Critique my build: advanced escort with (regular) cannons
I'm trying to maximize the DPS on my advanced escort (for PVE and PVP). I'm not the greatest pilot in the quadrant, so I find myself at more than a 45 degree angle from my target a lot. I've tried using regular (not double/quad) cannons on my escort, on the grounds that more time actually hitting is better than more damage when I hit. Is this nuts? How can I improve my build? Here's the build. I'm not looking for burst damage, but DPS over time/average DPS.
All of my equipment is level XI except my level X engines.
Fore weapons: Polarized tetryon beam array, photon torpedo (dmg), tetryon cannon (crtH*2,dmg), tetryon cannon (acc*2, crtH)
Engine: Hyper Combat
Shields: Jem'Hadar (I also have Paratrinic and Reman, but I'm not sure which is best)
Aft weapons: Tetryon beam array (dmg), photon torpedo (crtH), tetryon turret (crtD, dmg)
Devices: Subspace field modulator
Engineering Consoles: Green neutronium, green RCS
Science Consoles: Blue biofunction, blue shield emitter amplifier, purple sensor probes
Tatical: 3*green tetryon pulse generators, blue photon detonation assembly
9 ranks in Starship Attack Patterns, Starship Energy Weapons, Starship Maneuvers, Starship Weapons Training, Starship Projectile Weapons, Starship Targeting Systems, Starship Energy Weapon Specialization
6 ranks in Starship Projectile Weapon Specialization
9 ranks in Driver Coil, 3 ranks in Structural Integrity, Starship Electro-Plasma Systems, Starship Engine Performance, Starship Weapon Performance
9 ranks in Starship Hull Repair, 3 ranks in Starship Subsystem Repair, 9 ranks in Starship Impulse Thrusters, 3 ranks in Starship Hull Plating
6 ranks in Starship Warp Core Efficiency and Starship Warp Core Potential, 3 ranks in Starship Shield Performance
7 ranks in Starship Shield Emitters, 4 ranks in Starship Power Insulators, 3 ranks in Starship Inertial Dampers
6 ranks in Starship Shield Systems, 3 ranks in Starship Sensors
I have attack pattern alpha, attack pattern omega 3, cannon scatter volley 2, beam fire at will 1, torpedo high yield 3, tactical team 2, target weapons subsystems 1, science team 2, engineering teams 1 and 2 (I know I need to do something about that), hazard emitters 1, and transfer shield strength 1. Getting cannon rapid volley is on my to-do list.
I own the full Breen set and a bit of EC, and I'm fine with replaying missions for better gear, though I'd also like to have a better idea about what my long-term grinding goals will be.
2 reasons why it does not pay out to use single cannons neither in PVP nor PVE
PVP you win through high burst dmg...not time on target. Now i wouldn't say that single cannons arent viable for PVP, but burst is king...if you have a grp setup where single cannon would make sense, because of something go for it. But high dmg numbers mean nothing if you can't actually kill anything.
PVE, does it matter what fireing arc you have? No, you can even do elite stfs with a 6 turnrate ship equipped with DHC...since you do not need to move much actually. ofcourse this example is rather extreme, but turnrate in stfs is not the most important thing...dmg is.
so in my opinion, do it if you like, but i think improving how you maneuver your ship is the improvement you should work on.
If you want to improve your build for both PvP and PvE, really the best source of information is the Hilbert guide which you can find here
I got referred to it when I first started playing STO, and it is essential reading - setting up a keybind is particularly important, and once you have the key principles sorted, you can start to experiment with your build without weakening it.
(ii) Concerning Damage; the biggest thing will be making sure you're always running at maximum (125) weapons power. You're already running 3 matching energy consoles; but you may want to look at that and increase it to four if you're concentrating on damage from Energy Weapons rather than Projectile Launchers or Mines.
DHCs are normally the weapons of choice on Escorts, because Escorts have the ability to equip Dual Cannons and enough maneuverability to constantly keep targets inside their narrow 45' weapon arcs. It's possible to build a working setup without DHCs... but once you start going down that route, you really might as well be flying a Cruiser or a Science Vessel instead of an Escort.
In PVE, the "ideal" Escort weapons setup will depend on what you're fighting; but generally either 4x DHCs (Fore) or 2-3 DHCs and 1-2 Quantum Torpedo Launchers (Fore) are the most effective setups. The 4x DHC setup is fairly straightforward. If you want a bit of extra burst damage, then equip one torpedo launcher (for High Yield or Spread). If you find yourself fighting from longer range, or unshielded targets (STFs) then go for 2 Launchers and a few Projectile Weapons DOFFs to increase their firing rate. Occasionally you might see someone use a Dual Beam Bank (for Beam Overload 3), this is an extremely powerful Burst damage buff; but you'll nearly always get better results over time from DHCs (using Cannon Rapid Fire) instead.
