Hi everyone, some of you that have been paying attention the last few months have probably seen one of my two Cruiser Threads in this section.
I also play Science off and on.
The first important question to ask about Science, is what is it exactly that Science does well and why.
Science's primary role is crowd control. Even in it's most aggressive setup sci ships are built around Zone Denial, Shutdowns, and Debuffs. How a sci ship accomplishes this varies ship to ship and build to build.
Before we break into how some of these work, I'm going to take a moment to explain what crowd control and the subsequent terms actually are.
Zone Denial: This one is fairly straight forward. Zone denial is setting up an area so that it is either more difficult for the enemy to be effective in, making it impossible for them to access. Usually this is done via damage dealing area of effect. Examples of this include, Gravity Well, Tractor Beam Repulsors, Warp Plasma.
Shutdowns, are abilities that prevent the use of another, or disable a subsystem. Examples include Target Subsystem, Viral Matrix, Plasmonic Leech. Some shutdowns are also Debuffs. Tractor Beam
Debuffs: simply put Debuffs inflict a negative status effect on your target. Or remove enemy buffs. Examples include, Attack Pattern Beta, SubNucleaonic Beam, Target Subsystems, Chroniton Proc, Warp Plasma.
Each of these has to be balanced to some degree to healing as well. Healing is often considered the secondary role of science captains. (mind Tac Scis are expected to do less of this than Engi sci, or Sci Sci captains)
Doffs, are also at times extremely critical with sci ships. While for Escorts, and Cruisers they make you simply more of what you already were, for a sci captain they can potentially completely redefine your build, and how it is executed in pvp.
Gear: Sci are like everything else, gear is of secondary importance to your competency, power selection, and specialization. However a few pieces of gear go quite a long way to helping you. 3 Borg is always a great standby. (as you'll see in future builds to come)
Power Settings, this one really depends on the sci methodology you are going for. Me? I'm a Full To Guns man myself. the more energy DPS your team is cranking out the better. There are also myriads of sci abilities that for damage dealing and zone denial aux isn't as important as it used to be on.
But most traditional sci run aux and shield power bias.
Powers to Avoid: Charged particle burst. Right now everyone and their brother (that didn't do a drunken spec...) has Power Insulators. This is giving them a 75 percent resist to all shield drain attacks.
Tachyon Beam. For above reason. Though this one can be circumstantially useful with the turn rate debuff doff at least.
Energy Siphon. 1 the drain is pitiful at best as is the boost. 2 is situation useful and 3 is for special builds only.
Boarding Party. Worthless ability, take it off your ship. It literally does almost nothing, thanks to Tac team, AOE fire and it being a very crappy power to start with.
Jam Sensors: Anything you could think to slot other than another trash power would be better than this. Heal will save you more than JS will.
EPTA2, 1 is just as good as 2 is. EPTW2, same deal as EPTA. (and only certain sci builds should even bother with either in the first place)
Mask energy Signature. This power is not worth a boff slot. It should be an option on every ship instead.
his post is going to be going over some quick and dirty ability tray layouts that I've found to be quite effective while in a cruiser.
Definition and term Row Through, in the context of this post Row Through, is a reference to the optimum speed and accuracy that you can rifle through your bridge officer skills without having to backtrack. Rowing Through, tremendously can affect your reaction times and ability to appropriately respond.
The first thing I want to mention is there isn't any one layout that will work for everyone every time. The biggest piece of advice I can give you (before showing you examples) is to find a configuration that can allow you to "row" through your powers quickly and effectively with minimal searching. Some people put their emergency powers right next to one another, or one above the other, same with Sci Teams etc. Some people (like myself) prefer a gap between Emergency powers, as the ability won't be needed till later and it sets up a clean visual way of showing which emergency power is which in terms of Priority.
Some people like putting their second emergency power system near the relevant bridge officer skills. (like EPTW1 next to FAW or Beam Overload, EPTA1 next to Transfer shield strength, or Hazard Emitters). As you can successively just roll from one ability to another.
Some people like all their emergency powers together.
The important thing is that you experiment, and practice with each layout you try until you find one that you can "row through" not only the fastest, but repeatedly Every Time. Anyone that's a veteran to pvp (regardless of game type.. FPS, MMO, RTS, Racing, Flight Sim etc) can tell you crap can happen incredibly quickly so it's best to have your powers, and abilities straightened out to something that is as user friendly to you as possible.
The optimum Row Through time I have found is all of your abilities fired off or at least clicked in 4 seconds or less. This will make you more than fast enough to deal with whatever happens in live combat.
If you have the chance, could you design a tanky sci ship that assists a primary healer. Not in the sense of having additional heals, but rather abilities that sort of dampen opposing dps so that 1) primary healer doesnt have to overuse heals 2) annoy other team.
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I think Science ships are probably the most unnewb friendly ship to fly especially as a sci/sci and your learing the ropes and not playing the lame "sci/healer".
When most people think sci/sci they think about afew things previously it was shield strip that was the primary function but lately Its still Transfer shield strength, Science team and subnuke, Sub nucleonic beam(SNB).
The fact is you need to have played damage to understand when to properly use SNB for your teams escort or you need to be on ventrilo to properly understand the current need of shield heals for your team sometimes someone might dip low into shields just to use their Reverse shield polarity (RSP).
Learning to properly use SNB is also quite hard if you just playing the science ship once and don't have much grasp of the game mechanics and how other skills interact with each other.
Consoles: Engineering. 2 SIF Generators
Sci: Field Generator, 3 Graviton Generators
Tac: Borg and Ablative.
This build, is the standard high aux high shield power no weapon power what so ever science vessel. It's good for healing, provides decent CC, in the way of Zone denial, aoe dps, and 2 movement debuffs in Tractor beam.
The Chroniton torps also provide debuffs, and the beam arrays are there to allow you to utilize your target sub systems, and a little burst dps.
This build really lost potency once charged particle burst went to crap however. I posted this incase cryptic ever got it together and fixes it. That being said, the movement debuff abilities of this ship are still formidable, as it's healing potential. The Standard is really a sci captain, or eng captains specialty, given it's utter robustness and lack of real focus on damage. It has a place on an average team, but right now in my opinion it's a little lacking for high end work. Good to learn on though.
Doffs: 2 Purple development Lab scientists, 3 Systems Engineers (viral matrix doffs)