A new update has just gone live on Star Citizen.
Dubbed "a transformative patch" by the developers, "Alpha 3.8 - New Frontiers" includes "some major new technology to the Star Citizen Universe", including new planetary and tools improvements, planetary weather effects, and server-side object container streaming (SOCS), which is a fancy way of saying the server will use less power. Here's the science bit:
"SOCS will not only improve performance on the server by dynamically loading only what the server needs at that given moment, but more importantly, will enable the game to contain and present exponentially more content to players as it is only updating what it needs to, bringing the dream of a living, breathing universe teeming with experiences one step closer to reality," the press release states.
The update also adds "huge swathes of new content", including new frozen planet microTech and new multi-crew mining ship, the Mole. There are also multiple missions designed for cooperative play, and the update also introduces melee combat to Star Citizen, so you can beat stuff up either using melee weapons or just your mighty fists.
That said, the studio itself has acknowledged issues with stability. "We are aware stability may not fully match that of 3.7.2," the update says. "With the introduction of major features and tech, such as SOCS, additional polish and improvements will be required. Our current plan is to continue iterating and working towards additional improvements in incremental 3.8.X patches and beyond."
"I couldn't imagine a better way to close out the year for Star Citizen than by adding both major technology like Server-side Object Container Streaming, our new procedural planet technology: Planet Tech v4, as well as new gameplay and features like melee combat and content such as the ice-planet of microTech" said Chris Roberts, CEO, Cloud Imperium. "While we have a lot of additional features and content in the pipeline I'm incredibly excited about what our players can experience in Star Citizen today."
For the full details, head to the Star Citizen website.
Star Citizen has now raised more than $250m USD in crowdfunding, according to figures from developer Cloud Imperium Games. Star Citizen's initial crowdfunding campaign set the bar high, securing over $6m back in 2012. As Matt recently reported, despite the space sim having missed its original anticipated release date of November 2014 by quite some margin, that figure has continued to climb dramatically in the years since.