Star Citizen

AMA with the Vehicle Experience Team – Questions and answer


Q: Will multicrew ships operated by x amount of players ever be balance to be able to compete with the same amount of players in separate ships ? Multicrew feels like the underdog in every scenario

A: YogiKlatt-CIG: There is no simple answer to that, it depends on the chosen ships and what they are meant to do. A second crew seat should not automatically mean "twice the combat performance" but we obviously want a crew seat to matter and make a difference. That part of the game is obviously not fully developed yet but we're slowly steering towards it. The first steps happened with the turrets (which are not under pilot control) and more steps will be taken in the future. So crew seats will be a force multiplier … though not necessarily by a factor of 2.


Q: Is there any intention to reduce the speed ceiling or force combat into SCM speeds?

A: ApexRT-CIG: We don't plan to actively force players into a certain speed range, but we do want the speeds at which players engage in combat to be much lower but how we achieve this organically is still under evaluation as it requires lot's of moving parts to come together to achieve.


Q: Will G mechanics make a return? As of now they are non existent.

A: YogiKlatt-CIG: Yes, we definitely want proper G-force exhaustion effects back. We're focusing on capacitor gameplay first though.


Q: Are there plans any time soon to increase specialization/focus of ships and their intended roles?

A: YogiKlatt-CIG Yes, a lot of our work this year will entail to change the tunings and abilities of the ships to fit their intended roles and purposes. The rough plans were already laid out during the combat summit but doing the actual work will take some time to complete.(edited)


Q: Why are these afterburner overheating ceilings so drastically different between fighters? Most being way too short

A: YogiKlatt-CIG: That is based on the dynamics between the amount of thrusters and much cooling and power they require (which in turn informs the heat build-up). For the capacitor gameplay pretty much all items and ships will have to be taken under scrutiny. A large part of our design work resolves around predicting dynamic effects and finding potential balancing problems before they end up in the game. We're really trying to improve in that regard but there is quite some complexity to manage.


Q: Any info on the landing camera yet and if it can show the terrain underneath it while landing?

A: JonnyYoungCIG: We've definitely talked about the need for landing cameras, and while it's not on our short-term schedule, this weeks ISC on docking shows off something quite similar for some ships..


Q: The current experience we see when it comes to combat is triangles, names and lots of icons…everywhere on screen. Has there been any discussion on streamlining the information the pilot gets for targets, friendlies, POI, during combat to clear the clutter? Thanks

A: JonnyYoungCIG: There are definitely plans to be able to filter different kinds of radar contacts at different times (e.g. choosing to only see friendlies, turrets, mineables, etc), although this falls into another teams hands rather than VET.

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Q: Can you tell us anything about New Features that you have been working on that are planned for later this year? Like what you are most excited about.

A: ApexRT-CIG: I'm most excited about the capacitor game play, how players will manage the energy available and how it changes the combat dynamics, but also how the balance will change because of it as thrusters, shields and weapons will all have to adapt and be re balanced to deliver the short and long term dynamics will want.

8 – Follow up Q: Whats the difference between capacitators and the power triangle we currently have? Will capacitators be a different system or an evolution of the existing one?

A: JonnyYoungCIG: Capacitors will be a separate system, and so we're reviewing how existing features (such as the power triangle) could possibly change to give us the gameplay we want while not stepping on the toes of other systems, as each feature has to fit nicely into the overall ship experience.


Q: Will capacitors replace/eliminate thruster overheat?

A: YogiKlatt-CIG: Capacitor gameplay will be used to drive "short term" consequences of using your ship systems while heat will be moved to longer term. So (without speaking out guarantees about balance numbers) the idea is that in a 1-minute dogfight heat won't matter that much. If you keep fighting for 10 minutes or longer though, heat will become an issue that needs to be managed.


Q: Ship combat, many backers feel, is in a weird place right now, with the apex predators of the verse being the Talon and Vanguard. Do you feel that future systems (Armor, Physicalized damage etc…) will allow ship combat to organically shift into the non-meta style your looking for, or is there more that has to be done with the ships themselves to achieve that?

A: ApexRT-CIG: That is our goal, these systems should push the combat more organically into an area we're more happy with, but it isn't just armour and damage, it's the performance of the ships, the weapon balance and how multi-crew game play changes the dynamics.


Q: The Arrow and Talon have better rate of acceleration and higher vertical thrust, which allows them to be more efficient in dogfights . Are you going to update the other light and medium fighters in this direction or decrease the abilities of these two fighters ?

