I promised to release this today so here it is Wolf Larsen , john.pizza , TGw/S_Gl33p . its rough but its been a busy week.
This anniversary sale we were treated to a surprise concept ship that this author believes fundamentally changed the game of Star Citizen for the better, the hammerhead. On the surface the hammerhead might just look like another expensive concept ship that just has a lot of guns and doesnt add much to the game, but this is not like other combat vessels. Somehow CIG managed to combine some of the basic ideas of the game that have been lacking in execution while delivering a much needed escort vessel. So lets dive in…
Were No Soldiers Just Privateers
One could make a legit arguement that we have been severely lacking in vessels that were made for the sole purpose of blowing stuff up. Certainly we had a lot of single seat dogfighters and there were a few outliers for multi-crew like the tali and Polaris, but this wasnt enough. The tali is a mess in game with so little firepower per man, the polaris is a jack of all trades in battle (expensive too), and there wasnt a single combat vessel between the $280 and $750 price mark. All of those vessels had no credit earning potential beyond what its guns could earn and put your life in constant risk. By comparison ships like the Starfarer Gemini, the Banu Merchantman, the reclaimer, and others could all outgun combat vessels while delivering on monetizable assets. There is a word for this in history, privateer. Its actually been scary to think that ships like the gemini or BMM have size 6 guns that are so large that not a single combat vessel smaller than an idris had that size of a gun. This dynamic leads to a meta in game of that a smart player would just bring his privateer vessel of choice to hunt their target. Their only problem was that these large privateers were not ideal to deal with the wolfpack tactics of squadrons of single seater vessels. So what was the solution of the time? Bring escorts of those same fighters that are “inferior” in bang for your buck to your hangar.
Now here comes the hammerhead to the rescue. She is a ship that is purposely made to add a rock in this game of rock-paper-scissors by be a hard counter to wolfpacks. She’s an escort vessel in every sense of the word and is something to be feared. The hammerhead offers an alternative to the dependancy upon shorter range dogfighting escorts that require significant piloting skills by putting your manpower into turrets instead. So if your friends, orgmates, and other folks you play with are online you can choose to use them as pilots or gunners instead of just one option of pilot. Perhaps better yet, there are beds on the hammerhead so that players can log on and off as needed on a long mission where those dogfighters would likely not be able to do so as easily or at all. In short, the hammerhead provides options that simply did not exist or function properly.
Turrets now work
Yes that is correct, turrets have now been adjusted in a matter where they have legit chance of being able to work in any player’s hands. For too long turrets and the ships that mount them have been a joke in Star Citizen, and not even a funny one. The first and biggest improvement to the turrets that the hammerhead brings is the amount of firepower that each turret has. With the notable exceptions of the starfarer and starfarer gemini and their top mounted manned turret, turrets have not had enough firepower to make a kill against a ship that still had defenses or manueverability. Those precious few hits you get mean next to nothing as the shields on the enemy vessel will have largely recovered from your paultry damage before you could hit them again. Just getting two size threes, is pretty hard to come by and that is absurd. Its absurd because you would be better served to just not man that turret with your friends and instead have them bring almost any other ship as an escort because they would inflict more pain. Even if the damage gap was not as large of an issue as it is, they would have independent movement to free up blind spots. And speaking of blind spots…
The second issue with turrets is that they can only cover so much area before they lose line of sight, shoot their own vessel, and so on. But the hammerhead’s turrets have so much freedom of movement and viewing area that they can basically shoot in any direction. A full 270 degrees on the horizontal access and a full 180 on the vertical means the only safe place is on the hammerhead itself. Turret gunners will be able to finally concentrate their fire on a single target and work together as a team as opposed to waiting their turn to get a half second shot at a target for no real damage or sense of achievement.
Multi-Crew means something
Just a short note here, multi-crew and getting with ur friends to do a job should be fun. You should also do the task together if you decide to do it on a single ship. Rarely do i personally get this feeling as i can just hop into a number of ships (gemini and andromeda to name two) and just kill everything all by myself. Most of the time that is because a ridiculous amount of firepower and management is put into the pilot’s hands. It is nice to have a ship that gives the other players on a ship a chance to share in the moment. I want to see more of this.