M3+s didn’t need the help of XRM to really come into their own -- they were born that way from Egosoft. Sure, it might be slower than an M3, but with more than 100MJ of shielding (for a few races, upwards of and including 200MJ total) and correspondingly higher shield generators, and a similarly increased weapons reactor, they more than make up for it in raw power. While they do not have the across-the-board agility increase that M4+s have over M4s, there are two noticeable exceptions to the rule -- the Argon Eclipse, and the Teladi Kea, both of which also outstrip other races’ M3+ shielding by at least 50MJ, causing them to be the virtual leaders of the class so far as the Commonwealth races go.

But agility will be a moot issue, because M3+s may very well be your first introduction to a neat toy -- the forward turret. Every M3+ possesses a forward turret, which can chew away at enemies within its substantial range of motion, and with the right scripts (MARS, for example, and if you’re using XRM, don’t forget the compatibility patch), you can have it switching between PACs for maximum range and PRGs for maximum power as you maneuver against your opponents.

As a Player's ShipEdit

While it only has two hardpoints by default, the forward turret will often be able to quickly clear away M5s and take out M4s with a little help of your player-controlled main battery, allowing you to focus your time, effort, and weapon energy on whittling away M3s. Your Death Star trench run fantasies where you take on an angry M7 with your bare hands are also more easily recreatable using an M3+, as it can take a bit more punishment than an M3 -- bear in mind, of course, that you will also be getting hit more often since you move slower.

As an AI carrier-launched fighter or wingmanEdit

As far as close-in carrie-borne starfighters go, the M3+ is probably the superlative -- the shielding is strong enough for even X3’s questionable AI to keep alive for long enough to do damage, and with the amount of power available to them, M3+s can do a lot of damage, being even more useful for making attempts on capital ships than M3s. Beware, though, that they will lag behind their faster cousins, so unless you have the right carrier command scripts going to keep them in check, a wing of M3+s may very well decide that chasing after a flock of enemy M4s is more useful than taking out the M3s having their way with the mothership.

Sortable ListEdit

M5 Scouts
Name Race Class Speed Accel Steering Hull Shields Shield Reactor Turrets Laser Cap Laser Rchg. Cargo Cargo Class Hangar Price
Buster Argon M4 1320 80 120 2000 2 x 1MJ 1000 0 10,000 500* 35 S 0 Not for sale
Mako Boron M4 427.8 202 60.7 900 2 x 1MJ 75 0 1,350 34 15 S 0 73,732
Kha'ak Interceptor Kha'ak M4 354.6 314 67.5 600 3 x 1MJ 100 0 600 15 27 S 0 Not for sale
Pericles Paranid M4 375.6 171 60.8 1,000 3 x 1MJ 100 0 550 14 76 S 0 92,561
Scorpion Split M4 469.6 302 54.7 1,600 2 x 1MJ 85 0 1,200 30 30 S 0 133,095
Buzzard Teladi M4 280 85 41.2 1200 1 x 5MJ 65 0 1,000 25 104 S 0 550,949
Sabre Terran M4 458.5 225 57.6 1,300 5 x 1MJ 130 0 5,000 25 100 S 0 61,802
M Xenon M4 360.7 142 80.5 2400 2 x 1MJ 70 0 800 20 62 S 0 Not for sale
Raijin Yaki M4 413.2 189 63.8 1,030 3 x 1MJ 100 0 550 14 87 M 0 211,758