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Darshu's OFFICIAL Best Ships...

Posted: Sun, 1. Feb 04, 05:42
by Darshu
Well, there've been a lot of posts about this subject, and I find myself with some time on my hands. Despite the catchy title, these are only my opinions, but I do try to be as objective as possible. Feel free to comment. I'll start with a bit of discussion and then give the award to best ship.


Well, there's only a few contenders here, based on versatility and such. The two that really stand out are the Boron and Split versions. The Manta may be the best simply due to its 1000XL cargo capacity. Its got decent speed and often forms the backbone of an empire. The Iguana is super fast for a ship this size, has decent shielding, and with 450 cargo its not bad for hauling freight, especially if its small stuff. These ships can often be found making the fast supply runs fabs need. Its also useful in that its faster than any M3, has double the shields of the Split M3, and has three forward firing gun mounts. AND can mount Ion Ds. Makes a good and cost effective ship to introduce oneself to capturing.

Final Award - goes to the Manta for its outstanding usefulness as a empire builder. The Iguana gets runner-up for its versatility.

[edit] due to alperuzi's suggestion, I thought this could use an update for 1.4. TPs are much less useful IMHO, since they're more expensive than near fully equipped TSs, and as such are not desirable for empire building, as it should be. If you want Crystal buyers, use Scorpions.


Latch several Dolphins to a TL or M2, and you can double and in some cases triple the available cargo capacity by using the TS ships as overflow containers. The Demeter and Caiman are the two best contenders for empire building now. The Demeter is at 175 mps, and costs less to fully outfit. The Caiman is a tad bit faster, and costs more to upgrade. I would say the Demeter is the best ship now for a transport fleet seeing as how it can double for a primary mining ship, with the Caiman as a nice runner up. Of course, the Dolphin is still very useful for a variety of roles.

Final Award - the Paranid Demeter.


This is a great category. Probably the single most useful ship to purchase, combined with a jumpdrive will make your empire extremely easy to build. There's several reasons to buy one. Poor man's cap ship, Empire building, stores dump, etc. In fact, between buying "flash" stuff like personal ships and a TL, go with the TL. All of the TLs can carry at least two SPPs at any one time, some can carry double that! The features are varied too:
-The Mammoth has the MOST cargo space, 3rd largest hangar, 4 separate turrets, but the slowest speed. Its also the most expensive.
-The Orca comes in at 2nd in cargo space, 2nd in speed, tied for last in hangar space, and is right in the middle of prices.
-The Hercules is the least expensive, 4th in speed, 4th in cargo space, 2nd in hangars, and has 6 shields.
-The Elephant is the fastest, least armed, 2nd best price, but smallest cargo hold. It has the distinction of having 30 hangars, beating out the Hercules' 27, both make good poor man's carriers.
-The Albatross is the "muscle" of the five, while being 2nd most expensive in base price, the fact that it can mount 7 GHEPTs is attractive.

Final Award - The Hercules gets the award, being a combination of great pricing, massive shielding, and being a great point base. Runner-up is the Albatross, at least until it gets nerfed.


Ah the Scout ship. The first one you own, and get to begin the paving of your empire's road with. Not a lot of combat power, combined with shielding that can only stop spaceflies makes a poor choice as your front line fighter. There are three in this category that stand out. First, the Pegasus. Simply MASSIVE speed, its easy to chart unknown sectors and go 'roid hopping in this cockpit mounted on a rocket. The Teladi Harrier is easily the most used M5 for corvette docking. With the most cargo space of the M5s, as well as shielding combined with a decent speed, if you're ever caught with your pants down, you'll survive in this up until you can dock with your mothership. Finally the Pirate Mandalay is very useful, having decent shielding on par with other M5s, the ability to mount 2xAPSGs, and finally its cost is simply what it takes to repair and refit after you've caught it! Its only downside is its speed, but if you're using M5s to fight, you're more likely involved in turning battles anyway, and any M5 can out-turn most enemies in the game.

Final Award - goes to the Pegasus for its supreme speed, which is what these ships are designed for. An honourable mention does go to the Mandalay however, since most pilots who like to capture will work their way up starting with Mandalays.


Now we start seeing combat power. Speed, acceleration and aramament allow more freedom of engagement, with the downside that the major quest missions will still be difficult. Remember, these ships have 1/5th the shielding of their M3 counterparts. That being said, there are a couple standout ships in this category. The Scorpion, while being the lightest shielded, is the quickest and most maneuverable, and is also able to mount AHEPTs. Then there's the Bayamon, which has the distinctive 4-point weapon mounts, which can include PSGs and Ion Ds. It also has one more shield than the Split fighter.

Final Award - goes to the Bayamon especially if you're moving up the "capture tree" as I like to call it. It also allows you to take a few more hits then a Scorpion.


