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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)
First BioWare Post First BioWare Post

Altheran's Avatar

03.27.2014 , 11:31 AM | #61
Quote: Originally Posted by TrinityLyre View Post
It's sad that damage reduction builds are used so infrequently now. I wonder if the developers are planning on making the damage reduction/ignore curve a little smoother so that they aren't grossly overpowered or nearly worthless depending on what the enemy has equipped.
I think that armor ignore upgrade should be like most upgrade, with percentages varying accourding on which level the upgrade is.
For example, "increase hull damage" increases damages by 16% if T5, but 8% if lower. Armor piercing should probably be similar : 100% if T5 (concussion missile), 50% if lower (Heavy Cannon, Slug Railgun, Rocket Pods)

Armor ignore upgrades are almost the only upgrades that do not follow this "rule"

Ramalina's Avatar

03.27.2014 , 09:29 PM | #62

Advice from GSF Veterans:
How to pick an All-Star Team.
Optimizing Crew Passive and Active Abilities

Thanks to Verain, Armonddd, and Stasie for editing and content contributions.

Updated for SWTOR 5.5 (provisional)

KotFE Content Bug Warning

If you participate in KotFE story content you will loose access to class characters for your character's class, and also to HK-51 and Treek as GSF crewmembers. At present the only way to access them again is to spend another 1250 fleet requisition on unlocking each one again. By all means submit a bug report about this, but don't expect action anytime soon (ie, the next 2-3 years).

There is a partial workaround to this, if the class companion is a currently equipped crew member, it will be grayed out as a "locked" cremember, but the passive and active abilities will still work. So if you equip your preferred crewmembers before starting KotFE content, and are ok with never switching them again, then you won't really be affected by the bug.

Kinda sucks if you're a Consular that likes to switch between Bypass and Wingman though.
/ End Bug Warning

Crew are important in GSF. Crew let you access active abilities that can be as powerful as the actives from major component slots. In most cases by picking carefully, you can also get a set of passive bonuses that are similar in magnitude to what's provided by a major component slot.

To optimize crew choices, you'll probably have to spend some fleet requisition to unlock some crew members, but the nice thing is that you don't have to unlock all of them. Half or a bit less should let you get ideal options for every ship in GSF.

If it seems too complicated, don't worry. The default selection is not optimal for all ships, but it is good enough for all ships.

For my convenience, this is all based on Republic crew options, there are a few differences on the Imperial side in terms of arrangement of abilities, but for the most part it's not a problem to pick up the same sets of actives and passives for a ship type on either faction.

As a general disclaimer, I'd like to point out that the documentation for GSF is pretty sparse. In cases where tooltips might have more than one plausible interpretation, there's usually no official information to resolve what they really mean. This guide mostly reflects the conventional wisdom of experienced GSF pilots, just keep in mind that there's always the possibility that we're wrong. If you see inconsistencies in tooltips or between what tooltips say and what seems to happen in game, I encourage you to make a forum thread about it. The developers do read threads about possible bugs, and if the bugs are confirmed they may be fixed at some point.

Passive Abilities

Why start with passives? They're always on, so they never suffer from lack of optimal employment on the player's part, assuming that a good choice was make when picking crew.
Passive abilities are also easier to optimize. Actives can be as much a matter of personal preference and playstyle as anything else, while with passive abilities there are more clearly best matches between sets of passives and particular ship builds or components.

Offensive Crew Passive Abilities

Improved Kill Zone: Firing Arc Increased by 2 degrees.
This basically makes the firing circle for your weapons larger. For weapons affected by accuracy, meaning all primary weapons, railguns, and rocket pods the amount of benefit this offers depends on how high the weapon's tracking penalty and base accuracy are. For any missile weapon with a range over 5000 m, it's quite good because their firing arcs aren't that big, and a bigger circle makes it easier to acquire missile locks. If you look at the effect on the ship data sheet, you find that the increase is measured from the center, but the total arc is measured from edge to edge. So if the base weapon arc in the tooltip is 24, this passive will increase it to 28, because 2 degrees are added to each side.

