Alliance Challenger vs. FDL: which is better for combat (incl. thargds) and why? - PvE only

Good point. FDL is not meant to travel. I have to consider some transfer time and fees
I don't fit scoops on any of my ships except for my "taxi" and exploration ships and have adapted to the idea that I always travel in the taxi and then transfer in the ship I actually will need. The cost isn't really a big deal but the time involved took some getting used to.

My approach has been to plan ahead and try to do the taxi-travel and ship transfer just before logging out so that the ship is where I want it next time I log in. Failing that, I will travel, set up the transfer, and if it is longer than 15 minutes or so travel to some other ship location and do other stuff there until the transfer finishes. I have two mining ships parked at good mining locations, for example, that I can go to and do some mining while waiting. My taxi has a jump range of 70 Ly so I can really get around nice and quickly to accommodate this approach.
 
Challenger looks mean, looks the business.
Everybody and their dog has an FDL and it looks garbage.
Practicalities don't matter as long as you look good. (y)
GAWD! For your own sake you probably should never leave the safety of your home (and even they're not all that safe these days) with that attitude... 🦴🦴
 
Challenger's a match for an FdL in combat, not better or worse, but it is very different. You aren't playing the game in easy mode with enough shields and speed to survive basically anyone by just ducking out whenever and dictating the pace of the fight.

Work your way up to owning and flying both, then stick with the one that feels like the better fit.
 
Ok so I tested the FDL and the Challenger in the same Haz-Res and I have to say that FDL is far above.
I could take down a Master Anaconda alone (with hull damage though), a Python, a couple of Federal Gunship plus some ASP, Viper, Eagle and so on and I left the area with 21% hull.
No damage at Canopy and weapons at all. The Challenger started cracking everywhere after few minutes.
Repair costs are almost nothing for the FDL. I spent 42k to repair it and cashed 700k of bounties. Not bad for a rookie like me (I'm only "expert").
With the Challenger I payed more than 100k in reparation and cashed about 300k with a net of 200k credits only.

So I would say FDL wins in this case.
 
If you hull tank a challenger it's awesome. Great fun too. Lasts longer than any FDL
I had some problems with the modules (I installed 2 hull reinforcement and 1 module reinforcement) and my weapons received a lot of damage since the beginning (one multi cannon and one laser beam were at 0%) and my canopy was full of cracks after a couple of matches. How can you make it last long?
 
I had some problems with the modules (I installed 2 hull reinforcement and 1 module reinforcement) and my weapons received a lot of damage since the beginning (one multi cannon and one laser beam were at 0%) and my canopy was full of cracks after a couple of matches. How can you make it last long?
I think he missed the part where you indicated you were doing very limited engineering. LIke I said earlier in the thread, a little engineering can go a long way on armour and HRP's, due to the resist boosts that comes along with the increased armour.
 
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Another question: considering that the optional modules are not so many in the FDL, what do you put there? Shields, Hull and Module reinforcement package?
Shield generator then everything else is hull and module reinforcement. Swap module reinforcement for a scoop if I ever need to travel in it.
 
For non engineered bounty hunting the win is clearly the FDL. If you were going to do some light engineering, Todd, The Dweller, Farseer, and DiDi are pretty easy and can make a huge difference in your gameplay.
 
Go Crusader. The fighter hangar makes it an efficient killing machine. I put a lot of kills on mine, then traded up for a Krait Mk2. If you have the credits, might just want to skip to the Krait.
 
Go Crusader. The fighter hangar makes it an efficient killing machine. I put a lot of kills on mine, then traded up for a Krait Mk2. If you have the credits, might just want to skip to the Krait.
He must have the credits for a Krait already, it's cheaper (for the base hull) then an FDL and that's the other contender for him. I think a decent Krait Mk II build ends up a few million higher than the FDL, at least it did for me, but not by much. They are pretty comparable in overall price fully outfitted.
 
It's always interesting when these threads come up. You see everybody posting their thoughts based on their own experience and skill levels. Because half of these people are pve exclusive, they never get to see what these ships can really do when minmaxed to oblivion. Nor is minmaxing to oblivion required for a pve pilot. So where do you (where do I) draw the line? Do I advise based on mediocre skill level and engineering desire, or do I just say what is best under all the optimal circumstances and assume the pilot will engineer everything g5 as I suggest...

