Apr 232014
 

Welcome Everyone

Indeed; Welcome everyone to another instalment of the “Zuikaku Chronicles” a Six Part Series describing USS Zuikaku’s foray in 2014; and what continues to and may occur to my ship in Star Trek Online. As usually this “blog” will feature both my discussions on how my ship has faired and done these last 2 months; as well as having several “captains logs” from the role playing side of this ship.

So Ladies and Gentleman; without further ado; I hope you enjoy this second part of this series “In Semita Ante”

Zuikaku Earth

Stardate 91779.69 – February folded into March 2013; we had shaken off the new year; the 4th Anniversey event was over and we had new ships join the fleet (Naming the Revamped Galaxy X; and the Dyson Science Destroyer). All things considered; USS Zuikaku was still her chirpy self; having come off frequent combat operations against the House of Beautiful Orions fleet; I was looking forward to a quiet period; and to wait the first news of Season 9 content hitting the tribble server. Cryptic had other ideas for me and my ship; and the community at large 🙂

March 5th came around and sure enough; Cryptic had dropped a bomb shell onto the Ship building community and Star Trek Online in general the likes I have never seen before. The cooldowns between using one Team ability (EG; Tactical Team; Engineering Team and Science Team) were if you used one ability; the other would go onto a 15 second cool down (or 30 seconds I cant remember) was now history.

Ships could now have all three team abilities; and use them all at once; only having to worry about the ability cool down itself. This change by Cryptic turned ship building onto its head; and basically overnight the entire PvP situation changed as well; and many people were not happy about it.

As for USS Zuikaku; I now had a dilemma. My Lietunant Science BOFF that my ship used had Transfer Shield Strength 2. With the team ability changes; I now had the ability to place or “slot” Science Team 2 if I so wanted. So I had a cool hard look at the Lieutenant spot; numerous scenarios and battle tests flowed through my mind; weighing up the pros and the cons of using both.

Transfer Shield Strength vs Science Team

Transfer Shield Strength vs Science Team

One the one hand; I had the tried and tested Transfer Shield Strength 2. Transfer Shield Strength gives you a Shield Regeneration bonus; applied once to each facing. It also gave another shield regeneration bonus; that applied itself for 15 seconds over each facing. It also gave me a respectable shield damage resistance for 15 seconds as well. The Cons of this ability was that once I used it (or it got Sub Nuc off) it would be 45 seconds minimum before i could use it again. Alot of times I would use this ability as my mini “oh crap” shield button.

On the Other hand; I had the now available Science Team II. Science Team II would give me a bigger Shield Regeneration buff applied once to each facing; it would also remove science debuffs for 5 seconds. A life saver in PvP matches especially against Science captains. However the downside was that it applied it all at once; and there was no secondly option for a smaller buff over a period of time. Also it did not provide the shield damage resistance buff I would have with TSS II. However; it had a shorter cool down of 30 seconds compared to TSS 2 cool down of 45 seconds.

In the end; and after alot of thought and counter thought; I decided to stick with Transfer Shield Strength II. While it had a longer cool down; and the shield regeneration bonus wasn’t as good as the science team; the fact it had some shield damage reduction; and some of it bonus was applied overtime instead of all at once was my key points for sticking to it.

Stardate 91804.2 – A new day dawned; and the mirror universe was back in a new 21 day event similar to the crystal entity event of 2013. Collect 14 transports and you got yourself a nice set of rewards and dilithium bonus.

USS Zuikaku of course answered the call. The new event was setup so certain ship classes would be better at doing sections of the mission quicker than others; in my case that meant activating power generators. I enjoyed the missions immensely as it was a bit of a change from the normal mission type.

Mirror Universe Invasion

The Mirror Universe typhoons however did test USS Zuikaku’s capabilities as a tank. While the ships themselves weren’t dangerous; their Torpedo spread III’s defintiely were dangerous. Catch you with your shields down; or even up but with little defensive abilities active and they could tear through almost any ship; even a Fleet Soverign.

However; apart from once or twice my ship came out of the battles without blowing up. But it also showed me that maybe Cryptic was starting to build up their missions a little harder; and to require more thought. However; for the most part I was distracted as I was looking into what was going on in the tribble server; and more to the point the reputation system changes.

Stardate 91845.24 I logged into tribble; and after looking at the new ESD interior again; and having play fights with the new Undine STF’s 🙂 I decided to check out the new reputation system being tested on tribble.

The changes cryptic had made were several. First Off; they had changed how many reputation passives you could have activate at the same time. Now it was 4 space; 4 ground and 4 “active” (T5 Reputation abilities). I had started my investigation several days prior to tribble; but needed “live” data to be sure.

So first; I looked into my ship; without any reputation passives slotted; like she was brand new to the reputation system and was level 0 in everything. The data I got on what my weapons could do was interesting.

