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The Tao of the Bloodmark


dancezwithnubz's Avatar


dancezwithnubz
06.26.2014 , 09:12 PM | #1
[This was originally posted in the SWTOR sub-reddit, many thanks to Armondd for their input]
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NOTE: This guide is written largely using Empire terminology and only includes specific references to the Republic scum where directly applicable (eg: crewmember choices).
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The tier three Scouts, Bloodmark (Imperial) and Spearpoint (Republic) represent a significant design departure from the previous Scout class ships.

Most notably, the lack of Barrel Roll as an Engine option and the complete lack of Thrusters as minor components.

These are widely considered to be grievous flaws in the design, earning the ship a reputation as something you fly for Ďfuní, or for the initial spawn in a Domination round before switching to a battlescout, rather than as a serious tool in Galactic Starfighter.

I believe these views are seriously misguided and this remarkable little ship is being spurned by many for no legitimate reasons.

The T3 scout brings a couple of very neat tricks to the table. The most obvious of which is its one unique component: the Tensor Field system ability.

Tensor Field gives the Bloodmark and all allies within range a significant boost to speed and turning ability. At tier four, you can choose between an Accuracy Buff or an Evasion Buff for your teammates. At Tier five the choices are an extra +15% speed boost or an engine recharge buff.

You'll need to be careful when letting T-Field off when defending nodes as you're giving your teammates a substantial and usually quite surprising boost to maneuverability. This can cause accidents when precision flying.

Tensor Fieldís most obvious use is right at the start of a Domination match and from experience, if one team uses t-field and the other doesnít, itís almost a guaranteed win for the side with a T3 scout (assuming no huge experience gaps between the sides).

Even at base level, the extra speed boost is enough that Bombers can get to very close range of a node before running out of engine power, although they'll probably still want to recharge once on the way to make sure they don't arrive on-scene running on fumes.

Once fully upgraded, taking boost recharge at tier five, your heavy Gunship and Bomber support craft teammates will arrive on-scene long before enemy heavy support ships can get into range reinforce the node.

A teammate in a fast scout can get deep into enemy approach lanes and cause all kinds of havoc with the benefit of your tensor field boost at the start.

The occasional enemy fast scout that turns up to a node generally finds a very hot reception closing in fast and a scout that's already half-capped the node waiting with a warm torpedo in the tube.

Beyond that initial use, tensor field has a myriad other beneficial applications for both offense and defense.

Bomber pilots, those using the Engine-Shield converter especially, never complain about a friendly T-Field being dropped on them.

Once a nodes been capped, T-Field can boost your allies to the next node and ensure they arrive with some engine juice, ready to fight.

I really do recommend taking boost recharge rather than the extra speed as the final upgrade.

I used the extra speed for a long time, but friendly bomber pilots convinced me to try the boost recharge instead which, incidentally, turns Tensor Field into a sort of poor manís Booster Recharge.

If youíve ever played a booster-recharge Blackbolt or Sting, it plays very similarly.

I simply cannot stress enough how vital this one component is to the whole ship.

Itís the only component unique to the Bloodmark and, simply, if youíre using something else youíre doing it wrong.

Youíd be better off in any of the other scout class boats if you leave Tensor field at the door.

[EDIT] Of course, if you have a teammate who can bring Tensor field to the party, feel free to have a crack at Combat Command or Targeting Telemetry, I'll do this myself if someone wants to group up and gieb that tensor goodness at the start (at least)....[/EDIT]

The other useful trick Bloodmarks bring with them is the interesting secondary weapon selections available. (I can hear the naysayers laughing nowÖ)

Iíve spent a ton of requisition and have fully upgraded all three options.

First up, yes, the naysayers are correct: Ion Missile is all but useless, especially compared to the other offerings.

The EMP Missile is a very solid choice.

With some co-ordination from teammates, a single, well placed EMP missile can shutdown even the most heavily defended node for 15s along with wiping out even the most carefully constructed nest of mines and other nefarious instruments of doom.

