Hello everyone, you are most welcome here.
Today I am going to talk about a videogame I was introduced to this week. It is called Dreadnought, and it is a free to play game of Capital (star)Ship Warfare in the same vein as World of Tanks. This is the release trailer:
In this game you start with a flotilla of 4 ships, a destroyer, an artillery cruiser, a tactical cruiser and the game’s namesake – the Dreadnought. Each ship is “Tier 1” with basic equipment loadout. Destroyers are fast and do loads of damage, Artillery ships do long range damage, Tactical cruisers are repair ships and dreadnoughts are slow and heavy.
“Helm, plot micro-jump to planet. Eyes sharp people. Open contract means they are probably expecting trouble.”
The helmsman acknowledged, the remaining crew hunched eagerly over their stations. A data burst from the flagship relayed fleet data to allow for a coordinated jump. Four destroyers, two tactical cruisers, four artillery cruisers and two dreadnoughts, including the Mycroft. A pretty heavy escort for a salvage mission.
“Captain, jump plotted and flagship signals the rest of the fleet is ready. “
The ship lurches under us and suddenly we are no longer in space. We are hovering above a canyon of red stone and sand, as expected.
The lad at weapons yelps an alarm. I glare at him until he can form words. “15 bogies inbound. At least three dreadnought class. Their weapons are powered and tracking us.”
“Signal the flagship we have hostile contact, and tell them to get their backsides into cover. Once they are clear, take us in as well. No sense making this easy for them. Auxiliary power to shields but be ready to dump into manoeuvring.” At least today won’t be boring
Here is a short video I made of me talking about the game and getting blown up. Apologies for the little bit of mismatch at the end. I had a coughing fit and had to edit after the fact.
This game is incredibly fun. Once I got the hang of the controls, I was able to figure out the play strategies for my favoured ship (the Dreadnought – I’m not built for speed, so it suits) and actually start scoring kills in game. And it doesn’t matter if you are having a bad match as it is a very fast paced game. I never really realised just how quick until I researched nuclear weapons for my dreadnought, which have a 90 second cooldown. I think I have managed to fire them twice in any game, which means (with maneuvering) some matches only last about 5 minutes. Others last a bit longer, though there is a clock for 20 minutes.
Each ship has a primary and secondary armament (toggle between the 2 by pressing q). So, my dreadnought has repeater guns and plasma guns. Plasma guns have long range compared to Repeater guns, however the repeaters have high rate of damage. Knowing when to toggle has saved me a few times. There are also 4 modules on each ship. I will deal with only the Dreadnought. There is a missile battery, which launches vulture missiles or flechettes (at my level) and these seek out the target you were aiming at. Their is a counterpuncher battery that shoots down incoming missiles, starting as a laser battery then becoming a heavy autocannon. There is a plasma broadside battery, which delivers a devastating punch to ships alongside me, which can be changed to a nuclear missile. My style of play is to keep the plasma battery as I tend to get in close and use the repeater guns. The Plasma Broadside would support that quite nicely. And finally there is a choice between a hyperjump or an enhanced armour shell. I was initially torn. The Hyperjump overcomes the Dreadnought’s lack of speed, somewhat, however given that I like to get into the midst of the fighting the armour shell was a must. On a few occasions I have drove my Dreadnought into the midst of enemy ships, put up shields, armour shell and missile defence and survived for a short while on my own. Though admittedly, when my opponents were human I lasted significantly less time.
The battle wasn’t going well. Too many of escorts had launched straight towards the enemy with glory in mind at first sighting. Massed missile fired and torpedoes destroyed them, dissuading any other heroics. The Mycroft was out of position, with no support and a Dreadnought was hunting us through the canyon.
“Cut power to weapons. Dump everything into manoeuvring.”
The ship rocked as another plasma blast hit us.
The lad at weapons looked fearful. “Shouldn’t we be returning fire?”
I shushed him. “Helm, bring us 90 degrees starboard. Weapons, lock missiles, repeater guns and the broadside batteries but do not fire.” He looked at me, his mouth opening but unable to form words. “Trust me, we aren’t going to die today.”
The ship spun as fast as it could bringing all weapons arcs towards our hunter.
“Sir, they have missile lock. Twelve vultures launching.”
“Wait for it.” Impact in 7 -6-5-4…”Activate ablative armour shell, and repeater guns now! Dump aux power into shields and brace!”
The missiles hurtled into our storm of autogun fire, which shredded 8 of the incoming projectiles, the remainder impacting the shields and armour. Engineering called out. Minimal damage.
“Sir, we have weapons lock.”
“Let them have it. Everything we have.”
Selecting these modules is as simple as pressing 1 to 4, and the in game commentary usually alerts you when you have lock on, or when missiles are incoming. And finally, you have a reserve energy supply which you can dump into engines, shields or weapons. I think I use engines 99 times out of 100, and occasionally throw in shields when playing turtle or guns when my broadside is recharging.
This game is fun. It seems that if I stay on recruit level I don’t need to worry about repairs or anything like that. I think that is not the case in veteran level or higher, where repairing ships after battle might become quite pricey. Certainly if you are willing to put the time into the game, it looks like everything can be unlocked via gameplay though you can purchase gold to speed things along somewhat. That is the only thing that irritates me. I may well come up against battleships bought and payed for, whereas mine is only played for However, it isn’t a huge concern as so far I have (mostly) been able to hold my own when slugging it out.
You can sign up for the Dreadnought Open Beta at the Greybox Website.
Let me know if you do. Perhaps we’ll fight together. Or I’ll see you down the gun barrels…