Star Citizen‘s alpha 2.6.1 has been released to backers. It encompasses a number of new features, a number of new updates, and a lot of bug fixes.
The first major new addition to the game, are the multi-region servers. Cloud Imperium Games now have servers that stretch across the U.S., Europe and Australia. Players now have a choice of selecting which regional server they would like to join instead of automatically being tossed into a region like onions in a chili stew. The significance of this particular feature is that it will limit latency issues for people in specific regions – if you’re from a country in Europe and you play on the European servers, it’s less likely you’ll lag. Same goes for Aussies and Yanks.
Additionally, they’ve also added a new mega map system for the single-player portion of Star Citizen’s alpha. This reduces load times, improves asset streaming and gets players from one map in the Star Citizen universe to the next as quickly as possible. Once they iron out some of the kinks in the single-player, they will then apply the mega map to the multiplayer portion of the game.
Over on the Roberts Space Industries website, they also discuss implementing the pure spectator mode for the Star Marine module. This will allow players to dive in and modify their viewing perspectives of the bouts while spectating a match. Camera bugs and viewing glitches have been ironed out so it should be a fairly smooth experience for players.
The all new Super Hornet has also been updated and implemented, along with lots of improvements and optimizations for the ship physics, LOD load times, the jankiness of the ships scaling through the render, and some fixes for the idle animations for the pilots.
Update 2.6.1 also features a number of fixes for the Arena Commander mode, some optimizations for the Race Mode, a few bug issues being stomped out in the Pirate and Vanduul Swarm mode, and some cleaning up of the general UI.
If you’ve backed Star Citizen and have access to the client build, you can update your game right now and start play-testing all the new features. If you don’t have Star Citizen but you’re terribly interested in the game, you’ll have to find the description and details over on the official website because I’m not about to spend 10 pages describing everything this game is attempting to achieve.