This is my first science character, and I decided to make a romulan with the idea that romulan science rivals--or rivaled, until recently--the federation's. My goal has been to make a pure sci / sci build, but everything I've tried has felt very ineffective in group content. Any advice would be appreciated, but please keep in mind I don't have the resources for very expensive ships or equipment yet. (Also, this is strictly for PvE.)
I use the Jem'hadar Space Set Mk XI. Typically I run at max aux with 25-60 weapon power depending on my singularity level.
Lt Tactical: Fire At Will I, Torpedo: High Yield II Ensign Tactical: Tactical Team I Lt Engineering: Emergency Power to Shields I, Aux to Structural Integrity I Comm Science: Polarize Hull I, Transfer Shield Strength II, Charged Particle Burst II, Gravity Well III LtC Science: Hazard Emitters I, Tractor Beam II, Feedback Pulse II
My typical strategy is to remain cloaked until 5 km from a group of enemies. I'll then decloak and use Charged Particle Burst, Fire at Will, and Feedback Pulse. I'll tractor beam an enemy, and when its shields are down I'll use Gravity Well. By then I'll have finished my pass, so I'll turn and launch my mines and cluster torpedo.
This strategy has worked very well for me while solo. However, in group content, and particularly content that requires strong dps, I feel completely useless. I try to heal and be supportive in those cases, but most of the time I find I'm not even needed.
I've considered a torpedo / drain-boat build, and even tried using cannons, but I'm not sure how to make either of those work effectively. Any insight would be appreciated.
You should definitely not be using beam arrays with this. Arrays are always a struggle for sci, since it's so difficult to broadside and use abilities effectively, and you're not trying to do it as a tank/healer so it doesn't make any sense for you. Instead get Dual Beam Banks and turrets, or even cannons (I used a single cannon/turret build on my Recon Sci for quite a while, it did work quite nicely, and DHCs will give you extra firepower). Drop the plasma torp, a quantum or photon will do far better for you until you can get Omega or Hyper Plasma, and replace the torp console with another polaron one. Also forget the biofunction monitor, it's barely better than an empty slot, and be prepared to drop the Neutroniums if you find anything worth using. You should also pull your Aux down some, you want to run at a balance between Aux and Weapons, because you can't rely on either one alone. I'm also going to say that you probably shouldn't be doing attack runs in PvE, better to keep your main weapons on target, so go ahead and replace the mines and Breen torp with turrets.
Now, abilities. This is hard, because most sci abilities are pathetically weak, and getting weaker every couple months (GW was the last good one until LoR, when they made it so easy for the spheres to escape it). However, some are still weaker than others. Feedback Pulse is among the weakest, in large part just because it only does something when something is shooting at you, which in group content is a long way from a constant occurrence (and in high level content means you're not likely to last long unless they stop). Polarize Hull isn't really necessary, for the most part you can just sit in the tractor beam and continue shooting, so it's not worth the slot. Tractor Beam is also questionable, generally the targets that really need holding come in groups. Keep GW3, use CPB if you see any benefit from it (it and Tachyon Beam got nerfed hard with S7, prompting me to give up on them), the heals are still solid at least. Possibly get Sci Team, it does conflict with Tac Team but it can be nice to have, and pick up 1-2 copies of Energy Siphon, it's a nice buff for you and as much of a debuff as we get for enemies. The other ability to consider is Tyken's Rift, the power drain isn't great, but not terrible either, and the damage means that enemies can't get destructible projectiles to you. Last thing to think about: you might want to replace Aux to SIF with a second EPtS so you can have that running continuously, that really is unbelievably strong. (You can also take a look at my Vesta build if you like, it's set up as a sci ship: http://www.stoacademy.com/tools/skil...=Secura04_2511)
Good luck, as a fellow sci I can tell you that you're definitely going to need it.
I'm a bit scared to drop my neutronium consoles. Resistance stacking is something I try to do in every game, so the idea of running without is a bit frightening. I could use a better turn rate though, especially if I go with cannons, dual beam banks, or torpedoes, which it now seems I should.
I'm honestly thinking about dropping energy weapons altogether and relying entirely on torpedoes. My reasoning is that if I always have to switch between aux and weapons, I'll only have the strengths of one or the other at any one time. I also don't have the tactical stations for anything more than a single cannon ability. Last night I tried something like this:
Lt Tactical: Torpedo: Spread I, Torpedo: High Yield II Ensign Tac: Tactical Team Lt Engineering: EPtS I, Aux to Structural Cmdr Science: Hazard Emitters, Tractor Beam II, Tachyon Beam III, Tyken's Rift III LtC Science: Polarize Hull, Transfer Shield Strength II, Charged Particle Burst II
For duty officers I had 3 projectile officers, 1 deflector officer, and 1 tractor beam officer.
If I trade tractor beam for a second tachyon beam, I might go with a second deflector officer.
I've been using my battle cloak a lot more extensively with this build, which makes me think I'm on the right track. At least it feels more romulan! :p My strategy is to stay cloaked, then open with tachyon beam, Tyken's rift, and a spread of torpedoes. Up close I'll use charged particle burst and tractor beam, then jump behind my target with singularity jump and fire my aft weapons. I think the jump itself comes with an aoe accuracy debuff, though I'm not sure how much. I'll then re-cloak for the damage / turn buff, and prep for another attack.
What would be the advantage in going with photon or quantum torpedoes rather than plasma? My high yield plasma torpedoes do get destroyed fairly often or sometimes take too long to reach the target, but I like how the plasma burn bypasses shields. Even against shielded targets, I seem to be doing more damage with my torpedoes than I was before.
If I do keep this build, my long-term goal would be to get the Adapted MACO set. It's seemed promising so far, though I've yet to test it in group content. I will give dual beam banks another try, and they would have the advantage of letting me use my subsystem targeting again. I'll also experiment with a second EPtS.
The reason I suggested dropping the neutroniums is because in this game it's almost exclusively your shields that keep you alive. So you certainly want resistance stacking, but for your shields, since nothing can make your hull tough enough. Thus an EPtS chain.
A torpedo build is a fairly popular option for sci ships, however, I would advise using turrets in the rear, because they're the only 360 degree weapons and for ESTFs and things you have to be prepared to just sit and hammer on a target for an extended period, because that's what it takes to get anywhere.
The reason I suggested photon or quantum torpedoes is that they tend to do significantly more damage than plasma ones. Now, with the Hyper Plasma torp and possibly the Omega torp as well that changes, but as a general rule photons and quantums do the most damage (and actually do more bleedthrough damage than transphasics simply due to putting out more raw damage).
However, don't make your decision against using cannons purely on the basis of only being able to fit one ability, I got 4k DPS out of my Fleet Recon Sci, which has the same layout as the Ha'nom except that it gains an extra tac console, and that was without doing too much to optimize for DPS. My guess would be that a DBB build, a single cannon build, and a torp build will all come out with similar DPS, and a DHC build will come out slightly ahead. But the torp build will let you prioritize sci a bit more, if that's what you're looking for, and no option can really produce good DPS, sci ships have just been nerfed too hard.
I'd like to add that on the path of the Hyper Plasma Torpedo, which is where I'm going with my Sci Han'om, that the two piece set bonus of the Romulan and Reman sets increases the speed and durability of the plasma torpedoes. So if you go the "Pure Romulan" route, then you will have many plasma torpedoes and they'll be faster and harder to shoot down.
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