Volume 1.1: 2017 and Beyond

Alysianah’s World of Star Citizen Patron Newsletter

STAR CITIZEN COMMENTARY

IS IT ENOUGH?

I often wonder if a science fiction MMO is going to be enough to satiate my gaming needs. To date, only fantasy has held that position.  Although  I’ve played EVE Online on and off for many years, it has never risen to being my primary MMO. There’s something personal, exciting and visceral about combat in fantasy games. Whether it’s sword-and-board or magic, it’s your character that is the star of the action. There’s very little between you and your foes. For my own tastes, I always partake in crafting and the economy to help ground my character as a citizen of that world.

In science fiction, advanced technology is required. It’s the star of the encounter, much more so than the avatar. And the weaponry can be rather mundane – fancier rifles and pistols. I don’t play FPS games. Those types of encounters don’t appeal to me.

I’m sure that Star Citizen is going to rise above any other science fiction MMO that has ever come to market in terms of having fantastical worlds, creatures, and settings.  Our adventures will vacillate between deep space and planetary.  And still, I have this small concern that I won’t feel the same attraction as I do, to the organic interactions of fantasy settings. I’m certainly hoping that’s not the case. I putting a lot of eggs in this basket. I don’t have any other MMO on the near horizon that I’m following or looking forward to getting. The genre as a whole has stagnated. Here’s hoping that Star Citizen IS enough!

MISTAKES WERE MADE

I didn’t think I wanted to keep the Caterpillar as a full-time member of my ship fleet. Even for all its versatility, the modules duplicate roles readily available in my other ships. And I’m not particularly a fan of Drake ships in general. I melted one of my floater ships and kicked in the additional $90USD needed to get on temporarily, by upgrading from the Gladius I was rewarded by the referral program. It’s the first time I’ve done so. I don’t want the Gladius per say and it’s just sitting there so why not?  I often get the new ships coming in a patch temporarily to do a ship review and provide more variety of in-game footage for my vidcasts. So doing this much wasn’t unusual.

The first problem reared its head when I couldn’t refund (melt) the Caterpillar when I was done. I was like WTF??? It appears that melting is disabled on ship upgraded from a reward ship but there’s nothing that warns you about that during the upgrade process. Hrm. With the Caterpillar duplicating what I already had, I wasn’t very keen to keep it, especially since I’d melted something else for it. In a bit of panic, I reviewed possible holes in my fleet for what I could upgrade the Caterpillar to that might provide me more value. The closest was the Starfarer which although not excited by it, it could be a good addition for supplying my own fuel and testing out the mechanic when it’s introduced into the persistent universe. So I upgraded to that… And then I remember fudge, I have the LTI version as a buy-back option, so why on earth do I want this one that I’m not excited about when if I want it in the first place, I might as well have the LTI version. *Sigh* Mistakes were made.

I put in a Customer Support ticket to ask about not being warned that you’re stuck with a ship if you upgrade from a reward ship and if that can be credited back to my account aka please melt this thing for me. I’m hoping they can oblige. I’d just as soon have the ship I melted to play with the Caterpillar back anyway versus the Starfarer. If they can’t, meh, it’s not the end of the world.

STAYING ON TRACK

My friends and my boss at work constantly ask me how I get so much done in my personal life. They know the demanding job I have, my family responsibilities and yet, I have time to accomplish quite a bit with my hobbies. I credit this ability with being very organized and a bit anal about keeping task lists. However, I think my ability to go above and beyond in 2016 is due to keeping a Bullet Journal.

I ran across this tool in mid-2016. It’s like a more personalized version of using the Franklin Covey system, something I practiced for many years of my career. Bullet Journals run the gambit of being glorified tasks lists to being life planners. I went the route of life planner.

I read somewhere a long time ago that if you’re not working on your future plans today, they’ll never be realized. I organized a Bullet Journal that looks at Life Goals, 5-Year Goals, 2-Year Goals and then has objectives from each of my things to do This Year Plan, where the detailed tasks reside. In 2016, I found this to be an amazing method of accomplishing important tasks while also ensuring that I was working toward where I want to be, in addition to keeping “today” on track. I credit my Bullet Journal for getting Alysianah’s World off the ground and steadily moving it forward to my dream end-state.

My 2107 tasks use the same formula of pulling goals from my forward-looking desires while keeping this year on track in my personal life, gaming life and hopefully broader voice over narration hobby. If you’re looking for something to help you stay organized, give Bullet Journals a try. My Journal is a Google Sheet so that I can have ubiqutious access to it.

ALY’S WORLD NEWS

WELCOME 2017

Although the Star Citizen universe is celebrating the arrival of the year 2947, my feet are firmly planted in 2017. I have two big initiatives planned for Alysianah’s World that I hope people will enjoy and appreciate.

Aly’s world 1.0 released in August of 2016. Since that time I’ve done 3 major updates to the site features in an effort to continue evolving the use of the physical world represented in the official ARK Starmap, combined with the official lore and canon, to aide backers in logistics planning for player careers. Making the lore more easily accessible, is also helpful for those interesting in it for entertainment purposes. As well as using it for reference material when working on fan fiction.

