Sci-fi is ultimately my favorite genre. Although I know I will never find myself In Space, alive in an era when humanity finally breaks free of this solar system, or even has a working, viable colony on another planet, that sci-fi still somehow offers even a slight opportunity for humanity to be more than it’s ever been before is an ideal that I hold dear.
Until recently, my ultimate acquisition in Star Citizen has been the Anvil Carrack. The Carrack is classified as an exploration craft, which means it’s designed to be pretty much self-sustaining. It can carry both a ground vehicle and a smaller ship (one variant of the package, the Expedition, comes with both an RSI Ursa rover and an Anvil Pisces shuttle), has a Tier 2 medical bay, and can carry a massive amount of quantum and hydrogen fuel. Although at this point it remains to be seen what “exploration” means for Star Citizen, whatever it turns out to be will find the Carrack in the thick of it.
Until the 2951 Intergalactic Aerospace Expo (IAE), the Carrack was the only exploration ship available — or even in the public conscious — but when the MISC Odyssey dropped, it seems that people went nuts. MISC ships have a more working-class aesthetic and role. Their premiere ships are the Freelancer, with cargo, missile, and gunship variants, and the Prospector, a single-seat mining ship. The Odyssey fits this theme as well. Like the Carrack, it can carry a ground vehicle and another smaller ship and has a Tier 2 med bay, but unlike the Carrack it comes equipped with a mining laser that can mine Quantanium, the ore that can be reprocessed aboard the ship into quantum fuel. This makes the Odyssey far more self-sufficient than the Carrack, at least on paper at this point in the game’s development.
After the announcement of the Odyssey, something at the back of my mind preferred this new ship over the existing Carrack. I have no idea why. Right now in Alpha 3.15.1 I am making all of my money through mining with the Prospector, so maybe it was the thought of being able to mine with a larger, more powerful ship that appealed to me (although official word is trending towards Quantanium being the only ore the Odyssey can mine). Other than that, the features are on-par with what the Carrack offers, although the I believe the Odyssey’s on-board hangar is slightly larger than that of the Carrack. One thing I can say for certain is that I like the look of the Odyssey better than that of the Carrack. MISC aesthetic isn’t very sleek but compared to the “beached whale” look of the Carrack, it’s pretty sexy.
Since the Carrack was on my “game package” pledge, I did what’s called a “cross chassis upgrade” or CCU. This allows backers to trade up any pledge to a pledge of a higher value by only paying the difference between the two. Since the Odyssey is still in-concept, CIG gives owners “loaner” ships. For the Odyssey, of course, the loaner is the Carrack. But as a result of my CCU, I no longer have access to the Ursa rover, nor the Pisces; I barely used the Ursa, but I used the Pisces as a fast-moving shuttle for when I only needed to be somewhere else without any fuss. The Odyssey comes with no other “parasite” craft, unfortunately.
I’m not entirely sure I did the right thing, to be honest. My original thought in transitioning my original pledge package to the Carrack was to have a “home away from home”, a ship I could actually live on like a mobile home that’s actually mobile. Being a “simulation”, Star Citizen’s lifestyle pretty much revolves around jumping from station to station, or planetary city to planetary city because aside from the Carrack, no other ship in the game right now offers the ability to care for the needs of a character during the down times. But even the Carrack would need to land or dock on occasion, to pick up food and drink (necessary even at this stage of development), and more importantly, to refuel. I think this is why the Odyssey appealed to me over the Carrack; the self-refueling was just one less reason to visit a civilized area.
Both the Carrack and the Odyssey don’t currently have a supported role in alpha 3.15.1, and the Carrack is just too large to field as a “daily craft” even for large-body tasks like free-trading and mining and refining. The most use I have seen from any Carrack was when our organization was running weekly ground-mining operations, and the Carrack was used to ferry three ROC mining vehicles from deposit to deposit. To that end, the Carrack and it’s intended use have been “out of sight and out of mind”. At this point all I could do to switch out the Odyssey would be to further CCU it up the chain, as the ship is tied to my original “get access to the persistent alpha universe” game pledge. Right now, I cannot “melt” (i.e. turn in the ship for pledge store credit) my original game package, as it would prevent me from accessing the PU alpha servers. So I think I’ll sit on the Odyssey until it becomes flyable, and then decide if it’s actually superior to the Carrack and if not, whether I want to return to the Carrack, or evaluate my other options.