Helios, 2nd Largest Star System

When a Door Closes

It’s been two weeks since I started working for a new company and in a new role. One that returns me to a past life in data visualization and analysis. I’m still nested in the Business Intelligence space. However, instead of being a product manager for internal BI solutions, I’m managing a team of analysts and data viz professionals. This aspect of metrics and performance management is what brought me to BI in the first place. Luckily for me, careers in Data Viz and Data Science have grown tremendously over the years. Based on my former experience with the tools that are industry standards, I was able to quickly find a rewarding opportunity within weeks of being notified of my pending layoff. Before the door officially closed, the window on a new job offer was already in hand. I definitely consider myself blessed!

Time to Catch Up!

I was at my previous employer for 8 years doing product management. Five years prior to that, I was entrenched in running a Program Management Office, even though I continued to provide analysis support. That’s a long time to be out of the loop in data viz. I have a bevy of books arriving on the tools of the trade and principles so I can catch up with my peers. As someone who learns by doing, I started fishing around for a practice project and landed on combining it with my favorite pastime, gaming. So it should come as no surprise that I went looking for something Star Citizen related.

Viola! Star Systems Meet Data Visualization

I’m fairly obsessed with the lore behind Star Citizen and the physical universe being built by Cloud Imperium Games. AlysianahsWorld.com features several pages dedicated to disseminating the information contained in the official ARK Starmap into an easier to consume and searchable format. Using formal data visualization tools would allow me to evolve an aspect of the site I continue to use on a regular basis while learning the newest versions of the tools.

An aspect of analysis and reporting, data visualization, is a more graphical representation of information that endeavors tells a story while providing insight. All though we’re likely years away from having all of the planned star systems, I still find the lore and planned physical layouts entertaining to consider. Those of us following the game closely and participating in the alpha will be fully versed in them as they come online. However, those joining after or following more casually, won’t be quite as fluent.

The end goal for this version is to provide PDFs that players can easily download and reference offline at their leisure.

Technical considers were to:

  • Present interesting aspects of the universe for discussion.
  • Construct a hands-free data-driven solution that feeds from my existing site database.
  • Integrate tidbits from my hand-populated lore database.
  • Assist causal and new players in navigating the persistent universe via this bird’s-eye view.

Consequently, the order in which I produce them will be impacted by when star systems are placed on the roadmap for introduction into the persistent universe, contain an interesting lore aspect or contribute to a broader topic of conversation. For me, it was essential that this new design be fully automated, with the exception of minor adjustments like moving around annotations if they overlapped or adjusting the scale of the planets being displayed if a system has a lot of items. But that’s it! Everything else is done programmatically and uses data from Aly’s World that already exists.

All things considered, developing this first mock-up/prototype went very well. I was able to achieve all of my objectives while refreshing my skills using the latest version of Tableau, one of the standard tools used in my new position. Now let’s roll into the real topic at hand, Helios.

Helios, 2nd Largest Known Star System

Once I decided that I wanted to evolve how I was presenting the official ARK Starmap data, the question became, where to start? Stanton, while necessary to do, is old hat at this point. The idea of starting there didn’t excite me. Then a question popped into my head that did. What is the largest known star system and what does it contain? Is it somewhere I’ll be spending time? Does it have activity related to any of the player professions I’ve decided to focus on?

The metric I used to quantify a star system’s size was the farthest celestial body from the star in astronomical units (AU). The underlying ARK data has several pieces of information that are not readily visible on RSI, one being the AU. However, I have all of the data already stored in the database that runs AlysianahsWorld.com and I’ve used AU previously to render horizontal star maps for each system.

LINK: Stanton Star System Dossier on Aly’s World

 

I landed on using the AU of orbiting bodies or areas identified as belonging to a star, as those objects represent the star’s sphere of influence. The size of its influence, if you will. After choosing that as a reasonable representation, all I had to do was find the maximum AU and the star system it belonged to which lead me to Helios.

LINK: Helios Star System Dossier on Aly’s World

Perspective

Helios is the second largest known system. The moniker of largest belongs to Tamsa. However, instead of having a star at its center Tamsa contains a black hole. It’s also a fairly empty system which wouldn’t provide much meat for developing this prototype. I will, however, produce a data viz for Tamsa in the near future. 

