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Stasie's Galactic Starfighter Guide (Ships, Components, Crew, Tips)

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Galactic Starfighter
Stasie's Galactic Starfighter Guide (Ships, Components, Crew, Tips)
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Ramalina's Avatar

03.15.2014 , 02:31 PM | #31
Quote: Originally Posted by Verain View Post

Remember: this isn't "stuff one guy built and likes". And it most certainly isn't "stuff that doesn't work for GOOD pilots".

Stasie has so many games with every ship and so many components that it is a resource not really seen on these forums- add that to his discussions with other pilots, and it's easily the best guide on the forums. You are free to dismiss it, but to do so is an almost laughable waste. But definitely don't give bad advice to other folks based on nowhere near as much playtime and discussion.
A few items. First, "Stuff one guy built and likes," is exactly what it is. The guy has spent a lot of time playing, and talked with other active players, but that doesn't change the nature of the content. There's a introduction that is pretty clear on that. It's quite different from doing a math model based on tooltips, a statistical math model from combat logs, or breaking the EULA by decompiling the software to get quantitative info on how things work.

It's a great service to the community, because while it is opinion, it's pretty well informed opinion, and it aggregates a lot of info that has previously been very scattered. It really does deserve a sticky.

Secondly read a bit slower, it may improve your comprehension. I said that TT offered more to good pilots than to poor pilots. I also said that in optimal conditions BO has more DPS potential. Or possibly you should just not mix up what I wrote and what Armonddd wrote.

Thirdly, I find your post to come across as annoying and disrespectful in tone. Though that may be partly because I need to eat lunch, and am reading more tone out of it than you put into it. Your posts are normally pretty good so I'll go with that as a provisional hypothesis and look at it again after I've eaten.
"A padawan's master sets their Jedi trial, Rajivari set mine."
- Zhe Lian, Sage.


Ramalina's Avatar

03.15.2014 , 03:08 PM | #32
Ok, lunch has been had, Verain your post really wasn't bad. I was trying to voice that I though you and Armonddd were taking positions that I disagreed with to some degree. I was aiming for an in-between conclusion and in the back and forth some of my points lacked clarity.
"A padawan's master sets their Jedi trial, Rajivari set mine."
- Zhe Lian, Sage.


Armonddd's Avatar

03.15.2014 , 03:34 PM | #33
Quote: Originally Posted by Verain View Post
If you are running a scout with 33% base evasion and press nothing else, the 8% evasion reduces your damage taken by around 12%. If you press it during, say, distortion field, the 8% evasion reduces your damage taken by 20%. If you press it during running interference and distortion field, it's a 40%+ reduction.

I don't see that as a valid comparison. Those two things are pretty orthogonal.
Well, it clearly depends on player skill and playstyle, but I personally am more comfortable using boost to get out of peoples' crosshairs than I am relying on an extra 8% evasion. That's not at all mathematical, though.

You reduce the m damage (missile) by an effective hit for missiles (your EHM), pointing out that many opponents will dodge your missiles or break them. That's a fair factor. Where is the ACC factor for b? The factor representing user aim, you know, the same factor you included for missiles? More importantly, where is the factor representing all the time lost when an opponent may be out of blaster range but in missile range, or off of exact center, where blasters take an increasingly large accuracy penalty (a much smaller h)? You totally ignore this. Your math models a case where you are dpsing a stationary target with a ludicrous amount of health.
I believe I said in the disclaimer that my model isn't perfect because there's too many variables I'm not accounting for (enemy skill, boost time, etc). I dunno about you, but I'm not super willing to code up an observation/analysis bot to watch my matches and give me all the data I'd need to improve the match much farther than what's there.

I agree that it's an issue, and I deal with it by arbitrarily deciding that the pilot does 10,000 base damage (e.g. the pilot fires twenty perfectly aimed shots for 500 damage each, before crits, misses, and buffs, and any number of shots that are not properly lined up with the lead indicator) during the skill's uptime. If there's a better model I could make than "what would happen in this specific situation if you had BO as opposed to TT, or vice versa", please let me know so I can do that for next time. Otherwise, I have to use a "control" situation for my mathing.

I don't think it's reasonable to say that either skill will make you a better shot (i.e. physical aiming) for the duration, so I don't think it's fair to say my conclusions are wrong because they don't take that into account -- whether you get off five, twenty, or fifty perfectly lined up shots during the duration, the game's engine is still only going to apply +x% damage, +y% accuracy, +z% surge. I will grant you the assumption that +33% ROF assumes +33% shots landed, and that's probably wrong in practical situations.

