I needed something to do, so I'm writing an honest perspective of every ship I've ever flown. This isn't factual or based on numbers, this is all just opinions. Furthermore, I will be going in alphabetical order, not the actual order I've flown them in, because I'm too lazy to remember the sequence.
The reason I say flown and not just every ship is because I have not yet flown every ship in the game. In fact, I've never even owned an empire or federation ship. I mostly stuck to Faulcon DeLacy, and a little bit of Core Dynamics, with some Lakon mixed in.
I'm rambling again, aren't I? Without further ado, let's begin with the Adder.
TL;DR: I didn't really like the adder. I understand what it's supposed to be, but for me personally, it just feels like a so-so ship in all regards. Definitely not bad, and I'd take it over a Sidewinder (which is not an insult, mind you!), but I feel the adder has a niche, and that niche wasn't tailored for me.
I actually bought the Adder very late. I decided to buy an Adder so that I could understand exactly what I was getting my friend when/if they decide to buy Elite Dangerous. I have a rule that I will never recommend something I haven't flown, so since I had a couple million credits to spare, I bought an adder, and tested it out in all fields – since it's a multipurpose ship.
In trade, it's a solid early choice, and I will not contest that. In terms of sheer capacity, it's a huge jump above the Sidey, and that makes all the difference early on. Combined with better armor and an extra beefy hardpoint, I can definitely see why traders would make the Adder an early priority: it's a Hauler on steroids.
In combat, I've found that the Adder underperforms (for me personally). It's a nimble ship, so I outfitted it with fixed weapons (railguns and beams), and yet, I found it incredibly difficult to keep your target tracked, even with hitscan weapons. Pair that with hilariously mediocre shields, and I personally saw it as a struggle to keep the Adder viable in a combat scenario, even in a low-risk resource site. Perhaps early on, when Pirates aren't as tough and NPCs aren't nearly as smart, it has some utility, but when I flew it, I just didn't see it.
Aesthetically, I think the Adder is pretty ugly. I typically don't judge a ship too much on its looks alone, but I wasn't super eager to fly the ship. Furthermore, I absolutely hate offset cockpits, and the Adder is no exception. It was a chore to get used to where the seat was, and I hated how everything was offset to the left, for no reason! Just put the seat behind the first one!
As an exploration ship, the Adder isn't awesome. Even if you engineer the absolute bejesus out of it, it underperforms when compared to its bigger exploration brothers, the ASP and Diamondback series. Especially since I had to think about this without engineering, since my friend would be new at first, the Adder just doesn't hold up. It's a stepping stone to better ships.
That said, it's perfect for what it's supposed to be: when I compare it to the Sidewinder, Eagle, and Hauler, the Adder eclipses all of them, for different reasons – and that's exactly the point. It has significantly more firepower than all of the above, better hauling capabilities, better armor, and significantly better jump range, even without engineering. Perhaps a lot of my issues with this ship come from it having been purchased when I already owned 11 ships, as opposed to when I was still getting started. In my head, I can't stop comparing it to the very first ship I purchased – a Viper Mk IV – and when I do so, I just continue to feel grateful that I saved up and got that absolute gem of a ship.
To put it in simpler terms: I flew the Adder far too late. I didn't get to enjoy the Adder's charm on earlier players as I had simply been playing for too long, and I hadn't even been playing that long at all! Once I embraced the Viper life, I could never go back, and unfortunately, that bled into my opinion with the Adder. "The Viper has much better thrusters." "God I wish I had a second medium hardpoint." "These shields are crap." "These internals are way too small." I could go on. I did nearly nothing but complain about the Adder while flying it, but somewhere while writing this I realized that this ship wasn't built for me, and maybe it never was. Perhaps in the right hands, with a pilot who appreciates the Adder and what it can do, as opposed to can't, the Adder is superior to more than just the base 3 starting ships.
But, I am not that pilot, and the Adder is not my ship.
In any case, to the few people who read this, thank you for sticking around. If nothing else, I hope you enjoyed a little light reading, and you'll probably see a post from me tomorrow. Next up is the Anaconda – like I said, I'm going in Alphabetical order!
Stay Safe, Fly Dangerous. o7
P.S. I didn't really know how to flair this. If you have a better suggestion, I'll gladly change it.