‘Star Citizen’ 2.6.1 PTU Patch Notes Released For Incoming Update: Mega Map, Servers & More

Star Citizen
The opening cinematic from Squadron 42, Star Citizen's single-player campaign, is now online and the game's crowdfunding success seems to have been a major boon for the Star Citizen cast list. Photo: Cloud Imperium

Star Citizen alpha 2.6.1 is about ready to release on PTU, so Cloud Imperium Games has revealed the full patch notes for the testing period. The update brings Mega Map and new servers, and citizens will also be able to enjoy feature adjustments in Star Marine and Arena Commander.

Here’s the bulk of what’s been changed.

NEW FEATURES STAR SYSTEMS

Crusader

  • The Covalex PI mission has been expanded with additional objectives and Easter eggs that can be unlocked.

GAME SYSTEMS

Arena Commander Balance Changes

  • Revenge kills and Resurgence awards have been removed from Arena Commander for the moment.
  • Lowered the spawn rate of pirates in Pirate Swarm slightly to provide a less drastic difficulty curve.
  • Improved the weapons issued to the Aces in Pirate Swarm mode.
    • The number of missiles and countermeasures awarded from pickups in Arena Commander game modes have been lowered.
  • Only currently dead players should be resurrected after a boss wave in Multiplayer Pirate or Vanduul Swarm, no additional lives will be provided.
    • This is to better balance the modes now that repair and restock pickups are available in the game mode.
  • Suicide in Arena Commander now carries a score of -200 points.
  • Updated the shields and fuel for the Constellation variant in Pirate Swarm.

Star Marine

  • Revenge kills and Resurgence awards have been removed from Star Marine for the moment.
  • In-match loadout customization is now implemented. During a Star Marine match, while your character is dead, you will have the option to change out your loadout before respawning.
  • Additional dialog lines during matches have been added.
  • FPS weapons have received a balance pass to improve viability.
  • Added a +25 Haemorrhage scoring bonus for causing another player to bleed.
  • This bonus is not awarded if you cause yourself to bleed.
  • The spawn point for Marines in OP Station Demien has been moved.
  • Added an additional route for players inside Echo Eleven.

Leaderboards

  • In-game leaderboards are now implemented for both Arena Commander and Star Marine, so you can now review your standings in any given game mode within the game client.

Spectator Mode and Camera Changes

  • With 2.6.1, we have made vast improvements to camera behavior and allow players to enter our Pure Spectator Mode.
  • Pure Spectator Mode can now be entered through Private lobbies by starting a match by checking the “Join as Spectator” box next at the bottom of the screen.
  • There are new cinematic submodes available to Spectator Mode, including First Person View and Focused Action Cam.
  • Cinematic cameras, in and out of Pure Spectator Mode, should now better align with the player you are watching. This includes ensuring your target is facing upright, and behaving appropriately when encountering walls or barriers.
  • Cameras should now properly Save and Load views regardless of map or mode type excluding Crusader.
  • Advanced Camera Controls have been improved to be more precise and smoother in transition.
  • Fixed an issue where players could not move or adjust their camera if they died while exiting their ship.

Ships

  • The Super Hornet has received a full visual update, encompassing art, animation, damage states, and VFX.
  • Ship weapons, mounts and turrets have received a health buff so they won't be as easily destroyed by splash damage.
  • The jerk levels of ships should now better scale with boost.
  • Ship SCM speeds have been re-adjusted to provide a greater range of speed between ships.
  • Projectile speeds have been tweaked, so that targeting pips of different weapon types will be closer together for easier targeting.
  • The Retaliator, Starfarer, 85x have had a pass to improve interior culling and graphic performance.
  • The Mustang series has had an optimization pass to improve graphical performance.
  • Pilot facial idle animations have been added for all ship variants

Technical

  • Two aspects of our ongoing network refactor have come online - the first iteration of Serialized Variables and Network Message Ordering.
  • Serialized Variables replaces some of the original aspects of CryEngine for handling data (aspects and class members) previously serialized by CryEngine NetSerialize calls. In simpler terms, it's a much more lightweight means for handling update messaging on the network, with reduced risk of updates being lost in caching or other processes - and reducing lag.
  • Strictly Ordered Network Messaging moves the game away from CryNetwork client-server handling of networked objects, over to our new token system with a strict priority system for managing messaging between client and server nodes.
  • The new Mega Map system allows for much quicker loading time when switching between maps.
  • In this initial release it will only be enabled for single player maps (Hangars and single-player Arena Commander), but we will be expanding this to include multiplayer maps in a future release.
  • Multi-Region Servers : We now have servers available in the US, Europe and Australia.
  • You can choose what region you would like to connect to via an optional drop-down, when connecting to any multiplayer instance.
  • Selecting "All" will currently default to the US servers, but that will change as we build and improve on the functionality of our region support.

As with any major Star Citizen patch notes, there are a ton of bug fixes and smaller tweaks as well. For the sake of brevity, those can be found at the source link above.

In simple terms, the Mega Map essentially allows players in map-based modes like Arena Commander or Star Marine the chance to continuously keep playing on a map cycle like most other multiplayer games. Unfortunately, however, because the initial test is limited to NDA-bound Evocati members, the stress on the new servers will be a little hard to gauge.

With regard to gameplay, the widespread changes to ship health and jerk speed are going to be things that all players will likely notice. The rest of the notes will only apply to those who play the impacted modules. Each one of these changes is a progressive march toward alpha 3.0 later this year. 2.6.1 doesn’t drastically alter what backers already know, but there’s nice quality of life stuff inside.

Star Citizen is available now for backers on PC. We expect 2.6.1 testing to have begun by the time you read this or shortly thereafter.

What do you think of the changes in the 2.6.1 PTU? Do they make Star Citizen better? Tell us in the comments section!

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