Star Citizen Nightbus EP05 - Referral Contest Kerfuffle and More

This week’s episode of Nightbus takes on some drama, theory crafting, tidbits and new fiction.

Show Transcript

Welcome to the Star Citizen NightBus, a quirky mixture of fact, fiction and opinion. I’m your host, Alysianah from AlysianahsWorld.com. This week’s show are:

  • Surface level resource nodes. Are you for or against?Interesting Facts
  • Interesting FactsMore Kerfuffle – Ben’s Response to Community feedback on the Referral Program kicks up more dust
  • More Kerfuffle – Ben’s Response to Community feedback on the Referral Program kicks up more dustThe Exterminator Part One
  • The Exterminator Part One

Please sit back, relax and enjoy.

The Nightbus is existing statis. Please secure all personal items. Departing the station is 3…2…1

Surface Level Resource Nodes

With planetary landings on the horizon, conversations have started within the community, speculating on the methods CIG might utilize for planetside node harvesting in Star Citizen.

Every MMO that I’ve played, and I’ve played every AAA MMO that’s come to North America over the past 20 years, has utilized surface level node collection. The one exception being SOE’s Landmark which — well, in the end, didn’t materialize into the planned MMO, Everquest Next, so perhaps that one doesn’t even count.

By surface level nodes, I mean objects that appear directly on the surface of the visible terrain. Even when a node is inside a cave, it’s on the surface — you can see it. There’s no digging below terrain you’re standing on.

I don’t have a problem when games only employing surface level nodes. They’re easy to find and access, which makes harvesting a more casual affair. Depending on the concentration of nodes needed to support the player-base however, surface nodes can clutter up the landscape if not done very well. And require very unnatural looking zones of heavy density of nodes to support large-scale collection.

While digging below the surface wouldn’t bother me, I’m fine with surface-only. I enjoy harvesting casually while I explore. Finding resources below the surface necessitates more intent than aimlessly meandering and picking up whatever you happen to see. Or opportunistically harvesting while you’re traveling.

I’ve recently seen high concentration surface level nodes only done very well. Unlike most other MMOs using surface nodes, BDO doesn’t use visual cues that can be seen from a distance. You can’t tell if an element is a harvestable node until you’re right on it. And the nodes themselves – ore, plants, trees, etc., look like any other part in of landscape. This results in a natural looking environment that doesn’t break your immersion or call your attention to “fake thing here” when you’re not trying to harvest.

In BDO, I explore while harvesting because you have to mingle in with the environment to know if you can gather an item. I enjoy walking along the furrowed rows of a farm along side NPCs maintaining it, looking for vegetables to harvest for cooking recipes. Chopping down trees in a nearby wood while seeing if there were any quest mobs in the area. Or vice versa.

So while I’m open to surface only, beneath only or a combination, I found BDO’s surface only implementation quite compelling and natural. Do you have a preference? What game have you played that got it just right?

Interesting Facts brought to by Star Hangar


For more interesting facts, check out the Star Hangar Facebook page. I’ll include a link in the Show Notes

More Kerfuffle – Referral Program Contest Hits a Sour Note

If you’ve subscribed on Alysianahsworld.com, you know that in my May newsletter, I expressed my thoughts on the whole Referral Program contest kerfuffle. The short version is that something that was initially billed as an exciting restructuring of the program does not a one time contest make. I was expecting a permanent enhancement to the program aka restructuring, that all backers could work toward over the lifetime of their referral activity. Who thought a timed contest with a short duration was going to excite most of us, was sadly mistaken. The game development is in alpha, yes. But it’s time for marketing and communications raise their game out of alpha mode.

Ben Lesnick of CIG, posted a reply in a thread on Spectrum that addresses some of the concerns expressed by a part of the community. Why they showed referral codes of some, concerns about it being timed event that most can’t reach and why the new backer push with such a harsh new player experience, among other things. Net-net is that they appreciate the feedback and are going to work on improvements in the area of new player experience and it appears they’re going to extend the time to allow us “regular folks” a chance at the lower tier items.

While it’s good to see a direct response and some action. It’s sad that this sort of misstep happened in the first place. It’s as if they don’t know this community at all or worse, they don’t perceive the disconnect between what they say sometimes versus what they actually do. I’m sorry but we shouldn’t be having these kinds of disconnects at this stage of the game.

DO NOT USE MARKETING SPIN when communicating with the backer community. Save that for potential customers when the game goes live. Save that for interviews. PLEASE SPEAK PLAIN LANGUAGE TO US. This will greatly reduce the unnecessary drama that inspirational letters from Chris won’t always be able to solve. Stop using that and conciliatory messages afterward as a crutch. Please please, get it together and consider vetting this stuff outside the circle of people working on it. Perhaps they’re too close to it and can’t see the pitfalls that other CIG staff who interact with the community might have before the cat was out of the bag.

If you haven’t seen Ben’s response, check the Show Notes for a direct link.

The Exterminator Part One – Original fan fiction by Alysianah Noire

 

Wrap Up

That wraps up another episode of the Nightbus. I hope you’ve enjoyed it. If you have, please considering subscribing to my channel and giving this episode a thumbs up.

