I'm new to the game, been playing for about a month now, and my primary interest is in space PvP. I really enjoy the depth of the mechanics that have gone into it in comparison to other games. I started with a Vulcan Tactical Captain flying escorts, and once I hit RA on him I learned about the importance of valuable traits which I had not known about before. So I decided to make a new character from scratch--an alien--to take advantage of traits like Elusive, Accurate, Warp Theorist and such. Instead of making another Tactical Captain, I decided to make him a Science Captain to try something new and different. I've been playing him ever since, flying Escorts.
I've been VA on my Science Captain for a few days now and have been spending most of my game time in arena matches to experiment and get a general feel for things. I've experimented with the Fleet Escort, the Defiant-R, and now the Advanced Escort... at the moment, I'm very much thinking of purchasing the MVAE, but before I do, I want to get a better grasp on how to effectively build such a ship to maximize it's effectiveness.
Regardless of how much time I invest in reading and searching through the forums, I still feel like there's perhaps quite a bit that I'm foggy on. Hopefully some more seasoned players here can lend a hand.
So far I've been running with 2x TT I, 2x CRF (either 2x I's or a I & II), as well as BO II, APO III... and while I was flying the Defiant-R, I was also running either Target Shields I or Target Engines I. I'd like to eventually get BO III, but have yet been unable to afford/find it on the Exchange. My only concern on the Tactical side is running 2x TT instead of say... TT I and ST I. Most of the time, with 2x EPtS, 2x TT's comes in handy, but sometimes I find that I have a TT CD ready to go, but hardly any shields at my disposal.
In my Eng slots, I've been running EPtS I& II and/or RSP. While I find RSP nice, I favor EPtS due to the shorter CD, especially if I lack a third Engineer slot.
For Science, I've been running TSS I and HE II... though I'm honestly not sure what to run in the LtCmd Slot if/when I decide to get the MVAE, as there seems to be so many interesting choices; and this is a big part of the reason I am interested in purchasing and flying this ship. That LtCmd Science slot seems more fitting for my Science Captain as opposed to the other available Escorts. I've been considering PSW because I seem to get hit by it a lot, and it really aggravates me, so I figure I may as well be dealing out that same aggravation to my opponents if I have access to it. But Viral Matrix and Gravity Well also sound rather promising.
In terms of weapons loadouts, I've been using Fore: 2x DHC, 1x DBB, 1x Quantum Torp, and Aft: 3x Turrets. I've recently gotten the Harh'peng Torpedo Launcher, and it seems really nice, but what's with the posts I've seen about it being uncouth? I understand that it isn't available to Klingon players for some reason, which I don't agree with, but isn't it still a good choice? I had planned on swapping out my Quantum Torp with the Peng, which would also give me some extra skill points to work with, if I'm not mistaken.
You may notice that there's a few points missing, to allow for more customization once I decide on a LtCmd Science ability. I've also not specialized in a Torpedo type due to my initial instinct to switch out my Quantums with the Harh'pengs.
I've been using Phasers exclusively so far, but to be honest, I'm not really liking the proc that much. It does have its moments from time to time, but they seem quite few and far between. Sometimes, the proc is even seemingly undesirable. For instance, if it momentarily shuts down an enemies shields, this seems nice in theory, but in practice the window of hull exposure is usually so short and random that I rarely have time to really capitalize on it... and in the meantime, that could have been damage contributed to robbing my target of shield protection instead. Also, from what I gather, the proc is supposed to disable the subsystem for 5 seconds, yet in my experience, it only lasts maybe 2 seconds. Overall it just seems unreliable, and I can't help but think there's a better option that I can access and afford. What about Disruptors, or Tetryon? Would either of these be viable options instead of Phasers?
I'd also like to hear from others who fly the MVAE, and how it handles in comparison to other Escorts. Is it still a hit-and-run ship like the Defiant-R, or are other tactics more preferable?
I know I still have a lot to learn, and I've only used one of my free respecs thus far (I think I have 5 left?). I still need to get maneuvering and handling down, and I need to get used to and optimize my keybinds. I just don't want to a) spend money on the MVAE before getting a better idea about how wise of an investment it will be for me, or b) waste any more respecs before getting a better handle on the proper direction to go.
Any help, advise, or insight yall can provide would be much appreciated, thanks in advance.