It’s becoming a regular occurrence these Star Citizen delays so this is no surprise.
Earlier in the week the Cloud Imperium team hinted that the v0.9 update for Arena Commander might not make it out the door today. The build, which includes the new race and co-op modes, has frustratingly been delayed again. A go/no go meeting was held this evening and the decision was made to hold off.
Chris Roberts decided it might be a good idea to make a post because backers could start getting a little irritated by the constant pushing of these releases which include substantial new features.
“The decision from the production team was that we are not go for release at this time. While we hope that today’s build will resolve some of the last remaining blockers we do not want to release a build that has not been thoroughly tested as these fixes may have had knock on effects. Additionally, Star Citizen’s team members have gone above and beyond lately so we didn’t want to make people work straight through the weekend again, as some worked over Labor Day and we’ll be immediately sprinting to V0.9.1 and ultimately V1.0. We know some will be disappointed not to play this weekend, but we’re also cautious about releasing an untested build to our community.”
Why are these delays occurring? The simple answer is the scope of the additions. These were outlined once again by Roberts.
• Murray Cup Racing Mode: As shown at Gamescom, players can now race their pledge ships in a specially designed upper-atmospheric scenario!
• Vanduul Swarm Co-Op: Take on the alien hoards with a friend, or competitor!
• Flyable M50 and 350R: The M50 and the 350R have been readied for flight to kick off the race mode. These ships will now be flyable in all Arena Commander game modes.
• Private Matches: Tired of being matched with random players in AC? Private matches will let you play with friends!
• Friend Codes: We’re launching a code system for both private and public matches so you can connect with your wingmen.
• Leaderboards: Your performance in Arena Commander’s various modes will display on the RSI website and allow you to compare with others.
• Updated Ship Performance: We’ve increased the speed and acceleration of every ship. With this we’ve also reworked the afterburner mechanic to increase acceleration instead of top speed.
• HUD Update: We’ve overhauled the usability of the visor HUD interface so you can customize your ships systems much more easily in flight.
• New Hangars: We’ve remastered all of Star Citizen’s Hangars with the new forward-looking room system and added the Asteroid Hangar.
• New Pause Menu: Our refactored pause menu is a large step forward ascetically and will support new features like custom keybindings in the future. In the meantime we’ve included selectable profiles for the most common peripherals.
• 6DOF: With the improvements to the IFCS and flight physics we are now ready to introduce 6DOF movement for an entirely new way to fly.
There are some big changes in this patch other than the two new game modes. There’s the new hangars, addition of 6DOF movement and the Friend Codes which will impact the systems handling the multiplayer. It’s not a patch you shove out the door and then hope for the best.
“Some of these are big, headlining features that we know backers are eager to get their hands on; Like Murray Cup Racing and Vanduul Swarm Coop! The reality is that the less flashy features are some of the most important in the long run and also some of the most challenging. You’re seeing the individual atoms of the persistent universe coming together before your eyes. The Friend Code feature represents the first step towards connecting you with friends and organization members from the web platform in the game itself. Likewise the leaderboards involve building the platform/client connection that will someday let you interact with your character through the RSI website and will serve as the basis for stat tracking and rating based matchmaking.
With a patch that adds so much and is thusly so complex as V0.9 issues are inevitably going to come up. Due to the diligent work of our team we have been able to solve most of the biggest blockers: leaderboards, rubber banding, stuttering in Vanduul Swarm Coop, and friend code issues. While these issues and a few others appear to be nearly resolved we need a couple more days to test and validate that our fixes haven’t created any new issues.”
As a backer of the game I’ll admit I have now stopped checking for updates in the client and have shelved the game for now. There’s not enough in Star Citizen at the moment to keep me enthused. I’ll stick with Elite Dangerous to get my space sim fix for the time being.
I’m not a gamer who feels entitled to updates but perhaps Cloud Imperium should stop posting their predicted release timelines until they know for sure the release will definitely make it. Just a thought.