Having finally having a chance to outfit and fly each of the new Heavy Escort Carriers (ok, ok, they’re not all HEC’s – but lets not quibble) its time to march out an easy-to-check comparison chart. This time I’ve expanded the chart to include a ship not found in this bundle as well, in addition to the fleet versions.
If you find information that is incorrect as of today’s publishing date, please comment below and I’ll update. My source was the original posts on the forums found here:
My First thoughts on the Alita Class
Simply beautiful. I immediately ran to the ship tailor to improve upon it but after multiple variations (many of which were visually striking), I stuck with the Alita format.
It was juuust right.
Cryptic – make ship patches with every new release 😉 I’ll buy them.
The level of detailing is very sharp. I loved the hanger door numbers, and the primary deflector disk design trend is starting to grow on me. Further recessed, almost protected.
The Federation version is the only true heavy escort carrier of the group, and it’s my first love. Once I made the purchase, I dropped whatever I had planned for my top tactical alt, and built out a ‘classic’ mixed loadout of cannons, torps and beams. I had the full set of consoles so I begrudgingly threw out 12 months of DPS schooling and built the ship to take advantage of the consoles.
No – that wasn’t the actual build I used. But it was close to this configuration, albeit with 2 less torps aft. But I’ve always wondered why the base builds sometimes come out like this?
Two hours later initial response was – I can’t go home again. I was completely inept. Where the point defense consoles were once serious upticks on DPS, in today’s revised meta they were little more than annoyances. There was a time when the Phaser Point Defense system could save my ass in KASE stopping a probe from slipping through the gate, but today there were little more than fireworks. Ok – that was harsh. They do decent damage. This isn’t to say the console doesn’t have it’s uses, or that the set couldn’t be more effective in a better pilots hands. What it does say is this pilot prefers a different playstyle than the one I enjoyed two years ago.
While recent consoles have proven to be viable (Command ship consoles – I actually like them), this current combination left me with a meh feeling about the experience.
My first runs in ISA were lackluster, albeit fun to watch. Topping out at 10.5K DPS, I was at best a drag on my fellow puggers. I did have fun in the random alerts that pepper the maps, and the collective nature of the gear made it visually more enjoyable.
So if it’s not DPS you’re looking for, but the experience and visual aspect – this set is fun. It perfectly viable for the games content.
Back in normal space, I swapped in a full cannon-only build. And made another set of runs. 14.2K DPS. While not entirely bad, with some work on my playstyle I could see myself pushing 20K. But it wasn’t making me happy. Saying goodbye to the consoles (stored safely for the inevitable 4-pc bonus set on the T7 version in late 2018), I went back to my ‘almost-DPS’ build I currently like.
WARNING: THE FOLLOWING BUILD IS DONE BY AN AMATEUR. COPY AT YOUR OWN RISK.
I threw in the Spacial Charge console because I don’t enough tactical consoles on this toon. Thankfully this is the Upgrade Weekend and I have the fleet credits from building out the new Research Station to expand my console set. After blowing up as often as I did, I discovered the value of the Reactive Armour Catalysts (that roundish thing in my device tray)
Within a few runs I was back up in the low 20K’s. But after trying the other two ships I came to quickly discover the Federation got the short end of the stick on this set, although it does stand out as the best design update.
Why the short end of the stick? Maybe, maybe not. I wrote this before i tried it on a science captain with nothing to lose.
Beyond the classic escort role, what else could it do? The BOFF seating arrangement is good for tactical, but not much else. A typical pin & spike build wasn’t possible – no Lt.Com seat in Science or Universal. Drain builds just not viable. This weeks episode of the SHOW said it first.
When compared to the BOFF layout of the other two ships, the range of builds for the Qa’Tel and the Jhu’ael becomes more viable. Swapping to a KDF Science alt and then over to my Reman Science alt, I had little difficulty making them both into very playable ships. I may write more about them in the future, but the simplest explanation of why I enjoy them more as playable ships in that they are more flexible. Gravity well is a play style choice that if I have a Lt.Com seat available, it’s GW.
And the Romulan design is very sweet on the eyes. Now if I can just convince the designers to give her a glowing red horizontal slot fore, with a reciprocating red eye 😉 I can dream…
As for buying the set – if you have multiple alts and play both KDF and Romulan as I do this was an easy sell. In truth, I bought the set for the Alita. If you like to play with carriers the ship mastery ability is a nice to have – but i have yet to test it in combat. On the surface it has a lot of potential, and I will go back to a full carrier with at least my KDF at some point in the future to play around with it.
If you’re looking to buy them as a single purchase, then the KDF and Romulan versions are worth the expense, and you’ll have a lot of fun with the variable build potential. But given this weekends price reduction, the set is still a steal. I plan to upgrade both to the fleet versions.
Here’s the tough part: I’m torn on recommending the Alita on it’s own. It is an improvement over the original layout and design, and in the right hands has a lot of potential. The console set however is definitely not worth the space of 3 slots. And I can’t justify the fleet variant.
Update 2: a little bit blue from my tac not getting what I thought I should be getting from the Alita, I ended up building out a full build with the consoles on my Sci alt. Thinking smugly – what the heck, I’d like to try the Ship Mastery on a Carrier build. I was also a few sheets to the wind in sailors parlance and four hours past my bedtime.
With some assistance from a few fellow players messing with their builds – I built this monstrosity:
First ISA was a bit hap-hazard producing 14.8K DPS but I didn’t feel like I was holding back the pug. The real eye-opener was running Gateway to Gre’thor Advanced. The various point defenses, in concert with the Destabilized Tachyon Burst and I walked through the mission. Sure I was with a good group, but it was the easiest run I’ve ever had.
Next Up CCA, because who doesn’t run CCA at least twice per alt per day? Science Captain in a non-science build, in a CCA loaded with DPS’ers. Came in second place 😉
I need to rethink torpedoes. The original HEC was built with torpedoes in mind.
As I waited for GGA to cd (yes, the CCA was that fast) I ran Empress Sela which offered plenty of target-rich opportunities for the torpedo based ship to thrive. It was viscerally fun.
Will I keep playing the Alita? Yes, at least until a certain ‘science dreadnought’ becomes available for this scitoon. And now that I know unconventional makes this ship a lot of fun – the right tool for the right job – I’m going to have some fun, again.
Just like 2 years ago 😉
Update 1: of the three, which one do I like the most? Jhu’ael Class and I’ve named her ‘Six‘. May revise that yet 😉