Lt. Commander
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 146
# 1 Building a PvE Tank
08-01-2012, 08:52 AM
First thing to note is, in this game, tanks really are not necessary.

Secondly, sometimes its flat out impossible to tank.

Third, despite one and two, tanking can be quite fun.

If you're still interested, then keep reading.


Part 1: Character Creation

Step 1: Class


Although Tactical (and to some extent science) bring abilities that increase your ability to hold threat there will be times when you need the extra toughness that an engineer brings, especially the Miracle Worker panic button.

Step 2: Race and Traits

Race: Alien

Traits: Accurate, Elusive, Efficient Captain, Warp Theorist.

By far the best race is Alien (Alien will come out on top for anything because it lets your choose all your traits). As for the traits themselves, you will obviously want four space traits. Techie may seem like an obvious choice but hull tanking is impossible. Your survival and ability to do your job depends on keeping your shields up.

Part 2: The Skills

This is probably the most crucial portion, and the longest.

Like it says in the URL, I consider that a basic tanking build. As I mentioned way back at the very beginning, sometimes you are just not going to be able to hold aggro. To make those times as infrequent as possible, your skill choices have to be more about maximizing offensive power while accommodating defensive strength than making a flying brick wall.

A flying brick wall is nice. But if the enemies arent attacking you, you're not an actual tank, you're just a chump in a ship. The goal ends up being to do as much damage as possible while still being able to survive anything the game throws at you.

So then why pure energy? If offensive power is so important, why not include torpedoes? Mainly, for ease of use. As I will cover later (and as is ridiculously obvious) you're going to be flying a cruiser. Cruiser's tend not to have very good turn rates to take full use of a torpedo's limited fire arc. You also have a very limited number of tactical Boff slots (Either two, or three) and at least two (if not three) skills that absolutely *must* go in them. Same thing with tactical consoles as well, either two or three and no real room to fit in torpedoes. (KDF characters have a few ways around most of this).

That being said, there are 15k points unspent in space skills which could very easily go into improving torpedoes, if you so chose.

As for the 285k, here is my reasoning behind their allocation:
  • Maxing out offensive power I have already covered. Threat Control is basically required at 9. However, I could see dropping the last three points of Energy Weapon Specialization and picking up 6 points or so of Starship Projectile Weapons.
  • Hull Repair, Structural Integrity, Shield Emitters, and Shield Systems are all no brainers.
  • Warp Core Efficiency and Potential go into improving all of your power levels. More than most other build strategies, tanks get a lot of benefit from running their various subsystem powers as high as they can.
  • Electroplasma Systems is maxed because it directly boosts the power gain from two of your most important boff skills, Emergency Power to Shields and Weapons.
  • Hull Plating, Armour Reinforcements, and Shield and Weapon Performance I left at 6 due to the diminishing returns those skills suffer under. Both of the Subsystem Performance skills only get 1 more point of system power for the last three points in the skill. For the damage resistance skills, it has to do with how that resistance figures into the diminishing returns that already exist for resistances. Instead of applying a flat percent of damage resistance, it applies a resistance value similar to what you get from consoles and ends up being subject to the same DR as the consoles. When you figure into the resistance Boff powers that you will be spamming (which figure into the DR as well) the benefit you can see from the last three points in either Hull Plating or Armour Reinforcements is minimal in the extreme.
  • Power Insulators and Inertial Dampeners are included to round out your ships defenses. Being durable under fire is nice, being able to shrug off or ignore a wide variety of science abilities (which NPCs are spamming these days) is very useful indeed.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 146
# 2
08-01-2012, 08:55 AM
Part 3: The Ship

Get thee a Cruiser/Battlecruiser.

Part 4: The Boffs

Saurian or Lethean Boffs with the Efficient trait are the ideal. Each one increases Warp Core Efficiency by 7.5. 5 Efficient Bridge officers, a maxed out Warp Core Efficiency Skill, and the Efficient Captain trait on your character will net you a 159 in the skill, giving you quite a power boost.

Engineering Powers:
  • The main requirement is having two Emergency Power to Shields 3 and two Emergency Power to Weapons 1. EPtS and EPtW will trigger 15 second cool downs on each other which allows you to use one Emergency Power skill every 15 seconds and get close to 100% up-time on their buffs and keep both systems at 125 power.
  • After that, most cruisers have three other boff slots for engineering, two Lieutenants and the Commander. Reverse Shield Polarity 1 and Extend Shields 1 fit nicely into the Lt slots (RSP as another emergency button, Extend for when [not if] someone jerks threat off you). Aux to SIF 3 is hard to beat in the Commander position, hull healing and very good resistance to all damage with 66% up-time.

