Welcome to some more Star Citizen talking about the Carrack Exploration Ship, what we know about it & exploration gameplay with some updated info. The Carrack is expected to be one of the top tier exploration ships in the game, especially suited for long range expeditions.
The Carrack is currently planned to be released & in game with the end of year 2019 patch and Alpha 3.8. The Carrack is in Active Development, with a team of 5 working on it full time in the UK Office.
What is the Carrack’s Role?
The Carracks main role is that of exploration, pathfinding & expedition gameplay.
The Anvil Carrack is meant to feature fuel reserves and facilities for long-duration flight, an advanced jump drive, and a dedicated computer core for jump charting operations & mapping sensors / scanner. The Ship has a large range of facilities for the crew so that it can stay out and operate for potentially the longest time of any ship.
In Lore the Carrack was originally a military ship that’s now available on the civilian market.
Self sustaining is a word that was commonly used to describe the Carrack and I would expect it is able to solve a lot of it’s fuel needs itself with in takes and potentially very efficient QDs. We know that Power Plants and Batteries maybe able to help as alternatives to fuel use too. There is a potential that the ship will eventually be entirely able to stay out in space potentially “forever” or at least until you need repairs, want to come home or if you need to stock up on food/ammo.
The Ship is supposed to have a big focus towards mapping & charting courses.
Combat – The Ship is more defensive in nature, sounding like it’s robust and tanky BUT not designed to be a ship that wants to actively engage, large ships or wings of combat ships.
The Carrack was supposed to have some form of bridge Canopy Protection that had a blast shield come down the bridge’s cockpit window and then you’d be flying with sensors & remote cameras.
Again on the bridge is supposed to be systems for extensive scanning, mapping, charting sensor suites as well as the pilot and co-pilots.
History of the Carrack
The Carrack is one of the older concept ships to get brought into the game.
This was before CIG had the more stable accurate pipeline for ships, basically they planned the exterior roughly before blocking out all of the rooms.
This caused issues when they actually built the internals of ships out as this led to the ship increasing in size when they didn’t have enough room for all the rooms with corridors and armor, internal gubbinz. The current way the conconcept and build ships now caters for the internal rooms and space BEFORE building the exterior.
With the Carrack though they increased it’s size and then shrank it again, this oddly caused some controversy even though the ship had actually still increased in size over it’s original.
Originally it was listed at 123m during it’s whitebox it grew by about 40%, it’s now confirmed to be 125m.
They decided to do this, making it more compact to make it more fit for purpose.
The Carrack is a long Range Expedition Ship and has all of the facilities & systems it needs for that, making it larger for larger sake makes no sense. Smaller means it can land in more locations, doesn’t have to worry about gravity as much as larger ships when landing and taking off from moons & planets.
It can land on Large Landing Pads, so it’s not as restricted as the 890 or Reclaimer for example that can only land at Extra Large Pads currently on ArcCorp and Hurston.
The fact it’s compact means that it can be run with a small crew and caters for upto 6 players / NPCs. Smaller means it is harder to hit and has less mass so it should also be faster and more nimble.
It still has ample room for cargo, and it’s facilities those being:
There is a Medical Bay of unknown Tier… I would expect it is a T2 personally so that it can treat a good range of wounds and damage as well as stabilize patients if needed until they can get to somewhere that can treat near death wounds.
There is a Vehicle Bay which is now confirmed to come with an Ursa Rover & not an Anvil Rover (there was an expectation that the ship would come with some form of scout rover)
Repair Facilities, which I assume allow for the repair of the snub and rover potentially as well as maybe even the repair of the ships large components?
Pisces Snub Bay – We only know that snubs are big enough to fit in here currently AND the Pisces is a scout focused snub.
There is going to be components rooms, engineering, access to manned turrets, crew quarters, living & food areas.
Drone Bay – The Carrack has scout drones that can be remotely piloted and a bay for these.
Cargo Bay – The ship was last listed as being able to hold 1000 SCU, which I thought might be a from old info but with the size of the ship, it could cater for 600 – 1000 SCU of space if you include the Hangar and Vehicle Bay with the ship maybe having 300-400 SCU for dedicated cargo. So expect a good cargo size BUT it’s currently unconfirmed exactly what.
More recently we saw some more of the Carrack’s Captain Quarters, that should help give you more of a feel for what the rest of the ship is like. The Anvil strong, robust, military feel made a little more appropriate for extended distance travel.
The Ship looks like it has 3 main decks and potentially a small observation deck as well.
The Ship has Large Components, which are less powerful than Capital BUT the ship is a lot smaller for it and should have a lot of affordable focused options for whatever you want to focus on. Large Components won’t require the same kind of specialist facilities that Capital one’s need. Weapons wise – we don’t know how the ship has been reworked with it’s weapons yet, it was last listed with 3 S4 manned turrets and a S4 Remote Turret and it’s quite possible that it’s running upto 8 S3-4 weapons.
The Compact yet feature full nature of the Carrack make it suitable for a lot of different gameplay types.
Hauling, it’s going to be reasonably efficient and have good cargo space.
Mission Running, the ship can handle a huge range of missions and it has the facilities to support that.
It’s extremely likely as well that the Carrack will have very good passive radar detection of threats like mines, small ships & generally things that would be otherwise hard to detect, again I suspect that this detection will also allow you to see more information about the target at range as well.
Exploration Gameplay is it’s main focus though BUT that is a beast of a topic, I want to talk briefly about how I think the Carrack fits into that role and what it can do Exploration wise.
Exploration is almost certainly going to cross over into various other roles in the game, like science, farming, base building, mining, fuel gathering.
Scanning down POI is one of the major roles I suspect that explorer & scout ships will have.
Using their scanners to find interesting areas of space, derelicts, anomalies, pirate bases, mineable resources BUT also finding outposts, ships, mines, ground vehicles.
Information and locational data is going to be extremely valuable in star citizen. That could be the location of an asteroid field or where an enemy fleet is.
There is also the expectation that you will be able to QT directly to these locations when you have found them and then save that data or drop a beacon that you can later travel to.
Once you are at a location there might be more you can do. There could potentially be new Jump Points that you can map. If you are on a planet, moon or found asteroids you may be able to survey the area to find out what other mineral wealth or resources are there.
I would expect there will be “exploration” Missions that could have you discovering, animals, planets, geological features, POI.
The power of the Carrack for me is it’s long range self-sustainability, powerful scanners and ability to do a bit of everything while also being strong enough to survive. We need the ability to find new POI that the procedural systems should cater for and create, but we also need ways to save and map those areas, some are likely to be interesting encounters, others valuable to return to.
The Carrack should be able to get to these POI that are much further away & be able to go much further out in a system than other ships could ever hope to, meaning it’s very possible that there are POI, Missions and encounters that change based on how far you are out… and these should change from system to system… I’d also expect to be jumping from POI to POI to get further out not using conventional engines.
The Scout Craft and Rover also allow you to explore areas that the Carrack might not be able to get into.
The Carrack was $400 last time it went on Sale During the Anniversary Expo 2948/2018.
I would expect it to be on sale again from the 23rd Nov 2019 during the Anniversary Expo from $400 – 500.