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Ramalina
03.14.2014 , 08:43 PM | #8
Thought I might as well keep the format consistent. My strike fighter builds. Do I have other ships, yeah, but they're not the ones I want to fly.


STRIKE FIGHTERS

F-T6 RYCER // TZ-24 GLADIATOR // FT-8 STAR GUARD // TZ-24 ENFORCER

Going with the flavor text and memories of the old X-wing series, I run my Starguard as a dogfighter. It's best at the mid range fight, but good enough at turning so that if you mix it up with a scout the outcome is more likely to be based on pilot skill than on hardware. It suffers from a lack of speed/boost endurance, but that's the price paid for being able to get into a turning fight with a scout on approximately even terms.

:: COMPONENTS

Primary Weapon: Heavy Laser Cannon (T4 Ignore Armor, T5 Shield Piercing)
This is the bread and butter of this build, if you have the option, kill it with heavies.
Shield piercing and Armor ignore for the upgrades.

Primary Weapon: Quad Laser Cannon (T4 Reduced Power, T5 Increased Shield Damage)
Still a medium range weapon, but handles the close fights much better than the heavies. If BLCs were available on strikes, I'd probably take them instead. With care Heavies can be useful down to 2 or 3 km, but usually I switch to quads by the time I've closed to 4 km. Quads are ok up close, and excellent at about 2 to 4 km.


Secondary Weapon: Cluster Missiles (T4 Increased Ammo, T5 Double Volley)
The only missile that really lends itself to a close range turning fight. At times I've run concussion missiles, and even P-Torps could have a place, but with a turn-centric ship build a strike lacks the boost endurance to consistently get to ideal range for missile lock and launch with the longer range missiles. For special purposes or if you're willing for missiles to be used as shots of opportunity the longer range ones are o.k. but you won't be dictating the terms of the engagement with this ship build if you take them.

Engine: Retro Thrusters (T3 Increased Turning Rate)
More time for blaster fire and missile locks and a defensive missile lock break. The clear offensive dogfighting pick. Sometimes if I'm planning on sticking near a tight objective in Domination I'll use Koigran instead to avoid backing into obstacles. Koigran can also do nicely for setting up jousting runs. Could take increased engine speed/engine power with the engine component if you feel you've got enough turn rate from other sources.

Shields: Directional Shield (T3 Reduced Regen Delay)
Old habits die hard, directional shields are great if you know how to use them. Put your shield power where you need it.

Reactor: Regeneration Reactor
As a slow runner but fast turner you really need to stick close to cover if possible. That means lots of opportunities to break line of sight. Combined with directional shield power shuffling you can get shields back up very quickly if you can stop taking fire for at least 5 seconds or so.

Thruster: Turning Thrusters
The component choice that imposes some pain. When you do this you are giving up your ability to run. As in you'll lose a race with a gunship with barrel roll. But if you want to get in a turning fight with a Heavy Scout and stay in a turning fight with a Heavy Scout you NEED this upgrade. Also makes this build very vulnerable to ion railguns, one hit and you're in serious trouble, two and you might as well eject (well if they had an eject option in GSF). Engine pool becomes a very valuable resource that you need to hoard more tightly than a dragon, the Grinch, and Ebenezer Scrooge all put together would hoard treasure. It becomes our Precious it does.

Capacitor: Range Capacitor
Heavy Lasers at 6.9 km are absolutely devastating. The way their accuracy works firing at max range is a good thing and to be exploited as much as possible.

Magazine: Regeneration Extender
The all-around best choice for sustained fire. More regeneration means more laser shots means more damage.

:: CREW ABILITES

Copilot: Bypass or Concentrated Fire
Healing is common enough that I've pretty much retired hydrospanner on all of my ships. These are both nice offensive boosts that come on crew that you're going to get for their passives in any case. Concentrated fire does more to increase damage, but it lasts a short time so if the target goes defensive it can be easy to waste the buff. Bypass is best for finishing off enemies with full shields but severely damaged hulls.

