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Gameverse | September 18, 2020

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Beautiful New Planet Added to Star Citizen

Robert Endyo
View of Microtech

View of Microtech

The newest planetary addition to Star Citizen, Microtech, is a frozen world at the outer reaches of the Stanton system and is the feature location for showing off the new planet tech in the game. At first glance, it may not be obvious, but when you get in close to the surface you can see the tremendous detail added in this patch. The trees, flowers, and general terrain design seems to have universally improved on every other planet as well. While this may not be the most impressive terrain in the realm of gaming, the fact that there are thousands of square miles of it uniquely generated makes it a bit more interesting to explore.

However, this recent patch for Star Citizen has a few more interesting additions. New space stations are orbiting each planet to give the player a respawn point. This allows them to be near a planet without having to navigate through its cities to the spaceport to leave. In addition to that, these stations have been overhauled to each has a unique design and more elaborate interiors. This comes after the previous patch gave space stations unique exterior designs evocative of some familiar science fiction universes.

It also includes a new ship, the Argo Mole, a multi-crew mining vessel, as well as an implementation of SOCS. Server-side Object Container Streaming is a process that allows the game to stream out player and NPC objects that aren’t in any players’ view to cloud-based storage. This prevents the numerous objects (cargo, weapons, ships, etc) generated in the game from overwhelming the server infrastructure. It also allows objects to “persist” in the server session without needing to be destroyed to free up memory. It’s a major step in boosting performance and long term item persistence.

This patch isn’t without some controversy though. While the addition of amazing visuals within Microtech and other planets is a sight to behold, a key gameplay addition was recently removed from the roadmap. The mechanics for salvage and a salvage ship were removed to focus on the mining updates and the release of Squadron 42 (the single-player portion of the game). While many want to see Squadron 42 progress, the focus on additional mining gameplay over the first salvage implementation has some players questioning the development priority.

Still, Cloud Imperium Games forges ever onward, moving toward the next patch, 3.9, to be released at the end of the first quarter of 2020. It will feature the moons of Microtech as well as its main city’s interiors and some interesting “prison” gameplay. This patch previously had the Drake Vulture, a single-crew salvage ship, but now is only slated to have some ship updates rather than anything new. However, the long-awaited Anvil Carrack is due to release in between 3.8 and 3.9, so some players may still be happy even with the limited progress. Yet, the question remains of Squadron 42 will still be beta tested within the next year…