The Genesis of Space Whales

If you’re relatively new to Star Citizen, you might be wondering, “what’s all this space whales nonsense?” Let’s take a look at a joke that became a thing, is now represented as a sculpture on Orison, and will one day live among the clouds of Crusader.

Space Whales, called Stormwal, are flying creatures native to the atmosphere of Crusader, a gas giant in the Stanton star system. The Stormwal haven’t been implemented in-game yet. However, you can find a sculpture of one on the Cloudview Center platform in Orison.  You can also hear a subtle but amazing haunting whale-like soundscape in the area.

FROM THE STAR CITIZEN TOOLS WIKI…

The Stormwal, called ‘Space Whale’ by the designers, is a flying creature that lives in the atmosphere ofCrusader. The animal currently only exists in concept. Its implementation was confirmed in 2020 by writerDave Haddock.

According to the concept art, the carcass of a space whale is approximately 100 meters long. They are hunted because their body produces a highly valuable resource.

There currently sits a large sculpture of a stormwal onOrison’sCloudview Center platform made by Bipasha Zhu. Cutting a stark contrast against the vibrant sky, the sweeping lines of Orison’s signature stormwal sculpture captures the grace and beauty of the gentle creatures it portrays. Formally titled “Until Again”, artist Bipasha Zhu says that she was inspired by the city’s harmony and weightless strength. To better understand her bashful subjects, Bipasha spent a week living in a cloud submersible studying the stormwals up close. 

The Star Citizen Galactapedia also mentions the Stormwal…

Orison is a city based on a series of interconnected floating platforms located in the upper atmosphere of Crusader (Stanton II). Originally constructed by the United Empire of Earth (UEE)Navy to provide repair facilities for their capital ships, Crusader Industries looked at the existing infrastructure as an ideal location for their commercial shipbuilding operations. Over time, as the city drifts from its position, it must be occasionally moved into safe orbit by the synchronized firing of large thrusters built into each platform. Due to the gas giant Crusader’s natural beauty and the presence of unique fauna such as the stormwal, Orison has become a popular tourist destination for visitors to the Stanton system. Cloudview Center serves as the main hub for habitation, tourism, and commerce. The Skyway Shuttle provides public transportation between platforms.

I distinctly remember watching the episode of Happy Hour Game Dev where the Space Whale made its first appearance in October 2017. That was back when I consumed every morsel of content. Eagerly anticipating a playable game within a few years. By the time an update surfaced on Star Citizen Week in Review in March of 2020, I’d forgotten all about them. Having burned out on hearing about content so far into the future after backing in 2014, I was no longer consuming the weekly shows. 

Now it’s 2021, and we have a sculptural manifestation of the space whale. As frustrated as I generally am now about the lack of progress toward implementing the many professions that are still AFK and the associated specialized ships we backed that are flyable but not fit for purpose years after they were introduced, it can’t be denied that the Stormwal fountain in the Cloudview Center is inspiring. And combined with the soundscape from Pedro Camacho, pure fantasy bliss – a feast for the eyes, imagination, and soul. 

So yes, I still get sucked into the dream. I can see myself in an exploration or luxury touring ship, floating around Crusader Stormwal watching. Taking pictures, capturing video, writing little stories, and entertaining guests. This is why we’re all still around, bumps, bruises and all, there’s nothing on the horizon that comes remotely close to the dream that is Star Citizen.


Casual Citizen Season 2 EP3

Season 2 Episod3 of my ongoing series on Star Citizen by Cloud Imperium Games is available on all support platforms. This episode’s topics include Looting, I’ve Seen the Light, The Genesis of Space Whales, Limited Fast Travel, and my NightBus Fan Fiction, Pod City The Fallen, Bird Cage.

YouTube: https://youtu.be/DDkSq7LDcek

Audio-Only

  • https://soundcloud.com/lauren-michele-12/casual-citizen-season-2-episode-3
  • https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/casual-star-citizen/id1583299515
  • https://music.amazon.com/podcasts/4b5e53b8-d75a-446b-b16f-d066566b0b1a/CASUAL-STAR-CITIZEN


Casual Citizen Season 2 Episode 2

Welcome to another episode of Casual Citizen. My experimentation with pseudo-A.I. voices has ended. The compromise I’ve reached to keep show production reasonable is that I will voice the game commentary sections and use an A.I. voice for the fiction which tends to be the longest portion. The vast majority of authors don’t narrate their fiction anyway so… boo!

