Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Frequently Asked - "Should I Buy Elite Or Star Citizen?"

In this last couple of months this has been a regular question asked of me, people who are finding out about both games, or who weren't prepared to pay in advance are starting to want to get directly involved. On one side, Elite is clearly closer to completion but the price of admission to the premium beta is high, meanwhile Star Citizen has a couple of playable combat levels and 3 flyable ships, multiplayer is slowly being rolled out (I still don't have multiplayer access at this time).

So lets look at it in numbers, and when I say numbers, I mean the amount of dollars you need to shell out to participate.

To get access to Elite today you'll need to shell out a whopping $150, that may seem a lot but the Alpha backers had to pay twice that. You see Elite chose a crowdfunding model where prices were set high so that only the most dedicated of fans would get access to the rough unpolished early product with the price dropping over time to let more sensible people in. The regular Beta continues this trend and will only cost $75 but you'll have to wait until the end of August to join the more hardcore fans in the Elite universe. The final release is also available for pre-order at $50 and with a release date mooted to be 'before the end of the year'. However, there's another wrinkle to this pricing in the form of the 'Expansion Pass' which guarantees you all future DLC for a one time $50 payment, the future DLC will include features such as landing in planets and walking around stations. The Backers who paid for Alpha and premium beta both get this bundled with their package, while everyone else has to back it separately. If you consider this purchase essential to your future Elite happiness then it makes the cost differences between the tiers a lot smaller. All of this is of course available from Frontier's Elite Store.

The developers of Star Citizen chose a pricing model that worked in the opposite direction with early adopters getting things cheaper and the prices rising, albeit not nearly as dramatically. When the original Kickstarter launched you could get the Digital Scout package for $35, which would include Alpha/Beta access and an Aurora starter ship with lifetime insurance. Then the prices rose a bit, lifetime insurance was removed and now you have to pay an extra $5 for a pass to get access to the Arena Commander Alpha so you pay $45 and get less than those early adopters. (All the same lifetime insurance probably isn't going to be the game breaking bonus some people think it is, I'd advise against paying a 100% markup on the grey market for a package with LTI). Star Citizen is clearly the cheaper option, as long as you avoid getting carried away and spending money on internet spaceships, it's important to remember that everything on 'sale' will be available in the final game for in game cash. The downside to cheaper is that the game has a lot more development ahead of it, it has a feature list that is huge, and it will be years before we get anything like a final release.

The truth is if you're unsure or on the fence then the value equation for both titles is becoming clearer and clearer over time and the downsides to waiting are limited. About the only thing left with a deadline is the Elite Expansion pack covering the DLC which won't be sold after the 29th of July. While it's no doubt intended to be a money saving deal it's a deal that'll take years to pay off, if you're still wondering about whether to buy Elite at this point you're probably not going to go all in on future DLC. Meanwhile Star Citizen has already taken away LTI & Alpha Access, and the prices won't be increased without advance warning, so if you wait for things to get more developed then the only real downside is that you might have to wait longer to get access to multiplayer (after several weeks, I'm still waiting despite being an original backer).

So if you're uncertain, wait, and if you really want to play a spaceship game now just remember there are plenty of great games already on sale, or even for free. X-3 Terran Conflict, Strike Suit Zero, Freespace 2 to name a few, and of course there are plenty of free titles too - if you're a fan of Battlestar Galactica you should immediately download Diaspora and live out your Viper pilot dreams. There's no need to rush into anything until you're sure what you want, leave the rushing in to the hardcore fans who have more money than sense (i.e. me).

