Beginner's Guide to Ship's Power
I was among the first group of Closed Beta testers so I've got a bit of knowledge I can share about a Ship's power and how to squeeze every megawatt of power from the Warp Core. So this is my Beginner's Guide to Ship Power. I'm not going to cover everything about a Starship in details. I'm going to assume you have a basic familiarity your ship. I'm also going to touch upon certain aspect of ship combat that deal with ship's power.
Section I - The Basics
We don't have any power, Captain. Main and Auxiliary power are offline.
First off a ship's power is the foundation for everything you do on your ship. If you don't have any power, you can do nothing at all. Secondly no matter how many terragigahugeunit-watts of power your Warp Core can provide, it's never enough. So you have to distribute power to the subsystems of your ship depending on need.
All of the systems on a ships are divided into 4 groups of Subsystems: Weapons, Shields, Engine, and Auxiliary Systems. Anything that can do direct damage are classified as weapons. Shields (aka Deflector Shields) are your main protection to prevent damage from Weapons. Engine is basically how fast you can travel and how fast the ship can turn. Auxiliary Systems are everything else. It's the Deflector/Tractor Beam (push/pull/hold ships), Emitters (which can buff/debuff targets in various ways), Sensors (how well you can sense other ships or prevent them from seeing you).
Obviously the more power a subsystem has the better they perform. Weapons will do do more damage. Shield will regenerate faster and resist damage better. Engine allows you to travel faster and turn quicker. Auxiliary allow better Buff/Debuff. (Note: Not all Auxiliary Systems are affected by Auxiliary Power settings. But if your Auxiliary Systems power drops to zero, all Auxiliary Systems will not work. The Seaon 1.2 update has made a lot abilites now dependent on Auxiliary Power. Check your abilites/power infomation in the 'P'ower window to see if they are dependent on Auxiliary Systems power.)
How do I power my ship's systems?
I'm glad you asked. You ship is primarily powered by your ship's Warp Core (you know the matter/anti-matter reactor. No? Sigh. The big glowy thing in engineering.) There isn't any real device or item in the game which is a Warp Core. It's an intrinsic part of your ship.
The Base Total Power of you ship is represented by 200 units. You distribute these 200 units to each Subsystem. The rules you have to follow are as follows. You allocate units in groups of 5. And you must allocate at least 25 units to a subsystem. And you can allocate no more then 100 units to a Subsystem. So you could run all four Subsystems at 50. Or one Subsystem at 100, another at 50 and the other two at 25. Or two subsystems at 75 and there other two at 25. Well you get the picture.
How do I manage my ships power?
Your ship's power management console is located to the right of the throttle bar at the bottom center of the screen. Most of the console is taken up by the power displays for each Subsystem. In order, (in order) the indicators are for Weapons, Shield, Engine and Auxiliary Systems. Each indicator shows what the power allocation is set to. And also how much actual power actually is in each Subsystem. (More on this below)
At the top of the console there are 4 buttons which represent 4 default power allocations schemes/modes: Attack, Defense, Speed, and Balanced. (And from now on I will refer to power distributions as 50/50/50/50 which in order are Weapons, Shields, Engine and Auxiliary). Attack profile is for maximum weapon damage and moderate shield regen (100/50/25/25). Defense is maximum shield regenerate and moderate weapons damage (50/100/25/25). Speed is for maximum speed/turning rate and moderate auxiliary systems (25/25/100/50). Balanced is moderate (aka base) performance for each Subsystem (50/50/50/50).
The power distribution console has 3 different display modes. You select the mode by clicking in the icon that looks like tiled windows. Mode 1 is a numeric display for the power indicators. Mode 2 is a bar graph for the power indicators. Mode 3 is a bar graph display as well. But Mode 3 also allows you to manually tweak the power distribution settings. That means you can create custom Power Profiles
Custom Power Profiles
In display mode 3, you can click and drag the power indicators. The other subsystem indicators will change in response. To lock a power settings for a subsystem. Click on the small locks icon on top of the subsystem power indicator. Don't lock more then 2 otherwise you won't be able to change power allocations. These power settings are temporary until changed. You can to save the Power Profile, click on the left icon below the Profile Selector icons. The circular arrow is the reset button to the restore the default values of the current profile.
