The eagerly anticipated release of Star Citizen update 3.18 was accompanied by a wide range of issues that rendered the game completely unplayable for the vast majority of players, who were unable to log into the servers.
Version Alpha 3.18, which introduced several remarkably promising new technologies, may have been too complex to provide a dependable experience at first, as players who jumped in to give the new content a fair shot haven’t had much success.
Persistent Entity Streaming and Server Meshing, which together give the game the ability to “store” placed overworld items for a virtually infinite amount of time, were specifically introduced in Star Citizen Alpha 3.18.
Other noteworthy additions include, among others, the addition of vehicle racing, a wealth of new locations and events, and the entire gameplay loop related to salvaging. After years of development, Star Citizen finally saw the release of its first playable sections in 2013.
The innovative space-faring MMO is moving forward with Version Alpha 3.18, but its servers haven’t been able to keep up. Long wait times, a variety of login issues, and serious progression bugs were all issues that players were having when the server status was elevated to “Major Outage” late on March 13.
These issues have been somewhat resolved by the game’s creator, Cloud Imperium Games, but many of the ones brought on by the release of Alpha 3.18 still exist.
Star Citizen tweet on Twitter:
We're aware of the issues many of you are experiencing when attempting to connect to Alpha 3.18.
We've updated the Server Status page with more details: https://t.co/QVsgBnxxwU pic.twitter.com/Wd7lUxqDSm
— Star Citizen (@RobertsSpaceInd) March 12, 2023
Persistent Entity Streaming’s introduction in Star Citizen was always going to be difficult, primarily because of the feature’s complexity. Being a persistent, always-online MMO, it’s crucial that everything remains as it should be.
This includes players creating hidden caches, but it also includes things like crashes and combat situations. Although PES does not directly affect any particular gameplay loop, its implementation has an impact on the game’s foundation, which is probably what caused the current instability.
Server meshing was bundled with PES as well, and thanks to its functionality, the game’s standard 100-player servers can communicate with one another to produce a seamless, natural interaction.
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Once Star Citizen’s current issues are resolved, this should help to make space combat, exploration, trading, and other diverse scenarios much more realistic and immersive. Late in 2022, Star Citizen passed $500 million in crowdfunding, which is an impressive feat indeed.
However, the fact that the game is still in its early alpha stages of development, nearly a decade after the start of its piecemeal launch schedule, is obviously concerning.
While it’s difficult to dispute CIG’s inventiveness in making Star Citizen nearly entirely unique in its niche, it’s also simple to understand why some people might be let down by the game’s protracted development.