Star Citizen’s got its head in the clouds, and all its other parts, too. Alpha update 3.14 is live, adding a new planet and city to the game. The gas giant Crusader is home to the cloud city of Orison. It’s not just a place where players can gather, but it completes all the planetary landing zone’s for the game’s sole solar system. So that's one whole system built, though it's obviously not complete. It never is. They promised over 100 systems at launch, and the Stanton system has taken eight years to craft. Slow and steady wins the space race.
I downloaded the patch a couple of days after it went live and loaded into the new world. Orison sprawls across floating platforms in fluffy pink clouds. I took in the new volumetric cloud tech, swirling between the connected city’s districts, before trying to find my ship, which is where the fun started to break down.
The floating platforms are huge and full of buildings. Bars, shops, facilities all got in the way as I looked around, trying to find my ship. The starport was on another platform. I got more lost looking for the space tram to take me there. When I finally found one and sat down to enjoy the ride, the game wouldn’t let me stand up at my stop. I missed it and looped back around. Finally at the starport platform, I couldn’t find a terminal to call in my ship until I glommed onto another player and stalked them to one. By the time I launched, an hour had passed and I was tired. My experience was like being in foreign airport. A lot of time wandering, looking lost, and hoping to spot a sign that would lead me to my destination.
I didn’t get to play around with the new ship upgrades. There’s new power management systems, ala X-Wing. You can shunt power between weapons, shields, and engines while in combat, giving you additional tactical options. Radar upgrades now let you scan other ships for information on their cargo, crew, and crime stats. If I ever get my ship into space again, I’m going to scan everything I can find.
A new event will let you players PvP to break a space station blockade. And there’s a new ship to risk while you battle the space pirates. The “Constellation Taurus” is a multi-crew hauler that I didn’t fly because it costs £153.60 and I have to feed my cat and myself.
I’ll give the game another shot sometime this week, now I know how to get directly to the starport. I might find some fun out there in the newly complete star system. If not, alpha 3.15 is scheduled for Q3 this year. And Alpha 3.16 is Q4. At some point it has to click. Right?