This game has given us a myriad of abilities and settings to fiddle aorund with. The easiest to use, and most sucessful in broad circumstances have ascended to a position of dominance. However, the raw mathematical data behind the game engine's mechanics do not lie. Many have been privvy to these lesser used but still powerful strategies, many have not.
Lesson 1: The beam.
We will start with what many pilots avoid like the plague. Beam weapons and their related uses, buffs, and specific situational beneits and drawbacks.
A: Beam overload, and why. [924, 7818.] The power of beam overload (3) multiples the damage dealt by a factor of ~8.5. This is the equivalent of letting the regular weapon fire through 2 complete cycles, assuming direct hits. What one beam would do regularly in a period of 8+ seconds is done in an instant, with only one shot.
i. Stacking. Charging up beam overload gives you both 30 seconds in which to fire, and a 30 second cooldown on the ability. This translates into an pretty easy "double pump" if one properly waits before firing the first until the second is ready.
a. This equates to a possible 3 beam overloads within ~11 seconds with the use of tactical intiative (reduces tac cds to ~.45). Charge up BO3, wait about 25 seconds, fire, use tac initiative, the second BO3 timer will only be ~12 secs, follow up quickly with a third (the rapid BO3 firing can occur for the whole of 60 seconds of tactical initiatives duration~5-6 shots/~60 seconds)
b. Stacking BO3 results in a immense gain over standard firing or "spacebar spam". As the 4 second firing cycle allows for 4 points of seperate determination of hit/miss. Waiting for the "perfect" moment (reduce angular velocity to 0) using a less frequent BO3 results in much more damage overall.
c. Obviously spike damage is superior to HOT vulnerable regular DPS. Even the average dps is superior with BO3 as with tac initiative one can achieve 8.5*6/ 60 seconds as opposed to 15/60 (with 60 "firings" as opposed to 6) Thus a crude analysis yields thatiover 1 minute beam overload 3 will multiply the base damage by over 300%, (even with assumption of perfect accuracy. [as accuracy falls off, BO3 ascends even further into supremacy)
ii. Burn though. A little realized or recognized mechanic in the game, is that of "burn through" (not bleedthrough). When one single damage spike is greater than 10x the shield faces current strength, the overage goes THROUGH the shields to the hull at a 100% damage rate, even WITH RSP on the opponent.
a. Example1: a standard un buffed full power beam overload can easily deal 10k+ without a crit. Thus... if the target has a shield face less than 1k all the damage over 10k will break through shields as full hull damage.
i. A fed escort pops rsp with 15% hull and low shields (~1000). A skilled pilot holds the bo3 until a high hit chance approach moment, and in one blow deals 15k raw damage, 5k going thru to end the battle.
b. A skilled bop pilot fires every single tac buff and decloaks, for over 400% damage bonus. His beam overload crits for 60k, in one hit destroying a ship with rsp up, and 4k shields on one face and 20k hull.
iii. Limited (nerf/boosted) drawback. The loss of 25% power to weapons is easily overcome with 2-3 seconds with 1 eps console. One who doesnt "spam spacebar" will lose nothing in terms of damage from this drawback.
Clearly surgical use of beam overload is superior to bfa, or just spamming, and thats without even considering the fact that constant spamming of energy weapons makes rsp into a full shieldheal.
Stay tuned for my take on beam subsystem targeting
Beam. Target. SHIELDS.
Lost much of its former glory, now relegated by soem to the "no longer good" skills list, this skill still makes a huge difference in combat and im going to tell you why.
1. The obvious. The major impact still remains, a shield power energy drain slowly clmbing to the max lasting for 30 seconds in total if uncleared by eng team. A little known fact is that science team boosts this ( i can attain -74 drain with tss2/sci team 2) An uprepared, poorly trained, or lone target can easily be "tricked" into burning one team skill by using jam sensors or any other skill requiring a team to clear. The shield power goes below 0 and the shields go ofline, even with rsp. But at this stage in the game, holding a tricobalt and relying on tss to actually get shields down, is foolhearty. As an easy power adjustment, emergency power to shields, battery, (eng skill eps transfer) can easily overcome this drain to break above 0 again.
A. But ah ah ah! This is not the only effect of havign shield power lowered. And it is not the only effect of the skill in general. When shield power is lowered many things occur.
i. resistance granted is lowered based on current shield power.
ii. regen is also lowered based on current shield power. (below 25=no regen)
B. the most significant effect of beam target shields lie therein the "- to health effects") Exactly how this computes i am uncertain of, but i have witnessed the minimized effects of transfer shields, extend shields, emergency power to shields, rotate shield frequency and rsp(resist bonus part) when beam target shields hits. This effect doesnt slowly build up liek the energy drain but instead works straight away. My skill does -354 to health effects (whatever that means)
C. the less useful but still beneficial face proc will take a shield face down for about 5 seconds. Useful, if chancy and hard to exploit.
