We have had a Q&A for the Esperia Talon & Shriek and I wanted to take a look at what we know about the Ship in a bit more context now.
The Talon & Shriek Variant are Planned to be released for Star Citizen Alpha 3.12 by the end of the Year.
The Talon is a no nonsense Light Fighter with Large Tevarin Weapons for it size.
2x S4 hardpoints that come with gimballed S3 Tevarin Ballistic Cannons.
As well as 2 S3 Missile hard points with a combined 4 S2 missiles.
The Shriek drops it’s Gun Hardpoints to 2x S2s coming with Gimballed Size 1 Tevarin Ballistic Cannons BUT changes it it’s missiles racks to be able to hold 24xS3 Missiles.
The Talons are single seater and have no usable interior space other than the pilot’s chair. It does not have living quarters, nor bed.
How will the Talon differ itself from other fighters?
Compared to other light fighters, the Talon splits the difference in firepower between a stock Gladius and Buccaneer, favoring fewer but larger weapons. Agility wise, it’s between Gladius and Arrow. It is often very much user preference between these ships, so it fills a gap in the lineup that promotes choice in-game.
The Talon handles better in-atmosphere than it looks at first glance due to its low weight and relatively aerodynamic wing profile.
Though having stealth elements, the Talon is not a dedicated stealth ship like the Eclipse and is positioned as a ship with stealth features. So, it will sit between the Sabre and Ghost in the examples listed above.
The Talon is armed with Tevarin Weapons by default.
Are Any of the Weapons Locked to the Hull?
The wing-mounted weapons that come with the talon are Esperia recreations of Tevarin weapons, much like those found on the Prowler, and can be swapped out with other standard weapons. The missile racks on the base Talon are swappable, however the bespoke missile racks on the Shrike cannot be replaced, though the missiles themselves are customizable as usual.
Is the role of the Shrike intended to be a “stealth missile ambusher?” If so, how many missiles can it lock and launch simultaneously?
The Shrike’s role could be described as that and, compared to non-missile focused ships, it will be able to lock and launch more missiles when the revised missile locking system comes online in a future patch. Ultimately, the exact amount will be controlled by the ship’s computer and can be upgradeable via blades, though dedicated missile ships will support more by default.
Is there an incoming missile mechanic rework that justifies the Shrike having 24x S3 missiles?
There are plans to not only bugfix but improve missiles and countermeasures in upcoming patches to give a much deeper level of gameplay rather than the current fire-and-forget approach.
There are also plans for deeper missile and countermeasure gameplay, which extends to their use in e-warfare. The Talon and a few other ships are planned to utilize “new” decoy countermeasures alongside flares and chaffs, including the Prowler and Vanguard Sentinel.
What is the Durability of the Talon like? We know it’s a Glass Cannon and dodging damage is key however it does have shields that can mitigate a lot of damage if used correctly.
The description seems to say it’s lightly armored, but the brochure lists medium armor, what should we expect?
The Talon is lightly armored like all light fighters. The brochure listing for medium armor was a mistake and has been corrected.
Will the Talon have the Phalanx shields on release?
At release, it will have the same shield behavior as those currently equipped to the Prowler and Defender, which feature Phalanx shields in their design, so 100% ballistic absorption and massively increased shield hardening ability. There are plans to push the abilities of Phalanx shields further, but no additional details are available at this time.
The Talon’s Cockpit is also an escape pod, so you can fight on without worrying so much.
Will the escape pod functionality be included with the release in December or will it be added later on?
At a minimum, it will function like all other ejection seats, except forward-firing instead of vertically. When the ability for ejection pods to be fully set up is available, the Talon and other ships will have them implemented.
Will players have any control over the cockpit after an ejection?
The ejected cockpit is not controllable like a parasite ship and should be thought of more like an escape pod in that it fires out the ship for a period of time in a predetermined direction.
The brochure hints at it having air shield tech, is this for an interior?
The cockpit does seal itself during ejection with air shields.
So there you have it… the Talon should fit nicely in the light fighter category… missile changes are incoming as well… tho I do feel that the Shriek still may be a powerhouse for Alpha-Striking… it’s not going to be something you’ll want to take for a long escort job where you might be fighting for a long time BUT if you are ambushing OR just fighting players then it might be fantastic.
The Talon and Shirek are Both available for between $90-100 which is surprisingly cheap for an Alien/Exotic Ship from CI… typically they are much more overpriced than that. I think they will be reasonably common in the game as they seem pretty good on paper and look really cool!