Star Citizen PTU Director Talks Bounties & Beacons In 3.0 & Beyond

Star Citizen fans got to see new ships and procedural cities at CitizenCon. This is a view from a space station above ArcCorp. Star Citizen is available for backers on PC.
Star Citizen fans got to see new ships and procedural cities at CitizenCon. This is a view from a space station above ArcCorp. Star Citizen is available for backers on PC. Cloud Imperium Games

Star Citizen 3.0 has made its way to the PTU, but Cloud Imperium Games’ Persistent Universe Director Tony Zurovec already has his eyes set on the future. In a recent interview with Andy Green of MyRadar, Zurovec shared the team’s aspirations for service beacons and bounties in later iterations of the 3.0 base.

Starting with service beacons, Zurovec clarified that their many uses will become clear after the feature’s planned release in 3.1. Beacons will essentially be used any time the player needs help, and that might mean assistance in combat, transporting materials or collecting a certain resource. When explorers set off a beacon, they’ll be able to set parameters for who can answer the call. You may, for example, only want someone from your organization to see it or limit the request to characters with a certain reputation level.

However, even with those safeguards in place, there’s always the possibility a responder could go rogue. As Zurovec put it, “he may be a thief, but he hasn’t stolen a lot so it’s not on his record.” No matter what, the player will have to shoulder those risks if they need a task done. Adding another layer of complication, f you are a pirate, stolen goods are only planned to be worth a fraction of their actual value. If you’re going to take the risk, it better be for something good. Reputation standings will apply to individuals as well as the organizations they’re in. Admins who want to maintain good standings can set thresholds to automatically kick those who fall above or below a certain level.

With these resource-based systems in mind, the goal with Star Citizen is to make them even bigger over time. While implementation starts at basic item trading, the team plans to allow players to customize items of varied tiers or possibly craft their own. That essentially means one engine salesperson many be better than another because they overclock or use different parts. That kind of stuff is likely further off in development, but it’s a prospect Zurovec expressed excitement about.

If you’ve manipulated resources or characters in negative ways, a bounty will be placed on your head. Just like the real world, there will be degrees of criminality, and higher levels of criminality will mean more tempting payouts. If you’ve committed a minor felony, you may be able to pay to get your bounty status removed. The intent is to create a system where players with big bounties on their heads will have to act quickly or remain concealed in secure areas. If caught on camera, an alert will be sent to hunters hoping to track down the desired target.

Features such as these have been discussed parts of the Star Citizen pipeline for a while, but Zurovec expects we’ll see pieces of them in the alpha 3.x version cycle. With the third alpha almost ready for wide release, the team has placed an emphasis on expanding the framework that exists. Basic jobs will be introduced soon, and more jobs will become available as time passes. The same evolutionary process holds true for bounties.

Star Citizen is in alpha for Kickstarter backers on PC. Tune in to the Holiday Stream Dec. 21 at 3 p.m. EST for an update on the game’s single-player module, Squadron 42.

Are you excited for bounties and beacons to come to Star Citizen? When do you think we’ll actually see these features in play? Tell us in the comments section!

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