As many Star Trek Online fans are certainly aware, Cryptic gave away a cool ship for the summer event on Risa. I love the jet pack, that was a fun diversion every day. In the end it was all about the ship. What a ship it is.
For many, including me, the Jem’Hadar attack ship is the ultimate prize for escort ships. Especially for a Feddie toon. The Jem’bug as it is affectionately referred provides the hull strength of a Klingon Raptor with agility that nearly equals a Bird of Prey. Strong shields and weapons make it the dream of any tactical officer. But the ‘bug’ doesn’t come cheap, does it? It is an ultra rare drop only on very special occasions. For those who want to buy one on the exchange, they need to do their best Warren Buffet impersonation. Jem’Hadar attack ships sell for nearly half a billion credits. Yes, that was billion with a “B”. I can’t seem to hang onto my credits long enough to accumulate much more than 20-30 million so I do not see a Jem’bug in my future.
So along comes the Risian Corvette. I can make a strong case that this is the best Feddie escort other than the aforementioned “Bug”. I can also make a case against it, but let’s keep this positive, shall we? The fabulous ship awarded to those who jet-packed across the tropical island paradise for 25 days is pretty damn cool. This ship is the fastest ship available to any captain. With plus 15 to engines and a .25 impulse modifier this ship will simply run away from any other star ship in the game. No, you won’t chase a fighter ship or an Aeon Time ship down, but no star ship will beat you in a drag race.
OK, so it’s fast, yeah I’m sure you got that, but is it maneuverable? More than any ship a Feddie can fly and even as good as some Birds of Prey as a matter of fact. WHAT! Yes, not quite as shifty as the B’rel, but just as slippery as the Hegh’ta Heavy bird. She twists at 21 degrees per second base turn, yep, that’s better than the ‘bug’. Here’s an interesting thing, the ship also has the highest inertia rating of any star ship in the game at 90. That is shuttle craft territory there. Inertia rating tells how quickly the ship slows down and accelerates, this aids in manuevers. I am not 100% sure how effective subtle changes are but the big cruisers with their 20 and 30 ratings will “slide” for a long distance after cutting power to impulse where as the escorts with 70+ will stop almost immediately. The big cruisers also don’t turn well at high speeds because of the low inertia rating.
All of this amazing speed and agility comes at the cost of a fragile hull. With a rating of just 27,000 it is tied with the Romulan T’varo retrofit as the weakest Tier V escort in the game (BOPs excluded). It does carry a crew compliment of 150 which helps (supposedly) to heal hull faster than smaller escorts with 50-100 crew. The ship enjoys a special console ability called sub space wake generator which can be quite handy in a retreat. It greatly speeds up your ship while causing a destructive wake behind the ship that slows and limits turning of enemies in pursuit.
The bridge officer layout is standard fare for the escort with a tactical Commander, tactical Lt along with a Lt. Commander engineer, Ensign science and Lt universal at your disposal. furthermore the ship has a smaller sensor shadow which provides additional defense against targeted attacks up to 15% (non AOE).
My top Feddie, Admiral Sager and my newest toon, Romulan Be’ina both have this ship. I pumped up Admiral Sager’s with Mark XII goodies and ran it for a week or so running patrol and reputation missions. It did very well. I really like this ship. When using this ship against the Borg in the “Cure” mission (earning Omega marks) it is excellent at quickly dispatching those pesky assimilated Klingon Raptors. The Corvette’s base 21 turn is inescapable by the Raptor and you can thrash them with the dual cannons up front. One thing I did notice is that the extra speed sometimes shortens the amount of time you have to fire on your target before over running them. This may require you to actually slow the ship down to say 75% engine power when using an Alpha attack so you get the maximum firing time while uber buffed.
This is also a ship that has an amazing variety of very bright and colorful patterns. This is not to say that you can’t customize them, because you can. The Risian patterns are unique to this ship and offer much brighter colors than the standard STO custom palette.
I don’t see many of these ships in PVP so my guess is that its fragile hull and measly plus 5 to weapons is just much to overcome for the masters of player vs. player. I have not flown this in PVP yet so I really don’t know how it will do. I am not all that good in the arena so I am not the best judge.
Overall I give this ship very good marks. First of all, it was FREE. Second, it looks cool. As if that alone were not enough, it performs very well. Not the very best, but very well indeed.