I'm so confused... (Cruiser vs. Escort)
Why yes, I *am* a complete noob. Thank you for asking.
Cliffs Notes version: (This ended up being longer than I intended) I'm an Engineer Captain, my Fleet Escort is more survivable in PvP than my Star Cruiser, and (obviously) does more damage too, while the Star Cruiser is better for PvE, being more survivable and doing adequate damage. See below for specs.
I NEED HELP! :D
I'm coming from spending the last two years in one of those "other" MMO's (which I'm still playing) spending my time trying to squeeze that "last little bit" of performance out of my characters, and I must admit, I'm more or less lost as to how things "work" in STO. I've been playing STO off and on (more off than on, to be honest) since release, and still haven't figured it (mostly the horribly designed skill system) out, so... Here I am, in search of information.
For a quick overview of my personal skill setup, I concentrated on putting points in the order of Survival>Damage, with leftover points mixed between a few "Nice to have" points.
I was going to put up a short list of what I have points in, then realized a screenshot would be so much easier...
I'm an Engineer, so first up is my pride and joy Star Cruiser, the "Turret Whale" (No, that's not actually what I named it. The name is far more amusing than that).
BOFF skills: (with any luck, I'm using the most common abbreviations so you know what I'm saying. lol)
TT1, ET2, ET3, CSV1, EPtS1, DEM3, EPtW1, EPtS2, RSP2, TSS1, HE2, PH1
Equipment: (Everything is MkXI, Rare, unless otherwise specified)
7x Tetryon Turret [Dmg]x2
1x Rapid-Reload Transphasic Torpedo (VR)
Positron Deflector Dish [SIF] [StI]
Covariant Shield Array [Cap]x2
1x EPS Flow Regulator
1x Field Emitter
1x Emergency Force Field Emitter
1x Enhanced Plasma Manifold
2x Biofunction Monitor
1x Field Generator
2x Tetryon Pulse Generator
Now, this is... Adequately durable in PvE (only thing I really have trouble with is Borg in the zone events when Hazard Emitters is down and my shields drop, although occasionally Mogai Escorts will give me trouble solo, because they're so fast), and puts out enough DPS solo that it's usable. The problem is PvP. I'm getting two-shotted by a single Science Vessel (not joking), and can't put out enough DPS to go 1v1 against an Escort. (I can survive reasonably well 1v1, but can't kill the Escort)
Any advice on what I can do to get more PvP survivability (if I can get adequate survival, I can live with not doing damage. Tanking is the main goal) out of this without sacrificing PvE performance would be greatly appreciated.
My Fleet Escort is where my confusion starts... I can go 1v1 against a Klingon (I forget which variant of the new C-Store Cruiser he was in, but we did 3 or 4 matches, going to 5 kills each time), and survive nearly indefinitely against said Cruiser that has 2 BoP's and a Vorch'a for pets, along with Fleet Support when it's up, and (eventually) do enough damage to kill said Cruiser. However, said Escort is far too squishy to solo in PvE, though the damage output is there.
HYT1, TS1, CRF2, APO2, TT1, CSV1, EPtS1, EPtW1, ET2, ST1, Energy Siphon 1
Equipment: (Again, MkXI Rare, unless specified)
3x Tetryon Dual Cannons [CrtH] [Dmg]x2 (VR)
Plasma Torpedo Launcher [CrtH]x2
Positron Deflector Dish [Em] [SIF]
Assimilated Subtranswarp Engine
Assimilated Regenerative Shield (previously Regenerative Shield Array [Cap]x2)
3x Tetryon Turret [CrtH]x2
1x Tetraburnium Hull Armor
1x EPS Flow Regulator
1x SIF Generator
1x Inertial Dampener
1x Shield Generator Amplifier
1x AmbiPlasma Envelope (Plasma Projectile Damage)
3x Tetryon Pulse Generator
The results after playing both speak for themselves. Overall, the Escort is clearly superior, because it's more survivable and does way more damage in PvP (I'm at somewhere around 1,200 DPS per cannon before buffs), while in PvE it's somewhat weaker, but still does superior damage. The problem I have (and thus, the reason I'm posting all this) is... I can't figure out WHY. WHY is a Fleet Escort vastly more survivable in PvP than a Star Cruiser that was built specifically for tanking?
Out of maybe 8 full (5v5, I think? Fed vs. Fed) PvP battles, with me alternating between the two ships (with the exact same team setups for each match, so I was fighting the same opponents in both ships), in nearly every match, the Cruiser took no more than 4-5 hits (usually from the same Science Vessel, I don't know what he was hitting me with), while the Escort routinely survived several minutes, and got a few kills. 1v1 just makes the difference even more obvious.
