We took a pre-release build of Star Citizen alpha 3.0 for a spin earlier this month, and it sounded pretty great: Chris landed on the moon of Daymar, got out and wandered around, and even completed a mission. "Actually landing on a moon felt pretty monumental, like I'm a genuine (virtual) astronaut now," he wrote of the experience. "As promised, it was a seamless transition: taking off from the space station, flying into space, making a quantum jump to the Daymar, entering the atmosphere, and landing."
Unfortunately for everyone still waiting to try it for themselves, the 3.0 build wasn't quite as close to ready-for-prime-time as Cloud Imperium thought, and so the expected release of late August has been pushed back, according to the most recent production schedule, to a new "aim date" window of September 4-18.
"This week, we entered the optimization, polish and bug fixing phase for the 3.0 feature set. As there have been so many features and content implemented, we’ve encountered some stability issues that we want to address before going to a wider test audience," developer Cloud Imperium Games explained.
"The ongoing work on the new Patcher system (that will save you from having to completely re-download each build) and some new bugs with CopyBuild3 (our internal version of the patcher) have also slowed us down. Because of this we have pushed back the Evocati and subsequent date ranges to reflect the additional time needed to get Star Citizen Alpha 3.0 ready for prime time."
In response to the "healthy discussion" about the updated schedule, support manager Will "Soulcrusher" Leverett posted a message on the Star Citizen forums explaining that the studio "has pushed far past the technological boundaries that were previously considered impossible," and that has inevitably created some unforeseen headaches.
"It’s also important to consider that what 3.0 meant a year ago is a shadow of what 3.0 means today. Back then, Planetary Tech would have offered a fraction of the freedom that it does in 3.0, and most of the numerous infrastructure updates going into it now did not exist," Leverett wrote.
"The entire company is working feverishly to get you 3.0. Our goal is to provide you with the most amazing gaming experience ever. We’ve learned that we can deliver something better than the original 3.0, something bigger, something pretty groundbreaking, something magnificent. That doesn’t always keep to a schedule, but we think it’s ok to take the time to do it right."
For a more cinematic look at what CIG is promising with Star Citizen alpha 3.0, dive into the trailer below.