Hello guys, welcome to another installment of the “Zuikaku Chronicles”. A six part series describing my ships foray into 2014, and what continues to occur and may occur with my ship in Star Trek Online.
As in standard operating procedure 🙂 this “blog” will describe and feature my discussions on how my ship has faired in the last 2 months, as well as several Captains Logs from the role playing side of my ship. It will also feature discussions on Cryptic’s game changes and how they affect things now and in the future.
So Ladies and gentleman, and Klingons eating Tribble popcorn while you sit with your targ after a hard days being a honourable warrior 🙂 without further ado. I hope you enjoy the fifth installment of the series “Delta consurgens”.
Stardate 92290.52 – September had rolled around, and USS Zuikaku was her usual normal self. Running missions, STF’s foundry missions and anything else I could do. Delta Rising was coming ever closer and Dev blogs were starting to come out regarding what we were getting, as well as what we could look forward to.
One of the interesting things to come out of the dev blogs, was the initial blog regarding what Tier 6 ships would get, compared to T5 ships, or T5-U ships as they would be known once they would be upgraded. Below is a cutting from that dev blog back in early September describing what the differences were.
* Faster and more agile than non-intel ships of the same category
* Less hull strength (HP) than non-intel ships of the same category
* Cloaking Device
* Starfleet Intel ships have a standard Cloak
* Klingon Intel ships have Battle Cloak
* Romulan Intel ships have Enhanced Romulan Battle Cloak
* Can equip Dual Cannons
* All Intel ships are Tier 6, so include standard features for this tier
* Scaling HP
* Starship Mastery passive abilities
* Starship Trait
* Have a Commander hybrid Intelligence bridge officer seat
* Have at least one other lower rank hybrid Intelligence bridge officer seat
* Have the Gather Intelligence mechanic
Now, a sane person would wonder why would this concern my cruiser, since she is a Fleet Assault cruiser, and my definition a T5-U ship once the time came to have her upgraded. Well, there is two reasons for that :).
One, my competition. Zuikaku sometimes does patrols in Ker’rat and even more rarely most times she is in PvP matches in the queues, or in private matches with the Equator alliance testing out one another’s ships or builds. Having a general knowledge of what I may come up against, or potentially what base stats I could expect from my opponent is important. It allows me to try and develop tactics against it, or lessen their impacts against my cruiser. For all purposes, Zuikaku is a support/tank ships in PvP, and knowing what I may be facing, allows me to help me team as much as possible to combat the threat of enemy.
Another interesting tip-bit, was the information regarding the Tier 6 ships “Gather intelligence” ability.
Expose Vulnerability: Defense
Your sensor probe discovers a critical weakness in the target’s hull and shield systems. This devastating expose effect drastically reduces the target’s damage resistance and shield hardness, causing the target to suffer significantly more damage while under this effect. In addition, Expose Vulnerability: Defenses also clears all Engineering buffs on the target.
Expose Vulnerability: Weapon Systems
Your sensor probe unveils a critical weakness in the target’s weapons and targeting systems. This crippling effect will significantly reduce the target’s accuracy and damage for a short time. In addition, Expose Vulnerability: Weapon Systems also clears all Tactical buffs on the target.
Expose Vulnerability: Critical Systems
Your sensor probe discovers a major flaw in the target’s critical systems. This expose effect will apply a Hold effect on the target rendering them helpless for a short period of time. In addition, Expose Vulnerability: Critical Systems will clear all Science buffs on the target.
Another tipbit in the dev blog post was regarding where these “intelligence officers” could be slotted. Basically, you would need a Tier 6 ship in order to use them, as “universal slots” could not slot these officers, which was communicated in the blog by cryptic.
Hybrid Bridge Officer Seats
Intel ships represent the first of our Tier 6 vessels that will possess hybrid seating options. These seats are defined as being a combination of both a Profession (Tactical, Engineering, or Science) and a Specialization (Intelligence). As of now, Intelligence is the only Bridge Officer Specialization available, and will be explained in far greater detail in a later dev blog.