For more of my Star Citizen coverage visit alysianahsworld.com, where you’ll also find Aly’s Starmap Matrix, a mobile-friendly easier to read version of the official ARK Starmap. While you’re there be sure to register on Aly’s World for an exclusive Monthly Newsletter.

You can also support my videos and Alysianahsworld.com efforts through my Patreon and receive exclusive articles, more fan fiction, narrations, monthly extract of Aly’s Starmap Matrix and more. A big thank you to my current subscribers. Your sponsorship is greatly appreciated!

If you haven’t created an account yet on RobertsSpaceIndustries.com, you can earn 5K in-game currency when the game goes live by using my referral code when you do and I’ll also earn some in-game goodies. You’ll find my referral code in the show notes.

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

The Nightbus has arrived. Please watch your step while departing. Re-entering stasis in 3…2…1

HOW TO SUPPORT THE SHOW AND WEBSITE

You can donate using Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/Alysianah

Use my referral code and earn 5K UEC when creating an account on RobertsSpaceIndustries.com: Referral Code: STAR-QSVR-JFTR

Direct Links


Star Citizen Races: Banu Protectorate

This week we’re taking a closer look at the Star Citizen alien race I’m most excited to see in the game, the Banu. I like the idea of their unorthodox societal structure and the fact that they’re welcoming to all races. I’ll to put my thoughts about their participation in the slave market aside. In many cases, it’s being referred to as indentured servants. We’ll have to see just how far down the rabbit whole their practice goes. For now, their lore and star systems sound exciting and hospitable to humans.

Show Transcript

CAVEAT – THIS IS THE BEGINNING

Star Citizen’s feature set and lore are evolving. This article is based on what we know now. The information in the Star Systems section is based on the current ARK Starmap. That said, we know that economy, population and locations of conflict will change as the universe evolves and players begin impacting it. Therefore, this discussion is the likely starting point for the Banu species.

BANU AS A SPECIES

Our first encounter with the Banu occurred in the Davien system. In 2438 an independent nav-jumper named Vernon Tar opened fire on what he thought was another privateer trying to steal his meager claim in the system.  The pilot of the other ship turned out to be Banu. Luckily, the incident didn’t lead to any deaths and became humanity’s first introduction to the Banu Protectorate.

Directly from CIG

Known best for their industrious nature, Banu pride themselves on their artisan craftsmanship and astute business acumen. Rather than the traditional family units or corporations typically found among Humans, the Banu instead have a societal structure that combines both into one single unit – the Souli. Often translated as ‘guild,’ the Souli is the foundation for life in the Protectorate, where Banu work and live together.

This is an interesting characteristic the lore team has decided to attribute to the Banu. Unlike humans, there’s no concept of family within their culture. Their identity and affiliation are defined by the Souli assigned to them which is most equivalent to an occupation for humans. I wonder if they form loyalties of any kind outside of that structure? Do they only mate within that Souli?

More on the Souli from CIG

Each Souli specializes in a specific industry and can vary widely; from a ship manufacturing Souli, to a trade Souli, even a Souli that raises Banu young. There is a Souli for everything. This regimented division of labor translates directly into the skilled expertise present on Banu worlds.

Bacchus is believed to be the Banu’s home world.  We say “believe” because they haven’t been forthcoming on the subject. As with most Banu systems, their trade lanes are always packed with travelers from across the universe. Permanent flotillas are built anywhere they find a confluence of potential customers. The Banu are the traders and lore hounds of the Star Citizen Universe. As such, it makes sense that they would be the manufacturers of the prize among deep space merchants, the Banu Merchantman.  A vessel that is more of a lifestyle than a ship and acts has the primary residence among the stars.

The Banu worship multiple deities. The most popular being Cassa, the Patron of Luck and Taernin, the Great Traveler. Banu societal beliefs and principles are dictated by The Council, their religious leaders located in the Trise system.

Members of The Council intentionally remain isolated from the rest of Banu society.  Pride in craftsmanship is even demonstrated by Banu equivalent to monks who produce elaborate copper-based artwork which has a certain kitsch value.

The Banu Political System is a republic of planet states, each run under its own set of governing laws. The representatives of each planet gather for a quorum to debate legal and trade issues that affect the entire species. Otherwise, each planet is left to their own devices.  The lack of a central government, formal or required communication between the planets and loose historical recordkeeping, means that Banu planets are rife with crime. Criminals can migrate from one Banu planet to the next when things get too hot. And since the UEE is forbidden from crossing borders to pursue wanted felons, Banu worlds are also a haven for human criminals and syndicates.

The Banu do not maintain a standing army.  Local militia keeps the peace within their systems and they’re not especially selective. Even criminals can and do serve.  However, don’t be fooled into thinking this makes the Banu worlds an easy target.  On the contrary, they have the means to muster a formidable fighting force if necessary.  

It should be noted that the Banu belief system supports and participates in indentured servitude. The Kins system is their primary slave trade market. Visitors should take extreme care to avoid dubious areas and refrain from visiting the slave markets.

BANU STAR SYSTEMS

Banu aligned star systems account for 7% of the known Star Citizen Universe. Which means that they govern 6 of the 90 systems currently represented in the ARK Starmap. That’s small compared to the UEE’s 42%. With so few planets, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the populations within their systems is very high.  Unlike other species who have some systems with very low populations, the Banu appear to utilize what they have to it’s fullest and are able to attract other races to them because of their reputation of having diverse and abundant marketplaces.

