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Monday, September 15, 2014

Arena Commander v0.9 - Yowzah!

Last Thursday night Roberts Space Industry (RSI) released Arena Commander v0.9.  Friday evening I was able to start the patch download. It was large, almost 20 GB. And to make matters take longer, the patch process seems to me far from optimized - as one would expect with a pre-beta title. It took me three hours to install the patch. Was it worth it? ZOMG! Yes! If this is what Star Citizen will be like, I am so glad I bought in now. Even if the game play is crap, the sheer beauty of it will entice me to log in. I guess my gaming demands are pretty low in that regard. However, I freely admit I'm a graphics slave. Give me beautiful pictures and I'm yours. :o

[caption id="attachment_3667" align="aligncenter" width="2560"]My MISC Lancer My MISC Lancer[/caption]

Above you see my MISC Freelancer sitting in the new Aeroview hanger. What a beauty! Too bad all I can do right now is look at it... and climb inside, and sit in the pilot's chair. I really, really want to get that baby into space, but that will have to wait into the full game releases sometime in the murky future (2016?) Until then I'll have to settle for polishing it's titanium plates, or whatever it's made of. The lovely ship view isn't the only thing in the hanger. I also have a very nice office.

[caption id="attachment_3668" align="aligncenter" width="2560"]Aeroview Hanger Office Aeroview Hanger Office[/caption]

But fortunately RSI has made a ship available to me to fly in Arena Commander. It's a training Hornet, but it gets the job done. It is also a beautiful ship! (Oh, and these are actual graphics from Arena Commander, not Photoshopped PR releases.)

[caption id="attachment_3669" align="aligncenter" width="2560"]Hornet on Patrol Hornet on Patrol[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_3670" align="aligncenter" width="2560"]Hornet Guns Blazing Hornet Guns Blazing[/caption]

Actually I've been quite successful with it since the update.  The revamp of the flight engine has made it far "easier" for me to dog fight. I am currently mouse and keyboard only, and I found the initial release to be too responsive to MadCatz 7 mouse. Even with DPI dialed down to its lowest possible level, my ship was constantly over steering for lack of a better term. I could not stay on target bouncing my ship from left to right and top to bottom in a futile attempt to get it under control. My hand is just not that finely tuned. Now the damping is much, much better and any over steering is due to lack of pilot experience.

I played two hours Friday night and a couple more Saturday morning. Vanduul Swarm, the PvE fighter simulation in Arena Commander is quite addictive. An hour will easily go by as you engage wave after wave of the Vanduul swarm. I haven't even tried the new racing mode in Arena Commander. I've been too busy blowing up Vanduuls! :D However, there is a great video of the racing side of things done be Scott Manley over on his YouTube channel. And speaking of YouTube, you didn't think I'd not give you a dogfight video to watch did you? Haha, of course I did! But be warned, it takes over a minute for the module to load. Enjoy!


And for the record, I play all my sessions at 2560x1600 resolution. OBS kept crashing Arena Commander so I activated Fraps. For some reason Fraps was reset to 50% size on videos. Weird that, but not bothersome enough to have made another video. It does seem to lag more when video capture is running. That interferes with blowing up Vanduuls too much. ;-)


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