Ship Upgrade - no clear choices


So with a mixture of daring, luck and caution, I’ve managed to make a bit of echo in the game, with a fairly easy windwfall also in reach (thank you merchant venturer). I am still tramping around with the starting ship, although with a slightly improved engine, gun and claymen.

So I was looking at options and… well there isn’t much in the mid range is there?

The corvette was an attractive choice, but it doesn’t have any more cargo space, needs more fuel and more food for the crew, so if I take this ship I’m actually reducing my range. The Merchant cruiser has tons of cargo, but is slow and too expensive for me. The frigate would be great but is waaay outside my price range.

So are my concerns about the corvette valid? Should I get one or simply press on with the steamer

Thanks for making a great game :)

Thanks for posting this because I’m having exactly the same issue!

If anyone has any thoughts on this I’m sure we would both appreciate it.

Part of me doesn’t really see the utility of the corvette. I have uncovered the majority of the map and on all of my recent voyages I’ve gained more echoes than I’ve lost, and I’ve done this using only the steamer. I can see how I might benefit from the corvette, but the limited cargo space is a real drawback.

Yeah, the Corvette is a bit more expensive to run, with no extra cargo space, so it’s a bit less effective than the beginning ship for long runs and/or trading. That said, that extra weapon slot does make a big difference - Forward weapons are the most powerful in the game. Plus, it’s the only ship with an extra weapon slot that doesn’t come with a Veils penalty, so it provides a great balance between combat and stealth. Good for soldiers and spies, bad for traders (and for quests involving shifting a lot of goods around.)

If that’s not what you’re after, then, yeah, you’ll want to keep saving up for one of the big three, or complete the Curator’s quest and take the Yacht.

Corvette is a good upgrade if you want to kill things, as Sir Fred said. Otherwise, re: the large three, they all have an aft slot, which allows you to equip the Suppressor and run at Full Power, which should more than make up for their slightly reduced speeds.

I find it funny that nearly every person whom wonders about ship upgrades is only concerned about the economic benefits of upgrading. It’s funny because they always overlook the corvette as a &quotdowngrade&quot. Want to make more money? Get a forward gun. Having more cargo room is really not necessary. You will make more money from being able to actually fight efficiently than you will from trying to haul goods from one port to another (this is not a trading game).

Oh it’s not a trading game sure, but various people want various things, and it’s frustrating to be turning quests down just because your don’t have the cargo room…

You are correct that having a better fighting ship would open up part of the game I’ve been avoiding though.

Merchant ship is great, though it takes a while to kill things.

That’s not why you run more cargo, you run more cargo so you can stock up on fuel in the iron republic reliably and still run a decent engine which speeds up the rate at which you complete quests.

Plus you need an upgraded cargo hold to get the fulgent impeller, so.

I found the Corvette to be a very viable choice. Having the forward weapon and increased hull made for a much more friendly gaming experience. I did eventually get beaten to death by an unusually voracious lifeberg, but prior to that I had been farming them fairly reliably. (wouldn’t recommend it until you get the Frigate, though)

Being able to quickly kill the odd pirate or beast does usually get you an extra food or fuel, or some other good worth about the same, so the slightly increased usage cost of the ship is reasonably well balanced out by that fact.

Of course you’ll pay more for hull repairs once you start blasting things all the time, so keep an eye on that.

I admit the game may benefit from a mid-way ship that emphasizes a bit more cargo space that doesn’t take it to the extreme of the Merchant Cruiser. In other words, I think a ship that has around 60 cargo space as a &quotmidway&quot version of the Cruiser, much in the same way the Corvette is a &quotmidway&quot version of the Frigate, would be a huge help to a lot of new players.

  That said, my advice is to wait until you can afford the Merchant Cruiser [i]if you're still traveling a lot for quests.  [/i]If you're going all over the map pushing lots curiosities, or cargo like Darkdrop Coffee, Prisoner's Honey, or Sunlight, the Merchant Cruiser is for you.  If, on the other hand, you're focusing more on hunting foes like Lorn Flukes or Pirates, or just running singular items like the Curator's Colours or Enigmas, the Corvette will accomplish all of these things faster than the Cruiser.  

