Star Citizen 1.1 Launches, Adds Ship Rental And Landing

Between the approaching onslaught of both virtual reality and alternate reality, I can’t shake the feeling that we’re living inside a science fiction novel. Star Citizen [official site] isn’t helping: version 1.1 is out now and includes two new ships, one of which costs up to $300. High priced microtransactions aren’t new, but Star Citizen’s ambitions are all a little too Back To Reality for me. And I can’t tell whether that’s made better or worse by the update also introducing a ship rental system that allows players to fly those expensive ships for seven non-consecutive days using in-game currency earned through space battles with other players.

The REC (Rental Equipment Credits) system met with a lukewarm reception when it was first described to players some months ago, as there’s concern that the in-game credits can only be earned through dogfighting and that the game currently has no matchmaking. That means you could join a fight, be pitched against an enemy in a significantly better ship, and be destroyed without ever having the chance to earn the credits necessary to rent something better. In a forum post at the time, creator Chris Roberts said they would take the feedback on board, though also stated that matchmaking was always planned and much of the criticism would be naturally addressed as the game gained other REC-earning activities.

1.1 also introduces the ability to land your ship on floating space platforms. Much like rival space game Elite: Dangerous, space docks can be governed or ungoverned, allowing for naughtier behaviour in the latter, but there’s a key difference in that Star Citizen gives you the ability to automate the landing process from the beginning.

This is also the first update in what’s supposedly going to be a tidal wave of new features to arrive in the coming months.

In order to apply the update, you need to re-install Star Citizen entirely from scratch. This will apparently fix a bunch of bugs that players have been experiencing due to the original installer. Instructions for how to dock the latest version upon your hard drive can be found here on the Star Citizen forum.

Meanwhile the post about the update on the Roberts Space Industries blog has more detail on the above features, and the patch notes has the complete list of changes.

60 Comments

  1. Simon_Scott says:

    Why 1.1, though? This feels akin to if FD had launched Elite: Dangerous when it was just a series of tutorials.

    • FriendlyFire says:

      It’s “version 1.1” of the dogfighting module, not the full game. Bit of a sneaky way around it, but internally it makes sense.

      • Cinek says:

        So why the hell do they call it Star Citizen if it’s nothing more than yet another Arena Commander update? What is this stupidity?

        • Tutamun says:

          The rename to Star Citizen 1.1 was because they prepared for the coming releases in the next few months.
          They will add the FPS module “Star Marine” and the social module (basically the first steps to towards the persistent universe where friends can visit your hangar, or you can meet them in a city on a planet). The name “Arena Commander” would not be fitting any more.

          It was explained here:
          link to robertsspaceindustries.com

          As for the version number… it is just a number. But I agree that version 1.0 or higher raises some expectations of a finished product. If they had put an “Alpha” somewhere in the name it would be more obvious to those not following this project on a daily basis.

      • ButteringSundays says:

        Well that still doesn’t really explain it tbh. 1.0 (at least by any standard versioning system) is the release proper. 1.1 certainly denotes a new feature, but these aren’t additions, they actual core features of the module. If you’re still adding features then it’s not finished (be it a module, full game, whatever label you apply to it).

        If it’s not feature complete then it’s not even a beta…

  2. DoughburtCakesworth says:

    These two fellas helped me get an idea of just how fast those ships are going when you give them the full beans:

    link to youtu.be

    • derbefrier says:

      Multiplayer free flight is an absolute blast. My favorite thing to do atm is to land and steal other peoples ships(muhahahaha) its also a good non competitive place to practice manuvers with other pilots and so on.

    • Nemon says:

      I’ve only just pledged for the basic Aurora and a slightly nicer hangar, and I haven’t spent much time playing the different releases. This video is so awesome, that epic THUDDD as he flies by is simply art.

    • Eggman says:

      M50 speed in-game is around 280m/s, speed of sound on earth at sea level is 340m/s, so yeah it’s fast for a video game, but a bit slow for people who expected a “simulator-ish” space game. I’ve read multiplayer lag is the reason why ship speeds are slow both in ED and SC.

      • Neutrino says:

        That’s not even fast for a video game. Flight sims have been able to accurately depict planes travelling at mach 2 for donkey’s years. A modern space sim that can’t even depict a space ship travelling at mach 1 is pretty weak sauce imo.

        • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

          You almost speak as if you think there is some technological limitation to that, and maybe you do.

          The truth is far simpler, the “dogfight mode” runs at dogfight speeds, besides you could keep increasing your speed infinitely in space ( fuel not withstanding ) in a fully newtonian model, but they’re just going for what they think is fun.

          If nothing’s changed, in travel you’ll be able to go at 0.20c, while in Elite you can go at various hundreds of that. If i were thinking like you i’d be a little unimpressed about those games you mention only able to handle the ultra-slow Mach 2.

          • Neutrino says:

            Well I gather there is a technical limitation involved, latency in the netcode for multiplayer (as the guy I’m replying to has already stated). Flight sims only model planes going at mach 2 because that’s how fast the planes actually go in real life, which seems perfectly reasonable, they are however able to accomodate multiplayer at those speeds perfectly well, which is why the speeds reported here seem somewhat underwhelming to me.

            I understand that they are adopting a variant of the ‘aeroplanes in space’ flight model because they think that will be more fun, having played all the variants of Elite made so far I know that’s not what I would find most fun but there you go.

          • AlexanderMangel says:

            Source of the latency problem with high speeds please; as a programmer this sounds rather rediculous so I AM CURIOUS.

          • AlexanderMangel says:

            This seems more like a gamedesign decision to me than anything else, incredibly high speed dogfighting introduces some other far more problematic things than sending vectors over the intertubes.

          • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

            Then my apologies, as your post sounded to me a little on the trollish side. And yeah, i was just trying to make a point with that Mach 2 example, not saying they should artificially make airplanes go faster than they should.

            Still, i’m extremely unconvinced by that theory, it seems something born out from the community hive-mind, or at least i can’t remember even once an official ( or semi-official ) statement about it. I’ll admit that i didn’t follow the project closely since october or so, but before that i never really lost a single forum post, or jump point, video or whatever.

            Actually, to put things in perspective, the first iteration of the dogfighting module had slower movement, that got later increased. Such a quick change ( surely dependent on fan feedback ) seems to suggest that they had little troubles with coding it, further suggesting that we’re mostly looking at game balance/design decisions.

        • Mr_Blastman says:

          They might simulate mach 2 but typically you close at maybe 700ish knots or so maximum and once you enter a dogfight you slow down to 300 – 450 knots–in jet sims at least. There’s this thing called blacking out, which also applies to space combat, too. That whole thing called inertia… yeah, it kinda sucks. :)

  3. geldonyetich says:

    Sheesh, they want me to buy the game for every ship I want to fly? What kind of rich man’s toy is this game trying to be?

    Also I’m a tad bothered by their calling this version 1.1 but, as I skim their webpage, I see mentions that this game is still in alpha. V1.0+ should really be for release state versions of a game.

    • DoughburtCakesworth says:

      Nope, It’s just a “reward” so to speak for people that still want to donate right now. Or in some cases (there are ships that are priced around 30~ or so dollars that come with the game as well as beta access, etc.) a cheaper way of getting the game before it goes gold. When the game releases, you’ll be able to purchase every ship you see in the store with in game credits.

      And yeah, I agree with the 1.1 thing. It’s just going to confuse people. Kind of a dumb move, that.

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      Nope, it just is a clever pledging structure. Back when Elite was in Alpha people trolled that Star Citizen was far too expensive while some people got the game for 30 dollers and the very trolls instead bought E:D’s alpha for 5x as much ( or was it even more? ).

      And before you ask, no: i actually love Elite, i have 300 hours or so in it, but their crowfunding really wasn’t as clever and they could have raised far more themselves. Who knows, maybe with more money they could have added something for those who scream “hollow game”, just like maybe SC actually needs all that money, and probably more.

      Eitherway you can get SC for cheap today, and earn all your ships in game once it releases just like you can do in Elite. Also, and this is quite important, Arena commander in the final game won’t be anything more than a simulation running from your hangar, a simpler mode with leaderboards that has little consequences for you if you don’t want to. The real game is still about heading out in the universe.

    • 2late2die says:

      That’s 1.1 of Arena Commander which is just one module of a game that’s still in Alpha. Nothing’s confusing about that.

