Star Citizen has put a new virtual ship on “concept sale”: the MISC Reliant, available until June 1 for $50 US. This means that the ship is being sold for the cheapest price it will ever be (except, eventually when you can buy it in game with in-game currency), and it comes with lifetime insurance (LTI), but currently exists only as a description and a bit of concept art. It also comes with two pieces of flair: an in-game poster and ship model, which will be implemented in a future patch.
Cloud Imperium Games (CIG) is calling it a “utility-ship” and a “mini-hauler” because it has a bigger cargo hold than the other ships in its weight class, for example the Aurora ES. It’s a single-pilot, omnidirectional-thruster, gunner-optional thing that incorporates Xi’an technology heavily (more than the Freelancer, which was the first ship MISC built with the Xi’an) and can “transform from horizontal to vertical flight-modes”. According to Reverse the ‘Verse 48, the transformation changes the handling of the ship, which is cool, but obviously its actual performance in-game remains to be seen.
When it’s in horizontal mode it looks like a flying-wing with a thick abdomen that holds the cargo, and when it’s in vertical mode it looks a lot like the Xi’An Khartu fighter (the only Xi’An ship we’ve seen so far). A designer of the ship, David Hobbins, wrote that he took inspiration from “Japanese design sensibility” and objects like “the curve of a fan, the Ginko leaf, the beveled edge of a samurai sword.”
They’re also calling the Reliant a “Tier II starter ship”, because it will later be part of an “optional Star Citizen starter package” which will be pricier than the basic Mustang and Aurora Packages that exist today. However, the concept sale version doesn’t come with a game package, so if you don’t have one of those already, you will have a ship for a game you cannot play.
Planned future variants include science research, journalism (something to do with “trying to bring [streamers] into the ‘verse” according to Reverse the ‘Verse 48), and combat-specialized models, none of which will ever be sold stand-alone with LTI according to new CIG rules announced in the same post:
The policy is that if we announce variants in advance (which we will try to do when possible) they will not be made available with LTI on release and instead CCUs [Cross-chassis upgrades] will be available. If an additional variant were added beyond those listed during the base concept sale, it would be considered for a possible LTI concept sale.
As of this article, Star Citizen has brought in $82.8 million USD in funding. Assuming that most of the $194,920 raked in today has been from sales of the $50 USD Reliant, around 3800 have been sold so far.
This article originally appeared on TheMittani.com, written by Ramon Rakow.