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Thanks SO MUCH for all your support, and we'll see you in-game!
Perhaps you can check for us if the Fleet K'Tinga's stats really are as published. The listed stats show it as slightly inferior to the Vor'Cha retrofit; the only positive change being a small turn rate boost and an extra console.
Also, do you fly a Vor'Cha Retrofit? If so perhaps you can share the play differences in the two ships.
Give me a few days as I'm currently on vacation and outside of the game, but yeap ... I fly both on two different characters.
What I can say right now is that without looking at the stats, I have no problems with surviving in my K'T'inga and use the extra turn rate (which I boosted with an extra RCS console) to give me a raptor like turn rate for the cannons but love my taking abilities.
I can hang in the fight a bit longer than the average raptor / escort with guns consistently on my target.
But I'll see what I can find out for you in a few days.
[...]Instead it's in this awkward tier 4.5 sort of limbo.
I think the way they've made some of the fleet ships, especially KDF ones, not quite balanced up to par, is really something that ought to be reviewed once these ships have been around and tested for a bit.
Of course, if they'd made them available for testing on tribble like we'd asked, this wouldn't have happened. But as we all know, inspite of often ignored feedback threads, it's only purpose is for them to stress test new code. I'd advise people to just log in for the freebies and sneak peeks and save themselves some bother with it in future.
Speaking of overall somewhat worse stats of even fleet version ships, all of the low level retrofits have them. While Tier 5 fleet refits usually gain the 10% shield and hull over the original, the Fleet Novas, Escorts, K'tingas, Somraw raptors (and possibly more, don't remember them all) have less hull and shields than regular "free" Tier 5 ships.
These "deficiencies" are then compensated with the 10th console slot. So in my book, Fleet versions of the lowest Tier ships are very much comparable to regular good old "free" Tier 5 ships. Nothing less, nothing more.
I recently 'upgraded' from a Vor'cha Retrofit, to a Fleet K'tinga. Here is what I've experienced so far. I've lost 4 percent total Hull Strength, but I've gained 11 percent in turn rate, which is nice. The shield modifier is slightly lower (.06 percent) but once I put another field generator in that third science console slot, I'll actually come out with more shields than the Vor'cha Retrofit is capable of. So you end up with slightly more offensive capability, because its easier to keep your guns on target. If you're running a beam setup I'd recommend finding a different ship, as the boost to turn rate is useless to you. You gain a slight amount of shields if you use all your console slots for Field Generators, which in my opinion is the best use of them on this ship, since you arent exactly going to be slotting a bunch of science powers. And you lose about 2,000 Hull Strength. To me, it's not really enough to notice. In both STF's and PvP you have so much incoming damage that if you're taking hits to the hull, you're taking way more than 2000 damage at a time. In summary, I would say that if you enjoy the Vor'cha retrofit as it is, and are successful with it, you'll be able to do at least as well with the Fleet K'tinga. Although depending on your play style, you might want to hold out for the Fleet Tor'Kaht. I personally was hesitant about giving up the LTC engineering slot, so I opted for this one, but eventually I'll probably experiment with the fleet tor'kaht as well. On one final note, if you do have the fleet K'tinga, use the D-7 skin on it, then go to Kerrat, and blow up a brand new Odyssey class with your 300 year old battlecruiser. I guarantee you'll feel better afterwards.