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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
Hail to my fellow Star Trek enthusiasts!

I played STO from launch, alas the game did not live up to my expectations at all and so I quit the game about one and a half year ago when I saw none of the initial promises getting realised (fully fleshed out Klingon faction, open world pvp, playable romulan faction, proper exploration, etc..etc..). I vowed never to play another Cryptic game again and moved on.

But last week I was watching some Voyager episodes, and it made me think about STO and I started wondering how the game would be like one and a half year later. So I checked out the site, noticed that it was free to play, recovered my long forgotten password and...here I am.


I admit I haven't been able to play much at all. But I feel completely overwhelmed by all the changes. The skill trees are completely different, many BOF abilities seem completely different, some new system with duty officers and assignments that looks complicated, I got 500000 popup screens with npc's hailing me with missions, various accolades I have apparently unlocked, and various other things I can't really remember.

So I have a few questions for this fine community.

* First of all, is there finally a proper exploration system in place? I did notice the galaxy looking alot better and larger than before, but is there actually something to explore? When I left the game, there was some rudimentary system in place with a few sectors in space where you had to scan anomalies and sometimes it would be a planet which would invariably ask for supplies to help them. Please tell me they improved this aspect.

* Secondly, is there any federation vs klingon warfront or something resembling open world pvp? If so, where?

* Thirdly, I left during the time of some Borg "dungeons" I think one was called "Infected" another one had to do with some assimilated Klingon Carrier I think. In any case I remember them being pretty frustrating to play, mainly because ground combat was so very clunky. Did they improve this?

* Fourthly, I noticed I have around 2000 cryptic points, and since the Intrepid clas is my favorite ship, I was wondering if the retrofit Intrepid is a competitive choice, especially for PvP? (My captain is a science captain.)
If so, could you recommend a PvP spec/setup for me? I like to play a supportive role.

To add to the previous question, I left at a time where escorts could stack alot of damage buffs for amazing alpha strikes (like cutting through the shields and hull of a cruiser in a few seconds). Meanwhile Feedback Pulse did sick damage, as in (nearly) destroying your ship even if you cancelled firing the moment you saw the blue pulses heading your way. And Viral Matrix was just ridiculous, basically completely stunning a ship for a pretty long time, and some science ships had like 2 or 3 versions of it...On the other hand things like Transfer Shield Strength were utterly useless.
As a Science Captain in an Intrepid Retrofit, which BOF abilities are a must-have at this moment and which are rubbish?

Finally, are there any weapon types I should be wary off? I remember back in the day Plasma weapons being rather pathetic, while Tetryon and Anti-Proton were considered the "best". Mines were pretty useless, Tricobalt weapons were very incidental useful. How is it these days, any weapons I should most definately not put on my Intrepid?

Well since this is quite lengthy already I'll stop here. My eternal gratitude to anyone reading through all this and responding!
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
05-06-2012, 05:16 PM
Although the doomsayers will undoubtedly say otherwise, the game has improved significantly since then. The biggest change is that Cryptic has changed parent companies from Atari to Perfect World, so now they are getting much better funding.

We still don't have a fully fledged Klingon Faction, and you can probably expect that it will never be as big as the Federation side, but they've made big steps to improve it. Now Qo'nos has a huge city map, one of the largest social zones in the game, they've added tons more missions, mostly faction neutral, but a few KDF only ones. KDF players also now start out at commander instead of lieutenant, to help ease the leveling to endgame until more content can be added. They have said though that further major KDF improvements hinge on the size of the KDF faction, not enough players are on that side.

They're unfortunately holding back on the Romulan faction until the KDF is finished to a satisfactory level.

The Skill tree has been changed a couple of times since you said you left. It's decidedly much more straight forward. The accolades are retroactive, so if you had completed some before they were added you may be subject to accolade spam like that the first time you log back into a character.

The exploration system hasn't significantly changed, although they've gone through and squashed many of the bugs in those missions. And they've tied the DOFF system partially into it as well.

They haven't added any open pvp, although that's been consistently discussed in interviews as a distant possibility.

Most of the "Borg Dungeons" which are now called "Special Task Force" missions have received significant improvements, and have been split up into space and ground components, which can be accessed through the PvE Queues. Ground combat in general has been worked on as well, there is now a third person shooter style free targeting mode that you can switch to instead of the classic RPG mode, and most weapons and NPCs received damage, health and AI changes to make combat a bit more visceral.

I've used the intrepid a little, it's not bad, although it's my understanding that escorts are what's currently popular in PvP.

Many of the space powers have been updated significantly, most of the offensive ones have been nerfed a lot and the defensive ones have been significantly buffed, but it all comes down to how you stack your skills and how you use the powers.

