Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 1 The Torpedo Boat
02-02-2010, 09:28 AM
Here's some admitted theorycrafting on the viability of the Torpedo Boat, a ship that uses projectiles as it's primary weapon system.

Projectiles, whether they're torpedoes or mines, do not require weapon energy, meaning that no matter how much or little power you've put into weapons, you won't do greater or reduced damage. This has several advantages to it, namely that doing so allows you to put power into other systems, such as Aux or Shields, buffing your defense and support abilities, and that falloff doesn't exist for projectile weapons. Meaning that at extreme ranges, you won't suffer a drop in attack power.

Keep in mind that a torpedo launcher will out dps an energy weapon, regardless of it's type, with low power settings while fired from extreme ranges, even against shields.

I believe that Quantum Torpedoes are the best launcher for a Torpedo Boat. With 3 launchers, you'll be able be able to overcome the global cooldown and maintain a steady rate of fire without having any launchers idled. And if you have a fourth fore weapon slot, a Tri-Cobalt launcher along with the three Quantums may be in order. This will greatly increase your overall dps by firing the Cobalt, and following up with the Quantums.

Tactics

The true strength of the Torpedo Boat is the reduced need to shift power systems. You can concentrate on manuevers, defense, and/or support. However, this does not necessarily mean that you will never need to put power into weapons.

If you are using an Escort or a Science Vessel, putting one Beam Array in the aft section would be a prudent move. The idea is to approach a target in such a way that you can fire the array, and either initiate a Beam Overload facing and/or target the enemy's Shield Systems. Withy luck, you'll have created an opening or sufficiently weakened the target to allow your torpedoes to knockdown the shields on their own.

From here, you put power into your Aux and initiate Tractor and/or Tachyon Beam(s). This will help keep the target from shifting it's shield facings and keep it's shields down.

Additionally, if you are chasing a target or being chased, launchers will allow you to damage targets without weakening your shields or engines. This is good for you and bad for them.

In summary;

Pros
More power for the Shield, Engine, and Auxillary Subsystems
No Falloff penalties
Very good DPS against unshielded targets

Cons
Low coverage
Heavily Shielded targets would be problematic
Unable to increase overall DPS using Weapon Batteries and other support powers

If you wish to support and if you wish to run and gun while tanking hits, projectile weapons should suit you just fine.

P.S. Regarding the type of Arrays you should use, I would say Plasma Beams would be best. They have the best overall damage at low power settings. The Plasma Burn will initate regardless of the distance from a target or how much power you have running through the system.

Other threads I've made;

Broadsides vs. Frontal Assaults

Buff/Debuff Support Theory and Practice

Projectile/Energy-Types Analysis
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
02-02-2010, 11:33 AM
Good idea. Stick Phaser turrets in the rear slots and turn them on only if you can't breach the shields. Doesn't matter if you don't have power in weapons, they'll still do something.

I'm going to swap out my cannon on my Miranda to a second torpedo launcher to see how it goes. Little to lose this early on.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
02-02-2010, 12:00 PM
Not sure how well this will work out. But an interesting idea. Love to here feedback once you test it out more.
Lt. Commander
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# 4
02-02-2010, 12:07 PM
This is a great post! I was looking for just this info... I had been thinking of outfitting my Science Vessel like this since it would allow me to run high AUX and burn down shields with tachyon beams, not to mention 'target subsystem-sheilds'.

If it's not too much trouble, could you lay out the specifics on cooldowns though? What is the CD on each launcher and what GCD do they share? Do the Tri-cobalt devices share that GCD?

I like the idea of using beam overload as a Tac Skill, since the it effectively negates the disadvantage of that skill and helps burn through those shields at the start of the fight. Any other BOff skills you'd recommend?

Any speculation on how effective this setup might be in boss fights? My guess is those sort of encounters, particularly at end game might be very shield intensive and I wonder if I would find myself at a disadvantage? Without much data on those boss fights, it's all speculation at this point, but it makes me wonder.
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# 5
02-02-2010, 12:41 PM
Interesting concept, 3 quantums allows you to cap at the 3 second launcher GCD. Certainly an option for a Science or Cruiser, though this setup is a huge DPS loss for Escorts.

Basically for an Escort, you're capping your DPS to 1 launcher's stat modified by HYT every 20 seconds. Where as an Escort using Rapid Fire actually multiplies its cannon DPS by all hardpoints with 75% uptime (15 seconds out of every 20 with RF1 and RF2 on the same BO). Running some good EPS flow conduits, the Escort should be able to maintain rapid fire with 5-6 cannons (3 turrets, 3 front plus a quantum launcher for the 7 hardpoints) without any power loss.

The good news is this might works wonderfully for Science or Cruisers who may generally be running in low weapon power mode anyways (cruisers in def mode, science in aux) since as you pointed out, torpedo's are not dependant on weapon power at all.

My only question would be, does this method work better (provide higher dps) than a Cruiser who heavilly invests in EPS flow conduits, allowing it to broadside with 6-8 beams constently? As a cruiser (notably the Galaxy, the turning pig that it is) it's also a LOT harder to maintain that forward firing arc vs the 250 degress on beams.
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Join Date: Dec 2007
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# 6
02-02-2010, 12:45 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by nturchin View Post
...
If it's not too much trouble, could you lay out the specifics on cooldowns though? What is the CD on each launcher and what GCD do they share? Do the Tri-cobalt devices share that GCD?
...
All torpedo's when fired force a 3 second GCD

Recycle times are:

Photon: 6 seconds
Quantum/Plasma: 8 seconds
Transphasic/Chroniton : 10 seconds
Tricobalt: 30 seconds

(this is a good information thread: http://forums.startrekonline.com/showthread.php?t=88576)
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
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# 7
02-02-2010, 02:14 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Legatus
Interesting concept, 3 quantums allows you to cap at the 3 second launcher GCD. Certainly an option for a Science or Cruiser, though this setup is a huge DPS loss for Escorts.