Offensive: Improved Kill Zone 2 degrees to firing arc & Pinpointing 6% accuracy
These crew members provide the best offensive power to your weaponry. Having an extra 6% accuracy for your primary weapon helps overcome evasion-stacking and allows you to take more glancing shots.

Defensive: Shield Power, Shield Regen, Evasion
All three are valid choices for passives in the build, and any other choices are a downgrade in survivability.

Tactical: sensor radius & communication
Strikes need all the detection help they can get. Radius is better than focus as you get to see the gunships to the side and behind you.

Engineering: Power to blasters & Efficient Fire
Who wants to run out of power for Quads? Not me. Republic side this comes with T-7 and Hydrospanner.

If you like a turning build on a T1 strike but feel really hamstrung by the lack of boost, consider getting Power to Engines and Efficient Maneuvers in this slot, switching to Quick Charge Shields, and taking the Engine Power/Speed upgrade on your engine component (which you should switch to barrel roll). That's pretty much the only way to get back some boost capability in a build with turning thrusters.


F-T2 QUELL // FT-6 PIKE

I run the Pike as a longish medium range missile platform. It centers on getting to a position where it's out of blaster range to lock on with missiles, which means there's a need for speed. I'll often spend entire matches with power to engines. At the higher skill levels, you can boost in after getting a missile lock and launch long range missiles from short range. At 500m it doesn't matter if a target has two missile breaks ready to go, they won't have enough time to use them. That's an extremely hard trick to pull off with something like a Proton Torpedo though, boosting in to around 3-5 km greatly reduces missile flight time and the locks are not insanely difficult to maintain on a maneuvering target.

:: COMPONENTS

Primary Weapon: Quad Laser Cannon (T4 Reduced Power, T5 Shield Damage)
In a pure standoff build I would take Heavy Lasers instead, but since I am not the greatest pilot in the world and I don't fly with a personal Flashfire slave to do close range work for me, I like to have a decent short to mid range weapon. Since I'm spending most of my time working on landing missiles there's plenty of time to recharge blaster energy pool for the power hogs that Quads are. By the time you run dry you usually should already be boosting out to reposition in any case.

Secondary Weapon: Proton Torpedoes (T4 Increased Speed, T5 Increased Range)
I use the first slot so that in default configuration my longest range missile is selected when I start a battle. Silly little quality of life thing. Long range, hard hitting, damage to hulls. Good stuff. If launched at over 5 km you really need to make sure that the target just used a missile lock break or you need to plan on the torpedo being wasted. Once you learn to boost in from a solid lock at 8+ km to release the missile at 3 km or less, the proton torpedo becomes a rather terrifying weapon.

Secondary Weapon: Concussion Missiles (T4 Increased Ammo, T5 varies )
The spammy short range missile. Well for this build. Against a target with missile lock breaks that are on cooldown a proton torpedo + concussion missile combo is fatal to all but the tankiest ships, and even they will be in trouble if you hit them with quads afterwards. With a quicker lock on time and a wider firing arc, these are the missile of choice if you loose separation between yourself and your targets. They also hurt a lot. So it's nice to have a lot of them to fire, thus the extra ammo. For T5 against scouts, strikes, and gunships you want engine targeting, against bombers you want ignore armor. If there are ever PvE elements tougher than turrets you might want ignore armor for them, assuming that destroying them isn't a waste of missiles.

EMP, and Cluster Missiles could reasonably be substituted into this build based on pilot preference/flying style.


Engine: Barrel Roll (T3 Increased Engine Speed)
Creates a gap fast, very valuable in a long range missile platform. Engine speed upgrade option, I'll explain why when we get to thrusters.

Shields: Quick Charge Shield (T3 Regen During Damage)
This shield gets taken for the engine benefits. You shouldn't be under fire for long periods of time, so the quick recharge ability should be enough to tide you over until you can disengage. The regen makes up a bit for the smaller size and you really shouldn't be sticking around long enough for it to come off of cooldown even with the reduction.


