The good folks over at Cryptic Studios have recently released a new capital ship into their expensive-beam-boats-in-space game Star Trek Online and it’s the first Federation Carrier. Affectionately called the “Cat Carrier” in reference to the race who built and commissioned the starship to Starfleet the Caitians—a race of anthropomorphic felids (in a nod to the furry community no doubt.) Until this release, the only faction in Star Trek Online with carriers was the Klingon.
The Atrox is available via the Cryptic C-Store for 2,000 C-Points or effectively a pricetag of $25.
As for specifications:
Weapons: 3 Fore, 3 Aft
Bridge Officers: 1 Lieutenant Tactical, 1 Lieutenant Commander Engineering, 1 Lieutenant Commander Science, 1 Commander Science
Consoles: 2 Tactical, 3 Engineering, 4 Science
Turn Rate: 5 degrees per second
Impulse Modifier: 0.15
Hull Strength: 40,500
Shield Modifier: 1.2
+5 Power to Shields
+10 Power to Auxiliary
2 Hangar Bays
Caitian Stalker Fighters
With three fore and three aft weapons and an extremely slow turn-rate, players would be best outfitting it with beam weapons or turrets (in order to keep as many weapons on an enemy in arc as possible); meaning that most people will fly the mothership itself like a cruiser in most cases. It’s not as hardy or well-hulled as a cruiser, so as a result, taking direct fire with it is a serious mistake even with the +5 to shield power.
The Atrox is a science-support vessel (with two science stations, one lt. commander and one commander) as a result they’re best in a support role. The primary DPS expected to come out of this carrier is from the fighters that it can launch and there’s a huge variety of Federation small-craft that it can launch from its two hangars.
Of the different types of fighters the ship comes with two hangars of Caitian Stalker Fighters—stealthy up-close-and-personal fighters that knock out enemy shields and then punch through hulls with tetryon pulse cannons, an anti-proton sweep (on the advanced version), and a thoron device (aren’t these illegal in the Federation?) The biggest benefit to the stalkers is that they’re semi-invisible and difficult to target due to hull masking.
Other types of hangars available to the Federation include: Peregrine Fighters, the Starfleet DPS workhorse small-craft designed for significant damage and fighter screening; the Type 8 Shuttlecraft, harassment fighters with a bit heavier hull for absorbing incoming fire while outflanking the enemy and screening the mothership; Runabouts, very tough little vessels outfitted with tractor beams and chroniton torpedo launchers to slow down and disable enemy capital ships; Delta Flyers, another tough-as-nails small-craft outfitted with shield draining tachyon beam emitters; and finally Shield Repair Units, somewhat like workbees that can be set to repair shield damage, but they have weak hulls.
It’s expected that Runabouts will probably be highly sought after for PvP combat with their chroniton torpedoes and tractor beams making it difficult for enemy ships to keep the mothership in their primary firing arcs.
In addition to being able to launch harassment and screening fighters, the Atrox is a science vessel which means that it has subsystem targeting enabled—however it lacks Sensor Analysis. This means that while it can knock out subsystems on enemy capital ships, it will not be gaining DPS for each second it has a target in its sights. As a result, players may find themselves hopping between targets more often to support their fighters (and friends.)
An important thing to note is that the hangars act like weapons and are not consoles, meaning that an Atrox captain doesn’t need to worry about losing precious console slots to the hangars—like one might experience when slotting modules in an Odyssey.
Overall, the Caitian Atrox Carrier feels like a capable craft that relies heavily on its launched fighter screen and should be played more as a support vessel that knocks out shields of enemies, debuffs and strips resistances, and opens them up for its harassment fighters to take apart; or captains looking for a science support role, might look into abilities that enhance their fighters and their friends in the theatre of battle.
Further coverage, Star Trek Online Dev Blog #44.
[Cross-posted from Vox Ex Machina, “Star Trek Online: The Caitian Atrox Carrier First Impressions“]