Drunkard's Guide to Surface Homesteading

Pr8Dator

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Feb 15, 2020
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Pr8Dator
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Special credits to @Gr33nh0use for helping make this come true.

Homesteading on a planet. (play star trek-que music...)

Thats something a lot of us like to do, especially when you can have your favorite beer on solid ground and sit on a rock and marvel at the stars. To me, nothing beats the sunrise and sunset on a surface.

So, sounds pretty straight forward right? Drive your favorite ship, park on a planet and there you go, you are homesteading!

But...

Like all things Star Citizen, its never really that straight forward.

I spent a total of 6 days homesteading on Daymar and Lyria and what was supposed to be a straight forward thing turned out to be far more complex than i thought. In fact, so complex I think it warrants a guide to capture all the lessons i have learned here so that future homesteaders, especially when homesteading mechanics becomes more fleshed out, can have a good time playing surface in a space sim (what? we in the wrong game or what??). This guide is going to be an ongoing effort and will be updated perpetually, as such, do check back often for updates. (maybe we should have a voice channel in discord for homesteaders? hehe just a suggestion)

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What is Homesteading?
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I define 2 styles of homesteading; Surface Homesteading and Space Homesteading.

Basically Space Homesteading is living out of your ship in space without logging out in a station. Thats not the focus of my endeavor cos to me thats boring as F (wait, F isn't boring!)!

Surface Homesteading to me is living on the surface of a moon or planet defined by the following parameters:
1. Logging out in bed landed on a surface.
2. No going to space, hence no flying above 10,000km.
3. No QT. You travel the REALISTIC way.
4. You make money through activities on the surface.

So, surface homesteading with no support from space stations etc really did come with challenges that I never expected.

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Why Homestead?
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Why do I even do it? Well, I find homesteading fun for the following reasons:
1. I LOVE to homestead! Find a spot, build a home, somewhere to call my own, away from noisy players and griefers, why not?
2. Sunrise, sunset, moonrise, moonset, these things we see in space just takes on whole new level of beauty on the surface.
3. Exploration! Devs took a lot of pain to build entire planets and moons, its our responsibility to make sure they are seen, no? People say exploration gameplay is not in the game, hell no! THIS IS exploration! Going out, finding out the sunrise , sunset timings and cycles, the weather patterns, whats on top of that hill, is there a cave somewhere? a wreck somewhere? a secret stash? EXPLORE!
4. Realism.... long surface travels, long walks while being affected by the changing weather and terrain is just a whole new level of immersion. Planets that allow you to just live your life away from a flight suit just takes on a whole new level of realism for me.
5. Its always fun when friends come visit you on the surface too.
6. Surface vehicles! Play all the surface vehicles you want!

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What Kind of Homesteading Ship?
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Surface homesteading is dangerous. You are going to die a lot. Yes, I died an average of once a day (unless you are doing absolutely nothing then why the hell are you logged in? LOL!).
As such, a homesteading ship needs to be one with a medbay! As such, I would consider the following ships qualify for homesteading:

1. Cutlass Red
2. Carrack
3. 890 Jump
4. Apollo Triage

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Dangers of Homesteading?
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Yes, you are going to die A LOT because you are going to be interacting with far more physical (or not so physical and you cant tell the difference) objects on the surface.
Here are the different ways i died in my experience so far:

1. Rock exploding in my face while hand mining.
2. Clipping through and getting stuck while trying to climb up a building.
3. Clipping through the planet by stepping on a rock that doesn't really exist.
4. Getting stuck in a crack in the rock or falling into a valley.
5. Ramming your ground vehicle into a rock, exploding and die.
6. Going too deep into a cave and you can't be bothered to walk out so you suicide teleport back to ship.
7. Doing a surface mission and getting killed by an NPC.
8. Random player happens to chance upon you and decides that killing you is fun.
9. Forgetting to wear your helmet exiting the ship because, well, surface!
10. Your ship exploding with you in it due to the 10 thousand ways a ship can explode (will elaborate more in coming sections)
11. Your visiting org mate thinks its fun shooting you in the face with a mining laser.
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Awesome memories @Big-Moose

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Where To Homestead?
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Sounds pretty straightforward right? Choose your favorite planet or moon and go!

