• Guest, The rules for the P & N subforum have been updated to prohibit "ad hominem" or personal attacks against other posters. See the full details in the post "Politics and News Rules & Guidelines."

Star Citizen: Chris Robert`s new space sim (the Wing Commander guy)

Page 147 - Seeking answers? Join the AnandTech community: where nearly half-a-million members share solutions and discuss the latest tech.

jlee

Lifer
Sep 12, 2001
48,510
219
106
It does take a few reads for me as well.

This won't get as much press as other visible content related to the game or module releases, but it is the CORE component of the gameplay. Those who have been following these discussions forever back and forth with Calix Reneaux and the community were starting to worry that this wasn't going to be properly addressed, but it looks like they've pulled it together.

Everything I read in that release and further explanations of the mechanics lead me to believe that all of those changes are headed in the right direction, and are going to make a significant improvement in the overall experience of AC 2.0.

I was already stoked for 2.0, but now I'm downright giddy. It's been a very long wait, but we are finally starting to see all of these different systems come together. Hopefully 2.0 will deliver, and we'll get a taste Star Citizen's real potential.
I hope they're able to keep it somewhat playable for casual players too - I might jump in when 2.0 comes out, but I don't have the time for games that I used to. It'd be nice if it can still be an enjoyable experience only playing for an hour a week.
 

Stringjam

Golden Member
Jun 30, 2011
1,871
33
91
I hope they're able to keep it somewhat playable for casual players too - I might jump in when 2.0 comes out, but I don't have the time for games that I used to. It'd be nice if it can still be an enjoyable experience only playing for an hour a week.

I think the end result of a lot of these measures will work a balance between the two crowds, much the same as we have now.

Does a casual player need to understand the difference between toggling COMSTAB, GSafe, decouple, etc? Not really. They can get in a ship, push the throttle forward, and it will fly (and there is even an auto-land function for those that want it). They can select a few basic flight modes that they tend to see in most space games already.

But for those who are into the sim component and want a deeper, more customizable flight experience, those options will be there.

I do think, however, that PvP combat will definitely maintain a fairly high skill ceiling, and PvE (as we see in Vanduul Swarm) is certainly not easy for new players.

This game is about a lot more than just combat though. I think there will be plenty of appeal for those who have no desire to get into a strafe war with a Hornet or go on a bomb run in a Retaliator.

I honestly love dogfighting, but I plan to spend as much or more of my time peacefully exploring. CIG has made it pretty clear from the start that they want success in every area of this game to be "skill based," however, so I would expect some amount of digging to be necessary for almost any path.
 
Last edited:

rivethead

Platinum Member
Jan 16, 2005
2,635
106
106
CIG has made it pretty clear from the start that they want success in every area of this game to be "skill based," however, so I would expect some amount of digging to be necessary for almost any path.
Agreed. And that's one of the things that also has me excited about this post. It's more evidence that CIG will drive this to be more sim and less arcade.

Not going to lie, I had concerns for awhile there (and still do to some extent....arcade would likely appeal to a wider base and earn more $$).

But like you point out, this flight system actually allows them to cater to both crowds to some extent.
 

DooKey

Golden Member
Nov 9, 2005
1,675
317
126
I haven't played AC in quite some time and I was wondering what HOTA setup would be best to go with so I can jump back in. All inputs appreciated.
 

nsafreak

Diamond Member
Oct 16, 2001
7,093
3
81
$200-$300
Well, there are a couple of options in that price range:

1) Saitek X-55 Rhino - A pretty well built stick and it has a solid software package. Saitek is also making the joysticks that are going to be marketed towards Star Citizen

2) CH Products Fighter stick + a CH Products Pro Throttle - They aren't as fancy looking as some other joysticks but they are built to last a really long time and perform quite well

Another option if you want to go over budget would be the Thrustmaster Warthog but you'll have to keep in mind that it is designed around the same fly by wire principles on a modern fighter jet uses with its controls. The joystick itself doesn't actually move at all, it responds to the amount of pressure you put on it on various axis of the joystick.
 