I have to be doing something wrong with the Cruiser, I just don't know what. Anyone have any advice? :confused:
There are some good tips on cruiser build in this post >>click me<<
If you don't feel like going through it here's what I can suggest, it's a build I had on my star cruiser some time ago... >>click me<<
I've put 6 points in torpedoes so you can switch to the escort without respecing, sci team is there only to clear subnucleonic beams, if you can get 3 duty officers that shorten the CD on the eng team but even without them you should have enough healing.
Cycle eptw and epts all the time to keep your shields up and weapon power high, use the energy setup /75,/50,/25,/50 and you should be able to tank and deal some damage at the same time.
You should switch to 8 beams, for consoles use 3xNeutronium alloy, 1xEPS Flow Regulator, Borg console in sci slot, Field generator and an Emitter Array. For tac consoles put two that match your weapon choice.
For the escort I would use this build (cmd tac ability is rapid fire 3) >>click me<<
For the lt engineering ability use RSP or aux to dampeners.
For most damage you should switch to dual heavy cannons instead of duals, and switch to quantum torps since they have higher base damage which gives you higher criticals, also high yield quantum can't be destroyed.
The consoles are almost the same as on the cruiser, 2xNeutronium, EPS Flow Regulator, Field generator and the borg console in science slot and four consoles that boost your energy damage.
Oh and get retro borg deflector and engines for start with a Resilient shield array, that should work on both ships...
I hope this helps:)
Lulz....sorry had to get that out of the way...
Grab and assault cruiser
EPTS1, RSP1, ENGY TEAM 3, EXTENDS 3
Lt com engy
EPTS 1, ENGY TEAM 2, AUX TO SIF2
HE 1, TRANSER 2
FAW 1, DELTA OR BETA 1
Roll 8 beams
I know you'll ignore my advice on how to kit out your cruiser. You've done so a couple of times already. But for your escort:
DOFF's - I see people talking about using particular DOFF's to get certain skills to "global cooldown". What does that mean? I thought related skills (IE: Sci Team and Tac Team, EPtW and EPtS) were on shared cooldowns, and couldn't be stacked? This is also why I've been trying to avoid having identical skills (IE: Two EPtS1), or the same skill at different ranks (IE: EPtS1 and EPtS2) when other useful options were available.
Skill cycling - I typically play in more of a "reactive" style, using skills only as needed. For example, using Tac Team, EPtW and CRF/HYT (or CSV/TS, if the situation calls for it) all at once to make for a very strong alpha, and only using powers like EPtS when I'm taking heavy damage and need a way out. With that said, TT1 is up often enough to be used both as a damage booster and to keep my shields happy on the side that's taking the most damage. Will using these skills constantly get me better overall performance? My logic has always been to save skills until I "need" them to avoid having everything on cooldown when I *really* need it, but after reading that thread, I'm starting to think maybe I'm Doing It Wrong(TM).
Dual Cannons vs. Dual Heavy Cannons - I thought that Dual Cannons and Dual Heavy Cannons had identical DPS numbers, but Dual Cannons did less damage per shot while firing faster (and thus, more chances for crits, procs, etc). Is this incorrect? After buffs (TT1, EPtW1, etc, I don't use batteries), I'm at something like 1,900-2,100 DPS per cannon (I don't recall exactly). I don't know how that compares to the more knowledgeable people.
I still don't completely understand the details of how BOFF's, DOFF's, skill points, consoles, etc all interact with each other and my skills, but... I think this has probably been helpful, I'll have to play around with things and see what happens.
One on one, a competent Cruiser captain can beat an Escort nine times out of time. (I know, I've done it.)
PvP is a different matter since a good team will heal/protect their Escorts, so a Cruiser's ability to survive depends a lot on what his other teammates are doing. If you're in a random PuG chances are you'll get no coordination or teamwork, hence you lose.
As for the 4th weapon Torp or Beam your choice.
Now as to why your escort was more survivable, I think the 2 piece of Borg gear gave you the passive regen bonus. But I don't know your playing style. Just in case you didn't know a parked ship is a dead ship.
You need to learn about the DOFF system, there threads in other places look, read, learn.
Skill cycling - the only abilities that you should always cycle are the emergency power to X, you can't afford to have anything else on a CD when you need it. EptS shares a global CD with the other EptS but the EptW will get a shorter global CD at the same time so you can constantly cycle those four abilities and have a bonus to your shield/weapon power and the added shield resistance all the time.
DC vs DHC - thanks to the higher base damage DHC give you spike damage which is your main weapon on an escort, DC are better for constant pressure but generally it's harder to kill something with them. If I'm not mistaken critical hits happen once per firing cycle so it doesn't matter how many bolts you fire.
Send me a friend request and we can discuss this more in game if you want...
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