Star Citizen’s Dogfighting Module Launching On May 29th

By Nathan Grayson on May 20th, 2014 at 8:00 am.

You might remember that Star Citizen‘s looooong-awaited dogfighting module was supposed to be out in April, but things happen. Things like a very, very rocky first public showcase, for instance. The slightly more deadly than usual fireworks show looked absolutely gorgeous when it worked, but a few disastrous space-outs sent ships infinitely spinning into oblivion. There were also physics errors and other various glitches. It had a long way to go, in other words. Apparently, however, it’ll finally be ready at the end of May. For real this time.

Chris Roberts announced the release date in one of his Arena Commander weekly reports, explaining that it could still slip again, but it probably won’t. Also, while not everyone will have access to multiplayer immediately, the hope is that everybody will be able to blow up their friends after a brief testing period.

“We intend to launch Arena Commander in two weeks, on May 29th.The goal is that every backer will have access to the single player ‘Free Flight’ and ‘Vanduul Swarm’ games modes on this day, and the very first batch of multiplayer testers will get access to the game’s multiplayer game modes. We will scale up the multiplayer as quickly as possible starting on that date, increasing the number of players as it is stable and stopping to fix bugs where needed.”

“This date is based on our best possible projections using the latest information put together by Star Citizen’s production team as of this afternoon. This is a big part of what the often-unseen production side of game development does: schedule out every task they believe is required for a game to ship.  At this point, we’re close enough that we feel fairly confident in this date… but the next two weeks will be a march!”

The full post, then, includes a day-by-day breakdown of what Roberts and co will be working on for the next two weeks in order to get this thing off the launch pad. It’s quite a task, but it certainly seems doable based on Roberts’ timeline. I do hope they remember to shower and brush their teeth, though. Crunch time really brings out the incessant yet well-meaning mother in me.

So, who’s got high hopes for Star Citizen’s dogfighting? The showcase was pretty rough, but it’s been a little while since then. Even assuming it hits the ground space running, though, do you think it’ll stack up well to the already nicely fleshed out Elite: Dangerous? It’s a war among the stars – a phrase that of course calls to mind little-known Scandinavian director Jarge Lukas’ film trilogy Spacely Biffings. Who’s side are you on?

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53 Comments »

  1. hjarg says:

    Well, finally!
    Though about half a year late- normal in game development. Let’s just hope they deliver what they promised!

    • Cinek says:

      Which will be what? 2 locations, 3 game modes, 4 starships?

      • hjarg says:

        As long as they keep adding locations, starships and game modes, it’s more then ok.

      • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

        It’ll probably consist in what is realistic to expect almost 2 years before a speculated “real” release date, which is probably more believable than the official ( and early ) predictions.

        Who knows, maybe seeing the whole matter with this perspective might actually help you notice they’re doing pretty nicely.

  2. TommeH says:

    “It’s a war among the stars . Who’s side are you on?”

    Why should I pick one side?
    I backed both projects and I’m equally excited about them.

    Space sims were dead for a decade (except the X series) and now I’m looking forward to Star Citizen, Elite: Dangerous, Limit Theory, No Man’s Sky and Enemy Starfighter.
    It’s not a “do you want to play game A or B” situation but a “I want to play all of them!”.

    • BobbyDylan says:

      Hear hear!!!

    • SanguineAngel says:

      TommeH for president! of space

    • frightlever says:

      Did NOBODY play the Evochron games?

      • Cockie says:

        Are they good? I couldn’t find a lot of info about them…

      • SanguineAngel says:

        I played them, they were okay! But they FELT a bit ropey – although were in fact solid games with some interesting ideas.

      • Casimir's Blake says:

        DRM and average reviews conspire against that series.

      • derbefrier says:

        Yes! I put about 60 hours in Evochron Mercenary before I got bored with it. Its a bit. Repitive content wise but. The flight model nd of course being able to land on planets and shit is a blast. I still boot it up from time to time just to fly around.

    • Cockie says:

      You’re forgetting Infinity, Kinetic Void, Paragon, Rodina and Eve:Valkyrie!
      Space! More space!

      • pauleyc says:

        Except Infinity – whille very impressive – is at this point still not much more than an old tech demo and Kinetic Void is…well, suffice to say I kind of regret getting this even though it was cheap in the last Steam sale. There might be a game somewhere in there but I doubt the devs ever flesh it out. Even building space ships is definitely more fun in KSP than in KV. EVE Valkyrie on the other hand is very impressive and promising (I assume it works without a VR headset?).

