Delta Alliance Boffins Work Some Magic

I have mentioned in some past posts that I overcame the lack of Ancient Power Cells and acquired the complete Delta Alliance Space sets. I am happy to report back that these are pretty damn good!

I labored over which ship to try them on. Fleet Avenger? Tactical Escort Retrofit? Fleet Chimera? Fleet Patrol Escort Refit? So hard to decide. Then it hit me; why not put it on the Breen Chel Grett and setup a hybrid weapons layout using both the Advanced Thoron Infused Beam Array and the Advanced Thoron Infused Dual Heavy Cannon? That’s what I did and this ship is equipped with the full Delta Operation ordnance set and the Delta Alliance Assault Space Set.2015-03-25_18-03-23

The Delta Ordnance set (Operations) is a three-piece set that has a torpedo launcher, energy weapon and console. As I mentioned above, there are two choices in the energy weapon a beam array and a dual heavy cannon but you can use both at the same time on the same ship. So I did :) Be advised however, only one of the energy weapons applies towards the set bonus.

The set starts with a Mk XII Neutronic Torpedo Launcher. This is a quantum torpedo launcher that has an additional radiation damage proc. It is a very slow firing torpedo launcher, even slower than normal quantums. It does very heavy DPV however, much stronger than quantums and still gets the radiation proc on top of that! Next is either the Advanced Thoron Infused Polaron Dual Heavy Cannon or Beam Array. Only one of the energy weapons is required to get the set bonus. Last is the Bio-Neural Gel Pack console that has a nice +19.2  shield system, +2 to all power systems and a 7% cooldown reduction on all BOFF abilities. That is a sweet console. The three pieces together gain two set bonuses. First, a +13.8% radiation damage that applies to all radiation damage and a 20% cooldown on the Neutronic Torpedo launcher’s long cooldown. Second, is an active ability called, iso-kinetic cannon that launches a non targetable projectile doing a base 6012 kinetic damage with 100% shield penetration and a quick cool down! This is a great little weapons set. I recommend having a DOFF on duty with torpedo cool down reduction also because that launcher hits real hard but takes an eternity to fire again.

breen-deltaset (2)The Delta Alliance Assault Space Set is also the bomb. I said in the last post that it may be the best space set available in the game and I am still thinking that could be the case. The jury will remain out for a while, but it is a boss set to be sure. One thing you will notice right away is the shield visuals are pretty cool. It gives the ship a bronze look with cool gold trim lines and green glowing bits on your ship.

The set is a four piece with the standard shield, deflector and engines plus either a Warp Core or Singularity Core. The Unimatrix Shield Array is a covariant type shield with a base capacity of 8612. It is strong, but not as high capacity as the Advanced MACO, Honor Guard, Reman or Romulan shields. It does however have some solid passives and procs. It reduces all incoming energy damage by 10% and another 10% against Polaron. It also has a 10% chance to proc a 5% shield hardness (damage resistance) for 15 seconds and that can stack up to three times. Very nice indeed. The deflector is also very solid. It offers a +5 to both auxiliary power and shield power! It gives a huge +35 to hull repair and structural integrity which provides some great staying power. As if that weren’t enough you also get a +17.5 to power insulators to help ward off power and shield drain. Next up is the Hyper-Efficient impulse engine that offers a +5 to engine power, a +.22 to turn rate, and a +17.5 to flight speed. Wait, there’s more, you also get a huge +35 to inertial dampeners to help against hold, disable, knock, and repel effects. Normally I don’t care for Hyper-Impulse as they require a lot of engine power to be efficient and I run engine power low. But the procs and passives are to good to ignore. The warp core has a trainload of perks! A 50% cool down on all transwarp abilities, 2.5% extra shield power that gets stronger when engine power is low, +5 maximum shield power, and it adds 7.5% of auxiliary power to your shields. Remember that it doesn’t take away the auxiliary power but matches 7.5% to the shield system. For example, if auxiliary power is at 100, then the shields gain 7.5 bonus power and auxilary remains at 100. They aren’t done yet friends; the warp core also offers a +17.5 to shield performance, power insulators and EPS systems! Still more with this boss core, Trajector Jump ability teleports you 5km ahead. Long cool down on that but still pretty cool.

All of those procs and passives alone makes the set worthy but then you get the bonuses! First bonus is passive perk for evasive maneuvers, +25% defense every time you use it. Second is double passive bonus, +20% to both flight speed and turn rate! Third bonus is an ability called Tantalus Field that destroys all small fighters and projectiles within a 2km radius of the ship. The field is active a for several seconds centered around your ship. It has a moderate cool down of 3 minutes.

These two sets turned my already formidable Chel Grett into a raging beast! When all is said and done the power systems perks and skill modifiers alone make this set a contender. In review, both complete sets combine to offer the following passive buffs in addition to the aforementioned set bonuses and other perks:

  • 10% all energy damage resistance to shields
  • 10% Polaron resistance to shields
  • +2 Weapons power
  • +7 Engine, Shields, Auxiliary power
  • +7.5% of current Auxiliary power to Shields
  • +2.5% to shield power scaling up as engine power drops
  • +36.7 to Shield Performance
  • +35 to Inertial Dampeners, Hull Repair, Structural Integrity, Power Insulators
  • +17.5 to Flight Speed and EPS systems
  • +20% turn rate and flight speed
  • +13.8% radiation Damage

Oh this set is just bad to the bone. You probably saw the poll up above. That is an old poll from last year before the Delta Rising update. I added the Delta Alliance set and let’s see if it can catch up to the leaders as best reputation space set.

