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MISC Prospector Concept Sale Analysis Written Wednesday 4th of May 2016 at 08:40am by Nehkara

Greetings fellow Citizens! While the Prospector broke no sales records, it certainly held its own.  Click to read more details on the latest concept sale. The MISC Prospector concept sale took place from April 22nd to...

Greetings fellow Citizens! While the Prospector broke no sales records, it certainly held its own.  Click to read more details on the latest concept sale.

The MISC Prospector concept sale took place from April 22nd to May 2nd, and was the longest concept sale to date (although only by an hour). The Prospector is not only the first small-scale mining ship but the start of a push to flesh out the industrial careers with smaller craft. The initial ships in these careers – such as the Orion, Reclaimer, and Starfarer – defined the pinnacle, and now vessels such as the Prospector are adeptly adding rungs to the ladder.

The Prospector excels at planetary surface mining, which up until fairly recently in Star Citizen’s development was considered unlikely to happen; however, with the introduction of procedural generation of planets and seamless space-to-surface transitions, planetary mining is now a reality.

In addition to planetary mining, this 24 meter craft will be capable of mining asteroids while in flight or landed on the surface of large bodies.

One of the innovative parts of the Prospector design are the collapsible “saddlebag” mineral storage units.  The operator can fill up one of these containers, detach it (in space or on ground), and connect another. These cargo containers will be compatible with the MISC Hull series of ships, so you can well imagine a team effort between a Prospector and a Hull A or Hull B – the Prospector continuously mining while the Hull runs to and from the nearest spaceport to sell or securely store the minerals.

The whole picture we end up with is a solo mining ship with a natural ability to work as a part of a duo or even a larger group of vessels.  It’s a great balance to strike and hopefully it shines through with the final design and implementation.

Now, enough with the intro already eh?  What we’re here for is to see how well the Prospector did during its concept sale and to compare that to some previous concept sales.

Aegis Dynamics Reclaimer

Funds raised from Reclaimer concept sale after:

2 hours:  $206,815
4 hours:  $308,545
8 hours:  $436,956
12 hours:  $524,973
24 hours:  $734,014
48 hours:  $937,421
72 hours:  $1,074,118
96 hours:  $1,211,152
120 hours:  $1,348,664
144 hours:  $1,483,283
168 hours:  $1,610,823
192 hours:  $1,758,553
216 hours:  $1,887,216
Total raised in concept sale:  $1,988,585 (227 hours @ $8,760/hr)

The Aegis Dynamics Reclaimer had a fantastic concept sale.  The community loved the ship and it drove all our imaginations wild with thoughts of wading into fields of debris left over from intense battles and picking clean the bones of the dead… before grinding the bare hulls into scrap.  Despite its civilian purpose, the Reclaimer is a hulking brute and an imposing sight.  All of this led to nearly $2 million in sales for Star Citizen’s first dedicated salvage ship.

RSI Orion Mining Platform

Funds raised from Orion concept sale after:

2 hours:  $150,809
4 hours:  $222,487
8 hours:  $317,615
12 hours:  $400,212
24 hours:  $581,792
48 hours:  $743,211
72 hours:  $857,592
96 hours:  $954,136
120 hours:  $1,066,744
144 hours:  $1,167,254
168 hours:  $1,326,253
192 hours:  $1,510,793
216 hours:  $1,696,170
Total raised in concept sale:  $1,731,299 (220 hours @ $7,869/hr)

The RSI Orion Mining Platform also had a successful concept sale.  The innovative design by George Hull, the same artist who designed the Reclaimer, brought life to what has been a fairly mundane game mechanic in other games over the years.  This was highlighted and reinforced by the Star Citizen Careers: Mining design post by Tony Zurovec.

The Orion sale has some interesting wrinkles, because there was a Cutlass free fly week that happened partway through the sale.  This may have slightly elevated the numbers due to the availability of the Cutlass Blue, but it looks as though the effect was minimal.  About a week into the sale, the Orion’s cockpit/bridge was altered (with the pilot’s seat moved to the top of the ship) and this drove a significant increase in sales in the last few days which brought the final total to within $260k of the Reclaimer’s total.

