Star Citizen

A case for changing the way we fly

Content of the article: "A case for changing the way we fly"

I wanted to start a conversation instead of memeing, arguing, or flat out hate. This is more theory crafting about potential new fuel systems. Lets talk about this with the theory that:

  1. CIG want to introduce more fuel consumptions gameplay
  2. The current MSR and Nomad fuel rates are just a untested bug in a new feature.
  3. The *MSR and Nomad are introductions to this gameplay.

The MSR / Nomad fuel usage has been seen by CIG but has yet to be verified if it's a bug, feature, or a bug in the new feature.*

Basic Flight Systems:
Star Citizen has two ways of controlling your ship. Decoupled and Coupled.

Decoupled – Based on simple Newton's First Law that a ship in motion will stay in motion unless acted upon by an outside force. Thruster will push your ship in that vector and you will continue to go that direction unless you use opposite thrust. This is a burst of thrust until the vector direction is achieved. Fuel usage is only used until the user's vector is achieved.

Example: From a dead stop if you were to tap forward and up your ship will start moving forward and up and will not stop until you take action…or you hit something.

Coupled – Your ship will use all available thrusters to adjust your position in space. This means all thrusters are continuously using fuel to keep your ship in place.

Example: From a dead stop if you were to tap forward and up your ship will move forward and up until you de-pressed the keys and then would come to a stop using all available thrusters.

Intermediate Flight System:
Both Decoupled and Coupled can use a Speed Limit Slider. Decoupled will use this as a limit on vector speed while Coupled will use this to bring your ships forward momentum up to that speed using all available thrusters.

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Advanced Flight System:
This is the working knowledge of both decoupled and coupled in a combat environment. This will also include the future asset management show off with the power consumption.

What is SCM ( Standard Combat Maneuvering )?
The recent changes to all flight systems speeds above SCM will degrade your weapons abilities. CIG has continually stated they want to slow combat down and to a extent flight in general.

A case for fuel gameplay
With refueling getting an overhaul soon and refueling ships being developed fuel should be a gameplay feature. We currently have the luxury of using all thrusters at 100% without much concern. I know personally before flying the MSR I never saw a reason to put my Speed Limit Slider at SCM.
This luxury I believe is what CIG might be trying to iterate on. I would think coupled speeds below SCM should burn fuel more efficiently while speed above should burn inefficiently. This would be a log scaling amount. This isn't currently the case at least for the MSR provided by community feedback.

I think one of the most amazing ED gameplay is the fuel rats. Its a 100% organic gameplay because fuel in such a large expanse is finite.

The pilot
Currently the only thing that separates a beginner pilot from an advanced pilot is combat experience. Adding fuel as a gameplay element can only be a good thing for the overall role.

Refueling ships
If reckless fuel usage isn't part of gameplay those who have invested in refueling ships will be very limited on gameplay. Running out of gas will almost be non-event as it is now.

With the current meta of “fuel not being an issue” exploration will be very common. Currently exploring with a Carrack vs a C8X is the same. Even with upcoming features like scanning the C8X isnt as limited as we might think. But if that C8X really couldn't explore because of fuel considerations the Carracks fuel tanks ( and maybe the ability to refuel ) and hanger now has real meaning. Which leads to…

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The pocket carriers
Without fuel limitations these ships are less likely to be useful. Sure it's great to have your org on one ship but just like now it's a lot easier to have everyone bring their own ships. The only limitations right now are reloading armaments. The question of "Why have a sub craft if I can just fly my large ship to the surface" comes up a lot and its a good question.

Limitations as gameplay should be something CIG works towards. This will create better pilots, more explorations, more organization, and to an extent a better gameplay for everyone. What happens if all ships inherited this fuel gameplay?

I've spent a few week/days now with the MSR flying decoupled and I really like it. I've stopped flying coupled unless I'm trying to come to a complete stop or making a very complex maneuver. I've completely stop using it in atmo and I don't have the fuel issues, which is expected. Its still a heavy ship that seems like a bug but its still very enjoyable.

We've have enough "then your fuel drops to 0" wise cracks any time someone post a MRS pic. Lets have fun and talk about the positives of a potential new fuel system.


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