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-   -   Broadsides vs. Frontal Assaults (http://sto-forum.perfectworld.com/showthread.php?t=95720)

Archived Post 02-01-2010 04:34 AM

Broadsides vs. Frontal Assaults
 
Weighing the pros and cons and a comparison to one another in terms of dps and burst potentional.

General Gameplay

First off, the obvious difference is where these attacks are from your ship to the target. Namely that one is projected from either side, and the other is towards the front. Again, it's obvious that a broadside is going to have better coverage, simply because the only weapons in the game capable of broadsides have ungodly coverage and two sides is better than one. On the other hand, weapons that are designed more for direct assault tend to have better burst/dps potentional. It really comes down to your playstyle on which of these you prefer, since every ship in the game is capable of going for either or after a fashion. Naturally, some are better suited for one or the other on a general basis, but even a science vessel can take advantage of a strong frontal assault depending upon what Bridge Officers are available.

Weaponry

Pretty much every weapon in the game can be used for a frontal assault, with the exception of mines, unless the target is very close, while broadsides can only be performed by a small number of weapons. These include turrets, beam arrays, and cannons.

Yes! It's possible to use cannons to perform broadsides in conjunction with beam arrays. The window is very small at only 50 degrees on either side, but it is there. Matter of fact this sort of broadside has several advantages over the conventional Array-Only broadside in that, not only do cannons generally deal better damage than arrays, but they also drain much less energy than arrays do. Meaning that your weapon energy won't drop as much when using cannons in conjunction with arrays, making them all hit harder with greater efficiency.

Of course, the weapons that specialize in frontal assaults generally deal greater dps and possess better burst potentional. These include dual heavy/cannons, torpedoes (if the shields are down), and dual beam arrays.

Engineering/Tactical Consoles

All things being equal, meaning the same amount of energy and weapons being used, a broadside will generally out damage a frontal assault, for the simple reason that the latter is using more guns. But if you use the weapons designed for frontal assault spec, the gap closes, and perhaps favors frontal assault depending upon the circumstances.

However, the presence of tactical and engineering consoles alters things a bit. Even a single EPS Relay will boost weapon recharge rates, which greatly assists broadsides in keeping their weapon energy up. Moreover, depending upon the number of tactical consoles available, only using one or two weapons during an attack allows you specialize in which attack you modify.

So the result is that, generally, a broadside will out perform a front assault in sustain dps simply because, again, the presence of there being more guns and the modifications that can be performed to bolster it's effects. If a ship, any ship, really wants to maximise their broadside potentional, the can do so with relative ease.

Player/Bridge Officier Abilities

But then again, there are certain things that can only be done with a frontal assault. I mentioned sustained dps, but what about burst potentional? This is where frontal assaults shine.

Just to make things simple, I'll only mention abilities that directly effect the performance of weapons. Debuffs on enemy ships, while perfectly worthwhile and should be used and used often (especially to counter support buffs), are not really what I'm making this thread for.

There are two classes of Player/Officier abilities in regards to weapons; ones that act as a buff that take effect for a period of time and those that are a one shot deal.

The former includes Attack Pattern Alpha, a Manuever that buffs energy weapon damage and Go Down Fighting, another ability that buffs energy weapon damage depending upon how much hull damage you've recieved (I do not know if the damage increases as you are damaged or it only accounts for how much you're hurting when you first activiate the ability). Both of these are available to Tactical Captains only.

Engineering Captains have access to Nadion Inversion, which prevents one weapon from draining your weapon energy when fired, automatically making the attack and attacks performed by other energy weapons stronger. In addition, there's EPS Power Transfer, which provides a small, general buff to a ship's power systems, including weapon energy.

Note; I do not know if Nadion Inversion works with cannons. If it does, it should not, since cannons drain such a small amount of energy already. The ability is made worthless if cannons are the weapons not using energy.

Science Captains do not have a direct offensive buff. Not to say that they don't have offensive options, but they aren't being mentioned for reasons already stated.

Moving on to bridge officers, I'll begin with the buffs that Tactical Officiers bring to the table. Namely, they have Rapid Fire, which buffs cannons and Attack Pattern Omega, which, I think makes Attack Pattern Alpha redundant. One ability may be stronger than the other in terms of damage, and it may actually be possible that they could be used in conjunction, but I just don't know for sure.

Engineering Officiers have Emergency Power to Weapons. That's it. Woo. Hoo. No, seriously, it's very strong. Only downside is the cooldown. Otherwise when combined with anything and everything else, it's a nightmarish skill that can boost your attack power by a couple times over.

Science Officers, again, this isn't meant to be about debuffs. I have nothing, but respect for the amazing and frankly scary things you can do (@ Tacyhon Beam: My shields, my sheilds! The resists, they do nothing!), this is about conventional weaponry. Not Nigh Omni-Present Cans of Whoopass that can be deployed at the drop of a hat.

Now that we're through the buffs, here are the one shots that only Tactical Officers are capable of pulling off; Fire Away, Beam Overload, High-Yield, and Spread.

Generally speaking, the buffs benefit both Frontal Assault and Broadsides, but one of them, namely Nadion Inversion ties better into Broadsides than it does Frontal Assault. And the same can be said for the one-shots, where the Torp related abilities are the only ones that can't be used by broadsides (that's right, cannons can perform Rapid Fire).

What this really breaks down is that Frontal Assaults have more burst options. Specifcally that a torpedo launcher, working in conjunction with a pair of alternating cannons and a dual beam array, can use all of the buffs and the one shots in one GLORIOUS attack! All but the most hardened and team buffed shields will succumb to an assault from Rapid Fire and Beam Overload. This handiedly paves the way for a High Yield to make it's way up the tail pipe of their most likely already burning hulk.

