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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
12-12-2011, 04:02 PM
5. How to use your Skills/Abilities Effectively!
Now that you have everything to need, the important thing to know is how to use your skills in an STF. Since damage is your priority, lets discuss how to use your damage enhancing skills to maximum effect.

In PVP threads here on the STO forums, you will hear a lot about Alpha Strikes in Escorts. Alpha strikes are great at burst damage which is very effective at clearing smaller targets like Spheres and Probes. But for the larger targets, your focus becomes on constantly using your damage abilities and keeping them up as long as possible.

What does this mean? This means you need to have TWO of several key abilities in order to keep up your effectiveness as an Escort. Specifically, Canon Scatter Volley, Torpedo Spread and Tactical team. With two of each of these, it allows for you to keep your damage levels up over long periods of time, even with say running just one torpedo.

The hard part about this is using your Hotbar effectively. Most newcomers like to just use their mouse and click away, but this is actually the least efficient way to use your UI. The most effective and quickes that I've found, is to keybind your NUMPAD to be able to use all three Hotbar layers quickly and easily via using Alt and Shift. Your left hand will be running WASD plus alt and shift and of course the spacebar for firing and Tab for selecting new targets, while your right hand will be dedicated to using the NUMPAD hotbar skills. Yes, sometimes you will have to leave the NUMPAD to re-target with the mouse or use it to move the camera around, but as an escort you should just be parking facing towards your target and firing away pounding on the NUMPAD instead of constantly re-adjusting your camera.

Leave the clicking to the Cruiser and Sci ship captains!

As for Defensive skills, your aim is to stay alive as long as possible. To this end, DON'T use your shield heals (minus tactical team, constantly use Tac Team while in combat!) until you start to take damage. However, its good to note that if you use them right away as a defensive stat buff instead of a shield heal, you will be able to re-use them by the time your shields will start to drop significantly. Save the reverse shield Polarity for emergencies as stated before, and use your Brace for Impact for when your shields start to drop. Hazard Emitters is for when you are taking hull damage of course, but its also a defensive resist buff so use it accordingly.

Evasive Maneuvers is also quite Important in STF's. My best recommendation is to use to travel quickly and effectively AWAY from exploding Cubes (especially in Cure) and also for getting from one location to another quickly in an Emergency. Be wary though, if you are hit with a Borg Tractor Beam your Evasive Maneuvers will be useless! So don't waste it. Save it for when the tractor beam drops or if you have a way of getting out of the tractor beam (Attack Pattern Omega).
And now, for actual builds...

Note: Quad cannons can replace a Dual Heavy Cannon as long as you run all Phasers


STF Escort Builds

And now, here are some examples of actual STF Escort builds for reference...


Advanced Escort or MVAM Escort

Forward Weapons: 3x Dual Heavy Cannons (same type), 1x Quantum Torpedo
Rear Weapons: 3x Turrets (same type as front cannons)

Engineering Consoles: EPS console (+ Power recovery) OR Electroceramic Hull Plating (+plasma resist, good for Borg) , Neutronium Alloy (For general damage resist)
Science Consoles: Assimilated Module (Borg Console), Biofunction Monitor (Crew Regen), Field Generator (Or Grappler OR Impulse Capacitance Cell OR MVAM Console)
Tactical Consoles: 3x of the Energy Weapon type you are using (Ex. Phaser Relay, Plasma Infuser, etc.), 1x Zero Point Quantum Chamber (for Quantum Torpedoes)

Devices: Subspace Field Modulator (defensive buff, similar to Brace for Impact) plus one of the Following - Red Matter Capacitor, Rechargeable Shield Battery, Scorpion Fighters, or Shield batteries

Bridge Officer Skills (Advanced Escort) -

Commander Tactical: Tactical Team 1, Torpedo Spread 2, Canon Scatter Volley 2, Attack pattern Omega 3 (Or Beta 3)
Lt. Commander Tactical: Tactical Team 1, Torpedo Spread 2, Cannon Scatter Volley 2
Lt. Science: Transfer Shield Strength 1, Hazard Emitters 2
Lt. Engineering: Emergency Power to Shields 1, Reverse Shield Polarity 1
Ensign Science: Tractor Beam

Bridge Officer Skills (MVAM Escort) -

Commander Tactical: Tactical Team 1, Torpedo Spread 2, Canon Scatter Volley 2, Attack pattern Omega 3 (Or Beta 3)
Lt. Tactical: Tactical Team 1, Canon Scatter Volley 1
Lt. Commander Science: Transfer Shield Strength 1, Hazard Emitters 2, Gravity Well 1
Lt. Engineering: Emergency Power to Shields 1, Reverse Shield Polarity 1 (OR Emergency Power to Shields 2)
Ensign Tactical: Torpedo Spread 1


