Engle

How to Play More Intelligently as an Engineering Frigate

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How to Play More Intelligently as an Engineering Frigate

A Guide by Engle

 

Foreword

 

I've been talking to many players about strategies, builds, and tactics to use in-game, and I was appalled by the lack of players who had even considered that there is strategy in this game at all.  It may seem to be a bit far-fetched at first, but Star Conflict is immensely dynamic...so much so that losing a ship at the wrong time can change the course of an entire battle!  In reading this (fairly generic) guide, I hope that you become more familiar with a few basic and advanced strategies and tactics in Star Conflict.  It is my goal that I might aid you and your team in battle with this information.  In this guide, I outline the basic function of the Engineering Frigate—my main focus of the guide.  I explain fundamental tips and tricks to managing your fleet outside of the game and in-game.  I dive in to more advanced maneuvers, formations, and builds with the Engineer Frigate, based on my observations and notes of the game.

 

 

Now, you may be asking yourself, what does this guy know about Star Conflict?  

 

Well, I could ask anyone the same question, too; however, I have to trust that they are capable of thinking of things that I might not have.  Therefore, let this post not explode into a contest of skill, but a discussion of tactics and strategy to this game.  I am only a T3 pilot (I haven't gotten to T4 yet), but I believe that I have shown my knowledge of the game in a multitude of ways, considering my total time of play.

 

You may also still be asking, "What this guide is about, anyways?"  Strategy, my good Sir and/or Madam.  Strategy.  Wow, that sounds great, doesn't it?  Or even the word.....tactical?  Most people shudder at the thought.  Or at least this seems to be the case in Star Conflict...

 

I haven't been playing this game TOO long, but long enough to see trends, patterns, ship qualities, maneuvers, and a whole host of other devices that can help push a team to victory.   I hope that this guide will spur others to input their thoughts, strategies, tactics, and builds.

 

The Frigate (a VERY broad overview)

 

Many would agree with me when I say that the Frigate is one of the most difficult ships to become good at.  They are highly versatile, durable, and reliable.  However, it is not without great sacrifices that these ships be used in battle.  Of course, they are much larger, which greatly reduces ship speeds and accelerations.  Likewise, their weapons are generally more powerful than that of Fighters or Interceptors, and thus overheat faster and have slower firing and cooldown rates.  However, Frigates have the potential to be juggernauts if used correctly, and doing so takes a bit of knowledge of the game.  I'm not entirely sure if this is relatively across the board, but from what I've seen, this is pretty accurate.  The truth is, every ship in this game is uniquely difficult to be a good pilot with, but the Frigate seems to have the largest disadvantages in battle.  This makes them a large target, and must therefore be played with great care.  This guide will hopefully aid in understanding the more complex roles of Engineering Frigates in Star Conflict.

 

Basic Functions as Engineer

 

The basic function of the Engineer is very simple.  Be the healer of your team, but do not fail to remain an active participant in the conquest of objectives.  There are many modules initially available to the Engineer that allows them to repair allied (including your own) ships that are within the sphere of effect.  This is roughly 2,000 m from the caster, which is immensely valuable when defending and attacking.  Basically, UNLESS YOU ARE FLYING WITH YOUR AFTERBURNERS, DO NOT DISABLE THESE ABILITIES.  It's very simple, really, but when used in a strategic and planned-out way, you will be doing your team a great service.  Engineers are also extremely important in moving the team around the battlefield, or holding strategic locations (like objectives or, in Combat Recon, the Team Captain).  With their modules like the Warp Gate or the Static Barrier, teams can move around or defend much easier than otherwise.  These two huge roles, the Healer and the Battler, have similar capabilities, but different methods and executions.

 

General Tactics and Strategies for PvP Gameplay (not ship-specific)

 

There are a lot of ways that you can increase your performance without having to learn from your mistakes.  This may be a very effective way to learn, however, so if that's how you learn, then take this advice and apply it in a way that will better you.  These tactics and strategies are some that I have noted to be effective and beneficial to securing a victory.  They help maintain team structure, survivability, and effectiveness in battles of any length or caliber.  They are general guidelines to follow that will help you lead your team to glorious victory!

