Ship for dangerous traderoutes

FZD

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So, I like tough ships to run more dangerous trade routes. Maybe with escort, maybe without, would actually need to test to see how much firepower is required.

There are few ships that I have had my eye on:
Starfarer Gemini,
Hercules (I'd go for M2 because the other models just cost way more, transport less, and have barely any additional armaments)
Merchantman
And Carrack.

Also considered Connie at one point, but wanted something with bit more cargo space, and Connie has kinda poor turret coverage anyhow (Or alternatively, less cargo space)

So, I was trying to figure out how to compare the ships, one part of it certainly is the weapons. Rather than just going to draw turret coverages and detailed dps maps, I wanted to simplify it into a single comparable number.
Simply put it would be the sum of all weapons, their size times their number, however, size 2 isn't quite twice as good as size 1, so I took a look at Laser Autocannons and divided and multiplied their DPS with each other until a pattern emerged. Doing (DPS_COMPARED_SIZE / DPS_SIZE_01) / COMPARED_SIZE consistently gave around 0.8, +/- 0.05, so I decided that 0.8 was good enough magic number.

So I got a simple comparative firepower formula: SUM(Size * amount) * 0.8. Now, Needed something for the missiles as well, mainly I was concerned that if I would choose between ship with one size 1 laser or ship with one size 1 missile, I'd much rather want the ship with size 1 laser. Missiles are powerful, but they're single use, vastly reducing their DPS output. But they must count for something, so I figured that 0.2 will do, as it's neat.

Anyhow, here are the results:
Starfarer, Gemini = 49.2
Hercules M2 = 16
Merchantman = 27.2
Carrack = 12.8

As you can see, the reason I like Starfarer Gemini is, it has guns. On closer inspection, it also has nice coverage on turrets. Now, since Hercules, Merchantman and Carrack aren't out yet, it's entirely possible their weapons will get upgraded, though I don't think their positions or number will change. Maybe some missiles will be added.

Now, Starfarer has the smallest amount of cargo, for now. However, when those 6 large tanks come into play, it'll be able to carry much more of certain types of commodities. Also, it can generate fuel, which can be sold. So, money for nothing. Nice.

Hercules, on the other hand, has a very large ramp for the cargospace, meaning that, while Starfarer can fit some snubs and even racing ships inside it, they need to be rammed inside and can't be deployed fast. So Hercules might be a viable pocket carrier, you certainly could fit 40 angry space bikers inside. Also, it's plating is supposedly very sturdy, though so is Geminis. I'm bit meh on the turret placement tho.

Merchantmant... well, lots of cargo. Second best firepower score, although if you look at it more closely, those guns are mostly fixed. If you need to fight a moon, that'll work, but... No, just. No. Lots, and lots of cargo space tho, and perhaps some unique abilities when trading. No idea what the carrier capabilities of this ship are, but I would assume you can fit some ships in the cargo space, and you'll probably have a large enough door to fly them out of.

Carrack. Okey turret placement, but man, so small weapons. Barely any firepower. Supposedly very fast quantum times tho, and you can really do a lot more than just trade with this one. Second largest cargo space as well, and a dedicated hangar for a small ship. Though whether that is better than deploying snubs from the back of a hercules remains to be seen.

So, so far I'm kinda leaning in the direction of Starfarer Gemini. Just because, man, it has so much firepower compared to anything else. I mean, Size 6 double turret alone is just nuts! And then throw in couple more turrets, some gimbaled weapons and a bunch of missiles and you need to ask yourself if you'd really want to mess with an angry Gemini.

Anyhow, what do you guys think?
 
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Phil

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I think they all can fill the role your looking for, I guess my question would be outside of trading what else do you want to do because all of those ships have different abilities if you need a secondary profession, exploration I would go Carrack , Gemini is great and can also be a nice addition to any fleet maneuvers, but pure hauling I don't think you can beat the Hercules or the MM and I think you mean the C2 the M2 is the military upgrade I think it costs more than the C2 if I remember right, anyways you catch my drift.

Pure hauler I would have to say MM, although I will be flying an M2 because smaller crew and ship lol.
 

