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Stick and Rudder: Oh yeah, Star Citizen is a game I'm following!

Stick and Rudder: Oh yeah, Star Citizen is a game I'm following!
Jef Reahard
Jef Reahard|October 5, 2014 4:00 PM
I actually said the title of this piece out loud the other day. I was compelled to do so primarily because of a certain sandpark's launch as well as the fact that it's been dominating my game time for a solid month now.

And yeah, I left off the Stick and Rudder part when I said the title out loud because "Stick and Rudder: Oh yeah Star Citizen is a game I'm following!" would've sounded even stranger than "Oh yeah, Star Citizen is a game I'm following!"

Maintaining interest is an ongoing challenge with Cloud Imperium's crowdfunding project, though, at least for me. That's not to say that Star Citizen has been dislodged from atop my most-anticipated-games list. It certainly has not been and will not be, barring some sort of divine Star Wars: Galaxies 2 intervention. But man: Do you guys ever get tired of following alphas and check out entirely for a while?

As I was taking an impromptu sabbatical, quite a lot was happening in the world of Star Citizen. Arena Commander was updated a couple of times. There's now private match functionality, some bare-bones racing stuff, and there were of course the requisite crowdfunding milestones and a ship sale or two while I was off sailing the seas of ArcheAge.

Now that I'm in the loop again, though, it still seems that Star Citizen is an eternity away from being a full-fledged game beckoning seductively from behind that little black and white icon on my taskbar. What can I do, then, to rekindle and/or maintain my interest? That's the big question in today's column, and maybe some of you can answer it for me in the comments.

The easy answer is probably "play some Arena Commander, you dolt!" And I have, and it's fun for what it is. Given Star Citizen's sprawling, persistent universe design docs, though, I quickly get bored with nothing but pew pew, even though it looks like a million bucks and even though it's running much smoother than the last time I strapped into my Aurora and my 300i.

As I'm likely going to be some sort of explorer/trader when the full game launches, Arena Commander is little more than a diversionary teaser trailer, and unlike most teaser trailers, this one is lacking the best bits. AC leaves me wanting a much deeper and less disposable experience, but on the plus side it has inspired me to go back and replay some Wing Commanders and Privateer sooner rather than later.

I could also reengage with Star Citizen's community, which primarily hangs out on the official boards and which does a great job of hyping the crap out of the game, both to themselves and to anyone who happens by. The only problem with that plan is that I'm old and getting older. And frankly most days I'd rather be checked for colon cancer or eat an eggplant casserole than subject myself to the endless troll hordes that have attached themselves to history's biggest crowdfunding project.

Most of the community is pretty cool, mind you. But it only takes a few semi-anonymous keyboard cowboys to sour my experience, so this option is probably going to end up pretty far down my list.

Another way to rekindle the Star Citizen flame would be to set up some private forums, build a website, and basically do the whole guild-getting-ready-for-a-new-game thing. I've done it so many times over the past 15 years that it's basically second nature, and it would be fun to screw around with squadron rankings, in-game organizational structures and goals, and perhaps a bit of roleplaying or fanfic.

There's certainly plenty of support in place for those last two, as Cloud Imperium has dumped more pre-launch lore and more in-universe information on its fanbase than I've seen in all my years following MMOs. Some of it will no doubt change as Squadron 42 and the persistent universe gets nearer to completion, but still. There's a ton of interesting angles and a ton of starting points for just about any type of in-game group you can imagine.

Lastly, I could take the path of least resistance, which would entail simply sitting back and digesting all of Cloud Imperium's shiny videos, ship brochures, and the like. It's hard to remain blah about Star Citizen for long given how ambitious it is and given pro presentations like this, this, and this.

This is probably what will happen, barring any revolutionary ideas in the comments, and I'm OK with being somewhat more casual in my Star Citizen fandom going forward than I've been in months past. No matter which path I choose, the game is still a couple of years out by my estimation, so the thing I really need is the thing I've consistently lacked in nearly 40 years on this planet:


Whether it's interviews with Chris Roberts and the Cloud Imperium team or tips and guides for pushing your ship's performance envelope, Stick and Rudder is your inside source for news and commentary on the world of Star Citizen. Join Jef Reahard every other Sunday during the run-up to alpha, beta, and beyond.
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Stick and Rudder: Oh yeah, Star Citizen is a game I'm following!