 

Off-Game

 

As dull as it may sound, the off-game is, in a way, just as important as in-game progressions.  This is where it all starts.  Without proper managing of your fleet/ships, you will struggle to maintain advantages in your engagements.  Taking the time to make sure that your ships are both properly equipped and fully repaired/stocked is vital.  Managing contracts, corporation (if you're in one) stats/artifacts, and fleet strength (new) is immensely important in securing a fluid progression in Star Conflict.  Talk to other pilots in the main chat; surely, many of them are willing to discuss their own builds and recommendations.  

 

Getting into a squad is important for PvP play.  Even if you don't stick together as much as you would like, you will find that your squad tends to end up sticking together with proper communication.  This is, in my opinion, one of the most over-looked features of the game.

 

Finally, manage your passive abilities (implants, modules, etc.) to gain a greater, innate advantage in battle.  This is vital, as the wrong build to a ship can cost you tremendous amounts of survivability.  Typically, a T3 engineering frigate should be either at or above 30K survivability with the right build.  Seems a bit high, but if you really want to know how, just ask me personally and I'll share some builds with you.

 

Communicating With Your Team

 

I have talked to many pilots about their successes, frustrations, recommendations, and strategies; none have been more huge than that of communication with your team.  While in-game, press "Tab" to view the map (and scoreboards).  This will not only show you valuable information about your team's position, but also that of enemies that are in the sights of your team.  While not usually showing the entirety of the enemy, this interface will give you a much better idea of where the enemy is.  A good player will relay his/her findings of team positions with his/her own team.  Communicating simple messages like, "Go to A" or "Attack B" are generally disregarded by most teams.  You can quickly type messages like, "They're striking B hard, let's rally there!" which can be much more useful in driving a team to be more tactical and strategic.  One of my favorite chat commands to type is, "Let's push back!  Rally on me at [location]!" or even "I need help at [location], please assist!"  Be a good player, and communicate with your team and encourage them to communicate back.

 

Don't Micromanage the Game—Trust Your Team!

 

Not to be confused with communicating or trying to control the team (which you should feel obligated to do if no one else is), this is much more generic.  Basically, just trust your team's ability to handle incoming forces.  For example, I cannot say how many games I've played where the front ships of a first charge (right after the game starts) break off to attack enemies that make it behind or to the sides of the fleet.  Don't try to be a hero.  Sure, you may get the kill, BUT AT WHAT COST?  You've basically just broken off of a major offensive and left the rest of your team to deal with a larger threat.  Leave the stragglers to be killed by ships behind you...don't ever forget about them.  When you are near the rear, though, and you see things like that happening, try to adjust to the new formation (check your map if you must) and be in a good location to deal with the new threat.  Disregarding a straggler can have dire consequences, so use good judgement when engaging in large groups.

 

Don't be Arrogant, be a Team Player!

 

This game hinges on team play.  You cannot play against multiple players by yourself—the Devs have practically said, "Good luck with that one!"  It might be wise to heed their advice, since...well...they are the ones who programmed everything and know the game inside and out.  This means one thing, really—stick with the team.  You will find that your average life increases by a considerable margin, especially if you're working well with your teammates.  Just remember, they don't want to lose their ship any more than you do, so make sure you help your allies using buffs, weapons, and abilities.

 

News Flash:  This Is NOT Call of Duty: Space Edition

 

While fairly obvious to most, the fact that this game does NOT center around kills is commonplace to be overlooked.  A good pilot, and thus a good team, goes for the objective(s) with a strategic initiative.  While this "strategic initiative" may be difficult to communicate in battle, you can still notify your team when they're consumed by the CoD effect of "Kill anything that f&%$*#g moves!"  Basically, just know that while, yes, the game probably requires kills to complete objectives, it doesn't require extended battles at neutral locations.  If you get caught up in one, do your best to escape it and join a teammate for support.  If you're dead-set on killing that lone ship, then at least make sure you're not going to die while trying to do it.

 

Sorry, but You can't "Teleport" to the Next Beacon...Best Get a Move-on!

