Transcript generously provided by Nehkara in this Reddit thread.
A link to the episode can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aoooemaw2lY
Questions and Answers
Question 1 - Repairing/possessing space stations
|“||Gold Horizon space stations have been presented as old, crumbling derelicts from a bygone age, filled with squatters and ne'er-do-wells. If we take over such a station, will we be able to repair it, clean it up, upgrade its equipment and possibly change our room modules?||”|
|“||So, long term on the space stations... we're obviously going to have more than one type of space station, they won't all be exactly the same kind of space station and some will be in better shape than other ones... and we'll definitely allow the ability to repair or fix up stuff that you could potentially own. Then, at a further point down the road we'll also allow you to add room modules and stuff. That's one of the things we have on the roadmap for the hangars, for instance, where you could have a basic hangar and then you can add extra modules and space stations will be kind of along those lines. Maybe not out-of-the-box first iteration, but that's definitely part of the roadmap on a longer term basis.||”|
Question 2 - Ingame taxes
|“|| Can you provide us any additional information on how taxes in the game will work?
Will we have a simple sales tax or a more complex corporate income tax? Will there be a possibility to raise different taxes in organizations regarding trades, missions, and bounty hunting?
|“|| So, as far as the game goes the taxes will be fairly simple. The idea is that they would be on trade or consumption. So, if you land down on a planet you have to pay a landing fee and then if you buy or sell stuff then you will have to pay a sales tax or value-added tax. So, basically there will be things taxed on buying and selling and essentially landing is a kind of a tax or a fee.
Then, organizations themselves will be able to have certain taxation or tithing. You could dictate: "To be part of the guild, you have to contribute 10% of your income to us." or "You have to contribute 1000 UEC a month." That will be settable on the organization side. Basically for belonging to the organization or for the things the organizations provides, you have to pay them. I guess it's kind of the same as being part of a country - that's why you pay your taxes so you have various things like armed forces and roads and stuff like that. That's kind of the idea. There won't necessarily be a tax on individuals from the UEE, there just will be UEE taxes on transactions essentially. Hopefully that makes sense.
Question 3 - Natural terrain
|“||Will CIG be adding natural areas to prominent locations, such as an arboretum/hydroponic garden for space station or a "Central Park" for Terra Prime?||”|
|“||The answer is yes. In fact, Terra Prime has some pretty awesome stuff already, definitely along these lines. But yes, we'll be building in things like bushes, plants, grassy areas, etc. Not everywhere but definitely in some places. Arc Corp, which is kind of what we've shown, is meant to be this industrial, blade-runnery kind of huge mega sprawl - expansive smokestacks and everything, so it's not really a place where you would expect to see gardens but Terra Prime and some other places you will definitely see that sort of thing.||”|
Question 4 - Environmental hazards
|“||Will there be game mechanics for other environmental hazards in the FPS? Such as hitting canisters of flammable gases and having them explode?||”|
|“||Absolutely! That's already in actually. I think it may have potentially been shown at the PAX Australia show. But we definitely have canisters you can blow up, there's all sorts of environmental destruction and effects that can happen in the FPS levels. We'll use a lot of that, taking advantage of the physics in CryEngine. You could potentially hit a pipe and steam can come out and that steam can have a wind effect on things around it, blowing things around, and could potentially also hurt you if you got in the way of it - if it was hot steam. There's a lot of that stuff that's in there and we'll aim to do more and more of that because it's kind of a cool thing to make the environment immersive.||”|
Question 5 - Storing ore
|“||Will we be able to store mined ore from the Orion in our hangar or will we have to purchase a storage area?||”|
|“||Well, I think everyone's hangars will be able to store whatever goods you have, assuming you've got the room - there's a certain amount. Now, the Orion itself mines a vast amount of bulk ore, so there's probably more ore that you would have on the Orion than you could actually store in most of your hangars. You know, generally in the sense of ore you would traditionally be mining it and then selling it to someone... but you could store it in your hangar, or you could store it elsewhere if you wanted to. I mean, it's just another unit. We basically physicalize all cargo or items, so whether it's a really big thing like a big huge container of ore or a small thing like a small gun, they're all treated the same in the system so you can put them in your hangar or if you can fit them in your hold, you can put them in your hold... and so on.||”|
Question 6 - Organic ships
|“||Will there be any sort of organic/genetically grown ships like Moya from Farscape or the Lexx?||”|
|“||Right now... no. But longer term, we have been talking about having some more interesting alien species or races so I wouldn't necessarily rule it out long term. Short term, we don't have any plans for that in the initial pipeline... or the initial 1.0 release - I guess I shouldn't really say 1.0 since we're sort of renaming Arena Commander to Star Citizen because it also includes the FPS and all of the rest of the stuff... but whatever we call our commercial release.||”|
Question 7 - Ship spoofing
|“||With different electronic systems that are throughout the universe, will there be the possibility for ship spoofing? For example, masking your own signal to represent a different ship?||”|
|“|| Yeah, definitely. We've already talked about, that ships broadcast an ID and we know that ships broadcast signatures which can be electromagnetic or heat or cross-section. So, we've also talked about the ability to hide your ID, so if you've stolen a ship you can maybe get your ID changed or spoofed. I definitely think there will be systems out there that will potentially allow you to have a signature that would look like a different kind of ship and that could be pretty useful. For instance, you could have a signature to make you look like a freighter but you're not - as a trap - or something like that.
