September Ship Sale Weekend Extravaganza, Part 2

screenshot_2015-10-05-22-10-42In 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

screenshot_2015-10-05-22-10-17

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

screenshot_2015-10-05-22-16-03Let 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.

screenshot_2015-08-26-22-20-24As 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.

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7 thoughts on “September Ship Sale Weekend Extravaganza, Part 2

  1. I have bemoaned the fact that there is too little in the way of hull differences between a raider and a huge ship like the Bortas’qu. They widened the gap a little when the T6 ships first rolled out but it is ridiculous for a B’rel Retrofit with 30 crew to have a battle ready 47,000 hull and a Bortas’qu with a crew of 3600 having a battle ready 90,000. Really that ship should be at least three times stronger than a raider.

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    1. No arguments from me there! Sure, it depends on what gear and traits are slotted too, but it makes me chuckle when I see my little Pilot raider clocking in at almost 60K hull, while the super-sized Scimitar (easily 8-10 times bigger than the raider) having only 73K hull… you think some of the big ships are build with aluminum sheets.

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  2. I hope they’ll make a T6 tactical Odyssey someday. My “old bird” (USS Phoenix) could use an upgrade. It was the second C-store ship I ever bought, after the good old TOS-era Connie, which I just HAD to have. It served as Jay’s (my main toon’s) main ship for about 2 years, until Delta Rising (aka “Delta Grinding”) rendered it almost useless. It could still tank OK, but it just wasn’t doing enough damage to get queued events and battlezones done effectively anymore.

    Hence it’s been replaced by the USS Katana, my T6 fleet Arbiter (battlecruiser), which has almost as many hull points as my tac Ody and can vastly outgun it AND outmaneuver it.

    So… yeah, as much as I love my old tac Odyssey, it’s just not cutting it anymore when it comes to raw firepower that I need to get stuff done. My T6 fleet Arbiter is just so good at what it does (basically being a flying weapon and destroying things, and still being able to tank and survive).

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    1. I never felt the Tac Oddy was “useless” per se, but then Kala wasn’t one of my main toons so I rarely queued her for STFs (even now, only about half her gear are upgraded). Still, since I just transferred everything from the Oddy to the Presidio, I’m not sure if her damage output is going to improve significantly — aside from the addition of hangar pets as well as an easier time launching torpedoes.

      Do you have completely different gear between the Oddy and the Arbiter?

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      1. I have fleet AP cannons and omni AP beams on the Arbiter, and fleet AP beam arrays and omni AP beams on the tac Ody. They both have the Obelisk warp core (which gives you a nice crit chance bonus with the set bonus) and 4 fleet vulnerability locator tac consoles each. My tac Ody also has the tachyokinetic converter, which also helps improve crit chance and turn rate.

        Both have mostly purple and ultraviolet (ultra rare) Mk 12 gear. I just haven’t had enough dilithium to be able to upgrade much of anything (crafting and upgrading are such dil sinks that honestly I’d rather just buy the things from the exchange or wherever if possible).

        When I say “useless” regarding the tac Ody, what I mean by that is that nowadays it’s just not able to get things done like it did before the whole “Delta Grinding” nerf and re-vamp. That thing used to utterly crush queued events, even advanced ones.

        But now it just isn’t putting out the dps like it once did, due to advanced and elite queues’ enemies having such crazy-high hit points. It has turned the game into a DPS arms race that I don’t enjoy as much anymore, especially when my ship can barely even scratch things even with all purple Mk 12 gear.

        The Arbiter isn’t “all that” either, but at least it does enough DPS to where it can actually contribute adequate firepower and get queued events done effectively. It has even scored some PVP kills, which is something my tac Ody could never do.

        So my T6 fleet Arbiter may not be the most lethal ship out there (far from it, actually), it’s the only ship I have that at least gives me a fighting chance.

        I just remembered… Since Jay is level 60 and it’s a fleet T6 Arbiter with maxed-out ship mastery and some decent gear, it just might actually have more hull points than my T5U tac Ody, which is crazy ’cause the tac Ody is so much bigger.

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  3. You should definitely look into upgrading your gear. Not all of it, mind you. Weapons in particular benefit greatly from upgrades; I seem to recall seeing 7-8% increase in base damage for a beam array, from Mk 12 to Mk 13, and a similar amount going to Mk 14. I don’t do any sort of combat tracking, but even anecdotally this makes a pretty noticeable difference in battle.

    Likewise, point-for-point tactical console upgrades also give you the biggest bang for your dilithium. Console upgrades are usually the cheapest, compared to other gear.

    I’ve found that Deflectors, Warp Cores, Engines and Shields generally aren’t worth the dilithium to upgrade, especially if they are reputation or other set gear. Those are expensive and the upgraded benefits seem very small to me.

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    1. Oh, I plan on eventually upgrading all my weapons and tactical consoles to Mk 14 if at all possible, and I know it’ll make a big difference. It would just be a huge dilithium sink right now and I just don’t have that much dilithium. So I’m saving it up.

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