        However, I do hope that the current influx of space sims will encourage Disney to do something meaningful with the Star Wars license and deliver a long-overdue X-Wing/TIE Fighter/Alliance successor.

  3. The Army of None says:

    Sooooo excited! More space sims is spectacular for everyone!

  4. karthink says:

    > Who’s side are you on?

    Why do you do this Nathan? You’re steering the conversation in a bad direction it shouldn’t have to go. :(

    • Cinek says:

      It did every single time we had a post about SC – he is just reflecting on past.

      • karthink says:

        Reflecting on the past this way leads to repeating it. You’d think Nathan would see the merit in not framing it as a battle. He should know better.

    • 12inchPlasticToy says:

      And also… whose*
      Because “Who is side are you on” sounds like a jarjarism.

      • particlese says:

        Indeed — so much disappointment after the high point of “Spacely Biffings”. Such conflict!

  5. PoulWrist says:

    Only 6 months late… I am wondering what we’ll be hearing from all those Star Citizen fanboys that spam every forum I am on with how they’re so done with whatever game’s forum this is, since Star Citizen is way better and has way more money.
    I guess maybe it’s schadenfreude to expect that when I get my link, download and install this thing, it will be super buggy and lacking in content; ships, gamemodes, weapons, areas, that this might finally shut those people up…

    I’ve been looking forward to these new spacegames, even looking into buying a stick setup. But the attitude of the so-called “fans” of this game on public forums makes me almost regret that I backed this campaign.

    Thus, if you must have a “which side are you on” discussion, then I am on the side of Elite, the community of which is not made up of obnoxious trolls who run around on forums of games I enjoy and spout their derogatory nonsense on behalf of the SC community, in posts and signatures.

    • Ich Will says:

      People will be people and given anonymity most will be dicks.

    • Logeres says:

      I don’t read many forums, so take this with a grain of salt, but when I do hear about news from SC on the sites I follow, it’s usually followed by a bunch of people declaring that SC is obviously going to be a complete disaster and that they themselves are way too smart to be roped in. I feel that looking forward to seeing a game fail based solely on one’s opinion of (a part of) the fanbase is rather dickish itself.

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      Weird, i thought the typical counter argument was that SC is nothing more than vaporware, which incidentally is what has been said about Elite aswell before they let people download the thing.

      Maybe is just “the average internet naysayer” the defective one? maybe it’s because to qualify as that “average” you are supposed to do no research, while the only thing you should read is “The ultimate compendium of all pre-baked hyperboles” ?

      I have both things installed and i’m not regretting any single penny. But i have to agree with you on ONE thing, there are a scary bunch of idiots among SC fanbase, but you shouldn’t see that as an indication of anything other than the fact that mainstream success guarantees a habitat for said people.

      Edit: Also, honest question: what features should be missing? This is nothing more than a dogfighting module. While you could argue that combat is a core element of the final game, it still doesn’t change the fact that this “arena commander” is simply supposed to be, as the name suggests, arena based.

      It will be a combat simulator in the final game, something you play for training and maybe leaderboards, it’s nothing more. If you’re on Elite side, as stupid as it is to pick side, how can you miss the fact that Elite’s first combat module was just some SP micromissions? Was that a problem too?

    • Solidstate89 says:

      Thus, if you must have a “which side are you on” discussion, then I am on the side of Elite, the community of which is not made up of obnoxious trolls who run around on forums of games I enjoy and spout their derogatory nonsense on behalf of the SC community, in posts and signatures.

      I haven’t been on the SC forums in quite a while (too much vitriol and general BS) but when I was a regular commenter, I remember having a flood of posts about how much better ELITE was, and how much better they were at managing money, and how the devs were better, and how SC sucked, etc, etc, etc.

      So don’t go droning on about generalization bullshit and claim one side is totally innocent in this stupid “fanboy war.” Both sides are equally guilty in what you refer to. We just have to remember it’s not the majority that take part in such wastes of time.

    • krisk7 says:

      Can I have your stuff?

  6. Dr_Barnowl says:

    May 29th? So, definitely not chosen to be 1 day before the premium beta phase of Elite : Dangerous then? :-P

    • BobbyDylan says:

      To be fare, Frontier did put out Alpha 3 on the day that CIG showed the DFM, I’m sure that was also a total accident.

      Anyway, I don’t mind. Both games will generate hype and excitement for each-other.