LIVE IN THE MOMENT. RELAX BANU STYLE

DIRECTLY FROM CIG

Banu they take their relaxation almost as seriously as they take their work. There are plenty of options to choose from when it comes to diversions and there’s sure to be something to match almost any taste.

Traveling throughout the Banu Protectorate offers a variety of exotic sights and sounds. From the flotillas of Yulin to the hallowed halls of Trise, you can find adventure and mystery around every corner. So where do you even start? We’ve assembled a handy guide of some of the systems, to make planning your journey even easier.

  • Bacchus II – Skip between the thousands of archipelagos and islands across this vast ocean world to experience what many consider the quintessential Banu world.
  • Geddon I – Fancy a little danger? Visit the arcologies among the beautiful desolation of this geologically active volcanic world to see how mining soulis are harvesting planetary resources for trade goods.
  • Gliese IV – Ever wonder what an uninhabited planet looks like? Traverse the unkempt wilds of Gliese IV, perfectly habitable to Humans and Banu, but completely unoccupied.
  • Kins II – For you history buffs, no trip to the Banu Protectorate would be complete without seeing the ancient structure on Kins II. Completely defying any existing Banu engineering styles, these sites have long baffled xenoarchaeologists about who (or what) built them.

GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER? Things to Do When Among the Banu

Things to Do When Among the Banu

  • Try your hand at one of the bustling gambling halls where goods are exuberantly exchanged in games of chance.
  • Take in a game of Sataball. The Banu have taken a strong liking to the sport. You can find many Sataball arenas within Banu space.
  • Shop! Banu markets are considered second to none, offering what many consider the best shopping anywhere in the universe. Browse Souli elite craftsmanship and exotic goods from every corner of known universe.  These marketplaces are always built around a central area making it a hassle free experience for visitors.
  • Purchase the Banu’s version of the human magic 8 ball. Tholo, a small three-sided token representative of Cassa, the Banu patron of luck are sold as decision-making devices. Ask a question, then roll the tholo to get a ‘yes,’ ‘no’ or ‘run for your life’ as an answer.
  • Partake in large communal meals. While Banu typically eat with their hands, some places that cater to Humans will have silverware available.
  • Negotiating is a must. It is considered very strange to accept an initial offer.
  • Even though an item or a ship can look the same on the outside, it’s worth taking a closer look at Banu manufacturing can vary widely from Souli to Souli.
  • It is traditional for Banu to offer hospitality while negotiating and you will often see traders gathered around a slomaddon, a large ornate brewing vessel, each of them having contributed an ingredient to the drink, sloma. If you are offered a cup, be polite and take a sip, but make sure to drink responsibility – sloma can sometimes be quite potent.
  • Most Banu will consider a deal final once the transaction is complete. Make sure you inspect everything closely and double check the terms of your agreement before leaving.
  • A good tip for finding a reputable dealer is watching where other Banu shop. If a Souli doesn’t have very many customers there might be a reason for it. If you see something you like, go ahead and buy it! Banu traders are often transient and may not be there next time you return.

So far we’ve only seen two Banu ships. The Banu Merchantman and the recently unveiled Banu Defender. I’ve pledged for the BMM and am waiting with baited breath for more updates on the ship’s design. If you’d like to know more about the BMM check out Causal Citizen Episode 9. I’ll include a link in the show notes.

Of what’s been revealed so far about the alien races planned for Star Citizen, the Banu interest me the most. Their societal structure is very foreign from a human’s perspective. I like that they live in the moment and are cordial to other races. I see a piece of fiction with a Banu protagonist in my future. I’m sure their systems will be among the first that I visit in the live game.

WRAP UP

That wraps up another episode of Causal Citizen. I hope you’ve enjoyed it. If you have, please considering subscribing to my channel and giving this episode a thumbs up. For more game commentary, lore, reviews and other Star Citizen coverage. If you want to know more about the physical universe being built visit Aly’s Starmap Matrix, a mobile-friendly and easier to read version of the official ARK Starmap data. Be sure to register on Aly’s World for an exclusive Monthly Newsletter.

You can also support my videos, Alysianahsworld.com and my Star Citizen fiction efforts through my Patreon. A big thank you to my current subscribers. Your sponsorship is greatly appreciated!

If you haven’t created an account yet on RobertsSpaceIndustries.com, you can earn 5K in-game currency when the game goes live by using my referral code when you do and I’ll also earn some in-game goodies. You’ll find my referral code in the show notes.
This is Alysianah signing off until next time. Be kind and fly safe!

DIRECT LINKS

 


Dramatized Lore: Ellis to Taranis Jump Tunnel Discovery

Excerpt…

This standard year marks the 150th anniversary of Harper Nguyen’s famous journey. At 128 years old, she holds the record for the oldest explorer to ever chart a jump point. To this day, she is renowned for not only her discovery but also the harrowing circumstance in which it occurred.  To honor her accomplishment, below are select excerpts from the incredibly detailed audio journal Harper kept during her voyage.

