Since 2.2 will drop Tuesday Oct. 25th, I know a lot of focus has been on the Fighters. And if you have not followed the conversations, you may have questions regarding them. I want to try to give you an idea what to expect.The Ships:
Only certain ships can carry fighters. Regardless of what you have heard, you can only launch one fighter at a time at this time. The following ships can carry fighters:* Keelback
* Federal Gunship
* Beluga Liner
* Type 9
* Imperial Cutter
* Federal CorvetteFighters:
There are 3 Fighters. They are very different. They have one thing in common, they are hard hitting, but very fragile. All of them have boost speeds over 500 m/s but vary in their top speeds. Also, top speeds vary depending on loadouts (more below about that) but all hit very hard in DPS.Imperial GU-97
Most nimble of the fighters, least shield and armour. Has the best view out the cockpit.
Federal Condor F63
Best Speed overal but less nimble. Has the middle ground in shields and armour. Lateral/Vertical thrusters not as good as the others. Slides a lot in turns. Shines with FA Off.Alliance Taipan
Slowest, least nimble. Best shields and armour. Cockpit view is less than the Condor. Wicked looking and Folds up to dock. Stable platform for pilots that have less skill as it is not as Twitchy as the GUi and slides less than the Condor.Fighter Bays:
Fighter bays are like the SRV Planetary Vehicle Bays. Purchase a Bay (Light, Heavy, Single, Double, etc.) and then buy the fighters.
Purchasing a Fighter gives you 8 Rebuilds of that fighter. A single Bay comes in Class 5 only. Class 6 is a double. There is a Class 7 which is a double with 15 rebuilds.
There are several loadouts that you can choose. These must be chosen at the time that you buy the fighter.
Weapon Choices are:Beams (Fixed and Gimbal)
Pulse (Fixed and Gimbal)
Multi-Cannons (Fixed and Gimbal)
Plasma Repeater (Fixed Only)
Each fighter has ONE Utility Slot. You do not get to chose what to equip as they are already Paired. For example the GUi with Plasma Repeaters has a Point Defence. The Condor with Plasma Repeaters has Chaff. Each fighter will have either Chaff, Point Defence Turret or Heatsink Launcher.
If you have a double bay you can equip 2 types of fighters and with different weapons (Condor with Fixed Beams, GUi with Plasma Repeater)
DPS varies depending on weapons but goes from about 25 DPS to 45 DPS. These things hit with the DPS of a Large mount weapon. Their speed make them hard to hit, but if they do get hit, they don't last long. FD Calls them Glass Cannons, and that is an Apt description.
There are 2 ways to control the Fighter. Take the controls yourself, or have an NPC Pilot to do it. If you take control there are limitations on what functions are available to you in the fighter.
You can target just like in your ship with Sub-Systems targeting and all fire controls are just as they are in your ship. If you look at the side panels you will not have access to things like the Navigation or Cargo listings. You will have access to Transactions, Contacts, Status and others. Flight controls are exactly as you have them defined.
You also have access to the Role Panel and Selecting HELM will allow you to give commands to your ship. The commands are the same as you have to give to the Fighter if it is controlled by an NPC Pilot. The following commands are available:Defend Me
(Default when Fighter is launched with you or NPC Pilot in Charge) - Defend me in the event I am attacked. Only when you are attacked will they respond.Focus Fire
- Basically Attack my Target. Be careful, if you are targeting something not wanted and you give this command, the fighter will attack regardless of wanted status. Targeting a station and give this will get you killed.Aggressive
- A weird name for Fire at will. Any target that is hostile will be attacked based on range and hostility. Attack a ship in a wing of 3 and the other ships open up, the NPC will fire upon the closest or most hostile of the bunch. Similar to Defend, but they take the initiative to attack.Hold Fire
- Ceases all fire and puts them back into Follow Mode. Follow means they will try to stay behind you and to your right like a good wingman should.Hold Position
- Makes them stop where they are, and I do mean where they are. If you are above a planets surface and the ship is pointing straight down, that's where it stays till you say otherwise. Could be dangerous on High Gravity worlds. But also puts them into Hold Fire mode. They will not react, even if attacked.Follow Me
- This is by default and if you launch in a fighter with no NPC crew, the ships computer will be set to Follow you no matter where you go. Buzz the canyon or race through the asteroids, and suddenly your ship is trying to follow. If the NPC is in control, then its a little better depending on their rank, but if its just the computer (the one that controls the ship when you dismiss or recall it when in the SRV) the piloting is not good. Expect it to crash into things like asteroids, ground, other ships, stations, etc.Docking
- Tells the Fighter to dock or if you are in the fighter, tells the main ship to prepare for you to dock. If you are in the fighter, the ship will try to turn away from you so you can approach it from the rear to enter the docking bay. A Holographic tunnel shows up to guide you. Once you are at a certain point in the tunnel the computer finishes the docking. If you try to dock at over 100 m/s you will just crash into your ship.
These commands have keybinds so you don't have to keep going to the Role Panel to activate them. Also it is important to remember that if you are in the Ship, the Commands to the fighter are shown by selecting the fighter on the Role panel, whereas if you are in the Fighter, you select HELM to command your ship. (There is a Keybind to open the proper command list on the role panel.)NPC Crew:
Once you have a fighter bay and purchased a fighter, you need an NPC crew or all you have is a Pet on a Leash that follows you.
On the station Menu there is a new section called Crew Lounge. Here you can Hire (or Fire) your crew members, look at other crew members available for hire, switch between active crew, or check their statistics.