Aegis Dynamics Vanguard

Funds raised from Vanguard concept sale after:

2 hours:  $187,724
4 hours:  $285,256
8 hours:  $376,024
12 hours:  $442,484
24 hours:  $657,735
48 hours:  $876,897
72 hours:  $1,053,928
96 hours:  $1,221,595
120 hours:  $1,359,487
144 hours:  $1,492,437
168 hours:  $1,643,897
192 hours:  $1,798,183
216 hours:  $1,997,690
240 hours:  $2,202,675
Total raised in concept sale:  $2,250,189 (245 hours @ $9,184/hr)

The Aegis Dynamics Vanguard is the “one to beat”.  The most successful concept sale to date.  This deep space fighter, designed by Gurmukh Bhasin, has set a high bar with a total of $2.25 million raised over the 245 hours it was on sale.

The Vanguard had some detractors at the time of its concept sale due to its $250 USD pricetag, but it certainly had a bevy of features to support this asking price.  The The Relay staff, as a whole, felt it to be a good value and several of the twin engine fighters now grace our fleet.

MISC Hull Series

Funds raised from Hull Series concept sale after:

2 hours: $93,265
4 hours:  $159,997
8 hours:  $261,106
12 hours:  $363,245
24 hours:  $589,370
48 hours:  $812,894
72 hours:  $964,540
96 hours:  $1,079,724
120 hours:  $1,203,750
144 hours:  $1,359,517
168 hours:  $1,538,711
192 hours:  $1,724,437
216 hours:  $1,968,998
240 hours:  $2,156,463
Total raised in concept sale:  $2,156,463 (240 hours @ $8,895/hr)

The Hull Series sale started slow.  I believe this is largely due to the fact that it began in the middle of the night in North America.  However, after its slow start it picked up steam and surpassed first the Orion and then, near the end, the Reclaimer.  While it looked like this sale would even catch up to the incredibly successful Vanguard, it faltered slightly right near the end and did not quite reach those lofty heights.  Still, the sale earned a whopping $2.15 million for Star Citizen’s development.

More importantly, the MISC Hull Series brought with it a greater understanding of the cargo mechanics in Star Citizen.  You can find those articles below:

MISC Hull Series Q&A

Hull A Q&A
Hull B Q&A
Hull C Q&A
Hull D Q&A
Hull E Q&A

Cargo Interaction Design Post

It was great to finally get a better grasp on how cargo will be handled in Star Citizen, since it is such an integral part of how the universe will function.

Starfarer Gemini

Funds raised from Starfarer Gemini concept sale after:

2 hours:  $51,094
4 hours:  $91,511
8 hours:  $119,367
12 hours:  $136,673
24 hours:  $251,634
48 hours:  $356,292
72 hours:  $429,923
96 hours:  $494,872
120 hours:  $549,268
144 hours:  $612,922
168 hours:  $683,504
192 hours:  $762,904
216 hours:  $834,996
240 hours:  $899,358
Total raised in concept sale:  $910,523 (245 hours @ $3,716/hr)

The Starfarer Gemini is a neat ship that highlights the great part of the community’s feedback and interaction with the CIG development team.  The Gemini was originally just flavour text in lore and wasn’t really being considered as a ship you could pledge for; however, the community seemed intrigued by the idea of an armed and armoured fuel tanker and that led to CIG’s decision to go ahead and create this variant for us to add to our collections.

During the Starfarer Gemini concept sale, CIG released a three part Q&A about the base Starfarer and the Star-G.  You can find those here:

Starfarer Q&A

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Frankly, for a variant of a fuel tanker, I think the Star-G’s concept sale went quite well. That said, it doesn’t come close to reaching the heights of the Orion, Reclaimer, Vanguard, or Hull series.

