This is Alysianah from the Mystic Worlds gaming blog with another episode of Casual Citizen. A series about Cloud Imperium Games’ ambitious crowd funded games Star Citizen and Squadron 42. The goal is to help casual follower or players understand the games and stay abreast of important events.
For as much information as Cloud Imperium Games has on the Star Citizen game site, figuring out what’s currently playable, flyable and how to join up, isn’t an easy task. For casual followers of the game, it can easily become information overload. In this episode we’re going to focus on unlocking the mystery of how to become a Star Citizen.
Let’s begin by reiterating that Star Citizen is FAR from a completed game! Star Citizen is using an open development process that allows supporters to play test content as it becomes available. Players who choose to participate in this process can provide CONSTRUCTIVE FEEDBACK that contributes to improving the breadth of testing that’s possible and in some cases, refine how mechanics are implemented.
That said, remember that we are not shareholders or part of the Cloud Imperium Games development staff. Whether or not to utilize feedback being provided is ultimately up to them and their collective vision for the game as a whole. The reasons behind some of their decisions may not initially be apparent to us, as we’re only seeing tiny slices of mechanics at a time. That ends my personal disclaimer in hopes that if you do choose to fund Star Citizen and participate in play testing, you’ll behave as a positive influence in our growing community.
As of this recording, the only way to have permanent access to play-test Star Citizen content being released to backers, is by purchasing a GAME PACKAGE. Game packages currently include a ship, alpha and beta PLAYTEST access to Star Citizen, first episodes released for Squadron 42, a ship hangar and other digital assets depending on the package.
The variance in package prices reflect the ship or ships being included in the pledge you’re contributing toward development. Remember that ships being purchased now can be acquired in-game without using real life cash once the game releases. The primary reason to pledge/purchase now is to fund the development of the game. If you’re not into play-testing alpha quality content or early access games, this scenario isn’t for you. Stop now – beyond here be dragons. It’s better for you to wait for the beta or released game than becoming disgruntled, upset and foaming at the mouth over alpha quality content.
If however, you possess the willingness and patience then listen on, we’re glad to have you come aboard.
Choosing the Fly Now option is the easiest and lowest costing method of obtaining a game package that is regularly available.
Fly Now presents you with two $45 USD options for backing Star Citizen.
First up is the Aurora MR which is actually one of three ships in the Aurora line. The MR is the middle of the road choice between a combat focused ship and low price point ship with cargo capacity.
The other option is the Mustang Alpha. A fast ship often used for racing. The Mustang can also stand up to combat. But it wouldn’t be my first choice as a dedicated combat ship.
You may see people talking about the Star Citizen Starter package. These are limited offer packages that are discounted to $30 USD and only offered during special events. If you really want to play-test NOW I wouldn’t wait around for one. If you’re on the fence, then keep your eyes open for the next special event or sale where these will be offered. Be forewarned – the Star Citizen Starter packages tend to sell out very quickly when restocked.
Fairly recently CIG has added a Squadron 42 pre-order package which is essentially the Aurora MR Fly Now package but is only available until Squadron 42 releases in 2016. At some point in the not too distant future they will remove Squadron 42 as a standard part of game packages and sell it as a stand alone item. Therefore buying a game package NOW is the cheapest you will ever be able to buy both games and participate in the play test.
In summary, the easiest and cheapest way to become a Star Citizen and have permanent access to play test content and the first release of Squadron 42, is by purchasing one of the two Fly Now options which are the Aurora MR and Mustang Alpha.
Don’t blackout from sticker shock when you see the price tag on some of the other Game Packages. These are for people who want to contribute that much to the game’s development in exchange for the contents of those packages.
I suggest that until you know more about what you want to do in Star Citizen, you stick to the ships in the $45 to $100 USD range. If you want to contribute more at a later date, by way of acquiring a large ship, you can upgrade your existing ship using the Cross Chassis Upgrade system that I’ll discuss in a future episode.
All you need to know now is that you will get 100% purchase price CREDIT on any ship you buy. You can in turn use the credit to upgrade to different ship in the future. This means you have nothing to lose by starting small until you know more about the game and whether or not it’s really going to float your boat.
In case you couldn’t help surfing beyond the Fly Now options, let’s discuss things you might consider even as a casual citizen. Unfortunately is rather easy to become confusing about what you’re purchasing if you free roam the “All Game Packages” section of RSI. Let’s discuss what’s there at a high level but don’t you dare take a gander at “All Ships” yet! You must learn to walk first little duck. You are not prepared for what lurks under “All Ships”.
The “All Game Packages” section contains all packages that are purchasable as pledges to fund Star Citizen. However, not all the ships are ready for play testing. And this is what trips some people up when trying to pledge.
