Sunday, 15 February 2015

Elite Dangerous Outfitters - Solid Gold Viper

Greetings space Cadets!
I'm Cmdr TwingTwang and welcome to the outfitters.

In this build, we'll be discussing the Solid Gold Viper.  Because sometimes, you just want the best of the best. And then you put gold on it.

The solid gold viper is a thematic ship and my outfitting has tried to represent this. Obviously every component is Class-A, and I've not downsized anything to a smaller model. Lastly, the icing on the cake is the Mirrored Surface Composite hull, which I thought went very well with the Solid Gold Theme.

This Viper can be yours for around Four Million Credits, and represents peak spend on a Viper. It's 12.85Ly Range isn't going to carry you much further than the combat zone, but once there the Gold Viper is the pride of the fleet.

A Premium feel
The flight feel is top-notch, and from the second you leave your landing bay this ship just oozes quality and style.  Its zero-to-max acceleration is much higher than any of the bulk cruisers I've been flying recently and even higher than my Combat Asp.  The lightwieght hull means that even A3 thrusters are able to throw this ship around space.

With every component at Class-A, the ship performs well. Its the luxury space superiority star fighter for a new generation

Safety Features
In addition to its premium Double-A shields, I chose to equip this cold gold killer with a pair of 2D Cannons on gimbal mounts.  These hull crushing bad boys don't cost too many credits and its their low power consumption that has chosen them as my main damage dealer, compared to the big rail guns and plasma accelerators that you will really struggle to fit on a Viper with a little A3 Reactor.

Backing up the Cannon are a pair of 1E Beam lasers, also on gimbals.  If you keep your target front and centre, the gimbals don't drift much and I generally like their performance.  They can struggle when you are up-close, and I've had overheating problems with them but overall I still find them a good pick.

Action Report
After taking the Solid Gold Viper for a spin, I decided that the power draw on the weapons is just too much. I'd expected the FSD and Life Support to cut out when the hardpoints are deployed - This gives you a countdown of twenty-five minutes to cook your fools and holster those guns. But I think I miscounted the power and I also lost my Shield Bank, which meant I had to retract the hardpoints to boost my shields. Its no big deal, but takes a second or two and overall isn't enough of a combat edge.

Bringing the gibmal cannons to bare didn't have a strong satisfying feel, either, and it was difficult to line up my shots so I re-equipped with 2E Turreted Cannons and downgraded one of the beams to a burst laser.  The lower power draw was a lot safer for the ship, and I got into the spirit of Alliance gun-slinger in no time. One word of warning though, those Turret Cannons cost an extra four million each, and Tripple the cost of your ship.

The ship turns on a dime and I found it remarkably easy to keep my quarry in the cross-hairs, and to give those big turrets a clear line of fire. In fact I turned so sharp the whole screen faded to red and I nearly blacked out from the G Force. The I can see why fighter pilots are comfortable with fixed-forward beams, they give you a lot of control over your damage output in such an agile ship, and the overspend on the Turret cannons probably wasn't worth it.

The Solid Gold Viper is lacking in power though and the best on the list for low-power-high-damage is the 1B dumb fire missiles, partnered with cannons on the Medium hard-points. This load-out does give you an insanely strong lance, but I'd recommend this as a coup de gras attack after your wingman with lasers has gone to work on the enemy shields.

And Finally
Flying the Solid Gold Viper into combat zones and resource extraction sites looking for trouble has been tremendous fun, and I'm looking forward to getting back in the cockpit and really seeing what I can do with some iteration. Next time I build a Viper, I'll probably drop the sensors, life support and maybe even the shield bank down to a lower category to divert more power to weapons so that I can really hit hard - however such tweaks are against the theme of a Class-A only Gold Viper.

Have you flown a Viper? Consider yourself an Ace starfighter or a Rookie learning the ropes - tell me what you like, and don't like about the ship!
If you've got an outfit you want to see featured, a Pilot Academy article another point for discussion then let me know.

I'm Cmdr TwingTwang and until next time, Fly Casual.