Just got to L.T Commander on my Science guy (Woho) and got myself a sexy Nova-Class.
Anyway, to the point; I have read on a thread that having the both weapon slots on the front of the Nova equppied with Phaser beams will be a lot more effective then equpping one slot with a Torpedo/Quantum bank.
I tried this before I went to work and I must say that it feels strange not to have a "Climax" weapon for when the shields go down. Sure the ship is small and I can with ease manouver the ship so my aft section is turned towards the enemy.
Anyone who has some deep knowledge about the dps of this matter, should I equip a torpedo launcher at front with the company of only one Phaser beam, or should I use two?
I ran both my nova and egg with beams all the way to Capt. with all your SP ability's you really need to go with beams, and with the right bridge officer ability's it really goes fast. It looks strange because your not taking chunks of dmg off the enemy your really burning down the life bar.
With a ship with all beams you want to take more of a orbit approach our broadside you do bleed through energy real fast so adjustment do need to be made that may not seem normal if you tend to be torp happy.
Once you get to Capt. then you can throw a photon on and pump the skill real quickly.
at 25 weapon power, the beams will do 60% (roughly) the damage of a torpedo in the same amount of time (dps)
however, at about 50 weapon power the dps is about equal.
at 50+ weapon power, beams win out for dps.
the things you have to remember are: as you get more beams / cannons firing at the same time, you lose weapon power.
also, the torpedo only does decent damage against the hull. if you can't burn through their shields, the torpedo is useless.
I reccomend using two beam banks in front, and a beam array in the rear.
-----you might also want to keep a torpedo launcher in your inventory to deal with "destroy the asteroids/turrets/other unshielded items"
if you have high weapon power, more beam arrays are better. if you run below 50 weapon power.... well you shouldn't.
You could always replace a torpedo launcher with dual beam arrays. Similar firing arc as a torp launcher, greater firepower than the usual beam array, and it won't fire on the side - avoiding excess drain when broadsiding. It'll also work with subsystem targeting.
I don't do it. i like my beam arrays the way they are. But it's an idea.
When I went through my own Nova class, I went with a Beam Array and DBB front, and then put the torp launcher in the back. Then when the shields went down, I hit Evasive Action to wheel around and fire the torp out of the aft. It actually worked pretty well, since the Nova is so small and fast.
YMMV, however. I think people who tell you that you should never use torps, and you should go all beam boat, you shouldn't listen to that. Likewise, the people who say you should always have a torp launcher, and never even consider all beam builds, don't listen to them either. What works is what works for YOU, and what fits with your style. In later levels I have dropped the "wheel around" strategy and put the torps up front simply because I've grown tired of it.
I will say that IMHO, the Science class's strength is not in doing DPS, but in using its abilities to knock down shields. You have Tachyon Beam, and Target Subsytem: Shields, both of which are quite useful at knocking down a shield really fast. If you are ready, you can throw a torp through the "hole". Obviously, if you have no torps, then you have nothing to fire through the hole. So what's the point of using abilities on the foes' shields if you're just going to use beams against the hull anyway.
I will say that a good compromise is to go with a Dual Beam Bank. As with my set-up, you get a bit more damage that way, up front, at the cost of your broadsides. But as a Science ship that should be less useful to you anyway. And unilike single Cannons or a Turret, the Dual Beam Bank can be used to Target Subsystems.
Very interesting replies. I thank you all.
Decided to continue with 2x Beam on my front and try to feel how I like the playstyle.
Will need to get to Memory Alpha and craft me some more Phaser banks then