With the skill tree update, they removed the individual damage type skills, so all damage types are pretty much equal, however you should try to stick to one type on your ship, so called "rainbow" or "skittle" boats, ships with multiple types of beams or pulses, waste too much DPS to be of much use. Tricobalts are still pretty good, if you can make a hit before it's shot down. They are now tied to the High Yield Torpedo and Torpedo Spread powers, but the individual Tricobalt Torps have been nerfed so they aren't very effective without the buffs. Also they now inflict splash damage on your ship if you are too close.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
05-06-2012, 07:05 PM
Welcome back!

Quote:
Originally Posted by LordTareq View Post
Hail to my fellow Star Trek enthusiasts!

So I have a few questions for this fine community.

* First of all, is there finally a proper exploration system in place? I did notice the galaxy looking alot better and larger than before, but is there actually something to explore? When I left the game, there was some rudimentary system in place with a few sectors in space where you had to scan anomalies and sometimes it would be a planet which would invariably ask for supplies to help them. Please tell me they improved this aspect.

They re-did sector space soome time ago so it looks a lot less 'grid-like'. But much of the exploration sectors are still the same. The only addition that comes to mind is the Orelius sector block which was added with the Breen featured episodes.

* Secondly, is there any federation vs klingon warfront or something resembling open world pvp? If so, where?

Open PVP can be found in Ker'rat which is in Eti Eridani sector block

* Thirdly, I left during the time of some Borg "dungeons" I think one was called "Infected" another one had to do with some assimilated Klingon Carrier I think. In any case I remember them being pretty frustrating to play, mainly because ground combat was so very clunky. Did they improve this?

STFs have been redone and are no longer stand alone missions. See link in my sig for details.


* Fourthly, I noticed I have around 2000 cryptic points, and since the Intrepid clas is my favorite ship, I was wondering if the retrofit Intrepid is a competitive choice, especially for PvP? (My captain is a science captain.)
If so, could you recommend a PvP spec/setup for me? I like to play a supportive role.

The Intrepid-R is a decent sci ship.

To add to the previous question, I left at a time where escorts could stack alot of damage buffs for amazing alpha strikes (like cutting through the shields and hull of a cruiser in a few seconds). Meanwhile Feedback Pulse did sick damage, as in (nearly) destroying your ship even if you cancelled firing the moment you saw the blue pulses heading your way. And Viral Matrix was just ridiculous, basically completely stunning a ship for a pretty long time, and some science ships had like 2 or 3 versions of it...On the other hand things like Transfer Shield Strength were utterly useless.

TSS got buffed. VM and FBP got nerfed.

Finally, are there any weapon types I should be wary off? I remember back in the day Plasma weapons being rather pathetic, while Tetryon and Anti-Proton were considered the "best". Mines were pretty useless, Tricobalt weapons were very incidental useful. How is it these days, any weapons I should most definately not put on my Intrepid?

Mines are still useless. Plasma is fine except for PVP as most of the end game borg shields have plasma resist. Tetryons are meh. Most use phasers or antiproton. Polaron is slightly more popular now due to the Jem'Hadar set


Well since this is quite lengthy already I'll stop here. My eternal gratitude to anyone reading through all this and responding!
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
05-06-2012, 08:27 PM
I've seen Disruptors in use in PvP as well.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
05-07-2012, 11:34 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Latinumbar
They re-did sector space soome time ago so it looks a lot less 'grid-like'. But much of the exploration sectors are still the same. The only addition that comes to mind is the Orelius sector block which was added with the Breen featured episodes.
If he only just got his accolades then he left before Season 2 so there's also Pelia Sector. There's no actual reason to go there but it's another addition.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
05-08-2012, 03:53 AM
Great, thanks so much for the info!

After playing for a day, I finally finished the Devidian series (I quit before doing the final two episodes), ground combat still feels pretty clunky but better than it was, the shooter-stance is pretty neat but its no Star Trek: Elite Force
In any case I have a few more followup questions:

- During ground combat, my science captain has a PBAOE knockback skill. However when using it when surrounded by those devidians, nothing pretty much happened. Am I doing something wrong? Does it cancel when I move perhaps even though it doesn't have a cast bar?

- I sort of blindly specced into something as I got an annoying pop-up after every loading screen bugging me to put points in stuff. I mainly put 6 points in pretty much everything except the attack pattern skill, but I have no idea if I did good.
Are there any skills that are better skipped by a Science Captain in a Science Ship, and are there specific skills that warrant putting the full 9 points into them?

- I read somewhere a long time ago that upon reach Vice-Admiral, you'd earn a free retrofit token, so I can use my Intrepid at endgame. Is this still ingame or am I forced to buy it from the C-store?

- My character has a buff that says I am a 400 day veteran and provides a 5% skill-point boost. Are there any other benefits?

- I noticed an entire new crew compliment of duty officers. After finding where to collect an initial batch I've send them on a few missions. My questions are, is there any cost to doing these missions? I noticed some require "ingredients" like emergency rations, but if a mission doesn't have anything listed, is its only cost the time it takes?
Also, I noticed a chance for injuries on a critical failure. Can this actually kill my duty officers? And if so, can even blue or purple duty officers be killed?