Star System Dossier pages on Aly’s World:


Dramatized Lore: Discovery of the Vanguard System

It’s the discovery of the Vanguard system, captured in the journal of Christian Meyer.  Here’s a look at the actual star system composition via Aly’s World Star System Dossier pages.

 


Dramatized Lore: Discovery of the Oya System

From the on-going Discovered series on RobertsSpaceIndustries.com we have, the Journals of Lieutenant Eli Price of the United Empire of Earth Navy and the discovery of Oya.

 

  • Oya Aly’s World Star System Dossier page: http://alysianahsworld.com/_system-overview/?q=409
  • Official dispatch on RSI: https://robertsspaceindustries.com/comm-link/spectrum-dispatch/15093-DISCOVERED
  • Oya on the Starmap: https://robertsspaceindustries.com/starmap?location=OYA&camera=60,-73.15,0.002,0,0″,”Oya”
  • Castra on the Starmap: https://robertsspaceindustries.com/starmap?location=CASTRA&camera=60,0,0.0591,0,0″,”Castra”


Baker - Home of the Able Baker Racing Challenge

Show Transcript

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.

BEGIN TRANSMISSION

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.

System Composition

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.

Show Notes

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

END TRANSMISSION

Show Notes


How to Become a Star Citizen

 

Show Transcript

BEGIN TRANSMISSION

This is Alysianah from the Mystic Worlds gaming blog with another episode of Casual Citizen. A series about Cloud Imperium Games’ ambitious crowd funded games Star Citizen and Squadron 42.  The goal is to help casual follower or players understand the games and stay abreast of important events.

For as much information as Cloud Imperium Games has on the Star Citizen game site, figuring out what’s currently playable, flyable and how to join up, isn’t an easy task.  For casual followers of the game, it can easily become information overload.  In this episode we’re going to focus on unlocking the mystery of how to become a Star Citizen.

Let’s begin by reiterating that Star Citizen is FAR from a completed game!  Star Citizen is using an open development process that allows supporters to play test content as it becomes available.  Players who choose to participate in this process can provide CONSTRUCTIVE FEEDBACK that contributes to improving the breadth of testing that’s possible and in some cases, refine how mechanics are implemented.  

That said, remember that we are not shareholders or part of the Cloud Imperium Games development staff.  Whether or not to utilize feedback being provided is ultimately up to them and their collective vision for the game as a whole.  The reasons behind some of their decisions may not initially be apparent to us, as we’re only seeing tiny slices of mechanics at a time.  That ends my personal disclaimer in hopes that if you do choose to fund Star Citizen and participate in play testing, you’ll behave as a positive influence in our growing community.

As of this recording, the only way to have permanent access to play-test Star Citizen content being released to backers, is by purchasing a GAME PACKAGE.  Game packages currently include a ship, alpha and beta PLAYTEST access to Star Citizen, first episodes released for Squadron 42, a ship hangar and other digital assets depending on the package.

 The variance in package prices reflect the ship or ships being included in the pledge you’re contributing toward development.  Remember that ships being purchased now can be acquired in-game without using real life cash once the game releases.  The primary reason to pledge/purchase now is to fund the development of the game.  If you’re not into play-testing alpha quality content or early access games, this scenario isn’t for you.  Stop now – beyond here be dragons. It’s better for you to wait for the beta or released game than becoming disgruntled, upset and foaming at the mouth over alpha quality content.

If however, you possess the willingness and patience then listen on, we’re glad to have you come aboard.

Conquering RobertsSpaceIndustries .com

Choosing the Fly Now option is the easiest and lowest costing method of obtaining a game package that is regularly available.

Fly Now presents you with two $45 USD options for backing Star Citizen.

First up is the Aurora MR which is actually one of three ships in the Aurora line.  The MR is the middle of the road choice between a combat focused ship and low price point ship with cargo capacity.

The other option is the Mustang Alpha. A fast ship often used for racing.  The Mustang can also stand up to combat.  But it wouldn’t be my first choice as a dedicated combat ship.

You may see people talking about the Star Citizen Starter package.  These are limited offer packages that are discounted to $30 USD and only offered during special events. If you really want to play-test NOW I wouldn’t wait around for one.  If you’re on the fence, then keep your eyes open for the next special event or sale where these will be offered.  Be forewarned – the Star Citizen Starter packages tend to sell out very quickly when restocked.

Fairly recently CIG has added a Squadron 42 pre-order package which is essentially the Aurora MR Fly Now package but is only available until Squadron 42 releases in 2016.  At some point in the not too distant future they will remove Squadron 42 as a standard part of game packages and sell it as a stand alone item. Therefore buying a game package NOW is the cheapest you will ever be able to buy both games and participate in the play test.

In summary, the easiest and cheapest way to become a Star Citizen and have permanent access to play test content and the first release of Squadron 42, is by purchasing one of the two Fly Now options which are the Aurora MR and Mustang Alpha.

Other Game Packages

Don’t blackout from sticker shock when you see the price tag on some of the other Game Packages.  These are for people who want to contribute that much to the game’s development in exchange for the contents of those packages.

I suggest that until you know more about what you want to do in Star Citizen, you stick to the ships in the $45 to $100 USD range.  If you want to contribute more at a later date, by way of acquiring a large ship, you can upgrade your existing ship using the Cross Chassis Upgrade system that I’ll discuss in a future episode.  

