Welcome to some more Star Citizen, we have a huge amount of information on the New Customization System for Ships in the PU so let’s talk about that, answer some question BUT also I do want to talk about some more potential controversial areas of the system too. As mark my words this will spark articles and anger from some.
With the Origin Celebration (which I am assuming will land in the first week of June and have 3.5.1 LIVE too) there is a new system you will be able to tailor your ship with paint jobs, weapon / item loadouts, aesthetics and flair both inside and out.
This goes quite deep, with different seats, dashboards, bed sheets, color choices on a huge range of items.
There are counter top items, food and drinks makers that will tie into the stamina system in the future as well as a stereo, a holo-clock, a coffee machine, and more. These items will have function, play music, make drinks in the future.
Again in the future you will be able to paint ship weapons too.
There are item packages for the ship loadouts, so weapons, power plants, shields, coolers all bundled together with a focus for the type of gameplay a player is after, so you won’t typically be able to change individual guns from this type of customization, rather a whole set of items, YOU WILL be able to change weapons and items freely in the PU even now though so for some this type of customization will be pointless or even counterproductive.
This system is referred to as manufacturer customization and is the equivalent of going to a real world car dealership and getting your new car customized with features before you buy it.
In the future you will be able to go to aftermarket customization shops to fully customize your ship too BUT not with this first release.
The customizations that manufactures will offer will be “on brand” and this will be for Origin at this stage so they have pretty clean simple color options.
Aftermarket later will allow you silly paint jobs!
This is the T0 release of the feature, the barebones of it basically, it gives you the ability to do this customization on the website. They will continue to iterate and add to the system in the future.
Insurance claims on these custom ships will revert them to whatever set of items and options you had purchased originally, so you’ll keep your manufacturer customizations!
In the future this will allow for entire rooms and modules to be changed in and out too.
The work creating the tech behind customization will be the backbone for the future for ship modularity. While you are seeing this initial rollout utilize this tool for things like paint and trim, it can also be utilized for entire modular rooms/attachments.
There is no ETA for when this will be available for ships beyond the Origin Jumpworks Manufacturer yet. They picked the 300 series to start with as it was an extremely popular set of ships and the variants give a wide range of choices and gameplay, I also suspect it’s because they are small and relatively simple in regard to paint jobs and more sensible customization options.
Will these customizations be available to be obtained in-game for in-game currency?
YES. While you’ll have the option to pledge for customizations (and some of the options are free), nearly everything will eventually be available and earnable in-game. In fact, many of the components are already obtainable with in-game currency in the game today.
This does imply however that we will not have the full system for use with in game currency from the off with the initial release HOWEVER some of the options are free and anyone with an appropriate ship will be able to customize through there.
What happens to the ship you customized when your ship is destroyed or reclaimed?
In these scenarios, manufacturer customizations are covered under the base insurance, meaning when you respawn your ship, it will already have your customizations/loadout equipped. This means no more having to re-equip your customizations after your ship has been destroyed/reclaimed. We’re very happy to share that with the rollout of 3.5.1, this is not only exclusive to using the customization tool – changes you make to your ship in-game will persist after being reclaimed. Longer term, your insurance deductible will be based on the equipment/attachments on your ship.
Will more options be available?
Yes in the future! They’re aiming to give you tons of different options for making the ships of Star Citizen into your ships. This first iteration is customization “from Origin,” similar to how you’d experience buying a car in the real world, directly from a manufacturer. As we continue to create more customization options, we plan on some of the wilder and off-manufacturer branded items to be available at “chop shops,” and similar locations that provide aftermarket upgrades / customization.
What’s the difference between customizing with your manufacturer vs. a chop shop / aftermarket?
When you head to a manufacturer, you’re getting the manufacturer’s vision for what makes their brand look best. So, as an example, you probably won’t see orange flames on a purple 300i offered by Origin, but you might find this at those aftermarket suppliers.
Can you customize your ship over and over again?
Short answer: yes. Long answer, just like in the real world, when you customize a car with a manufacturer, you would be unlikely to return and make additional aesthetic changes. Because this is a first roll-out, and they want to get as much testing as possible, you can still trade in customized ships via your hangar by selecting the exchange option for store credit that equals the value of your ship + the customizations you’ve added in the past. Longer term, you would need to visit a “chop shop” or aftermarket dealer to make additional customizations.
This is good, I was worried they were going to somehow lock purchases, but they have decided to allow for melting and trying out the system, this also means that store credit can be used in this system too.
Will existing pilots of the these ships be able to repaint/change the looks and features of the ships?
Yes. Existing 300 series owners will find that upon launch, the customizer will guide you to add customizations to your already existing ship.
Will decals and other similar customization options eventually be available as an option?
Yes, that’s the plan! This first iteration of customization is purely focused on the experience you can have with a specific manufacturer. They’re exploring additional tech in the background that will help sort through some of the community’s more “eccentric” decals and allow additional personalized customization like ship names, registration #, and more. They plan on exploring this for future iterations. So by the sounds of it there will be player / org decals potentially in game.
Could this system eventually give us a choice of ship voices?
Potentially. They’re not ready to go into detail with what types of additions we are considering, but we’re excited to hear feedback about what you all would like to see. They are not ruling anything out at this stage.
CIG make it very clear that This is the initial rollout, and is built around a players pledge, their intention, as they’ve said in the past, is that players never required to pledge more than an initial starter package to play the game. All pledges go directly to the development of Star Citizen and Squadron 42.
Thoughts on The Customization
I said a few weeks ago when we first heard about this system is that it will create controversy. It will be available in game at some point BUT as it does sound like it is fully from the off it will create some anger. It’s also deeper monetization up selling loadouts on ships, making a $60 pledge maybe $90 or more we don’t have confirmations of prices yet and any leaks you see MAY VERY WELL CHANGE, but as it’s new and additional monetization it’s certainly going to be seen as anti-consumer. From what I’ve seen it’s likely to be small amounts like a $1 OR FREE for paint jobs BUT larger amounts for weapons/items packages and this makes sense.
I like more options and customization, some of them will be entirely free as well, the fact that current owners of the ships will be able to straight up customize them is cool, I will probably just change my 325a to have a cool paint job, hopefully a free one BUT I certainly don’t like overly monetizing stuff, it’s a shame they can’t have the full system in game at the same time.
Also making it that now ANY CUSTOMIZATION of ships in or out of game persists with reclaiming is amazing!
I can buy expensive components and not worry about losing them to a server crash!
They have certainly avoided a large number of pitfalls by answering so much about the system.
They have started using the phrase – nearly everything will eventually be available and earnable in-game which I am ok with as long as that it’s aesthetic items OR nothing that gives a tangible advantage, my advice is once we see the system and it’s in our hands… GIVE FEEDBACK that is what CIG have asked for and as long as they are responsive to that or get anything the community thinks is wrong with the system fixed then I’ll be happy.
But I am interested to know your thoughts, do you think this is a good idea, or should they have waited to have the full system in game entirely for in game credits at the same time, is it JUST another way of monetizing OR is it cool and you are looking forward to expressing yourself with your ship OR are you annoyed it just appears to be the 300 series at this stage and are waiting on being able to customize your 600i OR something?