Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
So now that you have selected your Tier 5 Escort, Chosen the Skills necessary for your combat strategy, Applied your Skill Points to the appropriate abilities and ships, and equipped your ship with consoles to improve effectiveness, there Is just 2 more things you should look into before jumping straight into battle: Your shields, Deflectors, Engines- and your actual battle strategy.

Deflectors are another useful thing you can use to add further buffs to your abilities, Shields are fairly obvious, and Engines are also overlooked. However I am going to be extremely cheap and recommend that all you Escort pilots invest in the Aegis equipment. The stacking energy weapon resistance ability for having all 3 components more than makes up for any suffering and loss you may experience by sacrificing those impulse engines that give +5 power to all subsystems, Auxiliary thrusters, or whatnot.*Im moving from my home into a bomb shelter as i speak now*

Now I have touched on this before- an escorts battle strategy is most effecitve when they hit and run. They can hit hard in an alpha strike, which gives them more time to escape, heal, and come back for round 2. Cruisers dont have this kind of power and can deal out a relatively smaller, yet almost as high sustained damage over time, which is why you will find that a good cruiser captain may only be a matter of 5,000-10,000 damage points behind you at the end of the match.

Escorts are not a ship you can go Chuck Norris with. I repeat- NOT A SHIP YOU CAN GO ALL CHUCK NORRIS WITH. You may be able to deliver the power of him through an alpha strike, but if so much as 2 BoPs, or even a carrier and a BoP turn their attention onto you, you are going to be in for one hell of a fight for survival if they are as skilled as you(or more skilled as the case may very well be).

An Escort is no good to a team dead- so drop in(decloak if your a Defiant), launch your alpha strike, but dont stay past your cannon: Rapid Fire.
When possible, turn and run towards the rest of your team, because that gives them am opportunity to do 3 things:
  1. Heal you
  2. Act as a wall of defense for you when you run to heal and reload
  3. Finish off any ships you may have not quite killed

If you dont run towards your team(as some people in a panic do- i am also not immune to the occasional "slip")- that gives your enemy to give chase. Even when you hit the GTFO combination, the enemy is just as capable of hitting that combination as you, and can usually maintain a fairly close distance(it usually is outside of 10Km, but not by much), and scrap you while you are in the middle of healing/waiting for your cooldowns to expire.

At the beginning of your match, try and keep your fescort towards the back of your Fedball(and definitely in the middle) so that you are not the first one targeted. How i do this is occasionally tap my "Q" key to take my speed down by 25%. The reason why I do this is because in combat, escorts are a lot faster than any other ship out there, and almost as maneuverable as the Birds of Prey.

The res tof it comes down to practice. You wont get ti right the first time, so dont throw your hands up in the air in exasperation, just take note of your combat logs(i usually copy+paste my combat log form PvP into notepad), if you use fraps, take a recording, and objectively watch what you did. this will help you in analyzing if you can improve on anything.

I think I have pretty much covered most of the basics(if not all) of escort PvP combat, and what you need to do to make it right. If you have any questions/corrections/suggestions that I may not have covered, feel free to ask me.

I am- and always will be- an escort pilot at heart.

apt.pupil
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 12
01-01-2011, 12:43 AM
Good idea, AP, I appreciate that you're taking the time to do this, I've been gradually working on one of these of my own, but with the holidays, my work schedule has made it difficult to get anything even close to finished, so, it's nice to see someone taking initiative to post a guide.

A few notes, just from my brief read-through thus far...

1.) The trait that increases your Defense rating (making you harder, in theory, to hit in combat) is called Elusive.

2.) Attack Pattern Omega is a self-buff only.

3.) Photonic Shockwave cannot be mounted on any Escort as its Tier 1 ability is in the Lt. Commander-slot, which (currently) is unavailable to any Escort-type ships (with the aforementioned exception of the Bird of Prey).

Keep up the great work!
-Big Red
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 13
01-01-2011, 04:18 AM
I have corrected the little slips I made. I blame my new Years celebrations for making things a little hazy thismorning when I started this
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 14
01-01-2011, 07:32 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by apt.pupil
I have corrected the little slips I made. I blame my new Years celebrations for making things a little hazy thismorning when I started this
LOL, yeah, I completely understand that.

The guide is looking GREAT!

-Big Red
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 15
01-01-2011, 07:43 AM
Great. NIce to see my comment motivating someone.

