Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
To start, I'm a Tac Captain flying an Assault Cruiser (Sovereign). With F2P coming soon, I re-subbed in December to overlap with the new launch.

I was PvPing a ton at the RA level. With the new way the skill tree works I was throwing up crazy numbers, averaging about 800k DMG in rounds of Cap and Hold, hardly ever dying. I was having the time of my life. Easily the most fun I've had with PvP in STO (perhaps most fun of any MMO?). I couldn't wait to get to VA were apparently all the action is and not have to wait 10-20+ minutes between que pops. Just yesterday I hit VA rank, and let me tell you, compared to these other guys I'm rubbish!

I've been PvPing all day today, and getting my *** handed to me over and over and over. The most damage I dealt was sub 200k. In arena matches I found myself accounting for six or more of the other teams kills. The more I que, the more I die, the less fun I have, the less I want to que. This is a vicious cycle I am hoping to break, as I really do enjoy the PvP in STO.

I'm hoping that there are few kind souls out there who are willing to give me some feedback on my build.
In another thread, the poster was asked to give his full layout before advice could be given, so here it is:



Ensign Tactical:
Beam Target Shield I

Lt. Tactical:
High Yield Torp I
Beam Fire at Will II

Lt. Science:
Sci Team I
Jam Sensors II

Lt. Com Engineering:
Em Power to Shields I
Engineering team II
Aux to Structural II

Commander Engineering:
Em Power to Shields I
Reverse Shield Polarity I
Extend Shields II
Eject Warp Plasma II



The Ship is equipped thusly:

Weapons Fore:
Phaser Beam array Mk XI (Blue) x3
Quantum Torp Mk XI (Blue)
-Have been considering changing out one of my Fore arrays for Duel Beam Bank. Good/Bad?

Weapons Aft:
Phaser Beam array Mk XI (Blue) x3
Quantum Torp Mk XI (Blue)

Equipment:
Positron Deflector Array Mk XI (Purple) [Shield System, Flow Cap, CMS]
-This seems to fit my play-style perfectly. I have quite a few shield abilities...

Efficient Impulse Engines Mk IV (Blue)
-Can't see myself ever giving up the +5 to all subsystems these engines grant

Covariant Shield Array Mk XI [Cap]x2
-Is there a particular weapon type that I should be defending against? I can't tell the difference between all the damn colours (other than the obvious phaser/disruptor)

Engineering Consoles:
Field Generator Mk XI
- +35% Shield Cap
Field Emitter Mk XI
- +3.5 Shield Power
Sheild Emitter Amplifier Mk XI
- +13% Shield Regen
Tetreburnium armor Mk X
- +24 Plasma, Tet, Pol, AP damage resist

Science Consoles:
Emitter Array Mk XI
- +18 Shield Emitters
Inertial Dampener Mk XI
- +18 Inertial Dampeners. Is this worth carrying? I'm not knocked/repelled/slowed very often

Tactical Consoles:
Phaser Relay Mk X x3
- +24% to Phaser weapons. I'm told these stack. This is true?



Any help at all would be GREATLY appreciated!

P.S. I am interested in joining a PvP fleet. The benefits of having a team you know and can communicate with should be obvious. How does one go about doing this?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
01-08-2012, 12:27 AM
Some quick suggestions:

Tac BOs: Replace one of the ensign abilities with a tactical team. It really helps you to redisribute your shields fast when under heavy fire.

Sci BOs: Replace the Jam Sensors with either Transfer Shield Strength or Hazard Emitters.

Eng BOs: Looking good.

Gear: Get the borg console (from the "Assimilation" mission in the undine story arc) and put it in a sci slot. Get the old borg deflector and engine (5 EDC from STFs each). The set bonus really helps with staying alive. (Note: the set bonus is about to receive a balance pass, so maybe this suggestion will no longer be correct in a couple of weeks.) Your covariant shield is a good choice. Weapons seem to be good too.

Eng Consoles: Get a different armor plate. Neutronium (against everything) or monotanium (against kinetic damage) is better than your tetraburnium; phasers are still very common amongst players. And I don't think a "+shield regen" is useful when combined with covariant shields (which have very little innate regen, and very little + 13% is still very little).

Sci Consoles: As mentioned, replace one of them with the borg console.

