CSC February Update #1 (2019)
It’s been a little while since I have made one of these posts, so we have a lot to cover and update you on. So without further delay let’s get right into the action.
Lucid Sight continues to be one of the leaders in the scarce digital assets space. While no one knows where the future of Dapps as a whole will land, we firmly believe that True Digital Ownership of game assets will play a vital role in the future of the games industry. With this in mind, our big focus in 2019 is the democratization of digital asset ownership in games. To accomplish this, we will be rolling out sweeping changes to how we connect our players/users to the blockchain for sales, trades, and gameplay. In the end, all NFT & FT assets will remain secured to ETH.
One of our biggest goals for 2019 is releasing CSC on Steam as an Early Access release. This is tentatively planned for Q2 this year and will happen shortly after we switch to a persistent asset universe. Along with Steam/PC/MAC, we do still have plans to roll out CSC on iOS and Android though no tentative release date for those platforms yet.
Q1’s First Feature Update #1
Most noticeable in this build is our changes to our skybox and planet systems. While still very much work-in-progress, we have shifted for large memory hungry image based skyboxes to a procedural skybox system. This will allow us greater variety in visuals while reducing our client memory load.
Planets are also undergoing a change. We are shifting from our previous shader system to a new dynamic system that allows for more realistic atmospheric effects. While we are a reasonable distance away from anything like planetary landings and full world exploration, we are going to experiment with some limited atmospheric travel/interaction later this year. Something very significant, but not that noticeable is an update we have made to our floating point system: we can now position any object in the CSC universe at any location within 3–4 billion light years with an accuracy down to centimeters. While this is FAR more robust than we need, this allows us the option of expanding CSC and deepening a commander’s interaction with the universe down the road. Shift-click will now shift items from one inventory to the other.
Combat / Damage / Weapon Range
We are overhauling damage, fire rates and distance of weapons and modules. The goal is to make CSC battle closer combat event, where combatants are within a visual range of each other. This is a work-in-progress so expect changes weekly as we dial the best values in.
System UI Map Update
We have updated the system map with a new 2D approach instead of 3D (this is the in-game navigation map planets in the game view are still 3D). Since all gameplay at the system level is on a 2D plane, we felt a 2D map would be more straightforward for a user to understand and navigate. Along with the change to 2D, we added features to make it easier to find points of interest, plot a course for your ships, and mark areas you would like to return to. The implementation of this feature is at a very early stage, but we look forward to getting your feedback and seeing if this 2D approach is more usable /user-friendly than the previous.
By the end of this week, we will release our first feature update for the year! Along with many under the hood updates and optimizations, we are happy to welcome back NPC pirates and rogue drones back to the game! These NPCs won’t have loot initially but will give players the chance to test their combat chops and module setups. The initial release will include a handful of module spawns with more rolling out over the next few weeks.
More Features and Modules
Over 800 new modules have been added to the game with the majority of them playable as they release. Along with the standard weapons and shields, commanders will also have new modules that add game mechanics. Cloaking / Phasing devices, ship scanners, power augments, hull repairs/fortification, sublight / FTL boosters, specialty beams and more are just some of the new features being introduced in this update. Additional modules with additional new mechanics (FTL Disruption Weapons / Bubbles, Harvesting Beams, Lock Breakers, Evasion Jump Devices, Partial Ship Armor, Full Ablative Armor, etc.) will be added in the following weeks as well. NOTE: All modules are still subject to balance and changes until we reach item persistence. At that point a process will go into place for module balancing and adjustments for the new items discovered via crafting.
Galactic Federation Module Sale Series
From our earliest post about the CSC economy, we have discussed the importance of creating a sustainable user economy. One factor of our game that creates that sustainability is death/loss of items. While ships can and will be destroyed/lost to users in some circumstances, modules in CSC can be lost entirely in all situations. For this reason, we have always considered modules being one of the critical drivers of the CSC economy as it will be used and consumed by both PVE and PVP players.
So we are very excited to announce the upcoming launch of our first CSC Module Series. Our module series will be both a way for new and old commanders to continue to support/fund the development of CSC and gain access to a KEY economic resource that will provide both a competitive edge at both the economics and gameplay of CSC at launch. Modules in CSC can be used in two ways. One: module can be equipped on compatible ships and used in standard gameplay. Two: modules can be deconstructed for refined resource AND blueprint points (BP/skill points) for that items tech level.
For a quick recap, all craftable items in CSC have unlimited tech levels. However, as tech levels increase it gets exponentially harder to get to the next level with an exponential reduction in benefits. During our module series sale, a player will be able to get modules that can be between Tech 1 to Tech 3 in level, with a minimal number of Tech 4s seeded as well. Post Beta launch, modules can only be acquired via the user marketplaces or obtained through gameplay using Galactic Reputation Pips (our in-game earn only currency). Modules sold for GRP will be limited in supply and selection and will be provided on a rotating basis primarily introduce new Tech/module types and maintain easy access to essential equipment for new players.
