Introducing the Icarus
hands down – the closest the federation will get to having a Bug Ship.
Full disclosure – I purchased the Pilot Escort Mega Bundle. I have enough alts that can take advantage of them, and decided to start with the Feds tonight.. To be honest I’m not a fan of escorts. They take a significant amount of skill normally to use them effectively. I’ve been leaning on the FAW crutch for so long now, I’ve gotten rusty.
As I noted in my comparison chart all three have multiple components that you can swap out. The pilot ships have impulse, deflector and wing configurations that are easily interchangeable along with the three hull types. What I really liked was being able to swap out the deflectors and impulse engines, making my Icarus Science escort look sleeker and ready for combat. Top to bottom, it’s a clean looking design.
The console set
I used the three consoles primarily to try the value of the 3-piece bonuses. They do not share a CD, however each comes with the standard 2min CD. Combined the three produce a number of interesting abilities, but what stands out is +33% Cannon and Turret Weapon Damage. Here’s the full bonus set:
Subspace Eddy – was a hard one to judge. In combat where I’m being chased by multiple bougies the ability to drop 5 looked on paper to be of value. In ISE it didn’t seem to be that great, but I’m excited to try it in the new Gates of Gre’Thor STF. It’s secondary passive ability of resisting speed and turn debuffs is based on your throttle settings. I have not played with this enough to say yeah or nay.
Spatial Sinkhole Generator – had a certain amount of WOW factor. Think short lived, ultra powerful Gravity Well that seemed to have little difficulty in grabbing all 6 spheres in ISN. The increased range from the set bonus made it a very effective tool for grouping your kills. The only drawback, it’s ridiculously short (lasted less than 10 seconds). The secondary ability adds +7.5% to Exotic Damage.
Microprojectile Barrage Launcher – this was very cool. First it’s point and fire, meaning you spray missiles in a 90 degree cone from the front of your ship. I made the mistake a few times to do a turn or special maneuver, causing the spray to go everywhere. The effect lasts for seven seconds, which can almost seem like an eternity. The damage was substantial, but nowhere as good as the nadion bomb console. But it will target up to five targets in that range. The secondary ability, almost worth the console slot on it’s own adds 25% mine and torpedo damage.
Will I keep using the consoles?
If I stick with a cannon-only build, yes. The added bonuses and the extra damage make for a surprisingly well balanced ship. But an AP beamscort build calls to me… it vexes me…
How does the pilot enhancements work?
First off – even with the lag, the pilot maneuvers worked really well. They CANNOT be chained as was demonstrated in the GIF animations produced by Cryptic. I don’t think this was meant to be deceptive, but rather demonstrated on purpose. Each time I used an ability, it took approximately 7 seconds for the ability to recharge.
The new HUD addition offers a variety of controls, and you can easily enable/disable the double tap activation. It took a while for me to ‘calm the fuck down’ while controlling my ship. More often than not I found myself suddenly speeding up, rolling or slowing down because of my frenetic use of the keys. Once I slowed the finger strokes, suddenly this ship became a very interesting craft to fly. Yes Captain Gecko, the pilot maneuvers are frikin cool. Within a few runs I was getting the hang of doing left to right rolls, but the ones I found myself using the most were the retro rockets and the afterburners.
Double click W – move 5km forward.
Double click S – move 5 km back
Double click A or D – move 3km left or right (and it looks sweeeeet).
How does it fight? If fights like a Jem’Hadar BUG.
I hesitate to compare it to the Jem Bug, as I don’t own one. I do own the Strike Ship and after a few runs I found it to be surprisingly agile and very much like the Strike ship in many ways. Obviously the boff seating of the bug is much more versatile, and it comes with more abilities – but after trying the piloting maneuvers I found my Delta Recruit was doing as much damage as my Lvl 60 primary toon with the Jem Ha’dar Strike Ship.
I would not be surprised if the Strike Ship shows up with Pilot enhancements.
Yes, I spent as much time blowing up and sucking breeches as I did in doing damage. But in subsequent runs in ISA I had little difficulty in pushing 18K DPS. Not bad for a crappy pilot running VR XIV gear. I’m very tempted to drop all the consoles, and build this out as AP beamscort.
OK – So after calling Cryptic out on the idea of ‘packaging’ pilot abilities for a new ship, how do you feel now?
A bit like an idiot. But I blame Cryptic, because it’s what I do best. Thier descriptions did NOT do justice to the ships capabilities. And I simply don’t trust anything that Gecko says..
Worth the cost. Definitely no buyers remorse with this purchase, even though I am not an escort fan. It’s going to be fun to use these ships on my Delta Recruits. I can’t wait to try the Romulan version next. Or maybe the KDF…