By now most of you have probably completed the Midnight episode multiple times. As of today all of the special mission rewards are unlocked. The rewards are the three pieces to the Desperate Defenses Space Set; Sol Defense Deflector, Sol Defense Impulse Engines. Sol Defense Covariant Shield, and the unrelated personal space trait unlock which I equipped on Admiral Sager. The Admiral also equipped the Desperate Defenses Space Set which currently resides on his Ferengi Nandi Warship. The trait gives a substantial boost to hull every time your ship drops below 50% but not more than once per 90 seconds.
We are all in that in between seasons mode now that the Iconian conflict has officially ended. Here we are gathering up goodies and skill points and all of that grindy MMO stuff. We wait in anticipation of the new season, which has the potential to rival the amazing Legacy of Romulus expansion.
In the mean time, have you all collected the Sol Defense pieces yet? I was not sure what to think of the set initially. The stats looked good, but not over the moon, so to speak. I had to find out how the system performed under pressure. Would the shields hold up? Would the special set 3 active ability be valuable? These are important questions and they had to be answered.
I decided the Ferengi Nandi would be a good test candidate. The ship is not a weakling per se, but it is not a tank either; the shield would be well-tested. Admiral Sager’s Nandi is fully mastered and the Admiral has the strongest overall stats of any of my toons. He has fully completed the Pilot specialization tree and has all of the Space abilities maxed for Intelligence Specialization. Pilot is primary and Intelligence is secondary. He has all reputation systems maxed out. The Nandi itself is well equipped but doesn’t have any real über gear other than a couple of ultra-rare consoles.
The Sol Defense Deflector is the first of the set. The nice thing about the deflector is that it offers career neutral abilities. The bonuses are primarily defense related and can be effective and useful for any toon. Having a plus 35 to any skill is very good and this deflector adds +35 to the shield emitters, significantly improving shield heals. Having a power system bonus is always nice on these items and +5 to auxiliary is generous. I have always favored the positron deflectors for the generally neutral buffs to shield capacity, shield healing and hull strength. Although this deflector is not quite the same it is similar in effect.
The Sol Defense impulse engines are pretty cool as well. +5 to shield power is always welcome and look at that special perk; 25% chance to gain 3.5% turn rate and 0.75% defense every time you are hit with a directed energy attack, ie. beams and cannons. It can stack up to 5 times and that means during a shitstorm like the Crystalline Entity on advanced, you can have up to +17.5% bonus turn rate and more than 4% defense nearly all the time. I would have liked to had the turn rate be +18.5 and the full impulse be 13.5 instead of vice versa, but that is a minor complaint 😉
The Sol Defense Covariant shield was the last item of the set and it was released last week. It’s overall capacity is standard covariant Mk XII, so it is not as heavy as the über Adapted MACO or a [Cap]x3; but this boss master offers a flat 10% resistance to ALL energy damage and +15% on all incoming shield heals! It’s a damn good shield. It’s freaking free and requires no grinding!
That brings me to the special set abilities. The 2 piece perk is a passive flat +35 to kinetic damage resistance and +25 to all energy damage resistance. These are strong bonuses, in fact strong enough to be much better than an advanced fleet grade neutronium console mk xii that offers +21.2 energy and +21.2 kinetic. This is another career neutral ability so the set is adaptable to any play style. Although some career minded players might prefer career-centric buffs, the set will still serve them well regardless of the career path.
The 3 piece set ability is an active ability that I overlooked initially. If you play a lot of advanced and elite PVE this is a stud ability. It is called, Discharge Repair Nanites. This ability offers a strong hull heal to self and all allies (max 5) in a 10km sphere. Then it grants a strong hull repair buff to all of those allies and any additional allies in a 3km sphere around them. I used this ability in the Crystalline Entity Advanced PVE with great effectiveness. Combined with the Admiral’s cooldown timer buffs the ability was available every 90 seconds or so! The standard cool-down is a very generous 2 minutes.
The ship never once got anywhere near death while spending the entire Crystaline Entity advanced mission in close, attacking the entity. I feel pretty certain that the repair nanite ability saved at least one ally ship from death. I did not test fate with the CE shockwave burst however; I used the rock-n-roll ability just as the entity was about to unleash it.
Overall, I am most pleased with this set. If you haven’t acquired the 3 pieces, I will say that it is more than worth the 30 minutes a piece it will take to acquire. Don’t forget that this is not mindless grinding as your toon will also gain the skill points and other mission rewards as well. The Midnight mission is a pretty good mission anyway and not too boring as a repeatable mission.
I say this over and over again, the game does offer some pretty good freebie gear and one cannot say that about many MMOs. Most MMOs force you spend real world cash or endless hours of horrific grinding to get juicy stuff. There is some grindy crap in STO to be sure, and they have no shortage of money-sucking schemes in the form of ships and other unlocks for Zen. They do however throw a lot of easy bones out for us to chew on, absolutely free of charge and often with minimal effort. Take the freebies my friends, take ’em 🙂