 

One of the most frustrating things in games with multiple beacons (primarily in moving objective games), is when the team waits until the timer has reached 0 seconds remaining before moving to the new beacon.  JUST.  NO.  Don't be that one idiot that gets left behind when his team leaves, too.  You're just a waste at that point, unless you can fight your way to the new beacon yourself and not die in the process.  If your team is in the lead, don't be over-confident—the enemy can bust out a can of REKT at any moment, so be ready.  Be sure to move between timed objectives with about 25-30 seconds left on the clock.  The whole team doesn't need to go all at once, especially if you're concerned about losing just a few tickets.  However, the majority should go to prepare for the oncoming offensive.  Getting there right when the beacon becomes active is immensely important because you're less likely to face an entrenched enemy force there.  If the enemy gets to the objective just as your team is leaving, you will likely face a catastrophic defeat while trying to take it.  Keep in mind that they have had 20-30 seconds to prepare for your assault, and are likely swimming in buffs that will rip your team to shreds.  Be proactive, and say something like, "We need to go to B in 10 seconds!" for example.

 

Outmaneuver Your Opponents

 

Look at the battlefield around you.  Now back at me.  Now back at the back at them.  You cannot possibly say that there is no way to outmaneuver them...well unless you're completely screwed.  But that's not the point!  What is the point, though, is that it's generally fairly easy to outmaneuver opponents, if you know how.  First off, make sure to be careful how often you use your afterburners.  Try to save them for escaping or quick arrivals.  Don't use them in your assault or defense, as you'll quickly find that your energy reserves will dwindle quite rapidly.  Second, if you lose them in close-quarters, watch your mini-map to rediscover their location and resume your approach.  This will help keep you from spinning around like an idiot while you're looking for them.  Interceptors and Fighters are much, much faster than frigs, so trying to play without the minimap will most likely lead you to a death.  Third, outmaneuvering doesn't mean just a 1 v 1 victory.  It's cool if you can do it, but most good pilots know how to single out worse players and draw them into a vulnerable position.  When you're chasing that ship that you're positive is scrap metal, did you consider that you might be getting led into an ambush?  It might not be an "ambush" so to say, but it will most likely take you from that little 1 v 1 to a much more dire 2 v 1 or worse.  Be smart, and call for back up if you need it.  Or be the smarter player and lead them where you want them to go.

 

Check Your Active Buffs and Effects Constantly

 

I feel like this is pretty self-explanatory, but I'm going to put it into Ace terms anyways so that there's no confusion.  Know what is affecting your ship so that you can know how to react.  Yeah.  I feel like that's about it on that one  :yes_yes:

 

Follow the Bouncing Ball

 

Alright, so I don't mean a literal bouncing ball, but rather the impact locator; once you've successfully targeted a ship (R by default).  If you haven't already guessed, it's the white circle connected by a dotted white line to the main enemy ship.  This dotted line moves around based on the enemy's trajectory, and it's an important tool to exploit.  Eventually, you'll become familiar enough with your craft to not need it immediately, and you'll start to notice that you can get difficult shots off without it.  Basically, try to be like Luke Skywalker, and you'll be doing just fine ;)  I have noticed that, with coil mortars especially, if you aim just a bit ahead of this marker, the hits are more accurate.  This is because the enemy tends to use afterburners in heated situations, and will throw off the targeting by a very slight margin.  Aiming ahead also helps compensate for some lag, too, so there's also that benefit.

 

Know Your Enemy

 

There are many ways that you can outsmart your opponent, and just as many ways that they can outsmart you.  Therefore, be the one who is taking the initiative, and toggle enemy ship information displays in the game settings.  Here, you can set how much information about the enemy is available to you in the map, in your line-of-sight, or in your lock-on.  Essentially, you can set your game to show you what your opponent's ship, stats, name, distance, and other useful information is.  This is really useful, of course, but it does slow down the pace of the player because the additional information can clog your view.  I've left mine on, as you can still see who is in range through the different shade of their combat information (it gets much brighter when they're in range of you).  I'm not even going to kid around—Use this to your advantage, as KNOWING WHAT SHIP YOU ARE FACING BEFORE THEY SEE YOU GIVES YOU TREMENDOUS ADVANTAGES.

