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Join Date: Sep 2012
09-11-2013, 09:30 AM
Science powers were fantastic once upon a time. These days not so much sadly. Be prepared to contribute a lot less to your group in a science ship then you could in an escort or cruiser.
That Aside science is still fun, and still useful in pvp.
As you noted a lot of science powers suffer from very long cool downs and short durations. Your going to need very rare duty officers. Doffs can help cut recharge times or enhance the effects of your science powers, given the sorry state of those powers you really do need the doffs.
It used to be that the best thing you could do for a group in PVE was bring along a couple of gravity wells. Sucking a large group of enemy ships together not only groups them up for members of your group using AoE damage, it also creates chain reactions. Once the first ship suffers a warp core breach you can expect the others to follow suit due to their proximity.
Sadly most high end PVE content is no longer susceptible to this tactic as so many enemies use emergency power to engines and speed right out of the well.
In PvP Gravity Well is an effective way to deal with cloaked ships, mines, platforms, pets and targetable torpedoes. However Tractor beam repulsors will often do this better. Do not expect a Gravity well to pull any one in PvP. most equipment at max level grants a large enough inertial dampener bonus that people will be completely immune to the pull even without using resistance abilities.
Viral matrix has no practical use in PvE. The short duration of viral matrix is cut shorter by the resistance of NPC boss ships to disables. Using it on lesser ships is pointless as you destroy those ships quickly any way and will likely destroy a half dozen more before you can use viral matrix again.
In PvP Viral Matrix is very useful. While the duration is short it is long enough to create a moment of vulnerability that a high DPS friend can exploit. (if it cuts their aux their tanking abilities wont work effectively, if it cuts their engines they are easier to hit and your more likely to crit, if it cuts their weapons mid alpha strike then you can piss them off)
Photonic shockwave is not useful for PvE. Like viral matrix it suffers from the resistance of boss ships to disables. If you want an ability to push your enemies tractor beam repulsers are much better.
In PvP Photonic shockwave is useful. Not for the push but for the stun. If you are in a science ship and not flying with friends on voice chat don't bother as the disable time is short. If you are using it with a high alpha strike or DPS ship, or if you can co-ordinate efficiently with some one then the short duration disable can be exploited to pop your enemy.
Tyken's Rift is completely useless in PvP or PvE. Forget its description or what the tooltip claims. It does virtually nothing at all.
Jam Sensors is potentially useful for PvP if you have a single escort making your life miserable. However it does nothing to help your team, and you would usually be better off using something to tank that escort or make it dead rather then by jamming its sensors.
Mask Energy Signature has no real use in PvE. In PvP it is an effective defense against being the victim of an alpha strike from cloak.
Tractor beam is excellent in PvP, provided your target isn't sporting any of the many ways to grant themselves complete immunity to it. Chances are any one good enough to give you trouble will be immune but some times people do leave themselves vulnerable and when they do you can mess them up.
Unlike a gravity well tractor beams actually effect people in pvp. They do what they say on the tin. A guy in a tractor beam has no defense stat, can not effectively co-ordinate with their team and certainly cant put you in their best firing arc if you don't let them.
In PvE tractor beams are not amazingly usefull if you run with just one. Boss ships do not need to be tractored and lesser ships die quickly any way. If you stack two tractor beam abilities then you can use them often enough to be usefull against emergency power to engine spamming enemies.
Also note that a tractor beam duty officer adds shield drain to tractor beam making it a useful addition to a drain build. (the amount of drain is effected by your flow capacitors)
Charged Particle Burst is situational useful. If your in PvP with people using battle cloaks to escape destruction this is one skill to help foil them. Personally I prefer tractor beam repulsors to deal with cloaked ships but charged particle burst can be enhanced with both a DoT and a placate effect by doffs.
In PvE there are better ways to damage your enemies shields and disrupting cloak is only usefull in a couple of situations.
Feedback Pulse is a good way to discourage some one from shooting you, or to outright kill fools. However many escorts will be able to tank the damage and may chose to just keep ripping up your hull. The biggest downside to this ability is that it is completely up to your enemy if they want to take damage from it or not.
In PvE Feedback pulse is less useful on a science ship as the big bad boss ships will usually be targeting a well set up escort or cruiser instead of you.
Energy Siphon is best thought of as a buff for you first and a debuff for your enemies 2nd. With a full rack of flow capacitor consoles you can expect your science ship to gain 50pts of power to each of your subsystems (200pts total!) when you use this. Sadly the drain on your enemy is usually mitigated a lot by their power insulators but this is still usfull in both pve and pvp.
Tachyon beam is to be avoided on ships that are not pumping up both their flow capacitors and their auxiliary power. However if you are building a drain boat two tachyon beams, two tractor beams and two energy syphon's is the offensive ability load out of choice for a science ship. Complement this with hyper plasma torpedo spam, mines and other projectiles and you probably have the most effective science ship build that is currently possible without aux cannons.
Scramble sensors has an extremely short duration and an extremely long cool down. This renders it all but useless in most situations. However there is a duty officer which adds a debuff to your targets ability cool down timers. If you make use of this duty officer scramble sensors can make a huge difference to your teams ability to brake a tough tank in PvP.
Photonic officer is the solution to a science officers cool down woes. Aux to battery technician builds are usually less effective as the Science captain probably doesn't want to give up the ability to fire off aux power dependent abilities when they are needed in order to have those abilities available more often when they don't.
I still usually avoid photonic officer as you can not stack it with itself (it shares a cool down) and its own lengthy cool down does leave you with gaps when your abilities aren't recharging as quickly as they could if you had simply doubled them up. That said if you are working with fewer ability slots or want a build with a greater variety of abilities then this is a slot well spent.
Tractor beam repulsors are the Swiss army knife of Science. Two of these abilities on a ship gives you grater up time then down. They will take out incoming targetable projectiles and mines, rip up fighter pets, show you where cloaked ships are whilst eating away at their hull, screw up peoples ability to maneuver in PvP and really piss off tactical captains who pop all their alpha strike abilities a moment before you push their target out of range.
The tanky science abilities work well and as advertised so I shall not take the time to describe them. However I will point out that science heals do not go all the way to commander level as engineering ones do. If for some reason you want to make a dedicated healing ship do not use a science ship A cruiser with a lt.com Science ability slot is much better.
Last edited by pwstolemyname; 09-11-2013 at