Hello citizens, this is Alysianah from Mystic Worlds with the next installment in the Casual Citizen series. This week we’ll be discussing the Baker system and racing. Sit back, relax and enjoy.
Directly from the official Star Citizen Galactic Guide for Baker…
Baker is a binary system consisting of two K-type main sequence stars surrounded by a relatively desolate collection of planets that range from completely uninhabitable to barely habitable. A Covalex shipping hub and a largely automated mining outpost are the sole bastions of civilization in the region. As usual, that’s only half of the story — the Baker system is also home to the “Able Baker Challenge,” arguably underground racing’s most dangerous event.
Baker’s claim to fame is twofold: it is one of the only binary star systems in the United Empire of Earth that is (technically) inhabited, and it lies just a single jump from the breadbasket of Terra. The first point has earned the system the attention of a large number of astrophysicists eager to study such a star setup within the confines of safe and patrolled space. The second is the reason for both the system’s high point of civilization — the shipping hub — and for its use as an underground racing arena.
Baker and the surrounding cluster were first charted in 2508, by the same expedition that first identified Terra. While Terra was reached and explored soon after the region was charted, Baker remained forgotten due to the fact that binary stars traditionally offer little of value to Humans. Even when a planet within a binary star’s green zone can be terraformed, the gravitic stress associated with passing close to (or between) two stars renders attempts at civilization a moot point.
The first successful jump transit to Baker occurred in 2676, well after Terra had become established as a major player in galactic politics. The jump point to Baker was discovered by accident in the outer reaches of the Terra System, and Baker was subsequently explored by a purely scientific expedition. Formal territorial commerce rights were awarded to the Terran government, which has quietly partitioned them out to Terra-based concerns.
That ends the historical details and relevance of the Baker system. Let’s explore it further from the point of view of the ARK Starmap.
Baker is controlled by the UEE – United Empire of Earth. It contains jump points to Hadur, Kiel, Osiris, Pallas and Tayac. You may recall that Tayac is the home of the ARK space station, curators of the ARK Starmap. The system consists of 4 planets. Of those one is Iron, one smog and one is Ice. Planetoid types are important for player careers that require processing resources. For example, players who will be captaining the Starfarer as a refueling platform, will need access to Gas giants as one of the elements required for processing fuel. The only manmade celestial body is the Covalex Shipping hub which seems to be in better shape than its cousin in Station, near Crusader.
The Able Baker Racing Challenge and you
From the Galactic Guide…
While Baker’s three inner planets may be useless in any formal sense, they have taken on new life as one of the galaxy’s most dangerous unofficial racetracks. The Able Baker Challenge, held once every six months on a date announced to the competitors only 24 hours before start time, pits pilots against each other and Baker’s innermost planets.
The challenge consists of three legs, connected by quantum travel phases which can only be initiated at specific locations. First, pilots must navigate the space that surrounds Baker III, which is filled with dangerous ice crystals that can impair instrumentation and severely hamper visibility. The second stage is called ‘breathing the vapors.’ This segment involves ring targets that are placed very close to Baker II’s toxic atmosphere. Pilots must navigate the course carefully to avoid hull damage. Finally, pilots must make their way to Baker I, where the final leg is a weapons-free race. Unlike more “civilized” events, racers are not immediately disqualified for the destruction of an opponent’s ship (although pilot kills are still forbidden).
This makes for one of the most dangerous competitions in the galaxy.
That said, although Baker isn’t the most habitable environment, it has its place within the Star Citizen economy. Racing or sports of any kind attracts tourism, which means civilian transport. Influxes of tourists opens up avenues for selling speciality items, food supplies and cargo hauling. There might be unsavory activities taking place such as illegal betting and crime typically follows in its wake. Races may need escorts to transport their expensive toys to and from the system. So let’s not right Baker off based on its seemingly narrow resources or population. I see lots of opportunities to turn some creds for savvy players.
Speaking of racing, the early manifestation of racing in Star Citizen are in the Arena Commander module. The Spectrum Match variant lets you compete against other players. In Drone Sim mode you’re doing the course solo.
Even if you have no plans to race, everyone should be adept at running all of the AC speedways. Your minimum goal should be to complete a single lap with no deaths. You don’t have to be very fast, as long as you can do it at a consistent rate of speed. I say this because I think these are precursors for navigating jump points. If things play out as described by Chris Roberts, the first time you use a Jump Point you will have to navigate it manually which can be hazardous. He has mentioned that damaging your ship would be the least that can happen if you aren’t a competent pilot.
We’ve also been told that harvesting the rarest materials will often be in densely packed asteroid fields and your ship isn’t going to bounce off of things unscathed. If you plan on manning a ship that does mining, salvage or other activities that require getting your ship and crew close to the source, auto-landing all the time might not be your best friend. We need to master maneuvering in tight places with a variety of ship types and sizes. This is what I use the Arena Commander racing maps for and why I feel alternating between the daylight and twilight lit maps is important.
In summary, don’t right off Baker as being of worth based on face value. It’s racing fosters a tourism which will provide business opportunities for several of the player professions. And even if you don’t enjoy racing or plan to compete, you should be running the AC racing maps, to master navigating maneuvering your ship if challenging environments and under different lighting conditions.
The show notes will include links to the ARK Starmap in case you haven’t check that out yet and shame on you if you haven’t. Zhatt has created an excellent tube map showing all of the known systems and their jump point connections. It’s a subway map of sorts. For an bird’s eye view of the galaxy from a gross level of what each system contains, I created a Google Doc Matrix that aims to help with large scale logistics planning.
This is Alysianah signing off until next time. See you in the ‘verse
- Star Citizen ARK Starmap: https://robertsspaceindustries.com/starmap
- Direct link to Baker System: https://robertsspaceindustries.com/starmap?location=BAKER&camera=60,0,0.002,0,0
- Casual Citizen EP 4 – Introduction to ARK Starmap: https://youtu.be/-7AMrdob3qI
- Matrix of the Star Citizen Galaxy: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1pKH0sY5dH9eGQo-gFmLc93GM58WdwzNVSYtkp3ubRRM/edit?usp=sharing
- The Galaxy Tube Map displayed can be found here http://i.imgur.com/eIsPETa.png and was created by u/Zhatt.I found them via his Reddit thread: ttps://www.reddit.com/r/starcitizen/comments/3q73if/high_resolution_galaxy_tube_map_now_available/
- Show music – Oceanus from EVE Online: https://soundcloud.com/ccpgames/eve-online-oceanus-2014-release-theme?in=ccpgames/sets/eve-online-login-screen-music