In 2017, I want to refine what’s currently available by enhancing its usability and improving the website’s overall performance. The one big feature update currently on the drawing board is to add a more flexible Jump Planner module. While this type of feature isn’t needed in the current alpha, it will take quite some time to build my particular vision of one. For that reason, I’m starting early.

Another huge focus will be providing more content – more news, information, articles and lore turning it to an entertainment resource for all things SC related. For the majority of 2016, most of my time that was allocated to the website was for development. This year, I want to shift that to providing more actual content. Providing content is what I enjoy most and huge incentive for creating Aly’s World in the first place. It’s time to start furnishing the rooms.

In December I was able to launch The Star Citizen NightBus, a more casual vidcast about Star Citizen that uses an Op-Ed format and includes fan fiction. I’m also looking into doing an internet radio channel of sorts via Twitch somewhere around the 2nd quarter of the year. And I’m also collaborating with the SCLoreCast group to narrate more official lore and fiction.

Thank you so much for the support during the journey. I’m looking forward to continued growth and the adventures that lay ahead in Alpha 3.0 and beyond.

FIRST COLLABORATION WITH SCLORECAST

A couple of months ago, I was asked to collaborate on producing lore narrations with SCLoreCast. SCLC is a group dedicated to bringing Star Citizen lore to life by narrating the official dispatches and fiction published by Cloud Imperium Games. I’m looking forward to an on-going relationship with this very talented group, all of whom are members of the SC community.

You can listen to the episode here.  Please support their labor of love by subscribing to their YouTube channel, where they’re also running their first contest.

IMAGES FROM THE ‘VERSE


Volume 1.1: Hello 2017 and more

Alysianah’s World of Star Citizen Subscriber Newsletter

NEWS

WELCOME 2017

Although the Star Citizen universe is celebrating the arrival of the year 2947, my feet are firmly planted in 2017. I have two big initiatives planned for Alysianah’s World that I hope people will enjoy and appreciate.

Aly’s world 1.0 released in August of 2016. Since that time I’ve done 3 major updates to the site features in an effort to continue evolving the use of the physical world represented in the official ARK Starmap, combined with the official lore and canon, to aide backers in logistics planning for player careers. Making the lore more easily accessible is also helpful for those interested in it for entertainment purposes. As well as using it for reference material when working on fan fiction.

In 2017, I want to refine what’s currently available by enhancing its usability and improving the website’s overall performance. The one big feature update currently on the drawing board is to add a more flexible Jump Planner module. While this type of feature isn’t needed in the current alpha, it will take quite some time to build my particular vision of one. For that reason, I’m starting early.

Another huge focus will be providing more content – more news, information, articles, and lore, turning it into an entertainment resource for all things SC. For the majority of 2016, most of my time that was allocated to the website was for development. This year, I want to shift that to providing more actual content. Providing content is what I enjoy most and huge incentive for creating Aly’s World in the first place. It’s time to start furnishing the rooms.

In December I was able to launch The Star Citizen NightBus, a more casual vidcast about Star Citizen that uses an Op-Ed format and includes fan fiction. I’m also looking into doing an internet radio channel of sorts via Twitch somewhere around the 2nd quarter of the year. And I’m also collaborating with the SCLoreCast group to narrate more official lore and fiction.

Thank you so much for the support during the journey. I’m looking forward to continued growth and the adventures that lay ahead in Alpha 3.0.

FIRST COLLABORATION WITH SCLORECAST

A couple of months ago, I was asked to collaborate on producing lore narrations with SCLoreCast. SCLC is a group dedicated to bringing Star Citizen lore to life by narrating the official dispatches and fiction published by Cloud Imperium Games. I’m looking forward to an on-going relationship with this very talented group, all of whom are members of the SC community.

You can listen to the episode here.  Please support their labor of love by subscribing to their YouTube channel, where they’re also running their first contest.

COMMENTARY

THE MALOGOS RANTS

Planning to explore the competitive side of Arena Commander? Interested in understanding the underlying mechanics of combat as of Alpha 2.6? Malogos of the SC Reddit sub-community has a two YouTube videos you may find enlightening.

He’s been collecting data on how the components of various ships behave during combat and has compiled suggestions to improve balance. They’re titled as “rants” but they’re not really so don’t be put off by it. They’re actually very informative. You can find them on his YouTube channel here.

STAR MARINE RADAR IN 2.6.

If you’re among the brave and fearless shooting rifles and lobbing grenades in Star Marine, you’ll find a new video from Twerk17 very informative. He has an excellent overview of how the current implementation of the radar feature works – what it supposed to do vs. what it does do. Most of the matches I’ve watched are very competitive which is to be expected of players who enjoy FPS. Don’t be left in the dark because you don’t understand the radar mechanic. You can check out the video on his Youtube channel.

YOU’RE NOT THE BOSS OF ANYONE ON THE INTERNET

The only thing worse than “shit posts” are the posts demanding people stop making “shit” posts. People really need to get a grip on themselves and realize what’s shit to one, is a treasure to someone else.

I find it comical that people actually exert the energy to write a post telling others what not to post on the internet. I mean really people??? That was easier than simply scrolling by the post? Or downvote it if you must? So what if some like to celebrate every million dollar funding milestone. It’s no more a shit post than pictures of SC themed birthday cakes, pictures of a toddler behind a joystick with SC on the screen. Let’s all relax and let each other be.