Having tried all three, Iíve decided the crown jewels in the Bloodmarkís secondary weapon loadout are those Thermite Torpedos.

They take an age to lock on, have a frustratingly small targeting reticule and seem to be slightly more buggy than other missiles, but pretty much anything you hit with a thermite torp is most likely going to die.

If itís not the whomping great wodge of damage up front or the DoT that follows, itís the DR and Shield Piercing debuffs it applies to its target for the next 15s that lead to inevitable demise.

Land a thermite torp and follow it up with a couple of shots and even a full-hull bomber is smoking cloud of flaming debris somewhere off the Kuat Mesa.

I suggest taking the four degree extra firing arc at tier four instead of the speed boost. Thermiteís have a huge range, so unless someone uses a missile lock break move, your torp will chase them halfway across the map. Bigger arc means more lock-ons, which means flipping off more torps overall.

A neat trick is to hold the lock-on while boosting at the target and letting the torp drop right on top of them.

I also take the 6% Accuracy/2 degree firing arc crewmember: Jaesa (Imp) or Qyzen(?) for yet more torpedo firing arc.

Primary weapons are really up to each individual pilot. Personally, I use Laser Cannon because I reckon they look cool hanging off the wings of both the Bloodmark and the Blackbolt.

The shield component is also a mixed grab bag depending on personal preferences.

I resisted the knee-jerk impulse to take Distortion Field and opted for Repair Probes with the ammo replenish at tier three.

Distortion Field really should need no introduction, itís the Meta choice of scouts for a reason.

Switching out Disto Field requires a significant change in the tactics you use with this ship. Frontal jousting just got very dangerous.

The flipside is that if you survive, youíll heal yourself and teammates up to full-hull in short order along with infinite Thermite Torps.

The lack of Barrel Roll as an Engine choice is what really sets this ship apart from its scout class brethren.
Iíve experimented with Snap Turn and Interdiction Drive engines so far.

Of the two, Snap Turn is, imho, far superior and allows for some rather cool moves such as diving straight at a damage overcharge power-up in a TDM with someone in pursuit. Collect the power-up and hitting Snap Turn before face-planting the wall, then getting some shots into your harasser being one that comes to mind.

Another neat use of it is to lure people into chasing you back towards your teammates.

Interdiction drive promises a lot and fails to deliver. I tried disto-field/interdiction over repair/snap. A setup which lasted all of three matches for the expenditure of 20k odd Ship Requisition.

Distortion Field/Snap Turn, I confess, would probably be a better solo-ship setup.

Power DIvE is another option. Personally, I have limited experience with P-DIvE but the very short cooldown is very attractive.

Your mileage may vary.

Sensors, the Ďuselessí component on any ship are really your choice. I run Dampening on my Blackbolt and Range on the Bloodmark.

As for Capacitor, again, itís all down to what suits you best. Personally, I usually run with Damage, although on this particular ship, Iíve also made very good use of Range.

Your Reactor choice is similar, either Turbo or Large, again depending on your personal playstyle and preferences. If youíre a nimble fighter good at ducking fire, Turbo will probably help more.

If, like me, you suffer a little from lag (Iím on a ~250+ ping), you may find that Large reactors offer more protection.

Armour should be pretty self explanatory, Lightweight is the Meta Choice for good reason, itís the best option for Scouts.

I alluded to crewmembers earlier and as mentioned, I have Jaesa for the extra firing arc and accuracy.
Vector gets a look in Defensive for the extra evasion and shield power.

My Tactical choice is Mako, mostly for the Running Interference active co-pilot ability and the boosts to sensors (hey, if youíre forced to have sensors, may as well have good ones).

She also has a few cute sayings when you blow stuff up, an especially stylish kill gets rewarded with ďThatís going on the holo-net!Ē

Down in Engineering is my good friend and almost constant flying companion, Blizz the Jawa! Seriously, I use him on pretty much every ship I fly (and I use C2N2 on pretty much every Republic ship).