MISC Reliant

Funds raised from Reliant concept sale after:

2 hours:  $57,310
4 hours:  $101,282
8 hours:  $176,262
12 hours:  $217,474
24 hours:  $287,835
48 hours:  $370,253
72 hours:  $437,094
96 hours:  $495,189
120 hours:  $559,735
144 hours:  $619,893
168 hours:  $682,659
192 hours:  $761,962
216 hours:  $823,006
240 hours:  $904,123
Total raised in concept sale:  $963,498 (254 hours @ $3,793/hr)

The MISC Reliant is a versatile starter ship featuring an array of xenotechnology courtesy of MISC’s business relationship with the Xi’An.  This is the first of a new classification of Tier II starter ships and is currently the only two seat starter.  The base Reliant – the Kore – is described as a mini-hauler but it can be outfitted for any number of roles.  In addition, CIG have outlined what the Reliant variants will be:

  • Reliant Sen – A science-oriented model that carries internal signal dampeners and an advanced scanner suite for discovery missions.
  • Reliant Mako – Designed for deep space broadcasting, the ‘News Van’ Reliant adds an Image Enhancement Suite that helps capture every moment of life in the stars.
  • Reliant Tana – The frontier combat version of the Reliant trades cargo for a high-yield powerplant, stronger shields and additional weapons mounts.

Obviously the folks here at The Relay have a particular fascination with the Sen or “News Van” variant of the Reliant and several of these ships have been added to our fleet.

During the Reliant concept sale, CIG released a two part Q&A about the ship.  You can find those here:

Reliant Q&A

Part 1
Part 2

The Reliant’s sale went well.  It did not bring in the same kind of funding as the Vanguard or Reclaimer but that was mostly due to its much cheaper price.  As you will see noted below, in terms of actual ships sold the Reliant is the winner of all of these concept sales by a landslide.

Crusader Industries Genesis Starliner

Funds raised from Starliner concept sale after:

2 hours: $28,602
4 hours: $43,597
8 hours: $63,071
12 hours: $84,005
24 hours: $142,828
48 hours: $203,191
72 hours: $242,293
96 hours: $280,805
120 hours: $326,548
144 hours: $369,685
168 hours: $415,782
192 hours: $467,355
216 hours: $522,270
240 hours: $570,765
Total raised in concept sale:  $570,765 (240 hours @ $2,378/hr)

The Crusader Industries Genesis Starliner is the first Civilian Passenger Transport spacecraft concepted for Star Citizen.  It is designed to carry 40 passengers and 8 crew.  The LH307 Starliner is highly modular and will allow for any number of possible internal configurations, including a nearly empty design for cargo hauling, an interior filled with luxurious suites, or even a military troop transport.

During the Starliner concept sale, CIG released a two part Q&A about the ship.  You can find those here:

Starliner Q&A

Part 1
Part 2

The concept sale for the Genesis Starliner did not approach the lofty heights of the other concept sales compared here.  As I figure it, this is due to several factors.  Firstly, the Star Citizen community as a whole seemed rather disengaged at the time of this sale due to Star Marine delays and the long period of time between full live releases.  Secondly, the gameplay offered by the Starliner is exotic for the genre and although I am intrigued by it, I’m sure there are many Citizens out there who either aren’t interested or want to wait to acquire the ship in-game.  Thirdly, the Starliner was $400.  While the stats arguably supported the price, it didn’t help sell this already low-demand concept ship.

Interestingly, we found out on RTV that 1842 Starliners were sold during the concept sale, including ships purchased with store credit (often by “melting” other ships).  Based on the data we have, the funds taken in by CIG during the concept sale only equal around 1400 Starliners.  If you subtract the normal daily funding (about $18k/day at the time of the sale), then it looks like CIG took in additional funds equal to roughly 1000 Starliners during the sale.  The upshot of this is that almost half of the Starliners that were acquired during the sale were purchased with store credit.

While not the resounding success of the Vanguard sale, the Starliner did sell more than the 300-400 ships that CIG expected; therefore, it can be considered a limited success.