THE ‘VERSE


Star Citizen Lore Collaboration: Mining Rocks

A couple of months ago, I was asked to collaborate on producing lore narrations with SCLoreCast. SCLC is a group dedicated to bringing SC lore to life by narrating the official dispatches and fiction from Cloud Imperium Games. I’m looking forward on-going relationship with this very talented group, all of whom are members of the SC community.

You can listen to the episode here and help them out by subscribing to their YouTube channel, where they’re also running a contest.


Chart of Content Announced at CitizenCon 2016

Birds-eye view of the patches up to Alpha 4.0


Top 10 Things Star Citizen Players Can Learn from EVE Online

EVE Online recently revealed a long term option for free-to-play characters that doesn’t severely limit the potential for fun and meaningful experiences. And while there’s not much similar as far as mechanics go between Star Citizen and EVE Online, I think there are some valuable lessons to be learned. EVE is a no-holds barred sandbox MMO and Star Citizen will have free-for-all PVP zones with a gradual permadeath mechanic.  If there’s any MMO out there that can help players prepare their outlook and attitudes for such possibilities, it’s EVE Online!

For a look at my Top 10 list of what I think EVE has to offer Star Citizen players check out my article on Redacted.TV.


Star Citizen NightBus Episode 2 - Data Makers and more

The Star Citizen NightBus is a quirky mixture of Star Citizen fact, fiction and opinion.  This week’s topics are: Data-Makers, Trolley Cart Interlude, Space Hobos, Greetings from Zerah, Star Citizen as a Board Game, Bryony’s Dilemma Part 2 of 3.

SHOW NOTES

OTHER HELPFUL LINKS

  • Related Article with Show Notes:  Alysianahsworld.com/articles/
  • Audio Only version:  https://soundcloud.com/lauren-michele-12/sets/casual-citizen
  • Alysianah’s Career Dossiers:  Alysianahsworld.com/systemdossiers/
  • Alysianah’s Starmap Matrix:  Alysianahsworld.com
  • My Patreon:  https://www.patreon.com/Alysianah
  • Alysianah’s Star Citizen Referral code: REFERRAL CODE: STAR-QSVR-JFTR


Star Citizen NightBus - Premiere Episode

Doing a show like The NightBus has been on my mind for many months. Paying homage to the Night Bus in the Harry Potter series, I wanted a show format where I could discuss whatever was on my mind about the game AND the often fickle backer community. One that allowed more flexibility in the content and didn’t require the considerable research necessary to do Casual Citizen which is aimed at helping to educate users.  Moreover, I wanted to experiment with including fiction from CIG, fan fiction from others and some of my own to add more creativity in what’s being produced.

Unlike Casual Citizen, TNB doesn’t focus on the visual aspect of the show. It’s designed primarily as an auditory experience. There may be times when I don’t have video that’s pertinent to the topic at hand. I’m looking into options of what I can use for complimentary visual effects long term. It also won’t be available on SoundCloud. I’ve had to maintain an annual service account on SoundCloud to host audio only versions of Casual Citizen and my narration of the Star Citizens Writer’s Guide because of the total length of the uploads.  If not, SoundCloud starts removing shows from the earliest uploaded. This would result in an incomplete series for the Writer’s Guide which is the first series of content I produced for Star Citizen. in 2017, I won’t be continuing the $200 annual subscription needed to host as much content there as I do. I’ll look into another means that can utilize the website infrastructure I’m already paying to maintain for Alysianahsworld.com.

You can listen to the first episode of The NightBus here on YouTube. I’m hoping that the reduced production requirements will allow me to release these more frequently. I have tons of ideas of things I want to share, but there just aren’t enough hours in the day. *Smile*


Preparing for Alpha 3.0 - Flight Ready Cargo Ships

I have Star Citizen Alpha 3.0 on my mind. I’m so pumped to start seeing the non-combat professions integrated into the persistent universe. Casual Citizen episode 25 discusses the flight-ready cargo ships we’ll have at our disposal to test out the first implementation of cargo hauling. Check it out on YouTube or SoundCloud to be sure you’re ready to hit the ground running.

SHOW NOTES

Flight Ready Cargo Ships

Hull B Q&A Post with updated Cargo Sizes

SHOW TRANSCRIPT

BEGIN TRANSMISSION.

WHAT’S IN AND WHAT’S OUT

Originally, I was going to limit the conversation to the ships CIG has flagged as “cargo ship” on RobertsSpaceIndustries.com. However, two popular ships are missing if I did that – the Cutlass Black and Constellation Andromeda, which I’ve decided to  include. Whereas I haven’t included the Mustang Alpha because it requires the optional cargo carrier which has yet to materialize in game.

REAL CARGO SIZES PLEASE STAND UP

Unfortunately, there are conflicts between the cargo capacity for the ships listed in the actual ship stats versus updated sizes that were published as part of the MISC Hull B Q&A. This is rather unfortunate, since the average player isn’t likely to see the updated cargo size information.  With the exception of the Argo Cargo and the Starfarer Gemini, which weren’t on the updated list, I’m going to reference the sizes from the Hull B Q&A post, which I will link in the show notes.