Zuikaku - Tribble - Late March - New Reputation Passive Changeover - Pre Reps

As I looked into the data; I decided to choose the 4 passives I wanted and compared the data to my previous data with no reputation passives; the information was interesting.

Zuikaku - Tribble - Late March - New Rep system - Post Picked Reps

The four reputation passives I had chosen; were keeping with my philosophy regarding my cruiser – balance. So I choose 2 defensive reputation passives and 2 offensive reputation passives; trying to keep my ship as balanced as possible between defense and offense.

Zuikaku - Tribble - 4 chosen Rep Passives - Late March 2014

All in All; I was happy with losing some defensive capability Hull wise for improved shields and weaponary; as the hull reduction was not as severe as I had reckoned it would be.

All in All I was happy with the changes; and if cryptic didn’t change anything major before Season 9 was ready to be released; my course had been set and I was ready for the challenges Season 9 would bring; even though it was still weeks away.

Stardate 91880.81 Crytpic announced the offical information into what we could expect from the Undine Reputation system and what bonuses and gear we could look at.

Looking into the reputation passives; I saw nothing really that would interest me for my cruiser; or nothing that was worth trading in for one of the 4 reputation passives I had chosen; defensive or offensive.

Season 9 was announced to be released on Tuesday April 22nd 2014. I was ready; USS Zuikaku was ready; but as had been the norm for the past 2 months; Cryptic decided to shake up the decks a bit :).

Stardate 91894.49 I had come home from work Wednesday evening; cooked; cleaned; and decided to check out the Star Trek Online forums; what was waiting for me would be a nice surprise and would cause a radical shift in USS Zuikaku’s reputation passive design.

While before I had the “Omega Weapon Training” Reputation passives; which gave +5% all energy damage and +10% all kinetic damage; the tribble patch had changed this. Now; the Omega Weapon Training had its name changed to “Omega Kinetic xxxx” and the reputation passive itself now only affected kinetic weaponary.

Losing one of my main reputation passives was a blow; but I actually didn’t mind; change was good; though Cryptics timing could have been better :).

I looked into the other offensive traits; and found none of them that I really liked; so I decided to break my mantra and decided to find a 3rd defensive trait I could slot. I found that trait pretty quickly 🙂

Aux Power Config - Defense - Season 9 change - chosen passive

The defensive reputation passive was a good one as it would scale the better my auxilliary power levels got. So while it may not have been a offensive reputation passive; it was still a good choice for what my ship did best; which was defensive capability.

Stardate 91913.64 Well; Season 9 is here and I have started USS Zuikaku in her Post Season 9 build. So Far so good as I am not really noticing a performance drop. However I have noticed my shields are getting hammered worse now. However; I have only been playing against Undine so far so it might be unique against said species. I just need to test against borg now 🙂

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Admirals Logs

Computer begin recording

Stardate 91789.64 – USS Zuikaku is currently docked at Starbase 39; taking on supplies before we head off on our missions to explore a unexplored section of Romulan republoc space; at the request of the Romulan Republic government.

This will be a great opportunity for the crew to get back to exploring after weeks of combat operations. We also have a new senior staff crew member joining us.

Ensign Tatyana has joined the crew. I have meet this impressive young lady just now; and I believe she will fit in nicely. While she is nervous; she seems to have a resolve to be a great starfleet officer. Also the fact that my First Officer immeditately took to liking her means I might need to increase my security on my personal replicators. USS Zuikaku is due to head out tomorrow.

Computer end recording.

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Stardate 91803.84 – Sometimes I wonder if trouble follows the USS Zuikaku around. USS Zuikaku had to engage several mirror universe ships that arrived from a interspace rift near the Romwe Nebula.

We were able to defeat these ships; or send them back to their own space. However we later learned there was a major attack my Mirror universe ships at a Romulan Republic space station that was driven off my combined allied forces.

There are multiple unanswered questions. How did the mirror universe get so many starships to mount a attack of this scale. What was there interest in that romulan space station. More importantly; who gave them; or where did they find the technology or ability to open that many rifts at once of those sizes. Naturally; I dont like unanswered questions.

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Stardate 91808.59 – USS Zuikaku has been ordered back to Earth to undergo a Baron Sweep. Why USS Zuikaku requires a sweep after only 2 years of service I am honestly not sure.

We have also been ordered by Starfleet Command to investigate the Balnar Moon; as a caretaker group of starfleet officers watching over the facility have not reported in for 6 weeks; and starfleet wants to investigate that the storm the ravages that moon every so often just hasnt cut off their communications.

Subimential – Myself and my senior crew were lucky to get off that moon alive. The only survivor we managed to pull from the original caretaker group was Commander Edelmira Hoopa. The facility is now beneath the waves; unrecoverable.