LINK: Tamsa System Dossier on Aly’s World

As the second largest system, how does Helios compare to other star systems we’re more or less familiar with? When I visualized the distribution of all the star system sizes based on the maximum (farthest celestial body in AU), I was surprised by what I saw. I suppose the locations we hear about loom large in our imagination without realizing that frequency has no relevance to how big those areas will be based on the current ARK Starmap metrics. Star systems such as Stanton, Pyro, Nyx, Tera, and Sol are very small in the overall scheme of things.

Here’s a subset, calling out the systems we know and hear about. Stanton, representing the persistent universe today. Pyro, the Jump Point we can see in Stanton now, and likely the next star system that will be introduced to the alpha. And Sol, the birthplace of humanity and a location many of us are interested in seeing CIG’s vision for how it has evolved. As you can see, they’re on the small end of things. Stanton, in particular, is very small!! It’s a bit mind-blowing knowing that the area of Stanton we’re in today is 25% of what it will be since we’re just around Crusader. Even so, it’s going to be nothing in terms of size compared to the other known star systems that have been planned.

How Many Years to Orbit? 

Other than the disparity in star system sizes, which I suppose shouldn’t be surprising given that space is a big empty place, is how many years it takes planets to orbit their sun. Talk about thinking that humans and Sol are the centers of the universe. I never contemplated that in Standard Earth Years (SEY) there are planets that take many years to make a full orbit of their star. Tangora, the only planet in Helios that’s openly populated and accessible to civilians takes 210.5 SEY to complete its orbit. My eyes bugged out of my head. It’s a metric I hadn’t bothered to calculate before.

When I see numbers in the thousands, it’s simply mindboggling and makes me wonder how we will communicate the passing of time when humans become an interstellar species. How will calendars work? It’s bad enough dealing with global time zones and keeping those straight at work. I can’t imagine what we’ll devise when a year no longer has the same meaning. Perhaps we will standardize on SEY. I hope to be alive to see how it turns out for myself. Until then, the Star Citizen will have to do.

Helios’ Discovery

Back to Helios, it’s a combination of natural beauty in the face of nature’s ferocity, abandoned junkyards, and military skunkworks. Helios is a Helium Strong type B star that creates powerful solar winds capable of causing havoc with ship sensors. This rarity attracts researchers, tourists and criminals looking for a place to hide, in equal measure.

Helios was discovered in 2509 and in a very unusual manner. An outlawed group called the Daybreak Marauders had discovered a jump point to Helios via Taranis. After robbing convoys in Ellis, they’d race to Taranis and disappear without a trace. After driving the Uros Shipping Concern into bankruptcy due to the activity surrounding these thefts, The Advocacy finally stepped in to bring order to the system. After several months of playing cat-n-mouse, agents eventually discovered Daybreak’s secret.

As is often the case, after it’s official discovery was claimed by the UEE, the region was stripped bare of any important resources and languished in obscurity for several years, beyond being used as a military staging ground.

LINK TO PDF: Helios Visual Star Sys Guide – Legal

The Rest of the Story

My intent is for the Visual Star System Guide to provide the casual overview of the system all on its own. Therefore, I’m not going to regurgitate the information here in text form. Hopefully, the elements I’ve elected to portray, provide a sense of the system’s composition, fun or important things to know, opportunities for activities related to player careers and a high-level assessment for the economy, population, and safety. You can find the official Galactic Guide for Helios on RSI and its associated Loremaker’s Guide on YouTube.

Your thoughts and feedback are welcomed. This being the first iteration of the format, I’d welcome feedback and suggestions. Do remember, that changes must be data-driven as I’m only looking to make minor manual adjustments each time I render the visual for another star system.  At regular intervals, I will assemble the visual guides I’ve published in ebook formats for those interested in collecting them as a set. For me, it’s more experimentation with skills that I’ve picked up recently, while was I doing freelance ghostwriting and interior book design this past year or so. No more time or desire to continue doing freelance work with my new position and fun challenges that lay ahead. However, I don’t want what I’ve learned along the way and enjoyed doing, to hit the dustbin so I’ll use those skills in conjunction with this project.

