If there's one lesson a game publisher should learn early on, it's never to promise what you can't deliver. Sadly, this problem seems to be a recurring issue for Star Citizen, with fans expressing outrage over further cancellations and delays to the planned roadmap for the game's content.
The developers posted a roundup of the changes in the game's roadmap last week, with several features and changes being pushed back from the upcoming Alpha 4.0 update until a future date. Some of these features have been long-awaited, such as the forthcoming improvements to the game's server to client networking.
The now delayed feature would have reduced cheating and rubber-banding, which is an issue in the current version of the game, by moving the handling of AI interactions entirely to the server-side.
Many players felt this feature was critical, with one user, futurewazzup, stating on the comments section;
Great! More stuff delayed! What about gameplay loops, though? 4.0 is not even out yet, and you already delayed the most important one: Server to Client Actor Networking Rework. Desync and stutter are AWFUL right now when playing with friends, every character jitters and lags.
His comment is currently the highest rated in the thread and sums up feelings from several other players within the community. According to the developers, the reason for the delay is due to the team wanting first to implement server meshing.
Other features that are facing a delay include PvP bounties, which have been removed from the roadmap entirely, as well as death animation improvements, and the new world, Crusader, which has been pushed back until the end of the year.
While some players did point out the COVID-19 pandemic is likely a cause for the issues, others were quick to point out delays have been a long-standing issue for the game, with another comment on the thread stating;
OVID pandemic is indeed a tragedy; however, this wave of delays is just another set compounding on top of the previous ones before COVID was ever a thing.
Another comment read, "COVID or not. This is just bad, I'm sorry".
Star Citizen finds itself in a unique position. It's entirely crowd-funded, and indeed is the biggest crowd-funded games in history in terms of money pledged. It's been in development for over a decade at this point, so I can understand some of the frustration.