Cloud Imperium Games rolled out the latest patch for Star Citizen's alpha build. Backers have been able to download and play-test version 2.6.1, which features an all new overhauled Super Hornet, upgrades to the HUD and UI, as well as an all new way to engage in the spectator mode for Star Marine.
The latest version of the game includes the Super Hornet overhaul, which is a new and improved version of the Hornet. They've also added the new multi-region server support, which is going to be a standard network infrastructure setup that will allow different people from different regions to select which virtual region best suits their real life region. So basically if you're from the Americas you choose to play on the American server. If you're from Russia or Britain or Ireland, you choose the European server. And if you're from Australia or New Zealand, you choose the Australian server.
The update also features the first iteration of Star Citizen's Mega Map, which will be used to help make it easier for players to navigate and get around the star systems in the game. The Mega Map is only available right now in the single-player mode, but after tweaking and iterating on it, they plan on rolling it out for the multiplayer mode as well. For now it's only active for the single-player when switching between different hangars and the Arena Commander mode, but they will be expanding the Mega Map streaming feature to multiplayer soon. It should help with the speed in which the game world loads.
Thanks to CIG moving over to the Lumberyard, they should receive some added benefits with the AWS to help rig up the loading and streaming between the game maps and the multiplayer a lot easier than before when they were using the gerrymandered infrastructure attached to the CryEngine.
They also have the new spectator mode implemented for the Star Marine module. The improved spectator mode allows players to become a pure spectator, and modify and move around the camera behavior to best suit the kind of views they would like to see while watching PvP matches taking place in Star Marine. This will be an essential feature if they plan on turning Star Citizen's Star Marine module into an eSports-ready mode.
They've also made it possible for users to customize the cameras around the map and save their positions, so you can easily cycle through the view modes, including first-person modes, third-person modes and the action camera.
And speaking of eSports... CIG have taken another step closer to making Star Citizen competitive-ready thanks to the newly implemented leaderboards for Star Marine and Arena Commander.
They updated and randomized the NPC animations across certain areas so that they all don't have perfectly synched movements with one another. There's nothing creepier than a bunch of AI who all move and react at the exact same time.
Alpha build 2.6.1 also features tons of bug fixes, improvements, quality of life updates and technical overhauls to make nearly every aspect of Star Citizen run better. If you've pledged funds to the game you can download the latest build right now.