Star Citizen – The Future of Warfare
Star Citizen is aiming to be and is slowly turning into a rich and alive universe where we, the players, will be able to perform any kind of activity and carve our own path in the verse. No matter what our preferred activity is or is going to be we cannot deny how important warfare will be for shaping the Verse, whether that is warfare between player owned organizations or based on the game’s rich lore warfare, between the alien species of Star Citizen.
Over the last year many changes have occurred to the game with the appearance of new features and vessels influencing warfare in Star Citizen. From wondering if “will we ever see large scale space battles in the game, with several capital ships fighting each other?” we have now moved onto the confirmation that “we will definitelly see and experience massive scale battles with ground and space forces engaging each other for control over space and ground areas”.
The catalyst for that change was the introduction of planets and moons to the game and the addition of ground vehicles with different roles to fulfill. The first hint of the shift in warfare, was given to us with the introduction of the Cyclone concept to the game. Not because of its transportation capabilities since we already had the Ursa rover, that could carry around a small group of players or marines.
It was the Recon and Anti Aircraft variants that changed the game. With these two, organizations can now monitor their corner of a planet or discover enemy forces and installations to attack. At the same time the AA variant could provide defense against fighters and attack hostile dropships attempting to deploy troops.
Although fun to engage ground targets like this, still was not enough to change warfare significantly. The real change occurred when the Pioneer was revealed and the ability to claim land and create player outposts and bases was announced. Suddenly the planetary surfaces of Star Citizen transformed from just cool and beautiful places to roam around and attack others for fun into places of value, worth controlling, attacking or defending.
I strongly believe that the future introduction of resources to the game and the rarity of specific resources is what will drive conflict between organizations in the verse and force them to fight each other for control over them.
With the upgraded importance of ground locations an upgrade on weapon systems and vehicles was inevitable as well. The Nova tank, a battle tank unit, the first of its kind in the game was exactly that upgrade. A new vehicle that introduces the concept of armies and not only fleets in Star Citizen. Its armament is very interesting as well since it consists of weapons that can engage ground and air units at the same time.
Recently we got a new concept in game, the Hercules Starlifter. A vessel capable of transporting vehicles and personnel and the main way of transportation for battle tanks, at least for now. But it is the heavy gunship variant of the Hercules that adds an additional layer of strategy to ground warfare. An impressive gunship capable of carrying bombs, equivalent to a Mother of all bombs weapon system, participating like this in base assaults.
With the introduction of this vessel, real world warfare examples will start taking place in the verse. Organizations will be trying to neutralize first the air defenses of the enemy, softening them up with bomb runs and later conquering the area of interest with ground forces.
While all this is happening on the ground, new features change warfare in space as well. More specifically the introduction of new fuel mechanics will make most fighters unable to operate very far from their base or fleet and increase the importance of logistics in game.
Capital ships are powerful and important to have in your fleet but at the same time very vulnerable to torpedo strikes. This is why keeping your fighters close and always ready to engage and repel the enemy will be essential for not only victory but also survival in the battlefield.
Military fleets will have to be accompanied by support vessels that can repair, refuel and rearm them and at the same time keep those vessels protected. Attacking the supply chain of an enemy will be the best way to ensure a quick and glorious victory.
Starfarers, crucibles will be the core of support for every fleet with several smaller vessels, like the Vulcan, providing their services on the go, faster.
The Vulcan, another new concept, will be especially important since it can repair and rearm fighters but also fully refuel vessels up to a retaliator/constellation size, allowing them to continue their war efforts.
All these new features and vessels will change and are already changing warfare, giving us the opportunity to experience massive scale battles in the verse, with ground and space forces, like those we have been reading up until now on the game’s rich and impressive lore.