So that's the sort of stuff longer term as we flesh out the signature and scanning system that we will definitely have in the game.
Question 8 - Combat hardpoints versus functional hardpoints
|“||Since combat ships have more hardpoints compared to specialized ships, how will non-combat ships stay relevant to the modularity stretch goal?||”|
|“|| Well, mainly because the hardpoints aren't necessarily related to modules that you can switch in and out. So, hardpoints in general that we've been talking about - actually, there was a design post about itemports, right? So everything in the ship is actually attached to an itemport: thrusters, radar, ship's computer, fuel tank, powerplant, turrets, weapons, missiles, armour.
So, all of those are actually items that plug into the ship and they require their own level of power, they emit heat, they may require data - all these different pipes that hook into each other. The functionality comes with the item, so to speak, so the hull itself... if you took the thrusters, the powerplant, and all these things out it would just be a floating hull - it wouldn't be able to do anything. That's kind of the modular system we have for the ships. We're only really publicizing the hardpoints related to the weapons because that's what people care about. In reality we have a lot more hardpoints and other hardpoints would entail... like a hardpoint where you can switch the crew module out for a science module or something like that. So, to think that a more specialized ship has less hardpoints is actually incorrect, it probably has at least as many - they just happen to be attaching extra things. For instance, a good example would be the Orion which we just had and was in a previously question. You can see on the outside of it there are all these containers, right, well each container - which is a fairly big container (6 m x 4 m x 2 m) - attaches to an itemport... that's more itemports than any one of our combat ships have had. So, there's plenty of option to expand - you may not realize it from the website because that's using outdated data that over time we will change. But also it's kind of hard because it's not standardized... one ship could have 100 different itemports and one ship could have 30 itemports and it sort of all depends on the itemports that are specific to their particular uses which could be anything - like mounting a cargo module or mounting a gun. I would say that non-combat ships will definitely stay relevant and will be able to change out and do things, functionality wise, at least as much as a combat ship and maybe even more so.
Question 9 - Weapon searching
|“||Will I be able to search other players for weapons before they board my ship? This way I can prevent a mutiny or a pirate catching me off guard.||”|
|“||That's a pretty good idea and suggestion. I don't think it would be that particularly hard to do and I think we would want that as a mechanic - that someone could scan someone and see if they have a weapon or not and say that you're only allowed on if you don't have a weapon. That would probably be a functionality we would want to put in the FPS module. We already have some other kind of functionality which includes scanning and looting off people and stuff like that, so I think that would be something that I think we would add to that. Because, yeah... you want to make sure that people aren't packing and sometimes they say, "I'm not packing." But, what if they are?||”|
Question 10 - Flying without helmet, goggles, etc.
|“||Regardless of it being a bad idea, will it be possible to fly a ship without a helmet, goggles, contact lenses, eye implants or direct neural interface? In other words, will it be possible to fly a ship without a HUD, and instead, being forced to rely solely upon the displays in the cockpit?||”|
|“|| Well, it will definitely be possible to fly without a helmet and goggles, etc, etc. If the ship is set up the correct way, then you'd probably only see the display... I mean, a lot of the Heads Up Displays are actually in the cockpit space and so those probably would pop up. But the way the ship's system works, again I was just talking about items and plugging in... well, you as a player - your clothes, your shirt's an item, your space suit is an item, your helmet is an item and all of those plug in and have pipes so you, as a player, can plug in to the ship so when you sit in a seat you actually plug in to the data port and the power port and the heat port and all the rest of the things. Then, through you all of the items you are wearing plug in to the ship... so what happens when you sit in a seat is it sort of plugs in and boots up basically, so if you've got the helmet you will get the display on your helmet but if you don't have the helmet you will usually by default see it on the screens in the cockpit or the Heads Up Display that is projected inside the cockpit. So, it sort of works based on what sort of display items you have.
So, there will definitely be a case where you can get into a ship and not necessarily have all of the items. Now, there will be some ships that rely on you to have a full fighter pilot setup - like a Gladius or a Hornet or something like that - where it may not let you fly unless you've got the full pilot setup on. But Civilian ships aren't like that. In a Constellation or even an Aurora, it will be much more... "What do you have" and you're using the in-cockpit diegetic stuff instead of something on a visor.