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Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,063
# 2
12-08-2012, 07:39 PM
As someone who has used a standard Excel-R, most of the same old basic tanking strategies will work pretty well with it. You'll suffer some for the lack of the Lt. Cmdr engineering slot, but not horrendously.

Personally I would advocate a continual chaining of TT1 (probably 1 copy with two purple TT Conn DOffs) combined with EPtS2, EPtS3, and A2SIF3. This will constantly repair both shields and hull at regular intervals, and increase them otherwise (regen + resist for shields, resist for hull), and will also give you a bit of extra damage output from Tac Team while it rapidly reallocates your shields for you.

In terms of consoles you'll probably want to shove in at least 1 field generator in the science slots, possibly 2, and 2-3 neutronium armor consoles. Unsurprisingly you'll want at least a 6 in these Starship stats:

* Starship Shield Emitters
* Starship Maneuvers
* Starship Shield Systems
* Starship Structural Integrity
* Starship Shield Performance
* Starship Auxiliary Performance
* Warp Core Potential
* Warp Core Efficiency
* Starship Hull Repair
* Starship Armor Reinforcement
* Starship Hull Plating

Other useful skills:
* Threat Control (if all you ever plan on doing with this toon is tank in cruisers)
* Starship Maneuvers
* Starship Subsystem Repair (this one is iffy - I personally notice it helps bring downed subsystems up faster, but some argue it does nothing - don't invest a huge amount in it in any case)
* Starship Power Insulators (I wouldn't invest a huge amount, maybe 3 ranks)
* Starship Inertial Dampeners (again, maybe 3 ranks)

Also helpful are any of the weapon-related skills (especially Starship Weapons Training, Starship Energy Weapons, Starship Weapons Performance, Starship Targeting Systems). Note I would not put a huge amount in projectile weapons, because most cruisers aren't fast enough to rely on them. One thing you want to do with a tanking cruiser is pump out agro.

To that end - namely, generating agro - you may also consider cycling two copies of EPtW1 to boost your weapon output and make yourself more agro-worthy. Also, be sure to leverage your Lt. Cmdr tac BOff position, and stick BFaW2 in there. Use the Lt. Cmdr tac power for whatever you want, if you've got TT1 in the Ensign slot and BFaW2 in the Lt. slot.

Additionally you will probably want to use the otherwise near-useless Engineering ensign for ET1 (if you're cycling two EPtS and EPtW, it's a little difficult to use it for much else, and it can help with support if you time it right between TT cycles). You may also consider Hazard Emitters, Transfer Shield Strength, and Extend Shields for additional engineering and science BOff abilities.

Hopefully these are enough in terms of ideas for you to get started. As a final note I wouldn't be overly eager to go above 6 ranks in any stat, though considering they're raw HP boosters I would consider it for Structural Integrity and Shield Systems, albeit that may admittedly be short-sighted of me. Also, these are all my opinion - I'm sure many disagree with me, your mileage may vary, etc.

Good luck!