Hello Everyone Today is the day when I discuss the most hyped ship in the verse - Anvil Carrack. I see a lot of people want it, a lot of people have it but not that many know what this ship really is and what it will be able to do once all of the mechanics are in the game. I will do my best to explain it all and also give you a photo-tour of the Carrack to visualize each part of this marvelous craft.
As always, I would like to start with the history of each ship. Carrack was first presented in November 2014 as the premier exploration vessel that had everything you need to go beyond the veil and safety of known systems. Original concept claimed that
the Anvil Carrack has been the vanguard of every UEE exploration effort in recent years. Featuring reinforced fuel tanks for long-duration flight, a highly advanced jump drive array and a dedicated computer core room that allows it to put the maximum processing power into jump charting operations. Originally a military exclusive, the Carrack is now available for civilian use as a pathfinder spacecraft. The ship features on-board accommodations to allow for truly self-sufficient flight, including crew medical and repair facilities, and a mapping-oriented sensor suite capable of always charting a route home!
which was more than enough to spark Citizens' imagination about the future of the Exploration gameplay. CIG knew that and went a step further by adding a minigame that not only entertained but also revealed more information about this ex-military explorer, one of which was that Carrack comes with the free rover and a Pisces snub craft.
People loved the design of this ship, the double-decker bridge, sleek memorable shape, and the number of functionalities promised within was very hard to pass - especially for the price of 350$ and a promise of future adventures aborad this iconic vessel. You can see the original concept images below:
Since the ship has been released, I will not go into more detail about the concept but rather focus on the final iteration.
2020 Carrack release
After 6 years of waiting, hype, gibbening and a lot of Spectrum and Reddit posts, Carrack was released into the Verse along with its snub ship - Pisces and a special limited skin that made a lot of people angry (lot's of them thought that original owners of the Carrack should get that skin for free even though they got a 600$ ship for 350$). The price of the ship increased tremendously from 350 to 600$ but it was expected. For many Carrack became exactly what they needed - a reliable ship that is not too big not too small, with plenty of cargo, snub ship + hangar, garage + vehicle, med bay, repair bay and much more - it was truly a home away from home in the most delicious Anvil flavor.
The Deep Look inside
This section is the bread and butter of this post where I will discuss each section of the Carrack and its functionalities - I've prepared plenty of pictures as well. Hopefully, after reading this part, you will know exactly what Carrack is, what it is not, and if you should get one or keep it if you already have it. I will go from the bottom to the top.
Entrance and the Garage
When landed, Carrack has only one entrance and it's the main garage ramp on the front of the ship. The ramp is large and slow so be careful when opening it around other players as they might get on board your craft.
The garage itself is huge - it has enough space for 4 Ursa rovers or 6 Cyclones. It can even fit small ships like Pisces, m50, or P-72 Archimedes but I suggest not doing that as it's quite risky and it's a much better idea to put them in the top hangar which I will talk about at the end of this article.
It also has a special deployable barrier (which is shown deployed in the picture above) that keeps the vehicles at a safe distance from the door at the back of the garage which leads to the further sections of the ship.
Elevator and Docking Collar
Behind the door you will find a small corridor with 3 doors, the door on the left leads to the elevator connecting subdeck (the deck you are currently on) with the habitation and technical decks. The door on the right leads to the docking collar which will allow, as the name suggests, dock your Carrack with other ships and space stations, safely and conveniently. You will also find a couple of storage compartments for your EVA suits in that same section - those will be crucial in case you need to leave the ship while still in space.
Customizable, Deployable Pods
The third door leads to my favorite and most exciting part of the Carrack - Cargo Pods. Why is it so exciting? Well, the truth about it is that those pods (which currently are simple cargo containers) will be replaceable and deployable in the future. Do you need to bring a Ballista to protect your camp? No problem, there will be a pod for that. Need extra lab on the ground to do the research? You've got one just under the Carrack ready to be placed on the ground! The possibilities are endless but the ones I've mentioned above were discussed already by CIG as possible variants of the pods. This makes this ship much more versatile and interesting!
