Beginner's Guide to Star Citizen
Last Updated: 1/19/2015
Last Updated: 1/19/2015
This guide will attempt to answer some common questions posed by new players to Star Citizen. This will cover current game packages, modules, and payment structures. All prices are in USD unless otherwise stated. There will be some extended Questions and Answers following the guide.
In this early developmental stage of the game, you will need to purchase a game package in order to play. Let's start with the least expensive of the ones currently available...
Currently the least expensive starter package is: Aurora ES ($35). This package includes the base model Aurora starship: the Aurora ES. This is a very basic ship and may be mothballed by some who make a regular commitment to join a crew. Crewed ships currently only allow a single occupant. This is slated to change in the upcoming Arena Commander 2.0 release (expected Q2/Q3 2015). In order to access this, you will need to purchase the additional Arena Commander Module ($5). Arena Commander 2.0 will bring with it many of the larger ships as well as allowing players to explore and crew their multi-person ships as they please. Players will be able to use the new friend system and join off of the friends that they are following.
Two examples of starter ships that would be worth consideration are: A) the Aurora LX and B) the Mustang Beta. The Mustang Beta is a versatile starter ship with jump drive capabilities and more advance weapon configurations.
This is the Aurora LX, which is a limited edition Aurora that is minimally different from the standard model. Presently, this series has a functional interactive cockpit HUD, rather than the helmet HUD. It is slow and sort of looks like a brick and a light bulb.
Below is a flight test of the Mustang Beta. The Mustang series, though more expensive than the Aurora, is more likely to keep you alive if you need to escape from danger or fight your way out of a tough situation. The package price is about $55 plus the $5 access pass.
Arena Commander Module
Arena Commander is an early playable showcase of the game and includes some basic modes of play and a growing number of ships. It is essentially a flight simulator for players to try out Star Citizen as the developers continue working on the game. This is where you learn how to fly and train for ship-to-ship battle. In some cases, these battles are simply single seat ships fighting players or AI, while other cases will eventually be multicrew ships fighting against enemies. Multicrew ships will have positions ranging from communications, engineering, navigation, to various weapon systems. These systems are being made more and more critical as they alter the functionality of the ships. It is evident in the recent patch where players can witness the signature implementation which is used to detect and target other ships. I will display the early implementation of the HUD system in the Aurora. It appears that soon we will be able to paint our ships, though when or how is still up in the air.
First Person Shooter Module
Not much is known about this module, but what is known indicates that they are putting in a lot of effort into realism. What has been made known is that gravity, physics, and medical attention is important. In attempts to make things more dangerous for players is to have the player experience persistent physical repercussions. To better explain that, consider the possibility of having your hand literally blown off during a shootout at a space station, you will need to escape and have it replaced with an artificial hand. This also means that if you have your arm or leg blown off, you would need immediate medical attention to stop the bleeding and then you would need to be transported to a hospital or the nearest decent med-bay. It has been indicated that people will be able to apply medical attention to other players and to drag them back to ships. Consider the FPS module as a simulator for practicing ship raiding and ship capturing procedures. The shooter aspect of Star Citizen will take place in space, in space stations, on planets, and inside ships. Space battles will definitely be a part of the experience, so breaking into another ship and attempting to capture it will be part of the game.
Below are some useful articles.
Comm Link: Death of a Spaceman
Comm Link: Design Healing Your Spacemen
Little is known about this module beyond that it will be showing what a planet will look like and how they will function. This module may be a type of social experience for different players to interact with others and where they will implement systems such as the mobi-glass, which is a type of wearable interface. This module will be a testing ground and will eventually be assimilated into the game.
This includes Star Citizen's single player and cooperative campaign where players follow the story line of a pilot in the UEE Navy. This will involve many missions that will release of an extended period of time. I get the same vibe that ArmA 3 had with their release of the campaign missions. Not much is known presently about Squadron 42, but Chris Roberts' brother is running the studio responsible for the campaign.