The problem is the FDL in this. It;s such a finicky build, as soon as you add another cell or booster, you need to rethink the power, as soon as you rethink the power, you need to rethink the heat gen, as soon as you rethink the heat gen, you need to rethink the weight (this is a mild exaggeration, but you get what I mean, you can chase 3 glasses of water with a jug trying to make them exactly the same, but you'll be forever adding a little more to one, then another, then another).

The main folly being stated in this thread is that in pve, the FDL has better survivability because of its huge shields, this is just plain wrong. The 'effective health' of a ship, is a calculation based on its shield and armor values, anticipated pips to systems at any given moment and of course, innate resistances applied by engineering. The challenger has more raw hp in its hull than even a fully g5 engineered FDL does in it's shield AND hull.

For its hull size, the challenger is the tankiest ship in the game, its effective health with a fast charge biweave is nearly DOUBLE that of a prismatic FDL. In PvE you don't care if your shields go down in the challenger, NPCs don't module snipe, so that MASSIVE 5k (if you minmax) hull, is already more raw mj than the FDL WITH its shield. Now add the fact that you've got a 700ish mj biweave AS WELL (which if you're smart you've got 4 pips in when under fire, making it last literally forever in pve). When that goes down, it takes about 1 minute to come back up at half strength. Now add the fact it has SEVEN hardpoints, pitches like a dream and is easy to fly.

The FDLs advantages are...good initial shield values and tons of boosters, plus strong lateral thrusters, indeed, BUT, this huge shield gives you power issues and it has few internals, so you are all shield. The typical pve builld would be prismatic (because of that weak hull and the fact that NPCs use gimballed and hitscan weapons mainly, negating any chance for a biweave to get much recharge). Even an A rated shield would be more useful in the average compromised nav, than a biweave, cos in the ferdie you do not want to expose your hull, if you do it's time to leave. In the challenger you're barely getting started.

The reason the FDL is king is because it has the maneuverability to put a lot of fire on target and avoid a lot of fire, but that takes a lot of skill, and is simply not needed in PvE, and therefore, there is no need to live with its disadvantages (finicky pip management, finicky stall-y flight model, bad pitch if flown wrong, no hull).

Bottom line without going into insane detail on every point, this is absolutley no contest, the Challenger is BY MILES the superior PvE ship, especially for thargoids due to their phasing attacks, you need that hull. One thing about thargoids though, the challenger's hardpoints aren't exactly ideal for ax weaponry. Do not use any AX stuff in the small hardpoints, it's a waste of a slot, so that only leaves you the three belly mediums and the top mount large. I put three gauss in the mediums and a plasma charger in the large, but in hindsight, I should have put two gauss in two of the mediums, a medium shard in the spare medium and a large shard in the large.

The FDL is vastly superior in pvp though, it can hit and not be hit due to its agility in the hands of a skilled pilot.

Here's a base challenger build for you (sorry, forgot to add it, please see a later post where I have now added it). I mained this ship in pve and pvp since it was released, until about a month ago, when I switched to a Krait, simply because it's bigger, superior and has more of everything as a hybrid. Which brings me to the final point...

The Krait is far superior to both in pve and arguably a match for the FDL in pvp as well. ;)
 
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I disagree. A FdL with a bi-weave and 6 booster has no power problems and no shield problems either.
I won't use hull points as health pool in PvE, that's just unnecessary. And I won't get under sustained fire either, except in CZs,
and in this missile rich environment I won't use a hull tank with a good feeling.
So for me the health pool comes from the shield, and there a FdL is superior. You have time to regenerate your shields between battles,
granted it takes a bit more time with a 5C compared to a 6C, but still.
In the end it doesn't matter, though. A well built Challenger or Fer de Lance wipes the floor with basically anything PvE has to offer, so it gets down to
looks, and there the Challenger rules (IF we get a Raider kit finally FD hint hint) 😅
 
