Star Citizen Nightbus EP7

It’s been a while since I’ve posted about Star Citizen or produced one of my related shows. It’s not because I’ve lost steam or interest in following the game. I’ve just been very busy with real life commitments, some of which, are the result of producing my SC content.

Nightbus Episode 7 discusses the following:

  • Why I purchased the controversial Origin 600i Explorer
  • My Favorite Player Speculation about the ‘Game Changer’ Ben Mentioned
  • When I think I’ll be producing more SC Content
  • New Visual Map added to Aly’s World

Links


Nightbus Special Edition: Journey to Stanton

Hello, this is Alysianah from Alysianah’s World of Star Citizen. Welcome to a stand alone record of my fan-fiction set in the Star Citizen universe. The story you’re about to hear continues the journey of Cami from Chop Shop which aired in Nightbus Episode 3. Moving her into the star systems where John and Maggie from The Exterminator reside. You can catch up with John and Maggie’s take starting in Nightbus Episode 5.

I wrote Journey to Stanton as an experiment of doing audio content that uses more than one narrator. Wanting to dip a toe into the pool without dramatically complicating the production side, Journey is written from four distinct points of view. I’d like to thank BoredGamerUK & Twerk17 from Redacted and Andrew from OldBloodandGuts for lending their voices.

Regardless of whose channel you hear this on, please stop by to give the other participants some love too. You’ll find links in the show notes.  I’d also be interested in knowing if you’d like to hear more collaborative narrations.

Be kind and fly safe!

Narrator Credits

Cami | Medical Freelancer – Alysianah Noire
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCq5UB9mFw8C8-VPbCx2Y2pQ

Silas | Hull B Pilot – BoredGamerUK
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7W5LTUy7DJYpx0cpVKJe0g

Keokuk | Freelancer Pirate – Andrew OldBloodAndGuts
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNDkFnYOJHu2gfN2qKwcOjw

Huyn | Herald Pilot – Twerk17
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOblfLLbNni0_VUeGWhiKDw


Nightbus Fiction Collective Volume 1

I just released Star Citizen Nightbus Fiction Collective Volume 1. Whew, that’s a mouthful. It’s a compilation of the fan-fiction I’ve written thus far for Star Citizen. It contains the serialized stories that were previously released in NB episodes 1 to 6, plus the narration of Maggie’s Origin Story.

Star Citizen lore and the upcoming MMO have inspired me to start writing fiction again and I’m enjoying it. As ever, I wish there were more leisure hours in a day to explore all of my hobbies but, I try to make do as I can. Smile Somehow, I’m going to begin making time to resume writing my own fiction while I’m feeling excited and motivated.

There’s more to come for my NB fan-fiction too. The next two pieces of fiction that will appear alongside my OpEd pieces will be “An A.I.’s Story” and “Murder on the 890 Jump”. A.I. will play around with the idea of telling a story with a non-human as the protagonist and Murder will be in the style of Clue, letting readers play along to guess the identity of the killer. These are both a few weeks out as I have other obligations to fulfill in between.  Until then, I hope you enjoy this collective. Time stamps are in the YouTube video description.


NightBus Episode 6 - Alpha 3.0 Awakens Explorer Play-Style & The Exterminator Part 2

Show Transcript

Welcome to the Star Citizen NightBus, a quirky mixture of fact, fiction and opinion. I’m your host, Alysianah from AlysianahsWorld.com. There are only two show topics this week since both are rather lengthy. Alpha 3.0 Planetside Content and the conclusion of The Exterminator. You can hear part one of The Exterminator in NightBus episode 5.

Please sit back, relax and enjoy.

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

THE STAR CITIZEN EXPLORER PLAY STYLE TAKES FLIGHT

I gaze as far as the eye can see and I can go there if I please.

With the coming of Alpha patch 3.0, Star Citizen backers will be experiencing what I’m dubbing Explorer 1.0. It’s our first taste of seamlessly moving from space to a planetside location and back. Our first look at a free-roaming borderless planetside location. Where if you choose to, you can walk, fly or run the full circumference of a world. No barriers. No invisible walls.