This is the system in which players will digitally live and play. Ships, planets, AI, and astronomical phenomenon all exist here. People will have the chance to live with their friends in the larger ships or base their operations out of a hanger set up on a specific planet or in a specific system. This will be the first chance to truly see the modules become integrated and functional. During the time of the Beta Persistent Universe, the game will be continuously added to and most of the additions will come in the form of solar systems, AIs, factions, and other large scale projects. We will probably see the addition of the large scale player run capital ships in this module.
Note: There are some confusing items available at Star Citizen's website. We will attempt to explain the system.
Alpha Access was a type of access package that was available up until late 2013. This package type allowed players to back Star Citizen with a ship and obtain access to all of the module without the need to pay an entrance fee to the module of their choosing. This essentially allowed players to ensure a copy of the game and continued access to the game as it continues through development.
Beta Access is currently available and allows player the opportunity to play the Persistent Universe when that is released sometime between December 2015 and 2016. The Beta does not give access to the different modules that will become available prior to the release of the Persistent Universe. In order to gain access to the previously free modules, you must pay a $5 access fee per desired module. The Beta is, according to current information, going to give access to the modules to all players with Beta package types once the Persistent Universe is released. This means, that if a player does not wish to participate in the modules such as the Arena Commander or First Person Shooter module, they can wait until the Persistent Universe module is released. You will only be saving money if you are willing to wait.
This is a fee to gain access to a module during their early development period. As players were angry that the alpha access package type was being removed, a solution to both give new players access to multiplayer modules and obtain more funding was agreed upon. Players that wish to gain access to a multiplayer module early could pay a $5 fee that would go towards upgrade costs for the servers. This was the apparent reasoning for the $5 access fee, as for the reality of Beta package owners, they must pay a $5 fee to enter each multiplayer module. This does not influence the campaign as the campaign comes standard with the package.
Source: Arena Pass
Star Citizen: A Traditional Paid-For Game
Star Citizen will not involve any subscription fees and it will not be a pay-to-win (aka freemium) game. It currently has a cult-like following spawned because of backers purchasing various in-game ships with real currency (called Pledges). This ship-buying behavior is funding the giant funding goals held by CIG. Once the game is released, based on current information, it will not be possible to buy Star Citizen ships from the internet with real US currency. Players will then be only be able to purchase ships using the in-game currency and by earning such currency through playing the game. This is to prevent certain ships from flooding the market after the game begins. Players will only be able to buy the game with a starting ship (Mustang, Aurora, ecetera) and a small starting amount of currency.
You can purchase ships, weapons, and other items off of Star Citizen's website, but ultimately, none of the items there are required to play beyond a game package and eventual module pass.
To read more about pledge packages and how much they might cost, see the official Pledge page. You can also check out the additional items you can purchase for your pledge ship(s) on the official Voyager Direct page.
Unsure as to Whether or Not to Pledge Now?
If you are uncertain as to whether you should pledge and purchase module passes, wait until the Persistent Universe comes out when the majority of the game's aspects become available. If you are interested in accessing certain parts of the game earlier than the Persistent Universe, then purchase an early access pass/module pass for the portion of the game you wish to test.
Interested in Being a Crew Member?
If you are really interested in being a crew member, then the suggestions from experienced backers are as follows:
1) Wait on purchasing an access pass until Arena Commander 2.0 comes out with proper multicrew ships. This will allow you to see TG member's assessment and recordings of our time operating larger ships. Since this is the role you seem to desire, then watching our early attempts would probably be very helpful.
2) Wait until the Persistent Universe comes out and you will have a chance to learn how to become part of the crew.
Now, please consider this, many of the people who put money in this project have done so because they desire and wish for this project to succeed. They are backers and are in a sense gambling on their faith or hope that the game will be produced. If you wish to back out and regain your $35, there are ways to do so, though they are somewhat frowned upon by CIG.
Question and Answers
(will add some in here later)
We imagine there are some questions after reading this. We are more than happy and willing to hear them. In the future, if you have questions and feel free to ask below.
Original Authors: [MENTION=14958]BeSiege82[/MENTION], [MENTION=33568]Randy_Shughart_ClwFL[/MENTION]
Editor: [MENTION=13034]Acreo Aeneas[/MENTION]