The different weapons types, what do they mean?
I have some experience from MMOs and RPGs but very little from sci-fi/futuristic weapon combat, and I'm currently very confused by the weapon types in the game.
What are the advantages and disadvantages with using the special types, like plasma?
Should you spread the types out over your away team, so that they don't all use kinetic (for example?)
Are there any "right" or "wrong" weapon types?
(At the moment I'm a medic science officer using a sniper rifle, with a full auto plasma rifle on my tactical bridge officer, and random green drops on the others)
Because I'm struggling a bit with turning during ship combat, I'm currently using the 360 degree cannon, two torpedoes and mines on my ship, but I'm wondering if this means I'm not getting benefits from possible boosts. 3 of my 4 weapons are at the moment kinetic damage.
Having said that, I'm not really understanding the consoles either. The engineering consoles especially, and also the tactical consoles usually boosts things I've never heard of, and can't find on my stat screen.
Oh, while I'm asking a bunch of nooby questions, how do special tactical Boff attacks like Martial arts and jump/launch(?) (the one where they jump at the target) work with ranged weapons?
and are there any guides to being a support/healing ship? I'm struggling to find a balance between Boff skills that aid my combat (like shield repair) and skills that can help other ships. It seems a bit pointless to be running a science vessel if I only have self-boosting skills.
For damage types, it mostly comes down to your cosmetic preference, since they all have the same base dps. Each damage type has its own special effect, but for the most part they aren't game changing.
Phaser (space) has a chance on each hit to temporarily disable one of the 4 power systems on the target. You could potentially disable weapons, causing the target to be unable to fire energy weapons for a s short duration; or you could potential disable shields, making them temporarily more vulnerable to incoming fire, especially torpedoes; or you could disable engines, causing the target to come to a near stop and be unable to turn; or you could disable auxiliary, causing some abilities to not work at all and some others to be weaker.
Phaser (ground) has a chance to temporarily stun the target.
Disruptor has a chance on each hit to cause the target to suffer an resistance debuff for a short duration, making them take greater damage to hull/health while it's in effect. The debuff does not affect shield damage.
Plasma has a chance to set the target on fire, causing additional damage over time.
Tetryon has a chance to deal additional damage to the target's shields.
Polaron (space) has a chance to instantly drain power from the target, temporarily making them weaker in all fields and, if they're already low from other sources, potentially disabling one or more systems until power can be restored.
Polaron (ground) has a chance to disable the target's weapons, but he/she/it can still move and use abilities.
Antiproton doesn't have a special effect, per se. Instead, it causes additional damage on a critical hit.
For consoles, each category tends to improve things in their fields of expertise - tactical consoles will mostly increase damage output in one or more fields, engineering consoles will increase power output and raise hull resistances, science consoles will strengthen science abilities. Tactical consoles are generally the reason you don't want to mix damage types, since you then have to spread your console bonuses rather than focusing them. First choose the energy weapon type you like the most, then find the tactical consoles that boost that particular damage type.
If you're in a slow-turning ship such as a cruiser, you generally won't want more than 1 torpedo each front and back or 1 Torpedo front and 1 Mine back because you'll be hard-pressed to fire them on a regular basis, and also consider the fact that Kinetic weapons deal reduced damage to shielded enemies. Beam Arrays (not Dual Beam Banks) are often the preferred energy weapon in these cases due to their higher firing arc, although turrets see some use as well. Your tactical ability selection should mostly be based around the weapons you use: Beam Arrays and Dual Banks should be paired with Beam Fire at Will, Beam Overload, and Beam Target Subsystem abilities, whereas Turrets should be paired with Cannon Rapid Fire and Cannon Scatter Volley.
My guide to sto weapons might help you out with weapons.
There is no right or wrong anything in thing in this game, its all a matter of preference.
If you are struggling with turning then you are most likely using a cruiser and/or science vessel. Normally with cruisers you want beam weapons and you'll attack from the side, not head on. The same strategy could be applied to science vessels.
Consoles boost various things on your ship. Tactical usually boost weapons. Science boost your skills (if you look at the names of things that science abilities boost, it matches the names of your skills). Engineering consoles boost engineering things such as power, turn rate, etc.
As far as BOffs are concerned using martial arts skills, I believe they'll use them if an enemy is nearby.
I don't know of any guides about being a supporter, but I'm sure there is something on the forums if you look for it.
There is a good simple guide at STO Wiki ...
That way I won't keep being confused by the big names.
I think after reading through your tips and the STOwiki I now understand consoles, yay! Though I seem to have bought a completely useless (for my team) science console.. Boo!
Thank you for all help, all three of you! :)
Since previous posters already described the energy damage types, I'll give you a breakdown on torpedo damage types. Please be aware that torpedo launchers fire individually with a global cooldown, so you can not for example fire two torpedoes simultaneously by having two launchers mounted facing the same direction--multi-torpedo salvos are what the Torpedo Spread and High-Yield torpedo Bridge Officer abilities are for.
Photon: These have the quickest refire, but do only moderate damage. With a 5-second cooldown on torpedoes, they are most useful if you believe that you will have frequent chances to fire a second volley in a single pass.
