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Star Citizen Arena Commander Released

The Roberts Space Industries website announces that the Arena Commander module for Star Citizen is now available, offering backers of the space combat game the chance to explore the game's dogfighting after a delay or two. They also provide a pilot's guide, outline plans for an upcoming version 0.9, and offer the following description of the version 0.8 that's now available:

We are very happy to finally share with you the first public build of Arena Commander!

The build we are releasing today is what we’re calling Version 0.8. You can download it by either updating your existing Hangar through the launcher or by accessing the Star Citizen Download page. V0.8 will give every qualified backer access to the Vanduul Swarm and Freeflight modes and includes the ability to fly the Aurora, 300i and Hornet. If you haven’t pledged for one of these ships, we’ll give you a loaner that is the closest in class to what you fly; we want everyone with Alpha access (or an Arena Commander pass) to get their first taste of spaceflight!

WARNING: the updated version of the Star Citizen launcher will replace the USER folder when it patches. If you have any saved screenshots or other content, please move them before downloading Arena Commander.

Arena Commander V0.8 also includes multiplayer functionality for the Battle Royale and Team modes. These modes will be available for a small number of players today. As we hunt down lag and synch issues and spin up servers, we will open these modes up to more and more players in the coming weeks.

Remember: V0.8 is just the beginning. It’s the start of a hard push for the development team as we head towards V0.9 and finally V1.0, at which point Arena Commander will be ‘feature complete’ with the modes, maps and options promised at PAX. By the time V1.0 drops, we aim for the entire community to have access to the multiplayer game modes!

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116. Re: Star Citizen Arena Commander Released Jun 6, 2014, 23:05 dj LiTh
 
Fair enough, although i'm still not convinced, but i hold hope.  
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115. Re: Star Citizen Arena Commander Released Jun 6, 2014, 05:42 theyarecomingforyou
 
dj LiTh wrote on Jun 5, 2014, 13:52:
CryEngine 3 was used for Crysis2, and wasnt that one of the big complaints, the small environments? Also even a big environment in a fps would be minuscule in a space setting.
Space is a big environment but there's relatively little in it, so it balances out. The ships are incredibly detailed but with the appropriate LODs and tessellation that's not an issue.

SC now uses CryEngine, not CryEngine 3 - it's the 4th generation of the engine. The engine is being completely repurposed, including the move to 64bit precision. There simply isn't any engine designed for what CR is trying to achieve but CE is a good starting point.
 
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114. Re: Star Citizen Arena Commander Released Jun 5, 2014, 16:14 Creston
 
dj LiTh wrote on Jun 5, 2014, 13:52:
CryEngine 3 was used for Crysis2, and wasnt that one of the big complaints, the small environments? Also even a big environment in a fps would be minuscule in a space setting.

The small environments in Crysis 2 were a result of design decisions, not a result of the engine. Crysis 3 has some pretty spankingly huge maps and it's built with the same engine.

And sure, space is bigger than an FPS map. Space is also empty.
 
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113. Re: Star Citizen Arena Commander Released Jun 5, 2014, 13:52 dj LiTh
 
Creston wrote on Jun 5, 2014, 12:03:
Fly wrote on Jun 5, 2014, 00:51:
The engine can handle details but NOT massive environments.

Wot? It's the crysis 3 engine. It's just fine at massive environments. In fact, massive environments and pretty graphics have been just about the only things that Crytek's engines have all been good at.

CryEngine 3 was used for Crysis2, and wasnt that one of the big complaints, the small environments? Also even a big environment in a fps would be minuscule in a space setting.
 
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112. Re: Star Citizen Arena Commander Released Jun 5, 2014, 13:04 jdreyer
 
InBlack wrote on Jun 5, 2014, 06:46:
Tom wrote on Jun 4, 2014, 21:24:
- Bumping into walls in space. Sorry, "simulation bounds". Lame and unnecessary. It's space! Not Need for Speed.

This is most worrying, because its an indication of engine limitations. Its still an alpha of course, and most of the other issuses are probably resolvable but as some have already stated choosing Cryengine might end up biting them in the ass at some point.