Ta-ta for now,

Aly out.


ORIGIN Jumpworks GmbH

ORIGIN Jumpworks GmbH

Origin’s notoriety comes from merging class and sophistication into their spaceflight designs. They are the unchallenged leaders is providing luxury. Their designs are sleek with sophisticated lines. Their customers among the cultivated elite. When you purchase an Origin ship, you’re not just buying a vessel, you’re indulging a lifestyle.

Origin was incorporated during the financial boom of the mid-28th century, that was fueled by the antimatter rush. Initially, the focused on producing high-end fusion engines procured by the UEE military and mounted yachts from their nearest competitor in luxury, Roberts Space Industries and Aegis Dynamics star yachts available to the public (at least, the well-heeled public) at the time. Eventually, Origin made the decision to enter their own brand of luxury transport into the market. Within ten years, they were producers of a top-five selling midscale composite transport. Within fifty, their well-paying customer base was neck and neck with RSI for gross profits in the manufactured spacecraft field.

While Origin was founded in Cologne, Germany, the headquarters was moved to New Austin on Terra in 2913. New Austin is now considered “ORIGIN town”, as they are a key employer in the region. Terra, a popular destination in its own right, also benefits from Origin’s wealthy buyers who think nothing of traversing the galaxy to stroll through Origin’s showrooms and purchase factory-direct.

In the Star Citizen universe, Origin is best known for its moderately priced 300 series of ships. The line up includes 3ooI Touring, 315P Pathfinder, 325A Interdiction, and the 350R Racing. And the ostentacious 890 Jump luxury yacht.


Odin - Featured in Squadron 42 Vertical Slice for 2017 Holiday Live Stream

Aly’s Interactive Star System Dossier Page for: Odin

BRIEF DESCRIPTION

Odin is one of the star systems players will encounter while completing the single-player campaign of Star Citizen, Squadron 42. It was featured in the 2017 Holiday Live Stream that demonstrated a vertical slide of Squadron 42 gameplay.

Odin was made uninhabitable when its star degenerated into a white dwarf. The system remains inhospitable for long-term human habitation and has instead become a haven for outlaws due to the dangers of traversing the systems electromagnetic storms. Hardcore miners and salvagers have been known to risk the dangers of these storms to harvest resources in the local asteroid belt nicknamed, The Coil. Here’s a link to the official Odin Galactic Guide.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Encountered in gameplay during Squadron 42
  • Mineral-rich mining opportunity for those willing to risk the electromagnetic storms
  • Black market guns and military grade surplus available for purchase
  • Locals import bulk foods and medical supplies
  • Opportunity for science vessels to study arc charges from the deadly electromagnetic phenomenon
  • Parts of Gainey, the system’s destroyed moon, still hovers near the planet
  • Contains a gas planet with large number of refineries

KNOWN JUMP POINTS

  • Kellog (Large)
  • Nyx (Large)
  • Tanga (Medium)

MAJOR LANDING ZONES EXPECTED

  • None currently listed in the official ARK Starmap


Terra - Shining Jewel of the UEE

Aly’s Interactive Star System Dossier Page for: TERRA

BRIEF DESCRIPTION

Terra is considered by many to be the shining jewel of the UEE.  Its supporters would like to see Terra replace Earth as the seat of power, culture, and influence. As to be expected, die-hard Earth loyalists are staunchly against such a shift. Amid this struggle for supremacy, Terra has continued to thrive with the influx of mega-corporations and a populace looking to capitalize on its lush environment and abundant natural resources.

