Building Successful DPS Cruisers: Hellspray Build
"The Federation doesn't need a DPS Cruiser, and neither do I." -Lois Lane Stahl
"You wrote that the Federation doesn't need a DPS Cruiser but everyday I hear the playerbase crying for one." -PvPerman.
There is a mindset that a Federation cruiser is a glorified heal boat, with rare exception a sustained "support" damage dealer. Only existing to throw out some annoying phaser procs, and an extend shields to the greedy killing machine that is the escort. This mindset is nearly doctrine for some, and woe to those that might suggest otherwise.
Regretfully it's mostly correct. Star Trek Online was based on the "holy trinity" of MMO gaming. Healer/Damage/Controller. At best, whispered in the smoke filled back rooms of the PvP elite is that "fairly narrow tactical build" for cruisers that can produce results.
This is that build (or a close variant of it). This build is mostly optimized for the broadest collection of Federation Cruisers. I really should have put it out as such earlier. Ghostyandfrosty and others make very good points that there are more optimal builds for certain ships.
While the game may favor Federation cruisers as fat happy sheep waiting to be snatched by a hoard of vicous dragons (looking at you bugship escorts), we can do our best to bend the envelope, and mostly succeed.
What you will need is an Odessey, preferably Tactical or Science AND the Chevron Separation module. While much of what will be discussed can be used in most Federation Cruisers, let's face it, the Odessey's 1.15 shield modifier, and extra console slot and universal ltc. cmdr make it nearly pefect for the ever changing ring that is PvP. Lockbox ships not withstanding.
You must also be a Tactical officer. If you're trying to build a DPS Cruiser you probably already are. If you are not, I strongly insist that you read "The Ultimate Cruiser thread 3.0" Infact, I'd say it should be nearly required reading for anyone serious about making a cruiser that can melt a bug ship, enemy odessey, D'kora etc.
Bridge Officer Layout:
*Polarized Disruptors are also highly playable. In fact, I prefer them.
Devices: Shield Battery, Aux Battery, Red Matter Capacitor, Subspace Field Modulator
Engineering Consoles: Chevron Separation Console, Assimilated Module, Tachyokinetic Converter, Neutronium Alloy.
Science Consoles (Sci Odessey): 2x Flow Capacitors MK XII, 2x Particle Generators MK XII
Science Consoles (Tac Odessey): 2x Flow Capacitors MK XII, 1x Particle Generators MK XII
Tactical Consoles: Disruptor Induction Coils MK XII as many as you have slots for.
Putting it together:
If you are one of those people who mentally add up the cost of gear you already are into this setup for nearly 200 mil EC. If you want the capability to single handedly carry a match of average PUGS, or a poor/newbie premade then you're going to pay for it. Your performance will vary based on your ability to match (or exceed) the above.
Your defenses should be keybound in this manner, executing from left to right: Distribute shields, TT, EptS 1, Aux2Bat 1, EptS1, TT. I actually have this set so that as soon as I'm in combat it auto rotates continually. When configured in this manner you should only have a gap of 1 second where your EptS is not active. Auxillery 2 Battery is there to take off 30% of your cooldowns.
Your "Hellspray" should be bound to a key that activates GDF, APA, TacFleet, TacInitive, FOMM, CRF 1, RMC, and DEM III. If it multiplies or adds damage it should be activated with a few quick button presses. Those of you that favor the Galaxy X Dreadnought should already be used to this. Seconds count. If you adapt this build to the Dreadnought you'll find it complements the phaser lance nicely.
Your Feedback Pulse 1 can also be placed in there too, but I prefer to keep it on "manual". A fully Tac-buffed FBP 1 with full AUX should return a damage modifier of 1.1 to the attacker (VS. .28ish normally)
I usually put my power levels at 75/75/25/25 or 100/50/25/25 and throw batteries to keep my power levels as close to 125 as possible.
So now that we have fiendishly built and configured this ship lets go rush in guns blazing right?
Negative. Get a plan with your team. Someone call targets. Keep that "Hellspray" on safe and make an effort fight smart! Cannons don't do well at extreme range so keep your range under 5km, preferably 3km or less. If I see a fully buffed escort/cruiser combo coming at me it's time to punch an AUX battery and activate your buffs. As soon as you see that last damage buff activate, activate feedbackpulse. Your buffed cannon/DEM/Tetryon Glider/Disruptor proc debuff/FOMM/ with your combined feedback pulse should pop the escort (be it bug or not). If you separated (hense that Chevron console) you should dust that healer in warp plasma and finish them off. Expect approximately 30 seconds of heavy damage potential with a 3 min recovery, (much like a phaser lance might do...)
Does that mean we just run off and wait it out after spraying our load? Sometimes, if you're up against a team that's gunning hard for you. After I send my green spray out and (hopefully) killed off my attacker(s), I switch to a more defensive mode where I'm doing support damage with DEM III, CRF, and Tetryon Glider. Cooperating with my team's shot caller, or exploiting a weakened player that isn't on the teams radar. Throwing a minor heal here and there. Aux2Bat is making 1 copy of DEM, RSP, CRF, (and more) work like 2 for the most part.
