Head 2 Head Klingon Battle Cruisers

I have done a lot of Head 2 Head with the multi-faction ships and the Federation but what about those lovable Klingons? Any real Trek fan loves to play Klingon now and again. I am no exception to that rule.

The Klingons were the big bad enemy in TOS but when TNG arrived they were our leery ally. The Romulans took over as our nemesis in more of a cold war sort of arrangement. So it is the Klingons of the TOS era that offer the big scary enemy visions. In TOS the two ships that were most often seen were B’rel Birds of Prey and D7 Battle Cruisers. In STO end game you can fly the legendary retrofitted B’rel and even a retrofitted D7 K’tinga, but the 23rd Century Battle Cruisers have long since been replaced by 25th Century contemporaries to meet the challenges of bigger, meaner, and scarier enemies.

A while back the KDF launched a new Battle Cruiser along with the Federation’s new Avenger. The Avenger was Starfleet’s first real “battle cruiser” and had a very welcome “Klingon” feel to it. Agile, powerful weapons, beefy hull. It was an uncontested hit! The KDF however went to a very “heavy” design with the new Mogh Battle Cruiser. For the Klingons, the 9 dps base turn rate was slow but the 2000 crew count was epic. With the release of subsequent Intel and Command ships the battle cruisers are offered in each of those classes as well. Recently the KDF released a T6 version of the Mogh. I have a T5-U Fleet Mogh but the T6 version is similar.

I own several end game KDF battle cruisers. I have always liked the battle cruiser style as it offers engineers a more aggressive ship and tactical officers can enjoy some of the cruiser staying power without giving up all the escort attack abilities. I still think the battle cruiser is the most versatile design in the game.

Today the KDF Fleet Mogh T6 goes Head to Head with the KDF Intel Qib and the KDF Command Ty’Gokor. I do not own the Ty’Gokor but I do have its Starfleet equivalent, I own a Fleet Mogh and a Fleet Qib.

So an interesting thing happened when the Avenger and Mogh were first released. I got both of them and fell in love with the Avenger but the Mogh never really got my motor running. I think it is because the KDF has so many options at battle cruiser whereas the Avenger was a novel idea for the Federation.

Dahar Master Roddicka is a tactical KDF officer and my strongest KDF toon. She is also the undisputed champion among my characters for PVP kills. That said, I suck at PVP but none-the-less she has hundreds of kills in PVP.

The Fleet Mogh (Kurak) battle cruiser has a large crew count of 2000. I have been fairly outspoken about my feelings on crew count. (Flying the Iconic Federation Cruisers). I think the heavy crew count may hurt this ship more than it helps. The Mogh offers a 5/3 weapons layout and the ability, like many KDF battle cruisers, to mount dual cannons. The sluggish base turn rate of 9 dps is not generally supportive of a dual cannon set up. The T6 version of the ship comes with an Ablative Shielding Console which is a very nice console. It offers an active ability granting a secondary shield followed by a huge shield and hull boost. The console also offers passive shield hardness and resistance. The ship has a nice BOFF layout with two Lt. Commander seats, one Tactical/Intel the other a generous Universal. The standard T5-U version has a Lt. Commander Tactical and Universal, no intel seating. Like most Klingon ships this one is equipped with a cloak. It is the standard type which offers an alpha strike bonus but no escape advantage. We are Klingons! We do not run away from the enemy! Sometimes it IS a good day to die. The max possible abilities by career depending of BOFF selection are as follows: 7 engineering, 7 tactical, 5 science, 3 Intel. Obviously some of these are mutually exclusive. That is a nice flexible arrangement actually.

2015-08-27_19-31-25The Fleet Qib Intel ship is outstanding. It is a T6 25th Century true battle cruiser! It has a base turn rate of 11 dps, 4/4 weapons layout and unlike the other two ships in this head 2 head, it has a battle cloak! It has very strong BOFF seating with a Commander hybrid chair for and engineer/intel and two Lt. Commander seats for tactical and an engineer. The max possible abilities by career depending of BOFF selection are as follows: 8 engineering, 4 tactical, 3 science, 6 Intel. Obviously some of these are mutually exclusive. This ship is less flexible on traditional career paths and particularly soft on tactical. The ship has a more battle cruiser-like crew count of 750. The Qib is the real deal my friends. This is a stealthy ship that has the chonies to take the battle to the enemy but can escape if things get dicey. The intel abilities greatly enhance this ship’s ability to have multiple roles in team PVE, PVP or a variety of mission play styles.