Armory and the Main Lift
Once you walk through the pods, you reach an armory and the main lift. As the name suggests, this is where you store most of your combat equipment (both weapons and armor). There are two identical armory sections on each side, with the main elevator access in the middle. From here you can also access the rear turret by going through either of the two doors opposite the weapon racks.
Access to the rear turret:
This is the end of the subdeck walkthrough - now we move onto the habitation deck.
Medbay and Laboratory
Exploration is a dangerous profession, which is why Carrack has a very extensive MedBay that will help you survive your adventures.
This section consists of two low-tier medical beds, one top-tier bed, storage, and science/doctor room. Currently, you can use those beds to heal any injury and used them as a spawn point, but in the future, they will likely be more limited in what they can do, especially when it comes to what injury can be healed with each one of them.
The main bed that looks like the MRA machine will likely allow you to respawn on your ship and treat the most serious injuries even after the medical gameplay is completed.
Long voyage requires space for your crew and Carrack has plenty of that! The habitation deck where both the crew amenities and MedBay is located is very cozy thank's to the white paneling and warm lighting.
Each side of the main corridor leads to a different crew section with big windows both on the inside and outside of the rooms. As you can see from the pictures below, your crew will have space to eat, sleep, and play a weird version of Snooker.
Every ship needs a Captain, and every Captain needs personal space. I'm a sucker for this type of thing in video games so when I saw them in Carrack for the first time I fell in love with that ship. The main room is an office where you have a beautiful, proper Captain desk with shelves and monitors behind. There is also a window just behind the chair that makes the whole room much more special.
On the opposite side, where the door is, you will find additional shelves and a minibar where you can place your trophies, best alcohol, or literature. All of that is highlighted with soft and warm lighting.
The door on the left leads to private sleeping quarters and a private bathroom.
Bridge (lower level)
Carrack bridge was always an exciting part of the ship - from the moment it was first shown people fell in love with the double-decker design that not only had great visibility but also special features like those protective plates that are supposed to slide out and protect the main canopy in case of danger.
The final outcome does not disappoint - 3 chairs (Captain, pilot, and copilot) that slide to the front when in use to suspend the crew above reinforced glass gives you a breathtaking view of the world while flying the Carrack. On top of that, we can expect special reinforcement plates, which I've mentioned above, to be added in the future as RSI confirmed they are working on them and will add them alongside the pod deployment functionality.
That's the end of the habitation deck - now we move onto the technical deck.
Bridge (upper level)
This is the second part of the bridge that has all of the scanning stations and holo-globe. You can access it by using the elevator to connect both levels of the bridge.
There is not much to add here other than the fact that you can also pilot the ship via command center here, which has an even better view than the pilot seat below.
Every ship should have easily accessible escape pods for its crew, Carrack is no exception and has 6 pods for everyone onboard, located just behind the bridge.
I must say that I love how this deck changes from habitations' nice warm and bright lighting to a dim, red, and blue alert one.
Just behind the escape pods, you will be greeted with a main technical deck corridor with two doors on each side and view of the hangar in the back. One of the doors (with cool shutters in the window) leads to the drone bay.
Drone bay will be one of the main functions of Carrack as it will allow you to safely scan and explore dangerous places without getting your ship in trouble.
You have two drone control seats and a special mechanism that allows you to launch drones without depressurizing the cabin.
We do not have a list of what the drones will do but RSI confirmed that you will be able to use drones from other ships in Carrack, so you can use Nemo disarming drones from Nautilus to disable mines or repair drones from Vulcan to fix ships. Sadly the drones that are not originally from Carrack, will have limited functionalities compared to the situation when they are launched from the original ship like Vulcan or Nautilus.
Opposite the drone bay, you will find a repair bay which is a simple room where you will be able, as the name suggests, repair stuff - mainly components of your ship.
It has a workbench and a special machine that will likely give you the ability to fix much more damaged items than if you could with manual repairs. Of course, the whole room is red and blue and has plenty of 20th Century tools lying around.
For a lot of you, this is literally the most exciting part of this ship and I understand why - it gives you the ability to not only carry other ships abroad Carrack but also can extend possibilities during long voyages among the stars.