“Flight ready” ships are viewable in your hangar AND are available for play-testing. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re 100% in their final release state. Remember THIS IS ALPHA. Things can and will continue to change. However, enough of the design and technical implementation have been defined and developed, that these ships are ready to be used on a regular basis. Say this with me…Flight ready ship means I can use it now.
A second category of ship are those that are only “hangar ready”. “Hangar ready” ships are viewable in your hangar but ARE NOT ready for play-testing. The development pipeline classification allows you to see your new toy inside your hangar. You can go inside the ship’s cockpit and/or interior to see a preview of the design intent. Note that these ships often contain placeholder elements so don’t become concerned if an interior element doesn’t look as high fidelity as something else you’ve seen. This isn’t a finished ship.
When you own a ship that is only “Hangar Ready” you will have a loaner ship available to fly but that loaner won’t be sitting in your hanger. However, when you go to join any module that contains flight options the name of a ship you don’t actually own will be in the list for you. That’s your loaner and you’ll have access to it until your ship is “Flight Ready”. In summary, Hangar Ready means you can see it in your hangar and walk around inside of it but it’s not flyable and even its visual aspects may contain placeholder elements.
Another classification of ship that is frequently discussed, so you should be aware of is a “Concept Ship”. For all intents and purposes, these ships are still at the “on paper” stage.
The ship’s intent is known but it’s VERY early in the design process. A good amount of players do pledge for concept ships because of their special roles, which are usually tied to specific professions. If you know for sure that you’re interested in something like mining for example, and want to start out with a mining ship, you could have purchased the Orion concept ship, which is the first dedicated mining ship introduced. At concept means, there’s nothing to show you but pictures and possibly a design document discussing its planned implementation and in-game mechanics. Generally speaking, these ships are a long way from being made “Flight Ready”.
Players who’ve pledged by purchasing concept ships also receive a loaner ship to fly but nothing will be sitting in the hangar for that ship until it’s “hangar ready”. So… Concept ships are for people who are really sure about their commitment to playing Star Citizen and have a strong grasp on what they plan to do. These ships are furthest away from being delivered and there won’t be anything to see but pictures online. You won’t have anything related to the ship in your hangar but you will have a loaner available in any module that has ship flight.
PLEASE make sure you know the at least the difference between Flight Ready, Hangar Ready and Concept Ship, if you’re going to move beyond the “Fly Now” page to make your first pledge.
If that brief explanation left your mind twisted and triggered a bout of terrets, stick to my advice of starting small. Get yourself a package that contains a flight ready ship until you understand what’s going on more completely.
From the Fly Now page you have the Aurora MR or Mustang Alpha for $45 USD. Go for the Aurora MR is you want more variety in capabilities in the Persistent Universe, as it has cargo space.
If you’re a bit bolder step beyond Fly Now and have a look at ….
Good Lord. I don’t know about you but that wore me the hell out. Just outlining all of this as talking points was a brain teaser, so I can imagine how complicated this can all feel if you’re completely new to Star Citizen.
I’m going to call it quits here. Be sure to check out the show notes for the RSI links I’ve mentioned as well as videos from other Star Citizen content creators that are relevant to today’s episode. If you do sign up to become a Star Citizen and feel this content was useful please consider using my referral code found in the show notes. I’ll earn some in-game goodies and you’ll be given 5K UEC to spend in Voyager Direct store.
In the next show we’ll discuss what there is to play-test in the current Live version of Star Citizen and what’s all this “multi-crew ship” stuff people are drooling over. We also go where there be dragons to review the ship upgrade system.
Welcome to the Star Citizen NightBus, a quirky mixture of fact, fiction and opinion. I’m your host, Alysianah from AlysianahsWorld.com. This week’s show focuses on community reactions, lore and more fan fiction. I’ll have to save the conclusion of Bryony’s Dilemma for the next episode. I need to finish the final edits. I’d planned it for this show but Chop Shop got away from me. What I sat down to write as Flash Fiction ended up shorty story length.
Our show topics are:
Sit back, relax and I’ll see you on the other side…
Exiting statis. The Nightbus departing in 3…2…1
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Star Citizen Referral code: REFERRAL CODE: STAR-QSVR-JFTR
SO MUCH ANGST
Some weeks it feels as though the Star Citizen community is trying its best to tear its throat out. Pages of angst filled posts on Reddit, rage posts on the forums and angry comments everywhere. I’m not sure I quite get what all the drama is about.
It’s not that I don’t see the fumbles being made by Cloud Imperium Games on their way to developing the ambitious project collectively known as Star Citizen. I shake my head at some of the decisions. I cringe at the fodder they too easily hand to their detractors. I feel embarrassed at times that they don’t cover their asses a bit better. Baby, it’s cold out in a world where you’re tottering on being the most expensive game ever made and title for most crowdfunded project. And yet, anger isn’t an emotion I’ve experienced.
