It's been a long time coming, but after multiple delays, Star Citizen's dogfighting module—titled Arena Commander v0.8—has been released to backers. Expected last week (and at many other points over the last few months), the module was held back these few extra days due to critical bugs. With the repairs now finished, players have been told they're okay for launch.
"V0.8 will give every qualified backer access to the Vanduul Swarm and Freeflight modes and includes the ability to fly the Aurora, 300i and Hornet," writes Star Citizen's Chris Roberts. "If you haven't pledged for one of these ships, we'll give you a loaner that is the closest in class to what you fly; we want everyone with Alpha access (or an Arena Commander pass) to get their first taste of spaceflight!"
Arena Commander also includes functionality for Battle Royale and Team multiplayer modes. "These modes will be available for a small number of players today," says Roberts, with more backers due to be added over the coming weeks.
Cloud Imperium have also announced the planned feature list as they begin work on Arena Commander's 0.9 update:
- Improved client and multiplayer server stability
- General performance optimizations and fixes for hardware specific issues discovered during community testing
- Audio improvements with additional SFX, music, mix, and improvements to the dynamic music system
- Improvements to the HUD to better differentiate the manufacturers, improve ITTS, and add mouse control functionality
- Additional character animations to add immersion to the cockpit and resolve outstanding animation issues
- Further flight model upgrades to better handle unique thruster power combinations and refine the control of each ship
- Additional ship, weapon, item, and thruster tuning to improve the balance of Arena Commander based on community testing
- New multiplayer game mode for public testing along with AI improvements and updates to Vanduul Swarm
- Hangar bug fixing along with enhanced visuals and animations
- Cockpit polish with improved damage effects and more dynamic lighting that responds to gameplay events and ship status
- Some additional weapons and items for use with Arena Commander
- Update player breathing sound effects and responses to incoming impulses and g-forces
It's an important milestone in the development of Star Citizen. Given the amount of money that fans have funnelled into the development of the game, it'll be nice if they're rewarded with a flight and combat system that vindicates their faith.