With the recent announcement by CIG that players will not be allowed to hold on to stolen ship hulls indefinitely, I realized that this raises questions about the level of persistence of other forms of stolen property. There are 3 different types of insurance that we know of (hull insurance, component insurance, and cargo insurance) and therefore I will be separating this post into 3 categories.
I will start by referencing the various quotes we have been provided by CIG in recent days regarding ships as stolen property, to provide context to the discussion.
I’m afraid so. Stolen ships, no matter how well the theft, will not be a long-term thing. You get to enjoy them for the session, but those ships will not be returning when you log back in. Stealing ships should be a short-term goal. Joyriding, piracy or selling them for scrap, not for growing your own fleet
When asked about faking hull IDs in order to keep a ship long-term:
If that was a thing, it isn’t currently being discussed.
Jared Huckaby’s comments (via Reddit):
Currently, it is “probably” possible to land and it “may” be possible to buy a fake ID code. These answers won’t be known in a more definitive manner until such time as it comes to design and develop those systems for those “less savory” parts of the Star Citizen universe, and how those systems have to interact with every other game system available at that time.
As with all things, continuing development means things may flux in the future, but right now, and for the last several months, the plan has been that if you leave it “out” anywhere when you log, it’s gone.
If you can hide it “inside” of something, you can hold onto it for longer, but you will not be able to claim any form of insurance on it.
Because it’s stolen.
When it goes, it goes.
With that out of the way, let’s jump in to questions regarding other forms of stolen goods.
1. Cargo as stolen property.
Cargo insurance is a separate entity from ship hull insurance. As such, it’s possible that CIG plans for stolen cargo to behave differently than stolen ships. I would like to know if CIG plans to allow cargo to persist in-game for extended periods of time, or if their plans are also for cargo to disappear when a player logs off in space. This is a serious concern, as we all know that the nature of online games almost guarantees that a player will, on occassion, be disconnected from the server, through no fault of their own. If a pirate steals cargo from a player, then becomes disconnected from the server, will all of the stolen cargo in his cargo hold disappear immediately?
- Will we have the ability to store stolen commodities long-term, holding off on selling them until a later date? For example, if a pirate steals cargo that is currently selling for a price lower than he would like, will he have a way to hold onto those commodities long-term, until the prices go up?
- Can a pirate store multiple, smaller batches of commodities, and then transport them all together to a black market vendor at a later date? Or, will the pirate be forced to sell whatever is currently in his hold ASAP, because that cargo will not continue to persist between play sessions?
- What happens to stolen cargo that was never insured? Do non-insured commodities persist indefinitely, or do they follow the same rules as insured commodities?
2. Components as stolen property.
Like cargo, components also have their own form of insurance, independent of ship hull insurance. Furthermore, components can be transported as cargo, in the cargo hold of a ship. As such, I’m somewhat confused as to the persistence level of components. When components are the “stock components” installed in a ship’s hull, they will presumably disappear after a single play session, because the ship hull disappears after a play session. But this is not the only form that components can take.
- What happens if the components are stored as cargo in a cargo hold? If a pirate steals an entire shipment of power plants, will he be able to keep these components indefinitely, using them as spare parts in his own ships?
- What happens if the components installed in a stolen ship are not the “stock” components, and therefore not subject to the ship’s hull insurance? The ship would disappear after a single play session, but would the aftermarket/upgraded components remain behind, floating through space?
- What happens when an insured ship has uninsured components installed?
- What happens when an uninsured ship has insured components installed? Do the components disappear, leaving the shell of a hull floating through space?
- What happens when a legitimately owned ship installs stolen components, after the thief logs out? Would the components disappear, potentially leaving the ship without a vital component like a power plant?
3. Ships, and “ships as cargo.”
Finally, we have ships, themselves. Rather than waste time seeking clarification on the quotes we already have (we have enough of those threads already) I am going to ask a series of other questions.
- What constitutes “stealing” a ship? Would sitting in the pilot’s chair, or other crew station, be enough to label the ship “stolen”? And, if I can sit in any crew station in order to “steal” a ship, and stolen ships disappear when the thief logs out, what is to stop me from sitting in a crew station, and then immediately logging out, forcing that ship to despawn and leaving the rightful owner stranded without a ship?
- What happens if a pirate gets disconnected from the server momentarily, through no fault of his own, while in possession of stolen property? Sometimes you lose your internet connection, the power goes out, or the game simply crashes. Will the stolen goods the player possesses disappear at that time?
- What happens if multiple players work together to steal a ship? Will they all have to log out as a group before the “play session” is considered to be over, despawning the ship?
- What happens when a ship is being transported as cargo? Smaller ships, like snub craft, will routinely require transport via larger ships; and in fact, the Dragonfly even has a “storage mode,” where it folds up to facilitate its accommodation as cargo. Will ships being transported in cargo bays follow the rules for stolen ships, or stolen cargo?
- What happens when just the ship’s “hull” (without any components installed) is being transported as cargo? Will the game treat these hulls as commodities, components, or ships, for the purposes of determining their level of persistence?
- What happens when a player-owned ship remains in space due to that player logging out via some means other than a bed? If a pirate “steals” this ship, will the ship disappear after the pirate logs out, leaving the proper owner of the ship without his ship when he logs back in?
- What would happen if a stolen ship was transporting legitimate cargo, after the thief logs out? Would the ship disappear, but the cargo remain, floating aimlessly through space?
- What happens to a stolen ship that was uninsured? Would the thief be allowed to keep an uninsured ship indefinitely? After all, no insurance claim will have ever been filed.
- What does this mean for “repair” gameplay? Are we allowed to keep those “salvaged” ships that we repair back to working condition indefinitely, provided they were never stolen?
- What does this mean for “salvage” gameplay? Will the scrap materials obtained from a stolen source, such as a stolen ship hull, persist indefinitely, or will they, too, disappear at the end of the “play session”?
- What does this mean for bounty hunting gameplay? If a bounty hunter boards a stolen ship in pursuit of the thief, can the thief force the ship to despawn by logging out, thereby leaving the bounty hunter stranded?
4. Other items (Yes, I know I said there would only be 3 sections.)
This just occurred to me…
- What about personal armor? If I steal an EVA suit, and then log out wearing that suit, does the suit disappear, dooming me to suffocate the next time I log in?
- If I steal a grenade, and then lob that grenade, and then log out before the grenade lands, does the grenade still explode, or will it despawn mid-air?
Alright, I have so many more questions, but this is probably good enough to start with.
Star Citizen Live Director Todd Papy is one of this week’s guest on Reverse the Verse this Friday at 8:00 AM PST (16:00 UTC), and will give more details on insurance and owning stolen ships. We’re streaming on our Twitch channel: https://twitch.tv/starcitizen