Armor: Lightweight Armor
Having messed around with the Binomial Distribution, and other black arts of mathematical modelling, I can say with confidence that for short encounters evasion beats the heck out of similar quantities of any other option, and it's more likely to make the difference between living and dying when it really matters. TAKE IT!


Thruster: Speed Thrusters

To get in a missile launch position you need to be able to get to the right place in space, and boosting is by far the best way to do this quickly enough to take advantage of good tactical situations. Strike fighters are not especially efficient at boosting, and despite a larger size, don't seem to get much in the way of bigger fuel tanks. So getting a build that can always boost to where it wants to be is tricky. I find that the key to success is in the boost mechanic. It multiplies base engine speed by 3.2. The other thruster options give a roughly 20% increase in boost ability, speed thrusters appear to be worse at a mere 10%, but that 10% then gets multiplied by 3.2. It is very, very good. Taken with all of the other speed options, you wind up with a very fast, very long range strike fighter. If your damage comes from long range missile locks, you can do fairly well without upgrading turn rate past baseline. Someday maybe I'll try the turn upgrade on barrel roll as a variation on this build. Maybe.


Capacitor: Damage Capacitor
The theorycrafting episode I had regarding the comparative value of evasion vs shield vs hull vs damage reduction wound up looking at burst damage too. The result is that I recommend Damage Capacitors unless you have a really good reason for choosing differently. Frontloaded damage is disproportionately good compared to sustained damage, and Damage Capacitors are the ones that increase frontloading of damage. This does scale with rate of fire though, frequency will tend to favor rapid firing weapons, damage slower firing ones. With player accuracy too, the higher percentage of your shots that hit, the better frequency gets.


Magazine: Munitions Capacity Extender
Is there really any other sane choice for the Pike?

:: CREW ABILITES

Copilot: Bypass or Concentrated Fire
Healing is common enough that I've pretty much retired hydrospanner on all of my ships. These are both nice offensive boosts that come on crew that you're going to get for their passives in any case. Concentrated fire does more to increase damage, but it lasts a short time so if the target goes defensive it can be easy to waste the buff. Bypass is best for finishing off enemies with full shields but severely damaged hulls.

Offensive: Improved Kill zone& Pinpointing
The increased firing arc for proton torpedoes makes a world of difference. Pinpointing buffs laser damage, you could go for rapid reload instead if you'd rather.

Defensive: Power to Shields & Response Tuning(10% shield power pool, 5% evasion)
The ideal defensive options. Republic gets a choice of running interference or bypass if you take co-pilot ability from this category.

Tactical: (sensor radius & communication)
Strikes need all the detection help they can get. Radius is better than focus as you get to see the gunships to the side and behind you.

Engineering: Power to Engines and Efficient Maneuvers
This Pike build is all about the need for speed, given that requirement there can be no choice other than C2-N2. Blizz would be the Imp side equivalent.

F-T3C Imperium // FT-7B Clarion

The type 3 strike fighters are support ships. If you get a kill or an assist that's nice, but it's really not what these ships are for. To be an effective pilot what you need to do is use your group buffing cooldowns in the right place and time to achieve maximum effect. If you get good at it, the maximum effect is really big.
More than any other ship learning to get good at flying a type 3 strike will improve your piloting in other ships. In order for it to work well you have to constantly monitor the flow of battle for both sides, and then anticipate how to react because with limited mobility you have to be efficient in your response in order to do well.
This is a generalist support build. With other builds the Clarion can also be absolutely brutal at single target lockdown or go toe to toe at close range with a seismic + interdiction minelayer build.

:: COMPONENTS

Primary Weapon: Light Laser Cannon (T4 Increased Crit, T5 Shield Damage)
While quads are my favorite general purpose blaster, I think light lasers suit the Clarion better. You're going to be boosting into the middle of the fight to buff allies often enough that you should have plenty of close range encounters with enemies, so it makes sense to take the best close range blaster available to strike fighters.
With a wide firing arc and other options for reducing traking penalty I prefer the damage from increased crit. For general use I like extra shield damage because you need to get through shields fast in order to have a chance at hull damage. If you take ion missiles though, this should be switched to increased hull damage.

