June 19th 2015
Last week we released the first video of the human-flyable variant of the Vanduul Scythe. This past week, we collected questions from forum users curious to know more about the ship. A selection of these questions have been answered below. Have another question? Post it below and we’ll review the comments for anything we missed!
NO! Ship recognition is more complex than just according to silhouette. If you’re broadcasting a Vanduul IFF signal, though, you might want to look out (this is a bad idea for most purposes.) Also be aware that this only applies to AI; it’s certainly likely there will be players jumpy enough to shoot a Scythe on sight (try saying that three times fast.)
In order to capture a ‘native’ Scythe, you would need to knock down the shields, carefully disable a significant portion of the main and maneuvering thrusters and then either kill or incapacitate the pilot. We intend this to be a significant challenge for all but the best fighter pilots!
This will depend on the ship. The alien ship produced under license (such as the Xi’an Scout) will have a seamless human-designed interface. When the backstory is different and the ships are actually modified examples flown by other species (like the merchantman) you may see more touches like this!
We do not have plans to do this today, but never say never. If it’s an easy task, it’s certainly something we’d like to see included further down the road.
The current plan is for the Imperator Scythes to be assigned via badge rather than a specific amount of REC. (Remember that these Scythes appear only in Arena Commander and not the persistent universe; the difference isn’t significant today, but it will be in the future!)
There will be several ways to do this, including using a tractor beam to carry it on a larger ship for repair, or alternatively conducting an EVA to repair and board the ship while it is still in space. (In all likelihood, you’d need to at least get the engines up and running in order to get it back to your Hangar for further modification.)
The two ships are identical in terms of specifications at the moment, but you make a very important point: in the future, they will be balanced independently. This isn’t to give players an advantage or disadvantage, but instead to represent the fact that Vanduul-produced Scythes will change as time passes, while the existing selection of human versions will stay the same (of course, when a theoretical Scythe Mk. II is captured, its abilities will remain for the player rather than it becoming an older model.)
At present, the wing is non-functional, although the goal is to have it working in-game (and more importantly, to have the AI use it.)
We don’t see anything in the persistent universe as being ‘required’; rather, there will certainly be experiences that are enabled by having a Scythe (traveling behind enemy lines) and others that different players may find improved with one (the lore includes at least one Scythe racer!) None of these things will ever be required for every player… Star Citizen is about making your own story with your own tools.
Despite the appearance, the Scythe is a solid piece of kit! It can be moved around the Hangar like any other ship.
Yes! The current Vanduul lineup includes one light fighter, the Blade. We envision adding more Vanduul fighters all along the spectrum as the game world evolves.
Flying a Scythe is step one, but there will be more to sneaking behind enemy lines than just having an alien ship. You’ll need to do more work (having the proper codes, IFF signal, etc.) in order to safely transit Vanduul space. It’s certainly the first part of the equation, though!
Yes, you will be able to change equipment and weapons on the Scythe to some degree. Since there’s no infrastructure in human space for manufacturing Vanduul weapons, upgrades will be significantly harder to find and apply.
No. Weapons and upgrades for the Scythe will likely be especially rare, as few human companies will profit by making them… and there are no Vanduul ports with which to trade. Upgrades to the Scythe will take the form of extremely limited human-manufactured addons and then Vanduul weapons and equipment collected by scavengers.