Hybrid seats can support Bridge Officers of the matching Profession, whether they have the associated Specialization or not. A Tactical/Intel Hybrid Seat, for example, can accept an existing Tactical Officer, and support his/her full range of existing abilities. However, these are the only seats which additionally support Intelligence bridge officer abilities. If a Tactical/Intelligence Bridge Officer is seated into a non-Hybrid Tactical Seat, they will not be able to activate any Intelligence abilities they may possess.
Existing “Universal” Seats refer to Profession only. Abilities which come from a Specialization will not be available to an officer seated in a Universal seat.
Two, as part of Project ZFPD, I was also curious as to what abilities and ships were coming into the game, that in the event the Assault Cruiser was completely removed from the game, what could potentially replace her. Since it was a general outline of T6 ships and not there stats, I didn’t have much to work on. However, even the general information was interesting. All in All, the dev blog raises as many questions as it answered, and I decided to go back enjoying the game to the best of my ability and to wait for more information to arrive :).
Stardate 92295.99 – A few days later came the Dev Blog regarding the intelligence officers, specifically what type of abilities they would have. Again, while it barely affected Zuikaku at all, I still took a look as I knew one day I would face off against these abilties, or have them present as a team member. Specifically one ability got my notice.
Intelligence Team grants the target (or yourself) a short duration Cloak, while simultaneously reducing the amount of threat the target generates against all nearby enemies. It will also remove the “Expose Vulnerability” debuffs that can be inflicted by enemy Intelligence starships.
From what I could tell, this basically meant the “Gather Intelligence” abilities could be best countered my Intelligence team only, and I was unsure if they could be countered by Science team, or another pre-existing team ability. However, at the time while I did take note of it, I decided to not yet it worry me. I knew it would take even the elite PvP players time to adapt to the new tactics and abilities, and still time more to get them to perform to the best of that ability. I was slightly worried these “elite PvPers” once Delta Rising hit, would exclusively use these abilities in dozens of tests and very quickly get it working like a dream.
But, there wasn’t much I could do if they did that, and I knew it was best to not worry about it 🙂 As whatever happens in PvP happens a lot of times without you being able to do anything about it. Plus, I decided the greater concern was my cruiser and making her the best team member she could be in Delta Rising 🙂
To that end, as I had learned several days before hand, the Fleet version of the Assault cruiser refit would be receiving a 5th Engineering console as her 11th console come Delta Rising upgrade. Very quickly I had decided against adding another damage resistance console. At the time Zuikaku was already at 45% damage resistance, and with the diminishing returns on armour consoles I knew it would be a wasted console if I added a extra defensive console. Basically I had already decided pretty quickly that I wanted some more offensive firepower or abilities in that console, and if possible, specifically more damage bleedthrough.
However, there were so many decisions, did I use a universal console from a lockbox? Would I use a universal console from the reputation system, or even a universal console from a C-Store ship? There were many options, and very few answers to my internal thought process questions. However, time would afford me little respite from these decisions as another dev blog was on that way that would again give me interesting decisions to make.
Stardate 92312.41 – Within the space of one week, both the Delta Rising reputation system rewards and gear, as well as the gear upgrade dev blog details were released.
The delta alliance reputation system rewards were interesting to say the least. While it did offer may different pieces of gear, it didnt offer anything enough to make me think of changing anything on Zuikaku. While some players may describe me using the MACO 3 piece set on my ship “outdated”, it is still in my opinion a good set for the ship I fly, as well as the way I fly :).
If I were to say anything about the status of the Delta alliance reputation, the Delta Alliance deflector, which offers a bonus for Starship shield, auxiliary power, as well as added Structural Integrity and Hull repair was most likely the best gear out of the set, since most of the boosts applied to areas I like having high skill points in.
The gear upgrade system was even more interesting, as I was checking it out on tribble, it look liked a nice easy system to use, with clear information regarding the required “technology points” to upgrade your gear from MK 12 to MK 13, and then to MK 14. Another nice feature was that it clearly indicated in the window, when you upgraded your gear, exactly the stats the upgraded gear would have.