Looking back, though, it's kind of odd that I half-accounted for that. I probably should have done two lines of formulae, one accounting for physical accuracy and one not. I'd update the topic if it weren't old and dead.

Oh, your multipliers? The 1.468 and the 1.224? Incorrect.
You're totally right, I completely derped that up. I guess I multiplied by additional uses but forgot to divide by additional time? Whatever it was, it was pretty dumb. So instead of using +46.8% and +22.4%, I should have been using +15.6% and +5.6%... which gives a stronger advantage to BO, but only before accuracy and missiles are accounted for. Running the math for accuracy with the correct multipliers favors TT's accuracy buff like you would not believe. (Well, maybe you would.) And that chart is before the t4 upgrade -- in the formula box to the right, change (x+0.1) to (x+0.15) to see how much more of a difference that upgrade makes.

So, at this point, I'll rescind my comment about BO being objectively better than TT. It would seem that TT is better for flat damage over a long period of time (30 seconds is long in GSF, we'll all agree), but BO's rate of fire increase can more reliably guarantee a kill in extremely short periods of time where you only get a few shots off (for example, when sneaking up on a gunship, or chasing an enemy that's chasing your ally). Not that TT can't also perform in these situations -- you just have to rely on RNG crits instead of hard-coded fire rates.

I'm honestly shocked that such a huge damage and rate of fire increase loses out in the long run to what seems a comparatively piddly crit and surge buff (because TT beats BO even at 100% relative accuracy), but math doesn't lie, so I have no choice but to do as Darwin did (when considering the human eye and his theory of evolution) and accept my findings even when they seem crazy.

If you are averaging over time- which is a HUGE abstraction-
As above, I'm more averaging over a specific scenario than I am over time. If you hit with, say, a hundred shots over sixty seconds, how much more damage will you do with TT? How much more damage will you do with BO? Again, I don't really know how else I could analyze the situation without massive amounts of statistics and in-game observations, and the lack of a combat log makes that difficult, to say the least.

then blaster overcharge is around 15% and targeting telemetry is around... I'm not sure where you get your number, which is 5.6%. I see it as more around 6%, more if the weapon in question actually has a crit rate that isn't 0% base.
That number comes from assuming 0% base crit chance and rounding to two decimal places. Here's the formula. (Reminder to the reader that both the 15.6% and 5.6% numbers are before accuracy.)

Here is a chart with base crit chance on the X-axis and percent damage increase from using TT (as opposed to not using anything) on the Y-axis. You're absolutely right that TT's damage bonus will increase as base crit increases, but the scale is pretty small. The "usual case" of upgrading from 0% base crit to 5% or 8% base crit (depending on weapon) only increases the damage buff from 5.6% to 6.1% or 6.4%. The accuracy buff and evasion debuff is significantly more important here.

As is to be expected, there's an exception: at significantly higher x-values (change the window settings below the graph to 0 < x < 0.5 or so), you get significantly more mileage out of TT. As an example, with an 8% crit weapon and concentrated fire up, TT would be providing you with +9.1% damage instead of +5.6%. That's significant, but this tactic comes with the downside of not having your cooldown available in another situation.

In practice, much more of your time in combat has the cooldowns up than down, and the evasive boost is quite valuable during that time.
That's a fair consideration (and one that I agree with), but it's not a mathematical one. I can tell you that I land more shots when I have BO/CF/TT/bypass up than when I do not (because I want to take advantage of my cooldowns), but I could not tell you how many more shots I land, nor how long I wait after a cooldown expires before using it. You also need to include powerups for TDM -- I dunno about you, but I've never used a +damage cooldown with DO up, and of course there's the whole thing about time spent engaging vs time spent hunting powerups vs number of powerups found.

I would love to be able to adjust the numbers for cooldown uptime/downtime and damage dealt during cooldown uptime/downtime, but I flat out don't have any reliable data to go on. I could pull something out of my rear, but that's really not science at all.

Again, all I can do is say "in this arbitrary situation where you used neither TT nor BO, how much more damage would you have done with them?" Unless, of course, you can help me figure out a better model. I can, however, say that in practical situations, TT will grant more total damage than BO because its cooldown can be used more efficiently -- but possibly at the cost of some kills.

More importantly, your enemies also blow cooldowns, and targeting telemetry reduces the value of these in a way blaster overcharge does not.
Well, I dunno. Bursting people down in a second and a half is a pretty good way to negate their cooldowns, and TT flat out can't guarantee that.