NaffNaffBobFace

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Okay, based on your wish for an armored transport that may not need an escort:

Starfarer Gemini - Military version of the Starfarer with loadouts with that in mind, fair size cargo hold and oodles of liquid transportation tanks. Once they are hooked up it could be the gas/liquid mega-tanker of choice with a cargo bay thrown in for good measure. Could. We have to wait for that to be added to the game. You'd better carry non-explosive gasses in those tanks though, as they'll be out there and exposed and very vulnerable to a stray shot or missile shrapnel. Bickity-bam, you were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off.

Hercules - Can carry a couple of vehicles but we don't know what the internals are going to be in terms of cargo space. Placing of the turrets on the underside suggests this is dedicated ground - attack, squat over an area, bathe it in laser and then drop off the troops and their death toys. Seems to me to be the top tier drop-ship like the Hull E is the top tier cargo transporter. Doesn't mean it won't have a big cargo hold, and with roll-on roll-off ramps it'll probably be much faster to load, especially with vehicles.

Merchantman - This went from a Traveling Bazarr to a Traveling Hyper-market. Much big, such wow, bur other than that we don't know what it'll have. It's focus is having it's own retail and presumebly cargo system you can buy and sell from and to without having to go to a base. These craft will not be plying the dangerous places unless the dangerous people are customers, as they will redefine the meaning of the word "Loot Pinata" it won't just have an escort it will have an entourage.

Carrack - This ships focus is exploration and just happens to have a reasonable cargo hold. If you are taking your wares from one side of the 'Verse to the other and can secure a contract to make that worth your while, this is likely the ship you will be doing it in. It'll likely be tanky enough to get you through the badlands but you'll be running all the way holding your buttocks wishing you could find some kindly militia to wipe them off your ass.

Connie - Smaller cargo hold yes, but pilot guns with some punch, a pair of turrets, missiles and a snub. It will be interesting to see how a Connie with it's snub will fare in real-world scenario. we know more about this ship than almost all of the others as it exists and nearly all of it's mechanics are fleshed out aside from the snub. If you are going to be trading in the kind of places you would need an escort but don't want one, you may find the Connie carries as much gear as anyone out in those places is going to want to buy anyway.

Of the options you have looked at the Gemini seems to be right up your street... But wait!

WILD CARD CONTENDER - Retaliator with cargo module - It's a bomber. It has a tonne of turrets. It is long range and the cargo module will replace those torps with cargo space. How much it will hold is unknown, can a 'Tali defend itself as a lone ship against medium fighters or ships like the Andromeda is unknown... another option though.

THEORYCRAFT CONTENDER - In the Lore there is a Hull C for the milatary, I expect it to be similar to the Gemini verses the standard Starfarer, better armour, better guns... Time will tell if it becomes an actual craft, though.
 

Shadow Reaper

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You didn't say how many players would be crewing. IMHO, it would be unwise to fly any of those alone. Someone will just take it from you.

IIUC, AI and NPCs are all slated to be less capable as turret gunners than real players, and NPCs can't serve two roles, so they're no good to fight if you're boarded.

IMHO, the only safe way to fly dangerous trade routes is with fighter escorts. There is one sort of cheap escort you may want to consider.

If basic pilot NPCs are not too expensive, and if they can be programmed suitably as escorts (seems where we're headed), then the Starfarer combined with a wing of Tana's could be a great option. We have already been told they can refuel in space because of that refueling probe, and we don't know if that's true of other dogfighters. We also know that the Tana now sports a hefty amount of S2 missiles, and we should expect the missiles to use the same AI as player launched missiles, so you may be able to compensate for crappy NPC skills by using missiles instead of guns.

A single Hoplite will probably not hesitate to attack a single Starfarer, but certainly it would not attack if there were a handful of Tana's hanging about. Those missiles are just too dangerous. 4 Tanas can launch 8 S2s per volley, and that is more bother than any tanker is worth, IMHO.

The down side is the Starfarer is going to have much greater jump than the Reliants.

