Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
So with all that talk about science ships being 'useless' in STFs and the almighty DPS is king, the others that say science is nerfed.. I decided to take one of my never-played toons and respec her for a science vessel.

I had a concept that the science ship would make for a very fast and agile light cruiser of sorts and while it may not be as tanky as a cruiser it doesn't need to be if it can dictate the range and angle of the engagement.

More importantly I also wanted a science-heavy ship so I could do crowd control at a moment's notice and not rely on anyone else's support in STFs. Many pilots are great at DPS in public queue STFs but not so great at situational awareness and managing aggro from what I've seen over the past few months.

So the science vessel of mine is designed to do two things:

- Save or ensure Optional completion by preemptive 'riot control' ability
- Debuff or power drain anything that has a chance to cause serious damage to own ship or team

Because I chose the RSV I also got the benefit of an assault cruiser's tactical boff configuration, and with my character fully specialized in projectile weapons damage, I never felt damage was wanting. This ship acts like a fast attack submarine and littoral combat ship all in one.

Infact, the science ship has to be my favorite platform for STFs now. And appearances aside, it tanks very well due to the science vessel shield bonus. Half the time, my hull heals and TSS are donated to other players, and like an escort I can fly or maneuver way faster than larger ships and use that speed to manage aggro. Surprisingly, it appears to be able to dodge plasma beams from Borg tactical cubes.

And just to add on to the notion that 'science ships are awesome', well, here's how it looks flying STFs:

Recon / Attack Science Vessel STF Trials

Updated with YouTube encoder error fixed on 21 May 2012.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
05-19-2012, 06:18 PM
I'll post The Tick's Gorn SV build later. It's a DPS sci synonymous to a poisoned porcupine. Did it to teach Feds their complaints about KDF carriers being "OP" these last two years were not always true, by beating them in their Atrox's. It did well in a tournament about a month ago.

Thinking about making a version with more roots to be better at crowd control in STFs. Just takes training a Bo so I can swap from PvP to STF. Would also give me more flexibility in PvP play too.

Later though, now I need sleep.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
05-19-2012, 07:21 PM
Sounds good. If there's one KDF c-store ship I want to buy when I do level up my KDF toon, it's one of the Gorn SVs.

EDIT: Despite two re-uploads, YouTube insists on screwing up the video encoding. I'll try re uploading on a different network on Monday.

I use the same format and video compression every week so I don't think the issue lies on my end.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
05-19-2012, 07:37 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by carmenara
So with all that talk about science ships being 'useless' in STFs and the almighty DPS is king, the others that say science is nerfed.. I decided to take one of my never-played toons and respec her for a science vessel.

I had a concept that the science ship would make for a very fast and agile light cruiser of sorts and while it may not be as tanky as a cruiser it doesn't need to be if it can dictate the range and angle of the engagement.

More importantly I also wanted a science-heavy ship so I could do crowd control at a moment's notice and not rely on anyone else's support in STFs. Many pilots are great at DPS in public queue STFs but not so great at situational awareness and managing aggro from what I've seen over the past few months.

So the science vessel of mine is designed to do two things:

- Save or ensure Optional completion by preemptive 'riot control' ability
- Debuff or power drain anything that has a chance to cause serious damage to own ship or team

Because I chose the RSV I also got the benefit of an assault cruiser's tactical boff configuration, and with my character fully specialized in projectile weapons damage, I never felt damage was wanting. This ship acts like a fast attack submarine and littoral combat ship all in one.

Infact, the science ship has to be my favorite platform for STFs now. And appearances aside, it tanks very well due to the science vessel shield bonus. Half the time, my hull heals and TSS are donated to other players, and like an escort I can fly or maneuver way faster than larger ships and use that speed to manage aggro. Surprisingly, it appears to be able to dodge plasma beams from Borg tactical cubes.

