July 25th 2014

Arena Commander Patch Update

Greetings Citizens,

We’ve been dedicating a great deal of energy and pursuing so many different angles in the quest to fix rubber-banding that we have gone beyond simply smashing the intended bugs. The process has helped us make dozens of improvements to Arena Commander; we can confidently say that the next patch will greatly improve the dogfighting experience.

This week, we made a concerted effort to improve the debugging experience so that this process will be easier in the future. Arena Commander now produces greater and more relevant debug information for our QA team. We’ve learned how to zero in on the current problem and we’ve built the tools we’ll need to react more quickly next time. We’ve also focused on updating Arena Commander’s physics and particularly how the game reports to the server on ship position.

We’ve a several video to this post showing the new debug mode. As you can see, our QA team now has a colorful graphical interface that indicates where and how things are going wrong! Note that there’s a single ship in the video affected by the dreaded rubber-banding bug (with yellow and red trails) while others are working as intended!

But the bigger story is that we’re very, very close to a public Star Citizen 12.5 patch. The last round of fixes to the physics engine introduced an additional bug that we’re wrapping up now. But instead of pushing to potentially patch late tonight (assuming the issue is resolved in the next few hours) we are opting to wait until early next week.

That’s because the most valuable part of this process is observing the impact of our updates “in the wild.” The rubber-banding introduced in 12.4 is something we weren’t able to see in our internal testing; it took the QA and development teams watching your streams and talking with players around the world to identify and zero in on. If we patch over the weekend, we’ll miss the most active “backer testing” period and have to play catchup on Monday.

If all goes as planned, we will launch 12.5 next week… and if it survives contact with 200,000 Star Citizen backers then we can start to expand multiplayer access again! Until then, thank you for your patience and most importantly your part in improving Arena Commander. It’s not just your funding that makes Star Citizen possible, it’s your involvement in this process!

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