The Terra system was first charted in 2508.  It was explored as part of a five-system research expedition in 2516. When the long-distance images of its third planet were reviewed, it was immediately recognized as a phenomenal find. Terra III was a natural super-earth located in the system’s green band. Colonization opportunities were immediate. Within two years several colonial equipped ships had been dispatched.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Alignment: UEE
  • Habitable Planets: 2
  • Space Stations
    • IAS Hammett
    • ICS Evolen
    • INS Reilly
  • Asteroid Belts: 2
  • Gas Giant: 0
  • Ice Giant: 0
  • Jump points: 7
    • Goss (M)
    • Hadrian (L)
    • Magnus (M)
    • Pyro (S)
    • Stanton (L)
    • Taranis (S)
    • Tayac (L)
  • Points of Interest: 6 (see Aly’s Lore Table Below)

HISTORY

The Terra system was first charted in 2508.  It was explored as part of a five-system research expedition in 2516. When the long-distance images of its third planet were reviewed, it was immediately recognized as a phenomenal find. Terra III was a natural super-earth located in the system’s green band. Colonization opportunities were immediate. Within two years several colonial equipped ships had been dispatched.

An even greater discovery awaited mankind.  The Terra system’s unique location and makeup had produced a jump point hub. Like Sol, Terra is a G-type main sequence star. However, the lack of mass diffusion caused by gas giants and the center location of the system’s star, extremely stable jump points arose easily.  With Terra III being a super-earth rich in resources and a hub of stable jump points, the systems rise in influence and popularity was inevitable.

  • Aero (Terra I) – A non-descript rock world incredibly close to its star that is rich in certain minerals.  However, it’s proximity to the system’s sun has made harvesting these resources unsuccessful.
  • Pike (Terra II) – The mining efforts on Pike are a masterpiece of Human engineering. It’s one of the most mineral-rich planets in the galaxy.
  • Terra (Terra III) – The capital city of Terra is Prime, a beautiful bayside megacity built on the foundations of two of the original colony ships.
  • Gen (Terra IV) – is an inhabited world. This smaller planetoid, the outermost in the system, was terraformed roughly a century after Terra’s initial settlement and is now home to the diplomatic and military aspects of the system’s government.


Sol - Humanity's Birthplace

BRIEF DESCRIPTION

Earth is part of the Sol System.  It’s the cradle of Humanity, the heart of the Empire, birthplace of mankind. Being the origination of our history, it has remained mired in an “earth first” mentality, even to the detriment of other systems. It is the home of the Imperator, Senate and is the seat of power in the UEE.  It also exhibits a steadfast policy of supporting native-born humans above all others.  Earth sets the standards for everything that happens in the Empire. It’s the model for our economy, social trends and logistical planning of military campaigns.  After nearly a millennium of space travel, Earth is pockmarked with starports.  Three of whom have taken the throne as significant centers for importing and exporting goods.  New York in North America, Moscow in Europe and Shanghai in Asia.

Link to Aly’s World Star System Dossier Page for Sol

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Alignment: UEE
  • Habitable Planets include Earth and Mars
  • Tod Kesner Space Station which is a large trading hub
  • INS Dunleavy Naval base
  • IMS Bolliver a restricted Marine base
  • Contains two asteroid belts: Herschel and Kuiper
  • Gas Giant: Jupiter
  • Ice Giant: Neptune
  • Jump Points: Crowshaw (Large) and Davien (Large)
  • Known For:
    • Earth’s Historical landmarks
    • RSI headquarters and Museum
    • Idris manufacturing in Shanghai
    • Bengal carriers orbiting earth
    • Large volume export shipping in Moscow
    • Illegal cyborg upgrades in Shanghai

HISTORY

Earth is part of the Sol System.  It’s the cradle of Humanity, the heart of the Empire, birthplace of mankind. Being the origination of our history, it has remained mired in an “earth first” mentality, even to the detriment of other systems. It is the home of the Imperator, Senate and is the seat of power in the UEE.  It also exhibits a steadfast policy of supporting native-born humans above all others.  This often puts other systems at an extreme disadvantage which has led to distention is some parts of the empire.

Earth sets the standards for everything that happens in the Empire. It’s the model for our economy, social trends and logistical planning of military campaigns.  After nearly a millennium of space travel, Earth is pockmarked with starports.  Three of whom have taken the throne as significant centers for importing and exporting goods.  New York in North America, Moscow in Europe and Shanghai in Asia.