 

Know Your Limitations

 

At the very least this is is much more important than simply knowing your enemy.  If you don't know what your ship's capabilities are, or even how you're supposed to utilize your abilities and buffs to help your team, you will quickly be destroyed.  Therefore, you need to take time to customize your ship and become accustomed to the different abilities that are offered for your ship.  Practice makes perfect, and you will eventually learn how to be efficient in a variety of conflicts.  Don't charge into battle unless you are positive that you and your team will push the enemy back.  There is no point in charging in otherwise, because unless you know the enemy position well enough (using your map, of course), it will be very difficult for a battle to go in your favor.

 

A Few Advanced Tactics and Strategies for the Competent Engineer Pilot (T2/3)

 

These strategies are ones that I have noticed and given my own definitions and applications to.  They are not 100% proven by any means, and should be heeded rather than wholly embraced.  They are not guaranteed to work, so please don't get frustrated if you find that they do not suit you.  Everyone is a different player, and while this may not benefit you directly, it may end up benefiting your team—that is my biggest hope.

 

The Frig Ball

 

Not really popular until more recently, the Frig Ball is a very unique strategic formation that is especially powerful with two or three Engineers and one or two Guards that are all flying in a tight formation with one another.  While it's still highly successful with just Engineers, Guard ships help with ship control through the use of their Pulsar ability, among other things.  However, with a Frig Ball, it is imperative that as many Frigs as possible max out their drone count (replacing missiles with the the drone module accomplishes this).  Frig Balls are powerful forces, as they have tremendous amounts of damage per second.  Essentially, if a full squad of 3 engineers and 1 guard performs a Frig Ball formation, there are about 12-16 drones that are a part of the formation.  With the appropriate team, they are nearly indestructible, too, as they have many buffs going simultaneously.  It is important to note that the Frig Ball is the most effective when it is coordinating the attack.  For example, if the Frig Ball moves into attack and it's going against an equal force, it will be strained and possibly destroyed.  However, if all players in the formation are targeting the same ship, a the enemy force will be quickly overwhelmed.  This helps with overall fleet strength in-game because it provides a centralized formation that the rest of the team can support and utilize in securing a victory.

 

The Battleship

 

A personal favorite, the Battleship tactic is rather special.  This tactic takes a little bit of preparation, but with huge results.  The basic premise is to be a Frigate with a constant maximum drone count and coil-mortars for main weapons.  For Tier 3 and up, the max is about 4  drones.  When entering battle, deploy a drone immediately after warping in.  With the new 0.9.10 patch, you can deploy your second drone 15 seconds later, which means that you will have three drones after 30 seconds of entering battle (1 spawns automatically after 30 seconds).  However, you're not ready for battle just yet.  Wait a little bit longer (at an objective if you so choose) for the module to reload and deploy a fifth drone.  Your fourth should have spawned a minute after the battle begins.  Now, fully armed with four drones, you are a strong defensive hot-spot for your team.  You can make a decision to maintain your defensive stature, or you can take the fight to the enemy with a huge amount of fire-power.  However, as prior mentioned, you cannot expect to be able to take on the entire team by yourself.  That would be very reckless and cost your team much, much more than losing your total participation for about a minute.  Stay with your team and act as a rally point rather than an easy target for the enemy team.

 

This build has a very obvious flaw, however.  It is immensely susceptible to missile fire, as a well-placed torpedo will destroy the majority of nearby drones.  Therefore, pay close attention to your tactical HUD, which will provide you with information regarding missile-lock.  The best way that I've found to play this build is to play at a distance of 1,500-2,500 m.  At this distance, your mortars will be close enough to not miss everyone, but you will be far enough away to not draw TOO much attention.  Still, watch your map, and study enemy movements and battle pressures.

