Star Citizen 3.0 & The Anniversary Update

I have a small addiction. It’s not a very common addiction, but I have it none the less. I am addicted to Star Citizen, and more specifically owning, flying and fighting in ships. I love it, it’s amazing to me, and it comes with 0 risk of actually being in space.

Tons of kids that I knew when I was little would go around telling others that they would want to be astronauts. I was never that kid, mostly because space freaked me out. That was only magnified by the teaching staff in the school making all of the kids from 4th to 6th grade gather in our gym and watch Apollo 13 off of a projector on a giant screen, and then later when we all discussed that movie mentioning what happened to Challenger. I didn’t want to have anything to do with exiting our atmosphere before, but at that point it was a downright phobia.

However, like most things in life, my opinion and aversion to it changed. I would have never been able to become an astronaut regardless, but a fascination with space began to grow when I was in about 8th grade. I didn’t really know where to put any efforts into researching actual space, so for a long time I let it sit in the back of my head. Then, in 2011, a new game concept started to gain traction (yes, I’m going to use the word new here) – a persistent, 3D space simulator with tons of ship options, careers and exploratory opportunities. There has always been one huge space MMO that has dominated that space which is EVE Online. However, in EVE, you don’t have the option to actually fly your ship yourself, with your own to hands (and possibly two feet). Star Citizen offered that, and I was intrigued. I’ve been a backer of the game since April 17, 2014. Some of my first memories of the game were switching the maps out in the game folder and being put in a level with all these awesome ships that you could open the doors of, walk inside, sit down and actually fly. It was awesome, and something completely new to me – it wasn’t even something I would have thought I’d be interested in at all, but there I was flying these ships around having a blast.

Fast forward about 3 years. The original concept of Star Citizen was to build a large-scale universe that was persistent, meaning that anything you did in the universe would actually affect the entire game. That’s the concept that got me to buy into Star Citizen way back in 2014, and I (and many other people) have been waiting ever since then patiently for that concept and dream to come to fruition. And, in some ways, they already sort of have with the addition of Crusader into the game… But it wasn’t real. You couldn’t land on a planet, you couldn’t explore much, and it was just a tiny spec of the actual universe. And so, that’s where Star Citizen 3.0 comes in.

When 3.0 got announced, I got really excited all over again. It was finally happening, and the dream that I had for the game would finally come true! Well, not entirely, as it’s taken several delays to get here. However, 3.0 is out of Evocati (the secretive testing team for SC) and into the hands of subscribers and a few waves of Star Citizen players. As a subscriber, I have access to 3.0. And I have to say, it is everything that I hoped the game could be. Sure, there are some issues right now (it’s a pre-release of an alpha software, what do you expect) but on the whole it’s incredible to play through. You can pick up missions, land on planets, explore the galaxy (universe is coming soon™) and fight. You can do all the things that were promised way back in 2011.

Others may compare what RSI is doing for 3.0 to something like Elite: Dangerous, but having played both games, I can honestly say that Star Citizen is a much more immersive and realistic than Elite: Dangerous is. On top of that, the Star Citizen crowd is (at the moment) a little bit exclusive both because of the costs of hardware needed to run the game at anything more than a power point slide show and the actual cost of getting the game. Of course there are cheaper game bundles, but the ships are expensive (see the Origin 600i Explorer I just bought, adding to my addiction) and the game is not complete. That’s a huge turn off to some people, but to me it’s an opportunity to shape a game that I’m excited for and love for the future when it is released (insert joke about release date here) and people can play it accessibly.

For me, I love exploring everything in the game, I even founded my own little organization of 1, The Central Exploratory Union. Of course I would love to also transport goods and fight in large scale battles as well, but for me finding that little detail or two or mapping a new world (which I can’t do quite yet) is good enough. Sure, the game has a lot of critics, but it is also the highest and biggest crowd-funded game in history, so obviously there is some reason that people keep giving them money to make this amazing game. And I, for one, can’t see what the final vision comes down to.

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