What Character Should You Play?
I've always liked these threads in other games so I'll start one for Star Trek Online. Please add your comments, especially if you are past Lt. Commander.
WHAT CHARACTER SHOULD YOU PLAY?
Thankfully all three roles; Tactics, Engineer and Science roles, work well and are fun to play. It's a mystery to me why Cryptic was so reasonable as to let all three roles fly any of the ships, but I'm glad they did. Ok, let's get to it:
HOW DO THEY PLAY?
My Tactical Officer likes to charge into battle at full throttle blowing the hell out of things. He likes to kill things.
I like to charge into battle using beam weapons then spinning to send torpedoes into the shieldless exposed sides. I like big explosions and I'm into damage control. I kill people and enjoy watching their ships explode while imaging the crew being expelled into space, screaming. Some people say that I'm not right in my head.My Engineer Officer likes to hang around the edges of battle and draw fire. His ship enhancing abilities keep him alive.
I like to slow to a crawl at maximum range and send beams and torpedoes into my enemy. By the time they get close they are seriously hurt. When they decide to surround me I keep my tactics simple by strengthening my shields, repairing my ship and letting autofire beam weapons kill everyone. I pilot a cruiser and enjoy being the center of attention.My Science Officer is a little of both. He "can" survive but take a beating. He "can" kill but he can also heal, which is very nice for everyone. He's a little harder to play than Tactical or Engineer officers but I enjoy a good joke, especially when I pull it on the bad guys.
When I enter a battlefield, whether ground or space, I observe my enemy and keep an eye on my friends. I reduce my enemies effectiveness and weaken them. It's gratifying to confuse them into stop attacking while I, or my friends, continue to damage them. When my friends are in need, they appreciate me indeed. I prop them up and keep them fighting.THOUGHTS ABOUT THE ROLES
Contrary to other games each role you play can fly the ships "designed" for the other roles. Want a Tactical Officer and a Science Ship? No problem. Want an Engineer or Science officer piloting an Escort ship? Do it.
I recommend that you try all three roles to see if you prefer one over another. Keep in mind that you get one free ship when you make Lt. Commander at level 11, but that doesn't stop you from buying the other ships. Just spend the money and walla, you have a new ship.
It's hard to do when you are first starting out but if you would like to not waste time let me give you a few tips:
DISCLAIMER: I invite anyone who has played past the Lt. Commander tier to add their thoughts. Everyone's opinions are welcome and there is no right or wrong, especially if it makes you happy to play your build.
I STILL CANNOT DECIDE, WILL YOU DECIDE FOR ME?
Ok, this request comes up quite a bit so here are the basics that I use to help pick roles for people.
How much time do you have to play?
TACTICAL OFFICER piloting an Escort Ship - I chose this combination for you because the Escort ships are fast, loot fast and kill things fast. Completing quests fast gives you fast rewards and you level fast. Escort ships shine with Tactical Officers who can increase the damage output of their weapon systems.
ENGINEER OFFICER piloting either a Cruiser or a Science Ship - This combination strengthens either ship, allowing you to take more damage and survive, keeping yourself, your crew and your ship alive longer. If you get a console or two that helps with damage output this combination should be enjoyable.
SCIENCE OFFICER piloting a Science Ship - As you know a Science Officer can pilot any of the ships, but their strengths focus on healing, debuffing and playing tricks on the bad guys. Since this is extremely fun I want you to take your time; make some friends and build some relationships. People will love you and don't you deserve that?
BRIDGE OFFICER INFORMATION
My Main officer, Lt. Commander Commander, is a harsh leader given to fits of jealousy and envy with the effect being that he is rather severe with his treatment of Bridge Officers. He's even been known to advance on an enemies position without realizing that one of his Bridge Officers is down for the count.
So, as his bibliographer, I will list some important pieces of information about Bridge Officers, who Lt. Commander Commander considers as tools that allow him to reach his goal of sector domination.
HOW DO THE ROLES IN THEIR OWN TYPE SHIP PLAY?
Lt. Commander Engineer in a Cruiser
Cruisers are designed to be the brutes in the game and soak up a lot of damage. They CAN be outfitted to fight, and they fight well while surviving well, but we are talking about their true innate roles so let's go with Brute.
What do you need to begin with?
My weapon load outs consist of two powerful 90 degree arc weapons in the front; usually a torpedo and a beam weapon. My rear weapons are a 250 degree beam weapon and a mine layer (a 360 degree weapon).
