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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 14
03-26-2012, 10:51 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by hylam
Okay I am trying to make a smooth transition from being dps with my escort to tanking with my new Odyssey Class. What consoles and weapons would make for an excellent tank? Thank you.
Well, I can maybe help you a little bit, if you're thinking of Odyssey DPS-with-support-capability.

WARNING: LONG post ahead...

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I fly an engineer main, and until recently my ships of choice for this character were a Star Cruiser (Support) and a Fleet Escort (DPS).

I tested out the new Odyssey variants over the weekend.

The Engineering version is effectively a Star Cruiser with worse turn rate and one extra Eng Console Slot. Not really anything to help it in terms of DPS.
The Tacical version has an extra Tac console slot (yay stacked +damage% consoles!)
The Science version has Sensor Analysis (yay extra+damage% buff!)

My main problem with the Sci Odyssey was that, although with Sensor Analysis it can technically output slightly higher damage than the Tac version (+33.3% compared to +26%/28%, depending on the rank of your tac consoles - I'm just counting energy damage here as that'll be where the majority of your DPS comes from unless you're planning to build a torpedo boat!) Sensor Analysis is limited in a few ways:

(i) Target must stay within 10KM - This is usually acceptable in the vast majority of PVE, but there are exceptions - perhaps the most notable one for me is that I tend to tank Tac Cubes in PUG ESTFs. For normal cubes I can just constantly orbit around them, broadsiding at max speed, but for Tacs I've found that it's much safer to tank them from exactly 10KM outside of their invisible torpedo arcs - going under this range in order to shoot at them in order to gain aggro and fire off my buffed-up shots (e.g. Torpedo Salvos etc.), then reversing back over again once I start getting badly pummelled in order to heal up. I don't do much PvP these days, but I imagine hit + run tactics would mean that more nimble targets would be far more likely to fly out of range there too.

(ii) Target must remain targetted - This is a more common issue. You're going to have to switch targets pretty regularly in order to properly place your Debuffs and Crowd Control abilities on enemies, never mind any Heals and Buffs on teammates. Even if you're flying an all-out "glass cannon" build escort, you'll likely have AoE attacks that you want to target at a particular group of foes. If, for example, you're in the Khittomer Accord Space mission, fighting a cube, and a bunch of probes fly past unchecked... the natural thing to do is detarget the cube, target the middle probe, and fire off a Gravity Well (or Cannon Scatter Volley/Torpedo spread/etc) then switch back to the cube again once you're happy that the probes have been taken care of.

(iii) It takes time to build up the extra damage - in order to START getting a better damage buff than than a Tac Odyssey, a Sci Odyssey must maintain target lock on their target for 48 Seconds (assuming MkXI consoles) or 54 Seconds (Assuming MkXII consoles). And while they're building up that buff they'll be doing much less damage. My slightly dodgy maths skills worked this out to mean it takes approximately 123 Seconds (for Mk XI consoles) or 170 Seconds (for Mk XII consoles) for the Sci Odyssey to apply enough extra cumulative +damage% to break even with the Tac Odyssey. So basically, the Sci Odyssey is only better if you're fighting something you're likely to take longer than 2-3 minutes to kill. Although since Sensor scan buffs both Energy Damage and Torpedos a Sci version will usually be slightly better than that in practice.

With all of the above points in mind, the Tac Odyssey starts looking like the better choice.

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And then we get to Power bonuses.

SCI Odyssey gets (+10 Shields, +10 Aux)
TAC Odyssey gets (+10 Weapons, +5 Shields, +5 Aux)

Assuming that you don't want to run alternating copies of Emergency Power to Weapons, the maximum weapon power you are likely to get whilst keeping your equipment choices reasonably free is +20. Meaning that It's going to be VERY difficult to spec out your Sci Odyssey so that you can run it with a constant maxxed-out 125 weapon power. Conversely, the Tac Odyssey will be able to hit 125 weapon power at a base setting of 95 or higher.

+5 from a Universal Borg Console
+5 from 9/9 Starship Warp Core Performance
+10 from 9/9 Starship Weapon Performance
(getting +5 requires only 3/9 Starship Weapon Performance for FAR less skill points)

Running at 125 Weapons power without EPTW frees up your BOFF choices considerably. It lets you use the Universal LTCom slot for a Tac or Sci BOFF, whilst still picking up a few higher-level Engineering powers (such as Engineering Team, Aux-to-SIF and Extend Shields) in the Commander BOFF slot for Self/Teammate/Kang support.

Yes, you can use "Chevron seperation" to seperate your Saucer section and gain another +10 Weapons, which is a good ability and often very useful, however the Tac Oddysey can do that as well, plus whenever you're seperated you'll lose the option to deploy your pet Escort (which is quite fun and unlike the Saucer pet is quite a substantial DPS buff providing you can keep it alive - which a Commander Engineering BOFF often can) and if you die (still happens in Elite STFs occasionally) you'll need to wait 4-5 mins (depending on recharge buffs) until your cooldown recharges before you can seperate again.

