There is no doubt that star citizen is a much anticipated game. The recent live stream releases and reveals of upcoming features have mustered a lot of attention and hype. The player community surrounding Star Citizen is as busy as ever. But is it a good busy?
There is a lot of overly imaginative speculation about the upcoming dog fighting module. While imagination is great, the problem with having too much is that expectations increase an order of magnitudes above what the game, or dog fighting module, will deliver. Expectation management is something that the community lacks as a communal skill.
Community members spend way too much time day dreaming. This goes hand-in-hand with the problems of expectation management. It is understood that the game is very exciting but it doesn't come out for a year and the community knows very little about the game and how the game will actually work. People are daydreaming about counter-ambushing space pirates and chasing them through an asteroid belt. Which brings me to my next point…
The community is way too stuck on the fact that good always triumphs over evil. That may be the case in various Hollywood productions but that isn't necessarily the case in video games.
Perhaps too many of the players have stuck to games where they play some entitled hero that has a life destiny that says that he will one day vanquish an evil that threatens to destroy the entire world around said hero. That is not what Star Citizen is about.
Star Citizen allows you to live a digital life in a futuristic world set among the stars where everyone starts off as equal as everyone else when they started out. They are a normal citizen. You start as an average, normal citizen.
The worst part about it is that anyone who attempts to bring up the fact that I just stated gets flamed and trolled into oblivion.
A contact who is a 10 year veteran of MMOs to include playing eve online from the beta who wishes to remain anonymous writes:
The star citizen community that you can currently interact with is one of the more cancerous piles of publords you can find in gaming.
They are so attached to this concept of belonging to an inclusive “best” community on the internet that the moment someone shows them that there may be a hint of conflict in their beloved game and that they may in fact not be the galactic hero of a multiplayer game they huddle up and form a defensive circlejerk using their dream spooge to defend against the mean people that have different opinions or want different things that may conflict with their idealized non-threatening game.
Vocal sections of the community talk in overly couched assumptions several layers deep about how the game will work in ways that will lead to them being galactic spaceship chessmasters simply for showing up.
People repeatedly note how they are no good at flying yet ask how they will fare in combat. Here's a hint, if you're bad at a core segment of a game you may not do well.
You strive to be better.
Much of the SC community seems to think that they can just waltz into the deepest darkest corner of space because they're good guys and that bad guys never win, and that the power of their friends will overcome those friendless loser pirates that will certainly attack them underpowered and inferior ships (because pirates will never get their hands on anything larger than an idris, right?).
They are in active denial about segments of gameplay that chris roberts himself has said are present, risks.
All because risk mechanics mean that they may not win all the time, collect all the XP, get all the golds, and be a Star Citizen god.
Failure at a game does not mean that a game is bad or even that the pilot is bad. It just means that they need to get better (or the game is Battletoads hard).
This outlook was present in eve during its Beta and you can see what happened fairly clearly there.
At a certain point when cruising the lawless depths a captain will decided that the best path to his own safety is if everything on his sensors is either a corpse or loot.
Conflict can come from virtually any source and you never know when you'll be challenged for your right to exist in a games universe.
That may seem scary to the members of the community that remain and understand that you're not always going to win, but the realization gets worse.
Currently, in the official RSI forums, the reporting system is seemingly used and abused. The “good guys” are the trolls that bait the “bad guys” who just want to live a life of space piracy in a video game into personal attacks, which has a fairly broad definition on the RSI forums. Once a personal attack has been made, that person is punished. The punishments vary based on the incident, but they are happening at an alarming rate.
The “good guys” are baiting the bad guys into a position where the moderators suspend/ban them in order to weed them out. A marvelous play but I feel that it is just grooming the lambs for the slaugher – a slaughter that will happen shortly after release.
Here's more from the same anonymous writer I quoted above on what I just discussed:
Actually it's just a byproduct of two things:
1) cig is trying to keep their forums friendly so you can be temp-banned for calling people carebears as that counts as a personal attack.
2) There's currently no gameplay that allows scrublords to get their shit pushed in until they effectively give up.
And basically you end up with the bunch of socially squeaky clean carebears hanging around in an environment where they're the only ones that can speak.
They end up deceiving themselves into believing that everyone is as friendly and nonthreatening as themselves.
CIG has stated that (limited?) corp thefts are a thing along with ship mutinies and spies, just with better game mechanics behind them than the shitshow that is the EVE metagame where exploit a game with more security issues than your ex-girlfriend.
With these security issues being included in actual approved and implemented game mechanics we're probably already in fairly morally murky territory before the game even launches.
The key point though of everything is that when I was playing the EVE Beta the community was fairly similar to the current Star citizen community.
It's foolish to pin your hopes around a game never challenging you to be better or go outside your comfort zone if you want to access its full content.
It's not always a design flaw with a game to have a segment of non mandatory content behind an element of aggressive players so long as the barrier is not insurmountable.
When a game actually releases that can punish people for their weakness you'll start to see some of these marshmellow skinned shitheels fail and ragequit out, or rise to the challenge and succeed through actions.
None the less the current community fellowship is unlikely to survive. The passion for the game will remain for some and for those that cannot match their desires with talent… bitterness awaits.
Or Chris Roberts could make a game that gives everyone a free pony for showing up, what the hell do I know?
The key point though of everything is that when I was playing the EVE Beta the community was fairly similar to the current Star Citizen community.
When a game actually releases that can punish people for their incompetence and uselessness you'll start to see some of these marshmellow skinned shitlords fail and ragequit out.
The last two paragraphs are what I fear and why I ask the question if the average behavior and popular attitude within the community is setting the community up for success or failure.
My greatest fear is that the failure that the community could very well be building up to will cause a huge loss of players shortly after launch when they realize that space isn't friendly.