Jan 012015
 

Greetings Everyone. Welcome to the final instalment of the “Zuikaku Chronicles”. A six part series describing my ships foray in 2014, and what continues to occur and 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 Fellow Captains, re-direct your ships communications to channel alpha-four-omega-one 🙂 I hope you enjoy the last instalment of “Zuikaku Chronicles 2014”>

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Stardate 92432.79 – October was drawing to a close, and Delta Rising had been around for 2 weeks. Zuikaku was continuing to adapt to Delta Rising, and was proceeding well with the changes. Naturally as the devs at Cryptic studios just to readjust the dilithium rewards as well as the STF advance difficult enemies, things were getting interesting.

Zuikaku usually had no trouble as part of a team. But on her own, she sometimes had difficulty cracking the shields of some of the Buffed NPC’s. Which would become a problem sometimes if I agro too many NPC’s at once. My ship would not be destroyed no, but she would have difficulty destroying them fast enough, or getting their hull hit points down quickly.

My ship had always been about Tank first, DPS second. She was also more than able to complete the advance STF queues. But looking at my ship I knew that she would need some slight adjustment to ensure she kept her tank like attributes, but could deliver alot of firepower when needed.

However, some adjustments I had made previous were helping. Intense focus, which is a Captains trait, and every 15 seconds would deliver a extra 1.5% accuracy and shield penetration to a maximum stack of four, was having an effect. I was noticing my opponents hull dropping faster than it normally would, even with shields still up. It wasn’t much of a change, but any additional help was well welcomed.

Stardate 92473.95 – Another two weeks had passed, and as usual Zuikaku was plodding along doing missions, running STF’s, running the mirror universe event with no issues (though i was planning on normal difficulty).

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Cryptic has released a new story mission, evolving the Elachi, and I happy completed the mission and thoroughly enjoyed running it :). However, my thoughts were directed to a approaching Ship maintenance and overhaul/retrofit.

Zuikaku had not had an upgrade, or new gear added to her since the beginning of the year. When she had been fitted with Fleet Tactical consoles. However, as I had decided before Delta Rising released, I would experience the content with my ship at her current state, then about one month later place her into dry dock for her upgrades. With MK 14 gear ready and waiting, I was eager to see how my ship would come out at the end of it. I had already reached level 60, and my ships hull and other specs were pretty well enhanced. It was time for her weapons and other ship borne items to get the same treatment.

So late on November 14th, I placed Zuikaku into dry dock, and started what would be a week long process to upgrade her to a MK 14 fully equipped cruiser.

Stardate 92493.1 One week later, and USS Zuikaku final items upgrades were completed, with her warp core being the last item I got up to MK 14. As I stood there in orbit of ESD. I was very happy with the way the upgrades had gone. It had been a costly procedure; but it had been worth every single EC and dilithium cost.

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To cap what my ship was now capable of, here is a rundown of what she was pre Delta Rising in some key areas of stats, and what she was like after her finalised and finished MK 14 upgrade project completion.

* Ships Hull – 60,450 Pre Delta Rising = 93,455 Hull Post Delta/Upgrade
* Shields Shield – 12,000 Pre facing Pre-delta rising = 15,050 Post Delta Rising
* Hull resistance – 42% Pre Delta Rising = 50% Post Delta Rising.
* Phasers – 1108 damage pre beam array (Pre DR) – 1505 damage per beam array (Post DR).

Seeing my ships stats post Upgrade process was alot to take in. I had dreamt of such potential figures for my ship, but honesty never believed myself, or anyone could get a ship as high as the above figures, especially in hull hit points. While Delta Rising had changed that, it was still humble to see Zuikaku, to see what she had become. Even Using Jevonite Hard points i could spike my ships hull to 111K hit points for a 15 minute period.

I decided it was time to test this new ship upgrades out. I would very quickly find I would be testing it against some of the hardest content the game had to offer, which really put my ship to the fire – Battle of Korfez Elite.