Except its not.

The choice of where to homestead depends very much on your choice of homesteading ship? Why is that? Because you need to be making money on the surface and some ships just can't make money everywhere.

For instance, if you are homesteading in a Red, you need to be where there are good rocks to hand mine , best if there are caves around, AND you need a place on the surface to sell them. As such, you would choose somewhere like Daymar. If you are homesteading in a Carrack, you can't find random mining spots so you need to be in places where there are surface missions and places to buy and sell cargo all on the surface, as you gonna choose somewhere like Lyria. So you should never homestead a Carrack on Daymar cos then you would have no means of making money.

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Daily Routine of a Homesteader
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Morning:
1. Yes you want to do your activities in the morning because night time is dark and inconvenient. Day and night matters when it comes to living on the surface and why you need to know the sunrise and sunset timings of your location

Daytime:
1. Do your money making activity, explore or whatever
2. FUEL HARVEST TIME! Yes, if you cannot refuel on the surface, you gonna have to set aside time just to leave your ship powered on and harvesting hydrogen fuel. Once you run out of fuel, life becomes quite inconvenient.

Nighttime:
1. Watch the stars, marvel at the moon
2. Good time to log out cos night time is incovenient for most activities anyways esp with a storm making visibility near zero.

Some people might say, what does day or night matter when we can just fly to the part of the surface with the sunlight anyways. The concern is this : 1, it takes a long time, remember, no space flight? 2, it burns A LOT of fuel! Fuel conservation is a big thing when it comes to homesteading!


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General Best Practises for Homesteading
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Best practises vary vastly depending on where you homestead so I will be covering these more indepth in the homesteading spot review section. But generally, these are the things that applies pretty much on every surface.

1. FLAT LANDING SPOT!!! I cannot stress enough how important this is! Most ships will spawn WITHOUT landing gears on when you log back in! If you landed on a place full of big rocks, ship is going to tumble and get damaged or destroyed before you can get out of bed and run for the cockpit. If you landed on a slope, even worse, your ship is going to slide and crash before you can reach the cockpit and power it up.

2. Remember your helmet!! While its cool to roleplay being at home in your ship, many times you are going to forget your helmet exiting the ship too!

3. Be aware of the terrain.. be VERY aware! Holes, valleys cracks etc all can kill you on foot or even in a ground vehicle.

4. Mind your logistics. You need to pack enough consumables for extended stay on the surface. I will elaborate in the location reviews.

5. Don't log out near places with turrets because turrets respawn and will start shooting at your ship the moment you log in.

6. Homestead at a location where the day time syncs with your regular gaming time so that you can log in during the day time and log out during the night time.

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The Only Thing That Can Surely End Your Homestead
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30K!
Yes, if you do everything right, this should be the only thing that can put you back onto a space station and you will have to start all over again.


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Cool Homesteading Challenges
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So, you wanna be a master homesteader? Try these challenges:
1. No Death. Try not dying at all.
2. Surface Millionaire (or billionaire if you are already a millionaire). Try making a fortune completely on the surface!
3. Chart the whole location! Every cave, locations, wrecks etc with triangulation distances to known spots.
4. Live on the surface for longer than i have! So far, I have managed 3 days of 6 hourly sessions.
5. Wear casuals in the ship and space suit only on the outside


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Review of Homesteading Spots
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I have done the following locations so far:

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1. Daymar
Pros:
1. GREAT view of crusader rising at night
2. Daymar caves for hand mining
3. Great place for searching for surface mining spots (refer to @Black Sunder 's Mining Guide )
4. Sell mined items at Shubin on the surface
5. Places you can spawn surface vehicles for some fun

Cons:
1. No surface missions so if you can't mine, you can't make money
2. Sand storm can get so severe you cant see your landing spot. Broke my ship on a bad landing in a sand storm once.

