Greetings citizens! The big update today is that we're revamping the FAQ... and we want your help! As you can see below, we have a new, more organized edition that addresses many of the subjects that have come up in the past few weeks. Now, before we put it on permanent display, we'd like your help: what other questions do you think the community needs answered about Star Citizen right now?
Is Star Citizen an MMO?
No! Star Citizen will take the best of all possible worlds, ranging from a permanent, persistent world similar to those found in MMOs to an offline, single player campaign like those found in the Wing Commander series. The game will include the option for private servers, like Freelancer, and will offer plenty of opportunities for players who are interested in modding the content. Unlike many games, none of these aspects is an afterthought: they all combine to form the core of the Star Citizen experience.
Is Star Citizen “free to play”? A subscription game?
To play Star Citizen you need only to buy the initial game. There will never be a monthly charge for usage. Some in-game items may be available as microtransactions, but we will NEVER sell anything that can’t be acquired through honest (and fun!) gameplay.
What platforms will Star Citizen be available on?
Star Citizen is a PC game through and through and could never be played on the Xbox 360, Playstation 3 or WiiU. We currently plan to support Windows and are examining our options regarding possible Linux and Macintosh releases. The Cloud Imperium team includes many Linux and Macintosh fans!
What will the gameplay be like?
Star Citizen will feature gameplay similar to the original Wing Commander and Privateer, with a more realistic physics system. This means that it is NOT a ‘click to kill’ interface like most modern MMOs; your success in combat is going to depend as much on your skill with a space fighter as it will with your ship upgrades and your pocket book.
Can you estimate the system requirements for Star Citizen?
There will be a lot of optimization in the next 24-months, plus the usual fast pace of technology, so it is hard to say absolutely. At the moment you will be able to play it on a dual core PC with a GTX 460 or greater and 4GB of system memory. If you’re running an i7 2500, 2600, 2700 or better with a GTX 670 or greater then the stars are the limit! Since the game is built on CryEngine, their system requirements will stay roughly the same as ours.
Will Star Citizen only be in English?
No, we plan to support many languages. A huge percentage of space sim and PC gaming fans come from Europe especially Germany, and we want to make sure Star Citizen is accessible to everyone. The game will initially be localized into French, German and Spanish with plans to handle other languages afterwards.
How does Citizenship factor into the game?
Wven though there are other alien races, we’re beginning with the human side of it. This future has evolved into a futuristic version of the Roman Empire. We thought it would be very interesting to have Citizenship be something that you don’t automatically receive. It’s something you have to earn through civic duty or military service. It’s a way to create a class system, which creates the potential for conflict among the various groups and players.
We wanted to put a lot of social ideas in the universe. Since the universe is dynamic, it will create some divisions and factions. For example, there’s a perfectly valid choice not to be a Citizen but we wanted to include all these social divisions so players will gravitate to one or the other and operate like the real world operates.
Will there be story updates or expansions?
We’re going to be constantly updating the universe from our end. We’re not interested in having yearly updates. We will have a team of people adding content on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. So we’ll be always adding data, stories, and campaigns as well as reacting to what the players are doing. Because of this the universe will be affected by the actions of the players.
Players can also become a part of the history of the universe. For instance if a player finds a space anomaly and successfully navigates it, which is not easy to do, they’ll be able to sell the Nav-Data of their jump for a great profit to a space company and they’ll have the system and jump-point named after them.
The goal of Star Citizen is to build a living, breathing universe that is its own entity. It will be a constantly shifting and evolving place for people to go and escape to.
Can you tell me more about the instancing system?
Chris Roberts has posted an in-depth explanation of instancing here.
Can you tell me more about the game's physics?
An introduction to Star Citizen's physics is available here.
I have a great idea for the game, where can I submit it?
We'd like to hear it! Please post your ideas, suggestions and comments on the Roberts Space Industries forums, do not send emails to admin or info as they could too easily be lost in account issues
Can you tell me about the different ships?
We’re working on concept art right now that will show you the different levels of ships! For now, imagine the sort of ship advancement you encountered in Privateer or Freelancer, with the Aurora being the basic ship and others being improved or more specialized craft. The top-of-the-line ship in our pledge campaign is the RSI Constellation, which is a multi-person craft that includes a turret and a smaller fighter that can be manned by your friends! To add further details, we've published a development document which includes concepts and specifications for the announced ships. You can find it here.
