One of the long-running complaints with Star Trek Online has been the serious lack of science ships for the KDF and Romulan factions. This is understandable as each factions strengths produce ships with unique capabilities.
- The Federation has an abundance of decent T6 and T5-U science options.
- The Romulans have Battle Cloaks, singularity abilities and access to the current king of DPS – The
- The KDF have… wait, what do the KDF have that make them stand out? Bird’s of Prey with universal seating? Elite
DisruptersDisruptors A really cool backstory? They DO have Worf, and that’s freaking awesome.
Ok – Faction balance and uniqueness should be a post in itself.
Updated: Over the last three seasons, beginning with Season 8: The Sphere. the options for new cross-faction science starships have been limited to the Voth Palisade Science Vessel – a redressed version of the Voth frigate and the Tholian Orb Weaver (thanks Val). Both are decent ships in their own right, the Voth is available as a lobi purchase and Orb Weaver originated in the Tholian Lockbox. Both can be found on the exchange.. But when compared to the T5 Vesta Multi-Mission Explorers (yup, I have a biased opinion on them), these ships were seen as under-performers.
Fast forward to today, and you will be hard pressed to find either still in active service.
Enter the T6 Krenim Annorax Science Dreadnought
The ship has been made available as part of a limited time promotion with the Delta Duty Officer pack. When opened during a limited time-frame, players have a chance to win a dreadnought in addition to the normal contents of the package.
Based on anecdotal evidence from the first 24 hours of the promotion, players saw 1 dreadnought per every 50 packages opened. (Note: this was my experience, and that of 4 other players I spoke with. Please do not make a purchase decision based on this number).
The ship is proving to be very popular and is reaching ridiculous resale values in-game going for more than 650+ million EC – a new ship record. Sadly this puts this amazing ship out of most players hands – a 1%er ship as some would say.
The Unique Design
STO’s version was designed by Starship Artist Thomas Marrone. Based on the original ship design from the two-part “Year of Hell” Voyager story, the “weaponship“ was a massive vessel protected by a Temporal Core, and was capable of ‘removing’ entire races from the timeline through the use of it’s Temporal Incursion weapon. It was a high point of the Voyager series, and when we heard that Delta Rising would bring us to that region of space, there was more than a chance we’d see a playable version of this vessel.
From Thomas’s Blog: “This was a challenging ship because I had to make a custom material that matched the unique patterning seen on the original. It was actually reminiscent of the hull plating used on the 3D model of Babylon 5, which would make sense as Foundation imaging worked on Babylon 5 before they started doing visual effects for Voyager”
My first impressions of the ship were extremely positive. The details matched the episode very closely, and while this ship is not the one built by Annorax, a significant amount of effort went in to maintaining the canon feel to it.
The ship also comes with a unique singe-room Krenim bridge. Part of me wishes that given the effort put into the Research Fleet Holding, that some of those assets could have been reused to expand upon the ship interior. *sigh* Still pretty cool.
the layout & consoles
Being the first T6 Science Dreadnought, it’s very hard to offer a practical comparison with other ships. It is a science ship with a secondary deflector + subsystem targeting + sensor analysis, but of a size and capability we’ve not seen before. The shield modifier is one of the higher values in the game at 1.45. 4 weapons fore, and three aft plus a built in Chroniton Lance. It most definitely has the feel of a slow flight deck heavy cruiser, but with it’s innate abilities and access to special consoles – it’s very much one of the more unique ships in the game.
As always, my builds are based on using the special consoles ’cause they’re supposed to be fun. And any decent starship is naked without a torpedo launcher.
As the Chroniton Lance and it’s unique console Temporal Distortion Field are AP based, I made the decision to use AP weaponry exclusively.
The Chroniton Lance fires after a 2 second delay, and fires twice in a row with a 2 minute CD. It’s similar in effect to other lance weapons, and appears to have a piercing effect on the targets you hit. This I really liked using and actually found it to be useful.
The Temporal Distortion Field console is interesting, although I often forgot to use it in combat. The immunity effect is a nice and when I did use it correctly, it allowed me to get away from combat while delivering a love tap to those around me. The visual effect is quite nice from my perspective – not sure what others see as I’ have yet to see another player use it.
One of the other unique console sets usable on the Annorax is the set from the previous Wells-Class ships and her cousins. I’ve written about this set recently, and I was unsure how it would work on a ship this size.
The Manheim Device was notorious for being the suicide console. I can report that recent changes to the device makes it significantly more usable. In fact, it’s almost OP.
The device works by summoning 2 quantum duplicates of your ship to help the fight. These vessels are ‘out of the box’ duplicates meaning they only have the base weaponry, and they come from two points in your time stream. What makes this work is that Cryptic has added a +100 All Damage Resistance for 30 seconds. I had little difficulty summing these ships moments before a point-blank CCA detonation, and walking away unscathed. In fact I got so cocky with this device, it’s pretty much the only thing from the set I use.
The Tipler Cylinder works as expected providing a decent hit point and shields improvement. What seems to be missing from the description was the reduction in CD on your abilities. Unsure if this is a description oversight, but it appears to work in game.
Lastly I also acquired the Ultra Rare Elite Krenim Heavy Raiders. The hanger supports two of these frigate-class heavy raiders. They are very survivable having 44.5K hull and a decent array of weapons and special abilities.
How does it play?
Rightly or wrongly, people inevitably compare the new big ship to the Scimidar. In my limited opinion, it’s better – or at least – it’s more fun. More options, more powers, more abilities and a healthy ordinance package.
Honestly, I’m was a little taken aback by it’s survivability. I’m used to my sci toons saying ‘Oh Shit’ as the shield drop, and I become other statistic.
It is slow and I found the Tachyokinetic Converter console was a must. I might even investigate that as part of the Temporal weapons set.
My sample build above was really just for fun and to get a sense of whether the console set is worth it. Even with my hap-hazard officer seating, I had little difficulty dominating. I use the term dominating with a smile, as this science captain alt has never gotten over 20K before this easily.
This ship has a lot potential with multiple build opportunities. It’s not a one-trick pony. I’m sure over the course of this weekend others better than I at builds will make suggestions. I guess what really stood out was that the consoles actually worked, and that I didn’t have to work hard to achieve decent damage.
I’m actually thinking of making the consoles a regular feature.
So was it worth it?
Hell yes. Zero buyers remorse. In fact it’s all I’ve played with since opening the box, and i’m looking forward to pushing the limits of many (better and wiser) builds on her. And I’m seriously considering getting another for my KDF Science Alt. *sigh*
If only Cryptic would make these account wide.