Letting the Merc off the Leash

I bought the Mercury Class Tactical Pilot Escort way back when they first released the nine pilot ships. I wrote up an article about them , “Flying the Mercury Class.”  I liked them very much.  In that post I suggested that on paper the Romulan ships might be the best because they had the battle cloak and using the Battle Cloak in conjunction with the pilot maneuvers temporary invulnerability was a strong evasive dynamic. I also mentioned that I thought the Klingon versions were diabolically cool looking. Yet, the only one I have purchased is the sole Mercury class I bought on day one of the launch.

I would have bought a three ship bundle if they had offered one of each faction, but they didn’t. They had a nine ship bundle, and three, faction bundles with all three ships for each faction. So I just bought the single Mercury.

I have had a number of comparisons over the years and some Head 2 Heads featuring the Merc some more favorable than others, but I have never really set that ship up for the Top Gun Patrols. Here I have this chart with my best times in a variety of ships with my various toons, and I never really set the Mercury up for success on those patrol runs.

Well until now that is. After acquiring the Bajorian Interceptor and making the fastest Mk XII times ever and then following up with a second overall fastest ever with Mk XIV gear in that little freebie, I realized that the Mercury ought to be higher up than the respectable but mundane 144 second aggregate. How could this speedy little ship with five across the fore and piloted by none other than the Admiral himself, not be quicker than my Science Captain, Rodessa in the Temporal Multi-Mission Science Vessel?

I have been running that ship all along with the Iconian reputation space set, which is outstanding and the Radiant Antiproton weapons including the special radiant set. Those radiant weapons work well in some of the PVE missions where the ship takes a lot of damage. The Merc is no tank, so getting a constant fresh load of temporary hits points has served the pilot ship well. But the Top Gun patrols are inhabited by lowly level 50 enemies that pose no real threat to the hull of any reasonably well equipped level 60 characters. It is all about run and gun, glass cannon setups. So I left the Iconian rep set on but swapped out the weapons and tactical consoles from the Bajorian ship and proceeded to light up the Top Gun with a little more ‘bad attitude’. I let the Merc off the leash 🙂

One of the problems I have in the Mercury is that the ship is so fast, that even with the engines at minimal power, the ship closes too fast on targets. The Pilot Manuever to back up, helps increase targeting time, but what really needs to happen is to back off the throttle a bit. The issue with that is Admiral Sager prefers to run with the ship trait, “superior pedal to the metal.” This trait gives up to 30% damage bonus while maintaining full throttle. Full throttle poses a problem for the Pilot ship that tends to overrun targets.

I figured I would run the ship with the pedal to the metal, and if I was unsatisfied, I could swap that out with another trait. In the end, I left it alone. After making the equipment changes and rerunning the Mercury through the Top Gun, she emerged at number 7 overall with a 107.50 aggregate average. This is a massive improvement from the mediocrity of 144. I believe that the Merc with the withering disruptor setup would likely average under 100. Maybe I’ll try that sometime.

Meanwhile the Mercury class ships and any of the other eight variants can be setup with a singular destructive focus to pretty good affect. I like the way the Mercury looks, I like the way it handles, and now I even like the way it dispatches enemies.