When can I see the ships I'm pledging for?
Star Citizen is utilizing top Hollywood talent like Ryan Church in the hopes of creating a set of truly iconic ships that genuinely "belong” to the players and are also fully functional in the game rather than simply looking good. Unfortunately, bringing a ship from concept to finished 3D artwork is a lengthy process and we're not willing to spoil it by releasing early concept work which may have nothing to do with the finished product. We're working on building all the ships now and will release comprehensive advertising brochures showing them off when we feel they're close to their finished form. You can find the first brochure, on the RSI Constellation, here.
How will modding work?
Players will be given full control of their game! When operating private servers, players will be able and encouraged to mod the game. It doesn’t stop there, though: we hope to institute a ‘mod approval’ process that will allow the best of the best player created ships and other additions to be integrated into the central persistent world as well.
Can I upgrade to a bigger ship?
Yes! You will always have your ‘pledge’ ship which you can upgrade by pledging additional money through launch, and you can purchase and fly others to your heart’s content in the finished game. Star Citizen will feature plenty of other ships and we expect players will want to earn credits and figure out which suits their particular style of play best.
My community account is not showing my pledge!
Some early pledges were made on an unconnected backup system. If you pledged in the first days of the campaign and your pledge is not showing on your account, please contact us and we will take care of linking it manually. When you do so please make sure to include your RSI email, User Name and payment method. We’ll ensure everyone is connected.
I was charged an incorrect amount or I would like a refund
Please send an email describing the issue to email@example.com, include RSI email, User Name, Payment method and payment email address.
Can you link my Kickstarter pledge?
If you already have a RSI site account your Kickstarter pledge will be linked shortly after you fill out the forthcoming Kickstarter end-of-campaign survey and we integrate the Kickstarter user data with the RSI site user data.
This will happen roughly four weeks after the end of the Kickstarter campaign. Kickstarter backers will enjoy all the same rewards (lower cost tiers and add-ons, unlimited insurance) as those who pledged through the RSI site.
If you haven’t created a RSI member account yet, it would be a good idea to do that now. If not we will create a RSI account for you using your Kickstarter info but the username will be auto-created and the login info will be emailed to you.
Can I change my shipping address?
Yes you will be able to change your shipping address. We will send out a reminder for you to enter your preferred address before it is time to ship your Citizen's cards.
Atthe same time we will also ask you to confirm your name on your Citizen’s card.
How do I pay for shipping my physical goods?
We are building the functionality to bill your for your shipping. When it is time to ship your extras, we will ask you to pay for the shipping which will be handled similar to how we handle paying for add-ons.
How do I specify the size for my T-Shirt?
We will provide the ability to select what size you need in the near future, probably when the shipping option is functional.
I'd like to change my tier or add-ons.
You can currently upgrade some of the tiers and add-ons to more expensive options. Some of the newer add-ons and tiers cannot be upgraded to presently.
We are in the process of adding a “credit” system to your account, to allow you cancel any pledge or add-on in your account for an account credit. You will then be able to use this credit to purchase any tier or add-on. This will allow you to make any adjustment you want to your account in terms of what pledges and add-ons you have.
The prices and availability for the pledges and add-ons will be the same as when you had originally made your pledge. Please note that if you cancel a limited number item like the Vanduul fighter or the Idris Corvette it will go back into the pool and may not be available in the future if someone else takes it.
Can I gift a game to another player?
Yes! We're currently adding a gifting system which will be available in time for Christmas. It will allow you to assign a pledge tier to someone via their email address. In the case of the multi packs (“I’ve Got Two” or “Quad Damage”) these will be converted into multiple Mercenary packages that you can individually gift. If you would like to go ahead and purchase additional tiers or add-ons you will be able to gift them to players at your leisure once the system goes online.
What is a Golden Ticket?
Users who registered for the site before the game was announced on October 10, 2012 have a Golden Ticket on their account which indicates they were the very earliest members of the community. The Golden Ticket was an invite to the launch event on October 10th. It also entitles the holder to a special decal on their ship if they subsequently backed Star Citizen by pledging for one of the spaceship tiers as well an un-announced small in-game item. A Golden Ticket holder has no additional privileges or game status outside of being able to say there were some of the earliest members of the community.