A: ApexRT-CIG: These are two of the highest performing ships, where we move these ships going forward depends up on the results of multiple changes we have planned to how combat will work and the speeds they happen. As far as overall balance goes though, we do plan to move specific fighters like these closer together in terms of performance.


Q: Any ideas on how to combat pip wiggle?

A: YogiKlatt-CIG Yes we are aware of those problems and it is actually caused by several issues coming together. We tried out a couple of things already but working with prediction is not the easiest topic in game development. So atm we're not yet confident that we found a good solution yet but it is a high priority issue due to its impact on the game



Q: Light and door panals for all ships

A: ApexRT-CIG: Yes, that's planned and all new ships are having this built in during production and we'll retroactively add to existing ones as we go back and do other fixes


Q: With Missile Operator Mode coming up (Which we should from now on refer to as MOM) What is the overall feel that you want larger from torpedo's, S9 and above? Do you want it to be a more strategic weapon fired from afar after planning or the more tactical, dogfighty type that smaller missiles lean towards?

A: ApexRT-CIG: Our goal with Missile Operator Mode is that firing missiles or torpedoes becomes a much bigger event, it's a specific choice you're making at that time to engage. It brings together a lot of the dynamics we've been working, so from a long distance you open up yourself to a lot more risk from all the defence systems, the missile can be deflected with counter measures, intercepted by other ships or even destroyed by turrets, but we also want the risky game play of fighting to get your ship closer to your target to increase your chances of having a successful hit, and if you're good enough to hit your target without a lock you feel the achievement of doing so.


Q: Will the Nova Tonk control like a just another ground vehicle or will it have independent track movement like a real tank?

A: ApexRT-CIG: It will have independent track movement and behave like a real tank would.


Q: Why is ship tuning and balancing not a higher priority task within CIG?

A: YogiKlatt-CIG: It is a high priority task but we are dealing with a lot of ships and items. There are a lot of moving parts and interacting elements with the ships, e.g. thrusters, power consumptions, heat build-up, etc. So changing one thing might "feel" good but could have a lot of unforeseen consequences. It's incredibly complex and going through everything just takes time. But we'll get here step by step.


Q: Is it planned to give the spaceships a more realistic behavior in atmosphere in the near future?

A: ApexRT-CIG: Yes, our goal is to make the light fighters at least behave more and more like modern jet fighters, as we move the movement from maneuvering thrusters to control surfaces, allowing our ships to perform more extreme behaviours in atmosphere then is currently possible with thrusters alone.


Q: Any plans for futur to rollback on Gimbal Assist or it is settled for good ?

A: YogiKlatt-CIG: The amount of gimbal assist and all other aiming helpers we're using is heavily dependent of the combat speeds, network performance, pip stability and other factors. As these factors change we will re-evaluate if we need to increase or decrease the effects. So no, it's not set in stone. 📷


Q: Tell us about Bombs and Mines and what you guys have been working on for them (or are planning)?

A: ApexRT-CIG: I wouldn't want to drop any details right now….

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Q: What is your favorite thing you have done since you joined the Vehicle Experience Team?

A #1: YogiKlatt-CIG Updating head tracking, I just can't play without a head tracker 📷

A #2: Edgeley_CIG: Watch Wing Commander


Q: Is a more realistic friction simulation planned for ground vehicles?

A: ApexRT-CIG: Yes, we're planning a complete overhaul of the ground vehicles that will bring more realistic physics and behaviour.


Q: What's the story with component sub targeting and disabling ships? Right now you can sub target engines (and some turrets) but it's not a particularly deep mechanic.

A: ApexRT-CIG: We do plan to add more deep mechanics to sub targeting that allow you to target specific components that go beyond just the engines and turrets.


Q: Hello folks. After the PvP of the Xenothreat event, will you consider evaluating comparative fighter stats to identify underperforming / over performing ships, with a view to tuning balance? 📷

A: ApexRT-CIG: We're constantly evaluating the ships and events like Xenothreat are a great way of us to further understand the balance we have in the game, but it's not just about the balance for Xenothreat it's the PU overall.


Q: Space combat is mostly face to face shooting, which better resembles a shooter game than a dogfighting game. Has the team given serious consideration to the aspects of the ship flight models that generate this result, i.e. the ratio of linear acceleration to rotation rate?

A: YogiKlatt-CIG: We are invested heavily in achieving a good combat geometry, so the way how ships can move around each other. We're approaching that from both a mathematical and an experiential point of view. Ultimately we do not want the FM to feel on rails or like you're controlling a camera but we still want to give you a proper 6-DOF experience. Developing the capacitor systems is actually based on that demand. They allow us to add more variation into dogfighting to create a meaningful and fun experience.


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