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Star Citizen’s production schedule made public

Star Citizen’s production schedule made public

The makers of Star Citizen will make their production schedule public in a show of transparency, four years into a $131 million, crowdfunded project which shows no signs of a completion date, much less one by the end of this year.

In a lengthy note to donors, Cloud Imperium Games founder Chris Roberts said the schedule for Star Citizen Alpha 2.6 will be shared on a weekly basis with the public. This page breaks out production schedules for the Star Marine and Arena Commander modules; the technology/systems, content and UI teams, and the Mega Map stretch goal, with bullet-point notes on where they stand.

Notably, the production schedule for Squadron 42, the single-player campaign, is not among them. That long anticipated module, originally expected in the fall of 2015, was not even shown at CitizenCon in October. There is no timeline on when the campaign, which stars Mark Hamill and Gillian Anderson, will be shown or made available to backers.

Star Citizen’s production schedule made public

“As you know we’ve not been keen to give hard dates on the project after the initial set of dates which we had estimated when the project was a lot smaller in scope,” Roberts wrote. He insisted that any dates he’d given for the completion of a module or the release of a beta were rough guidelines only, “but unfortunately some people often tend to forget the qualifiers and treated my comments nonetheless as a promise.”

At this point in Star Citizen’s development, though, he and a development team of 377 across four internal studios felt it was appropriate to share the schedules with the more than 1.6 million individuals who have given to Star Citizen’s campaign, a record-setter in video games development and crowdfunding as a whole.

“These are the very same schedules we update daily and are circulated internally on our intra-studio hand-offs with a few exceptions,” Roberts said. Individual developer names will be removed for privacy purposes, technical wording will be rewritten to make it understandable to non-developers and the JIRA project tracking details will be omitted. “But otherwise, when something changes, slips or is completed, you will know,” Roberts wrote.

The ambitious, sprawling space epic led by Roberts, the creator of the Wing Commander space combat simulation series, has published an alpha (currently version 2.5.0) but the repeated delays of modules and features along the way to that have made some backers restless. Some have demanded and received refunds.

Roberts said sharing deadlines and completion goal dates seemed to divide Star Citizen’s community between one group upset that the game is continually portrayed as delayed, and another that wonders why a date would be shared if developers aren’t solidly assured it is attainable.

“We have taken a lot of flak over the last couple of years for the extending timeline of Star Citizen, but the simple fact is that game development, especially game development on the scale of Star Citizen, is complicated,” Roberts wrote. “If you talk to any developer that works on large titles they will tell you that schedules, especially early in the development cycle, move all the time. Most people never see this because a publisher won’t announce a project publicly until it is very far along; normally at least in Alpha, with all the technology and gameplay R&D completed.”

Star Citizen, of course, has no publisher and was announced with practically nothing built at all, in the form of a $2.1 million Kickstarter campaign at the end of 2012. Its crowdfunding has continued since, largely through the very lucrative sale of in-game spaceships.

Star Citizen : Free Fly! A Weekend Warrior’s Thoughts

Star Citizen : Free Fly! A Weekend Warrior's Thoughts

Hello all, so I recently joined up for the free fly. I’ve been itching to try Star Citizen since the Free Fly I missed back in July, when I’d only just started really researching the game. Since then I’ve been itching for another try.

Well, now having tried it, I’m going to try and keep the review as brief as I can. There’s a -ton- I want to talk about, but frankly it’s such an early Alpha that I only want to cover ideas and concepts rather than anything to do with performance or bugs.

-Generic missions. I got to try some of the standard leveling up/standard missions, namely repairing uplinks, defending Kareah, and probe quests. They’re acceptable for what they are, but as they are, they lack that feeling of “living, breathing universe” that SC is going for. One of Tessa’s missions for instance involves saving pilots under attack and finding distress beacons, but once you’ve finished them, that’s it, you get the reward and it’s over. If I had to make a major change to these generics, it would be to add a post-quest effect; one of the pilots you save during one of the missions says “thanks, I hope I can pay you back someday” – well, what if she did? If I ever get into another fighting mission further down the line, could I have a generic fighter show up and say “you helped me/my friend out earlier over in [x solar system], let me give you a hand.”

