And I'm back with another email excerpt with a very busy Avocado friend. Here's more questions with a lot of long answers and no filter or edits.
Q: How's testing this week?
A: So far, we've had 4 new patches each smaller than 1GB, thanks to the delta patcher. We recently had a concurrency test in the USA server to help CIG stress the servers and give them valuable data. We all had to take a Gladius and QT to any moon and traverse around the surface. The past weekend, we had a Yela and Daymar challenge testing where we traverse Yela and Daymar looking for biota, derelicts and outposts, test quantum linking of ships to Quantum Travel as a fleet, cram as many ships as possible into GrimHex, get as many ships in formation low level flying along the surface of Yela and Daymar, try to have the largest biker gang on each moon, do canyon runs in fleet formation and do formation flying entering the atmosphere with atmospheric effects. Screenshots and video captures were sent to a specific ETF thread for CIG to collect and get amused. Other than that, testing is up to you as long as you follow the patch notes' directions.
Q: How's performance in the most recent patches?
A: E and F were dogshit with constant 30K errors and CTDs. Patch G gave me 60FPS on the US server for the first time, and it didn't drop me to less than 30 FPS on a full server. Other Avocados reported occasional errors and CTDs, but I was able to test for a couple hours at a time and I was able to visit a few outposts in all 3 moons and Delamar without crashing constantly. Then H came around as an 800MB patch along with the Gladius-Moon focused testing and my FPS tanked back to the 20s, presumably because we were stressing full servers with as much Avocados as possible in staggered waves with military precision. That happened last night under Proxus and Underscore's direction while Ahmed pulled the server plug after each wave.
Q: Have there been more directed tests?
A: Besides the ones I mentioned already, no. Trading Kiosks are open for testing with the latest patch, so we might get cargo-trade-focused testing runs this weekend.
Q: Have there been new things to test since our last chat?
A: Some ships that were previously broken or floating off the landing pads are now able to be tested, like the Vanguards, Connies, Prospector, Merlin, and others. The Ursa is drivable again and the bikes are less jerky, so you can haul them to the moons and use the race track. Biker gangs are a thing now, and formation flying and QTing is online via quantum linking of ships using the COMMS MFD. Cargo and trading kiosks came online with H, so we can buy and sell cargo now with 0 profit. 1 SCU of cargo costs 10aUEC each and we can choose what ship to store them. The Caterpillar seems to have the most cargo capacity AFAIK. The Port Olisar to Levski run is the farthest and longest run, but it's satisfying to me. You can find cargo boxes you can carry from derelict sites and outposts that you can then sell, assuming you don't crash or get the dreaded errors.
Q: How accurate are the leaked patch notes?
A: Very accurate. It's an easy copy-paste leak.
Q: What's your favorite thing to do in 3.0?
A: Seriously? Cargo runs and exploring unmarked moon outposts. Each one has its own company or style, ie Rayari, ArcCorp, Benson, etc.. Some outposts are just small shelters, while other outposts have everything you need to settle in and take off your space suit because it has breathable atmosphere. You mean the interior? Yeah some have ASOP terminals, cargo boxes, office rooms, bunks, storage rooms, small kitchenettes, space weed rooms, laboratories, and creepy teddy bears. Outside the outposts, there are landing pads where you can spawn vehicles, various mining and industrial structures, solar panels, communication towers, and what look like moisture farms which explain the interior atmosphere in large outposts. Some outposts have NPC outlaws that you can kill to access the interior. This is done through the missions app with different categories like job, investigation and retrieval, but the mission system still needs some fixing and tweaking.
Q: How are the NPCs this time around?
A: CIG enabled them again, so they're running around Port Olisar and Levski, fixing shit, manning various stores, leaning on walls, scratching armpits, sitting on benches, having inaudible conversations, etc.. There's no NPC ships that fly around just yet. I'd prefer it that way for ETF testing because Port Olisar is busy enough as it is with space ATC enabled and dipshits fucking around instead of following directions or using ATC. Miles still can't be interacted with, but I'm sure CIG is working on it.
Q: I'm sorry to ask again. When do you think we'll get PTU? CitizenCon?
A: That's way too optimistic. We just started the second phase of ETF testing aka cargo and trade. We've yet to really test the missions system. My honest prediction is not in November or December. I know the public is dying to get their hands on 3.0, but realistically don't expect it by Christmas to be brutally honest. There's a probability that CIG will open it up to PTU on New Years' Eve, but that's pure speculation and optimistic at that. I don't like to speculate, so please stop asking me about dates.
Yeah, I'm optimistic. Yeah, my friend knows about me leaking this private conversation. Yeah, that was stupid of me to not blur out his PC specs, but I think he'll be fine. Please don't send me threats this time around. I'm not the one who signed the NDA and I'm sure I'm not breaking any subreddit rules.
Enjoy and discuss.
HL3 Confirmed :trollface: