Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
I'm a newb to STO...been spending the better part of the weekend trying to advance a bit on the extremely steep (IMO) learning curve. I think I'm doing okay as far as what the many BOFF skills do and the various spec possibilities, but I've having a hard time finding information on strategies for best utilizing merits and officer skill points.

My greatest fear (having played too many other MMOs) is that I'll spend resources to experiment with something...and wind up hugely regretting it later on in the game when I end up really needing them. On the other hand, I hate the thought of gimping myself until some mythical "perfect" time when I'll know exactly how I want to spend my merits and officer skill points. Any general suggestions/guidelines (or links) would be great, but here's some specific questions.

Merits:
I get the impression that you get plenty of these to play with, so I'm not too worried about these. At Lt7, I already have about 1000 merits, which buys me a promotion, a candidate or two, and a bunch of skills.

(1) Is there anything else to spend merits on other than promotions, candidates and officer skills? I.e. any reason to save them up for something down the line?

(2) Does it ever make sense to buy a candidate other than for cosmetic reasons? Or will I get enough through missions and advancement? Unfortunately, I've already accidentally "wasted" my Lt6 candidate (see below).

Officer Skill Points:
I'm very worried about these. At 50 OSPs per skill level, it seems like these will get eaten up pretty quickly. At Lt7, I only have around 800 OSPs. I understand that (a) I'll lose any skill levels that I spent on a skill (and the OSPs that I bought them with) if I swap out that skill for another and (b) that I must spend a certain amount on an officer to promote him/her. Which seems like an absolute disincentive to experiment with skills. E.g. my science officer came with Jam Sensors I and Medical Tricorder I, and in order to promote her I need to spend at least 200 OSPs to level those up...200+ OSPs that would be totally wasted if I later decide that I'd rather have some other skill(s) there.

(3) Do I need to worry so much about OSPs? Am I misunderstanding something about how they work?

(4) In general, is it better to horde OSPs--only spending what is minimally necessary to promote an officer--or spend them as you go along so that you can take advantage of the increased skill effectiveness while you're leveling up?

BOFF Candidates:
I got my Lt6 candidate the other day...an uncommon (green con) science officer. Not exactly sure what's special about him being uncommon. But anyway, since I already had a science officer, I decided to experiment with what to do with him. I saw that I could transfer skills from him to my existing science officer, and I read that this would cause him to go poof. Well...I hit the "Train" button for one skill, and without any warning, the skill was transferred and he went poof. Grrrrrr. So...you need to confirm two $#^#@ dialog boxes every time you want to beam to your ship from the spacedock and absolutely nothing when you're about to waste a potentially valuable resource?? Sweet design. :\

(5) Do you really only get to transfer one skill from one candidate to an existing officer?

(6) What's special about uncommon (and/or rare) officers?

(7) In general, is it a better strategy to hold onto candidates...just in case they might someday be useful? Or to transfer skill(s) and dump them? Can you trade them in for merits or anything else? In retrospect I should have just kept that candidate and swapped him out with my existing one to try out that one skill I transferred...but I so wasn't expecting that I'd lose him like that. Live and learn, I guess.

Okay, that's it LOL. Too many questions! Thanks in advance for any help!
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
08-16-2010, 02:08 PM
(1) Is there anything else to spend merits on other than promotions, candidates and officer skills? I.e. any reason to save them up for something down the line?

You can use them (a *lot* of them) to respec your Captain's skills, if the free respec tokens you get for new ranks aren't enough, and you don't want to buy them for Cryptic Points.

(2) Does it ever make sense to buy a candidate other than for cosmetic reasons? Or will I get enough through missions and advancement? Unfortunately, I've already accidentally "wasted" my Lt6 candidate (see below).

You will get plenty of officer candidates. The main reasons to buy them (from the Exchange, for energy credits) are a) cosmetic, or b) rare skills that you can't buy from the trainer. There are also a few rare traits that people might wish to get on their officers. There is usually no reason to buy the common (white rarity) officers from the Bridge Officer Requisitions NPC.