The Command battle cruiser does not yet come in a fleet variety. Despite not having the fleet boost to hull and shields this ship is still a badass when compared to the fleet versions of the other in this comparison. It also has a hanger bay and performs similarly to the very awesome Starfleet version of the Command battle cruiser which I have grown to really like. The command abilities really cater well to team play as many of the command BOFF abilities boost the whole team as do the command ship inspiration abilities. This ship has a single Lt. Commander chair for a tactical officer and a Commander hybrid seat for and engineer/command officer. Of the three ships this one has the weakest BOFF set up. The max possible abilities by career depending of BOFF selection are as follows: 8 engineering, 5 tactical, 4 science, 6 command. Obviously some of these are mutually exclusive. As I discovered with my Starfleet Presidio the choice of hangar pets will change the dynamics of this ship dramatically. I would recommended upgrading the pets to at least purple and choose a pet that suits your play style. The fifth level mastery trait is All Hands on Deck and I use that trait with several of my toons.

Honestly for me the Qib is the clear winner here. I fly the crap out of that ship and every single KDF toon I have above level 50 has one! I have a level 30 something Talaxian in the KDF that will have one as soon as he qualifies. I have not done a lot of PVP in that ship but I have run it through its paces with multiple toons across a variety of PVE and story line missions. The ship is a true fighter and champion. It is the only KDF cruiser that has a battle cloak. It is quick on the corner like the Kamarag and D7 but offers serious hull strength and a generous shield modifier. The Qib crushes the Mogh but the funny thing is that the Federation versions of the two I feel the opposite. I like the Avenger over the Eclipse. Go figure ;)

Of course I have a chart :)

kdf-bc

900 Lobi Cruiser Showdown

It’s Zahl versus Astika! I have to open this post with a heavy disclaimer; I do not own either of these starships! I do however find them both intriguing.

The Lobi Crystal Consortium is always willing to part with tech in exchange for the otherwise worthless Lobi crystals. Those of you new to STO can find the Lobi Crystal Consortium merchant on Drozana Station near the KDF-Federation Neutral Zone.

I have been squirreling away some Lobi crystals and thinking about buying a ship from these shifty little Ferengi weasels. I wonder what they do with the crystals nobody else seems to want?

Today we look at two Tier 6 cruisers available for the healthy price of 900 Lobi crystals. Spanning both ends of the Alphabet, I’ll start with the “older” of the two ships the Vaadwaur Astika Heavy Battle Cruiser.
astikaThis is the ship that frustrated many people when the Vaadwaur first appeared in the game. As has often been the case in STO, the Lobi crystal consortium seems more than happy to offer up a cold dish of revenge by giving players a chance to fly the pesky ships that torment them in the game.

The Astika is a strange ship. The weapons layout is an aggressive 5/3 but the turn rate and inertia capabilities seem to render the 5/3 inert. The ship turns at a big cruiser-like rate of 6.5 and the inertia rating of 38 means this ship flat-out refuses to turn when the speed is dialed up. Seems odd that the ship is capable of equipping dual cannons, good luck keeping them on target. This ship will probably need to be a beam boat. In case you don’t want to spend the Lobi, the cheapest Astika on the exchange this morning was 127,000,000 EC.

You may remember the NPC versions of this ship would suddenly burst away from danger at ridiculous speed during the game. Just as I was prepping the killing blow, whoosh it took off a runnin’. The console that makes that possible is on board this ship. The Universal Assault Mode Relay console quickly moves large power to either the weapons or engines. The transfer is near instant. This ship does have a beefy hull, in fact one of the strongest in the game base of 60k at level 60. The shield modifier is a very respectable 1.16 which is much better than the typical 1.0 for a cruiser. You’ll have 600 crew at your disposal and a nice BOFF setup. The Commander chair is an engineer and the Lt. Commander is a tactical. You get three Lieutenant seats, a science, universal, and hybrid engineer/command. The ship gets 20 points of bonus power spread out +10 weapons, +5 each to engines and shields. The console layout balances a strong tactical and engineering stance at the expense of science. 4 tac, 5 eng, and 2 sci. This ship will give you a total of 13 BOFF abilities which is generous. You’ll have a mix of possibilities due to the universal and hybrid chairs on the ships. The max possible abilities by career depending of BOFF selection are as follows: 8 engineering, 5 tactical, 4 science, 2 command. Obviously some of these are mutually exclusive. If you use the two Lieutenant chairs with engineers you could tank this beast pretty well.