Stringjam

Golden Member
Jun 30, 2011
1,871
33
91
$200-$300

I spent an entire week looking through the RSI forums trying to figure that out. There is no consensus there, but there are a few constants:

Thrustmaster T16000
Very accurate. Uses the same "hall effect" sensors as the Warthog. Ambidextrous (lots of guys dual-stick with them). Cheap ($50). For the price range, it is almost universally recommended.


Saitek X-55
Equal amount of people who love it or hate it. Right now SC is having issues recognizing it. I would expect that to be resolved at some point.


CH Fighterstick + ProThrottle
Highly recommended for use in both SC and flight sims in general. Despite the cheap plasticky appearance, they are very well constructed (many say internally they are higher quality than the Warthogs).

A lot of people choose the ProThrottle to use with other brands of joystick because it has a flat travel path (as opposed to the "arc" many use), and it has a well-placed analog mini-stick at the thumb position which can be used for precision control of things like strafe or roll.

Software is top notch, and the Fighterstick centers so well that it typically requires no deadzone.

The one complaint I hear from guys is that the Fighterstick has a center "bump" that you feel when transitioning from one axis to another. Some guys love it for that because it helps them maintain orientation of the position - - Warthog guys hate it because they feel like it can affect their accuracy around the center bump.


In the end, I went with the CH Fighterstick + Pro Throttle + Pro Pedals. I added the pedals later and they were worth every penny. The more analog control axes you have in this game the better. I mapped vertical and horizontal strafing to them, and my flight precision improved dramatically.
 

SLU Aequitas

Golden Member
Jul 13, 2007
1,252
26
91
X-55 rhino user, works well for me in SC. Huge amount of inputs and has dual mini sticks on the throttle placed by your thumb, I mapped them to strafe and target cycling, super convenient. Very happy with the aero setup
 

Stringjam

Golden Member
Jun 30, 2011
1,871
33
91
Also highly recommend mapping pitch / yaw to the joystick instead of the typical pitch / roll.
 

rivethead

Platinum Member
Jan 16, 2005
2,635
106
106
DooKey - you may not want to jump back into AC just yet. When SC 2.0 is released (and popular consensus is that that will be before the end of this year), the flight model will be very different than what it is now.

I imagine it could be frustrating to jump into AC today, get used to things, and then have everything change.
 

Fallen Kell

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
5,707
263
126
Well I just ordered a set of MFG Crosswind rudder pedals. It was a tough decision between these and a SLAW Device F-16 pedals. Really the difficulty in ordering a SLAW was what made the decision (there is no webstore, you effectively need to email the maker or contact through facebook and setup a bank account at a specific Polish bank and transfer the money to an account at that bank).
 

Fallen Kell

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
5,707
263
126
Looks like a really nice piece of hardware!
Yeah, I have been doing research for the last few months on different pedals available out there. The standard ones you find in the store right now simply don't last and have a lot of issues with fine control/dead zones. I figure if I am going to want to use a set for more than 1-2 years, you would typically need to be replacing the standard ones that are available due to either mechanical problems in the movement or physical breakage of the parts.

That really leaves you with looking for something that isn't made of mostly plastic (like all the ones in the stores), but the metal ones that use to be available were all discontinued (such as Simpeds). Even with the Simpeds, while they were built like tanks to last, the precision (mainly with the toe brakes) left a lot to be desired. I remember using a set of simpeds at a friend's place about 8 years ago and really the toe brakes were only useful as a digital on/off switch (which don't get me wrong, is still very useful).

The thing that I really liked about the Crosswind is that it is repairable! You can get replacement pieces if you manage to break something or wear it out. Or you can even make your own replacement piece and just bolt it on.
 

flexy

Diamond Member
Sep 28, 2001
8,464
154
106
Ch Pro Throttle, looks quite "un-fancy" but it's good.
Thrustmaster 16000, I prefer over the CH Pro sticks since you can twist the Thrustmaster but not the CH Pro sticks. Back when I was still playing Elite I found the twist quite useful.
 

