The Kobali Samsar T6, a closer look

kobaliI mentioned a few weeks ago that I wanted to log a few hundred light years on the new T6 freebie, The Kobali Samsar Cruiser, before I went into any in-depth review. It seems that I have met that requirement with a few of my toons and now I have a feel for the ship. I am still in a bit of a ‘hung jury’ with this one. I can’t decide whether I really like it or not. Don’t get me wrong, this is a very good ship. It is the only FREE ship in the game with a seat for one of the new ‘Command’ BOFFs. I like the command BOFFs. I just can’t seem to find the sweet spot for this one. I am flying it with two of my toons for now, The powerhouse, Fleet Admiral, Sager with 22 ranks in specialization and Tier five mastery of every reputation system in the game. He is a tactical captain and I am also flying the ship with my Feddie Ferengi, level 51 engineer.

With Admiral Sager I equipped the ship with the full Kobali space set and a compliment of reputation consoles and weapons. It is by no means a ‘weak sauce’ setup but it isn’t one the Admiral’s ass kicking fleet machines either. That said, the ship performs well when compared to most T5-U battle cruisers and standard cruisers. The ship is a bit in between with a strong big cruiser hull and a respectable base turn rate of 7. I think where I might be feeling the pain is with the Kobali shield. This is a regenerative type shield and these are generally more suited to quick turning ships. Although the Samsar is no slouch in the slalom for a clunky cruiser it is by no means a crafty escort. Not even close.

I do like the complete Kobali set, this offers some nice set bonuses and abilities that are quite useful. I just found the ship flying in combat with no shields a little too often. This works fine in story missions and the easier PVE queues. But if you fly shields down in advanced or elite PVE, or in PVP, you will die in spectacular fashion. The special console on the ship is pretty decent with nice heal ability that actually cools down fast at 2 minutes.

kobaliship1I have logged less time in the ship with Admiral Sager, Level 60 stud-meister than I have with my Ferengi. He has the ship setup a little tougher however than Akir. Admiral Sager has mostly reputation gear from the Dyson Joint Command store. The Admiral could have pulled the fleet consoles off his Avenger and some more boss fleet and reputation project weapons to make this ship a bit more sinister, but I like testing with good gear but not necessarily the best gear.

You’ll notice that he has chroniton torpedo launchers at either end of the ship. Some of you may be thinking, “Chronitons” what kind of crap is he trying pull here”? Well I wanted to keep this ship a little on the cheap. Of course I did spend some dilithium filling out the Dyson beam weapons but I had a few of those from drops when I was running Dyson PVE missions. The chroniton torpedo launchers are not by any measure a top choice in projectile weapons. This is precisely why they can be found in Mk XII purple for less than a 100K EC on the exchange and even desirable [acc]x3 or [dmg]x3 units are only a few hundred grand. They do offer a great proc of 33% chance to slow and reduce turn rate of target. You hit any ship with a spread of these and they will trigger the proc nearly every single time. The damage output is nearly as good as photon torpedos but the slower reload time reduces their DPS significantly. Low DPS means cheap on the exchange. When fighting multiple enemies in faster and more agile ships this proc can make a huge difference in how quickly you can kill the enemies. Honestly I would rather use Quantums, but I wanted a modestly priced build here. Remember that faster reload really only helps when flying a ship that is fast and agile and can come about quickly. Slower cruisers take so long to get back into firing position that the dps advantage of photons is often unusable.

kobali-BOFFsAdmiral Sager has a generous selection of BOFFs and so he is able to nicely outfit this ship for nearly any mission assignment. You will see that the Admiral sat a Command BOFF in the Lt. Commander engineer’s chair. There isn’t much in the way of tactical chairs on this ship but the Command BOFFs have some quasi tactical abilities at their discretion. These abilities will enhance both the user and his allies against a targeted foe. Overwhelm Emitters will make all fire from the player and his allies do extra shields damage and leach some of that back to their own shields. Suppression Barrage will make the players weapons slow the enemy and reduce their damage output whilst making them unable to shoot down allied torpedos or mines. Using a Command BOFF on this ship helps to make up for the lack of tactical seating.