A senior VP I worked closely with for many years and respected, gave me some valuable advice to help me temper my expectations of others, as someone who tends to over achieve. First is that most people endeavor to do the right thing and be good at their jobs. They don’t go out of their way to fail. And when they do, it’s not intentional. Accusations and recriminations aren’t helpful and don’t change the outcome. Suggestions for improvement without emotion and negative words are better received. And to remember that everything appears easier than it really is, when you’re gaping from the outside looking in.
It’s not that I’m not emotionally invested in Star Citizen being successful. I’ve pledged a considerable amount and of course want to see the day that my expectations are realized. However, I haven’t witnessed any missteps, mistakes or less than stellar choices that I perceive to be intentional. Lacking INTENT, I can be disappointed but it doesn’t move me to anger. Nor do they inspire me to issue internet threats.
If you’ve had enough, that’s your right. But do the readers on reddit or the forums really need to know that you’re done! It’s over! For you, the sky is falling and it brought the last straw with it! Take that noise to customer support and keep it moving. More importantly, why are you back next week and the week after still yapping? Move on. Let it go. It’s a game. When I’m done with a thing, I’m done with a thing.
CIG has certainly had their fair share of speed bumps and times they appear out of touch, at least with the vocal minority, which I’m not a fan of them reacting to anyway, and even then I’m still all in. It’s not defending. It’s not being a zealot. It’s about realizing this is a complicated project with many moving parts. A team effort where some of the players at bat, haven’t competed in the World Series before. This is their first quest for a championship ring and mistakes will be made. Even Jordan has failed – missed a free throw, didn’t pass the ball when he should have, rimmed out of the basket at the buzzer. Who among us IS perfect? No one at your job makes mistakes? Management has never made a questionable decision?
I simply can’t see any evidence of them not working hard and trying their best to deliver the dream that is Star Citizen. Until I see evidence to the contrary, I continue to be supportive, open-minded, enthusiastic and patient.
That said, I’m not immune to being disappointed or rolling my eyes at some decisions – Holiday Live Stream I’m looking at you. And then there’s the announcement of Lumberyard which sent some people reeling. Why I don’t know. All was explained in due time. Not like we get a vote anyway so the entitled sense of needing to know details immediately seemed completely out of place to me.
Like most I wish there was more content, the whole project progressing faster, more stable, better performance, etc. But mouth foaming, spital spouting, rage posting, hate spewing angry??? Nah, not even close to warranted.
How are you feeling about CIG, Star Citizen and the community reactions overall?
LORE FROM ZERAH
Accessing ARK Starmap data bank for Tanga…
Government Alignment is Unclaimed
At the heart of an unusual rectangular planetary nebula, lies the Tanga star system. The main-sequence star at the its center has entered into a white dwarf phase.
With Tanga’s two planets located on the outer edges of the system, scientists believe its inner planets were destroyed when the star expanded. Miners have found a variety of precious and heavy metals in its asteroid belt and believe the resources to be remnants of Tanga’s inner planets. The star has ejected its outer layers and formed a picturesque nebula that draws sightseers to the system.
Tanga now consists of Tanga 1 a former gas giant, Tanga 2 an Ice Giant, the Tanga Belt Alpha asteroid belt and Jump Point access to Bremen and Odin.
Record complete. It was my pleasure to serve you. Thank you for using the The ARK.
For more information on Tanga be sure to check out the Starmap matrix on Alysianahsworld.com. I’ll include a direct link in the show notes.
PVP – ARE YOU IN OR OUT?
Even though there have always been plans for Star Citizen to include PVP, there are backers more interested in a PVE only experience. In the early days, CIG discussed having a slider that would allow players to set their preference for exposure to PVP encounters. That idea has since been scrapped for technical reasons but we haven’t had definitive information on how it will work instead.
Although I play MMOs that include PVP, I don’t consider myself a PVP player. I will fight if someone brings drama to my door. I will participate in org PVP ops. However, I would never play a game that focused heavily on PVP such as Darkfall. Some might consider EVE Online in that category but I’d disagree, because of the robust economy and industry careers options.
I think the sooner CIG clarifies how this is going to work the better off for the community. Posts from players complaining that someone is camping the landing pad at Grim Hex or killed them unprovoked at Covalex, leads me to believe they don’t understand the game they’ve signed up for. And it’s not helpful that we haven’t been provided a clear black-n-white document spelling it out.
