Crusader Ares Starfighter

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Yeah I was just looking at that. I am really disappointed in this development since this makes capital ships an extreme liability. I get that is probably what they intend, however that doesn’t fit my play style one bit. It pretty much makes any of my large ships useless to solo or hell even with a task group you still might lose a large ship to just a few of these coming in on a strafing run or at least put in some serious damage.

Just think if you are out in your Carrack doing some exploring and (regardless of NPCs or not) you run into a couple of these guys. You are toast probably before you can even spin up your jumpdrive. Even with a few escorts, the Carrack is going to be seriously damaged. S7 guns, jeesh, the Idris doesn’t even come with that except in the rail version and you are going to have a way harder time lining up an Idris on a Carrack than these guys will.

All things will be balanced in the long run.

First, this is a heavy fighter so the maneuverability will be along the lines of a Vanguard to Freelancer. Probably somewhere between.
Second, big ships should NEVER be out without an escort. Taking out any cap class ship solo is just bad news waiting to happen. Anything bigger than a Constellation needs an escort.
Lastly, I think the firepower is pretty high on these too. I am curious how they plan to balance that. The Idris comes with a S10 rail gun, essentially 800% to 2700% stronger than the S7. So it is not even close to an Idris in power, and then the Idris has other weapons, a hangar and a crew to manage it all. The Ares is a single seater with no access to components from inside. It has some nice shields, especially the Ion variant, that can recharge pretty fast. But it is purpose built for attacking cap ships, and that seems to be where it will excel.

I think a few fighters hitting this thing will take it out pretty quickly. And that is the point. It is a rock paper scissors game where you have cap ships, fighters and heavy assault ships. The fighter wont do much to a cap ship but the cap ship needs fighters to protect it from the heavy assault ships. The heavies don’t have the guns or mavs to take down fighters without a lot of trouble, but they can wipe out the shields of a cap ship. Ideally you have a cap ship, a couple of heavies to protect against other cap ships, a few fighters to protect against heavies and all of the support ships you need to keep that fleet in the black.

It is not a solo game, not meant to be at that level. Large ships are for group play.

I think overall the Ares works fine for its intended role, but as with all things, it can change and will change for balance.

Well I would disagree with a couple of fighters being able to take it out since the Ion version has 3xS2 shields and 2xS2 power plants and the gatling verison doesn’t have the shielding as much but heavy armor instead. Being capital ship killers, their defensive makeup is for making strafing runs on heavier armaments than what a fighter can bear. I didn’t look it up, but I think the turrets on the Idris are only S5, and the P version doesn’t have the rail gun, which is what is the more prevalent version, not that you are going to be able to bring that rail gun to bear on anything short of a cruiser sized ship anyway, at least not if they are cognizant of you.

again, these would make short work of any ship they can bear their guns on, which pretty much means you can’t bring anything out to play with… that is just my opinion on it, those guns are way overpowered.

The Freelancer has 2xS2 shields and a single fighter can take it out.
Two decent pilots in light or medium fighters should be able to take one of the Ares, regardless of variant.

The Ion is not so much a strafing run kind of ship as it is a sniper. The Inferno I could see doing runs though.

Also keep in mind the guns are fixed. No gimbal option. Not interchangeable, part of the hull. Even a crewed Constellation can stay out of line of fire of one of these while using its turrets to eat it up.

But, we will have to wait and see since it is still concept.

Grabbed the inferno, dont’ need a sniper laser. Sleek looking :slight_smile:

Hmmm this is an interesting ship, but I don’t think I’m gonna trade anything in for this right now. I feel like it is pretty limited in its usefulness being as specialized as it is. I do like the big ole gun and I like the look of it. Looks a lot like the Starrunner which I also liked the look of, but got rid of mine for something else as I thought the Starruner was a bit redundant in my fleet.

I think I am gonna wait and pick up the Vanguard Warden again when it becomes available for sale. Got rid of the one I had to make changes and I still really like it, think I need it back hehe.

Broke down and bought the other, apparently I do need a sniper laser.

There’s already talk of packs of 12 Ions driving around, 1-shotting cap ships and flying away. sigh This is why we can’t have nice things.

I guess my fears were “unfounded”…

Love the concept of this one. I would instantly add it to my fleet but the $'s are just not there with the holidays so close. Maybe the next LTI token we get will become one of these over time. I see it not only as an anti-cap ship fighter but perfect for air to ground strafing like the A10 it’s modeled after. Any theories as to which one might be generally better, the Ion or Inferno? That massive brrrrrrrrrt just looks like fun but at the cost of limited ammo.

Better is a relative term.
Better at what?

The Ion will be an excellent cap ship sniper from the edge of combat range.
The Inferno will be a killer to ground forces doing strafing runs across the battlefield.

Combine the two and you have a nasty force to deal with.

But really I don’t see either one as a very good solo ship. Taking one of these out by itself would be dangerous.

But imagine this…
Polaris with Gladius
Kraken with 2 Cutlass, 1 Ion, 1 Inferno, 1 Terrapin
Retaliator Bomber

Use the Kraken as a launch point and refuel/repair station.
Have the Hammerhead as support against fighters looking to take out the Kraken.
Have the Polaris as your primary assault ship, with a light fighter in the hangar.
Have the 2 Cutlass Blacks outfitted for assault and have 12 troops inside , 6 in each using the jump seats in the back.
Have the Ion for sniping and taking out shields, the Inferno for strafing the turrets of the enemy cap ship, the terrapin for C&C
And finally the Tali for the knock out punch.

Nasty assault fleet right there.

