Ensign
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 5
To be as informative as I can, this is a tad bit long.
There is a TLDR section for those who would be so kind as to just answered to my problems without feeling the need to "read the whole story".

I chose tactical as a career path and after reading a couple of beginners guides it is my understanding that I am supposed (?) to be using an escort type ship.
So after hiting Captain I got myself a Defiant type Escort, read over two guides, but I seem to be pretty bad at handling it and was hoping someone here could help me out.
These are the guides about the escort I did read:
http://sto-forum.perfectworld.com/sh...d.php?t=255981
http://sto-forum.perfectworld.com/sh...d.php?t=244532
This is the Build and BOs I am using:
http://www.stoacademy.com/tools/skil...ginnerescort_0
(Please notice that I realise Driver Coil was most likely an unfortunate choice and will be removed at a later point - but I don't think this is a major factor in my strugle here)
Energy Setting are 100/25/40/35 when I am on the offense.
Weapons are Phase Dual Heavy Canons x 3 + 1 Photon Torpedo for the front and 2 Phaser Turrets as aft weapons.
(Please notice here that I do realise Quantum Torpedos and Antiproton Turrets/Canons would be better - but I just don't have those available right now)

Having used Science Vessels and Cruisers before I am kind of used to keep my distance and try to circle around my opponents while attempting to get as many broadsides on them as I can.

Now obviousely this is impossible with an escort, as it needs to face the opponent.
Here is where things go down the drain for me.
Since I need to be facing my opponent with my front side I either move towards him, or I try to get in his back.
If I try to get in his back, I feel the need to stay close, as when I am farther away, they will have a small turning radius and be quite easly able to turn broadsides on me or go face to face.
Problem is - I am in the Romulan/Remen missions and I am getting slaughered.
Those Quantom Torpedos (I think that was the name of the projectiles they fire) are capabale of one shoting me, or at least do severe damage - even through all of my defenses active.
This means I either need to destroy them, or evade them.
Here is where I don't get how I am supposed to play.
I need to be facing them with my front to do damage, but I can't get close to them.
As mentioned, this large projectile kind of thing they fire, seems to be 360?. (At least for the D'deridex ships) and I need to avoid getting hit by them one way or another.
In addition the larger ships tend to use 3 of them at once, and are capable of using tractor beams on me.
Now since I can't get close I have a very limited amount of time to shoot at their ships, since I usually run off when they get to close, start to tractor me, or use their 3 x projectile thing and I do not have my torpedo spread ready.
In that short time I hardly get to break their shields, let alone to significant damage.
Now I also seem to be unable to do hit and runs, since they regenerate their shields and hull pretty fast, and sometimes will just reset to 100%.

TLDR:
I did read guides.
I am still bad - I need help.
Please tell me about the actual gameplay of an escort - not skills, talents, weapons and such (one can read that in guides) - but how they are supposed to be handled.
I think I get the general idea (use same weapon types, use same tactical consoles, etc. ...) but
  1. HOW is an escort supposed to be played?
  2. Hit and Run?
  3. Get in range and stand still like kind of a weapon plattform?
  4. Always try to get in the back of the opponent? (if yes, how do I avoid getting outmaneuvered by other ships if I am to far away, or getting instantly killed by one shot projectiles I can't evade in close range?)
  5. Keep flying around the opponent in close range (kind of like an annoying fly, but I won't get much frontal uptime that way)?
  6. Do I just pop all my offensive Abilites and use as much of them as I can at the same time?, or rather chain them one after another?
  7. Do I use my defensive abilities reactivly?, or try to keep em up as much and as long as I can?
  8. Why is it I seem to be doing so little damage to the larger romulan ships? (What I do is just acticate everything I have as soon as I am in 10km range and start firing like crazy - are my weapons too bad?, shouldn't I be using all abilites at the same time?, Is my choice of BOs or ships skills not good enough?)