The good news is that the bay is very well designed and easy to land in. The bad news is that not much will fit inside. The main ship you will use with it is the Pisces that is included with every Carrack.
Pisces has enough space to carry cargo, people, and very small vehicles (like Greycat Buggy). It also has a quantum drive and decent weaponry if you get the C8X edition which adds 2 more s1 guns, missiles and changes a paint job to the one seen below:
Other ships that you might fit in there are:
MPUV Argo (x2)
M50 (x2 but it's a tight fit)
Razor (x2, tight fit)
Arrow (if you leave the wings unfolded, I don't recommend it)
Buccaneer (thanks @Unfair Bot for the info)
As you can see, it's quite a selection and with more ships added in the future, it will likely grow. The best ship will be still Pisces from all of those if you plan to have the most useful ship in the hangar.
If you ever wanted to be a pilot of a firefighter in Star Citizen - Carrack side turrets give you just what you need (except you only control the guns and not the ship).
To get to them you go through a very cool long corridor seen below:
The actual turret interior:
Engineering and Engines section
I know we are on the engineering deck, but the actual engineering section starts just behind the hangar and turret entrances. The whole place is very atmospheric and will definitely make a lot of engineers happy to work there.
The gravity generator is also situated here so in case you start floating around, you know where to find the source of the 0G issue.
After checking out the engines we need to head slightly back and enter the main elevator which will take us to the last deck - the Cartography Deck.
This is the place where you will be able to plan your journey, investigate your findings, and create new maps based on the data you've collected.
Not much is known yet about the details of this gameplay loop but based on the size and look of that room, it will be a very important part of the explorer profession.
From here you can also access the upper airlock and another few of the Escape Pods that are located next to panoramic windows.
So what can we expect in the future once the exploration gameplay loops will be completed? In my opinion, the exploration adventure will go like this:
You've received a mission from one of the UEE agents who needs help from an experienced explorer. Your task is to head over through one of the unsecured Jump Points to the Vanduul system and gather information about their operations on one of the moons.
You accept the mission and collect your friends and supplies, and use Pisces to reach Carrack which is safely parked in the orbit - the reason why you use Carrack and not a smaller ship like Terrapin is because only Carrack can safely go through the unstable Jump Points thanks to its specialized antennas and other equipment.
Once you've collected the crew you head over to the Jump Point and search for the entry point - normally this would take you a long time but since you have Carrack, you can quickly open the dormant JP and go through fairly safely thanks to your skills.
Once on the other side, you realize that one of your coolers was damaged during the Jump. Luckily thanks to the repair bay you can fairly quickly repair it using the specialized machine in your ship. Once done you are ready to head over to the moon. When you are fairly close you realize that it would be unwise to reach the destination such a big and easily detectable ship, therefore you hide behind the asteroids and use the exploration drones to get closer.
You find out that the moon is being consumed by huge Vanduul Harvesters that will then use those resources to fuel the production of might Kingships. You quickly recall the drones and store the data on the onboard computers. Once done you scan the area and create a map using the Cartography table to make sure that UEE troops will know the surroundings in case they need to get there and fight the Vanduul.
Sadly the scanning made you glow like a beacon on the enemy radars and Vanduul sent a couple of blades to scout the unusual readings. Luckily you are prepared and take down the enemy ships thanks to your skilled gunners manning the ship defenses.
You flee to the Jump Point but the Vanduul send the Stinger behind! You manage to open and enter the JP but the enemy is right behind - luckily you have Carrack while they have a heavy bomber which does not last long in the Jump Tunnel and gets destroyed before doing any damage to your ship. You manage to get to the other side and reach your UEE headquarters - after transferring the data you receive a significant payout and additional reputation points with the UEE that will allow you to buy even more advanced and rare equipment for your Carrack. Soon after that UEE will enter the enemy system and wipe out Vanduul Harversers thanks to your help and data you've collected and the map you've created. This is my take on what Carrack will be and how exploration gameplay might look like. If you want to add something or simply discuss a section of this article - please post comments below and I will make sure to answer you asap.