Recommended for: long range missiles. For other weapons figure out accuracy penalties before taking this. If your chance of hitting at the outside of the circle is low, then it's not worth taking. Also provides less relative value for weapons that already have wide firing arcs.

Pinpointing: Weapon accuracy increased by 6%.
Does what it says. This helps overcome the target's evasion. It also helps counteract weapon tracking penalties. Works on weapons with an accuracy rating such as blasters, rockets, and railguns. No benefit to mines, missiles and drones.

Recommended for: Gunships, Strikes, and Scouts all find this to be an almost mandatory pick. It's not bad for Bombers either, but they tend not to get quite as much out of it.

Rapid Reload:
Secondary weapon reload and cooldown times reduced by 8%.
Reduces reload times for missiles, including proton and thermite torpedoes. Miniscule reduction in railgun GCD.
Despite the fact that they are secondary weapons it does not appear to reduce the cooldowns or reload times for mines.

Recommended for: Pike/Quell.

Spare Ammo: Ammo capacity increased by 25%.
Increases ammunition of secondary weapons that use ammo: missiles, torpedoes, and rockets.

Recommended for
: Ships that do much of their damage with ammo using weapons AND frequently run out of ammunition for them. Scouts using cluster missiles with double volley upgrade or rocket pods are good examples. Pike/Quell if the pilot runs out of missiles on a regular basis.

Defensive Crew Passive Abilities

Power to Shields: Shield power pool increased 10%
Pretty good on any ship that uses shields as it's primary defense.

Recommended for: Ships that have shields.

Quick Recharge: Shield regeneration increased 15%
Given the regeneration rates of most ships this is not that great. You need long periods out of combat for it to have a significant effect. It's possible I missed some rarely taken component combination that makes it really good, but for the most part seems inferior to other options.

Recommended for: none at present, could change if regen stacking becomes possible and good at some point in the future.

Response Tuning: Evasion increased by 5%.
Decreases chance that weapons with an accuracy attribute will hit your ship. Excellent for ships that have multiple components with evasion available, good for all other ships.

Recommended for:Scouts, type 1 Gunships. Ok for any ship with at least some evasion. One of the best overall defensive options.
Not recommended for: type 2 gunships, evasion likes company and type 2 gunships have no evasion available except the crew passive, Bombers also typically don't take evasion components and may not want this passive.

Structural Support: Damage Reduction increased by 9%.
Reduces hull damage taken by 9%. All sources of hull damage reduction are treated as armor based damage reduction. That means that weapons that ignore armor, ignore all damage reduction. While it is possible to stack damage reduction on some ships, armor piercing weapons are so common that it's not a popular choice.

Recommended for: Flying through minefields. In general this means minelayers and T3 strikes that are intended for use in an anti-bomber role in domination games. There are a few pilots that favor it in other cases, but the widespread occurrence of armor piercing weapons reduces it's value significantly compared to other choices.

Tactical Crew Passive Abilities

Comm Boost: Communications range increased 5 km.
Improves your ability to share sensor data with teammates, making spotting enemies easier.

Recommended for: Any ship.

Depth of Field: Sensor Focus range increased 2.5 km
Sensor focus is a cone in front of your ship where sensors can detect enemies. It extends to a greater distance than sensor radius. This passive extends the cone another 2.5 km. Helps find targets at a longer range.

Recommended for: Gunships, scouts, strikes can all get some use from this, probably a bit less valuable for bombers.

Peripheral Vision: Sensor radius increased 2.5 km. Increases detection of enemies in all directions by 2.5 km, but does not extend sensor focus range.

Recommended for
:All ships. A more defense minded option than sensor focus.

Silent Running: Sensor dampening increased 4 km.
Decreases range that enemy sensors can detect you by up to 4 km, if they can detect you at ranges greater than 15 km. Between comm ability and sensor damping being inactivated at a range of 15km this ability went from a must have to almost never taken. Still potentially quite dangerous in the hands of a skilled pilot with a ship build and flying style designed to maximize the element of surprise this can give. See thread posts 66-68 for details.

Recommended for
:Nostalgic gunship pilots, people who want to hide from opponents more than 15 km away.

Engineering Crew Passive Abilites

Efficient Maneuvers: Engine component abilities, maneuvers and boosting cost 13% less engine power. Good choice for most ships.

