Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
My wife and I just picked up STO, and we have been enjoying it for the last couple days, but before we go much further, I need some information on a balanced setup for her science officer. I was able to search and find the information I needed on viable builds for my Engineer/Cruiser combo, but there seems to be many viable ways to spec a Science Officer/Escort.

Rather than ask various questions when I still don't know too much about the game, I think the fastest way would be to mention what the character will be used for and her playstyle and draw on others experience and hopefully get some good ideas before we hit Lt. Commander.

We duo mostly, and my playstyle in MMO's seems to fit the Engineer/Cruiser roll, and in most MMO's she finds a class/career that offers DPS and support in the form of crowd control and debuffs. We tend to duo, group, casually raid, and PVP in any MMO's we play, so we need a well rounded science officer build that will compliment a Engineer/Cruiser. She wants decent DPS if possible, so I was thinking a Escort with cannons, and a skill/bridge officer build that offers good debuffs and perhaps a few other support abilities. I am hoping to learn at least enough to allow for extra time to further search the forums and player guides in greater detail.

What I am not sure about, is exactly what would be a well rounded balance of skills to achieve the best build for her in the long run with moderate DPS and support in mind...a build that early on will work well for PVE and PVP, and then worry about specializing later when we know a little bit more about the game. Our main concern at this point is not wasting any points on a skill that looks promising but is really junk. I know a science officer will have a tough time topping a parse, but hopefully we can find a build that will offer better than average DPS with a good mix of buffs and debuffs.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
06-09-2011, 12:35 PM
I would suggest reading through all of the threads in "The Science Officer" discussion threads.

It may take a while, but you will you will potentially gain a lot of insight and suggestions from experienced STO science officers/players.

My other suggestion is for both of you to join a fleet. You'll get lots of help, feel welcomed, and will have partners to go on missions with.

Note: the more you learn/know, the more effective your characters will be and and the more fun you both will have.

He's a link to my fleet forum page:

http://www.lotusfleet.com/forums/

Good luck and enjoy your experiences!
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
06-09-2011, 12:35 PM
A DPS/crowd control support build will be... difficult. Mainly because the ships that have good DPS have poor crowd control abilities, and vice versa. Escorts have great DPS, but will only have access to Lieutenant abilities for science. A science ship, however, generally has low DPS because it has fewer weapon slots on the ship. There is only 1 ship that is an exception to this, and that is the Multi-vector Advanced escort, which is only available at Rear Admiral for 1200 Atari tokens, or at Vice admiral for 500 emblems. It has a LtCmdr science slot.

As far as builds go, don't worry about your skill point distribution. You get a free spec with every rank, so you have lots of leeway to experiment. Alternatively, you could copy your character over to the test server and test things out there.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
06-09-2011, 12:35 PM
Thank you for the tips...I have been reading the forums, but there is much to learn, this game is not very similar to any other MMO's we have played. She will value DPS more than the support role, and I may end up going more with a star cruiser type ship to fill more support when we duo.

The main reason we have not joined a fleet yet is because we wanted to try this game out while Sony's network is down, and she still isn't sold on the game...I personally love it, but we may end up going back to one of the cookie cutter MMO's, and we didn't want to have people give us help and stuff if we were only going to be staying around a month.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
06-09-2011, 12:35 PM
You've only been playing for a few days? Don't sweat it, yet. As you level up you will get new abilities and BOs with new abilities. Try them out and see what works. Enjoy the trip, you will get to your destination before you know it.

For a sci officer who wants to do dps, she might want to work toward the MVAM escort (at VA level). Another possibility at that level is to stay in science ships and be a disruptor/power drainer.

The good news is that you get a respec token at each rank, and you don't really need them until you hit RA. So nothing is ever set in stone.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
06-09-2011, 12:35 PM
Keep in mind that some really useful skills are not available until you hit commander rank, especially for engineering and science abilities. For example, eject warp plasma rank 1 is a LtCmdr engineering ability. You won't be able to use that skill until you get a commander level cruiser. For science, gravity well rank 1 is the same - you need a commander level sci ship. So, I recommend not passing judgment on the game until you reach your commander level ship (which is level 21).

And if you have questions, you can always post them on the forums.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7
06-09-2011, 12:35 PM
I don't think we are planning on passing judgement on the game, we just hit level 10 last night. We wanted something to do while Sony's network was offline, and I had been wanting to try this MMO since it released...we have been having a blast so far, but my wife is more of the sword and sorcery type, and I am more of a scifi fan. I personally like STO much more than EQ2, so hopefully she will continue to enjoy this game and we can look at getting into a fleet.

For the time being, after doing some reading since I posted, we have a general idea of the way things work, and I think the science officer/escort combo should suit her playstyle.

I will continue to read on abilities and hopefully get a better idea on her personal and bridge officer skills.

P.S. does anyone know how well a science officer/escort combo works in PVP? Will she do well in it after we learn a bit more and she has my support engineer/cruiser to back her up?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
06-09-2011, 12:35 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reverberant
P.S. does anyone know how well a science officer/escort combo works in PVP? Will she do well in it after we learn a bit more and she has my support engineer/cruiser to back her up?
"Generally" speaking, hybrid builds, like sci officer in an escort, do not do as well as non-hybrid builds in PVP. A sci officer in a sci ship will be better able to maximize his/her potential than a sci officer in an escort. In PVP, min/max comes into play. HOWEVER, really the most important factor in PVP is your team. A team of hybrids that work together will trump a PUG team of non-hybrids that don't work together everytime.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
06-09-2011, 12:35 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reverberant
P.S. does anyone know how well a science officer/escort combo works in PVP? Will she do well in it after we learn a bit more and she has my support engineer/cruiser to back her up?

Science officers in escort are one of the deadliest combos in the game. It works extremely well.
Sensor scan + attack patterns are awsome.
Subnuc beam is a deathmark on a ship when used in the right moment.

The hybrid builds is what makes this game interesting.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
06-09-2011, 12:35 PM
I know it doesn't help at the lower levels, but there is a Tier 5 Science Vessel called a Reconnaissance Science Vessel that has comparable maneuverability to an escort.

It can't equip cannons like an escort but she could mount Dual Beam banks forward and it has two Tactical stations (Ensign, Lt.), two Science stations (Lt.Cmdr, Cmdr), and one Engineering station (Lt.)

So your wife could fly escorts until she hits Rear Admiral rank, then respec into the Recon.

At lower levels, some of the Science Vessels have adequate turn rates and some don't. The manuverability of an escort helps because most of the offensive Science abilities are only effective in a forward arc. The tradeoff, of course, is that you don't have the Science stations that a Sci ship will have, nor the Auxilliary power bonus, nor the improved shielding, nor the Subsystem Targeting or Sensor Analysis abilities.

I fly Sci. In practice, I tend to switch between frontal assaults and broadsides. The frontal assaults are for using torpedoes and Science abilities, and the broadsides are for beam weapons.
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