The Alliance Crusader and Challenger deserve a rework.

Even as someone who is not particularly a hardcore combat pilot, i can say for sure that i did observe the Alliance ships came and went without much fanfare at all. Since their release, i have barely met anyone who talks about them, hell, i think people barely even acknowledge they exist.

And it is sad because they are in fact very pretty ships, and they look great inside and out. But after the Chieftain, which is a pretty nice maneuverable fighter, you can for sure say it takes a dive down from there. The Challenger (and Crusader especially) take significant losses in speed, agility and jump range, all things that the Chieftain is quite nice at, for... nothing really worth it.


All their internals and utilities stay exactly the same, but they gain a tiny bit of shields and health. Hardpoints are switched around in size and moved around the ship, and the external slots change in size, but you can pretty much safely say that they are all an downgrade from the first one.

Most egregious is the Crusader, as while it gets the ability to use a fighter hangar, it gets such a massive decrease in speed that it's pretty much a Federal Gunship with slight improvements in maneuverability, but with much worse firepower.

I don't even know what the deal is with the Challenger, honestly. I can barely tell any difference with it other than that it's a litttle bit slower and has different hardpoints, but a bit more health and possibly more slots for reinforcements.

You can definitely argue that what they do offer is being cheaper and not requiring a rank requirement... but i feel like that is an unfair positive to give, as in the end, if you have the choice between the two ships as they are, this stops being relevant.



I do personally think that the Chieftain is fine as it is, but that the Challenger and Crusader need something extra to set them apart and genuinely make them good.


Looking at the fact that these two ships were created as an Alliance response to Thargoids, I think it should be taken into consideration when trying to create roles for them. And while the Chieftain definitely fills in its role as a fast, agile big medium fighter, the Challenger and Crusader are a bit more unclear.



My idea is that while the Chieftain is a "air-superiority" fighter, the Challenger should be a real heavyweight tank with bigger guns, and the Crusader a more supportive-multirole ship.

In reality, the Challenger is a larger and heavier tank than the Chieftain, and the Crusader was a (relatively) small light tank from world war II, used mostly in Africa.

Therefore, what I would like for the Challenger is to make it a real frontline fighter, a challenger that's quite good at fighting up front, by add a noticeable amount of armour to it, and possibly another hardpoint, a better power distributor, or more utility slots.


The Crusader however, fitting in with its name, should be a ship that can lead a fight far into enemy territory.
Thus, while it will keep its fairly slow speed, it will receive additional external slots and a better frameshift drive, making it much more suitable for additional roles, like repairing/decontaminating other ships, delivering cargo or refugees from stations, and using its fighter hangar to cooperate with other players better.
This is much unlike its current role, which is a very slow heavy fighter with no jump range or speed, and would make it stand out better against the Gunship, which is arguably better other than the rank lock and jump range.


Do you agree? Are there things i have missed about these very underrated ships? Secret advantages that people don't know much about?
 

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Even as someone who is not particularly a hardcore combat pilot, i can say for sure that i did observe the Alliance ships came and went without much fanfare at all. Since their release, i have barely met anyone who talks about them, hell, i think people barely even acknowledge they exist.

And it is sad because they are in fact very pretty ships, and they look great inside and out. But after the Chieftain, which is a pretty nice maneuverable fighter, you can for sure say it takes a dive down from there. The Challenger (and Crusader especially) take significant losses in speed, agility and jump range, all things that the Chieftain is quite nice at, for... nothing really worth it.


All their internals and utilities stay exactly the same, but they gain a tiny bit of shields and health. Hardpoints are switched around in size and moved around the ship, and the external slots change in size, but you can pretty much safely say that they are all an downgrade from the first one.

Most egregious is the Crusader, as while it gets the ability to use a fighter hangar, it gets such a massive decrease in speed that it's pretty much a Federal Gunship with slight improvements in maneuverability, but with much worse firepower.

I don't even know what the deal is with the Challenger, honestly. I can barely tell any difference with it other than that it's a litttle bit slower and has different hardpoints, but a bit more health and possibly more slots for reinforcements.

You can definitely argue that what they do offer is being cheaper and not requiring a rank requirement... but i feel like that is an unfair positive to give, as in the end, if you have the choice between the two ships as they are, this stops being relevant.



I do personally think that the Chieftain is fine as it is, but that the Challenger and Crusader need something extra to set them apart and genuinely make them good.


Looking at the fact that these two ships were created as an Alliance response to Thargoids, I think it should be taken into consideration when trying to create roles for them. And while the Chieftain definitely fills in its role as a fast, agile big medium fighter, the Challenger and Crusader are a bit more unclear.



My idea is that while the Chieftain is a "air-superiority" fighter, the Challenger should be a real heavyweight tank with bigger guns, and the Crusader a more supportive-multirole ship.

In reality, the Challenger is a larger and heavier tank than the Chieftain, and the Crusader was a (relatively) small light tank from world war II, used mostly in Africa.

Therefore, what I would like for the Challenger is to make it a real frontline fighter, a challenger that's quite good at fighting up front, by add a noticeable amount of armour to it, and possibly another hardpoint, a better power distributor, or more utility slots.


The Crusader however, fitting in with its name, should be a ship that can lead a fight far into enemy territory.
Thus, while it will keep its fairly slow speed, it will receive additional external slots and a better frameshift drive, making it much more suitable for additional roles, like repairing/decontaminating other ships, delivering cargo or refugees from stations, and using its fighter hangar to cooperate with other players better.
This is much unlike its current role, which is a very slow heavy fighter with no jump range or speed, and would make it stand out better against the Gunship, which is arguably better other than the rank lock and jump range.


