today I wanted to talk about the Banu Merchantman Updates from CitizenCon as well as the 4 New Concept ideas that CI showed and asked the community to vote on.
At CitizenCon 2019 we saw the ships that eventually became the ROC Miner, Talon Tevarin Fighter and Gatac Railen Xi’An Cargo Ship AND There is a Refinery Ship that is coming soon that we will (probably around the IAE). It might be from MISC. Details are purposely fuzzing about that from CI.
The New super early Concepts they showed were:
A – New Large Explorer ship – that is competition to the carrack
B – A New Ground Vehicle – Maybe an APC
C – A hover vehicle – New Grav-lev bike – Looks a bit Xi’An / Tevarin
D – A New Ground Bomber Ship – Single Seater Pilot
You can get involved on the Poll on the RSI website and talk about what you like from those 4 options.
I think I’d like to see the New Explorer and maybe an APC the most there.
A ground bomber makes sense, but I think id rather see ships like the Eclipse and Gladiator get bomb payload options.
But what do you think?
Now onto the main event… the Banu Merchantman was also talked about, the ship has evolved somewhat.
The Ship is currently in production.
It has been scaled up as it was made larger.
The ship now has a Hangar for the Banu Defender, this had the biggest impact to the Merchantman. The hangar is at the top front of the ship and opens up.
It has 2x S8 weapons tucked away that open up and extend out near the nose.
There are manned turrets (with I believe they said S5 weapons) tucked away that open up.
There are also 4 automated point defense weapons, 2 on top near the bridge and 2 underneath.
There are 2 remote turrets controlled from the bridge under the wings too.
The bottom ramp opens up into the marketplace for visitors. (this also doubles as the fuel scoop when in flight).
The cargo is much more secure and internally stored and lowerable from the underbelly.
They have updated the material on the ship (tho it’s still in previs and may evolve further).
They have fully overhauled the interior.
The tree of life is a phase they said multiple times which sort of helps form the look of the ship as well as it’s style.
There are a mix of gemstones, carved coral, organic and almost underwater themes.
The blue areas show where guests and traders will have access to typically.
There is a elevator for guests and others for crew.
The ship has various shops that players and NPCs can buy from, 8 in total over 2 floors.
They want a holographic display in the middle of this making it kind of a shopping mall.
The ship needed quarters for long term living for both humans and banu.
They showed some of the connecting corridors to the market place area.
There is a large functional food area.
There is a massive engine area, with a spinning thing going on.
The Cargo area will have massive cargo containers that will be moved by an on board crane/giant magnet. It is planned to have a Cargo of 2800 here. So this is less than some people would of wanted but the ship has multiple trading functions.
The bridge is a large affair with a lot going on. There is a little calmspace area to the side too almost like a prayer room.
The Banu Merchantman isn’t going to be ready anytime soon (Current work is ongoing into June 2022 and we don’t know how much more work will be needed after that) BUT it is making progress and seeing it expand, evolve, gain a hangar bay for the Defender… it’s great to see…
You can use that hangar to service and refuel a wing of defenders (one by one) giving them a much larger range.
I like the weapons being hidden away until they are needed, it makes sense for a trader to not be threatening.
There is quite a lot of gun on the ship along with some solid defense.
Currently the Banu Merchantman is a $500 ship but I can see that potentially rising to $750 before it’s release. That said… it’s probably one I’d suggest players get in game when it eventually turns up…
I suspect we will see more on the Banu Merchantman Q1/Q2 of 2022.