Where I found a bit of trouble with the Samsar and the Kobali Space Set, is on Borg PVE missions, the Borg are very good at reducing the effectiveness of shields. The ship however does quite well against the Tholians despite their use of shield draining tetryon weapons and heavy disruption torpedos. Overall I do like the Kobali Space Set. I had my Tactical KDF officer run through the “Dust to Dust” mission three times to get the three set pieces and of course when opening the Samsar cruiser the Kobali warp core unlocks as the fourth piece in the set. I loaded that set in her Fleet Qin Raptor and will see how it works on an escort style ship.

This turns out to be a great freebie ship and I even matched it up on the chart below against the venerable Fleet Version of the mighty Avenger in T5-U. Although the Avenger is much more tactical in its approach the ships do match up well.

avenger vs samsar

 

New Ships and BOFF Changes Too!

This anniversary update was packed with quite a bit of changes. The BOFF system is improved. It is just a tiny bit more complicated to train your BOFFs but it is worth it because now you are no longer “retraining” the BOFF but rather you are adding additional training.

boffchange

Let’s say you have a tactical BOFF with great skills but he has ‘high yield torpedo’ as an ensign level skill and you really need ‘beam fire at will’. In the old system this was an easy enough fix. You could go to the BOFF trainer on ESD, Qo’nos or Romulan Command and simply pay a small amount of EC to have him retrained in the new skill. But in this process the old skill was lost. Admiral Sager has 25 BOFFs because I got tired of having to train and retrain BOFFs for wide variety of ships the Admiral flies. Well my friends, that is a thing of the past as this new system allows BOFFs to actually progress by knowing more than one skill at each level. Now you simply train the tactical officer in a new skill and switch that skill out on the fly. Apparently you cannot do the skill swap whilst engaged in combat, but still you can customize the BOFF ability set to suit the mission you are about to undertake. Bravo Cryptic, this is pretty cool. The screenshot above shows the Commander tier abilities that this BOFF can learn and the two she already knows; Scatter Volley III and Attack Pattern Omega III.

Furthermore you can now train BOFFs in specialties as well. You can turn any regular career BOFF into a Command Specialist or Intelligence Specialist with training manuals created in the crafting system or buy them on the exchange. By the way, don’t forget that when you do the maze portion of the special anniversary mission you can find a very rare Kobali Command BOFF hidden in there :)

I am over the moon with this new learning system. Several of my characters only have 8-10 BOFFs because I didn’t want to shell out Zen for additional BOFF roster spots. I now can maximize the 8-10 BOFFs these toons have to handle any ship or mission configuration I have.

I mentioned last week that I had received the new freebie T6 Kobali cruiser and in fact I have it for five of my ten toons. I have spent less time in the Kobali cruiser than I have in the new T6 Command Cruiser I also bought last week. Admiral Sager has taken that ship to full mastery. I do have my Ferengi Starfleet engineer flying the Kobali ship now. He is only level 51 but I am getting a feel for the ship. However, since I have fully mastered the Command T6, I will forego a deep analysis of the Kobali cruiser at this time and focus on the new Command Cruisers. I will say that all of you should complete Q’s little Omega particle missions and get the ship. It’s free and it’s pretty damn cool!

traits

I chose to only buy one of the new T6 cruisers at this time. I will likely end up getting one for each faction eventually and then whine about how I should have just bought the whole, set. Too bad for me then. I have the T6 Tactical Command Cruiser. This is the ship that made the most sense for Admiral Sager who is my strongest character. Who better to test out the new ship than my resident stud?

