Advanced Heavy Cruiser Retrofit - CANNONS
Well now that these new energy weapon doffs are out, the cannon build for the Excelsior is looking even more tasty! I recently switched back to it, and I love it!
Currently my build is:
1x Mk XII purple [Borg] DBB
3x Mk XII purple [Borg] SINGLE cannons
4x Mk XII purple [Borg] turrets
3x AP Mag Regulators Mk XI Blue
2x Field Emitters
2x Neutronium Consoles, 1x Plasma Resist Console, 1x assimilated console
Shields: MACO Mk XII
Deflector: MACO Mk XII
Doffs: 2x Tac Team (aiming for purple eventually); 3x Energy weapon - cannon (Purple not AS important, but still want to get them) (3x of these gives you just under 50% chance for a trigger, around 48.8% chance);
Tac Lt. Cmdr: Tac Team I; CRF I; BO III;
Engi Cmdr:EPtS I; RSP; Aux2SIF II; DEM III;
Engi Lt:EPtS I;[something, don't know if DEM I is a lt. ability or not]
Engi Ens:EPtW I
Sci Lt: Polarize Hull I; TSS II
The idea is that I have CRF running fairly often with the DOffs, you use BOIII in conjunction with the DBB and use EPtW immediately after to recover. You use the DEM in conjunction with the CRF, and I didn't put Engi team II in that Lt slot because ill be running tac team constantly with the doffs.
There are no torps, I know, and I was considering trying to make it a cannons/torp boat with 2 torps fore, but I don't think there are enough tac boff slots for that, so I just stick with energy.
I'd scrap the DBB; it's okay for spike and you do have the turn rate to support it, but it's too much of a power drain and drags down your cannon layout. Just take four frontal cannons.
For an offensive build, you can try:
Lt. Com. Tac: TT1 AP:B1 C:RF2
Com. Eng: EPtS1 EPtW2 x x
Lt. Eng: EPtS1 EPtW2
Switch them for a defensive one (and adjust power presets to compensate).
Honestly if you're forgoing the DBB, you would get higher DPS numbers with 2x DEM over 2x EPtW on a full cannon/turret setup.
The problem I have encountered with Cannon builds is an inability to deal with more than one target at a time. This leaves the ship vunerable to swarm attacks such as fighters and mines, and can leave your cruiser unable to attract the attention of a number of enemy ships at once in fleet actions.
While that is the price of maximizing your single-target potential, I would recommend you swap out Overload for Fire At Will, to be used with your Dual Array. This would give you at least some multitarget capability.
If you want to stick with the DBB ---- and as I said, it is good for spike, which you lack in the Excel ---- swap the plasma resist out for an RCS. The Excel scales hard with turn rate, even past the point of diminishing returns (I ran two for a long time).
The ability for cannons to rip apart a single target over that of beams cannot be denied, and that is what wins PvP matches (which as I've mentioned on many occasions is the only meaningful metric, as if it works in PvP, it will by default be OP in PvE).
@Shimmerless - The fact is with a cannon build, I'm able to maintain near max weapon power anyway, without EPtW. That said, adding the DEMs for shield penetration does indeed add to the damage potential of a ship. Yes, it cannot be maintained 24/7, but the duration does more for the damage of the ship.
EPtW will grant me an extra 5-10 max sustainable weapon power. Whoopie. Tested, and I haven't even noticed the difference with cannons (but for beams, I admit it is absolutely vital).
With DEMs I'm able to push damage past annoyances like RSP, Extends, etc. It also contributes particularly in my Galaxy-X build in that it also affects my Lance, allowing a greater initial shock of that damage push past to the hull, permitting faster kills upon a decloak.
Not discounting your ideas, don't get me wrong. Simply playing devil's advocate given I've tested both with my personal build, and while I don't fly an Excelsior, I do have a wealth of cruiser pvp experience.
I just found these DO options and I'm test driving (3x) Cannon and Beam DO buffs with Cannon and Beamer setups.
I'm thinking the beamer setup bonus might actually be a more interesting. Running thru CRF III/CRF II is already pretty nicely paced, but being able to send out another BOIII/BOII quickly could be a very compelling 10-30K crit attack.
Purples are a little pricey (10-15 million), but Blues/Greens are readily available at much better prices. Time buffs are:
Purple = 30 sec reduction
Blue = 25 sec reduction
Green = 20 sec reduction
white = 15 sec reduction
I have gone with blues until I find purple sellers in the 1-5 million range.
So PVP is not the only meaningful metric, unless all you do is PVP. In that case, I can see how PVE play would not factor into your calculations. However, even in PVP, there are occasions where you want to damage multiple targets at the same time. Builds that specialize in single-target attack, such as cannon builds, cannot do so, and it is a limitation that has to be kept in mind when flying such a ship. This is especially true in a Cruiser, which is built to take as much enemy fire from as many targets as possible, and not for damage output.
Still, it's the commanding officer's decision how to use their ship. People can take my advice or leave it. The results of their missions will verify if their decisions were the right ones.
The key to a successful player, whether PvE or PvP, is to play to their strengths, not try to generalize every role and hope for the best. This is why no ship is successful equipping more than 2 types of weapons (the rare occasion of 3 has worked in the past, but again, this is VERY rare and still fits into 1 role).
That said, if you're building yourself to deal with multiple targets, spam, etc... have at it. That's your specified role.
If you want single-target control, then that too is a valid role to spend resources.
But the moment you try to generalize, to try to deal with "every contingency" is the moment you fail. That's why we have teams.
Just my $0.02 on the matter... Don't expect to fill both roles and be seen as a threat by your enemy.
So let me understand this right, your ship is cannon/turret heavy and your Lt. Commander Tac' slot is BOIII? While I understand you want spike damage, why not have BO II and CRFII? Youre making the least amount of use of your ships weapons the majority of the time. I would actually sugest having two types of CRF slotted so you can make the most use of you cannon/turrets as much as poosible, your cycle time of those skills right now arent very helpful.
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