Thanks in advance!
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7
05-08-2012, 04:42 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by LordTareq View Post
- During ground combat, my science captain has a PBAOE knockback skill. However when using it when surrounded by those devidians, nothing pretty much happened. Am I doing something wrong? Does it cancel when I move perhaps even though it doesn't have a cast bar?
Knockback usually isn't a 100% chance, but I think the devidians are an exception to the rule anyway - they fly/hover rather than walk. Against other enemies like Klingons and Borg you should see them flopping and ragdolling a bit.

Quote:
- I sort of blindly specced into something as I got an annoying pop-up after every loading screen bugging me to put points in stuff. I mainly put 6 points in pretty much everything except the attack pattern skill, but I have no idea if I did good.
Are there any skills that are better skipped by a Science Captain in a Science Ship, and are there specific skills that warrant putting the full 9 points into them?
http://www.stoacademy.com/tools/skillplanner/ is a good place to start.
http://forums.startrekonline.com/sho...d.php?t=247338 will give you some numbers to go with it.

Usually if you want to build a sci for something in particular you'll want to skill to 9 in certain skills, then supplement that with Science Consoles to raise that stat even further (like Flow Capacitors for power drain, or Particle Generators for extra PSW/Gravity Well damage)

That said, it's usually hard to go wrong by skilling pretty much everything in "Tactical Systems", plus Warp Core Efficiency/Potential from the "Engineering Systems" tree. You have a slightly seperate set of points to spend on Ground powers - ramp up Weapon Proficiency and Personal Shield Generator a bit, then decide what Ground skills you prefer - http://forums.startrekonline.com/sho...d.php?t=265599

Quote:
- I read somewhere a long time ago that upon reach Vice-Admiral, you'd earn a free retrofit token, so I can use my Intrepid at endgame. Is this still ingame or am I forced to buy it from the C-store?
You can't retrofit your existing ships, but you can buy a new ship. Unfortunately though whilst you do get free ship tokens via levelling up, you don't get one at the final experience level.

Quote:
- My character has a buff that says I am a 400 day veteran and provides a 5% skill-point boost. Are there any other benefits?
http://www.startrekonline.com/veteran_rewards

Quote:
- I noticed an entire new crew compliment of duty officers. After finding where to collect an initial batch I've send them on a few missions. My questions are, is there any cost to doing these missions? I noticed some require "ingredients" like emergency rations, but if a mission doesn't have anything listed, is its only cost the time it takes?
Also, I noticed a chance for injuries on a critical failure. Can this actually kill my duty officers? And if so, can even blue or purple duty officers be killed?
Unless otherwise specified, all you'll lose is (i) time (ii) the ability to slot any DOFFs you send on a mission into Space/Ground management roles until they return from their mission. (setting these roles is very recommended, as it grants you buffs to certain powers etc depending on what DOFFs you assign - better buffs for higher rarity DOFFs) - http://www.stowiki.org/Doff

All DOFFs can be injured by a failure, only white ones can be killed. You can "sacrifice" DOFFs by doing certain missions though - these will say a big red warning message in the description along the lines of "THE DUTY OFFICER YOU SELECT WILL BE PERMANENTLY REMOVED"
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
05-08-2012, 12:59 PM
yeah, they used to have a token for the retrofit ship at VA, but that was removed for F2P, if you have a Gold sub you do get one with your 600 day reward.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
05-08-2012, 01:31 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by LordTareq View Post
- I read somewhere a long time ago that upon reach Vice-Admiral, you'd earn a free retrofit token, so I can use my Intrepid at endgame. Is this still ingame or am I forced to buy it from the C-store?
With F2P, the retrofit ships are now either 1) 600-day vet reward, or 2) buy in C-store. And these only affect 3 ships: Defiant-R, Intrepid-R, and Galaxy-R. You cannot get any other ships via the 600 day vet reward. Keep in mind that you can always trade dilithium for C-store points through the dilithium exchange, so you can still get it 'for free' if you can save up enough dilithium.

EDIT: And if you only care about the ship skin, you have 2 choices if you go the C-store route. You can buy the Intrepid-R for 1600, or you could consider the Bellerophon for 1200 which is another variant of the Intrepid. It has it's own special skin which is unlocked if you buy it, but I 'think' you can still use the original Intrepid skin. The 2 ships are similar, but have slightly different BO configurations. Personally I think the photon detonator console that comes with the Bellarophon is more useful than the ablative armor console that comes with the Intrepid-R.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
05-09-2012, 09:47 AM
While the bellerophon (long range science vessel refit) is a nice ship, it is also of captain-level, or T4 if you will. If you want a vice admiral-level intrepid, you need to get the long range retrofit that is T5/Vice admiral.

What I did, however, was getting them both for the nice skin, the console and ability to use an intrepid at VA.
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