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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 88
04-13-2012, 05:55 PM
It feels arrogant to re-post myself, but I feel like all of these points are still relevant to the discussion at hand.

Additionally, while informative, there's a distinct lack of mechanical explanation on beam abilities and a different mentality on DPS in general that should be mentioned.
So I thought I could add to what is currently available on this page with some specifics.

Originally Posted by kostamojen View Post
As someone who has run Beam Escorts, this Pure DPS mentality is flawed and there are several reasons why (some of which have been mentioned):

1. Fire at Will = You hit lots of targets, even targets you don't need to hit and targets you won't do much damage to, so you will do lots of DPS. This makes your DPS numbers mathematically astronomical because you are just hitting so much stuff constantly, but it doesn't mean you actually KILL your target faster!

Fire at Will (FaW) shoots 25% more beam/beam bank for 1 volley (4 beams/volley -> 5 beams/volley). Additionally, you get a minor bonus dmg % to each beam, netting you ~30% -> 40% more DPS for 1 volley.
As noted, FaW shoots random targets, and is more for tagging targets with Attack Pattern Beta than actual AoE.

In comparison Cannon Scatter Volley (CSV) gives a 15% + 5% / rank dmg bonus to all cannons/turrets and makes each one AoE up to 3 targets for 10 seconds. The net result is even the use of this ability on a single target increases your DPS more than FaW.

I see no reason not to count AoE DPS, even one as impotent as FaW as the dmg done is completely relevant to effectiveness and the efficiency of an STF.
The effect that's ultimately important is the sum effect of your team, and shooting wildly with FaW does not detract from that.

The only exception is AoEing a regenerating target. That's empty DPS padding and definitely something to be avoided.

This leads into 2...

2. Killing targets quickly isn't just about overall DPS. Example, killing a wave of probes/spheres headed to a gate is NOT faster with a Beam build than with a traditional DHC Scatter/Torp spread build. These targets can be Alpha striked for quick kills, which can take significantly longer to kill with a Beam build using traditional DPS tactics.

As far as I can see this adds to your overall DPS, has it's own utility, usefulness, and should be taken at face value when compared to a beam boat, which is as noted, less efficient at AoE.

And finally, the big secret in STO...

3. Big critical hits do more for your in-game scores than overall DPS can achieve. This is mostly for PVP and Fleet action purposes, and more for the situational battles in STF's, but the big critical hits achieved by Torpedoes or other bigger hitting weapon strikes (Overload for example) can actually do MORE damage than the target even has in terms of hitpoints! This also includes explosions that you might be credited with.

This means that if say you are attacking an entire fleet of Klingons in Station 24 and manage to hit a bunch at once with a heavily buffed Torpedo Spread, you will get large critical hits on targets with very little hit points left along quite quite a few secondary "splash" explosions, giving you "bonus points" that will credit to your points and actually allow you to beat someone using a pure DPS beam approach statistically.

This isn't something that can be measured with a traditional DPS parser, and thus something that won't show up these logs.

All dmg sources do this. While it is true that torpedoes will do it more dramatically than energy weapons, unless you go into an STF with the specific goal of getting the last hits on groups of targets with a torpedo spread, then this isn't going to be a major source of error.
AoE is an acknowledged weakness of beam boats and no player should explain away damage discrepancies with this argument.

Frankly a pure beam boat is sub-par when it comes to AoE, as it's abilities just don't support such a build. A group of cannon escorts with a torpedo and spread will be both numerically superior and be more efficient at clearing an STF than a comparably equipped beam boat squad.

What's ultimately important in deciding which to go is whether you as a player are comfortable with the tradeoffs of going beams vs cannons.

As for fast Elite STF runs.... The FASTEST are always the runs with lots of high DPS escorts, but with at least one Power-sucking build Sci ship or Carrier capable of turning a Gate, Tac cube or other target into a squishy target for all that DPS. An all-DPS Escort beam group won't be nearly as quick.

This is simply not true. Graphing the Damage Resistance curve shows us that the 5 escorts with 10 Attack Pattern Beta III & IIs between them (APB) and either Fire on my Mark(FoMM) or Sensor Scan (SS) will be faster than 4 escorts + 1 science vessel. DPS is lost when an escort dies. Between 5 escorts there is easily enough healing to keep any member with aggro alive to any boss target.

There are however other tradeoffs besides speed to be concerned about; namely laziness, which is my favorite statistic to maximize.
A science vessel can make things easier for the team and frankly, by the time you get to a boss, you're either done with the optional or it's ISE, an STF where losing the optional is difficult to accomplish.