I am in need of some assistance equipping my Science Odyssey cruiser. I have just completed rank 5 of all three reputations, and I'm not sure what to do with it. Which equipment set(s) should I acquire? Any general help with weapons and consoles and so forth would also be greatly appreciated.
My current setup isn't really worth posting. I've just puttered along grabbing whatever seemed useful. I'm willing to start with a clean slate.
I don't engage in PvP currently, so I'm willing to make some sacrifices in the interest of aesthetics. I like the classic phaser zaps, for instance, though I'm quite fond of the color blue and thus would be willing to consider Andorian phasers or tetryon weapons. I've used tetryon weapons in the past, and they're not bad, though somewhat less satisfying than the classic Trek appeal of a good old phaser.
I also want the ship to handle well. I know, I shouldn't have a cruiser if I want good handling, but the Odyssey is just such a beautiful ship that I couldn't pass it up. And I hated it when it handled like a dump truck with four flat tires. With a couple of RCS consoles and the tachyokinetic thingamajig, as well as the Helmsman trait, I've managed to get it up to 16.3 deg/sec turn rate. Is there a good way to get that even higher? I note that the Nukara engines have, according to the wiki, the highest turn rate, but I have yet to read any serious recommendations of that equipment set. It would be interesting to be able to add cannons, or at least a dual beam bank.
Also, for handling you elite fleet engines, standard impulse with 50+ power post mods is a good idea, my Excelsior runs with 67 engine power usually and has been known to out manoeuvre the Kumari line of escorts. Another nice handling buff you can get yourself is the Ops Oddy console.
Sorry, I should have said: a science officer. I do have the chevron separation console, but I don't like to run that all the time. It can be interesting, but it seems like something to do in dire emergencies only, especially as the chevron isn't sent off somewhere safe in the STO version of separation.
If you go for the 'lots of beams' builds you will NEED a lot of weapon power to be effective so you'll probably have to cycle Emergency Power to Weapons, so keep that in mind. Cruisers draw a lot more power for their attacks in most cases because they just plain mount more weapons than any other type of ship.
Since you're probably trying to cause the enemy problems as opposed to straight DPS your energy types would probably be polaron or tetryon, although this is ultimately minor.
The deflector/engine/shield setup is going to vary a lot depending on other things you have. The Jem Hadar set is decent if you go Polaron, although it has weaknesses in terms of other benefits that the other sets tend to give you. I would say that you probably want either the MACO deflector or Borg deflector. The former gives decent science bonuses, the latter gives +5 aux. Shields could be MACO or Elite Fleet, probably resilient or covariant in the latter's case. The engine is not HUGELY important, although it can help. Personally I run 2 Borg pieces with the MACO shield and it works well, although the Tholian's science bonuses may be worth consideration.
In terms of saucer separation, don't hesitate to use it - using it makes your ship a more formidable fighter. However, you may suffer from the hit to Aux since you're a science character. You may however consider getting the Work Bee console, for the set bonus (which ups damage resist stats moderately, increases turn rate a bit and reduces set power cooldown) and the healing ability. If you want to remain in character, you can remember that this is wartime so there won't be any kids and only a few civilians on the ship; everyone else is Starfleet military, trained and know the risks.
For the warp core I'd consider an Overcharged warp core. The exact mods will depend on how your power is set up. Presumably though you want as much power to shields or to aux as possible, but keep in mind that you can also get a bigger bonus by having the core mods 'target' your highest power level. For instance, I picked a warp core that has [W->S], and keep my weapons at 122-125 even without emergency power, which makes my shields considerably tougher. The same effect may be employed with, say, [W->A] if your weapon power is high; conversely if you keep Aux high, [A->W] may give you a good bit more punch.