In Richard Bartle’s classification of player types, I’m predominantly an Explorer. In Marczewski’s Hexad, I’m a Free Spirit and Philanthropist combo. I play MMOs to experience someone else’s vision of a fantastical world. Share stories about my adventures and help others along the way. I revel in turning what was provided to everyone into a unique experience that speaks to me and of me. I want to excel at the things that delight me most – crafting, trade and the economy. The content coming in Alpha patch 3.0 is the first beacon of light for my particular playstyle.

Our journey from deep space to a planet will be entirely under our own steam. No magic portal system handwavium lives here. From Port Olisar, I will request one of my ships and depart. Using the upcoming in-game Starmap, I’ll be able to choose a destination and quantum travel there, much like we can today, except that planetside locations will also be available. If I prefer the slower route, I can simply point my ship in the right direction and go.

As seen in the Gamescom 2016 demo, your ship will transition from space flight to atmospheric entry, and finally to atmospheric flight. This will be a seamless transition. No loading screens. Content will be streamed to your client as needed. After descending into the atmosphere you can put down at a designated landing zone or free roam, and land anywhere The only game controlled landing we expect to encounter, is if you deviate from authorized approach lanes, in densely populated cities. Beyond that, fly to where your desire leads.

A TRAVELER’S GUIDE: SETTING EXPECTATIONS FOR ALPHA 3.0 CELESTIALS

In order to create and continually populate CIG’s ambitious universe, they’ve developed technology for procedurally generating planets, painting biospheres, controlling weather effects, day/night cycles, dynamic lighting and the construction of modular surface outposts. Players will be play-testing the results of all this new this technology for the first time in Alpha 3.0. This is probably one of the reasons that the surface locations in the upcoming patch are three moons and a planetoid sized asteroid. By and large, these aren’t the types of locations you’d expected to be populated with dense cityscapes. It’s an alpha. They need to refine and test the tech’s core abilities first.

That said, there is diversity among the locations themselves:

  • Cellin features over a hundred dormant volcanoes said to represent its simmering anger. These volcanoes can become active at any time. It’s also dotted with dangerous thermal geysers that erupt without notice. Your visibility can also be hampered by highly corrosive clouds of gas that are regularly released from its.
  • Yela is the most frigid of the Crusader moons. Anyone careless enough to step outside without a spacesuit will die instantly from its freezing temperatures. Watch out for cryo Volcanoes that erupt unexpectedly from this moon’s deep crevasses.
  • Daymar’s surface is a harmonic blend of Yela and Cellin. It’s mountainous and shares a warm likeness to Yela’s frozen crevasses. Its dense atmosphere, thick fog, and a loose dirt surface make traveling difficult.

In addition to exploring these three Crusader moons, two new mission-givers will be introduced. Miles Eckart and Ruto, both of whom made appearances in the GamesCom 2016 demo. With cargo hauling, trade, inventory management and grabby-hands arriving in the same patch, I’m certain we’ll see a diverse set of missions on planet surfaces and in space.

Given that this is a sandbox game, we can’t neglect the infinite opportunities for players to create their own fun – impromptu planetside PVP warzones. Dragonfly cannon races ala pod racing in Star Wars. Ground vehicle races using the Ursa Rover which will be available for the first time. And lots of RP type shenanigans.

Haters will denounce the release for starting with the moonscape type locations. I believe that you walk before you run. A slew of new tech is being rolled into Alpha 3.0 for play testing. I think we’ll enough on our hands to help test and bulletproof without the complexity of vast cityscapes.

Although space exploration is why I backed Star Citizen, I’m an MMO Explorer at heart. I enjoy seeing the sights and sounds of strange new worlds. I delight in finding quiet out of the way places. I’m fascinated by poking around the dwellings and artifacts of those worlds, discovering what they say about that supposed culture. Alpha 3.0 is where that journey begins for me.

BHAG – BIG HAIRY AUDACIOUS GOAL INCOMING

To augment the procedural generation of planets and modular building sets, CIG will also be hand-crafting many zones to ensure that the universe feels unique and varied. Many have dubbed these efforts Hero Zones. One such zone has been included in the Alpha 3.0 schedule as a stretch goal. Meaning, if it’s ready, it’s in. If not, it doesn’t hold up the release.

The BHAG Zone for 3.0 is the inclusion of Delamar and its Levski landing zone. We saw a video of the landing zone quite some time ago and expected it to be added last year. However, CIG’s improvements to their development process with new technology and systems, sometimes means that completed content has to be reworked to fit the new standard.

