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Roberts Space Industries ®
Ask A Dev section and selected ten questions to answer about the Star Citizen universe. All questions were slightly edited for context and clarity but you can click on the topic to go directly to the original post and join the conversation. Also, the Narrative team plans to do one installment of Loremakers: Community Questions every quarter with the next entry scheduled for Tuesday, March 1st, so please join the discussion and drop any other questions you might have about the universe in our Ask A Dev forum.

 

UEE "Nails"

Question: The Jump Point portfolio on the UEE Marines mentions a drop pod called a "nail." I was curious if this will ever be expanded upon, or if we will ever see something like this in game? The idea of this is SUPER intriguing for obvious reasons. I mean, seriously, who won’t want to be fired from a ship in essentially a metal coffin?

Answer: "Nails" technology remains classified and is only used by the Marines to deploy troops swiftly into hot zones. Since the tech isn't available for commercial ships, players currently won't be able to experience such a ride. But there's always a chance you might someday be in the wrong place at the right time to see, hear, and experience such a deployment of Marines. Or you might come across "Nails" in-game in another unexpected way, such as in this installment of Untold Tales.

You might also come across tech similar to “Nails” used as a tactic to overtake your ship. The Vanduul often use boarding spikes to damage then quickly deploy warriors into a ship. While the Marines were using “Nails” prior to encountering the Vanduul, it’s believed that the “Nails” tech was upgraded after scientists and engineers examined the boarding spikes deployed against Navy ships.

 

Tevarin Predators

Question: An earlier LoreMakers mentioned the Tevarin homeworld contained large, dangerous predators. Are any of these Predators still around or did they go extinct? If they’re still around, what can you tell us about them? Are they a threat to Humans?

Answer: We haven't delved into details about exactly what creatures preyed upon the Tevarin. Their existence was created to explain why the Tevarin culture developed around the Rijora, a sacred warrior code, and why the species specialized in defensive technologies and tactics. Both elements essential to a species that began low on the food chain but evolved into the dominant force on their homeworld of Kaleeth (Jalan, Elysium IV). 

Most of these predators were probably driven to extinction as the Tevarin species evolved over the millennia, much like most of the megafauna that roamed Earth. Overhunting, ecological disturbance due to Tevarin ascendance, and other evolutionary and geological factors would've played a role in these species vanishing. Still, there's a chance some of these predators survived, though probably in reduced numbers and locations. Since Humans and Tevarin breathe similar atmospheres, the world was never terraformed and the planet's original environment remains intact. Of course, such species would've also had to survive the destruction brought upon the planet during the Tevarin Wars and other changes (increased population, agricultural production, resource extraction, etc.) that accompanied Human occupation. 

So while there are no predators developed at the moment, there's enough wiggle room in the lore to make a trip into remote parts of Jalan potentially dangerous, if we determine it to be a fun addition to the world. Who knows? Maybe a species or two could've even been transported off world and taken hold elsewhere. Essentially, if the Character team creates a scary, bloodthirsty creature, having established such predators in lore gives us a built-in backstory to explain their existence.

 

Name Overlaps

Question: I've noticed two names used in recent lore posts that replaced names from older ones; i.e. two characters are named as doing the same thing. Which ones should be considered canon?

'Perry' of the Perry Line:

Costigan's Ambassador to the Xi'an who negotiated HuXa:

Answer: Thanks for bringing these to our attention. Often the first step when writing a new piece is researching years of published lore to see exactly what's been established and named, which becomes a task in and of itself with hundreds lore posts, Galactapedia articles, Jump Point issues, ship brochures, and more containing lore tidbits to bring the universe alive. Sometimes details like this slip through the crack, and sometimes details change due to the nature of the game being in development. We love that we have an engaged community here to help us identify such issues.  

Regarding these two examples, Armistead Perry is the official namesake of the Perry line, and Yanna Coso the Ambassador to the Xi'an Empire during the HuXa negotiations. We've adjusted the articles accordingly to reflect this.

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Regeneration

Question: How has regen tech affected UEE society now that death doesn’t mean the end? With the majority of society having an imprint, premature death is at least somewhat delayed. 

