The debut of Star Citizen's Alpha 3.18 has been a bit rough, but players that managed to get into the growing space game still managed to find ways to amuse themselves.
One of the most relevant features brought by Alpha 3.18 is Persistent Entity Streaming, an innovation that causes abandoned, dropped, or simply placed items to persist anywhere in the world independently of their owner, whether they're starships or empty water bottles.
While the feature has some limitations, as a location can become saturated with items and the system will automatically start removing those that were placed the earliest, it still provides players with plenty of chances to make an impact on the environment.
Considering that beverage containers don't disappear once you empty them, and can simply be discarded, littering is certainly possible, and it's not rare to see plenty of empty cans and bottles abandoned on the ground.
Yet, some players have started taking upon themselves the task to clean up the streets, and throwing the trash where it belongs, in the trash bins. This was enhanced by the recent introduction of handheld tractor beams which make the task a lot more enjoyable than simply picking up the bottles and cans with your hands, as you can see below.
While it doesn't happen in every instance, it's actually quite common to find trash bins full of cans and bottles, which means that an enterprising player came about and decided to become a volunteer janitor. Likely the fact that the issues with the update prevented some players from getting their ships out of the hangars, and had to find ways to amuse themselves also contributed to the sudden explosion of environmental consciousness. You could say that this is quite literally "making a virtue out of necessity."
In the meanwhile, Star Citizen's growing crowdfunding campaign continues to make progress and the game has recently hit $559 million ($559,184,884 at the moment of this writing) pledged from backers.
The number of registered users has also recently passed 4.4 million and it's now at 4,452,882 albeit not all of them are paying since many register accounts to access the popular free fly events that provide a chance to test the game without pledging any money. According to the latest information that creative director Chris Roberts himself shared in October 2022, 1.7 million players are actually paying customers. Of course, that number is a few months old, so it could be higher now.
Star Citizen recently ended its best year ever in terms of crowdfunding, with a whopping $113 million pledged in 2022, marking a 31% increase over 2021. The tally has been consistently increasing year-on-year since 2018.
The game just received a substantial update numbered 3.18, adding new tech and plenty of new features and content, including salvaging and persistence for items placed in the game, including starships, independently from their owner.
Full disclosure: the author of this post has backed Star Citizen all the way back when its crowdfunding was first launched in September 2012.