For the Argo Cargo I pulled the value from the brochure. For the Gemini, I used the updated size for the refueling variant but applied the reduced capacity percentage witnessed on the their respective technical overview pages.  

Directly from RSI Cargo Chart

Cubic meters? Freight Units? Standard Cargo Units?! We’ve gone through several iterations for measuring cargo, to the point that our own design team has confused the two on occasion. Today, we’re setting the record straight with a ‘master’ list. Dan Tracy has measured every ship currently ‘in-engine’ and made estimates for others (such as the Merchantman) which are not. As of today, this is the definitive list of cargo capacity and these numbers will be applied to the stats page. Please pay special intent to the comparative sizes rather than simply the number; these are the best indicator of where these ships are intended to fall on the spectrum, regardless of the units of measurement we use.

The inability to get most accurate or updated cargo information more easily, is a bit unfortunate for this particular class of ship.  There’s updated information available it’s just not where people would be looking for it.

Now that understanding where and how I obtained the cargo sizes you’ll hear me reference, is out of the way, let’s begin. I’ll be discussing the ships in order of available cargo capacity – smallest to largest. To reiterate, these are FLIGHT READY cargo ships.

WHY CARGO HAULING?

Let’s begin by defining cargo hauling as I suspect there will be varying definitions.  Establishing mine is important for data I’ll share in a bit and what’s available on Alysianahsworld.com.  

I differentiate between trade and cargo hauling. For me, cargo hauling is picking up goods in one place and delivering them to another. You have no ownership of the items being transported. You don’t know or care what they cost to acquire. You’re not involved in selling them. You’re merely the bus driver.

Merchants and traders care about the cost to purchase goods versus the resale value. Traders and merchants earn revenue from selling of goods.  Cargo haulers are paid to transport goods.  I think cargo hauling will be a good active profession for players of a certain play style and an excellent passive profession for most everyone. I personally, only plan to do cargo hauling as a secondary, passive mode of generating income.  If I’m going that way and have the space available on my ship, by all means I’ll deliver those goods for ya.

MONEY MAKES MMOS GO ‘ROUND.

The persistent universe side of Star Citizen will contain many of the common trapping of any MMO. Specifically, you’ll need a way to earn in-game currency to support yourself. In this case, support fueling, arming, repairing and possibly upgrading your ship.  You may want to do the same for your character, such as obtain better armor and weapons. You’ll have insurance premiums to pay. You’ll have hangar fees to pay. Money. Money. Money. For most players, your existence in the Star Citizen universe will require you to earn a living in game.

For those who don’t want to focus on combat as a means of earning currency. Or who aren’t particularly interested in having PVE missions dictate their actions, cargo hauling is a viable incoming generating profession. You can obtain work via contracts that will be available on the Trade and Development Division job boards. You can accept cargo transport specific missions. You can shuttle cargo for other players.  All of this while seeing the world. Cargo hauling is also one of the player professions that can more easily be done solo, if that’s your preference.

CARGO SHIPS AVAILABLE IN ALPHA 3.0

Alpha 3.0 is going to give us our first taste of cargo hauling. I suspect we’ll see cargo missions from NPCs. I anticipate being able to pick up work at the Trade and Development Division locations, such as Job Well in ArcCorp Area 18.  The physical implementation in game is likely to contain placeholder activity for loading and unloading cargo. Similar to the placeholder implementation for ship repairs in we’re using for Cry-Astro. In other words, there’ll be some handwavium going on.

Bringing cargo hauling online will also innately bring with it opportunities for other player professions and play styles such as piracy and mercs. You need to keep these these things in mind if you’re going to pursue moving merchandise. Space and be a dangerous and unforgiving place. Common sense and situational awareness will be important. I’m crossing my fingers that ship security comes online with  cargo otherwise, lots of unnecessary tomfoolery will take place on landing pads that will be 100% outside of a pilot’s ability to control.

If you want to take part in the early alpha testing of cargo hauling, let’s take a look at ships that are flight ready and have cargo space available.

ARGO CARGO

From CIG…

The ARGO Astronautics MPUV-1C (commonly ‘Argo Cargo’) is a dedicated merchant transfer ship, a ubiquitous intergalactic stevedore. Vast numbers of Argo Cargos are responsible for loading and unloading goods onto massive long-haul transports and miners that cannot otherwise land on planets or drydocks, such as the Hull D and the Orion. Some captains choose to own and operate their own Argo, while others pay privately owned ships operating as port services a rental fee for performing the unloading process.

I don’t see the Argo Cargo as a ship that makes sense for cargo hauling in Alpha 3.0. Lacking a quantum drive and only possessing 6 SCUs of space, it’s the least ideal option for participating in cargo hauling in 3.0.  We don’t have any flyable ships that are too large to land in order to deliver cargo themselves.  Unless you have no other option and simply want to try the mechanics, to me this one is a non-starter.

