Tactical Officer Can't Choose a Ship!
So I came back to STO early this month after about... a year and a half? off from the game. I"ve run some missions, got some new ships, and I'm at a complete and utter loss as to where to go and what to do. The few friends I have left in the game play Engineers or Science Officres and aren't a lot of help in the advice category. I can't decide what ship to go with, and I need some advice on choice and build. Not that I even HAVE a playing style yet beyond "don't die!"
Here's what's sitting on my options list.
Galaxy-X class dreadnaught
So far, the Galaxy-X doesn't seem to be very powerful anymore, not to mention sluggish. The Defiant is agile, but dies if someone looks at it hard. The Odyssey has been better balanced, and I wonder if I should spring for its Tactical variant instead. The Prometheus, Excelsior, and Vesta I haven't touched yet. There's also another class of Tactical Escort I haven't touched yet.
So what am I looking for? A good PvE ship, for doing the dailies, rep grinds, and STFs. Basically, a good balance of DPS and survivability. Though I'll take pure DPS as long as I don't die like a baby bird in a monsoon.
As for gear, I've got some Phaser MK XI from the Old Days, and some Phased Polaron XII gear from lockboxes. I've also got old versions of the Aegis set, as well as the Reman and Breen sets from I think... a year or two ago. They're Mk X or XI.
I feel like I'm starting over from scratch, but I don't want to give up my only Vice Admiral. :) I remember being better at the Defiant class and juggling manueverability on cruisers bettesr. I dont' know how much is me being out of practice, having bad gear, a bad skill build, or the wrong ship. Probably some combo of all of it.
*fires off a distress beacon*
The Defiant Retrofit is a fine ship, and you can set up your Engineering and Science Boff slots for survivability. Emergency Power to Shields, Rotate Shield Frequency, Hazard Emitters, and Reverse Shield Polarity give you a number of survival tools, plus the bonus defense from moving at full speed in combat.
It's also one of the hardest-hitting ships in the entire game (4 Tactical consoles on the regular ship, 5 on the Fleet ship), and since most of the PVE game requires that you blow stuff up as fast as possible, it'll serve you very well in all dailies and missions.
The only real downside (compared to other escorts) is that, with three Ensign boff abilities, you can't use an all-cannon build without essentially wasting that third Boff ability.
Don't overlook the other escorts, though. If you haven't already, you should check out the list of playable ships on the STO wiki ( http://www.stowiki.org/Playable_starship ) -- people swear by other escorts just as much as I swear by the Defiant, and for good reason. They each bring something different to the table, and you might find having more Science or Engineering abilities is more fun than being loaded with Tactical abilities.
Welcome back!! Might I suggest you review the following: The Hilbert Guide, The STO Skill Planner, and the various builds specific to the type ship you are most interested in. There is a PVP boot camp already in effect too but if you like PM me and I can discuss what has been covered thus far... I am aware you said you were mainly interested in PVE but when it comes to ship builds and planning, the PVP stuff works a treat in PVE especially.
Regarding ships, really depends on what your taste is. Wonders can be done with a Tact captain with the fleet Excelsior, Regent and 3 pack Vesta. Many swear by the Oddy as well but if your use to ships with maneuverability (i.e. Defiant) I would warn you that it is comparatively sluggish. As for escorts, based on what I have been told and have seen and used personally, the best ships thus far are the Defiant Retrofit (many prefer the Fleet version); the Steam Runner (Can be purchased via Steam itself and is better spec wise than the Fleet Defiant); and if you can afford to be patient and take your time the Temporal Destroyer is pretty nifty as is the infamous 'Bug Ship'... which I suspect will inevitably be sold via the Lobi store eventually given that the new set of Jem'Hadar ships now require the bug ship to get one of the special powers that comes with all owned ships.
The Thunderchild is quite popular as well (and has a pretty nifty name). Also, last but not least, the new T5 Ambassador (available only during the three year anniversary event) is pretty decent too and in my opinion on par with the Excelsior. Having both the difference is minimal depending on your build of course. I would have added the Breen ship in the mix but your outta luck, no longer available to anyone now nor can you buy one because it was bound on pick up after the Winter event.
So there you go, plenty to think about. The only other thing I would add is that the Hilbert guide is pretty awesome. Frankly, the majority of special consoles are gimmicky and inevitably a straight out build for pure DPS is the way to go. However, that being said, enjoy the game and what it has to offer. Many of the special consoles do provide some entertainment every now and then. Up to you.
You probably want one of the escorts, they can get decent survivability (although anything will die to the newly buffed ESTF Borg occasionally) and tons of firepower. Some people will say that the Vesta can do as much and more, but really it can only just about match the DPS of an escort, without bringing any capabilities that an MVAE doesn't and while lacking much of the mobility of an escort. Whichever escort you choose your survivability should come from chained TT1 (either with 2 copies or one with some doffs), chained EPtS (either 1 and 2 or 1 with Damage Control Engineers, but the latter is a lot less reliable), and TSS1 and HE2 on sci. With the MVAE you'll want a GW1 for sci as well, that saves the optional in probably a third of the ISEs I run.
... That's weird. I"ve got the Odyssey. It says I've got the Odyssey Bridge/Interior selected in customization, but its not the bridge I've seen in all the vids. Is it because I got this one during the last anniversary?
Okay, ultimately it looks like I'm looking at trying one of two builds/layouts.
Pure DPS in the Retrofitted Defiant, an Survivable DPS in the Odyssey. What skills should I be looking at?
I would go with these 2 as they are made for Tacs and there is also the Armitage.
The one thing I don't like about it, is that it's an all-cannon build, and the last time I checked, the All-Cannon build drained weapon power way too fast. So I'm mixing in a couple Quantum Torpedo Mk XI launchers into the mix and adjusting the load-out to match.
Here's what I've got
3x Dual Heavy Phaser Cannons Mk XI (Purple)
1x Quantum Torpedo Launcher Mk XII (Purple)
Full Aegis Set
2x Phaser Turret Mk XI (Purple)
1x Quantum Torpedo Launcher Mk XI (Purple)
20x Shields Battery
20x Engine Battery
Universal Cloaking Device
RCS Accelerator Mark XI (Blue)
Neutronium Alloy Mark XI (Blue)
Universal Assimilated Console
Field Generator Mark XI (Blue)
Prefire Chamber Mk XI (Blue)
Phaser Relay Mk XI (Blue)
Zero Point Quantum Chamber Mk XI (Blue)
Warhead Yield Chamber Mk XI (Purple)
Tactical Team I
Attack Pattern Delta I
Torpedo: High Yield III
Cannon: Rapid Fire III
Lt. Cmdr. Tactical
Tactical Team I
Cannon: Scatter Volley I
Attack Pattern Omega I
Torpedo: Spread I
Emergency Power to Shields I
Auxiliary Power to SIF I
Science Team I
Transfer Shield Strength I
So what needs tweaking?
The Dual Cannons. Dual cannons grab a lot of power, Dual Heavy Cannons have a ridiculous power cycle that helps them deal more damage than anything else could ever dream of.
Also, do not use Warhead Yield or Prefire Chambers. Zero-Point Chambers and Phaser Relays stack with themselves and offer much better bonuses to damage.
2 DHC 2 Q toprs for
4 Turrets Rear
I would swap the RCS for another neutronium alloy as it already turns great
I would swap Aux Pwr to Sif to Structual.
I would swap out science team for Hazard Emitters.
I would use 3 phaser relays and q point chamber.
Thanks for the console input, both of you. I thought stacking consoles had diminishing returns, so I always tried to vary weapon type and energy type to get the most bang for my buck. Apparently, that's wrong.
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