All you need to know now is that you will get 100% purchase price CREDIT on any ship you buy.  You can in turn use the credit to upgrade to different ship in the future.  This means you have nothing to lose by starting small until you know more about the game and whether or not it’s really going to float your boat.

In case you couldn’t help surfing beyond the Fly Now options, let’s discuss things you might consider  even as a casual citizen.  Unfortunately is rather easy to become confusing about what you’re purchasing if you free roam  the “All Game Packages” section of RSI.  Let’s discuss what’s there at a high level but don’t you dare take a gander at “All Ships” yet!  You must learn to walk first little duck. You are not prepared for what lurks under “All Ships”.

The “All Game Packages” section contains all packages that are purchasable as pledges to fund Star Citizen.  However, not all the ships are ready for play testing. And this is what trips some people up when trying to pledge.

“Flight ready” ships are viewable in your hangar AND are available for play-testing.  This doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re 100% in their final release state.  Remember THIS IS ALPHA.  Things can and will continue to change.  However, enough of the design and technical implementation have been defined and developed, that these ships are ready to be used on a regular basis. Say this with me…Flight ready ship means I can use it now.

A second category of ship are those that are only “hangar ready”.  “Hangar ready” ships are viewable in your hangar but ARE NOT ready for play-testing. The development pipeline classification allows you to see your new toy inside your hangar.  You can go inside the ship’s cockpit and/or interior to see a preview of the design intent.  Note that these ships often contain placeholder elements so don’t become concerned if an interior element doesn’t look as high fidelity as something else you’ve seen.  This isn’t a finished ship.

When you own a ship that is only “Hangar Ready” you will have a loaner ship available to fly but that loaner won’t be sitting in your hanger.  However, when you go to join any module that contains flight options the name of a ship you don’t actually own will be in the list for you.  That’s your loaner and you’ll have access to it until your ship is “Flight Ready”. In summary, Hangar Ready means you can see it in your hangar and walk around inside of it but it’s not flyable and even its visual aspects may contain placeholder elements.

Another classification of ship that is frequently discussed, so you should  be aware of is a  “Concept Ship”. For all intents and purposes, these ships are still at the “on paper” stage.  

The ship’s intent is known but it’s VERY early in the design process.  A good amount of players do pledge for concept ships because of their special roles, which are usually tied to specific professions. If you know for sure that you’re interested in something like mining for example, and want to start out with a mining ship, you could have purchased the Orion concept ship, which is the first dedicated mining ship introduced.  At concept means, there’s nothing to show you but pictures and possibly a design document discussing its planned implementation and in-game mechanics. Generally speaking, these ships are a long way from being made “Flight Ready”.

Players who’ve pledged by purchasing concept ships also receive a loaner ship to fly but nothing will be sitting in the hangar for that ship until it’s “hangar ready”.  So… Concept ships are for people who are really sure about their commitment to playing Star Citizen and have a strong grasp on what they plan to do.  These ships are furthest away from being delivered and there won’t be anything to see but pictures online.  You won’t have anything related to the ship in your hangar but you will have a loaner available in any module that has ship flight.

PLEASE make sure you know the at least the difference between Flight Ready, Hangar Ready and Concept Ship, if you’re going to move beyond the “Fly Now” page to make your first pledge.

If that brief explanation left your mind twisted and triggered a bout of terrets, stick to my advice of starting small. Get yourself a package that contains a flight ready ship until you understand what’s going on more completely.  

Here are the ships I recommend for casual followers just starting out.

From the Fly Now page you have the Aurora MR or Mustang Alpha for $45 USD.  Go for the Aurora MR is you want more variety in capabilities in the Persistent Universe, as it has cargo space.

If you’re a bit bolder step beyond Fly Now and have a look at ….

  • A different Aurora ship.  The Aurora series actually has three variants.  Aurora CL has reduced defensive capabilities but more cargo capacity.  The Aurora LN is a dedicated combat ship. The MR from the Fly Now page is the middle ground between the CL and LN.
  • The ORIGIN JUMPWORKS 300 series offers the 300i touted for scouting and bounty hunting.  The 315P with exploration capabilities and the 325A focused more on combat capabilities.  The 300 series packages go from 65 USD to 80 USD.
  • The Avenger is also an excellent starting ship.  It’s equipped for combat and contains holding cells if you want to do Bounty Hunting.  However, if you have a strong inkling that you may want to try hauling cargo, note that this variant has no cargo space available.  However, there will be modules available at a future date that allow you to customize this ship’s focus.  For now, if you want cargo space purchase the Titan variant, which swaps the holding cells for a cargo bay.

Good Lord. I don’t know about you but that wore me the hell out. Just outlining all of this as talking points was a brain teaser, so I can imagine how complicated this can all feel if you’re completely new to Star Citizen.

I’m going to call it quits here.  Be sure to check out the show notes for the RSI links I’ve mentioned as well as videos from other Star Citizen content creators that are relevant to today’s episode.  If you do sign up to become a Star Citizen and feel this content was useful please consider using my referral code found in the show notes.  I’ll earn some in-game goodies and you’ll be given 5K UEC to spend in Voyager Direct store.