  Personally, I tend to favour buying a bigger house first, and get enough heirlooms should the unthinkable happen, but I play on Unforgiving mode and I'm not sure if that's what you're doing, or even if you have already gotten a house.  

 My preference in terms of ships?  I tend to lean towards the Cruiser -- it gets you enough echoes for better ships quickly, [i]and [/i]it has enough space to pack with so much fuel that you can go virtually anywhere comfortably.  But when I'm using a &quottransition captain&quot -- aka one who's planning on going retiring early to boost the stats of a future captain -- I will use the corvette as a fast and reliable way to obtain the easiest quests.  

  Of my last 9 captains, two have used the Corvette in this fashion; while five have favored the Cruiser.

  Hope this helps.

edited by SouthSea Rutherby on 3/23/2015

My quick opinion on the Corvette is that it’s a begginer captain’s way to make use of the Memento Mori. Then you use it to complete these rare-quality quests while buidling up heirlooms so that your next captain can afford either one of the bigger ships right away.

[quote=WormApotheote]That’s not why you run more cargo, you run more cargo so you can stock up on fuel in the iron republic reliably and still run a decent engine which speeds up the rate at which you complete quests.

Plus you need an upgraded cargo hold to get the fulgent impeller, so.[/quote]You don’t need to stock up on fuel in the Iron Republic if you’re running a Corsair. You can get all the fuel you need to do most of a long voyage from turning in port reports and Admiralty Favour points at no cost. There are ports along most voyages where you can refuel at one of the ports with relatively low prices (Mt. Palmerston, Adam’s Way, Port Carnelian) and ports that have actions that can get you free fuel.
In general, buying large quantities of fuel at the lowest possible price simply isn’t that important for a Corsair because it uses much less fuel than any of the larger ships and therefore requires far less stocking of fuel.
As for the Fulgent Impeller, with it’s high fuel consumption rate, even with the 50% efficiency bonus, it’s a net negative on a Corsair compared to The Serpentine, which will allow a Corsair to outrun anything on the zee.


I’ve always felt that the Khanate Trimaran as a ship choice with 60 cargo space and a forward gun would make a great “mid-way” ship, the advanced ability representing the Khanate’s longer time in the Unterzee and their formidable military might. Here’s the catch: it can only be bought at the Khanate once you have accumulated a mighty amount of favor with the Khan. In addition, running a trimaran impacts your reputation in London (though those who have already earned a reputation for themselves in London won’t be too harshly impacted).

The merchant is useful for specific missions

coffee above, colony, zeppelin

It took careful planning but I managed to complete most quests in the Frigate including two that need more than 40 hold space - taking the Merchant Venturer North and completing the Tireless Mechanic’s story I haven’t set up a colony yet so don’t know what might be needed for that.
edited by reveurciel on 3/24/2015

I went for the Corvette with my second captain and for the massively unpopular Cutter with my third one. On my next captain I plan to go straight for the yacht.

The Corvette is excellent in my book. The range difference with the starting ship is really small, and you can kill almost anything. I did die at zee in the end, but that was only because I foolishly attacked the blue prophets, had to flee, didn’t repair my hull, then lost 4 crew in one shot from a trimaran, dropping below half, and finally got cornered by a shark. The only enemies I would really avoid in that ship are those prophets and Mt. Nomad.
The cutter is also not as bad as people make it out to be. The cost of sailing that thing around the world is just incredibly small, and early in the game fuel and supply costs are a big part of your overall budget. The stat bonuses are also excellent, making it incredibly easy to avoid fights. And 30 hold isn’t really that much less than 40, especially when you are using only half the supplies, as well as a bit less fuel. The only thing I couldn’t do with it that I could do with the starting ship was go to the surface. And the dangerously low number of crew is easily remedied by carrying around unequipped clay stokers in your hold. If you ever drop below 3 crew (which happened to me once or twice) you equip them and you sail home at full speed even with a single crew.[li]

edit: Also, I think it makes sense that a ship that’s better at everything than the starting ship isn’t available quickly. Now there’s a choice between settling for an interesting compromise or saving for the best option in the frigate. If there was a mid-range ship with something like 60 hold and a forward gun that wouldn’t be much of a choice.
edited by Soupturtle on 3/24/2015[/li][li]
edited by Soupturtle on 3/24/2015