By David Lins
So you’ve read up a bit on Star Citizen and you want in. Now the question is: where do you start? Heading to the main website, you’ll find a plethora of information about the game: what kinds of ships there are, what those ships can be fitted with, and much more. How do you know what ship is right for you?
Before answering that question, it’s best to learn a bit about yourself. There’s a ship out there for all kinds of pilots, so before making your first big purchase, it’s a good idea to figure out exactly what type of character you want to play. I know, I know—we’re still doing the boring stuff. But I promise we’ll talk about ships next time.
Roles aren’t classes—indeed, Star Citizen has no class system at all—they’re more like jobs. See, the economy is rough, even in space. Once you get your first ship, you’ll have to spend some time earning that sweet Space Paycheck before you can trick it out or even trade it in for a new one.
So ask yourself: what kind of job is right for you? Perhaps you could be a trader. It’s a quick, easy buck; you just transport some cargo while dodging pirates and the like. Pirates tend to attack in groups, so perhaps you should hire a military escort, just in case. Does that sound too goody-two-shoes for you? Be a smuggler instead, transporting illegal goods across the galaxy. It’s a dirty job, but someone needs it done, and that someone has plenty of credits. Rival gangs and pesky do-gooders might try to stop you, but—just like your hero, Han Solo—you’ve got the fastest ship in the galaxy, so they’ll be eating your space dust while you laugh all the way to the bank. Maybe while you’re there you could talk to some bankers or businessmen. Their hands are clean, but only because they pay you to keep yours dirty.
In that paragraph alone we’ve discussed six different roles available in Star Citizen. Note that not all of them involve piloting: you can settle down and run a corporation, fueling the in-game economy or maybe taking advantage of it for your own personal gain. The amount of choices is a bit daunting, but it’s worth noting that you can change your role at any time, so don’t worry if you feel like your current job isn’t right for you.
Here’s a scenario: say you’re a trader. After a few months of scraping up some extra cash and dealing with deadly pirates, you decide that you hate your boss and your job is boring. So you fashion your ship with some light weaponry and join a pirate gang. You laugh maniacally as you tear up old coworkers and steal their goods, but the money still isn’t great. Maybe you decide to become a bounty hunter, taking out high-priority targets. You save up, purchase a military-grade ship, and begin your life as Space Batman. Sooner or later, combat leaves you weary, so you debate settling down, maybe starting a business. Instead, you sell your military-grade ship, grab a lightweight cruiser, and become an explorer. Space is huge, and there are a ton of sights to see.
No matter what character you think of playing, there’s a ship out there for you. High-end military-grade ships are going to cost you an arm and a leg, but if combat’s your thing, you could start small as a pirate or escort ship and work your way up. You likely won’t find success starting your own business from the get-go, but if you start at the bottom of the corporate ladder—shipping cargo, etc.—you could make a name for yourself and go from there. Same goes for crime syndicates: start off with small-time gigs and soon you could run your own gang of pirates.
Remember that Star Citizen is about more than just what ship you pilot. It’s an online roleplaying game where every other character you deal with could be another player. Your boss, your partner, your enemies—any of them could be working to manipulate you, and some may hold grudges and seek revenge if you betray them. That goes beyond simply having the better ship. Your ship is a mere tool used to do your job as effectively as possible, nothing more.
A fancy, incredibly-fun tool that can shoot lasers and missiles, but a tool nonetheless. What’s the right tool for the job? We’ll take a look at that next time.
To learn more about Star Citizen be sure to check out the official site over at Roberts Space Industries.
Be sure to catch every Star Citizen 101 lesson, this is not a game you want to be unprepared for!
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[author image=”http://cliqist.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/david.jpg”]David Lins is a freelance writer from Pennsylvania that has loved video games since he was old enough to hold a controller. He enjoys all sorts of games, but prefers difficult or terrifying ones. Currently, he plays too many roguelikes. When not writing about his favorite hobby, he loves to drink beer, write fiction, play tabletop RPGs or board games, and hang out with his friends and family. He also has a passion for technology and loves tinkering with his phone, computer, and other devices. Follow David on Twitter for “hilarious” or “insightful” tweets about nothing in particular. [/author]