Fallen Kell

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
5,707
263
126
I am seriously considering modifying a joystick/building my own. I'm going to see if I can find either and old MS sidewinder or similar (or maybe look into getting a Thrustmaster 16000 since it uses some decent sensors for the stick). What I want to do is add a thumbstick like those used on a PS3/PS4 controller on the stick somewhere on the right side where my left-hand thumb can control it (I use the stick with my left hand with my right on the mouse).

I want to use it to map left/right and probably vertical strafe to it. That will let me do the most useful manoeuvring with that hand alone. I will probably map roll to the crosswind main axis and use the petals potentially for throttle (one foot forward, one foot backward). That lets me map my mouse buttons for firing different weapon groups (upwards of 2-3) as well as zoom control on the scrollwheel and a button for push-to-talk. I can use voiceattack and the other buttons on the joystick for just about everything else.
 
Last edited:

GoodRevrnd

Diamond Member
Dec 27, 2001
6,800
581
126
My problem with the CH stick is that it doesn't have a twist functionality in it (I think). I find this to be a very important function in space sims and mech games, even if it isn't necessary in an actual flight sim/
 
Last edited:

Stringjam

Golden Member
Jun 30, 2011
1,871
33
91
There's about a million different approaches to control input for SC I've noticed (HOTAS, HOSAS, HOMAS, etc..).

I'm still on the lookout myself, as I haven't found anything that I would consider "perfect" yet. I think the problem may be that all of the sim controllers we have are designed more for atmospheric flight.

Personally, I've found that I want precision analog axis control over:
Pitch
Yaw
Roll
Horizontal / Vertical strafe
Forward / Reverse strafe
Throttle

Currently the only one I don't have analog control of is forward / reverse strafe, and the only way I can think to get it is by modifying a hat on either the throttle or stick into another mini-thumbstick (Fallen Kell mentioned this above as well).

I tried a twist-stick and I found the motion uncomfortable for my wrist, and I wasn't able to keep the motion from affecting my pitch / yaw movement while twisting. Apparently not everybody experiences this because twist-sticks are very popular - SC and otherwise.

I really just wish throttles / sticks came with more high-quality thumbsticks instead of so many hats.

I've thought about trying dual-sticks (one stick dedicated only to strafing), but that leaves me with using rudder pedals for throttle, and I don't want to have to hold down a pedal for extended flight.
 
Last edited:

Fallen Kell

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
5,707
263
126
There's about a million different approaches to control input for SC I've noticed (HOTAS, HOSAS, HOMAS, etc..).

I'm still on the lookout myself, as I haven't found anything that I would consider "perfect" yet. I think the problem may be that all of the sim controllers we have are designed more for atmospheric flight.

Personally, I've found that I want precision analog axis control over:
Pitch
Yaw
Roll
Horizontal / Vertical strafe
Forward / Reverse strafe
Throttle

Currently the only one I don't have analog control of is forward / reverse strafe, and the only way I can think to get it is by modifying a hat on either the throttle or stick into another mini-thumbstick (Fallen Kell mentioned this above as well).

I tried a twist-stick and I found the motion uncomfortable for my wrist, and I wasn't able to keep the motion from affecting my pitch / yaw movement while twisting. Apparently not everybody experiences this because twist-sticks are very popular - SC and otherwise.

I really just wish throttles / sticks came with more high-quality thumbsticks instead of so many hats.

I've thought about trying dual-sticks (one stick dedicated only to strafing), but that leaves me with using rudder pedals for throttle, and I don't want to have to hold down a pedal for extended flight.
Yeah, I am not too thrilled on holding down the throttle on the pedal either. That said, I know earlier when I had throttle mapped to a slider on my current stick, I could control throttle externally as well (overridding the slider setting) via keyboard and voiceattack (i.e set speed to target, full thrust, full stop), and it wouldn't be until I hit the throttle on the joystick again that it would change back to the joystick's settings.

I am hoping for similar results if I add the throttle to the pedals since then for long flights, I would essentially take my foot off the throttle and put it in cruise control via voiceattack (setting a speed) and only if I need to take control do I hit the throttle or brake (much like you would a car in cruise control).

