Mercury Star Runner - impressions and comparisons

Mastersan

Admiral
Aug 14, 2017
240
813
700
RSI Handle
Mastersan
Hi All,

Today I've TESTed the Mercury Star Runner after it has been released into the live/prod, rather than checking it out in the PTU where it had more bugs.

I wanted to share my first impressions and comparisons to the other ships I've flown around for a while, predominantly the likes of the Carrack, Constellation Aquila, 600i and Freelancer. This could be a long post, so I'll try to make it concise.

I can remember when the MSR came on concept, it was compared to the Constellation Aquila, where MSR was considered the main competitor of the Connie. The ship, however, ended up being much larger than the Aquila, especially on the interior, and I think it's now more a competitor if 600i. It seems that making ships larger is a new trend with the designers. The first one was the Carrack, which was a lot bigger than the concept, especially the width. And now it's the MSR and the Nomad. Nomad is another topic, since it's a starter ship, but still a large starter ship, - just remember the true starter ships - the Aurora and the Mustang, - you only have the basics. I'll leave the Nomad out of this discussion.

Just a few images on:

1) Size: compare the length of lines measuring the ship's sections length, size of the scanner and size of the sign:

MSR2.jpg



2) Engines: doesn't look as cool:

MSR3.jpg



3) Internal layout: note, it was supposed to be much smaller, and it was not supposed to be able to carry any vehicles:

MSR4.jpg



The concept was a competitor to the Connie, but now I believe it's a competitor of 600i.

Overall the ship is very good in what it has to offer. The only thing missing to achieve self containment is a med bay. I understand it was not supposed to be there from the concept, but since they've made the ship a level up, the med bay, may be a small one, would be a good addition, especially considering there is some wasted space, e.g. in the scanner room.

On the subject of wasted space, - the ship has some, but not a lot. What stands out to me is the scanner room, the space behind the seats on the bridge and a corridor to the bridge.


Hidden storage for smuggling: I think this one is done quite nicely, also an uplift from the concept: rather than just a vent system they've built a more complex maze of passages under the floor with openings to different rooms, where some can be opened from both inside and outside, while others can only be opened from the outside. If you are smuggling people, - they can just jump through a hatch on the floor, and lock it behind themselves, then run to the exit. If there is someone inspecting the maze, you can play hide and seek. Very cool. Just look at that orange/sepia creepy maze lights:

ScreenShot7795.jpg


On the subject of handling. The ship handles very well, more like a heavy fighter. I think it's either a feature of new ships, or just a feature of MSR, as it probably has very powerful maneuvering thrusters, given the hydrogen fuel consumption (I'll get to that in a moment). The top speed on the surface of microTech, near New Babbage was 280, - that's quite a lot, close some medium fighter numbers. The top speed in space is around 1280 (mine was jumping up and down a bit), which is also very fast. Not many ships will be able to catch up. The only thing I've noticed in the atmosphere is that the ship is not balanced, so you need to always control it, so that it doesn't flip over. Maybe it's the asymmetric design, but it still should fly balanced in my view.

Hydrogen fuel consumption seems excessive. Otherwise it just may be a small fuel tank. A take off from New Babbage and getting to orbit took about 22% of hydrogen fuel, while a much larger Carrack only consumes 4% of it's hydrogen fuel. But again, it may just be the fuel tank capacity. However, if MSR is supposed to be a blockade runner, then you will likely need to go at high non-quantum speed for a while, so this is a concern to me. A Constellation Aquila, from memory, can regenerate/scoop come hydrogen fuel in comparison (and there's also the Carrack towering above these two). So, maybe the MSR is supposed to rely on long quantum jumps, and short quick non-quantum runs.

The quantum fuel is almost 10,000. In comparison, the Connie Aquila, (which supposedly has the longest range of all Constellation class ships) only has 3,000, and they consume about the same amount of quantum fuel for the same jumps.

View. The view from the cockpit is somewhat odd. The arrangement of the panels is good, a sport-style yokes instead of sidesticks is also looking very cool. The unobstructed canopy is also great. However, the is not much visibility below the horison. There is a small window in front of the pilot, but you don't have a good view down. You can roll the ship, and the best view down is to roll the ship right and look through the copilot side of the canopy, but that's not optimal. The Constellation Aquila has a much better downward view, not even mentioning the Carrack's pilot seat. On the other hand 600i is about the same in terms of view, and the Freelancer cockpit view is terrible.


View:

1) View through the pilot's front side

ScreenShot7765.jpg



2) Roll the ship right and look through the middle/copilot side to see what's below:

ScreenShot7764.jpg



The living quarters / habitation and recreation make it a very comfortable ship to operate.


Comparisons, and some possible answers to other topics, where TESTies asked which ship you would live in, or use the most, and how they compare.


1) MSR vs Freelancer: MSR is a higher class ship, better in everything. However, it's larger and will likely need more maintenance, and maintenance will likely be a lot more expensive.

2) MSR vs Constellation Aquila.MSR also looks and feels like a higher class ship. More on par with the Constellation Phoenix, which is also a rival for 600i. To clarify, Phoenix and 600i are luxury ships, and by saying that MSR is competitive to them, I mean by internal volume and possible features/amenities. The original MSR would definitely be a competitor of Aquila, and may be worse than Aquila in number of areas. But the new MSR seems to be better in almost every aspect, probably except the completeness of the view from the bridge, the lack of VTOL, the lack of a snub fighter. Which one if better for the long term stay, I think the MSR, as it has dedicated crew quarter, workstations, and a recreation zone. There is one caveat, though. The Aquila is an old design, which may be re-worked some day, then we will see how these stack.