I started this ship out modestly with mostly weapons and equipment I purchased on the exchange. I decided to go with single cannons up front and turrets in the rear. Each end of the ship has a single torpedo launcher as well. Nothing fancy here, just Mk XII purple phasers with a mix of damage and accuracy modifiers. One flaw with this setup so far is that the forward facing 180 degree arc has all six energy weapons firing and that is proving to be a bit of a drain on the weapons power. draining the weapons power of course, reduces the damage output. I prefer having just five weapons firing at once but since three of these are turrets which only drain eight points of power per volley I guess I’ll have to live it. Well I have thousands of weapons batteries stored up so what the hell ;)

The consoles are Mk XII purple items purchased from the reputation stores for dilithium. Granted, I have a couple of Mk XIV blue field generators and some fleet consoles on another ship I can borrow if need be ;) My point here is that this ship is not overly equipped and that makes for a good test, right? Admiral Sager as a captain is pretty strong. He is my original toon and has unlocked just about everything you can in STO. So that alone makes him pretty strong in this or any other ship.

fortlewis

I flew a variety of missions, mostly PVE queues but also the Anniversary special event mission as well. As I flew the ship I was working towards getting two of the three Adapted MACO pieces, the shield and the engines. I don’t much fancy the special Mask Energy Field ability afforded by the third piece in the set so a nice positron deflector works fine. Eventually I will go with a Fleet Positron deflector and fleet weapons but for now this ship has been fairly standard build. It is quite admirable in its performance. This is a great ship! I also decided for now to run the Kobali Warp Core and the Special Console from the Kobali Ship, the Universal Regenerative Integrity Field as well since it is part of a four console set and offers up a turn rate bonus when two of the consoles are used. The second console is the Universal Defense Platform that comes boffsstandard on this T6 ship. On the hangar bay I just went with some advanced Peregrine fighters.

In PVE the ship is solid, I ran mostly standard queues since it is damn near impossible to get a group of five to stick with the advanced queues. I did run a few advanced queues that lasted long enough to see that this ship can holder her own in that environment. Until everyone else runs away at least.  I really like the fifth level mastery trait “all hands on deck” which gives a reduction in cooldown on science and captain abilities when activating a command or tactical ability. That coupled with “reciprocity” that gives a cooldown reduction on tactical every time an enemy misses the ship makes for a great situation always having abilities to run :) I hate waiting for cooldowns.

The ship never really got into much trouble aside from the stupid Peregrine Fighters flying into warp core explosions all the time and dying. I am a bit annoyed that even uber buffed on tactical  for an Alpha strike was not yielding the whoop-ass power I expect. My T5-U Fleet Avenger puts down big time DPS hate on an Alpha. This one I think suffers a bit from weapon power drain issues. That is more about my three turrets in the back setup than the ship itself. I do like the fact that I can put down serious covering fire in the forward 180 degree arc. I can’t really go to a dual cannon setup on this ship with that barge-like turn rate of 8. I don’t much wish to waste engineering console space on RCS units either.  Other than the weapon power drain which I have been countering with batteries, this ship is pretty boss.

I do very much like the new command inspiration abilities. These come in very handy and build up reasonably fast. Unlike the intelligence version of these abilities which are on a timer so to speak, these build up based on combat experience of sorts. I always seemed to have an inspiration ability on tap when I needed it. I like that. This ship could stand to have the weapons cruiser command but instead only the shields and attract fire are available. I would trade the shield buff for the weapon power reduction buff all day long.

I am quite pleased with the performance of this new ship. I have to say as a disclaimer that Admiral Sager’s Tactical Command Cruiser is not as well equipped as his T5-U Fleet Avenger and so the fact that it performs as well as it does is quite enlightening and speaks volumes for the quality of these new T6 Command Cruisers.

As for the other ships they are basically separated by the career path of the Lt. Commander seat and the console arrangement. The Tactical Command Cruiser I have has a Lt. Commander Tactical and four tactical consoles along with four engineering and three science. The Operations Command Cruiser has an engineer at the Lt. Commander chair and takes away one of the tactical consoles and adds a fifth engineering console. The Science Command Battle Cruiser of course has a Science Officer in the Lt. Commander seat and takes away one tactical console and adds a fourth science console.

The three Starfleet versions of the new T6 Command Cruisers are shown below. See ya next week!

fed-taccom

fed-opscom

fed-scicom

 

New Command Based T6 Ships Are Here

I just picked up the new freebie ship compliments of his Royal Q-ness. Several of my characters will be adding the ship today. I’ll have to fly the ship around and let you know in another post how it fares.