Star Citizen : Free Fly! A Weekend Warrior's Thoughts

-Group questing. One of the things I was noticing when doing uplink and probe missions is that, when more players showed up, more pirates showed up. However, only one person ever got the money from repairing an uplink, even though we all contributed. It’s kind of fun being able to 2-man these, but the second person needs a little credit! We all just fought off our share of pirates, we should all get a cut.

-Uplinks. They’re a nice little generic mission for newcomers to get some quick money off of, but they don’t feel like they fit in the “living, breathing universe” idea. For one, they break down all the time and for no reason; this is obviously because you need to give players something to do, but it is a little silly. I know it’s a minor thing, but I’d prefer if the quest said “pirates have implanted a jammer on our uplink; eliminate it”, and if the quest is left alone long enough, the quest evolves into “pirates have taken over our uplink and shut down our defenses in that area; eliminate the pirates and reactivate our uplink.” Same task, but higher difficulty and better rewards if an uplink is left alone for too long. It also makes more sense than ‘maintenance’. As well, active Uplinks should spawn security, making them difficult to travel to for real pirates; pirate players may want to shut them down so less security shows up?

Minor cases of taste, but in a game as ambitious as Star Citizen, I want to feel like the things I do to at least act like they have an impact.

Starcraft, the new battlefield for AI research – starcitizenhelp.net

Google’s Deepmind have announced that the next game they will try to conquer is Blizzard’s very own Starcraft II

Back in March 2016, we witnessed a landmark in AI technology and a glimpse of the future when Google’s flagship AI defeated one of the world’s best Go players Kim Se Dol.

At the time of the contest, it was thought artificial intelligence was more than 10 years away from competing with the very best of the ancient Chinese game of Go, a game much more difficult than AI’s previous triumph, Chess. However Deepmind, the department in charge of Google’s deep-learning research, defeated one of the game’s greatest players easily, taking a 4-1 victory over a multiple-time world champion.

Now, looking to the future, Deepmind have chosen the next arena in which the battle of man vs machine will be fought, and that is Starcraft II. An unprecedented challenge, Starcraft II presents a huge number of difficulties for the program, such as opponents hiding information and the real-time action of the game, but Deepmind aren’t deterred and are looking for you to help them achieve the colossal task of training a computer to defeat some of the world’s best Starcraft players.

Deepmind use a method called ‘deep learning’ to train their AI to learn strategy games, this involves showing the program hundreds of thousands of matches and telling it the result of each one, over time the program begins to understand which action will lead to a stronger position and which will lead to a weaker one. For games like chess or go it’s a relatively simple idea, the board is static and it’s easier to adjust your actions based on your opponent’s move. As starcraft is a dynamic game, with both players moving and planning in real time, it presents a new hurdle for Google’s Deepmind to overcome.

Research is planning to begin during the first quarter of 2017.


Want to help further this research?

Just play! Deep learning relies on having a huge number of high quality replays to constantly show the program what it should be doing, so the more you play, the more you contribute to supplying the Google AI with helpful material to study.

Blizzard have also announced an API that can be used for creating this kind of program, so hobbyists or researchers can use this to toy around with making their own Robotic Bonjwa.

For full details you can check out the article posted on Deepmind’s website announcing their plans to take on the best of the best at the world’s most difficult game.

QUICKPOLL

Will AI find success in the world of SC2? Or is it too big of a challenge?


SC2 will bow to it’s AI overlords!

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AI can’t do anything to us!

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This is What FPS Looks Like in Star Citizen

This is What FPS Looks Like in Star Citizen

I like to think there are two kinds of people, the engineers and mechanics who can build a race car. then there’s the race car drivers.  some developers just cant play the game they created as well.Whatever you say does not change the fact that this video does not show what the FPS looks like. There is no current video of the FPS available and it has been “delayed/canceled” for almost 2 years now. They promised it again for Gamescon, then CitizenCon and now no one knows any more since all these lies are just getting confusing even for the most hardcore cult members.

The reason many people still find CS in general entertaining is because even though the game offers the same thing it has done for 15 years, the base game is still interesting and has a huge skill cap, like many other competitive games. With your logic, Starcraft, Dota, League, and various other games would be dead and gone because they also offer the same content since their inception.