In the next show we’ll discuss what there is to play-test in the current Live version of Star Citizen and what’s all this “multi-crew ship” stuff people are drooling over. We also go where there be dragons to review the ship  upgrade system.

END TRANSMISSION


Star Citizen Nightbus Episode 3 - So Much Angst

Welcome to the Star Citizen NightBus, a quirky mixture of fact, fiction and opinion. I’m your host, Alysianah from AlysianahsWorld.com.  This week’s show focuses on community reactions, lore and more fan fiction. I’ll have to save the conclusion of Bryony’s Dilemma for the next episode. I need to finish the final edits. I’d planned it for this show but Chop Shop got away from me. What I sat down to write as Flash Fiction ended up shorty story length.

Our show topics are:

  • So Much Angst
  • Lore from Zerah
  • PVP – you in or out?
  • Chop Shop

Sit back, relax and I’ll see you on the other side…

Exiting statis. The Nightbus departing in 3…2…1

My Patreon:  https://www.patreon.com/Alysianah

Star Citizen Referral code: REFERRAL CODE: STAR-QSVR-JFTR

 

SHOW TRANSCRIPT

SO MUCH ANGST

Some weeks it feels as though the Star Citizen community is trying its best to tear its throat out. Pages of angst filled posts on Reddit, rage posts on the forums and angry comments everywhere. I’m not sure I quite get what all the drama is about.

It’s not that I don’t see the fumbles being made by Cloud Imperium Games on their way to developing the ambitious project collectively known as Star Citizen. I shake my head at some of the decisions. I cringe at the fodder they too easily hand to their detractors. I feel embarrassed at times that they don’t cover their asses a bit better. Baby, it’s cold out in a world where you’re tottering on being the most expensive game ever made and title for most crowdfunded project. And yet, anger isn’t an emotion I’ve experienced.

A senior VP I worked closely with for many years and respected, gave me some valuable advice to help me temper my expectations of others, as someone who tends to over achieve. First is that most people endeavor to do the right thing and be good at their jobs. They don’t go out of their way to fail. And when they do, it’s not intentional. Accusations and recriminations aren’t helpful and don’t change the outcome. Suggestions for improvement without emotion and negative words are better received. And to remember that everything appears easier than it really is, when you’re gaping from the outside looking in.

It’s not that I’m not emotionally invested in Star Citizen being successful. I’ve pledged a considerable amount and of course want to see the day that my expectations are realized. However, I haven’t witnessed any missteps, mistakes or less than stellar choices that I perceive to be intentional. Lacking INTENT, I can be disappointed but it doesn’t move me to anger. Nor do they inspire me to issue internet threats.

If you’ve had enough, that’s your right. But do the readers on reddit or the forums really need to know that you’re done! It’s over! For you, the sky is falling and it brought the last straw with it! Take that noise to customer support and keep it moving. More importantly, why are you back next week and the week after still yapping? Move on. Let it go. It’s a game. When I’m done with a thing, I’m done with a thing.

CIG has certainly had their fair share of speed bumps and times they appear out of touch, at least with the vocal minority, which I’m not a fan of them reacting to anyway, and even then I’m still all in. It’s not defending. It’s not being a zealot. It’s about realizing this is a complicated project with many moving parts. A team effort where some of the players at bat, haven’t competed in the World Series before.  This is their first quest for a championship ring and mistakes will be made. Even Jordan has failed – missed a free throw, didn’t pass the ball when he should have, rimmed out of the basket at the buzzer. Who among us IS perfect? No one at your job makes mistakes? Management has never made a questionable decision?

I simply can’t see any evidence of them not working hard and trying their best to deliver the dream that is Star Citizen. Until I see evidence to the contrary, I continue to be supportive, open-minded, enthusiastic and patient.

That said, I’m not immune to being disappointed or rolling my eyes at some decisions – Holiday Live Stream I’m looking at you. And then there’s the announcement of Lumberyard which sent some people reeling. Why I don’t know. All was explained in due time. Not like we get a vote anyway so the entitled sense of needing to know details immediately seemed completely out of place to me.

Like most I wish there was more content, the whole project progressing faster, more stable, better performance, etc.  But mouth foaming, spital spouting, rage posting, hate spewing angry??? Nah, not even close to warranted.

How are you feeling about CIG, Star Citizen and the community reactions overall?

 

LORE FROM ZERAH

Accessing ARK Starmap data bank for Tanga…

Government Alignment is Unclaimed

At the heart of an unusual rectangular planetary nebula, lies the Tanga  star system. The main-sequence star at the its center has entered into a white dwarf phase.

With Tanga’s two planets located on the outer edges of the system, scientists believe its inner planets were destroyed when the star expanded. Miners have found a variety of precious and heavy metals in its asteroid belt and believe the resources to be remnants of Tanga’s inner planets. The star has ejected its outer layers and formed a picturesque nebula that draws sightseers to the system.

Tanga now consists of Tanga 1 a former gas giant, Tanga 2 an Ice Giant, the Tanga Belt Alpha asteroid belt and Jump Point access to Bremen and Odin.

Record complete. It was my pleasure to serve you. Thank you for using the The ARK.

