Pledge packages is a way to support the game developement, and in the process get the game plus alpha access. And that’s a good thing, its more likely going to be more beneficial to you when the game launches with the full price asked for it. Which is most likely to be way more than you pledged for, if you opt for a cheap pledge.
The ship in the Pledge package is not set in stone either, with the ability to upgrade from for example an Aurora MR to an Aurora LN for a small price difference. You can upgrade as much and as many times you like before the game launch – after that you are stuck with said ship, in the sense that this upgrade possibility will no longer be available.
You can upgrade your ship to another ship of equal or higher value, but you can’t downgrade your ship to a cheaper model.
In alpha access you can play in the universe a bit – but it’s alpha, so don’t expect too much as the game is still in its basic stages. Arena commander is possibly the best way to start out during alpha. There you can fight waves of enemy fighters and other players, race and so on. If you play public matches in Arena Commander you will earn REC, which you can then spend renting weapon upgrades for your ship, equipment and even other and better ships, making the decision whether or not you want to upgrade that Mustang or Aurora of yours easier. Or, you can just experiment with different weapon layouts that fits you the best.
The pledge packages vary a bit in price, but has a limited option of ship as compared to those that are available stand-alone. This is where the upgrade function comes in handy, but at this time you have fewer options when pledging for your first ship compared to the upgrade options you have after pledging.
Take a look at the packages, or even start pledging today. Please remember our referral code which gives you 5,000 UEC extra at launch and helps us out as an organization as well.
Now for some personal opinions: the Aurora LN is the one we generally recommend the most as a starter. Being unavailable as a plegde you have to upgrade to it from one of the less expensive ships. The cheapest way to do this is to buy the Mustang Alpha Pledge, and then upgrade to the Aurora LN. The Mustang Alpha Pledge is currently priced at $45 USD and currently an additional $5 USD for the upgrade ($10 USD if you upgrade from the Aurora MR pledge, also at a $45 initial cost).
The Aurora LN comes with four guns stock and a missile rack + missiles, so it comes stock fully loaded. Two of those guns can additionally be upgraded to S2 (Size 2) compared to the S1 that comes stock. This makes it a pretty capable and strong fighter that can also carry cargo.
Last but not least there is an option to get Squadron 42 with a pledge package or standalone as a pledge as well. This is a single-player storyline still in production, and playing this will benefit you on the online part as well, by awarding you with certain bonuses. (We have also heard rumors about co-op play in squadron 42, but this is just rumors for now.)