Advice for a Tac Captain in an Assault Cruiser
So recently I've begun doing Elite STFs and I want to make sure that I'm not letting my teammates down by going in with a poor build. I've read a lot of guides on the forums about how to configure a decent Cruiser, but I still feel like my damage output isn't where it should be. So I decided to come to the community to ask for advice. Please let me know if you have any suggestions on how I can make myself better and be a better asset to the team.
Here are my skills. I still have a few points left over
This picture shows my ship's equipment. I added text to explain what everything is. I find it easier to look at it this way rather than just writing it in the post
Second, get all your Tac console up to MK11.
Get the Borg Impulse for 5 EDC and the borg console from the mission Assimlitated.
For the boffs. You really need 2 EptW with all your beams. 2Engie Team is on shared cooldown with Tac team.
The most importent: Get to Sto Academy an read the walktroughs for the STF.
Not doing some stupid errors is more important than the perfect build ;-)
have fun and good luck :-)
DISCLAIMER: I am not the world's best player, I do some things that are against what many consider the 'right thing' to do, and I could be wrong on any of this - but this is based off of what I do myself.
From looking at this, you need to do a few things.
* First, you need to be rotating TT. Either have two copies of TT, or get the TT Conn DOff (2 x purple) that knocks down your cooldown so you can constantly rotate one copy.
* Second, Engineering team conflicts with TT. Only have one copy of it. TT helps you not get damaged in the first place, and helps you hit harder while you're at it.
* In fact, I would rearrange your engineering BOffs to do this:
Lt. Cmdr BOff
* Ens: EPtW1
* Lt.: Your choice
* Lt. Cmdr: EPtS3
* Ens: EPtW1
* Lt.: Your Choice
* Lt. Cmdr: EPtS3
* Cmdr: A2SIF3
Note that Direct Energy Modulation is not all that great.
* Science team is also going to conflict with your engineering team and tactical team. I don't know if I"d drop it but I"d consider it strongly, in favor of Hazard Emitters.
* Consider replacing BFaW2 with an Attack Pattern - those are the bread and butter of tacs. It may not be for you, though, but I would definitely swap BFaW2 and THY1 for BFaW1 and APB1 if you can get the TT Conn DOffs.
POWER ROTATION - You want to put a key in that will rotate these powers. Possibly your space bar. The rotation will consist of BOTH copies of EPtW, BOTH copies of EPtS, whatever TT you have, and A2SIF3. This will give you a continuous offensive and defensive buff cycle with 2/3rds to full uptime, although it will take up to 15 seconds to fully kick in. NOte however you WILL have to break the cycle in order to use science team or engineering team. Many times linking these with the space bar, along with the 'fire all weapons' command that's normally there, is popular. It's also what I do. But again, you'll have to break cycle to do something other than kill things, possibly for several seconds.
Now on to your stats...
* First off, going up to 9 levels in most stats is a waste. It falls off HARD after that. So I'd shave off the extra stat points on Maneuvers, Targeting, Hull Plating, Shield Performance and Warp Core Potential. ESPECIALLY Warp Core Potential, those last 3 levels don't net you even one single full point of power. Warp Core Potential IMO should be at level 6 for EVERYONE - not one level more or less.
* Shield performance is similarly not all that spectacular of a boost going from level 6 to 9 - it's +8.4 power versus +9.9 power.
* Your Graviton Generators and Particle Generators are literally doing nothing that I can see - you have no science skills that seem to use these (I think) and you don't even have Eject Warp Plasma, which does use particle generators. Drain 'em.
* Starship Sensors is iffy - as I understand it, it does not do much, if anything, to help Fire on my Mark, the main reason a tac would care. But it probably does help with cloaked ships.
* HOWEVER, Sensors brings me to my next point - if you really want Jam Sensors you're going to need to have a boost to aux power, also if you want to reap the benefits of a boost to Starship Sensors. Bump Starship Aux Performance to level 3-level 6.
* Bump Starship Hull Reinforcements to 6.
* I would consider moving Engine Performance to 6, but it's not as vital as the others.
