My sarcasm/troll detector is pinging a little bit here, but for argument’s sake, let’s take a look at the AVG.
It just doesn’t seem like a borg ship… It seems like it’s just a sphere knockoff.
Technically, the Sphere is a spinoff of the AVG-IX…
A brief History of the Borg in MTrek:
In the mid-1990s Chuck created the “borg” object to combat the global chat spam, and give players a reason to fight, rather than treat the game like a Star-Trek themed chat room. It was an object (basically a planet) that constantly intercepted the last message received and would shoot Warheads (Think Planet Megadon in Gamma) at any ship in range. It also served well to remove campers and base-sitters. The only effective way to damage or kill it was with ship detonations. It was somewhat useful, but widely-regarded as annoying.
Fast-forward to Jay/Joe’s JavaTrek in the early-2000s, a very similar “borg” was introduced. Instead of being a planetary-type object, it was a DY-600 Robot ship retrofitted with borg-like characteristics
In 2004 or 2005, I approached Jay with the idea for a Borg as one of the “upgrade” ships. Similar to the Valdore or Vor’Cha, a player could fly a ship to Tech Planet in Delta Quad and exchange his vessel for a Borg AVG IX. The design principle of the ship, was that it was constructed using technology from other ships that had been assimilated into The Collective. In practice, we simply took the specs from 9 of the existing ship classes and averaged them (hence the name). Unfortunately for Borg-lovers across the galaxy, the ship ended up being very weak; the weapons didn’t regenerate and it was not capable of transwarp. It (codenamed “Norm) would later serve as the foundation for today’s Borg Sphere.
And so it remained. A somewhat useless ship that was very unpopular. Partly due to the fact that traveling to Delta through a Spatial Anomaly was a pain, but mostly because the ship sort of sucked. Its only real value was as a novelty. A couple of players used them simply because they were there and several players became outraged after “upgrading” a high-score ship to an AVG and then later realizing it was actually more of a downgrade.
In the early days of XmlTrek, before I launched mtrek.com even, I was a regular player there an I pestered Robert (xmltrek admin) to re-instate the ship upgrades for Valdore, Vor’Cha, Galaxy, and AVG IX. I also talked to him about enabling the AI-controlled Borg bots; I may have even suggested to him that the DY-600 borg was cool, but the AVG might be more appropriate given that it was an actual Borg. My recollections of those conversations from 5 years ago is a little fuzzy, but that’s pretty much how it went down. Robert activated the borg bots, changed the name to (cringe) “OMG! A Borg Cube”, and switched the base class from DY to AVG IX. If you fly to Delta via Spatial Anomaly in xmltrek and upgrade to an AVG IX, you’ll find yourself piloting the exact same lackluster “Norm” from the mid-2000s.
In the buildup mtrek.com, I took a different approach to the AVG. I had long felt that the AVG was falling short of its potential, and as admin here, I was finally in a position to do something about it. First I added the xwarp, I then figured out how to make the photons and other weapons regenerate, and finally I reduced the warp cost and eliminated the need for xtals. This essentially new ship was interesting and dynamic. It was powerful enough to kill other ships and survivable enough to hang on to gold for a very long time. Basically, it was everything the “Norm” wasn’t. So to honor its new identity, I gave it a new name: The Borg Sphere
With 6.0, I wanted to offer players a wide selection of ships, grouped by the core mtrek ships, jtrek ships, classic pre-1995 ships, and recent mtrek.com originals. This presented me with a choice. Should I lump the Sphere in with the jtrek ships, or celebrate its new identity alongside the mtrek.com originals? It wouldn’t have been accurate to call it “Sphere” as a jtrek ship, and as an mtrek original, it left me with the anemic old AVG IX filling out the list of jtrek ships. I very much wanted to include the AVG, which meant making it strong enough to be playable in today’s game, but I wanted it to be different enough from the Sphere to justify both ships’ existence. So in the AVG-IX’s design, (note the hyphen) I basically put it on steroids, hoping it would retain some of its “II-Aish” feel, and become more borg-like with some region capability. This gives us the nimble xwarping Sphere and the grittier heavy-hitting AVG. Both ships are descended from “Norm”, but neither is as weak or boring to fly.
Notice the “hours played” on each scoreboard
All 3 of those links have filters to only show only recently-launched ships. So Spheres launched pre-beta and flown since then aren’t factored in… but on the other hand, it isn’t quite fair to compare usage, popularity, and survivability between the Sphere/AVG when the AVG hasn’t even been available to play for most of the past year. Also, the sample size is small since only ships launched in the past month or so are being counted. (or 90 days on the hotlist) Take all of that for what it’s worth.
Personally, I think the AVG is performing quite well.
The AVG gains a torp once every 6 seconds and has to save cloak for emergency’s like br-1k’s and br-2k’s. So you’re basically flying around torpless and afraid to cloak.
Nothing stopping you from buying torps on occasion, and 50 seconds of cloak is probably more than it needs, tbh. In terms of strategy, think of it as a sort of II-A.. except more robust. I’ve found it quite easy to keep alive and more than capable of killing every bot I targeted in the hour I played it. In fact, using the AVG-IX, I placed in the Top 10″ for 5 of the categories listed on the stats page:
- #10 for DmgGiven/Second (1-9 occupied by a D-10 and 8 JHs)
- #4 for GoldEarned/Second (behind a DY, an ACR, and a JH)
- #1 for DmgGiven/Conflict (leading the #2 ship by more than 1,000)
- #1 for GoldEarned/Conflict (with 1,153 per cfl – I wasn’t being particularly selective of my targets.)
- #6 for DmgRcvd/Conflict (This is a “Hall of Shame” listing, but it really speaks to the fact that I survived having 100+ damage and likely wouldn’t have survived, had I been flying a less durable class)
[update] I just noticed that after 20+ conflicts, Pete’s AVG-IX is #2 in the game for DmgGiven/DmgReceived ratio… How is this thing not good enough?
The borg cube is supposed to be AWESOME…
1: The Borg AVG-IX is not a Cube
2: The AVG-IX is awesome
I would ask you to reconsider your position on the AVG. Are you asking me to fix an under-powered, unbalanced ship, or are you really asking for some supercharged uber-ship? (which would detract from the game’s balance)
To be perfectly honest, after flying the AVG for an hour in its current state, I’m actually considering the possibility that it’s overpowered. It was a blast to fly and I could see it quickly becoming a top-tier ship if the other players catch on…