I wish the boot camps (ground specifically) were at a time would I could attend.
I was noticing something in the guide - melee weapons are considered "bad". While it's easy to find situations where it can be very very bad, on particularly tanky engineers and sci's, -especially- in 1v1 situations and some team situations, it seems almost OP to me. I have great success with the Shard Sword bat'leth unique and certain strike chains.
Could someone go into more detail on the folly of melee weapons, please?
I won't speak for the ground coaches, but my thought on that particular thing was that using a melee weapon was bad, not because of the damage, but because you'd be running towards your opponents, totally out of cover (not to mention, not crouching) and under free fire from the other people.
Melee weapons (specifically: the naussican sword and the tsunkatse falchion, which have an innate lunge built into the basic attacks that ignores holds and slows) can be among the highest dps weapons in the game, when paired with the security officer doffs that boost critical chance and severity. Batleths and lirpas should never be used, because they lack that gap close ability, and the lobi crystal sword has inferior effective dps after crits and resists.
The benefits of swords are as follows: high dps through crit chance and severity (doffs). Frequent knockback. Gap-close that negates slows and holds. Immune to Weapon Malfunction and Suppressing Fire.
You can (and should) crouch while using the melee weapon. The crouch animation will not show, but you will receive the buff.
The reasons why melee is ineffective in competitive pvp are as follows:
1: Melee weapons are most effective on a tactical officer, because tac's scale extremely well with high damage, get-in-get-out builds. However, to kill and not die as a tac, you depend on Suppressing Fire, and melee weapons do not proc suppression. Using melee requires a very specific attack rotation that will keep a high suppressing fire on your target with your gun, while using the sword to do damage. They are a complex and difficult weapon to use effectively, and as such we need to teach the basics first.
2: Melee weapons' primary competitor is the Pulsewave, which is effective at similar ranges. While the melee weapon deals superior sustained dps, the pulsewave does superior spike damage. If that spike damage is enough to kill your enemy, or secure a kill for your team in a team fight, then all the sustained damage in the world doesn't matter, and often sticking around for the number of sword hits you will need to kill your enemy will get you killed by them and their team, so the single big hit of the pulsewave is often superior at the same role.
3: Using a sword puts you immediately into the enemy's optimal pulsewave range, which means that if you cannot sustain their optimal dps for long enough to kill them, you are going to die, even if you have a higher sustained dps.
4: Charging in with a melee weapon requires you to close across rifle range. Most competitive pvp occurs at or around 30m, except for occasional pushes. Against said good team, you will die 2-3 seconds after exposing yourself from cover, which is not enough time to make it into sword range, much less kill an opponent. In a busy teamfight, the lunge ability of the sword, which is vital to actually make your strikes hit, will backfire by ripping you out of cover or exposing you to flank damage.
Swords are situationally viable in duels, particularly anything against an engineer, tac vs tac, and possibly tac vs sci, but they are almost always inferior to guns in team pvp, which is the main focus of bootcamp, because it is the main focus of STO's pvp.