Show Topics

  • The More The Merrier
  • True MMO Style Persistence
  • Pyro – Size Matters
  • Other Worlds
  • Pod City, Shifting Sands Part 2 of 2

Show Forma Options:


Pyro, Size Matters

Pyro is unquestionably the beating heart of piracy. An otherwise desolate, lifeless star system crippled by a flare star, Pyro is most notably the home of the shared pirate outpost of Ruin Station. The system is a case of criminals filling the void in an abandoned star system. Unlike the more settled honor-among-thieves Cathcart, factions here are in constant conflict.

Link to Alysianah’s Custom Visualization Summary of Pyro

From CIG…

Pyro was first visited in 2493, twenty-four years after the first person suspected something was there. In 2469, the watch officer of the Roustabout, an Earth-flagged tanker ship moving through the Cano System, noted a gravitic anomaly thirty thousand kilometers off the transport’s port bow. A detailed report was sent to the ship’s corporate owners and eventual namesake, Pyrotechnic Amalgamated, but no action was taken. Twenty-four years later, when Pyrotechnic sought new mining territories, they began reviewing old scan records when it noted the original report from the Roustabout. They dispatched an explorer to the region only to formally discover Pyro.

End Quote…

RUIN STATION

Ruin Station is an outlaw station populated by the system’s only permanent population.  Pyrotechnic Amalgamated initially built the station as a hub for their industrial divisions. However, the station was abandoned after the outlook for a profitable return seemed dim. The name Ruin Station is a moniker earned from the location’s dilapidated condition. Despite the dangers of visitors being swallowed whole by the crumbling edifice, criminals and opportunists flock to the area seeking black-market trading.

Of importance to surrounding, more settled systems such as Stanton are recent Advocacy reports naming XenoThreat as the station’s current occupants. A mere one Jump Point away from the highly populated star system, the denizens of Pyro can pose a credible threat to the peace and stability of Stanton.

WHEN SIZE MATTERS

Personally, I’ve never been bothered by the travel times we encounter flying around Stanton. However, that may have always been colored by knowing that Stanton is among the smaller star systems we’ll be traversing in Star Citizen. Before we had any playable modules, combing through the lore contained in the star map was my mini-game. It’s how Alysianah’s World of Star Citizen was born. With a background in analytics, the numbers surrounding the planned universe fascinated me. How many planets are within the known universe? How many are habitable? How many asteroid belts? Which star systems have the most asteroid belts? Where are the gas giants and so on? You can find answers to those questions in an old post I’ll link in the show notes.

I figured the speeds and travel times we experience now would be tweaked as the larger star systems arrive. And when I say larger, they’re on an order of magnitude that is so much bigger than Stanton. I’m sure things will get tweaked, but if long rides in space aren’t for you, this might not be the right game. Space is big, and size matters.

Calculating size as the distance from the star at the center to its furthest planet, Stanton is only 2.9 astronomical units. Pyro is 9.8 AU. That’s right; it’s more than three times as large. That’s nothing. We’re still talking about tiny star systems. The largest in the known Star Citizen universe is Tamsa, at a whopping 305 AU.

If we consider the other distances you have to traverse, calculating the size by the furthest object such as the Jump Points we’ll use for interstellar travel, Stanton is 4.6 AU and Pyro is 13 AU. Things are about to get a whole lot bigger. We know we’ll have space stations around each of the planets, rest stops, and refineries, but to make the spaces seem less devoid of life, I’m curious about the other elements CIG will add. Or will they take the point of view that deep space, even once humanity populates it will, in fact, remain empty – desolate and devoid. Time will tell. Buckle up, ladies and gentlemen. When Pyro arrives space will be a whole lot bigger.


Helios, 2nd Largest 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 S42 Vertical Slice

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 - 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.


Alien 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.