Do you agree? Are there things i have missed about these very underrated ships? Secret advantages that people don't know much about?
Following the chieftain becoming my choice for pvp lately, last week I have been using a challenger for goid hunting.

I agree with most of your points. The only true advantage I felt is that I can have lots of flak launchers with the mediums and the number of optional slots (sometimes quantity is better than size when you build a loadout). More slots means I can have repair limpets and afmu. Chieftain, can choose only one of the aforementioned.

But the advertised hull strength is smoke and mirrors. Too small a difference to be effective in real situations. Especially in thargoid hunting. 6a scb is possible on the challenger and not on the chieftain but, scb on hull tank is a bit of an oxymoron. Shields regeneration and strength are weak, especially against thargoids.


In the end, if you want an alliance ship and fight anything from basilisk upwards, crusader and challenger are worse because of the speed. But in PVP, challenger is an exquisite pirate ship because of the utility you can cram on it.

A pity because FAS scales nicely with chieftain, but chieftain-challenger-crusader pros and cons feel wonky.


But then again, in a game where soloing a medusa is easier than wing killing it, anything is possible.


EDIT: Today I flew a chieftain after a week of challenger. Maneuverability bit " it has retained the Chieftain's characteristic agility" too is a marketing ploy. Chieftain is significantly more maneuverable, able to change vector much faster with same engineered g5 dd.

My conclusion is FD did a great job of differentiating the feel of chieftain and challenger, but only balanced them on paper and not ingame.
 
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I honestly didn't feel like we needed three carbon copies of the same ship. At best, it felt like a "me too!" to answer the three federal piggies; at worst, we have two inferior copies of the same decent craft with different default paint.

Hell, even the three fed ships have visibly different wing placements...
 
The Challenger allows for a wider weapon variety, plus the vertical alignment of the Chieftain's weapons is odd to me. The Crusader is compared to the Gunship not the ship with a hangar and the most firepower, which is an interesting contrast. All of them could benefit from a bit more internal space compared to the federal ships, they are only made for combat. But I have not compared their absolute defenses, maybe there are some hidden benefits.
 
I for one hate the copy paste ships we have ingame.
It's getting very tedious.

The 3 C's elevated this nonsense to the limit this year.
 
I Mean, the crusader is noticeably nimbler than the FGS.
its become my go to "small bounty hunting" vessel, especially with the extremely powerful thargoid SLF's

it has a size 3,2, and 1 hard point all along the dorsal axis so you can focus fire really well with fixed weapons
 
All engineered up, I really like the Crusader as a low cost slf carrying ship. Haven't had any troubles in the CNBs, scout hunting, or in the Haz res. Of course I want moar but it's a price tag thing. I think its balanced.
 
-chieftain- first unique ship of it's kind, and was an a mazing addition to the game!

-Challenger- despite it's visual resemblance, we can let it slide that this is just a tweaked copy and paste of the ship. due to it's set-up, it has a higher DPS potential and is perhaps my favourite of the two ships

-crusader- Literally just a copy and paste of the chieftain with a spoiler and fighter bay, every time I see it in the shipyard it makes my skin crawl and I laugh internally at it's uselessness. this was nothing more than a filler of content for Ch3 I know that much, just sad we couldn't get something more unique ( a trader/ multi role would of been alright... rather than yet another combat copy design.)


I suggest the Crusader get's an FSD upgrade and a expanded fuel tank to push it's operational range much further, as the current models can only jump 3 or so times before having to refuel with a mediocre jump range. be nice to see the Crusader have at least some difference to make it stand out. because currently comparing it to the others, I wouldn't touch it with a lightyear long pole.
 
They should've just given the chieftan the ability to load fighters, end of discussion. It's not as if the option for a fighter bay is all that constricting of the ship's design, other than needing enough of a flat belly to fit the bay visually. One ship, plenty of function and form, acceptable fun factor, move on.

If they meant to give the Alliance more of a naval presence, then they need to design small alliance ships first. Everyone can probably afford a small ship and everyone can learn to fly them. Starting with the type-10 was an odd choice; working their way down the size chart was even stranger.
 
Chieftain and Challenger both are actually fine. I even dare to say, that if the Challenger would've been created first, people would just call the Chieftain a cheap and nerfed knock-off. They'd just argue that the tiny gain in agility would not be worth the loss of durability and firepower.
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During the beta I used the chance to also test the Challenger for a few hours. (I just didn't want to waste engineering materials in the life game for that. ) It was a capable machine. The handling difference between Chieftain and Challenger is not as big as some people claim it to be. It really boils down to a matter of taste, which hardpoint layout suits better for your preferences and needs.
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I personally enjoy the option to use two APAs more, but the Challenger would provide me with a bit more actual firepower and flexibility.
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The Crusader is a whole different thing. It indeed can be seen as a rival to the Gunship, albeit one where you trade some firepower for the ability to actually steer the ship, instead of having to file steering commands in written form, three weeks in advance. (Oki, yes, that might be a tiny bit over the top, but the Gunship really feels quite sluggish to me. )
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Would the only medium ships to carry fighters still be the Gunship and the Crusader, I'd say that the Crusader doesn't actually look that bad. But there's also the Krait MK II. And that one just offers so much more. It's actually this comparison, why the Crusader doesn't find many friends. It really only can be of interest if you want a medium ship with SLF capability and don't have the money yet to afford a Krait MK II. Once you can afford the Krait MK II, I really can't see a good reason to stick to the Crusader.
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