For more information on Tanga be sure to check out the Starmap matrix on Alysianahsworld.com. I’ll include a direct link in the show notes.

 

PVP – ARE YOU IN OR OUT?

Even though there have always been plans for Star Citizen to include PVP, there are backers more interested in a PVE only experience. In the early days, CIG discussed having a slider that would allow players to set their preference for exposure to PVP encounters. That idea has since been scrapped for technical reasons but we haven’t had definitive information on how it will work instead.

Although I play MMOs that include PVP, I don’t consider myself a PVP player. I will fight if someone brings drama to my door. I will participate in org PVP ops. However, I would never play a game that focused heavily on PVP such as Darkfall. Some might consider EVE Online in that category but I’d disagree, because of the robust economy and industry careers options.

I think the sooner CIG clarifies how this is going to work the better off for the community. Posts from players complaining that someone is camping the landing pad at Grim Hex or killed them unprovoked at Covalex, leads me to believe they don’t understand the game they’ve signed up for. And it’s not helpful that we haven’t been provided a clear black-n-white document spelling it out.

Personally, I prefer rulesets where there are distinct PVE and PVP zones such as World of Warcraft, Aion, ArchAge, etc. I find this to be the best of both worlds. PVE only players know where to stay and PVP players have their areas of conflict. For all the horrors of the launch, hacks and cash shop grab, ArcheAge had an excellent ruleset for PVP.  It rewarded players for taking the risk of traversing PVP zones. Certain materials and NPC payouts could only be acquired in PVP areas. The highest payouts for delivering goods necessitated that you cross PVP zones as well.

Want to play it safe and enjoy yourself? Great, you can do that minus the best rewards since you’re taking less risk.  I did both. When I was alone delivering goods I took the best price I could get transporting across safe zones. With the guild, we travel through PVP zones on land and by sea. For these reasons, I always felt the ArchAge model was a win-win.

Based on how security has been implemented in Stanton, I get the impression that the Star Citizen PVP ruleset is going to be closer to EVE Online. There will the zones where you should be relatively safe but no game mechanics to ensure it. If someone wants to trade their life for yours, they can. If someone wants to trade their ship for yours, they can. NPC security will retaliate but it won’t prevent the aggressor from killing you first. This is how it works in EVE and for the most part, is an excellent deterrent.

Concord, EVE’s NPC security, is no joke. There is no surviving their retribution. None. If you attack someone in safe space, your ship is forfeit. There was a time when kamikaze killings of players in safe zones was done for lulz. These days, it’s a bit more sophisticated with pirates having alts or friends there to pick up dropped goods and salvage the wrecks, after killing haulers in safe zones. So now it’s done for profit but even still, it’s not a common occurrence in my experience.

I’d be okay with an EVE like model but that’s not going to be to everyone’s taste. I think the retribution options need to be strong and swift. The gradual permadeath mechanic will also be a deterrent to some but not all. Whatever the plans are, it’s important for them to be clarified sooner than later.

Let’s get the misconceptions cleared up as soon as possible so players can make informed decisions. Related to this topic, I recently did an article on Redacted.TV discussing the Top 10 Things Star Citizen players can learn from EVE Online. Some players are going to need an attitude adjustment and realignment of expectations, to get the most out of a sandbox MMO with PVP elements. EVE now has a F2P model that I highly recommend. I’ll include a link in the show notes.

What’s your stance on PVP? What’s your best case scenario for a PVP ruleset in Star Citizen?

 

WRAP UP

That wraps up another episode of the Star Citizen NightBus. I hope you’ve enjoyed it.  If you have, please considering subscribing to my channel and giving this episode a thumbs up.  Also consider using my referral code if you haven’t created an account on Robertsspaceindustries.com.  Doing so will give you 5K in game credits when the game goes live and grants me some in-game goodies.

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

The Nightbus has arrived. Please watch your step while departing. Re-entering stasis in 3…2…1

 

 

 

 

SHOW NOTES

  • Audio Only version of my shows on SoundCloud: Audio Only version:  https://soundcloud.com/lauren-michele-12/sets/casual-citizen
  • Alysianah’s Starmap Matrix: Alysianahsworld.com
  • Tanga Star System: Alysianahsworld.com/_system-overview/?q=420
  • Bremen Star System: Alysianahsworld.com/_system-overview/?q=331
  • Charon Star System: Alysianahsworld.com/_system-overview/?q=407
  • Top 10 Things to Learn from EVE Online on Redacted.TV: https://www.redacted.tv/top-10-things-to-learn-from-eve-online/


Star Citizen Nightbus Episode 4 - Bar Citizen, Davien and Fiction set in ArcCorp

Hello World, it’s Alysianah from AlysianahsWorld.com. I’m back with another episode of the Star Citizen NightBus. I apologize in advance for this uncharacteristically long show, owed to finishing out Bryony’s Dilemma. Avail yourself of the time-stamps listed in the video description to skip around. Having promised the conclusion in this episode, I didn’t want to break it up into a fourth installment.

