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Jaxon Corvid

Starfarer Tanker: The Ultimate Trade Ship

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I've always been interested in the mercantile and exploration parts of Star Citizen more than the combat and piracy. My original pledge was for the Freelancer, then I upped it to the Constellation. The Freelancer seems like a straight-up freighter, whereas the Constellation seems a lot more versatile -- and cooler, like the Millennium Falcon.

Anyway, when the MISC Starfarer was first announced, I was, admittedly, immediately dismissive of it. I had already upgraded to the Constellation, and when I read the Starfarer's info, I pictured a lumbering freighter that would be an easy target for pirates. When all of the ships became available to purchase near the end, I couldn't believe the Starfarer cost $175 (I laughingly assumed the mis-quoted price of $17 sounded fair).

However, it's now occurred to me now that the Starfarer could become the unsung hero of traders -- especially trading clans. Because the Starfarer can carry more cargo than any other ship that we know of (except the Idris Corvette, probably). 75 tons of cargo. That's more than twice as much as my Constellation. That means that the captain of a Starfarer could earn more than twice as much as me for every successful delivery. All of a sudden the $175 Starfarer seems like a bargain compared to my $250 Constellation.

I fully understand that the Constellation is faster, more versatile, cooler looking, and superior in combat -- so I'm very happy I bought it. A Constellation can probably elude or defeat a few pirates, whereas the Starfarer is probably a sitting duck. But the Starfarer still has the potential to earn more credits, and that's every player's primary motivation.

A solo trader might have difficulty with the Starfarer, but I'm certain that a member of a trading clan should be able to take full advantage of the Starfarer's cargo capacity. A trading clan would operate as a group, finding strength in numbers. One freighter would be easy prey for pirates. Whereas a flotilla of TEN or more freighters could probably ward off a pack of pirates -- or at least would suffer fewer casualties, similar to predators taking down the slowest and weakest animal in a herd. But if a trading clan had escort ships for protection, they could operate with relative safety, making huge hauls, and earning enormous profits.

I've realized that the Starfarer will probably become the ultimate trade ship, and trading clans would be smart to acquire Starfarers for their merchant fleets.

Those are my thoughts and opinions on the Starfarer tanker ship. I'm interested in hearing what other players, especially prospective traders, think of the Starfarer.

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i wonder if the constellation can dump the p52 to add more cargo capcity, from the pictures o the constalation i would presume if the P52 is 10 ton and the docking bay might have space for 10 more for a total of 55 ton, so 20 less than the starfarer

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From what I read about the tanker, is that it could be used to transport liquid trade goods.

The most common Starfarer modification ships liquid foodstuffs in the same tanking system.

From: https://www.robertsspaceindustries.com/starfarer-unlocked-and-sunday-afternoon-updates/

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From what I read about the tanker, is that it could be used to transport liquid trade goods.

The most common Starfarer modification ships liquid foodstuffs in the same tanking system.

From: https://www.robertss...ernoon-updates/

I hope that the Starfarer can transport more than just liquid trade goods, otherwise that would limit its utility, and not make it the "ultimate trade ship" that I thought it was.

I imagine that using the Starfarer to collect raw fuel from gas giants is it's primary function, and that fuel harvesting will be a fairly safe, modest, and perpetual trade market. The Starfarer could collect the raw gas, deliver it to a refinery, then load up on refined fuel -- or refine the gas itself with the applicable upgrade -- and deliver the fuel to another destination. It's the definition of a Milk Run.

I think the Starfarer and fuel harvesting would be a stable foundation to base a trading clan's mining and merchant operations on.

I'm seriously considering purchasing an insured Starfarer before the prices go up on Monday. I'm certain that a Starfarer would pay off more than any other ship, both in the short- and long-term.

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I believe these vessels will be neccessary for long range missions and exploration away from colonized civilation. I assume you wil be able to pick up fuel at planets, buts seeing as this is a dynamic ecomic system that fuel price will go up the more people take from a specific planet, so I think you can make a killing just supplying well traversed worlds. Though she will be slow. She weighs 200,000kg with a full load and if you upgrade her cargo capacity, much more. Her 2x TR4's will be taxed, compared to a constellations 4x T6's but some engine upgrades might help. This ship needs escorts or to travel in well protected space.

I think she will have uprgades that will allow her to do more than liquids... I mean look at what it says. "The most common Starfarer modification ships liquid foodstuffs in the same tanking system. A visually distinct long-haul bulk goods version mated to an alternate cargo chassis also exists, although it has proven far less popular than the more rugged Freelancer lineup. An armored tactical variant, the Starfarer Gemini (“Star-G”) is produced under contract by Aegis for use by the UEE military."