Today is also the day STO launched nine new T6 battlecruisers, three for each faction. Of course you can buy the mega-pack of all nine ships for 12,000 zen ($120 US) other wise these ships will set you back 3,000 zen ($30 US) a piece or a three-pack for your faction at 6,000 zen ($60 US). I bought just the Tactical Command Battlecruiser for my top feddie toon, Admiral Sager.fed-taccom

It looks like the Tactical Command Battlecruiser is a slightly less agile T5-U Avenger with a hangar bay. It has a more standard 4/4 weapons layout as opposed to the more aggressive 5/3 on the Avenger. I am not feeling it right now for the Command Battle Cruisers. I liked the KDF Tactical cruiser but not enough to fork over the 3,000 zen and I wasn’t going to spend 12,000 zen on the nine ship set either. The nine ship set is a good deal for players with lots of toon spread across three different career paths. You know, like me ;) Each ship is only 1333 zen which is less than half price! I already have scores and scores of ships however so I just picked the one that best suited Admiral Sager since he is my most “buffed” toon. I will get to see the ship at maximum potential with him at the helm. Of course the ship is available to all five of my feddie toons and two of my Romulan toons.

The ships each come with a special console that is part of a four piece set. The fourth piece is on the Kobali ship you win from Q. Four special consoles? I hate gobbling up four console slots with special consoles, but these at least offer up a reasonable passive abilities like 26% torpedo weapon damage, hull hp, etc.

The new T6 Command Battlecruisers offer up a hangar bay and that got me thinking that I should really finish up the mastery on my Breen Sarr Theln Carrier. The 5th level mastery starship trait is a healing buff for pets! I can’t help but compare the T5-U Avenger to the new T6 Presidio I just bought. The Avenger is still my favorite feddie cruiser so how will the new kid in town stack up?

Before I go head to head I should mention that these new ships offer up special BOFFs called Command Officers they are like the Intelligence Officers. I have none of these BOFFs yet. These special ships have the ability to “inspire” other ships to better performance by building up inspiration points through successful battle activities. This is a legit perk that is especially useful in team play such as PVE missions. This new line of ships will absolutely perform with superior results in PVE team play.

OK, the Avenger Battle cruiser will need to be a T5-U Fleet version to really compete on a size and strength comparison to the T6 Presidio, Tactical Command Battlecruiser. Below is a basic chart showing the stats of each ship with green indicating a superior stat.

corrected-t6These two are evenly matched. You know how I feel about crew count. I think it is a negative to have a large crew, but in this case it is close enough. The Avenger is going to be significantly more agile. The turn rate is only slightly better but the inertia rating is much better on the Avenger and that helps with high-speed maneuvers. High speed helps keep ship defense high. The T6 has the superior BOFF arrangement and a more versatile and balanced console setup. For the pure attack tactical ship the Avenger is hard to beat with that forward weapons blitz and five, yes count them, five forward weapons bays! It will depend on play style which ship is the best. The Standard Avenger in T5-U form is not as tough as this new Presidio Command Battle Cruiser. The Fleet Avenger T5-U however is still in the ‘A’ game.

I think I will find the more traditional 4/4 weapons arrangement a benefit overall on the T6 in solo mission work. Being able to utilize beam weapons over a 360 degree attack arc with no weak spots anywhere in the 10km sphere is nice when fighting alone. I am building the new ship now, and still deciding weather to use cannons or beams on this ship. if I go with cannons they will be of the single variety to maximize firing coverage on this slow turning ship. I can’t wait to get this new beast on the battlefield. I will surely report back later with the review.

As for the Kobali ship, I have to wait until the 19th to get the last piece of the Kobali Space Set which is the shield. Perhaps I will write about the whole ‘enchilada’ in a couple of weeks when I have the full set and a few hundred light years showing on the odometer.

Get out there and get that free ship and be sure to check into the shipyards and take a look at the new T6 line of battlecruisers. One of them may just sing to you :)