“A recent change to early access waves for Star Citizen’s PTU cycle, starting with 25,000 USD for wave 1 concierge, has many in the community upset. Let me tell you more.”
The developers of Star Citizen have altered the access strategy to their public test universe, sparking anger among the game’s community. Previously, access was given to those who have spent over a thousand dollars, but this has now been raised to $25,000. However, access can also be purchased for as little as $10 a month of new money. The developers are restructuring the testing groups from four to six, with the first wave now only consisting of players who meet the new payment threshold.
A large portion of the backlash is coming from the concierge community, who have invested significant amounts into the game and feel they should not be bumped from their early access. Many players feel that the changes are a tactic to push more people to subscribe and increase revenue. Criticism has also been directed at the lack of sufficient explanation, as the many of the changes were revealed in quiet announcements on the forums.
The developers have defended the changes by citing issues with the current system, noting that the early testing phases lead to a surge of players who then quickly drop off. They aim to create a steady increase in players who will test the game continuously throughout the cycle, which they believe will provide better feedback for their patches. However, many have questioned the effectiveness of this approach, fearing that it may not sufficiently address the issues facing the game.
The Star Citizen community is dealing with ongoing problems such as player desync, which have plagued the game and frustrated players. The changes to the test access are an attempt to manage these issues more effectively by ensuring a consistent number of players are testing the game throughout the patch cycle. The developers need stress testing on these patches to ensure the fixes work and to prevent more instances of player desync.
Despite understanding the reasons behind the changes, there is a widespread belief that there needs to be a greater incentive for players to stay in the game and provide feedback. This could come in the form of rewards for testing, as players currently have little motivation to continually play in the public test universe where their progress is consistently reset. However, there is concern that this could easily be exploited and may not adequately resolve the issues currently facing the game.