While perusing my phone the other day, I happened to wander by my inbox. As I peeked inside, one bold black message stood out amongst the rest. It was from the head office, Roberts Space Industries. The subject was clear enough: Arena Commander Multiplayer Pre-Alpha Test Invite. Well, well, well. That maneuver I pulled during the battle of Hoth must have made it’s way back to the big wigs over at HQ. A secret mission awaited me. One that included exclusive pre-alpha access. Honors and benefits, galore!
Ninety seconds later, I was in the only room in the house where a man of middle-age with a large family could sit in privacy and vanquish pre-alpha drones. The downstairs office. I hovered my mouse cursor over the #StarCitizen icon. This was the moment of truth. There was no going back, now. There was a brief hesitation, I admit, but the brass over at RSI needed me. I double-clicked.
I was prompted for authorization. I carefully copied over my top secret passphrase, and access to the portal was granted. I was in. My first secret mission. Patch 1 downloading. The flashy lights on my router were in rare form tonight. I could tell that my secret mission must be really important! Patch 1 installing. Oh, boy this is going to be good. Patch 2. Patch 3. The bits were really flying through the network now! Next I was in the hangar, approaching my ship. It was coming easier now. Robert and his Space Industries needed me. I stepped into the cockpit of my Origin 300i and flipped open the hydraulic cup holders. The Arena Commander menu showed on the HUD, and I steeled my nerves.
Wait a second. The only select-able option on the menu was “exit”. There must have been some kind of mistake.
After a quick Alt-Tab, I went back to my original recruitment letter. Directly beneath the paragraph welcoming me to the Arena Commander Multiplayer test, there was a tiny little hyperlink, and a message that read:
Important. Please note that a game package is required to play Arena Commander. A game package includes a copy of the game as well as a ship. Game packages can be purchased from the pledge store on the RSI website
A Game Package, purchased from the pledge store? A crummy commercial? Son of a….
I quietly clicked out of my pre-alpha build, pushed back my office chair, and slowly walked out of the office. Wiser.