Conclusion:
Great place to homestead if you have a Cutlass Red , you love to hand mine and you love a good night view. Be sure to buy 2 rucksack packs so you can pack in as much minables as possible. A more dangerous approach will be to make boxes with your minables and store them in the cargo area of the cutlass red. But i usually just go to shubin and sell once i have 2 packs full.

Mistakes made on Daymar:
1. When a rock explode in your face and you are dying, DONT RUN FOR THE MED BAY!!! UNEQUIP YOUR rucksack IMMEDIATELY before you die! When you die, the minables in your rucksack disappears!

Main Challenge on Daymar:
1. Daytime is short, only about 2 hours so sometimes i was forced to hand mine at night in bad weather and it wasnt fun.

What you need to pack for Daymar:
1. 2 Rucksacks (because its pointless having more than 2, you cant equip the extras)
2. Oxygen pen cos your suit don't harvest oxygen on Daymar



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2. Lyria
Pros:
1. Burn the Narcotics Mission! 2 Spots which you can farm day after day!
2. Run ETAM between The Orphange (SAL-5 175km, Security Depot 130km) and SAL-5!
3. Surface mining spots!
4. Sell mined items at Shubin on the surface!
5. Places you can spawn surface vehicles

Cons:
1. No night view... nothing rises at night... its just dark emptiness.... good time to just log out and call it a day
2. Snow storms hit really hard from time to time and can cause problems for mining and landing. Will also be more problematic once cold becomes a thing in the game.

Conclusion:
This is actually my favorite homesteading ground so far just cos theres sooooooo much to do and its all got to do with drugs hahaha now i call Lyria the drug planet. I think this is going to be a great place to homestead for a Carrack because hand mining won't be a big thing with the Carrack. Flying around or driving around doing surface missions and running drugs using the big cargo bay of the Carrack is just perfect!

Mistakes made on Lyria:
1. I tried to homestead next to a stash house that I took over after finishing the burn the narcotics mission. When I log back in, the turrets respawned and I escaped with a badly damaged ship.

Main Challenge on Lyria:
1. Finding unmarked stash houses without space view is super challenging! I had to try to triangulate the place using distances from various know landmarks and still it can be anywhere within like 50km radius and may take days to find.

What you need to pack for Lyria:
1. ANIMUS ROCKET LAUNCHER!!!! Yes, you need that to destroy a lot of things that needs destroying... turrets, NPCs whatever
2. GUNS! LOTS OF GUNS!!! Yes, you lose your gun if you die to an NPC so you gonna need to pack quite a few guns for extended stay. (remember also to pick up NPC guns and put them on your ship gun rack!)
3. AMMO!!!! MAX AMOUNT OF AMMO!!!! There's no where to go to buy ammo so you want to pack max so you are not forced back to space by logistics.
4. HEAVY ARMOR!!! For those surface missions of course (and against naughty friends)
5. MONEY! LOTS OF MONEY!! You wanna run a Carrack full of Etam? Thats 3.8 MILLION per run!
 

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Deroth

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is this actually viable at the moment? Refuelling on the surface? Logging out on the surface?
Yes, but the refueling can be tedious and bed log outs while in atmosphere are even less reliable than in space.

@Pr8Dator, have you been to the R&Rs lately? They have advertisement posters now for working and living at ground stations, I feel like those ads are aimed at you for when that game play loop is implemented.
 

LoicFarris

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To date I've had zero issues logging out of the surface of a planet. That said I've mainly done it in my Prospector or Mole. Logging back in can be tricky, I'd say 4/5 times I re-spawned on the planet exactly where I was before, however 1/5 times I would log back in floating in space with the moon a short QT jump away.

It's funny reading this as I was thinking about trying this very thing w/ my Carrack when it comes out. I want to see how long I can survive basing my self out of that ship alone. Now I wasn't planning on limiting my self to where I could go and what I could do, but the idea was that I would "live" and base my game play out of my Carrack as much as possible. Now you've just raised the bar for me. :)
 

Grimbli

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Very cool, but I think you're making an assumption about the Carrack not finding hand movable nodes with sensors.

As the almost top tier vessel for exploration I expect it to come with advanced sensors. Probably better than the Red's, which can detect nodes.
 

