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.
|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|