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A Treatise On the Progen Sentinel

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A Treatise on the Progen Sentinel
by Pakkrat

I have played Earth & Beyond both during the 2002-2004 EA Games Live and 2012-2013 Stress Test 4 and Emulator Live. My 'main' toon is the Progen Sentinel and was my first avatar played when the Emulator went live in October 2012. Since then, I maintain that, contrary to the beliefs of some, that the Progen Sentinel is a valuable, almost indispensable addition to any group, mining operation, or raid. A graduate of Sentinel Agrippa Technologies has also enhanced my mastery of the class.

This document will hopefully shed light on why Sentinels should not be downplayed. It will be seen to break through certain misconceptions that the player-base has shown in the past. If you, reader, feel I am right in my thinking, then this document is superfluous. This is to correct those who have told me in the past that they would never invite a Progen Sentinel to a high-end Earth & Beyond Raid event.

Misconception 1 - The Sentinel cannot Tank.
Misconception 2 - The Sentinel does not deliver enough damage in a group.
Misconception 3 - The Sentinel does not heal.
Misconception 4 - The Sentinel is a poor choice for solo play.

The Progen Sentinel in an Explorer class. With the best Hull values, Shield values and Reactor capacities, even Megan, the game's representative, is correct in stating that the Sentinel is one of the most self-sufficient classes in the world of Earth & Beyond.

It has been alluded though not verbally that the Progen Sentinel has an odd appearance or structural aesthetic. I beg to differ in that the Sentinel look akin to the great sailing ships of the pre-Industrial Age and that its configuration may look strange and out of place in the Crystal Age of sleek, aerodynamic and acrobatic vessels, it hardly matters in the vacuum of space. Aesthetically, Sentinel players find the ship elegant, exotic, gallant and grandiose as any Sabine Order craft should.

The typical position in groups that a Sentinel occupies is the 'driver' the pilot who controls the positioning of the entire group. He is on the front line with the Progen Warrior and the Progen Privateer by default over other Explorers and even Traders. This is so because of the need to put projectile weapon-users as close to incoming mobs as possible. The back ranks are delegated to missile-users, healers and other supplementary vessels. The increased Scan skill and the Sentinel's activated and equipped 'buffs' allow for greater vision range than any other Progen while in the driver position. He is the toughest set of eyes in a group. With level IX shields such as the Crimson Force Barrier or the Skirmish Omega, the Sentinel can Tank, given healers do their job even nominally. It is rare that a Sentinel can hold 'aggro' for very long and even then, the Sabine Order can bow out politely through the use of its Power Down skill, (detailed below).

The Sentinel suffers in only two places which I will cover one now. It is not the fastest ship in the selection. It may only install Engines of up to level VIII. This is hardly applicable in combat, mining or raids. In any group, warp speed is not needed accept in running trade routes. Thrust, or 'impulse' speeds may be important to get from point A to point B especially in gravity wells to the area that needs attention of an explorer or any other class. There are classes like Progen Warrior that prefer not to move in a battle, standing their ground. This nullifies any need for speed in group play. Many of the Engines that a Sentinel utilizes offers a wide range of buffs that aid in the self-sufficient roles that a Sentinel covers.

The Reactors a Progen Sentinel may bring to bear reaches all the way to level VIII which, given the various Reactors available is more than enough to empower a Sentinel to do its job in any role, solo, mining, group or raid. With the usage of the Martyr's Heart VII (covered again later), the Sentinel suffers very little in the way of energy except in the heat of a raid where it must do a balancing act that is aided by other devices (also touched upon later).

Weapons used by the Progen Sentinel are the same used by those of the Progen Warrior and the Progen Privateer. Thus comparison of weaponry at level IX is redundant. There is some Sentinel-centric weaponry at levels VII and VIII with weapons such as the Graverobbers' Scythe and the Ichor Cannon to name a couple. Compared to the other explorers, the Sentinel is the only vessel that sports four mounts, a Repulsor Field (touched upon again later), and has the widest variety of ammunition types. Impact, Explosive, Chemical, Plasma, and even Energy (per Zenrei Cannon) are available. This adds to the Sentinel's self-sufficiency and its versatility. This reaches beyond the ranges of beam weapons and most missile weapons.
With the efficiency of many of the weapons the Sentinel uses, (Agrippa's Flechette Omega covered later), the Sentinel is able to maintain a stream of weapons fire with its four mounts and still make use of its devices dynamically.
The only detail the Sentinel suffers is the lack of ability to manufacture its own ammunition which outside of solo play, mining and hulking, group and raids, is redundant and not worth mentioning. This is supported by the fact that at anytime between such events the Progen Sentinel can acquire normal ammunition from vendors or ask other pilots to fashion its ammunitions by the stacks. During an event the mid-sized cargo capacity allows for plenty of supply on hand.