I quickly did some calculation, and determined roughly it would take between 330K, to 370K dilithum to upgrade every piece of gear on my ship from MK 12 to MK 14. Considering that was 23 pieces in total, that was a fairly good deal.
Also considering there was, as I upgraded, a small chance my gear could be upgraded to the next rarity, and with my gear being very rare, that they meant Ultra or Epic gear. was a added bonus.
Stardate 92331.22 Another Dev Blog, another interesting set of information I would have to take on board for Zuikaku and her crew. Captain Specialisations (at the time) were set to start once you reached level 60. After that, gaining a new level would give you a specialisation point you could use.
Intelligence Officer and Pilot (alot of the specialisations being space) were interesting, as they gave a extra little passive boost under the hood, or a activated capable boost.
Such as Adaptive Target (space) each time your ship would miss you would gain a stacking accuracy boost. However considering most times in missions USS Zuikaku operates at a 99.75% accuracy, this trait wouldn’t be for me 🙂
One of the most awe inspiring traits apparently was “Rock and Roll” the capability to do a anomated roll maneuver, preventing all damage for a short duration. Straight away I thought of the old Star Fox games (“Do a barrel roll”).
However, considering at the time it was a level 60 + only area, I put the captain specialisation aside, and decided to move on.
Stardate 92339.43 – It had happened a short while ago, however Cryptic had released details on a new Tier 6 federation starship, and boy did she look fantastic, and have really great stats too.
The Guardian cruiser, as I saw the stats, was a beautiful ship. Nicely balanced across all areas, and impressive stats. I straight away saw this beautiful ship, and her starship specialisation trait, and thought WOW 🙂
Minimum Rank: Vice Admiral
Hull Strength: 43,725 (at level 50) and 53,000 (at level 60)
Shield Modifier: 1
4 Fore, 4 Aft
Device Slots: 4
Bridge Officer Stations: 1 Lieutenant Commander Tactical, 1 Lieutenant Intel/Engineering, 1 Commander Engineering, 1 Lieutenant Commander Science, 1 Ensign Universal
Console Modifications: 3 Tactical, 4 Engineering, 3 Science
Base Turn Rate: 6.5 degrees per second
Impulse Modifier: 0.15
+5 to all power levels
Console – Universal – Particle Conversion Matrix
Matter-Antimatter Warp Core
Cruiser Command Array
Command – Strategic Maneuvering
Command – Shield Frequency Modulation
Command – Weapon System Efficiency
Command – Attract Fire
Starship Mastery Package (Cruiser)
Absorptive Plating (+Physical and Kinetic Damage Resistance)
Rapid Repairs (+Hull Regen)
Enhanced Plating (+Energy and Radiation Damage Resistance)
Armored Hull (+Max HP)
Desperate Repairs (Starship Trait)
Desperate Repairs (Starship Trait)
After achieving level 5 in your Guardian Cruiser’s Starship Mastery, you will unlock the Desperate Repairs starship trait. While this trait is slotted, each time your starship is critically hit you receive a Desperation counter. Immediately upon receiving a third Desperation counter you will receive a large hull and shield heal and will be unable to gain Desperation counters for a while.
The trait was extremely nice, and straight away ties into what I like in my cruiser, her capacity to absorb lots of punishment. I was seriously considering looking into getting one of these ships come Delta Rising’s release, so I could level it up to level 5, and transfer the trait over to Zuikaku. Like all other plans I had made with Delta Rising, and the even increasing dev blogs, I put it onto the back burner, and decided to wait and see what happened.
Stardate 92344.9 Another day, and another milestone for USS Zuikaku, one I had been thinking about for years since I originally had heard of it – The Red Matter Capacitor.
Cryptic was doing a livestream on that day, and one of the rewards was a code, which use through Arc, would give players a single character unlock of the RMC, whatever character you unlocked the device on (and since it was a device, it didnt use up a console slot – SWEET 🙂 ) stayed with that toon.
So, very quickly that morning, I woke up, saw the code, and after one or two glitches, had it outfitted on Zuikaku :).
Straight away I went into “using it mode” :). This extra boost of energy is very nice, and fequently I had Zuikaku running at 125 power across the board for 10-15 second intervals, really making for some interesting flying :).
