Saturday, January 25, 2014

Galactic Starfighter Expert Scout Guide

So you want to play the Scout class in The Old Republic’s latest expansion? There are a few guidelines to set forth before we get to the meat of the guide. First of all the Scout class is a dagger class, you need to get in quick and get out quick, and the best damage comes from getting up close. To have any real chance of taking out an enemy, especially a better armored one than yourself you need to be within about five thousand meters from the enemy ship. You are given the Blackbolt/NovaDive free of charge and must unlock the Sting/Flashfire but be aware that the two scout ships do not play exactly alike.

It’s important that you get a feel of the four abilities each ship gets to take into battle as well as always knowing what setting your power is set on. The abilities are based on the crew members you chose, so make sure that each crew members active and passive skills line up with your play style. At the beginning of the battle it makes sense to switch to the engine setting (F3) to get to the control points as fast as possible. When attacking you switch the power setting to guns (F1) and than when defending to shields (F2).

If you like to raid or do a lot of PVP you may have already done this but GSF is much easier when you move the controls of some of the starfighter away from the keyboard. As a generalization with three extra mouse buttons you could change the power setting from guns to engine to shields with the click of a button, making it easier to keep your hands on the controls for fast maneuvering. Because the Scout class has such weak armor and shields, you may find it easier to take a evasion active ability and switch out the shield change button on your mouse.

The Blackbolt/NovaDive is a fast scout ship. Its usage is predicated on hitting fast and than running away. The rocket pods are best used in direct conjunction with whichever laser guns you choose, as you hold both mouse buttons down inside 4200 meters. Personally I like to hit as hard as possible with the highest damage output, but if your accuracy is a problem you might be better off starting with a slightly lesser damage output but less power draining effects. If you have trouble hitting your targets, the sabotage probe is perfect for keeping the enemy in a straight line unable to turn away from your guns. What it lacks in damage it makes up for in allowing for more accurate fire. If you’ve been paying attention you’ll have noticed I left out the Thermite Torpedoes. The thermites have a long lock-on time and a long recast time. The only play style that makes sense for their usage is a player that is highly accurate with their laser guns and stays alive for longer than most other players. The best tip with Thermite Torpedoes is to take away the shield with your guns and than blast a hard-hitting torpedo against the hull of the enemy ship.

The Sting/Flashfire is the slower but harder hitting cousin of the Blackbolt/NovaDive. My personal set up has me using the quad laser cannon and the cluster missiles. With the lowest lock-on time of any target acquiring projectile and a short reload time, the cluster missile is the perfect one two punch combination with the heavy hitting quad lasers. The rocket pods and sabotage probes are good at certain play styles but there is no significant advantage over their use in the lighter and faster Blackbolt/NovaDive. The Sting/Flashfire is a dogfight specialist in comparison to its lighter cousin. The rapid fire laser and rocket pods can be a great combination but the lack of a large carrying ability for the rocket pods severely cripples its long-term usefulness. In short you’ll run out of rockets long before you run out of enemies.

Alright you’ve gotten information on ships and combat, now for the final step to becoming an expert, the enemy. Gunships tend to be the easiest to attack. They all have around a 15000 meter buffer zone. This area is their domain, but because of the way their rail guns work, it’s often akin to playing a sniper. Flank the gunship and they rarely notice you. When you see a bright light around a ship its time to bob and weave. Gunship pilots tend to have a hard time keeping a lock on you. Strike Fighters on the other hand are tougher and harder hitting, but slower than Scouts. The best way to limit their damage is to bite them fast and hard and then burn out of their range. In a speed and endurance battle the scout always has the advantage, use it. Because their armor is so good, it’s important to understand that the Scout has a disadvantage in a head to head fight. Pick out a Strike Fighter that already has taken damage for a superior advantage. Scouts can take very little damage so the best advantage is to hit them before they hit you, its difficult to lose a Scout on your tail, so lead them into a control point you own for help from the turrets as well.

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