It’s good to be home! After a fourteen hour flight home from Australia, it was a nice surprise to see that Star Citizen’s backers had once again hit another milestone. It’s hard to express here how deeply everyone at CIG appreciate what the community has done, and is doing… We all thank you!
The $61 million stretch goal unlocks the Esperia Prowler, a Tevarin-designed UEE ship. I’m excited to see where our concept artists take this one, as they’re going to have to design a new style for another alien race and then adopt it for human use. It should be an interesting process. Here’s the description:
- Esperia Prowler – Named after the UPE military designation, the Prowler is a modernized version of the infamous Tevarin boarding craft from the First Tevarin War. With the recent discovery of the lost Tevarin planet in Kabal System, Esperia’s engineers were given unmitigated access to examine the preserved ships found in several of the caches, before meticulously recreating the design choices. The Prowler’s effectiveness as a rapid personnel deployment vehicle was mainly due to its silence. The boarding was constructed using a variety of techniques to minimize its signatures and get close to unsuspecting vessels before quickly deploying their boarders via EVA. With the updated Prowler model, you will find the perfect fusion of two culture: the elegance and effectiveness of the Tevarin war machine combined with the reliability of modern UEE technology. (While lacking some of the upgrades of the modern version, vintage Tevarin-built Prowlers restored for modern spaceflight are prized by owners lucky enough to locate them.)
The winner of the ultimate wave four ship poll was the third starter. When we say a ‘starter’ ship in Star Citizen, it doesn’t mean one you ditch as soon as you can… it just means a smaller, less expensive ship that will introduce you to the Star Citizen world. We had similar starter ships in Privateer and Freelancer, and plenty of players opted to stick with their old reliable hulls for the whole game! Star Citizen’s starter ships tend to be more ‘jack of all trades,’ allowing you to sample different activities in the ‘verse.
When we sat down to choose the ideal third starter we went in knowing that it needed to stand out the same way the Mustang differed from the Aurora without being dedicated to a specific role. What we couldn’t decide on was who was going to make this new ship. We already had starters from RSI and Consolidated… so who gets the next one? A pirate-oriented starter from Drake, a military one from Anvil or Aegis, or perhaps a small luxury craft from Origin or a commercial one from MISC?
In the end, we put together outlines for four possible ships, one from each ship builder (representatives from the fifth company, Origin, turned down our request; apparently, they just won’t build an inexpensive ship!) And now we’re giving backers the ability to choose which one we develop into Star Citizen’s third starter. Here are the options:
- Drake Dragonfly: You don’t so much as climb into the Dragonfly as you do put it on around you. In short, it’s the closest thing to strapping an engine and a weapons mount to your spacesuit… or, as the advertising campaign claims, it’s the closest thing to riding the vacuum yourself. Occupying somewhere in the pantheon between a snub fighter and an Aurora, the Dragonfly is a speedy, maneuverable ultralight designed to be cheaply constructed in large numbers and to be readily customized by hobbyists. Dragonfly’s have become the favorite of a particular brand of enthusiast that frequently gather together to share their modifications, off-track race… and other less legitimate “hobbies.”
- Aegis Terrapin: A literal tough nut to crack, the Terrapin is the most heavily armored of the base-priced spacecraft on the market. Originally designed for long-range survey missions in dangerous star systems, the Terrapin’s design philosophy involves wrapping the ship in additional layers of armor and reserving a significant amount of engine power to host the largest shield generator in its class. Terrapins are popular among private miners, with an equipment mount and a small storage hold that can be converted for valuable minerals.
- Anvil Hurricane: Some ships avoid dangerous encounters with speed, some with stealth and others with maneuverability. The Anvil Hurricane’s philosophy is that it should be able to blast anything that gets in its way out of the sky. The Hurricane won’t win any races and its electronic signature won’t let you sneak behind enemy lines… but it features a wide array of fully customizable small bore weapons hardpoints plus the ability to customize weapons types in several ways. Hurricanes are often used by militia squadrons and private organizations seeking to add a “heavy” to their lineup.
- MISC Reliant: With the success of the Freelancer “Built for Life” campaign, MISC has moved to join RSI and Consolidated in the single-seat introductory starship arena. Their silver bullet? A starter ship with more than one seat… and their ace in the hole: Xi’An technology. Where the Aurora is a pure utilitarian platform and the Mustang is a delicate, maneuverable personal transport, the Reliant is MISC’s most Xi’An tech-heavy ship to date. Featuring impossibly sleek lines, two separate crew seats and a vertical fuselage design, the Reliant’s streamlined cockpits glow with some of the finest xenotechnology available!
Please let us know what your favorite is in the poll below; the winner will be Star Citizen’s third starter… and the others will go back in the vault for future reference (I can already see backers writing in to ask if we might ever see the runner ups again; we don’t have space on the schedule for multiple new starters at the moment, but never say never!) I think that any of these four ships would make a great addition to Star Citizen’s lineup, and so I’m confident in letting backers make the choice!
I’ll announce the winner in my next letter. Until then, I’d like to thank you again for your continued support. Our backers are the most incredible group of people in the world, and every time I see how creative you are in supporting the game and spreading the word, I’m all the just more grateful that this has all come together. Thank you.
— Chris Roberts