The first foray into Persistent Entity Streaming will open up doors to both exciting new gameplay features and outrageous player shenanigans.
Watch: Star Citizen’s Alpha 3.18 Update Introduces Revolutionary Persistent Entity Streaming
Star Citizen, the exemplar of the perpetual alpha, has just released a hefty update. The question of how much closer it brings us to an actual final release is about as nebulous as the MMO's setting. But it certainly brings us hope that its development is not only ongoing. It's actually going pretty strong.
The Lasting Legacies Alpha 3.18 update is now live, and was released alongside an awesome trailer showcasing its main features. Perhaps the biggest among these is the introduction of Persistent Entity Streaming (PES) - a feature that redefines "persistent world" and is arguably Star Citizen's new crown jewel.
PES is a revolutionary new feature that will, in short, allow objects to remain where players left them indefinitely. This extends to everything from the wreckage of your last victim, to a forgotten water bottle. Needless to say, this opens up some incredible new opportunities, such as for salvaging, stashing, and even picking up a job as a cosmic Janitor. A job that we somehow feel will be more popular in-game than its IRL counterpart.
Now MMORPG gamers being MMORPG gamers, the "call of the void" to really screw with this new, truly persistent game world is going to be irresistible. Are key locations going to be intentional filled with space junk? Absolutely. While NPC janitors have also been posited as a solution, we suspect Persistent Entity Streaming is going to lead to some pretty wild consequences. No doubt more tweaks will be necessary, and in the meantime, have faith that at least the coming chaos will be hilarious.
Other new features include a smattering of new environments, prison missions, spaceship racetracks. While new features such as Soft Death, the Drake Vulture vehicle and Salvaging are made possible thanks to PES.
This is because, instead of a ship being entirely destroyed when defeated in battle, it instead becomes disabled and ripe for indefinite picking. Unless, of course, the original pilot can return in enough time before the salvagers have had their way.
The update has arrived with a few teething issues, perhaps unsurprisingly, thanks to the scale of the newest feature. Players have already reported issues with logging in, leading to concerns over a partial wipe. However, Cloud Imperium Games has been quick to stress that any potential wipe will not lead to the loss of in-game purchases.
Provided this is all in-hand, our zeal for the sci-fi MMO that has been over a decade in the making may well have been renewed thanks to the introduction of the incredibly exciting Persistent Entity Streaming. Let's just see if it can keep this momentum going.