Career Officer
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 4,490
Now before you go thinking "what is this guy on about, cannons are obviously the better choice here" that all depends on what you're going to be doing with them. Typically, Tactical players (and non-Tactical players flying an Escort) will load their Escorts up with Cannons, a common setup tends to be x2 Dual Cannons, x1 Dual Heavy and a Torpedo Launcher on the front, and x3 Turrets on the back.

I've been debating whether to exchange the Dual Heavy Cannons for a Dual Beam Bank. The reasons are rather simple; with the Beam Bank I'm able to use Beam: Fire At Will, Beam Overload and all the Target Subsystem Attacks. When using the Heavy Cannons, I'm limited with what Boff Abilities I'm able to use.

Is the exchange worth it?
Republic Veteran
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 2,125
# 2
01-30-2013, 08:35 AM
One fore Dual Beam Bank makes for an excellent Alpha Strike when combined with Beam Overload. When you rely on numerous DBBs though, you are deep into the beam power usage problem area.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 192
# 3
01-30-2013, 08:44 AM
I use a Dual beam bank, a photon launcher and 2 dual heavy cannons up front 3 turrets in back. the only real thing that doesnt survive my alpha's are breen npc ships.(the grett) everything else go's poof.
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,489
# 4
01-30-2013, 08:50 AM
In my testing, a dual beam bank slightly outperforms a dual heavy cannon if no tactical abilities are used. This is because the dual beam gets in more and earlier shots with its wider arc, and it suffers half as much damage reduction with range.

When using tactical abilities it's harder to call. Fire At Will versus Scatter is pretty much a wash, since FAW will get more targets meaning they don't have to be lined up as perfectly, but at the same time the tight focus of Scatter means your damage is focused more so you get kills instead of dents. However, FAW starts to reveal the fundamental problem of beams, which is energy drain. Lots of it.

Basically, unless you have some way to amp up your weapon subsystem's power level, beam-heavy ships are going to leave you putting out a lot less damage than you should be doing. Three dual beams with an escort's power bonus isn't too bad, but when you add in 3 rear turrets too it starts to take chunks out of your power budget.

For that reason, my opinion is that dual beam builds are better suited to battlecruisers than escorts. Using FAW with "reduces cooldown on beam special abilities" doffs along with a torpedo spread, is a great way to deliver punishment with things like the D'kora, Vor'cha, etc. Things that can realistically spare the slots for EPTW chains.

And subtargeting abilities really aren't worth it. They have a 45 second cooldown time with poor duty cycle, and require a high score in Flow Caps (on an attack ship?) to have good effect.

But, you can always just try it for yourself. Get some cheap Mark XI stuff to mess around with.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 128
# 5 beam over cannon
01-31-2013, 07:37 AM
I have 2 dual beam banks on my multi vector assault and 2 quantums in front. beams in the back. i make quite a good dps with it. i can take down alone cubes and spheres without problem (normal cubes ofc) and in "stf elite space cure" i can handle 3 sides of birds of prey like that. im no pro, but im satisfied with them. => my opinion.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,504
# 6
01-31-2013, 11:38 AM
with 10 chars i am going for what looks right on the appropriate Ship, if i would go for what is the most efficient then all my Chars would end up doing the same thing.... kinda boring.

i would never put cannons on an Akira Class and never would put Beams on a Defiant Class.

that said, i have a Prometheus (SCI captain) and Akira [Armitage] (TAC captain) both with Dual Beam Banks, both perform very well (i'm not a DPS counter but i know if a setup FEELS good or too weak).

That said i just changed my Jem Bug Ship from 3x DBB to 3x DHC and it feels a lot better for this Ship (and also looks right, i just did not like the visuals of Polaron Cannons/Turrets, the Phase Polarons from the LockBox look a lot nicer, cleaner, so i'm going with those now).

A Dual Beam Bank with Beam Overload and some Tac Buffs can do some real nice spike damage, but the energy drain has to be countered, the more energy buffs you have the better the build will work but without Attack Pattern or Sensor Scans or sum such you will not get near a pure DPS Tac DHC build.

My Armitage (Akira!) for example has 2 DBBs, 1 Beam, 1 torp front / and back 2 Beams, 1 torp,
the nice thing here is that even with 3 beams it can still broadside for a bit without hurting the DPS too much and it is also tanky enough while the pure Escorts are usually a bit more squishy. Slap some Shield heal drones in the Hangarbay slot and it will tank a lot better.
The Beams here are really just there to deplete the shields, followed by as much Photon Torps as the Torpedo launchers and the C-Store console can spit out.

The MVAM Prometheus also has Dual Beam Banks, Beam Overload and the SCI captain supplies Sensor Scan (just as good as Attack Pattern Alpha, if not better) and the Holo Fleet works nicely together with the MVAM mode pets.
So more of a Pet Spam build, while not sitting in a Carrier but still having some decent pew pew in it.

so those 2 are not your classical glass cannons, they can take a beating, have something up their sleeve and still do nice dps.

i guess in theory DHCs could work better on maybe both ships, but as i said before, it would be boring if every ship used the same stuff, and i like to keep my builds Canon if possible, Akira and Prometheus both used Beams on TV, so i will not go with cannons on those.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 222
# 7
06-10-2013, 05:12 AM
Thats what i think.

I have DHC on my fed sci ship, and when i made a romulan, i wanted to try something else. SO i made him a tac. Still wanting to go different, i made him use DBB on an escort.

Sure, everyone says DHC on the escort would do MUCH better. But then, why even play him if i'm going to do the exact same thing as my sci character?
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 700
# 8
06-10-2013, 05:23 AM
I use both dual heavies and dual beams on the front of my d'dex.. The canons effectiveness drops off sharply after 2.85 kilometers and the beams provide a good filler for shots from further out. I also use beam arrays on the back along with mines. The arrays and the forward beams give me good broadside abilities, while the mines if in close add a nice punctuation mark to the attack.

We Will Be Free!
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,005
# 9
06-10-2013, 05:26 AM
Originally Posted by flash525 View Post
I've been debating whether to exchange the Dual Heavy Cannons for a Dual Beam Bank. The reasons are rather simple; with the Beam Bank I'm able to use Beam: Fire At Will, Beam Overload and all the Target Subsystem Attacks. When using the Heavy Cannons, I'm limited with what Boff Abilities I'm able to use.

Is the exchange worth it?
Honestly, I would swap out the Torpedo Launcher for a DBB before taking out a DHC.

If you're spreading your abilities across Cannons, Beams, and Torpedoes, you're too unfocused to get the most out of your ship. Either go Cannons & Torpedoes, or Cannons & DBB, not all three.
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 5
# 10
06-10-2013, 06:19 AM
I usualy opt for two duals cannons, dual beam bank, and torp launcher on the front and 3 turrets on the back for my ships. The reason behind this is there is very little if anything that can survive an alpha strike from that especially if you use beam overload 3, torp high yield 3, and cannon rapid fire 3 along with other tac abilities.

I will go in alpha and take out the biggest threat then recloak and reposition after buffs wear off. Note this is currently on my romulan VA tac but I use the same setup on my fed and klingon tacticals as well.

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