Delamar and it’s landing zone will be added into the Alpha using sleight-of-hand. It’s not actually located in the Stanton star system, which is where the persistent universe alpha takes place. Delamar’s home is Nyx, an unclaimed star system populated with Anti-UEE activists, political radicals, and criminals.

For testing purposes, it will be temporarily placed in the Stanton star system. I’m crossing my fingers this zone makes it into 3.0. There’s cool lore about the subculture living there and the opportunities that can be found IF you’re willing to go off the beaten path into the underbelly of the beast. I’m no criminal but hey, it’s all in the name of testing.

I can barely contain my excitement. With this one patch, CIG breaches the siloed play testing we’ve experienced thus far into a unified game. There’s lots more coming in Alpha 3.0 – commodities trading, cargo hauling, true piracy targets and a reason to actually be a mercenary, all which I’ll discuss in NightBus Episode 7.

THE EXTERMINATOR PART 2 OF 2: You can read the conclusion of The Exterminator here.

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 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


Casual Citizen EP28 - 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: Discovery of the Tevarin

Excerpt…

Today, our Discovered series presents the personal correspondence of Dr. Kellar Lench, on loan to us from the Gemma Museum of Interspecies Tolerance. Lench was a young scientist when he first discovered the Elysium System and the existence of the Tevarin in 2541.

Related Content

 

TEXT GOES HERE


The Drake Herald, Info Running & EWAR

Show Transcript

Welcome to another episode of Casual Citizen. An on-going series about the upcoming first person MMO Star Citizen by Cloud Imperium Games.  I’m your host Alysianah from the Mystic Worlds Gaming Blog.

Sorry about the two-week hiatus. Between work, a business trip and being offered an exciting opportunity to narrate a small audiobook, I’ve been rather overloaded. I was at least spared the agony of watching the pot boil for 2.4 hitting the Live Server. Here’s hoping it’s not too far off.

This week’s episode will discuss another ship that’s near and dear to my heart, the Drake Herald.  It’s one of only three small career ships in my line-up. The fact that I can own platform ships, ships for medium sized groups AND engage in solo or duo activities, is a huge part of what excites me about Star Citizen.  I like the flexibility to control my playstyle and/or dependency on other players to fit my mood or what I feel like accomplishing at any given time. In looking at the Herald, we’ll touch on Drake as a company, the Magnus System where they’re headquartered and Electronic Warfare, as it relates to the Herald.

BEGIN TRANSMISSION

Most players would likely agree, that the Herald isn’t the prettiest or sleekest ship in the ‘verse.  Some consider it downright ugly. For me, it falls into the so quirky that it’s cute category.  I find it attractive in a crooked smile kinda way. And although I preferred the original asymmetrical design, I’m not bothered by the change in direction.  Those were concept images.  This is alpha.  Shit happens…Yadda.  Before delving into the Herald, let’s take our first look at its manufacturer, Drake Interplanetary.

For many citizens, the name Drake Interplanetary conjures up images of ships whose silhouettes don’t look aerodynamically balanced.  And the ne’er-do-wells and criminals flying them.  Pirates.  Drake hasn’t helped change this perception by naming its ships things like Cutlass and Buccaneer. And their the cheesy billboards featuring an overly endowed woman, dripping sex appeal all over the newest starfighter they’re showcasing, doesn’t help much either.  When you’re not seeing Drake’s in-your-face adverts, it’s yet another newsvid about investigations into their criminal ties.

Drake’s keystone design is the Drake Interplanetary AS-1 Cutlass. Incredibly inexpensive, Drake Cutlasses are used across the galaxy for thousands of different roles. From search and rescue ambulances to mining prospector conversions, to short hop food transports.  The modular nature of the Cutlass means it can be anything to anyone. Including those skirting the law.

Beyond its modularity, the Cutlass’ claim to fame is that it’s built from common parts.  This makes it an affordable ship to replace for those who are living a lifestyle that no longer offers the benefit of purchasable insurance. Drake Interplanetary incorporated soon after the success of the Cutlass. Lead designer Jan Dredge became CEO, with a seven-member board, consisting largely of aerospace engineers who had worked on the project.

Drake is not the surname of anyone involved in the project; it was selected as an acceptable “smooth-sounding” name, chosen specifically in the hopes that it would make their spacecraft more appealing. This was the first of a series of money-over-all decisions that would quickly come to define the company.

