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Base Building & Player Habs – What Do We Know?

Star Citizen will eventually allow players to build their own bases in game and there is a whole host of gameplay that brings, playing in some of the Jumptown event has made me think about how fun base assaults could be and I wanted to talk about Bases, Persistent Hangars & Habs and what CI have said previously as well as talk about my expectations.

CI have been working on new outposts, persistent hangars and persistent habs in some for some time now and this is all steps towards being able to have customization of player habs and eventually player bases.

We saw at CitizenCon 2021 a look at New Outposts that CI have been building for Pyro and Frontier systems that are going to form villages and towns, where there are missions, goods for trade and a place to rest but you’ll also be able to attack them if you want, or search around for loot. Missions and gameplay here will be able to be approached in many different ways…

 from what CI where saying and showing there won’t be any kind of locking out of just pulling out a weapon and starting to blaze… other than dealing with the repercussions and reputation issues afterwards.

The NPCs at these outposts will be Rep driven… if they like you they will let you land and look around. If they don’t they may shoot you down before landing. Most of the time it will be somewhere in between where there are restricted areas that they will get mad or attack you if you go in.

CI had been saying for a while that these outposts were connected to player habs and steps towards their implementation.

Now from what I can tell about player habs is that CI want to have persistence to some degree for players spawning at outposts like these and potentially some form of customization of rooms there. 

Now this might be a more instantized version thru that follows your character with the way sharding works and maybe your room appears in different places around one of these outposts; we don’t really know for sure how the plans currently sit for that.

On the Roadmap Tracker some Player Hab work was completed in Q4 of last year more specifically listed as: Work that grants players the ability to have their own Persistent Habs.

But also last year some work was completed on Increasing the number of Player Habs to 100 per landing zone paving the way for more players per server and more redundancy.

The plans may have changed somewhat but from what we know …

Something that was delayed from Alpha 3.17 but I think we will still see later this year is Persistent Hangars, work on the Roadmap shows it wrapping up a series of sprints at the end of November – Work that grants players the ability to have their own Persistent Hangars. This will also bring changes to the Cargo gameplay loop by allowing players to pack their grids manually.

HOWEVER this does require some persistent streaming core tech to come online like sharding and things like icache are now part of the persistent streaming feature and aren’t referred to seperately.

It is however a important part of the expanded cargo gameplay that is coming online this year with more items to sell, the cargo refactor etc…

Persistent Hangars and Persistent Habs some have various uses, customization allowing you to have your own little corner in the Verse, somewhere to put flair items and your gear.

For Hangars this will probably include storage space for cargo, tho that is likely also going to be a service that cargo decks on stations provide. There will be costs and times associated with loading/unloading cargo but also a dynamic economy meaning prices change and there might be reasons to store up commodities… as this evolves you might have your own fuel depot that you run a load of Starfarers out of that provide gas to players in Pyro.

But it might be that you just want to sit on all of your steel until it’s more valuable.

I do have a question of in the future how will ship storage and spawning be handled at smaller outposts or somewhere I have a hab thats a bit more isolated? As with a lot of Star Citizen… we don’t know yet… and it’s very possible CI don’t know yet as a large portion of their development is iterative and thought about when it’s being implemented then evolves from there.

But really what we are talking here is pre-made structures and outposts that players can have a hangar in that really is just a UI and the space might be shared by multiple people or instancized in some way… again with the habs it isn’t really your own physical address for a hab at least at this stage.

CI have previously talked about having your own physicalized addressed Hangars and Habs in some areas and locations and the large cities and planets certainly have the room for it BUT ???

Something that will allow you to have a lot more control is your own base…

Originally the massive Pioneer was going to allow you to build simple outpost buildings for a variety of purposes and then deploy them on the ground.

The Consolidated Outland Pioneer is an upcoming self-contained mobile construction yard capable of creating planetary modular structures, allowing colonists to customize their new homes on the frontier.[1] Utilizing an on-board reserve of resources, the Pioneer can construct and deploy modular outposts as well as continue to build additional modules to turn your outpost into a settlement.

However the last time CI spoke about it they said it had changed somewhat, to being more of a mobile factory that won’t be essential to players building their own bases but will allow them to build more and more efficiently.

In fact I have the STATEMENT that Chris Roberts made about this in 2020

“we’ve been rethinking how the Pioneer will work to make her more flexible rather than just spitting out a pre-fabricated outpost we want her to me more of a mobile fabrication facility that would be near your building site. With a Pioneer you’ll be able build these structures without having to ship in the component parts as long as you have a supply of raw materials. You don’t need a Pioneer to build a homestead but if you want to build a decent settlement, or you want to build something relatively quickly as opposed to having to fly in prefabricated components from major landing zones you will want to have a Pioneer, or have a friend or someone that is willing to lend their services to you.”

Rastar is the tool that CI use to build out outposts and similar points of interest, currently its used internally for that HOWEVER they are planning to build out a UI for it and give it in game functionality allowing players to build out bases with it in a RTS (real time strategy) like view.

These bases will require you to build power, you can set them up for mining or storage or as FOB… and potentially much much more, there appears to be quite a lot of focus on getting bases in our hands in the not too distant future. And we know that will be able to do a lot with bases and make use of the land in various ways, potentially make farms, mining facilities, moisture gatherers, have storage facilities… but we don’t know the full extent of the plans yet… they are certainly in flux.

How will these exist on multiple servers well that’s icache, persistent streaming and Sharding… but recently CI said that in the short term the plan might be that when you build a base it would exist on all servers but be non-interactable on shards you weren’t active on… the shard you are on would have the base functioning NOW that does beg the question how do I attack or take one over… but I am sure this will be built on and worked out as they go if they don’t already have a solution.

Land Claims are a major part of this too… tho CI haven’t talked much about them recently. In the wild west systems (or systems that don’t have a legitimate authority like the UEE, Xi’An, Banu or are Privately owned) you’ll be able to build a base pretty much wherever there is land flat enough to support a base… tho there may be danger of attack or environmental issues there.

However in areas where the UEE exist you’ll need a land claim to build a base and to exploit the resources on land. If you attempt to trespass on someone elses land then that will be a crime and Security Forces will also help enforce and protect these claims too.

They look to come in 4×4 and 8x8km plots which you’ll be able to mark out then purchase thru a claims office.

One of the expected gameplay loops for star citizen is surveying, so you’d find a good location for a base that has really good mineral deposits or valuable things on the land and then sell that location or land claim to someone else.

Players bases for me are an incredibly important part of Star Citizen’s Future.

I think that it’s going to be how orgs fight over areas and star systems… locate the enemy bases and capture or destroy them so that they can no longer get resupplied there, eventually then pushing them out of the system (which in systems that have no other infrastructure would be critical).

The hope there is that you will be able to craft things like ammo, fuel, potentially components and weapons at bases too… we know that CI want some crafting in Star Citizen but again we don’t have all the details yet… even if we did… they’d likely change and evolve somewhat.

Bases will also need defenses that mean that they can’t just be wiped out super easily from above orbit or just a few bombs… shields, emps, turrets, anti-missile / bomb systems… there needs to be reasons to assault a base in multiple ways and not just BOOM we won because ships better than static base. I mean there is an argument to say hiding a base is the most important thing but defences need to mean something too.

When can we expect all this? Well new outposts will be coming when pyro drops, persistent hangars could be before that potentially Q3 this year. Bases and the tools to place them are being worked on BUT we have no hard times yet… I am expecting CI to show some base building off at CitizenCon 2022 this year… and for all of it to evolve more once it lands.