Welcome back, citizens! For those of you in the USA we hope you had a relaxing holiday weekend and that you were able to take advantage of the grace period for pledges.
That is now over. Anyone that joins going forward will have to pay slightly more for the base packages and won’t have lifetime insurance. The limited-time add-ons such as the Retaliator Bomber have been taken down.
Existing backers will still be able to upgrade to any of the original packages at the original prices for the next 12 months. As an added bonus for all backers that purchased a ship before November 26th any additional ships you purchase for your account during the next twelve months will have lifetime insurance.
We’re looking forward to sharing more about the game and the team in the coming months. For now, we are going to address several issues of immediate importance to Star Citizens.
It’s almost unbelievable, but we’re now to almost to $7 million in pledges! Thank you all for the incredible continued support. We’ve had a lot of questions about adding additional stretch goals. What will hitting $7 million or $8 million add to the game? Things have moved so fast that in the short term we don’t feel comfortable setting them: we listed everything we wanted to add, figured out what it would cost and you earned that. The honest truth is that additional money from crowd funding means adding an ever-increasing amount of detail to the game… More unique locations in a system, more NPCs, more varied animations and so on. More dollars allows us to hire more artists, programmers and designers to flesh out the universe of Star Citizen. When things have calmed down we may be able to quantify this, but for now, know each extra dollar goes to making a richer game on release.
One issue we’re having trouble with is keeping up with the volume of customer service requests for corrections on billing, unlinked accounts, adjustments to packages and add-ons in players accounts. We’re a very small company and never expected to have almost 100,000 customers this early in the process. Luckily the fact that we’ve done so well in raising funds allows us to invest in the area of customer service to better serve you all. We are actively looking to hire people for customer service, but this will take time to complete the interview and hiring process. In the interim our small staff has been wearing multiple hats during the campaign to help. We do need to get back to the task of building this game so please be patient over the next few weeks while we bring on dedicated customer support team members.
The good news is that we’re not under the gun: there’s no campaign deadline looming and so hopefully we can take everything a little more slowly. We’re sorry for the delay, but there are thousands of messages still to sort through. Users have become accustomed to contacting us through Kickstarter, Intercom and even through personal e-mail accounts. For now, we would ask that everyone who needs support switch to using one of these general e-mail addresses accessible to multiple team members:
- [email protected] – questions about your account or billing; missing pledges, incorrect charges and the like
- [email protected] – questions about the game itself; features, design plans and so on
- [email protected] – questions about Cloud Imperium or general questions not about the game itself
- [email protected] – employment inquiries
- [email protected] – media requests
One other change: in the past we’ve been manually changing pledges, tiers, add-ons and the like. Instead we’re switching to a system that will let you make these changes yourself. If you’d like to change a Hornet for a Cutlass, a Make Mine a Double for a Constellation or trade your Wingnut pledge for the digital one and an additional add-on you will be able to do this yourself in the near future from the “Your Account” section. Until then, please hold tight while the web team adds this functionality!
One major issue we’ve seen come up time and again in the past week is that of ship insurance. What does it mean, how do you get it, who is eligible and so forth. We’ve put together the following short FAQ document to try to explain the topic:
What is insurance?
Pilots in Star Citizen can purchase insurance policies for their ships, modifications and cargo. This ensures that your ship will be replaced and/or its modifications and cargo will be subsidized should you be destroyed in a fight or accident. As in real life, insurance policies must be maintained: you must pay a regular fee in galactic credits (the in-game currency) or your policy will lapse and you will not receive a payout or a ship replacement when your ship is destroyed.
Will this Insurance cost a lot?
Like in real-life insurance should be a relatively small part of your regular in game expenses which will also include paying landing fees, trade tariffs (if in a system with lots of infrastructure and law and order), fuel (if you don’t collect it yourself from a gas giant), buying cargo to trade, hiring help, making upgrades to your ship or even buying a whole new ship.
