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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 26
06-24-2011, 05:52 PM
I've done 8x beams, 4x cannons/4x turrets, 8x turrets, and everything in between...

The major issue is that cruisers don't have the skills and turn rates to be able to utilize cannons effectively. Only excelsior can use 2x rapid fire cannons or other canon-related skills, while the other cruisers are stuck with 2x ensign tac abilities that can't really do much to improve cannon damage.

Firing distance is an issue with non-dual cannons as the damage per shot is reduced to well below what beams can do at long distances. So you loose DPS and effectiveness in general unless your cruiser is right on top of someone running all cannons with rapid fire going at the same time. But thats a rare instance.

If you want to do a "forward-firing-arc" type layout, its best to have a tac officer piloting an Excelsior in order to improve the damage considerably. This is the setup I recommend testing with the Excelsior to see if you like it (Note: Not a PvP layout):

Front - 1x dual beam, 1x beam, 2x quantum
Rear - 3x turret, 1x beam

Tac skills - HY I, HY II, BO III (Even better is - BO I, HY II, HY III to take advantage of the torps).

This layout keeps the shields down enough for the torps to hit hard and do their thing. And with the Beam Overload in pace, you have an extra hard hitting shot to hit when shields drop along with the torps. Its pretty effective, and can out-DPS escorts in fleet actions with a tac officer piloting it.

If you are a Eng or Sci officer, I've found beams are in general still best. You can throw a couple turrets in there if you wish to take advantage of the fire arc and low energy use (IE front and rear - 2x beam, 1x turret, 1x torp) but its pretty easy to combat the power loss of beams with the correct skills/items.