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.

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6 thoughts on “Driving the Dauntless

  1. Nice 🙂 finally a science ship:)
    I was lucky to get into a fleet with really good science captains and got a great tip about using Tractor Beam Repulsors with a duty officer (Graga Mal) that turns them into pulling beams. It’s great dmg. Gravity Well and them drag the enemies around the Well with the Repulsors. Even with my combination of blue and purple particle generator consoles I get great damage with these things, I use TBR 2 twice since my Pathfinder has a commander and lieutenant commander science.

    And finally besides the damage – it’s just the most fun thing ever, dragging them behind your ship or around the gravity well. You pull 3 ships at a time.

    However, without the expensive duty officer these things are barely usable, in their original form they push ships back out of your range and you only get a few seconds of damage ticks.

    After playing Sto for 2 months now i tried most ship types and I keep going back to science, but I still enjoy the Phantom and the Presidio.

    Change is good! Even for a short time. It’s good to change the angle.

    Looking forward to your Scryer review 🙂

    1. One further note on Tractor Repulsors, They can be very effective for ships with a strong forward attack to maximize an alpha strike. Escorts often over run the enemy before the alpha buff is timed out wasting serious damage opportunity. This happens with any ship quite commonly, when facing an enemy coming towards you. I use repulsors to keep pushing the enemy away while I continiously hit them with my Alpha strike of terror. For non-science captains the damage caused by the repulsors is moot, the damage is coming from the alpha tactical attack. I did not build my top science office as a “true” science officer. She still has some points in engineering and tactical. My newest science officer is level 20 and he will be a true science officer that can crush a ship with a tractor beam 🙂

      1. That sounds like a great idea actually, l’lI keep it in mind if I bring myself to starting an alt.

        The Delta recruitment thing looks like a good time to make my first alt tho. And most likely a tactical officer since my main is science.

        I’m very excited about the game just wish it was lighter on the wallet. For a free game I spent a lot of money on it just buying a few ships.

        But supporting the game is fine as long as they don’t overdo it!

        I got the Pathfinder, Phantom Intel tactical and command battlecruiser Presido, couldn’t resist not having those traits but I actually like playing those ships in the end. I’m way over budget on Sto but I feel like I have a good bunch of ships to build at the moment.

  2. The F2P model is heavily reliant on tempting micro-transactions for revenue. STO can be played and can be very fun without spending any real world money. There are some very good free ships, both awarded by Admiral Quinn and through events. I have a few toons that have spent only 1000 zen (upgrade token and ships slots) and they fly nice ships. Remember that the ships you purchased can be used by any future qualifying toon you create. The qualifier being the faction. Klingon toons cannot fly Starfleet ships and vice versa. You can create a Romulan character and enjoy the alternate story arc and if you ally with the feds that toon will have access to the ships you purchased. The fee you paid for those ships was an account-wide unlock. Be sure to unlock all of the reputation tiers, it takes time but you gain valuable and powerful traits. Also completing the specialization trees offers ship traits as well. Take every free ship especially the t6 ships and at least get the mastery traits from them. I have spent well over $1000 on STO probably closer to two thousand, but I have certain toons that I don’t spend cash on. They are not as “tough” as my money toons, but they play fine in all but the hardest PVE missions and PVP. I think that being able to play for free or at least with minimal expenses is something STO does well and that will help keep the servers full of players.

    1. I understand they need to make money to stay in business but their current model could be better.
      I’m really enjoying the game tho so I hope it survives the invasion of new mmos.

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