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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
02-06-2012, 08:26 PM
For damage types, it mostly comes down to your cosmetic preference, since they all have the same base dps. Each damage type has its own special effect, but for the most part they aren't game changing.

Phaser (space) has a chance on each hit to temporarily disable one of the 4 power systems on the target. You could potentially disable weapons, causing the target to be unable to fire energy weapons for a s short duration; or you could potential disable shields, making them temporarily more vulnerable to incoming fire, especially torpedoes; or you could disable engines, causing the target to come to a near stop and be unable to turn; or you could disable auxiliary, causing some abilities to not work at all and some others to be weaker.

Phaser (ground) has a chance to temporarily stun the target.

Disruptor has a chance on each hit to cause the target to suffer an resistance debuff for a short duration, making them take greater damage to hull/health while it's in effect. The debuff does not affect shield damage.

Plasma has a chance to set the target on fire, causing additional damage over time.

Tetryon has a chance to deal additional damage to the target's shields.

Polaron (space) has a chance to instantly drain power from the target, temporarily making them weaker in all fields and, if they're already low from other sources, potentially disabling one or more systems until power can be restored.

Polaron (ground) has a chance to disable the target's weapons, but he/she/it can still move and use abilities.

Antiproton doesn't have a special effect, per se. Instead, it causes additional damage on a critical hit.

For consoles, each category tends to improve things in their fields of expertise - tactical consoles will mostly increase damage output in one or more fields, engineering consoles will increase power output and raise hull resistances, science consoles will strengthen science abilities. Tactical consoles are generally the reason you don't want to mix damage types, since you then have to spread your console bonuses rather than focusing them. First choose the energy weapon type you like the most, then find the tactical consoles that boost that particular damage type.

If you're in a slow-turning ship such as a cruiser, you generally won't want more than 1 torpedo each front and back or 1 Torpedo front and 1 Mine back because you'll be hard-pressed to fire them on a regular basis, and also consider the fact that Kinetic weapons deal reduced damage to shielded enemies. Beam Arrays (not Dual Beam Banks) are often the preferred energy weapon in these cases due to their higher firing arc, although turrets see some use as well. Your tactical ability selection should mostly be based around the weapons you use: Beam Arrays and Dual Banks should be paired with Beam Fire at Will, Beam Overload, and Beam Target Subsystem abilities, whereas Turrets should be paired with Cannon Rapid Fire and Cannon Scatter Volley.