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If you're interested, my current Tac Odyssey layout is:
(FORE) Beam Array x3, Quantum Launcher x1
(AFT) Beam Array, Turret (x2), Hargh'peng

BOFFS:
TAC A - Tac Team I, Fire at Will II, Attack Pattern Omega I, Attack Pattern Delta III
TAC B - Tac Team I, Attack Pattern Beta, Torpedo Spread III, Cannon Scatter Volley III
SCI A - Hazard Emitters I, Transfer Shield Strength II, Tractor Beam Repulsors II
SCI B - Science Team I, Hazard Emitters II, Gravity Well I
ENG A - EPTA I, Eng Team II, EPTS III, Aux2SIF III
ENG B - EPTA I, Extend Shields I, EPTS III, Aceton Beam III
ENG C - EPTA I, Aux2SIF I, EPTS III, Extend Shields III
ENG D - EPTS I, Eng Team II, Aux2SIF II, Extend Shields III
ENG E - EPTS I, Extend Shields I, Eng Team III, Aux2SIF III

The variety of BOFFs allows me to use a wide range of setups, but there're three basic ones:

SETUP (1) *** Tanking-focussed ***

[for Hull Tanking/Healing support]

Universal Ensign: Tac B or Sci B
Tac LT: Tac A
Sci LT: Sci A
Universal LtCom: Eng B
Eng Com: Eng A

[for Shield Tanking/Buffing support]

Universal Ensign: Tac B or Sci B
Tac LT: Tac A
Sci LT: Sci A
Universal LtCom: Eng A
Eng Com: Eng C


SETUP (2) *** Control-focussed ***

Universal Ensign: Eng D or Eng E
Tac LT: Tac A
Sci LT: Sci A or Sci B
Universal LtCom: Sci A or Sci B
Eng Com: Eng D or Eng E


SETUP (3) *** Damage-focussed ***

Universal Ensign: Eng D or Eng E
Tac LT: Tac A
Sci LT: Sci A
Universal LtCom: Tac B
Eng Com: Eng D or Eng E

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I have to admit, I've found myself flying in Setup 3 unless the situation calls for anything else. But it's very, very handy to be able to flick between "roles" whenever the situation calls for it.

Power levels in Setup #3 (DPS mode, with all passive skills etc and EPTS I) sit at:
125/100, 92/35, 62/40, 62/25 (Extra Engine Power is to cap defence, at 80% with my equipment/traits)
or 125/90, 99/60, 52/25, 52/25 with Chevron Seperation.

The benefit of flying with a Beam Array/Broadsiding setup, compared to Dual Beams or cannons, is that you can maintain maximum impulse speed (and thus capped defence) whilst broadsiding stuff for maximum DPS output. The only time I straighten up against anything short of an eSTF Tac cube is to fire off a Quantum Torp Spread III. This fits in pretty well with the Oddysey because your turn rate, even when enhanced by equipment and passive captain skills, pretty much sucks unless you ditch your saucer section. Even with an RCS Accelerator Console, I can only hit 10.7 Degrees/Sec with the above power levels... plenty for broadsiding, but pants for trying to keep stuff in front of you.

Or if I'm in Setup #1 (with both EPTA I and EPTS III) I can hit:
125/100, 102/25, 62/40, 93/35 (max DPS + capped defence + good survivability/support)
or 73/35, 125/60, 52/25, 124/80 (max support mode, with reasonable DPS and 73% defence)

The general idea for "Tanking" would be to increase your survivability and threat generation as much as possible. This usually translates into slotting a good amount of armor consoles and self-buffs, and using AoE damaging abilities like Fire at Will to grab threat from multiple ships at once. Ranking up "Starship threat control" can help too. I only have it at 6/9, and I hardly ever meet anyone in a PUG who is able to reliably take hate from me, as long as I'm running at 125 weapons strength and broadsiding whatever they're shooting at. The downside is that you can't "disable" the extra threat if you just want to play DPS, so you need to always build yourself to be pretty survivable even whenever you're not actively trying to tank. There are some tricks to tanking tougher enemies like cubes, but generally if you're flying at max speed, using your heals/buffs intelligently, balancing your shields and shooting your guts out, you'll do just fine.

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TL;DR version - build your Tac Oddysey with mostly Beam arrays unless you're never planning to hold onto your Saucer. If you're going for DPS, grab a good Tac BOFF (with Tac Team) for that LTCom slot. Finally, use the Ensign slot to pick up two copies of EPTS, and loadup the remaining Engineering and Sci Slots with a bunch of good shield and hull buffs/heals. Job done.