Star Citizen – The Problem with Base Building
The goal of this article is to discuss the apparent decision of CIG to change direction, regarding gameplay in the verse, with the introduction of base building and colonization but also the upgraded role of mostly big organizations in this new universe. Star Citizen will still be the open universe where players will be able to follow their own path and live their own life but if an organization wants to thrive and compete at the highest level, colonizing the most valuable areas of the verse is going to be extremely important.
The moment base building is in game the verse will turn into a “wild west” like battlefield with organizations participating in a new “gold rush” to discover and claim the most valuable pieces of land on the planets and moons of Star Citizen. It is obvious that very big organizations, with thousands of members will have the upper hand in a situation like this, simply because it will be easier to discover first, valuable areas and take advantage of them.
To clarify things, I am not opposing base building, on the contrary i am very fond of this feature and happy to hear that is coming to the game eventually. The truth is that things are going to change a lot by the time it will be ready to be implemented. Nonetheless, i believe this is the best time to have a discussion about it, since i think colonization and base building are going to have a huge impact on our game and having a proper balance will be very important.
Base Building Potential
We cannot deny the opportunities that base building will bring to Star Citizen. Finally we will be able to create a home for us or our organization, that we can later expand into an actual city. The ability to extract valuable resources for profit or grow food again for profit or to use for our own survival. Military outposts to protect important trade routes or raid important trade routes, depending on your goals. And of course forward bases for explorers or scientists, so they can continue exploring a new system or stay close to a natural phenomenon for research purposes.
Claim Land – Build a Base
The process of claiming a land is actually very easy. Use your exploration/science vessels to discover the land you desire and determine its value. What kind of resources are present and how they can help you fulfill your goals. After that you can choose to register or not your land with the UEE, if it is inside UEE space, by setting a beacon and taking the info to the closest UEE colony office. If you do register your land with the UEE you will have its protection. A protection that will be an extra tool against possible attackers but not something that will keep you safe 100%. This is why it is very important to be able to protect your base yourself.
A base in the right area, on the right planet is going to be very important and valuable. And that is exactly what is creating the problem. We are not talking about simple homes in the stars but bases, plots of lands with value, strategic or monetary that pretty much everybody else will want to take from you. It is clear that big organizations will have a very easy time to claim valuable land but also protect and maintain their bases, thanks to their numbers and the ability to always have a sizeable force online 24/7.
If huge organizations are left unchecked, it will be a matter of time to control the most valuable areas of space, control most valuable resources and as a result control the market, manipulate prices and make a huge profit whenever they want, establishing an empire that will be very hard, if not impossible to take down after a while. Because of how easy it will be to expand, certain big organizations will become greedy and start attacking smaller organizations, in order to take over their plot of land or even bully them into paying for protection. The end result could be having very big organizations controlling entire areas of space, making it very hard for outsiders to navigate freely around these areas or even find decent contracts and jobs, legal at least.
I am not saying that things will indeed turn out like this but it is possible. I strongly believe that there have to be regulations and limitations regarding base building and colonization. There should be a limit on how many bases, how far and how fast an organization will be able to expand in order to have a balanced and fun gameplay.
Base building will make its first steps in-game later this year, with the 3.4 update that is planned for December 2018. This will include the ability to purchase and register land, as well as create missions for other players to mine or patrol your territory.