Tac Consoles: Looking good.

Power settings: Make sure you have set your weapon power to maximum.



General comment: VA pvp is totally different from lower levels, because only here you will find all the players who have spent the last two years pvping. And you are totally correct, try to find a fleet. It's the best way to have more fun and success in pvp. I don't know which pvp fleets are currently recruiting players. Joining the OrganizedPVP chat channel and asking is usually a good first step though.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
01-08-2012, 12:39 AM
Always good to have another Tac Assault Cruiser flyer around.

It'd help if you also tell us your skill point layout and what your normal power settings are

First your BO layout

Tac

I'd swap your Beam Target Shields with a Tactical Team, everyone runs with one to quickly rebalanced their shields which will help your survivability.

Personally what I do with have one Tac with Tactical Team and Beam Fire at WIll 2 and one with Torpedo High Yield I and Beam Overload 2 and swap them between the Ensign and Lt. slots depending on weather I need spam clearing BFW's or spike damage BO's

Sci

What you have works though I use Hazard Emitters 2 instead of Jam Sensors since you have to stop shooting at the target to keep them from seeing you again. Plus hazards clean off Hargh'peng Torpedoes and Warp Plasma and provide a nice heal.

Eng:

No comment seems fine if you like the powers you have most I could suggest is maybe using higher levels of some powers and lower levels of others but that's more personal taste.

Equipment:

Weapon wise if you feel your power drain is too much when broadsiding then ya a DBB in front helps, it also depends on how often you can get your forward torpedoes in arc and keep them there because if it's only for a few seconds then it's a waste of beam firepower if you can't use it most of the time. Heck on my Assault Cruiser I even ditched the rear torpedo for one more beam to the broadside though there are times I miss having the option of poping off a volley while turning away.

Have you considered getting one of the sets of Engine/Shield/Deflector the set bonus's to them usually are worth the trouble of having one piece of the set not match your style exactly right. http://www.stowiki.org/Set and many of them have parts that offer +5 bonus power to various systems.

If you don't want them/can't get the quickly then the only suggestion I have is to look at your Efficient Impluse Engine again because they got reworked a few months back and they don't provide as much power as you say your's is giving you, they all should give 3.8 power now. But on the bright side they changed it so if you replay the mission you can get one that's appropriate to your level now

Consoles:

Eng: only suggestion is swap your armor for Neutronium Alloy as it offers more well rounded protection

Sci: I'd keep the dampeners in the inventory for quick swaps between deaths in case you run into a team that's stun heavy

Tac: yes they do stack and yes unlike other things they don't have diminishing returns
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
01-08-2012, 07:32 AM
To the OP. You are getting some great advice here, from some of the best cruiser pilots in the game. Pay attention Also, to reiterate, join a PvP fleet. The most over-powered thing in this game is teamwork and learning how to coordinate with teammates will go further than anything else in changing your experience with VA pvp..
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
01-08-2012, 07:37 AM
okay im going to be very straightforward and honest with you, although the some of the above advice is solid, the simple fact is that tacs just cannot survive long enough in cruisers to be an asset to teamplay.

you have no tac team to distribute your shields upon being bursted by an escort. i am an escort pilot, and to be honest, i look for the cruiser who has the Attack Pattern Alpha buff logo on his status bar, and immediately switch to targeting it. because you will go down fast. very fast. more experieced players will let the RSP save them and then pull back to close 100% shields and hull, but then after that you are toast.

the assault cruiser is one of my favorites, but there is just no assault in it. not until they refit it, and give it a ltcm tac slot. the excelsior should be your attack cruiser of choice, because it has this ltcm bridge officer slot and a better turn rate. this allows you to use beamoverload3, or APO1, ect ect....good tac buffs. the dread is also an option, as it turns just slightly slower than the assault, but has the spinal lance, and can equip DHC's and the use of CRF1....along with a cloak and a tractor beam (or universal grappler console) can make for a good first strike.

but if you are dead set on this combo, here are my suggestions:

-3 arrays, 1 quantum fore and aft...all at least ACCx2 (rear torp maybe tcd)