2. The benefits of having not to do any damage to get an effect from the skill. A skilled pilot can reduce energy weapons power to minimum, or even fire from full impulse, and still have the effects of subsytem targeting take hold. I personally use subsystem targeting when not in spike mpode, when waiting for tac buffs to reload, or just to provide pressure to multiple non primary targets. It is easy to pop into 10km range fire of a tss then get out of Dodge. Many tactics can utilize this skill where bfa, bo, and cannons skills are worthless.
3. The drawbacks. Obviously the days of multiple levels stacking are gone. Now eng team clears it, and shield batteries do more energy bonus for al onger time period. This skill is far from as OP as it may have been a few versions ago, but imho it is still a MUST have for any formidable 5 man team. My biggest gripe is that it can not be "prepped" in cloak, and has a slightly longer (45s) cd than BO. But i can not stress enough, how using this skill is more worthwhile that a double up of another for any tac captain.
in summation, targeting an enemies shields will have a wide range of devastating effects that translate into a significant advantage when combatants attempt to break through this first line of defense.
The other subsystem targeting skills are self explanatory with no dual benefits (no sheild health effects loss, resistance/regen loss from power drain) and thus are only in my "sidebar" and not part of my optimum one shot kill startegy.
stay tuned for more info: buff sequencing to maximize "full power" duration, and how to arrange your buff sequence for many bursts, one huge burst, or consistent high bursts (the best imho) <S> thanks for reading
Another significant aspect of any skilled tactical captains game is the utilization of the many tactical captain special abilities. These are as follows: (with my personal (maxxed out) relative bonuses)
tactical fleet. +30% damage + 16 starshipvectors skill (30 seconds) (5 min cd)
down with ship +50%* damage (1 min duration) (4 min cd)
attack pattern alpha +60% damage (30 second duration) (1 min 30 sec cd)
fire on my mark -50% target damage resistance (30 sec duration) (2 minute cd)
If my math is correct, the usage of these abilities all at once will grant a minimum of an approxomate +280% damage strength.
* This can go as high as 450% with near 0 hull granting the maximum +250% damage strength from down with ship.
Without any attack pattern. Thats a spicy a meat a ball!
At any rate that gives you some things to play with, basically long cd buffs that dom face hard, and slightly less but still really good buffs that refresh semi regularly. When looking at the timing sequence and including using an attack pattern, one can get about 20-22 seconds of maximum damage strength about once every 5 minutes. Any tac captain can get a periodic burst enhancement nearer to every two minutes. Thats every other tricobalt hitting for ~x2 and every 4th one hitting for about ~x5 damage.
The power of down with ship can not be underestimated. This skill DOMINATES when properly used by a patient, brave warrior, who is willing to let his hull go into the red zone for that extra oomph of burst.
Tactical fleets (and apa) both enhance the underlying skills that cause critical hits. This should be noted by any skilled player when dropping the "bomb" (mega burst of his choice).
What NOT to do. Spam every available tac cap buff when it is green.
What to do: wait for the right moment to use the appropriate power. It seems simple but if you take some time to think about it, and work with a team who is knowledgable about the tac cap powers benefits and drawbacks, the pattern of usage can be devastating.
and of course let us not forget the lleast sued and most powerful tac cap power.
Tactical initiative. Sets cds of tac officer powers to .47 of normal cd. (45 sec duration) (3 min cd)
So if you pop this on appraoch after fully charging and you have pre prepped bo/hyt...... you can get a double tap of fully charged attacks easily within 20seconds, and a significantly boosted reup for the third.
The conditions that may alter oens usage pattern are as follows. Both tactical fleet and fire on my mark help your team mates as well, therefore they are best held back for targets that are being primaried, as the other skills solely affect the tac caps damage. These can also be used by OTHER tac caps during the fight, lessening the burden on you.
The added extra bonus of attack pattern alphas enhanced turn rate (which stacks with the same bonuses from om,ega) can also be used for fine tuned and specifically in circumstances of close combat requiring evasion or more agility for dogfighting. ?Basically anyone who is a tac cap and NOT understanding/using these abilities to maximum effect is well, um, kind of a noob. <S> thanks for reading and good day.
I think the next lesson will be on the power of kinetic/non energy damage. The bases are many are far to cover, from standard torps, all the way to cpb pts and even lesser used or even realized things like tractor repulsors or g well.
I would not call it infrequent, but DEM and Plasma DOT are really popular right now in PvP for its awesome through your shields HULL destroying capability. That is what is killing players who have shields up and fully maxed.
Apart from the tac officer stuff, looks to me like fed scum tactics! Beams?"!?! Bah, rae firepower from as many cannons as you can physically fit on the front of you ship! If they don't die.. Subnoob them!