Welcome to some more Star Citizen with a summary of the ARGO SRV Q&A released on the 28th of February. Some of it is the same info they gave from the RTV recently and is included in my What We Know about Tractor Beams BUT it does go into some further detail in some areas.
The SRV carries no offensive weaponry so relies on its shields and armor to survive in combat, so if it’s being directly attacked, the best course of action is to break away and come back later. If you’re entering a known hot zone, I’d recommend bringing an escort along for support.
One of the key design goals for this ship was to enable it to carry cargo around. Unloading larger cargo ships, such as the Hull series, is a perfect use of the SRV.
The ARGO SRV can Quantum Travel while towing.
Whilst the details of Jump Travel are being ironed out, the original design never accounted for this scenario and requires revisiting. However, our current stance is that it will not be able to tow ships through a Jump Point. If such travel is needed, we recommend towing the vehicle to a nearby repair station first or putting it inside another jump-capable vehicle.
This is interesting to me as I foresee lawless systems in the future where potentially no repair facilities exist a thing. That might mean that you’d have to repair any ships that are heavily damaged with Crucibles or maybe players will be able to build repair stations / outposts.
Otherwise you’ll have Capital Ships losing their jump drives stranded in certain systems.
There is nothing to stop you moving damaged or stuck ground vehicles, such as the Nova Tank. It will work the same way as moving and transporting damaged spaceships.
Can the SRV / Tractor Beams move outpost modules?
No, outpost modules are physically drilled into the ground surface. The moving of player-made outposts is restricted to the Pioneer and other dedicated ships as the SRV’s tractor beam is not strong enough to wrench them from the surface. Outposts that exist already on moons/planets cannot be moved.
Physicalized items in the world can be manipulated if they’re within the mass range of the tractor beam. Currently, the only dynamic asteroids in the game are the mineable variety, though it will be possible to tow these asteroids around if desired.
Capturing an item requires it to be relatively immobile and of a certain size so that the beam can focus on it. While we don’t have the exact details of these limits yet, we foresee that active players will not be easily trapped by tractor beams to prevent griefing.
Tractor Beams and SRVs have a certain amount of mass they can move and can work together to move larger ships or objects.
Tho primarily mass based, though there are some size and volume requirements. There are no arbitrary design restrictions in terms of ‘ship X can specifically not tractor ship Y’.
In Regard to preventing ships tractor beaming a target – is that shields will actively block or severely dampen the tractor beam strength. If you wish to have your vehicle moved, you will be required to power down your shields (which also puts you in a vulnerable position). If you wish to guard against theft, just leave your shields up when outside your ship for reassurance that it will still be there when you get back.
The target needs to be relatively immobile with shields powered down for the tractor beam to ‘capture’ it. If the target is actively jinking or maneuvering to avoid it, the SRV pilot will require significant skill and time to capture it.
The tractors beam is primarily designed to pull, though it can push to an extent. Moving from side to side, rolling, and pitching are accomplished by the range of motion available to the tractor beam’s mount.
Tractor beams consume massive amounts of power, so while the ship’s top speed is still attainable, acceleration and fuel economy are negatively impacted.
The Tractor Beam can be used in any location, in atmosphere, on the ground, space, quantum, however the environment will affect the difficulty of maintaining a capture of the target item. Another one of the original design aims was for the SRV to act as a tug ship to help larger ships get from a planet’s surface back out into space.
If an SRV is immobile but still has a working tractor beam, can it use its tractor beam to lock onto another ship and then be towed by that ship?
Theoretically, it is possible for this to work. However, the non-tractor ship would have to maneuver very cautiously and gently to prevent it from breaking away.
The Argo’s Shields do not extend around it’s target that it is towing. So towing a target puts it at risk as it can’t have it’s shields up either.
Does the roof dish provide scanning abilities for search and rescue?
The dish on the roof is simply a visual styling cue and has no specific gameplay attached to it. As mentioned on RTV, we went back and forth over the name during development. At the time ATV was recorded, it was known as the ‘Search and Recovery Vehicle’. However, we have now settled on ‘Standard Recovery Vehicle’.