Battle of Korfez Elite The first run of Battle of Korfez Elite was run with a Equator alliance squadron, and Admiral Ieon’s USS Queen Mary was present as well in the squadron. To coin a report of what occurred in the battle, I present a section of a report Bolta, a ausmonaut fleet member, made to their forums.

“The Alliance comes to the fore yet again . . . this time, to finally conquer the Elite queue The Battle of Korfez.

Foxman, Lyara, Bolta, leon and Simon decided to give it a go in a mix of T5-U ships and a T6 Guardian

*edit* and a T6 Intrepid, driven by Simon

Many have tried and often failed in spectacular fashion – the first run through during the evening of 21/11 was exactly that, and died during the second wave.

Not to be outsmarted by mere Craptic programming, the group put their heads together and worked out a strategy for dealing with that most heinous of Korfez waves, “Protect The Transports”. This shall henceforth be known as the “Independance Day Manoeuvre”, authored by Foxman and Lyara – “plough the road, gentleman!”.

Cooldown was done and we were into it again!

The first waves were dealt with – a close call in some, and no “Protect The Transports” LOL. The super-dreadnaught made it’s appearance, and it was on!

A couple of team members started chasing torpedoes, and the rest of us piled on the VSW Implacable – gods but that thing makes a Voth city-ship look like a paper airplane.

BUT – after 21 minutes and 37 seconds, and with the system star still in pretty good health, we did it.

We actually freaking did it

The first attempt had ended in failure, as related we got the dreaded “protect the transports wave” and failed very quickly. The second time however, after several close calls, we completed the mission, many of us being the first time.

The Vaadwuar dreadnought, VSW Implacable, was truly a tough opponent. Going one v one against it with Zuikaku was quite a experience. My ships tany capability and agro potential made sure the dreadnought was solely fixed on my ship. However she was no push over and I had to several times ensure I was paying full attention, as the dreadnought weapons were very powerful.

Overall, I was very happy with my ships upgrades. Zuikaku was maintaining her tank like attributes as well as having a greatly increased firepower capability. As the month drew to a close, and December was upon us, I started to look into a quiet ending of the year. I would run several more STF’s. and concrete on levelling up my alt characters, Zuikaku went into a quiet period of running STF’s, doing missions and generally nothing exciting happening much. Though i didnt know it, the last week of the year would be Zuikaku’s finest hour.

Stardate 92603.45 One week prior, on December 24th 2014, Zuikaku with a Ausmonaut STF group, had beaten her previous DPS record of 11.1K DPS, with a 12.0K DPS run. Her previous DPS record had stood for 13 months, and despite multiple STF runs in that time, Zuikaku had sniffed close to breaking, but never passing the record.

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I was excited, breaking a long standing record on my ship made my night 🙂 However, I knew my ship was capable of alot more than her new record. As in those last 13 months my ships damage capability had jumped 30%. With the new record, I uploaded the parse to the DPS channels. Several days later i got a automatic invitation to the 10K DPS channel chat, a channel I had left 9 months ago due to several members of the chat being extremely toxic.

Going back into the channel was a experience. I noticed when old hats, as well as many new faces. On the night of December 31st 2014, 3 1/2 hours before midnight where I lived, I decided to join a Infected Space Advance run with the 10K DPS channel.

4 minutes later it was all over. I asked someone to post the parse in chat as at the time I believe (wrongly) that my parser had stopped working, needless to say I was completely shocked at the result.

The parse had come back with Zuikaku pulling 14.3K DPS, smashing her previous record by 20%. I was really excited, my ship, along with team mates had really performed extremely well. It was definitely a experience to be back in the 10K DPS channel again, and to my surprise the culute had changed quite a bit. When I informed them my ship was a tank build, i was greeted with happiness and a “good on you”. After showing what my ship was capable of, this further increase as I got “thank you’s” for distracting the enemy NPc’s as well as providing support for the mission.