Power Transfer Rate
When power levels are changes via power allocations, the power levels don't change instantly. Power Transfer Rate is how fast your actual power levels change when you shift power allocations. The default rate is 5 units per second. Power Transfer Rate can be increased certain ship equipment and via the XXXX Captain skill. In battle being able to shift power allocations quickly can sometimes be crucial in combat. (I.E. Your shields are weakening, and another two Cruisers are bearing down on you. You need to go defensive to build shield strength while your teams mates finish off the current group of ships.)
Section II - How do I squeeze some more power from my Warp Core?
A Starfleet Officer with the right training, the right equipment and/or the ship can get more power of their Warp Core and Subsystems. This means that you can actually go above base power level allocated to a Subsystem. You can even go above the normal maximum allocation level 100.
All of the skill power setting bonuses stack with the Equipment and Ship Bonuses. If you take everything together you can have the following examples. An Escort with a +5 power settings Console can run 120/53/32/32 in Attack profile. A Science with a +5 AUX console ould be running be running 53/100/32/47 in Defense profile or 53/53/53/68 in Balanced Mode. A Cruiser with a set of four different consoles, all of the ship power skills and traists could be running 63/63/63/63 in Balanced. In short, you can be a literal powerhouse if you got for it.
Also there is a cap on the usable about of power. Usable total power on a subsystem is capped at 125. You can boost the power level higher then 125, but only 125 is usable.
As I mentioned the type of ship can have more efficient Subsystems which will affect base power settings. These bonuses vary according to the ship type. But they, in general, fall in line with what the ship type is best at.
The right equipment can also increase power settings.
Engineering Consoles There are various Engineering Consoles which can add a bonus to one or more individual Subsystems. The consoles go up to +3 at the highest Marks. If you have the Console slots on the ships, you can have multiple consoles of the same type of Console. The Console bonuses do stack with all other power setting bonus.
Ship Batteries and Related Devices A battery is a comsumable device that can be equipped on your ship. (There are also permanent device, like the Red Matter Capacitor, which can add power to two or more subsystems but aren't consumed. These are treated as batteries) The battery will appear as a Power icon on your hot tray and 'P'owers window. When you use a battery, the appropriate subsystem get's a +75 power setting bonus for 3 seconds. The power amount and duration can be improved with the Power Batteries Captain skill.
Efficient Impulse Engine And I would be negligent if I didn't mention the (rare) Efficient Impulse Engine Mk IV. It's one of the possible rewards in the second half of the "City on the Edge of Never" episodic mission. This Impulse engines adds +3.8 power for Weapons, Shields and Auxiliary Systems.Equipment Sets There are two new Starship equipment sets which give power setting bonuses. I won't go into much detail beyond their power setting bonuses. These equipment sets are different in they give a special bonus for have 2 or more pieces of the set equipped.
Skill Bonuses and Traits
A ships Captain and Bridge Officers with the right training and traits can squeeze more power from the Warp Core and make Subsystems run better. There are Efficiency/Efficient skills and traits which will give power setting bonuses for systems at lower power allocations (i.e. less then power allocation 75). And there are Performance skills which gives a straight power setting bonus to subsystems.
Section III - Power Related Skills
Starship Warp Core Efficiency
Right off there is Starship Starship Warp Core Efficiency. The related traits are the character trait Efficient Captain, the Bridge Officer traiit Efficient and the Joined Trill trait Joined Symbiote. This skill grants power setting bonuses to systems running at low power (i.e. <75). The lesser the power allocation the bigger the bonus will be.
A handy chart.