And just to add on to the notion that 'science ships are awesome', well, here's how it looks flying STFs:

Recon / Attack Science Vessel STF Trials
Did you speed up the player frame rate on that video? Those ships, especially that Galaxy-X were turning on thier axis way too quick.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
05-19-2012, 07:38 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by whamhammer View Post
Did you speed up the player frame rate on that video? Those ships, especially that Galaxy-X were turning on thier axis way too quick.
You have to or else each combat scene takes something like 5 minutes making for very boring watching. I've done real time or near real time before, in my earlier videos. They're a bit pointless due to the excessive length.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
05-19-2012, 07:41 PM
I've bounced between the Nebula and DSSV and both can be used to excellent effect as well, although my Neb' tends to use a universal slot for engineer boffs unless science stuffs really needed, its nice to have that flexibility.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7
05-19-2012, 07:45 PM
The Nebula looks good for the role I wish my science ships to play, to tell the truth. Your recommendation makes a lot of sense for the universaf Boff too.

I don't need the 'excessive' near escort levels of maneuverability because things don't move very fast at all in STFs.

To top it all off there's already an effective high performance build for the Nebula. But I will probably stick to my RSV because most importantly its a concept that works and its satisfying proving that science works wonders.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
05-20-2012, 10:49 AM
I have been playing around with the idea of a science admiral in a science based ship. You were one of the people kind enough to make a contribution to that thread(sad little science admiral).

At the end of of the day I realized that there were non science ships that could be used to good effect with the character but it was more important to me to have an orthodox(science platform). It just felt right.

I did try out the nebula and think there is a lot worth examining (you did bring up the universal chair on the bridge and this is probably what really opens up the vessel to some multi role capabilities and flexibility)

I settled on the retrofitted Intrepid. I couldn't get away from that desire to have near escort maneuverability (I haven't tried STFs or any of the higher end more competitive play so I haven't built for the parameters I'd require in that role). I think that high maneuverability becomes more critical to a ship the more it moves toward a truly dedicated science role. With science interference and interrupt capabilities occuring off of the forward quarter it becomes critical to be able to achieve that facing on the opposition.

There are some abilities/devices that can compensate for a lower movement and turn rate but the payout detracts from their function. When my science abilities occur/affect within a "window" (90 deg fwd arc) I'm compounding the likelihood of failure by introducing other variables. Speed is a constant excepting crippled engines but evasive maneuvers or deuterium tanks are either limited by cooldowns or consumable.

The other area where maneuverability has paid dividends is in the secondary/support role. Obviously I don't play at the competitive level that others posters do so take my analysis with a grain of salt. A fast science vessel is a great outrider able to exploit vunerabilities in the opposition and open then up to it's team (in the wimpy PvE events I do play with). I don't heal but dropping enemy shields, weapons, or dumping their buffs at the right time is making a contribution to the "greater good". Throwing up an scattering field in proximity to friendlys is helpful.

The build I've been playing around with has been fun and that was my main criteria. My hull is a bit on the eggshell side but for the most part the shields and occasional brace can keep me in the fight surprisingly well.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
05-20-2012, 03:27 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by carmenara
The Nebula looks good for the role I wish my science ships to play, to tell the truth. Your recommendation makes a lot of sense for the universaf Boff too.

I don't need the 'excessive' near escort levels of maneuverability because things don't move very fast at all in STFs.

To top it all off there's already an effective high performance build for the Nebula. But I will probably stick to my RSV because most importantly its a concept that works and its satisfying proving that science works wonders.
I'm not trying to get you out of the RSV. I just wanted to present that the Nebula is a science ship that has a great deal of utility for a science ship, albiet different characteristics from most science ships.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
05-20-2012, 08:57 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by horridperson
The build I've been playing around with has been fun and that was my main criteria. My hull is a bit on the eggshell side but for the most part the shields and occasional brace can keep me in the fight surprisingly well.

Thanks for your interest in proving the concept of "Science First" as Starfleet is supposed to be.

And from a week of putting my RSV through the worst possible scenarios and emerging with nary a scratch, I hope the following tips are applicable to you: -

1) Hull is paper thin but with one Monotanium Armor and one Injector Assembly (3.5-3.8) the ship can survive Borg torpedo hits or otherwise stay fast enough that enemy fire does not hit the same shield facing repeatedly. And science ships, with the right supporting Boff powers and character skill assignment, have extremely great shield potential. Covariant shielding can give you near 9.5k shield hitpoints per facing, and even the less resilient shields like the STF Omega set can give 7.1k per facing. I use the Omega shields for maximum combat speed (it has a 'afterburner' ability to channel energy to engines under fire) and Jem'Hadar engines for a maximum bonus of +10 to weapons power (using Polaron and Phased Polaron beams.)