So in summary, a broadside being performed by a dedicated ship, whether it's an Escort, Cruiser, or Science Vessel, will outperform frontal assault in terms of raw dps, however, if you need something to die and you need it to die now, a dedicated frontal assault performed by an escort using beams, cannons, and torpedoes is the way to go.

P.S. Of course, there are problems with using multiple weapon systems. Namely that it's harder to skill up. Long term, it may even be impossible due to skill caps. Captains of any class of ship of any faction should be adviced that going for torps, beams, and cannons is a serious undertaking and it may gimp your character short to mid-term. Long term however, the pay-offs will be immensely satisfying.

P.P.S. Related series on Debuffs/Buffs for defensive/offensive tactics in a group setting.

The Torpedo Boat.

Archived Post 02-01-2010 05:00 AM

Good post.

I find myself broadsiding at half or 3/4 impulse then dropping to 1/4 impulse to make a quick turn to fire my forward torpedoes.

Archived Post 02-01-2010 05:10 AM

This is a good post, however a frontal assault ship doesn't need to stay fixed on 1 target. If you're up against a fleet of ships, fire your volley on the primary target and then when you need to maneuver then switch to another ship. Of coarse this will mean you will pull more fire if the other ship has no one on him, but it is a way of maximizing more damage in general. This becomes more significant in open instances like star base 24 where you are trying to out perform others for overall damage.

Archived Post 02-01-2010 05:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Spritzen
This is a good post, however a frontal assault ship doesn't need to stay fixed on 1 target. If you're up against a fleet of ships, fire your volley on the primary target and then when you need to maneuver then switch to another ship. Of coarse this will mean you will pull more fire if the other ship has no one on him, but it is a way of maximizing more damage in general. This becomes more significant in open instances like star base 24 where you are trying to out perform others for overall damage.

I haven't any experience with Escorts, but it seems to me that people that use them seem to be in love with dual cannons, completely ignoring cannons. The idea seems to be that their manueverability and speed will allow them to control their angle of fire during an approach, however worth considering is that as soon as you gain access to a Heavy Escort, you can fix two beam arrays to your aft section for broadsiding and run them and you cannons without much power loss. You can even put in turn rate consoles to control the broadside window and for when you're ready to deliever a torpedo into the hull.

Archived Post 02-01-2010 05:45 AM

The most fun in the game for me is not the broadside damage potential (which is kinda unique as in those classic ol' games ya shoot where ya look), it's how ALL sides of a ship can be deadly. Ok, it's only really true for cruisers, but that's why I chose the cruiser. For me being able to put pressure on the enemy from any side cancels out the speed and maneuverability issues, rather than playing a turning game I try to maximize my damage potential by slight turns depending on torpedo launcher/high yield recharge time left. The ideal way is broadside first, then front/aft when the shields are about to breach and fire the torpedo, back to broadside while the torpedoes reload. I think it's only 20 degrees you need to turn to get the target from simultaneous front+aft array arc into the front/aft torpedo arc.

Sometimes though there is that stupid Klingon in that BoP that still thinks the rear side of a ship is more vulnerable (probably used to be a feral druid in his previous one to nine lives), it's not hard to trick them into going to your broadside, and after getting out of the double love their next surprise is the high yield torps coming out of my @ss. Who doesn't want to poop death on their foes? It is a fantastic thing there.

Too bad the only ship class that can be effective on all sides is the cruiser, although the other ships don't need their aft weapons much anyway (escorts are nimble, science ships have higher auxiliary setting anyway -- both of them have an easy time keeping things in front of them). In addition to the lower amount of weapon hardpoints their warp core is not that great for firing multiple beam weapons at once, but cruisers can get away with it without lowering the damage.

Actually if it weren't for the broadside no one would play a cruiser. However I still like to have torpedoes too cause if used well their effect is both devastating and spectacular, and it would be just boring to spam space to cover 360 degrees around your ship.

Archived Post 02-01-2010 06:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CnB
Science Captains do not have a direct offensive buff. Not to say that they don't have offensive options, but they aren't being mentioned for reasons already stated.

Try Sensor Scan. This one can raise your damage output up to 30-40% for 15 secs.

Archived Post 02-01-2010 11:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Snowpig (Post 1845177)
Try Sensor Scan. This one can raise your damage output up to 30-40% for 15 secs.

I know, but if I'd mentioned that, I would have felt obligated to mention all of the other Science buffs and attacks. And frannkly I have no idea how powerful most of those are.

Archived Post 02-01-2010 03:03 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7l9uN...eature=related

Good vid demonstrating the potency of a good broadside, properly buffed by engineering abilities.

Archived Post 02-01-2010 03:24 PM

you know if you don't mine a smaller arc for your broadside swapping out half your arrays for banks (180arc) will up your damage a bit more at the cost of losing half the size of your broadside arc.

Archived Post 02-01-2010 03:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MechaBunneh
you know if you don't mine a smaller arc for your broadside swapping out half your arrays for banks (180arc) will up your damage a bit more at the cost of losing half the size of your broadside arc.

Hm? I don't know what you mean. As far as I know, Dual Beams, the only other Beam weapon aside from Arrays is a 90 degree weapon. Cannons hit at 180 degrees and I believe I mentioned them in regards to broadsiding.

http://forums.startrekonline.com/showthread.php?t=88576

That lists the different weapon systems available.

P.S. <3 Fran.


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