__|_25_|_50_| |_25_|_50_| |__25_|_50_| |__25_|_50_|
1 | +1 | +0 | | +2 | +1 | | + 3 | +2 | | + 4 | +2 |
2 | +3 | +1 | | +4 | +2 | | + 5 | +2 | | + 5 | +3 |
3 | +5 | +2 | | +5 | +2 | | + 7 | +3 | | + 7 | +5 |
4 | +6 | +3 | | +6 | +3 | | + 8 | +4 | | + 8 | +4 |
5 | +6 | +3 | | +7 | +3 | | + 9 | +4 | | + 9 | +5 |
6 | +7 | +3 | | +8 | +4 | | +10 | +5 | | +10 | +5 |
7 | +8 | +4 | | +9 | +4 | | +10 | +5 | | +10 | +5 |
8 | +8 | +4 | | +9 | +4 | | +10 | +5 | | +11 | +5 |
9 | +9 | +4 | | +9 | +4 | | +11 | +5 | | +11 | +6 |
Due to the lack of formulas for the new skills. I'm using charts to illustrate the numbers.
The first column is the Warp Core Efficiency skill rank. What follows are pairs of columns for the 25 and 50 power allocations. The first pair of columns is based solely on the base Captain skill. The send pair of columns uses the +7.5 bonus for an Efficient Bridge Officer. The third pair of columns uses the +15 bonus for the Efficient Captain trait. The fourth/last pair of columns is the +7.5 and +15 bonus for an Efficient Bridge Officer and an Efficient Captain.
The numbers in the columns pairs are the cumulative power setting bonus. So Rank 6 in Warp Core Efficiency for an Captain with the Efficient Captain trait will get a power setting bonus of +9 for power setting 25 or +5 for a power setting of 50.
Note: The power bonuses progress may see strange and arbitrary. Power bonuses can have factional values (i.e. 2.5). Those factions are added into the values, but are not displayed. The game client displays power settings are integers (not sure if they are truncated or rounded).
Starship Warp Core Potential Skill
The Starship Warp Core Potential skill is the second tier of power skills. The related trait this skill is Warp Core Theorist. Warp Core Potential adds a modest power setting bonus to all subsystem. This skills allows power settings to exceed 100. And like other power setting skills they stack with any other bonus.
A handy chart.
1 | +1 |
2 | +2 |
3 | +3 |
4 | +3 |
5 | +4 |
6 | +4 |
7 | +4 |
8 | +5 |
9 | +5 |
The first column of this chart is the [b]Warp Core Potential[b] skill rank. The second column is the cumulative power setting bonus for that rank.
<Subsystem> Performance Skills
The <Subsystem> Performance skills are quite powerful which is probably why they are Captain and Admiral rank skills. The skills are very expense in terms of skill points. But for the right system and ship, they are priceless.
These skills grant a flat power setting bonus regardless of the power allocation to the subsystem. These skills in every way act like an Engineering Subsystem Power Consoles. These skills will allow power settings to exceed 100. And like other power setting bonuses they do stack with the rest.
1 | +02 |
2 | +04 |
3 | +06 |
4 | +07 |
5 | +08 |
6 | +09 |
7 | +09 |
8 | +10 |
9 | +10 |
The first column is the <Subsystem> Performance skill rank. The second column is the the cumulative power setting bonus for each skill rank. As you can see the Performance skills are quite potent.
Other Miscellaneous Skills
There are other skills which can temporarily boost ship power levels directly or other ship power skills. I won't go into much detail as there are many of the skills, but I will highlight some of the more common skills.
Emergency Power To <Subsystem> skills. In addition to other effects, these skills increase the power setting of the subsystem for 30 seconds. You get all of the benefits of the higher power level.
Note: The Team skills used to provide 30 seconds of various skill bonuses. But with the Season 1.2 update, the duration is how 5 seconds. Five seconds isn't much time for addition power. So I'm dropping the discusion of them my guide.
Where can I see what my bonuses are?
Another good question. One thing very nice includes in the UI improvements is that all of of the passive skills and bonuses you character has are now displayed. They are under the Passive tab of the status window for your character ('hit J' -> Select your -> Status tab). This tab shows ALL of you bonuses including all of those power settings bonuses you get from skills. You'll set the power setting bonuses for each subsystem for each captain skill: i.e. Starships Warp Core Training: Weapons, Weapon System Efficiency, Weapon System Performance, etc. And to top it off, each of the bonuses change in real time as you alter you subsystem power allocations.