The Devices category is where the Sentinel shines in the hands of a pilot that is unafraid to change them even during battle. Most vessels perform pre-event buff session in the minutes beforehand. Then they ride out the event with the same load-out. The Sentinel is an exercise in dynamic device use, before and during the event. This play style is for the multitasking pilot who can lay down offensive fire while re-tasking her Device slots. This is especially true between waves of mobs in a raid. It is here that the many roles of the Sentinel can be taken advantage.
Before an event, the Progen Sentinel can help any group prepare for what lies ahead in its various buffs Devices. With a little research on the event's mobs, a Sentinel pilot can raise the deflections (Deflects) of the entire group in addition to pre-existing numbers from equipped systems with Devices such as: Armadillo Plate, Elephant Hide, Chameleon Skin and so on. After the entire group is so buffed, the chosen Devices can be put into cargo and only used if the raid takes longer than planned. Other pre-event buffs can include shield capacity increases from systems like the Drone Shield Amplifier. This can be done in under two minutes time with the help of a Martyr's Heart Device. This is preemptive healing of a sort and one of three ways the Progen Sentinel is a healer class.
While driving under the influence of increased scan range from equipped and activated Devices, the Sentinel can see the correct mobs to target. This allows the group to choose the Sentinel's target long before they can see the incoming mob.
Once the targeted mob comes into range, it is the goal of the Versatile to engage de-buffing devices that lower a target's resistances and deflections via Devices such as Basilisk, Salamander, Cassel's Wither, Skirmish Omega in addition to others' usage of similar de-buffs. This is taken advantage of by second or third groups who are firing upon the same de-buffed mob. All groups then deliver extra damage when firing upon that target. This added damage, contrary to popular belief, is attributed back to the Sentinel with every shot that lands. When multiplied across the various incoming ships firing upon the de-buffed target, the damage the Sentinel delivers is quite cumulative. The added damage is not the merit of the group or raid member who is firing. It belongs to the Sentinel's credit though attained aggravation, or 'aggro', is still given to the vessel firing in the first place. Many an event has completed faster with these de-buffs successful use on every targeted mob encountered. At level IX, the added damage is the Sentinels compounded by the fact that the Sentinel herself is still firing her own weapons.
There are Devices and other systems that offer increased damage on the Sentinel's weapons or on a targeted group member. The Skirmish Omega (an Agrippa Shield) adds increased projectile force which is cumulative with other Devices that add a certain percentage of outgoing damage. Ancient Artifacts, or 'aa' Devices such as the aa Gahtu Y and the aa Gahtu Daimo Y are two examples of such cumulative damage additions. This taxes the Sentinel's reactor power, so it behooves the pilot to use the Skirmish Omega personally while giving the major damage-dealers such as the Progen Warrior the activated buffs of the 'aa' Devices. Again, this extra damage is attributed to the Sentinel, not the recipient. The buffs spurts should be done as often as the reactor allows in conjunction with the replenishing Martyr's Heart upon the Reactor. A helpful hint for Sentinels is to watch the fellow group member and activate the buff when they are firing and then notify the recipient of such. This also occurs while the Sabine Order Sentinel is still firing her own weapons.
If there is room and the Device is ready, the Martyr's Heart is usable upon fellow group members such as the healer(s). This is a boon of the Sentinel and any other owner of the Device to the healer. It can happen during the firefight or between mob waves.
Between mob waves in a raid is an excellent time for the Progen Sentinel to come to the rescue of group members. The Restore and Refresh Devices serve to increase the shield regeneration of the ally while the healers continue to use their Recharge Shields skills. This cuts down on the energy use of the healers in preparation of the next wave. It is the second type of healing that the Sentinel delivers.
There are passive and equipped Devices the Sentinel can take advantage to further increase their individual damage. An example is the Titan's Heart device. This allows for all the onboard weapons to further increase outgoing damage. Such stacks with activated buffs from aforementioned Devices. This technique is especially useful in solo play.

