You'd have to ask Tac himself; he's the one that made that decision. In effect, however, our version of 'hardcore' is making sure we stay active and keep a presence in Teamspeak, and write documentation and so on assuming the game will go ahead exactly as described.
Read the whole thing; it has useful info that's easy to find: http://www.gamersnexus.net/gg/2613-chris-roberts-on-star-citizen-procedural-planets-alpha3-citizencon
Particularly the jobs list (my emphasis): -- “We're going to start with cargo hauling, buying, selling, trading, mercenary, bounty-hunter, piracy. You're either taking stuff from a-b, protecting someone taking stuff a-b, robbing someone taking stuff a-b, or you're going after someone that's robbing someone going from a-b. “Longer-term, there's a lot of secondary professions, whether it's rescue and recovery, refueling people that are out of fuel, mining, salvage. Those are professions coming along after we get the first lot out. We're concentrating on 3.0 to have one star system roughed-in. It won't be done and polished, but the major locations will be there or mostly there, which will include a whole bunch of... not just the landing locations, we have 5 major ones there, but also a whole network of space stations and satellites and refueling stations and all the rest that you'd stop off in your travels around the star system. “For us, the star system has a greater density of action, interest; it's not just, you stop and there's one station you trade in and leave and you go to another star system. For us, this star system should be something [where] the player could spend a bunch of time going back and forth. If you see a planet -- as long as it's not the sun, which would probably burn you [laughs] -- you can go and land and adventure. It's a huge, huge, huge task, so we are in the process of doing a whole bunch of stuff towards that. Along the way, we're going to show a preview of the next stage of the planetary tech that we'll have, which will be at CitizenCon.” --
BTW, Mr Bristolboy; could you please link the rest of this as they post it? Very useful.
If you join a group that is crewing a ship and they have space, or an NPC in a spot, you will spawn in that ship to take the space or spawn to replace the NPC. Gotta join the group though.
you could, though, before 2.3. I did. CCU'd from one of my Archimedes LTIs.
Yes. Noted in a couple of '10 For The Chairman' answers.
Definitely studying. And practicing. Almost everyone with a Starfarer has got lost on first explore, so far.
You can hire NPC crew. Not as good as players, but still useful.
Hands up all those who got lost the first time they explored a Starfarer?
also, for background, check http://gizmodo.com/5426453/the-physics-of-space-battles
Also: given the length of development time for most AAA games versus the dev time of Star Citizen, it's being developed extremely fast indeed. So the 'Unusually patient' label is rather misleading.