I like games with good guns like wolfenstein the new order. They have the most badass guns in any game. Star Citizen has one of the best graphics of any futuristic game. I think the guns from Star Citizen are just or almost as good as wolfenstein guns.

I’m thinking that because elite dangerous and star citizen are at opposite ends of the system, elite dangerous with no walking around or advanced flight systems like SC but with a big universe, SC with the basics done but with a small space to play in. So if they were put together it would be perfect. But in the real world things like that don’t work for the reasons you mentioned.

 

starcitizenhelp | Korea versus the world: A BlizzCon preview

Photo by: Blizzard

After a weekend of upsets eight of the world’s finest StarCraft progamers are left in the run for the championship at the 2016 WCS Global Finals.

After a weekend of upsets eight of the world’s finest StarCraft programers are left in the run for the championship at the 2016 WCS Global Finals. Though the main event is to be held at BlizzCon itself this coming weekend, the preliminary rounds of the tournament have already been played out, and the final contenders determined. With four groups of competitors from both the WCS Circuit and WCS Korea, the broadcasting studio in Anaheim has already witnessed the volatility of the StarCraft scene. Predictions did not even remotely prove to be accurate, both those made by experts and the community alike.

Show Dates

Round 1

BO5

ShoWTimE.

Elazer

DarkSC2

Neeblet

TY

ByuN

Zest

Stats

Round 2

BO5

Round 3

BO7

 

ShoWTimE vs Elazer

To start things off on Friday the 4th fans will get a chance to see Elazer and ShoWTimE in the opening match of the main event. Surprisingly enough, neither was predicted to get out of the groupstage, let alone in first place in the case of ShoWTimE, whose stellar performance allowed him to reign supreme over two GSL champions in Dear and ByuN. Despite proving highly competent in PvT and PvP, the German player’s PvZ was recently put to the test when he had to go up against Elazer in the round of eight of the European WESG finals. A quick 3:0 for the latter sent ShowTimE back home.

His Polish opponent’s trip to California might have not even happened, had Hydra not withdrawn from the competition. Elazer was tied with viOlet for the final seed and spent the last month preparing for a ZvZ to secure himself a ticket to the United States. His training certainly did not go down the drain, as he used his expertise in the matchup to defeat Solar and Nerchio in the groupstage advancing in second place right after TY. Elazer has played second fiddle as ‘the other Zerg’ in Poland for quite some time. Should he go far in this tournament, Nerchio’s dominance might be called into question. There is still much to prove, though. One mustn’t forget the underwhelming ZvT series between Elazer and TY for first place in group D. Despite assuring the community of being ready for the matchup, the Zerg player seemed utterly powerless in comparison to the Korean powerhouse. Talking the talk, but not walking the walk revealed a weakness in Elazer’s approach to the competition in that he sometimes gets overconfident and loses his composure.

 

Prediction:

ShoWTimE 3:2 Elazer

 

Dark vs Neeblet

Winning an offline event on Korean soil is no meagre feat, yet when one’s road is paved with their favourite matchup it raises the question of consistency. By taking home the KeSPA Cup trophy Neeblet proved he fears no man in the world of StarCraft. Less than a month ago, Alex Sunderhaft took the Mecca of professional StarCraft by storm, defeating well established players such as Zest, Stats, Rogue, and eventually Trap, on his way for the title. Even going into the match against Dark he’s confident to play against the Korean Zerg, as he stated in the interviews following the round of eight draw. During the groupstage, Neeblet’s PvP failed him when Zest managed to retaliate for the loss suffered back in his homeland. In the post-game interview at the WCS Global Finals the former KT player stated he had not been familiar with the American’s style prior to KeSPA Cup, hence the loss. This time, he came prepared. Is Neeb’s unabashed attitude justified? The expectations are certainly high, but the powerhouse that is Dark has surely studied the NA Protoss thoroughly and should have a fairly decent idea on how to approach the match. On top of that, Dark’s signature baneling-heavy PvZ style might deke Neeb out, since it is not as frequently used on the foreign scene. I believe the onus is on the American player to prove his versatility and defeating an SSL champion is certainly the way to do it.