  7. Taidan says:

    It’s worth following the game just to see the fascinating ups and downs of the making of a game like this. I’ve had so much fun watching all the various shows that they’ve put out and reading all of the supplementary articles and lore that if the entire project crashed and burned today, I’d still feel that I’d had my money’s worth. (Very little chance of it coming to that at this point, hopefully!)

    The only downside is that we’re starting to see one of the lesser anticipated aspects of crowdfunding rear its ugly head again, and it’s the same one that led to Planetary Annihilation launching at a stupid price on Steam – The need to appease the high-spending backers. With this in mind, I suspect that all of that extra polish and the extra features that they’ve put into the Alpha could backfire, if they’re not careful.

    We’re in a situation now where the game is safely funded, (although more funds will increase the quality of the game) and a decent chunk of playable game is shortly about to be released. I have a theory that for a lot of potential Star Citizens, this will become the point where they’re viewing the game more as a pre-order, or possibly even straight-up purchase of the game, what with all the emphasis given that Arena Commander, while still being the Alpha for the main game, is now almost a fully-featured online space dogfighting sim of its own.

    The point at which this becomes problematic is that if you look at it way, with the intention of buying a $45 package to play Arena Commander until the full game hits in 12-24 months, you’re going to be buying a $45 game with one low-end spaceship, with the option of better ships only available as individual bits of DLC that can cost anywhere between $55 to $225. (and possibly even more in future “expansions”.) It’s one of those issues of perception that can swing either way. (Last I heard, their solution to this was to add microtransactions to the Alpha, in the form of 24-hour “ship rentals” for $2 a pop, although that wasn’t final.)

    Needless to say, this has resulted in a fair bit of drama on those forums, with lots of venomous rhetoric being flung around. (we’re seeing lots of talk of “Pay-to-win” and “paywalls” on one side, and the word “entitled” being flung back by those who are protective of their more-generous donations.)

    Thankfully, this situation will resolve itself at launch, when all of this content becomes available to buy with virtual bucks instead of real money, but if CIG are going to keep showing off Arena Commander as a standalone multiplayer arena-based space shooter, (with expansion packs of its own coming) they might want to do a better job of communicating exactly how it works in relation to this being a crowdfunded project, just to fend off the inevitable backlash.

    • Cinek says:

      “how it works in relation to this being a crowdfunded project” – that’s super-easy to understand: AC is nothing more than an alpha version of the final game, something that will become a component of the final production as a “simulator” where players will be able to fight against each other quickly and without stress of PU.

      “this content becomes available to buy with virtual bucks instead of real money,” – in addition to, not instead. You always will be able to buy ships with real money in Star Citizen. That’s their business model, that’s how they plan to pay for all this additional content planned after the release.

      ” this will become the point where they’re viewing the game more as a pre-order” – people do that already. With every single crowdfunded game. And there’s nothing wrong with that – guys like that usually don’t interfere with development while providing money that devs need. I’m much more afraid of people who think that they’re entitled to step in every stage of development because they crowdfunded the game.

      • Taidan says:

        Hmm. I’ve sure I’ve read it stated several times by the developers that the ship sales will end when the game is launched, and that the business model will be a one-time game purchase + optional in-game credits.

        Did they back-track on that?

        • Cinek says:

          You’ll pay for UEC with money which will allow you to buy ships in a game. They didn’t back-track anything, it was always like that.

          • Taidan says:

            …but with there being quite a strict limit on how much UEC you can buy in a given timeframe, it’s not quite being simply “able to buy ships with real money”.

            I mean, essentially it’s possible, but at the figures quoted, it would take at least two-to-three months of buying maximum credits per day, every day, to buy the civilian variant of the Idris.

          • Cinek says:

            “strict limit”? It’s 25k per 24 hours / 150k maximum stored, with limits significantly increased after the release to allow purchase of multiple ships for UEC when direct purchase with money won’t be possible any more. Prices of the ships after the release remain unknown.

            Your calculation of how many days it would take to purchase Idris with credits is taken out of nowhere and got nothing to deal with reality – it’s based on many assumptions, most of which are known to be false since day one of Voyager Direct (misinformed people posted calculations like that on a forums, I know, but they were debunked long ago).

          • Taidan says:

            You’re back-tracking yet again. We know vaguely how much ships will cost, as $1 is worth exactly 1000 UEC, and it’s been stated many times that when the game launches, ships will cost two-to-three times what they do in the store now in equivalent in-game currency. (The line the Devs are giving is that if you are planning to simply buy a ship, best do it now, as it will very expensive to attempt to do it after launch.)