What you might consider is paying for transit security. Fly one of the Hull series and pay a Hammerhead or Polaris as an escort since they can almost keep up (large quantum drive, instead of the Hull D and E Cap drive). If you want to actually use the Hull D or E's remarkable quantum ability, you need a true cap ship to keep up. Even the Polaris cannot match its speed.

There is one other possibility of a ship that could manage lots of cargo, quantum at cap ship speeds and carry escorts that it launches afterward. People forget we do not yet know the whole story of the fabled Endeavor. Keep an eye out. It has a cap ship drive.

But yeah, take it seriously--the big ships are meant to be crewed, and if you decide to ignore this in dangerous waters, you'll lose your ship. In the wrong places, it is not safe to fly anything past a Cutty alone. If you want to fly alone, oyu absolutely have to stop anyone ever boarding your ship, and you can't do that with a multi-crew ship.
 

AntiSqueaker

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Also note that the Starfarer has its armaments in a very good layout...for attacking. The quad S4s and the dual S5 turret are both mounted in the front and cant traverse that well.

And a fully laden Starfarer is going to turn like a freight train most likely. A pair of Cutlasses could rip it apart if they get the drop on it running solo all that firepower ain't gonna do squat if it takes you forever to line up a shot.

Bizarrely the "fighting freighter" and "Starfarers evil twin" Caterpillar has better defensive armament layout, and equally bizarrely the Starfarer handily outguns its "evil" twin that's supposed to be more combat capable. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
 

BUTUZ

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Firstly, trade is VERY risky. To fill up a cat and make max money you need to spend a million UEC, and if you then accidentally fly into an asteroid.....that's a big loss.

I flew into an asteroid last night in my cat and lost a full load of scrap and meds. Sad times.

A great ship to start out trading with is a Freelancr Max - 120SCU which means if you haul naughty stuff you can make good money. As much firepower as a Sabre but with guns gimballed so you land every shot, and I would configure it with S1 missiles as they've buggerd up the damage scaling on missiles so much that your better of just spamming loads of S1 at people.

I just re bought my cat for doing larger runs - it's not a good brawler but it's the best money maker.

I have a Hercules C2 and am looking forward to that.

I have a carrack which I think will be a good cargo hauler - but not a brawler.

I have a BMM which I think will be the ultimate cargo brawler. If it has shields and armour like the 890 jump then you don't need to worry about fighting, just fly through all the insects and land anyway! :D
 

FZD

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You'd better carry non-explosive gasses in those tanks though, as they'll be out there and exposed and very vulnerable to a stray shot or missile shrapnel. Bickity-bam, you were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off.
Distilled spirits all the way 🍺

Hercules - Can carry a couple of vehicles but we don't know what the internals are going to be in terms of cargo space.
It's supposedly roughly 2x the current cargo space of the Starfarer (excluding Starfarers outside containers). Also, since we know a Nova Tank can fit through the cargo bay door, we also know that snubs will fit. Meaning that you could very likely fit 6 merlins inside (Starfarer fits 3 but the bloody door doesn't really allow you to fly out easily)

WILD CARD CONTENDER - Retaliator with cargo module - It's a bomber. It has a tonne of turrets. It is long range and the cargo module will replace those torps with cargo space. How much it will hold is unknown, can a 'Tali defend itself as a lone ship against medium fighters or ships like the Andromeda is unknown... another option though.
I did do quite a bit of research on retaliator, and I kinda like the idea. But the cargo space is tiny, 2*20 SCU. I mean, if cargo worth like 10k profits per SCU gets in the game at some point, then yeah, could work.


You didn't say how many players would be crewing. IMHO, it would be unwise to fly any of those alone. Someone will just take it from you.
Oh yeah, good point. I'd likely fly with 2-3 humans (myself included) rest NPC. Maybe with more on some occasions.