Personally, I prefer rulesets where there are distinct PVE and PVP zones such as World of Warcraft, Aion, ArchAge, etc. I find this to be the best of both worlds. PVE only players know where to stay and PVP players have their areas of conflict. For all the horrors of the launch, hacks and cash shop grab, ArcheAge had an excellent ruleset for PVP. It rewarded players for taking the risk of traversing PVP zones. Certain materials and NPC payouts could only be acquired in PVP areas. The highest payouts for delivering goods necessitated that you cross PVP zones as well.
Want to play it safe and enjoy yourself? Great, you can do that minus the best rewards since you’re taking less risk. I did both. When I was alone delivering goods I took the best price I could get transporting across safe zones. With the guild, we travel through PVP zones on land and by sea. For these reasons, I always felt the ArchAge model was a win-win.
Based on how security has been implemented in Stanton, I get the impression that the Star Citizen PVP ruleset is going to be closer to EVE Online. There will the zones where you should be relatively safe but no game mechanics to ensure it. If someone wants to trade their life for yours, they can. If someone wants to trade their ship for yours, they can. NPC security will retaliate but it won’t prevent the aggressor from killing you first. This is how it works in EVE and for the most part, is an excellent deterrent.
Concord, EVE’s NPC security, is no joke. There is no surviving their retribution. None. If you attack someone in safe space, your ship is forfeit. There was a time when kamikaze killings of players in safe zones was done for lulz. These days, it’s a bit more sophisticated with pirates having alts or friends there to pick up dropped goods and salvage the wrecks, after killing haulers in safe zones. So now it’s done for profit but even still, it’s not a common occurrence in my experience.
I’d be okay with an EVE like model but that’s not going to be to everyone’s taste. I think the retribution options need to be strong and swift. The gradual permadeath mechanic will also be a deterrent to some but not all. Whatever the plans are, it’s important for them to be clarified sooner than later.
Let’s get the misconceptions cleared up as soon as possible so players can make informed decisions. Related to this topic, I recently did an article on Redacted.TV discussing the Top 10 Things Star Citizen players can learn from EVE Online. Some players are going to need an attitude adjustment and realignment of expectations, to get the most out of a sandbox MMO with PVP elements. EVE now has a F2P model that I highly recommend. I’ll include a link in the show notes.
What’s your stance on PVP? What’s your best case scenario for a PVP ruleset in Star Citizen?
That wraps up another episode of the Star Citizen NightBus. I hope you’ve enjoyed it. If you have, please considering subscribing to my channel and giving this episode a thumbs up. Also consider using my referral code if you haven’t created an account on Robertsspaceindustries.com. Doing so will give you 5K in game credits when the game goes live and grants me some in-game goodies.
Be kind and fly safe. This is Alysianah signing off until next time.
The Nightbus has arrived. Please watch your step while departing. Re-entering stasis in 3…2…1
Hello World, it’s Alysianah from AlysianahsWorld.com. I’m back with another episode of the Star Citizen NightBus. I apologize in advance for this uncharacteristically long show, owed to finishing out Bryony’s Dilemma. Avail yourself of the time-stamps listed in the video description to skip around. Having promised the conclusion in this episode, I didn’t want to break it up into a fourth installment.
This week’s show topics are:
HOW TO SUPPORT THE SHOW AND WEBSITE
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Funny how things work out. The show’s audio was recorded a few weeks ago but I was too busy to edit and produce. Two of the topics were recently covered by CIG.
BAR CITIZEN, WHERE IT ALL BEGAN
Bar Citizen is something of a gaming community phenomenon in my experience. It started slowly at first, people getting together in lieu of being able to attend official events being held by Cloud Imperium Games. Now, they’re happening all over the place and with increasingly frequency. It’s a wonderful thing to connect in person with others who share your passion for a topic – gaming or otherwise. I hope it bodes well for the longevity of this community and its ability to be friendly, cooperative and inviting. So where did the official Bar Citizen scene begin? You’re about to find out.
From Jorunn, one of the curators of the Bar Citizen site and its Discord channels.
There were some Bar Citizens here and there for a couple of years but only in a few places were they regular. Elsewhere there were efforts to use the forums to get people together but they seemed to mostly fizzle out, even though there was a lot of interest.
GrayHeadedGamer and Twerk17 wanted to get a Florida Bar Citizen event together and I was asked to take point. This turned out to be a perfect confluence of my passion for Star Citizen, event management and team building skills.
We figured Orlando would be a good central location for the state with a lot of possible places to meet. GHG started the Florida Discord Channel that was used as a coordination point. I went to the forums and tracked down everyone who had ever expressed interest in a meetup, tagged them all in a forum post with event info, possible venues, and a date that would give us enough time to organize, and directed them to the discord channel.
