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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 181
Ooh, this'll be a long read, I hope some of you can stick with it! I've been flying in STO for a fairly long time now, though I haven't posted much. This will be my first build posted in its own thread, so be gentle. My favorite ships are cruisers, though I do have 9 captains and know how to fly almost anything. I am also a PvE player. After all this time I've finally come up with a build I could be proud to share. Currently I fly a cruiser which is far and away stronger than any I've flown before or even seen flown by others. They say that if you can find a good PvP build you will destroy PvE. I suppose that's true, but it remains that PvE is very different and you WILL perform much better if you build specifically for it (Read: APO becomes APB) and so without further ado:

The Entrada PvE Cruiser Build

Engineer Captain

Standard 100/50/25/25 power

Borg set2 + Maco shield


Wide Angle Quantum + 7 Arrays (Disruptor)

Borg, 3 Neutronium
2 Field Gen
You can guess the tacs

Boff Powers:

Tac Team 1, Torp Spread 2, Attack Pattern Beta 2
Fire at Will 1

EmPower>Weapons 1, Reserve Shield Polarity 1, EmPower>Shields 3, Directed Energy Modulation 3
EmPower>Engines 1, Aux2batt 1

Hazard Emitters 1, Transfer Shield Strength 2

3x Aux2batt Technicians
1x DEM Systems Engineer
1x Shield Distribution

And my skill points as requested, for what they are worth:

I'm sure some parts of the build will raise some eyebrows, but let me start with a pedigree of feats I'm capable of in this ship, many of which are quite rare amongst cruiser captains and some I've simply never seen accomplished or attempted in a cruiser by another player.

In Infected I can:
-Hold aggro of all (nanite) spheres and stay alive
-Hold aggro of gate (inside its range) and/or Tac Cube and stay alive

In Khitomer I can:
-Solo a side, including destroying both cubes while letting no probes pass, in a timely fashion (Slows down a fair bit when having to break down the far transformer alone)
-Destroy a probe wave of ANY size in seconds with a single cast/volley of FAW+Torp Spread (Most escorts I see are slower on the waves.)
-Maintain target focus on a gate while singlehandedly taking out the probe waves entirely with FAW/Spread AOE, keeping uninterrupted DPS on the gate and fulfilling probe duty simultaneously
-Hold aggro on Donatra and survive indefinitely at 5km+ without resorting to flying out of range for a breather

In Cure I can:
-Destroy a BoP wave in seconds with a single cast/volley of FAW+Torp Spread
-Kill a Negh'Var and Raptor spawn with no help without dying

What I can't do: Stop nanite spheres when Infected goes wrong, delay raptor waves. A lack of crowd control is my only regret. I tried the Regent's vent console but every single time I needed it for the slow it immediately ignited prematurely. Naturally it sticks around until I trigger it every time I don't need the slow. You could swap a neutronium for vent theta, of course, but I'm not fond of the mere 50% slow.

How does it work? Lots and lots of weapon energy power. With 7 beam arrays, this ship has a great deal of damage potential but also some heavy power drain. I tend to sit around 93 weapon power mid-firing cycle with EmPW active.

As an Engineer I have two natural abilities to counteract this. Nadion Inversion negates nearly all of the weapon drain, while EPS power transfer effectively does the same, taking all those diminishing returns of 7 beams and turning it all into pure damage. EPS is slightly less effective than NI, but still counteracts drain enough to boost damage noticeably. These powers should not be combined; Nadion needs no help from EPS to do its thing, and EPS is better spent afterward for a combined 60 seconds of boosted DPS.

But that's not all! I mentioned a number of key feats involving destroying waves in a very expeditious manner. You can't rely on long cooldown captain powers for every wave. Luckily, the new Systems Engineer doff provides the same effect as Nadion Inversion for 8 seconds after using Directed Energy Manipulation. Just long enough for a very powerful Fire at Will. Just long enough to handily pop a probe/BoP wave in an instant so that you can go spend your valuable time somewhere else. Between NI, EPS, and aux2batt refreshed DEM, most of your casts of Fire at Will are boosted.