With Devices installed, the Sentinel makes an excellent looter-position raid member. Harpy, Roc, Golden Tooth, to name a few make the Sabine Order an ideal clean-up crew to reduce the amount of objects clouding the field of battle. These Devices are added to the Sentinel's Power Down skill to make stealthy cleaning safer as she flies about looting corpses for the raiders.

Several skills brought to the table by the Progen Sentinel further aid solo or group events. The foremost of these skills is the dreaded Repulsor Field, the singular providence of the Sabine Order. Since the Repulsor Field is usable on all group members, any retributive damage upon mobs from hits upon group members is 'absolute' damage and is attributed to the Sentinel and not the recipient vessel of the Field. When activated over the group's Tank, the top damage-dealer and the healer(s), the Repulsor Field makes enemies pay for all damage they inflict upon the group. This is yet another source of outgoing damage and cannot be deflected as it is 'absolute'. Since the Repulsor Field can be utilized outside of a group, an entire raid can be layered in the skill, furthering the damage output of the single Sentinel driving a single group.
Though not as powerful as the Progen Warrior's Gravity Link, the Sentinel version is just as capable at slowing a target, paralyzing lesser mobs and de-buffing the target's Impact deflection. This skill use de-buff is cumulative with the activated de-buffs of aforementioned Devices. Gravity Link de-buffs the target for all incoming Impact damage and thus that extra is attributed to the skill-user though the base damage is the providence of the original damage-dealer. Another way for the Sentinel to shine as the Gravity Link is very cheap in terms of expended power. Coupled with the Sentinel-only Deadly Grasp, the Gravity Link beam spools faster and has greater effect, possibly beyond that of the Progen Warrior. The only difference is that the Area Gravity Link power allows for more affected targets via the Warrior's version.
Critical Targeting skill is found on only one explorer-class vessel, the Sentinel. While other explorers may compensate with Devices such as the level VIII Good Fortune or weaponry that features the buff, the Sentinel is the explorer that enjoys the buff above and beyond the others, adding the bonus to percentage of delivering critical hits. The Sentinel adds this to her damage dealt as all weapons fire, whether in solo or group play. Again this occurs without draining the ship's reactor as a passive benefit.
Though all explorer craft can use Jumpstart skill to revive incapacitated ships, the Sentinel makes use of Devices such as the Tactical Advantage Omega to spool the derelict back into action faster. The Device is usable by other classes as well. As a free agent in a raid and using the Power Down skill, the Sentinel is an untouchable medic on the field of battle. While others may use cloaking skills, we repeatedly find mobs that can use See Cloaked buffs such as the Skirmish Omega shield. Power Down surpasses that buff and hides in plain sight the Sentinel.
The many benefits and applications of the Power Down skill have been touched on above. It is of massive effect at higher levels to help a Progen Sentinel recover midway through a fight, whether soloing or in groups. A Sentinel can even initiate a looting action, loot an object and re-Power Down if her timing is on par.
More for use in solo or small-unit tactics is the fearsome mastery of the Sentinel's Menace above and beyond the Progen Privateer's version. With the Skirmish Omega installed, a Menace can take the edge off any battle for a time. Using Area Menace can take the load off the healers in a group and allow them time to recover their reactors as the Tanks stop taking damage. Menace precludes at higher levels, the target mob's skills usage. This makes the Sentinel a crowd-control class as well above the Fold Space skill of other races because the mob may still use skills and long-range weaponry.

In Earth & Beyond, a ship's Shield system and the various Devices are valuable. So, the Progen Sentinel's Build Shields and Build Devices skills are quite valuable to both herself as a user of such systems but all other classes have need of Shields as a survival necessity. A ship cannot leave dock without a shield installed.