Quantum: These do 20-30% more damage per shot than Photon, but have an 8-second cooldown, so second volleys are less common. However, their higher damage per volley makes them superior if your flying style involves quick passes or your ship turns so slowly (Galaxy or Odyssey classes especially) that the enemy may be outside of your torpedo launchers' firing cone before the cooldown on Photon torpedoes finishes.
Plasma: Like the gun-type weapons, Plasma torpedoes have a chance (33% per volley even though shields) of setting fire to an enemy. Such fires can be extinguished immediately by using the Hazard Emitters ability (Science Bridge Officer ability), so plasma fires are less useful against players than against NPCs who do not tend to employ this ability frequently. The High Yield torpedo ability, instead of launching 2-4 torpedoes like with Photon or Quantum torpedoes, produces a Heavy Plasma Torpedo (as seen used by Romulans, such as in the Original Series episode "Balance of Terror"). The Heavy Plasma Torpedo deals damage matched only by Tricobalt torpedoes, but can be targeted and shot down, so it is best fired from a range of 2-5 km rather than farther out.
Transphasic: These deal slightly less damage per volley than Photon torpedoes, and have a longer cooldown, but the advantage is that they deal 30% damage through shields instead of 10% (or 25% instead of 5% if the opponent uses Resilient Shields). This makes them viable for using while the opponent's shields are still up, whereas Photon and Quantum torpedoes are nearly useless in such a situation. The Rapid Reload Transphasic torpedo launcher (available from the Breen Special Episode missions) has a cooldown of only 8 seconds, comparable to Quantum torpedoes, and may be the preferable choice over standard Transphasic launchers for some players.
Chronitron: These have a 33% chance per volley of briefly reducing the target's mobility as though you had hit them with a Tractor Beam. This can happen even with the target's shields up, so if you use these, it is worthwhile to fire them constantly instead of just when the target's shields fall.
Tricobalt: The high-risk, high-reward torpedo. Tricobalt devices deal more than four times as much damage as comparable Photon torpedoes. The explosion is an Area-Of-Effect blast damaging all targets (including yourself) within a radius of 1 km, and stuns said targets for 2-4 seconds, and thus is dangerous even to shielded targets. However, all Tricobalt devices are targetable and destructible, so you must balance the need for staying outside of the blast radius with the need for staying close enough that your torpedo will not be shot down easily. Also, the long cooldown time (30-60 seconds) generally means that you will not get a second volley against weaker targets, as they should already be dead by the time the cooldown ends. The High-Yield torpedo ability causes a subspace rift to appear upon detonation, resulting in enemies being temporarily immobilized similar to the Gravity Well or Tyken's Rift abilities.
Hargh'peng: Despite a 15-second cooldown and the inability to use torpedo-related Bridge Officer abilities, these are often considered overpowered due to acting like a non-destructible "light" version of Tricobalts. The initial impact deals slightly more damage than a Quantum torpedo, but has a 100% chance of inflicting a radiation damage-over-time effect (dealing up to 892 radiation damage for the Mark XI launcher). The radiation damage is why they are considered overpowered, as it makes it worthwhile to spam them. The lack of any need for special tactics or Bridge Officer abilities to employ them makes them highly useful, but some PVP matches ban them. They can be acquired as a mission reward for the mission "The Doomsday Device" for Federation characters, or Klingon characters can craft them (bind-on-pickup, so they can not be traded or sold).
The mine-laying Bridge Officer abilities are Dispersal Pattern Alpha (lays tight clusters of mines so that the entire cluster will hit a single pursuer) and Dispersal Pattern Beta (lays them in a flat wall to hit as many pursuers as possible).
Photon and Quantum mines tend to do little damage unless they strike a target on an unshielded side, so they are more useful to just drop as an obstacle for opponents to dodge rather than to directly damage them. Like with torpedoes, Quantum mines inflict more damage but have a longer cooldown time in comparison to Photon mines. Photon mines get an automatic +2% critical hit chance per mine strike, and Quantum mines get an automatic +20% critical damage per critical hit per mine strike.
Plasma mines have a chance to set fire to a target per mine, which means that a full volley of them almost guarantees that the target will catch fire. This makes it somewhat worthwhile to dump them in the face of pursuers as often as possible.
Chronodynamic mines, like Plasma mines, have a chance per mine to trigger their special effect, and so a sufficient number of them will ensure that a pursuer succumbs to their effect. Also like Plasma mines, their main appeal is for the special effect rather than direct damage (which is 90% reduced if the enemy's facing shields are still up).
Transphasic mines, like their torpedo counterparts, get 25%-30% shield penetration instead of 5%-10% for most kinetic projectiles. This makes it worthwhile to use them for direct damage against shielded opponents. Players who favor transphasic mines might want to use the Breen Transphasic Cluster Torpedo, which upon being fired splits into sixteen Transphasic mines as opposed to the normal eight.
Tricobalt mines-layers release a single projectile that is unaffected by Bridge Officer mine-laying powers. As such, the Tricobalt mine-layer is nearly indistinguishable from the Tricobalt torpedo other than being unable to use torpedo-type Bridge Officer powers.
Tractor Beam mines are a mission reward from one of the Reman Special Episode missions, and release three cloaking mines that will snare any enemy that passes near in a Tractor Beam. Being snared by one mine will slow a target, and two will totally immobilize it. However, these mines can be targeted and shot down easily by a player who is caught by them once they have decloaked.
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