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Star Citizen Devs Discuss Nyx System, Older Ships & Great Wonders…

Welcome to some more Star Citizen, CI devs have answered a load of community questions that’s given us details on a variety of lore and features from Nyx which looks to be the next star system in game after Pyro, to potential older lore ships getting modernised, the medical profession and great wonders of the human empire and much more…

How is Nyx and it’s gangs going to differ from Pyro?

One of the interesting challenges when looking at this system is trying to figure out how to make it feel distinct from other lawless systems like Pyro

We’re still working with Design to figure out the exact number of gangs that will be needed in Nyx, but here’s a sneak peek at one that we’ve been talking about. 

The Moraine are an organization of thieves and smugglers based out of the Glaciem Ring. Too aggressive to be welcomed into the ranks of the People’s Alliance, the Moraine believe that it is their right to steal from the rich and powerful who have benefited from widespread corruption. They use the profits from their criminal activity to finance their organization and create the life they feel they deserve.

One of the things that distinguishes the Moraine from other gangs is their intense loyalty to each other, even at the expense of personal enrichment. The first tenet of the Moraine’s code is: “All for the Family”. In everything they do, the “found family” that the Moraine have gathered must come first. They never steal from each other and will treat the life/well-being of a fellow gang member over any reward.

Their commitment to family is so deep that the Moraine even build and maintain settlements around the Glaciem Ring. Some of these are used as dead drops in their smuggling endeavors, others are safe havens for the families of the active members within the Moraine. Although this can be viewed as a sign that the Moraine are more sympathetic, others believe that it’s a way to keep tighter control on their members as a potential traitor’s family is within easy reach of the organization and would pay the price on the traitor’s behalf.

People in real life drive old vehicles, so are there going to be older vehicles in game?

Lore is littered with references to ships that would no longer be considered “state of the art” in the current UEE. From the Zeus, the first commercially available spacecraft, to the 2783 Retaliator still coveted by Bomber Boys, to the extensive classic ship collection Silas Koerner has stashed in a massive underground museum in Bremen, we’ve established a number of older ships and a culture of collectors that would want to preserve them in their original condition. That said, adding such a ship to the game poses a number of potential issues that would require solutions and support from many teams other than Narrative.  

To begin, what ships get prioritized in the pipeline is mainly a decision for the Vehicle team and Chris Roberts. Narrative is here to support and provide lore around the selected ships, and if an older “classic” ship would happen to be on their list, then we would probably suggest one from the backlog of established ships. Still, selecting an older ship would create issues for the Vehicle team, which has been able to refine and ramp up their pipeline thanks to them honing in on the specific look and shape language of each manufacturer. Yet designing a ship made by a manufacturer centuries earlier would require them to explore what that brand would’ve looked like then. For example, Ford cars manufactured in the 1950s definitely have a distinct and different feel than their current ones. We would want that reality reflected in-game too, because otherwise what’s the point of making an older ship if it’s essentially similar to their current offerings. So this becomes more of a time commitment for the Vehicle team as they reimagine a brand’s look and build out any new assets needed to achieve it. There’s also a wealth of design and gameplay issues to consider. Would “modern” components and capacitors be able to work with the ship, and if not how hard would it be for it to find replacements? Would the Zeus, which was built prior to Humanity discovering modern shield technology from the Tevarin, really not have defensive shields or weapons, which weren’t standard on ships until the Second Tevarin War? And how much fun would that be for players flying a Zeus if it’s common knowledge the ship is an easy kill?   

Meanwhile, on the Narrative side, there would probably be laws set by the UEE to ensure all registered ships have some basic safety features that might’ve been absent from earlier vessels. Much like Esperia’s take on alien ships, I wouldn’t be surprised if an older ship makes it into the game that it gets framed as an updated version that embodies the look and spirit of the classic ship but with all the modern conveniences. The true classic, original ships would be so rare in the UEE that only the uber-wealthy, like Silas Koerner, could get their hands on one, and they would only be allowed to fly it under very strict conditions at events like the IAE.

Will the Galactapedia have more categorized entries for the flora of the verse, how deep will botany go?

Plant lore generally comes in two phases. When a new world goes into production, the Narrative team will do an initial pass to outline some flora that highlights the uniqueness of the planet and also focuses on collectables that may be of value to Players when they have a chance to explore. These help to inspire the Concept and Art teams who go on to create these assets and many more as development progresses.  Once the Art team creates the final assets, the Narrative team will then go through and provide additional lore. 