Some of the additional policies like upgrade or cargo insurance will be rated based on risk levels. Risk level 1 being the safest systems and risk level 5 being the most dangerous system that is insurable for cargo or upgrades. Any risk level over 5 is un-insurable. A risk 3 policy for cargo will cover you for all cargo losses in a risk 3 system or below. The higher the risk level of the policy the more it will cost. As with the base insurance this will not be crippling financially but instead be a reasonable running cost that relates to the risk / reward profile of the systems flown.
How do I get lifetime insurance?
Anyone who pledged for a copy of Star Citizen before November 26, 2012 automatically has lifetime insurance on their pledge ships; this protects the investment you made in the game in perpetuity. Anyone who pledged for a copy on or after November 26th starts with a finite insurance package for their ship. This can be anywhere from 2 months to 12 months depending on the ship and policy type. Lifetime insurance does not exist for modifications or cargo.
What happens if I don’t have insurance?
Your character will have to buy a new ship with any credits he has, or if he doesn’t have enough credits fly missions for a third party (both NPC and player) until he’s earned enough to buy his own ship again.
Will ships I add to my account have lifetime insurance?
Users who registered and bought at least one ship before November 26, 2012 can purchase additional ships with lifetime insurance for the next twelve months of development. Users who registered on or after November 26, 2012 can purchase additional ships with variable length starter insurance policies ranging from two months to twelve months.
Can I trade my lifetime insurance ship?
Yes. The lifetime insurance will follow the ship hull when it is legally sold or gifted. If the ship is stolen or otherwise captured, the policy will not transfer.
Will my insurance carry over to ships I earn in the finished game?
No, and you cannot transfer insurance policies from one ship to another.
Can I use my insurance as an excuse to simply ram other ships to death knowing I will get my ship back?
You can, but this will be a very bad idea as it is inconvenient and time consuming in getting your replacement ship ready to go again. Additionally there will be an increasing delay in replacing your ship every time you make a claim within a certain period of time.
Can I insure alien or one-off ships?
No. The only exception is the limited number of Vanduul fighters sold through the RSI site during the pledge campaign; these ships do have lifetime insurance included.
What will you do to combat insurance fraud?
A ship cannot be sold without a legitimate hull id code. Claiming on the insurance policy invalidates the hull code on your previous ship, so if it was captured or stolen the new owner will be unable to sell the ship at a regular ship dealer. Additionally if you have claimed on a policy and someone is flying the stolen ship in a well policed system, the hull id will mark it as a stolen ship, the law will be after you and landing privileges will be denied on any lawful planet. You will be able to fly a “hot” ship to the less savory parts of the Star Citizen universe, where you will probably be able to land and may be able to purchase a fake hull id code, but it will take effort and not necessarily be cheap.
Finally the Advocacy takes insurance fraud very seriously. If it can be proven that a player has colluded with another player to defraud the insurance company, that hull’s lifetime insurance will be invalidated and the player may have to pay a large amount of credits to keep their record clean and not be marked as a wanted criminal.
The Coming Weeks
We will continue to bring you in game fiction as we have previously, the schedule is Monday for Kid Crimson, Wednesday for various info bursts from the Star Citizen galaxy and Friday for the latest Cal Mason episode.
We will be sharing development updates as they happen, and will also give all our backers a “Weekly” report
We hope to have the new forum software integrated with the old forum content by next week, so you can be using a much more friendly and powerful forum system,
We also plan to bring a live webcast for our subscribers on a weekly basis, making this available to the rest of the community afterwards via our YouTube channel. Wingman, the Lamp and Sandi will all feature, as well as questions from the community about the game and interviews with various team members. We will start this webcast once we moved into our new office space in Austin next month.
Finally once all the Kickstarter Star Citizens are integrated, which will take a couple of weeks as we await final data from Kickstarter, we can bring up a “backer wall” and switch on things like Galactapedia, Engineering and the Holo-Viewer.
A lot to do, but it will be fun and we’re glad to have you all on the journey!
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