MISC Endeavor

Funds raised from Endeavor concept sale after:

2 hours: $75,386
4 hours: $119,724
8 hours: $168,690
12 hours: $203,628
24 hours: $352,555
48 hours: $541,643
72 hours: $680,906
96 hours: $795,144
120 hours: $878,014
144 hours: $938,128
168 hours: $1,008,017
192 hours: $1,065,862
216 hours: $1,132,148
Total raised in concept sale:  $1,168,065* (227 hours @ $5,145/hr)

* = The 2015 CitizenCon sales started several hours before the MISC Endeavor sale ended.  This makes it very difficult to define how much the Endeavor raised in the final hours.  The Endeavor had been earning at a fairly slow rate at that point so the real total is likely roughly $1.21 million.

During the Endeavor concept sale, CIG released a two part Q&A and a design document about the ship.  You can find those here:

MISC Endeavor Q&A

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Design – The Endeavor

The MISC Endeavor sale was an interesting one.  The Endeavor is a research platform with a wide variety of possible uses, these include discovery and exploration, farming, mobile hospital, and beyond.  As such, the Endeavor was offered with an array of modules in addition to the base ship.

It was attractive to a wide variety of players, however, due to its relatively high cost and (I believe) its proximity to CitizenCon it did not reach the heights of the Vanguard or Hull Series.

MISC Prospector

Funds raised from Prospector concept sale after:

2 hours: $91,580
4 hours: $146,432
8 hours: $219,781
12 hours: $262,370
24 hours: $336,508
48 hours: $438,493
72 hours: $514,093
96 hours: $582,461
120 hours: $646,499
144 hours: $708,274
168 hours: $789,240
192 hours: $881,110
216 hours: $972,626
240 hours: $1,052,460
Total raised in concept sale: $1,110,221 (255 hours @ $4353/hr)

The Prospector had a very promising start to its concept sale, almost matching the 2-hour income of the MISC Hull series; however, over time it tailed off and more closely matched the trajectory of the Vanguard Variants concept sale.

During the Prospector concept sale, CIG released a two-part Q&A about the ship.  You can find those here:

MISC Prospector Q&A

Part 1
Part 2

While not the most successful concept sale, the Prospector did fairly well – beating out the Starfarer Gemini, Vanguard Variants, Reliant, and Genesis in terms of funds.  In addition, it sold a respectable number of ships.  The final tally for ships sold eclipsed the Orion and Reclaimer and came somewhat close to the Vanguard.

As a whole the Prospector was a good concept sale – it fleshes out the mining industry in Star Citizen and gives a great option for players who prefer to mine solo – while also adding another $1.1 million to the coffers.

Comparison:

Illustrated above:  The Prospector starts strong but evens out and holds its ground between the Endeavor and the Vanguard Variants.

Illustrated above:  The ROUGH comparison of the number of ships sold in various concept sales.  Useful for comparison purposes only.

Illustrated above:  The number of Citizens and members of the UEE Fleet versus the income from each sale.

Summary:

The MISC Prospector establishes a solid and intriguing baseline for mining gameplay in Star Citizen.  Planetside mining, asteroid mining, and the ease of working in concert with other ships, makes the Prospector an attractive option for any Citizen with a bent towards resource extraction.

The final funding tally was $1.11 million and the Prospector eclipsed the Orion, Reclaimer, Starliner, and Starfarer Gemini – even approaching the Vanguard – in terms of the number of ships sold.  It is interesting to note that this ship could not exist in its current form without procedural generation, which has led to the entirety of Star Citizen’s worlds being opened up for landing.

I am intrigued to see what CIG has in store for us next, as they have indicated that we will likely be seeing one concept sale per month for the next several months.

Oh… and May the Fourth be with you. ;)

Note from Nehkara:  Thank you for reading!  If you have any feedback please leave me a comment! :)

Huge thank you to my friend Psylence for his extensive help in editing.

Nehkara

Founder

Writer and inhabitant of the Star Citizen subreddit.