And how has that affected the military? Sure they’re not supersoldiers or clones with endless "lives'' but UEE forces now have a few "tries." They might be more experienced and lack the fear troops formerly had, making them more risky and aggressive and... less humane as a result. Same factors might affect everyone involved in armed conflict on a regular basis, including outlaws. Does this decrease the value of life as some might assume everyone has an imprint now, so they care less about the wellbeing of others and are more prone to violence?

Finally, what do the Xi'an and Banu think of such tech and can they use it?

Answer: With lots of regen questions out there, we picked this question because it hits upon several points often brought up on the forum. Some of this ground was covered in Star Citizen Live: Regeneration Elaboration, which we highly recommend watching if you’re interested in the topic, but wanted to address it here too so as many people see it as possible. 

To begin, it’s probably too early to say exactly how regen rewriting the rules of death will affect UEE society. Making this tech revolution contemporary to the PU timeline means it’s something we all get to figure out together. It will be interesting to see how, or if, people’s playstyles change. Will players be more aggressive or cautious? Will outlaws be more willing to fight a bounty hunter instead of running if death means the loss of items and a regen at Grim HEX instead of capture? The Narrative possibilities are endless so there’s probably no significant cultural shifts to call out right now. Sure, some people may become more aggressive and dehumanize life because folks can just regen, but there’s also some deeply humanistic areas regen tech opens us up to also, as explored in this Far From Home. 

Regarding changes to the military, not permanently losing soldiers is definitely a boon but costly in many other ways. Soldiers will regen with scarring and potential mental trauma that may compromise their effectiveness. Crazy, careless tactics would also be costly when considering medical facilities and rehabilitation costs, plus the destruction of vital equipment like ships and weapons.  

Finally, how the other alien species feel about this tech is something we’ll be exploring going forward. The Xi’an and Banu haven’t created similar tech themselves so they would be reliant on Humanity for it. Whether they use it or not, and how they feel about it, is still to be seen. This should be a fun and fertile area to explore going forward, as it provides a great window into how both species view death.

 

Why Is Imperator Addison Getting Credit for Regen?

Question: Why does the 'Loremakers Guide To Regeneration' say Imperator Addison in 2949? Addison didn't become Imperator till 2951. Was there some implied time between the sentences?

Answer: Yes, regen tech was in development prior to the election of Imperator Addison, but she pushed for its quick adoption across the empire by allocating trillions to make the tech widespread and releasing the Ibrahim Sphere blueprints so any manufacturer could produce it. Without Imperator Addison's aggressive push to make regen tech available to all, it might've remained limited to only the military and/or the most exclusive medical facilities in the empire. 

 

How "Deep" Is ArcCorp?

Question: A common sci-fi trope with ecumenopolis planets is stacks on stacks of construction where populations in lower levels might never see natural sky in their lifetime and only the most affluent live on the top levels. ArcCorp has some degree of vertical construction already, so are residents finding themselves being pushed "lower" by more construction above them? Do most residents and workers on ArcCorp still have access to sky?

As an aside, do any of the Commlink fiction and lore posts have a particular focus on ArcCorp?

Answer: While certain areas of ArcCorp have blocks of skyscrapers that could block the sun from reaching lower levels, people who work and live there wouldn't be restricted to those areas. They would be allowed to travel to spots, like Area18, that'd allow them to soak up the sun. Restrictive worker conditions is more Hurston's thing. ArcCorp actually leases out a lot of the planet to other businesses for offices and manufacturing facilities, so it'd be to their financial benefit if those locations are appealing and contain natural light. 

There's been a fair amount of lore around ArcCorp. Here are a few pieces that prominently feature the planet: 

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Purpose and Tech Behind Hydrogel Injection

Question: The short story Sojourner Travelogue mentioned that Captain Ezura was injected with hydrogel when he "looked sick". As a medical engineer this sentence caught my attention. What is the idea behind a hydrogel injection?

Hydrogel today is a biocompatible material with many promises, apparently including the idea of injections already today [1,2]. Other applications include for example scaffolds (e.g. application to a wound either outside or inside of the body) with ideas of continuously delivering drugs/medication towards the wounded tissue and potentially dissolving/removing itself once healing is done.

How is hydrogel used in Star Citizen relating to injections and what is the technological idea behind them? Are perhaps MedPens also a kind of hydrogel? Are hydrogels injected with the goal of reaching the bloodstream? I doubt injection into the bloodstream would be a great idea. One would more likely inject it into a stable location where potentially drugs can be released into the bloodstream from it. However, I suppose there is quite some room for hypothesizing medical applications and technology. I would love to see some elaboration on this matter.

