Check out 10 for the Chairman Episode 68 below!
Hello everyone, up above is the video with the Chairman, and down below is INN’s transcript of the Chairman! Enjoy!
Transcript by Stormy Winters, Dibesjr, Sunjammer, Shiver Bathory, and Canadian Syrup.
Intro: Hello everyone! Welcome to another episode of 10 for the chairman. For those of you who haven’t watched this before this is where i take 10 questions from our subscribers and answer them to the best of my ability. Our subscribers are the subset of our community that contribute money every month to support our ongoing community engagement and relations that we do everyday. It’s one of the main reasons why star citizen is so successful. We really concentrate on trying to inform and share and communicate with everyone who backs the game. We really couldn’t do it at the level we do it without the money the subscribers contribute because it pays for the video team and a fair amount of our community team and also generation of content for people to consume, so jump point magazine which we do every month is 50-80 pages and it has behinds the scenes articles on how we make a certain ship, a certain weapon, how we built a character, or how a certain game mechanic we are working on works, or what happens behind the scenes going into a show. it also has certain background information on parts of the star citizen universe and fiction that is set in the star citizen universe. It is a really good read, I would recommend checking it out if you get a chance. On top of that we do quite a few video shows, obviously this is one of them, around the verse is the mainstay which is the news of what is happening with star citizen. Then we have additional shows like bug smashers and ship shape, those kind of things that provide additional information. Thank you subscribers for allowing us to do more community facing information and content than I have seen any other game do, and it is one of the largest reasons as to why we are doing so well and you guys have been a great, loyal, and supportive community. Speaking of a great community, we had a few backers coming by and visiting the office today, this came from Dan from Switzerland (Chris picks up a red swiss army knife). He gave me, of course, a swiss army knife engraved for me and it says “Pocket Plasma Torch Soon”, it’s missing the ™ on it. It’s very cool. I’m actually flying to the UK tonight, (open the knife) and I won’t be taking [the pocket knife] on the flight with me (little chuckle). I’m flying to the UK tonight because I’m going to spend the next two weeks in the Manchester office going to lead up to Citizen con which is going to be in Manchester and right after I’m going to be locking down more scenes that we shot in performance capture for SQ42. Gonna finish the digitized motion capture process where we select these are the performances – the parts of the scene we want – and then it gets built into 3d and we can animate it inside the 3d environment. So i’m doing that tonight. The other gift I have here is from operation pitchfork, it has one of the challenge coins in there (points at the coin in the glass), it says “for the defense of life and liberty, we the free and independent citizens of humanity, declare our intent to carry out operation pitchfork. A coordinated strike to end the unwarranted vanduul slaughter of the colony of armitage and every human since – Anonymous 17 October 2943”. So that’s very cool it will go in my little back area with all the other really cool stuff, which I have a few from the operation pitchfork folks. I think you guys will be quite happy at citizen con because have something that speaks to this which will be a rallying cry for all you guys.
(4:05) Dex asks: It’s been awhile since we’ve heard anything about ship armor. Can you tell us where it is in development and when we’ll be able to see it implemented in the game?
CR: Well, it’s actually implemented in the game right now. It’s been in arena commander for quite awhile. The big issue is you really don’t see it because it’s sort of an invisible item, but it’s attached via an item port to the ship. Ships like the horner that have armor, have the armor item attached to them and essentially the current implementation is a modifier on damages that you take. It modifies the energy damage, it modifies the ballistic damage in the same way the shield does except the armor is built to absorb ballistic damage but not be very good against absorbing energy damage and then the shield is the exact opposite case. So we actually have armor implemented in the game, you just don’t visually see it. We do have plans to add the visual representation. Part of it would actually be quite easy since it’s an item that gets attached so therefore that would be just adding GON on the item, and the item system already supports that. We just haven’t built the reflective armor pieces you would see on your ship. The other thing we have been talking about that hasn’t been fully implemented is a material swap and change. So when you change the armor on your ship, you can actually see the difference in the surface quality in the places that are armored. That is actually not that difficult to do, but it’s sort of going to be wrapped up in our physicalized damage system work that we are planning to do. That is actually on Mark Abent’s list of todos. But we have got some pretty deep item system refactoring for the greater good of the game that him and Paul are doing right now. The armor is actually already in there so really the key is to make it more visible and then I think it will become more apparent and have more nuance when the fully physicalized damage system is in.
(6:12) Doc Tari asks: Could you briefly go over how coordinate spaces work in the verse, per-system coordinates and galaxy wide coordinates.
