Cloud Imperium has announced that Star Citizen Alpha 3.3 will release on October 10th. This upcoming alpha build will be made available during the CitizenCon 2018, and Cloud Imperium has updated its future release roadmap. As such, the team now aims to release new builds in Q1 end of March, Q2 the end of June, Q3 in October with CitizenCon, and the Q4 in mid-to-late December.
Chris Roberts also commented on the removal of the player UEC wallet cap, something that made players assume that the game was turning into a pay-to-win game. According to Roberts, this was done to help smooth over the transition to an in-game economy and to give people that had purchased game items through the now-defunct Voyager Direct web store the ability to ‘melt’ them back for UEC, so they can repurchase new items in-game.
“As we are going to be rebalancing the pricing and economy as we expand the game, and as we currently reset everyone’s accounts when we release a new patch, we felt it would be unfair to force people to keep items they may have bought at a radically different price. This would have happened if we’d kept the overall hard cap on UEC as many players had amassed a lot more than 150,000 UEC worth of items. We still limit the maximum purchasing to 25,000 UEC a day, but we felt that removing the cap was the right call, especially as with every persistent database reset we need to refund players the UECthey have purchased with money and used to buy in-game items. It’s one thing to lose an item due to gameplay, but it’s a complete other thing to have your game account forcibly reset with each new patch, losing all the items you paid actual money for.”
Roberts also claimed that the core principle that the game follows is that everything you can obtain with real money, outside of your initial game package, can also be earned in game via normal and fun gameplay. Not only that, but there will also be plenty of things that can only be earned by playing the game.
Last but not least, Roberts confirmed that some players will have more than other players either because they will be grinding or because they have purchased better ships or equipment. In other words, yes; Star Citizen could turn into a pay-to-win game, though – as already mentioned – Roberts did say that everything that players can purchase can be obtained by simply playing the game.
“There will always be some players that have more than others, regardless of whether they’ve spent more or played more, because people start at different times and play at different paces. This is the nature of persistent MMOs. Star Citizen isn’t some race to the top; it’s not like Highlander where “There can only be one!” It is an open-ended Persistent Universe Sandbox that doesn’t have an end game or a specific win-state. We are building it to cater to players of all skill levels, that prefer PvE or PvP, that like to play solo or in a group or a large organization, that want to pursue various professions, some peaceful and some combat orientated. This is the core philosophy of Star Citizen; there isn’t one path, nor is there one way to have fun.”