I've been voraciously reading several threads on similar subjects, but to be honest, they've left me more confused than ever; the more I read, the more uncertain I become! Most of them are also from 2010, so I'm wondering if there's new thinking on this subject.
I'm currently a Tac Captain 8, but should soon reach Admiral. However, I'm caught between the Sovereign, the Star Cruiser or the Excelsior for my next ship. I like the idea of being both survivable while also dealing reasonable damage.
I'm playing PvE at the moment, but soon want to branch out into PvP. I'm working under the assumption that if I can do well in PvP, PvE should be relatively easy!
I really love the look of the Sovereign (have done ever since First Contact), but I've read that it can be a bit unwieldy. I'm also unsure whether I'd really benefit from an extra ensign Tac BO.
I gather that the Star Cruiser isn't a bad option in terms of having an extra Science heal, such as Hazard Emitters. However, I'm not sure I like the look of them!
Obviously, the Excelsior has the Lt Comm Tact slot, but how survivable is it? I'm not sure I'd want to give up an engineer heal. Plus, asethetically, it's no Sovy!
I'm basically asking for the experiences others have had in terms of making this decision. I understand that you can purchase more than one ship, but I really want to concentrate on one for the moment.
I can't remember exactly what level of powers I'm running (I'm at work, so can't check), but I think I have (for the moment):
Tac: Beam Overload 1, Torp High Yield: 2
Eng: Emergency Power to Shields 1, Emergency Power to Weapons 2, RSP and Aceton Field.
Eng: ET 1, Emergency Power to Shields 2.
Sci: Science Team 1 and Transfer Shield Strength 2.
I'm using phasers and photon torpedoes (though I currently have once forward Quantum torpedo tube).
Were I to take the Sov, I could get DEM as another engineer power (for a little more damage?), or the Star Cuiser could have Hazard Emitters as another heal.
So, yeah. Uncertain how I'm going to proceed. Feel free to critique away. All good advice/opinions welcome. If you've read the whole thing, thanks!
the Sovereign isn't unwieldy, or at least any more so than the other Tier 5 cruisers
as for their abillities, let's see...
Tanking ability (left to right = best to worst):
Star Cruiser, Assault Cruiser, Adv. Heavy Cruiser Retrofit
Why? Well, the Star Cruiser does have the standard Engineer options, which are good for tanking, and it gives up a tactical option for an extra science option, which can also allow for more tanking. The Excelsior gives up a little of it's tanking ability for more tactical abilites. The Sovereign is the more balanced option, in terms of tanking.
Damage Dealing Ability (left to right again):
Adv. Heavy Cruiser Retrofit, Assault Cruiser/Star Cruiser
Why? Having a Lt. Commander Tactical slot allows more tactical options, making a higher damage rate at the cost of a little tanking for the Excelsior, which cruisers are good at in the first place. The Assault Cruiser is tied with the Star Cruiser for damage dealing, though they differ on how they deal damage. The Sovereign deals the standard 'hit hard' abilities, while the Star Cruiser uses more crowd control abilities (science ones) to weaken their enemies, then use the few tactical abilites they have.
So the verdict... Star Cruiser: The most survivable of the Cruisers (that you've mentioned), but still has decent damage. The science abilites allow for either tanking, or low level crowd abilities, depending on what you want to do.
Assault Cruiser: The balanced option between your choices, has good damage, and good tanking ability. Science abilities are better suited for tanking, as you don't have many options.
Adv. Heavy Cruiser Retrofit: The most damage-dealing of the Cruisers, with only slightly less tanking ability than the Sovereign. Still tanks well, and the science options can help cover that gap in tanking if done well. Note: the Excelsior does turn a little better than the others, but you need to either pay for it in the C-Store, or grind for it, which will take awhile,
All in all, it depends on what YOU want to do. As for your BO powers, they look balanced, though others could say otherwise. I only suggest that you replace Science Team with Hazard Emitters (that way you get another hull heal, and as a bonus, it gets rid of plasma fires and the unique effect of the Doomsday Torpedo, the latter of which you're bound to see in PvP)