The 10% extra engine capacity and -13% engine costs Blizz brings to the table are simply far too powerful to pass on for a ship that relies on agility and speed to be effective.

Again, your mileage may vary and some find that the blaster efficiency 2VR8 brings to the table to be worth the loss of 10% engine power. It's really a personal choice.

For my mind, I'd rather run out of blaster juice than run out of gogo juice.

I generally use Running Interference as my co-pilot ability on this ship, but this could easily be substituted for Concentrated Fire if you like.

Now, with all of that said, there are a few small changes I would like to see to this ship.

Mainly, Iíd like to see the devs ditch the Capacitor minor component and replace it with Thrusters.

I say capacitor and not sensors as clearly the devs have a flavour they're aiming for with this ship.

This alone would catapault the Bloodmark up into the sort of territory the Sting currently inhabits.

Adding Barrel Roll to the mix would also make it much more ďscout-likeĒ, but Iím coming to terms with Snap Turn and actually enjoy the change.

Many have called for the Interdiction Missile to be added to the secondary weapons lists. Iím not 100% sure myself. Iíd certainly give them a try if it happens, but having gotten used to Thermites, that kind of upfront damage is really hard to say no to and EMP can be invaluable against heavily defended nodes.

I would also like to see a Bloodmark style scout that eschews the secondary weapon for a second System ability, adding in EMP Pulse to the available list. I confess, Iíd probably use Tensor Field and Targeting Telemetry in such a ship.

Well, there you have it, my take on the T3 scouts.

An interesting little ship that, when played to its strengths, can turn the tide of battle quicker than an Ion railgun.

Played badly, or not played to its natural strengths, itís a gimped Blackbolt without barrel roll.

It lacks the insane burst damage ability of the Sting and misses out on the myriad of multiple set-up options the Blackbolt can lay claim to in exchange for some truly unmatched group utility and the kind of support that will have heavy-ship users begging you to group with them.

I fly on Harbinger server as Danceswithnubs on Imperial. If you see me on, donít be afraid to say hiya. Iím often in a group in the queue, if thereís room in the group, anyoneís welcome.

DresG's Avatar


DresG
06.26.2014 , 09:39 PM | #2
Quote: Originally Posted by dancezwithnubz View Post
I would also like to see a Bloodmark style scout that eschews the secondary weapon for a second System ability, adding in EMP Pulse to the available list. I confess, Iíd probably use Tensor Field and Targeting Telemetry in such a ship.
This.
Good read.

Verain's Avatar


Verain
06.27.2014 , 01:35 AM | #3
Tensor with engine recharge is standard, and good.


I've been having some success with combat command recently, plus wingman. It lets light lasers just sort of hit anything you point them at.
"The most despicable person on the GSF forum."

dancezwithnubz's Avatar


dancezwithnubz
06.27.2014 , 01:47 AM | #4
I'm toying with power-dive some more.
i like it. it's tricky to use, but very rewarding. i don't claim to be an expert in it, yet
Quote: Originally Posted by DresG View Post
Good read.
thank you for taking the time to get through mah wall-o-text

Quote: Originally Posted by Verain View Post
I've been having some success with combat command recently, plus wingman. It lets light lasers just sort of hit anything you point them at.
hmm, very interesting. how's it stack up against targeting telemetry for damage output?
if one of my wingmen decides to play a t-field build, i've the requisition to cap out combat command and would love to give it a go.
but yeah, t-field at the start of a domination round has such an amazing benefit to the whole team it's just madness not to use it.

