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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
I had a quick question for those who prefer to fly Escorts. I will be hitting Commander tonight and was curious if you could help me with getting a good set up for an Akira Class Escort.

I am coming from a Nova Class Science Ship and I can imagine the difference will be noticeable. Can anyone make suggestions for a weapons lay out for my escort? What types of weapons forward and aft...and what kind of BOFF skills to have and consoles equipped. Just general help so I won't get utterly smoked.

Thanks in advance!
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
02-05-2010, 07:59 PM
Heavy dual cannons in front, with a photon or quantum torpedo launcher, turrets in the back. Get EPS engineering consoles if you can. Use disruptors and max the appropriate skill, use disruptor tactical consoles.

BOFF skills depends on what you are doing. If PvP, anything that heals. Make sure to get cannon: rapid fire. Eng team, science team, hazard emitters are all good choices. Also make SURE you have Reverse Shield polarity, its probably THE best lt. skill.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
02-05-2010, 08:08 PM
I swear i read that using 2 of the same cannon types made the second cannon only 50% effective. Given that wouldnt it be better to use 1 heavy and 1 normal cannon?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
02-05-2010, 09:14 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by indicis
I swear i read that using 2 of the same cannon types made the second cannon only 50% effective. Given that wouldnt it be better to use 1 heavy and 1 normal cannon?
I haven't heard this before, and I've never personally experienced it. If you have a source I'd be interested to check it out.

Weapons:
You can go either heavy or light dual cannons (I discourage beam escorts, but in the end it's your ship) and get comparable results. Keep in mind, though, that no more than 2 light cannons can be cycled at the same time (due to the refire and global cooldown). I believe 3 is optimal for dual heavies, but I haven't gotten around to actually testing if 4 work (or if they hit the same problem as more than 2 lights).

Some people go all cannons up front, but I prefer one torp for the burst. Aft, I go all turrets, but a torp and/or mines work too. Turrets do count as cannons for skill bonuses as well as BO abilities such as Rapid Fire and boost your forward facing dps. It really depends on your playstyle though. Try different things out until you find what you like best.

I've also been told by a friend who mains science with escorts on the side that unskilled cannons are still more dps than skilled dual beams (all other things considered equal... consoles, damage type spec, no abilities, etc). So if you were considering beams because of the skills you picked for science ships, keep that in mind.

BO Abilities:
For 90% or more of situations you'll find yourself in, you'll want some rank of Rapid Fire. If you use cannons, you really can't go without this ability. Scatter shot is more situational. I personally don't have a BO trained with it, but I imagine it might be useful in fleet actions or other encounters with a lot of ships grouped close together.

High Yield comes in a close second to Rapid Fire in my BO ability priority list. Escorts aren't as durable as cruisers or science, so the burst dps to take out enemies quickly is crucial. Spread is another situational skill. I usually end up with it on one of my tactical BOs, but I rarely use it.

If you're like me and don't find yourself using Spread, another Ensign level BO ability (and the only other useful one for cannon ships) is Tactical Team. It gives you (or a friendly target) a boost to weapon skills, and thus dps. In addition it'll periodically clear tac debuffs such as AP Beta.

Engineering and Science abilities are a bit more varried and will depend on your playstyle and what you like. I go with Emergency Power to Shields II and Engineering Team I for engineer abilities. I'll assume I don't need to explain these too much: shield buff and hull repair/resist buff.

For science, I'm a HUGE fan of Jam Sensors I or II. It's 12-20+ seconds where the target simply can't attack you. If the target is NPC, they'll usually just sit in one spot too (sometimes activate abilities). Science Team is another really good skill. Instant shield heal and a 30sec resist buff AND it will cleanse science debuffs for 30 seconds. It's invaluable. Since I fly advanced escort, I also have a third BO ability, which I've filled with Power Siphon lately. -9 to all power systems on your target and +9 to all your systems for ~20sec (for me). I also have Feedback Pulse trained, but haven't really used it much yet. I'm told it's about 1/3 damage reflect that bypasses shields and hits directly on hull. It only works against beams though, not cannons.

