This topic is dedicated to being nothing more then informative and helpful. The information below is my opinions on the Carrier, both the Vor'quv and the Atrox and has no bias towards either carrier. There is no information towards the Kar'fi, so there will be no mistaking that if the words "The Carrier" gets mentioned it is towards only the Atrox and the Vor'quv.
In STO, the carrier signifies a very versitile ship. Despite it's low turn rate, it is capable of being anything from a threat to the damage scores of a PVP map, to a major healing role that can sometimes assist or even take the place of a Cruiser, depending on the Pilot and the skills used. If you choose to be a pilot of a Carrier, try to remember that you should do so only with the understanding that this ship is not the most powerful ship in the game by it's self. No ship is more powerful then any other single ship if you compare it to other ships in general. Sure it's hangers and supplies of fantastic pets are powerful help, but it is by no means over powered.
The ways to fly a carrier are typically three fold.
If you wish to be supportive damage dealer, the first thing you'll want to do is find pets for your hanger that deals good damage. For the Vor'quv, that would be the Bird of Prey. Being that the Atrox is new, most of the pets seem to be more balanced towards defense with the Stalkers seeming to be their better damage pet. Next you need to look into what captian skills you have compared to the science skills that would allow you to aid your pets in dealing more damage. For a Tactical Captian, Tractor Beam Repulsors, Photonic Shockwave, Charged Particle Burst, and even Feedback pulse can aid in the damage you are able to deal. Mostly because those skills do not rely on an arc and the carrier's low turn rate. That's not to say that you can't use powers like Gravity Well, or even Tyken's Rift. It just takes abit more practice and skill to maneuver those powers into position. Usually using an Evasive Maneuvers. After that it's a matter of choosing your Defensive powers. Most Defensive powers are universal. Transfer shield strength, Hazard Emitters, Emergency Power to Shields, Reverse Shield Polarity, Aux to Structural Integrity, Engineering Team, Tactical Team, and Science Team.
The Vor'quv has a Lt. Commander Tactical Slot. So it allows for more powerful tactical abilities like High Yield 3, Beam Overload 3, Fire At Will 3*, Rapid Fire 2, Attack Pattern Beta 2, and Attack Pattern Delta 2. It also allows for Mine patterns if your going that route of the 2 versions.
The Atrox, like many of the Federation Science and Cruiser Vessels is limited to a Lt. Tactical Slot. But that is also a powerful slot provided you choose the right skill. If your going for more of a pet damage dealing, and using your science skills to do the damage for you, Attack Pattern Beta might be more use, especially if your flying at Max Aux. This would allow your pets to deal more damage as you lower your opponents resists vs a single target. The Prevaliance of Tactical Team 1 how ever can eaisly neutralize this swiftly so it is best used between Cycles of Tactical Teams. If your worried about taking fire, you can also switch to Attack Pattern Delta 1, which can also be given to a fellow player. It gives a Damage resist buff, and anyone shooting at you gets a Damage resist debuff. And finally, you can also use Weapon or Mine Deployment Patterns depending on your build and playstyle.
Just remember, if you are a tactical captian in a carrier, you won't have many ways to keep your self alive and you won't have the firepower of an Escort or a Cruiser. And ignore the Damage score board. Because alot of your damage may be caused by striking multiple targets. It's no true tale of how much damagme your actually doing vs single targets or how effective you are in helping your team weither it's an Arena, or Capture and hold.
If you choose to be more about control, you will probobly choose powers that fit this role. Tractor Beams, Tractor Beam Repulsors, Scramble Sensors, Gravity Well, Charged Particle Burst, and Viral Matrix are all helpful in this role. Some require expert use of turning and angling to aquire targets. This is especially true of Science Captians trying to aim their Subnuc on their targets. This is performed by Quickly putting your ship into reverse while activating Evasive Maneuvers and turning towards your enemy while backing up or letting your target pass you if they are following you similar to the "Top Gun" air breaks method. It takes some practice to accomplish, and it does reduce your ability to evasive should you get into trouble. So make sure if your going to do it you don't suddenly find your self out numbered and/or out gunned.
Most Tactical skills listed above can be used, but for Weapons, it is highly recommended that Chonoton Mines be used for great effect as well as Chronoton torpedoes. As far as pets go, it vairies widly on the Vor'quv, but the Energy Siphons can't be praised enough despite their tuning. On the Atrox Carrier side, the Danube Runabout's Tractor Beams and the Advanced Stalkers are also very good at controling the battle field. If your going Shield control instead, the Delta Flyers are also a good and useful pet.
If you choose to be supportive healer, you will probobly be doubling up on alot of healing skills. And you are probobly an Engineer. This is where the roles can vary between captians. An engineer already gets plenty of support to himself and can make any ship he flies very survivable. On a carrier how ever, it can make you nearly indestructable at times. Especially if you use your heals in conjction with the single best healer pet: The Shield Repair Drone. Shield repair drones are also unique in that they can be used on friends as well. And in heavy area weapon damage the Reinforced Shield Repair Drones last longer and help provide support better. When used in conjunction with your science heals you can assist your team even further. This role is very self explanatory. Despite the amount of healing you can dish out, you are there to help the main healer, not necessarely replace him. Especially if you choose for your Commander Science officer slot, a power that requires you to aim at a target. Good Commander Science powers for the Support Healer are probobly Charged Particle Burst 3, Photonic Shockwave 3, Tractor Repulsors 3, Scramble Sensors 3, Photonic Officer 3 (If you can aquire it) and Energy Siphon 3. Mainly because these powers are Fire and forgets. The Reason that Feedback Pulse 3 was not listed is because it will interfier with your Transfer Shield Strength cool downs.
Finally, the last thing I can state are the 2 Doffs that will be the most benificial to a carrier Pilot. And while they may seem obvious, they are worth mentioning regardless to the uninitated to PVP.
Shield Distribution Officer. This officer gives your brace for impact a chance to grant you a shield repair. The chance depends on the rarity of the DOFF and can be stacked up to 3 times. With a chance for each doff fireing on activation of Brace for Impact.
Flight Deck Officer. This officer has a chance to reduce the cool down of your hanger pets and boarding parties. It can be stacked up to 3 times with the chance increasing with each one and by rarity. Also it is worth mentioning that if you activate your hanger bays seperately and at different times it can speed up the activation of the other when it "procs". For Example: If you activate Pet A. And then wait to see if Pet A procs, if it does and then Activate Pet B, and that also procs it can greatly reduce the recharge on Pet A, allowing for a faster use of Pet A which could also reduce the cool down on Pet B when Pet A is done recharging.
And there you have it. Any Advice I can give for up and coming carrier pilots. But don't think that this thread is done here! Oh no, this thread is a helper thread. Where questions and answers can be found for any and all Carrier pilots, old and new! So if you have questions, or have answers to questions posted, please don't hesitate to do so! This is Teapower, signing off!