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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 20
08-28-2011, 11:35 PM
Originally Posted by DreadP1r4te View Post
-I realize everyone has different playstyles, and this might not coincide with yours. Don't get butthurt.
I won't. Hopefully same can be said for you

Originally Posted by DreadP1r4te View Post
-I am by no means an expert; if you'd like to speak to an expert, please contact me in game and I can hopefully put you in touch with one.
Well, I appreciate the effort, but if you're not an expert why make a guide? As someone who is an expert, I feel the need to correct you on some areas I feel you've gotten wrong.

Originally Posted by DreadP1r4te View Post
Since other ships won't have a cloak, use range in place of cloak, and the speed boost from Omega to close the distance. You can also use MES, but I'm on the fence on that one.
Omega is one option, as is Aux2ID, EP2E, deuterium, etc. Also be aware that the higher aux you run the higher your stealth rating, letting you get closer. Don't use MES.

Originally Posted by DreadP1r4te View Post
I'm not going to have the APO vs. APB debate here. If you prefer APB, use it in place of APO. I prefer APO, but as I said, to each their own. In some loadouts you may see both, so you can use both if you prefer or replace them however you see fit.
There is little to no debate among the top echelon of players, omega is better for movement and anti-control, while beta is far better for damage (especially for very hard spike damage). In an ideal world, you want to take both. They are different tools for different jobs. What you don't want to ever do is take APO3, since the damage boost is negligible vs. an ABP3 or CRF3. The main reason to take APO is for the movement debuff immunity, which APO1 does the same as APO3.

Originally Posted by DreadP1r4te View Post
1x Torpedo Aft
1x Tricobalt Mine Aft
2x Beam aft
1x Mine, Torpedo Aft
No, you want 3 turrets aft. Your job is to deliver damage facing forwards, if you are dicking around trying to hit people with rear firing torpedoes you are doing it incredibly wrong. There is little reason to take a tricobalt mine post-nerf, and absolutely no reason to put one on an escort. Beams are a big no-no since they don't contribute at all to forward DPS. You might be able to take a single beam bank in the rear for target subsystems, but I wouldn't recommend it. About the only thing that you might want to stick in the aft slot besides a turret would be a chroniton mine if your team is trying to win via spam.

Originally Posted by DreadP1r4te View Post
3x Dual Heavy Cannon Fore
1x Torpedo Fore (usually Quantums)

Cmdr Slot: TT1, CRF1, THY3, APO3
Lt. Cmdr Slot: TT1, THY2, CRF2
Ens Slot: BO1, FAW1
There is no reason to use FAW on an escort anymore, BO1 for what I'm guessing is a rear single beam bank sounds rather silly. There's some debate to this, but THY3 is generally not worth it vs. other skills you can slot at Lt. Cmdr. THY 1 and THY 2 don't do much less damage, and since they do significantly more damage per torpedo they are actually "burst-ier". THY3 is still the best torpedo skill, but IMHO is not always worth it vs. taking a lower ranked THY skill and slotting something else in at Lt. Cmdr. Again, APO3 is a no-no. Here's a corrected setup.

Cmdr Slot: TT1, APB1, CRF2, CRF3
Lt. Cmdr Slot: THY1, THY2, APO1
Ens Slot: TT1

Originally Posted by DreadP1r4te View Post
1x Dual Beam Bank Fore (Acc x2 or x3)
2x Dual Heavy Cannons Fore
1x Torpedo Fore
2x Turrets Aft
1x Tricobalt Aft

Cmdr: TT1, CRF1, BO3, APO3
Lt. Cmdr: TT1, BO2, HY3
Ens: HY1
Again, just stick with 3x Turrets for rear, especially when you only have two DHCs up front creating more need for forward DPS. As far as skills, you absolutely need an ABP since lowering the resistance rating is essential on the BO + THY combo. You want to preload the THY and BO, and you want to "double tap" your BO, so you fire both back-to-back in a short period. Timing the BO is essential so you want to either have your DBB on a separate key, or better yet create a toggle so that you can control whether or not the DBB is firing. For example, on a similar build my keybinds look like this:

Spacebar = fire all energy weapons.
Ctrl+Spacebar = fire all energy weapons except for the DBB.
Capslock = Fire torpeods.

On this type of build you want to be running at least one, but better yet two EPS consoles in order to regen drain from the overload quickly. Here is a corrected power setup:

Cmdr: TT1, CRF1, BO3, APB3
Lt. Cmdr: THY1, BO2, CRF2 -or- APO1
Ens: THY1

There is a bit more leeway on this one to stray from what I would use (for example, you could try 2xBO3) but taking APO3 over APB3 for this kind of build is quite frankly wrong.

Originally Posted by DreadP1r4te View Post
1x Dual Beam Bank Fore (Acc x2 or x3)
2x Dual Heavy Cannons Fore
1x Tricobalt Fore
No, just no. You have a good reason to hate this build. It's unreliable and only a completely misguided person would choose to stick a tric in the front of an escort. It might have been viable a long time ago, but not anymore.

Originally Posted by DreadP1r4te View Post
Sci: TSS 2, Tractor 1 (or) Jam Targetting Sensors 1
Just say no to Jam Targeting Sensors. What a worthless skill. You may as well take Aux2bat while you're at it :p

Look, if you're playing in a premade team or with a healer you don't want to load your escort full of self heals. Your heals are going to be weaker than everyone else's and you contribute to healing by blowing people up. The more initiative you have and the less enemies that are shooting back at your team, the better your team's survivability is going to be. Escorts die when they get controlled, and a few self heals will not change that. You need to take anti-control skills to ensure that you can always face a target and deal damage while keeping your movement and defense rating untarnished.

Here's what you should take for a premade team, or if you're playing with a competent healer:

APO1 (if you can fit it)
EPtS1, Aux2ID1
TB1, PH2, PSW1 (if you're playing an MVAM)

APO1, Aux2ID1, and PH2 can get you out of various forms of control while raising your resistance and/or defense rating. This means that the heals that you do receive from team mates will go farther. Tractor beam is essential since it helps you stay lined up on a single facing at close range (max damage) and drastically reduces your target's defense rating. This helps you to hit more, crit more, and crit harder. PSW1 is a no-brainier if you can slot it in (mvam, bop). It's the best offensive skill in the game, giving you a 4 second kill window. It's a very good defensive skill as well.

In terms of a pugging set up go ahead and load yourself up with self heals. I don't think pugging in an escort is very fun though thanks to the general horribleness of most of the support class players you'll be playing with. When I'm pugging I'll typically take a healer since I get less angry that way

Originally Posted by DreadP1r4te View Post
Now, contrary to what I wrote above, you should not ALWAYS have your power levels locked at primary weapons, secondary to engines
Absolutely agreed. In any ship, using the power levels that each situation calls for is one of the signs of a great player.