And I entirely agree with your list of controls that need to be fairly precise. I spent a good part of this past weekend trying to find a stick that had an analog thumbstick on it, and they just don't really exist. Personally, I still would want at least one 4/8 way hat to map other controls to it, but I also need a decent twist as well as a thumbstick on either the top (or on a stick that I can swap which side the thumbstick is located since I want/need to use my left hand on the stick, not my right). This is why I have been seriously thinking of hacking something together. I mean seriously, how has this not been thought of already? Even just a pointer numb that is pressure sensitive like you see on IBM/Lenovo Thinkpads would be all I really need, but that is not a hack I think I can do since most drivers would treat that as a mouse pointer, and not a 2 axis analog stick (hence why I would need to fit a much larger thumbstick since I don't have the time to convert/make drivers). An ardiuno would be able to interface with the thumbstick and present the device over USB as 2 analog control axis and it would cost maybe $40 to make.
 
Last edited:

Sabrewings

Golden Member
Jun 27, 2015
1,942
35
51
The thing I hate most about my X52 Pro is twist yaw. My X45 had a rudder rocker at your finger tips on the throttle. I loved it and can't understand why they think twist is better in any way.
 

rivethead

Platinum Member
Jan 16, 2005
2,635
106
106
I'm still on the lookout myself, as I haven't found anything that I would consider "perfect" yet. I think the problem may be that all of the sim controllers we have are designed more for atmospheric flight.
This is why I'm leaning towards just selling my T16000 and getting the SC HOTAS. The SC HOTAS are being designed from the ground up for Star Citizen. If I'm going to spend 100s of hours playing this game, I might as well invest in a controller made specifically for it (vs trying to make something else work).

At least that's my thought today.
 

Red Storm

Lifer
Oct 2, 2005
14,207
216
106
This is why I'm leaning towards just selling my T16000 and getting the SC HOTAS. The SC HOTAS are being designed from the ground up for Star Citizen. If I'm going to spend 100s of hours playing this game, I might as well invest in a controller made specifically for it (vs trying to make something else work).

At least that's my thought today.
But is it actually going to be designed specifically for SC/space flight? Or is it more like putting the SC name on a generic HOTAS? I haven't actually checked out the controller so I don't know if this is already known.
 

rivethead

Platinum Member
Jan 16, 2005
2,635
106
106

Stringjam

Golden Member
Jun 30, 2011
1,871
33
91
This is why I'm leaning towards just selling my T16000 and getting the SC HOTAS. The SC HOTAS are being designed from the ground up for Star Citizen. If I'm going to spend 100s of hours playing this game, I might as well invest in a controller made specifically for it (vs trying to make something else work).

At least that's my thought today.

The design suffers the same problems I see with all the others.

It is essentially a typical HOTAS with trackballs added. Trackballs will be useless for giving analog control over strafing or other movements because they do not return to center, so a CH Pro Throttle gives you more analog movement control than the SC Saitek throttle. So while Disco Lando makes fun of CH for "not trying anything new," the design he worked up with Saitek is still gimped because it offers even less analog axes (unless this has been added - I don't see any analog mini-sticks in the pics).

CIG's reasoning for the trackballs was to allow joystick users to aim a gimbal. I really don't see that happening - people have modded joysticks in the past with trackballs to try this out and I haven't heard a single person reporting that they liked it. It is just way too much to try to control vector with the stick and simultaneously control a PIP with your thumb, moving opposing directions, on that same stick.

I'm starting to feel like twin-sticks would be the overall best solution - and foot pedal without spring-return to control throttle. I would really like to have seen CIG try this out since they had the power to influence some peripheral makers with something custom.

I may get some heat on this, but I personally don't think single-seat ships should even have the option of gimbals. It is impossible IRL for a fighter pilot to fly a craft and simultaneously aim a turret / gimbal - - it just isn't feasible.

The only reason it works in SC is because they gave mouse users the ability to auto-pilot ships by tying the flight axes to the PIP - so all they have to do is "aim" and the ship follows like magic.

I think the gameplay would be much better had they not gone down that path to begin with. It turns combat into FPS aiming instead of ship-flying. At any rate, that's where we're at and it's going to stay that way. I'm going to have fun either way - but it wouldn't have been my choice for design.
 
Last edited:

ASK THE COMMUNITY