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Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 4,184
# 4
02-19-2013, 11:34 PM
The part where it drains your Aux power and transfers it into other systems is really incidental next to the main purpose, which is reducing cooldowns when combined with Technician duty officers. You slot Aux2Bat and three purple technicians, then bind it to like your spacebar or something else you'll be sure to hit at least every 30 seconds, and now all BOFF cooldowns (but not captain or special abilities) will be reduced by 30% every time the power is activated. That means running always-on Emergency To Shields with just 1 instead of needing two, Tac Team (which on a cruiser you're probably only getting 1 of) cut to 20 seconds instead of 30. Long-recharge powers like Reverse Shield Polarity or Direct Energy Modulation will get the cooldown proc activated multiple times and will be reduced to their global cooldowns. Etc etc. Its a very powerful ability, especially on cruisers that have the engineering space to really use it.

However there are big weaknesses to offset this newfound power. For one thing, using it requires a Lt engineering slot (or even run 2 of them, but 1 is usually sufficient), as well as 60% of your DOFF active-duty slots. Second, you will have your Aux power reduced to 4 or so, which means any abilities that depend on aux power (like Hazard Emitters or Transfer Shield Strength) are gimped while its active (1/3 of the time, plus recovery). You can partially offset this by using batteries or running Emergency To Auxiliary and making sure to activate it after A2B and get some of your juice back, but then you have to really pay attention to your timings, and on the common beam cruiser running Emergency To Weapons you can't really fit it in anyways. Third it shares cooldown with Aux To Structural, which means that half the time you can't use one of your best heals. Fourth if someone subnukes you (Breen, Hirogen, Jem Hadar, PVP science), you're even more screwed than normal as even once you get your powers back on normal cooldown, then you're still waiting beyond that to get everything buffed back up again. Fifth, you have to get your timing down and ensure that its always either active or on cooldown, or all the other abilities you've chained to it now have holes in their coverage, which can be a big problem when thats your Emergency To Shields. Keybinding everything important to spacebar helps a lot with #5.

Its a very powerful ability, and can do awesome things to cruisers (the Regent, Excelsior, and Fleet Tor'kaht in particular were just built for it) and engineering-heavy escorts (Steamrunner is unholy), giving you basically extra boff stations. But the price is you have to micro-manage and accept that anything Aux-dependant just became a lot less effective. Like everything else, its a tradeoff, but a damn fun one.