EVE: Valkyrie's Warzone expansion brought with it plenty of changes, with new ships, new maps and the new Extraction mode being the most prominent, but perhaps the change that's brought the biggest impact to the game has been the introduction of Ultras.
Love them or hate them – and it can be difficult to love them when your hot killing streak is cut short by a Mjolnir up the exhaust port – they've become a pivotal part of every Warzone match. You can't deny that there's a little surge of excitement when you pick up that last bit of salvage and you're rewarded with the 'Ultra online' announcement.
When to use that freshly-earned Ultra, though? They’re still new enough that in the heat of battle you can easily forget that you have an Ultra ready to go, and miss your opportunity. And the other scenario is that you're well aware that you have an Ultra burning a hole in your pocket, and you end up wasting it at completely the wrong time.
To save you from both of these situations, we've consulted with some of the experts in the forums and put together a guide that'll help you get the full potential out of your Ultras. We've split them into three groups – buffs, nerfs and blasts – with advice on when's the best time to break them out.
The biggest group of ultras are the ones that give you – or your teammates – a helpful boost. Use them wisely.
Jackal: Matter Injection
We reckon that one of the most exciting bits in Warzone is when you're playing Extraction, manage to grab the relic and have to race for the drop-off point with a reduced capacitor. If you're flying a Jackal this is the perfect time to activate its Matter Injection; light it up, lock down the boost and sprint for home!
Strix: Remove Plasma Vent
Weapon overheat – and the wait for cooldown – inevitably hits you at the wrong time. There's nothing worse than your guns cutting out in Carrier Assault when a cooling node's down to 20% and you're getting sprayed with carrier flak; the Strix's Ultra lets you keep on firing and get out safely.
The Yurei's Ultra is a great all-rounder, delivering increased weapons damage that's useful in any situation. Save it for when those kills really count, though – holding on to control points in Control or Carrier Assault, protecting the relic-holder in Extraction, or when you find yourself in the thick of an enemy swarm in Team Deathmatch.
Banshee: Fate's Call
If there's one time in Warzone where getting killed is a matter of course, it's when you're attacking the enemy carrier in Carrier Assault. And that's the perfect time for the Banshee to unleash its ultra and give all nearby teammates a shield recharge; it might only prolong the inevitable, but that can still mean some extra cooling nodes destroyed.
With its self-repair tertiary the Vulcan's built to survive; when it activates its Ultra, it becomes temporarily invulnerable. Save it for those occasions when you know you're going to get shot at, lots – attacking a carrier, defending vulnerable control points or escorting a precious relic.
Hydra: Specter's Bond
Just like the Vulcan, the Hydra's Ultra enables it to laugh in the face of enemy fire for a short while. Use it in the same situations as the Cocoon, and take advantage of your brief indestructibility to line up some devastating Rail Cannon shots.
Nagi: Radiant Burst
The Nagi's support Ultra is similar to the Banshee's; rather than recharge shields, it'll give nearby teammates a vital hull repair. So again, break it out when your side's going to get shredded, and help bring down that carrier a little quicker.
Instead of giving yourself or teammates a boost, why not give the other side a bad day? These nerfs will make them wish they'd spend another five minutes in the clone vats.
Medusa: Death's Grasp
None of these Ultras do any direct damage, but they leave anyone hit by them wide open to a severe kicking. The Medusa's will strip the shields of enemy ships; perfect for when you need to turn the tide of a Team Deathmatch, or seize control points in Control or Carrier Assault. Just make sure you have lots of teammates nearby to take advantage of it!
Scarab: Void Storm
The Scarab's Void Storm is an EMP bomb that'll disable enemies for a short time; hit them with it when they're in range of your carrier's gun emplacements, or when they're holding a control point and your team needs help taking out their drones.
Similar to the Void Storm, the Corvus's Silence will briefly stun enemy ships, so hit it in similar situations. There's also a lot to be said for blasting a relic-holder when they're about to get to the delivery point, and enabling your team to get in a last-second steal.
When all else fails, break out a big bang. If you enjoy big explosions, these Ultras will never fail to please.
No matter how tempting it might seem, the Mjolnir's too good to waste on a single kill. If you're playing Team Deathmatch, wait until your target's surrounded by teammates so you can catch them all with blast damage. And in Carrier Assault, try to hold onto it until the enemy core's exposed, then offload it to seal an epic victory.
Kirin: Dragon's Thorn
The Kirin's sticky bomb is another way to take out a few enemies in one go when you need to even up the score in Team Deathmatch; if you’re up against a well-organized team in a game of Extraction, it's also a great tool for wrecking their escort plans and stealing that relic.
Shadow: Violent Whisper
With its cloaking tech and ruinous nova bomb, the Shadow's made for sneaking in and dropping a parcel of instant death. So as with the Mjolnir, try to unleash it in the middle of a swarm of enemy ships – before getting out fast. And while it's maybe a little unsporting to creep unseen into a carrier and drop it right next to the core, it'll definitely get results.
One final tip
Thanks to spookies118, Scruff75 and asdy for their Ultra advice; we'd just like to leave you this brilliant tip from Nydwen that we guarantee will change your life if you're playing on PC. First, you'll need to be flying a Hydra or Vulcan. Once its Ultra has charged, wait for the right moment, then activate – you'll have 10 seconds to alt-tab out of the game to change your tunes and then get back into the action. "It's not quite a game changer," he says, "but it is literally a music changer."
You can't argue with that. However you use them, make the most of those Ultras and fly safe!