I had the benefit of the beta to play around in, but when the game went live I knew I wanted to fly a Tac in a Cruiser.
The fluff for my toon says descended from predatory avians, so Accurate and Elusive were easy. The focus required for hunting the way raptors do (that is, actual avian birds of prey) meant I could pick Efficient too.
Warp Theorist I just picked cos I wanted the power :-P
Although I'm playing a Tactical Officer, I decided that I'd
fly a Cruiser instead as I liked the ship design better. Is
this a wise thing to do game-wise? Or should I be
respec'ing to Escort class?
My rationale was: Picard was a Red Shirt, but he flew
the Enterprise & that doesn't look like an Escort to me.
Although I don't know if this is a bad thing for me game
wise or not. I'm not really doing a TNG role play for my
game (just a Liberated Borg captain & mish-mash of
It's a very common thing to see a Tactical Captain in a cruiser. Personally I don't like how we only have just 1 talent tree so we have to spec into one ship. The hybrid builds just suck and the Escorts need exclusive points everywhere. If you want to go into a cruiser as a Tactical, do it.
When you created your Tac's, did you have in mind they would be in Cruisers? If so, did that affect the traits you chose? Did you choose traits that would, perhaps, be more fitting for a cruiser than an escort? Say, Elusive versus Accurate? I will be taking a human for my race, primarily for RP reasons, thus certain traits are out of my element, donnie [elusive, efficient, come to mind]. Was thinking along the lines of picking Warp Theorist and either Accurate or Lucky.
I was planning for Tac/Cruiser as Fed and Tac/BoP Klingon right from the start due to Beta experiences.
I picked an ALIEN but it still looks like a Riker clone, very human. Thus I could get the efficient trait.
My Klingon is a real Klingon though. Sometimes RP reasons win over optimization.
Its really not as complex as people are making it sound. A cruiser is going to behave the same regardless of who is captain. The majority of a ships effectiveness is in its weapons and bridge officer arrangement. And this doesn't change with the captain type.
The only things that should factor into your choice are the few useful captain skills. In your case not being an Engineer will cost you that skills. Rotate Shield Frequency, EPS Power Transfer, Nadion Inversion, and Miracle Worker. All powerful defense and healing skills. but they will be replaced with Attack Pattern Alpha, Fire on my Mark, Tactical Initiative, and Go down fighting. If the loss or having any of these skills is a deal breaker for you then so should the build.
The only other minor consideration to factor in is officer training. Youll find as a tac officer training your BO's in the rare trainable tier 3 skills a real pain without the support of friends or a guild. Alone this can be a major hurdle and source of frustration. With a good network of help and friends this is a non factor.
I agree that you can't compare canon to the game really.
With that said, you'd probably survive better in a cruiser than an escort, but you will not be using the Tac skills to your full advantage. I actually leveled in science ships until I hit Captain. At VA I have at least 2 of every ship type and I switch around when the mood arises, but I always go back to my escort as my main ship. Nothing compares to it's speed and damage output for my Tac officer.
I sometimes switch ships depending on my teams make-up for STFs or group missions, but I always seem to be more efficient and benefit my team best when I'm in my escort.
If you are soloing and doing only PvE, you can fly whatever you like and do fine. But for grouping and especially for PvP you'd be just somewhere in the middle. You wouldn't have the survivability as an engineer in a cruiser and you wouldn't have the same damage output if you were in an escort. Just my opinion from my experiences in the game.
I go into some missions with my escort and feel real squishy, wishing I jumped into one of my cruisers. But when I do decide to take a mission in my cruiser it just seems to move much slower and the fights last much longer even if my survivability increases.
That being said, my playstyle fits best with an escort so even if it doesn't always work for me, it still may work for you.
AH but you do make yourself a little more versatile by going in different ships that aren't tactical. Some just want to marriage the tactical officer's capabilities to particular nonescort ships or such :p
Tac captains greatly increase the offensive potential power of ships that could use it.. A crusier for example have all the inbuilt survivability it needs.. A Eng captain boosts that slightly, but a Eng captain boosts the survivability of SVs and Escorts far more.