This combination works with my Cruiser play style which is aggressively defensive. My tactic is simple - make them come to me, auto attack while in a timely manner pushing every button that will keep me alive. The beam weapons and mines do their business and between my Engineer and my Bridge Officers the ship stays whole.
Turning is not as important to my Cruiser's survival as it is with an Escort. I turn, sure, but slowly because my ship is a big fat rhino. I know that and play to that strength by allowing my rear beam and mines to contribute to the damage instead of being an afterthought.
The real key is the survival of your ship. For instance, in a battle you will be bombarded by beam weapons which you can usually ignore if your shields have a great recharge, but the big problem is the torpedoes. When you see them coming click the shield bar facing the torpedo to strengthen it. That will mitigate the damage and drop a 150 damage strike down to 80 or so.
But it's the OTHER stuff you do that will save the day. Everything has a timer and you need to learn your Bridge Officer powers and your powers timers. If you are getting hammered Strengthen your shields, wait a couple of seconds for that to kick in then Spread their power effectively giving the weakened shields the benefit of the power from shields not being pounded on.
Wait a few seconds to see what happens then reinforce your shield and hit the science officer power that stops your target from shooting you, wait a few seconds then Spread the shields power across all shields. Now heal your shields again and press evasive maneuvers to improve ship functions and allow you to turn better.
I know, it's a button pressing mess but it's also exhilarating and don't forget that the whole time your weapons are chewing into your opponent. You WILL live.. .they WILL die.
HOW DO THE ROLES IN THEIR OWN TYPE SHIP PLAY?
Lt. Commander Science officer in a Science Ship
Science ships are a hybrid ship with a little better turning than a Cruiser, a little stronger shields than an Escort, and more Science stations than either Cruiser or Escort. Throughout history Science has brought us advances and advantages that help make our lives easier and better. In Star Trek Online the same can be said of Science Officers in a Science Ship.
They make your life easier and better.
What do you need to begin with?
Many people might think that I wasted my Lt. power by getting Science II but I don't think so. Last night I was in a small group and having two science powers came in very handy. I was a higher level than them and had better stuff on my ship. The enemy was not damaging me much but they were chewing up my team mates. It was really simple, and gave me a lot of pleasure, to heal both of them during a battle. I even got a thank you from one of them that took the time to check her log to see what saved her bacon. hahah.
The great thing about a Science ship is that it can fill so many roles. I play my Science Ship as a combat ship most of the time. With heals, strong shields, great weapons and a plasma torpedo I enter battle with little fear, ripping things to pieces. If it becomes too hairy I simply point myself at empty space to gain distance while cutting enemies to pieces with my rear beam weapons.
If you have never looked at the Science powers you need to. There are some that make me scratch my head and ask myself, "What the hell does that mean?" However, if one of the powers doesn't work out simply replace it with another power. What are you going to do with those lower level class points anyway? Improve your ship? Bahh, humbug. You'll be making so much money you can buy the best from the Exchange. Use those points to test out the powers !
A typical battle for my Science Officer is to enter combat from a distance using beam and torpedoes to wreck a ship. As it turns I turn to be parallel to it allowing me to bring my other two beams into the picture. There is a sweet spot, or I should say a sweet angle, that allows your three beams to all fire on the target. With the Science ships maneuverability keeping close to that sweet angle is pretty easy to do.
When you start taking damage spread your shield power out and that will mitigate damage to a single shield. If you are fighting something powerful use your Science Ensign power to make the opponent stop targeting you and firing on you. This only lasts about 10 seconds but it's 10 seconds of you shooting them and them NOT shooting you.
If your shields start to get damaged hit Science I and heal them. You'll be buffing yourself at the same time as healing your shields and then Spread the shield strength around: with your great shields and their huge recharge rate you effectively give yourself a full heal. Around 15 seconds later if you need it again then hit Science II.
Ok, that's about it. Keep shooting your powered up beams, High Yield torpedoes (Plasma for the win!), healing yourself and keeping the bad guy from shooting you.. and guess what? You win the battle. They lose.
Well, the problem Branix is you've done such a danged good job everyone else is speachless <LOL>. Excellent post, very informative, and it should be made a sticky.
Thank you. I would like some information about the roles past Lt. Cmdr though. I'm having too much fun leveling 2 alts and haven't gotten past Lt. Cmdr yet. hahah
(Reserved for future use)
(Reserved for future use)
This is excellent work, branix. Adding it to the info index.
holy cow, thanks for the info! This is very helpful
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