Gr33nh0use

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This is what glory looks like. Take note Testicles.
 

Pr8Dator

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Feb 15, 2020
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Yes, but the refueling can be tedious and bed log outs while in atmosphere are even less reliable than in space.

@Pr8Dator, have you been to the R&Rs lately? They have advertisement posters now for working and living at ground stations, I feel like those ads are aimed at you for when that game play loop is implemented.
oh yes, i cant wait for more surface gameplay loops and will definitely be keeping an eye on them, play them and add to the guide.
To date I've had zero issues logging out of the surface of a planet. That said I've mainly done it in my Prospector or Mole. Logging back in can be tricky, I'd say 4/5 times I re-spawned on the planet exactly where I was before, however 1/5 times I would log back in floating in space with the moon a short QT jump away.

It's funny reading this as I was thinking about trying this very thing w/ my Carrack when it comes out. I want to see how long I can survive basing my self out of that ship alone. Now I wasn't planning on limiting my self to where I could go and what I could do, but the idea was that I would "live" and base my game play out of my Carrack as much as possible. Now you've just raised the bar for me. :)
I am glad!!!! it is my wish that with this guide, people can discover some new fun in the verse. :)
Welcome to test????
hahahha thank you!!!! Been here for a while now, just active in the discord but not in the forum.
That's a great idea actually, wouldn't it be super cool to party launch, wake up, look out the window and see 10 Carracks around you?
That would be FKING AWESOME!!!!
Very cool, but I think you're making an assumption about the Carrack not finding hand movable nodes with sensors.

As the almost top tier vessel for exploration I expect it to come with advanced sensors. Probably better than the Red's, which can detect nodes.
true about that. :) will add on to the guide after i give it a test. But even so, in my experience of finding surface minables, the landing area tends to be small and getting on and off the ship that frequently is taxing if the ship is big. In that role, i would prefer the red rather than flying a space whale looking for rocks haha
This is what glory looks like. Take note Testicles.
hahahahah thanks a lot for all the support and help buddy! this guide wont have been made if not for your encouragement and wont have been posted if not for your persistence!
 

Grimbli

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true about that. :) will add on to the guide after i give it a test. But even so, in my experience of finding surface minables, the landing area tends to be small and getting on and off the ship that frequently is taxing if the ship is big. In that role, i would prefer the red rather than flying a space whale looking for rocks haha
True. Hopefully one day soon we'll be able to link scanners between ships we own and can scan a huge area with the Carrack, then go out in the Pisces or Rover to gather up a bunch of nodes.

Or give us hand scanners! Or switchable scanners on smaller vessels!
 

Talonsbane

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Very cool, but I think you're making an assumption about the Carrack not finding hand movable nodes with sensors.

As the almost top tier vessel for exploration I expect it to come with advanced sensors. Probably better than the Red's, which can detect nodes.
Which exploration vehicle beats the Carrack? It's the top exploration ship for the UEE military & was designed specifically for this role.
 

Pr8Dator

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Feb 15, 2020
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True. Hopefully one day soon we'll be able to link scanners between ships we own and can scan a huge area with the Carrack, then go out in the Pisces or Rover to gather up a bunch of nodes.

Or give us hand scanners! Or switchable scanners on smaller vessels!
I am really wishing for hand scanners or mining ground vehicles

This is great! How to get a sandbox experience with very limited resources. Imagine this with creatures and the need to eat and drink etc. Good stuff!
OH YES! Complete Orisis experience hahaha
 

Grimbli

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Which exploration vehicle beats the Carrack? It's the top exploration ship for the UEE military & was designed specifically for this role.
I would venture a guess that the Endeavor would be better. With a Hangar, Fuel Pods, and Telescope pods I think it'll probably be the best.

Being able to fit smaller exploration vessels inside the hangar and detaching the front cab gives it a breadth of scope and range unseen by even the Carrack. You can even bring your own short range fighters to help defend.

Imagine launching 3-4 315ps for the sole purpose of scouting a planet, collecting samples, and returning them to the front cab. Anything they find that's too big the front cab can investigate itself.
 
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