In my previous post I talked about the exciting new pilot ships I got for two of my toons, Fed Tac Captain T’Leia and KDF Tac Captain Congilla. Those boats are exciting because they have been such marked improvements over the ones my respective captains have been flying; today I am reviewing the two other less flashy ships I got as part of my “Shopping-Spree Weekend” — Command Cruisers.
I consider the Command Cruisers less flashy because fundamentally, they don’t fly differently than the big cruisers they’re replacing. They are all similarly large, heavy vessels best suited for traditional tanking and beam-FAWing. So if they are so similar to traditional cruisers, why spend the Zen at all? Well, it comes down to two reasons. One, I prefer each of my toons to have a different endgame ship, and my two newest ones (the Delta Recruits) are using “duplicate” ships that my mains have been flying, so that’s a primary driver for a new purchase. Two, the Ship Mastery Trait that comes with the Tactical Command Cruisers “All Hands on Deck” looks delicious for any captain (Read: While this trait is slotted, activating a Tactical or Command Bridge Officer ability will reduce the recharge time of Science Bridge Officer and Captain abilities. This may only occur once every few seconds), but it HUGELY benefits Heidy’s Science-heavy setup. Gotta love a Ship Mastery Trait that provide global benefits regardless of your build.
Presidio-Class Tactical Command Cruiser USS Argus Panoptes, NCC-93363 for Kala Kendris
Replacing Kala’s USS Pallas Athena is almost painful, because the Odyssey is such a beautiful ship. My original plan is to keep the Odyssey as Kala’s ship but get the Presidio’s Ship Trait; the Presidio can then be used as the endgame ship for Zdrossk (my Fed Tellarite Delta Recruit).
Unfortunately, although the Odyssey and the Presidio each has its advantages, what I found is…. the Presidio is in fact superior to the Odyssey.
In the Odyssey’s favor, it’s the more traditional tank: slightly higher shield modifier (1.15 vs 1.115 at lvl 50), as well as slightly more base hull (48300 vs 47437 at lvl 50). It also has the full set of cruiser commands, most notably Weapon Systems Efficiency which is the one I use the most, but absent on the Presidio. It also has the Aquarius pet, which would be a great bonus if it didn’t take up a console slot.
On the other hand, the Presidio’s turn rate of 8 beats out the Odyssey’s 6 — but wait, before you dismiss that as a marginal improvement, it’s actually the Presidio’s vastly superior inertia of 35 vs the Odyssey’s 20 that makes a huge difference in maneuvering in battle. Simply put, the Odyssey turns and slides like a fully-loaded SUV on a patch of black ice with summer tires on; the Presidio may only turn slightly better, but slide, it does not. Believe me, this is no small improvement! The Inspiration abilities are interesting; I’m still trying to learn how to use them properly, as they somewhat make up for the missing cruiser commands, but the recharge times are slow when you’re not on a team.
The Presidio also comes with a defense platform console that drops a stationary pet; when combined with the other platform consoles from the other command cruisers there are some nifty set bonuses, but since I bought the single ship it’s not an option I need to worry about. Then there’s the single hangar, which certainly adds firepower to the ship. The standard Type-8 shuttle pets that come with the ship are absolutely worthless, since they explode almost as soon as they exit the hangars; I bought some Advanced Danubes armed with tractor beams as replacements which are a LOT more durable in battle.
Lastly, like all T6 ships the Presidio comes with a total of 13 Boff ability slots, as opposed to the Odyssey’s (and standard T5/T5U) 12. This may not seem like a lot, but it does come in very handy if you’re lacking that one crucial heal ability or sorely-missed tactical buff.
When I take all that into consideration, I really can’t justify keeping Kala in the Odyssey. Fortunately, the Fed Command Cruisers are also pretty attractive ships, so it softens the blow of relegating the Oddy to a secondary toon.
The same, unfortunately, cannot be said about Gortusk’s Bortas’qu.
Ty’Gokor-Class Tactical Command Cruiser, IKS Worldreaver for General Gortusk
Let me preface this by saying that Gortusk was my second toon to own a C-Store ship, the Bortas’qu War Cruiser. He’s been flying that majestic piece of space-metal for a long time, and I still love how it looks and feels: huge, lumbering, intimidating — the Bortas’qu isn’t the flagship of the fleet for no reason. It has massive hull, and for the most part it feels unsinkable. I fully intended for Gortusk to go back to his Bortas’qu flagship once he got the Ship Trait from the Ty’Gokor; but I didn’t realize what an agonizing decision it will be.
See, everything I discussed above, comparing the Presidio to the Oddy? The same can be said for the Ty’Gokor and the Bortas’qu…. except more. Ty’Gokor’s turn rate of 8 has an even more pronounced advantage over the Bortas’qu’s 5.5. Much better inertia rating. 13 Boff abilities vs 12. The hangar. The most damning is that while the Odyssey maintains a slight superiority in Shield modifier over the Presidio, the Bortas’qu’s 1.0 is actually inferior to the Ty’Gokor’s of 1.1!!! That leaves only two advantages for the Bortas’qu: (A) a marginally stronger hull, 50025 vs 49335 at lvl 50, which honestly isn’t all that much, and (B) the fact that the Bortas’qu doesn’t look like a mid-sized flat slug.
Ouch. The flagship of the Empire, kept in the race only because it’s prettier.
As much as I love the hulking, intimidating look of the Bortas’qu (and that lovely, lovely bridge), stat-wise it’s lagging behind the new command ships. I’m afraid that when it comes time to decide which is going to be Gortusk’s endgame ship, the Bortas’qu is going to lose out, and it’ll be a sad day for me. 😦
I am not sure if Cryptic cares enough to do anything about it, but there are a couple of simple things that can be done to keep the Flagships relevant. One, as the original descriptions of both the Odyssey and the Bortas’qu indicated, both were the largest vessels of the respective factions when they were commissioned; you’d think they could both get a boost in hull strength to reflect that, and set them apart from the command ships. Second, move the Aquarius/Hoh’Sus pet consoles to a unique hangar, so that they don’t take up a regular console slot; I mean, they are pets, right? Why should those take up a regular console slot? Of course at this point any improvements that may come to the Odyssey and Bortas’qu are probably going to be rolled up in some T6 versions, so I guess it’s time to say goodbye to the old favorites.