Invictus Fleet Week is one of the annual “event-slash-fundraisers” that happens in Star Citizen. While most of the ships are available in various pledge forms year-round, only some appear during these seasonal events. At the very top of the list are the capital ships like the Javelin, and at the bottom are ships which can only be obtained (through the white market) during these periods, like the Carrack.
I had once built up my pledge tower to obtain a Carrack Expedition Pack. This contained the core exploration vessel, the smaller Pisces shuttle which can fit into the Carrack’s upper bay, and the Ursa rover which could live snugly inside the rear garage of the ship. But I foolishly “CCU’d” this package into the as-yet-unreleased MISC Odyssey, a ship which everyone was hyped about when it was revealed that it could mine and refine its own Quantanium, the long-range jump drive fuel source. I had upgrader’s remorse after a spell but couldn’t reclaim my Carrack package pledge because it had been upgraded to the Odyssey, and not “melted”. So, I sat, saddened, for about six months as I waited for the next in-game event where the Carrack would be available. Luckily, I was able to regain the Carrack during this Invictus week, but the Exploration Pack was no longer being offered, meaning no Pisces and no Ursa. While the Ursa is useful for landing far away and rolling into town with a group of folks, the Pisces is a life-saver, allowing me to park the Carrack in orbit and avoid having to land it in some of the worst landing facilities the game has yet to offer (looking at you, Lorville). I ended up throwing a bit of cash at the problem to regain the Pisces and Ursa, and have learned my lesson: never get rid of the Carrack.
This year, CIG released the long-awaited Scorpius fighter. This certainly will bring out the “they ripped off the X-Wing those unoriginal bastards” crowd, I managed to co-crew one with my friend CakedCrusader, and with some aftermarket upgrades, this thing is a monster.
We took it out for some bounty-hunting with him as the pilot and I as the turret gunner and were able to easily smear the NPC opposition across the asteroid belts in which they spawned. Unfortunately, we ended up getting clipped by a fast-moving enemy ship and got ourselves blown up. I had been bound to the Kel-To clinic at Everus Harbor orbiting Hurston but Caked was still bound to the Invictus showroom facilities at the floating city of Orison at the gas giant Crusader. While close, he had to wait for the insurance company to send him a new Scorpius.
While Caked was taking care of business, I took the Avenger Titan out to the scene of the massacre hoping to reclaim our bodies. Unfortunately, our mission targets — all five of them — were still buzzing around the area. I had hoped they would have gone, or someone else would have cleaned them up, so I hadn’t taken my strongest combat ship; the Titan is classified as a “courier”, sporting one ballistic gatling and two laser repeaters. Since ballistic ammo is notoriously easy to deplete during an extended engagement, I was worried that this was going to be a wasted effort.
I managed to take out the primary target of the mission first. Thankfully my spastic motions with the HOSAS made me difficult to hit and opening the throttle limiter to 75% didn’t hurt either…but it could have, considering we were in an asteroid belt. The last target to go had gotten one whole side of thrusters blown out, so he was spinning like a drunken top and was unable to even consider shooting at me. I unloaded all of my missiles, and only had to get in a few shots to finish him off.
At this point Caked showed up (there was difficulty finding our engagement zone since I had completed the mission and he couldn’t see me on his HUD until we reformed the party). We EVA’d from our ships, and he stripped his corpse and put on his old gear, while I tractor-beamed my corpse into the hold of the Titan for some extra assurances. We needed to travel to Port Olisar, the original station still in orbit around Crusader, because I needed quantum fuel to get back to Everus Harbor.
In one of those “classic Star Citizen moments”, Caked had his Scorpius blown up again, this time by an invisible rotating strut at Olisar. I only know this because I had to EVA out to collect his gear from his second corpse of the day and was almost smushed by the same strut, now visible on our plane of existence. Luckily, since he was bound to Orison in the planet’s atmosphere below, it was a short trip for Cake to get back to where I was, and I was able to hand off his gear to him in short order.
When Star Citizen works, it works very well. Aside from blowing up because the NPCs don’t know how to drive, we didn’t lose much. All of our personal gear was recovered (in Cake’s case, recovered twice). Being able to return to a scene of a crime to collect our things is never a guarantee even when the servers are being kind, as another player could find it before we arrive, or maybe an NPC stops by and collects free stuff. But the process of action, dying, resurrecting, refitting, returning, finishing the action, and recovering our possessions to return home at the end of the day is the kind of game loop the game is inching towards.
Before I close, I wanted to provide context to this shot, because it’s funny:
Caked had tractor-beamed his first corpse in front of my ship without me knowing, and when I was seated in the cockpit again, figured I’d bump the body and send it flying off into space.
Instead, the game engine decided that my ship was incorporeal where the corpse was concerned, and the body passed into the cockpit in a very unflattering position. Funny thing was that the body was only visible when I was sitting down. When I stood up to try and move the body, it wasn’t there. So, I had to fly to Olisar with a cadaver’s ass pressed up against my radar screen.