 

The Builder

 

It is very valuable to be able to move quickly in this game.  The maps are so massive that a coordinated assault or defense is difficult to achieve.  This is where the Engineer's third, and arguable the most important, role comes into play.  Most useful starting at Tier 3, the Builder is able to construct buildings/devices for your team's usage.  There are four main structures for Engineers:  The Static Barrier is a deployable obstacle that blocks physical and energetic particles from passing through it.  Static barriers have limited durability, but can withstand large amounts of abuse.  They are enormously useful for defending against enemy onslaughts, particularly against Long Range Frigates and torpedo strikes.  They find their use in larger battles with highly balanced teams, but have the capability to alter a battle if used effectively.  The Warp Gate structure allows the pilot to deploy a warp gate in a direction of his/her choice.  The gate is not available for enemy use, and is therefore excellent for tactical retreats.  The Warp Gate's main purpose is to move the team around the battle.  Often, Warp Gates are used to advance a team to objectives, giving them a better opportunity to stage a defense or break up an attack/defensive line-up.  The Autonomous Charging Station repairs allied ships' shields at a high rate.  Obviously, this is rather useful, as it allows for a team to stage a better defense.  The Autonomous Charging Station lasts about a minute, and can easily turn the tide of a battle if used correctly.  Like its cousin, The Autonomous Repair Station repairs allied ships' hulls at a high rate, too.  In my opinion, this is the most useful building that a T3 frig can build, as helps minimize the percentage of ships (including your own) with damaged hulls.  Hulls not as easy to repair as shields, so this building can also turn the tide of a battle based on its application.

 

Conclusion

 

This isn't a complete guide by any means, nor was it intended to be.  However, I hope that it helped you understand the power of both your team and your Engineer Frigate if used correctly.  This game is more like a fantasy combat simulation more than any other genre that I can think of, and this makes the game extremely dynamic.  I often compare this game to more epic games like Starcraft and Eve, but I think that this game is, in a way, a combination of many games.  There are levels of strategy here that would surprise many, and I am continuously amazed by some of the strategies an maneuvers that I am still encountering.  There is no SET way to play this game, but there are definitely ways that it can be played that will maximize your effectiveness.  The ships have a certain point where they cannot be improved any more, so it then becomes up to you, the pilot, to learn your role in battle and help your team achieve that sweet victory!

 

Best of luck, and feel free to add me on your friend's list!  Just search Engle :)

 

Happy flying,

Engle

 

 

P.S.  Please let me know if there are any technical issues with this guide.  I stayed away from statistics and values because I wanted this guide to focus more on concepts rather than actual damage statistics, etc., that might change with a new patch.

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Best guide ever. Everyone should see this. Did not take a full read yet - will do when I get home, so far it looks great. Amazing job.

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Thumbs up :good:    and his first Post !   Amazing....Keep it coming !    

 

I am sure the resident guru's will add to this as needed.

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Battler with a barrier- thats me in a 44k styx

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Imperial engies can attract aggro but somehow last for a ludicrous amount of time. Enemies like to target me when I'm down to less than half my HP. My allies are happier because their targets aren't returning fire. I'm just grateful that somehow my Styx survives.

 

post-240709-0-90357600-1385045910_thumb.

 

Nothing as epic as what Residente has, but enough for me.

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Imperial engies can attract aggro but somehow last for a ludicrous amount of time. Enemies like to target me when I'm down to less than half my HP. My allies are happier because their targets aren't returning fire. I'm just grateful that somehow my Styx survives.

 

attachicon.gifScreen shot 2013-11-21 at PM 10.57.47.png

 

Nothing as epic as what Residente has, but enough for me.

 

Kind sir ...would you be so nice to show how you got your Styx Surviability up over 60K  ?    :what:       Thats more then some T3 Guards

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post-240709-0-25720700-1385051421_thumb.

 

Not the best choice of implants for the Styx; I fly a tackler and an ECM, so I try to maximize my implants for all my ships. The pulse discharger is there for a few reasons: I use the energy emitter, so energy isn't an issue for me at all. Furthermore, I had a spare pulse discharger lying around, so I might as well use it.

 

 

EDIT: there's a thread about resistances vs. shield/hull strength stacking, which might be helpful. 

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attachicon.gifeq.png

 

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Not the best choice of implants for the Styx; I fly a tackler and an ECM, so I try to maximize my implants for all my ships.

 

Thank you there Sir !     I see I have to work on getting mine to purple  :yes_yes:

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Great post. Should be required reading when equipping your first engineer.

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Beam lasers?!?!? Why?

I don't get it neither... Should be Coil Mortar for short-range attacks or Positron Cannon to snipe it out... But lazors? O.o

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Beam lasers?!?!? Why?

