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StealthNerf's Avatar

08.17.2014 , 11:32 PM | #270
As a new player who started only a week ago, wanted to say thanks heaps for this thread. Best guide I found that helped me get up to speed. I've tried the Pike and Star Guard based on recommendations here, but settled on this Clarion build as the ship that's giving me the most fun/effectiveness at such an early stage.

Clarion Dive Bomber (not actually a bomber)

This is a shoot and scoot build with the ability to act as a moving target / distraction, break from a dogfight and outrun other ships with minimal req investment. I don't claim this build is any good when you have all the ship options and the experience to use them (a week in, I have neither). But it does give you a fighting chance against more experienced players and is a great way to learn how to shoot and maneuver without the frustration of getting killed over and over.

I play it in TDM because of how slippery and tanky it is. Going 4 kills 1 death is much more beneficial to the team than going 6 kills and 4 deaths on a Pike. Often I accidentally find myself in enemy territory but dive and evade back to friendlies with no trouble -- and hopefully give them something to shoot at while the rest of my team lands kills. In domination I play it for the same reason - holding points and generally wasting people's time when they try and attack me.

None of the gear used on this build is higher than level 2, so you have no fancy options. So we're just using basic stuff you can get after a few days.

Quad lasers (level 2): Seems like the best short-medium range weapon for this ship. Don't expect to get many kills with them, but you can occasionally land a lucky shot and are fun to spam. The first two upgrades are useful for getting these to a point where you might actually hit something.

Proton Torpedos (level 2): Better for a newbie than the Thermite that are often recommended, these give you a large whack of damage that will finish something by themselves, rather than expect you to close in with quads (which is really really hard after just a week of play). The first upgrade is mandatory for reducing lock on times, and the second upgrade is still cheap and gives the chance of a lucky shot.

Repair Probes (level 1): If you're trying to draw fire while minimizing deaths, you can't get pecked to death by shots that get through your shields but don't kill. The tier 2-3 upgrades aren't that fantastic for this build so just get the reduced cooldown and forget about spending more points on them for now.

Directional Shield (level 2): Bit more tanky than the Shield Projector. These let you throw all shields to aft while you power dive all over the map, bringing us to...

POWER DIVE (level 2, but level 3 is great too if you can get it): In caps as it is the core of this build. Power Dive speeds you off at a right angle downwards, so if you use it wrong you'll troll yourself with a controlled flight into asteroid.

However, once you get the hang of pointing your nose directly up first, then power diving, this is the greatest thing since sliced bread. With the tier 2 reduced cooldown, you'll have more mobility than many ships. I've managed to lead more experienced scouts around in a huge circle on TDM maps just power diving all over the place. Eventually most players give up in favour of a less annoying target, letting you go back to locking on torpedoes.

Bonus points if you can power dive lead people in front of a line of friendly gunships, so always try to have a plan for getting in, getting attention, and having a destination.

Power Dive is also handy for satellite rushes in domination. When you spawn, hit F3 for more engine power, then point your nose up and power dive, then afterburner as you come out of the dive. You'll be upside down, but also ahead of other ships. A 10 second cooldown means you'll have it free to use again as you approach the sat, and two power dives and afterburner can let you contest a sat even at the same time as an opposing scout. Then you can fly in a circle around the sat with all power to shields and repair probes, and they typically won't have the firepower to dislodge you by themselves.

Lightweight Armor (level 2): Evasion is pretty good as it reduces the damage that gets through the shield, meaning less need for hull repairs.

Range capacitor (level 2): Helps you actually hit stuff with Quads, since you have a longer range window and hence less tracking penalties.

Large Reactor (level 2): More shields means less hull damage. Between these and other bonuses, your repair probes can cope with their workload.

Sensor: Doesn't matter at this low level so leave it stock. Later on I'm thinking communication range to help support the role as a rabbit.


Offensive as pinpointing/Field of Fire: Standard offensive crew choice here that means you might hit the broad side of an asteroid with your quads. While you're using torpedoes to get kills mostly, a blaster-oriented crew is still useful as it turns your quads from "pointless" to "might get lucky". I like those odds.

Defensive as power to shields/response turning/Bypass: More shields and more evasion means less hull damage in a prolonged fight. Bypass is an interesting ability that means your quads might kill something once in a while if you get a good attack run in. Plus Nadia seems to really enjoy power diving, judging by her cheers. It's a real party.

Tactical as crew with Wingman or Running Interference: At low levels not sure if the tactical passives do anything (maybe communication would help the rabbit role), but right now I spent points unlocking a crew with Wingman for a great offensive buff as an alternative to Bypass that help you actually hit stuff with Quads. Not sure which one is better - either way your blasters are mostly entertainment value, so is good to try both.

Running Interference is another fine choice since you're actually trying to get shot at, but I prefer the offensive options as I'd rather have the option to make my blasters useful than completely forget about them. At low gear and experience, a buff is really helpful to making blasters work.

Engineering with efficient manuevers and power to engines: C2-N2 is a big fan of power diving so enthusiastically tunes your engines so you can power dive all day.

So that's the build. Not the most offensive ship, but it is very possible to reliably go 4 kills to 1 or even 0 deaths in matches and lock down objectives after just a week in GSF, which after a week is I think the most you can ask for and helps your team more than getting farmed.