3) MSR vs 600i. To me these are quite comparable, except that 600i is a luxury ship. The explorer version of 600i would be a better match. Still, in terms of the features, I think these are quite close. I think MSR has a better overall design and much less wasted space, especially around the crew quarters. The 600i has a great view from the Captain's room though. Which one is better for the long term stay, I think the 600i, because it was design with a lot of entertainment in mind: pool, TV, a bar, a dance floor, and a lot of other entertainment for the long term stay. On the Star Runner there is nothing much to do, not even work. It's a transport ship, but you can spend a lot of time on it, and you will be ok.

4) MSR vs the mighty Carrack. The same as MSR vs the Freelancer, except this time MSR is the Freelancer. The Carrack simply outclasses the Star Runner, which is expected of cause, since these two ships were in different classes from the upfront. There are similarities though. While the Carrack is a military ship, the repurposed Carrack and MSR appear to have similar feeling in terms of their interior design, lighting, and materials. Which one is better for the long term stay? This is quite interesting though. You may think: the Carrack of cause. With it's 4 decks, and all the workstations and rooms, it must be. However, the Carrack also has a larger crew, which specialises in certain jobs, and the Carrack offers pretty much the same level of comfort and entertainment for the crew as the MSR. And while the Carrack has larger mess hall and larger entertainment area, it's probably the same per crew member, as with the MSR. Both of these ships are made for work, and the Carrack will simply outlast the MSR, as it's a much larger ship designed to go for much longer.
Which one is better for the long term missions? Not just stay, but doing stuff. Then, in my view, the Carrack wins hands down. With its advanced medbay, workroom/workbench, drones, fuel scooping, it can sustain the crew and she ship for much longer. Also, the Carrack will be much tougher, being a military reconnaissance ship, proven itself in the war with the Vanduul. I know that Crusader also manufacture ships for the military, but nothing would be as tough as Anvil, which original motto I like a lot more than their current: Anvil Aerospace - Nothing but Power.


All of the above is my opinion only. Please share your thoughts.

Cheers!

🍻
 

Cugino83

Vice Admiral
Apr 25, 2019
877
2,806
500
RSI Handle
Cugino
A nice review and consideration on the ship.
I second your consideration on the wasted space, not that much for the pilot area (even if the sliding chairs take a lot of space that could be used for 2 additional stations), but for sure for the scanning and the corridor that leads to the piloting: both of those area, especially the scanning room, could have been used for accomodating the server rack, instead of having them along the corridor, especially for the first series located just outside the cargo bay door.
The recreation area/mess all is defenetly missing a dining space: more then a dining space that seams a snack one.

It lacks some space for storing ready-to-use space suite: there are 8 gun racks nearby the cockpit area, but no armor cabinet, except for the ones in the linving quarter, and also lacks a doking collar, that whould be usefull for some operation in space.

By the way, IF my fist impression is right and all the component along the corridor that lead to the flight bridge are data storage (the looks very similar to the server unite), the MSR probably is going to be the Hull C of data running: concerning the brute data space I think the Carrak will sucks in comparison.

Oh, on the H2 fuel comsumtion: no, the thank is not small, is the engine that drink a lot!
I more with the MSR from NewBabbage to a surface station on one of the Microtec's moon draining a bit more then 20% of Hydrogen: refilling cost was more then 2k UAC, abount 100 UAC for tank %.
One solution is to use the acceleration limiter and stay around the 50%, this will drastically redice the H2 consumtion to a reasonable level, the trade is a way more lagged ship, but you don't need to be "pedal-to-the-metal" every second.

I haven't notice the instability dirung flight, honestly, but could be that I compensate it by instint ...
 

GPcustoms

Captain
Donor
Sep 3, 2019
183
778
200
RSI Handle
GPcustom
Okay,...it eats fuel like a hungry hippo at fat camp but the surprise to me is when it got to 50% and I decided to fuel the cost was over 3,000 :wut:
Thats fine...Ill just use it until fuel is low and claim it. Its hard to make any profit at all if the fuel costs as much as the mission pay:thump:
Nose heavy in atmospheric flight but very agile and precise flight characteristics :o7: I just hope the fuel issue with this and lets say the Nomad is a bug thing:like:
 

Cugino83

Vice Admiral
Apr 25, 2019
877
2,806
500
RSI Handle
Cugino
Okay,...it eats fuel like a hungry hippo at fat camp but the surprise to me is when it got to 50% and I decided to fuel the cost was over 3,000 :wut:
Thats fine...Ill just use it until fuel is low and claim it. Its hard to make any profit at all if the fuel costs as much as the mission pay:thump:
Nose heavy in atmospheric flight but very agile and precise flight characteristics :o7: I just hope the fuel issue with this and lets say the Nomad is a bug thing:like:
Yep, the juice mantenancce is a factor, but is not impossibile, you just need to know when it's wort using it: I've mined with the ROC for a coulpe of ours and I ended up with somenthing like 90k with no effort, that is a payout that can cover the fuel cost without problem:love:
Sure if you use it for box delivery or BH that is a bit more hard to balance...
 
  • Like
Reactions: GPcustoms
Forgot your password?