Q’s Winter Event is winding down now as many people are sporting the fancy scarves and other clever items available from the shifty butt-kissing Ferrengi merchant. You know that little shyster in the gazebo that likes to say,”Q is a genius, and so handsome”. Many people are flying around in the their shiny new Plesk Brek Raider laying down DPS hate on their enemies. After collecting enough 8×10 glossies of our not so benevolent, omnipotent alien host; it seems logical to want to get out and fly that baby. And so I have.
I wrote a preview of this ship last month “Q’s winter Wonderland is Back”. Now I have had nearly two weeks to fly it in missions and STFs and feel like giving it the full review. I mentioned that Admiral Sager and General Roddicka were getting it while my Romulan Admiral Be’ina would take the Chel Grett. It turns out I got the Plesh Brek for all three! Admiral Sager is my most experienced toon and he has the most seat time in the new ship.
Up until now the only characters that could fly a Raider were KDF players. The Raiders which were all Klingon Birds of Prey are small, agile, fast and featured the battle cloak. They were all fragile as well. The entry of this ship into the STO arena allows non-KDF players an opportunity to fly a similar ship. There are some very notable differences between the Breen Plesh Brek Heavy Raider and a Klingon BOP.
The Breen variety lacks a cloaking device. The idea of a de-cloak and alpha strike then retreat behind the cloak and escape is off the table with this new ship. There is the consolation of a much stronger hull. Thus the “HEAVY” Raider designation. At 29,700 hull it is 20% stronger than the beefiest BOP in the game. The bulkier hull is accompanied with a slightly slower turn rate than all of those BOPs as well. But it still hits the corners better than nearly every other escort in the game. Other than the KDF raiders, only the Corvette and Jem Bug are better at changing direction. The inertia rating is a little low for the 19 turn rate and it tends to “slide” a bit on hard turns at full throttle. It’s kind of cool actually.
The ship comes equipped with the special console “Sensor Disruption Field”. This is a great console that offers a large area of effect placate and damage resistance debuff. It has a cool down of three minutes but can be reduced to 90 seconds with the addition of the Breen special console “Energy Dissipator” from the Chel Grett. The set bonus also increases the effect of both console abilities by boosting captain skill bonuses. I really bragged this ship up in the aforementioned preview last month. Now I have had the opportunity to test it in combat.
I really like this ship, I like it allot, but it does give me some frustration. This is a fairly fragile ship. I know, it’s a Raider and like its Klingon brethren it is supposed to be fragile. But this ship only has two engineering console slots. It has three science and a whopping five tactical. I get the five tactical, Raiders are quick strike, alpha killers. But with out the battle cloak this ship gets into trouble quickly, especially with the Borg on Elite STFs. I know there are some of you out there that are STO ship building Gods. I am not however, quite as effective. I did take advantage of the two Breen consoles and that leaves me with just eight console slots. I place one special console in tactical the other in science, but I may just put both in tactical and add some shield healing in the sci spot. I find myself putting an engineer in the Lt Commander Universal BOFF seat. I would love to put another tac in there to just lay waste on offense but the ship explodes into a scary fireball the minute the Borg put the energy drain and plasma burn on. I can actually tank really well with this ship against the Voth with my current setup. The Borg on Elite just seem to get me with the combination of shield drain, plasma hull burn and that stupid ability they have to reset every BOFF cool down cycle! Especially on the Elite, “Infected: Conduit” STF. So there I am, ass hanging out in the breeze, no shields, burning hull and every BOFF on a bathroom break at the same time! I hate it when that happens. I do not have these troubles with my Fleet Tactical Escort Retrofit or Fleet Chimera, but these are more resilient ships.
What is amazing about this Breen Raider, is the four universal BOFF seats and a Commander tactical seat. This ship can be well tweaked to suit just about any situation. Admiral Sager’s set up shown here offers pretty good tanking for this class of ship; except in one pesky Elite STF, “Infected: Conduit” That one is tough on the Admiral’s Plesh Brek for the reasons mentioned above.
Admiral Be’ina has been tearing up the Romulan patrol missions in the Tao Dewa sector with her Breen Raider. She has a beam set up with dual beams up front. I like the dual beams, they are nearly as powerful as dual cannons, but they don’t have the alpha strike punch that you get with the cannon BOFF attacks, Scatter Volley and Rapid Fire. Still, she is an engineer so the beam setup seems somehow, fitting.
Admiral Sager has been running this ship with that second sci BOFF that has “mask energy signature” and “polarize hull”. The mask energy signature works well for an alpha strike and then is useless. Polarize hull will get you out of most tractor beam locks (except PVP) and that is very useful against many PVE enemies. I still think Admiral Sager should give up on that second science BOFF at LT and just put another engineer in there with emergency power to the shields and auxiliary power to structural integrity. Aux to structural is a great buff that has a short cool down. When you have two instances of it, you can run it every 15 seconds. That gives a hull heal and damage resistance buff that is most helpful with this ship.
This one man jury is still out on this ship. I love it, but do I love it more than my Fleet Tac or my Fleet Chimera? Will my KDF Roddicka like it better than her B’rel retrofit? I do not know. I know that the amazing versatile BOFF setup is a huge advantage over the two Feddie ships I mentioned. As for the KDF BOPs, they have all universal slots but only four of them. This ship has four universals and a tactical! Those metal encased, frozen extraterrestrials really know how to make a ship!