Stardate 92351.4 For ages, I had been questioning, wondering and worrying on what console I could put in Zuikaku’s fifth engineering console when the upgrade time came.
At this time myself and Admiral Ieon were talking about ship consoles, and the ones Admiral Ieon had on his ship, and he linked one console that cut through all my worry and wondering and in a sense pointed out the perfect console for my ship, a console from the lobi store that cost 200 Lobi, the Bioneural Infusion Circuits.
The console was a perfect spilt between defensive and offensive, and most importantly gave my ship a nice Critical severity boost which she had been severely lacking of late. I thank Admiral Ieon, and went on with my mission :).
Stardate 92403.38 Delta Rising had launched, and had been active for almost a week. I had quickly found out the Vaaduwar, as I expected, were no push overs :).
I quickly found, one of my ships weaknesses, being unable to do good bleethrough damage, was exposed by the Vaaduwar. There ship shields were fairly strong, and my ship, even though she had a fifth engineering console, but no weapon upgrades, found it hard to get through their shields.
I didnt have any problem destroying them or completing missions, but it was definitely nice to see what I could run up to in regards to issues with Delta Rising missions :).
To rememdy this, once I reached level 60, I choose my Ninth trait for my captain, a space one that had been in the undine lockbox. Intense Focus, which every 15 seconds, grants a bonus 1.5% shield pentration and accuracy bonus (to a max of 4 stacks) to a total of 6%.
All in All, it has been a extremely interesting two weeks. I have reached level 60 by Saturday 19th October, and started looking into Zuikaku’s gear upgrades come Middle of November 2014. So far things are looking upwoods and onwoods :). As Zuikaku heads for the stars, and a ver interesting upgrade process.
Computer Begin recording…..
Stardate 92269.32 Zuikaku was redirected to Drozana today, by a very weird occurrence. We were traveling at warp 5 when a 29th century timeship jumped in, and straight away stopped us.
The captain, a Captain Andy, requested our assistance. After verifying he was from the 29th century (he quickly took us there) he decided to assist. Captain Andy then took us to Drozana station along with two other captains. A Captain Seven of the USS Arcanum and a Captain Alexander of the USS Solistice.
It appeared a localised temporal inversion field had occurred in the lower levels of Drozana, taking those levels back to before the time the crazy murderous hologram had been stopped my a starfllet crew. If this inversion continued to occur, the entire timeline could have been threatened.
Myself and the other captains managed to stop the hologram again, and the timeline is safe. However, we weren’t told exactly how this localised field occurred. I dont like mystery’s that could pop their head up again, but I can trust that the temporal integrity commission will keep an eye on things, just like we do.
Computer end log
Stardate 92283.03 – Zuikkau has been diverted to New Romulus on the request of Councillor D’Tan, at this time it is unknown what this is for. However, for Councillor D’Tan to ask for us I suspect it could be serious. We are due to arrive at New Romulus within 4 hours.
Supplemental – Zuikaku has arrived back at New Romulus, being towed by the Romulasn Republic flagship RRW Lleist captained by Commander Tiaru Jarok. The last mission almost caused Zuikaku’s destruction.
Zuikaku’s damage list includces the almost complete destruction of her weapons array, severe damage to her deflector dish, severe damage to her shielding systems, though somehow they are still “on”. Zuikaku’s structural integrity field is a mess, barely functioning and there are several gashes along her hull. Forcefield emitters barely work at this time, barely keeping her 23 hull breaches sealed. The one thing that wasn’t all that badly damaged was her warp core.
Casulties were relatively light, with 18 severely wounded, and 23 others injured. If it wasnt for Lt Commander Aisha Toni Linde and Lt Sasik, my ship wouldn’t be here, and I intend to recommend they receive a medal for their actions.
Thanks to them, we completed our mission (even though we are badly beaten up) and prevented a invasion of New Romulus by close to 1,000 enemy vessels by a incursion from Mirror Universe Remans, what started out as trying to find a missing Romulan Republic ship, quickly esclated into a fight for survival.