Now we move into the area where many players will spend a large chunk of their careers. With a lot more shielding than the M4 class, as well as more destructive weapons, M3s strike the best balance between offensive capability and maneuverability. There is something in the game however that limits the usefulness of certain aspects of dogfighting. One, unless the enemy is a freighter type, if it goes red to you, it will dog you until one or the other is destroyed. Therefore top speed in combat is not a HUGE factor, but it plays some part. Moreover, many ships have a combination of weapons that are shared across the board. With that in mind:
-The Nova is a heavy fighter in every sense. 2nd slowest of all, it can mount BHEPTs and Ion Ds, as well as having a large cargo hold for jump e-cells and missiles. The back turret, when fitted with an AIRE makes a superb anti-missile weapon.
-The Barracuda is similar to the Nova, but faster and less shielded. While lacking the back turret (as do all other M3s) the Barracuda is also the cheapest of the M3s, and having piloted one myself, I can say it makes an excellent capturing ship, with the identical front loadout to the Nova.
-The Perseus, while being slightly more expensive than the Barracuda, has more shielding and can mount BPSGs, truly effective cap ship and anti-emplacement weaponry. The small cargo hold prohibits it from being a top of the line jump-capable fighter, but if used as a personal assault ship and stored in a jump-capable cap ship, it is effective.
-The Mamba is faster than the M4s of every other race, can mount 2 BHEPTs, however is undershielded and cannot fire Hornet missiles.
-The Falcon's weapons are less powerful than the other races, its the slowest, but it does have massive cargo space as well as nice shielding.
-The Orinoco s FREE, always nice, a good spread of available weapons, an even more massive cargo bay compared to the Teladi's M3, but is undershielded and cannot fire Hornets.

Final Award - The Nova is a clear-cut winner. Powerful albeit slow, its a great ship for just about any role other than interception. The Orinoco gets runner-up for the cost (free) as well as being versatile due to its cargo space.


Probably one of the more discussed categories on the forum. Most are good for something, except the Hydra! I mark corvettes as being primarily used for OOS duties, since they're the ones most used for that purpose (M3s ineffective, M2s too expensive), or as a personal ship.
-The Centaur is easily the most adapted to OOS duties, having the 2x125MW shields, lots of weapon power, and moderately priced.
-The Nemesis is easily the most suited to Xenon cluster crushing, since its PSG weapons will obliterate fighter screens and cap ships in short order. While faster than the Centaur it is also the most expensive and is not suited as the permanent player ship, due to its extremely small cargo bay.
-The Dragon is a great player ship, if you can live with the relatively small shielding. Awesome weapon power and extreme speed means this is a popular favorite to cruise the systems. Its also the cheapest.
-The Osprey is obviously the best at everything except speed, and requires a script. It is also the most expensive, and some say overpowered. 3x125MW shields, and 6 gun mounts overpowers the Centaur, but it is the slowest of all the corvettes.

Final Award - the Centaur clinches it with its versatility. Once your fleet reaches a sizeable strength, your sector defense will (wisely) consist of these ships almost exclusively.


The big guns. What every player wants to have on his or her roster ASAP. Massive shields and plentiful guns make you a force to be reckoned with. There are 3 clear cut choice here. The Ray, being 2nd quickest, can mount all the standard weapons of most M2s. While having the least cargo space, it is also approximately 20 million credits less than the other decent M2s. The Paranid Odysseus is a monster, being able to mount 18 PSG weapons, this will destroy everything around it fairly quickly. The Phoenix looks pretty cool, is nearly double the price of the Ray, and while having the largest cargo load is also the slowest of all, a pattern in many Teladi ships.

Final Award - goes to the Odysseus. Nice looking, middle priced, and absolutely destructive, this is what battleships are all about. Mixed weapon makeup of PPCs and PSGs will crush everything.


The biggies, the carriers. What most military fleets are built and designed around. There's really only two choices, depending on your philosophy. The Raptor has a massive complement of fighters, as well as being VERY speedy for a ship its size. While having shields on par with the M2s, it can launch so many fighters that this is really not an issue. And with its speed being higher than any other race's M3 fighter it can get in and out of combat almost at will. There's also the Condor, which has the most shielding at 7x125MW, the slowest speed and fewest fighters, but massive cargo room. Its also much more affordable than the Raptor, at 30 million less credits! One carrier never to consider is the Zeus, since mounting PSGs is a Paranid trademark, these weapons will destroy your own fighters.

Final Award - goes to the Raptor. Its one deficit in terms of cargo can be easily remedied by docking 40 or so Dolphins! Carriers are not battleships, so flying a Raptor into "melee" combat is not a good idea. But for sheer processor melting power, nothing beats a Raptor and 150 fighters laying down smack.

While I realise that most people won't reand most or even all of this, those that do I hope this helped. The "best" ship for you is the one you like the most, but I hope this gives you some idea of what to look forward to (and to save for!). What do I think is THE best ship of all categories? Its tough to say, but I'd have to go with the Argon Nova. It can easily make you lots of money, and protect you at the same time. You can always fit "military" drives by scripting a few more engine upgrades, since all commercially available craft do not have the same specs as their military brethren (duh!). :lol:

Posted: Sun, 1. Feb 04, 06:48
by Acidic
Excellent job Darshu

Posted: Sun, 1. Feb 04, 06:56
by Darshu
Thanks! :D

Posted: Sun, 1. Feb 04, 09:40
by xSiNx
Good review!

