in game with no “real cash” and do not have to be purchased with real cash now. The fact that you can actually have some game play now is just gravy.

Star Citizen isn’t a game. It’s a TV show about a bunch of characters making a game. It’s basically This is Spinal Tap except people think the band is real. The flight model is never going to get resolved for the same reason Gilligan can never get off the Island. If it gets resolved the show is over.

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Given that there’s prices like this,

I have to wonder if the game will be more like second life in space. :roll_eyes:


Appreciate all the development info. I am an early supporter, but have yet to really jump in and try to play. I have one very basic question…

Is there any gameplay outside the ships? Can you land and muddle about on foot on planets? Or is the game at this stage a completely space-based, in-ship experience?

Fly, land, get out, look around, take missions, deliver cargo, mine if you have a mining ship.

On foot right now is a little light and primarily around shopping, trading or to your ship or in Star Marine FPS. 3.3 is poised to bring about FPS AI. So going from ship combat to combat inside the ship combat should be interesting. It will also likely include people to shoot at in Karah when you’re trying to get your wanted level down.

IF you decide you want in, I would start a new thread about the package that best fits you for starting out.
There are quite a few options and while most ships are fun for what they are, there are some ships you need in order to enjoy certain features of the game that are available now.

I’ll add some bits and pieces…

A lot of the flak that CIG gets is about “broken promises”. The problem is that CIG (CR in particular) had absolutely no idea what he was getting into. He was excited about the idea of making the game he wanted to make and had targeted a few million to make it. Then the cash started rolling in, at an alarming rate, in such a way that they simply could not grow as fast as the cash was coming in. Lots of things were said early on, based upon what they knew, that changed as they grew and were no longer valid, and many people seem to like to hold them to that.

A fundamental difference between CIG and other companies, CDPR for example, is that CIG is having to develop in a glass box. CDPR worked on Cyberpunk for 5 years and we knew squat about it. We all know they had issues, had to re-do things, etc, but we’ll never see that. CR has to go take a crap in a bathroom with glass walls, we see every single thing they do, so everytime they rethink something there’s 2 million people telling them how to do it. That’s why the press is so chaotic around it. Imagine an NFL football team, but every single armchair quarterback has all of the coaches and players phone numbers and are allowed to see every practice, every team meeting. There’s a reason you never want to see sausage made :stuck_out_tongue:

And, regarding Eve and it’s differences, there are 3 fundamental differences between Eve and SC:

  1. Eve is < 1% NPCs and what few NPCs it does have are scripted dummies, quest givers and idiot 'rats. SC is 90% NPCs. You encounter someone in space, there’s a 10% chance it’s another player. The economy is 90% NPC driven, the story is NPC driven, all manufacturing is NPC owned. You can “rent” an assembly line to make whatever that line is making, but at launch there will be no crafting of any kind, just tuning and overclocking. SC is a PvE game with PvP in it, which is the polar opposite of Eve.
  2. In Eve, you’re your ship. In SC, your ship is a level you roam around in, and the level then moves you to new places. You can leave your ship, in space, EVA to my ship, and come in. Eve is about the ship, SC is about the player, which leads me to…
  3. In SC there are no levels, talents, perks, skills, etc. SC is about you. If you’re a great pilot, then you’re a great pilot, in any ship you fly. You don’t have to wait 10 years of grinding skills patiently to fly your Idris, if you have an Idris, you can fly it.

I’ve looked at SC several times and each time I just keep telling myself… look again later. Don’t buy yet.

Watching one of my favorite streamers the other day he was playing SC and it’s looking great.

I just can’t get over the PvP aspect of this game though. Is it like Black Desert Online? Chances are you won’t be bothered unless you go to certain high value places?

I played BDO as a PvE game for months and had a blast but I did not like the PvP element even though I was only griefed a few times. I’m just not going to support/buy any game that doesn’t have a PvP flag option or no PvP at all.

Of the games the OP mentioned, Ashes of Creation is projected by many people to be the best of the bunch. I stopped following SC a long time ago. I’m not interested in playing endless Alphas with growing cash shops. Cash shops end up being the bane of most MMOs (e.g. Archeage). SC is not a game to be on the ‘fence’ about. If you aren’t Gung-ho for the game, you might experience buyer’s regret. This thread showed up on an email summary, so that’s why I noticed it.

See it is comments like this that make me lose faith in this generation.

We see one post by one web junkie who says something and everyone latches on to that as if it were fact set in stone.

There is no cash shop in SC. There never will be.
What you are able to do now is fund the game and have access to ships that will be available to everyone in game at launch. There are no exclusive items that are hidden behind a pay wall, there is no pay to win architecture in place, and the only thing cash gets you is the ability to save time and not have to wait for the ships you will eventually buy in game. Nothing that you can get by backing the game gives you any advantage over any other player that gets in at the base starter package level.

But people see things like $27k packages and make assumptions about how things work in SC because they have seen things work a certain way with other games.

Not sure how to get this across to people, but SC is not like any other MMO. Ever. It is, by definition, unique and virtually experimental in its design and style of development.

I do agree that if you are on the fence then you should be wary about buying ANY game, SC included. Buyer’s remorse is not specific to this game.

As most of us here in this forum have said many times over, if you are going to back Star Citizen, assume that it is a $30 investment on which you may never see a return. Because that very well could happen. Not likely, but it is possible.
If you are comfortable backing the development of this game for $X you have to resolve within yourself that it is a gamble and an investment and that X number better be something you are ok with for a long time to come.

Now, for me, that X is right at $6k. Some friends of mine were shocked when I told them that. But I asked them, how much have you spent on your hobby of choice over the last 5 years? Their answers were pretty close to the same amount.
So for me, this is my hobby money and this is where I choose to spend it because I want to see this game succeed.

The only reason I would tell anyone NOT to get in on Star Citizen today is if they are coming in expecting a playable version of the game right away. It is not that, and it will not be for a long time to come. It is fun in its current state, and there are glimpses of the game it will one day be in the alpha version we have today. But it is not a game yet.

What is “this generation”? Old Farts like me who have played MMO’s since the 1990’s?

A “pledge shop” outside of the game is still a cash shop, since it allows players to advance faster by having the best ships readily available.


You don’t “advance” faster, this is not an RPG game. You bring the skills you have into the game. If you can’t seem to catch the gist of space combat, run your ass off in afterburner. Can’t seem to find a way to mine effectively? Go watch a Youtube video and learn. Spending 20 hours mining badly will not give you a 25% boost in mining effectiveness.

I Googled Star Citizen and visited the website. The first link is Pledge Store. Clicking that link offers “Drake Vulture - Standalone Ship, $140.00 USD.” Clicking “More Info” produces “This is not a GAME PACKAGE. Please note a GAME PACKAGE is required to play the game and fly or access your ships.”
There is right now, today, a cash shop in Star Citizen.

RPG-ing and advancing in a game can be two different things. In SC, you will be collecting in-game currency for ships. You can forgo some of that grind by buying ships off the pledge shop.

As long as they keep PvP out of the MMO, then the outright buying of ships won’t be a huge concern.

I hope the single player game turns out to be worth the cost.