I think I’ll get back in the game and start working on these sets for my other toons as well. There is no doubt about it, they are worth the effort to obtain :)

Grindy, Grinding Away and Misc Stuff

CellSome time back I was bemoaning the fact that getting the Ancient Power Cells to complete the projects in the Delta Alliance reputation system was very difficult. I still maintain that it is largely because the advanced queues are such a routine fail. It seems like 90% of the advanced and elite PVE missions end up as a fail scenario. It is not that the enemies are that much tougher, but the ability to find four other random players that can work as a team to avoid triggering the mission fail parameters is nearly impossible. I am not exaggerating on this. With the exception of the Crystaline Entity event which I run on advanced and the team of ten random players has always completed the mission (maybe this one has no mission fail parameters), all the others almost always end up as a fail. I am not good enough to carry a team of weak sauce players through an Advanced PVE mission, heck there are times when I am the weak link toon of the bunch. But I find that even when teamed up with boss players that absolutely CRUSH it, the missions tend to end up in a fail scenario, thus not awarding Ancient Power Cells or in the case of Omega STFs the Borg Neural Processors. This is something that has been a problem ever since the launch of Delta Rising last fall. Cryptic needs to pull their heads out from between their legs and fix this! The PVE queues have not been full since they screwed this up.

2015-03-19_14-28-01I did however discover that once per day there are two missions on Kobali Prime you can replay and earn ancient power cells. “These missions are “Breaking the Wall” and “With our Last Breath”. You can repeat these missions every thirty minutes but only one ancient power cell will be awarded per day per mission. Depending on whether you have help or not these missions can be completed in 10-20 minutes each. These are open missions that other players can join at any point in the progress and they are tied to another pair of open play missions as well. To access these replays for the missions you go to Kobali Prime and you will find a replay console just outside the ‘office’ of General Q’nel. This of course, assumes you have already completed the first run through of the Kobali storyline.

Admiral Sager has been sitting on 3400 Delta marks for months. Now I have been getting two ancient power cells per day and have begun to pick up the pieces for the Delta Alliance space sets. I completed the Delta Operations Set which includes the impressive Neutronic Torpedo Launcher, the Advanced Thoron Weapon (beam or dual cannon, I chose dual cannon) and an associated console. This set required a total of six Ancient Power Cells. I haven’t played around with these yet, but the stats on the torpedo launcher are impressive and the set yields a couple of useful abilities. I will be writing about both sets after I log some battle duty with them. I will be wrapping up the Delta Alliance Assault set today as I have three of the four pieces for the set. This set looks to be one of the best reputation space sets in the game. With a name like Delta Assault it has to be good, right? It requires quite a bit of effort to get, with a total of 20 Ancient Power Cells, then 3000 Delta Marks, and 130,000 dilithium required to complete the set, so it damn well better be good!

I have every reputation set except this one, and so far the Advanced MACO (KDF Honor Guard) set, particularly the shield and engines have been my favorite. I also like the Reman set and the Omega Assimilated set. On paper this Delta Alliance Assault set looks like a serious contender to the title of best ship set in the game. It is a four piece set and all I need is the deflector to complete it. As much grinding as is needed to obtain both the reputation marks and the ancient power cells, I think Cryptic should reduce the dilithium requirements for the sets. 32,500 dilithium each is really rich when considering the grinding time required for marks and cells!

scryrer-intel-30Admiral Rodessa has been grinding away as well on that new Scryer Intel Science ship. She is looking to add another ship trait to her “trait tree”. The jury is still out on whether that Scryer is a top-notch science ship. We shall see.

presidioI was thinking about having Admiral Rodanna fly the new T6 Command Battle Cruiser, Admiral Sager maxed out its mastery but he is a tactical officer and I really want to see how it fares in the hands of an engineer before I write a full review of it or do a head to head.

boffchangeI do like the change to the ability training for BOFFs with the sole exception of the nerf to the special captain training. I touched on this system a few posts back. The old system allowed for a captain to earn the ability to easily and directly train their BOFFs in a few select career oriented abilities at the highest level of III. Now the captain has to essentially complete a grindy crafting effort to create a one use “training manual” to achieve the same. Just what every MMORPG needs is a little more grinding, right? :P The good news is that some crafters are selling the manuals on the exchange which means any captain can ultimately achieve any of the elusive mk III BOFF abilities across all career paths. All that expressed, the new system allows for swap on the fly (out of combat) abilities and that makes more sense. The old system treated Star Fleet officers like Pokémon. Come on, having to “forget’ an ability before learning a new one is just not very Star Trek. Seriously, it,s not like I activate a BOFF ability and get this in the chat box, “Commander Pikachu uses Beam Overload, It’s Super Effective”! Kudos for fixing that issue Cryptic :)

kdfrecruitIn other news, Cryptic has announced Season 10 which apparently will begin yet another war! This has been building for years on STO. A showdown with the Iconians has been looming all along and apparently Season 10 will begin the direct confrontation with these ancient and powerful beings. To prepare us all for this epic war, the boffins at Cryptic have created a new Delta  Recruit system that will launch soon. This will allow new characters to become ‘Delta Recruits’. These recruits will level quicker and earn extra perks as they grow towards level 60. I already have ten toons, but I suppose I’ll have to start another just to check out these new perks.