Last but not least I would like to ask that - If everything else fails - would it be a considerable option to fly a cruiser or science ship as a tactical? (I really hope someone can help me not be so bad and I don't have to consider this)
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 3,207
# 2
07-09-2012, 07:37 AM
IMXP:
  • Shields: As long as you have some shields, you benefit from shield damage reduction and kinetic damag attacks deal less damage in the first place. So keep them up!
    • Use Emergency Power to Shields at all times. If you have only one instance, use it from the moment you get hit. EptS gives you a small heal, improved regeneration and more shield damage reduction from more shiled power, and more shield damage reduction on its own.
    • Tactical Team: Start using it when one of your shield facing is signficantly depleted.
    • Distribute SHield POwerUse it whenever you have no Tactical Team running.
    • Transfer Shield Strength or Science Team can be added to heal yourself - use reactively once you start taking more damage then youcan handle.
  • Speed/Defense: You have a defense bonus. The bonus is primarily dependent on your speed. If you are stationary, you get a signficant penalty. So always keep moving - it's better to fly backwards then to stop! (But flying backwards drains energy, so don'T do it for too long.)
  • Hull: You mostly care for hull repairs. That means usually Hazard Emitters for Escorts.
  • Maneuvering: Try to keep your enemy into your firing arc despite moving. Attacking from the aft or sides can be best, but is not always necessary. To keep speed and maintain firing arc, you can use evasive maneuvers on reverse impulse if you get too close to your enemy.
    If you choose to retreat - consider turning 180?. This allows you to maintain your firing arc on the same shield facing, meaning you can at least keep dealing low turret damage on your target. (And if you have a torpedo in the back, you may even deal some signficant damage against hull at least.)
  • Damage: Damage falls off with distance. It can be an option to wait with throwing buffs until you get close enough. If you use torpedoes or beam overload, you may delay firing these until you have got a few shots in, so you hit naked hull.
    Oh: And you really want to run high weapon power, e.g. something that is, after buffs, beyond weapon power 100. 125 is ideal and quite doable with an Escort, even without many additional buffs.

Your goal usually should be to kill any enemy at Normal Difficulty up to Battleship size in one "slow pass". In case of a frigate group, 2 frigates should be doable.


Weapon Layout I usually prefer:
  • Front: 3 Dual Heavy Cannons, 1 Dual Beam Bank
  • Aft: 3 Turrets
You can replace the Dual Beam Bank or one DHC with a Torpedo (Quantums or maybe Tri-Cobalts would probably be my advice), of course.


Note that some enemies have tricks most enemies don't have. For example, the Mogai Escort has Tactical Team. That means it is actually harder to crack than most NPC Battleships, since it can basically bring all its 4 shield arcs to bear, regardless of how clever you maneuver (or how badly it itself maneuvers, and it isn't verygood about it). If you're not a Science Officer with Subnucleonic Beam, you can't do anything about that really, other maybe retreat for the time its Tactical Team is up. You shouldn't need to do that, though.

Warbirds have two other skills that can be nasty - Viral Matrix and Photonic Shockwave.
Viral Matrix disables subsystems (weapons, engines and auxillary). None of that is good to lose, weapons means you can't kill it, engines means you can't maneuver in the righ tpsition and lose your movement defense, and auxillary means several of your heals may not work anymore. You can try to counter with Engineering Team or the appropriate Emergency Power, but in anEscort, you rarely have the BO slots for those. So your best guess here is to ensure that you are always in a good firing position, e.g. don't get to close.
Photonic Shockwave will stun you and deal hull damage. The stun means you cannot activate any abilities or fire weapons for the duration. It has only a 3 km radius, though, so you can stay out of range of that.
Ensign
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 4
# 3
07-09-2012, 07:41 AM
Escorts are fine in PvE -- I'm playing through the missions on Elite now and only occasionally have problems.

You need much higher shield power -- maybe 60 or 65.

I would go for another cannon skill too. As for gear, the difference between phasor and anitproton weapons is incredibly small and not worth the extra cost, unless you are doing STFs and can get them that way.

With most enemies, I close to about 9 KM and back up, facing my enemy, and open fire with max DPS (cannon rapid fire, attack pattern alpha, emergency power to weapons, tactical team, and that debuff thingy). Another tactical team and cannon skill when the first ones go down, and the enemy is usually pretty much dead.

The advantage of keeping your distance and making them come to you is that you get most of your shots on their front shield. Tactical team keeps your front shield fine, and you get to fire the entire time for max DPS.

On bosses and other special ships you can do a hit and run, where you close to 9 km, fire for 10 seconds, and then evasive maneuvers to get away before you die. Rinse and repeat.

Specifically on the Romulan missions, you need to keep your distance from the Mogwais. Their heavy plasma torps will tear you up.

Also, the Mogwais will open with Attack Pattern Alpha and some other buffs. I find it's best to pull them (and have them buff up), and then stay out of range while their buffs expire.

