I decided to build a ship entirely from freebie components that are acquired in-game for completing missions and without endless grinding. Ideally building a raider or science ship would be easiest since I need fewer weapons (6). But then I realized that building a freebie ship that anyone playing the game could easily get might make more sense. Should I build a T5 level forty ship that players can use their final rank token to acquire? Then I have to do three factions. Well to be a true stingy-class ship, getting it from the Admiral as a prize for making Rear Admiral is the best place to start.
Since most players have at least one Feddie, I’ll start there. So you just made Admiral, congratulations. Let’s take the Patrol Escort with Admiral Quinn’s final freebie token, shall we? Many of the freebie weapons sets offer weapons you can only have one per ship. Sometimes they offer a choice between cannons or beams. If you take both you can use one each of the cannon and beam weapon on the same ship. Dual Cannon weapons generally need to be used on escorts or raiders and often are not even mountable on other ships. To squeeze as much freebie sauce as possible, the escort will stretch the furthest.
Honestly without making a rainbow weapons style which is generally not the best approach I can’t really use all unique freebie weapons and the same goes for filling the 9 console slots. So I will use as much freebie stuff as possible and then go on the value hunts for the items that need to be bought or multiple runs for the same gear. I am not using reputation store or projects since they require a lot of dilithium and grinding. Understand, I genuinely recommend a lot of the reputation store projects, and I routinely use the reputation store; this project however, was designed to be as close as possible to a completely free experience. Bear in mind that the weapons and equipment that missions reward the player with are level appropriate so if you run these missions at a lower level say 40-41, you may get Mark IX or X gear. I ran all these missions at level 60 and thus received Mk XII rewards. Since the inception of Legacy of Romulus, new content has been littered with really good mission reward sets. Much of this build comes from mission rewards since the launch of LOR.
I’ll start with the space set of Shields, Engines, and Deflector. There are some good choices out there including the Quantum Phase set or the Sol Defense set. I went with the Quantum set here as resilient shields are a great all round shield choice. The Quantum Phase set is acquired piece by piece each time you complete the “Stormbound” mission. A fourth effort will yield a very rare grade science emitter console. The first time you run this mission it might take 45 minutes to an hour. Subsequent runs can be done in 30 minutes or less.
For the warp core a solid freebie comes during the Winter event as you can purchase the Cryoplasma Core from the Winter Event Vendor. It is pretty easy to earn the items needed to exchange for the core. Also if one wanted to, the Breen Absolute Zero set obtained free as mission rewards for the Breen episodes pairs up with this core for a 4th item bonus. The Breen Absolute Zero set is not as solid as this Quantum Phase set in my opinion.
Ideally a quick turning escort gets more mileage out of faster reloading Photon Torpedoes rather than Quantums; but there are some juicy quantum mission rewards so we will have to make do with the slower loading but heavy hitting big boys. The mission, “Sunrise” offers the opportunity to collect the Quantum Phase Torpedo launcher that is part of the weapons set available from multiple completions of the mission. It is a three-piece set with nice phaser based weapons and a very solid universal console that boosts phaser damage 20%, adds+3 to auxiliary power, boosts drain expertise and hot restarts auxiliary power disabling after 1 second. The nice thing is that as the ship is “built” the base weapons are also phaser so these phaser enhancements will boost the “stock” weapons that come with the ship. Run the mission 6 times to get all four pieces of the set; you only need three but like I said the escort can use both the beam array and the dual cannons. The other two runs will net a nice free turret and dual beam bank both purple with solid [acc]x2[dmg]. Same as Sunrise expect 45-60 minutes first run then 30 or less subsequently. Running the Romulan Mystery Mission, “Cutting the Cord” will get the tractor beam mine launcher. Go way back to the Klingon War series, yes, way back… run “Everything Old is New” at level 60 and you should get a Mk XII version of the Retrofit Phaser.
The mission after “Stormbound” is “Time and Tide” this is the mission with the cool chronometric weapons set. This is a solid set and if you wanted to get the Jem’Hadar space set as mission rewards in that series it boosts polaron damage by 13.3% and the chronometirc weapons are polaron based. But for this build I just used the free engineering console very rare Mk XII boosts weapon power +4.