Otherwise the ship uses a fairly normal Aux2batt build. The huge cooldown reduction ensures you'll be using those super powered FAWs very frequently (you'll get two of them in for each uptime of NI and EPS), allows one copy of each Emp2etc to chain as though there were two of each, keeps long CD powers like RSP and DEM down to global, and all that jazz.

To address some concerns I'm sure will arise:

"No Aux2SIF on a cruiser? You must be a complete noob."

This was one of the hardest things to give up. I'm well aware of its role on a cruiser and have used it for a long time. One of its key advantages is low cooldown and high uptime for its armor boost, and yet even with the aux2batt timing conflict which more or less destroys this advantage I still ran Aux2SIF3 for the longest time on this ship. Removing it was a tentative, expiremental move to say the least, with every intention of quickly putting it back on, but I was delighted to find that my ability to tank every PvE threat in the game was not comprimised. It takes some skill to stay alive, but it's still very possible. You lose a decent transferable heal, but this is NOT a heal boat. Your job is to keep everyone alive by taking all the fire and not dying, not worrying about healing everyone else. Threat control is mandatory!

"Your only hull heals are HE1, Miracle Worker, and the borg set2 proc. Doesn't this make it hard to stay alive?"

Generally I have no problems. With all my shield heals and buffs it's easy to keep them up, and bleedthrough is manageable (you'd better be using resilient shields). Aux2batt keeps HE1 and TSS2 going every 30 seconds instead of 45. You must be proactive while tanking in this ship; there is no reacting to damage once it's done. You have to know when you're about to be taking large amounts of damage and have RSF up, Brace and tac team ready at a moments notice, etc.

"An offensively focused cruiser with an Engineer captain? This thread isn't even worth reading!"

The goal here is to make a PvE cruiser that is simultaneously A) As strong as it can possibly be and B) Capable of surviving anything in the game. As you can probably tell by now, my defenses are tenuous at best. Without Engineer abilties, I'd pop in an instant. A tac captain would have to dedicate far more ship space to defensive powers and probably still wouldn't be able to survive as much. Given the choice between a Tactical cruiser loaded with defensive powers, and an Engineer cruiser loaded with offensive ones, I believe the latter is generally more effective on both fronts.

"Why this specific setup for the Engineer boffs? You could be using RSP3 and DEM1, or switch EmP>Engines for Eng team for some much needed hull heals."

The choice of DEM3 or RSP3 is subjective. Either would work fine. Since I can already survive everything PvE has to offer, I prefer the offensive option. The same applies for Eng team. I don't really need it, and it would conflict with the aux2batt refreshed tac team anyway. Because this ship is so much more capable in STFs than most other cruisers and doesn't need to just sit on probe duty, EmP>Engines is an excellent mobility booster that helps me get around the maps that much faster.

"Why the Regent? Everyone knows the Excelsior is the only offensive cruiser worth flying."

I love my Regent, and it is a very capable ship. You could say that this entire thread was written to hold the Regent up in one of the few builds it can pull off in a way that the Excelsior never could. The frightful AOE/PvE power that this cruiser holds is a result of the combined broadside power of (drain resisted) fire at will, wide angle torp spread, and APB. The Excelsior simply cannot run this setup (not without giving up tac team that is) and frankly there's nothing the Excelsior CAN run that can match the AOE broadside damage of this build. The Oddy could run a similar setup but would have to give up RSP, as well as the Galor (which would lose TSS2), but in both cases you'd need a Regent anyway for the wide angle quantum.

And finally, I'd love to hear your thoughts! Please try to be constructive. If all you have to offer is the implication that only PvP matters and any PvE focused build is a waste of effort, don't bother posting.

Last edited by mscowboy; 12-26-2012 at 02:03 PM.