I was among the first group of Closed Beta testers so I've got a bit of knowledge I can share about a Ship's power and how to squeeze every megawatt of power from the Warp Core. So this is my Beginner's Guide to Ship Power. I'm not going to cover everything about a Starship in details. I'm going to assume you have a basic familiarity your ship.
First off a ship's power is the foundation for everything you do. If you don't have any power, you can do nothing at all. Secondly no matter how many gigawatts of power your Warp Core can provide, it's never enough. So you have to distribute power to the subsystems of you ship depending on need.
All of the systems on a ships are divided into 4 groups of Subsystems: Weapons, Shields, Engine, and Auxiliary. Weapons are thing can do damage are classified as weapons. Shield (aka Deflector Shield) is your protection to prevent damage from Weapons. Engine is basically how fast you can travel. Auxiliary is everything else. It's the Deflector/Tractor Beam (push/pull/hold ships), Emitters (which can buff/debuff targets in various ways), Sensors (how well you can sense other ships or prevent them from seeing you), and last but now least Turning Rate (how fast you ships can turn). Obviously the more power a subsystem has the better they perform. Weapons will do do more damage. Shield will regenerate faster. Engine allows you to travel faster. Auxiliary allow better Buff/Debuff and tighter turning radius.
How do I power my systems?
I'm glad you asked. Base Total Power is represented by 200 units. You distribute these 200 units to each Subsystem. The rules you have to follow are as follows. You allocate units in groups of 5. And you must allocate at least 25 units to a subsystem. And you can allocate no more then 100 units to a Subsystem. So you could run all 4 Subsystems at 50. Or 1 Subsystem at 100, another at 50 and the other two at 25. Or two subsystems at 75 and there other two at 25. Well you get the picture.
How do I manage my ships power?
You ships power management console is located to the right of the throttle. Most of the console is taken up by the power displays for each Subsystem. In order, the indicators are for Weapons, Shield, Engine and Auxiliary. Each indicator shows what the power allocation is set to. And also how much actual power actually is in each Subsystem. (More on this below)
At the top of the console there are 4 buttons which represent 4 default power allocations: Attack, Defense, Speed, and Balanced. (And for now on I will refer to power distributions at 50/50/50/50 which in order are Weapons, Shields, Engine and Auxiliary). Attack profile is for maximum weapon damage and moderate shield regen (100/50/25/25). Defense is maximum shield regenerate and moderate weapons damage (50/100/25/25). Speed is for maximum speed and moderate turning rate (25/25/100/50). Balanced is moderate performance for each Subsystem (50/50/50/50).
You select the power distribution icons and that will change the power allocated to each subsystem. However the change in power is not instantaneous. The actually power levels take time to reach their new levels. Otherwise you would be blowing out plasma conduits all over your ship. As I previously mentions the power indicator show the power allocation and the actually power in each subsystem. When power allocation changes, you'll see the amount of power increase/decrease to the new allocated levels.
Custom Power Profiles
The power distribution console has 3 different display modes. You select the mode by clicking in the icon that looks like tiled windows. Mode 1 is a numeric display for the power indicators. Mode 2 is a bar graph for the power indicators. Mode 3 is a bar graph display as well. But Mode 3 also allows you to manually tweak the power distribution settings. You can click and drag the power indicators. The other subsystem indicators will change in response. To lock a power settings for a subsystem. Click on the small locks icon on top of the subsystem power indicator. Don't lock more then 2 otherwise you won't be able to change power allocations. Below the Power Present icons are two buttons which allow you reset the power allocation back to the current Present defaults. And the other button allows you to save the current power allocation for the current Preset profile.
How do I squeeze some more power from my Warp Core?
A Starfleet Officer with the right training, the right equipment and/or the ships can get more performance of their Warp Core and Subsystems. This means that you can actually go above base power level allocated to a Subsystem. You can go above the normal maximum allocation level 100.
As I mentioned the type of ships can have more efficient Subsystems which will affect base power settings. Escort ships have a +10 bonus to the Weapon power setting. Science Ships have a +10 bonus to the Auxiliary power setting. A Cruiser ship has a more powerful Warp Core go they get a +3 bonus to all 4 Subsystems. That means an Escort can each 110 Weapons setting. A Science ship can reach 110 Auxilary. And a Cruiser can each 103 for any Subsystem.
The right equipment can also increase power settings. There are various Console which can add a bonus to one or more individual Subsystems. The lower level Consoles can at +1.5 - +2.5 to a single subsystem. If you have the Console slots on the ships, you can have multiple of the same type of Console. The Console bonuses do stack with any other power setting bonus.
An officer with the right training can squeeze more power from the Warp Core and make Subsystems. There are Efficiency Skills which make Subsystems run more efficient at lower power levels (<60). And there are Performance skills which get more performance out of a Subsystem at higher power levels (60+)
Right off there is Starship Warp Core Training which is teh basis of all of these skills. This skill can grant power setting bonuses to systems not running at 100. The lesser for allocations the bigger the bonus. At Rank 2, you can get a +2 Bonus to a Subsystem at 25, and a +1 Bonus to a Subsystem at 50. Warp Core Training by itself will grant a maximum bonus at Rank 6 of +4 for a setting of 25, and a bonus of +2 for 50.
If you take the character trait Warp Core Theorist, you get a +10 skill bonus. That stack stack with Starship Warp Core Train, and you can get bigger bonuses. At Warp Core Training Rank 9 plus Warp Core Theorist, you can be a +7 power setting bonus at 25 and a +3 power setting bonus at 50. So you could potentially have power levels in Attack 100/53/32/32. Defense 53/100/32/32, Speed 32/32/100/53, Balanced 53/53/53/53.
A handy chart.
Base Power Setting
Rank Skill | w/ Theorist
50 25 | 50 25
I hope this isn't too hard to read. The first column is the skill Rank of Starship Warp Core Training. The second column is the skill values that rank gives. The next four columns are the actuall power settings bonuses that you receive. The first set of power setting bonuses are what you receive at power setings of 50 and 25. The last two columns are the power setting bonuses with the Warp Core Theorist trait.
All of the skill power setting bonuses stack with the Equipment and Ship Bonuses. If you take everything together you can have the following examples. An Escort with a +5 power settings Console can run 115/53/32/32 in Attack profile. A Science with a +5 AUX console ould be running be running 53/100/32/47 in Defense profile or 53/53/53/68 in Balanced Mode. A Cruiser could be running 55/55/55/55 in Balanced mode.