Same goes for any mix really, tho some are more effective than others (Sci Escort comes to mind)
I'm Tac/Cruiser and a PvE player. What I like is that I can beat things up fairly quickly and walk away intact with no downtime. Also happen to like the lines of the Star Cruiser so that's what I'm stickin' with.
My BOFFs are
Tactical: Tactical Team I, Fire At Will II.
Senior Engineer: Engineering Team I, Emergency Power to Weapons II, Directed Energy Modulation II and Boarding Party III.
Junior Engineer: Emergency Power to Shields I, Reverse Shield Polarity I, Extend Shields I
Senior Science Officer: Hazard Emitters I, Hazard Emitters II
Junior Science Officer: Science Team I
Can't remember all the stuff I've stuck inside her but recently I'd gotten to focus more and more on maintaining crew as they'd get killed off much faster than my shields would burn down or my armor would get hurt.
The basic concept behind USS Ranger is of a solo capable support ship. In a typical B'Tran mission I'll just burn through opposition with my Phaser Banks and Photon Torpedos. If I'm up against anything other than a flock of frigates I'll close and hit FAW, TA, EPW and DEM and/or launch my boarding shuttles depending on range (only use shuttles up close).
Why Boarding III? Because sometimes it'll knock out an enemy ship's weapons and shields for a good long time. No shields. Seriously. Can't tell you how easy that makes a kill for a Tac Officer when I can hit my BO or class attack buffs and spike the heck out of that exposed hull. I doubt it would work in PvP, shuttles are easy to kill. You'd probably need to be right on top of the guy.
Still, it makes for fun. When those enemy shields drop I cheer every time.
I've also started using the cloaking tractor mine reward item. That's nice! Often a ship will make a head-on pass at me and then start turning to show a shielded side. When it's a weaker ship, like a frigate or even an escort, those few moments they'll get hung up before popping the mine can mean a very quick kill if your torp or rear beams are ready/charged up.
At the end of the run, when I'm up against the "boss" ship I'll hit all my class buffs, launch all my boarding parties, and just pound the heck out of the sucker at close range.
The hazard emitters are mainly useful for Borg and Romulans...anyone who can hit your ship with a DOT. I don't mind the hull damage but the crew incapacitation bothers me. Even a few seconds can make a difference so I've two of 'em.
I use the default attack power settings when soloing like this.
In teams, however, I go with a shield setup and let the escorts get all the glory. In that situation I'm support. Mines and fighters? Fire At Will! A buddy got a debuff or taken damage? I can fix that! I can take damage and tank groups while the escorts gang up on individual targets. Again, Fire At Will to get the aggro as I plow into the group.
I went this route because I prefer (I'm odd) ground combat and spent most of my points on it. Without an investment an escort wasn't much fun to play. The cruiser, on the other hand, could fight and survive well and also act as a fleet support ship in teams. Maybe not as well as an Engineer commanded cruiser but I get lots of "Thank yous!"
I'd say it's viable, but certainly more so for KDF.
If you focus your BO powers towards manouverability and surviveablity, it's suprising how long you can keep a target in your sights for, I switched over to a K'tinga at T3 just because I've always liked that ship, but I found it remarkably good. I was running 3 DHCs, Plasma torps, and 2 turrets. It took a slight drop in damage having less tactical BO powers, but I could hang in a fight far longer than I would have in a raptor, and thus do more damage over a prolonged engagement. I found it especially good in 1v1 duels in Ker'rat. several times I had frequent duels with players of all disciplines and nearly always won.
Cannon rapid fire 1, alpha strike, high yield 1, directed energy modulation 1 and maybe a spot of tractor beam to pin them in place will still do very unpleasant things to what you're pointed at. And if you learn to "slide" your cruiser well, you can make DHC viable on them.
With this setup, the increase in defence is much greater than the decrease in offence. I've no idea how well a tac cruiser would work for me in Starfleet.