I also have the Omega deflector for improved weapons accuracy and having 2x Omega components means superior shield destructive ability thanks to the Tetryon Rider function. WIth maximum Flow Capacitor captain's skill, Tetryon Rider + Subsystem Targeting makes for effective direct-fire subsystem and shield disablement.

2) Science ships may not be very powerful alone in the damage dealing department but having the ability to turn fast means I can unmask both front and rear torpedo tubes alternatively and fire a lot of torpedoes on a single target, or a group of targets with the Torpedo Spread ability. Indeed a lot of successful science
builds rely on torpedoes.

On certain maps (and especially STFs) if you gravwell a bunch of hostiles together and torpedo spread them you can do massive damage with either photon or quantum torpedoes. Grav'ed enemies are also easy targets for torpedo spreads and cannon salvoes from friendly vessels and can help the team save a lot of time.

On Elite STFs it's a chore to hunt down 4-6 Borg Spheres (each with something like 90k hitpoints!) individually. But, if a science ship or MVAE + Gravwell I can bunch them up together at a strategic location the whole team can unload on them simultaneously and get rid of them in short order.

Thus to conclude this point I would say that a science ship can make itself useful in a challenging scenario if its powers can be used collaboratively. By itself a science ship like Voyager does output a modest "light cruiser" level of firepower but with area control and power drain abilities it can play a decisive role to secure victory for the scenario.

I tend to use the 'attack submarine' doctrine with the RSV. First to fly into battle, max auxiliary power and deploy a Tyken's Rift II or III to drain power from an enemy capital target. Drain power from enemy escorts with subsystem attacks and a Power Siphon I or II, then finish it up with a large volley of photon torpedoes from both front and rear tubes (with at least 2 rare Projectile Weapon Officers the torpedo fire rate is formidable indeed).

When firing rear torpedoes, certain science abilities can be fired at targets 'over the shoulder' - such as Power Siphon. So manage your deflector powers so that you have a one power activated every 15 seconds. (in this case, it's obviously Tyken - Power Siphon - Gravwell)

The enemy will of course target me first but with shield buffs and Emergency Power to Shields I can take it effortlessly and withdraw behind the battle line, spin around and start generating gravwells, do area control with repulsors, send a hazard emitter and transfer shield strength off to a friendly assault ship, donate a tactical team to boost a Defiant class, etc.

With extensive assault cruiser piloting time I am capable of sending out a large number of team heals/buffs to friendly ships while producing maximum combat power, and in a science ship I actually feel I contribute much more to the team thanks to its innate suppression and area control capability.

What I also like about the RSV (and the Long Range Science Vessel you'll be captaining) is its surprising ability to 'dogfight'. With a polarized hull I am immune to tractor beams; I screen friendly ships by deliberately moving into tractor beam range of the Borg, shrugging off all their attacks and then flying back out to high speed skirmishing range.

You have to think a bit like a Klingon Raider to get the best out of a science ship's "excessive" agility. Turnrate by itself doesn't matter to me but speed and more speed is wonderful not just for the additional defence bonus, but the ability to 'tactically relocate' to fire torpedoes down destroyed shield facings making the best out of the 6 weapon slots I have.

There are a lot of hi-power science ship builds out there; especially great is Cygone's Nebula build, but I ended up having something just as effective and suited to my tactical habits - an RSV in the right hands can be a formidable "mock Bird of Prey", or in Federation (SFB tabletop) terms, fast strike cruiser.

I realize I'm saying a lot of possibly controversial things about preferring a 'lowly' science ship over the 'optimal' endgame choice of a heavy cruiser or escort with dual heavy cannons, but every player has their own optimal style and its the captain, not the machinery, that makes the ship work as an effective weapon system.

If you're ever online around EST mornings (weekdays) or PST evenings on weekends I'll be happy to run some cooperative elite missions or ESTFs and share some aspects of fast attack 'assault science vessel' doctrine.
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