Avenger Titan

From CIG…

Lacking the Prisoner Cells of the Stalker or the EMP Generator of the Warlock, the Titan’s hold is free to carry cargo. Couple that available space with the Avenger’s tried and true combat abilities and you’ve got a light cargo hauler that’s more than capable of handling itself in a fight. *This is the standard Avenger chassis with the Titan Cargo Module pre-installed.*

Titan is the standard Stalker chassis with the prison cells swapped for cargo space. I like this as an option for people who want to do a small amount of cargo hauling and combat. The Avenger holds its own nicely in combat and was for a time, my preferred combat ship. I think it’s speed and maneuverability also make it less of a target piracy. Because it has non-cargo variants, it’s appearance in the skies also doesn’t scream, “I’m carrying cargo here!”. I am however very surprised at the Titan’s 12 SCUs of cargo space. There’s probably an update to that number not readily available. I can’t see how swapping out 3 prisoner cells nets so little space. However, all elements combined, I think it’s a reasonable choice for play-testing cargo hauling during alpha or as an interim short-lived first solution in the live game.

Aurora CL

From CIG…

Customized for mercantile and trading excursions, the Aurora Clipper is the perfect vessel for aspiring entrepreneurs and seasoned traders alike. Swapping a smaller power plant and armor capabilities for an expanded cargo capacity, the Clipper ups the ante for personal merchant craft.

We’ll probably see many Auroras taking part in cargo hauling. We know from CIG that this is one of the more popular ship packages, hence more people have Auroras than any other ship. The CL variant in particular is very good in terms of ship cost versus cargo capacity, coming in at 23 SCUs. Auroras are also very durable for a starter ship making them good for cargo transport using an avoid combat at all costs strategy. You simply have to survive until you reach your drop off location.

Reliant Kore

From CIG…

With the Reliant Kore, MISC adds to its already impressive lineup of ships, a smaller introductory-class spacecraft. Utilizing advanced Xi’An designs, the Reliant features broad, sleek wings, omni-directional thrusters and a fully-articulated two-seat cockpit that supports horizontal and vertical flight modes. All of this combines with a larger carrying capacity than many ships in its class to make the Kore a natural choice for short-range hauling, or with the simple addition of a few optional components, this can-do ship can do anything you dream of.

I have mixed feelings about the Reliant Kore for cargo transport in its current implementation. Purely from an investment perspective, comparing the cost of the ship versus its cargo hauling space, it does well. It’s a $65 USD ship with 30 SCUs. However, we’ve yet to see the speed boost it’s supposed to have when in its vertical flight mode. It lacks versatility of being viable as a combat ship without swapping to the Tana configuration which isn’t doable yet. And it’s more suited to short-hop jobs because there’s no bed aboard the Reliants.  Beds are a feature that will allow you to safely log out of the game in space, save that location and return to it the next time you log in versus spawning at the nearest space station.  For Alpha game play, I’ve kept my Kore to test out cargo hauling. However, it will not be a permanent ship in my fleet. And I have access to a Cutlass Black, by way of having purchased a Cutlass Red.

Cutlass Black

From CIG…

Drake Interplanetary claims that the Cutlass Black is a low-cost, easy-to-maintain solution for local in-system militia units. The larger-than-average cargo hold, RIO seat and dedicated tractor mount are, the company literature insists, for facilitating search and rescue operations.

For passive cargo hauling, I think the Cutlass Black is a real contender for bang for your buck. It’s a versatile ship that supports multi-crew activities and has 33 SCUs for cargo hauling. Whether that 33 SCUs is filled up by your own legit cargo or what you’ve pilfered from others, that’s up to you. Surprisingly the Cutlass comes with a size 4 shield, the second largest among the flight ready ships. This makes it another ship that’s viable for solo cargo hauling with the intention of outrunning and out surviving anyone who gives chase. However, like the Reliant Kore there are no beds on-board so I wouldn’t pick the Cutlass Black if you have long term cargo hauling aspirations.  That said, I expect to see many players using it to haul cargo in Alpha 3.0. And when you see one, you won’t know if it’s carrying cargo or coming to get yours, making it a nice is it cat or mouse deterrent.

Freelancer Mercantile

From CIG…

Freelancers are used as long haul merchant ships by major corporations, but they are just as frequently repurposed as dedicated exploration vessels by independent captains who want to operate on the fringes of the galaxy.

Here’s where I think we cross the line into ships that are better served as multi-crew even if cargo hauling. We’re getting to slower moving ships that are less maneuverable, leaving you open to being swarmed if you can’t get away. And knowing that the other features these ships were designed to take advantage of aren’t in the game yet, many will bet you’re carrying cargo. So if you are, be prepared to defend yourself.

The Freelancer variant that is flyable is designed for moving cargo. It has a nice bump in capacity from the Kore, coming in at 52 SCUs. It’s also a very defensible ship with a good pilot and someone in the turret. It has sleeping berths making it a good fit for longer duration shipping if that’s something you’re going to pursue in the live game. If you’re considering the Freelancer as a long term cargo option, you might want to take a look at the Freelancer MAX which has twice the cargo capacity.