CR: So in terms of how things work in the setup we have right now, in the system we consider sort of this center of the star system to be the origin of 0000, XYZ. The unit space in the engine is setup on meters so one year is one meter, and the center of the solar system would be where the star that everything would orbit around, or the multiple star systems would orbit around and so right now in terms of flying around that like locations we kind of have a debate whether or not give you set nav points, okay here’s arriving at this planet, or arriving at the asteroid field, So there sort of navigation points you can enter, and then also whether you could enter random sort of XyZ position to quantum to or we make you sort of fly to a cruise speed first basically enter that location into your nav computer and then you could broadcast it to your friends and it would be an entry, which is kind of sort of one of the explorer developer options so we’re sort of playing around with that concept but you know we are going to allow you to sort of set or explore or find off beaten path places but you know have pre done navigation points. So it’s almost like you would on a gps I guess. Then on the galaxy wide coordinates we would specify what system you’re in, so you’re in Stanton System, you’re in sol system, you’re in Tara system, so then you know we would be potentially sol system, earth, or sol system at this XYZ location and that will potentially see how it works because we’ve had some debates about actually having orbital mechanics, so obviously in XYZ position doesn’t really work unless it’s relative, because you know if you want to go to earth it’s going to be at a different point, it won’t be there. So those are kind of the things we need to flesh out. Right now in the large world map and multi-crew map it’s XYZ, in meters and we give you pre determined nav points and you can sort of unlock more and more of them by exploring around and doing stuff like that.
(8:40) Monkeytime Asks: It’s been said that there will be levels of “Controlled” and “uncontrolled” space, and that those wishing to avoid combat with other players should stick to the more controlled areas. Does this mean that certain career paths (exploration, for example) that necessitate travel into uncontrolled or uncharted space will be impossible to pursue without the possibility of PVP
CR: It’s a good question, you know there is a certain amount of you’re traveling into uncharted space, then it’s not likely there’s going to be other players out there because you’re one of the first people out there so even if there was pvp out there, you’re not likely to engage in it. One of the bigger points of exploration is that you’re going to go to areas others have not gone to before. You’ll sort of chart off the unbeaten path I was just mentioning before on sort of the coordinate space and navigation points, so it’s a pretty good question, I would say that the pvp slider would come into effect there where that would reduce the chance of you having an encounter with someone that would be hostile, but you know if it’s totally uncontrolled then it’s out then there would be a small remote possibility of pvp out there so sort of depending, we’ll see how it goes, it’s kind of a part of getting it all up and running for the folks, which is what I would recommend doing. I know a lot of people are worried oh there isn’t enough pvp or omg I’ll be forced into pvp, I think we got a pretty good answer in the way we set it up, we’ll have stuff that will be good for both parties, both groups so lets wait till we get there and if it’s not working perfectly we’ll try our best to balance and fix things.
(10:33) Dex Asks: Over the past few years a lot of us have accumulated a number of large multi crew ships can you give us an update on your vision for NPC crews and what limitations if any we are likely to see?
CR: Well you are definitely going to need to have NPC’s for some of the larger ships because they are so big. It will probably be a case of you’ll not be able to get enough friends to manage a ship with you. Obviously not a Constellation but when we get up to an Idris you’ll probably would want to have some NPC crew members. They will be running AI just like the same way we would run AI in Sq 42 AI; running a big NPC or AI ship. They won’t be as self aware as a real player would be. You would have to be more specific for instance in tasking them “You are now the gunner you need to do this” They won’t be thinking ahead the same way a real person would, but they will fill the various roles effectively depending on their ratings. The more experienced crew members will be better than a rookie would. Then of course the more experienced folks would cost more to pay because none of these NPCs are going to be working for free, so you will have to pay for your crew and make sure they are taken care of. You will be hiring folks whether it’s to help run the ship you’re flying or fly escort with you, that’s actually going to be a large part of the game. I’ve mentioned before a nine to ten goal ratio between AI and real life players in the world and we’ll scale that way. So just in general nine out of ten people you meet will probably be an AI and the last one would be a real person so therefore we have to make them believable and make them go about their daily activities and make them perform their jobs pretty well which is one of the big focuses Tony is making with his subsumption system for the persistant universe.
(12:40:) WLB Asks: Will Orgs be able to engage in “Guild wars” against other orgs? Enter alliances that give some kind of bonus or benefits? and could an entire org become blacklisted by law enforcement groups like the UEE Advocacy, similar to how in real life a person can be arrested for being involved with a known criminal organization like a gang,syndicate or violent extremist group?