Why not just 6 Ions? What Cap ship can 6 Ions not drop before any fighter cap can close on them? Heck, with their range can they fire from orbit to ships on the ground? Yes, combined arms would be cool, and realistic, but gamers don’t do that, because there’s risk. They won’t come in with an “even” fight that lets their ships get shot up. Have a Mantis sitting there with 6 Ions. YANK, you’re out of QT, 6 shots tear your cap ship to pieces, then all 7 ships jump out…not like you’re going anywhere, you’re wounded, and they know precisely where you are. QT back in at max range, ZOT, and back out. Risk free asshattery. UEE jumps in? Jump out in 7 different directions and log out, log in as alts until it cools down. Lather, Rinse, Repeat.

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Not a bad theory, but not likely to work that simply.

A squadron of Ions is a risk. All it takes is a single Mantis and a couple of reasonably good fighters and that squad is dead fast.
Attacking from out of range is only useful if you can see farther than your opponent can. Any cap ship commander worth their salt is going to have scanning ships at long ranges. So you wont just pop in to range on the cap ship. You are going to have to fight your way in.
Their range is not space to ground at all. S7 has an effective range of about 6km. Well within detection range but far out of fighter range. So they still are dangerous, but you have to get them into that 6km bubble first.

A mantis sitting with 6 Ions is absolutely a great plan, if it is a solo cap ship. But as I said, any cap ship going solo is an idiot. And a mantis cannot pull one ship individually. It pulls everything in range. So you get the cap ship and all his friends. Even if you fire off 6 shots and disable the cap, and I am doubting that will be even close to enough, but let’s entertain that for a sec, then you still are going to be eaten alive by the support ships. Then all they have to do is hang around and protect the cap until repairs are done.

However, this scenario does have me thinking. It might not be a bad idea to have a mantis around when travelling, to keep the pirates from making a run for it. Too bad that right now even turning on the quantum disruption device gets you a crime stat. Likely not going to stay that way though.

But to answer your question, “What cap can 6 ions not drop before fighters close on them?”
All of them.
DPS on the Ion gun is 38 rounds per minute at an expected 3k per shot, give or take. That is roughly 3k damage every 1.8 seconds. That is based off existing S7 weapons in game, we do not know exactly how much the one on the Ion will do but it is the same base laser as what is in the game now, just modified to fit on the Ion.

Cap class shields, 1.5 million with a regen of 14k per second. Using the 890 as an example, not all shields will work this way. It has some pretty good ones but there are supposed to be even better ones from military manufacturers which will be on the Carrack. But these are a good baseline to use for now.

So the math for that looks like:
6 x 3000 x 38 = 684,000 damage per minute from the Ions.
14,000 x 60 = 840,000 regen per minute from the single cap class shield generator.

Those six Ions cannot even break the shields regen.

No, I hear you, but you shoot from max range and close. A Hull E with it’s escort are all jumping together, so they all drop out together. From max range, all 6 pop the Hull E to damage it/disperse the cargo, then QT away. The Hull E isn’t going anywhere, you know precisely what the escort is, you then have friends standing by to jump in with precisely what you need to deal with it. It’s a troll move, pop and run. If the escort is too big you just run away and they are stuck picking up the pieces and filing insurance, you got to laugh at the expression on their faces.

So if 6 of these can’t even beat the regen of one cap class shield generator, then what is their purpose again and why would an Idris be even remotely worried about these fighters with big guns?

For exactly the reason I have been saying.
As part of a team these ships have a solid purpose.
But individually they are little to no threat to cap ships.

In response to @macallen 's idea, it just won’t work. At least not the way he has it envisioned.
First, you would need MASSIVE firepower to eliminate the shields and break the cargo free. I mean, on the order of dozens of ships for that type of alpha damage. You have to keep in mind CR’s vision for the game. Epic space battles that last minutes not seconds.
Second, you would need some way to jump back to that location. A beacon, or a ship left behind. Otherwise you have no way to return later with friends. No matter what you leave behind the ships that are there can just destroy the beacon, then you have no way to return.
Third, the idea of just QT away won’t work. You have to spin up drives. You have to be directly pointed at your target location to launch into QT, these two combined means that any ship in the area can pick you apart. Add to that the coming restrictions on QT which will increase spin up time, base the calculation time on your computer power, and require you to have shields down to jump…then you are not just hopping away from anywhere.

I get it that it has been done like this in other games. But CR is also well aware of those methods and how they work in those games and is making sure a similar situation is not present in SC.
That said, there will certainly be other loopholes people will find over time. This just is not one of them.

I disagree with QTing w/no shields, not because of gameplay purposes, but for a semi-practical one. Qting is around 30% light speed. there are going to be micro asteroids, debris, stuff in the way. Space is big, but it isn’t empty. You can’t maneuver at that speed to get out of the way of anything.

You don’t have to break the cargo free, you just have to injure the ship. If 6 mantis firing full bore at a Hull E can’t penetrate the shields and hurt a Hull E, a non-military ship that carries its cargo on the OUTSIDE, then they really have no purpose in a fleet because they’re a complete glass cannon. They’re a sniper, and just like any other sniper in any other game, in an extended fight they’re just waiting for a knife in the back. Snipers are 1-shot/1-kill ambushers. 6 of them, plus 1 mantis, yanking any number of ships out of QT, popping the biggest and damaging it to the point where it can’t get back into QT, and then bailing instantly, is a zero-risk griefing tactic. It costs no ammo (it’s a laser), so you pop the Hull E, then shout in /local “Hey, free cargo at these coords!” and run off, let the hyenas finish them off, it’s not like they’re going anywhere, nor can they off load the cargo fast enough to avoid what’s coming.