“My God. It’s full of rocks.”
Duncan Ringill

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I took my first tentative steps out the door in Arena Commander, the pre-alpha dogfighting module for Star Citizen.  It’s freakin’ gorgeous, more so in its own ways than is EVE.  The look is not-so-distant-future science fiction to EVE’s space opera, and AC rubs your face in a lot of pretty textures.  Though I have yet to figure out how to fly–well, how to do more than stumble around in clumsy loops–the look is promisingly awesome.

So Star Citizen Arena Commander launched…
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…on June 3rd — Tuesday — and I didn’t get an email until Friday evening about it? The communications area of their web site is cluttered, and it’s not always immediately apparent which items are new. I find myself avoiding that section, to be honest.

So here we are with some of the biggest news yet for subscribers, and it comes out in an email with other days-old announcements, three days after the fact. And this is after a much-publicized delay and daily bug fix updates there for a while.

There’s such a thing as sending *too much* email. Lots of online businesses fall into that trap. But this is a little silly. I really don’t have time to go to their web site every day during the work week and try to sort out which nearly identical-looking banners link to something I haven’t read.

If I’d gotten an email on the 3rd, I definitely would’ve set aside some time to try things out. I guess maybe the panic over being late has led to some disorganization in their communications? Hopefully this isn’t a trend.

Citizenship
Duncan Ringill

avenger002No, no minus-one-year-old game can seriously present itself as an EVE-killer, but Star Citizen is already making a lot of the right sorts of noise.  CCP’s eleven years of development are simply going to have it all over any new digital offering, no matter how well funded or hotly anticipated.

I never played Wing Commander or Privateer, or I might have recognized Chris Roberts’ name before his history was pointed out to me yesterday.  Computer games bore me, you see, and until I was ushered into EVE, none had held my interest much more than two weeks, let alone two years.  New Eden has kept me engaged through my friends who play, and through the production of pretty, pretty hulls for me to spin.  Mordu, take my money!

Way to bork our Googling, by the way, CCP, by naming your expansions after existing hulls. :-/

The beautiful ship designs of Star Citizen, then, were a deep pit covered with leaves and moss.  They are the oil, and I am the Cheney.  They are the hunny, and I’m Pooh.  Tempt me with the lovely Avenger pictured here, and my head will pivot an alarming number of radians.

Mabrick set the stage in this post about SC‘s server architecture.  Those little silos mean that not everyone in the damned game is going to be trying to dock in the same station I am.  They can’t camp all the gates.  No one will be able to own everything, or even to try, and it might be helpful right from the giddy-up to start thinking of Star Citizen as a multiverse with more contradictory canon than a DC-Marvel nerd fight.  Oh; you’re going to burn Jita?  That’s nice.  Which one?

Reading Mabrick had me suddenly considering playing the game…eventually.  Though Roberts & Co. are not short of cash, this effort looks like one I’d like to support.  I talked it over with co-workers the next day, one of whom names Privateer as his favorite game ever (and whom EVE’s lack of a first-person pilot perspective therefore kept away).  I mentioned my thoughts to Suzariel…and it turned out she had already paid her way in after I left for the office.  Those stars aligned faster than a shield covops carrying PLEX.

Playing on one or a few public servers will buffer you against a lot of the HTFU posturing endemic to online gaming.  The asteroid belts and cities you’ve lovingly placed on your private server won’t be encountered by most other players who visit the same systems in other iterations.  And when you’re ready–perhaps only when you’re ready–you’ll step out among the Infinite Worlds seeking PvP.  The concepts sound right; I’m not made of wood, folks.  An ye prick me, yes, I’m going to bleed like the proverbial motherfucker, and the crime scene will be spattered with green.

beahero01CCP proudly proclaims, “Be the villain,” Suz reminded me on our way home from work today.  Star Citizen will sell you, right this minute, a “Be A Hero” poster for your hangar.  The dichotomy’s amusing, and could it have been anything other than intentional?  Whatever these two games become, let’s hope for a lot of such in-jokes, gentle digs and cross-pollination.  I’ve enlisted, and in the spirit of the US Army, am hurrying up and waiting.

The Avenger portrait above, by the way, is from last night’s glorious first walk-through of my hangar module.  Here’s one experience already that EVE doesn’t provide.  Oh, we’ve all clocked hours in our hangars–those of us who ever enable CQ, that is–staring from the balcony onto one hull at a time that (no matter how bad-ass my video card) seems somehow out of reach, spinning tantalizingly at arm’s length.  In Star Citizen I may own only one ship that doesn’t fly or even move, and I may not have a toon yet, but I can walk around this ship and through it, grooving on its rich textures and here-and-nowness.  I can practically smell the oil, and it reeks of promise.

If nothing ultimately comes of the new game, at least it gives EVE something else to have to be better than.