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Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,063
# 9
10-24-2012, 12:39 PM
A few things...

1. A note about saucer/chevron separation -

You are NOT picking it up for the saucer.

The beauty - and real main use - of the separated saucer is the change to the stardrive, which makes your ship more maneuverable and hit harder at the expense of a few things, e.g. some endurance. It does not really make it behave like an escort; think of it more as a cruiser that maneuvers more like some of the Klingon cruisers. In separated mode the Ody is probably the most maneuverable Fed cruiser, and is pretty fun to command.

The saucer itself, while contributing a mild amount of firepower, is pretty useless for the most part, although it does help a little bit.

HOWEVER, you still are using a cruiser. You can't get around this. And you can't use the saucer separation just any time - there's a cooldown on it (5 minutes - 4 if you're using the components from all three Odyssey versions from the three-pack), so you have to be comfortable with handling the Odyssey as-is, which is a slow, heavily-armored cruiser.

2. The Aquarius I have dubbed the "barge of the dead," or the "flying coffin." This should give you an idea in what regard I hold it. Generally I only carry it so I get the full Odyssey set bonus (along with the separation and workbee console), and I only launch it because I carry it anyway.

3. The differences between the Odysseys are these...

First off, all of them have the same BOff layout, and have the same base console layout, which is 4 ENG, 3 SCI, 2 TAC.

The difference is where the extra console is, and the power bonuses.

Odyssey Tactical Cruiser: +10 weapons, +5 shields, +5 aux. Extra tactical console. Comes with the Aquarius.
Odyssey Operations Cruiser: +5 weapons, +5 shields, +5 eng, +5 aux. Extra engineering console. Comes with saucer separation.
Odyssey Science Cruiser: +10 shields, +10 aux. Extra science console. Sensor Analysis (bonus damage the longer the target lock lingers). Comes with Work Bees.

SA is a useful ability, but it is debatable whether or not it's better than the extra tac console. It will boost all damage you do and it will also surpass 3 tactical consoles in terms of damage, but you have to have your target lock on the enemy for a long time (something like a minute or more), during which time you can't help anyone or attack other targets without risking having to start all over.

4. Which ship will last longer depends a LOT on how they're set up and the play style. All of them have the same base amount of hull (43K HP) and the same shield modifier (1.15). So, for instance, if you have the operations Odyssey, and you stuff it full of monotanium armor in its engineering console slots the hull will be VERY strong against torpedoes, but its shields will not have the potential that they could have if you had, say, the science Odyssey and stuffed its science consoles full of shield boosters.

In my personal opinion, the Operations Odyssey has the best console (the separation), and the only reason I picked up the Ody was because it had separation. I don't use it super often, being a bit of a hoarder, but when I need it, does it ever deliver.

However, IMO the best HULL is either the science or tactical Odyssey, depending on your needs. Tactical is best at just plain hitting harder, and the science Odyssey has work bees (surprisingly handy), and better potential for shields. IMO five engineering console slots really aren't worth it - the diminishing returns from the resistances eventually start making it rather redundant. Note that resistances are an area where a linear increase has diminishing returns. Also, the +5 eng bonus the Operations Odyssey delivers is kind of a waste, as the Ody is pretty much a massive whale no matter how much power you put in the engines.

5. I agree with the previous poster that said that the Armitage is a better buy for pets than the MVAE. I have the MVAE. Although the AI and endurance for the pets seems to be a lot better than the Aquarius is for the Odyssey, nevertheless, it's not as good as fighters probably would be. Personally I prefer my Defiant Retrofit to my MVAE, although if you enjoy science powers the MVAE is definitely the escort of choice.

6. The Exploration Cruiser Retrofit, AKA the Galaxy-R, is considered to be a waste in a lot of cases. Although it is an excellent tank, that's about all that it is. Its separation gives it some tactical viability it wouldn't otherwise have, though. There are also some cruiser experts who think the Galaxy-R, while it should get a better setup, has a lot more potential than its given credit for.

7. Which should you get? Well, that depends - are you more used to crusiers or escorts, first off? That's a big one.

The Odyssey, while many consider it the "most powerful" ship in the game (hence the price tag), is STILL a cruiser, no matter what you do with it, and even with the saucer separation console equipped. The "best option" for the Odyssey is to get the three-pack, I would say, although it's expensive, so you can mix and match. However, ultimately it depends on your needs. If you don't mind a slow and bloated cruiser but want firepower and decent survivability, get the tactical, I would say. If you want better survivability and can trade off some tactical ability, and/or you can stand the sensor analysis ability, get the Science Odyssey. If you want the separation console (IMO the best), get the Operations Odyssey. If you get the three pack, mix and match and experiment.

I would recommend against the exploration cruiser retrofit, however, because if you're new you probably won't know the nuances to make the ship work to your advantage like you would want.

If you decide you want an escort - and I would recommend you don't go changing up your playstyle a lot just yet as you get more used to the game - the Armitage is probably the best all-around escort in a lot of respects. It is VERY popular, and with good reason, plus it is the only carrier-escort hybrid in the game. If you're a fan of science powers, or have an Advanced Escort you already enjoy, consider the MVAE.

8. Finally, a word on how separation pets work.

First off they have a cooldown between 4 and 10 minutes. For the MVAE you cannot use a particular separation mode for 10 minutes after you use it (there are three modes corresponding to the three pieces the ship splits into - you command one and the computer commands the others). You can select the others, however, 5 minutes after you use the last one.

For the Odyssey, with all three Odyssey consoles (again from the three-pack) you get a cooldown of around 4 minutes, and around 5 minutes without the three-pack, for both the Odyssey and the Aquarius.

In any case, once the separation mode is activated, you command one part of the ship and the computer commands the others. The other parts continue to fight until you click the button for separation again, in which case they rejoin, and the cooldown starts up. (The cooldown timer is more complicated for the MVAE and I don't recall the rules off hand) It is IMPORTANT to note that for the Odyssey you can ONLY have either the Aquarius OR the chevron separated - NOT BOTH at once.

Once a pet has been shot down it sits in space and basically sits there on fire until you click the recall button. Once the cooldown ends, if you separate the ship again, the pet will be at full capacity.

Also note that the pets have their own weapons no matter what you equip - so for instance if you load up your Odyssey with antiproton weapons and launch the chevron, the chevron will fight with phasers, no matter what.

In any case I hope this was helpful. Finally I echo the comments of a previous poster - test out the Odyssey on Tribble. It will likely make your decisions easier.