Welcome to Final Part of “The Road to the U.S.S. Zuikaku” a series of a sense “dev blogs” on how U.S.S. Zuikaku became the ship she is today. So sit back; order a chocolate milkshake from the replicator; and relax as I recount part five 🙂
Stardate 91274.1 – September 2013 had rolled around and USS Zuikaku was in her comfortable shoes; she had been retrofitted and changed several months ago and she was running beautifully.
Her PvE performances were improving; and her PvP tests were continuing as I ironed out little glitches and tried new things. I was also enjoying flying missions for the equatorial alliance or just with the fleet. However; USS Zuikaku could still be upgraded to stretch some more performance out of my ship.
However; before that occurred early in September USS Zuikaku cracked another record and pushed her top DPS to a nice 9.4K DPS in a ISE run with the then DPS 5000 Channel crew. At this time I was dead sick with the flu and was home sick from work. At this time I really hadn’t thought of USS Zuikaku to be capable of this damage capability; and was a little shocked. After this run I started to look at the magical 10K DPS number; I was close; so close I could smell it; and if I could just pass that mark once; I would be extremely happy.
In Late September (Stardate 91326.08) I was looking at my ship; she had at that time Phaser Beam Arrays MK 11 Very Rare’s with Accuracy x 3 modifers; so with a ton load of EC in the bank I decided to check out how much Phaser Beam Arrays MK 12 Very Rare’s with Accuracy x 3 modifiers were. It was my lucky day; as there were about 6 of those phasers going for only 9 Million EC each (compared to today; when just one will set you back by 16 million). So USS Zuikaku went into spacedock and got fitted with in my opinion; the most dangerous weapons set ever fitted onto my ship.
Also; speaking to Koppenflak of the Ausmonauts (Captain of the FACR USS Reprisal; one of the most dangerous Fleet Assault cruisers in the alliance). I did a slight Skill tree respect and place some skill points into Weapons Performance. This had the effect of increasing USS Zuikaku’s base weapon power from 120/100; to the “soft CAP” of 125/100.
I also play some PvP Cap n Hold matches. USS Zuikaku was nicely matched for this type of game play; while she couldn’t kill many opponents; she did have one thing going for her. SURVIVABILITY; USS Zuikaku could easily Cap a point; and hold onto it against 2 to 3 opponents at once; while a lot of times I couldn’t even kill one opponent of those 2 – 3; it had the effect of allowing my teammates to CAP over points and get ahead. Which suits USS Zuikaku’s playstyle; and mine perfectly. I didn’t care for glory of killing 25 opponents very quickly 🙂 but I did care for helping my team out in anyway I could.
Stardate 91326.08 to Stardate 91479.41 During the intervening period between late September; and the launch of Season 8 “The Sphere” USS Zuikaku settled into a standard period.
USS Zuikaku cracked her DPS record again; pushing her record to a nice 9.8K DPS in a Infected Space Elite run. Again I was amazed; and very happy. But at the same time that 10K DPS mark was so close I almost had my first bite 🙂
Cruiser Commands got released to the General cruiser population in late October; this allowed USS Zuikaku to choose between four commands that would assist herself; and any teammate within a 5km range of my ship. So far the “Weapon System Efficiency”; “Shield Frequency Modulation”; “Strategic Maneuvering” and “Attract Fire” have been extremely useful. Mostly in PvP have I found these commands to be used to their most potential; as having all the ships in your AOE have 10% extra shield resistance; or improve weapon drain efficiency; can be a life saver.
On the PvP side of things; I changed up my Lt Commander Tactical station. I ditched Torpedo: High Yield 2 and replaced it with “Beam” Target weapons”. My hope was to have it that in PvP; my ship would either reduce the potential of a escorts firepower; or remove their weapons completely for a couple of seconds. My thinking at the time was along the line was that if I could reduce or remove a escort/s firepower for even a few seconds; it might mean the difference between saving a ally ship or watching them explode.
USS Zuikaku could received some MKXII Fleet Neutronium Armour consoles; improving her damage resistance to about 38% across all energy types. These consoles were very nice and I choose the “Hull points” and Hull regeneration” procs. This improved USS Zuikaku’s Hull hit point total close to 63K; as well as improving her native Hull regeneration in combat.
October Rolled into November; and Season 8 the Sphire came; again it was to be a interesting time for USS Zuikaku 🙂
Stardate 91484.88 to Staradte 91602.53 Season 8 “The Sphere” started and USS Zuikaku hit the ground running; hard :).
USS Zuikaku first breakthrough was smashing her previous DPS record of 9.8K DPS into tiny little bits. In the middle of November; a ISE run with the Ausmonauts yielded USS Zuikaku’s most impressive record to date; parsing a 11.1K DPS run 🙂
When Elldee of the Ausmonauts first posted the results I didn’t believe him; and checked my own. To say I was in shock would be a understatement; USS Zuikaku hadn’t broken the 10K DPS mark; she had smashed it completely. After my initial shock wore off I was jumping up and down for ages; Damage isn’t all that important to me in my ship; but whenever she breaks a record; and a major one at that; I get excited 🙂
I also started to look at the new Reputation system – Dyson Reputation. The Space passives were interesting and for the tier 2 space passive I choose “Advanced Targetting Systems” which gave a 10% increase to my ships critical severity. Originally I was thinking about going down the “Advanced Hull reinforcement” route; which would have added 5% extra Hull; but in the end I decided more damage capability was better.
Several Weeks later as I hit Tier 4 in the Dyson reputation; I choose the space passive “Active Hull Hardening” which improves my damage resistance rating increase from 0 – +75; with the total increasing as my ship takes more damage. This suited USS Zuikaku’s mantra perfectly; and it also meant as a enemy ship damage me more; the harder my resistances would become 🙂
Also during this time USS Zuikaku continue to have 1 v 1 PvP matches with 101st Fleet members who wished to test their ships against USS Zuikaku :). I enjoyed the matches and thanks to another Vice admiral :); USS Zuikaku’s reputation started to spread about the ship being “Unyielding” “evil” and a whole host of other funny reputations. I have to admit I always smiled when I hear my ship referenced as that; but I also always remain humbled and told everyone my ship wasn’t indestructible; and like everyone; I made mistakes while flying missions.
As 2013 drew to a close; I looked back upon what USS Zuikaku had accomplished. Thanks to some wonderful allies and community members; USS Zuikaku had gone from troubled Assault Cruiser with no real clue to what it wanted to be; to one of the most team oriented ships in the Fleet.
USS Zuikaku had gone from strength to strength; making mistakes along the way (like her captain) but also finding herself and showing what she could do. I count many people as my friends and for helping USS Zuikaku getting to where she is now.
But like everyone; I enjoy playing this game and being in this universe; wondering what Cryptic will come at us next and wondering; boldly going; where no STO player has gone before; into the unknown 2014; and wondering what USS Zuikaku will become 🙂
I would like to Thank everyone who has been reading this series and I hope you enjoyed the tale of where USS Zuikaku and where she is now. As I stated when doing this series; this is to show how USS Zuikaku became to be and what mistakes I made along the way. It is in my hope that when people read this; they see you can continue to have fun in this game; and see what potential we have in every single one of us.
Fleet Admiral Aaron S. Lawford; Captain of USS Zuikaku; 101st Fleet.