Q&A: UEE Land Claim Licenses
November 28th 2017
Q&A: UEE Land Claim Licenses
Since the introduction of the Hull Series back in April 2015, every new concept ship reveal has had an accompanying Q&A post, where we spend a couple days collecting questions from you, pass those on to the relevant designers, and provide you the best answers we have available at that time. We still plan on doing that for Claim Licenses and you can start asking your questions and voting for your favorites here.
In the meantime though, we’d like to kick off the discussion with the early FAQ listed below, highlighting topics we think you might ask about.
Special thanks to Tony Zurovec for taking the time to answer these questions.
Let’s get to it.
Please Note: These claim licenses are being made available for pledging to help fund Star Citizen’s development. The ability to obtain these claim licenses will ultimately be available for in-game credits and/or otherwise earnable through play in the game. Pledging for these claim licenses now allows us to include deeper features in the Star Citizen game, and is not required for starting the game.
A claim license entitles the holder to claim ownership of a small section of land on a planet, moon, or asteroid controlled by the UEE.
A claim beacon is a staff-shaped piece of hardware used in conjunction with a claim license to procure a section of land. Upon insertion into the ground the beacon will activate and a small memory module near the tip will be encoded with the precise coordinates of the area. The module can then be detached and taken to a UEE Planetary Development office in order to execute a claim license on the designated property, assuming the property hasn’t already been purchased by another. Beacons also serve as remote monitoring stations, capable of transmitting real-time weather information and motion detection alerts to the owner, with the latter particularly useful in helping to determine if someone may be seeking to exploit your property without your permission.
No. Licenses can be bought for UEC in game and no one will be able to claim land before the mechanic is available in game for all. People that own claim licenses now, during the anniversary sale to support development, and people that earn the money in-game to buy one will be on equal footing assuming they have enough UEC, especially as there will be millions of locations for people to explore and claim within the Universe over the life time of the game.
No. Due to the billions of square kilometres of available land over many planets and moons and of course as new Star Systems are introduced and explored, all players will have the ability to find and claim new “hot spots” throughout the lifetime of the game. Also, every player can have their own reason for what could be the ‘best’ piece of land, while some may judge a plot of land based on the type and quantity of natural resources that it contains, others might be looking for proximity to trade routes, and others could simply look for a quiet spot with a beautiful vista. This – combined with the fact that there’s an enormous amount of real estate available – means that prospecting and the purchase of land are two pieces of a supply-and-demand equation governing how rapidly land of a distinct perceived value will come on the market.
The destruction of a beacon is a criminal offense but has no impact on who holds legal title to the land. Because they provide a basic level of remote monitoring capability, though, owners may wish to replace any units that are rendered inoperative.
Claim licenses are available in two different sizes – Lots and Estates. A Lot equates to a patch of land roughly 4 Km x 4 Km in size, whereas an Estate is four times larger – 8 Km x 8 Km.
Scouting for land is often a multi-step process, with the type and amount of analysis done usually dependent upon the intended purpose. One of the key factors considered is typically location, with different players weighting things like the proximity to other mining deposits, commercial production facilities, and retail outlets based upon their ultimate objective. The grade of the terrain should be considered, as the construction of an outpost requires a fairly even surface. Weather can have a dramatic impact on the commercial viability of an area of land, as frequent sandstorms, electrical storms, high winds, snow, and other environmental factors can significantly impede the potential of an area. Security is a common consideration, as piracy and theft are always a financial drag on those seeking to earn a lawful living. For most, though, the primary determinant as to the value of a parcel of land is what it contains above and below the surface. Obtaining an accurate assessment to this effect may require a considerable investment in terms of both time and money, and may involve taking core samples and having them analyzed, performing seismographic surveys, and other such scientific and engineering challenges.
Most of the real estate on planets, moons, and asteroids in UEE space that isn’t in active use or privately owned may be purchased. Some areas, however, have been designated as national parks, wildlife refuges, and nature preserves, and may not be claimed or legally exploited.
Once a suitable section of land has been identified, a claim license may be executed at any UEE land management office in order to transfer ownership of the land from the UEE to the license holder.
In order to place an outpost one must first be constructed. This is done within the workshop of a Pioneer and then placed directly onto the designated surface area. The complexity of the outpost will dictate the type and quantity of materials required, as well as the time to complete.
Outposts may consist of a number of different interconnected modules, each of which has a particular purpose. The owner may grant permission to access the available facilities to any individual or organization they wish. The habitation module enables authorized users to respawn at that location. The armory is a small arms storage locker, intended to ensure that any defenders of the establishment have sufficient firepower on hand to repel intruders. The refining module allows ore to be deposited for separation into its component elements and later retrieved, such that the required storage space will have been greatly reduced and the profit margin enhanced. The hydroponics module fosters the growth of various types of organic materials for periodic harvesting. Additional storage modules increase the quantity of raw ore, refined materials, organic products, and supplies that may be held at the outpost at a given time. Finally, the medical module provides basic medical services and equipment, and is sufficient to cure most diseases and patch most injuries.
No. Land claims are only of benefit to those players who want UEE protection when constructing their own outpost, extracting value from an area’s natural resources, or financially speculate in the real estate market. If players decide to do this on unclaimed land then they do so without any rights to the land and any protection which comes with those rights.
Yes, although doing so is a serious crime and UEE security will respond if you are sighted. There’s a lot of real estate within a solar system and limited patrols, though, so property owners worried about the theft of their assets will often want to supplement public security forces with enhanced monitoring hardware and automated defense drones, hire their own dedicated mercenaries, or potentially join or negotiate a defense contract with a large organization.
No, you can freely build or mine planets and moons outside UEE controlled space but you’re on your own as far as security goes. It’s worth noting, too, that one of the largest deterrents to others moving in on a valuable section of land you’re working – or taking liberties with an outpost you’ve constructed – is the fact that within UEE space such actions are criminal and will have significant consequences for the infringers. These protections, of course, don’t exist beyond the borders.
The UEE sells claim licenses for the same reasons as any government – to raise revenue to fund public benefit programs, to liberalize its economy, to spur growth and tax revenue, and to fund the military campaign against the Vanduul.