Welcome to some more Star Citizen, the Banu Defender has had a bit of an info dump with Josh Coons who is currently working on the ship take to Reddit answering a load of questions and talking about the Ship as well as some more general bits about the Banu Ship Pipeline.
The Banu Defender is a Escort Fighter suitable for Human use.
It is meant to be operated 2 crew that share the ships operation.
The ship & it’s associated weapons the Singe Tachyon Cannon are pegged to be flyable with Alpha 3.5 at the end of March, which also means its being made entirely with the new flight model in mind.
The ship should still have the main focus of it’s original sale/blurb – a multi-crew fighter whose patchwork design highlights technology from a variety of species. Though cargo space is limited, the Defender features modest accommodations for its crew and provides easy access to components. The Defender gets its name from the role it serves: the first line of defense against enemy attacks. That’s why the Defender makes the ideal companion to the Merchantman: one to do the heavy hauling and the other to perform the deadly dogfighting. Every Banu merchant knows an investment in defense is an investment in their livelihood.
Josh Coons Posted loads of information on his thoughts on the ship and the work he is doing on it. I’ll try to order & condense it here
Ship Aesthetics & Pipeline
There are lots of changes from the Very early concepts of the Banu style & it is going a different route now.
Lots of new art and ship building techniques going with the Defender, new stuff on this ship….lots of organics….thats why they Josh, the sculptor, on this “bad boy”.
Banu will adopt any tech they deem better/superior, with that in mind the ship should perform well & You should be able to look over the ship and pick out what parts came from what race 🙂 Some tech the Banu deem superior yet they improve upon it to make it better, making it their own as well, so it isn’t entirely stolen 1 to 1 tech, it’s Banu Engineered too.
The Banu Style is Bronze-y and Blue green metals.
Organic shaped metal, Less hyper tech and more molded with tech.
They have evolved the look of the Banu and the Defender from the first run concepts. It will follow loosely the shapes, however it will apparently “look nothing like the screen shots”….. he has something else for us.
The whole interior is getting a different treatment. all new texture sets…. and most will be hand sculpted which is a first for ships in SC period. its going to be the pioneer organic ship.
Lighting is 90% of what makes it look good…so he’ll be spending a bunch of time on that section.
The Defender is going to be something special.
The Defender is planned to be HIGHLY maneuverable & crazy agile. Josh gets the feeling it will be sort of a “Glass Cannon” type class with agility thrown on top. The Defender specs are pretty much the archetype I play in most games.
Josh implies he has changed a few things when it comes to loadout & hardpoints for the ship. So we don’t know how much it’s changed from original design. It should most likely be balanced in the future as a high tier escort fighter though. Josh does say that Missiles are rad on the Ship tho.
Cockpit & Visibility
There should not be any visibility issues with the Defender now – you can even see your secondary pilot.
When you sit in the ship, it feels like you are centered due to the scale. It feels real good, I’m very pleased with the way the whole cockpit setup is coming along.
The view is really good. Struts are minimal, you can look over and see your secondary pilot in his cockpit, and the forward view is super clear.
They haven’t made the arms shorter apparently – JC said – I was surprised how good the visibility is off the get go. The previous model was meh on the view. My trick IF I run into trouble with the arms/wings obstructing view is to just tilt them down slightly for increased view.
The Banu Denfers Cockpit – its going to be more organic….toned down, less shiny noise, and less visual noise through simplification.
The view is amazing though…it really is. Im so happy with the view.
I also anticipated the arms being an obstruction so knowing that ahead of time I made sure I could adjust the view through mechanically changing the degree of slant of the wing/arm. its amazing how much you can gain of 1-5 degrees.
Some Other Bits We Know
We do also know that the Defender will have some additional interplay/functionality with the Banu Merchantman. However no solid details of this have been released, the expectation is that Defender might have some limited docking or rearm/repair/refuel with the MM.
The ship should be available on sale again when 3.5 goes LIVE. The whole meta of the game will massively change with 3.5 and the new flight model, I am very interested to see how the Kartual, Vanduul Ships and the Defender all perform in the new model in comparison to more traditional human ships.