The vast majority of Earth’s natural resources have been consumed. As a result, the system brings in trillions and trillions of raw metals, food, manufactured merchandises and all things imaginable. If it weren’t for the enforced “balanced prices” policy, keeping the prices less competitive, this would have been a perfect situation for any shipping mogul. As it is, dashing to Earth can hardly be guaranteed to deliver more than a 5% income, and that is before you get to the overpriced refueling and docking fees for spacecraft carrying additional systems’ registration numbers.

Earth is safe, to an extreme. The UEE military, Advocacy and a number of police arms guard the system constantly, and they’re infamously unbending when it comes to grueling wrongdoers within the system. There’s no quicker way to get an enormously high reward on your head other than to break the law, even a minor breach within space close to Earth. The military ports in Earth’s orbit are home to no fewer than five Bengal class shippers, and at least one is dry docked at any specified time.

EXPECTED MAJOR LANDING ZONES

New York

New York is the cultural capital of the UEE, an intergalactic tastemaker and a celebrated blending of both old-style architecture and ultra-modern arcology construction. Most visitors immediately take note of the historical landmarks protected by a thick layer of domed visicrete, allowing such institutions as the Empire State Building and Central Park to continue to exist amidst a modern landscape of massive super-towers.  New York is also home to the famed Roberts Space Industries headquarters complex, featuring a showroom and museum. Many visitors make it a point to pay their respects upon arriving in the port, celebrating RSI’s involvement in introducing mankind to the stars.

Moscow

Moscow is a no-nonsense kind of town with more of an urban blue-collar vibe and is a major distribution center for manufactured goods.  In particular, jump engines and thrusters produced in the factory complexes that span the Urals. Goods are moved into the city for dispersal to the stars through a system of high-speed transport trains. Down on their luck spacers can always find hard work in the Moscow dockyards, which account for the vast majority of Earth’s export shipping.  The city tends to have a taste for the opulent, and luxury goods sell as well as anything can on Earth. Traders are advised to ship high-end electronics, artwork, high-quality foods and various non-offensive black market items to Moscow before trying to turn a profit running guns or metals.

Shanghai

The largest starport in Asia, Shanghai has retained more of a link to the surrounding environment than the vast cityscapes of Moscow or New York. Though still a bustling metropolis, Shanghai is your best chance of seeing a bit of foliage or natural water. Shanghai boasts rail and transit lines stretching to the nearby East China Sea, a port region capable of water-docking some larger types of spacecraft. The Aegis China factory produces Idris-class corvettes and puts them through their pre-space trials in the area.  Shanghai has a need for raw materials, especially rarer extragalactic varieties. The less likely a material is to be found on Earth, the more valuable it will be on the commodities market in Shanghai.  There is a bustling black market in the city, unlike any found in Earth’s other major ports: if you’re on the hunt for illegal cyborg upgrades, try Shanghai first.


Star Citizen Races: Kr'Thak

The Kr’Thak are a developed, spacefaring alien civilization. Humans have had no contact with the Kr’Thak.  What is known to the UEE about them comes only from the Xi’An.  The Xi’An and Kr’Thak have been enemies for eight hundred years. Any attempt by the UEE to make contact or form an alliance with the Kr’Thak would likely be viewed as a betrayal by the Xi’An.

The Kr’Thak’s home system is called Krell and it is located on the other side of the Xi’An Empire, making it even more difficult to make contact with them.  They are a space-faring, nomadic race that owns several solar systems, but migrate around them.

Visit the community maintained Star Citizen Tools wiki for more information on the Kr’Thak.


Star Citizen Races: Tevarin

The Tevarin were the third extraterrestrial race to be discovered by the UEE. They were destroyed by the UEE at the Battle of Centauri on August 2, 2610 SET. Humanity’s first and second interstellar enemy, The UPE first established contact with the space-faring civilization in 2541. While not as technologically advanced as us, the Tevarin were beginning to strike out into the universe.

A proud, martial society, the Tevarin wanted what we had and struck first. While the battlegrounds never threatened Earth or Terra, what the Tevarin lacked technologically, they more than made up for in strategic brilliance and endurance, causing the war to last over four years. The turning point was the infamous Battle of Idris IV, which introduced a young officer, Ivar Messer, to the populace of the UPE. After the Tevarin defeat, the UPE terraformed the Tevarin systems for Human colonization. The remaining Tevarin were either absorbed into the UPE or fled to the Banu or Xi’An systems.

