Spotlight: Outfitting the Onslaught

There are many ships to choose from in Starfarer (19 and counting), but let’s take a closer look at one of the true powerhouses, the Onslaught-class battleship. First, a little background:

The Onslaught is a hulking behemoth bristling with guns, a remnant from ages gone by. Very few are manufactured presently due to the incredible industrial capacity required, and most of the vessels now in service predate the great war. It is a great irony that many surivived the war because they were obsoleted by new designs, but with the technological setbacks wrought by the war, the situation is now reversed. The Onslaught once again finds itself in a dominant role on the battlefield.

The Onslaught wouldn’t live up to its name without a varied arsenal. A quick aside – there are 3 types of weapons (ballistic, energy, and missile) and three different weapon sizes (small, medium, large). Ship hulls have slots of different types and sizes, and various weapons can be fitted in those. To fit, a weapon has to match the type of the slot, and be the same size or smaller.

But enough talk, let’s take a first-hand look at the ship.

without any weapons

As you can see, it’s not fitted with any weapons yet. The hull of the Onslaught has:

  • 3 large ballistic slots
  • 2 large ballistic hardpoints (type of slot – fitted weapon points straight ahead and can’t turn)
  • 3 medium ballistic slots
  • 4 medium missile slots
  • 12 small ballistic slots

To put it in perspective, a frigate might only have 5-7 small weapon slots.

So we have all this potential firepower. The question is, how shall we outfit the hull to take full advantage? The Onslaught is really, really slow, so whatever weapons we decide to mount should address that shortcoming.

Well, we’re certainly not going to be dodging any missiles (or even the slower torpedoes), and we’d be foolish to even try, so some point defense is in order. A couple of Dual Flak cannons (medium ballistic) and Vulcan cannons (small ballistic) should do the trick. It’s not a fully reliable defense, but hey, that’s what the 5-meter-thick titanium armor plating is for.

fitted vulcan cannons fitted dual flak cannon

Now, on to the core function of the ship – offense. Pretty much anything will outrun us, so it’s important to get some long-range capability. Four Pilum LRM (Long Range Missile, medium missile) launchers should do nicely – with those, we’ll be able to engage the enemy at well beyond visual range.

fitted pilum LRMs

Unfortunately, the LRMs aren’t so great up close, and can run out pretty quickly, so we’ll need something to fall back on. Three Hephaestus assault guns (large, ballistic) can hammer the opposition into subatomic particles at medium range, and the placement of those slots on the outer edges of the hull ensures we get the most range out of ’em.

A pair of Gauss cannons (large, ballistic) fitted into the hardpoints round the design out nicely, though they place a far too great demand on the ship’s reactor for continuous use.

fitted hephaestus assault gun fitted gauss cannon

There we have it – a balanced Onslaught loadout, ready to go.

fully loaded

Of course, there are many other ways to outfit this hull, depending on the role it has to play in battle.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, November 17th, 2010 at 8:19 am and is filed under Development, Lore. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


  1. Looks Awesome!

    by stevepeak
  2. The Ship looks great, but the weapon placements need some improvement. They look like “sit on top” Maybe it would be enough to alter their colors to the ship-design

    by Evil-Devil
  3. Thanks, helps to hear a first impression. Interesting idea, will give it a try. Need to keep the weapons nice and distinct for the player to see, too, so it’s a tricky balance.

    by Alex
  4. Just read the FAQ and I have to say I am already eager for this game.

    by Bob Dorian