I disagree. A FdL with a bi-weave and 6 booster has no power problems and no shield problems either.
I won't use hull points as health pool in PvE, that's just unnecessary. And I won't get under sustained fire either, except in CZs,
and in this missile rich environment I won't use a hull tank with a good feeling.
So for me the health pool comes from the shield, and there a FdL is superior. You have time to regenerate your shields between battles,
granted it takes a bit more time with a 5C compared to a 6C, but still.
In the end it doesn't matter, though. A well built Challenger or Fer de Lance wipes the floor with basically anything PvE has to offer, so it gets down to
looks, and there the Challenger rules (IF we get a Raider kit finally FD hint hint) 😅
Yeh, your'e right, but who wants to stop at good enough. ;) Biweave FDL is a build for the top 1%, I can't make it work very well for me (in pvp), yet, you have to see it as a gameplay choice. There is no mathematical formula that doesn't rely on a known volume of incoming fire avoidance (in other words, unquantifiable pilot skill), whose outcome would be that a biweave is superior to a prismatic FDL in the current meta of high burst damage combined with long range offense to prevent long periods of regen (PA and rails)

Like I say, OP should be building a Krait mk2 anyway, particularly if thargoids are on the menu. You have to admit that a biweave FDL would be a ridiculously poor choice for thargoids.
 
Do not use any AX stuff in the small hardpoints, it's a waste of a slot, so that only leaves you the three belly mediums and the top mount large. I put three gauss in the mediums and a plasma charger in the large, but in hinsight, I should have put two gauss in two of the mediums, a medium shard in the spare medium and a large shard in the large.
Interesting. I'm using a Challenger for Cyclops hunting, and use the 3 small hard points for Gauss's, the large one either an AX MC turret (especially useful in AX CZs where you face both scouts and interceptors) or a Shard Cannon (which requires getting close to target though). One of the size 2 is reserved for the remote flak launcher to deal with swarms, and for the remaining two mediums I use beams with thermal vent to control heat.

I might change my setup to what you describe to see how I get on.Problem is without a flak launcher you're exposed to the swarms (which I usually take out while the Interceptor is gradually losing his shields) so I think you need at least one of those. Also, the small hard points' convergence is much better which is why I use them for interceptor heart sniping.

I also fitted mostly Guardian HRPs and MRPs to the internals, combined with a bi-weave. I don't even bother with decontamination limpets because the corrosion resistances work like a charm - I pretty much ignore it altogether. For this you need a lot of hull though (mine has about 4k I think).

Have to say I haven't tried out the FdL in a serious manner so far - partly because everyone using it is annoying me and secondly I'd then have to get the obligatory paintjobs/shipkit (I realise it will happen at some point though....).
 
Interesting. I'm using a Challenger for Cyclops hunting, and use the 3 small hard points for Gauss's, the large one either an AX MC turret (especially useful in AX CZs where you face both scouts and interceptors) or a Shard Cannon (which requires getting close to target though). One of the size 2 is reserved for the remote flak launcher to deal with swarms, and for the remaining two mediums I use beams with thermal vent to control heat.

I might change my setup to what you describe to see how I get on.Problem is without a flak launcher you're exposed to the swarms (which I usually take out while the Interceptor is gradually losing his shields) so I think you need at least one of those. Also, the small hard points' convergence is much better which is why I use them for interceptor heart sniping.

I also fitted mostly Guardian HRPs and MRPs to the internals, combined with a bi-weave. I don't even bother with decontamination limpets because the corrosion resistances work like a charm - I pretty much ignore it altogether. For this you need a lot of hull though (mine has about 4k I think).

Have to say I haven't tried out the FdL in a serious manner so far - partly because everyone using it is annoying me and secondly I'd then have to get the obligatory paintjobs/shipkit (I realise it will happen at some point though....).
When I fight anything bigger than a cyclops, I just use the three medium gauss and put a flak in the large. I agree it's an essential carry. Regarding armor, I'm a lazy, lazy thargoid hunter, I use my pvp ships and simply swap res boosters for HD ones, weapons for AX and head out. This is one of my problems with Thargoid content, that to be optimal you have to have an entire ship totally dedicated to something that I only do once or twice a month. I also use a biweave against thargoids in the challenger and Krait.

Another thing I do is put three gauss on the krait (one on the middle large and both the mediums) and use TWO flak launchers in the other two larges, this devastates the large swarms and is useful in CZs when you may need a lot of flak ammo (in which case, I use one til it runs out, then switch to the other).

P. S. For Scouts i have a fire group which is just two of the gauss, but I'm a bit of a rail specialist, I realize that won't work for everyone.
 
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