Section III - Subsystems and Power and You
Power levels affect the performance of the various subsystems. In general, the higher the power, the better the performance of the system. The general rule of thumb for subsystem power levels is as follows. At power level 25, the system is on, but just barely functional. Power settings 50 is the base performance level of the subsystem (i.e. 1x). Power level of 75 is 2x the base. Power level 100 is 3x the base. And Power level 125 is 4x the base.
Another aspect of Power Transfer Rate is the Weapon subsystem. Energy weapons (i.e. Phaser Array, Dual Beam Arrays, Cannon, etc) draw off of a power capacitor (or energy reservoir) which is also your Weapon Power level. Also the amount of damage your energy weapons do it directly proportional to the current level of Weapon Power. This is a very important part of ship combat management as explained below.
The size of the Weapons Capacitor is your current Weapon power setting. As energy weapons fire they draw energy from the weapons capacitor. You can fire one energy weapon without any pentalty. For every addition energy weapon you fire, it draws 10 energy (This does vary a bit from weapon to weapon) from your Weapon power. For example, if you have Weapon power setting of 100 and you fire 2 Phaser Arrays, that will draw down you Weapon power to 90. Four Phaser Arrays would draw down Weapon Power to 70.
Energy Weapon power drain is also very different from other power drains in the game. Weapon power system drained by weapon fire doesn't return at the Power Transfer Rate. The drained power returns instantly after the fire cycle of a weapon completes. I've tested enhancing the Power Transfer Rate via engineering consoles, Captain Skills and Abilities. There is a slight benefit from having some PTR buff. Weapon's firing cycles drain and restore power so rapidly that any help from PTR is greatly diminished even with PTR buffs into the 600+% range. It does help weapon power from being bottomed out by 5 units when firing lots of enegy weapons. But I don't recommend trying to max out Electro-Plasma Systems and slotting lots of RCS Flow Regulator consoles. It wll not be worth the effots. There are many other consoles you can put into those Engineering Console slots.
Your Deflector Shields (or just Shields) are your primary defence again enemy weapon fire. In general, shields have two basic attributes. First is Capacity. That is the amount of damage that the Shield can absorb. Each shot diminishes the shield's damage capacity. When a shield facing capacity is depleted, your ship's hull is now open to direct weapon damage. The second attribute is Regeneration Rate. This is the rate at shield your shield's damage capacity is replenished.
What does Ships power have to do with shields? Well other than being on, The shield Subsystem power level affects the Shield's Regeneration Rate. At power level 25, the shields are up and provide protection. But there is zero shield regeneration. At power level 50, the shields have their base regeneration rate. At power level 75, the shields have 2x the regeneration rate, and so forth accord to the general rules given above.
A recent change is that shields also have a certain amount of damage resistance vs damage to the shields. This reduces the amount of damage done to the shield itself (i.e it's Capacity as discussed above). This shield damage resistance does not reduce the amount of damage done to the hull. The amount of damage resistance is directly proportional to the Shield Power Level. The formula as stated by the devs is: Power level / 357.12. So damage resistance is a maximum of 35% at level 125.
Also note that a lot of the shield buffing powers also add a certain amount of shield damage resistance as well. Shield damage resistance doesn't stack like hull damage resistance. Shield damage resistance buffs are multiplicative. Each shield resistance ability is a scalar that is multiplied against the incoming damage. So 2 abilities that gives 25% resistance would be DMG * (1 - .25) * (1 - .25) = DMG * .75 * .75. Shield damage resistance has a hard cap of 75%.
Power for the engine subsystem is simple. The higher the engine power level the faster your max speed is at full throttle. And the better your ship's turning rate. One combat aspect that player don't generally know about is Defence. Going faster means you are harder to hit. At Impulse Factor 20, your ship have 25% Defence from speed. The maximum amount of defence from speed tops out at 50% at roughly Impulse Factor 35.
Note: With zero engine power, your ship is quite literally a sitting target. You can't move, you can't turn except at a snail's pace and you have a -15% Defense. Like I said a sitting duck. Once nice Impulse Engine attribute is [Aux]. Aux allows your ship to move at 1/4 speed even if Engine Power or Impulse Engine is disabled.