This changes many of your conclusions. Or it should, at least.
It definitely does. That accuracy buff is more potent than I gave it credit for (and I'll admit that when I first did the math, I was surprised that the accuracy buff wasn't contributing as much as I'd expected it to). The rate of fire increase is still pretty scary, but the average damage increase from TT just outdoes it in the long run.

I tentatively conclude that TT is better for getting big numbers on the leaderboard, while BO is better for guaranteeing a kill when you need one. Do you agree?

Thanks for pointing out the errors. You keep me honest, and I feel like I understand things better now than I did before. <3
Space Ace of <Death Squadron>, <Black Squadron>, <Eclipse Squadron>, and <solo da>

Armonddd's Avatar

03.15.2014 , 04:08 PM | #34
Quote: Originally Posted by TrinityLyre View Post
I definitely don't list them all, as I mentioned that could take an awfully long time and I don't specialize more in one ship than the others. I gave an alternative build at the start of the Sting/Flashfire section, but it certainly doesn't encompass all possible specs. This is where I could use additional help from savvy T2 scouts like yourself! Ramalina's contribution with strike fighter builds definitely helps add variety to the thread and gives readers more options and logic. I think I'll link builds here in the appropriate sections.
I don't think of my Flashfire as having any one build; rather, it has a whole bunch of components that can be used with various levels of synergy for various purposes.

Burst cannons, clusters, and retro thrusters are all great to have around a satellite or asteroid. If you have retro, you don't have the mobility boost of barrel roll, so you should probably have booster recharge... unless you're planning to just go to B and defend it for the entire match, in which case you can take an offensive CD instead.

Quads and pods combined give pretty good burst, and an offensive cooldown or two makes the build pretty scary good at doing big damage from decent range while maintaining a lot of mobility.

I honestly don't think any scout should be running without at least one mobility button, and on a T2 scout, you're looking at barrel roll and booster recharge as your major options. Quick-charge shields can help here, but I feel like they're a tier below where they should be (and the decreased bulk hurts).

Sab probe is questionable, and IMO works better on T1 scouts because of EMP field, but T2 scouts can still use it effectively with lights (highest DPS laser while you have a bead on the target). Again, you need to choose between retro + BR (for locks and general mobility) and barrel roll + TT/BO (for more damage in between locks and the ability to exit bad situations, but at the cost of fewer locks and less mobility overall).

Directional shields, quick-charge shields, and distortion field all have their strengths and weaknesses. I tend to favor distortion field even though it decreases my bulkiness because the lock break lets me win head to heads, among other things. I don't know many pilots that run the other two on their scouts, but they're theoretically viable, if nothing else. It's worth noting that both of them have synergy with your reactor that distortion field doesn't.

Lightweight armor is the obvious choice, as you say. Percentage increases to not a lot will not give you a lot.

Frequency capacitor is more DPS and better burst DPS (if you do 1000 damage per shot and the target has 2500 health remaining, frequency is going to decrease the time to get that third shot off and damage is going to do... nothing), but damage capacitor is better when the target is taking advantage of LoS or zooming past you. I've gotten some pretty sweet 1.4k crits on someone who thought he could boost past me and be safe. (Spoiler: he wasn't.) Between its advantages with small firing opportunities and the lack of increased power draw, I give a slight edge to damage capacitor.

Edit: Since the devs have confirmed that damage scales linearly with range, the range capacitor will a slight damage increase while also allowing you to deal with seeker mines and targets at the very edge of your range.

I think turning thrusters are completely viable if you want to sneak around obstructions. I do so a lot (mostly to break missile locks), so I use them over regen thrusters. Besides, with boost recharger, it's rare that I'm out of engine power (I actually run +20% turning rate because of this). I'd definitely take regen thrusters on a barrel roll build, though.

