Welcome to some more Star Citizen, with some more info on the Mercury Star Runner, Data Running and Smuggling. This info is from the Mercury concept sale page, the associated Ship Shape and a Town Hall RtV held at GamesCom.
Vital Statics of the Mercury
The ship has quite small weapons & light armor comparatively for it’s size. It is supposed to rely on it’s speed, agility & getting cargo or data to it’s destination as fast as possible RATHER than used for prolonged combat engagements.
2x size 2 shield generators, a full complement of countermeasures
2x size 3 hardpoint gimbals on the front under the nose (with size 2s on them),
2x manned turrets one up top & 1 down below (each with 2 size 2 weapons)
The weapons are all laser repeaters as standard.
There is also 2x size 2 missile pylons coming with 4x s1 missiles total.
The ship has Data Banks & 96SCU Cargo Space (which is the same as a Constellation Andromeda)
It’s medium ship 40m Long x 38m Wide x 11.6m Tall And it can house 3 Crew.
This is longer than the Freelancer (38m) but also extremely wide and as such it has a lot of internal room.
The Mercury is available from $200 warbond or $225 store credit, it is available as a CCU or upgrade as well. It appears as tho the Herald and Freelancer are both loaner ships for the mercury, so you’ll get both to use until the Mercury is flyable OR they change it’s loaner ship.
I couldn’t find the end date of the Concept sale listed BUT it’s safe to assume the 8th of October as on the 9th/10th they should be announcing the next concept sale for CitizenCon.
The ship is asymmetrical (both interior & exterior) and influenced by the millenium falcon as well as the Hercules Starlifter. The ventilation/duct system allows for the crew to get around the ship in a less conventional way if necessary.
The cockpit has great visibility, the glass extends below the pilot so you can see underneath themselves.
It’s combining the Herald and Freelancer’s Gameplay on a larger scale.
The ship is about getting cargo or data from one place to another as quick as it can.
But it can be used for a multitude of purposes, on paper it’s now my favorite 2-3 player ship.
The ship has a break or recreation room. They want to have little mini games like being able to play holochess or at least minigames to pass time while on long QTs… they also want to be able to get under the table in the rec room and get into the duct system from there too.
The ducts run thru the ship allowing access in a pinch to different areas.
There is a Habitation Room with 3 beds in as well, the Mercury is a long range ship.
The ship will be able to house bikes so Dragonfly, X1 & Nox as well the grey cat.
It is not big enough for the Cyclone or Ursa Rover.
It also have a wide array of thrusters and VTOLs allowing it to be very suitable for Atmospheric use.
The brochure suggests the ship can be used as a semi-pro racing ship.
And that it has very powerful countermeasures for fleeing/evading.
To get data you need to record or capture it, either by downloading, being given it OR listening in, physically taking a drive. This will then get encrypted and stored.
The Mercury has a dedicated scan scanning room/suite & avionics. It has a dedicated data bank storage room, which is significantly larger than the Heralds. The herald might make multiple trips for some valuable data, whereas the Mercury could spend a lot of time getting all of the data from a server or data stream. Other ships may be able to get & store data, but typically it will be less efficient or storage might cause issues.
You may be able to intercept data streams and transfer from other players & NPCs, typically this is done at range.
This could give you locations OR valuable data as cargo packages.
Scanning things will also get you data too.
The data can be deleted and destroyed once on the Mercury or Herald at the touch of a button if required, other ships may be less able to purge data.
Ships will be able to send data to each other, coordinates, info, data-as-cargo etc…. Ships may have bandwidth or hardware restrictions on what data they can receive & it may take time to send and receive too.
Smuggling & Cargo
There are “smuggling compartments” under the ship – these will be more of an extra secure storage (and are in addition to the 96-SCU cargo bay) and are in lore intended for spare components. (there are 3 1×1 compartments) They act as a mini-cargo area, that is seperate from the main ships cargo grid.
It will be hard to detect what is inside this area even if you are scanning for it AND there is the potential of making this even better shielded. (Scanning a ship in detail will require proximity and time, a good scanner will help).
Customs checks may be a thing in certain landing zones and checkpoints (or even in space), if you have invested in hiding your contraband then less would be harder for them to detect. The NPC searching might be dumb and not know where these compartments are, or you could get an NPC who is diligent and smart and will look everywhere, in which case you would potentially need to move contraband as he is searching. Also if they are scanning they may have an idea where “undeclared” items are if they detect them. Potentially bribing may be a thing too.
Also they want to be able to have cargo containers which spoof other cargo types. So a crate that appears to be waste, could actually be contraband. This might still be discovered during a full customs search tho.
You may be able to decoy customs into searching crates that are legal, in an attempt to waste their time as after a while customs searches will end and they will leave.
You can avoid landing zone checks by landing outside of a city for example and then try and bring it into the city through less secure areas.
Hacking is planned to allow you to be able to open doors, locks and bypass security and will require equipment and to perform a mini-game.
Design of ships that don’t have their mechanics for their primary gameplay fleshed out yet have a lot of design prep-work done and future proofing done to them AND it gives them the opportunity to explore various ways that a mechanics may evolve. When the final mechanics for data running for example come on line, there may be tweaks to the Herald and Mercury BUT these should be extremely small.
I hope that info on the Mercury and some of the plans & ideas behind Smuggling, Cargo & Data were interesting, please feel free to ask and questions or tell me what you think down below in the comments, I really like this ship and probably will replace my Cutlass Black / Herald I have with one.