      • schlusenbach says:

        Well, their official site says “Star Citizen 1.1 is live” right now. That’s pretty confusing for a game that’s still in alpha.

    • Reapy says:

      I miss being able to just buy a game. Now you can spend full price on a game, get a shitty starter ship you will hate and can do nothing in, not having much fun, then grind forever to try out a more effective ship, only to find out after an hour with it you hate it, then uninstall and quit. Modern gaming rockssssss

      • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

        If you spend it now it won’t be full price, plus i don’t see anything strange in a such a game letting you start with the shittiest ship, it actually looks like some pretty normal design to me.

    • dorobo says:

      Im gonna buy it after full release on some sale for 10 money and never play it…

  4. Thurgret says:

    I’m not sure that calling E:D a “rival” space game is a particularly healthy attitude to have. Both games have sometimes overwhelmingly mean elements in their fan bases (as well as plenty of people who are just generally passionate) that take exactly that view on it and pretty much blot out hope of intelligent discussion if they really get going. I really quite enjoy E:D, especially since the Wings update fixed some of its most glaring issues, though I’m still waiting anxiously to see if the 1.3 update marks another significant improvement. I’m also a backer for SC, though not particularly happy with the flight model unless it’s changed significantly since about four months ago, and entirely unhappy with the microtransaction model (though it almost needs a new word – I’m not sure microtransaction cuts it). The release date seems to be around 2017 by now, however, so they have plenty of time to fix it.

    • Darth Grabass says:

      Megatransactions.

    • Thurgret says:

      No edit button. Argh. I now see that the SC flight model has indeed been updated at some point since I last played it, meaning that all I need to do now is figure out if the game files install to a reasonable, logical place, such that I can download it onto my laptop then use an external HD to move it over to my desktop. (This absurd arrangement is absurd, I know, and a bizarre necessity of where I currently live.)

      • Supahewok says:

        Let me guess: poor home internet resulting in you needing to do large downloads at a local internet cafe with a mobile computer, then transferring the results over?

  5. metric day says:

    Pretty ridiculous to call this 1.1, they are going to get so much flack for that over the coming months.

    • 0positivo says:

      Yes. It’s pretty ridicouls

      Everyone told them not to do it. Call it Star citizen 0.1. Or bagels .5, whatever names you want. Once you start using the name of the game you promised would be the finished thing, with a number that is usually found on completed products, you’re BOUND to generate the impression you’re selling a complete product

      We all told Chris not to do it, but he still did. And, just as expected, it’s generating confusion and criticism. And they deserve most of it

      I still have lots of faith in the project, but this was a bad move IMHO

    • SanguineAngel says:

      I’m not sure why this is suddenly Star Citizen 1.1 – it should be Arena Commander 1.1 which is a smaller module.

      • badirontree says:

        I think because FPS module and Social module will be in the same client … but i think they jumped the gun on the name…. Atlist they should add the ALPHA on the name… ex Star Citizen ALPHA 1.1 or something

  6. derbefrier says:

    pretty good update though its buggy as hell. Multiplayer has pretty much been broken all weekend, threres some wierd bugs in flight controls going on and Free Flight has crash issues (but is still fun as hell). I hear the REC system is pretty good, it sounds like its super easy to earn enough credits to start renting ships and equipment( meaning you dont have to be a pro to get any use out of the REC system) I gotta wait for a bug fix patch first since my preferred method of flying is currently bugged( real pilots fly decoupled!)

    You guys arent the only ones who though it was wierd going to 1.0 naming convention the community thought it was strange too but eh what can you do and in the end it doesn’t really matter.

    Hopefully we will see some FPS action in the coming weeks.

    • derbefrier says:

      Also on REC you can earn it in the co-op Vanduul swarm mode too if you are the type that avoids pvp at all costs( this was something the community asked for after the intial announcement of the REC system).

  7. tomimt says:

    It’s pretty insane how much they’ve managed to milk this one out. From what I’ve understood some people have really put in some serious money in this game and it’s not even fully out yet.

    • Gibs says:

      Evidently cause they have money to spend, good for them, and good for the game. Those high prices are meant to gather even more funds for the development.

      As long as the game remains 35$ circa and ships can be bought in game when released… and if not so… nah that would be an epic fuck up, not gonna happen.

