Deciding on the best way for me to answer our Editor-in-Chief's call for Op-Ed pieces was difficult, as I wanted the bar set high. I wanted to do something that, "maybe", would have a positive and lasting impact on the TIE Corps. So I started thinking about 2016, and realized that not much mention had been made lately about a game that I personally believe will revolutionize the industry and re-ignite the passion for the PC flight sim.

Full disclosure about how strongly I believe this; I've sunk $100US of my own hard-earned money into the crowdfunding for it just based on what has been released so far, and ordered a gaming laptop with specs tailored specifically to be able to run this game, and run it well. It's no longer a question of "will I play it at release", but more a question of "who is coming with me". Total fanboi status.

I know several of you coughed up cash as well during the initial heavy fundraising in late 2013 and early 2014, including GA Rapier, VA Plif, and about half a dozen others. But with only the Hangar Module released in beta, most lost interest quickly and haven't logged in over a year. Well, things may have been quiet and yes, they're a bit behind schedule, but the team at RSI has been putting out some pretty amazing/groundbreaking stuff. My intent here is to bring everyone, especially the ones who don't have access, up to speed on the goodies. Time willing, I want to make this a semi-regular column in the Commodore until release, which is tentatively late 2016.

The Patcher

This has come a long way, you generally no longer have to wipe your entire install with each new Alpha/Beta patch. That said, this game is massive, so be ready for some huge Star Citizen folder is currently 33GB and I wouldn't be surprised if the final product is north of 100GB.

The Cost of Entry

$45US. At this price point you have the choice of two AC Starter Packages, the Aurora MR and Mustang Alpha. However, you no longer have to cough up cash to fly better ships, you can earn REC in-game and rent them for 7 days at a time. What you pay cash for is what you start the game with at launch, plus a copy of the game...and you have permanent access to that ship for the duration of Alpha/Beta.

The Hangar

This is where you enter the game at. At present there are several consoles you can interact with.

You can also take the transit system (located just behind you when you log in) to ArcCorp, or explore the interior of any ships you currently have access too. At present launch sequences aren't in for all ships yet, so you can't actually fly out of the hangar yet. You have to use the simulator console to load Arena Commander.

Too Drunk to Fly
Too drunk to fly...that's okay...the Origin 300-series have beds right behind the cockpit that pop out at the push of a button!

ArcCorp (Stanton 3)

This is the planet-side Alpha, ArcCorp. ArcCorp, also known as the third planet in the Stanton system, is much like Coruscant of Star Wars...a city completely covered by urban sprawl built upon urban sprawl. Right now all you can do is hijack buggies and smash them into things and run people over. But Star Marine is the next thing off the assembly line, so look for this module to undergo significant changes soon. For some relation on the location of ArcCorp to Earth, you can check out the Star Map Module, which you can access with any web browser at

On the surface of ArcCorp, overlooking Astro Armada, the future ship dealership.

The Sol system as seen in the Ark Starmap, with exit vector shown for a course to the Stanton system.

Arena Commander

The space combat module, now fairly well refined in it's 2.0 release. Here you can access a detailed tutorial covering everything from take-off to landing, with maneuvering, targeting, and combat in-between. Not a bad thing to sit thru either, considering Star Citizen's incredibly detailed control setup. You can also enter a Free Flight sandbox mode where the only danger is you crashing into space debris or an asteroid. If you need a bit more adrenaline, you have several options:

There are currently 26 ships that are in a "Combat Ready" state of production, meaning flyable in any of the above modes. Another 12 are fully-rendered with flight mechanics in-progress, 18 in rendering, and 9 in pre-production...mostly frigates, destroyers, and mass cargo haulers that need a corp to crew. You can view the full 65-ship matrix, including full 360-degree WebGL renders you can literally walk a camera thru at

LC Wraith in Co-op Vandul Swarm; eating a missile to the face and getting rammed in the port-side dorsal intake just before shoving a 4-missile salvo right up the tailpipe of a Vandul Boss, "Little King". The collision actually rips off the port-side laser cannon and part of the wing.

The Future

Right now we're eagerly awaiting the release of Star Marine, which will give us the first taste of both planet-side and ship-boarding combat. After that, the short-term agenda includes connecting the Planet-side Alpha, Hangar, and Arena Commander together so you can actually launch and land your own ship; planet-side NPCs and missions to do in space around ArcCorp; and adding the cities on Stanton's other planets and three other star systems. These are all steps leading up to the Persistent Universe, the point we're basically all waiting for, where it all comes together.

If you're already a backer but haven't looked lately, check things out! And if you haven't looked yet and have $45 for a pre-order, come join us in the Alpha/Beta! For the rest of you, I'll do my best to continue bringing you what glimpses into this fascinating universe I can. Until the next episode...

Lieutenant Colonel Wraith
CMDR/LC Wraith/Sin/Wing II/ISDII Warrior
LoS-RS-TS-IS-CSx4-Rx4/MoC-1doc-1poc-2goc-1soc-8boc/CoL/CoS/CoB/OV-18E [CNTR] [Elite 4th]