Yeah, while AC is a simulation, and this kind of message could be appropriate, the actual game itself will have to figure some way around this problem.
 
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111. Re: Star Citizen Arena Commander Released Jun 5, 2014, 12:03 Creston
 
Fly wrote on Jun 5, 2014, 00:51:
The engine can handle details but NOT massive environments.

Wot? It's the crysis 3 engine. It's just fine at massive environments. In fact, massive environments and pretty graphics have been just about the only things that Crytek's engines have all been good at.
 
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110. Re: Star Citizen Arena Commander Released Jun 5, 2014, 08:39 Drayth
 
I think the "walls" are just there to keep the dogfighting from spreading out and becoming too thin. It's supposed to be like a pit fight. You're in a VR simulation within the game, so it's not immersion breaking either.

 
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109. Re: Star Citizen Arena Commander Released Jun 5, 2014, 08:23 SpectralMeat
 
Tom wrote on Jun 5, 2014, 08:18:
Hey, after all this time they finally released something, so I felt like sharing my first impressions. Were they overly critical? Yeah probably. That'll tend to happen here on Blue's News. Why is that? Well, we've all been around the block more than a few times. Our standards are shaped by the greatest games in history. WC2 is still my all-time favorite game.

Yes, I know it's an alpha and plays like it. I played the DOOM alpha where you ran around with a bayonet poking imps frozen in space, unable to harm them. Yet it was still utterly amazing. I've released alphas of my own. It takes guts to put something unfinished out there, even when circumstances force you to. They gave it the appropriate disclaimers. People are still going to judge and they know it.

Now, CR's stated goal, which he reminded us of in this AC announcement, is to make the "best damn space sim ever". Well that doesn't happen by accident, and it takes more than money. It takes vision, making the right design decisions, and executing them properly. This alpha is our first glimpse at seeing the results of those things. We really want to know. CR did it before. Can he do it again? Time and again we've seen legendary game developers from the nostalgic past attempt to achieve greatness one more time. We want them to succeed, sometimes ever so desperately. But usually they fail spectacularly, a la Richard Garriott. It's incredibly hard to achieve greatness and then do it again.

Anyway, since Elite: Dangerous is also attempting to be a great space sim, and it's pretty much the only other game in town at this point (LT doesn't really have the same aim and isn't playable yet anyway), the comparisons are inevitable. As I said before, I'm looking forward to seeing what happens with both games. They both have tremendous potential, which is awesome after the utter drought of space sims we've endured.
+1 well said
 
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108. Re: Star Citizen Arena Commander Released Jun 5, 2014, 08:18 Tom
 
Hey, after all this time they finally released something, so I felt like sharing my first impressions. Were they overly critical? Yeah probably. That'll tend to happen here on Blue's News. Why is that? Well, we've all been around the block more than a few times. Our standards are shaped by the greatest games in history. WC2 is still my all-time favorite game.

Yes, I know it's an alpha and plays like it. I played the DOOM alpha where you ran around with a bayonet poking imps frozen in space, unable to harm them. Yet it was still utterly amazing. I've released alphas of my own. It takes guts to put something unfinished out there, even when circumstances force you to. They gave it the appropriate disclaimers. People are still going to judge and they know it.

Now, CR's stated goal, which he reminded us of in this AC announcement, is to make the "best damn space sim ever". Well that doesn't happen by accident, and it takes more than money. It takes vision, making the right design decisions, and executing them properly. This alpha is our first glimpse at seeing the results of those things. We really want to know. CR did it before. Can he do it again? Time and again we've seen legendary game developers from the nostalgic past attempt to achieve greatness one more time. We want them to succeed, sometimes ever so desperately. But usually they fail spectacularly, a la Richard Garriott. It's incredibly hard to achieve greatness and then do it again.

Anyway, since Elite: Dangerous is also attempting to be a great space sim, and it's pretty much the only other game in town at this point (LT doesn't really have the same aim and isn't playable yet anyway), the comparisons are inevitable. As I said before, I'm looking forward to seeing what happens with both games. They both have tremendous potential, which is awesome after the utter drought of space sims we've endured.
 