      • Gibs says:

        on a side note, let’s all pray to the gods this is going to be the game of the decade!

      • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

        Indeed, mostly because the lesson to learn here is that the world is also composed by people who don’t even notice anything that’s below 1000 Euro, maybe in their wallet they have nothing smaller than 100 Euro paper money pieces, which always makes for a good laugh when they just want to pay for a coffee.

        Eitherway, point being: give something to those people too, they will happily pay for it if they see some worth in your product, mostly because the perceived valued of something is incredibly subjective and ultimately depends on what looks like affordable to you.

        The funny part is that gamers in truth should be well equipped to understand this notion. Most people should have noticed some difference in, say, Skyrim, when they had so much money they have no idea what to do with it, either spend it in useless crap or throw it away. Rich people are the same.

  8. Maxheadroom says:

    I’ve not played Star Citizen (Arena Commander, whatever) in months, so in preperation for 1.1 I updated the client on my PC and gaming laptop which was well out of date and took the better part of a day on their slow-ass installer. Then, 24 hours later it drops and im told i need to uninstall and reinstall form scratch.

    Sucks to be me i guess

  9. FlipMooMonkey says:

    I’m begging here. Can we PLEASE get someone from RPS to actually play the alpha modules. I would love to read what their impressions and thoughts are on the current game play. What they like, what they don’t and what they are looking forward to rather than having the same articles where the latest patch notes/trailers are listed with some body text sneering about how much people are paying for ships.

    There were some great articles on here for Elite while it was in alpha and not every one of those was a patch note list and price tag attached, it’d be nice to see the same chance extended to Star Citizen.

    • Smashbox says:

      I’d also be interested to read wot they think.

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      Can’t have that, they might even like the game and they wouldn’t feel compelled to write ship jokes. That would be absolutely unprofessional.

      • Premium User Badge

        Harlander says:

        I’m sure liking the game is no reason to stop making jokes about the expensive ships.

    • Tutamun says:

      I’d also bee more interested in a report of someone playing or at least trying to play Arena Commander and what they think about it.

      Hell, I’d even gift one of the ‘fly-now’ packages to one of the RPS authors who is interested in this kind of game if this is what it takes to get us a nice article on Star Citizen / Arena Commander.
      (Obviously the author would have to have a decent enough PC to run this unoptimized thing. But I guess that should not be a huge problem.)

    • Marblecake says:

      I said the exact same thing after the last SC article here. Just give the alpha a go, try out the flight model, see how it feels.

    • Premium User Badge

      Ninja Dodo says:

      I too would be interested in your take on the playable game so far. I get the sense that you’re not especially interested in the game, perhaps a combination of crowdfunding and space sim fatigue (with Elite already filling that gap)… but continuing to summarize press releases if no one cares to try it seems a bit superfluous.

    • KillahMate says:

      God, exactly. Is there some secret provision in the EULA that forbids reporters from installing Star Citizen? Because here’s this freaking huge elephant in the room of a game, a massive lightning rod of controversy, a beacon of a possible future for PC games that everyone has an opinion on.

      And reporters are flat out refusing to play it. Articles about the game amount to half-hearted copy-pasting of press releases, and the ever present funding total updates.

      What the fuck?

  10. rabbit says:

    I’ve been wondering recently if I might jump ship from E:D to SC — E:D was great fun for a few weeks until, as so with many before me, the malaise set in and I haven’t been back since. Hopefully they will deliver eventually and it own’t always be so shallow.

    Either way , this ridiculous microtransaction nonsense has totally put me off SC. $300 for a ship? Gunbound style ship rentals? Gimme a fucking break. Cash grab.

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      Then go for the minimum pledge, afterall there is absolutely no need to jump ship until SC releases. Arena commander is nothing more than something you can play right now, no need to stick with it if you don’t feel competitive.

      Sure, many people are playing this module a lot, some are even paying up money to be more competitive, that’s a good thing for CIG and the final game, but nothing will ever change the fact that there is absolutely no need to pay any more money after the initial pledge.

      You can consider the minimum pledge as a heavily discounted preorder incentive, the fact that there are some things to play right now is just an added bonus. For all we know, in the final game you’ll probably never even touch Arena Commander and just head out in the universe to make money with which to buy ships with no real currency needed.