I'd stick a science officer in the Lt. Cmdr seat and give them GW1 for their Lt. Cmdr slot. Other science seats can be fit to taste, although I'd carry at least one Hazard Emitters. Since you're sci you are not going to want an Aux2Bat build for the cruiser, so the Dragon build would make a decent base to start from. A dragon build is a style of cruiser build made for tanking/DPS with an emphasis on having a tough ship, unlike most A2B builds that are focused on mass destruction to everything in range. It centers on cycling two copies of two Emergency Power abilities. Most typically these are EPtW and EPtS, but you may prefer an aux boost via EPtA, which also boosts science abilities by itself. You can cut down on the number of BOff ability slots by having damage control engineers, reducing the number of slots occupied for this from 4 to 2, with occasional failures leaving you without an EPtX for a few seconds. This can be dangerous but if you use the other BOff slots well it won't be an issue. Your engineering Commander ability should probably be Aux2SIF3 or Extend Shields 3 - Aux2SIF3 can be cycled or used on an ally which is helpful, and gives 2/3rds uptime for hull repair and damage resistance that can take advantage of your presumably high aux power. However, a strong support ship can make use of Extend Shields with the caveat that this cannot be used on yourself.
If your universal ensign slot is free you may want to put a tac in there. Cycling two copies of tac team will help you tremendously in terms of shield effectiveness. However, if you don't you can try the lt. slot with two copies of tac team, or if you have the DOffs to cut down on the cooldown or don't mind living dangerously, you could slot only one in. Useful abilities will include subsystem disabling attacks and Beam Fire At Will.
For consoles you're going to want to invest in some dil mine consoles if at all possible - you probably want an RCS with damage resist or a neutronium with the turn modifier. Your tac slots should be filled with energy boosters of your chosen type (use only one type, "rainbow" boats are frowned upon in most cases). The Nukara, Romulan and Borg consoles may all be of use, and you will likely want at least one Field Generator to strengthen your shields.
In any case, hopefully all this helps. I realize this isn't a packaged build for you to copy, but I figure I'd do better to set you on the right path, especially in case my build isn't very good. Hopefully someone who knows more than me will chime in. Good luck!
My Sci Oddy for the last 6 months or so. Its limited on damage (only 4500 in ISE with an eng captain), but can take and hold aggro and simply laugh off even the worst hits. Simple but reliable and easy to fly.
Thank you, I really appreciate the advice! Rather different takes on how to fly this thing... I'm going to have to puzzle over them for a bit.
Red, many thanks for the in-depth explanation. Knowing why I ought to do something makes it doubly valuable. Heck, I didn't even know I could double up on bridge officer skills. I thought they would share the same cooldown (could've sworn I read something to that effect once, but it may be very badly outdated).
Thanks again, and I'm still quite open to suggestions if anyone has any more.
Heck, I didn't even know I could double up on bridge officer skills. I thought they would share the same cooldown (could've sworn I read something to that effect once, but it may be very badly outdated).
They share a cooldown, but not the full cooldown. Exactly how much depends on the ability, for the Emergency Power abilities it's 30 seconds instead of 45, for the Auxiliary to X abilities it's 10 seconds, for RSP it's 1 minute. That is also the minimum cooldown that they can be reduced to by anything, including Technicians with A2B.
Personally, I would never recommend using an Ody with anything other than an Eng in the LtC. It seems tempting to use something else there, but since it is fundamentally a cruiser, and a fairly slow one at that, it really does rely on a strong Eng ability rotation, which doesn't fit that well without setting the LtC to Eng. That Eng rotation will typically be 4 abilities, either a Dragon build (two copies each of two types of EPtX) or an A2B build (two copies of A2B, one copy each of two different types of EPtX, and 3 Technician doffs). You'll note that both of those get continuous uptime on 2 types of EPtX, which turns out to be the main way to make a cruiser effective. In principle you can also use Damage Control Engineer doffs to get that continuous double EPtX, but it's not 100% reliable, unlike the other two options. The cheapest way to get Technicians is of course to go through the Colonial chain in B'Tran Cluster and crit the Support repeatable at the end, I don't know of any good tricks for Damage Control Engineers. Personally, I'd go for an A2B build with beams and the cutting beam (or maybe single cannons and turrets with the cutting beam, if you're willing to use separation almost continuously), probably looking something like this:
I designed that to not require special access to any abilities, you can modify it as you like, including substituting in an ET3 (or ET1 with EPtX3) if you want, in place of either the Extend or the EWP. For gear, standard rules apply to tac consoles, get all 3 Rep consoles as well (skip the Nukara one if you opt for cannons), and use Jem shield for cheap, MACO, Adapted MACO, or Elite Fleet ultimately. That should give you a good start.