I agree that large reactor is the best general purpose reactor because it increases your bulk and decreases your vulnerability to burst damage. That said, directional shields with turbo reactor all but eliminates the wait for shields to begin regenning, and quick-charge shields with +60% constant regen combines well with regen reactor for constant regen (though there's a period of time from 1.7 to 4.8 seconds after you're hit where turbo reactor will outperform regen reactor -- which can be very useful when circling satellites). Again, though, both of these are long-term solutions; RNG evasion from distortion field can save your life against a series of shots that would otherwise kill you in a second or so. (Or you could go with directional shields and large reactor to throw up a wall between you and that gunship.)
Space Ace of <Death Squadron>, <Black Squadron>, <Eclipse Squadron>, and <solo da>

Verain's Avatar

03.15.2014 , 04:56 PM | #35
Quote: Originally Posted by Armonddd View Post
I tentatively conclude that TT is better for getting big numbers on the leaderboard, while BO is better for guaranteeing a kill when you need one. Do you agree?
Mostly! I personally prefer DO because of how good it is against the fortified targets with a narrow kill window, such as gunships and bombers. I would say that TT allows for a different and generally superior style for dogfighting, especially if you are the defensive and offensive focus of the enemies, and BO is better for nailing clutch kills on high value targets.

Khveldar's Avatar

03.16.2014 , 10:18 AM | #36
Great guide. I would like to add my two cents to this topic. For those who disagree with what is posted that is fine. It does seem that (in my opinion) that you haven't read the explanation to why each component was chosen. For those new Pilots do not look for a TL;DR version of this guide. Do yourself a favor and READ this guide, and therefore improve not only what to do but why you are doing it. If you do that you will see that as a pilot you will improve drastically. This is coming from someone who queues solo and as a group.


Warhelm's Avatar

03.16.2014 , 01:34 PM | #37
All of your Table of Contents links go to the Bombers post.

Very nice work, by the way.

-Streven-'s Avatar

03.16.2014 , 05:00 PM | #38
Nice guide. I like your reasoning for your builds. If I get some time I'll post up some alternative builds that I really enjoy.

Verain's Avatar

03.17.2014 , 09:08 AM | #39
I play my starguard reasonably standard- heavies, ions, concussion missiles. But my Gladiator... lets call it a whiskey build. If you are drinking Johnny Walker Black, I recommend this ship. It plays a bit like a scout, and you will survive longer than a scout. It is also very fun. I would not claim it is exactly exceptional, except in the strictest definition of that term.


Since you won't remember directional shields, or at worst you will actively redirect them away from the incoming damage source, you should use Quick Charge Shields. Press the button whenever you remember to. Because your shields are always charging, you should quickly toggle to F2 while you are trying to reacquire target, which will be constantly. Obviously, F1 for firing, F3 for if you need to juke or dash yourself into an asteroid accidentally, and F4 because man, it's like, right there.
Make sure to randomly pick a target and glue yourself to it, but try to peel off before minefields and cap ship turrets.
Focus on enemies vastly inferior to you.
Cluster missiles still work even if you are pretty far gone.


This ship is a close ranged combatant. No one told him he couldn't be a battle scout, so he's worked at it hard his whole life. Remember to switch off of ion cannons whenever you want to actually kill anyone, ever.


Primary Weapon:Rapid Fire Laser Cannon (T4 Accuracy, T5 Hull Damage)
When you begin with Rapid Fire Lasers, you will find an underpowered cannon that requires intense skill and a constant bead to do reasonable damage. The damage falls off quickly with distance, and the tracking penalty is not great compared to other short range weapons. It's ok, the Gladiator can't equip those. Make the blasters your favorite color. If that's not available, your favorite color is now purple. Purple is pleasing because it's an illusory color- it's not on the spectrum. It's a glitch of our visual system that some purples look like spectral violet, so exploit this by creating pretty amazing fans of beatiful purple in the vastness of space.

Once you have this weapon mastered, you'll notice that it has bloomed into an underpowered cannon that requires intense skill and a constant bead to do reasonable damage, but it deals 16% extra hull damage and is even cheaper to fire than before, which never mattered and now matters even less. This is easily your best gun. Fire it at everything, and nothing can go wrong.

Primary Weapon: Ion Cannon (T4 Increased Range, T5 Drain Shield Power)

This will strip shields amazingly quickly, and then produce tiny amounts of hull damage, your signal to press the 1 button and immediately repress the mouse button (this ship would be so improved if the firing continued with the new weapon). The ion cannon's damage falls off fast with range, and it makes a really funny noise. If you choose a black core weapon, you'll be distracted by the strange ghost bolts you fire, so don't do that! The ion cannon ensures that no one comes close to this ship without losing their shields. At least, on one side of their ship. Remember to switch off of this weapon when the numbers become two digit! You will really find this weapon satisfactory.