As of this treatise, the special Progen Token missions of the Agrippa Technologies line offer the Progen Republic a substantial leg up when it comes to systems and Devices that focus even further the capabilities of their three classes. A user of all the systems, the Sentinel compounds his effectiveness when all of the Agrippa systems are installed. They work together to make the vessel very efficient. The Flechette adds to Reactor recharge. Tactical Advantage Omega adds to many of the Sentinel's actions (see above). The Ambush Reactor line at level VIII is used by the Sentinel to reduce Device energy requirements, furthering the dynamic changes and balancing act a professional Sabine works. A substantial boon is the Skirmish Omega Shield, which is both powerful in capacity and recharge, but also in its activated and equipped buffs.

A final word about the Progen Sentinel. While it is the most versatile and self-sufficient class in Earth & Beyond, it takes practice and hand-eye coordination to fully master the class. Switching Devices and activating skills might take the place of weapons on the Heads-Up Display's Action Bar. The faster a Sentinel pilot can activate skills or systems and re-install Devices, the more it can aid itself or the group(s).
While I do not profess that the Sentinel is the best class in the game, it can be the class that lasts with activities (read: Things To Continue Doing) beyond Overall Level 150 as other classes close down their sustainability. A Jenquai Explorer may find a task of mining and the occasional taxi service using its Wormhole skill. A Sentinel can continue to aid other pilots outside combat and events with the beloved Call Forward skill, allowing itself and other pilots further mutable modification of their classes. Mining continues beyond 150 as well and there's always treasure hunting the hulks of the galaxy. Warriors hunt. Traders trade, but the Progen Sentinel does them all at end-game. Thus, my choice of the Sentinel as my 'main' toon as it can be enjoyed even after the end-game benchmark.

Disclaimer: I do approach this treatise from the end-game point of view because that is where most multi-ship groups and raids prefer any of their members. Valuing Overall Level 150 of all members except the 'Looter', makes all events a benchmark goal to complete the event. In levelling up a Sentinel, I still enjoyed the class, mission, activities, and quests for advanced skills like the Call Forward. I feel that the Sentinel is an upper-echelon class to enjoy at all levels due to its versatility and self-sufficiency.


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As a solo player, I can't attest to the Sentinel's use on a team. But I have always felt that along with the Terran Enforcer, the Sentinel was the most versatile and self-sufficient class in the game. I played the game Live for two years before I tried out my first Progen, primarily because I disliked the character designs. But once I gave them a try, the Progen Sentinel quickly rose to become one of my favorite classes. Like you, I find the ship itself to be beautiful, its "solar sails" make it look like some of the old concept art I have seen from the heyday of the space program, and to me, it looks like the penultimate "miner". In the intro to the game, it is the Progen Sentinels that we see mining asteroids, and to me, they are the stereotypical "prospector", the old forty-niner living out in the wild and working his claim. Unlike the Explorer, who is more concerned with seeking the stars and exploring the unknown.

 

The only drawback to the Sentinel as a solo player is its inability to make its own ammunition, and even in that, with a partnership with a Trader (and honestly, who here in the emulator doesn't have a Trader on their own account they can pair with a Sentinel?) making ammo and providing the ore for it is easy. I've never had to settle for vendor bought since I started playing here. It would be even better if trade between other players could be as easy as that trade between your own, but hey, beggars can't be choosers here. :D

 

Your treatise may mean much in encouraging folks to play the class, and to invite them to their teams, but for me, I'm sold just on the concept alone. Not that each of the classes don't have their attractions, but there is nothing wrong with the Sentinel.

Edited by Dragoncove

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Having played the PE a bit in late live, I'd agree she was a pretty fun class to play.  It's good to see someone give the PE a fair hearing.  I'm not exactly partial to how their ships look, but I do have one, and she'll get more play over time, especially as my other characters are better able to support her, because she's a miner. (they already have most of the skills.  They just need to work on build quality & recipe lists)  The addition of the PT has to also make life easier for the PE, and Progen in general, because now nearly all of the Sparta reactors can be player made.

 

On Agrippa, which is the best one for her to do?  My PE is fairly early in her life, and I do intend to do at least one branch on her, but I'm not sure whether I should go with Devices, since she's the only Progen that can build them, or shields?  I'm slightly more inclined to say devices, since my PT can cover shields if need be.

 

The animal skin devices, to boost deflects, can be used by all explorers. (they're GETCo devices)  It might be a good idea for the explorers to divide the work of buffing players with these devices. (no changes to the devices themselves, but explorers prior to a raid, agree on which ones each will bring)  IMO, since the number of classes outnumber the maximum number of group members, we should at least consider waiving any group member requirements on support devices.  I agree on swapping devices, I do the same on my JE, and sometimes my JT.

