Choose My Adventure: Postcards from the Star Citizen universe

    
12

Your votes last week in my first Choose My Adventure gave me a great way to start looking around the environs of Star Citizen by actually… well… looking around! Exploration was the decided activity and the Atlas Avenger was the ship, so I clambered my way up the ladder to the cockpit, chose a destination on the starmap, spooled up the quantum drive, and took off.

On paper, flying around places to look at sights sounds pretty boring, but the sensation of flight and the vistas that space games provide are some of my favorite things to do in this kind of title, so I began my chosen adventure with gusto. While what I found in terms of planets wasn’t exactly astonishing, it did at least give me the lay of the land and provided some great screenshots.

If anyone tuned in to my earlier Star Citizen stream, you know that I’m not exactly running the hottest hardware in the world by any measure, let alone this game’s. Still, even at lowered graphics settings, this game really does provide some awesome views even when the locations I leaped to didn’t.

With the exception of Hurston and the location of Lorville, pretty much all of the planetoids of Star Citizen are barren, dead worlds. They’re overall pretty featureless, with rolling hills and varieties of rock formations. I wasn’t expecting to find any Endor planets, but a bit of variance in the terrain would have been pretty nice. Still, the places I went to did show some potential for a bit of diversity from planet to planet; one location had some pretty sun-baked expanses, while others were rocky, low-grav moons.

As for locations on these planetoids, most of them likely serve the purpose of destinations for missions and the like. The vast majority of places to head to when outside of a moon were either mining locations or aid stations with a small habitat. Neither of these really bore a lot of consequence or use outside of being somewhere to walk around, but I’m interested to see whether they’ll have applications later down the line as trade hubs or even places players can own later.

Once again, Star Citizen’s penchant for minute details made these otherwise static locations seem lived-in and purpose built. While things like the sight of fire extinguishers that appeared to have two power buttons on them made MJ and I laugh during our stream, the array of items and layout of these locations did show a lot of care in terms of worldbuilding, which was appreciated.

Most of my flight time was done solo, but at one point I found a mining location that showed a Hammerhead ship appear on my radar. Naturally, I wanted to take a closer look, but I kept a targeting reticle on the ship the entire time I approached. This brought a new and engaging level of tension to the otherwise standard routine of landing at a destination, as I was constantly shifting focus between the landing pad and what the ship would do. Neither of us made a hostile move, however, so it seemed cordial at least.

I decided upon landing to head over to this ship, just to see if perhaps I could attempt some contact with this other pilot. Once I approached the Hammerhead, however, it took off and hit me with its spotlight, tracking my movements on the ground. I took the hint, decided to walk back, and checked out the mining station’s buildings instead. The ship kept its lights on me for a pretty good length of time, once again making the whole situation tense in a good way. I kind of loved it.

One of the most interesting locations I found, however, was a docking station known as GrimHEX, which looked a lot like a pirate asteroid base. Its automated voice for landing permissions sounded like it was hacked and falling apart, and the amenities and stores within all had this cobbled together feel of privateers and rogues living on the fringes of space.

What was nicer still, though, were the items on sale at its shops. The weapons there didn’t exactly impress with their variety, but the armor pieces on offer had some pretty distinct designs that I just had to snap up, which left me pretty broke… and also leads right into our next series of polls, cleanly enough!

Right now my wallet is looking pretty slim, friends. I’ve only got a few hundred uAEC units to my name after my in-game splurge and refueling costs. So I need to make money.

The most obvious choice is certainly the game’s missions that come up now and again. There’s also mining to be done, though I’m unsure how lucrative that will ultimately end up being even if the activity itself looks engaging. Finally, according to some of the research I did, GrimHEX puts me just about in shooting distance of the unmarked location of Jumptown, which apparently lets me run drug cargo but also has the distinction of being a place where open PvP goes down.

So those are my options. What sort of thing should I do to make that sweet space bread?

What should I do to make money in Star Citizen?

  • Mining. It ain't fast, but it should be lucrative and involved. (21%, 27 Votes)
  • Mission runs. Take up those contracts and possibly get into trouble doing it. (33%, 42 Votes)
  • Drug running. Definitely not safe, but man does it get you that money. (46%, 59 Votes)

Total Voters: 128

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Next up is the kind of ship to use, but this time our options are a bit more interesting. A reader who goes by the name of Ichi has very generously offered me the use of several of their ships to rent, which has significantly broadened my hardware options.

Friend Ichi has provided use of a Cutlass fighter, a Prospector mining ship, a Hammerhead gun ship, and some smaller fighters like a Hornet, a Khartu-al, and a Sabre. I suspect that in either of these cases, the added pressure of potentially ruining someone else’s hardware will make things spicier for me.

I feel that I should mention that if mining does win out, I am pretty much forced into the Prospector as a ship choice, but I can work out a way to use another ship for mining ops. Maybe my benefactor can eat rocks while I use another ship to haul his findings, for example.

