It’s only been like a week, and already a meta has evolved in Railjack missions. There’s literally no way around it though, due to the fact that each Empyrean mission is time-consuming and very hectic, even if you have a full crew of MR 27-28 players. With so much going on, you need everyone to do their tasks and do them well. Luckily though, it’s very easy to arrange a group into their respective roles.
From what I’ve seen so far, there’s four main roles. One person focuses on flying; one person rushes around repairing things and occasionally shoots things in their spare time on the side guns; and two people working as the away crew, dealing with crewships and anything that requires entering and destroying.
Really, the roles are all quite simple.
The away team fly around on their Archwings, getting the main objectives done. This mostly consists of launching oneself at a nearby crewship, heading inside, blowing up the reactor and getting out again. On higher levels, this will also involve destroying asteroid bases and ship-killing stations with massive guns on them, generally by blowing up various power cores and hacking things. The people in their Archwings are also the guys who pick up (or at least mark) most of the loot, because Railjacks are actually kinda slow and cumbersome.
The engineer role (at least that’s what I’ve seen most people calling it) is probably the most hectic role because you’re doing two jobs at once – you’re jumping into the gunner seats and shooting down enemy fighters and you’re rushing around repairing things, as well as building things in the forge, like extra magical omni repair gel. While it’s very hectic, it’s also very rewarding as it gives the most Intrinsics (what you use to level up your four ranks of piloting, gunning, tactical and engineering) compared to the other roles. You can also learn the engineer role really easily, because all you really need is your Omni, the ability to patch holes, a good weapon to deal with invaders and to remember to not refine all your leftover materials until the very end of the mission when everything’s dead.
Piloting on the other hand is the hardest role, mainly if it’s your ship you’re flying. Before you’ve leveled up your ship, the Railjack is slow and does very little damage and takes a huge amount of damage, and it’s a very expensive grind to make your ship more viable for combat. But piloting has a secondary issue in that it’s pretty slow and you spend a lot of time either looking for crewships to slingshot the away team to, or trying to get away from the slews of enemies that all seem to have way better guns than you do.
Flying your ship though does get a lot better as you level things up, get a better weapons and get better engines that actually go slightly faster, as well as a speed boost. Although I’m not sure why my speed boost is currently bound to CAPSLOCK of all things. Upgrading your Avionics (ship mods) though is vital, as that’s where all your health and shields and stuff are. Flying around in an upgraded railjack is so, so much more satisfying than flying in an unmodded one.
All that being said, I’ve only actually taken my own railjack into missions… once. Because the stats, weapons and all that of the railjack used in any mission depends on who is hosting, and I tend to not want to host because of my mediocre internet connection…
Oh well. At least my ship will be ready when I do eventually take it out.