The Krenim Missions offer up a nice series of weapons and space equipment best used with tetryon weapons. There is however an opportunity to snag a solid mission reward science console that offers big boost to shields, +4 to auxiliary power and bonuses to crit severity and chance based on auxiliary power levels. This console is part of a set but since this build is using phasers the set bonuses are not critical here.
Finishing out the consoles with as many freebies as I can here. Better than the emitter from “Stormbound” mentioned above is one of the mission rewards for “Reunion” a Tuvok mission. Here you can get a Science Field Generator in Mk XIII for a fat 21.2% shield capacity boost. The mission, “Delta Flight” is part of the Iconian War series and it offers two consoles for engineering. One is a Neutronium Alloy Mk XII very rare offing solid boosts to damage resistance. The other is a special Polaric console that improves speed and “handling” of your ship. The mission, “Reunion” nets a Mk XIII version of the Neutronium Alloy console, but I think it’s rare instead of purple so it nets the same as the one above. Reunion also offers a Mk XIII Tactical Warhead Yield chamber that boosts all kinetic damage (torpedoes). The tactical consoles are the part that is a challenge. The counter command multi energy relay is a mission reward for, “Surface Tension”. This boosts both disruptor and phaser damage and it boosts radiation and photon damage as well (26.6%). Maybe swap the Phase quantums out for a Photon or Hargh’Peng. This is where the freebie train stops and the stingy miser must find value in a console that will pump up damage well enough to keep the ship in the fight. A fleet vulnerability console for phasers would work well or solid reputation console to suit your style.
Players in the KDF can consider a build around the Preserver Resonant Tech set which uses transphasic and disruptor weapons that give temporary hit points. All freebie mission rewards as well. Any players that want to build a freebie ship with Antiproton should get the ancient obelisk set with warp core and onmi antiproton beam. Other missions offer freebie purple grade antiproton weapons to fill out the ships bays.
The layout of this ship is greatly improved by not mixing the cannons and beams. I could easily just load up another of the freebie dual beam banks up front to replace the dual cannons and I still have the set reward. The rear turret could be replaced with another example of the Retrofit Phaser by running the old Klingon War mission twice or better yet, run three of the dual beams up front and place the Quantum Phase Beam Array aft. Now I can concentrate on beam attacks instead and use some of the extra tactical BOFF abilities for extra tac team, etc.
I just through together some basic BOFF setups, these are not necessarily the ideal way to go but it allowed me to test the ship out and see how it survives and deals damage. Surprisingly this little package did well. This is a nearly 100% freebie ship!
Here is the breakdown on time, cost to build.
Depending on the exact set of gear one wants an assortment of the mentioned missions above totaling about 20 missions and 6-8 hours of game play. Of course I already owned all the gear from playing the missions previously. I only had to rerun a couple of missions to get updated Mk XII versions. For me I had this ship set up both ways in an hour.
The only expense is the Fleet Tactical Console, Vulnerability Locator which costs 10,000 Dilithium and 50,000 fleet credits. One could use a mob drop phaser console instead to keep the freebie theme alive. Speaking of mob drops, anytime I get a Mk XII or better purple drop, I bank it for future use, unless it is an item I know I’ll never, ever use. There are many great consoles sold on the exchange as well; some are pretty cheap relative to what they offer.
The tactical counter command and the rep store universal version are epic when used on the C-Store Patrol Escort and its Nadion Saturation Bomb!
So there it is a complete ship build on Cryptic’s dime. You won’t break any kill records with it but it’s nice to know that you can play this game without spending a bunch of real world money. Remember these weapons and consoles mostly came from missions in the main story arc. The only ones you have to re-do are the early missions so as to get updated Mk XII versions. I wouldn’t spend any resources upgrading these weapons and consoles, the whole idea is a freebie ship. If you intend to spend resources or money, then much better builds can be made.
Try building out a freebie ship and see what you come up with. Post comments on freebie builds you have. I don’t doubt the community has created great builds, equally cheap. Tell us about yours.