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107. Re: Star Citizen Arena Commander Released Jun 5, 2014, 06:46 InBlack
 
Tom wrote on Jun 4, 2014, 21:24:
- Bumping into walls in space. Sorry, "simulation bounds". Lame and unnecessary. It's space! Not Need for Speed.

This is most worrying, because its an indication of engine limitations. Its still an alpha of course, and most of the other issuses are probably resolvable but as some have already stated choosing Cryengine might end up biting them in the ass at some point.
 
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106. Re: Star Citizen Arena Commander Released Jun 5, 2014, 06:45 SpectralMeat
 
Lord Tea wrote on Jun 5, 2014, 06:33:
So it would've been easier (and less time consuming for all of us) to just write:
"It's an alpha version, feels, looks, plays like an alpha version. End of story."
No not really because I wanted to know the details he listed.
If you don't like his post just skip it, what's the problem?
It's his opinion and he took the time to make a detailed post about for anything I appreciate his efforts.
 
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105. Re: Star Citizen Arena Commander Released Jun 5, 2014, 06:33 Lord Tea
 
InBlack wrote on Jun 5, 2014, 06:06:
Lord Tea wrote on Jun 5, 2014, 04:30:
Tom wrote on Jun 4, 2014, 21:24:
Just spent an hour of actual flight time doing the Vanduul Swarm. Eh, it's ok. Has potential. Maybe more than I would've expected. As I played more and got a little better, it got better. Still, it's lightyears behind Elite: Dangerous.

Stuff that sucked about Arena Commander: [...]

What's the point of your rant? It doesn't help anybody, neither the developers (do you believe they check BluesNews for comments?), nor the gamers. You're testing alpha code of a part of an unfinished game! Quoting from the SC webpage:
Remember: V0.8 is just the beginning. It’s the start of a hard push for the development team as we head towards V0.9 and finally V1.0, at which point Arena Commander will be ‘feature complete’ with the modes, maps and options promised at PAX. By the time V1.0 drops, we aim for the entire community to have access to the multiplayer game modes!

What the fuck man? He wrote a very constructive post describing his experience with the game and comparing it to another game that is still in development. It doesnt help anybody unless he is supposed to be praising the glory of the Lord Christ Roberts and his Holy Flock or his opinion doesnt matter??? Im so sick of yes men...



SpectralMeat wrote on Jun 5, 2014, 06:10:
Lord Tea wrote on Jun 5, 2014, 04:30:
What's the point of your rant? It doesn't help anybody,
I didn't think it was a rant, more like an overview of what the Alpha is like.
It helped me not to worry too much about the download because other than the pretty graphics there is not much else there that I am missing out on.

So it would've been easier (and less time consuming for all of us) to just write:
"It's an alpha version, feels, looks, plays like an alpha version. End of story."
 
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104. Re: Star Citizen Arena Commander Released Jun 5, 2014, 06:10 SpectralMeat
 
Lord Tea wrote on Jun 5, 2014, 04:30:
What's the point of your rant? It doesn't help anybody,
I didn't think it was a rant, more like an overview of what the Alpha is like.
It helped me not to worry too much about the download because other than the pretty graphics there is not much else there that I am missing out on.
 
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103. Re: Star Citizen Arena Commander Released Jun 5, 2014, 06:06 InBlack
 
Lord Tea wrote on Jun 5, 2014, 04:30:
Tom wrote on Jun 4, 2014, 21:24:
Just spent an hour of actual flight time doing the Vanduul Swarm. Eh, it's ok. Has potential. Maybe more than I would've expected. As I played more and got a little better, it got better. Still, it's lightyears behind Elite: Dangerous.

Stuff that sucked about Arena Commander: [...]

What's the point of your rant? It doesn't help anybody, neither the developers (do you believe they check BluesNews for comments?), nor the gamers. You're testing alpha code of a part of an unfinished game! Quoting from the SC webpage:
Remember: V0.8 is just the beginning. It’s the start of a hard push for the development team as we head towards V0.9 and finally V1.0, at which point Arena Commander will be ‘feature complete’ with the modes, maps and options promised at PAX. By the time V1.0 drops, we aim for the entire community to have access to the multiplayer game modes!