Constellation Andromeda

From CIG…

The Constellation Andromeda, a multi-person freighter, is the most popular ship in RSI’s current production array. Constellations are beloved by smugglers and merchants alike because they are modular, high powered… and just downright iconic-looking.  134 cargo units. Taurus – transport variant has 243

The Constellation Andromeda makes the list because it has 134 SCUs of cargo space and is flyable. Strictly speaking this is the more militarized variant. The Taurus is the transport variant but isn’t flight ready. I doubt I’d attempt doing cargo hauling solo in a Connie. You will be a target and a ship of this size is better served having its turrets manned and bodies available to repel boarding attempts if it comes down to that. Even having escorts might be advisable once you start moving cargo in a ship of this size.

Unlike how the PU combat happens now, there will be more incentive to go after larger ships that may be carrying cargo, especially, if some of the cargo survives when the ship is destroyed.  Now it’s a matter of who can I kill before they kill me, if I want to engage at all.  For many players, there’s little to no incentive of picking a fight with the larger ships. All you get in return is a repair and rearming bill. Come 3.0, that same fight now nets you a chance at profits.  Different ball game that requires a a higher level of situational awareness.

Starfarer

From CIG…

The Starfarer differs from traditional bulk freighters in one key way: it is a dedicated fuel platform. The Starfarer is designed not only to load, store and protect fuel stasis units, it is designed to take in spaceborne hydrogen and then refine it for use without landing. The Starfarer can be used to ferry traditional bulk cargo pods (see diagram) but in such cases the fuel refining equipment would be useless. This equipment is modular and can be swapped out for another mission package for dry operations!

The United Empire of Earth military uses an adapted ‘rough and tumble’ variant of the Starfarer for their front line operations. The G2M Gemini, more commonly the Starfarer Gemini or ‘Star G,’ trades some cargo capacity and maneuverability in exchange for reinforced armor, increased shielding, more powerful engines and stronger versions of the three manned turrets. The Gemini also includes an optional missile pod, which can be swapped for the fuel intake unit on the ship’s nose (see below for details.) Missile pods can be mounted to either Starfarer variant.

Now we’ve hit the largest ships in the alpha play-test by a considerable amount. Similarly, they have the largest cargo payloads. The Starfarer refueling variant, which is considered the transport variant haxe 4,044 SCUs.  With the Gemini coming in at an estimated 3033 SCUs. Remember that the number I’m using for the gemini is based on the updated transport variant’s SCUs that were provided in the Hull B Q&A.

I think running cargo in either of these ships, assuming you can get one to spawn, will be very exciting for those involved. Massive shenanigans in coming of people trying to seize or destroy them for the cargo. I think most when carrying cargo will be properly manned and have escorts.  This has the potential to broaden the combat fields seen in the PU to multiple locations – anywhere one of these is in transit. Versus what we see now which is mostly in and around Kareah or Grim Hex.

As long term cargo hauling vessels, I think there are better options unless transporting fuel or other liquid goods the Starfarer will be configurable for in the future. As a pure hauler, I’d be looking into the Hull series.  But in the meantime, these will have the largest payload for many months. The first Hull series ship, the Hull C, isn’t due until Alpha 3.1 which I think is likely spring 2017.

ACCORDING TO THE LORE

Knowing where to look for cargo hauling work will be simple in Alpha 3.0. You’re picking it up in Stanton and delivering it to somewhere else in Stanton. You won’t have to do much research on your own to know where to go.  You won’t need to really evaluate if the cost of fuel and crew is worth the trip. It won’t be that easy as more star systems come online and more players engage in the alpha.  Things will be more competitive and some level of logistics planning and consideration will be required to remain profitable.

Helping with logistics planning is the primary goal of Alysianahsworld. It’s aim is to provide you with the information necessary to help you make more knowledgeable decisions when it comes to investing time, effort and money into player professions.  It helps you identify where to look for work, tells you about that area and lets you refine the list of where to work based on other personal preferences such as:

  • How dangerous is that star system on average?
  • Are the other opportunities I can take advantage of while there that makes picking this location better for me than another?
  • Can I string together a multi-hop route to maximize my net profit?

It’s likely that most star systems will have some availability of cargo hauling opportunities via NPC specific missions and the Trade Development Division. However, showing up and hoping that the available jobs fit the capabilities of your ship might not be the most cost effective option.  

The ARK Starmap and the Galactic Guides, both subject to change, reflect the world that’s being built and both contain information about player professions.  Alysianahsworld.com ties these two assets together by mapping the lore from the guides to the physical univers of the ARK Starmap, into what I call Dossiers.  Where each Dossier is tying together the locations and lore related to a specific profession.

For example, if you have a small cargo hauling ship and are just starting out, what are some of the best places for you to find steady work? Perhaps you’re on the other end of the scale. You’d rather do less frequent longer duration jobs. Where are you going to start looking for that kind of work?  Looking through the Starmap and Galactic Guides you can find the answers for both of those scenarios if you want to spend hours upon hours pouring through it all.  But you don’t have to.

Checking out my Cargo and Trade Dossier page will list all Star Systems where explicit lore information has been provided about job opportunities. This information will be updated regularly and continue to grow as I slowly make my way through all of the available CIG content, AND am able to include information from the actual systems themselves when they are introduced.

