Don’t leave your keys in the ignition: My early experiences with Star Citizen

Ok here is my first gaming post. I won’t lie there probably will be a lot of Star Citizen, maybe some Europa Universalis IV in my posts and who knows what else.

I love science fiction in games, just like I love it in books. Star Citizen to me, when it’s finished, will offer the closest experience to simulating a bit of what it might be like to live in a space age, sometime in the future. Taking Sci Fi in gaming, well beyond anything  ever made before and on a scale not quite dreamed of. At least that’s my hopes.

So anyway off into the stars I fly in the current Persistent Universe module and Arena Commander module here I come, (little lousy at FPS so star marine can wait a little bit). Mostly I’ve played on free days, but in 2016 I saved up and bought in. I got an exploration pack with a Anvil Carrack, Anvil Terrapin and a Dragon fly. I won’t lie I would have loved a MISC Endeavour, but at almost $1000 for a master set or something like $500, is a little bit out of my backing range especially when that’s not in Australian dollars. So I am going to probably do it, the old fashioned way, when the game is fully released and earn my Endeavour in game free of charge. After all you don’t need to pay extra and back the game, pledges are for people who want to back the development of the game in exchange for in game stuff. You can just get in by buying the game, everything can be earned in game. E.g. You get a starter ship some credits for I think about $30-$35ish USD or there is a current deal on for valentine’s day which also nets you in addition to the star citizen game the squadron 42 standalone campaign for $55.

For the better part, I have been playing Star citizen sitting at my coffee table off of my server, which is attached to the TV. The desktop is a beast :D, sadly though this means A. No Hotas B. Using the el cheapo mouse/keyboard. Not a great combination. But great sound. So I haven’t really gotten round to a lot of playing. Recently though there has been a game changer.

My laptop, which I normally game (Zenbook U500VZ) and write on is very powerful. It however hasn’t quite been powerful enough to run Star Citizen in the past, but I stumbled across a great forum post which helped reconfigure my graphics card and made it Star Citizen friendly: https://forums.starcitizenbase.com/topic/9822-nvidia-control-settings/. So it might not have been 1600X900 and it definitely wasn’t 1080p, but I still managed 1024 X 768 on my laptop (Hey at least she is running smooth).

Dive in, Saitek X52 Hotas  check! Laptop check! Standing desk check! Window with a view for day dreaming check!

My first discovery is that the Constellation – Andromeda variant (the place holder ship for my Carrack) looks a lot more polished. I parked the Connie in the Arena commander module, above the local planet so I could go exploring inside. It’s exciting, it looks a lot cooler than in Youtube videos. I mean there is 61 metres of ship here, nice smooth white and black metal, with some really neat furnishings.

screenshot0020              It gives a good contrast, to when you step out back to the cargo hold.screenshot0019

They even have the little Merlin snub fighter in there (Beyond that hatch across the hold). Albeit I can’t figure out how to launch it. So what does one do… Get out and see if something is jammed or if there is a magical external button.

I promptly headed to the cargo hold, because, well it has got what looks like an eight metre hold hatch that opens vertically. Why not start there to leave the ship.  I hit the button for it to be lowered, the platform starts to lower, pneumatic pistons whirring. I suddenly found ships gravity warring with space. The extended cargo tray won however, with no magical clipping or walking through solid stuff.  I jetted off towards the aft with my space suit, then suddenly realised the ship was rotating.

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I guess I forgot to kill the engine or steady her out…. The bottom side of the snub fighter and the Connie whooshed over head. With a sip of coffee, as I stood at my standing desk, I watched her slowly  drift towards the planet. No way the suits thrusters could catch it. All I could think of was David Bowie’s song Ground Control to Major Tom.

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God that planet view is so beautiful. Even if my ship is…….. About to have a bad day. I really can’t wait to explore the stars and planets. I think they are meant to implement planet surfaces in 3.0. I could just imagine that Constellation falling. It would have been amazing to watch it come down. Knowing my luck on my head.

I’m really looking forward to the next update, in theory they are implementing regional servers next update. An if memory serves there is one going to be in Sydney!!!! 😀

So moral of the story folks…..

Don’t leave your keys in the ignition.

Space kills.

All spaceships have damn gremlins.

P.S As I have been writing this blog, they released the update for the regional servers. My laptop is now singing Star Citizen. I have gone from barely tolerable 1024X 768 resolution on low graphics to 1080X1920 resolution with graphics on medium. It’s smooth as, not just in single player in the Arena Commander module, but also in the Crusader persistent universe module, connecting to the Australian server  (I’m 90% positive its in Sydney). Just just, wow such a change, so smooth.