This week’s show topics are:

  • Bar Citizen, Where it all Began
  • Star System Lore: A Look at Davien
  • The conclusion of Bryony’s Dilemma

Sit back, relax and I’ll see you on the other side…

Exiting statis. The Nightbus departing in 3…2…1

 

HOW TO SUPPORT THE SHOW AND WEBSITE

* You can donate using Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/Alysianah

* Use my referral code and earn 5K UEC when creating an account on RobertsSpaceIndustries.com: Referral Code: STAR-QSVR-JFTR

CONTENT TIMESTAMPS

Funny how things work out. The show’s audio was recorded a few weeks ago but I was too busy to edit and produce. Two of the topics were recently covered by CIG.

Direct Links

SHOW TRANSCRIPT

BAR CITIZEN, WHERE IT ALL BEGAN

Bar Citizen is something of a gaming community phenomenon in my experience. It started slowly at first, people getting together in lieu of being able to attend official events being held by Cloud Imperium Games. Now, they’re happening all over the place and with increasingly frequency. It’s a wonderful thing to connect in person with others who share your passion for a topic – gaming or otherwise. I hope it bodes well for the longevity of this community and its ability to be friendly, cooperative and inviting.  So where did the official Bar Citizen scene begin? You’re about to find out.

From Jorunn, one of the curators of the Bar Citizen site and its Discord channels.

There were some Bar Citizens here and there for a couple of years but only in a few places were they regular. Elsewhere there were efforts to use the forums to get people together but they seemed to mostly fizzle out, even though there was a lot of interest.

GrayHeadedGamer and Twerk17 wanted to get a Florida Bar Citizen event together and I was asked to take point.  This turned out to be a perfect confluence of my passion for Star Citizen,  event management and team building skills.

We figured Orlando would be a good central location for the state with a lot of possible places to meet.  GHG started the Florida Discord Channel that was used as a coordination point. I went to the forums and tracked down everyone who had ever expressed interest in a meetup, tagged them all in a forum post with event info, possible venues, and a date that would give us enough time to organize, and directed them to the discord channel.

By the time it was said and done, I’d tagged around 140 people from the forums and started to get many people in the Discord with a lot of interest. Sofiegirl mentioned the upcoming Bar to SC community managers, who in turn lent their support. The upcoming Bar Citizen was featured in an ATV Spotlight and Community Manager Tyler Witkin attended the event.

The rest is history. Momentum continued to grow up to the event and after. The rising interest encouraged us to formalize the process with a website where events could be listed and to find additional event planners.

END Quote

Well done one and all! I think the Bar Citizen movement is nothing short of amazing. I haven’t had the opportunity to attend one yet myself.  Real life continues to conspire against me but I plan to. Hats off to all the organizers and to CIG for getting behind the events. I’ll include a link to the official Bar Citizen website in the show notes.

ABBREVIATED STAR SYSTEM GUIDE: DAVIEN

According to the current ARK Starmap:  Managing Government is UEE, Population is high, Economic standing is low and is the general threat level.

Davien is most famous for being the location of our first alien contact. In 2483, a NavJumper named Vernon Tar took a potshot at a Banu pilot, mistaking him for a pirate.  Things were smoothed over and the first interstellar peace treaty was formed.  Humans quickly flooded the system to do business with the Banu. However, as larger systems and more jump point tunnels were discovered, interest gradually moved elsewhere.

Highlights for Player Careers and Commodities:

  • Davien is one of the few star systems that lacks both a gas giant and an asteroid belt. It does however, possess options for the following:
  • Tourism: Davien holds claim to alluring “Open Air” underground cities, the Aegis Dynamics corporate headquarters and the Banu Friendship Museum, which can offer opportunities for those with an interest in tourist trades.
  • Cargo Hauling: Davien II, also called Cestulus, is considered the gateway to the Eastern Empires. Dozens of cargo spacelanes crisscross the system offering long haul cargo transportation jobs.
  • Trade: Jata, the city that most represents the Banu culture, is in constant need of exotic resources.
  • Short Range Transport: Passenger transport work may be available for small operators interested in shuttling transient workers and locals to and from Davien’s various entertainment space ports.

Interstellar Travel: Davien contains Jump Point Tunnels to Ferron, Kilian, Sol, Cano, and Cathcart

For more information on Davien and the Banu, check out articles on Aly’s Starmap Matrix and Detailed Star System Dossier pages on Alysianahsworld.com. I’ll include direct links in the show notes.

 

WRAP UP

That wraps up another episode of the Star Citizen NightBus. I hope you’ve enjoyed it. If you have, please considering subscribing to my channel and giving this episode a thumbs up. For more game commentary, lore, reviews and other Star Citizen coverage, including mobile-friendly easier to read version of the official ARK Starmap data, please visit AlysianahsWorld.com. Be sure to register on Aly’s World for an exclusive Monthly Newsletter.

You can also support my videos, Alysianahsworld.com and my Star Citizen fiction efforts through my Patreon. A big thank you to my current subscribers. Your sponsorship is greatly appreciated!

If you haven’t created an account yet on RobertsSpaceIndustries.com, you can earn 5K in game currency when the game goes live by using my referral code when you do and I’ll also earn some in-game goodies. You’ll find my referral code in the show notes.

This is Alysianah signing off until next time. Be kind and fly safe!  The Nightbus has arrived. Please watch your step while departing. Re-entering stasis in 3…2…1


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