 

Prediction:

Dark 3:1 Neeblet

 

TY vs ByuN

Had ShoWTimE not upset the last GSL champion in the groupstage, the TvT could have just as easily been the grand final of the event. ByuN and TY are currently occupying the first and second places respectively on aligulac and the possibility of losing one of the two highest ranked players in the world in the quarterfinal match at BlizzCon makes the series a must-watch.

The individual stories behind the two players add to the excitement and the anticipation of the community for the game. TY, formerly known as BaBy, started his professional career at the age of nine as a StarCraft 1 player, becoming the youngest Brood War competitor to appear on live television. Since then, he has established his place on the scene as a sturdy, reliable Terran, whose stellar performance secured his former team KT Rolster’s victory in Proleague matches many a time. Despite having competed for years, though, the closest TY has come to an individual title was a second place finish in the first season of GSL 2016, where he lost to his teammate Zest 2:4.

ByuN came back from a one year long hiatus and took the scene by storm. Returning as a teamless player, the One Man Army dominated most of the online cups held by both Korean and Chinese organisers and eventually qualified for a StarLeague in late 2015. The height of his career came just recently, when the Terran player defeated sOs in the grand final of the second season of GSL 2016, thus becoming the first teamless player in Korea to ever win a StarLeague. Coming into BlizzCon as a Team Expert representative, he suffered a small hiccough in the form of ShoWTimE. Nevertheless, he made it out of his group and will now have to go up against a player of equal skill. Both progamers are known for their multitasking capabilities and the series is bound to be wild and exhilarant.

 

Prediction:

TY 2:3 ByuN

 

Zest vs Stats

Though KT Rolster announced disbandment, the match still feels like a teamkill. Amicable terms will have to be set aside, as the future is uncertain and players need to fight for survival.

Despite being a three-time GSL champion and having sundry other titles under his belt, Zest’s recent form in Proleague and individual leagues has been rather underwhelming. After losing to Neeb in the 2016 KeSPA Cup he redeemed himself in the preliminary rounds of BlizzCon, where the American fell victim to Zest’s superior understanding of PvP. The Korean is by no means an underdog in this tournament, however he was in his heyday during Heart of the Swarm and the game has changed much since. One mustn’t also forget Zest’s toughest opponents in the groupstage were Protoss and the most likely person he had prepared with was Stats himself. If that is the case, the latter should have a fair inkling of the former’s abilities and the ways the Kingslayer’s defences can be probed and exploited. Historically Stats has a better record against his former teammate and should manage to reign supreme in the match. In Protoss versus Protoss anything can happen, though, and predictions have proven inaccurate in recent times. One thing is for certain; the winner will have to go up against either TY or ByuN, and I bet neither Protoss is pleased about that prospect.

 

Prediction:

Zest 1:3 Stats

 

 

QUICKPOLL

Who’s going to win the championship?


A Korean

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A Foreigner

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Star Citizen: Constellation Aquila – Spacedock

Star Citizen: Constellation Aquila - Spacedock

.I have a Cat and a Carrack, I know all the chatter. Still, exploration will be rudimentary at best in 3.0. I still stand by the idris as a great choice for a vid, certainly we will be seeing some wonderful things on that very soon. Also, there is allot out there right now.

Although I don’t have the slightest clue on why did Protogen have any interest in the CIC, to commemorate the losses of the Martian Congressional Republic, I think you should make a showcase of the MCRN Donnager or the Donnager class. Long live Mars!

But by that they would have dramatically decreased the offensive and defensive potential of Mars, and shortened the war, That might have been in the interest of the admirals who started the blockade of mars, but notin the interest of Mao and Dresden who wanted an undisturbed view on the horrors on Eros. A short and decisive battle would have made the chaos shorter.

Also, are Anubis class (guessing) ships so disposable? Launching six at a battleship from a far at full burn to make things nice and visible just in case they can disable the PDCs (6 tubes of flagshipbuster per ship, 36 total, maybe even insufficient against a cruiser without the element of surprise, and unless they have blueprints of the class – with the usual redundancy in mind – railguns are unlikely to do significant damage) and board with an inferior number of marines against the cutting edge martian Goliath V powered armour? Dresden was a sociopath, but not stupid!

