Friday, January 24, 2014

Galatic Starfighter Scout Build for the IL-5 Skybolt

I've been playing a lot of Star Wars : The Old Republic and its new Galactic Starfighter expansion. It took a little while, but I've finally found a ship I'm comfortable with and can do halfway decent with even with my 40something reaction and general lack of anything resembling PVP skill. Here's how I build mine out. Next week, I'll go over some of my tips, tricks and tactics for Galactic Starfighter.

The IL-5 Skybolt is a Scout class fighter that you can buy from the Cartel Market for 1800 coins. It is my favorite ship right now in Galactic Starfighter before the ridiculously overpowered Bombers are released.

The Skybolt is the same as the Flashfire which can be bought for 5000 Fleet Requisitions. Both ships have Imperial counterparts. The build should work the same for the Imperial or Republic version, but the companions will be different.

Requisitions Explained

If you aren't familiar with Galactic Starfighter, you get two types of currency at the end of your match. Fleet Requisitions and Ship Requisitions. You get more for winning than for losing. You also get more as a subscriber than you do as a Preferred or Free to Play player. The difference between Fleet Requisitions and Ship Requisitions is Fleet Requisitions can be used on any ship. Ship Requisitions can only be to buy upgrades on the ship they were earned on. If you don't have enough Ship Requisitions, you use Fleet Requisitions to make up the difference. However, some upgrades, particularly opening up new Crew or buying a new ship, can only be purchased with Fleet Requisitions.

Soon you will call me, 'Master'

The major advantage of spending the Cartel Coins on the Skybolt is it comes already "Mastered". Each component (Weapons, Systems, Shields, etc.) has a 5 tier upgrade tree. Each upgrade costs Ship Requisitions to purchase. When you complete any one tree, the ship is considered "Mastered" and you get a 10% bonus to Fleet and Ship Requisitions handed out at the end of the match. Coming already "Mastered" the IL-5 Skybolt gives you this bonus as soon as you buy it.

With this ship my win percentage has increased from around 50% to around 65%. My damage, kills, and medals are all up as well.

The Build

First, I will give you a quick rundown of my build. Then I will explain some of my choices.

My load out goes like this:


Primary Weapon: Light Laser Cannons
Secondary Weapon: Cluster Missiles
Systems: Blaster Overcharge
Shields: Distortion Shields
Engines: Retro Thrusters
Armor : Lightweight Armor
Capacitor: Damage Capacitor
Reactor: Regeneration Reactor. Turbo Reactor is fine. Large Reactor is a waste of Ship Requisitions.
Thrusters : Turning Thrusters


CoPilot: T7-01
Active Ability: Hydrospanner
Offensive: Kira Carsen
Passives: Spare Ammo (More Cluster Missiles, yummy) and Pinpointing (more accuracy)
Defensive: Ora Wogawa
Passive: Responsive Turning (More Evasion!) and Quick Recharge (shield regens faster)
Tactical: Treek
Passive: Perifial Vision (longer sensor range) and Silent Running (sensor dampening)
Engineering: T7-01
Passive: Power to Blasters and Efficient Fire

'Splaining to Do

I'll start with what I'm betting is the most eye raising choice, Light Laser Cannons. All the cannons in GSF are balanced between damage and rate and fire. The slower something fires, the harder it hits. They are all balanced to the same DPS.

GSF isn't a game where you hit a button and you automatically hit your target. It involves aiming. You get windows of opportunity where your target is in range and in your sights. Plus, you've got to work to keep him there.

Its also a game where you are going to miss your target probably 50% of the time or more. A faster rate of fire gives you more chances to hit your target, and it gives you visual feedback to help you aim better. The faster rate of fire can also help you get kill shots as you are shooting more often than heavier guns and might just finish them off.

Remember those 'windows of opportunity' I spoke about? That's the reasoning behind Blaster Overcharge and Damage Capacitor. Damage Capacitor buffs not only your guns but your missiles as well. You do your major damage in this ship with your Cluster Missiles. Anything that buffs them is a boon.

During those brief windows, you hit Blaster Overcharge and your guns really pack a wallop and they cost less. The cooldown is short enough that its often available every other pass.

Going Defensive

I'm convinced that Evasion is the number one least understood mechanic in GSF, and to be completely honest, I'm not sure I understand perfectly. If it works the way I think, its basically a passive damage reduction.

Basically, when you 'hit' someone in GSF, you now have to get past their evasion. If they have a 35% evasion then about 35% of your 'on target' shots will miss. This is why lightweight armor and distortion shields are so important to the Scout. When you are going head to head with a bigger ship, distortion shield can keep you alive long enough to get into range and activate your Blaster Overcharge. I've won head to head against a Striker (Strike Fighter) with this exact strategy.

Are you using the IL-5 Skybolt or Flashfire? Do you think there's a better build I could be using? Is there a choice here you'd like me to go more in depth on?

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