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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 13
06-04-2012, 08:36 PM

The good:

Potential for huge burst damage with the right energy weapon type, great for PvE, most STFs and 'assault' scenarios where you can shield tank and blaze away <5km range.

The bad:

Short effective range. You do virtually no damage at long range trying to demolish probes and Negh'Vars on Cure Elite with cannons alone. And if you get into the effective range of <5km you'd be shot to pieces in no time.

You also need to learn to micromanage a bit. They're not DHCs or DCs, they aren't actually better than beams; cannons are only superior in certain circumstances. Firing cannons blindly does little to no useful damage against hard targets.

How to balance out this weakness:

Run a hybrid beam and cannon loadout. Assault cruisers or Dreadnaught works best for this as you can have TT1, BO1 and CSV1/CRF1.

If you can sacrifice a bit of tanking and self heals (make sure you can keep your ship fast and manage aggro), use Auxiliary to Battery and 2 rare or better Technicians to shave off Tactical skill recharge times by 20% or more. This allows you to buff and shield tank with TT1 and spray cannons everywhere with a 24 second or less cooldown instead of 30sec.

Broadsiding works best, with cannons in the front and beam arrays in the rear. Done right, a gunship doesn't need to point torpedo tubes at targets in its optimal firing arcs. CRF1 is your 'torpedo'

I also recommend disruptors or antiproton weapons as you need to actually destroy things with your huge cannon salvoes, not just re-enact Battlestar Galactica footage. Always keep weapons power at 125, slap on EPTW if possible and since a cruiser needs engineering damage buffs to be really competitive (as my style dictates), I run ship power at 125/50/72/40. This extreme level of engine power spikes to 90+ when Aux2Batt or MACO shield proc comes on, and the lack of shield power is compensated by RSP1 or the next EPTS cooldown.

The above technique is a step up from my early star cruiser gunship days, which only created modest damage with CSV at best and was slow as hell = waiting to get shot at. Survivability improves when you keep speed up and focusing on broadside power means you can move and shoot and never need to close the range beyond what you need to do damage to the enemy.

Omega 2pc set and 1 Maco shield also seems to be my preferred setup, as Tetryon Rider strips shields effectively.