Answer: The information and ideas about hydrogel that you brought up are super interesting. Can only imagine what medical advancements could come from injecting hydrogel into the body to continuously deliver medication, aid tissue formation, and more. While those potential real world applications are incredible, the hydrogel referenced in Sojourner Travelogue is actually a hydration gel. So the Sojourner crew essentially gave Captain Ezura fluids to replace what he'd lost and put him to bed. Considering the confusion with this current tech, "hydro-gel" might be a better way for us to write it. 

When doing the initial pass on healing tech, we also created a number of medicines that you'd find over the counter. So you may encounter hydro-gel someday at a local Kel-To or hospital pharmacy. The brand created for it is Deutrioxate, which is described as an oral hydro-gel and marketed as an extremely concentrated water replacement.

 

Pyro System Vegetation

Question: Given that the Pyro system is described as "a desolate lifeless star system crippled by a prolonged nova phase" how come there are trees and/or vegetation on 5 of 6 planets? It would be weird if all star systems had life, water and vegetation because of how rare it is in the universe.

Answer: When it comes to locations we strive to balance realism with environments that also provide potential gameplay. Sometimes things swing more towards the "rule of cool" or simply to make a more interesting and visually arresting environment for the players to explore, so it's Narrative's job to fill in the gaps. Hypothetically, we could say some of this vegetation is not native to Pyro but was brought in by Humans over the years, either intentionally or accidentally, and happened to take to that environment. Also, there's the great conceit that space and its inhabitants are probably way weirder than we could ever imagine. There's a good chance that there are lifeforms out there that defy the conventions we're all familiar with. So there's room in these locations for sci-fi plants that'll add to the mystique of the location and help give each system a unique look and feel.     

Of course, this means Narrative will have to retcon stuff as we go along. In this case, the cited Pyro description is from a Galactic Guide that was written early in our development process, back before we discovered that we would have tech that would enable planet-wide landings. Players were expected to spend most of their planet-side time in specific areas or landing zones, so part of our job was to justify why people weren't scouring certain planets for resources. Once Pyro is realized in-game, we'll revisit the lore established in the Galactic Guide and adjust accordingly to match what's been developed, much like what we've already done for the Stanton system.

 

Discovered: Vanguard System

Question: Discovered: Vanguard System features journal entries of a pilot investigating the Vanguard System and finding a Kingship under construction. The story starts off with the pilot in Orion and jumping to Vanguard in a single jump. Later on the Clan is described as disappearing “into the jump point back to Orion.” Problem is the Starmap only shows a jump point between Orion and Viking. Can you confirm what system the story is depicting? 

Answer: Thanks for bringing this to our attention. Several adjustments to the Starmap were made after this article was written, so we’ve updated the article to reflect the current connections. Since the story occurs in Vanguard, we've updated the article to reflect that Christian Meyer's journey began in Elysium instead of Orion. We’ve also removed the language suggesting the Vanduul clan jumped into Orion and made their disappearance more mysterious. Wonder where they went?

 

Dangerous Goods 

Question: So I ship hazardous chemicals both domestically and internationally out of the US, and anyone who has shipped dangerous goods knows about the efforts needed to get permission to actually ship them. Will there be any lore based organizations similar to what we have today that work to regulate it intersystem or interplanetary? Also can we expect the need for some form of license to "legally" ship dangerous goods?

Answer: Currently, players can haul hazardous cargo across Stanton. I've attempted it a few times myself only to die in fiery explosions after rubbernecking exquisite vistas instead of rushing to the drop. If it's decided that less responsible pilots, like myself, shouldn't get their hands on such dangerous cargo out of the gate, those hauls could potentially be gated behind rep tiers within hauling organizations, so it'd be less about earning the right permits and more about proving your hauling expertise before being trusted with hazardous cargo. Also, the Trade & Development Division (TDD), the government division that oversees cargo coming and going from landing zones, could potentially be used in an enforcement capacity. Maybe to restrict or arrest haulers bringing hazard cargo into landing zones where it's not allowed. This is only speculation at the moment, but since this is ultimately gameplay, it would be up for design to decide whether they wanted to adjust the logistics of hauling hazardous materials. We already have these orgs in lore, so they could be used to justify changes to the gameplay. 

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