-tac team1, target engines1, target shields2
-engie team1, epts2, EWP1, Aux2SIF3
-eptw1, epts2, extendshields2
-HE1, TSS2

consoles

-1 EPS, +35 shield cap, EPS, Hull repair
-borg, grappler console
-3x your weapons type

gear....borg engines and def with high cap shield. a mk XI resilient capx3. even the regular capx3....you need regen that a covariant cant provide.

even with a setup like this you will be the squishiest target on the field. even more squishy than my tac/defiant. its just that way. always remember you are a support ship! that extend shields is there for a reason. for you to put it on an escort so he can take heat off of you, so you can survive!

welcome back. its always great to have passionate players back in the game, and your post shows that you really want to play and be effective in the game.

have fun kill bad guys.

horizon
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
01-08-2012, 08:01 AM
My recommended Tac/AC build:

Ens Tac: TacTeam 1
Lt Tac: FAW 1, Beta 1
LtC Eng: EngTeam 1, RSP 1, EPtS 3
Cmdr Eng: EngTeam 1, Aux to SIF 1, EPtS 3, EWP 3
(Alternate Cmdr Eng: EngTeam 1, Extend 1, EPtS 3, Aux to SIF 3)

EPtS 3 is kind of a jerk move (commonly referred to as Emergency Power to Boring) since it takes up valuable slots that can be used for big heals for your allies on a Cruiser, but as a Tac, you have absolutely nothing coming from your Captain abilities to help you survive so it's not as bad as an Engineer doing it, for example.

Also, definitely look into 3 pieces of the Borg set.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7
01-08-2012, 12:09 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainHorizon
okay im going to be very straightforward and honest with you, although the some of the above advice is solid, the simple fact is that tacs just cannot survive long enough in cruisers to be an asset to teamplay.
Sorry, I have to refute that - I've been doing just fine with my Excelsior. She's loaded for DPS (6 beams) and has enough healing to withstand a lot of damage. I've single-handedly duelled Escorts and regularly come close to the top of the table in kills and DPS. I even get to heal my teammates every now and then.

Is it ideal? No.

Is it fragile? It can be.

Is it fun? Hell yeah.

For the OP, here's my spec:

Excelsior Retrofit

Weapons: (all purple)

6 x Phaser Beam Array Mk XI [Acc] [CrtH] [Borg]
2 x Quantum Torpedo Launcher Mk XI [CrtD] [CrtH] [Borg]

Ship Gear:
Borg Deflector, Borg Impulse Engines, M.A.C.O. Shields

Engineering Consoles: (all blue)
Field Emitter Mk XI
Plasma Distribution Manifold Mk XI
RCS Accelerator Mk XI
Field Generator Mk XI

Science Consoles:
Enhanced Plasma Manifold (from the Oberth)
Borg Console

Tac Consoles: (all blue)
3 x Phaser Relay Mk XI

Bridge Officers

Lt. Commander Tactical:
Beam Array: Overload I
Tactical Team II
Torpedo: High Yield III

Commander Engineering:
Emergency Power to Weapons I
Reverse Shield Polarity I
Emergency Power to Shields III
Aux to SIF III

Lt. Engineering:
Emergency Power to Weapons I
Engineering Team II

Ensign Engineering:
Emergency Power to Engines I

Lt. Science:
Science Team I
Polarize Hull II
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
01-08-2012, 02:08 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by AegisPrime View Post
Sorry, I have to refute that - I've been doing just fine with my Excelsior. She's loaded for DPS (6 beams) and has enough healing to withstand a lot of damage. I've single-handedly duelled Escorts and regularly come close to the top of the table in kills and DPS. I even get to heal my teammates every now and then.

Is it ideal? No.

Is it fragile? It can be.

Is it fun? Hell yeah.

For the OP, here's my spec:

Excelsior Retrofit

Weapons: (all purple)

6 x Phaser Beam Array Mk XI [Acc] [CrtH] [Borg]
2 x Quantum Torpedo Launcher Mk XI [CrtD] [CrtH] [Borg]

Ship Gear:
Borg Deflector, Borg Impulse Engines, M.A.C.O. Shields

Engineering Consoles: (all blue)
Field Emitter Mk XI
Plasma Distribution Manifold Mk XI
RCS Accelerator Mk XI
Field Generator Mk XI

Science Consoles:
Enhanced Plasma Manifold (from the Oberth)
Borg Console

Tac Consoles: (all blue)
3 x Phaser Relay Mk XI

Bridge Officers

Lt. Commander Tactical:
Beam Array: Overload I
Tactical Team II
Torpedo: High Yield III