You can hire up to Three NPC Crew at a time. Only one can be active at any given time, the others are backups or off duty. When a crew member is not active, they are not on your ship. Only Active crew are on your ship. Inactive crew (magically) follow you around from station to station. You can only change active crew from the Crew Lounge.
You can also check your crew on the Crew tab of the Role Panel.Hiring:
Hiring a NPC Crew is as easy as buying a ship. Click and done. Crew have different combat ranks, from Harmless to Expert. The max rating you can hire depends on your combat rating. The highest you can hire is Expert. Just like us, as they get kills and gain experience, they rank up. The ranking up of an NPC pilot is much faster than our ranking.
For example, I hired an NPC pilot was Novice. At the Time I was 89% Expert. I ranked him up to Dangerous in the same amount of time that it took me to go to 40% Master.
Cost are in two parts, and are based on Rank. Lower Rank, lower costs.
The first part is the hiring fee. This is a one time cost. A few thousand credits for a Mostly Harmless, to a Couple of hundred thousands for the Highest Ranks.
Second part is the percentage they make from your profits. This can be from as little as 2% to as high as 16%. My Novice started at 6%. As they rank up, their percentage cost increases. As a Dangerous, he now makes 8%. Note: These numbers are not final as FD has said they will be tweaking it for the Final release.
Taking a lower level NPC on and ranking them up to Elite will be cheaper than buying a higher level NPC and doing the same.CONTROVERSY WARNING!!!!Controversy #1
- Notice I said Profits, and NOT Combat Profits. They take that percentage of ALL PROFITS. Trade, Combat, Bounty, Exploration, Missions, all of your Profits.Controversy #2
- ALL the NPC crew you hire takes their percentage, EVEN IF NOT ACTIVE. Have 3 NPC crew and all take 10% of your profits? 30% of what you make goes to them.Controversy #3
- They even take a share if you are in a ship that DOES NOT / CAN NOT have a fighter.
FD has not budged on these factors during the Beta. Who knows if they will later. This has lead to people to say that they will just hire as needed and fire before they cash out things. Lets hope that they never institute Employer Rep, cause not paying your Employees may come back to bite you in the arse.
Once you have hired at least one Pilot, you will need to set them active. If you fail to do so, you will not be able to do so till you return to a station. You will get a warning when outfitting a Fighter bay if you have no crew or active crew. But switching ships to one without fighters and back to a ship with fighters will not give you the warning. Expect to return to Base a lot till you get in the habit of checking.Using Fighters:
Once you have fighters and a crew with an active pilot you can head out and use them. Remember the keybinds that you can set as it will make things easier in the long run. How to use them in a fight is up to you, but here are a few things to remember.
They use voice to tell you what they are doing and confirming commands. Don't be suprised when you first hear it. The text of what they say also appears in your chat window. They have different voices and attitudes. I fired some whiners. Sue me
Launching a fighter is not instant. Regardless of it being crewed by the NPC Pilot or yourself, it takes about 10 seconds to launch. If you are going to fly the fighter, that means that all control of your ship is on hold as it attempts to fly straight to get you launched. It will not defend or attack while this is happening. There is no Keybind for launching a fighter, so you have to select the fighter from the Role panel and then Deploy.
Recovery of a Fighter is not instant. The NPC has to line up and land. So do you. The NPC will try to turn your ship and face away if you are in the fighter, but if you are close to the ship, this may make it harder to line up for you. With a bit of practice, you will see that you can dock faster than the NPC.
If a fighter is active, you cannot lower your landing gear, and therefore cannot land. Your cargo scoop still functions if the fighter is out, and you can still launch one if your scoop is down. You cannot launch a fighter in the No Fire area around a station, or on a planet if you are under 500m from the surface.
If you are making a run for it and jump to SC or to another system, you will lose the fighter. It is under remote control and has no FSD drive.
When a fighter comes in to dock, it will take about 20-30 seconds to deploy it again depending on how much damage it has taken. Even a non damaged fighter has to be 'Checked' before it can be sent out again.
If a fighter is destroyed, it takes about 10 seconds to start the Build of a new one, and that takes about 90 seconds to complete. If you have a second bay, you can launch from that one almost immediately.
When a fighter is destroyed the Telemetrics Neural Link (aka Remote Control) is broken. If you were in the fighter you will be put back into control of your ship.
Ignore the Body you see in the fighter when you are in control. It's VR. Your not there.
Fighters bays are replenished on the stations Restock Menu just like your SRV's.
If your main ship is destroyed, your Active NPC Pilot is Dead and gone. You will have to set another pilot active when you rebuy or hire another one if you only had one. They have no Escape Pod like you do.CONTROVERSY WARNING!!!!Yes, your NPC Pilots can Die
. Don't get too attached (Good Luck).
Reason: FD Made it this way.
Lore Reason: These pilots are NOT members of the Pilots Federation. Therefore they do not have access to the Remlok/Instant Escape Pod Tech that the Pilots Federation Members have.
Yes it sucks if you spend time ranking them, but again, game....Conclusion:
Fighters/NPC Pilots can add a lot to the game once you realise how best to use them for your game play.
I talk to mine. Yes, I do. I bitch at Alex when he goes a little Rogue and refer to him by name. E-Murrrrsion.
The A-Team knows the names of Mine and Dawgs Pilots because we say them out loud. "Sending in Corrine" "Alex is on his way". Kharma is to cheap to pay them, and Tor refuses to let them fly his ship
Your Mileage may Vary