Saturday 29 February 2020

Star Trek Online introduces Section 31 Command Heavy Battlecruiser

Star Trek Online have unveiled a new ship coming soon to the game; Discovery's four nacelled Section 31 drone carrier, otherwise now known as the Section 31 Command Heavy Battlecruiser. Here's how they describe it:
When it comes to top secret organizations, few things are as they appear, and the Section 31 Command Heavy Battlecruiser is a master of deceptive appearances – provided your sensors will even pick it up. Its powerful stealth capabilities are backed by a giant swarm of fighters to overwhelm any foes it encounters, and its infiltration capabilities are unmatched.
Here's a cool animation of the drone swarm in action, which also gives us an interesting look at the structure of the ship:

Here's how the swarm mode is described:
This vessel comes with a built in Swarm Mode. When activated, hundreds of fighter vessels will pour out of your ship, and fire on anything hostile that approaches you. A number of these drones will frequently peel off from the main swarm to attack any larger vessels that approach you.

Activating Swarm Mode will increase your ship’s maneuverability, but at a small price to hull capacity. Swarm Mode cannot be activated while Dark Mode is active.
There's a separate swarm function called Secret Mission, which releases a swarm as a sort of reward after having successfully taken out a target opponent:
While this trait is slotted, every several seconds in combat, you will receive a secret mission to take out a nearby enemy. When that foe gets out of range or is defeated, you will acquire a new marked foe as your new secret mission. The marked foe is less resistant to you, and when they are defeated, a swarm of Section 31 Attack Drones will spawn to hunt down other targets.
And the ship also has that innate ability to active Dark Mode, which interesting reconfigures the ship much as we saw the smaller Section 31 ship do several times in Discovery:
The Section 31 Command Heavy Battlecruiser additionally comes with Dark Mode. When activated, Dark Mode will give your ship a massive stealth bonus, rendering you invisible to any nearby sensors. However, this boost comes with a risk – your shields will be offline for as long as Dark Mode is active. When Dark Mode ends, you gain a major damage boost for a short duration. Dark Mode can only be activated out of combat.

Additionally there's a console ability called Forged Turncoat, which uses a nanite attack:
The Section 31 Command Heavy Battlecruiser comes equipped with the Forged Turncoat Universal Console. Activating this console will fire a stream of nanites at the target. Upon infecting it, the nanites will override its normal targeting, causing it to attack its former allies. While it attacks its former allies, its damage output will be significantly increased, and when the effects of the nanites wear off, the ship will be disabled for a short duration.

This console additionally provides a passive boost to Critical Severity and Weapon Power. It can be equipped in any console slot, on any ship. You may only equip one of these consoles.
To get this ship takes a bit of a gamble, it's a possible reward when opening a Special Requisition Choice Pack. The pack supplies a bundle of materials, and either 10 Lobi Crystals, or a ship, either this Section 31 ship, or one from quite a range of previously available ships in the game. Check out the STO blog for full details of the pack, and specs for this ship.

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