By the time it was said and done, I’d tagged around 140 people from the forums and started to get many people in the Discord with a lot of interest. Sofiegirl mentioned the upcoming Bar to SC community managers, who in turn lent their support. The upcoming Bar Citizen was featured in an ATV Spotlight and Community Manager Tyler Witkin attended the event.
The rest is history. Momentum continued to grow up to the event and after. The rising interest encouraged us to formalize the process with a website where events could be listed and to find additional event planners.
Well done one and all! I think the Bar Citizen movement is nothing short of amazing. I haven’t had the opportunity to attend one yet myself. Real life continues to conspire against me but I plan to. Hats off to all the organizers and to CIG for getting behind the events. I’ll include a link to the official Bar Citizen website in the show notes.
ABBREVIATED STAR SYSTEM GUIDE: DAVIEN
According to the current ARK Starmap: Managing Government is UEE, Population is high, Economic standing is low and is the general threat level.
Davien is most famous for being the location of our first alien contact. In 2483, a NavJumper named Vernon Tar took a potshot at a Banu pilot, mistaking him for a pirate. Things were smoothed over and the first interstellar peace treaty was formed. Humans quickly flooded the system to do business with the Banu. However, as larger systems and more jump point tunnels were discovered, interest gradually moved elsewhere.
Highlights for Player Careers and Commodities:
Interstellar Travel: Davien contains Jump Point Tunnels to Ferron, Kilian, Sol, Cano, and Cathcart
For more information on Davien and the Banu, check out articles on Aly’s Starmap Matrix and Detailed Star System Dossier pages on Alysianahsworld.com. I’ll include direct links in the show notes.
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
The Star Citizen NightBus is a quirky mixture of Star Citizen fact, fiction and opinion. This week’s topics are: Data-Makers, Trolley Cart Interlude, Space Hobos, Greetings from Zerah, Star Citizen as a Board Game, Bryony’s Dilemma Part 2 of 3.
OTHER HELPFUL LINKS
Doing a show like The NightBus has been on my mind for many months. Paying homage to the Night Bus in the Harry Potter series, I wanted a show format where I could discuss whatever was on my mind about the game AND the often fickle backer community. One that allowed more flexibility in the content and didn’t require the considerable research necessary to do Casual Citizen which is aimed at helping to educate users. Moreover, I wanted to experiment with including fiction from CIG, fan fiction from others and some of my own to add more creativity in what’s being produced.
Unlike Casual Citizen, TNB doesn’t focus on the visual aspect of the show. It’s designed primarily as an auditory experience. There may be times when I don’t have video that’s pertinent to the topic at hand. I’m looking into options of what I can use for complimentary visual effects long term. It also won’t be available on SoundCloud. I’ve had to maintain an annual service account on SoundCloud to host audio only versions of Casual Citizen and my narration of the Star Citizens Writer’s Guide because of the total length of the uploads. If not, SoundCloud starts removing shows from the earliest uploaded. This would result in an incomplete series for the Writer’s Guide which is the first series of content I produced for Star Citizen. in 2017, I won’t be continuing the $200 annual subscription needed to host as much content there as I do. I’ll look into another means that can utilize the website infrastructure I’m already paying to maintain for Alysianahsworld.com.
You can listen to the first episode of The NightBus here on YouTube. I’m hoping that the reduced production requirements will allow me to release these more frequently. I have tons of ideas of things I want to share, but there just aren’t enough hours in the day. *Smile*
Anvil Aerospace was founded in 2772. To this day, it remains one of Terra’s success stories. The company’s focus has been on delivering military-grade equipment to the UEE navy. Anvil’s entry into the civilian market is relatively new. While there had been internal debate over the company making this move, the UEE weighed in favorably on the idea. The government thought outfitting civilians with military-styled capabilities was a prudent cautionary measure for solidifying our general defenses. Equipped with Anvil ships, these pilots could be called upon as local militia, especially in distant frontiers.
Many of us will undoubtedly explore the star systems that comprise the Star Citizen universe. Participating in player missions and pursuing careers will necessitate some travel. I can’t imagine anyone playing Star Citizen without some intention to explore. That said, they’re exploring in the vein of sightseeing and then there’s the career or more serious pursuit of exploration.
To perform exploration as a career choice in Star Citizen, necessitates that at a minimum you can, navigate jump points, scan areas to identify space anomalies, categorize the information and accurately document your findings. Several ships will fit the bill of performing minimal exploration, like the Aurora ES. However, for more serious pursuit there are other modules and amenities that improve the overall experience for you and your crew. This is where a ship like the Anvil Carrack comes into play. It’s designed with sustained deep space exploration in mind. And includes features that support longer duration self sustained exploration excursions.