If you don't use boost much and don't use engine abilities much you might not need it.

Recommended for: All ships.

Efficient Fire: Cost of using blasters reduced by 13%.
Doesn't work for railguns or other secondary weapons.

Recommended for: Ships with blasters that draw lots of energy.

Power to Blasters:
Increases blaster power pool 15%.

Recommended for: Gunships, ships that have high draw blasters.

Power to Engines: Increases engine power pool 15%.
More energy for boosting. Can help make a ship less likely to be fully drained of engine power by ion weapons.

Recommended for: Ships that want to boost a longer distance.
"A padawan's master sets their Jedi trial, Rajivari set mine."
- Zhe Lian, Sage.


Ramalina's Avatar

03.27.2014 , 09:29 PM | #63
Active Abilities

Offensive Crew Active Abilities

Concentrated Fire: Increases Primary Weapon crit chance by 36% and secondary weapon crit chance by 16% for 6 seconds. Range Self. Cooldown 60 seconds.

A fairly significant DPS increase, and a 50% damage per shot increase on the ones that crit. Will perform more reliably when used with high rate of fire weapons that are kept on target for long bursts. Stacks nicely with both Quad Laser crit upgrades and Targeting Telemetry crit upgrades.

Recommended for: Quads & Pods scout builds, possibly also for Quads builds of strikes.
Not recommended for: Ships that don't do the majority of their damage with primary weapons, such as gunships and some Pike/Quell builds.

Hydro Spanner: Repairs your ship's Hull for 308 points over 6 seconds. Range Self. Cd. 40 s
This received a significant buff in 5.5, and with more shield piercing damage is now significantly more appealing. However, a real repair ability (drones or probes), can still do more healing in 12 seconds than this can do in one minute, so if your team has someone flying a healing support ship Hydrospanner is still a very questionable pick.

Recommended for: Ships with no other self repair options flying on teams without team repair options. Even then you should think twice about whether another active crew ability might be better (be advised that other options will be better than hydrospanner at least five times out of ten).

In Your Sights: Reduces target's evasion by 20% for 20 seconds. Range 5 km. Cd 60 s.
Hate it when all of your shots miss scouts and gunships but hit strikes and bombers just fine? this would be the active ability for you. Only affects one target per activation, so remember to use it on the most annoying one.

Recommended for: Pilots whose blood pressure increases to dangerous levels when all bajillion shots they fired at that scout miss. Note though, that Wingman provides an equivalent effect, and will work for every target you shoot at while the buff is active instead of only one, AND will allow you to get the benefit when engaging at max range with long range weapons.

Lingering Effect: Target receives debuff that applies a DOT of 200 damage over 10 seconds if hit by a weapon before the debuff wears off. Range 5 km. Cd 60 s.
Might kill an enemy that one more shot would have probably finished off anyway. Buffed in 5.5, but still probably not a great choice.

Recommended for:
People who don't remember to use crew active abilities. If you're not using it, it doesn't matter if it's less impressive than the other options.

Defensive Crew Active Abilities

Bypass: Increases shield piercing of all weapons by 18% for 15 seconds. Range Self. Cd 60 s.
Shield piercing is great stuff, that's even better if you can combine it with ignore armor. For gameplay fairness reasons some of the weapons that have ignore armor do not have shield piercing. Use this ability to tip the scales in your favor. Stacking shield piercing is also a good option. Clearly designed by a believer in, "the best defense is a good offense." Slightly buffed in 5.5, still relatively niche. Best if stacked with weapons such as HLCs, Concussion Missiles, or Thermite Torpedoes that have a moderate amount of piercing to begin with. Slug Railgun and Rocket Pods are so reliant on accuracy that they benefit much more from Wingman's accuracy buff than from the piercing buff from Bypass. Is it worth it on Plasma railgun if your manual aim is superb? Probably not?

Recommended for: Ships that fire weapons at other ships. Bonus points if you can give shield piercing to a weapon with ignore armor.