Another factor that swaying the UEE’s belief that Drake is in some fashion associated with criminal activity, was their decision to locate their corporate headquarters and key factories on Borea in the Magnus system.  At the time, Magnus was a desolate and lawless system, peppered with ghost towns and people living on the fringe of the space frontier. Locating on Borea, was yet another seed planted in the garden of their outlaw image.  Regardless of the UEE’s assumptions or those of more polite society, within five years Drake was the fifth largest spacecraft manufacturing concern.  

However, with the Galaxy in a relative level of peace, or as close to peace as it had ever been –  Vanduul raids at the time were disorganized and the UEE military was in the middle of several years stand down. Who was buying thousands upon thousands of Cutlasses? The answer, of course – pirate organizations.  The affordability of Drake ships created readily replaceable spacecraft that fit a pirate’s budget, and thanks to its larger-than-average cargo hold, they could also transport pirate booty.

It eventually became clear, though not publically acknowledged, that Drake had made a deal with the devil … but the money was too good to turn back. It’s rumored that in looking toward future, CEO Dredge is authoring a plan to streamline their spacecraft lineup and clean up the company’s image.  A daunting task for the modular, boxy Cutlass, Caterpillar, and Buccaneer! And then there are those ship names. Only time will tell.

Life in Magnus

Directly from CIG

“Magnus: On the Edge of the Unknown!” or so reads the local government’s standard travel brochure. In truth, the phrase better describes Magnus a century ago; recent decades have seen increasing settlement and overall civilization in a system that considers itself the unofficial capital of Human frontier culture.

End Quote

First discovered in 2499, Magnus was a small, entirely undistinguished system: three planets orbiting a type K main sequence star. Dimmer than Earth’s own sun, Magnus did not have the pull to generate a system of outer planets or an extensive network of jump point tie-ins. Surveys have located no protoplanets, gas pockets or asteroid fields in the system’s environs; the area surrounding Magnus is the deepest, most desolate space imaginable. A single world, Magnus II, was identified as ideal for terraforming.

For a time, Borea – Magnus II, was a barren desert world — the effects of terraforming had not yet completely transformed the planet, and a ten-year period of extreme solar flares hampered its transition to a temperate world.  This increased the decay of the UEE facilities and generally reduced overall interest in resettling Magnus. The result was an eerie, depopulated ghost world with declining structures full of refining and shipbuilding equipment considered too expensive to move elsewhere. During this period, the system’s population declined to less than 3,000, most of whom had no legal right to their encampments.  

Let’s step back for a moment to consider living on a planet whose entire population is 3000 inhabitants. It has to feel something like living in a post-apocalyptic world. Or being on a backwater border planet in FireFly, where Jayne is worshiped as a deity. I think I’ll pass but Drake said sure, sounds good!

Drake’s decision to locate the headquarters and primary factories on Borea eventually helped to revitalized the landscape. Vast tracts of empty warehouses and rusting construction yards have been modernized and returned to life from building Cutlasses and Caterpillars.  All’s well that ends well and good on Drake.  But personally, I’d have started job hunting when the news came around about where the offices were going.

The Drake Interplanetary Herald

Overview

The original concept sale for the Herald was November 2014.  The Herald is a small armored ship, designed to safely deliver information and you, from one place to the next.  Its speed will rival racers but it won’t have the same nimble handling. It has a powerful central engine to support advanced data encryption. It also sports data protection systems, redundant power subsystems, EMP shielding and high capacity broadcast arrays for data transmission.  In a nutshell, it’s spec’d to acquire rare data, encrypt/protect it, escape with said data and/or transmit it to your cohorts. As a fallback, it has a quick method to clear your drives of evidence, in case you get caught in the act or hijacked.

Ship Configuration

Classified has Info Runner.  Is 23 meters in length and weighs 18 thousand kilograms.  Supports 2 crew stations and 0 cargo units.  For hardpoints, it’s configured with 3 S1 gimbal mounts, an S3 shield, and one additional equipment mount.

A bit of Drake related fiction from RobertsSpaceIndustries.com…

Dispatch:  A New Threat to Data Security by Drake Interplanetary

SUBJECT: DRAKE HERALD DATA

STATUS: URGENT

Attention Team,

Attached to this dispatch are the final specifications and 3D holo-model of what you have worked all these long months to accomplish! Our Herald prototype will now enter the construction and testing phase, with a planned Q2 2945 rollout for the first sales units.

