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Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,001
# 4
02-18-2013, 02:53 PM
Ok, lot of questions, will try to answer them one by one. Disclaimer: like you already said, playstyle and preferences matter. I love my Fed-side sci, because I think their escort-style and cruisers get boring soon. I also love my KDF tacs and sci's, including some cruiser play, as their ships have different features to shake things up.

Now then.

1. Should I dump efforts in sci/eng and roll a tac chatacter? Levelling is pretty easy so it wont take long to do this, but dont want to waste the effort if its unecessary.
- No. I would say get the 4 extra character slots and roll one of each. Best decision I ever made in this game: all 6 play completely different, and this way I can switch around between completely different specs and ships easily and without extra costs.

Having said that, dps is the most important thing around, yes, but science skills and abilities can make stf's a whole lot easier for entire teams - I've never had people complain. If you're going for Eng, make sure you include points in Threat Generation, if you want to make friends in stf's: those escorts are squishy, and a good tank is worth its weight in dilithium.

2. Can a sci fly an escort as well as a tac? Are there any unusualy combinations like an eng in a sci ship that make for great capability?
- Yes and no. A sci will never reach the same dps as a tac in the same escort, but gets neat debuffing tricks in return. Do you prefer a straight-up +50-80% damage, or an AoE -60-80 damage reduction, from which your team benefits too? Eng in a sci ship makes her more durable, sci in a cruiser adds debuffing. Try the mirror ships on the exchange, I recommend. They cost like 200k EC and allow you to mix and match, see which fits you best. You can get all lvl 40 free fed ships and some KDF ships that way.

3. Should I pony up some bucks and buy an MVAE, Dread, or buy a lifetime to get a Chimera?
- See previous point. See which kinds of ship you like first, and remember that the upgrades are not game-shattering. Once you know how you want to fly, you can always upgrade. For my fed sci and tac, though, I'm currently considering the tactical Vesta, as a dps/science vessel. I also own the Dread, but that is... a tricky one. Not as easy to fly well, suffers from some flaws. If you want a tactical cruiser, maybe look at the Regent, or, if willing to get the 3-pack, the tactical Odyssey with Chevron Separation for great turn rate. MVAE is the escort to beat for sci's, for now, pending the Andorian one launching this week.

However, and I feel I need to stress this: you do not NEED to shell out big bucks to be effective in STF's. Stock lvl 40 level-up ships will get you a long way, at least until you know what you feel comfortable doing.

4. Is all of the above worthless compared to high end fleet gear?
- No. C-store stuff isn't all that worst than fleet stuff, and the difference between regular rare or very rare exchange stuff isn't relevant for PvE, really. Maybe for high-end PvP, but even then, regular mk xi or xii purples do just fine.

5. Can someone offer a good character build for sci (or eng/tac)?
- Will edit one in later, just a moment. Edit:

6. Can someone tell me what are the 'must-haves' in terms of consoles and weapons?
- Neutronium alloy engineering consoles. Boost resistance to all damage types. Tac consoles: use strictly consoles boosting the damage type of your energy types, all the way. Weapons, hm. For escorts, 3 DHC's and a quantum torp or 4 DHCs fore, turrets aft. Cruisers: single cannons/DBB's/beam arrays fore, beam arrays/turrets back, potentially with one torp fore and aft. Sci vessels I'd recommend at least one beam for subsystem targetting, and definitely atorpedo. Energy types are your pick, but always use just one type at a time.

7. Can we put that all the above together to make a viable play strategy (inc skill rotations)?
- See boff layout under 5, for an example.
Generally: run tactical team to redistribute shields, whenever under fire, and heal those shields with emergency power to shields (and potentially reverse shield polarity and/or transfer shield strength). Be wary of Eng and Sci teams, as they put your tac team on cooldown, leaving you vulnerable. For sci ships: use crowd control skills to benefit your team and heal when able. Grav well stuff together for torp spreads and team mates, repulsor borg units approaching mission-critical points.

The character sheet at point 5 is aimed at science vessels, but with the option of effectively flying carriers, cruisers and escorts too. The ship is a general lvl 40 free ship, available on the exchange in a mirror variant cheaply. It is a good ship, as are the other cheap mirror ships. They just don't come with the fancy consoles c-store ships tend to feature, or the buff to shields and hull that some fleet ships get. You can, however, do great in these "free" ships in stf's, and give you an idea of where to spend your money on. Don't like the cruisers? Don't get a dreadnought. Don't like the sci ships after all? Don't get a Vesta or Wells. Escort play not appealing? You get it by now

Footnote: I do not profess to know everything, nor am I a min-maxer for dps, per se. I do fly all careers and ship types, and have been doing so for the past year. All to good effect in elite STF's and, sometimes, pug PvP. Many people around here are way more experienced than me, and may give different advice - just compare notes, check the wiki (linked under the community tab of this website and the homepage) and go with what seems right. I can be wrong, I make mistakes, and most of this is based on own experience and loyal forum-browsing.

Last edited by twam; 02-18-2013 at 03:26 PM.