We are planning to launch this feature via our CSC website in the next few weeks. More detail will be posted soon about this first series release, how future series will work and the rare/unique items available on each set drop.
For now, let’s take a look a quick example to see how this can work out for a new commander…
You just discovered CSC after seeing it on one of your favorite twitch streams and decided to give this early access title a shot. You download the free client and hop into a universe bustling with players. Using your free pod, you explore one of a dozen+ core systems and watch other players grind, mine and hunt for resources to improve their ships.
You decided maybe this game is worth and shot, so you look into how to get a ship. You remember seeing on the Steam page a Starter Bundle pack for a reasonable price since you aren’t quite sure about the game yet. You decide the bundle option might be the best way to test the waters before buying that Epic T2 Reaper you saw on the Galactic P2P marketplace.
So you buy that bundle and receive an Intrepid class starter ship and 3 Galactic Federation S4 Founder Crates. Each crate has five random items that can include modules of various types/tech levels or ships. You end up getting one scout class ship (score!), 13 T1 modules, though 3 of them are 3x3 in size so really no good to you, and 1 Tech 2 module (major score!). After quickly checking the market you see that your T1 3x3 are worth a few coins as players are offering both in-game currency and ETH for them. You were savvy after installing the game and set up an ETH wallet and linked it to your CSC account before starting, so you decide to sell those items and get a little spending ETH. Next, you choose to look up that T2 item you found, and surprisingly you do see any on the marketplace. Might be a good idea to hold onto it, for now, you equip your ship with 6 of the remaining modules you own and decide to embark to fringes of the universe to hunt for some of those rich Trilite veins you have heard about.
One hour later… crap! Well, you greatly underestimated the dangers of Fringe space, maybe you should have paid more attention to the countless warnings you got before jumping out of core space, but alas you didn’t. Well at least you didn’t lose it all, you still got your shuttle and a hand full of modules left. This time you are going to play it slow, mine for some essential ore and work your way back to the fringe.
A few days later… Not a bad week! You got an ample supply of ore and decided maybe manufacturing goods is the way to play. You remember that T2 item you got in your module pack, it was an EML Tech 2 (Epic Missile Launcher). Looking at your options, you see that at a station you can deconstruct this EML to gain one skill point in crafting it. One skill point isn’t much, even for a Tech 1, but it’s enough to allow you to attempt to craft this item. So you bite the bullet and deconstruct your precious EML T2. In your crafting UI, you see that EML T2 is now an item you can attempt to craft.
Tech Level 1–100 Skill Points
Tech Level 2–500 Skill Points
Tech Level 3–2500 Skill Points
Tech Level 4–12,500 Skill Points
Tech Level 5–62,500 Skill Points
Tech N — (Previous Skill Point Total)*5
Based on the Tech Chart (see above) you have a 0.2% (1 Point / 500 for Mastery) chance of successfully crafting an EML T2, a 5% chance of crafting an EML T1 and a 94.98 % chance of losing 50% of your resources in a failed attempt. Well, that’s why you stocked all this ore. A few dozen failed attempts later you have made 2 EML T1s and increased your BP for EML T1 to a base of 2. These attempts change your crafting odds to 0.212% chance of successfully crafting an EML T2, a 7% chance of crafting an EML T1 and a 92.788% % chance of losing 50% of your resources in a failed attempt. You realize that increasing your T1 skill point improves your odds of creating a T2 and improves your odds of getting a T1 when attempting a T2. Well, that’s perfect you just need to spend a little more time developing your T1 level and then that T2 knowledge will allow you to continue and attempt T2 versions until you get it right.
A few weeks later… Well it’s been a grind but you finally did it, not only are you a T1 Master of EML but you have managed to make a dozen or so T2’s with your skill points now giving you a 5.2% chance at making a T2 on an attempt, still not great but FAR better than 0.2%. You decide its time to head back into the fringe, building equipment is fun, but it is a grind without a supply of rare resources. You unload 9 of your T2 EMLs for a great price and can buy that T2 Reaper Interceptor you have been eyeing. Decked out with a T2 EML, adaptive phasing cloak, a pulse scanner, and a T1B M2 Mining laser (The ‘B’ is intentional and will be explained in our following Crafting Blog post) you are now ready to conquer the deep reaches of space. Warning signs be damned, Fringe Space here I come!
Two hours later… crap! Well, that didn’t work out exactly as planned.
Hope you all enjoyed that little bit of humor at the end :). Well, this post has gone on much longer than I originally planned and I still have sections on Farming / Creatures, Crafting and Refining 2.0, 2019 road map, Big news on the CSC story and music front, and more.
I think I will stop here for now and split these other sections into our next post, tentatively the middle of next week.
Thanks for reading and I safe flying Commanders!