Welcome to some more Star Citizen with a Summary of the Mercury Q&A, going over some of the different aspects of the ship & gameplay related to scanning and data collection.
The Crusader Industries Mercury Star Runner is a hybrid medium sized data/cargo runner, suitable for upto 3 crew & is expected to be useful for smuggling, courrier work, light combat, missions where you need a small profile, potentially some multicrew stealth and espionage. Its on concept sale until the 8th of October from $200.
Dedicated Scanner Ships Vs The Mercury
Dedicated scanning ships, or ships equipped with dedicated scanners are built around that gameplay, which is not what the Mercury is built for. The Mercury’s scanners are only good enough to intercept local communications, rather than scanning of unknown areas or picking up low signatures at distance like the Terrapin can. The Terrapin, when crewed effectively, will always surpass the Mercury in terms of scanning efficiency.
Examples of Data Collection Gameplay
An example of legal data collection in PvE would be a mission along the lines of scanning a certain location for information, such as asteroid composition/density. Alternatively, you may receive a mission to find specific player owned ships & their locations, which will need to be reported back the mission giver. Illegal data collection would be something more along the lines of intercepting sensitive information between two ships for PvE or intercepting and beating another player to delivery on an existing data running mission.
Specifics of the Mercury
The Mercury is currently between the Freelancer and Cutlasses Speed, this may change during production if the ship is not fast enough to fulfill its role effectively. However It does have 2 Medium Q Fuel Tanks & 2 M Power Plants compared to the other ships single components for both, giving it longer range and the power to actually make use of it’s systems more effectively.
The Mercury has no plans for the extended e-war functions but will be able to data-hack.
A Dedicated E-War suite is not a requirement for data-hacking.
More E-War type things are being left with the Herald and Sentinel (And Capital Ships I assume too)
The Mercury and Hercules Starlifter will be used to help the Starliner through the pipeline.
The Mercury will fit through the same jump-points a Freelancer can.
The back ramp is the only entrance to the ship, and it has no docking collar or secondary lift entrances.
If you wish to leave the ship in EVA you will need to decompress the cargo room to open the ramp. There is an airlock & sealed turrets preventing the rest of the ship from decompressing.
There are 5 distinct stations on the Mercury (Pilot, CoPilot, Scanning, 2x Turrets)
But only 3 Beds, they want players to react and choose what they want to do in various scenarios & want the ship to remain relatively compact and focused.
There is a shared bathroom, kitchen, table, gun rack and each crew member has a suit storage locker by their bunk.
There are no plans for any additional variants or modules for the Mercury.
I really like the Mercury, the idea of adventure with a small crew do a variety of missions that are less about straight combat is really appealing. That said if you want to do data running solo & a bit of e-war then the Heralds is going to be a better choice.