The only place where I disagree is the award for the M3... I think the Barracuda is a better overall ship than the Nova because of it's speed. The rear turret is mostly useless and so is the 3rd shield if you know how to drive...


Posted: Sun, 1. Feb 04, 11:10
by Momaw
Also missed out on one of the Condor's major selling points. Handling! It's got the best steering of any M1 or M2. Not really a huge factor when you've got 60 fighters swarming (and believe me, 60 fighters is enough to put some major hurt on something), but it's nice for general cruising. It's just more fun to fly than the lumbering planetoids. (And all that cargo space comes in handy for re-arming fighters with missiles, I'd imagine). I plan to add a Condor to my corporate holdings ASAP.

Posted: Sun, 1. Feb 04, 11:40
by Shifty
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Top noch job my man :) :!:

Posted: Sun, 1. Feb 04, 11:53
by Omicron
good work Darshu ole pal, but i would disagree with your M6 award:

Osprey pr0nzorz the centaurs ass :D

Posted: Sun, 1. Feb 04, 13:30
by cynric
Omicron wrote:good work Darshu ole pal, but i would disagree with your M6 award:

Osprey pr0nzorz the centaurs ass :D

comparing valid ships to scripted ships is like comparing the space shuttle with x-wing fighters :roll:

Posted: Sun, 1. Feb 04, 13:41
by Debio
so good, i had to make notes :) ...

Posted: Sun, 1. Feb 04, 15:03
nice work helps alot :) :thumb_up:

roll on feb 6th

Posted: Sun, 1. Feb 04, 15:56
by Brianetta
In your TS review, you neglected the whole profession of mining. The union will be taking action, as the Dolphin doesn't have a rig to mount a mobile drilling system, and they feel that this is prejudicial to their community.

Or something. Long live the Vulture, which can eat the entire content of a 26 yield Silicon asteroid in one sitting, and still have room for your shields.

Posted: Sun, 1. Feb 04, 16:08
by cynric
I prefer the Paranid Demeter for mining later in the game, because of the front mounted mobile drilling system ... don't want to turn around my ship everytime and additional ships (read Mantas) can take care of the ressources

you want to have a TL though, at least when mining far from factories that buy your mined ore/silicon

Posted: Sun, 1. Feb 04, 22:31
by Darshu
Hey this feedback is great. I did not know the Vulture could mount a Mobile Drilling System. :o

But in any case, the only mining I've done so far is to plop a factory on top of any decent 'roids for long term gains. And besides if you want to mobile drill, load up one in the left turret of a TL, and then you've got some room to work with! :D

And as I said, these awards are mainly based around versatility for the vets, and survivability for the "n00bs" heh. I'm a good enough pilot where the Mamba's shield isn't a problem, but I still prefer the Nova for its overall versatility, and especially in double clusters of misile launching Khaaks, the rear turret is gold.

Remember, all the ships have reasons to be used, whether looks or functionality, I was simply trying to boil all the differences down to the essence of each class, and put forth the one or two which represented it the best.

Oh, and Omicron I know the Osprey pr0nz0rs the Centaur, but some people may still have reservations about loading the script. I don't! :twisted:

Posted: Sun, 1. Feb 04, 22:54
by Omicron
cynric wrote:
Omicron wrote:good work Darshu ole pal, but i would disagree with your M6 award:

Osprey pr0nzorz the centaurs ass :D

comparing valid ships to scripted ships is like comparing the space shuttle with x-wing fighters :roll:
oh ffs, just because it is scripted does not automatically make it a cheat ship. the osprey is actually well balanced. its just that some of the less observant people on these boards think it is overpowered, because all they do is take into account shields and weapons, and ignore things such as overall price, speed, cargo capacity etc...

Posted: Mon, 2. Feb 04, 13:56
by Darshu
Now now, there's already a googleplex of threads debating the validity of the Osprey and its power.

Hell, I use one as my personal ship. I don't think its unbalanced, given the propensity of the AI to be suicidal, and the fact that you can lose systems with a proportionately low shield.

In fact, the main reason I got an Osprey, apart from it looking the coolest, is that I won't lose a half mil GHEPT everytime a Khaak M3 decides that it should ignore its weapons and just keep trying to turn into me at close range. The Osprey's shielding means a helluva smaller chance of system damage than say the Dragon's.

Now in my last game I used a Dragon as my main ship, and the shields never fell below 50%, but I was having to replace weapons and systems at an alarming rate. M6s are much bigger ramming targets than a fighter. So I'm confident that I don't NEED a crutch of huge shields to survive, with the Osprey its just convenience and piece of mind. :D