Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 845
# 1 Cruisers: The Dominant Ship?
09-04-2012, 01:54 PM
I've been noticing, recently, that a lot of people are flying Cruisers. A LOT. Specifically the Odyssey. For every Escort or Science Vessel I see, I could count 5 Cruisers. And, out of those 5 Cruisers, odds are at least ONE of them is an Odyssey. Usually, it'll be 2 or 3 (to the community's credit, that used to be a lot higher). People always complain that they tun slowly, so why are they BY FAR the most popular ship type in Starfleet? Well, let's examine each type, shall we?

SECTION 1: AVAILABILITY.
A big reason of this would be the SELECTION. Let's tale a look at the Playable Starship table over at STOWiki. I'm not going to get into the Fleet Ships, those are just buffed rehashes of what we had before. At lieutenant, we have 4 ships. The Oberth is the Science Vessel (C-Store only), the NX is the Escort (C-Store only), and there are TWO cruisers at this tier (one is C-Store only). The trend has already emerged. If we follow that chart down, the status quo doesn't change. One ship each, then the Retrofit off the C-Store. This is the same for Lt. Cmdr, Cmdr, and Captain.
Then we hit Admiral, and the status quo packs it's bags and heads for the hills. Two Escorts (no C-Store versions), 4 Science Vessels (2 C-Store only)... and FIVE Cruisers (2 non-C-Store, one straight purchase, and 2 C-Store Gamble ships). At VA, ALL ships are C-Store (I, however, remember getting my Fed Sci his free Intrepid Retrofit when he hit VA - they need to re-add that). Five MORE cruisers to three Escorts and TWO Science Vessels.
The grand total is as follows:
Getting the Bronze in this category is the Science Vessels, with only 11 variants. The silver goes to the Escorts, with 12. Getting the gold is, of course, the CRUISER, at a whopping EIGHTEEN variants of the lumbering giants. So, they get a point. There's more cruisers than other ships, but no cruiser is a Carrier. Odd.

SECTION TWO: STATS.
For the purpose of standardized comparison, I'll be using the Assault Cruiser, the Advanced Escort, and the Reconnaissance Science Vessel. We'll start off with the most obvious stuff: Power Bonuses. Everyone should know these. Cruisers get +5 to all, Escorts get +15 weapons, and Science Vessels get +15 Aux. So, Escorts hurt more, Science uses more powers, and the Cruisers just balance. That should mean Escorts should win.
The next piece of obvious piece is Base Turn Rate. The Assault Cruiser does 7 degrees per second. The Recon Science Vessel gets 13 d/S, and the Advanced Escort peels off with 15 d/S. So, Escorts turn better.
Technobabble enthusiast will understand the next stat already: Shield modifiers. This is the number your base shield capacity gets multiplied by before bonuses get applied to give you your base shield on that ship. Cruisers, in this case, are the baseline, with a shield modifier of 1. This means, with NO boosts, if a shield says 5,000 capacity, you get 5,000 capacity. On the low end are the Escorts, at 0.9. With no boosts, a shield saying 5,000 on the tooltip will only get you 4,500. So, the Escorts have something of a deficit in the shields department. Science Vessels, however, gain a big ol' 1.3 modifier. This means that a tooltip that says 5,000 will net you 6,500 instead. They can pull their weight in shields. Science Vessels take the cake here.
Finally, it's time for the real gap... Base Hull. The short stick got pulled by the Recon Science Vessel, she only has 27,000. The Advanced Escort, endeavoring to be the middle child, sits on a firm 31,000. A modest difference, an Escort can take an extra torpedo. However, the Assault Cruiser ate too many cakes in its youth, and sits on a fat 39,000. So, for eating too much cake, the Cruiser gets another one.
So, in this category, everyone meets up pretty evenly. No points here.

SECTION 3: POTENTIAL POWERS.
This section is all about BOffs. What kind of powers can your lackeys slot in? I'll continue with the base ships from Section Two.
The Advanced Escort has 7 Tactical power slots, 2 Engineering power slots, and 3 Science power slots. This is clearly a damage spec. Those tactical slots could be firing every gun 9001 times a second. They bring pain.
The Recon Science vessel has 7 Science power slots, 3 Tactical power slots, and 2 Engineering power slots. This guy is gonna make things WEIRD. Black holes and subspace tears will appear all OVER the place! This ship flies in and turns the fight into an episode of the Twilight Zone.
But the Assault Cruiser... the number of frakks given by the Assault Cruiser is negative. This big bucket of bolts is bursting with 7 Engineering powers, 3 Tactical powers, and two Science powers. This guy can bring every healing and resistance power known to MAN. The damage from the Escort can just be healed back, and the Science Vessel is wasting its efforts.