Zuikaku’s base repair time is at least 1 week to get things back in order, most likely a minimum of 2 weeks to get her back to normal operational status. This is critical, as Admiral Tuvok has requested my ship for some assignment, though he isn’t telling me what or when.
Computer end log
Stardate 92293.97 Zuikaku has just arrived back at New Romulus, after assisting with stopping a Crystal Entity that was threatening a neear by planet, with assistance from Admiral Will’s Beowulf and Admiral Ieons Queen Mary.
Evening though Zuikaku was still crippled, we managed to assist from the backlines providing cover fire for Beowulf and Queen Mary, along with several other ships.
My Chief Engineer, Lt Commander Tinordle, has filed a official protest over me putting the ship and crew in danger. However, she also said it was the right thing to do, but maybe not the right time.
I have accepted her protest, and maybe the Commander is right, it would do Starfleet no good to lose a good ship and experienced crew, but my very nature makes me to want to help people whenever we can, no matter what happens.
How does one fight oneself, but still keep true to their princpals and morals.
Computer end log
Stardate 92313.12 – REDACTED DUE TO ORDER BY STARFLEET COMMAND AND THE TEMPORARY INTEGIRTY DIVSION UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.
Stardate 92342.08 – Zuikaku has just arrived back at New Romulus after stopping a major tholian attack against a major starfleet starbase near New Romulus.
Exactly why the Tholians have decided to attack now, and in such numbers, is curious. Zuikaku, along with 20 other starships including the Queen Mary, turned the attack back with minimum damage to the starbase and fleet.
It may be speculation, but did the Tholians attack because of Zuikaku’s last encounter with them.
computer end log
Stardate 92391.18 Zuikaku has just completed a mission in the Delta Quadrant, assisting Admiral Tuvok with stopping the Undine known as “Cooper”.
The Admiral was being mentally attacked by Cooper from his command bioship, and Tuvok requested my help. Naturally, I thought it would be a simple find Cooper and stop him. I was right to a degree.
However, I wasn’t expecting to mind meld with Admiral Tuvok in order to do it. It was a interesting experience to say the least. In the end, we managed to locate Cooper, and after Tuvok mind melded with his Command Bioship, managed to show the ship we weren’t a threat to the Undine. Cooper naturally tried to stop us, but apparently he was “repurposed” by the Undine bio command ship, I doubt we will ever see him again.
At the end, Admiral Tuvok thank me for helping him, and informed me a part of myself would always be a part of his mind, a part of his mental defense. Needless to say I am still shocked, to be, in a sense, a part of one of the greatest officers in all times mind, and help, is a surreal though.
Zuikaku is headed back now into the Delta Quadrant, to explore, as well as try and find out more information on this enemy that is making inroads into the delta Quadrant.
Stardate 92413.07 Zuikaku has just manage to assist the RRW Lleist in stopping a vaaduwar boarding party from destroying the ship. During a battle with Vaaduwar forces, the Lleist was boarded. I took a away team over personally, and with assistance from the Lleist security team and senior officers, managed to send the threat.
Commander Jarok has thanked me personally for assisting, however, I informed her she doesnt owe myself or my crew antyhing, and that we had actually owed them for helping us out several weeks ago when Zuikaku had almost been destroyed and needed a tow home. Commander Jarok then joked with me saying that all I needed to do now was get my ship towed by the Klingon flagship and I would have the entire set. I like Commander Jarok and get along well with her, despite our differences, we both work together to explore for our respective governments and help people out where needed. It is a honour to know her and serve beside her in the alliance.
Of more concern is one of the Vaaduwar who invaded the ship, he took down the entire bridge crew by himself, and weapon fire was ineffective against him. It took all of us to throw him into the core in order to stop him. This is very concerning, with the increase Vaaduwar threat, and the fact they have managed to advance so far so quickly, they may have found something, or a new technology, that has given them a massive edge. If we dont do something soon, the entire delta quadrant will be in trouble.
Computer end log.
I hope everyone enjoyed this second instalment of the “Zuikaku Chronicles”. The next part should be posted sometime at the end of December 2014.
Until then; I wish everyone a wonderful day and I shall see you ingame