Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Elite Dangerous Outfitters - Wingman Viper

Hey Space Cadets!
I'm Cmdr TwingTwang and welcome to the outfitters.

In previous outfitter articles, I've talked about freighters and rare-runners because that's where my experience led me. My recently themed Solid Gold Viper was a fun ship - great to roleplay as a wealthy do-nothing but not so practical as a combat vessel.  In this article I'll be back in the Viper cockpit trying to smoke some fools in a more efficient killer.

First Impressions
The first thing you'll spot is that the Viper is - and remains - power limited.  While the currency of a freighter is its capacity, the currency of a fighter is clearly MegaWatts and even with the big old A3 Power plant in its reactor bay you can't afford all the toys you want.

In this build I went a little over on the power side, but only enough to shut down my FSD - which I didn't need while dogfighting so this build was able to stay in a fight for long periods of time.

General Outfitting
Unlike my regular builds, the Viper has a lot of intentional downgrades to lower the power consumption.  Although I still had a fraction more overspend I could have used, this was about the peak power that I wanted and I found every compromise difficult. Balancing power in a viper is no simple task.

As power is the biggest problem, I went for the Class-A power plant and distributor.  The power couplings do draw some power themselves but I think its 0.6MW compared to 0.55MW for the Class-B and for that price I want to squeeze everything I can out of the ship so Class-A was the only option.

Everything else is prioritised in the order I think I use it. Class-B for the Thrusters and Shields, Class-C for the Frame Shift Drive just to give me the minimum range I wanted and then Class-Es for the lowest power draw.

Safety Features
Reserving power for the Class-B Shields and Class-C Shield Bank has been a priority, and along with the other components should be enough to keep me safe.  The next step is to fill those hardpoints.

As I'm sure you know by now, I'm a huge fan of those Gimbals so the viper pictured has a pair of 2D Gimbal Beam lasers on the medium hardpoints and a matched pair of 1E Beam lasers on the small hardpoints, also on gimbals.
This finishes me off at 12.22MW, so slightly up on power but not above my overspend.  The quad-beam setup overheats quickly but they are my starting loadout because...

...So why Quads?
Quad beam lasers are pretty sharp at taking down shields, and by linking pairs to primary and secondary fire you can control the heat manually.  I chose quad beams on this build because I wanted to fly wingman to a bounty hunter.  I don't need to score the kill, just aggro the quarry, and quad beams will really light up the skies while I take down the shields and chip away at the internal modules.

The quad beams loadout eats power, so when I switch out to cannons I'll have a little extra juice available, and I'll talk about weapon loadouts in the next article.

As you can see, there are a lot of sacrifices made, and I'm not done with the ship yet.  I want to try a build with only one or no lasers. I think the Viper has got enough punch to make it happen with just cannons, or multis - I just need to put in more flight time to get the hang of that flying.