Star Citizen Progress Report: February VS February Showdown!
With a brand new year already a month underway, we decided to try a new method of tracking the progress of Roberts Space Industries Star Citizen, not just by what’s to come over the next month, but by looking back to this same period of time last year. It’s a new feature we cooked up here at Space Tomato Gaming, and we’ll be checking back month to month to see where Star Citizen has been, what it’s doing now, and perhaps catch a glimmer of what the future has in store for us.
First, let’s take a look at what RSI had in store for us way back in February of 2021:
XenoThreat made its all-too-brief debut during Alpha 3.12.1, with an ambitious attempt to launch Star Citizen’s Dynamic Events system into the persistent universe. Ambitious, yes. Successful? Well… that’s up for debate. Still, XenoThreat was exciting because we saw our first in-game fleet battles, and had just a taste of what might be possible for the future of Star Citizen.
Coramor also returned for 2951, with a Star Citizen-themed Valentine’s Day card contest, special sales on 2-person ships like the Origin 85x and Anvil Hornet, and a chance to win prizes.
A Free Fly event took place for the later half of the month, testing servers to their limits and giving new players and curious dabblers a chance to check in on the progress of the ‘Verse.
The Red Festival also returned, with unique paints for the Consolidated Outland Nomad and RSI Freelancer commemorating the Year of the Ram, and giving players an opportunity to hunt for festive Red Festival envelopes “to ensure good fortune”.
So, looking back at 2021, we had four events that players could participate in, and XenoThreat came and went so quickly that a lot of players didn’t get a chance to participate. Four events for a game in Alpha isn’t too shabby, but let’s jump to the current day and see what’s in store for us over the next month:
XenoThreat makes its triumphant return during the month of February, and if reports from the PTU tests are any indication, the venerable Dynamic Event is running better than ever. Sure, the Javelin was causing some hiccups during testing, but there were dogfights galore to be had, and, most importantly, something to shake up the same-old nature of Star Citizen’s constant grind.
Coramor also returns for 2952, with another writing contest (we’re hearing rumblings that an F7C-M Super Hornet Heartseeker is on the line). There is also a potential for a few future Valentine’s skins, but we don’t have any concrete evidence on that yet!
2952’s Red Festival starts very early in the month of February, and Roberts Space Industries is ringing in the Year of the Monkey 2952 with a new red and gold livery for the Constellation series of ships as well as the Sabre. We’ll also see the return of the Red Festival envelopes, and hopefully, we won’t see a repeat of the Luminalia present price nerf that kicked off a season of bad feelings from fans in December of 2021.
The Red Festival also has a screenshot contest running on Spectrum, with a Constellation Andromeda, Aegis Saber, and Consolidated Nomad being offered up for the winners!
Plus, these skins have a freaking MONKEY on them! Monkeys make everything better!
Also returning for 2022 is another mid-month Free Fly event for Star Citizen, which will most likely include a small number of ships that every player can access for free. These events are a great opportunity to introduce people to the ‘Verse without risking any money, and there will be a referral bonus during the Free Fly, so if you find a friend who ends up buying a starter package, both of you will get a set of the Quirinus Lodestone armor and a sniper rifle for free!
It’s a cool set of armor, and maybe someday in the future, you can wear it out to confront the dangers of deep space without risking a character reset if you meet the business end of a railgun.
That puts us even with last February’s events, but we’re not done! Jumptown 2.0 will be returning again at some point during the month, which means we’ll be seeing two dynamic events before February ends. This adds a whole lot more for players and orgs to stay busy with during the month, which should help the long wait for Alpha 3.17 at the end of the first quarter pass a bit faster.
We have also seen the Tier 1 implementation of Derelict Ships as points of interest in Star Citizen, which brings some jumping puzzles and the potential of rare loot to the game. While the first wave of ships to Alpha 3.16.1 hasn’t lit the world on fire, you can clearly see the potential for derelicts evolving into something very dynamic and challenging in the future.
While it’s obvious that the derelicts are in no way events, it does add more to do in the game while we wait for bigger content drops like salvage, refueling, and jump points to other systems. Also, the derelicts look pretty cool, and the future of derelicts promises some amazing things to explore!
We’ll be seeing the release of the Consolidated Outland Hover Quad this month, and while the bike itself is not an event, it is coming close on the heels of a major re-work of Star Citizen’s grav-lev vehicles, which has brought an entirely new dynamic to ground travel. Plus, it looks pretty cool in the back of a Nomad, and who doesn’t love a little vehicle synergy?
Using this year's events to gauge the progress of Star Citizen in comparison to last February may not seem that impressive on the surface, since we only have one more event this year than last. But the two dynamic events that we’ll be seeing this month are a major change that really highlight the changes and improvements that CIG has brought into the game.
Last year, XenoThreat was fun– when it worked. The event had some major shortcomings during its debut that helped CIG fine-tune it for its second run later in the year. Now, XenoThreat looks to be running pretty well, and should bring a lot of fun, adventure, and reward for players.
JumpTown’s return so closely on the heels of its last run in early January shows that CIG is feeling very confident about the event’s performance. And honestly, despite a lot of online protestation about queue lines and either too much cooperation, or too much aggression, JumpTown 2.0 is some of the most fun I have had in Star Citizen since I started playing it. (for more information about the development of Jumptown 2.0, check out the latest issue of Jump Point magazine!)
Our org, the Garden Interstellar Initiative, ran a major coordinated event between our Industry and Security divisions. We were able to lock JumpTown down for a number of hours, bringing much-needed order to the lawless mess we found upon our arrival. With sharp coordination and strong air support, we were able to confiscate hundreds of units of Maze while helping players outside of our org profit under the protection of our fighter screen. Up until that event, I didn’t completely see what was possible in Star Citizen’s sandbox.
That’s the magic we’re potentially seeing realized more and more as time passes. Last February, XenoThreat sputtered to life in a brief, gloriously buggy burst of potential. This year, we’re seeing events that (server stability willing) can make Star Citizen feel like a space opera unfolding in real-time, filled with untold wonders, unseen dangers, and adrenaline-pumping adventure.
There’s nothing quite like it. Here’s to a potentially amazing February!