(3) Do I need to worry so much about OSPs? Am I misunderstanding something about how they work?

You may find yourself short when you hit a new Rank (Level 11, 21, 31). Eventually you get more than enough, and after you are level capped, any captain skill points you earn become OSP. Make sure you don't spend them on skills you aren't using, skills which aren't helping you much, or skills you want to replace by retraining or dismissing the officer.

(4) In general, is it better to horde OSPs--only spending what is minimally necessary to promote an officer--or spend them as you go along so that you can take advantage of the increased skill effectiveness while you're leveling up?

The only effect of training BO skills is to reduce their cooldowns, as far as I can tell. You have to prioritize during the low levels when OSPs are not abundant. It is a good idea to have some saved up when you hit Level 11, 21, 31. Generally you won't always be able to max out any newly available skills immediately. It is not a big deal.

(5) Do you really only get to transfer one skill from one candidate to an existing officer?

Yes.

(6) What's special about uncommon (and/or rare) officers?

Uncommon+ officers have improved traits and may have skill ranks that aren't available otherwise.

(7) In general, is it a better strategy to hold onto candidates...just in case they might someday be useful? Or to transfer skill(s) and dump them? Can you trade them in for merits or anything else?

There is no harm in holding onto them until you reach the limit of 12 candidates (at that point, you will need to commission or ditch one of them to continue receiving new candidates). Blue and purple officers may have skills that are rare enough to be worth a lot (millions, in some cases) of credits on the exchange. Other than selling them on the Exchange, there is no way to obtain something of value from bridge officers you don't want.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
08-16-2010, 03:08 PM
Thanks for the information!

Sounds like with Captain respecs thrown in the mix, merits may be more precious than I thought. I'll have to try and refrain from too much experimentation. Although...as you mentioned and as I noticed from the advancement reward list in game...you do get a ton of officer candidates as you advance, so that might be a good way to try out skills without actually having to spend merits (as I should've done with my Lt6 candidate <ahem> :p ).

Wow, so you can "sell" officers on the Exchange!! Kinda funky for a supposedly ethical institution like Starfleet. Wonder how much Picard could've gotten for Riker LOL? Not that us evolved 25th-Century types need money for anything...
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
08-16-2010, 03:14 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Contrary_Motion
Thanks for the information!

Sounds like with Captain respecs thrown in the mix, merits may be more precious than I thought. I'll have to try and refrain from too much experimentation. Although...as you mentioned and as I noticed from the advancement reward list in game...you do get a ton of officer candidates as you advance, so that might be a good way to try out skills without actually having to spend merits (as I should've done with my Lt6 candidate <ahem> :p ).

Wow, so you can "sell" officers on the Exchange!! Kinda funky for a supposedly ethical institution like Starfleet. Wonder how much Picard could've gotten for Riker LOL? Not that us evolved 25th-Century types need money for anything...
You can experiment on the test server, just copy a character and try out things. It won´t effect the "real" character on the Live Server.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
08-16-2010, 03:48 PM
There a few other--good to know--things with officers to remember.
1st, The ship slot level trumps the officer level. Through the bulk of the game, two of your space boffs will be limited to a max of lt level skills while in space. While they have full access to higher skill level when on the away team, if they are in a bridge slot, they can only access powers as high as the console will let them. What this means in plain English, if you aren't using a boff on the ground, promoting them beyond their console station level is a waste of points.

2nd, There is commissioned officer trading. This is limited to person-to-person trading, and not the exchange, but it does open up the opportunity to aquire skills more specialized in nature. Many fleets are setting up officer trade and training programs to better fill out member ranks, so you might want to go skill shopping in that way.

3rd, which skills do you want on your boffs? best way is to look at the forums to see what builds people use and then go from there. A lot of the the exchange is overpriced, but there are some good higher level powers on there. The key is knowing what you want and asking.
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:02 AM.