These frigates have serious issues in my opinion. I’m taking T3 frigates for example. But the pattern is the same for all tiers. In this example, I’ll be talking about the ships with highest HP&SP (all bonuses are subtracted).
Empire, Cerberus: 13.3k Hull Points (HP) - 7.7k Shield Points (SP)
Federation, Anaconda-M: 7.6k HP - 8.4k SP
Jericho, Ira Deus: 5.5k HP - 15k SP
Here comes the first problem: Empire(E) and Jericho(J) has over 20k total, while Federation(F) is stuck at 16k. In theory, you’ll be spending less time to kill (TTK) a Federation frigate. Therefore, I suggest a modest buff to their HP and SP, around 25% to be exact, which will put the total near the J/E totals.
Second and third problems: E and J can focus on whatever they are good at, E can focus on hull, ignoring shield to a degree, and the opposite goes for J aswell. What I mean is, you can easily sacrifice your SP if you are playing with an E frigate, or ignore it, and use your passive slots to improve your HP and resistances further. Which brings me to the third problem; the modules boosting HP by 45% for example, they grant great bonuses to E frigate. But if a F frigate tries to be as tanky as J and E counterparts, they have to focus on both shields and hull in order to do so. But again, that brings me to first problem; the total is 25% below of those other frigates.
Specialization problems: Empire focuses on hull, Jericho focuses on shields, and Federation focuses on… speed. Off topic, Federation focus shouldn’t be only the speed of their ships, all movement & rotation should get bonuses; what I’m saying is lateral movement, aswell as rotation should be much better on Federation ships, which is not the case. Back to the topic, the sole advantage that a F frigate has over other frigates is, speed. And this really doesn’t help F frigates in any way. If F frigates had better lateral movement and rotation parameters, they could do better in a close range (~3k lets say) scenarios just a little bit. But this is simply not the case.
Special module problems: Any kind of explosion, lasers, and lucky shots can easily destroy drones. Which makes them terrible in what F frigates seem to designed for, and especially when you combine this with their lack of bonuses (stated above - lateral movement, rotation), their special module, drones are simply useless in most scenarios. First, lets look at the drones in general; their damage output is very low, can do well against some interceptors that likes to fly like a brick, but still… It just doesn’t worth it. Now, missile protection variant. 50 second cooldown basicly kills the purpose of this variant. The repair variant, is only usable when you are parked somewhere safe; as drones are susceptible to damage. As for detailed drone suggestions and opinions, spoiler below contains another reply on mine on another topic, related to Federation abilities in general:
In general, here are the problems of drones:
-A missile hit generally takes out both of the drones
-Lucky hits, and lasers are also capable of taking out drones. Especially lasers, your drones will not survive.
-Their bonuses are not that great - damage is inferior. Good against interceptors in general, those interceptors that do not use lateral movement that often. However;
-Missile protection variant has a very VERY long cooldown.
-Repair variant often fails, due to these drones susceptible to any form of damage, with lasers & explosions being the prime reason that you are constantly losing them.
-In general, drone cooldown is too long.
Some suggestions (not all of them are combined, naturally):
-If you recall the drones, the cooldown should be lowered. Lets say, you can release drones every 30 seconds, if you recall them, cooldown should go down by 15, to a minimum of 5 seconds. Just an example.
-High explosion resistance (NOT THERMAL - like the first Federation skill - to allow them survive against a torpedo and missiles), some thermal resistance (against laser blasts) better hull points, some shield with good amount of shield regen to avoid getting one-shotted by just one lucky shot (after reading these, don’t think of huge numbers. 40-50 thermal resistance, 70-ish explosion resistance, 300-ish hull, and 300-600ish shield with 70-100 regen sounds very plausible - haven’t done any math yet though)
-Missile protection variant anti-missile cooldown lowered to something around 20-25
-Repair drones capable of repairing friendlies, aswell as each other
-4 drones, not two. Or, a little bit higher damage
-The ability to target individual drones (first click targets you, second click on you will target a drone maybe?)
-Drones using your main weapon (this would be awesome, of course, a lesser version of it to even the damage out)
-… don’t know, right now their ability feels VERY weak.
I played with Federation frigates for a while. And what I tried to do, I was able to do much better with Jericho or Empire frigates. And their special modules (Disintegrator, Torpedo) is a big bonus when you compare it with Federation drones. On Empire for example, I only focused on my hull, and sacrificed SP for extra energy and stuff like that. You just cannot do so with a Federation frigate; you already have a total HP&SP penalty at the cost of more speed…
Anyway, to conclude, what I would like to see is, a modest HP & SP buff to Federation frigates, bonuses to all movement, not just top speed on all Federation ships, and drones getting a heavy overhaul. Thanks for reading this wall of text!