October 7th 2015
You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers! Last week, we kicked off a concept sale for the new Endeavor science ship and its modules. Today and Friday, we’ll be answering questions collected on the forums. Please also note that questions about the design/gameplay mechanics will be addressed by Tony Zurovec in Friday’s Q&A sessions. Enjoy!
Yes you can, except where a specific limit is noted in the announcement post (for example, only one telescope array can be mounted despite the fact that it’s a 2×1 module.) The impact of multiple modules of the same type would depend very much on the function of those modules, but in terms of the base modules it usually means you can conduct more research or analyze more data with the separate modules working in tandem. (Of course, installing extra fuel modules would have a more immediate impact: doubling or tripling your extra fuel supply!)
Yes, although at the moment there is nothing so exciting as creating a superlaser! The most advantageous pod pairing will be adding analysis to pods that generate data; so having more computer equipment to study the data your telescope array generates would be a benefit. (The most obvious connection is pairing the medical center with the landing bay, which connects the two directly and allows you to import patients.)
The Carrack is a dedicated explorer, built as a single, self-sustaining ship that can make long-duration voyages through the roughest areas of space. It’s designed specifically for transiting jump points, dealing with terrible conditions in space and getting back home to tell the tale. The Endeavor’s Explorer cab is more of an addon, something that can be separated and used should the need for exploration arise… but it lacks the range, the powerplant and room for addon equipment, the defensive systems and other elements that make the Carrack a tough, stand-alone ship.
There is an interior to the drive section, which will allow crews to access the engine room during flight. It’s not as exciting as science, but from the beginning we’ve wanted larger ships to have that ‘Star Trek’ feel, where an engineer (NPC or otherwise) can have some impact on damage control.
Like nearly all of Star Citizen’s ships, the Endeavor is designed to be flyable by a single human player… but like most of the larger ships, there are distinct disadvantages to deciding to ‘go it alone.’ We envision a single-person Endeavor would have to ‘stop and start’ when conducting scientific endeavors (hah) whereas one with a crew could be scanning the skies, treating patients or overclocking weapons while a second player mans the helm!
The Defense Module is still in the early planning stages, but we intend for it to be similar to the ‘plug in a turret’ modules on the Hull series ships; essentially taking up one a pair of slots to add turrets, e-warfare defensive weapons or similar weapons to your Endeavor’s complement (at a cost of overall reduced science.)
No, we do not intend for ships to be always ‘at risk’ just because they don’t fit in your Hangar. Standard landing areas will keep the workshop and drive sections safe while you land the Explorer in your hangar. (Of course, if you leave it in orbit of some unexplored planet the story is quite different!)
Yes, all Endeavor and Hope equipment available during this sale includes LTI. It will not include LTI when offered again.
No! Chris outlined his plans for a robust overclocking system early in the game, in the hopes that players will eventually make careers out of being ‘overclocking’ experts capable of providing the best tuned weapons and other components. While we see the Endeavor’s supercollider (name change pending, re: science!) as the ultimate tool for this task, the climb to that level will start with the already-offered workbench.
No, these were intended to be drone bays a la 2001, but we removed them in favor of the secondary engines when we decided to allow the Explorer cab to separate from the rest of the ship. They (and drones in general) may be added back in a future module, but for now the only bay available is the single, larger bay seen on the Hope-class.
In the previous post, we mentioned that any ship that fits in the Endeavor with a maximum of four could land in the bay. Why four, and what has changed since the original ‘if it fits it sits’ concept? Designer Matthew Sherman has volunteered to answer that question.
In the past, there’s a phrase that has been tossed around when discussing the actual storage or operational capacity for some of our bigger ships. As we continue to build out the backend that will drive Star Citizen though, there are some technical and design challenges that really need to be considered first before just accepting “If it fits, it sits.”
So what did that phrase really mean in the first place? At its core, it was about supporting the idea that you can really do anything in Star Citizen, even if it goes against the role/theme of the ship you’re using. While we still are absolutely committed to delivering tremendous choice and flexibility in the way you setup and run your ships, the overly freeform interpretation of this phrase is becoming problematic.
We have some incredible goals for what we want to enable, from large scale fights, ambitious multi-crew systems, and more, but as we dial into these features and really get the tech online to support them, we need to constantly be evaluating what we can, in good faith, deliver to everyone.
What are some of these challenges? Well, a big one is making sure everything can play well and transfer properly across our large-world maps and between servers. Another pressing concern is general balance, ensuring that ships have a good fit and place across all the varied types and sizes of ships we’ll be offering. Then along with these concerns, making sure that whatever system we deliver won’t be something that opens up possible griefing or abuse of the mechanics.
Now, where does that lead us to? To work through this, we’ll be using the Landing Bay module for the recently unveiled Endeavor to go over things in a bit more detail. This module has definitely excited a number of players with the potential of hauling a few extra ships around, but we want to clear up some of the more hard-limits on its use.
The Landing Bay offers a fairly spacious 30m x 60m x 10m volume of space to work with. In gameplay, you’ll be allowed to safely store/transport/launch/refit up to 4 ships that fit inside this space. A Cutlass Red and a pair of 300’s, a couple of Hornets or Avengers, you should absolutely have some good choices to make in terms of what you carry along.
Now, what about when a 5th ship decides to land? We don’t want to have random invisible walls stopping you from landing, but we also can’t just let things be randomly piled in and expected to be able to move through the server-architecture. How we’re planning to handle these cases is by limiting these aspects to a local-system only.
So if you’re the owner of the Endeavor, and your Landing Bay is over capacity, you’ll be given a warning when attempting to plot a Quantum or Jump action, preventing you from leaving until the overage is cleared out. Similarly, if you’re the pilot of that 5th ship and the Endeavor is trying to leave, you’ll be given a clear notice that you’ll need to remove your ship from the Landing Bay shortly.
We’re still ironing out the exacts of these alerts, but we feel it’ll be the best middle ground for allowing a lot of flexibility in use for these ships without overburdening them with too many game-y limits. We also don’t want these systems to be turned into something used to harass other players, so we’ll definitely be looking for feedback once this system is in-game to make sure we have a genuinely fair solution for both parties involved.
But what about the future? Tech gets better all the time, and some of these current challenges may be overcome down the road. We’re not going to completely write-off the potential for storing more than what’s rated/allowed for a ship in the future, but we can’t fully ensure it as a safe-mechanic to provide carte-blanch to all of our ships in the early stages. We’re confident with can deliver these aspects in local-space, but to take it beyond that, we’ll need the baseline systems implemented and functional before we can truly explore what extent we can deliver on this kind of statement.
So in the future, just remember, “If it fits, it sits in local-space”. As we continue to develop and grow Star Citizen, we’ll also be working to expand and grow the potential for how you’ll be able to setup and interact with your ships. And with everything, we’ll be needing your feedback as these systems go live to really help us fine tune things to really create a vibrant and living universe.