CR: So yes definitely you’ll be able to engage in guild wars, infact i’m pretty confident there will be guild wars considering the amount of different organizations I’ve seen that we have and the fact that a few of them are diametrically opposed to each other. We are building three levels of gameplay that we’re focusing on, one is sort of solo gameplay, which is more atin to the privateer, freelancer game where you can do your own stuff, you could potentially do work for bigger organizations or other people. Then we’ve got the sort of group of friends setup so think of that like a raiding party or something in world of warcraft, you and three or four of your friends are flying a constellation and you’re going off on missions and then we have the big level organization stuff where we’re deliberately going to have some areas that the organizations would want to fight over or control or own and that would involve lots of people not just three or 4 people. You know, hundreds of people, maybe not all hundreds in the exact same instance at the same time but you know a bigger scale conflict where people are bringing bigger ships to the fight and working with various fighters and medium sized ships and cap sized ships, combined arms and all that kind of stuff, so we’re trying to create that level of gameplay and I think it would be cool, also I think that if an organization sort of persists attacking sort of the institutions where it’s the UEE or whatever then yes at that point the organization would be the enemy of the state and will have AI, say advocacy members come after that organization if they know or can detect them. and there’s that organization, so we haven’t finalized the reputation system that would go with that and how that gets transmitted or broadcast and how you can spoof that or hide it from people, but that would all be sort of plugged into that and I think it should make it a pretty interesting game dynamic and we’ll see what happens. I know we have plenty of pirate orgs for instance, they will probably be on the other side of the law. So there you go! I hope that answers the question.
(15:20) Wiborg1978 asks: How will trading in SC work? Will there be some kind of auction house like in MMOs? Will it be possible to not only sell goods, e.g Datas for rare ore-fields, can I make something like a profit sharing for the ore?
CR: I think what’s being asked here is can I not only sell something for money but could I perhaps say, ‘here is information on an ore field but instead of giving UEC I want to take 30% of whatever money you make from mining it’, that’s a good question. Definitely going to have the ability to do some trading, there will be some kind of cost to do the trade and depending on where it is or depending on how safe it is, that cost would be a larger amount than if it was a no holds barred dodgy pirate deal. I don’t know about the profit sharing, giving someone 20-30%, I think definitely in the first stage of the implementation of the game, that would be a deal you would have to do personally. The other player would have to honour the contract he had with you versus it being automatic in the system. Longer term… you never know but certainly not in the short term because there is quite a few other things to get done first. Anyway, there you go I hope that helps.
The next question comes from Capstone who asks….
(16:52)Capstone asks: From a design perspective do you see inflation or deflation as a biggest threat to an MMOs economy? And is one of the many aims of this policy of setting a real world price in UEC to combat gold farmer induced inflation?
CR: Obviously inflation and deflation is a threat to most economies we are on our side because i mentioned the nine to ten player to AI ratio so ninety percent of the universe is AI that obviously us as the game masters have an influence over. They trade, they go about their daily lives, they earn money, do all these things so it’s actually a pretty good tool to make sure that if a player finds an exploit and does all this other stuff it won’t totally create a new economy because ninety percent of the commerce is happening in the AI world and we have control over that so if we see something spinning out of control on the player side we could potentially counter it with the AI side. That’s one of the ideas that not to be too beholden to say price fixing or any kind of machinations that players could get together and do. They will have the ability to affect to some form of the economy in a more localised fashion but since there are only ten percent of players overall in the universe they won’t have the ability to affect the economy in a more overbearing or global basis. As far as real world price and UEC we’re not doing a subscription fee so where we think we’ll be earning money long term to pay for servers and adding new content besides new people joining and buying their game package is for the people that love the game but they just don’t have thirty hours a week to be flying around doing stuff but they want to get that cool ship or that cool weapon so they’ll be able to buy some UEC and that will get him there. That falls to the whole time versus money argument. So it’s not so much to combat gold farmers and more one of the ways we’ll be supporting the game once it’s live. We will definitely be putting some things in there to make it difficult for a bunch of gold farmers to go and sell people UEC it’s almost impossible to fully stop stuff cause people can build up an account and then just transfer the account and sell it, but you won’t just be able to wire people money with no cost and no checks and stuff like that. So we’ll see how it goes it’s still early days and i’m sure there will be plenty of things we haven’t realised that we’ll have to adjust but that’s part of the point of getting you guys in early.