Secondary Weapon: Proton Torpedoes (T4 Increased Speed, T5 Increased Range)
Long range, hard hitting, damage to hulls. Good stuff. If launched at over 5 km you really need to make sure that the target just used a missile lock break or you need to plan on the torpedo being wasted. Once you learn to boost in from a solid lock at 8+ km to release the missile at 3 km or less, the proton torpedo becomes a rather terrifying weapon. More than half of my kills on the Clarion come from p-torp hits. I like the other three options too, but I don't have enough requisition on my Clarion yet to tailor builds that use them to maximum effect.

Engine: Power Dive (T3 Increased Engine Speed)
The type 3 strikes have the worst mobility choices of the strike family. This makes a short missile break cooldown and extra engine speed particularly valuable. Be warned, power dive may take some getting used to when it comes to not getting disoriented by the maneuver.

Systems: Combat Command (T4 Increased Crit, T5 Improved Targeting) or Repair Probes(T4 Improved Repair, T5 Refill Ammunition )
I like all of the systems options, but Remote slicing is a single target lockdown ability not suited to a pure support build. I include both Combat command and Repair Probes because they're both powerful support abilites.
Combat Command is the offensive support ability. It's designed to make ships more deadly with their blasters. It's a bit harder to use well than Repair probes. You'll want to prioritize buffing a group of friendly scouts and strikes, ideally ones that are attacking ships with fairly good passive evasion. Look for a classic furball style dogfight and try to buff your side at the beginning of it in order to get maxium use out of this.
Repair probes is a bit easier to use because you just have to be close to some friendly ships that have hull damage. This makes it possible to use effectively a bit behind the front lines of battle which is safer for the Clarion. You can also use chat or VOIP and try to coordinate injured teammates coming to you for repairs and make this ability even more powerful and also very efficient.

Shields: Shield projector (T3 Power Burst)
The support style shield option. Power burst for the upgrade because shield now is usually more important than shield later. If you get really good at anticipating damage in a group fight then the increased duration option pulls ahead, but that requires more skill to get best use.
Properly combining this, running interference, and repair probes will make everyone flying within 3 km of you very difficult to kill.

Sensors: Communications Senors
Your sensor range isn't great so range sensors won't make it amazing. You need to be close to the fight to buff friendly ships, so dampening sensors are pretty useless. That leaves communication sensors as the obvious choice.

Reactor: Large Reactor
Default choice is the best choice. No reason to change it for this build.

Armor: Lightweight Armor
Probably the best choice except in special cases.

Capacitor: Damage Capacitor
Any of the available options are ok. Mostly a matter of pilot preference.

:: CREW ABILITES

Copilot: Running Interference or Wingman
Group buff actives are the logical choice to enchance the Clarion's already strong group buff abilites.
Offensive: Improved Kill Zone & Pinpointing
These give the most offensive punch, and there aren't any competing choices that give group utility actives instead, so you might as well take these.

Defensive: Power to Shields & Response Tuning(10% shield power pool, 5% evasion)
The ideal defensive options. Republic gets a choice of running interference or bypass if you take co-pilot ability from this category.

Tactical: (sensor radius & communication)
Strikes need all the detection help they can get. Radius is better than focus as you get to see the gunships to the side and behind you.

Engineering: Power to Engines and Efficient Maneuvers
The Clarion's lack of maneuverability inceasing components means you should take C2-N2, Blizz would be the Imp side equivalent.

Build update, Sept. 18 2014
These aren't the T1 and T2 builds I'm currently running, those are here:

http://www.swtor.com/community/showt...45#post7680445
"A padawan's master sets their Jedi trial, Rajivari set mine."
- Zhe Lian, Sage.

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