The Anvil Carrack is a multi-crew ship that supports 5 crew stations. Like several of the other ships manufactured by Anvil Aerospace, the Carrack was originally a military exclusive. Here are the features that set the Anvil apart as a dedicated exploration vessel
As of this posting the Carrack is in the concept / early design phase. Backers who pledged to Star Citizen development via the Carrack are likely looking for the “Go where no man has gone before” experience. At a minimum, we know that exploration will include locating and charting new jump points, surveying and charting systems, detecting other space anomalies such as black holes, etc. Opportunities for this much is already evident in the ARK Starmap published by Cloud Imperium Games. For more information on the system discoveries that await, please see my article about this subject here on Redacted.TV.
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As this will be one of the professions many new players gravitate toward, here’s a quick overview of the mining profession. It was one of the first career design documents published and is supposedly representative of their philosophy for all careers. Which is that career associated tasks contain activities that require skill, dext, rity and intelligence, where mindless repetition or idle monitoring are explicitly avoided.
This is after all, deep space and although a career isn’t combat oriented there’s danger present. In the case of mining, the more valuable materials will reside in dense asteroid fields that must be piloted through without suffering serious damage to your ship. While mining, you can encounter compressed pockets of gas and other volatile materials that can explode in the presence of excessive energy or detonate from seismic activity. In other words, this isn’t an auto-pilot profession and careless players can die.
IN THE BEGINNING
Visiting your local Trade and Development Division (TDD), which serves as the marketplace for commodities, can provide a sense of what’s in demand, at what price and where. Once you’ve decided on what you want to attempt to mine, it’s time to decide between going freelance or acquiring a contract for those materials from a NPC run corporation.
There are benefits and risks of working freelance. On the good, you are your own master. You set your mining schedule and pace. You may be able to sell your cargo for a higher than average price based on market changes. However, the opposite is also a risk. By the time you return with your cargo and list it for auction, the prices may have decreased.
If a committed payout is preferred, working on contract is the better option. You know exactly how much you will be paid for your cargo. However, this isn’t completely without risk. If during the excursion your ship suffers damage OR unforeseen setbacks delay your return or reduce your cargo, your reputation will take a hit. In the end, you are paid less than you expected because of your performance and that performance has a lasting impact on future employment.
LOCATING THE RIGHT ASTEROID FIELDS
After deciding between freelance and contract, it’s time to locate asteroids that contain the materials you seek. Every solar system will contain a variety of public information on major asteroid fields. It’s probably best to head into the known when you’re starting. However, don’t expect to find the more lucrative materials there. If they existed in that location, they’re likely long gone. However, it’s still a good place to start mining common materials.
Freelancers wanting to maximize their profits can opt to spend money on an Information Broker. This is someone who has knowledge about asteroid fields which aren’t public. They either bought the information from someone else or obtained the coordinates through exploration and are using that information to provide a service.
Lastly, you can explore the galaxy yourself. This will be the most time-consuming approach and not likely to be feasible for contract work that contains deadlines. However, combined with an emphasis on exploration, a freelancer could turn an excellent profit by harvesting from isolated/unknown locations and/or selling the information to an Information Broker. You could also be an explorer and information broker yourself but we’re here to talk about mining. *Smile*
GETTING THE JOB DONE
Mining consists of multiple roles, and is done using a ship configured for mining, such as the Orion. The more proficiency you have with performing a role the more efficient the results, which ultimately impacts effort versus profit. Note that any or all of these roles can be performed by NPCs. The NPC’s proficiency will be commensurate with their fee.
As for solo play as a miner, the design document leads me to believe that it’s not possible to mine completely solo – without players or NPCs. Roles that happen sequentially can be carried out by the same person. However, there are activities that take place simultaneously and as such, require multiple bodies.
The pilot is responsible for safely navigating the ship to and within targeted asteroid fields. This may not be as simple as it sounds. Rarer materials will be located in dense fields which require nimble navigation skills to avoid costly ship damage.
A scan operator is responsible for identifying an asteroid’s composition. This is accomplished by injecting remote material analysis packages (RMAPs) into nearby asteroids. The telemetry data is sent to the pilot and scan operator. Once a site is selected, the optimal injection orientation is displayed. The scan operator launches and manually controls RMAP-equipped missiles used to impact the asteroid at the correct location to expose the materials you want to mine. Actual mining efficiency is impacted by the accuracy of the scan operator’s efforts to expose the asteroid’s components.
Next up is the beam operator who is responsible for wielding the mining beam affixed to the ship’s robotic arms. They have direct control over beam output and if they’re good, are able to precisely extract materials. Their control of the beam is also critical to safety, as an injection of surplus energy into volatile materials can cause explosive chain reactions. The result of such a mistake can range from ship damage to the loss of the ship and its crew.