What I would like to see is a little insight into how people manage to actually use both their speed and maneuverability combined with low fire arcs. I know that I often have a lot of trouble with my Defian to keep targets in my sight, since I am really not good at "mastering" my throttle or my camery. I can tell that it's important, but I am bad at it.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 16
01-01-2011, 08:09 AM
There really is no big trick to it. Just have at least 2 of these on hand:
  • Attak Pattern Omega
  • Auxiliary to Dampers
  • Deuterium Surplus
  • Evasive Maneuvers

and lots and lots of practice. I have been flying escorts since the game went retail, and so I have had a lot of practice. I can either turn my fleet escorts into the tankiest escorts you have ever heard of, or jump in a defiant and be able to rip holes into bigger ships.

How I learned those tight turns essentially is I started practicing long runs from 6Km away, and at about 1.5Km away from your enemy, hit one of those abilities/items that I listed earlier, what they each do is give you a large turn rate boost for up to 30 seconds(most dont last that long though), which will turn your escort into something that turns a full 360 before the dime hits the floor- or so to speak. the hardest thing there is keeping your engine levels high enough to keep up your defense, but to control your camera angle so that you have your target in your sights the whole time. This kind of thing has no trick, it just becomes a skill- much like anything else in this game
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 17
01-01-2011, 11:16 AM
[quote=apt.pupil] BoPs DO NOT COUNT AS ESCORTS either. There is simply too many differences./QUOTE]

BoPs are Super Sci Escorts.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 18
01-01-2011, 05:38 PM
[quote=Ninjaboy;3257663]
Quote:
Originally Posted by apt.pupil
BoPs DO NOT COUNT AS ESCORTS either. There is simply too many differences./QUOTE]

BoPs are Super Sci Escorts.
Not even.

A Bird of Prey has all universal slots, which lets you male it to be what you want, and the more popular choice right noe is a tactical/science inclination, what with the rapid fire and the photonic shockwave.

Birds of prey have universal consoles, which also works in the customizing favor. You could easily whack 3 tactical and 3 engineering consoles onto a science build, and boost firepower and toughness slightly.

Birds of prey have less hull than fescorts, but their base turn rate males escorts look like a cruiser.

Birds of prey all have battle cloak- which is both am offensive and defensive ability, regardless of the 3 seconds of your not having shields when turning it on or off.

Birds of Prey also have a weapons arrangement of 4 fore and 2aft.
If you want to see the beauty of a cannon/turret build, just look at the Birds of Prey veterans in action.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 19
01-02-2011, 03:56 AM
I know that a popular build is using dual beams in the front weapon slot to use Beam Overload for the extra spike. Anyone ever cared to analyize how the damage output in your average burst would change if you move to a single beam in the back, and make a small 90 turn part of your "alpha"? How much damage does Beam Overload with a beam array lose compared to a dual beam?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 20
01-02-2011, 04:04 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by apt.pupil
There really is no big trick to it. Just have at least 2 of these on hand:
  • Attak Pattern Omega
  • Auxiliary to Dampers
  • Deuterium Surplus
  • Evasive Maneuvers

and lots and lots of practice. I have been flying escorts since the game went retail, and so I have had a lot of practice. I can either turn my fleet escorts into the tankiest escorts you have ever heard of, or jump in a defiant and be able to rip holes into bigger ships.

How I learned those tight turns essentially is I started practicing long runs from 6Km away, and at about 1.5Km away from your enemy, hit one of those abilities/items that I listed earlier, what they each do is give you a large turn rate boost for up to 30 seconds(most dont last that long though), which will turn your escort into something that turns a full 360 before the dime hits the floor- or so to speak. the hardest thing there is keeping your engine levels high enough to keep up your defense, but to control your camera angle so that you have your target in your sights the whole time. This kind of thing has no trick, it just becomes a skill- much like anything else in this game
I was really asking less about the skills involved. Those are simple.

How do you control your camera? What settings do you use, how do you move your camera?
For example:
Generally, a zoomed out perspective is good for getting an overview and good situational awareness. But if I fly a Defiant, I can barely see where it's pointing at, so I would prefer to go closer. But then I lose my situational awareness (and nasty stuff like BoPs uncloaking behind me or the enemy that's suspectible to a burst, or a comrade in need).
Should I always try to move the camera in the direction my ship is facing?

All that is stuff you learn but I haven't really found something that makes me 100 % happy. maybe there isn't, and it's all just trade-offs. But discussing this would be helpful for Escort players, since they know what to look for and find their play-style.
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