heraldsphereThere is much to look forward to in the coming months on STO. Stay tuned for more reviews and information on new equipment, ships, and content on STO. Now I’ll get back to some classic MMO grinding and earn that last piece of the Delta Alliance Assault Set.

Driving the Dauntless

2015-03-12_15-11-56When Cryptic first launched Delta Rising last fall, I went all in with the Delta Rising Package that offered among other things every launch T6 ship for all factions. One of these ships is a rather odd-looking fellow called the Dauntless. This ship is labeled as Experimental. That’s always a sexy sales pitch, right? it’s experimental, latest tech, top secret brain bending power…. The story goes that it is based on the original design of an Alien ship discovered by Captain Janeway and the crew of Voyager while in the Delta Quadrant. You know, the one that turned out to be a trap? Yeah, that one ;)

This is a science ship, so who better to fly it around the galaxy than my top Fed Science Officer, the lovely Vice Admiral, Rodessa Vhargal. She has been flying this little ship now consistently for two weeks. Primarily she is running PVE missions like the Crystaline Entity and Omega STFs. As I have mentioned many times before, the science career path is not one I have embraced as vigorously as the other two. Not that I don’t like science mind you, I just have a harder time building a good science ship and crew.

duntlessUpon review you can see the Dauntless is set up like a typical science ship. There are six weapons bays evenly distributed between the fore and aft, a strong 1.3 shield modifier, and fairly weak hull starting at 29,700 at level 50 and 36,000 at level 60. There is also heavy console and bridge seating favoring science. This is a small ship in stature and has a crew of just 150. Although that is not much less than Voyager, this ship is much smaller than Janeway’s classic. The ship enjoys a very escort like 14 degrees per second base turn rate. You could put dual cannons up front if you wanted to; I prefer having a little quicker turn rate for duals but this is close. The Dauntless is also equipped with two special features to compliment the usual science ship goodies. First you get a special Hyper-Advanced Quantum Slipstream drive that doubles the time you stay in stream from 30 seconds to a full minute and offers double the turn rate while engaged just in case you need a course correction while still in the slip-stream. Second is a special console, Universal Particle Synthesizer. This console allows the captain “to project a particle synthesis beam at a distant target that causes your target and nearby enemies to take on your starship’s appearance thus causing tremendous confusion amongst your enemies. Additionally, a photonic decoy of your starship is created near your position to draw the attention of your enemies”.

The biggest problem with this ship is the lack of engineering. There is just one lieutenant seat for an engineer and only two engineering consoles. Once she starts taking serious hull damage it’s lights out. This is not an Intel ship but it does offer one science/intel hybrid seat for a lieutenant.

dauntless2I actually kind of like this little odd-duck ship. I do not see many people flying these however, so I presume it was not a hit. It suits my aggressive play style with that escort-like agiity. To be fair, I did not equip this ship with Rodessa’s best stuff and she is not really that deep with equipment so considering the weak-sauce setup this Dauntless ship did pretty well. Rodessa holds her own very well in the Advanced Crystaline Entity PVE. This ship is worth a look.

boffIn combat the Dauntless performs as well as any other science ship Rodessa flies with the exception of her flagship the T5-U Dyson Destroyer. What I like about flying science ships is having to utilize your captain and BOFF abilities to compensate for the lack of firepower in the ship. I have not been running with an Intel BOFF yet, but I will be switching one in to see how the ship manages using some of those abilities. Science ships require some effort to stay sharp in the midst of battle. Using sensor analysis is a very important aspect to staying on the winning side of a confrontation. This ship has that sexy 14 DPS turn rate and believe me this is a bonus whether you are on the attack like an escort or in support of your teammates. Deflector based abilities like Tachyon Beam require a 90 degree arc from the front of the ship. Staying on target to get maximum results from the ability are well aided with the sports car handling of this ship. The bottom line verdict on this ship is, if you want a science ship that is good enough on the corner to load up cannons and maybe even dual cannons this is your ship. It is the quickest turning science ship a Feddie can fly. I am going to load this ship with a pair of Mk XII very rare dual cannons just for fun. How cool is that? One minute your recording data on a gaseous anomaly and the next, you’re crushing some stupid Hirogen that thought you were “easy” prey. That’s just diabolical!

traitsThe Dauntless has five levels of mastery and they all tend to lean towards the science side of things. As with all T6 ships in the game the fifth mastery is a captain ship trait for your captain to use with any ship.

Rodessa will be flying the Scryer Intel Science Vessel just as soon as she gains the fifth mastery on this ship. I’ll be sure to write about that later on.