Welcome to Part Two of “the Road to the U.S.S. Zuikaku” a series of in a sense “dev blogs: on how U.S.S. Zuikaku became to be the ship she is today. I do apologise for part two taking so long In getting published; so one with the show :).
Stardate 90079.46 – The Fleet that had sent me a invite in June 2012 was the 101st Fleet; I was warming greatly by Fleet Admiral and one of the 101st fleet founds; Admiral Piotriok. He showed me around the fleet which was just 1 month old; but was already gaining members quickly.
Admiral Piotriok and Admiral Dimitrius Kirk were the co-founders of the 101st fleet; and it looked like they were getting a decent team together; I meet many new recruits; including the now Fleet Admirals Ellic and Will; Vice Admirals Hera and Angela (she used to call herself Archer back then). I also meet many others who are no longer part of the fleet or haven’t been online for a long time; but it was nice to see how a fleet operated and within 3 weeks I had been promoted to Commander in the fleet for my hard work and dedication.
I also joined the fleet at the right time; as only 3 weeks later Cryptic released Season 6 – which was all about Fleets. Season 6 basically released the starbase which we all call home now; and introduced bonuses for being a part of a fleet including exciting new gear.
U.S.S. Zuikaku was introduced to the fleet and she got a warm reception; I pretty quickly slapped the fleets symbol onto her hull and wore it with pride; and instead of “pugging” STF’s I know had a fleet I could do missions with; people I could trust and know their strengths and weakness of their ships; as well as mine.
As the months went on U.S.S. Zuikaku started to get equipped with better borg weaponary you could make out of getting drops from the missions; eventually reaching MKXII borg gear weapons for all her 8 slots. Of course this meant 4 beam arrays and 4 torpedo bays. As time continued to tick along I kept wondering about my ship; as I had basically regulated myself to “probe duty” whenever I ran KASE; as my ship seemed to be capable of destroying probes. (I would like to mention; that out of 50 KASE runs that I did back then when my ship was on probe duty; she didn’t let a single probe through on her watch).
But I was scared; even if I took the probes out quickly I didn’t dare attack the generators needed to progress in the mission; which meant while I was helping my team; I was still a drag on their ability to complete the mission quickly.
The same was for Cure Elite (now called “The Cure found”). Back in those days guys; Cure Elite was this day ages “Hive Elite Mission”. It was the worst nightmare of a mission to do for any ship; as while the Borgified Birds of prey weren’t all that bad; the Borg Raptors were the biggest nightmare at the time in Star Trek Online STF history. Couple with excellent hull; near perfect shielding and weapons that could shred you alive; any ship that wasn’t properly built suffered the full wraith of these ships.
U.S.S. Zuikaku’s frequent “tussles” with these ships usually meant it was impossible for me to penetrate their shielding alone; and this keep in the back of my mind that something was still wrong with my ship; but I was too scared to even try something else or test my ship. I kept doing missions and enjoying them with the fleet or PUG’s; but I still had a suspicion that I needed to do something more; and the next season release would just hammered this home even more.
Reputations Ahoy Captain
Stardate 90493.77 – Season 7 saw the release of the “New Romulus” ground adventure map (which I still enjoy to this day; the music there is beautiful). Season 7 saw a change; no longer would you have to relay on ultra rare drops to get MKXII MACO gear for your ship or your crew. You could progress through the “Omega” reputation by gaining marks doing STF missions; and then when reaching Tier 5; for a certain amount of marks and Dilithum purchase the MACO; OMEGA or Adapted MACO gear you wanted.
Season 7 also saw the release of the “New Romulus” reputation; that offered “romulan” style ship gear and ground weapons as well; which you could gain marks for from doing “romulan based” missions on new Romulus; or in the Fleet event tab.
The Reputation system also included new “passive” abiltiies. Each time you reached a new tier; you could choose out of 2 ground or space passives (usually tier 1 and 3 offered ground choices; tiers 2 and 4 space choices). These passives would add extra abilities or power to your ship. Of course in a sense this came at both a good and bad time for me. Good as I thoroughly enjoyed exploring new Romulus as much as I could.
The bad side was that I was now even more conflicted with my ships build; and the passives didn’t help as I had no idea what I wanted to do. So I choose what I thought was good one the Omega Side. Evatually choosing “Omega Weapons Training” for my tier 2 abilty (increases weapon training skill by 30 – improving a ships weapons) and tier 4 I choose “Superior Shield Repair” (which improves your ships shield regeneration rate). Since I Was a tank ship and had designed U.S.S. Zuikaku to draw “agro” and take the hits so my teammates didn’t have too; so they could concrete on offensive actions it seemed to be good choices.
Romulan Tier passives I spent a tiny bit more time on; but eventually I choose for Tier 2 “Enchanced Shield Systems” (enhances shield system skill by 30 – improving shields), and tier 4 I choose “Sensor Targetting Assault” (which gives a 20% chance to “placate” your target for 2 seconds). Of course these reputations took me several months to do; and between that I spent time with the fleet continuing to do missions and have fun.
However I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was still wrong with my ship and that I honesty had no idea how to fly her or make her reach her true potential. It was around March 2013 that I had been playing with my Science Federation Toon; which was flying a vesta class ship that I heard about the Ausmonaut fleet. In my science toon I had enough of the fleet I was in and decided to join the Ausmonauts; as they were a Australiana fleet which meant that there would be more people online when I would be which meant more people to do missions with.
I then heard about a “Kombat Klass” that they ran every Saturday evening; you could bring your ships to some of the senior Ausmonaut Fleet members and have them looked your build over and offer advice on how to improve your ship and her build. After my vesta class got the Kombat Klass treatment I asked if I could bring U.S.S. Zuikaku along; which they said they would be more than happy to as even though U.S.S. Zuikaku wasn’t part of their fleet; I was a member of the ausmonauts and they would help me.
So; with a deep breathe and a lot of nerves; I posted my ships current build at the time onto STO Academy builder page; created a forum post onto their website with the build; and made a appointment to be on Vent the next Saturday to discuss my ships build. U.S.S. Zuikaku; was going in for what I thought was a extremely needed overhaul; and I was both excited and afraid of what would come a lot of the other side.
To be Continued In………..
The Road to the U.S.S. Zuikaku – Part Three – Kombat Klass and Project IRIS.