It has been 9 days since the launch of Delta Rising. So far I have mixed reviews of this expansion. Of course I have had a few bugs along the way but that is to be expected. There was a substantial “emergency maintenance” a few days ago. I like the content thus far but there isn’t a whole lot of it. They have made it more difficult to advance levels once above level 50. So the idea of going from level 50 to level 60 as fast as one could go from level 40 to level 50 is not happening. This is a good thing methinks. OK, pardon the annoying modernized slang of old English there ;)
I mentioned the last week in “Welcome to Tier 6″ that there isn’t a whole lot of upward mobility left once a captain has become a Fleet Admiral. Making this a longer road to travel makes sense. Each subsequent level on the ride to level 60 is significantly longer than the previous level. Admiral Sager is about halfway between level 57 and level 58 and he has 34,000 more skill points to go before arriving at 58. That means it is somewhere in the neighborhood of 70k skill points between these two levels. It was only a 100k to go all the way from 40 to 50. The missions aren’t rewarding much in the way of skill points either. This is not a complaint, but rather an observation. One problem is that there is a lull in content. Often I have found myself twice with only 3/4 of the way to the next level but no new missions available until I hit the next level. I then find myself grinding on patrol missions or repeating the featured PVE event trying to get to the point where I can continue the story. This was almost never a problem in the pre-level 50 episodes.
I have managed to get my first Tier 6 ship to mastery level 5. I now have a starship trait unlocked. This trait follows the captain not just the ship. The first four mastery buffs are tethered to the ship. The fifth is actually a trait that is granted to the player. I switched out ships to test the theory and sure enough the trait remained available to my captain. Since upgraded ships do not offer a fifth level of mastery this is an advantage to getting a Tier 6 ship. There are four active slots for starship traits, mastering at least four different Tier 6 ships will unlock four starship traits that can all be active simultaneously. Maybe buying that Delta Rising package wasn’t such a bad idea after all.
I really do like the ship growing stronger with the captain. It is nice to get a boost in performance with each new level you reach. I have been flying the Phantom quite a bit and must say the ship is growing on me. I still think that is silly to have it weaker than the T5-U tactical escort retrofit. None-the-less this ship and its “intel” features are pretty cool. I can’t say for certain whether I feel the intel BOFFs and active sensor arrays offset the overall weaker hull and shields when measured against a comparable class T5-U ship. The active sensor arrays however, are pretty cool. This feature allows you to activate the sensor array and as long as you remain locked on a target every 15 seconds a vulnerability is exposed and you can take advantage. Reduces damage resistance, weaken shields, weaken weapons, etc. It does seem to work pretty well.
The Vaadwaur are very tough. This little Phantom T6 is also tough. I find myself able to engage several Vaadwaur ships at once and although it takes a while to kill them, they have a tough time putting any real pain to my ship. The Phantom is by no means a tank either, it just hangs in there. I am beginning to get a soft spot for it.
While I am on about the T6 ships, I really like the Klingon T6 Raptor. That is a baller ship! I have only flown a couple of missions in it so far with my top KDF toon, Tactical officer Roddicka. It doesn’t have a battle cloak which sucks, but everything else about it is really cool. The ship looks cool, and packs a good solid punch. Like the Phantom it is still weaker than upgrading a Qin Raptor to T5-U but it has a special intel BOFF station and it has a 5-2 weapons layout for a serious forward punch in the face to your enemies.
I still have not flown any of the other T6 ships despite the fact I have them all unlocked. It takes time my friends, time. My other toons are all flying T5-U ships so I can get a feel for how the upgraded ships perform. So far my Fed Engineer, Rodanna is doing well in a T5-U Tactical Odyssey Cruiser. Fed Science Officer, Rodessa is flying the T5-U Dyson Strategic Destroyer, Fed Engineer and profiteer, Akir has a T5-U Risian Luxury Cruiser, KDF Engineer, Rodamark is in a T5-U Bortasqu Command Cruiser, Romulan Engineer, Be’ina is flying her favorite ship ever, now in T5-U status; The Falchion Dreadnought, and finally, Romulan Tactical offcier, D’Rodda upgraded her Daeinos Veteran Reward ship to T5-U. So far all of these T5-U ships are performing admirably.
If you are thinking about upgrading a C-Store ship such as the Tactical Odyssey or one of the retrofit ships, the upgrade will unlock for all characters on the account flying that ship. That is 700 Zen well spent. I mentioned last week that I felt the T5-U was a great way to help players on a budget and I still feel that way now. Akir is flying the Risian Luxury Cruiser T5-U. This was a free ship earned in the Risa Summer Event and it gets a free upgrade. Akir is not one of my stronger toons. In fact I built him without spending any Zen. He is a holy terror in that T5-U Risian Cruiser. He is competitve and has no more trouble with the big, mean and nasty Vaadwaur than my other toons with Zen gobbling ships.
If you are thinking about buying a T6 ship choose carefully. As with all other C-store ships these will unlock for every qualifying character on your account. These ships have different ship traits. Each mastery level may be different from ship to ship. I recommend using the STO Wiki and reading up on the ships before you make a purchase. Get the ship best suited to your favorite toon or try to get a single ship that you can use with the widest variety of characters if you have a lot of toons like I do.
The T6 Phantom is similar to the Defiant class ships in its looks, handling, weapons, shields, play style, etc. This ship will reward you with passive bonuses to weapon accuracy, then defense, weapon damage and then crit chance. The starship trait at mastery level 5 will follow your captain even when he flies other ships. this is called reciprocity and provides a reduction in tactical and Intel BOFF cooldown every time an enemy misses you.
Hopefully I will have Admiral Sager at level 60 this time next week.
PS a few weeks ago I posted a poll and so far 41% of you prefer the Assimilated Space Set the best.