It was a excellent way to see out 2014, and it really provided my with even greater hope that 2015 was going to be a excellent year, would bring new challenges and rewards for myself, my crew and my ship 🙂

The great unexplored frontier of 2015 beaconed, and I was more than willing to answer…..

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Admiral’s Log

Computer begin recording…..

Stardate 92442.03 Zuikaku has just come off of combat operations. We had been re-directed to Kobali Prime in order to assist with the ground war currently underway on that planet.

We managed to push the Vaadwaur back, however the front line on that planet is changing by the hour, and at the moment the alliance is underable to get any sort of breakthrough.

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My first Officer, Commander Joros says that the situation is still moving and flowing. Without any way to mount of complete a decisive strike, the ground war on Kobali Prime will continue.

Usually we would have stayed longer, however Starfleet Commander has ordered us back to Earth. Zuikaku is due to start her upgrades and maintenance overhaul, her first in a very long time.

Computer end log……

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Stardate 92474.86 Zuikaku has arrived back to Earth, and has now docked at Dock 14. Most of the crew is now starting rotational leave as Zuikaku will be at Earth for at least the next 2 months.

Her weapons, shields, and almost every single system will be receiving an upgrade. Also the “Origin” Bridge module will be replaced with a more traditional Soverign bridge module. The origin bridge module was installed last year as a test to see if a larger ship could use a more modular bridge, so they could be easily repaired or interchangeable.

However, while the “origin” bridge module as a “efficient” design, it did lack many console stations that had a limiting effect on my crew’s ability to sometimes perform their jobs.

Therefore my recommendation is to Starfleet Command is that this bridge module is not suitable for larger ships, as they need more workstations and several dedicated ones to function at maximum capability.

Computer End Log

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Stardate 92520.92 Zuikaku’s crew has just come off a simulated battle drill involving the borg and klingons in the simulated ker’rat system, with several other 101st crews. While Zuikaku was “destroyed” in this sinulation, we managed to inflicted several damaging hits to multiple opponents before we were disabled and destroyed.

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It was a bit of a let down for the crew that we were lost with all hands. However it did allow us to refine our tactics and see if there was any issues with out battle plan. I am happy to report in my opinion the crew performed very well. I did not detect any mistakes, and believe it was the enemies superior numbers that overwhelmed us in the end.

However, one piece of good news was that before being destroyed we were able to allow a majority of the other 101st fleet crews and ships to escape the battle. However, naturally myself and the crew would like a re-match with this simulation as soon as possible 🙂

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Stardate 92575.64 The majority of the crew are on shore leave at this time, home for Christmas as they would say in ancient days long gone. With myself and a skeleton crew on a rotation, it is a quite period on board the ship. With my first officer home on Betazed, and many others of my senior crew not here. it is hard not to reflect back on last year around this time.

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When I had just recently received reports of the Queen Mary’s C destruction, and the lost of 2,000 crew members on that ship. Sometimes I forget that terrible period in time, however i dont think it will ever fade from my memory. However I do have many things to be thankful for.

We have lost many life’s, but the Federation-Klingon war has ended, and the Romulan Republic continuing to grow in strength and rebuild, it is a very hopeful time in the Alpha Quadrant. Hope for a brighter future, and a more peaceful time ahead.

I cannot but share in that hope, that maybe we have much brighter days ahead, and alot more unexplored frontier that is waiting for us.

Computer end log

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I hope everyone enjoyed this sixth instalment of “Zuikaku Chronicles” and enjoyed the series as a whole in the year 2014. Six instalments, over 20,000 words total in all of them, it has been quite a ride.

Looking back at when I first started this series, I wouldn’t have guessed where the game would have gone. I also wouldn’t had guessed the experiences I had, new friends, new challenges, it was a amazing experience.

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Looking forward, I am eagerly awaiting 2015, as I cannot wait to see what it will bring us. I would like to thank all my readers who had read ever article this year, and I look forward to the unexplored frontier ahead for Star Trek Online, the fleet, and the USS Zuikaku.

Happy Warp Speed, see you all in 2015 🙂

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