Hope this helps.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 146
# 4
07-09-2012, 07:55 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by wrightinents View Post
  1. HOW is an escort supposed to be played?
  2. Hit and Run?
  3. Get in range and stand still like kind of a weapon plattform?
  4. Always try to get in the back of the opponent? (if yes, how do I avoid getting outmaneuvered by other ships if I am to far away, or getting instantly killed by one shot projectiles I can't evade in close range?)
  5. Keep flying around the opponent in close range (kind of like an annoying fly, but I won't get much frontal uptime that way)?
  6. Do I just pop all my offensive Abilites and use as much of them as I can at the same time?, or rather chain them one after another?
  7. Do I use my defensive abilities reactivly?, or try to keep em up as much and as long as I can?
  8. Why is it I seem to be doing so little damage to the larger romulan ships? (What I do is just acticate everything I have as soon as I am in 10km range and start firing like crazy - are my weapons too bad?, shouldn't I be using all abilites at the same time?, Is my choice of BOs or ships skills not good enough?)
1. In PvP you need to worry about flying around, getting behind opponents, staying mobile, etc. In PvE, thats typically a waste of time. You sit in front, less than 5 km away if possible, and act as a weapons platform. Reposition as necessary, or to target a shield facing with more damage.

2. Uh, No.

3/4/5. See 1.

6. When you start using offensive abilities depends on what youre doing. Typically, you want to have as many of them ready as possible for the big important boss fights and pop them when you know you can get the most out of them (such as when the ISE tac cube has two shield facings down or donatra decloaks to fire her thalaron pulse the first time). For the rest of the match, you should try and chain them in such a fashion that they will be ready for the boss, and youre putting out as much damage as possible.

7. Again, it depends. If youre in a fleet escort, you want to use your two EPtS as often as possible. IE, chain them for 100% up-time. In other ships, use your defensive abilities in such a manner to take the most advantage of their benefits. Use resistances when you anticipate large amounts of incoming damage, straight heals after you been hit, tactical team when youre taking damage on a single facing but have strong shields on others, etc.

8. The romulan warbirds have very powerful shields for one. And two, there is a large energy weapon damage drop-off the farther away you are from the target, *especially* for cannons. Its best to get in closer before opening fire. As for their Heavy Plasma torpedoes, you can shoot those down. The AOE cannon and torpedo skills (Cannon Scatter Volley and Torpedo Spread) both can take the Heavy Torps down and still do damage to the main target.

As for flying a different ship, there are ways to make them work, such as a torpedo boat sci ship using Sci Boff powers to strip shields and torpedoes to pulverise the hull. Thats the only particular set up that comes to mind that is capable of equaling or surpassing a tac in escort. The typical tac in beam cruiser that is the bane of elite stf pugs everywhere is the bane of elite stf pugs everywhere for a reason. It basically sucks.

On a random note, so far, your skill choices are just fine. Even the points in Driver Coil. Just dont go to 9/9 Driver Coil, that is wasteful. A lot of people will tell you its a worthless skill, but it reduces the power drain of full impulse which is very handy when youre doing a lot of flying back and forth into and out of combat.

Another random note. Youre right, Quantum torpedoes are better than Photon for your typical tac-in-escort, but AP is not the end-all-be-all for energy choice. In fact, if you do not max out Targeting Systems and Energy Weapon Specialisation, Anti-proton might end up being worse than phasers. Moral is, pick a colour and sound that you enjoy seeing and listening to, and stick with it.
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 556
# 5
07-09-2012, 08:12 AM
in my Defiant Retrofit, I have a little bit more, but everything is scaled up, so the concepts are similar. I cycle 2 tac teams to keep up the buff to damage and the shield distribution.

I hate sacrificing forward firepower for a torpedo. I run a dual beam bank there (with 3 dhcs), and I reserve an aft slot for either a plasma torpedo or quantum mines. I'd rather lose a turret instead of a dhc.

I run shield batteries in a device slot for emergencies. I really only have 1 shield heal ability on my bridge officers (epts1). my sci slots are for polarize hull and tractor beam repulsors. now, tbr is maybe more of a stf thing for me, but I also use it to keep targets in my forward firepower cone. in any case, it illustrates how little I depend on straight shield powers since there aren't the slots for them in a Defiant.

(the only change I make for elite stf is to swap my cloaking device out for additional kinetic resists)

I mainly run a B'rel Retrofit. for me, when I switch to Starfleet to use my Defiant, I feel almost invincible.
Nessia (KDF Sci), IKS Aluminum Falcon (B'rel Retrofit)

Swimsuits: People will pay almost any price to let their characters show a little skin... any price except joining the KDF.

