Earlier today LaughingTrendy posted the Ship stats for the Federation, KDF and Romulan Pilot Ship stats. Comparing them to the most recent T6 Escort/Warbirds, and Raptors these new ships have better hull, shields, turn rate and impulse modifiers.
The KDF get the standard cloak, while the Romulans get the Battle Cloak. Hybrid seating options offer another set of new pilot-related abilities that depending on who you talk to impacts game lag – ok, ok, I had to say it. You were thinking the same thing.
The big difference with these ships are a number of innate capabilities built right in to improve a player’s enjoyment. Unlike pilot abilities or traits that passively act, these new Pilot Maneuvers are hotkey accessible. Each maneuver comes with a short CD – although at this time the actual CD has not been disclosed.
Each Pilot Maneuver (sometimes called a Tactical Maneuver) grants the user a brief period of immunity. If it’s anything like the Barrel Roll – these new hotkey activated abilities offer an additional bonus of survivability, which for an escort is invaluable. Currently there are three:
By double tapping the W key (by default) you will fly forward in a quick burst of speed covering a good distance. Afterburners can allow you to get out of a dangerous area quickly and grant you a brief period of damage immunity.
Barrel Roll (Left/Right)
You can perform a barrel roll to the left by double tapping the A key (by default) or to the right by double tapping the D key (by default). Barrel Rolls will cause you to travel some distance in the direction chosen and can help you escape hazards (like a Thalaron Burst or Crescent Wave Cannon for example). Like Afterburners, Barrel Rolls also grant you a brief period of immunity to damage.
You can activate your pilot ship’s retrorockets by double tapping the S key (by default). This will cause your ship to lunge backwards a fair distance allowing you to get behind a pursuing target or to just continue another attack run. Retrorockets also grants you a brief period of damage immunity.
The Lootcritter Comparison Chart
The Ship Designs
What stands out for me are the designs of these ships. They truly knocked the ball out of the park again with this set. While the initial images of the Command Ships release earlier this year were initially not that well received, the ships in-game were amazing. The customization options were exemplary. Again, each set of pilot ships will have multiple options for body styles, nacelles and struts.
I particularly liked the Romulan Command Warbird design options.
While we don’t have confirmation yet, if the console set does not share a CD, this will be another step forward in terms of game mechanics. One of the nicer points to the command ships is the ability to drop all three platforms within seconds if need be. Now while most of use eventually drop the console sets for more dps-oriented builds, I found that these sets offered the kind of flexibility that outweighed the DPS advantages. They were fun to play with.
Another Mega-Set of Ships so soon?
In addition to my distaste for pilot-abilities, Cryptic is dropping another set of ships on an already crowded field. For those of us with ship-collection issues, this really is hurting the pocket book. I have not even had a chance to collect my Ship Masteries from the Command Cruisers, and now I’m faced with even more options. $120 dollars worth. Yeah, yeah woe is me.
But really Cryptic, are you hurting that much for cash that ships are all you have left to build business? Maybe if you concentrated on getting players back who’ve abandoned the game since Delta Rising was mis-launched. Wait, that was Delta Recruits… and you gave away the store. And introduced mission stopping bugs which prevent Delta Recruits from completing all the missions. *Facepalm* So many missed opportunities.
But I digress…
I’m also running out of space. I’m not using the sets of ships I have already bought, and new ships are dropping every thirty days. You need to do something major about the limitations of ship ownership.
Lastly a huge red flag is that Cryptic has yet to manage the tremendous lag that the game is producing for many players. Now before we blame their ISP Cogent, you’ve all seen the videos from the DPS Leagues showing ability-less and Command Cruiser ISA runs. It’s clear that all of these new abilities are impacting the servers performance. Even Salami Inferno has admitted that a problem does exist.
Will adding another feature-rich starship to an already laggy environment really improve the situation? I’m skeptical.
So at the end of the day, one of the things that Cryptic does well is release new and intriguing starships to play. I just wish the game was stable enough that we could enjoy all of the abilities we pay for.