On the surface, the Herald represents a significant advance in interstellar data transfer… but as we Drake team members know, its long-term implications for data interception, stream interruption, and even outright piracy are enormous. I’m proud of everything we’ve accomplished, and now I can’t wait to see this baby fly!

Becke Linns

Senior Spacecraft Designer

Drake Interplanetary

END QUOTE

 

In that final paragraph, we can see that Drake’s intention of cleaning up their act is only surface level.  A little spit-n-shine for the ole public image.  Clearly, they understand and acknowledge the potential ramifications of their designs!

Quick Chat about Electronic Warfare

In August of 2015, CIG published a design document discussing their plans for implementing Electronic Warfare, often abbreviated to EWAR.  EWAR mechanics played such a heavy role in EVE Online combat, I’ve been very interested in learning more about how it would play out in Star Citizen. Oftentimes in EVE, you can lose a fight before you’ve undocked from a station, simply by not having your ship adequately configured for an encounter.  Will EWAR in Star Citizen has the same far-reaching impacts? It will be quite some time before we can answer that question.

Let’s review the portion of the Star Citizen EWAR Design Document that speaks to capabilities we can expect to see incorporated into the Herald, as an interceptor of information.

Radar (Object-Detection) and Scanning

The Drake Herald is an information runner but includes a dedicated e-war suite, which includes the ability to scan.  Scanning is the tracking or gathering of information based off of the three main signature outputs: Infrared, Electromagnetic, and Cross-section.

Every ship has a suite of default systems that give it basic operational functionality. Our radar systems use IR, EM, or radio waves to determine the range, angle, and velocity of objects. Standard operating mode for radar systems is omnidirectional.  However, players with the right equipment can change the focus of their unit. Changing the focus increases the transmit power, but reduces the area in which targets can be located.

Scan and radar effectiveness are also impacted by the environment.  For example, solar radiation from the nearby star could wreak havoc on your results.  The goal is to introduce variance in performance between radar components and require choices from the player, as to what type of information they value above others, as well as reduce the time of a scan and/or the risk of being detected.

Players will be able to scan their surroundings either passively or actively.

  • Passive – The player is letting the information come to them versus actively searching for the information (in essence listening). This emits a much smaller signature.
  • Active – The player’s ship is actively looking for information about their ship. This emits a much higher signature.

In passive scanning, the range and detection type are based on the radar component that your ship has installed. Any potentially targetable object within your ship’s radar zone will show up as different contact states, discussed in the detailed design doc. This feature will emit a signature when turned on. It will be up to the player to choose if they want scans to run constantly or enabled during certain times. Multi-crew ships can assign this as a full-time task to a radar officer; allowing them to balance scanning systems with the ship’s signature output.

By switching to active scanning, you can acquire more specific information on a target such as their type of armor, shields, weapons, etc.  You can even attempt to reveal undetectable targets. This can be done with the focus set to either omni or fixed direction, with fixed direction requiring more skill to use but potentially producing a more detailed result. Active scanning will also increase a ship’s signature since it requires additional power.

To stay safe from incoming hacking and electronic warfare attacks, pilots will need to outfit their ships and flight suits with appropriate countermeasures. Electronic defenses require less specialized equipment than their offensive counterparts, and while this does favor defenders to an extent, they can still be met with multiple attacks and overwhelmed.

This is just the tip of the iceberg for Electronic Warfare.  Please read the full design document for more details.  Including the defensive mechanics, players will have at their disposal to minimize and/or negate, the offensive effectiveness of EWAR attacks.

I liked the idea of the Herald before we had the EWAR design document.  My primary decision for purchasing one was to have another two station ship. Although I’ll probably do a lot of the work solo, since I enjoy that too, I’m hoping to introduce friends to Star Citizen who don’t traditionally play MMOs but are interested in space. And it’s a non-combat focused activity I can do with younger kids in the family.

For now, it remains to be seen how heavy of a role EWAR will play in day-to-day combat.  Most encounters happen too quickly at the moment when we’re mostly flying small fighters.  In EVE, EWAR plays a large factor even in those types of encounters.  Or determines the outcome before the first shot was fired.  In that scenario, fitting EWAR modules is a foregone conclusion – a necessity of survival.  I could live without that level of EWAR in Star Citizen combat and have it more focused on being used in career pursuits.  But I’m okay dealing with however the chips fall on it.