* Drop Starship Projectile Weapons to at MOST level 6, probably more like 3-4. Projectile weapons don't net you a whole lot of a boost as a cruiser commander - while IMO you should carry them, they're a supplement to your beam arrays.
* Bump up Starship Energy Weapons Specialization to 6. Consider dropping Starship Projectile Weapons Specialization.
* Driver Coil is of limited use, I'd consider ditching that stat entirely. The only combat use it has is that you can full impulse into battle more effectively. While this IS a concern, it's questionable if it's enough of a concern to dump 6000 points into it.
* On your GROUND stats, since you hopefully have a few points to spare I would bump Squad Command up to level 6 because of one MAJOR factor - Tactical Initiative. Works MUCH better with Squad Command, as do several other buffs that help you when you want to unload a Pulsewave (or any other weapon) in an enemy's face.
Your consoles need work.
* The Tetryons ought to be Mk XI blue or better (or equivalent, e.g. Mk XII green).
* Neutronium should be Mk XI blue or better, and you should knock out the ablative hull console. Damage resist bonuses are of diminishing returns, so chances are the generalized damage resistance bonus is going to cause you less headaches than hauling around extra plating in your inventory and swapping on demand for little actual benefit, if any. If you MUST use the ablative console, it too should be Mk XI blue or better.
* One of those science consoles should be swapped out (probably the shield emitter amplifier) for a field generator, Mk XI blue or better, to increase your shield HP. I in fact use two in those slots.
* Consider the three-piece Borg set with the MACO shield, which will give you fantastic regeneration and endurance. In that case you will want to put in the Borg console over one of your armor consoles (again, boot out the Ablative armor).
Note that for consoles, generally there are some that are equivalent to one another. For instance, most Mk XI blue consoles are equivalent to Mk XII green and Mk X purple.
As per weapons...
* Think about if you really want tetryon weapons. They're good, but they have minimal impact if they shoot a target with its shields down. IMO disruptor or phaser might help you more, or maybe antiproton, though the true effectiveness of antiproton is currently disputed, with at least one person whose opinion I respect a great deal stating it's the WORST damage type.
* I would personally consider ditching the DBB for another beam array up front, then stick a qtorp in back.
And for equipment in general: You could help by getting it all up to Mk XII purple. That said, if you did do that it's questionable what the point of running Elite STFs is. :)
Finally, I'm going to say you ought to take a look at the Dragon Build. While I have been criticized in the past for recommending this, I find it an effective way to put together a cruiser that does more than heal and get shot. But be sure to double-check the facts in there - several have changed, particularly the EPS consoles (don't use those, they're mostly for people whose strategies rely heavily on rapid swaps of power profiles).
For some reason the forum won't let me edit my original post. So, an additional comment regarding ship devices.
You state you don't like consumables. I would propose for devices that you use the Subspace Modulator (non-consumable, though a long cool-down - still, it gives you a panic button), a turret pack (useful for defending gates and such in STFs, even if it IS a consumable), the red matter capacitor (if you can get it), and a shield battery. I realize the shield battery is also a consumable; however, you have no points in subsystem repair. Many believe that subsystem repair does nothing of value; I disagree, though that's entirely subjective. However, fact of the matter is that if your shields are off-lined and you're taking heavy firepower, the jump-start from a shield battery is often the difference between being torn apart or not. I dislike reliance on consumables as well, but I carry a shield battery for just this situation, and it's saved my hide a few times in the Mirror Universe event.
Thank you everyone for your suggestions, especially Red.
I originally chose Tetryon Beam weapons because I thought that the shield-killer bonus was the best bonus there was. However, I do see some people using Disruptors and the added damage-resistance killer seems like a good bet as well. Especially since the whole group gets to use it instead of something like Anti-proton where the weapon's bonus only benefits the one shooting it. Why Phasers though?