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@Black Fox: I certainly hope that Star Citizen's economic system works on the same model as supply and demand. If so, you're right that the more players refuel at a certain planet (or space station, etc.), the less supply and more demand, hence the price per unit increases. But if too many players deliver fuel to that planet, the supply increases, possibly exceeding the demand, which will cause the price to plummet.

As I mentioned, using the Starfarer tanker to perform Milk Runs should be a stable and fairly safe means of earning credits -- just as long as there aren't too many milk runners per system. I disagree that players making fuel runs will "make a killing" in well-travelled systems. I predict that their earnings will be more modest -- and akin to grinding.

If a Starfarer captain wants to make a killing, they'll probably have to venture out to the fringes, where it's more dangerous. There should be fewer refueling depots along the frontier, and I predict that frontier pilots will depend on Starfarers for fuel. The profit on fuel should be much higher, but also the risk.

I predict two possibilities:

1) The Star Citizen community will agree that tankers in frontier space are off limits to attack and raiding, because everyone depends on them for fuel, and attacks on them hurts everyone.

Or, more likely:

2) "Fuel Cartels" will be established in the frontier, wherein clans will stake out a territory and control it through force. They'll claim a gas giant where they can collect raw fuel, escort their tankers with combat ships, vigilantly guard their refining operations and fuel distribution sites, and aggressively defend their territory against competitors. There will be inevitable "Fuel Wars" as rival cartels try to expand their operations.

The same will probably be true for contraband.

I predict that Fuel Cartels will probably become larger, more powerful, and more dangerous than pirate clans, because Fuel Cartels will have a stable business model, whereas pirates will have to rely on successfully raiding ships, which will probably be more difficult -- and less profitable. In fact, pirates will be the natural enemies of the cartels, because not only do pirates threaten their tankers, but they also threaten their customers, because they buy fuel from the cartels. So it wold be in the cartels' best interest to seek and destroy pirates in their territory so they don't interfere with their fuel trade.

I have to say, I'm loving this. The potential of Star Citizen is so exciting!

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The main problem with the things mentioned so far is trying to differentiate between the in-game possibilities and 'fluff'. They did mention that there is a hull variant of the ship that allows goods to be carried, but that would be a different ship, not a modification. But we can speculate all day long, we won't know until we actually see the game.

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I am wondering how many fighters can dock at my Starfarer...just for the surprise when getting attacked...

It's a freighter, thus I'd be amazed if it can haul other ships. The Constellation is a strange one-off because the whole hull is designed around hauling that one specific craft, which fits into it like one of those russion nesting dolls.

I agree entirely with the OP, if you want a Starfarer bring a wing of fighter support or expect to lose your cargo. Honestly I think a full size caravan would be the wisest way to go, say 7 or 8 escort craft and 2-4 tankers. The constellation or freelancer will be a much better fit if you're looking to make unescorted cargo runs.

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It's a freighter, thus I'd be amazed if it can haul other ships. The Constellation is a strange one-off because the whole hull is designed around hauling that one specific craft, which fits into it like one of those russion nesting dolls.

I agree entirely with the OP, if you want a Starfarer bring a wing of fighter support or expect to lose your cargo. Honestly I think a full size caravan would be the wisest way to go, say 7 or 8 escort craft and 2-4 tankers. The constellation or freelancer will be a much better fit if you're looking to make unescorted cargo runs.

I think by "docking", Count Farat was referring to how many ships a Starfarer could refuel at a time, because the Starfarer's primary function is to haul fuel. I'm uncertain if a stock Starfarer comes with refueling nozzles for refueling other ships, or if it needs to be upgraded, but one of the intended uses of the Starfarer is a mobile refuelling ship in remote star systems (that supposedly lack refueling infrastructure).

I may have been mistaken about the Starfarer's versatility as a freighter -- because it supposedly can only haul liquids -- but the fact that Cloud Imperium made available a tanker ship as an insured add-on implies that collecting raw gaseous fuel and distributing processed fuel will be very important and VERY lucrative in Star Citizen. That's why I'm considering pay $175 for one, because I could use it to make myself a Fuel Baron.

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@Jaxon I had completely forgotten about the supply ship role, guess I hadn't read the information on the Starfarer very carefully. I also was thinking about it and I would REALLY like to know more about planned upgrades and specs. How long will this thing survive under heavy fire? will we be able to throw upgrades that give it tougher armor? will it be able to have gun turrets to give it a decent amount of fighter defense?

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@SinhTKC: Here's a link to the Star Citizen wikia page on the MISC Starfarer: http://starcitizen.w.../MISC_Starfarer

The jist of it is that the Starfarer is big, heavy, slow, and sluggish. To give you an idea of how slow and unwieldy the Starfarer will be, it has the same engine configuration as the Origin M50 interceptor: 2 TR4 main drives, and 8 TR2 maneuvering thrusters. The difference is that the M50's mass is 14 tons, whereas the Starfarer's is 125 tons -- and that's unloaded. The Starfarer carries 75 tons of cargo, making it 200 tons total. The M50 will literally be able to fly circles around the Starfarer!

