I mentioned last week I had found a deal on the exchange. In fact I found a couple. The Tholian Orb Weaver ships are selling in the 80 million EC range and that is a pretty decent science ship. It has one of the three pieces to the Tholian Technologies set. The other pieces are found on the Recluse (800 Lobi) and the Tarantula (lockbox or stupid money on the exchange). This Orb Weaver offers up the Tholian web console, that crushes the enemy ship it entraps similar to the Tholian web mines in the Nukara reputation. So that’s a cool ship, but I didn’t buy one of those. I bought a nice cheap ship for less than 4 million EC and it turned out to be a fantastic piece of space faring tech.
The Sphere Builder Arehbes Destroyer was very much to my surprise an amazing little ship. Like I wrote above, I paid just 4 million EC for it. In the STO-verse that’s like candy bar money. This is akin to buying a brand new car for $1000. Expectations are really low, but this ship delivers and frankly I have paid 100 million EC for ships no better than this.
As I have mentioned many times before, these ‘El Cheapo’ ships are not going to go toe to toe with a badass T6 C-store ship or even with a 800-900 Lobi machine available from that shifty capitalist on Drozana Station. But for a Science or Engineering character looking for a little sports car with a set of big guns, these inexpensive ships could be the ideal ticket.
For me I have 11 toons spread across all factions and career paths and as such I have made some C-store purchases that cross all three career paths. I can have Rodessa, my top Feddie science toon flying in the the Defiant if I want. But I still like to have as many ships as possible. My primary character, Admiral Sager has nearly 90 ships in his admiralty fleet. The Admiral goes up a level every day or two just using the admiralty system. It’s good having these cheap ships if not for any other reason, they pad your admiralty fleet. Don’t worry about ship slots as you don’t need to “keep” the ships to have them in the Admiralty fleets, read about it here.
Other players may have only one toon and if so, they may not want to spend 2500-3000 Zen to get a ship that doesn’t support the career path. Especially when it’s a “just for fun” exercise. It is pretty damn easy to come up with 3-4 million EC.
This ship is labeled as a destroyer but like the Nihydron destroyer I reviewed last summer (click here), this is not really a pure destroyer like the Chel Grett. It is more of an escort as it has escort-like turn rate and a 4/3 weapons layout. It does have the destroyer mastery system however. To upgrade the ship to T5-U will require an upgrade token. I did choose to spend the token and do not regret that decision at all. Below is a screen shot showing my equipment setup. It is all MK XII mostly purple stuff and nothing really fantastic. I chose to stay with the default weapon energy type but upgraded to exchange purchased weapons with purple attributes. The default is Delphic Antipoton. This version of antiproton weapon does not have the standard +20% critical severity, but a variation of the crit advantage using a 2.5% proc that triggers “Delphic Overcharge”. The proc gives a 5 second period where the critical hit chance is buffed 10% and the critical damage is boosted 10%. I loaded the Kelvin Timeline Photon Torpedoes at each end as this ship’s swervy 16.5 turn rate allows it to come about quickly and take advantage of the crazy fast reload time on Kelvins.
I called the ship the ‘Magic Marble’ because there is this glowy alien sphere suspended in the aft section of the ship. It is a cool looking ship and its performance equals its appearance. I ran the ship through all four of my “official” Romulan Patrols on the “Top Gun Patrol Kings” and even with inferior Mk XII gear its times were impressive. Near two-minute runs in Carraya and Japori that are scary close to some times I have with Mk XIV equipped ships! I am seriously considering this ship with Mark XIV gear. I could just run the antiproton weapons from the Admiral’s Avenger, but I kind of like having the faction proper, Delphic weapons. So I’ll have to decide whether I want to upgrade all those to Mk XIV.
Although the ship is more escort than destroyer, it does have a solid 0.95 shield modifier which is better than most escorts and nearly all KDF raptors. The 16.5 turn rate is better than most Feddie escorts and KDF raptors as well. Hull rating is very raptor-ish which is good for a ship that manuevers this well. Hands down this ship will take the Nihydron Destroyer to proverbial woodshed. I am torn between this Sphere Builder ship and the Tholian Meshweaver Escort I tested last winter. The Meshweaver is a tiny bit more agile and offers slightly better shields, but has the softer hull. The Arehbes is very weak on engineering consoles with just one.
I may have to re-equip the Meshweaver with single cannons and rerun it through the Patrols, but for now this ‘magic marble’ out performs it. That could be more about the gear than the ship. I think if I equipped them identically the Meshweaver might be the better ship tactically.
Below are the obligatory charts comparing several ships…