The environment the plant lives in and what it looks like will inform the direction in which we develop the lore. For example, if the planet the plant is on was terraformed as in the Kavische’s case, we decide where the plant came from and how it got on the terraformed planet. If the plant is dark red or black, we might decide it came from a planet with a dim M-type star. If the plant is blue, we might decide it came from a planet with an F-type bright star. If there isn’t any carbon dioxide for the plant to absorb, we may say that it evolved to consume nitrogen compounds instead. There are a lot of other factors to consider, like availability of water, the overall temperature, does anything eat it, how might it have evolved to ward off predators, etc. In a nutshell, we adapt the lore of a plant to how the plant is used in the game.

As far as taxonomic classification goes, we’re comfortable giving a genus and species for some of the plants, but prefer not to go higher in taxonomic rank than that. If we were to create a whole expansive classification system all the way up to the domain for each planet with naturally-occuring life, things would get very out of hand very fast. We’d also need to get much, much better at Greek and Latin because unfortunately none of us majored in Classics.

The UNE Flag has 3 interlocking rings & UPE Flag has 4 rings but the UEE Flag doesn’t have this why?

The three interlocking rings on the UNE flag are meant to symbolize unity between Humanity’s three main population centers (Earth, Mars, and Croshaw system) when the first unified government formed. The three rings being retained for the UPE flag paid homage to this while also adding a larger ring around the three interlocking ones to represent the wider universe that had since been discovered and brought into the UPE. Another circle with breaks in the four cardinal directions was also added outside that largest ring as a symbol of the UPE’s intention to keep expanding in every direction. That brings us to the UEE flag, which retained the two outer circles in its design but dropped the three interlocking rings and replaced it with UEE. This can be read as an acknowledgement that the Empire had become something much bigger than those first three population centers. The three interlocking rings symbol was phased out with the creation of the UEE, so seeing it somewhere should be a hint that the item is centuries old. Players that like to loot might even see these symbols on some interesting items recently added to the game.

What’s life like in the emergency medicine profession?

Medicine occupies a really important place in both the ‘verse and in Star Citizen’s gameplay. The answer is ultimately quite simple. First, most well-equipped hospitals are in larger cities and space stations which have safety fail safes in place to mitigate danger. Threats to the medical infrastructure of those areas would elicit an immediate response from the governing authority. Second, seeing hospital staff in armor would likely distress patients, undermining any medical organizations’ efforts to comfort their patients.

Of course, in a place where violent crime is rampant like Grim HEX, you would probably expect that the doctors and medical staff would have more weapons and armor on display (or easily accessible).

Now about paramedics and Emergency Medical Services. There are many different kinds of emergency medical service providers in the ‘verse. Some of them work for planetary governments, others for individual hospitals, and the rest – the vast majority of such groups – are private companies that provide different specialties and/or zones of operation. For example, Rijora Rescue, a Tevarin volunteer organization providing free medical service to Tevarin communities around the ‘verse and using their efforts to help renew a sense of cultural pride and identity amidst their diaspora.

Emergency medical responders arm and armor themselves differently based on a number of factors including their company and location of operation. Some are more specialized paramedics, but there’s much more to “emergency response” than just medical treatment! In the broader field of Search & Rescue, responders need the skills and gear to address and overcome many different disaster scenarios. As a result, they are far more likely to carry armor and weapons, along with multi-tools, fire extinguishers, and other more specific pieces of equipment, depending on the nature of the beacon they are responding to.

We’d be remiss not to mention Doctors Diyo Nikolas and Ted Santos who founded BiotiCorp; the cutting-edge medical manufacturer responsible for the creation of the Calliope Machine. Now used widely throughout the UEE, it can efficiently perform massive bioreconstructive surgery that would have previously taken a team of surgeons multiple operations. The device is so effective, it’s even been adopted for cosmetic surgeries. Plus, as mentioned in an early question, there is also Dr. Ibrahim who changed the universe with his work on regeneration.

So, there you have it. Medicine is always evolving, with new technologies rapidly challenging our understanding of what it means to live in the ‘verse.

How does regeneration & cloning affect the brain?