So, what sort of ship should I use while performing said money-making tasks?

What kind of ship should I use during my money-making mission?

  • The Freelancer. Herbert is a good boy. (15%, 16 Votes)
  • The Prospector. Gonna be hard to mine without a mining ship. (18%, 20 Votes)
  • The Hammerhead. Let's see how you handle the big toys. (15%, 16 Votes)
  • The Khartu-al. Small fighter is best fighter. (4%, 4 Votes)
  • The Sabre. Having a stealth fighter seems like a good idea. (14%, 15 Votes)
  • The Cutlass. Bigger is better when it comes to combat ships. (28%, 31 Votes)
  • The Hornet. It's a UEE Navy staple for a reason. (7%, 8 Votes)

Total Voters: 118

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As before, all polling will wrap up on 1:00 p.m. EST on Friday, December 14th. I want to thank everyone taking part for your input, and a very special thank-you to Ichi for offering up their ships for use, however foolishly. Until then, see you next week and perhaps we’ll meet out in the ‘verse.

Welcome to Choose My Adventure, the column in which you join Chris each week as he journeys through mystical lands on fantastic adventures – and you get to decide his fate. Which is good because he can often be a pretty indecisive person unless he’s ordering a burger.
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ichi sakari

LTI (lifetimeinsurance) means never having to worry about what happens after you say “here, hold my beer”

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

in general that’s the way the insurance (of any length) works as long as you haven’t customized your ship or carrying cargo/ore (cargo does not yet have insurance, idk if raw mined ore will ever have it).

with the customized gear if it’s bought through in game means it’s lost, not sure about if rented with rental credits, if from another ship you own, just reclaim both ships and re customize (was doign this alot before i traded in my sabre comet for base sabre)

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starbuck1771

I don’t think cargo will be insured. It’s risk vs reward.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

cargo insurance is definitely on the table/part of the plan since like 2012.

it won’t be full replacement insurance like the ships have when it comes. and when the talked about it years ago they talked about it being null and void when traveling through high risk systems, which is a consideration in some other forms of insurance that will be in game (such as for custom ship loadouts beyond the default base model set up).

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starbuck1771

Yeah the only real insurance is compliance. To make the big money you will have to risk going into the badlands.

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Natalyia

If you’re gonna do delivery missions, you want the Avenger, Cutlass, or Freelancer. Taking large heavy boxes up ladders isn’t a good idea (not even outside alpha space games) – so those are your best bets.

Investigation missions are good (there’s a P.I. mission that shows up, which you may need to do to get them first), they usually work (money!) and they take you interesting places. There are sometimes NPC ner-do-wells in those interesting places though, so be prepared.

If you get Appointments (under personal) those are fun, because they’re to NPC mission-givers. They’re much more reliably talkative now than in the last patch or two. Miles Eckhart, in particular, works pretty well.

There are also trees on Hurston, if you find yourself with the need for not-rocks to sightsee the whole planet isn’t a blasted junkyard :)

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

i’ve alwayslooked at the personal tab as being unofficially/not properly labeled criminal faction missions, but have been looking at it more nad more lately and notizing that all the NPC quest giver meeting missions are in there. this is a bit contrary to my prior understanding of the process to meet myles eckhart and get his bounty missions tho doesn’t surprise me if they changed it up because it’s quite clear most people that were playing actively were unaware of how to proc the myles eckhart thing

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starbuck1771

Go Pirate or go home! 😈

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Mr.McSleaz

Pirates run Drugs right?

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starbuck1771

Among other things including murder , smuggling, patrolling for profit, and hijacking. 😈

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

i voted for missions. i suggest anything involving data skimmers and ecn alerts. you could also check out ground fps and losing your armed weapon upon death with the break in at kareah mission.

stolen goods missions are also decent, but not too much combat from what i ‘ve seen.

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Hikari Kenzaki

I went with the missions because, while they are not amazing for cash, they lead to more of the fun and tense situations you mentioned.

When we were on an investigation mission, there were two ships floating near the station we were looking into. There were some tense moments until one of the two decided to fire. I don’t think they actually expected us to know what we were doing or to have a gunner, but after a short dogfight, the hostile fighter ran.

The other ship seemed to have done what he needed at the station but was still hanging out. I ventured into the station while Talyia hovered nearby in the Cutlass, rear hatch open and gun ready to take out anyone who followed after me. It was amazingly fun, reporting back and forth to each other as I probed the station for its secrets.

All this from a routine “Go here, do this.” mission.

While drug running is more lucrative, the only real tension is “Is some troll going to come along and shoot me for sport and waste all my money?”

For the ship, I picked the Cutlass. It’s a good all-around ship with room for a gunner (that’s the ship we used in the story above) and any cargo you might pick up along the way.