Lockdown: Immediately drains 40 engine power from the target. Range 5 km. Cd 45 s.
Allows you to replicate at short range the aspect of ion railguns that has generated hundreds of pages worth of angry rants on the SWTOR GSF forums. For maximum poetic justice, equip on a type 1 scout and use to hunt down and kill type 1 gunships.

Recommended for: REVENGE!!1! Also for aggravating people and keeping elusive targets from running away.

Nullify: Hull damage reduction increased by 30% for 6 seconds. Range Self. Cd 60 s.
If you're one of those slightly odd people that really believe in the value of damage reduction, you should probably take this. Just remember that you should only use it when the weapons being fired at you are ones that don't have armor ignore. Note that this is a better option for Imperials because Broonmark gives both a 9% passive damage reduction and Nullify. For the Republic crew options you have to choose one or the other, and unless you plan on really needing 99% damage reduction for 6 seconds on a strike fighter (pike or clarion) the 9% passive will likely be a better choice.

Recommended for: People who are stacking damage reduction on their ship and have memorized every armor ignore weapon, component, upgrade, and ability in GSF. Possibly also for clearing minefields by boosting through them at 99% damage reduction.

Running Interference: Evasion increased 15% over 20 seconds, applies to up to 2 additional friendly ships within 3 km provided they stay in range. Cd 60 s.

Clearly the best general purpose defensive crew active ability.

Recommended for: All ships. Remember to trigger it near allies to maximize the benefits if you can. Bombers, type 2 gunships, and type 1 strike fighters lose less if taking other defense oriented actives because their low base evasion means that the additional evasion from running interference isn't as good as it is on ships with good passive evasion.

Servo Jammer: Target's maneuverability and speed reduced by 20% for 20 s. Range 5 km. Cd 60 s.
Like a weak and much easier to aim version of sabotage probe. Help keep more maneuverable ships in your sights, or use when they're turning close to an obstacle in hopes that it makes them crash.

Recommended for: People who want the trial version of sabotage probe, maybe bomber pilots having trouble hitting faster ships with blasters.

Suppression: Target's accuracy is reduced by 25% for 20 seconds. Range 5 km. Cd 60 s.
If the range on this were 15.5 km, it would be very, very popular. Works sort of like a targetable evasion that works against only one attacker. If the opposite faction has that one guy in a type two scout, this would be a nifty ability to complicate their life if you're flying a ship with fairly high evasion. Might also confuse people who KNOW that the ship you're flying can't have any evasion. HACKS! Does not coat your ship in funky glow that makes people wait until glow has faded to start shooting at you. Due to range limitations almost useless against railguns.

Recommended for: Confusing opponents who don't know all of the crew abilities, cases where you know in advance that there's only one really good player on the other team who will fly either a scout or strike fighter. With the existence of running interference there's really no reason to take suppression, working against all opponents and against railguns is worth more than a 10% gain in evasion against a single target in the vast majority of cases, that's even without RI's ability to buff nearby allies.

Tactical Crew Active Abilities Lots of overlap with Defensive crew options.

Nullify: Hull damage reduction increased by 30% for 6 seconds. Range Self. Cd 60 s.
See description in Defensive abilities.

Running Interference: Evasion increased 15% over 20 seconds, applies to up to 2 additional friendly ships within 3 km provided they stay in range. Cd 60 s.
See description in Defensive abilities.

Suppression: Target's accuracy is reduced by 25% for 20 seconds. Range 5 km. Cd 60 s.
See description in Defensive abilities.

Wingman: Increases accuracy by 20% over 20 seconds. Applies to up to 2 allies that remain with 3 km for the duration. Cd 60 s.
Good for making shots at ships with lots of evasion have a much better chance of hitting. Since it only counters at most 20% evasion or weapons tracking penalty, don't waste it by using it while the target's defensive cooldown are activated.

Recommended for: Pilots who think their targets have an unjustly high amount of evasion. Especially if they fly in close formation with friends who agree that targets have too much evasion. Stack with combat command from a type 3 scout or strike and you can get 40% accuracy buff, enough to completely negate baseline evasion even on scouts that are stacking it.

Engineering Crew Active Abilities

Hydrospanner: Repairs your hull for 308 over 6 seconds. Range Self. Cd 40 s.
See description in Offensive abilities.

