The wait has been longer than usual, but Cloud Imperium Games has finally pushed out the Star Citizen Alpha 3.18 update to live servers for all backers. Dubbed Lasting Legacies, the developer is calling this its biggest update yet for the in-development space RPG, with long-time-promised features like Persistent Entity Streaming, salvage mechanics, a cargo rework, and much more incoming.
With the update, the game will now keep track of every item in the Star Citizen universe and keep them synchronized with the server indefinitely. This means any object that is left on a planet, or a station, or anywhere will still be there at the correct location without despawning.
“From items remaining after death to visiting new star systems in future releases, it’s a major step toward a fully realized Persistent Universe that evolves with the players that inhabit it,” adds the developer.
Another major feature in this update is the new ship salvage mechanic. With the correct tools, this lets space farers have the ability to cut apart abandoned player ships and crashed haulers to sell them off for salvage. To encourage this more, the studio has also implemented vehicle “soft death” where ships can fully shut down when critical components are damaged, stranding it in space, perfect for salvagers.
The cargo system has received a major update too, letting purchased and found cargo to be actual entities that players can pick up, move, and place in ships manually. Coupled with persistent objects, this may be especially lucrative for pirates according to the developer.
Also new in Alpha 3.18 are new locations across the universe, like a crash site in Daymar, racetracks in Stanton, and sand caves across multiple planets; a new suite of activities for inmates, including a new prison break mechanic; and two ships: the salvager Drake Vulture and the EMP-equipped Scorpius Antares.
The full patch notes for this massive Star Citizen Alpha 3.18 update can be read here. While the servers are now live, the update’s launch popularity may make joining them a little time consuming. Star Citizen’s crowdfunding counter passed half a billion dollars in September last year, and since then, another $50 million has been added to the pile.