Commander Engineering:
Emergency Power to Weapons I
Reverse Shield Polarity I
Emergency Power to Shields III
Aux to SIF III

Lt. Engineering:
Emergency Power to Weapons I
Engineering Team II

Ensign Engineering:
Emergency Power to Engines I

Lt. Science:
Science Team I
Polarize Hull II
well sir, if you continue on to read my post, you will see that i mention the excelsior as the attack cruiser of choice.

you may do fine, and thats great. i want people to have fun....i.e....read every post ive ever put up here....

but there will NEVER and i mean NEVER be a tac cruiser in any team that i would consider serious. and i will be straightforeward and honest once again...

you have equipped your excelsior with NO tac team...i will kill you in 3 seconds....especially since you are only carrying 1 copy of epts? dude im sorry, but that 30 seconds of low shield power with no resists makes me giggle a little....and im one jackass of a manly man. your build doesnt even account for this flaw by making it up with science skills. 2 coppies of tss at least to compliment a build only carrying 1 copy of epts.

also, dps is waht cruisers do well, this is different than spike damage..what tac officers do well. you are using hy3? how are you even getting to hull? with beam overload1?

sir i am confused at your post, your build advice, and your choice to quote me in your response.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
01-08-2012, 02:29 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainHorizon
you have equipped your excelsior with NO tac team...i will kill you in 3 seconds....especially since you are only carrying 1 copy of epts? dude im sorry, but that 30 seconds of low shield power with no resists makes me giggle a little....and im one jackass of a manly man. your build doesnt even account for this flaw by making it up with science skills. 2 coppies of tss at least to compliment a build only carrying 1 copy of epts.
Tac Team II actually. Plus RSP, plus Sci Team plus EPTS3 plus large shield batteries and the Oberth console (spikes shields and aux for Aux2SIF and shield heals).

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainHorizon
also, dps is waht cruisers do well, this is different than spike damage..what tac officers do well. you are using hy3? how are you even getting to hull? with beam overload1?.
I do plenty of damage to shields with a 6 beam broadside at 125 power + EPTW1 - I use the Beam Overload 1 to weaken 'em up - and yes, the Torp: High Yield III for hull. I've taken down other cruisers, escorts, sci - you name it.

Sometimes you have good matches and you totally own, other times you get constantly ganked - same with escorts I guess Although I do admit I get singled out a lot for the Tac/Cruiser combo - still, keeps things interesting

If you're interested to see how it holds up, look me up in game - weyland@aegisprime - I'm always keen to work out the kinks
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
01-08-2012, 02:44 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by AegisPrime View Post
Tac Team II actually. Plus RSP, plus Sci Team plus EPTS3 plus large shield batteries and the Oberth console (spikes shields and aux for Aux2SIF and shield heals).



I do plenty of damage to shields with a 6 beam broadside at 125 power + EPTW1 - I use the Beam Overload 1 to weaken 'em up - and yes, the Torp: High Yield III for hull. I've taken down other cruisers, escorts, sci - you name it.

Sometimes you have good matches and you totally own, other times you get constantly ganked - same with escorts I guess Although I do admit I get singled out a lot for the Tac/Cruiser combo - still, keeps things interesting

If you're interested to see how it holds up, look me up in game - weyland@aegisprime - I'm always keen to work out the kinks
understood. missed that Tac team2 while giving feedback. my apologies. but for the life of me i cant understand not running 2x epts in a cruiser. you must have the timing of those others you mentioned down to a tee.

like i said, if you can make it work and have fun thats awesome. to this day, and everyday since i started playing 18 or so months ago, tac cruisers have been a liability in battle. cruisers are support ships best captained by an engineer, and if your really good, a sci captain.

a lot of mix/match combos can work in the game. sci/escorts can be downright nasty. but to be an engineer in an escort, well buddy, you better have your ducks in a row.

a side note sir....why not try an escort? the fleet escort is what i consider the excelsior counterpart...you can be extremely defensive with the right loadout, and when needed there are a plethora of tac weapons at hand.

and of course id like to meet up with you in game sometime. @CaptainHorizon

have fun kill bad guys
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