Full ImpulseAuxiliary Systems
Auxiliary Systems are basically everything else. But not everything is affect by the Auxiliary System power level. Many Science Officers abilities are affected by Auxiliary Power level. For example, the amount of shield power that is drain buy Tachyon Beam ability is proportional to the Auxiliary Systems power level. Auxiliary power also affects certain Engineering abilities, as well, including ships hull repair. In short the higher Auxiliary power the better the skills are or the faster things happen. Don't neglect your Auxiliary Systems, they may just save your ship and crew when you least expect it.
Most of the healing abilities (hull and shield) are dependent on Aux power. Auxiliary Systems power has become just as important as other power levels. And the scaling factor has changed for from the previous builds. Auxiliary Systems ship power efficacy (strength) of skills is a linear scale at 100% at power level 100 down to 50% at power level 25. And pushing Auxiliary Systems does make the abilities stronger than normal.
Another major system tied into Auxiliary Power Level are Klingon ships which have Hanger Bays. Hanger bays require Auxiliary Power to launch fighters (and other things). The vessel recharge times are tied to Auxiliary Power level as well. The old hanger recharge times are based on have Auxiliary Power at 100. Auxiliary Power of 115 shaves approx 8% off of total recharge times. Auxiliary Power of 25 increases Recharge times by one third (i.e. +1/3).
Section IV - What does it all mean?
Well I saw right off that a ship's power was very important. And I'm a mini-maxer at heart. So it was natural I drifted towards maximizing ship power. My first character that I creating during head start is a Tactical Captain now a Rear Admiral/5 in a Reconnaissance Science Vessel. I invested very heavily in all of the ship power skills, and a couple key Engineering Consoles (EPS Flow Relay and +6 Shield Subsyatem power). But I have not invested in the Auxiliary Systems Performance skill. This what you can achieve if you really try:
Note: Custom (Balance) is because I'm a Science ship
As you can plainly see, my ship's performance levels in any mode is 2 or 3 times better than a base ship.
PatricianVetinari has a most excellent Ship Power Calculator. It's a spread sheet that will allow you to play "What if...?". You can tweak, prod and poke at things to get a feeling of how every thing interacts. The more optimum power settings are sometimes not the most obvious settings.
And this is version 2.0 of my guide. There were some a few errors on my part in the first guide. And I'm going to include some equations that others on the forums have figured out. Thanks to Tiran_Diaz and Binkenstein. Maths and I just don't mix unless I put on my thinking cap.
Version 3.0 of my guide incorporates all of the new changes from the Season 1.2 update. There are a bunch of changes to abilites and ship power bonuses.
Version 3.1 Speeling Error
Version 3.2 Added Section V, Extras with PatricianVetinari's Ship Power Calculator. And the extra power settings for each power allocation in Section IV.
Version 3.3 More speeling error fixed. And updates Corrected Shield Damage Resistance explanation and added changes to Shield for Season 2.0 update.
Version 3.4 Reformatted the Ship Types Power Bonus section. Added the 3 new Klingon ships. Moved guide updates log to end of guide.
Version 3.5 More spelling, equipment changes, and shield changes.
Version 4.0 Updated skills sections for space skills revamped in the Season 5 game update. With more spelling and syntax errors fixes.
Nice guide:) I laughed a bit at "Version 3.1 Speeling Error":)
My guide has been updated for the new space skills as they are on Holodeck. This update is still a bit of a work in progress. I need to double check my numbers and add to charts.
Slight update to the Weapon Subsystem section. Upon being prompted by some questions, it turn out that enhancer Power Transfer Rate via EPS Flow Regulator Engineering Consoles or via the Starship Electro-Plasma Systems captain skills does have a slight effect on weapon power during combat. The effect is slight due to weapons power being drain and restored so rapidly while weapons are firing. Even with PTR rates in the upper hundreds, it's effect was minimal. The net result was my weapon power not being totally bottomed out by 5 power units wih a large number of energy weapons firing.
So I don't advice going all out to enhancer your Power Transfer rate. It's just not worth it. Enhance your Power Transfer Rate because you want your power allocation changes to happen faster.
Great post, thanks!
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