On the Trade and Cargo Dossier you can view locations that contain:

  • Explicit lore related to cargo hauling contracts
  • Mentions of job opportunities for specific types of cargo hauling – short hop vs. long duration
  • Review potential volume of work for cargo hauling
  • Review import and export activity in those same systems which can represent opportunistic trading such as picking up a rare item you can sell elsewhere for a profit.
  • Review Black Market and Piracy in those areas if you’re inclined to participate in those activities
  • Learn about the star systems where these opportunities exist and filter them based on your preferences of population, economy and danger thresholds or government alignments.

Simple. Straight forward. And a means to make more informed routing options when planning cargo runs. Check it out. I hope you find it useful.

That’s it for this episode of Casual Citizen. You can find links to all the ships discussed in the show notes. Also checkout Alysianahsworld.com to see the growing compendium of information to assist players with logistics planning.  If you’ve enjoyed this episode please consider subscribing to my channel and giving the show a thumbs up.

This is Alysianah signing out until next time. Be kind and fly safe.

END TRANSMISSION


Slavery in Star Citizen

I’m all for players being able to role-play a variety of topics in games. I’m okay with elements of morality. Even including the topic of slavery doesn’t bother me. However, it does make me skittish in a game that’s going to have a lot of realism, including the ability to capture other players. In a recent article for [REDACTED.TV], I discussed what we know so far.

Here’s an excerpt…

While diversity in game-play may make MMOs go ‘round, I admit to being surprised about the planned slavery mechanic in Star Citizen. Though it’s not the first MMO to include this theme, to my knowledge it is the first where it will play out with actual avatars. This particular fact makes it creep into an uncanny valley for me. It’s not something I’d ever want to be involved in roleplaying on either side of the coin – for or against. However, since it’s a planned feature, we should all be aware of its existence.

SLAVERY IN EVE ONLINE

EVE was the first MMO I played that included slavery in a present day storyline for one of the playable races. In the lore, almost one third of Minmatars are enslaved by the Amarr Empire. This conflict is reflected in missions. Minmatar are Amarr opponents in Faction Warfare.

In EVE, this all plays out as chits in your cargo bay since outside of a player’s instanced hangar no one has an avatar. You are your ship. Non-player characters are a ship. Transporting what EVE categorizes as livestock, appears as token in your cargo bay. A line of text. A stick figure icon.  In Star Citizen, however, that won’t be case as it’s a first person MMO with avatars.

SLAVERY IN STAR CITIZEN

We’re likely to see avatars as slaves in Star Citizen. Slaves and indentured servants are legal in the Banu culture.  We have present day lore discussing locations where slave activity occurs. We have a ship, the Banu Merchantman, capable of “displaying cargo” from a viewing room and conducting sales transactions while aboard the ship. This doesn’t sound to me as though slavery is going to be an off-screen mechanic.

Slavery is discussed in the official Star Citizens Writer’s Guide Episode 5. You can hear a narrated version in my SoundCloud library where I narrated the entire series.  This was my first attempt at narration, a precursor to Casual Citizen. The sound quality isn’t the best but should suffice for learning purposes.

The Writer’s Guide tells us that there are two phases to a slave’s induction. First they are snatched, which can happen most anywhere, even in populated cities.  Next the captive is transported, which results in a variety of methods depending on the sophistication of the trafficker’s operation. They may be shipped in cages if they’re being transported in a system where slavery is legal. Or anesthetized and shipped in scan protected sleeping coffins when it’s being done covertly…

Want to read more?

Head on over to my article on [REDACTED] and tell me what you think.  Is this something you’re going to engage in? Do you feel it’s necessary to support this type of storyline and game play?


Big Ole Update

TIME IS FLYING BY

The past few weeks have been quite busy. The week before last I was sick for 3 days. A short duration flu-like episode. I was sick enough that I had to take 2 days off from work. I usually end up losing my voice as a result because of sinus and allergies issues. Colds tend to hit me in the chest and throat the most. Luckily, that didn’t happen this time.

Halloween has come and gone, which to me, signals the end of the year. November and December always seem to rush by in a frantic blur of shopping, cooking, hosting, cleaning and overeating. It’s been a little more subdued the past two years because of my brother’s passing on Christmas morning, the day before his 42nd birthday. But we have to keep the show going for all the children, so we do the best we can. I’m grateful not to have little ones. After kids have opened their gifts I can disappear if I’m feeling overly sad, without having to worry about ruining someone else’s holiday.

ALYSIANAH’S WORLD

I’m still very consumed with Alysianah’s World of Star Citizen. I’m working on the final set of profession related dossier pages and digging through the mountain of lore that’s been released so far. Plucking out and categorizing lore that’s relevant to the careers is a huge undertaking. And for now, I end up doing all the entries twice. First into a spreadsheet and then into the website database.  Doing the spreadsheet is a safety net until the site performance stabilizes.  We’re having erratic behavior with the WordPress mechanic we’re using to automate importing data from the RSI ARK Starmap, called WP Cron.

Unlike a Windows Cron job, the WP version is scheduled BUT depends on website traffic too. Trying to get very specific update time has been a test of patience. It will go from updating once a day to updating every hour which is completely debilitating to the site performance.  When that happens the backend databases become unresponsive, saves fail and pages crash, all of which may cause me to lose data that I was entering at the time. For now, the safest way to ensure I don’t lose information, is to collect it offline first versus entering it directly into the site as I find it.  That way I can do a comparison if the site starts acting the fool.