Battle cruisers are supposed to offer the toughness of a cruiser with some of the mobility of an escort. This one seems to hybridize the wrong elements. 5/3 weapons array should be complimented with a better turn rate and inertia say 8-9 dps base turn and .55 inertia. This is a still a lumbering hulk of a ship like a Galaxy Class, Bortas or D’Deridex. If a raider gets on this ship’s six, it is lights out!

The Astika has the standard Battle Cruiser mastery levels and of course a 5th level trait. It’s called Supremacy. It is an active trait and it gives a +1 bonus to all power settings for every target hit while scatter volley or beam fire at will is active.

To the aft of the alphabet we travel to visit the Zahl. This ship seems more like a battle cruiser with its keen agility and 500 crew count, yet it is officially a Cruiser. It’s mastery levels are cruiser with a very cool 5th level trait: Invincible. I love traits that are called “Invinible” :) This passive ability can activate once every two minutes. When the ship gets dangerously low on hull points the ship briefly becomes invulnerable to damage and gets a huge boost to incoming heals. That is a good ship trait! The cheapest Zahl on the exchange this morning was 104,000,000 EC.

zahlThis ship is called a Heavy Cruiser but it seems to borrow heavily (pun, pa-pun pun) from the Federation’s Advanced Heavy Cruiser with that generous 8.5 dps turn rate. This ship gets a very sciencey 1.3 shield modifier but offers less hull protection than the Astika with 55,200 base at level 60. Here we have a more traditional 4/4 weapons layout on a ship that actually could utilize the 5/3 of the Astika. That’s OK a 4/4 is very effective on KDF battle cruisers, and this is technically a standard cruiser anyway. The Zahl gets +20 power bonus spread out +5 to weapons and engines, and +10 to shields. It has the same console layout of 4 tac, 5 eng, and 2 science. On the BOFF seating this ship is nicely appointed. As expected a Commander chair for an engineer is present. You will also enjoy a tactical advantage like the Vaadwaur ship with a Lt. Commander seat for a tactical officer. There is a second Lt. Commander chair and it is a universal/command hybrid chair. A science/intel chair at Lieutenant and an Ensign engineer. This ship also has a 13 BOFF abilities. The max possible abilities by career depending of BOFF selection are as follows: 8 engineering, 6 tactical, 5 science, 3 command, 2 Intel. Again some of these are mutually exclusive. This is a very versatile ship!

To add to the confusing nature of both these ships, this one has 3 device slots instead of 4 and the Astika has 4 instead of 3. This Zahl cruiser also benefits from a special console. The Universal Temporal Shielding Matrix. This console has a nice passive buff to chroniton and other temporal damage as well as a boost to shield capacity and regeneration rate. There is also an active ability that provides immunity from movement debuffs, additional damage resistance and causes crazy havoc with the enemies cooldown timers. The Borg do that to me and it makes me so angry, with this console and can dish it out too!

Personally, I am liking the Zahl. This ship has all the attitude of kid with a chip on his shoulder from living in a world of sorting by alphabetical order. If any of you readers have either of these ships I would love to hear your comments about them. I might get me a Zahl, but I still wouldn’t mind having a few of the other Lobi ships too.

Say what you will about Cryptic, they do offer a lot of great ships that can be acquired in game with out spending real-world cash. These two 900 Lobi ships compare favorably to the two T6 Zen-busters shown on my obligatory chart below. I do not own the Arbiter but I have the Avenger T5-U Fleet and I also have the Presidio which I love.

chart

 

A New Dawn is Coming

newdawnCryptic has announced that Season 11 will be coming soon and it is a New Dawn. This new season will begin a post-war era for STO. Yes my friends, as you may have heard the Iconian War which has been underway since the very beginning is coming to an epic conclusion. Although it was Season 10 that brought the first direct confrontation with the Iconians in the war, all of the previous confrontations have been part of the Iconian master plan. These previous conflicts were all proxy wars for the Iconians as they attempted to undermine the stability in the Galaxy in advance of their return. Now they are here and the battle rages. Season 10 and the current 10.5 will lead us to the New dawn as they call it.

