Through the history of STO, I've seen a lot of builds telling you how to do the best thisship and thatship. Useful as these may be, what I really enjoy in STO is developing my own ship. To turn over every stone, and ask every question. In this thread, I will not "give you a fish", but rather try to "teach you how to fish". Or maybe just show you "how I fish". This is just one of many means to an end. The best thing about this guide, is that it can be used for any ship, and will still be valid in a year or two.
Maybe it should be called a maxed build thread?
1. "The goal". What do you want to accomplish?
Here, your answer will be linked to the result of your efforts. Not the team efforts. You can not put "to win" as your goal, as this is the team goal. In short, you are defining your role, by describing what you want to do. Examples: - I want my enemies to die fast
- I want my teammates to stay alive
- I want to sabotage my enemy?s efforts
2. How is your Goal best met?
Who in game have you seen doing this well? How did they do it? Do you think it could be done better? How?
3. What technique do you choose? What will your focus be?
Do you want to copy the efforts of a successful captain? Or do you want to make something new? This is how you want to focus your build. Choose one or two points to focus on. Examples: - Energy weapons damage
- Heal shields and hull
- Power drain and projectile damage
Note that the focus can be a very standardized approach, but it can also be something wild, like bleedthrough damage or tricobalt bomber build.
4. Am I suited for this?
Ask yourself if your captain profession is the best for this task. If you're a Tac, ask ?Can a Sci do this better? Can an Eng??. If the answer is yes, either change toon, or go back to 1. and change your choise.
5. What will your key abilities be?
Pick a few (3-4) that will help you do what you have chosen to do. Examples: - CRF+BTSx+AP:O
6. Selecting your ship.
At this point, you may have to select what ship you would like to use. Ask yourself: - What Boff slots in each profession do you need? Do I need a Cmdr tac, or would a Cmdr sci be better? Etc.
- What console slots do I need the most?
- How important is turnrate to reach my goal?
- Do I need extra boff slots for extra EPtoX power, or is my standard amount of power sufficient?
When you have answered these questions, you should try to find what ship matching your criteria. There may not be a perfect match, and compromises may have to be made. As a general rule, you don?t want to sacrifice anything bearing on your main priority, be it Energy damage, Power drain, or whatever else you chose.
7. Power levels
Many people are good at altering their power levels in mid combat, some don?t do this. Either way, if you want to use abilities drawing from more than one subsystem at once, you will have to make priorities. Do you want to run with maxed weapons and the rest to engines? Or maybe maxed Aux and the rest to weapons? Good tip: Max out the power system that is linked to your key abilities, then decide where your remaining power is best spent.
8. Boff abilities. - Allocate the boff skills you have already decided on. Your key abilities.
- Decide how many self-heals you need, and allocate them.
- Decide if your power levels will be high enough. Maybe you need EPto[something]?
- Look at what you have available. What is the most efficient use of these slots?
o Increased healing ability?
o Increased tanking ability?
o Increased damage ability?
o Counters to enemy abilities? You will run a high risk if you go without a counter to movement debuffs! Can you slot APO/PH/AtoD? How about team abilities?
o Better up-time of skills? (by slotting 2 copies of the same)
o A broader horizon?
Look at what your current abilities need in term of power and consoles.
Are there any other abilities available that use the same resources?
o I will return to this question in section 11. Tuning.
9. Consoles and heavy equipment.
This is easy. Choose consoles that fit your key abilities. Choose engines, shields and deflector by the same criteria.
- Choose what equipment will suit you best. Are you a high energy damage and turnrate build that should run with DHCs? Are you a slow turning build that should use beams or turrets? Do you run no power to weapons, and will be better suited with torps and mines? Needless to say, if your weapon type is directly linked to one of your key abilities, this will make the choise for you. (If you have energy damage+BTSx, you need DHCs and a beam weapon)
- Energy weapon type. Not an easy choise, and also not very important. In general, you should choose weapons based on what you?re good at.
o If you have high skill in Flow Caps, you probably want to do energy drain, and Polarons will suit you. Your high skill will also make the Polarons more efficient.
o A tac/escort will usually be good with disruptors, as he can get higher proc effect. AP or Tetry is also good choises for those who dish out high energy damage.
o Phasers. If you?re not certain, this is never wrong.
- Projectile weapon type.
o As far as torps go, in general, you want quantums. If your focus/key abilities dictate you elsewhere, this will ofc overrule any other concern. (like if you build for high bleedthrough, you want transph or plasma)
o Mines, completely depending on the rest of your build. Always choose a type that makes your other abilities better.
By now, you have a pretty maxed out build. You're either specialized in a way of dealing damage, healing, or debuffing/CC. Now let's lock down everything related to your main focus, and look at theother sides of the coin. If you're a max out healer, what can you do to increase your damage output, without sacrificing any healing? How about debuffing, do you have any open boff slots for it? If you're a maxed out damage dealer, is there any way you can make your heals better without sacrificing damage output? Etc.
The easiest way to tune your ship, and realize it's maximum potential, is however to adjust your power levels during combat. Increase your weapon power when the need for healing is low. Increase your aux power when your team is pressed. Increase shield power if you're attacked?.
Now, you are ready to select your doffs. In general, I would recommend you go with doffs that make you better at what you're already good at, or to go with doffs that can increase your survivability.
13. Que up! Have more fun!
Comments on vital questions I didn't ask? Anything I said that is not correct? Let me know, and I'll consider editing.