The cargo operator is the sifting and pick-up role. Mined materials are NOT automagically deposited into your vessel. The cargo operator monitors the fragments being excavated by the mining beam and interrogates them using an integrated Fragment Scanner. Fragments of interest are directed into a ship’s input port. The input port houses a crusher that pulverizes the fragments into rubble and stores the contents into cargo modules. The skill of this person also impacts the value of your payload. They can miss important fragments or be so slow that they impact your efficiency, putting you behind schedule for contract deliveries.
If your ship is equipped with a refinery, the refinery operator will process raw ore into its purified forms, ejecting waste elements out into space. Purified materials consume considerably less storage space which allows your operation to continue for extended periods of time before it becomes necessary to dock and unload.
Whew, that’s more involved than the mining I’ve done in other games such as EVE Online. I have no intention of mining in Star Citizen. Even in this interactive model, there are other things I’d rather do to earn a living. However, I’m sure this is going to appeal to a lot of people which is why I wanted to provide a short overview of the mechanics involved. Here’s a link to the design document for a more detailed look at the profession.
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OH MY GAWD, they had me at profession…
For a long time now, I’ve had a vision of the role I wanted to play in Star Citizen. I saw myself playing out a female version of Mal from Firefly. My love for FF is undeniable. I create and sell FF inspired jewelry. On some level, this role would also mirror my career in EVE Online, which existed long before there were salvage specific ships available.
In EVE, salvage appealed to me because I liked the freedom to engage random rats and salvage their ships while exploring, salvage kills from riding shotgun during mining ops, leech cleaning around AFK miners and cleaning up after my own PVE missions. It certainly didn’t hurt that salvage was lucrative, even for freshies, which is what I was when I started. I suddenly had a license to print ISK in EVE, after a long suffering stint of poverty. As such, my vision for SC was a more RP and environmentally lush version of this. I knew there would be piracy/PVP, FPS pew-pew, industry/mining, etc., none of which excited me as a primary focus. I was content and excited about the vision I held.
To cement my vision, I purchased a Freelancer, now upgraded to Freelancer MAX before they announced the salvage specific ship, the Reclaimer. Even so, the FM would be good enough until I upgraded in the future to the Reclaimer. La la la, all was settled in my SC world.
That was until I saw a YouTube video discussing the recently unveiled Genesis Starliner and the accompanying transport career. My mouth fell open, hit the floor and remained there. I watched the video multiple times. I went to the RSI website and read the content for myself. Why oh why, did RSI include interactive content allowing you to see the travel brochures someone might read when planning a vacation and then choose a destination from an airport departures board, which tied to a short RP story of a passenger aboard the ship. It was a sucker punch to my gut that excited me for a SC experience that was very different from the one I had planned in my head.
I could pilot and manage a civilian transport business. I COULD PILOT AND MANAGE A CIVILIAN TRANSPORT BUSINESS. I could do this with friends. I could do this with guildmates! WhatchootalkinboutWillis??
WHY I’M ENTHRALLED
I shouldn’t have but I COULD NOT HELP MYSELF. I pledged / purchased the Genesis Starliner. As I said, they had me at profession.
The majority of MISC’s business comes from the production of their heavy industrial division. One of MISC’s claims to fame is their technology partnership with the Xi’an, which came about due to the popularity of MISC ships within their culture. That popularity led to MISC becoming the only Human spacecraft corporation to sign a lend-lease agreement with the Xi’an. The details of which, are a closely guarded secret.
MISC Hull A
The Hull A is the smallest and least expensive in the Hull series. It’s ideal for someone who is just starting out in freight hauling and is looking for a dedicated cargo vessel. In size, it’s most similar to the Aurora, Mustang or Reliant Kore but is less versatile. The aforementioned ships are configured with more firepower, allowing them to also be used in combat. This is not the case for the Hull A.
The Hull A is 22 meters in length. Has a mass of roughly fourteen thousand kilograms. Supports 1 crew station. And holds 48 cargo units. In addition to being a dedicated hauler, the Hull A is often used as a station-to-orbit ferry. The size and limited capabilities is one of the reasons the Hull A didn’t meet my needs even as someone who will only casual participate in cargo hauling. But I think it’s a good starter option for a dedicated hauler.
MISC Hull B
Next in the Hull series is the Hull B. It’s a larger and more rugged option than the Hull A. It can be compared to the Freelancer base model but here again, it’s less flexible in the non-cargo hauling features, lacking a long range scanner and is only equipped with one crew station. However, the lack of versatility is compensated for by providing additional storage capacity. Even the Freelancer MAX’s storage capabilities don’t match the Hull B.