A single Hoplite will probably not hesitate to attack a single Starfarer, but certainly it would not attack if there were a handful of Tana's hanging about. Those missiles are just too dangerous. 4 Tanas can launch 8 S2s per volley, and that is more bother than any tanker is worth, IMHO.
I do get your point, however, would be best if the escorts could be launched from the ship itself, so they won't slow down the travel. So maybe some janky modified merlins with clipped wings in starfarer and just use the tanks for hauling. Or maybe have half the cargospace of Hercules for cargo, the other for 3 merlins. Maybe Carrack could fit more than just one merlin on the launchpad, that'd be great too. Not that merlins are that great fighters, but the objective is only to destroy any ships that have tractorbeams or interdiction devices and then get away. (On that note, a single Hoplite wouldn't be able to take the starfarer, afaik it doesn't have interdiction devices, and I'm not sure if you could reliably board without a traktorbeam either)

Also note that the Starfarer has its armaments in a very good layout...for attacking. The quad S4s and the dual S5 turret are both mounted in the front and cant traverse that well.
The Geminis turret actually covers full half sphere on topside. The other smaller turrets at back cover an additional quarter spehere. So pretty much the only blindspot is an area up front and well, if you got a very small craft maybe you could fly between the tanks.

And while yeah, the Gemini can't turn around Y or Z axes that fast, to get something in the sights of the top turret it only needs to spin around X axis, which is actually quite fast, since all of the weight, the cargo and the tanks, are close along the X axis.

Firstly, trade is VERY risky. To fill up a cat and make max money you need to spend a million UEC, and if you then accidentally fly into an asteroid.....that's a big loss.
Guess who lost 100k flying into an asteroid yesterday? :D
Luckily trading is also insanely profitable.

I have a BMM which I think will be the ultimate cargo brawler. If it has shields and armour like the 890 jump then you don't need to worry about fighting, just fly through all the insects and land anyway! :D
Well, if they're using a quantum interdiction device on some of the ships attacking you, you probably would need to be able to destroy that. I kinda just wish Merchantman had more and larger turrets, then it'd be perfect. I'm not really a big fan of pilot controlled guns.
 

Shadow Reaper

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(On that note, a single Hoplite wouldn't be able to take the starfarer, afaik it doesn't have interdiction devices, and I'm not sure if you could reliably board without a traktorbeam either)
If you load the entire nose of the Hoplite with distortion, it does almost 20k DPS. The Starfarer's shields are about 90k, so with the current numbers a Hoplite needs to have a helpless SF within 1,500 meters for less than 5 seconds to knock it senseless. This is leaving the 3s Arrester missiles and the Sentinal's EMP aside. If there is a way to carry the Hoplite troop module and still carry the EMP, half the 'verse is truly f#cked.

The SF is a floating target. You can't miss the thing in combat. Every shot against it lands, so you have to expect boarders. The SF is probably the easiest target to capture and board, given its layout. The only ship I think that might be easier is the Crucible.
 
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Shadow Reaper

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Heck, just get a ship that carries it escort. The Kracken.
I was thinking that too! but if you're going to go that high a price for a transport, I think the Idris is probably a better choice. It can land on terrestrial surfaces, so you skip the entire loading/unloading stage of transport which is fraught with peril. The Idris really is a superb hauler if you can get by on just a few k per trip, and the cap ship quantum drive is going to prove really nice when we start experiencing actual game time waiting for these longer jumps.

The Idris will have much more hull armor than the Kraken, and better damage control which means survivability. It's pretty full of awesome for a hauler and now that you can attach that big nasty nice cannon to the P, it can double in times of trouble as a real fighting machine. The Cap class radar and additional shield generators make the thing shockingly capable. Given it only needs 8 players compared to the Polaris's 6, I do consider it often. It is meant to take a beating and keep on punishing its opponents.
 

NaffNaffBobFace

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I was thinking that too! but if you're going to go that high a price for a transport, I think the Idris is probably a better choice. It can land on terrestrial surfaces, so you skip the entire loading/unloading stage of transport which is fraught with peril. The Idris really is a superb hauler if you can get by on just a few k per trip, and the cap ship quantum drive is going to prove really nice when we start experiencing actual game time waiting for these longer jumps.

The Idris will have much more hull armor than the Kraken, and better damage control which means survivability. It's pretty full of awesome for a hauler and now that you can attach that big nasty nice cannon to the P, it can double in times of trouble as a real fighting machine. The Cap class radar and additional shield generators make the thing shockingly capable. Given it only needs 8 players compared to the Polaris's 6, I do consider it often. It is meant to take a beating and keep on punishing its opponents.
The Krackern lands, when it was announced one was landed at Loreville, you could see it through the train window.