            If you were to buy, for example, a Constellation in the store with equivalent UEC after the game launched, at the current exchange rate alone it would take you 9 days of buying max credit. If ships really do cost double or triple that after launch, you’re looking at anywhere between 18 days to almost a month of buying maximum credits, every day. (And an expenditure of $450-$675, I hasten to add.) The Idris I quoted above originally sold for $1000.

            It’s hardly a simple case of “You always will be able to buy ships with real money in Star Citizen” as you said above. You can certainly buy credits, within limits, but not ships.

          • Cinek says:

            Taidan – you post assumption after assumption after assumption and insist that these assumptions combined together give you a picture of how the final game will work like. They don’t.

            Microtransactions were announced to be in the game since the day one, and since VD release we know that players will be able to purchase UEC for money, UEC which will be a currency you’re going to use to purchase ships in a game. We’re also 100% certain that we DO NOT KNOW prices of the ships nor final UEC exchange rates. These are all a subject of change.

            And as I said – you cannot make a calculation of number of days it’ll take till you buy a ship purchasing maximum amount of credits – it’s BS. They’ll increase UEC purchase limits to the point where you can buy at least a single cap ship after one transaction (as far as I remember they specifically told “multiple ships” but that’s quite vague – in price of Idris there are multiple Auroras, so it might be just one cap ship, or multiple cap ships – in either case: you’re fooling yourself if you think they’ll cut off their major source of income).

            It’s hardly a simple case of “You always will be able to buy ships with real money in Star Citizen” as you said above. You can certainly buy credits, within limits, but not ships.
            1. Forget about limits. They’re irrelevant after the release when direct purchase of ships for money will be impossible but the limits will be increased to the point where they won’t be an issue.
            2. You will be able to buy ships for money. It’s a fact whatever you like it or not. What you’re arguing about is that it won’t be possible directly – I don’t care and I never said it will. It’s still a purchase of ships for money, no matter if there’s some gold/UEC/golden eagles/other shit in between that you need to calculate in your transaction.

          • Taidan says:

            No , those are your assumptions. The exchange rate of dollars to UEC is fixed at $1 to 1000 UEC, and any changes to the relative value of those UEC will be handled in-game, (and considering the stated plans for dealing with game-wide inflation, it shouldn’t have to slowly rise with real-world values) but it has been repeatedly stated that the relative value of those ships will see a steep increase vs real-dollar prices.

            The latest word is that there is currently a limit of 25k per day, and I will quote: “These restrictions may be modified at the order of the CCB in the future”. (Emphasis mine.) The clear message that CIG is trying to convey is that they don’t want people buying ships for money once the game is launched, and that the option of buying small amounts of in-game currency is the least obnoxious microtransaction they could add, intended merely to supplement those with less playtime. (While obviously lining their own pockets, but not at the cost of gameplay.) And yes, they have stated on more than one occasion that they intend those amounts to be small so as not to cause rampant inflation on the few parts of the economy that they intend the players to be able to influence. (eg. rare items.)

            If they wanted people to outright buy ships after launch, they’d merely leave the shop open as it is now.

            The rest of your post is pure speculation.

            Really, this whole thread has been completely derailed by you trying to defend a single incorrect statement you made, on a technicality, and all it’s doing is making both us of look bad. Now, I know that you feel you have to weigh in on every single Elite and Star Citizen thread on the internet, and that you really love Elite, but deliberately spreading misinformation in order to try and trash a competing title just isn’t cricket, old fellow. They both look like great games, and I myself backed both on day one. Just relax and enjoy them when they are finally released!

          • Cinek says:

            Taidan – hahaha, you’re a funny guy :) So much BS and assumptions in a single post… you’re beyond hope. Oh, and just to picture it: I didn’t back Elite, however I did back Star Citizen with nearly 1500$, got a Golden Ticket and one of 500 Scythe fighters, currently the rarest fighter in Star Citizen (if you don’t don’t count individual variants). I’m also Imperator-level subscriber (the original one, not Imperator Prime, was since subscription program begun).

            You might think what I wrote is “trashing title” but the truth is that it’s just reality I accepted long ago and you reject. Star Citizen in many aspects will be a game far from ideal, and very far from what majority of community, including yourself, imagines – I guess I’m just more careful with reading official material trying to avoid my vision to take over what CIG says while tracking the development very carefully since day one, so I got by far deeper knowledge than good 99.9% of Star Citizen community – seeing your posts: that includes you. You can trash my post as long as you want, but in the end, after the release, I’ll be the one laughing (that is: unless CIG moves away from their currently sketched future of SC business model – but I doubt it’ll happen considering how profitable selling ships is).