The reason for the Ablative Hull Armor was because it seemed like a good catch-all taking care of the most common energy types. I'll look into upgrading all the consoles too. I'm a little curious that no one tore me a new one for the console that increases turn rate. I figured that one would be the one to be given the boot. With cruisers having such slow turn rates though it helps to have a little boost. The reason the Borg console isn't in there yet is because I'm still working my way through the missions. Once I get it though I will definitely equip it. I've heard a lot of good things about the 3-piece Borg set plus MACO Shield, and since I just got the MK 12 MACO Shield I'll be all set once I get the console.
I'll take your advice about the stats hands-down. When I was originally statting my character I didn't understand what a lot of the different things did. I'll look into a Reset Note, or whatever we call them in this game XD
I've heard about the constant buffing with the Emergency Power to X abilities and it seems pretty nice. How do you set that up though? Do I just go to Key Bindings in the Options Menu and assign all of those powers to the space bar? If so, how does the computer know which one to use first? Or does it just not matter? Reverse Shield Polarity 3 has saved my butt quite a few times. Do you think that Aux Power to SIF 3 is a better choice?
Again, thank you for your advice. This is really helping
this will help you with the keybinds :)
Cruisers are for engineers. Escorts for tacs. No alternative for elite endgame content. All other builds are a burden in a team. :)
I would consider going with disruptors as well, but it just feels wrong to do so on my Feddies. Though my KDF Tac uses disruptors and he manages some devastating damage in a BoP.
However, two types I would NOT recommend are Polaron and Plasma. Polaron requires the Flow Capacitor stat to work well, and most people who run energy drain builds are science characters. Plasma's proc is less than impressive, although I'm told that it's been improved over the last few weeks. That said, I'm still not too thrilled with it.
As per Neutronium armor, THAT is the true catch-all in the game. Ablative is good, but Neutronium catches all energy types - and, more importantly, projectile damage. Projectiles are the real danger of bare-hull strikes, because on hull they hit four times as hard, if I recall correctly. A few torps at the wrong time against bare hull can take a moderately-intact cruiser and make it more fit for the scrap heap than continued battle.
Finally, regarding the MACO shield - while I do not have hard data to back it up, it seems like running my MACO shield with only two pieces of the Borg set is more survivable than three pieces of the Borg set - I don't have the console on my tac either, so I decided to try out the 2 Borg/MACO shield combo there. You may want to consider this as an option, or at least try it out. The proc for the shield is almost always kicking in if you've been in battle longer than 15 seconds. It's rare I leave a fight without it up at least once, and often a heavy firefight has me leaving it with 5 or 6 stacked.
There's a fairly in-depth guide to how the space stats supposedly work that was compiled when the current stat tree went into effect. Unfortunately I don't know where it got off to, but you might want to dig around for it, as you might find it quite insightful and worth consulting.
As per RSP, my PERSONAL luck hasn't been that great with it, but many have praised it and I'm considering trying to cram it on my AC-R. However, A2SIF is a moderate hull repair and 2/3rds uptime damage resist, so it's pretty beneficial that way. So far as I know, A2SIF3 is regarded as one of the most valuable stats in the game.
As an alternative layout, you could either stick RSP in one of the "optional" slots in the engineers (I think RSP1 is a Lt. ability?), or you could get RSP2 by swapping one of the EPtS3 to EPtS2, swap one of the "optional" slots into the Lt. Cmdr position this frees up, and stick RSP2 there.
And nobody should ever fly a science ship because they're all rubbish.
And if you don't use Voice Chat you're hurting the team.
And the devs hate Klingons.
Seriously though, that's scrub thinking.
A Tactical Cruiser can make a better team tank than an Engineer by trading excess survivability for the ability to more securely hold enemy attention; and an Engineering Escort can potentially end up being more effective than a Tac by not requiring extra support and dying less often.
Starship roles are grey areas in PVE, even on Elite STFs.
Case in point: What if I main tank for an Endgame Team as an Engineer... but in an Escort? Doing so is technically riskier (in terms of my own survivability) than in a Cruiser, but I will deal considerably more damage than a Cruiser would be capable of doing, and I can rest safe knowing that none of my teammates are ever going to be able to pull aggro off me. With a good working knowledge of STO combat mechanics, surviving tanking unaided in something like a Patrol Escort is perfectly doable.
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