Retrofit Defiant

Forward Weapons: 3x Dual Heavy Cannons (same type), 1x Quantum Torpedo
Rear Weapons: 3x Turrets (same type as front cannons)

Engineering Consoles: EPS Console (Or Grappler OR Impulse Capacitance Cell OR Cloaking Device), Neutronium Console, Electroceramic Hull Plating
Science Consoles: Field Generator, Assimilated Module
Tactical Consoles: 3x of the Energy Weapon type you are using (Ex. Phaser Relay, Plasma Infuser, etc.), 1x Zero Point Quantum Chamber

Devices: Subspace Field Modulator (defensive buff, similar to Brace for Impact) plus one of the Following - Red Matter Capacitor, Rechargeable Shield Battery, Scorpion Fighters, or Shield batteries

Bridge Officer Skills-

Commander Tactical: Tactical Team 1, Torpedo Spread 2, Canon Scatter Volley 2, Attack pattern Beta 3 (or Omega/Delta 3)
Lt. Commander Tactical: Tactical Team 1, Cannon Scatter Volley 1, Attack Pattern Omega 1 (Or Beta 2/Delta 2)
Lt. Science: Transfer Shield Strength 1, Hazard Emitters 2
Lt. Engineering: Emergency Power to Shields 1, Reverse Shield Polarity 1 (OR Emergency Power to Shields 2)
Ensign Tactical: Torpedo Spread 1


Fleet Escort

Forward Weapons: 3x Dual Heavy Cannons (same type), 1x Quantum Torpedo
Rear Weapons: 3x Turrets (same type as front cannons)

Engineering Consoles: EPS Console (Or Grappler OR Impulse Capacitance Cell), Neutronium Console, Electroceramic Hull Plating
Science Consoles: Science Consoles: Field Generator, Assimilated Module
Tactical Consoles: 3x of the Energy Weapon type you are using (Ex. Phaser Relay, Plasma Infuser, etc.), 1x Zero Point Quantum Chamber

Devices: Subspace Field Modulator (defensive buff, similar to Brace for Impact) plus one of the Following - Red Matter Capacitor, Rechargeable Shield Battery, Scorpion Fighters, or Shield batteries

Bridge Officer Skills -

Commander Tactical: Tactical Team 1, Torpedo Spread 2, Canon Scatter Volley 2, Attack pattern Omega 3 (Or Beta 3)
Lt. Commander Tactical: Tactical Team 1, Torpedo Spread 2, Cannon Scatter Volley 2
Lt. Science: Transfer Shield Strength 1, Hazard Emitters 2
Lt. Engineering: Emergency Power to Shields 1, Reverse Shield Polarity 1
Ensign Engineering: Emergency Power to Shields 1 (OR Emergency Power to Weapons 1)


Regen-Shield Build

This only takes minor modification from the other builds, and is being included based off of testing and other players recommendations...

Shield - Borg Regen Shield
Science Consoles - Field Generator (+35% Shield Strength), Shield Emitter Amplifier (+ shield regen)
BO changes: Lt. Engineering - Emergency Power to Shields 1, Emergency Power to Shields 2

These changes give you a very effective shield layout allowing you to keep your shields recharging quickly for longer periods of time at the expense of higher shield capacity.


Unorthodox Escort Beam Boat
Build courtesy Pardigm

Fleet Escort

Forward Weapons: 4x Beam Arrays
Rear Weapons: 3x Beam Arrays

Engineering Consoles: EPS Console (Or Grappler OR Impulse Capacitance Cell), Neutronium Console, Electroceramic Hull Plating
Science Consoles: Science Consoles: Field Generator, Assimilated Module
Tactical Consoles: 4x of the Energy Weapon type you are using (Ex. Phaser Relay, Plasma Infuser, etc.)

Devices: Subspace Field Modulator (defensive buff, similar to Brace for Impact) plus one of the Following - Red Matter Capacitor, Rechargeable Shield Battery, Scorpion Fighters, or Shield batteries

Bridge Officer Skills -

Commander Tactical: Tactical Team 1, Target Shield Subsystems 2, Attack Pattern Beta 2 (Or Omega 1), Attack Pattern Beta 3 (Or Omega 3)
Lt. Commander Tactical: Beam Overload 1, Tactical Team 2, Fire at Will 3
Lt. Science: Transfer Shield Strength 1, Hazard Emitters 2
Lt. Engineering: Emergency Power to Shields 1, Reverse Shield Polarity 1 (Or Directed Energy Modulation 1)
Ensign Engineering: Emergency Power to Weapons 1 (Or Shields)

Run FULL power to Weapons for your power levels.

This build works well while constantly at maximum speed while doing a BROADSIDE. Its more of a damage-over-time build and also good at stripping shields from targets and applying Attack Pattern Beta to multiple targets at a time. Its an unorthodox layout for an Escort, and works best in a good team to supplement other escorts.