Friday, May 3, 2013

Flight Of A Thousand Rifters - Sunday! Sunday Sunday

This is an event you do not want to miss, its your chance to head into lowsec in a cheap frigate and get involved in killing a Supercarrier, there's over 22billion isk in prizes available. This sunday is also the day we want everyone logged onto Eve Online to try and set a new record for most players on the cluster, the actual 10th anniversary of Eve is on monday and there will be at least one free gift for every player with an active account so this weekend is a good time to be on. Full details of the epic frigate battle are Here and Here I really hope to see you there, I'll probably be handing out random prizes on the day to subscribers. Of course discussion of this was front an center in this weeks podcast, you wan watch the video enhanced version here: An audio only version is also available if you just like to listen to dudes discussing the hot events in Eve Online a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, April 22, 2013

Burn Jita II Was a Resounding Success

Thousands of ships, billions of ISK in damage, the residents of Nullsec turned the center of the Eve Universe into a warzone. Hi-sec traders used to the virtual wall street found themselves in an an environment more like Syria or Afghanistan. Despite a plethora of warnings not to visit Jita freighters continued to make the trip, even having to make extra effort to get through the highly congested gate network. As a celebration I'm doing a raffle of Eve specific prizes, over 2 Billion isk worth of prizes. a Rafflecopter giveaway Please note that one of the ways you can increase your odds of winning is by PVP'ing in Eve, kill other ships and submit a killmail, you can do this once a day for an extra edge.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

What A Month It's Been

Things have been incredibly hectic, but I reached a minor milestone (at least in base 10) when I passed 50,000 subscribers on youtube. Frankly I find this amazing but It's nice to know people like what I do. On the other had I started to self censor a bit and decided that maybe not everyone wants to listen to me and Marlona Sky talking for an hour about Eve Online and how he's going to let people kill him in a supercarrier as part of a competition to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the game. So if you're a subscriber and really did want to know about this then make some noise, I think we might start a regular Eve Online podcast type thing because there's always so much going on. Anyway, the reusable space program proceeds, I've got an interplanetary rocket design which I think you might like, but that didn't make it into this episode. What did make the episode what a horrendous mistake on my part where I left infinite fuel enabled from a previous 'muck around' so I flew one of the landing operations without noticing that I wasn't burning up fuel. Very embarrassing when you consider that all this messing around on the Mun is about giving myself a good fuel supply.... To celebrate the 50k and apologize for my infinitie fuel gaffe I'm running my biggest giveaway yet - 5 winners this time! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Reusing the Reusable Giveaway

In last weeks giveaway Ab E. won the prize and picked a copy of 'The Polynomial' which is an abstract 3d shooter that is driven by the music you feed into it, no plot, no story, no background, just pretty lights and the best music you can find in your collection. In light of the number of entries, Chris S also was awarded a PLEX (30 days of game time) in Eve Online - congratulations. Anyway, continuing the tradition, there's another giveaway, this time I want Wernher von Kerman to be recognized for his contributions to the space program (despite his dark past) - as before, there might be extra bonuses for particularly witty entries. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Russian Meteor Was The Loudest Recorded Infrasound Signal

The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization maintains a network of sensors around the world designed to detect and locate nuclear tests that might violate the treaty, and, as it turns out these are pretty good at detecting and analyzing the energy released by all sorts of large energetic events, like quarry explosions, volcanic eruptions and of course large meteor events.

Well it should come as no surprise that the Russian meteor event made quite an impact on this network even if it didn't make a huge impact on the ground. The infrasound signal recorded by the CTBTO network was the loudest it's ever recorded in the decade or so since it became operational. And while that's cool, the best part is that they've generated a version of the sound which is pitched up to make it audible to our limited human auditory faculties and you can listen to this signal on youtube.

The signal was powerful enough to be detected 15,000km away at stations in the Antarctic, and using multiple stations they put the time of the event at 03:22 GMT on 15 February 2013.

Monday, February 18, 2013

10 Episodes Of Reusable Space Program means Free Games!

And I don't mean free stuff like free rocks falling from the sky, because Russia has had its fill of those.

Good god I've managed to get 10 episodes into a series of Kerbal Space Program videos only having managed to irretrievably lose 4 rocket parts in the thousands that have gone into space. To celebrate such frugality I've got another raffle wherein I'm going to give out one (or more!) games from my Steam Gift collection, or even PLEX for Eve Online players.

I say 'or more' because the more entrants I get the more prizes will be added, so don't be dissuaded when you see thousands of entries, that'll just mean more winners.

As before, I'm letting Rafflecopter handle the entries to make sure everything is above board and there's no favouritism involved in selecting the winners.

a Rafflecopter giveaway