The Hull be is 49 meters in length and weighs roughly sixty-seven thousand kilograms. It supports 1 crew station and can transport 384 cargo units. As you can see, that’s a significant jump in storage units from the Hull A’s 48.
The Hull B is the variant I purchased. For smaller, on the go hauling, I have a Reliant Kore. And although I also own the Freelancer Mercantile, I’m going to be using that for multi-crew missions and tour bus for family and friends. For opportunistic hauling with a bit of intent, the Hull B hit the right chord for me.
MISC Hull C
The Hull C. This is where the Hull series makes a significant leap in cargo transport size. The Hull C is one of the more common ships seen transporting cargo around the galaxy. It’s the variant most produced from the Hull series and is considered the most versatile.
The Hull C is intended to hit the ‘sweet spot’ between the smaller single-person transports and the massive super-freighters that make up the rest of the line. It offers modularity while maintaining a modicum of maneuverability.
Considering the Hull series sequentially, the Hull C is the first in the series to employ the spindle modularity cargo support mechanic. This unique design allows the ship to shrink and grow to match your cargo hauling needs.
The ship itself is 105 meters in length and weighs just under 290,00 kilograms. It supports 3 crew stations and 4608 cargo units. That’s more than 10 times what Hull B can haul.
MISC Hull D
Now we enter the realm of large operation super-freighters. It’s the Hull D, a massive ship built around a rugged frame. The Hull D is affordable enough to be operated by mid-sized organizations and companies. It’s often used as a flagship for mercantile operations. However, their bulk means that they should be operated with escort fighters while not in safe space. While it is equipped with Size 2 and 3 gimbal mounts as weapons support, it’s size would make it an easy target regardless. The UEE military uses modified Hull D as part of their supply chain, arming and refueling the soldiers on the front line.
The Hull D cab is 206 meters and weighs over 1 million kilograms. It supports 5 crew stations and 20,736 cargo units. This is for serious…dedicated…cargo transport.
MISC Hull E
Last in the series is the behemoth, Hull E. It’s the largest specialized freighter available on the market. The Hull E is generally owned by major corporations and operated with a high degree of planning. To make your excursions profitable, you want to do careful logistics planning that optimizes your route for pickup and delivery. And ensure you have payloads big enough and profitable enough to warrant undocking a Hull E.
It’s essential to understand that the lack of maneuverability inherent in such a large ship means that it is a target for pirates and raiders. Anyone planning to operate one should be careful about equipping turrets and providing reliable escort. The Hull E isn’t for the fly by night cargo operator. It’s intended for large scale dedicated transport operations.
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Casual Citizen Episode 16 – MISC Hull Series
The majority of MISC’s business comes from the production of their heavy industrial division. One of MISC’s claims to fame, is their technology partnership with the Xi’An, which came about due to the popularity of MISC ships within their culture. That popularity led to MISC becoming the only Human spacecraft corporation to sign a lend lease agreement with the Xi’An. The details of which, are a closely guarded secret.
In recent years, MISC has turned its attention to advancing its two ship lines marked for personal use – the Freelancer and Starfarer. They’ve funneled profit from their corporate revenue to break into this crowded segment, battling against giants such as Roberts Space Industries and Drake Interplanetary.
Our discussion of the Starfarer will be solely on the refueling variant. We’ll save discussion of the Gemini for a future show.
The Starfarer is a niche spacecraft which has become the defacto standard for fuel transport. Its design is the result of an 18-month survey that yielded a 15,000 page study on ship roles and the deficiencies faced by pilots. That insight influenced the core design philosophy for the Starfarer. And led to it being fitted as a dual-role fueling craft, capable of collecting fuel in space and refueling ships in-flight.
The Starfarer’s massive internal fuel tanks are welded directly to the ship’s core superstructure. This makes safer for fuel transport than ships modified to carry out this role. The tanks use external probes and pressure access nodes to provide easy access. In this manner, the ship can scoop hydrogen from a gas giant and just as easily funnel fuel to a nearby ship.
Starfarers can be upgraded to include a basic refinery to allow for processing unrefined fuel themselves. The hydrogen tanks can also be modified to carry liquid food products. Although this modification isn’t popular, you can replace the tanking machinery with a cargo chassis to transport bulk goods.
Even though the Starfarer can be modified for other roles, remember that it’s primarily a dedicated fuel platform. And designed from the ground up to be that. It won’t perform in these other roles, as effectively as a dedicated option.
Although the Starfarer supports multiple crew stations, it can be run as a solo operation. Management of the ship and its resources will take more time and require a lot of running back and forth. But it is possible.
Detailed Design Doc Still Incoming
A detailed design document will be made available as soon as all of the mechanics involved the refueling process have been finalized. That said, here are some aspects which have been more or less “confirmed” based on CIG Q&A responses:
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