Basically for an Escort, you're capping your DPS to 1 launcher's stat modified by HYT every 20 seconds. Where as an Escort using Rapid Fire actually multiplies its cannon DPS by all hardpoints with 75% uptime (15 seconds out of every 20 with RF1 and RF2 on the same BO). Running some good EPS flow conduits, the Escort should be able to maintain rapid fire with 5-6 cannons (3 turrets, 3 front plus a quantum launcher for the 7 hardpoints) without any power loss.
Escorts can be played defensively, you know. Peppering a target with torpedoes, dodging from side to side, presenting 2 or maybe 3 shield facings, while flying high aux and shields may be a valid tactic. You won't even need to waste a slot on an EPS relay, instead focusing on bolstering your shields.

Really, if you think about it, there are too many support skills in all three career paths, not to mention the flexibility of ship builds in general for there truly to be a holy trinity within this game.

P.S. Rather than two dual cannons, consider the burst potentional of a High Yield Plasma, a Tri-cobalt Device, a Rapid Firing Heavy Cannon, and an Overloaded Dual Beam Array. That's a very scary 5/6 seconds right there.

Quote:
The good news is this might works wonderfully for Science or Cruisers who may generally be running in low weapon power mode anyways (cruisers in def mode, science in aux) since as you pointed out, torpedo's are not dependant on weapon power at all.
That's the idea.

Quote:
My only question would be, does this method work better (provide higher dps) than a Cruiser who heavilly invests in EPS flow conduits, allowing it to broadside with 6-8 beams constently? As a cruiser (notably the Galaxy, the turning pig that it is) it's also a LOT harder to maintain that forward firing arc vs the 250 degress on beams.
A dedicated weapon energy build with all power to weapons, will out damage torpedos, even against bare hull, while still providing good coverage. The idea behind the torpedo boat is that you can focus on support and defense, rather than rushing into or waiting for the enemy. Even a Galaxy class can run around pretty darn quickly if it's engines are at or near full throttle.

Arrays and cannons do really poor damage at low power settings and extreme ranges, whether it's against shields or hull. It's not an exaggeration to say that there's practically no difference between a 25% 10km array firing and it not firing at all. Even up close, the difference between three dual cannons set on low and three quantums isn't so great that the odd quantum against hull won't totally blow cannons out of the water.

Also worth considering is the fact that Reverse Polarity does nothing to torpedoes, so you won't have to worry about having most of your DPS turned into healing at an inconvinent time.
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# 8
02-02-2010, 03:06 PM
I think it's a gimmicky build that would be very difficult to play solo but would probably out perform if you where grouped with a beam array cruiser. And would be fair if you where grouped with a cannon escort. Allow the cruiser to get in close and tank and 6-8 beams burns down a shield facing very quickly.

If you where set on trying this I'd recommend 2 plasma mine launchers in the aft. Of even consider putting 1-3 quantum torps in the rear as well. Fire your torp volley while fleeing or charging. You're probably best off in a science with high aux and high engine settings as this would allow you to maintain distance and firing arc. You'd likely also want to run with both HYT I & II. You would be giving up your target subsystem as that procs off of beams not torps.

Another advantage is since you're also at max range to them it's going to seriously cut down on the incomeing damage from cannon escorts.

Actually the more I type this the more I'd think you've want to run 2 dual arrays in the front + 1 torp and put you're three torps in the rear. Nose dive burn down their shields with the dual arrays then flee and maintain max distance firing the torps out the aft.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
02-02-2010, 03:40 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by sresk View Post
I think it's a gimmicky build that would be very difficult to play solo but would probably out perform if you where grouped with a beam array cruiser. And would be fair if you where grouped with a cannon escort. Allow the cruiser to get in close and tank and 6-8 beams burns down a shield facing very quickly.
Cruisers don't have to tank. No one has to tank. Anyone can tank. It all comes down to support powers in a group setting. When in doubt, throw science teams about.

Quote:
If you where set on trying this I'd recommend 2 plasma mine launchers in the aft. Of even consider putting 1-3 quantum torps in the rear as well. Fire your torp volley while fleeing or charging. You're probably best off in a science with high aux and high engine settings as this would allow you to maintain distance and firing arc. You'd likely also want to run with both HYT I & II. You would be giving up your target subsystem as that procs off of beams not torps.
Beam Overload II is worth more than High Yield I. That is, unless I've grossly overestimated the power of Beam Overload. It's fairly simple making a 20 degree turn into a target after you've knocked down it's shield facing.

Quote:
Another advantage is since you're also at max range to them it's going to seriously cut down on the incomeing damage from cannon escorts.
Or Beam Arrays. They take a falloff hit too and they're already doing worse damage than cannons.

Quote:
Actually the more I type this the more I'd think you've want to run 2 dual arrays in the front + 1 torp and put you're three torps in the rear. Nose dive burn down their shields with the dual arrays then flee and maintain max distance firing the torps out the aft.
I think two beams in the aft section and turning into a target when it's shields are down is safer and more intuitive piloting.
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