SHOW NOTES

I hope you’ve enjoyed this look into the Herald and Drake Interplanetary.  Please check out the show notes on my blog for links to mentioned content such as the Herald ship page, Drake’s write up on RSI and the Magnus Galactic Guide.

If you found this episode useful and entertaining, please consider subscribing to my channel and giving the show 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.

 

END TRANSMISSION

Tying it all together

Understanding that the Herald was designed to intercept data, a fancy way of saying steal, we can imagine that part of gameplay.  I imagine there will be an opportunity to hijack information from ship systems, structures with data storage capabilities and possibly mobi devices.
If we also consider that it has a dedicated EWAR suite, that introduces offensive combat mechanics.  Acting as a scout, the herald can gather information about primary targets and relay that data back to the fleet. It may be possible for it to disable certain subsystems, which inches us closer to aspects of how EWAR plays out in EVE.  Exciting times and sounds like very interesting gameplay mechanics for a small two station ship.


Star Citizen Universe Historical Timeline

Related Content:

Show Transcript

Welcome to another episode of Casual Citizen. An on-going series about the upcoming first person MMO, Star Citizen by Cloud Imperium Games.  I’m your host Alysianah from the Mystic Worlds Gaming Blog.

This week’s episode returns to Star Citizen lore. I know people enjoy shows about ships, which is understandable.  But I don’t always have enough time to compile the content necessary to do a those the way I prefer.  I’m working on doing the Hull Series for next week.  For this week, I hope you enjoy this narrated look at our fictional universe timeline.

Please sit back, relax and enjoy.

BEGIN TRANSMISSION
2075: Roberts Space Industries introduces Quantum Core Engine Technology. Capable of traveling at 1/100th the speed of light, this new engine allows humanity to travel to the corners of our solar system with relative ease.

2113: Terraforming technology patented.

2120: First attempt to terraform Mars begins.

2125: The Mars Tragedy. An Early attempt at terraforming the planet suffers catastrophic failure. Over 5000 souls killed when the atmo collapses.

2140: First commercially available starship.

2157: Mars successfully terraformed. Memorial built to honor those killed in the Mars Tragedy.

2214: New version of the RSI engine released, allowing travel up to 1/10th the speed of light. More ships exploring our solar system.

2232: Artemis Launched. First attempt to have a manned spacecraft fly (slow-burn) to the nearest star system. Captain, crew and thousands of volunteer colonists are placed in stasis for the flight. Ultimately the ship disappears.

2262: A series of ships inexplicably disappear in the same area of space. Drawing comparisons to the Bermuda Triangle, the government declares the Neso Triangle a no-fly zone. There is much more myth and conjecture about why this happens than there are hard facts.

2271: After almost ten years of study, Nick Croshaw goes to investigate the Bermuda Triangle-esque Space Anomaly and discovers the first jump point, becoming the first human to travel to another system and the godfather of the modern Navjumpers.

2380: Croshaw System has been terraformed. The search for new jump points signifies the beginning of Humanity’s expansion to the stars. The Earth’s social and political differences are set aside. We are united in our desire to strike out into the stars. The United Nations of Earth (UNE) is born.

2438: First Contact. It is considerably less cinematic or romantic than many had dreamed of. An explorer encounters a Banu in Davien. He is just as surprised as we are. The Banu are also just beginning to expand into the universe. General Neal Socolovich and delegates negotiate the first intergalactic peace and trade treaty.

2460: Through expansion and terraforming, there are vast amounts of land and territory for humanity to move to. Earth is overcrowded, so more and more people are leaving to stake their claim out in the universe.

2516: Terra settlement established. Found at a confluence of jump points, it’s a perfect nexus.

2523: 70% of humans live off-world. They feel that they deserve equal representation in UNE proceedings. The government changes form once again, becoming the United Planets of Earth (UPE). The new government will be run by a tribunal; a High-Secretary (responsible for maintaining the infrastructure), High-General (responsible for expansion and protection), and a High-Advocate (responsible for maintaining the law).

