We’re very excited to announce three new Tier 6 Escorts, one for each faction. These starships are available in the C-Store and can be purchased by level 50 players (Vice Admiral and Lieutenant General ranks).
Each of these Escorts will have a Fleet variant made available upon release. In addition to the standard Starship Trait and Console, these escorts have a special Heavy Weapon Equipment Slot.
This escort also comes equipped with the Railgun Heavy Weapon in its Heavy Weapon Slot. This potent weapon deals kinetic damage periodically and fires like a standard weapon. It may be upgraded like a standard weapon, swapped out for another Heavy Weapon and placed in any other starship's Heavy Weapon Slot. Railguns fire in a 360 degree arc and deal heavy kinetic damage to your target. A portion of this damage will bypass the target's shields.
Heavy Weapons are a new item slot in your starship’s inventory UI. Only Heavy Weapons can be placed in this slot. Heavy Weapons can be upgraded like normal weapons and also like normal weapons they will show up in your weapons UI and can be set to autofire. However, unlike most projectile and directed energy weapons, they are not affected by weapon modes like Beam: Overload, Torpedo: High Yield, etc.
Initially, these starships (and their fleet variants) will be the only ships to possess a Heavy Weapons Slot. However, in an upcoming release, many starships will be receiving this Heavy Weapons Slot. Tier 6 Raiders and all Tier 6 starships with a Tactical Commander seat, 7 weapons and 1 or fewer Hangar Bays will receive a Heavy Weapons Slot and access to a basic upgradeable Heavy Weapon.
Players already in possession of one of these starships upon this update’s release will need to claim a Heavy Weapon from the Reclaim tab of the Dilithium Store (for 0 Dilithium). All newly acquired starships with a Heavy Weapon Slot will come equipped with a Heavy Weapon by default.
This new inventory slot and item is being introduced to reinforce the damage role of starships that possess them and can significantly improve your starship’s damage output (especially after being upgraded).
This starship comes equipped with a Railgun Destabilizer Module Universal Console. Activating this console will cause your starship to overload its Railgun and deliver a withering barrage of explosive projectiles at random nearby enemies. Each projectile deals heavy kinetic damage in an area of effect with a small amount of shield penetration. If your hull strength is low at the end of your barrage, you will receive a large increase to your flight speed, damage resistance rating, and defense for a brief time. Otherwise, your Railgun Barrage ability's recharge time will be reduced slightly.
This console also provides a passive boost to Impulse Expertise and Maximum Weapon Power.
This console may be equipped on any console slot, but may only be equipped on the Caitian Shikaris Escort, the Ferasan Slithus Escort, or the Hathos Warbird.
After achieving level 5 in your Caitian Shikaris Escort, Ferasan Slithus Escort, or Hathos Warbird, you will unlock the Hit and Run Starship Trait. While this trait is slotted, Evasive Maneuvers will provide a very high damage resistance rating buff. When Evasive Maneuvers expires, you'll receive a weapon damage and critical hit damage buff for a short time.
These starships are available in the C-store individually, or they can be found packaged together in the T6 Allied Escort Bundle.
Look for a follow up blog that will detail the stats on these awesome new Tier 6 ships in the near future!
Phil “Gorngonzolla” Zeleski
Lead Systems Designer