    • Premium User Badge

      Harlander says:

      Are you talking about the “renting ships in arena commander” thing they just added? You get credits for that by dogfighting, not with money. (You also get a pittance just for playing out a whole match, so you could mindnumbingly build up to a big ship that way if you want)

      Actually, it’s been so long since I played Gunbound that I can’t remember how stuff worked.

  11. badmothergamer says:

    Was automated docking a requested feature for SC? For me docking was the most entertaining part of ED.

    • Pkloop says:

      For me it was the ONLY entertaining part of ED :(

    • Cinek says:

      Manual docking is still there if you want to use it.

      But there’s absolutely no reason for space-faring nation to be forced into using manual docking. Stupid USSR mastered automatic docking decades ago. Why the hell would anyone be forced into manual docking?

      • Asurmen says:

        Because the creators don’t want anything automatic?

      • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

        Because with auto mode you don’t have style, it won’t let you do a huge afterburned “space drift” followed by a corkscrew move that will realign you at the last second to the docking mirror while you pass it at over 300 m/s.

        You can have the best ship around, but without style you’re nothing!

  12. montorsi says:

    What the crap is this 1.1 stuff? Will we go through update revisions until release and then be back to 1.0? Or will the finished release be Star Citizen 2? (presuming it’s ever finished or released, LOL)

  13. Shadow says:

    Between the approaching onslaught of both virtual reality and alternate reality, I can’t shake the feeling that we’re living inside a science fiction novel. Star Citizen [official site] isn’t helping: version 1.1 is out now and includes two new ships, one of which costs up to $300. High priced microtransactions aren’t new, but Star Citizen’s ambitions are all a little too Back To Reality for me.

    Graham, with all due respect, it would be nice if you and RPS in general stopped perpetuating the myth that paying hundreds of dollars is in any way mandatory to access the larger ships (even before the rental system). It’s sensationalistic and click-baity to keep implying such when it’s been said from day one all ships can be obtained in-game with in-game currency once SC is out. Pledges are pledges, their primary role to support the game development. The associated ships are a bonus, a convenience so that a given backer can more easily acquire and keep (lifetime insurance) a vessel they like.

    It’s a shame one of the main popular criticisms against SC is based on blatantly false information, and endures in part due to journalists who should know better.

  14. QuiGon says:

    This game will ultimately be killed by the fact that the community’s most active members are inevitably banned by Maul218. CIG will not spend any money to have a professional moderation team. They instead gathered volunteers. CIG staff click-off on moderator actions to approve them, but clearly anybody doing their actual development job will not have time to properly investigate anything.

    Maul218 is an elderly ex-bobby (British police). Take a look at his moderation history:

    link to google.com

    Some actions by Maul218 are simple. Don’t advertise an org in the wrong place, or you might get mauled. Don’t post obviously toxic flames at other posters, especially when those flames are devoid of on-topic content or you might get mauled. That’s cool.

    What isn’t cool is that while the Star Citizen community is a healthy competitive gaming community, complete with passionate debate and innocent trash-talking, Maul218 can’t tell the difference between normal gamer behavior and toxic trolling. Anything that might have the most remote chance of being seen as negative could possibly get mauled, and it doesn’t even always happen in a timely manner.

    People have been mauled for defending other members of the community from accusations just because a word with a negative connotation was present. People have engaged in debate no worse than most of what is present on the page only to find themselves inexplicably mauled a week later.

    Maul218 plays favorites and holds grudges, has no sense of normal behavior in a healthy gaming community, and has no tact. Meanwhile, CIG does nothing to stop the community’s most passionate contributors from being kicked out of the clubhouse. Any online game that does not have a healthy community is at risk, and unless you’re a saint with only sugar in your heart, participating on the Star Citizen forums is a risk. You just might pledge thousands of dollars to support development of the game only to have CIG stab you in the back by refusing to put any genuine effort into professional moderation.

    This is a thorn in the community’s side, and Maul218 exemplifies the problem. The man does not even participate in the community. When there’s positive news about the game, he comes out of nowhere to spoil it by disrupting and breaking up the community. It would be better to have trolls than half-assed moderation by a clique of super users who never earned their privileges and, in some cases, are not qualified for the job.