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Star Citizen Alpha 3.15 Patch Watch | Spawn Closets, Shields & More

Hello everyone,

After last week’s look at the Personal Inventory and Server Crash Recovery, we’re following up with another Alpha 3.15 Patch Watch, this time on spawn closets, shields, and more.

Spawn Closets

For Alpha 3.15, we’re adding the game’s first spawn closets, which are rooms or elevators that hide the spawning and despawning of NPCs. Going forward, spawn closets will be added to most (if not all) locations to facilitate population management. For example, civilians and security in landing zones and miners and outlaws in caves. However, in Alpha 3.15, they will only be featured in underground facilities.

New Missions

To take advantage of spawn closets, we’re introducing a suite of new and improved missions.

  • Eliminate All: Requires players to kill all enemy NPCs at a location.
  • Eliminate Specific: Requires players to kill a predetermined target.
  • Eliminate Boss: Players are tasked with killing a heavily armored target, who only comes out of hiding to avenge the death of their crew.
  • Steal: Players enter a hostile location to identify and steal a number of items guarded by hostiles.
  • Dangerous Collect: Requires players to search a friendly facility for boxes using information in their mobiGlas. At any point during the mission, small enemy assaults can be triggered, which players can choose to avoid or aid the facility’s defenders in repelling.
  • Defend: Players join friendly NPCs in defending a facility from multiple waves of enemies. In addition to the basic mission reward, players will receive a bonus for each friendly NPC that survives to the end.

Various modifiers can be applied to each mission type, such as “kill only NPCs of a certain type” or “fail if non-combatants are killed”.

Without spawn closets, we were unable to spawn NPCs in mid-mission as they could appear out of thin air without warning. Now, we can spawn reinforcements or spring ambushes on unsuspecting players, with players able to recognize where NPCs are likely to arrive from.

First Pass of Shield Variants

As mentioned in an Alpha 3.14 Patch Watch, the team had temporarily given every shield generator of the same size class the same stats to aid the initial balancing pass. For the very first pass of shield variants coming with Alpha 3.15, the team brought back shield grades. Grades within one shield size range from D to A (increasing in overall performance), with C often being the default baseline.

For Alpha 3.15, there won’t be any classification differences (civilian, competition, industrial, military, stealth) among shields, as the team wants to ensure that grade balancing is in a good place before adding more features. They want to ensure that the grade differences in shield performance are notable without unbalancing the combat experience.

Tobii Gaze Tracking

For Alpha 3.15, we enabled Tobii’s Gaze Based Target Selection for an even deeper immersion. With a Tobii Eye Tracker 5, you can track both head and eye movements, and you have the freedom to decide if you want to track both or just one at a time. With the new Gaze Based Target Selection, you can now simplify target selection by looking at your opponent and pressing the target selection button. We want to make clear that at this point, that we are fully supporting Gaze Based Target Selection with the Tobii Eye Tracker 5, but no actual combat aiming or interacting with MFDs or the buttons in your ship’s cockpit. This new feature makes the target selection convenient but does not give you an unfair advantage. Feel free to check out the Tobii Eye Tracker 5 Comm-Link for more info on the device.

Total Velocity Inidicator

When live, you will be able to decide in the Options menu if the Total Velocity Indicator (TVI) UI is permanently visible, hidden, or fades away when not in use.

Cinematic Missile Camera

We’re also bringing back a feature many machinima creators have missed lately. Head to the Options menu, select Keybindings, and open the tab Vehicle – Missiles. The Cinematic Missile Camera is unbound by default. However, you can now easily bring this epic camera mode back into your cinematography tool kit. We’ve also attached a cinematic camera to bombs. 

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