2530: Discovery of the Xi’an Empire. We stumble into their territory without knowing and are about to start terraforming. High-General Volder receives criticism for being too aggressive, while there is muscle flexing and threats from both sides. A cold war of sorts begins, with occasional casualties, but not full-on open conflict.

2541: The UPE first establish contact with the Tevarin. While not as technologically advanced as us, they were just beginning to strike out into the universe. A proud, martial society, the Tevarin wanted what we had and struck first. The First Tevarin War begins. Colonel Ivar Messer, a brilliant and ruthless strategist, distinguishes himself in the Battle of Idris IV. He quickly becomes the pride of the military and the face of the War.

2546: Messer, now promoted to commander, brings the captured Tevarin leader to the UPE floor. He rides the popularity of his victory to become High-General. Claiming the Tribunal is an outdated system and cultivating a fear of the Xi’an, Messer proposes the creation of a new single office with the title of Prime Citizen. Upon election as the first (and last) Prime Citizen, it isn’t long before he restructures the government into the new United Empire of Earth (UEE) and anoints himself Imperator, ushering on in an age of unprecedented expansion and colonization.

2603-2610: The Second Tevarin War. Repopulated after hiding on the Fringe, the Tevarin have spent the last fifty years building their forces for the sole purpose of retaking their homeworld Kaleeth (renamed/resettled by the UEE as Elysium IV. While theirs is a cause that some humans could support, the UEE isn’t about to give up territory. Realizing that they can’t win, the Tevarin decide to make a final desperate push to scuttle their ships on Elysium IV. If they can’t live there, they will die there.

2638: Senator Assan Kieren of Terra publicly decries the pro-military agenda of the UEE and its unconditional support of the military-industrial complex. He calls for another vote of sovereignty for Terra and its adjacent systems. Imperator Messer XI wields the UEE’s brutally efficient propaganda machine to discredit and destroy Kieren, who disappears soon after. There are rumors that he is murdered, but nothing can be proven.

2681: The Vanduul, a nomadic leeward race in the west, starts raiding our new settlements in the Tevarin systems and disappearing. They seemingly have no homeworld; each Vanduul clan is a roaming fleet, making them exceedingly hard to catch.

2715-2788: The military regime reaches a plateau. While the human populace has been somewhat beaten into submission, there’s a current of subversion in the culture. People are starting to see the cracks in the system. Activist groups launch attacks against the political/propaganda machine. The military is stretched thin, bracing for war with Xi’an, chasing down Vanduul raiders, and trying to maintain security on the human systems. The Imperator’s power is waning.

2789: In a daring act of defiance, peace is independently brokered with the young Xi’an Emperor Kray by Senator Terrence Akari of Terra, who refuses to fight open war on his doorstep. Terra blasts Earth for being imperialistic and short-sighted. Xi’an looks at the situation as a potential way to create a divide in the Human Empire.

2792: The Massacre of Garron II. A terraforming Corp begins to terraform an inhabited planet. The inhabitants weren’t star-travelers, just a developing race, which gets wiped out from the atmo-processors. The corp vehemently denies that the aliens were capable of conscious thought. Activist vid footage of the aliens’ rational behavior is leaked to the Spectrum. It is also revealed that the terraforming Corp is closely tied to the Benevolent Imperator’s family. That’s the final straw; the people rise up and overthrow the government. Erin Toi of Earth becomes the new Imperator and promises an age of enlightenment and social consciousness.

2795: The Fair Chance Act is ratified, decreeing that is a capital crime to attempt to terraform planets with developing creatures. These planets are to be left alone to give the species a chance to advance/evolve.

2800: UEE builds the Ark, a repository of information and culture located in space for all the races in the universe. It is seen by some as an attempt at reparation.

2872: In response to criticism that humanity is only interested in greed and blood, the UEE embarks on its greatest achievement: a SynthWorld, converting a lifeless rock into a life-sustaining planet. Construction begins in Chronos system. It is viewed as the current era’s legacy. A massive undertaking, it will take decades, maybe centuries to complete.

2920: The SynthWorld project is moving slowly and it’s draining the Empire economically. This is the point where our reach starts exceeding our grasp. The disparity between the rich and the poor is reaching an all-time divide, and the poor are reacting with greater and greater frustration. The Vanduul attacks are growing in frequency and the UEE doesn’t seem to be doing a thing about it.

2942: Today…