Does this build produce results? I'd say yes it does. I regularly do "escort level" damage and kills in all but the most vicious premade matches. Is it a "Selfish Build"? Certainly. Yet if you were to swap EWP with Extends 2 you're suddenly much less selfish. Equip Theta Radiation rather than a Flow Capacitor and you're suddenly a bit more jack of all trade with only minimal loss of Glider efficency.
It's surprisingly survivable, without being a zombie cruiser. I don't claim that it can't be tweaked for a little more burst from say tricobalt torpedos/mines. But it is a basis for those crying out for a cruiser that can kick ass and survive.
Reserved for alterations
What can I say, I love smoke filled backrooms. :P Don't worry the cops will leave the room soon enough.
See, I can't recommend the Oddy in good conscious for the tac captain. It's simply Too Fat. and using the Chevron sep console, has a cool down still. Not only that it mitigates the Oddys best advantage of having 10 consoles vs 9.
Even with the chevron sep the ship is still going to be slower than an Excelsior. It's more or less the equal of a AC refit (a much better tac cruiser for the money than an Oddy. I'd go so far as to say it's actually as good for the money as the old Excelsior cost was. The broadside torp and gas consoles are that spiffy). The Exclesior is quick enough to use Cannons to crank DEM and Glider 24/7.
With the LT Sci you unfortunately are still going to need TSS2 to sustain yourself properly during focus periods. FBP1 also, while impressive when fully auxed and buffed it kind of cuts into the best perks or Aux to Batt. I'd actually suggest replacing that with ST2, since it gives a very strong flash heal for shields that is not aux dependent.
Also, you need CRF2 to really make a tac cannon cruiser scream. The ship you've made is an aux to battery, Assault Cruiser with a better shield modifier. It's not going to Crank like a TacXcelsior/Galor will. It's a little more tanky but meh.
There will be more fed tac cruiser setups coming in my thread by the way :) I've just been lazy on the testing aspect of things here lately. (that and I've had some surprise expenses come up which have prevented me from acquiring the AC Refit)
I'd remove GDF and FoMM from your alpha keybinds. Imo, you should use these selectively. A low hull GDF is much better than using it w/nearly all hull. FoMM is cleared by TT, so pay attention to target's TT cycles and use when there's an opening.
I could be wrong, but doesn't Aux2Sif but heads w/Aux2Batt? You may want ET instead, it helps clear VM as well. You have 2 EPTS1, you only need 1 EPTS. If you use ET1 instead of a ETPS1, lose the other EPTS1 for EPTW1 (for times you aren't under fire to boost your damage or recover downed weapon system), you open up your lt com Eng for EPTS3.
Personally I prefer HE2 to TSS2, but to each their own. You could also use a Sci Team in place of TSS. If you want you can try TB1 HE2 for times you don't need the xtra defense, but could use the movement/defense debuff on agile targets.
In any case if you're using more than TT, unbind that as well.
Edit: I'd also have an option to swap cvs1 for crf1. The damag dropp off isn't that large and you spread your damage and tet glider procs around.
What can I say I had this vision of Branflakes and Tumerboy wandering around with Lex Luthor...
Believe it or not, I've been testing this design for the last few weeks in PvP with the rest of S.O.B. (possibly to the point of harassing Kedric, and the rest) and I'd have to say that while this girl is fat, it produces the results.
I actually think that the assault cruiser refit is the WORST tac cruiser of the bunch. At least the G-X can cloak hide in shame. The Regent is just there... mocking you with what might have been. Granted I played with it a bit and tinkered with the one universal slot. Perhaps I'll take another peak at it.
As for CRF1 vs 2 on this build, I think you'd be surprisingly impressed by how well it actually does. Popping an Aux Battery right before FBP1 activates is quite a show stopper, if timed so that Aux2Bat triggers a couple seconds later, well that's just more power to spread around.
Very true that the Galor will likely produce higher end numbers, I may begrudgingly have to give it to the Excelsior as well. Yet most of the Kirks I see want to fly Assault cruisers, Galaxy X's and Odesseys.
2x TT and EPTS is a waste on an Aux2Batt build. You can get by with 1 copy, that's the entire point of running something other than distro doffs. Take ET1 for debuffs or, better still, EPTW to help DEM.
FBP is a trap. Try TBR after your Aux2Batt. Tac buffed it will give good damage and killing your Aux first means it won't push them away so more tics will hit them. Or if they're running Omega they'll eat more tics.
@Redricky I'm Totally going to try TBR over the weekend. That is some serious out of the box thinking.
If either of you are on this week, throw me a line in-game @joseph.b I'm always looking to learn and improve!
I do know now for sure the broadside torp works on the Excelsior though.
Yeah TBR is Insane when tac buffed. if I were going to run a Ltcmdr sci tac oddy I'd def use TBR2 especially with aux to batt.
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