MISC Endeavor modular science ship goes on concept sale

Submission 2015-10-01

Star Citizen has a new entry in its sales lineup. The MISC Endeavor, a science ship with a modular design, is now being offered on concept sale (with lifetime insurance) for the price of 350 USD for the base model. It will be on sale until October 10. Depending on what modules you plug into its three attachment points, it can act as an observatory, laboratory, hospital, greenhouse, tuner workshop, and more.

It’s also multi-stage: the front is its own detachable ship that can pop off to explore nearby dangerous areas. This “Explorer” cab does not have its own jump drive, but it is much hardier than the base “Workshop” that it attaches to. That “Workshop” stage theoretically houses six slots for modules, but all existing modules take up at least two slots each, leaving only enough enough room for three of them. The third stage is the “drive unit” which delivers propulsion to the rest of the chassis, but which will not be able to maneuver without the “Explorer” cab attached.

The modules include:

  • Biodome (100 USD): Grow stuff.
  • Telescope Array (125 USD): Find stuff.
  • Supercollider (125 USD): Upgrade stuff.
  • Service Equipment and Crew Pod (25 USD): Crew facilities.
  • General Research Pod (45 USD): Catalogs new experimental data and produces cutting edge compounds.
  • General Science Pod (45 USD): Processes data from other systems into “valuable data for sale or trade.”
  • Fuel Pod (35 USD): Drop tank/standard cargo pod.
  • Medical Bay (75 USD): Hospital.
  • Landing Bay (75 USD): Room enough to support multiple Cutlasses to aid the medical bay module, but can also land “any sufficiently small spacecraft.”

The ship has two Size 3 laser repeater remote turrets and a 500 unit cargo capacity.

Accompanying the sale is a design document fleshing out some of the modules’ functions. Many seem quite minigame-heavy as described, echoing the gameplay featured in the last sale, the “Genesis Starliner” luxury passenger transport.

Some modules depend on an “ID Beacon” that can be activated by players or ships requesting or offering services, able to act as a distress beacon or an advertisement on other ships’ navigational maps. An Endeavor configured with the medical and landing bay modules can advertise itself with its ID Beacon as a mobile respawn point for recently deceased players. Once the player has respawned into the medical module, he can buy a small ship from the landing bay and fly off.

We also learn more about the “Biodome” in this post. It will be used to farm, which will be something of a minigame involving figuring out what conditions certain plant species crave and the optimal way to produce them. Some strains may require specific types of exotic radiation, only attained by flying your space greenhouse within range of an appropriate natural source within the solar system, such as a star or nebula. The products of these efforts may include “fruit or vegetable […] herb or spice […] fragrance, or a medical compound that can be extracted,” or just aesthetic beauty. Some of these will be more perishable than others and require faster transport to their point of sale.

The “Telescope Array” can scan in infrared, visible, and gamma spectra and eject long-range probes, with the goal of finding comets, asteroid fields, derelict ships, black holes, or other points of interest. Detection of anomalies is also a minigame involving looking at the stars until you see something out of the ordinary, zooming in on the anomaly to see what it is, and maybe launching a probe to confirm. Discoveries can be shared or sold.

The “Supercollider” would allow players to tune components and “enhance the default capabilities of this items,” making it essentially a workbench for sharpening your knives on. Those knives can then be kept and used for stabbing, or sold for a profit. Star Citizen already had a workbench decoration added at the 18 million USD mark, which was advertised then as “a useful gameplay element in the future […] needed for pilots seeking to overclock their own ship components!” The price of the workbench, 10,000 UEC, was also given out free to backers around this time. Now all promises of functionality have been removed from its shop page, and it seems likely that this ship module has replaced it.

Since the sale started on September 29, about 339,000 USD has been added to the Star Citizen war chest, or the equivalent of about 960 base model Endeavors.

This article originally appeared on TheMittani.com, written by Ramon Rakow.

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