Lockdown: Immediately drains 40 engine power from the target. Range 5 km. Cd 45 s.
See description in Defensive abilities.

Servo Jammer: Enemy target's maneuvering and speed decreased by 20% for 20 seconds. Range 5 km. Cd 60 s. See description in Defensive abilities section.

Slicer's Loop: Target cannot regenerate energy for 8 seconds. Range 5 km. Cd 60 s.
Half as good as the other ion railgun ability that really annoys people. Not really all that useful unless the target is already out of energy, or is going to be energy depleted very soon.

Recommended for: being moderately annoying to the target.

I'll make a valiant attempt to remember to make corrections (especially if reliable sources are cited), add well considered thoughts that people point out should be added, etc. Comments in the next few couple of pages are probably most likely to be reflected in updates, or issues brought up in new threads. Mostly because I don't read this thread all that often, and as it grows I'm more likely to miss new comments in the mass of the thread.

Additional articles in the Stasiepedia:
Using video recordings to improve your piloting.
Requisition Guide for Beginners
"A padawan's master sets their Jedi trial, Rajivari set mine."
- Zhe Lian, Sage.


Armonddd's Avatar

03.27.2014 , 09:49 PM | #64
[reserving intensifies]
Space Ace of <Death Squadron>, <Black Squadron>, <Eclipse Squadron>, and <solo da>

Zoom_VI's Avatar

03.27.2014 , 09:53 PM | #65
Quote: Originally Posted by Armonddd View Post
[reserving intensifies]
Did you reserve the reserve?

Sanity is for the weak minded.

Armonddd's Avatar

03.28.2014 , 06:09 AM | #66
If you're running a hit-and-fade ship, Silent Running suddenly becomes a lot more valuable.
Space Ace of <Death Squadron>, <Black Squadron>, <Eclipse Squadron>, and <solo da>

Ramalina's Avatar

03.28.2014 , 08:36 AM | #67
How much time do you actually spend at ranges of 15 to 24 km to the nearest enemy when running hit and fade type flight style? That's 4-6 seconds of boost to get in weapons range of target if you boost straight at an unmoving target and you're flying the fastest possible scout build.

If you spend a lot of time in that zone it could help a fair bit, but my impression it that even people running Novadive/Blackbolts tend not to spend much time that far away from shiny, glittery, juicy targets. Mostly because 4 seconds feels like a really long time in GSF.

I guess what I'm wondering, is if you build and fly around the concept of abusing sensor dampers to the maximum possible extent, is the payoff really big enough to justify taking it compared to other choices?

I assume it would require a high burst damage weapons loadout, excellent boost endurance, and carefully picking relatively softer targets?
"A padawan's master sets their Jedi trial, Rajivari set mine."
- Zhe Lian, Sage.


Armonddd's Avatar

03.28.2014 , 08:45 AM | #68
Quote: Originally Posted by Ramalina View Post
I guess what I'm wondering, is if you build and fly around the concept of abusing sensor dampers to the maximum possible extent, is the payoff really big enough to justify taking it compared to other choices?

I assume it would require a high burst damage weapons loadout, excellent boost endurance, and carefully picking relatively softer targets?
Yes and yes.

It's a very particular build, but it's set some world records in TDM, so apparently it works!
Space Ace of <Death Squadron>, <Black Squadron>, <Eclipse Squadron>, and <solo da>

Ramalina's Avatar

03.28.2014 , 08:48 AM | #69
You get a, "Persuade Me," gold star. Edit incoming.

Though looking at sensor focus ranges again, you'd also have to not get in front of hostile ships. Very high skill option, and hard to tell how much is dampers and how much is just imperfect situational awareness on the part of most players. After all, some people do get surprised by gunships at less than 15 km, and even by ships with heavy lasers at about 7 km.
"A padawan's master sets their Jedi trial, Rajivari set mine."
- Zhe Lian, Sage.


Verain's Avatar

03.28.2014 , 10:03 AM | #70
Rama's post mentions a "Type 3" gunship. The cartel market gunships are Type 1 gunships. There is not a third type of gunship on live, and unlike the type 3 scouts and strikes, it will not be launched with 2.7.