Last edited by catliketyping; 07-09-2012 at 08:16 AM.
Ensign
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 5
# 6
07-09-2012, 08:35 AM
Thank you all very much for your help and information so far.
It is amazing how you can learn a lot more and faster by getting answers from people who know what they are talking about and got experience then "trying to get it from wikis and such".
I will try to apply what I learned here and see how it goes.
Very informative. Thanks again.
Ensign
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 5
# 7
07-10-2012, 07:42 AM
Things seem to be working out rather fine again now - thanks again.
I would like to take this oppurtunity and ask a some more questions here on topics that I am a little confused about.

  1. I am a bit confused what tactical consoles I should use?
    I am supposed to take the type that boost all my weapons - so does this mean with 3 x [Phaser Dual Heavy Canons], 1 x [Photon Torpedo Launcher], and 2 x [Phaser Turrets] I take consoles that give me +% canon damage?, or +% phaser damage?
    Does the +% Phaser Damage even work on the canons and Turrets? I mean the tooltip does say it is phaser damage, but then on the other hand my canons are canons?
  2. I took canon "Torpedo: Spred" as a multi target damage ability. Is this an ok choice?, or should I rather take "Cannon: Scatter Volley"?

I found two abilites under the "available skills" section that I never trained any of my BOs in, and I am not sure why I have them, or what their acutal use would be?
  1. "Abandon Ship"
    The Wiki says "This ability cannot be trained"? http://www.stowiki.org/Ability:_Abandon_Ship
    So when am I supposed to use this? Why would I ever want to abandon my ship? And why do I have this?
  2. "Ramming Speed" http://www.stowiki.org/Ramming_Speed
    Pretty much the same as with the other skill. Why do I have this? Why should I ever want to use this?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 124
# 8
07-10-2012, 08:27 AM
The way i have mine set up is 3 consoles of the type of damage i want, so in my case Phaser, and 1 for the damage type of your torp, so again in my case, Quantum
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 20
# 9
07-10-2012, 08:34 AM
Abandon ship and ramming speed are abilities you automatically get as you level up.

http://www.stowiki.org/Player_ability

Ramming speed is often used as a "get the h#!! out of Dodge" button.

Abandon ship is for those times when you got nothing left and your about to die anyway.


~ I don't want the world... I just want your half!
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 114
# 10
07-10-2012, 08:39 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by wrightinents View Post
Things seem to be working out rather fine again now - thanks again.
I would like to take this oppurtunity and ask a some more questions here on topics that I am a little confused about.

  1. I am a bit confused what tactical consoles I should use?
    I am supposed to take the type that boost all my weapons - so does this mean with 3 x [Phaser Dual Heavy Canons], 1 x [Photon Torpedo Launcher], and 2 x [Phaser Turrets] I take consoles that give me +% canon damage?, or +% phaser damage?
    Does the +% Phaser Damage even work on the canons and Turrets? I mean the tooltip does say it is phaser damage, but then on the other hand my canons are canons?
  2. I took canon "Torpedo: Spred" as a multi target damage ability. Is this an ok choice?, or should I rather take "Cannon: Scatter Volley"?

I found two abilites under the "available skills" section that I never trained any of my BOs in, and I am not sure why I have them, or what their acutal use would be?
  1. "Abandon Ship"
    The Wiki says "This ability cannot be trained"? http://www.stowiki.org/Ability:_Abandon_Ship
    So when am I supposed to use this? Why would I ever want to abandon my ship? And why do I have this?
  2. "Ramming Speed" http://www.stowiki.org/Ramming_Speed
    Pretty much the same as with the other skill. Why do I have this? Why should I ever want to use this?

General cookie cutter stuff is to stack your energy consoles, e.g if you have 4 tac consoles, 4 phaser relays for maximum damage, though in pve having 1 torp console can be useful as npc shields take longer to regen than players.

As for your multi target skill, I use Cannon: Scatter Volleys for stfs in an escort for bursting down groups, but I'm often using Torp spread in the same build as its pretty good against single targets too.

You are right about abandon ship its pretty useless, as for ramming speed well the more you use it the better experience you'll have of knowing if you'll survive whilst using it. Its pretty fun though!

Edit: check my sig for ramming speed potential :p

Your Ramming Speed III deals 52098 (99235) Kinetic Damage(Critical) to Remus.

Last edited by captkirrahe; 07-10-2012 at 08:42 AM. Reason: spelling!
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