I mentioned last week, I have acquired the Aquarius Light Escort. This is essentially a Federation “raider” that has the standard raider class 4/2 weapons layout and benefits from raider flanking. I have wanted one of these for a long time but never got one because it is really not that great a ship on paper.
I am sitting on a pile fleet credits that I have been donating to projects and decided to go ahead and get the fleet version of the Aquarius. This is a playable ship version of the pet you get with the Tactical Odyssey Cruiser. I figured I should have the playable ship since it ties into the Odyssey that several of my toons fly at least on occasion. Admiral Sager can launch the Aquarius from the Odyssey and take off on some clandestine mission to save the galaxy…
So how is the little ship then? Better than I expected but honestly my expectations were not that high. The ship has a quick turn rate of 20 but that is no better than the more powerful pilot ships that gain an extra weapon up front and offer more hull and shields in non-fleet trim. Fleeted up the Aquarius bests the Pilot which has no fleet version at this time. It is not as tight on the corners as most raider class ships and ought to have a little something, somewhere to compensate for its weaker turning profile. It is classified as an escort but has a hull that is more raider-like. Shields are escort strong however. Like a raider class vessel it offers all the lower rank seats as universal. The Commander is of course a tactical.
You will see that the WIKI has two errors on the ship. Most egregious is the impulse modifier of 0.15 which is cruiser speed. I haven’t done a full engine test but I believe based on initial testing that it is 0.20 like the typical feddy escort. The Wiki also says it has 4 device slots which is not true either as it has the more customary 2 slots like most escorts and raiders.
The Aquarius does have a best in Fed stat as it has the most flexible seating of any pure Federation only ship. Those four universal seats give the captain some serious officer maneuvering to tailor the ship to fit a variety of combat styles.
Once I loaded the stats into my power spreadsheet the ship calculates out stronger than it looks. I got an overall power rating of 73.61 and that is much better than a Fleet ‘Defiant’ and even better than the Tactical Pilot! I knew it would cook the ‘Defiant’ but the Pilot too? In practical combat use the Pilot will deal more damage in a frontal attack but if the little Aquarius gets on the enemy six, the raider flanking can be devastating. One ship people might consider that doesn’t cost any Zen is the Na’Kuhl Taadari Raider. This is one of the best raiders in the game offering all universal chairs and some pilot and intel hybrid chairs. The Taadari can be found on the exchange for fairly reasonable prices in the 100-200M EC. This could be a good choice against this Aquarius unless you really gotta have the playable version of the Odyssey pet like I did.
I wish they would have given this ship a better turn rate. 22 at least but other than that it is much better than expected and I am glad I bought it. Below is the obligatory chart showing the Aquarius stats against some other ships I mentioned in this post.
While I was writing this article, I started thinking again about ways Cryptic could provide more separation between the ship types. I still think the hull rating on big ships like the Odyssey, Scimitar, Bortas, etc should be MUCH higher and the escorts should get a weapon strength advantage that goes beyond the typical +15 to weapon power. I was pondering the notion that the really big ships, cruisers, carriers, dreadnoughts, etc. ought to have more BOFFs. They have enormous bridges and if you remember the Enterprise D had 7 at minimum. Remember, there were five chairs in the main area Picard, Riker, Troi in back and Data and Worf up front. But behind the captain there were three more officers. Again, smaller ships could be harder to hit and offer a serious premium to weapons damage to offset the larger ships massive hulls and 14-16 BOFF abilities. A basic T6 Cruiser could be laid out something like this with a variety of variations:
- Commander – Engineer
- Lt. Commander – Universal
- Lt. Commander – Science
- Lieutenant – Tactical
- Lieutenant – Engineer/Command
- Ensign – Universal
- Ensign – Universal
I keep dreaming this shit up, but I fear it falls on deaf ears. Oh well, STO still offers a pretty cool range of ships, captains and play styles, but they shouldn’t get too complacent.