There sure is. Three bulkheads. bridge to crew habitation, crew habitation to cargo hold, finally cargo hold to engineering/snub fighter access. It’s a fun ship in the mini persistent universe when you have 3 of your buddies with you and nobody can touch you.

Star Citizen: Reverse the Verse 2.10 – UK

Star Citizen: Reverse the Verse 2.10 - UK

Procedurally spawned, I think yes. Actually procedurally generated? Absolutely not 😛 You need very specific sounds for very specific things… But the engine does change sound parameters of course such as pitch, bass, etc. depending on proximity; as any AAA-game pretty much does for authenticity.

As I understand from their explanation of it, they’re trying to design their sound controllers to act dynamically with any of their assets in the game so they don’t have to manually adjust all of the audio for countless planets. For example, buildings, vehicles, etc, may all have sound cues attached to them so that when they are exposed to different environments like sandstorms, rain, wind, on whatever planet, it will automatically play and model it to the situation.

It’s going to very interesting to see the Redeemer once they’re done. I followed TNGS during the contest, and while the Redeemer was not my favorite, it IS a very good looking and interesting design. One thing I’ve noticed, in videos and forum comments, is that a lot of people don’t know what those round things on the hull, behind the cockpit, are supposed to be the shield generators. I hope that the Redeemer doesn’t lose that detail.

 

Star Citizen’s First-Person View Is Based On Birds

Star Citizen's First-Person View Is Based On Birds

Star Citizen’s first-person view isn’t like other games, where you’re essentially in control of a floating camera. That approach is tried and true, but not wholly realistic. In the preposterously ambitious space game, your view and your body are one-in-the-same, just like in a real human body. Problem: turns out, human bodies have a lot going on.

As we (and now, in a truly mammoth feature, Kotaku UK) have reported on multiple occasions, Star Citizen might be too ambitious for its own good. This could be read as an example of that, or it could be demonstrative of cool, game-changing stuff that comes out of a “jack of all trades, master of the whole damn universe” approach. Time will tell.

Either way, Star Citizen’s first-person camera owes its functionality to birds. Yes, birds.

In a recent developer diary, lead animation engineer Ivo Herzeg explained all the trouble his team’s gone through to shove virtual eyeballs into Star Citizen characters’ faces. First, they tried simply placing a camera on a character’s head, and it was like controlling a bobble head. Each motion of the body caused the view to dart all over the place.

Fun fact: this happens with real human bodies too, but subtle, automatic reactions in the eyes and brain correct for it. When we walk, it’s smooth, like our eyes are luxuriating in pristine slabs of butter. So first, the Star Citizen team added eye stabilization, which is basically counter-rotation of the eyes to make up for motion of the head and body. They did it by putting a focus point in the distance for the camera to stay trained on.

Problem solved? Not entirely. Herzeg said that eliminated about 80 percent of the bouncing. However, eye stabilization alone became troublesome in confined areas (say, on a space station) or strafing in front of walls. Worse, stopping in front of walls produced an ugly bounce back effect, one that definitely doesn’t happen in real life… unless you slam full-force into something. Those issues added up to a lack of realism and a surplus of motion sickness.

“This issue was keeping us busy for a while,” said Herzeg, “so we spent time trying to understand how we humans are doing visual stabilization. It turned out, it’s a pretty complex mental process, and there wasn’t a practical way to get that into our first-person camera.”

Techniques used in real-life handheld cameras didn’t cut it either, so they had to figure out an alternative method. That’s where birds came in.

“We learned that birds, or at least most types of birds, they have a pretty interesting problem,” said Herzeg. “They can’t roll their eyes around the way humans can. That makes it hard for them to keep their vision stable and move their body at the same time.”

“If you can’t keep your vision stable by moving your eyes,” he added, “then the next logical step is to try to do the opposite. Just keep the head stable. And that’s what they do. Birds have long necks, so they just counter-translate the body motions. It’s kind of a camera stabilizer invented by nature.”