There is talk of an Admiralty system allowing players to send their unused ships on missions. Rumor is that this may work like the DOFF system. I don’t know how the whole thing will ultimately play out, but I have often wished for those “other” ships to be useful. I would like to be able to promote BOFFs to Captain and let them fly some of those ships. It would be cool if we could call them in for back up. Maybe Cryptic could let us assign our own ships as fleet support ships so when the fleet support ability is used our own ships come in instead of generic Typhoons. That probably won’t happen though.

The line is that the new story arc will be about rebuilding and a new hope for a bright future. So will the game take in a bit more of the Star Trek Spirit I was yakking about a few weeks back? Who knows. Maybe we will seek out new life and new civilizations… we have already been boldly going where no one has gone before.

The word on the street is that Season 11 will be online in October and that does follow the standard M.O. with previous new season launches in October. I look forward to the change from war to the more traditional exploration notion. Rumors have circulated that future seasons may allow for discovery of new civilizations and such. We shall see, you know how the rumor mill works. For those of you that like to fire your phasers and disruptors at everything you will likely be pleased as I am pretty sure the current missions will remain and this new “exploratory” idea will result in meeting new and unfriendly aliens ;) The Borg are also not likely to go away either.

Ok, today the final featured episode with that lovable Ferengi engineer, Captain Nog was unleashed; it’s called, “Butterfly Effect”. I’ll try to avoid spoilers but if you are hyper-sensitive to any clues even veiled clues, stop reading now. This mission is clearly setting up the final events for the Iconian War and it’s announced conclusion.

The mission was fun with the idea being that the Alliance is looking at possible solutions to the Iconian threat and are running a variety of Holodeck simulations to see how effective and potentially dangerous the solutions are. To avoid spoilers, I’ll just say that Krenim technology is part of the potential solutions. My first run through took about an hour, but I always read all the dialog boxes and immerse myself in the story the first time through. Additional run throughs will take 35-45 minutes to complete. The mission is not all guns a blazin’ and has a nice mix of simple tasks and fighting on both ground and space environments. There were no annoying puzzles to solve and that always keeps me smiling.

krenim (1 of 4)This is a pretty decent mission and the rewards are good too. The first reward for completing it this week is a powerful special console. Just look at those specs, that is an awesome console.  It is of course part of a three-piece set and two of the pieces have more than one option. There are two different weapons (Omnidirectional Beam or Turret) and two different cores (Singularity Core and Warp Core) The cores are pretty good. The cores will be available next Thursday. The final piece is one of the two weapons, either the turret or omni-beam. Those will be available in two weeks. The science console is worth having even if you are not excited about the whole set. The weapons are pretty decent. The omnidirectional beam array is more powerful than the turret but less accurate. The set powers sound promising but I am not sure exactly how they will work. I’ll have to wait and see, I guess. They also have some alternative prizes if you want to run the mission over and over.

krenim (2 of 4)

krenim (4 of 4)I did have an interesting and annoying glitch today. I took advantage of the “free” specialization points offered as the freebie of the day. In case you hadn’t noticed they have been giving away a freebie each day this week in celebration of the announcement of Season 11. I also took the specialization point option as a prize when I completed the aforementioned Butterfly Effect mission. So now I have three specialization points available. Since the system maintenance it seems I am required to do a skills respec in order to use any more specialization points. OK no biggie, they have done that before and I have 6 respec tokens. I opened the skills window and every time I select krenim (3 of 4)respec it crashes the window. Hmm, so I transwarp back to ESD and talk directly with the Skills Trainer. Now I’m getting somewhere, the respec opens up all my skills are zeroed out and I have 366,000 points to use. So I reset all the points and it seems a variety of them are locked into 6 or even all 9 in certain categories. I am good with it and use all 366,000 points. The button to ‘accept’ the changes remains gray however. When I hover over the grayed out accept button it says, “you cannot respec in you haven’t taken enough points to maintain your current rank.” Well I took all 366,000 so that’s bullshit. Now I am stuck with three specialization points I cannot use. Come on Cryptic, fix this. I am trying to max out the Pilot specialization because I really like the “pedal to the metal” trait and it doubles in strength when the pilot specialization is maxed.