No idea of the strength of the Starfarer's hull. I'd wager average strength. Perhaps heavier than the M50 interceptor's hull, but lighter than the Caterpillar armoured transport. Probably on par with the Constellation's hull.

In terms of weapons, the Starfarer has 2x Class 2 articulated Laser cannons, 1x Class 3 missile launchers, and 1x Class 4 Laser turret. That means it's more lightly armed than a Freelancer light freighter. So it's basically defenseless.

Suffice to say that the Starfarer will definitely need escorts, because it's a sitting duck... filled with explosive fuel.

All the reason why it's probably a smart idea to buy an insured Starfarer now, instead of buying a Starfarer in-game, then having it blown up by any newb in an Aurora.

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All the reason why it's probably a smart idea to buy an insured Starfarer now, instead of buying a Starfarer in-game, then having it blown up by any newb in an Aurora.

The thing is that insurance only replaces your hull. It doesn't replace your cargo. My opinion on lifetime insurance here is that if you are destroyed often enough that the insurance is worth it, you're not going to be a very profitable trader at all...to me lifetime insurance is best used on ships that you intentionally risk in dangerous systems. I wouldn't use this for that, at all, I'd stick to heavily escorted groups or safer systems. So I don't see the value of lifetime insurance on it, really. If you want to take cargo through risky areas, the armored transport or a Constellation or even a Retaliator bomber fitted for cargo hauling all seem like better choices to me.

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Of course the more risk you run with a ship the greater the benefit of the insurance will be. I personally don't see people driving their military ships as traders, they have more upgrades and they might be more expensive to replace then the ones on a trader. And if you take a risky route then it might be wise to ask a fleetmate to fly cover for you or hire a fighter escort.

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I definitely wouldn't trust random strangers to serve as my escorts in a helpless turtle like the Starfarer. Only friends and clanmates.

The number of escorts required would be determined by the threat level in the region, not the ship being escorted. So if it's just a milk run in a civilized system, only a small escort should be required. But if it's a lawless, pirate-infested frontier system, dozens of escorts might be required to keep raiders away from a Starfarer. And the Starfarer would have to be loaded with something extremely valuable to justify that kind of protection.

I still think that the Starfarer will be the most profitable trade ship, but I don't think it's necessary to buy one for $175 for the inurance. Lifetime insurance probably won't be necessary if the Starfarer is protected properly. And even if the tanker is insured, it's cargo won't be. So no matter what, it will be a terrible loss.

So my plan is to buy a Starfarer in-game and haul as much cargo as possible. If I'm smart and cautious, the Starfarer should pay for itself many times over.

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As we call Us a Fleet, it should not give any problem with escorts. I think the most of us are wise enough to know, if we stick ingame together there is almost nothing that can harm us. Look the amount of Ships and Pilots we have yet. When we stick together, as I would suggest as a fleet, we have around what 25-50 or more ships in a Group. Everybody, if Pie-Rat, Mercenary or whoever will think twice to attack us. Cause attacking us when we stick together will be as attacking an Bee-Hive. You attack one and get response from a full fleet. Think about that Bomber fleets in WW2 above Germany, with the P-52 and the P-38 "Little Friends". I will pray, even when I am an Atheist, for everyone will give it a try!

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@NO-DRAGON: Of course you're right. The whole point of joining a clan is so we can work together for our protection and mutual benefit. I look forward to forming a Merchant flotilla with Imperium Merchants, and hiring Imperium Military pilots to fly escort. My Constellation can haul the second most cargo of any ship (known -- no specs on the Idris Corvette yet), and it'll be well-armed for self-defence. If we have enough escorts, I'll consider buying a Starfarer or a heavy freighter in-game, to haul as much cargo as possible and maximize my profits. I won't mind paying escort fighters a cut of my profits for their protection, as long as it's reasonable. I'm also interested in hiring a crew for my Constellation to operate the turrets and conduct repairs, and possibly fly my P52. It occurs to me that if we operate in a merchant flotilla with escorts, stealth probably won't be important, because the escorts should be equipped for combat, not stealth. And since they're flying with the merchant flotilla, they'll give away our position even if the merchant ships are upgraded for stealth. So there's no point of using stealth in a flotilla. Instead, the merchant flotilla should use upgrades that maximize cargo capacity, speed, and offensive/defensive capabilities. Stealth will only be useful for Explorers, or Merchants who choose to operate independently. I plan to purchase a variety of upgrades so I can constantly tweak my ship's loadout according to the mission I'm undertaking and the role I'm serving.

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