EDIT - From the RSI site:

1572712889689.png

But other than that... you may have a point! 🙂
 

Zookajoe

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The Kracken has over 3 times the cargo capacity of the Idris, which is only 995 SCU.
Also, when it comes to crew sizes, the Kracken has a max of 10, while the Idris has a min of 8 and a max of 28.
I am betting the Kracken can get by with a skeleton crew of 3 or so (with the turrets bladed), this is not counting the crew of any ships on its deck.

True, the shielding and armor are not as good, but you are wanting a cargo ship that can defend itself well with an escort, not a combat vessel that can run a little cargo.

The Kracken has a dual size 8 turret on the bow, with another 8 dual weapon turrets mounting size 5 and size 6 weapons spread about the ship, with good coverage of the ship.

I have seriously contemplated melting my entire fleet of ships and get the Kracken when it comes available.
 
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Shadow Reaper

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The Kracken has over 3 times the cargo capacity of the Idris, which is only 995 SCU.
Also, when it comes to crew sizes, the Kracken has a max of 10, while the Idris has a min of 8 and a max of 28.
I am betting the Kracken can get by with a skeleton crew of 3 or so (with the turrets bladed), this is not counting the crew of any ships on its deck.

True, the shielding and armor are not as good, but you are wanting a cargo ship that can defend itself well with an escort, not a combat vessel that can run a little cargo.

The Kracken has a dual size 8 turret on the bow, with another 8 dual weapon turrets mounting size 5 and size 6 weapons spread about the ship, with good coverage of the ship.

I have seriously contemplated melting my entire fleet of ships and get the Kracken when it comes available.
You're convincing me. I am however, still leery of the Drake reputation of fielding tissue paper. Most would need to be quite crazy to attack a Kraken for financial gain, so perhaps there mere presence of the thing is enough to dissuade. Simplest though might be a Hull E with an Idris flying escort. It is really the need for escorts that confounds me. I am wondering if it is possible these big caps ships---when they open a jump portal, can dogfighters perhaps fly through with them? And what of the early comments that the big Hull series could include landing stations for small fighters?

Ideally, you'd want the Hull series to have a fighting chance somehow. That is going to require fighters of some sort. Even if it had stations with missile launchers added (also proposed in the past) I think you'd want escorts. But all these solutions are for sizable teams of players, working together cooperatively for financial gain. I have to wonder how many will sign up for that as their daily do. I think if you want to join a large crew for financial gain, wouldn't you choose a Reclaimer, or Polaris to hunt bounties and kill Vanduul? I think the really big haulers are going to be rare.
 

AntiSqueaker

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I think CIG will be smart enough to have trade lanes in established space that are safe enough for an average cargo run to get away with only a scrape or two. Pirates are going to have a much tougher time in "hisec" space like Earth or Terra on the straightaways between the major planets and jump points due to more police and Naval presence and (presumably) more neutral/anti-piracy ships that might lend a hand if they run across a Freelancer or whatever getting ganked.


EVE has a pretty good system where the higher security systems have faster NPC cop response time, and more dangerous systems have slower responses until eventually they stop coming at all.

However there will (again, likely) be a risk/reward factor- going off the beaten path and cutting through that asteroid field or nebula may save a ton of time and fuel costs, but it should increase the likelihood of something going wrong.

Even as someone interested in piracy I really want there to be a "carebear zone" where players can just run cargo and do other things without worrying about being jumped every time they leave the armistice zone. That way only the players who acknowledge the higher risks and feel comfortable with them strike out for the frontier space and full on lawless space.
 

Blind Owl

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Bizarrely the "fighting freighter" and "Starfarers evil twin" Caterpillar has better defensive armament layout, and equally bizarrely the Starfarer handily outguns its "evil" twin that's supposed to be more combat capable. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
RIP Caterpillar. Your dream has never been realized. Nor have you ever been replaced. Je suis desolé.
 
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