Guard Frequency Episode 278 | I Want My Beta Back Ships (High Packet Loss)

Cits and Civs, Captains and Commanders, you’re tuned to episode 278 of Guard Frequency — the best damn space sim podcast ever! This episode was recorded on October 4, 2019 and released for streaming and download on Tuesday, October 8, 2019 at

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This Week’s Schedule

Links and the Like

Everspace 2 [Kickstarter]

Community Requests to Frontier [Reddit Thread] [Zac Antonasi’s Reply]

Elite: Dangerous September Update Patch 2 [Official]

Q&A: RSI Mantis [Official]

Community Questions

  • Looking forward to the next beta test server in Elite Dangerous?
  • Willing to trade spoilers for stability?
  • How is Star Citizen going to fix their QD problems?

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2 responses to “Guard Frequency Episode 278 | I Want My Beta Back Ships (High Packet Loss)”

  1. Gek Bobo Avatar
    Gek Bobo

    Granduncle Geoff,

    Please believe me. I held out as long as I could.

    I must have just missed your agents on BL0.M3.C1. I’m sure they have arrived. I know you would have sent help immediately after receiving my happy message.

    Granduncle, there was so very little food to eat. And no water. Only the purple fungus I found under rocks, and the scat.

    Only once the scat.

    Without shelter and because of the swings in temperature from day to night, my senses began to fail me. All the colors became wrong and raucous terrible creatures popped in and out of my mind. Most of these avoided me, though a few seemed to suspect I was a source of moisture, which I suppose I was. If in fact they were real.

    I fashioned the included daguerreotype just before…

    I don’t remember anything after that, not until I woke up on this ship. That was several days ago, I think. I’ve found no one else on board. The entire thing is automated. Few controls, only a view port on what passes for a bridge, and what I’m hoping is a functional transmitter port.

    Judging by the stars whizzing past, we must be traveling at a great rate. And praise those stars I found exactly one functional food replicator!

    There are hundreds if not thousands of Sentinels in this ship’s massive hold. They are inactivated, but they still make me uncomfortable.

    I can’t tell where I’m going. If and when I get there I will try transmitting again.

    Your faithful second cousin twice removed,

    Gek Bobo

    PS – The Truss is secret, the Truss is safe.

  2. Sarah Avatar

    Caught the show live last week. Henry, my apologies for my tongue twister of a feedback comment last week! But you did “do it justice” 🙂 This post ended up rather lengthy, so I apologize beforehand…

    I think in modern gaming, any “pseudo MMO” or “multiplayer focused game” should have some kind of test server. Spoilers are, in my opinion, something that the community evolves standards for. Proper tagging and titling of videos and forum posts should be sufficient, but it is something the community needs to find consensus on and actively practice.

    I think QD’s problem is a fundamental one: Star Citizen intends to replicate concepts from sci-fi fiction that fans have nostalgia for. But those works of fiction play fast and loose with the limits of their technology to tell a story. Ships travel at the speed of plot. And technology works/fails depending on the needs of the plot. This can work in fiction, because the stories don’t draw attention to the sudden inconsistency. But in a game, you notice these things.

    So we first have issues of scale. Vehicle speeds need to work across city scales, planetary scales, planet to moon scales, and across a star system scale. At such different scales, capabilities of ships are “forced” to be better or worse so that normal operations at one scale, don’t trivialize at another scale (and to also keep the game fun).

    Then there are gameplay moments that the game intends to capture, but whether those mechanics work at realistic scales is not taken into account when the lore is written. Or to put it more bluntly: The lore claims things work one way. The promotion claims things work another way. The game physics are programmed to work a third way. And then, exceptions are made in the programming so that under certain conditions, the game behaves a fourth way to enable specific mechanics/moments in game.

    If it were up to me, pulling people out of quantum travel would not be part of the “piracy” gameplay loop. Piracy would be mainly about setting up ambushes (stealth technology perhaps) and possibly using Tony’s idea of using your QD to shut down and impede the target’s QD from escaping. There would be no “knocking someone out of quantum mid flight”. Instead, it would be about camping somewhat close to QD endpoints to maximize your intercept radius. Once someone is being pursued, as the pirate, you’re now on a timer. Not only because of your own QD resources, but making sure you can do the deed before backup arrives (which is now actually possible since this happens closer to other people).

    Now if CI still want QD to have some tension, add mechanics to QD that make it an interesting mechanic as part of cargo running or exploration. One possible thing they could do is design a “charting” mechanic. To be an effective “lane”, someone has to have the computer crunch the path first. So the first time, maybe you have to babysit your vehicle as you “chart” the journey from two points (avoiding anomalies or something). But in the future, you can automate it and it will lessen or completely remove the user input. These “charts” could then be a sellable commodity. These routes would then need updating based on whatever lore they wish to use for justification.

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