Effective PVE weapon setups in the "Rear" Arc are usually either 3x Turrets (Traditional setup) or 1x Turret and 2x Tricobalt Mines (High Burst damage setup, works very well with high-tier Dispersion Pattern Abilities). These days you might also see a Borg "Cutting Beam" equipped in place of a rear turret, since it has a 360' firing arc and has a little more punch than a standard turret.
Try to avoid taking Engineering Team or Science Team, since the cooldown for these is shared with Tactical Team - which is usually very important to have up constantly; instead go for 'Aux to SIF' or 'Transfer Shield Strength' since these do much the same thing (they grant a "heal" and provide a damage resistance buff).
For Tactical BOFF Abilities, you really need to match them to your weapons loadouts: if you're using Tricobalt Mines, a "Dispersion Pattern" (usually Beta) should be your highest tier ability. Next important are high tiers of Attack Pattern Beta (PVE only) and Cannon Rapid Fire. And finally, Torpedo High Yield/Spread.
Never take higher than 'Cannon Scatter Volley I' and 'Tactical Team I' - the former's only use is to turn your weapons fire into an AoE, and the latter's is to balance your shields... the damage buff provided by higher tiers is negligable.
And finally: if you aren't taking either 'Polarise Hull' or 'Tractor Beam Repulsors' in your Science BOFF, you'll probably want to take a copy of 'Attack Pattern Omega I' to allow you to escape enemy Tractor Beams.
Something that is pretty standard for every PVE escort build is to run dual TacTeams. Rank 1 will usually be enough, with TacTeam Conn Doffs giving a reduced CD and a buff to your attack patterns.
The second thing I noticed was the fact that you were using 3 different types of wepons. You have Torps, Cannons and Beams. It is usually more efficient to concentrate on 1-2 types, meaning you will get a bigger effect from your wepons buffs.
e.g.: Fire at Will/beam overload: effects beams only, no effect on cannons or torps. If you pop FaW, only 2 of your weapon slots will be effected, leaving the other ones less efficient. Same goes for Scatter Volley and High Yield.
So try to go for either beams/cannons, beams/torps, cannon/torps, all-cannon or all-beam.
A typical setup for a ship with 2 weapon types would look something like this:
T1: TacTeam, [insert buff skill for weapon type 1], [insert buff skill for weapon type 2], [insert skill of your choice],
T2: TacTeam, [insert buff skill for weapon type 1], [insert buff skill for weapon type 2],
for a setup with a single weapon type:
T1: TacTeam, [insert skill of your choice], [insert buff skill for weapon], [insert skill of your choice],
T2: TacTeam, [insert skill of your choice], [insert buff skill for weapon],
That way you will almost constantly have buffs up for all your weapon types, something that cannot be accomplished when running three different types.
A typical "skill of choice" would be AP Omega, AP Beta or Mine Pattern (when running mines aft)
I've read the Hilbert Guide, but I was hoping to find something a little less "cookie-cutter". There really is no way to have an effective escort with single cannons?
Thanks for the advice about the team skills (I already have Omega 3).
2nd. Omega is not team it is self only if you more team focused go for beta this help dmg from entire team as opposed from omega that helps only you. Both are good but depend mostly on what environment you use it and how you fly.
After the changes with new reputation cookie cutter changed to both sero point and assimilation consoles and cutting beam in aft instead of turret.
for typical 4xDHC 2xturrets 1x cutting beam go for this boffs
1st TT1 - CSV1 - RF2 - Omega3 or Beta3
2nd TT1 - CSV1 - RF2
This gives you good single target and good aoe your choice about when to use them to best effect (hint: kang defense / probe duty CSV - cubes gates and other structures RF)
Emergency power to shields x2 with new -threat consoles from embassy emergency power to weapons are nice too on heavy single targets as you will avoid aggro
Hazard emitters as borgs dots will kill you fast if not cleared depends on escort at least 1 copy 2 prefered, shield heal and than gravity well if you have lt comm escort.
Do not go for RSF, it is on long cooldown and with new consoles from embassy you shouldnt get aggro if you dont screw up in piloting and target choosing (hint: attack same thing as your team unless it is something squishy, dont charge against tac cubes first let others grabb aggro first - few seconds is enough and its lower delay than respawn).
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