 

Don't forget that when the MCP comes, if it's done like the original game, the PE will be able to earn the ability to make her own Threaded Archos ammo.  This will help her.  The JE gets the Gaze of Amah, and both can make the Gaze of the Martyr (the L8 version of the Gaze of Amah).  It's the Scout that would lose out, without additional rewards.

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@ Terrell,

Because it was my main and first vessel, I did not have much help with my poor, starting Collegia Faction. I had to level up the Sentinel all the way to OL 100 before my Faction was high enough to begin Agrippa. My advice is to do both Agrippa Shields and Devices as they feed into each other at times. It will make the Sentinel a valued manufacturer of the systems and the special components that go into the systems.
My advice for your Privateer is to focus on Agrippa Components because the Sentinel will need the Hull Mesh Laminate III component to build many times many Security Optimal Override Alpha IV Devices. Then if you're feeling snarky, you can do Agrippa Shields on the Privateer.
And let's all remember to begin Agrippa before Hull Upgrade 135 as the backdoor missions through Kenlz/Growlz have hit a snag of no fault of Agrippa line of missions. By the time Der Todesengel, Ardus and Roc re-open, this little hiccup will become canon.

Live from Nostrand Vor, this is the Pakkrat. Edited by Pakkrat

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Thanks for the advice, Pakkrat.   I hadn't thought of doing Agrippa Components on Tera, since my JT is my component builder.  Will have to do a little skill rearrangement to my PT but thanks to the PE that can be done.  All my Progen characters are under L100, so I haven't missed the opportunity.  Only my PT has TL45 of my Progen characters.

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Does anyone remember way back in original beta, the Progen Sentinel had Drones for a skill?

I remember there not being any graphics yet, and the skill got nuked early.

Does anybody else remember this or am I nuts?

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Yeah I recall in late ST there was something like that... I didn't play PS for very long back then, but I remember it was removed either early in Live or right before.

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There were drones, used them in closed beta, were removed in open beta just before live.

Been so long now I can't remember what they did, think they ran off and mined,,, nope can't remember

 

I use my PS now more than my PW,  and in live a PS could build a archos ammo building device and make 200% archos ammo

don't know if that is going to be added in the emu tho, hope so

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Sentinel could earn the ability to build Archos ammo through the Mars Construction Project.  If the MCP has all the rewards in emulator that it did in EnB Origins, then the PE will be able to make it when the storyline advances to the point that the MCP would become available.   There may have been more than one Threader device that the PE could use, but I'm not sure there. 

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Yea I remember the drones going out and mining for a certain distance and getting attacked, then sending out drones to protect the miners.

The PS was my first character in beta and when they did the next wipe and removed the drones i was disappointed to say the least.

I never played a PS again after that. Stuck to my JE and had a good PW.

I started playing the PS recently on an alt and I like it. Still miss the drones though. The Drones are still in the Build Terminal but haven't seen a use for them ever again.

Oh well, thanks for letting me know I wasn't nuts. :)

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Amendment: February 13, 2015

As of this post, the Progen Sentinel has been given the Skill: Build Ammunition. This now, at least in my opinion, makes the Sentinel the most self-sufficient and secure Explorer class in the game. Building 200% ammunition as one rises through overall levels is that much more secure and safe to do now that targets of the Progen Sentinel will die all the faster. This inherent weakness (aside from max Engine Tech VIII) of the class has been eradicated. There should now be zero reason why a Sentinel can't be a explorer class you can do without in a Raid or other complex target's group.

So, now powerlevelling is even easier with the Progen Sentinel. Dust off yours from the shelf today! The Sabine Order needs you!

From the esteemed halls of Porvenir Mons, this is the Pakkrat.

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Pakkrat, your first post in this thread is an *EPIC* read!

 

I lived and breathed every word.

 

Not just the technical detail about being a Sentinel, but the grace with which you use the English language.

 

The Sentinel was my first character, and was the character I was singed off with, at Mars Beta, when the Plug Was Pulled.

 

Absolutely loved your superbly written piece.

 

Peace,

 

Holyman

Edited by Holyman

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