First Impressions: Hands on with the Vorgon Xyfius Heavy Escort 3.5/5 Stars

For most players the process to earn the ship takes little more than 5 minutes a day on Risa. It can be done with a rental jetpack, and from most reports is a simple process to learn. I’m not a fan of the flying game so I took advantage of the Lobi voucher route and finished the ship on day one. There isn’t an advantage to doing this, and I highly recommend you taking the time between the dance off and hoverboard races to go after the ship.

bridge viewscreen
Bridge Viewscreen Design

The real question is – is it worth it?  The simple answer is yes for a number of reasons. Only one alt needs to play the game; everyone else gets the ship without effort from the reclaim store (and that works!). The ship itself has a decent Admiralty card. And lastly – the ship is a lot of fun to fly.

Backstory

Very little has been expressed in-game or in-canon about the Vorgon race. Introduced in TNG’s ‘Captain’s Holidays’ our first examples of the race turned out to be two criminals from the future looking for the hidden location of the “Tox Uthat”, a quantum phase inhibitor capable of halting all nuclear fusion within a star.

Beyond their introduction in the episode, very little was revealed and no Vorgon ship was ever been seen in the series or in Star Trek Online until now. An upcoming episode of the Agents of Yesterday expansion called the Vorgon Conclusion offers more information on their participation in the Temporal Cold War. I’ve played through the mission and I highly recommend you don’t skip the dialog.

Vorgon FNORD-class Starship? WTF?

STO wiki reports that the plans for a second ship have appeared in-game as part of the reward for the “Sun, Sand, and Scavenging” event run by Qwen. As of the writing of this review no-one ingame has seen or been able to acquire the ship from the event store even after successfully completing Qwen’s mission.

I am skeptical it exists because the name implies a joke. But, I’ve been wrong before 😉 From wikipedia:

Fnord is a word that was coined in 1965 by Kerry Thornley and Greg Hill in the Principia Discordia. It entered the popular culture after appearing in The Illuminatus! Trilogy (1975) of satirical and parody conspiracy fiction novels by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson. In these novels, the interjection “fnord” is given hypnotic power over the unenlightened, and children in grade school are taught to be unable to consciously see the word “fnord”. For the rest of their lives, every appearance of the word subconsciously generates a feeling of uneasiness and confusion, and prevents rational consideration of the subject.

The word is often used in newsgroup and hacker culture to indicate that someone is being ironic, humorous or surreal. Often placed at the end of a statement in brackets (fnord) to make the ironic purpose clear, it is a label that may be applied to any random or surreal sentence, coercive subtext, or anything jarringly out of context (intentionally or not). It is sometimes used as a metasyntactic variable in programming. It appears in the Church of the SubGenius recruitment film Arise! and has been used in the SubGenius newsgroup alt.slack

Vorgon Xyfius Heavy Escort 3.5/5 Stars

The first surprise is that the ship is tiny.  Significantly smaller than the first set of images alluded to.

scale comparson

The design of the ship is very organic. It has traditional warp nacelles on the exterior and time displacement disks on the inside layer of the ship. From the rear the ship appears to be mostly hollow with the fore section comprising most of the bulk. Appearing to have been designed for temporal use, the version offered by the Ferengi Lobi Consortium doesn’t have an active temporal drive or temporal seating. The only hybrid seat is the universal Lt. Commander/Intel.

new ship reward

The native design comes with a tiger-striped pattern than can be easily changed in the ship editor. When single solid colors are applied, the ship bears a striking resemblance to a Human/Mimbari Whitestar – or if you go dark – the lead Dragon from ‘How to Train Your Dragon’.

What does stand out is how where the impulse engines and deflector are hidden. The empty center of the ship appears to be the impulse focal point, providing forward thrust. The deflector is hidden within an engineering pod rudder(?) with no apparent dish to identify. It’s a bit unusual, but given it’s from the near future – anything is possible.

Update: time did not allow for a video showing off the various shield effect on this ship.  If you’d like to see the full range of effects check out STOunrefined‘s video here on Youtube.

Bridge

Prior to release there was a fair amount of discussion that the bridge was going to be something generic. I was pleasantly surprised that not only does it have a unique bridge, it’s something that’s alien and yet functional. Four command stations are enveloped by data-spheres, and from inside you can access the ships additional services. It carries through with an organic design which matches the exterior.

bridge

Universal Console – Harasser Probes

The console gives us a hint that this may not be the last Vorgon ship we will encounter. While I doubt that another Vorgon ship may show up in a lockbox, given the recurring theme these ships have, we’ll likely have to wait until next summer to see the next ship from the Vorgons.

Untitled-3

At first glance the Harasser Probes didn’t really spark my interest. Instead of a hanger bay we get a universal console that deploys two level 51 Harasser Probes, potentially lasting 2 minutes. In theory this sounded terrible – two destructible probes that take two minutes to redeploy. The console provides a 25% bonus to Tetryon energy weapons and a bonus CrtD of +8%.

Recent ship consoles have been getting better, and this is a good example of a console that adds a new advantage for most of the players ingame. Unlike a hanger which gives you ‘some’ control on what your pets do, the Harasser probes only target what you are targeting and very quickly intercept and follow the target. Using a combination of Tractor beams, Tetryon beam arrays and Chroniton mines, the Harasser’s are actually effective in combat. Each probe has shields and about 24K of base hull – and they are a pest. Whether they have value for PvP is questionable at the moment, but in other PVE runs and mission content – they’re useful.

Starship Ability Package & Mastery Trait

  1. Precise Weapons Systems  +5% accuracy
  2. Tactical maneuvers  +5% defense
  3. Enhanced weapon Systems  +10% kinetic and energy damage
  4. Devastating Weaponry  + 2.5% Critical chance
  5. Harasser Mines  drops a level 51 Chroniton mine 1.5 KM from your target. Can occur every 20 seconds, with each mine doing 2.5K damage with 20% shield penetration.

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Seating

The Hybrid Intel/Universal Lt.Commander seat allows for a lot of flexibility in your design. As I’ve only had the ship a few days, I stuck with a more traditional cannon mixed build I’ve used on other escorts in the past. For this build – I went full tetryon.  After a few runs I was fairly happy with the results, but at the urging of my team mates I tried a dual beam build with mixed results.  The performance wasn’t an issue, but I will have to admit cannons are far more fun to shoot with a ship this small and agile.

seating

 

One downside is the fixed ensign TAC seat. This should have been a Universal seat for this design.

 

My Build

build

Yes, I went full Tetryon and I liked it.  Chalk that up to Sarcasm Detectors recent comments, and a desire to try something that I’ve admonished in the past. Limiting myself to 2 tactical consoles I had little difficulty hitting 25K an found the ship fun to fly.

Runs

ISA produced a health 25K with a cannon build; I was surprised that Tetryon could be this effective. At this stage I cannot provide feedback yet on the T5 mastery, as I can’t tell the difference between the Harasser probes mines and the ones generated by the trait.  The ship is a little light on the hull side, but like all escorts your role is to hit and run away.

Admiralty Card

admirlaty

In Closing

This is a fun free* ship, and stands apart as being something that I plan to use at least until AoY is released in july. Is it worth grinding for? Hell yes.  Looking for another take on this ship – be sure to check out Timberwolf’s review here.

My Two bits

Lootcritter

*Free in that you you spend 5 minutes a day to run 3 simple flying races.

3 thoughts on “First Impressions: Hands on with the Vorgon Xyfius Heavy Escort 3.5/5 Stars

  1. That black Xyfius in the top image…

    Have you tried just running the standard DHC build and swapping out BO 2 for CRF/CSV to allow APO3?

    Like

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