There's a lot of room for diversity in science ability picks, so experiment and see what you like. Some things to keep in mind are the global cooldowns between skills. The "Team" abilities share one (15 or 20 seconds) The Emergency Power to X abilties are the same. Also take note of science ability tooltips where it lists the system such as Deflector Dish, Deflector Field, Sensor Array, etc. Abilities with the same system will share a global cooldown. So you'll have to wait about 20 seconds between using, say, Viral Matrix and Jam Targetting Sensors (the aoe confuse, most people call it scramble in conversation) since both are Sensor Probe skills. This holds for all BO abilities really, not just science.

Consoles:
You're going to really want an EPS engineering console at some point. I don't remember how bad the weapon drain is at lower levels, but eventually it gets pretty noticable. In my second engineering console slot I usually go with +weapon power or +turn rate depending on where my weapon power level is with skills applied (125 is the cap, anything over is wasted).

In the science slots, you'll want to match consoles with the skills you use most. Sensor Array for Jam, Deflector Dish for Power Siphon, etc. Check the info on the consoles and abilities if you're unsure which skills affect the different BO abilities.

In tactical slots, I stack the weapon type specific consoles to match my cannons. I use disruptors right now, so I have four disruptor consoles. Most of the dps comes from the cannons, so I don't bother with torp consoles. The +cannon consoles are on my list of things to test at some point (if they boost rapid fire and if so, how much), but chances are they don't beat out the specialized consoles unless your weapons don't match (which they should if you can manage it).


This has gotten really long, so congratulations if anyone managed to get through it all. Blame the server downtime.

Hopefully I answered your questions. In any case, keep in mind that these are all just my opinions and that I'm not an authoritative source on how to play escorts. The best way to learn is to just do it and find what works. Don't be afraid to make the wrong choices, especially with the BO abilities. By the time you hit cap, you'll be swimming in more BO points than you'll ever need.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
02-05-2010, 09:32 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ankerin
Heavy dual cannons in front, with a photon or quantum torpedo launcher, turrets in the back. Get EPS engineering consoles if you can. Use disruptors and max the appropriate skill, use disruptor tactical consoles.

BOFF skills depends on what you are doing. If PvP, anything that heals. Make sure to get cannon: rapid fire. Eng team, science team, hazard emitters are all good choices. Also make SURE you have Reverse Shield polarity, its probably THE best lt. skill.
Yep , RSP is the best skill to have if your a Federation lackey and dont wanna die in 5 seconds , it plays to the major strength all fed ships share....vastly superior shields to their klingon counterparts , and RSP also offsets the one advantage klingons have in pvp , klingons get to plan and almost always get the initiative and good teams can usually wipe one FED ship out before you know they are there ,

any ability that lets you survive the inital assault is a good one for feds to have

Klingons take the often said phrase from EvE online to heart "Real men hull tank" , as klingons tend to have very strong hulls but terribad shields we tend to fit hull resistance modules in our engineering slots , torps are very effective in most cases against klingon damage dealers due to
a: weaker shields
b: shields dropping during cloak (often get shot at for 8-15 seconds after recloaking , possibly due to lag or the way weapons burst fire)
c:torps DPS against hull and massive volley dmg in the range of 20-30% damage per torp is just made for killing ships whos shields are down

I tend to agree on the Tactical officer powers for an escort (or BoP/Raptor) , Cannon :Rapid Fire and Torp:-High Yield are very good powers as its all about dishing massive damage and killing them before they kill you

I tend to fit 2x cannon , 1x torp with 1x turret and 1xtorp on the back end (youll be amazed how often a High yield torp fired from the rear launcher kills an enemy)

I'd go for a Science officer with Tractor beam for PvP (stops klingons recloaking and most from even turning , negating the maneuverability advantage and exposing the "paper thin" nature of klingon ships)

Engineering slots for PVP , either self heals or team heals depnding on how you want to play

One big thing... DONT BE AFRAID TO EXPERIMENT , its all well and good following the crowd but the exceptional builds ive seen generally do something outside the box , losing in pvp doesnt really cost you anything..so most of all..HAVE FUN
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