Visit Star Citizen Tools wiki for more information the Tevarin.


Star Citizen Races: Xi'an

The Xi’An Empire is a hereditary absolute monarchy, located along the border of the Eastern Systems. It is comprised of at least fourteen known systems and is governed by Emperor Kray. The emperor has a High Council of Advisers, each representing a facet of the government. The title of Emperor passes down through the family line. A similar government structure is found on each Xi’An controlled planet, with every planetary council member reporting to their respective counterparts on the Emperor’s Council.

Xi’An are the masters of diplomacy in the Star Citizen universe. They are patient and refined but will summon a fighting force when necessary. Their restraint carries over into their language and speech. Getting the correct tone of politeness can be difficult for non-native speakers. They live for centuries; for this reason, propagation of the species is carefully monitored and directed by the government to prevent overcrowding.

While their placid demeanor can often be interpreted as aloofness or apathy, their long lifespan means that they act with decades in mind, not years.  The Xi’An are the second alien race to be discovered by the UEE, the first having been the Banu.

For more information on the Xi’An visit community run Star Citizen Tools wiki page on the Xi’An.


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!

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Stanton - The Alpha's 1st System

Excerpt…

The more I delve into Star Citizen lore and the planned game universe, the more I’m attracted to exploration. Considering how much I enjoy writing about MMOs and regaling my personal adventures, the idea of exploring deep space and chronicling my journey, similar to the RSI Discovered Series, really should have come to mind much sooner. Well – better late than never. Independent explorers are precisely how the Stanton system was discovered.

 

 

Show Transcript

Welcome to another episode of Casual Citizen. An ongoing series about the upcoming first person MMO, Star Citizen by Cloud Imperium Games. I’m your host Alysianah from the Mystic Worlds Gaming Blog. In preparation for the Star Citizen Alpha 3.0 release, we’re going to take a closer look at the Stanton system.

Sit back, relax and enjoy.

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Stanton – The Beginning

The more I delve into Star Citizen lore and the planned game universe, the more I’m attracted to exploration. Considering how much I enjoy writing about MMOs and regaling my personal adventures, the idea of exploring deep space and chronicling my journey, similar to the RSI Discovered Series, really should have come to mind much sooner. Well – better late than never.

Independent explorers are precisely how the Stanton system was discovered. It wasn’t a government funded expedition, conducting research in the best ship science had to offer. Although the details are fuzzy, most agree that the Stanton star system was discovered by a free agent trader. Word of mouth spread the tale of a star system that contained four super earths, immediately habitable by humans. Privateers moved in to capitalize on this extremely rare find. Planets of this size, all within a wide green zone is unusual in its own right. Combined with the large variances in planet ecologies, even more so.

When the existence of Stanton came to the attention of the UEE, they moved in quickly, claiming eminent domain. The official reason was to protect and extend nearby jump lanes. Unfortunately, the original settlers of Stanton hadn’t formalized their colonization by filing the necessary paperwork. Largely made up of homesteaders, prospectors and survivalists, the local populace had no legal rights to Stanton and certainly weren’t in a position to dissuade military forces when they arrived.

Everything Has a Price

The uniqueness of the system and the potential resources that lay in wait, couldn’t overcome the UEE’s economic struggles. In the midst of a down economy from a hundred year colonization drought, the UEE could only afford to do the bare minimum to claim Stanton. Naval engineers performed the small amount of terraforming required and underfunded military outposts were established. Lacking funds to do more, Stanton wasn’t developed further.

Eventually, the decision was made to sell the system piecemeal to the highest bidders. Large corporations were discreetly contacted and asked to bid on whole planets. It’s believed that the winners must have bid trillions to acquire rights to the four super earths, all of which were named after the winning bidders – Hurston Dynamics, Crusader Industries, ArcCorp and Microtech

Stanton Today

Under the management of these corporations, Stanton was industrialized. The four worlds are now dotted with factories, corporate headquarters, testing ranges, mines and other company facilities. Only those working for these corporations or anyone leasing their space, actually live in the Stanton system, most inhabiting company towns.

