Mobs still seem to attack me even when I let my Cruiser buddy go in first, just make sure to invest in some nice defense skills with your Science and Engi Officers. You will die eventually but you will be able to pump alot of damage out, way more than a cruiser if you are doing it right.
I cry a little everytime I see an escort using beams :'(
In beta my T2 escort had a beam array, dual heavy cannons and torpedoes up front and a turret at the rear, My tac BO's both had high yield torpedos maxed out, so was fireing them off every 15 seconds, didnt plan on those skill, just what they came with and the LT had beam to sheilds (or whatever), my engineer had EP to sheilds, and my sci had medical team 1 or some such that also boosted sheild power and healed the crew i believe (either that or the hull) and resiliant sheild array for less bleed through. (were also uncommon or rare with extra buff that i don't remember exactly what). I didn't have much trouble there at all, though could sometimes get a little overwhelmed if there were a couple of heavy cruiser types in the group with strong sheilds.
This time around My LT has high yield torpedo 1 and cannons rapid fire, tac ensign has fire at will, thich i'm thinking of changing when i can, just not sure what yet. Engineer still has EP to shields and my sci officer has jam sensors, a lovely placate that i hit right at 9.99KM before i fire off my buffs, including my own skill, attack patern alpha, and weapons at the biggest thing in the group and go in at half power and can virtually take it out before it gets a single shot off.
Still working on getting better engines and shields at the mo, but so far, I am eating up even the toughest of sheilds ready for my torps to hit home. And once i decided what the best choice for my tac ensign's skill will be I'm sure I'll be even better still.
I'm running a Heavy Dual Disrupter in the front, and a Turret Phasor on the rear of my escort, and running Quantum Torpedoes and Photon Torpedoes in the other slots up front. Coming into battle I hit Pattern Alpha, Rapid Fire 1 and High Yield 1, and Tachyon beam when I remember it, typically I take out whatever I'm coming at the first pass, if not, evasive manuvers then high yeild again and run it again. Never had anything survive past that. The only time I've had issues if if some large group spawns ontop of me, or gets pulled to me by some one else, while I'm fighting another group
But I have a question, I noticed on the exchange a couple of Dirupter Turrets. Anyone know where to get those. I have my upgrades geared toward disrupter weapons so having a dirupter turret (Ass opposed to a photon turret) would be nice. I don't really want to buy the turret off the exchange as people are asking 40,000 + for it. So anyone know where to find one?
In beta I went for beam overload, the shield weakening tachyon weapon and high-yield torpedos which was a reasonable combination but left me a little battered after combat. In the head-start I've gone for emergency power to shields, high-yield torps, target system jammers and (currently useless so will be changed) one of the multiple target phaser skills. I can't remember the exact stats, but I normally have aux and speed as low as possible (25) and shields slightly higher than weapons (85/80 or thereabouts) for my power systems.
The only time I die is if I go insane and try to solo a big group of ships in the fleet actions In a straight fight with a battleship I come out with barely a dent to my shield and ready for the next fight, often winning before the ship comes out of the weapon lockdown caused by jamming. The main thing to remember is that if you don't kill your target on the opening attack run then use your enhanced flight skills to stay on the same one or two shield zones
yeah I did. But I figured being able to send 6 torpedoes on their way to the enemy where other players only send 2-4 would be worth not "shooting more often but doing less damage with each shot".
Although I must confess, I havent tried Cannon Rapid Fire.
But in the end: My strategy seems to work - at least for me.
Running 3 heavy cannons up front and a turret in the rear + rapid fire on weapons power to full just destroys most smaller ships in one go, and severely cripples the larger ships where you easily take them out.
Pointless? An escort ship can anihillate most targets in one pass. Your goal is to destroy small ships fast so you can survive the beating. That's it. Make friends with your evasive manuevers skill and engine batteries. Get in and get out fast.
Cannons, a phaser and a good torpedo bank up front, get a turret on the rear, maximum forward fire power. You'll shred targets with ease. Make sure you've got an engineering BO with emergency power to shields and/or shield rotation. Shield batteries are your friends too.
Trust me, escorts cut through most enemy ships like a hot knife through butter.
After that, it comes down to piloting skills, use your shield arcs and keep that front array strong for your passes on the enemy ships.
As a tac officer i pop attack pattern alpha, pop an energy weapon power up, make sure i put power into weapons and i annihilate anything that is in front of me in seconds and take little or no damage in the process, this includes the big ships you can encounter in a quest like the named klingon battle cruisers etc..
I have on forward weapon banks a dual disruptor beam, dual phaser cannon, and quantum torpedo, and rear is a disruptor cannon. There is nothing like watching all of the fire power on my ship pop off at the same time and then watching enemy shields go down in 1.5 seconds when my torpedoes then reach the target and their hull is near gone. It's like poetry in action.
