Please note that we’re in alpha patch 2.6.3 at the time of writing. In time this process may be subject to change, but hopefully I’ll pay enough attention that I’m able to update this howto if needed.
It seems like many new backers, like I did myself, is opting for the Aurora MR pledge instead of the Mustang Alpha Pledge (or equivalent SQ42 combos) due to the Aurora MR’s apparent versatility over the Mustang Alpha. Although this may come down to personal preferences, most people (that I’ve spoken to anyway) seem to agree that the Aurora LN is significantly better than either of the two due to it’s relatively decent cargo capacity for its size, along with the improved firepower over both the Aurora MR and the Mustang Alpha. People tend to often start out with the Aurora MR, then deciding to pay $10 (ex VAT) for the upgrade to the Aurora LN when they’re finally tired of hardly dealing any damage with its mere 2x S1 weapons. However, what most people seem to not realise is that even though the Aurora MR pledge are priced identically to the Mustang Alpha Pledge, the upgrade value of the ships contained within the respective packages are slightly different:
This in turn means it’s actually $5 cheaper (again, ex VAT) to upgrade from the Mustang Alpha rather than the Aurora MR. By “melting” your existing Aurora MR pledge you free up store credits that you can use to buy the Mustang Alpha Pledge instead (or Mustang Alpha + Squadron 42 Pledge if you want the SQ42 combo), and upgrade from there.
IMPORTANT NOTE: However, there are two drawbacks to “melting”!
- If you have a legacy game package (if you’ve bought your game package from the RSI store after 14th Feb 2016, you don’t) or a discounted warbond variant, this will likely be more expensive. In that case you can stop reading now, I’ll see you around in the next one.
- Anything bought using store credits will not be giftable anymore, meaning if your current package is paid by store credits, you will lose the option to transfer your game package to a different user. As if you would anyway, right?
Now, to “melt” your current game package, navigate to “My Hangar“, locate your game package and click the small triangle in the lower right corner of the pledge’s rectangle. It should look something like this (note that I’m using the Chrome extension “Star Citizen Hangar XPLORer“, so yours may look slightly different):
Now press the “Exchange for Store Credits” button. A popup will appear, prompting for your account password, stating that this is an irreversible action along with the amount of store credits you receive. Note that the store credits will be in USD ex taxes, but then you’ll also not have to pay tax on whatever you spend that store credit on. The value will be exactly the same even if you paid in EUR or GBP initially due to CIG’s own exchange rates ($100 = €91 = €80 currently).
Now you can go ahead and put the Mustang Alpha Pledge or Mustang Alpha + Squadron 42 Pledge in the cart. At checkout, press the “Credits & Coupon” button. Two new input fields will appear, along with the maximum amount of applicable store credit ($45 or $60 depending on the value of what you melted and the value of what you’re getting). Type the same number into the lower input field, and hit “Apply” next to it. Check the two radio boxes at the bottom, and press “PLACE ORDER NOW AND PAY”. You should now have a Mustang Alpha Pledge instead of your old Aurora MR pledge, and you din’t have to pay extra for it.
Lastly, you will need to buy and apply the Mustang Alpha to Aurora LN CCU. When purchased, it will show up in your inventory under “My Hangar“. Again, press the triangle in the lower right corner, then the “Apply upgrade” button. A popup will appear. Highlight (by left clicking) the greyed-out area saying the name of your game package, then press next. Type in your account password and click “Apply”.
If your game is currently running, you need to restart it. Congratulations, you’re now the owner of a brand new Aurora LN. Oh, and I should probably have mentioned right away that its stock weapons are also pretty useless on their own, but at least on the Aurora LN you have the upgrade option. Play some Arena Commander to earn REC, and rent weapons for your ships. My personal recommendation is two size 1 Bulldogs (although they come stock with the ship) and two size 2 Badgers. This is still not a F7C Hornet killer, but you’ll be able to stand your ground longer than you would in the weaker Aurora MR. Happy dogfighting!