 

   

   Just for me... as last night was the first time using the Styx .....  I actually tried both the Beam and Coil Mortar.     With a Blue Over the Horizon module ....   pushed it out to 9K so it was one of those "Reach Out and Touch" from a long distance.... worked great on a couple of maps....   I then switched over to Coil Mortar... and of course it worked much better up close and personal. 

 

I really like the Coil Mortar...  But the ability to reach out FAR with the Beam ... does have its avantages...

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Beam lasers?!?!? Why?

 

It has a decent balance of reach and close-range defense capabilities. Coil mortars lack range, and positions are poor at self-defense. 

 

And of course, lag. I'm not exactly a good shot, so beam lasers are easier for me.

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Positrons are good at self defense, though you need prediction to do it.

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Positrons are good at self defense, though you need prediction to do it.

 

Having a good aim and or prediction ( as you call it)  would be something some folks would consider as a SKILL.... 

 

Many folks have different SKILL Sets...   or for some lack there of 

 

Combine SKILL Sets with Experience .... that combination works to an distinct advantage for someone that has both.  

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Positrons are good at self defense, though you need prediction to do it.

 

If I have my lasers or heavy blasters on, I don't shoot what I'm locked on to; those are for my drones. :P

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Dont need a lock for 7k speed positrons either

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Dont need a lock for 7k speed positrons either

 

That is true, though for me the low RoF hurts a bit when you're trying to shoot intys at close range.

 

I also just realized that I didn't switch out the ammo on my Styx after my PvE run... it's either heavy blasters + HF oscillators for PvE, or beam lasers + flat reflector for PvP. No wonder I thought something was wrong, but I didn't notice what it was.

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Low rof is good for someone who fires a lot of the weapons semi-auto anyway

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Glad to know that you guys are finding this guide to be useful.  I have added two more sections above the advanced tactics section: Know Your Enemy and Know Your Limitations, as this is a huge dynamic in the game.  Enjoy!

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Well, the short range problems that come with the Positron Cannon, are easily solved with a beautiful EM Torpedo to the face of whoever dares to approach you... Or Octopus in case you can't aim an unguided missile.

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Great job on the guide!  Maybe if we ever get a guide section on these forums this can be sticky'd.

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Kind sir ...would you be so nice to show how you got your Styx Surviability up over 60K  ?    :what:       Thats more then some T3 Guards

I can get a Styx higher than a Crus S.  Neither are elite yet, but both are 6/9 synergy.  Add in the heals....

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Great guide, well done.

 

And people should stop comparing Crus S and Styx together, they're not the same thing (in terms of survivability).

Crus S has potential capabilities to heal itself about 3-4-5x times faster than an engi would heal it (additional info below), which adds a tremendous boost to survivability while active, surpassing the Styx's. It also has the Phase Shield ability which is not at all taken in consideration ingame when you check your ship's info. With proper builds on both ships, atm with current patch availabilities both ships can top around 70k survivability. The sweet spot however is roughly 65k for both of them. If you're going max survivability and completely ignoring meta and other tactical facts you're doing it wrong. So basically the Crus S in this manner would probably sit around 75-80k survivability with healing module on and to probably 100k using the Phase Shield efficiently in addition, maybe more.

 

The additional info i was talking about is... dunno how to call it, so i'll just say 'style of tanking'. The Crus relies on burst tank (the healing module is on for a limited time and phase shield can reach dead end spots because of lack of energy to switch resistances or focused by multiple damage types) while the Styx relies on a continuous tank (perma-active auras, considering they are turned on ofc).

 

In a 1v1 straight combat between equally experienced / skilled / fitted pilots, the Crus has the higher cards because of the massive burst. When the burst is out the Styx probably surpasses it (don't forget the set phase shield against his weapons which is what i mean by 'probably', it's not sure, i didn't test it properly, but i definitely killed many many Styxes coming my way in my Crus). Also don't forget the Crus is supposed to be the area denial ship, guarding ship or gunship, while the Styx is the support or utility ship and even gunship as well, but it has it's limitations because some of it's abilities rely on it's drones that can be destroyed, putting it at a disadvantage.

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Great job on the guide!  Maybe if we ever get a guide section on these forums this can be sticky'd.

I thought there was a Guides section...and I thought....we were in it already @_@

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