What the fuck man? He wrote a very constructive post describing his experience with the game and comparing it to another game that is still in development. It doesnt help anybody unless he is supposed to be praising the glory of the Lord Christ Roberts and his Holy Flock or his opinion doesnt matter??? Im so sick of yes men...
 
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I have a nifty blue line!
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102. Re: Star Citizen Arena Commander Released Jun 5, 2014, 06:05 Mordecai Walfish
 
Lord Tea wrote on Jun 5, 2014, 04:30:
Tom wrote on Jun 4, 2014, 21:24:
Just spent an hour of actual flight time doing the Vanduul Swarm. Eh, it's ok. Has potential. Maybe more than I would've expected. As I played more and got a little better, it got better. Still, it's lightyears behind Elite: Dangerous.

Stuff that sucked about Arena Commander: [...]

What's the point of your rant? It doesn't help anybody, neither the developers (do you believe they check BluesNews for comments?), nor the gamers. You're testing alpha code of a part of an unfinished game! Quoting from the SC webpage:
Remember: V0.8 is just the beginning. It’s the start of a hard push for the development team as we head towards V0.9 and finally V1.0, at which point Arena Commander will be ‘feature complete’ with the modes, maps and options promised at PAX. By the time V1.0 drops, we aim for the entire community to have access to the multiplayer game modes!

That's just, like.. his opinion on this release, man.
 
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101. Re: Star Citizen Arena Commander Released Jun 5, 2014, 04:30 Lord Tea
 
Tom wrote on Jun 4, 2014, 21:24:
Just spent an hour of actual flight time doing the Vanduul Swarm. Eh, it's ok. Has potential. Maybe more than I would've expected. As I played more and got a little better, it got better. Still, it's lightyears behind Elite: Dangerous.

Stuff that sucked about Arena Commander: [...]

What's the point of your rant? It doesn't help anybody, neither the developers (do you believe they check BluesNews for comments?), nor the gamers. You're testing alpha code of a part of an unfinished game! Quoting from the SC webpage:
Remember: V0.8 is just the beginning. It’s the start of a hard push for the development team as we head towards V0.9 and finally V1.0, at which point Arena Commander will be ‘feature complete’ with the modes, maps and options promised at PAX. By the time V1.0 drops, we aim for the entire community to have access to the multiplayer game modes!
 
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100. Re: Star Citizen Arena Commander Released Jun 5, 2014, 02:01 Sugarman
 
At first I didn't like the controls, but after playing more and getting used to it I kinda like that it's complex. It really will depend on pilot skill instead of just ship specs. So any 14 year old can't just purchase the game, dive right in and own everyone within range. It looks like it's meant to be an adult's game, as in experience matters just as much as twitch response. I find that the longer I play it and learn about how to control/use strategies, the more I enjoy it.

Also, I was extremely impressed with the beauty of the game, the complex damage models, the attention to detail, it really was above what I expected for such an early state. I also bought Elite Dangerous and enjoy it far more than I expected I would. As for Limit Theory, i'll be buying it as well when available.

I remember one of my previous favorite space games, Freespace 2, back when you had to actually go to a store and buy games, amazing that the genre has been ignored for such a long time and awesome that it's making such a comeback due to crowdfunding.

I loaned a joystick to one of my younger employees to use as a prop for a project that focused on past tech, as of yesterday I instructed him to please bring it back to me, because now I need it again, who'd have ever thought we'd be dusting them off again!
 
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99. Re: Star Citizen Arena Commander Released Jun 5, 2014, 00:51 Fly
 
Not going into the details as they were already on point, previously posted by "Tom" and other players/backers here. Wasn't impressed at all. I'll stick with Galaxy on Fire 2 HD for iOS and Space Engineers for now.

$45 million dollars..?