(19:50) Alan Parsons asks: Will NPCs work for a player, even when the player will go offline? Or, can I hire NPCs to do missions(mining, hauling…) and myself is sitting in the hangar or bar waiting for the NPC to finish the mission by themselves?
CR: I definitely don’t think you will have NPCs doing stuff for you while you are offline, you probably would be able to hire some NPCs to go and do a mission while you’re sitting planetside in a bar and say, ‘here, I’ll pay you this to deliver this cargo to this planet or this other player’. That definitely will happen, the game time will tick by while you’re on the planet waiting for them to finish that mission and when they do, then it will happen. So, I guess you could run NPCs just from a static location if that’s what you wanted to do, that’s kind of how the design’s set up.
Next question comes from BloodProof who asks…..
(20:40) BloodProof asks: Will there be trade lanes similar to the game Freelancer or will Star Citizen have open space travel only?
CR: So we’re not going to have trade lanes in terms of any mechanical trade lanes, there will be by default areas that are the trade paths because they’ll be nav buoyed out and they’ll be the main trading routes that various sized ships will take. But you’ll also have open space travel so you’ll be able to fly anywhere in any direction. We’re actually adding additional flight modes which I’ve talked about before, but in the multi-crew release there’s going to be Precision which is the low speed flying for landing, taking off, maneuvering, close quarter ships or structures; then there’s SCM, space combat maneuvering, which is what everyone knows from AC which is low speed space combat velocity range and you can do pretty drastic maneuvers and not have you pulling too many G’s; then we have Cruise which is between SCM and Quantum and Cruise is going a lot faster but then you can’t turn very fast and if you did you would be sliding quite a bit but that’s really for getting to place quickly when you don’t want to jump drive or maybe you don’t have a nav point for that; and the beyond that there would be Quantum drive.
(22:10) Eschatos asks: Will players travelling in fleets be able to send out ships to scout the route ahead? How do you envision this working with instance and the matchmaking system?
CR: Yeah! If you’re travelling in a fleet and you send a friend of yours out in a ship ahead, they can go to another area. The way this system is going to work is we only hand you off to another server if there are too many people in this area of space: in this server. So at the very beginning if there are only two people in the star system and, say you can have 50 people at maximum in any one server, just giving an example of the numbers that’s not necessarily what the final numbers will be, those two people will be on the same server and that will continue; if there’s ten, it would still be those ten people on the same server; and once you get over the server maximum, say 50, and we move to 60 at that point we can’t fit 60 people in one server we’d say “let’s look at the locations” and say “here’s an area that’s fairly dense, say, a planet” say it’s Earth; so in Earth that would be it’s own separate server zone and then people near or around Earth will be talking to the server that’s controlling that; and then people on the other side of the solar system, around Pluto or flying around generally out in space would be talking to another server. And so you split out player to additional servers as more people come into the solar system and then when we have quite a few servers running that’s when you have to deal with the instancing. We want to keep people together if they’re part of the same organisation or they are friendly or they know each other as a person of interest. In most cases unless you get into huge battles and loads and loads of people you can send someone ahead to scout an asteroid field and they can come back and say “yeah it’s fine” or “you know what, there’s a couple of pirates out here!” and the rest of your fleet would come to where you were; you’d still all be in the same server and you’d have an encounter. Even if you were on separate servers because there were too many of you in the solar system if the asteroid field was handled by a different server from where the rest of the fleet is, we always try to keep slots open on servers for friends to join and so the message would go out from your scout “hey join me” and there would be a certain number of slots available for the fleet and the ones that would be available would be filled and if there were too many people then we would just have to make the decision do we keep the fleet together or do we split it up and we haven’t really decided on how that would work. On that you can have an argument both ways so make it user-definable or we may try it one way and see how it plays.
Outro: That is the ten questions on 10 for the Chairman, I think I mentioned..or actually by the time you see this I will actually be in England but I will be over in England for the next four weeks, spending time in Manchester, working with the team there especially leading up to Citizen Con. Next week, you won’t have my face. We may film one because Tom and the team are coming over to Citizen Con, we may film another 10 for the Chairman while I’m there. You’ll definitely be seeing me on Citizen Con livestream and I’m really, really, really excited to show you a bunch of the stuff I’m going to show you. You guys will hopefully be very excited, it’s some cool stuff, obviously we’ve got loads of stuff to be doing on all levels but it’s going to be an awesome ride and there you go. All right, talk to you or see you in Verse in the next few weeks, bye.