What are the “Citizen Cards”?
Citizen Cards are physical props to prove that you have supported Star Citizen and will be one of the first pilots in space when the testing process starts. They will be wallet sized cards that you can carry with you anywhere you go. Citizen cards will also appear in the game itself, showing your character’s social standing, credit account and the like.
The level of your Citizen card will depend on the aggregate of all your contributions. Thus someone that has backed Star Citizen for a total of between $500 and $1000 would be entitles to a Gold Citizen Card, even if their base pledge was under $500.
Physical Citizen Cards are a one-time gift tied to the initial campaign and will only be manufactured once, making them a collector’s item.
Our cut-off date for manufacturing the cards will when the Kickstarter users are integrated. We will announce the cut-off date to the community ahead of time to allow everyone a chance to get a physical Citizen Card if they so desire by pledging for a tier that includes one as part of the package.
What is the difference between the manuals?
Every copy of Star Citizen comes with a standard Star Citizen manual, either digitally or physically depending on the tier. Higher tiers include a "Making of" book which will tell the story of the game's development. The Wingnut and Freelancer tiers each include an additional special manual: either a "Squadron 42 manual" or an "Engineering manual for modders." The Squadron 42 manual is in-universe fiction similar to the original Claw Marks, while the Engineering manual will help prospective modders add their own content to the game.
What is included on the USB stick?
In addition to your copy of the game, the USB stick contains digital copies of everything at your particular tier: the manuals, the ship model, the blueprints, etc. Any physical reward you have is included digitally on the USB stick. Users worried about import taxes will have the option to ship the USB stick empty and download their content separately.
Can I switch to a digital-only tier?
Yes, select the 'go digital' option on your My Account page. If you'd like to switch back, select 'revert.' Once the credit system is in place you will be able to cancel a physical tier pledge and re-pledge for a digital only tier.
What is the plan for import taxes on the finished game and physical goods?
Since this is a fundraising campaign only a portion of your pledge will be allocable to the value of the physical goods shipped to you. We will determine this value on the basis of the prices we would charge for those physical items outside of a fundraising campaign and comparable to similar transactions in the marketplace. This reduced value will be stated on a pro-forma invoice accompanying the shipment, and this is usually the value on which any import duties and import VAT will be computed by the authorities upon actual shipment. There are exempted amounts depending on the import country. For example, in the EU shipments under €150 will not be subject to import duties, and shipments under €22.50 will not incur any import VAT. In addition, only VAT amounts over €10 are collected, so that effectively all shipments under a value of €50 will be free.
A particular situation exists with respect to the USB stick. If the stick will be loaded with your digital game and other items then the value of those digital items will be considered when determining the value of the stick for importation purposes. Again, this value would not be your pledge amount but the price that we would charge outside the fundraising campaign for those digital items.
In order to avoid taxation on those digital game items we will offer a convenient download button directly on your “Your Account” page, together with the option to receive the USB stick empty. Alternatively, if you wish to receive the USB stick fully loaded with the items then the value of those digital items will be included in the pro-forma invoice.
How can I work for Cloud Imperium Games?
Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with your information. In the subject header please indicate what type of position you are interested in applying for.
Why Direct And No Publisher?
Publishers are useful in the old physical distribution world, but the Internet is the great equalizer. Marcus “Notch” Pearson didn’t need a publisher to sell over 8 million copies of Minecraft on the PC. Riot games didn’t need a publisher to reach 30-million League of Legends players, and Wargaming.net didn’t need a publisher to reach 40-million World of Tanks gamers. If we were building a big “AAA” console game it would be crazy to try without a publisher. But we want to build a PC game and publishers increase costs because of their need to recoup their sizable overhead cost. We want to make sure all the money raised goes directly to the development of the game. So we’re throwing ourselves on the mercy of the PC gamers out there that share our vision and passion for the platform and the space combat genre to raise money outside of the “cartel” of traditional publishers. The game will cost less, be more creatively pure, and, most importantly, be built for the real “core” audience – not some corporate suit worried about including all the casual gamers.
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 made their first pledge 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.
That's the new FAQ! Now, what else do you think is needed? We'll revise this with your questions and post it at the top of the site later in the week!