SUMMARY
So, we've looked at the ships. They've all got their niche. However, the winning of the Cruiser has become apparent. They're too much like real-life Tanks... take ALL the enemy fire and still have the ability to blow enemies sky high. Plus, there are more varieties of Cruiser. Overall, it's a lot stronger, especially considering that late-game enemies (the Borg) have a lot of durability AND damage, requiring them to be tanked. So, how can the other ships come up to par?
For one, there could stand to be a few more Escorts. They're small, Starfleet should have no trouble producing them. They could also stand to gain a passive, like the Science Vessels having Subsystem Targeting and Sensor Scan. Maybe, Escorts could get B:Faw, B:O, C:Rapid, and C:Scatter for free, with a special passive for Strafing runs (first consecutive volley deals 5% more damage, only reactivates on a weapon after that weapon has not fired for 7 seconds, plus a bigger Defense boost while moving).
Science Vessels are a good mid-ground for ships; they can take a decent beating, they can have the highest shields in the game, and they cam make things wonky. They have a passive, and an ability gain. Their main issue is that they don't have the damage they need unless it's a long, drawn-out 1-on-1. But, they're decently well-balanced and good in a select few situations. There could be a few more of them, too.
CHARACTER GRID (@Lord-Ice):
___ |___ _ Fed ____| ____ _KDF __ ____| Rom
Tac_|_Thomas Hale_| __ __Illusion _____| Silence (K)
Eng | ___Antilles _ _| _ Mirror Rygobeth__| N'Vek (F)
Sci _| __ Rygobeth _| _Lukor Son of Q'Tar | Devala (F)
Captain
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 3,046
# 2
09-04-2012, 02:34 PM
Hang on a sec... just a second... Escorts "Could stand to gain a passive"... No offence meant but WHAT GAME HAVE YOU BEEN PLAYING? Escorts are overpowered enough as it is! My escort does a ridiculous amount of damage to the point of it's boring to play (that and it dies too much) I once did 33,333 damage non crit with a single quantum torp using my escort and you want to give them a passive? You want to give them MORE power? Yes cruisers are the dominant ship but my excelsior that maxes out at 1700 damage per hit with 6 beams and happily solos negh'vars in CSE can't scratch anything in a Fleet action because it's all geared for escorts and you want to make the poor thing MORE useless?

you are right about there being more cruisers in the game and that should be all the more reason for escorts to not be made even more powerful all the new game content is going for escort pilots and DPS yet the NPC damage figures keep going up so we have a problem, escorts can do damage but don't live long enough to do so, cruisers live long enough to not do any damage... and science ships do less than cruisers! So they're completely screwed over...
(PWE Please take notes here!) if this keeps going the way it is the game will become unplayable because no-one will have the lifespan (in case of escorts) or damage (In case of cruisers) or both (in case of science ships) to kill anything.

Rant over...
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 945
# 3
09-04-2012, 03:09 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by adamkafei View Post
Escorts are overpowered enough as it is!
I thought the OP was just observing that the most popular ships seem to be cruisers by federation players?

Either way..

My observation has been kinda similar, when it comes to startfleet players I've noticed these

-most are in cruisers
-most dont know how to fly them
-most lose a shield facing in pvp and use science/engineering team as opposed to tactical team
-Most are flown by tactical captains

My guess for all these reasons?
Fanatics.

They go tactical because they like the idea of blowing things up, but dont realise they trade survivability. They choose cruisers because they are the ship of the captain/series they like e.g. Exploration cruiser (i mean why else is the like 4re-fits for one flipping vessel.) Soverign (the movies), or they think a cruiser can sufficently tank by spamming engineering and science teams.

As for the oddesy it might be the psychological thing of 'the most expensive thing is the best' and if i get this, i will be better at the game. Which makes me giggle when I'm in a stf (a Science captain in an escort) and I end up being the one supporting cruisers with AuxTSIF, and hazard emitters.

Also to say for cruiser's popularity some cruisers are 'iconic' ships that some people just feel compelled to buy, e.g. excelsior (i myself bought it and barely used it past a week)
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 845
# 4
09-04-2012, 03:11 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by adamkafei View Post
Hang on a sec... just a second... Escorts "Could stand to gain a passive"... No offence meant but WHAT GAME HAVE YOU BEEN PLAYING? Escorts are overpowered enough as it is! My escort does a ridiculous amount of damage to the point of it's boring to play (that and it dies too much) I once did 33,333 damage non crit with a single quantum torp using my escort and you want to give them a passive? You want to give them MORE power? Yes cruisers are the dominant ship but my excelsior that maxes out at 1700 damage per hit with 6 beams and happily solos negh'vars in CSE can't scratch anything in a Fleet action because it's all geared for escorts and you want to make the poor thing MORE useless?

you are right about there being more cruisers in the game and that should be all the more reason for escorts to not be made even more powerful all the new game content is going for escort pilots and DPS yet the NPC damage figures keep going up so we have a problem, escorts can do damage but don't live long enough to do so, cruisers live long enough to not do any damage... and science ships do less than cruisers! So they're completely screwed over...
(PWE Please take notes here!) if this keeps going the way it is the game will become unplayable because no-one will have the lifespan (in case of escorts) or damage (In case of cruisers) or both (in case of science ships) to kill anything.