Do not forget your skills and equipment, when I have a problem that's frequently where the solution is. I cant remember where it was, but I will repeat here just in case. At least this works for me.
Disruptors are better than phasers for the early parts of the game, I haven't been past LtCdr so don't know about later
Shields try to get the ones with lower points but higher regen rate, that makes a big difference for me
Disruptors are NOT better than phasers. They have same dps, disruptors are supposedly capable of a higher RoF while Phasers have higher damage, but the pièce de résistance of the weapons lies within the passive bonus of the weapons. This isn't a simple a gun is better than a bow, by the end of the game all weapons should be equally viable but have different abilities which make some players prefer one to the other.
This is more readily visible with torpedoes, but it's still the same for energy weapons.
As for what to fit an Escort with, it's all about how you use your ship.
#1 Don't be an idiot and full impulse directly into combat, blowing your damage abilities before your weapons power setting is near maximum.
#2 Cannons work extremely well, especially if you're taking advantage of multiple tactical officers with rapid fire (you will be able to keep this consistently up with only 5 second pauses between them towards 'endgame')
#3 Slow down when you make an attack run. Head towards your target at 25% speed, or even full stop, until all your abilities are blown, and pop defensive skills as necessary if your forward shields are failing. You have NO idea how many incompetent escort pilots blow their abilities because they're too busy doing circles at 100% speed trying to line up for an attack run.
#4 Escorts don't have a fantastic enough warp core to negotiate many phaser arrays, you'll eventually start draining power, which inherently damages the arrays dps. If you want to have a higher arc because you don't like doing #3, go for dual banks or regular cannons (180 degree mounts).
#5 Hotkey "Reinforce Forward Shields". Spam as necessary. This is far superior to "Balance Shields" because Balancing Shields will not increase your forward shields more than the sides/rear, and your forward shields will be the most exposed, at least if you're attacking.
#6 Don't be afraid to switch to defensive power setting in mid fight if you're outnumbered, or if your abilities are all recharging, once your abilities are used you're going to be a lot more fragile. Defensive power setting will keep you alive until you feel safe enough to switch back to offensive.
Essentially, for your standard escort you'll want 1 dual fore cannon, 1 dual fore cannon OR dual beam bank, 1 quantum torp launcher (use with high yield), 1 rear turret (benefits from rapid fire)
Rapid fire is the end-all button for escorts. You will even forget you have torpedoes because you'll be watching numbers fly up your screen, with enough cannons.
You may also consider using tractor beam on a science officer to keep your target in your sights, but the sensor jam is usually hands down better for pvp, the jam targetting sensors slightly better for pve (nothing like watching npc's use their specials on each other)
Keep your aux power at 50 or so, and your offensive/defensive power at 80/80 or 100/60 (easily done if you get some equipment to give you power boosts, or have efficient as a character trait)
In an escort I can usually blast through a single shield facing on a cruiser in pvp and beat through a combination of engineering team and brace for impact just before my rapid fire stops. If your enemy doesn't turn, he dies. If he does turn, hammer down on all of his shields. He's probably spamming "Balance Shield Power" and not specifically aiming at any facing.
I love my Escort. I enjoy much more than I did the Science Vessel in OB.
I run with two sets of cannons on the front, along with a Quantum bay. On the back I keep a beam to pick off small craft and keep the shields down if I have to loop the enemy.
I always come in fast up to about 13KM then slow to 1 quarter speed and start firing both cannons. I have the higher DPS Heavy cannon on auto fire so all I have to worry about it the lighter cannon. I use Rapid Fire I when I am about 8KM out and once I hear the computer tell me shields are down I let loose with a High Yield Quantum barrage.
Most things don't require a 2nd pass. I am an Engineering officer so I have Rotate Shields I and I also use a Engineering BOff with Engineering Team I in case something does get through the shields.
I have not yet died since I got into the Escort, and I am now LTC 5. I plan to stay in a Heavy Escort at CMD rank, but I want to switch to Cruiser at CPT.
Admirals will have the choice to go with Cruisers that can use cannons. That's what I'll be after when I am that high. Cannons FTW.
I have a high capacity shield with a 20% resistance to disrupter fire (so effectively a 20% higher capacity when fighting any race who uses disrupters). A dual heavy cannon and a dual cannon at front with a quantum launcher and a phaser beam array at the back.
With polarize hull and emergency power to shields and some shields hot keyed and high yield torpedo, torpedo spread and fire at will tactical abilities it can hold its own
Thanks for tip about hot keying power to forward shields though... that could prove handy