03 August 2019
Star Citizen recently unveiled the new Anvil Ballista, a mobile air defense system. Capable of locking on to incoming enemy ships or ground targets and crushing them with some serious firepower.
Following the launch of the Anvil Ballista, RSI recently took the top community-voted questions to designers, Anvil Aerospace, for some more information about the air defense system.
The sale post mentions “ground targets”. Will this vehicle have any ground bombardment or parabolic firing mode to shoot over hills? Will it require line-of-sight to lock-on to ground targets?
Currently, all targets (whether air or ground) require both a high enough signature and line-of-sight for the Ballista to be able to lock on to them. In the future, we’ll include out-of-sight targeting by transmitting target data between ships or via some sort of ‘forward operator control’. This will enable players to hit targets without a direct line-of-sight and from a much greater distance than is currently possible.
Does the Ballista have any planned modularity? Swapping out the back section for a medical, exploration, or cargo variant would make it a great general ‘rover’ and one that could be used with the Carrack.
At this time, no future variants are planned for production, although we’ve seen some fantastic community suggestions. The rover that comes with the Anvil Carrack is an RSI Ursa Rover, not a new Anvil Rover.
How will restocking ammo work? Do we need to bring it to a landing pad, or will there be future resupplying ships and ground vehicles? Will the Vulcan be able to repair and rearm the Ballista?
Currently, the Ballista needs to be taken back to an outpost, where it can be repaired and rearmed. In the future, dedicated rearming and repair vehicles (such as the Vulcan) can be used to support any ground vehicle, including the Ballista.
Isn’t a range of 2000 meters too short for an anti-aircraft vehicle?
The Jump Point article and brochure were completed before we had confirmed its maximum range. At this time, its effective range is 10,000 meters against most fighters (the furthest we’ve shot is 9,984 meters), after which it can no longer identify them.
However, the firing range doesn’t have a cap as it’s purely by the systemic emissions of the target, so it will be even further on large ships with high infrared or electromagnetic signatures.
Which ships will be able to transport the Ballista? Will a mechanic be in place to cable-lift them with, for example, the ARGO MPUV or using a tractor beam (kind of like how tanks can be transported via helicopter)?
As it stands, there are only two ship series specifically designed to transport the Ballista – the Idris and the Hercules (by transport, we mean getting it entirely inside the vehicle, properly secured, and doors closed). While not officially designed to carry the Ballista, the 890 Jump’s rear cargo ramp is large enough to take it too. Ships equipped with a suitably powerful tractor beam will also be able to move it, but this comes with a higher risk than having it secured internally.
Besides the included 2 x S2 guns on the turret, the stats page also lists an “optional” S2 turret. What does that mean? Another turret? More guns?
This is an error in the stats page that will be resolved – the optional turret mentioned is the default-equipped turret.
What kind of equipment can the Ballista carry besides the missile launcher? Will we be able to mount different sizes and types of missiles like 16 x S5 missiles, 4 x S7 torpedoes, 2 x S8 torpedoes, or 2 x S8 gun turrets?
At this time, there are no plans to allow any modification to the turret loadout or to what type of turret it has equipped. Everything is quite bespoke to the vehicle in its current layout and the only customisability is in the missile loadouts themselves.
Could you explain how CIG plans to balance air vs ground? Both how you see various classes of ship and vehicle performing against each other and how you plan to achieve that balance when ground vehicles size up poorly in direct comparison due to their limited mobility and smaller equipment.
This is a very good question, though one that deserves more attention than is possible here. We’ll be discussing air vs ground combat in more detail in the future.
Will the skins be purchasable separately? I have the ‘Snowblind’ skin but like the others as well. However, I don’t want to buy another vehicle.
The skins are unique to Warbond SKUs. Concierge members get access to the Dunestalker Skin and all backers get access to the Snowblind skin. These-limited time offerings will not be able to be pledged for separately.
I know the Ballista has to be parked in order to fire the torpedoes, but will the gunner seat (the one that fires the missiles right now) eventually be able to swap between the torpedoes and S2 Gatling gun and fire it while the vehicle is moving? That doesn’t seem overpowered and could come in extremely handy (and seems common sense).
There is no plan for this at this moment. The person manning the missile turret (or gunner seat) has very specific control over that turret only. The driver of the vehicle can drive around and fire the Gatling turret if they choose to.
The Ballista page states that the missile artillery can be used on ground targets, but can the missiles ‘free-fire’ on land without a specific target? Like targeting the general vicinity of a patch of land?
All missiles in the game currently require a target lock. We don’t have any plans for missile free-fire, but it may be something more suited to less “smart” ordnance in the future.
Will the Ballista be able to intercept other missiles, such as S9 torpedoes from a bomber or the Hercules’ A2 bombs?
This is functionality that we want all ships to have in the future, not just the Ballista. Being able to target incoming ordnance items is critical to keeping larger ships and ground outposts intact. Of course, targeting is just part of the equation; it certainly helps to pick a suitable weapon system for the intercept.
The Ballista can only fire while stationary, but what if it’s stationary aboard a moving ship? For example, on a Starlifter, Kraken, or Idris?
The Ballista will still fire aboard a moving Starlifter or Idris, though we’re not sure launching missiles inside a moving ship is the safest thing to do! As for the Kraken, there’s no reason why you couldn’t fire missiles from a landing pad. However, the chance of hitting a friendly ship or part of the carrier could be quite high, particularly if it’s moving.
We anticipate there will be more information revealed at the upcoming CitizenCon 2949 happening November 23, 2019 in Manchester, England. We will bring you all the latest news from CitizenCon as it happens, so be sure to check back and remember to always keep your gaming set to MAX!
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