We encountered many strange occurrences on that moon; which caused the untimely deaths of Doctor Lyndi; Lieutenant Rix’T’lar; Ensign Sooz and Ensign William McFarlane. Evidenced seemed to point towards something called the “Mayans” being responsible; but we were unable to gather any proof; the fact that this incident caused the deaths of so many is tragic; and the fact it is unanswered why; will definitely not comfort the families of those officers.

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Stardate 91829.05 – USS Zuikaku has found a interesting treasure trove while contiuning our exploration of Romulan Republic Space. We found a abandoned perfectly intact Jem Hadar Attack ship; that had been outfitted with Elachi based weaponary.

screenshot_2014-03-16-11-51-26

Starfleet Corps of Engineers have jumped at the chance to study such a ship; and we are enroute back to starbase 39 with the ship in tow. However the questions remains. Why would someone abandon a perfectly good starship; where are the crew; and why elachi based weaponary.

Computer end recording.

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Stardate 91861.36 – USS Zuikaku has returned to Utopia Shipyards in Mars orbit at the request of captain Shron of the USS Enterprise-F. My chief engineer literally jumped at the chanced and rush USS Zuikaku home at slipstream velocity to get us back.

We were invited back because Captain Shron wanted my help to test our USS Enteprise F’s new anti-undine weaponary; in response to the growing threat from the Undine. It was indeed a honour to captain the USS Enterprise for the brief time for help conduct the tests.

However the Undine decided to crash the party with a attack launched against the shipyards. We were able to repeal them with minimum casulties and damage. However questions do remain. How were the Undine able to find out about out tests; and how were they able to get so close to Earth. These questions are indeed troubling; but what may be worse is the answers we might find behind the questions.

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Stardate 91863.96 – USS Zuikaku has encountered a strange species; in system Phi Columbae A404-Delta. We received a distress call from a planet that informed us that mysterious beings were murdering the adults of the colony; but leaving the children unharmed.

screenshot_2014-04-05-16-18-33

We investigated; and were able to help set up defensives and forcefields to prevent the lifeforms from harming anyone else again. However; this story has a strange similarity to Captain Kirks era when he encountered similar beings; which is indeed troubling.

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Stardate 91891.88 – USS Zuikaku has just come from a investigation of Tau Muscae WI-772 system. My Science officer discovered interesting readings on the planet and when we beamed down to investigate; we found planet based lifeforms who seemed to give off great amounts of energy naturally. What was more intriguing was this life form seemed to be self aware.

screenshot_2014-04-15-20-50-12

However why we were investigating a Orion cruiser engaged USS Zuikaku in orbit and my ground party were forced to friend off Orion ground assault. We managed to fend them off and the Orion cruiser retreated after several minutes of exchanging fire with USS Zuikaku.

I don’t think they will be back; but why were the Orion’s interested in this planet; or where they interested in us.

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Stardate 91894.50 – USS Zuikaku has just finished defending the Beta Lankai system from Klingon rebel attacks. With assistance from the Andorian Carrier Whitesnow and the USS Enterprise; we managed to fend off the attack on the system.

The Klingon rebel force was large; and several romulan republic ships were heavily damaged in the battle; but there were few casulties.

We are back to exploring once we confirm the romulans have the supplies they need; it has been a interesting exploration mission so far; and I cant help shake the feeling we are being followed. In a short while we will be heading back to Earth for a maintenance overhaul; it might be a nice chance for myself and the crew to get some R&R and some peace and quiet.

Computer end recording.
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Stardate 91913.64 USS Zuikaku has just helped fight off a massive Undine attack against Earth and its outlying facilities. We had just docked when my Science officer reported strange emissions coming from near earth orbit.

We just managed to depart from the shipyard and headed out to investigate when the Undine fleet appeared and launched their attack. Very quickly most of the facilities in Earth were destroyed and ESD was taking very heavy damage. USS Zuikaku has suffered medium damage herself and will require a bit of a stay in Utopia Shipyards in Mars orbit, seeing as ESD spacedocks are all but destroyed. I don’t think we would have survived if it wasnt for USS Voyager; USS Enterprise and the rest of the alliance fleet showing up when they did.

This attack has left alot of my crew shaken; however the Undine have been driven off and Earth and Qonos saved. Also, the klingon’s have called off the war. Despite all this destruction and loss; we have decided to have a part on USS Zuikaku in Ten-forward; to commemorate the fallen; and to celebrate the end of the war. Though we are bloodied; we are now working together to fight the now confirmed Iconian threat.

Computer end recording

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I hope everyone enjoyed this second instalment of the “Zuikaku Chronicles”. The next part should be posted sometime at the end of June 2014.

Until then; I wish everyone a wonderful day and I shall see you ingame 🙂

Fleet Admiral Aaron S. Lawford

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