SammyGStatus's Avatar


SammyGStatus
06.27.2014 , 08:30 AM | #5
I wouldn't be surprised if he wrote all of that on mobile.... again lol. Nem works his BM pretty well I think! I don't see too many people using it though (in the group I play with, we don't allow people to use it unless they say "TENSOR FIELD" with an intense voice in Mumble)

TLDR: Play a bloodmark / spearpoint as a support unit. They're capable ships in the hands of a good pilot.
Renegade-One / Leggogurl / Aimbot / Even'ess / Status

Nemarus's Avatar


Nemarus
06.27.2014 , 11:17 AM | #6
Quote: Originally Posted by SammyGStatus View Post
I wouldn't be surprised if he wrote all of that on mobile.... again lol. Nem works his BM pretty well I think! I don't see too many people using it though (in the group I play with, we don't allow people to use it unless they say "TENSOR FIELD" with an intense voice in Mumble)

TLDR: Play a bloodmark / spearpoint as a support unit. They're capable ships in the hands of a good pilot.
I make due, but I only ever attempt to use it in Domination. Certainly it can give a team an early advantage in Domination, but I still wish it had some more viable offensive teeth. Interdiction Missile would make it amazing (perhaps too amazing). Sabotage Probe would be an immediate and sensible addition that would make the ship feel pretty correct.

Or, as has been said many times before, improvements to EMP Missile or Ion Missile.

Or if we really wanted to get Wacky... imagine Charged Plating on the Tier 3. You could only get up to 89% DR... but still, it'd make the ship very interesting and potentially more viable in TDM, especially if you took the Charged Plating upgrade which turns damage into engine energy.

You could fly around doing damage... then if you come under heavy attack, hit CP and use the extra engine energy to escape off Sensor range (aided by your own Dampening Sensors). Then, once in the clear, drop a Repair Probe to heal your hull damage.
Shayd / Callem / RK-4X / "Trynt" - Leader of <Eclipse Squadron>, The Ebon Hawk
http://EclipseSquadron.enjin.com Imperial GSF-focused guild

"Serve the Emperor above all others."

DamascusAdontise's Avatar


DamascusAdontise
06.27.2014 , 12:33 PM | #7
When im feeling froggy I use it in DM to hunt DO's and EO's

This thing gets scary to be around when both of those + tensor field are active. For the longest time I used Ion Missiles (maxed) with EMP its much more effective at stopping an opponent (IMO)

Still lacks some teeth, but with all the tracking penalty reduction and accuracy from crew passives + wingman I can get bursts of decent damage when I need it.

In this ship I simply run or LOS until I have the advantage, seems to work pretty well. I don't get the high damage and kills of T2 but it does a respectable amount of damage and gets lots of assists.

Also nothing like dropping tensor field in the middle of a big furball and watching the friendly kills climb.
Ahazi Server Refugee (Beta - Shutdown) RIP TIE & Twin Ion
[Circle of Emnity] - Pincer - Ocula Pilot - The Bastion
New to GSF? Look Here!. // And Here!

Nemarus's Avatar


Nemarus
06.27.2014 , 12:52 PM | #8
<oops double post>
Shayd / Callem / RK-4X / "Trynt" - Leader of <Eclipse Squadron>, The Ebon Hawk
http://EclipseSquadron.enjin.com Imperial GSF-focused guild

"Serve the Emperor above all others."

Nemarus's Avatar


Nemarus
06.27.2014 , 12:53 PM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by DamascusAdontise View Post
When im feeling froggy I use it in DM to hunt DO's and EO's

In this ship I simply run or LOS until I have the advantage, seems to work pretty well. I don't get the high damage and kills of T2 but it does a respectable amount of damage and gets lots of assists.
Both of these can be done much better with a T1 Scout with Booster Recharge and/or Shield-to-Engine converter.

And I find that giving Tensor Field to allies in TDM usually just leads to them rushing into the enemy's half of the map and getting swarmed. Sometimes the slowest teams, which can't easily go off and wander far from each other, do the best in TDM.
Shayd / Callem / RK-4X / "Trynt" - Leader of <Eclipse Squadron>, The Ebon Hawk
http://EclipseSquadron.enjin.com Imperial GSF-focused guild

"Serve the Emperor above all others."