Stanton is a great place to do business if you need to purchase the products and services offered by Hurston, Crusader, ArcCorp or Microtech. There are also opportunities for cargo hauling the supplies needed to keep these mega-corporations running.

From the ARK Starmap

Stanton I is home to Hurston Dynamics, an aristocratic family-run weapons manufacturing concern which has bled the world dry. They’ve all but destroyed the planet’s ecosystem, killing all indigenous life with their mining and manufacturing process. Hurston supplies several lines of weapons and specialized guns. Hurston also provides munitions to other companies for use and resale. The vast operations are always in need of freelance cargo transportation assistance, mining contract fulfillment and general cheap labor. Traders can also purchase antimatter wholesale and resell to other buyers.

Stanton II, Crusader, is midway between a telluric world and a gas giant. It presents an unusual landscape consisting of a small rocky core shrouded in a deep low density atmosphere. For a time it was home to military constructed lattice of inhabitable floating platforms, which have since been retrofitted for the specific needs to Crusader Industries. This unusual retro fit gives CI the ability to manufacture large scale commercial transport ship at a greatly reduced cost, which is passed on to consumers. The shipyards with huge ships suspended mid atmosphere are eerily beautiful. CI is considered a good employer who provides high quality working conditions and employee amenities. Crusader is one of the nicest visitor ports in the system.

Stanton III, ArcCorp, remains the most visually impressive of the system’s four super-earths. It’s not the most scenic since its entirety is now a constructed world. All of the terrain has been sculpted, zoned and built upon, leaving nothing for nature. ArcCorp builds fusion engines in bulk, using the underground resources on Stanton III to provide engines for hundreds of thousands of civilian spacecraft every year. Here traders can find deals on weapons and a variety of other commodities and they are not discerning sellers. If you have the cash, they will supply the items.

Stanton IV, MicroTech, is large and generally a cold planet due to an error during the UEE terraforming process which caused dense clouds to form in the atmosphere. MicroTech produces MobiGlass which is now a standard piece of digital assistive technology similar to a PDA. MT also specializes in other forms of high tech electronics commonly found in ship systems. Visitors can look for work and cargo updates at Wally’s Bar. Just don’t ask for Wally!

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Noted Player Professions Related Lore

It’s easy to breeze by the bits of lore giving us hints of player career opportunities embedded in the Galactic Guides. If we more meticulously reconsider the planet descriptions I just read from the ARK Starmap and what’s available in the Stanton Galactic Guide, you can glean the following opportunities related to player professions.

These are career opportunities for more specialized ships. And provide content above the commonly available combat, bounty, mercenary and piracy activities we’re likely to find most everywhere. Tying this information together is a major focus of the career and starmap data found on Alysianahsworld.com.

Star Citizen Alpha 3.0

Stanton is the star system we’ll be inhabiting when Star Citizen alpha 3.0 is deployed. I don’t expect that all of the celestial bodies and/or landing zones will be accessible on day one. As Stanton’s content is made accessible and more game mechanics come online, we’ll begin experiencing CIG’s vision of life among the stars. And as players, we’ll need to become more familiar with the topology of the star systems as their assets come online.

By now you know that I’m a lore buff and am fascinated by the physical universe being built. More importantly, how those two things tie together for player careers and gameplay opportunities. To help you passively become more familiar with Stanton, I’ve published a Stanton Voice Attack Profile that narrates the descriptions from the ARK Starmap.

When time allows, I plan on doing a full series. Please follow the directions linked in the Show Notes to import Alysianah’s Stanton Profile into Voice Attack.

Also check out AlysinahsWorld.com for a matrix of all known systems in the Star Citizen universe, as well as detailed overviews of each star systems composition and dossier pages tailored to show star systems that are relevant to specific player careers such as mining, refueling, etc.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this episode. If you have, please considering subscribing to my channel and giving this episode a thumbs up. It would be greatly appreciated and doing so helps the show’s visibility, making it easier for others to find their way here.

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

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