In short, this is why Star Citizen’s first-person view doesn’t jolt around like your brain’s trapped in the version of hell that’s just bounce houses for all eternity:

starcitizenhelp | WESG EU & CIS finals draw to a close

starcitizenhelp | WESG EU & CIS finals draw to a close

The best players EU & CIS went to battle this weekend for a spot at the WESG Global Grand Finals.

WCS may have concluded some time ago and everyone is currently anticipating Blizzcon in a few weeks, but the Starcraft scene certainly hasn’t been twiddling its thumbs. We just got over the shocking finals to the KeSPA Cup but already more events are wrapping up. Over the last few months the World Electronic Sports Games (WESG), organized by Alibaba, have been searching the globe for each champions from every region to go to China in order to compete for their share of $182,000.

Already the Africa and Middle-east qualifier found Drager, Stephano, and Zerghamdi booking their flights, while Invictus Gaming’s iAsonu can sit patiently at home waiting for December to come as he is the lone Chinese player to compete.

This weekend, Europe’s best traveled to Kiev to discovered who would be representing Europe as the EU & CIS national qualifiers concluded. The top 8 finishers all get to take a place on the global grand finals in December and so, getting to the quarter finals would be enough, while doing even better gave them major bragging rights and a strong seed looking forward to the Global finals.

The eight players representing Europe this December are:

1st- starcitizenhelp | WESG EU & CIS finals draw to a close Nerchio (defeated Elazer 4-1)
2nd- starcitizenhelp | WESG EU & CIS finals draw to a close Elazer
3rd- starcitizenhelp | WESG EU & CIS finals draw to a close Beastyqt
4th- starcitizenhelp | WESG EU & CIS finals draw to a close Namshar
5th/8th- starcitizenhelp | WESG EU & CIS finals draw to a close Marinelord
5th/8th- starcitizenhelp | WESG EU & CIS finals draw to a close Harstem
5th/8th- starcitizenhelp | WESG EU & CIS finals draw to a close DeMuslim
5th/8th- starcitizenhelp | WESG EU & CIS finals draw to a close  ShoWTimE

There are still Asia/Pacific and American qualifiers to take place, so stay tuned to see who rised out of the pack to represent these regions at the global finals of the World Electronic Sports Games in December!

The North & South America Qualifier will take place between October 21st-23rd.

The Asia-Pacific Qualifier is scheduled for November 10-13.

QUICKPOLL

The KeSPA Cup champion Neeb will be playing at the American qualifiers. Can anyone in the region stop him from taking the top spot?


Definitely, it’ll be a close contest!

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There’s no-one who can stop Neeb!

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starcitizenhelp | Chris Metzen announces retirement on B.net forums.

Possibly the one person that has had the single most influence on almost all of Blizzard’s Major franchises has decided to retire from game related work to focus on spending time with his family

You may know Chris Metzen for his voice acting work (Thrall, Marine, Ghost, Battlecruiser, etc etc), or maybe you recognize him from his countless speeches and introductions at BlizzCon. What you might not know, is that Metzen is largely responsible for creating the Diablo, Starcraft, and Warcraft universes. He wrote the scripts, story and created many of the characters we know and love today.

He was even been responsible for the initial sparks of an idea that we now know, as Overwatch. Just look at his drawing of Solider: 76 made in 1996:

Today, on the Battle.net forums, a letter written by Metzen was posted by multiple community managers on behalf of Metzen. In it, he details his journey to where he is today, revealing his DND group as the only experience he had creating worlds prior to Blizzard. Just before he drops the retirement bomb, he thanks the fans of all of his universes for the experience he has had:

Thank you all for letting me be a special part of your community. For letting me belong with you. We’ve shared countless adventures together and I’ve always been overwhelmed and humbled by your passion for our games as well your commitment to each other. Thank you for all the BlizzCon hugs, smiles, handshakes, and stories over the years. You will never know how much you’ve all touched my heart and inspired me to give my all into this craft. 

It is unclear who will take his place as Senior Vice President, Story and Franchise Development, but whoever does has some big shoes to fill.

Here is one of the best Metzen moments, just moments before he revealed Overwatch to the world for the first time during BlizzCon 2014:

SOURCE

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QUICKPOLL

Which was Metzen’s most iconic Voice Acting?


Thrall

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Marine

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