Odacervicix's Avatar


Odacervicix
06.27.2014 , 01:34 PM | #10
I have finally finished mastering these scouts on both sides. After mastering them, I agree that they are underrated. I started trying some different component combinations, but ultimately settled on builds using Tensor Field, Repair Drones, Laser Cannon with Range, Thermite Torpedo, and Power Dive. I found these builds to be very good at hit and run attacks, as well as attacking bombers. There are builds of the blackbolt/novadive that are better at hit and run, but they lack the utility that the type 3 scout brings. And you canít run away and heal yourself when you take some damage during an attack run.

I tried to use ion missiles, but found them to still be lackluster. You can threaten with them far more than you can with thermites, sometimes provoking a missile break without launching. But they lack punch, and fail to create the sort of burst Iíd like to see from landing a follow up missile. I felt I really needed some sort of damage missile to try and create some sort of burst. Thermites are very hard to land on most ships, but they are effective when you do. I was pleasantly surprised at how effective they are on bombers, which otherwise can take me a very long time to kill. One thing that really helps is if you can learn to ďdive bombĒ your target. Most good pilots wonít break lock until the torpedo is in the air, which saddles you with a long cool down. So, if I can, I will keep the target locked up for as long as I can, hoping they either break early, or that I can get close enough that they wonít have time to react between when the missile is launched and when it lands. The other way to land these missiles is just to watch for ships that have just burned their engine missile break (and hope that distortion field is on cd, if they have it.) When I do manage to land one, I'm after that ship like a duck on a junebug until the debuff wears off.

I also tried a targeting telemetry build, but without any sort of mobility enhancer, it just felt like a slower version of a backbolt/novadive.

Like most hit and run style ships, this build has some weaknesses. I canít dogfight effectively in it. I might be able to take a strike under some circumstances, particularly if I manage to land a thermite and use tensor for increased turning. But if a type 2 scout, even one piloted by a mediocre pilot, comes after me, I donít even try to fight, I just run. In domination, I canít hold a satellite at all against any sort of bomber. So my role was often to get to the satellite first, and capture it. If my team fails me and nobody shows up while enemy bombers are incoming, I have to abandon the satellite. I tried a few times, but, unsurprisingly, I usually canít hold it for more than 10 seconds before I start eating mines. So, Iíll usually retreat above or below the satellite, and try and use thermite torpedo and the extra range of my lasers to whittle away at the bomber.

I also die a lot to power dive. I found it necessary on this build, since I am giving up the distortion field missile break. I really like power dive, now that it has the added perk of being the quickest cycling missile break. After using this for a while, I have a pretty good idea of where I am going. I even use it to travel. But Power Dive is a dark mistress. Sometimes, I just donít have time to line it up, or sneak peek at where I am going, and she collects her toll from the mangled wreckage of my destroyed starfighter.

Anyway, after mastering these ships, I went back to look at my accumulated stats and was surprised at the results (I typically solo PUG or group up with a few other pilots for faster queue times):

Pub side:
W/L: 79.74% (63 Wins; 16 losses)
Average kills/game: 6.79 (539 total kills)
Average damage/game: 32,253
Average assists/game: 6.81 (538 total assists)
K/D: 10.78 (50 total deaths)
Healing Average: 1,644 repaired per game

Imp side:
W/L 70.73% (87 wins; 36 losses)
Average kills/game: 5.6 (690 total kills)
Average damage/game: 27,271
Average assists/game: 6.12 (753 total assists)
K/D: 6.83 (101 deaths)
Healing Average: 1203 repaired per game

These are solid ships and I fly them in both domination and TDM. In TDM, you can use tensor to scoot around and compete for the DOís. With DO up, you donít even really need missiles. Itís not a type 2 scout, where you can create your own kill opportunities against impossible odds. Instead, you have to take what the other side gives you. Use tensor to increase your mobility and attack unsupported enemy ships, attack pilots that are distracted, and run as soon as you are focused. Itís a fun play style.

Yeah, so a type 2 scout will tear you apart. Iíve been looking for a ship that can handle a type 2 scout since December. Other than the very specialized circumstances of a minelayer under the node or switching to my own type 2 scout, I still havenít found one. So just be aware of that, and use tensor to run away.