Regeneration technology is still quite new to the verse and not without issues. The question of how regeneration impacts the brain is particularly interesting!

To summarize though, regeneration tech as we know it is fundamentally a synthesis of alien technology and human ingenuity. Even before gaining access to the Vanduul biogenetic scanning technology that would pave the way for the creation of the Ibrahim Sphere, Dr. Aka Ibrahim was passionate about finding a way to repair brain functionality for patients who had suffered some sort of mental loss or trauma.

While the Ibrahim Sphere has changed the meaning of life and death in the verse, there are still serious consequences to both mental and physical injuries and afflictions.

In order to benefit from an Ibrahim Sphere a person must have an imprint made. As a holistic record of an individual person, these imprints also register the body’s age and preexisting mental and physical trauma. So, as a person undergoes subsequent regenerations, they still suffer from all the normal consequences of aging, along with the degenerative changes that can accompany it, as well as suffering from additional complicating factors such as traumatic response echos (TREs) that can permanently alter an imprint and gradually lead to its degradation – only hastening the body’s natural degeneration. Not only that, but people who don’t imprint frequently enough may suffer gaps in their memory upon regenerating, as in the Hazy Days short story featured in February’s Jump Point.

As game development continues we hope that we will be able to represent these side effects of the process in-game, whether with cybernetic limbs or other physical indicators. Every regeneration brings you closer to suffering a permanent death, but fame and fortune are still out there for the taking.

Are the Nine Tails just a narrative vehicle for players to have a bad guy to confront, their actions seem crazy?

While it’s helpful to have Nine Tails around for law-abiding players to confront, their actions aren’t crazy random in our eyes. There’s a deeper motivation and backstory for them, but in this interesting environment of live development, the question is when do we advance their story. We don’t want to spoil anything, but want to assure you that even though the Nine Tails’ motivations aren’t as apparent as XenoThreats’, that there’s a method to their madness. In the meantime, we can’t wait to see what theories the community cooks up! 

The UEE is similar to the Roman Empire, are there great architectural wonders that have been completed other than the Ark & Synthworld?

We have weaved in some general architectural era call outs for a few locations, like Sherman in Castra containing the Monumentalist architecture style started by Imperator Corsen Messer V to be imposing and a symbol of the Empire’s immense power over the individual. While we’ve drawn these distinctions there’s still plenty of freedom to explore what looks and feels right for a location when it comes time to tackle it.  

That said, there are specific grandiose construction projects called out in lore from the Messer era. Yet, the two most prominent ones no longer exist. The first being the Empire’s Light Conversion Center on Charon III. This massive network of maximum security prisons housed political dissidents during the Messer era and was razed by the UEE following the downfall of the regime. The other well-known grandiose construction was Khanos Stadium in Angeli, Croshaw system. A vanity project for Ulysses Messer X that drove him to drain UEE coffers and steeply raise taxes to pay for it. The construction of Khanos Stadium created increased resentment against the regime and eventually drove the children of Ulysses Messer X to stage a coup that also destroyed the stadium during its grand opening. There’s also the question of how many Messer era constructions would still survive in their original form. Buildings may still be there but many monuments to the Messers might not have survived the revolution. Deciding what’s still there, and in what form, will be a fun aspect of world building with the Art team going forward.

The two most obvious wonderous monuments in-game, which you mentioned, are from the current era simply because we want players to visit them, and even help deliver supplies for one’s construction. Of course, these locations are Synthworld, the UEE’s attempt to construct a planet, and The Ark, a repository for all the universe’s knowledge, and their construction has been spun in lore as an attempt by the UEE to prove that Humanity could still come together as one to achieve ultra-ambitious goals. ArcCorp would definitely also be considered a wonder by some, and while yes it was built by a private entity, they’re also the de facto government of the planet, so would have the authority to streamline the ambitious construction undertaken there. ArcCorp also rents out most of the planet’s offices and production facilities, so while the planet-encompassing city would have been expensive to build, they clearly saw it as an investment that would constantly generate profits for them.

Boom, that’s it for your Star Citizen update today… but what do you think? Do you want to see older vehicles in the game like the Zeus? Are you excited for the Nyx System and do you think we will see it relatively soon after the Pyro system? Are you going to be a tourist and visit all of the wonders of the human empire? Whatever your thoughts I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.