Secondary Weapon:Cluster Missiles (T4 Increased Range, T5 Double Volley)
This weapon is capable of scoring damage even against opponents who use engine maneuvers and do not have a high blood alcohol content, so it's pretty much going to be all of your damage in a typical match, being that your blasters are both remedial. If your opponent is afk or something, your ions will strip their shields in just about the time it takes to lock on and fire this, guaranteeing that all the damage goes to hull, but expect this combo to work out as typed about once a game. Mostly your games will consist of a pretty fan of thirty to forty purple lasers, one of which hits for 200ish, and then a cluster volley, one of which connects for about 400 as the opponent runs away. The devs are planning to fix this glitch, which is pretty much the worst thing ever, as it will be a 60% damage reduction.

Engine: Barrel Roll (T3 Increased Turning Rate)
This engine component allows you to get back into the action, or to catch up to the action after it left, which it often does as most pilots don't want to be around a buzzed gladiator with nothing but ludicrous trolly melee weapons. Every time you barrel roll into an asteroid, take a drink. If you barrel roll INTO cap ship turret range, take two drinks.

Shields: Quick Charge Shields (T3 Constant Regen)
Since you won't do the right thing with directional shields, take these. Remember to run and hide when you take damage, something you do instinctively. You coward! You only need a couple seconds to take these shields from low to max, which is good, because they have the thickness of Trojan Super Ultra Thins. A nice trick is to press F2 when you don't have an enemy under your sites, as the extra boost will immediately begin charging your shields slightly faster- but lets be honest, there's no way you are going to remember that. Just remember to press 2 when you take damage. That should be good enough. You won't die, or at least, you won't stay dead for long.

Reactor: Large Reactor
I mean, why not? What were you gonna pick? You can do the regeneration one, but it takes a very long time for it to outrace the large reactor, and honestly, this ship doesn't need to be any weaker.

Thruster: Turning Thrusters
You're a scout in the body of a strike fighter. But ship roles are just a social construct. Let your inner scout shine through with these thrusters.

Capacitor: Frequency Capacitor
Both of your weapons fire very fast and are mostly for entertainment value instead of dps, and neither really uses weapon power, which you are too hammered to watch anyway. So there's no reason not to take this, which increases the density of the fan of purple fireworks you spew into space by 15%, an excellent tradeoff with no possible disadvantages.

Magazine: Munitions Capacity Extender
You can't run out of anything except clusters and whiskey, so this magazine fixes half of your problems right there. It also counts the pre-double volley number, so it's an even better deal.


Copilot: Scorpio (Sexy Voice, Suppression)
It's clear that this is the superior copilot, because she is a murderbot that gets off when you kill your enemies. There is really no other possible choice now that this has been established. She also offers "Suppression", which is an interesting metagame call in a game that often features pilots of vastly different skills. Ideally, you will put this on an opponent who represents a real threat, as a -25% accuracy penalty is devastating to the few pilots in any match that can actually hit moving targets with their lasers. However, given the playstyle, you probably just press this on cooldown on anything that isn't a bomber.

Offensive: Jaesa Willsaam(2 degrees to firing arc & 6% accuracy)
Your puny weapons need all the help that they can get. Jaesa offers tiger pills that enhance the length of your rapid fire's accuracy and boost the girth of your ion's firing arc. She's also kind of hot so you can picture her and Scorpio up there having a bit of a party, if that's your bag.

Defensive:Writch Hurley (10% shield power pool,15% shield regeneration)
No reason not to go all-in on the quick charge shield thing, right? A bigger shield and it comes back faster, and it's always coming back. Clearly you should ignore that evasion thing. It's too mathy anyway.

Tactical: Scorpio (no clue)
There is no other option.

Engineering:Blizz (10% engine pool, 13% engine efficiency)

The only way you will run out of weapon power using rapids and ions is when you are spinning in circles on a friendly sat with the button held down. That's admirable, but you should instead build towards being able to boost longer, because with nothing but short range weapons, you pretty much are always doing this. Plus it helps you pass in society as a scout, so why wouldn't you?

Ramalina's Avatar

03.17.2014 , 10:32 AM | #40
Quote: Originally Posted by Verain View Post
Every time you barrel roll into an asteroid, take a drink. If you barrel roll INTO cap ship turret range, take two drinks.
My guild uses this a variant of this system for wipes in Ops, we hadn't though to try it for GSF yet.

Might make a good beginners build to get through the GSF learning curve while having fun. Well, as long as you have enough sense to stop taking shots before you get alcohol poisoning.
"A padawan's master sets their Jedi trial, Rajivari set mine."
- Zhe Lian, Sage.