Imperial Flight Guide, Part Two
Star Wars Galaxies: Imperial Flight Guide 2
MMORPG.com Star Wars Galaxies Correspondent Thomas Allegood writes this helpful guide for up and coming Imperial pilots in the SOE MMO based on the popular sci-fi franchise.
So you've got your Lv 5 equipment and a new TIE, I bet you feel good right now. Well, keep that frame of mind because now it's time for the long haul. This is your little guide to surviving middle stretch to ace.. Now strap yourself in, power up your shields, and lets bring down those rebels.
The first thing you've probably noticed is that if you're flying an Interceptor, you can't really use much heavy equipment, but you're faster than most ships out there. If you're flying a Bomber, you can barely move but boy can you take a few hits. This mid-level stretch is the most annoying part of your career, but you'll survive. After this, you'll begin using more flexible ships, but as for now, let's take a look at what you can do.
If you're flying an Interceptor, you're going to need to sacrifice a few things to make your ship a death-dealing machine. The TIE Interceptor was designed for quick and strategic attacks, not dogfighting, so remember to use it for what it was built for. To get the most out of this ship, make sure to trail your enemy. If your enemy cant turn around, it cant hit you, so remember to occasionally throttle-down your engines to enhance your handling, and take them down. As for equipment, this is the first ship you'll probably want to leave armor off of, due to the fact that most LV5 armor is quite heavy and you want to be able to hit hard and fast. Focus primarily upon your shields and weapons. A good engine would prove useful too, to get you away from harm when your shields have taken a beating.
Now, for you Bombers out there. This thing throws its weight around, and boy does it have the weight to throw. This is your first truly heavy ship. This ship was designed for dogfights and carrying heavy equipment. It has its weaknesses though, which if left unnoticed, will hurt you horribly. Its rolling and turning speed is low. It basically handles like a bus, as do all heavy fighters out there. However, you have the capability to throw the heaviest weapons, armors, shields, and engines on this thing, which is its gleaming strength. Outfit this with the best of everything if you can. Make sure you have shields and armor, as you'll probably take quite a few hits. Put a good blaster and a good missile launcher in there, so you can deal out some decent damage. Engines are a must for this ship, as you'll need to make up for your lack of maneuverability. Try to outfit this vehicle as good as you can, because you will need it. As you continue to level up, of course you'll be able to use more powerful equipment with your vessels, and you'll want to get your hands on that new blaster as soon as you can use it. At your 11th pilot level up, you'll obtain your Lv6 and 7 equipment certification. Not so fast though, think about this: If you're flying an Interceptor, you can only carry so much weight, so choose wisely on what you'll upgrade. If you're using a Bomber, you can use this heavier equipment, but with heavier weight comes reduced speed and maneuverability, so can you risk making your ship a tank, or do you want to try to keep it lighter in order to maintain your speed? This is entirely up to you of course, depending on your personal play-style and preferences.
A good thing to remember are your primary pilot commands: Pump Reactor and Emergency Weapons. Pump reactor allows a temporary boost of speed by increasing energy to your engines. Emergency weapons increases your weapon damage and capacitor recharge, at the expense of your shield's recharge capability.
With these somewhat unbalanced ships, you'll probably have some issues soloing some of those tougher missions, especially ones that involve you taking down an Alliance gunship. Luckily, your salvation comes in the form of your 12th level up. You obtain the Nebula Blast and Bomber Strike 1 pilot commands. Nebula Blast only works if you're somewhat close to a nebula. If you're curious about if your ship has one, look at your zone map. You'll see a POI or waypoint pointing to the closest nebula. This command uses a large amount of capacitor energy so charge up before trying it. It unleashes a powerful blast that severely damages any ships near you. Bomber Strike is a more direct attack. If you're unable to take down that big gunship, you might want to use this. This pilot command can be used anywhere, and it allows you to call in a small squadron of Imperial fighters to do extra damage to a single target. However, there is a small chance of failure, and if so, you won't receive your backup.
If you're anything like me, you're getting tired of these unbalanced ships. The Interceptors fast but it blows up way too quickly, and the Bomber's so slow that you can't keep those fighters off your back. Don't worry though, soon enough you'll get your hands on some really nice ships. These are far more balanced, and many Ace pilots continue to use these fighters even after they've obtained their ace pilot certifications. These ships include the Eta-2 Interceptor (also known as the Jedi Starfighter), ARC-170 starfighter (clone trooper starfighter), Belbullab-22 (General Grevious' starfighter), and three more advanced TIEs, the TIE Advanced, TIE Aggressor, and Royal Guard's Interceptor.
Now, lets take a closer look at these ships, shall we? The Eta-2 Interceptor is the most commonly used starfighter, as it is very easy to obtain and is very maneuverable. This ship is commonly known as the JSF (Jedi Starfighter). Many ace pilots continue to use it when a starfighter is called for. You can obtain this quest from the Doing Your Duty quest, which is a very easy quest to complete, if you're 30+. To start this quest, find the Imperial corpse on Dantooine and follow it through. It has a maximum mass of 90k, and can carry two blasters. To use these though, make sure that you have a good capacitor with 900+ energy to spare, as it will eat your energy very quickly.
The ARC-170 is a very good ship as well. It is classified as a medium fighter but it is just as fast as the JSF. Very few people use this as it is a multi-passenger ship, but during missions it can help you out greatly if you have a gunner or two. This ship can handle up to roughly 125k mass, so you can weigh it down with a decent amount of equipment without hurting its speed too badly. This is a crafted ship, so you can pick it up at your local shipwrights shop.
The Belbullab-22 is similar to the JSF in most of its stats, but is a little slower. It also is somewhat of an eyesore, so very few people use it. Its a quest reward, so its a freebie just like the JSF. Most people do the quest for the EXP/credits and just have the ship as a conversation piece or to sell.
The TIE Advanced is a medium fighter as well, with good weight. It also handles pretty well, but not as good as the other smaller ships in this category. If you are a Darth Vader fan, this is the ship for you. It is a good selection for someone who wants to stick with the TIE family of fighters, as it can handle some decent weight and take a decent amount of damage without sacrificing much speed.
The TIE Aggressor is the primary multi-passenger ship in this category. Its a slow heavy fighter but it makes up for its lack of speed by having a gunner station at the rear of the ship, to take down the ships following or circling you. It can handle some decent weight and take a good beating before blowing up. If you're a fan of heavy ships and have someone to be your gunner, this is your ship.
Finally, the Royal Guard Interceptor. This is simply a pimped-out version of the TIE Interceptor. It can handle 90k weight like all fighters in this category and can handle two weapons. It is fast, and reliable. Also, it has a nice crimson color and modified wings for looks. Not many people use this ship as the quest is somewhat annoying. You can find more info on this and the other ship quests on the SWG wiki, the official site, or various other online resources.
Now, enjoy your new ships and keep working toward ace. Stay tuned for part 3 of my 3 part series on the Imperial Pilot profession. We will cover the final stretch and your ace ships.