What get's me is the file size of what's available. The hangar and fighter module/demo, well over 12 gigs already. Took over 8 hrs to dl the new module from the capped speeds. Then finally booting it up to play for a bit (Very High settings)

Gonna call it now (if there's not some sort of miracle in compression technology soon) that Star Citizen in it's final release, will be at least a Terabyte. The scope which RSI is aiming for is beyond insanity. After playing around in the module for a bit, I still feel the engine they are using is the wrong engine. The engine can handle details but NOT massive environments. Avalanche Engine (The Hunter, Just Cause series) would have been my choice in a game like SC. Idk..prepare for endless "now loading" instances/areas. By the time this game is "done" they'll be better games on the market. I'll be busy playing Battlefront and probably having more fun. We shall see.

P.S ..you have run out of missiles, would you like to purchase more? $1.99 for 20.

This comment was edited on Jun 5, 2014, 01:00.
 
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98. Re: Star Citizen Arena Commander Released Jun 4, 2014, 22:13 jdreyer
 
New Limit Theory update.  
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97. Re: Star Citizen Arena Commander Released Jun 4, 2014, 21:24 Tom
 
Just spent an hour of actual flight time doing the Vanduul Swarm. Eh, it's ok. Has potential. Maybe more than I would've expected. As I played more and got a little better, it got better. Still, it's lightyears behind Elite: Dangerous.

Stuff that sucked about Arena Commander:

- It wants to use SLI but it's TOTALLY borked, had to force it off. (ED doesn't try and gets a little bit borked if you force it on.)

- Just getting out of the hangar and into AC is needlessly complex. There were two ships in my bay. I had to make sure to find and wear some helmet, then get into the correct ship (with the inexplicably blank control panels in the cockpit) before it would start AC. Ok fine.

- No TrackIR support. This is a HUGE WTF. They support Oculus Rift but not TrackIR? After playing ED with TrackIR it feels just astoundingly poor to fly without it. I go to turn my head and nothing happens. This is something that the game oughta be designed around, not something that gets tacked on years later. ED absolutely has the right idea with this and the end result will probably reflect it.

- It's hard to see stuff in space. The giant circles around the targets are really annoying. The field of view is small. The lighting is way off. Sense of scale is hard. Visual and auditory cues for movement nearly non-existent... meh. Lack of TrackIR support doesn't help with any of this either.

- Can't bind any controls, and the bindings for the Thrustmaster Warthog are borked. Nothing on the throttle works, and the actual controls on the stick don't match their instructions. At least the fire button worked, SORT OF. If you pull the trigger all the way, it changes the !@#$ing camera view. Just what you don't want when you're in the middle of firing at someone.

- Ship movement and aiming with a joystick kinda sucked. I had to constantly switch between decoupled and coupled modes. Coupled mode to get the ship moving in the right direction, and then decoupled mode to have any sort of shot at aiming well enough to hit anything... with gimballed lasers even. At least the aiming in the decoupled mode is pretty easy and very stable, unlike flight assist off in ED which spins all over the place unless you have mad l33t skillz yo, but you can get by just fine in ED without ever needing to disable flight assist. And the transition between modes is jarring and uncomfortable in AC, compared with silky smooth in ED.

- Ship HUD GUI is really non-intuitive. As a result I never really did much more than turn and shoot stuff with the default lasers. Everything in the ship HUD GUI in ED was obvious from the get-go except for choosing a faction.

- Bumping into walls in space. Sorry, "simulation bounds". Lame and unnecessary. It's space! Not Need for Speed.

Anyway I could go on for pages but you probably get the idea.

Stuff that was good about Arena Commander:

- It didn't crash! Of course, ED has always been stable in its single player modes too.

- Damage model is pretty neat, although good luck figuring out WTF is going on when it comes to damage with either your ship or the enemy's. Maybe that will get better with experience but it was always blindingly obvious in ED.

Anyway yeah, that's pretty much it. Of course this is the very first release of SC (that isn't just a stupid hangar - that's hangar with an 'A' people) and ED has been iterating for a while now, plus ED has its problems too (fundamentally flawed netcode).

It'll be interesting to see how things evolve from here for both games.
 
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