I expect to have two updates to Alysianah’s World in this last part of 2016. The one that’s underway now to add the final dossier pages for quite some time, which should hit in 2 to 3 weeks. In December, I want to work on incorporating jump point sizes on the back-end, in preparation for including jump point planning in 2017. On the front-end, I’ll at least display Jump Point size information on the existing dossier pages.

WHAT I’M PLAYING

I want to be careful about burning out on Star Citizen. I haven’t had much gaming time available but when I have, I turned to other games. I’m also taking a break from watching SC videos and Twitch Streams.

I’ve dabbled in World of Warcraft Legion, very casually leveling up my Paladin to 105, halfway to the new max level. The most enjoyable aspect of the journey is exploring the new zones. I’m so over the traditional questing system. It’s only barely entertaining to me now. This fact is one of the reasons planetside missions don’t excite me at all when it comes to Star Citizen. I really don’t think there’s much new that you can ask me to do on foot in any MMO. At this point, I’ve done millions of quests and am pretty much over it.

My level 105 Protection Paladin
My level 105 Protection Paladin

When I see zones like the one shown below, I can stay there for hours just roaming around. I get a kick out of watching the NPCs and what they’re doing in this little part of the world. I’m entertained watching other players go about doing quests. This kind of zone is quintessential in showing the romance, magic and ethereal nature of fantasy. And loving these types of zones as I do, I wonder will I really enjoy the darkness of deep space?  Will I love Star Citizen’s universe as much as I’ve loved fantasy??  The closest thing to it is EVE Online and I’ve never played that for years at a stretch. I’m hoping that exploration planetside might give me some of what I’ll miss from fantasy settings, while getting my outer space fix too.

Feels like an updated version of Darkshire.
Feels like an updated version of Darkshire.

Already on the verge of being ready to stop my WOW sub, a new Sims 4 expansion released this week that caught my attention. I watched a few live streams of people playing. City Living piqued my interest enough to buy it and re-install The Sims for the thousandth time.

I ALWAYS enjoy customizing a city and building houses for the Sims I want to be party of the community. I have fun playing a particular person or family unit for a time. And then it all feels so familiar.  We’re essentially re-buying the same features we had in the previous generation of the game but dressed up differently. I swear EA are diabolically genius to keep re-releasing the core game with new tech but lacking features present by the time the last generation of the game concluded and getting people to re-buy this shit all over again!!!!

They don’t get as much out of me anymore. Back in our The Sims hay day we had multiple copies of the base game and all expansion packs.  These days I’ll buy the base game and an expansion or two.  But I’ve yet to buy them all again after The Sims 2.  To me their business model is a bit exploitive but clearly it’s working. For Sims 3 I purchased two expansions, and they were new themes. One provided a community that was very Harry Potter esk. And another medieval.  Both content they’d not previously released.

I’ve basically done the same with Sims 4. City Living is a new kind of world / map where the dwellings are all apartments. From 2-story brownstones, typical of something like the lower east side in NYC to opulent skyscrapers with penthouses. And I have Back to Business, which lets you go to work with your Sim.  The rest? Nope, not re-buying old stuff – again.

I’ve spent sometime during the last two evenings redesigning the two work locations my Sims are employed at, making the layouts more convenient and visually attractive. This is game play I always find very relaxing. When it comes to playing through it, we shall see. It would be nice to play a family until generation one at least hits “old age”. I haven’t been that invested since The Sims 2.

At work in the science career where I've completely redesigned the lot.
At work in the science career where I’ve completely redesigned the lot.

VOICE OVER AND NARRATION

I’ve written the next episode of Casual Citizen which will be about flight ready cargo ships. This is in preparation for Alpha 3.0 which will introduce the cargo hauling mechanic. I HOPE I can find a stretch of time when the house is quiet enough to record this weekend.  If not, I’ll have to do it during one of my lunch breaks in the coming week, as that’s when no one else would be around.

Ugh – I’m so ready to have my house back to myself again and arrange things so that I have a dedicated space to record audio. In the past two months I’ve turned down 3 audiobook contracts!! And one would have been my first attempt at fiction. It was for a romance novel.  However, taking on contracts of that size that require very high quality is simply too stressful under the current circumstances.  I’m hopeful that since I’m getting work requests unsolicited, I’ll be able to easily find work when I’m ready to actively pursue it and do auditions. Until then, I continue to practice and try to teach myself new techniques while recording and editing Casual Citizen.  It’s a win-win of learning SC game mechanics, lore and continued experience doing voice over.

Who would have ever thought that doing a podcast for Star Citizen would lead to opportunities in voice over?? It’s not anything I’d even remotely considered before. However, since Casual Citizen, I have done paid work for radio spots, corporate training materials, internet marketing campaigns, business phone systems and two audiobooks. It’s insane how this all came about.  I’ve enjoyed it very much and am interested in doing it as a secondary career, as soon as I can work out the logistics of a real home studio.

Screenshots of my recent adventures. Click images for larger view.