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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
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:

TACTICS
  • Do you like the color Red? That's the base color for Tactics.
  • Are you combat inclined? Overall, Tactics is about Combat, but can do other things.
  • Tactical officers shine in Ground and Space combat roles. Their "powers" are combat related
  • Want to crush people's skulls with weapon blows? All three can do that but Tactics enjoys it more

ENGINEER
  • Do you like the color orange? That's the base color for Engineers
  • Are you a "fixer" type? Like to make things better? Engineers get down and dirty
  • Engineer officers are great at making their ships... better. They can even fix damaged hulls. (wink)
  • Want to use ground turrents? Engineers can choose to specialize in these fun weapon systems

SCIENCE
  • Do you like the color Blue? That's the base color for Science.
  • Are you a thinker? A schemer? Like to mess with people or heal them? Then a Science officer is for you
  • Science officers can turn the tide of battle, heal people around them, and basically ruin the bad guys day
  • Like the idea of telling enemy ships to not shoot at you while you shoot them? Science is amazing

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:
  • Think ahead. Space and Ground are separate parts of the game and your skills, and the skills of your Bridge Officers, should include powers that make sense to your play style. Be sure to look at the skills and then decide if you need to pick another officer, buy training, or hire an officer with the skill you need to train one of your officers.
  • I like my Tactical officers to have torpedo skills for space. I like my Engineers to be able to fix my shields and bulkheads. I like my Science Officers to have Heal and the power to stop my opponent from attacking me
  • Buying skills for your Bridge Officers can be done two ways. One is to purchase the skill for 75 and train the officer. The other is to hire another officer for 100, then have that officer training your officer. This works well with free officer rewarded by a quest completion.
  • CHANGE SKILLS BEFORE YOU PUT POINTS INTO IT. Plan ahead. If you replace a skill any points you spent in that skill go POOF. Plan ahead and do not put points into a skill before you find what you are looking for.
  • Visit the skills trainer and read about the skills. You can find skill trainers in the SOL space station and probably in other space stations scattered around. Look for the signs pointing you to Personnel

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.