            There’s basically just one part that I can agree with in your whole post:
            Just relax and enjoy them when they are finally released!
            That’s the plan. At least for SC – IDK if I’ll buy Elite, still need to get a SC Joystick and Oculus…

          • Taidan says:

            Oh, I actually owe you an apology, I’d gotten you mixed up with that uber-fanboy who usually weighs in on all of these threads. Also a day-one backer and day-one golden-ticket holder here, woot!

            Really though, go back and re-read some of those recent interviews when Chris Roberts explains his intention behind selling currency, and his thoughts on microtransactions. I think you’ll find them quite enlightening…

          • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

            We can only evaluate the intentions, and the stated intentions are that UEC purchases won’t matter much, that’s all we know.

            We also know this happens because no additional expansions will be paid for. Now, IF they backtrack on that, i can agree that shit might totally hit the fan.

        • JMartinni says:

          They had always included the possibility of micro-transactions in the game, read the kickstarter page for example. Roberts also mentioned it in countless interviews.

    • Dobleclick says:

      I’ve had so much fun watching all the various shows that they’ve put out and reading all of the supplementary articles and lore that if the entire project crashed and burned today, I’d still feel that I’d had my money’s worth.

      THIS!! I spent 100$ to back SC (quite a hefty amount for us “mortals”), and have enjoyed so much all their shows, posts, lore and insight into the development process, that I feel my money is well-spent already, no matter what happens to the game.

      • Nalum says:

        Agree with this. I would consider myself to be one of those that “pre-ordered” the game. I know it’s not pre-ordering and that there is the possibility that the money I’ve spent wont end up with a game at the end of it, as I backed through the original site and then later again through Kickstarter. I mostly keep to myself and don’t bother with the forums as I’ve found it to be not the most welcoming of places.

        I’m happy to let the devs do what they need to and feel that I’ve gotten more than my moneys worth out this project with all the information that is shared on their site and all the videos that they put out.

        As a developer myself I’m aware of the process and am happy to see “deadlines” being pushed back. I for one was happy to see AC in the state that it was in during the reveal, because that’s really what I payed for, a view into the development process. Getting what is looking to be a great game at the end of it is just gravy.

      • Cinek says:

        You know that insight to all this stuff you talk about is free for everyone? ;) And any additional materials – like these from Jump Point – are paid by subscribers, not even a single buck from your 100$ was spent of providing them to the community.

        • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

          Not only you have missed the point, since he simply said that he enjoyed having spent his money on a project that is being run in a way he likes, but you also really have a strange idea of what goes behind the definition of “free”, in this case.

          Surely you’ll agree that such things wouldn’t even exist if the project simply tanked, and even if everything is funded can you say for certain that the “drive” to publish such “free” things is also not in any way linked to how the project is contantly financially growing and the desire to do better ( and get more money ) ?

          I really don’t want to sound harsh, but the ability to abstract is vital.

  8. Geebs says:

    Helmet helmet helmet

  9. Arglebargle says:

    I’d, of course, come down vaguely on the side of Elite Dangerous, just because I know too much about Chris Roberts to put much stock in Star Citizen.

    Was recently talking to a couple of friends, long time Origin employees: Part of the conversation was about how Roberts (and Garriott) presented things with complete conviction in what they’d said, regardless of how little connection to reality it might have. They both surround themselves with brown nosers and sychophants too.

    Doesn’t mean Star Citizen won’t eventually come out, and possibly be a fun game. I just predict a bumpy ride, with lots of excuses from the Captain over unexpected turbulence….

  10. tomimt says:

    I’d say both, Elite and Star Citizen, are interesting. But I will most likely get Elite first.

    • Cinek says:

      If you haven’t bought any game – you will very likely buy Elite first – simply because it’ll be released much earlier than Star Citizen. :)
      So you can easily play Elite till you get bored and then switch to SC when it gets released. They don’t force you to choose :)

  11. derbefrier says:

    Pretty excited for this. It also happens to launch in the middle of my vacation so I have lots of time to play it! As for this whole Sc vs E:D thing. I went with star citizen because of the Persistent universe and because when describing the multicrew constellation, the words “millinium Falcon”. Where thrown around in comparison, this of course resulted in me throwing all my money at the screen. Elite looks great and I plan on buying it as soon as it drops to a normal price. I just can’t justify to myself spending another 100 + bucks on a game after spending 200 on star citizen.

    With that said yay space sims!

  12. steviebops says:

    How’ the general feeling of the community on this game? Confident regarding release?