Rant over...
33k... not bad... But my Odyssey build can take that. Like I said in the third part, Cruisers do a REALLY good job at sucking up damage. I pop Eng Team 3 and Miracle Worker... What damage? A seriously tank-specced cruiser is an unstoppable force. I once tanked a Tactical Cube in Infected Normal for 5 minutes... with its forward side facing me. Torpedoes, cannons, I took everything it had for WELL long enough for the rest of my team to take down the gate (which was my intention - you don't wanna take pod shots at the gate with a Tac Cube trying to snipe you)... and I did this BEFORE I perfected the build. An Elite Tactical Cube... that's another matter, but I still took his fire for a good 90 seconds. Between Reverse Shield Polarity 3, Eng Team 3, Miracle Worker, and my Borg set... I'm a GOOD tank.

If you'd like, I can give you the build. I simulated it on STOAcademy.
CHARACTER GRID (@Lord-Ice):
___ |___ _ Fed ____| ____ _KDF __ ____| Rom
Tac_|_Thomas Hale_| __ __Illusion _____| Silence (K)
Eng | ___Antilles _ _| _ Mirror Rygobeth__| N'Vek (F)
Sci _| __ Rygobeth _| _Lukor Son of Q'Tar | Devala (F)
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 3,400
# 5
09-04-2012, 03:15 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by adamkafei View Post
Escorts are overpowered enough as it is! My escort does a ridiculous amount of damage to the point of it's boring to play (that and it dies too much)
How can it be overpowered if it dies too much?
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 274
# 6
09-04-2012, 03:49 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by icegavel View Post
I once tanked a Tactical Cube in Infected Normal for 5 minutes...
I frequently do this with my Escort in ISE too. Escorts are by far the best ships, at least for PvE content.

The Odyssey was given away for free once (i think it was the STO anniversary event), so there should be a lot of them around. For other reasons see yreodred's post.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,708
# 7
09-04-2012, 04:00 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by icegavel View Post
I once tanked a Tactical Cube in Infected Normal for 5 minutes... with its forward side facing me.t... I'm a GOOD tank.
Um... I just got my doffing Engi to 50 a few days ago. I set her up in a T4 Assault Cruiser and can already hold agro and survive just fine in Elite STFs.... And it takes me less than 5 minutes to kill the cube who's agro i'm holding. I don't understand why so many cruiser pilots think merely holding agro and surviving is enough, you need to also kill what you're holding. Its not like you don't have defenses to spare, only in emergencies do I shift full power to shields, all power to weapons is more my style, and live on a steady diet of EPTS 3, yet my standart Assault Cruiser holds agro and survives.

Why be "merely" a damage sponge, kill stuff too!
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 227
# 8
09-07-2012, 06:50 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by skyranger1414 View Post
Um... I just got my doffing Engi to 50 a few days ago. I set her up in a T4 Assault Cruiser and can already hold agro and survive just fine in Elite STFs.... And it takes me less than 5 minutes to kill the cube who's agro i'm holding. I don't understand why so many cruiser pilots think merely holding agro and surviving is enough, you need to also kill what you're holding. Its not like you don't have defenses to spare, only in emergencies do I shift full power to shields, all power to weapons is more my style, and live on a steady diet of EPTS 3, yet my standart Assault Cruiser holds agro and survives.

Why be "merely" a damage sponge, kill stuff too!
You beat me to it, and listing anything in a "normal" STF is just silly for a benchmark. I could tank the cube in Infected on my Excelsior with mostly still crap Mk X gear while I was grinding for my Mk XI and actually get it down to almost 50% hull by the time everyone else was done blowing the gate. Doing this the whole time while keeping my huil at or above 98% and shields almost full. Tanking a cube no matter if it's Tac or normal in any "normal" STF is not hard.

Also agree that too many cruiser pilots take "tanking" too literally as in "I just get shot, I don't need to do any damage." I rarely run full power to shields and always run full weapon power. EPTS is your best friend along with RSP and Aux to Struct.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 162
# 9
09-07-2012, 07:13 AM
I wish Escorts were actually glass cannons, but they're not.

AS it is, My tac in a Fleet Patrol has almost same shields and not to far off on hull as a cruiser. Yet dishes out great damage?

It's broken in my eyes.

It confuses me that Escorts and Cruisers have the same amount of Console slots. IMO, a Cruiser should have 2+ more console slots than an escort can have. That or Cruisers need a major Hull buff. Something. as it is It comes down to what you'd rather fly. Since almost everything can be done better in an escort.

I just don't care much for point and shoot. Hell for most I dont even dogfight, Im a movable Stationary Turret in an escort.
Captain
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 3,046
# 10
09-07-2012, 07:58 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by dashuk2381 View Post
You beat me to it, and listing anything in a "normal" STF is just silly for a benchmark. I could tank the cube in Infected on my Excelsior with mostly still crap Mk X gear while I was grinding for my Mk XI and actually get it down to almost 50% hull by the time everyone else was done blowing the gate. Doing this the whole time while keeping my huil at or above 98% and shields almost full. Tanking a cube no matter if it's Tac or normal in any "normal" STF is not hard.
Please can I see your Excelsior build?

I evidently have a lot to learn
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