Science Powers:
  • Hazard Emitters is a requirement to clear Plasma DoT abilities and other debuffs. You must have at least 1 copy of this; ensign will do. If you only have the 1 LT Sci officer slot, Transfer Shield Strength 2 is a good choice for the LT slot. It acts as a second Rotate Shield Frequency, weaker, but you can use it more often.

Tactical Powers:
  • Tactical team is an absolute requirement. Its defensive power is amazing and will keep you alive through some rather ridiculous things simply by moving your shields around. You basically need either two copies of this skill --OR-- enough Conn Officer Doffs reducing its cool down to let you use it every 15 seconds (One Very Rare and one Rare will do).
  • After that, things get somewhat hazy. You must have some sort of multi-target energy weapon attack, either Beam: Fire at Will or Cannon: Scatter Volley. BFAW will be more useful and conducive towards getting and holding threat. It does not have target number limitations or positioning requirements. Plus it is generally easier to keep things in a beam weapon broadside fire arc than having to spend your entire time backing up or being forced to turn when some stupid sphere EPtE's right past you to shoot you in the hiney.
  • If you decided to incorporate torpedoes into your skill build, you will need at least one Torpedo Spread skill.

Somethings to note:

With the Reinforcements doff pack, there came Beam and Cannon skill CD reducers (search for Energy Weapons Officers). For your typical cruiser that does not have higher than a LT tactical slot and can only therefore slot 1 single cannon skill, this is quite a boon and can greatly increase your threat generation. This can also help with slotting a torpedo spread skill without losing too much in the exchange (for example, with an Assault Cruiser/Vor'cha that can slot two BFAWs and a Tac Team).

However, with so much already on your plate as a tank, deliberately introducing another element of random chance into your basic ability to do your 'job' just seems disadvantageous to me. Remember it is only a chance to reduce the CD, not a guarantee.

Last edited by drasketo; 08-01-2012 at 10:35 AM.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 146
# 3
08-01-2012, 08:56 AM
Part 5: The Doffs

I already touched on Doffs in the previous section but this deserves its own discussion.
  • Conn Officers that reduce the CD of Tactical team I already mentioned and are very useful. You only need One Very Rare and one Rare doff ( a purple and a blue) to bring the CD down to 15 seconds.
  • Energy Weapons Officers I mentioned as well.
  • Warp Core Engineers are a very good, very solid choice. Very Rare versions have a 20% chance when activating an Emergency Power to Subsystem to boost all power levels by 25. Since you will be using EPtX every 15 seconds, you will get a lot of mileage out of one of these.
  • Hazard Systems Officers add a boost to damage resistance to Brace for Impact (a skill you will be using often) and Ramming Speed (not so often) that can come in very handy.
  • Shield Distribution Officers can add shield regeneration to Brace for Impact, a sort of miniature Reverse Shield Polarity.
  • Normal Evasive Maneuvers CD reducing Conn Officers can also be useful to help position your ship better or get out of the way of certain things, but they would be something I slot only if I had nothing better.

There is a trick you can do with Technicians and Aux to Battery that I know at least one person really loves (Carmenara is the spelling I think, or was prior to the PWE forum change over). I have tried it out myself, and I dont really like it. It is very good for dealing out damage with a cruiser (19 second CD on CRF/CSV), but it doesn't incorporate the right amount of defense to really handle say, 7 spheres at once shooting at you from different angles. If she(?) comes across this and wants to add in the plan for using that set up, Ill let her do it.

Part 6: The Gear

This section is very straight forward.

If you're doing BFAW, which I recommend, especially for Feds, 8 beams.

If you're doing CSV, Cannons forward, turrets rear. As maneuverable as the Vor'cha is, I can see you getting away with Dual Cannons. Most Fed ships will have to use Single Cannons (even though I don't think its very optimal, its still fun and looks rather nice if you rotate your ship off to the side a little. Head on, everything spews out of a single point, which looks retarded).

If you incorporate a torpedo .... >.>

As far as Deflector, Engines and Shields:

Using Borg Deflector, Engines, and Console and a Maco/KHG shield are popular for a reason. The healing the borg set bonuses give is big.

As for using other set pieces, it all comes down to what you are comfortable with using and having. Maco Deflector and Shields with the Borg Engines and Console is common. KHG Shields and Engines or Shields and Deflector with attendant Borg pieces can also work (especially if you are using torpedoes, the 25% torpedo damage boost is quite something). If you feel you dont need any of the borg set regen and want to slot full MACO or KHG, go for it. It that case, it is still definitely worth using the Borg Console for the weapon power and critical hit and damage increase.

As for consoles:

  • Neutronium Alloy is your bestest friend, ever. Slot three of these and you will be ready to take on anything. Using specialized Consoles (Monotanium, Electroceramic, etc) will net you slightly higher resistances, but only against the damage types they specify. Plus, remember the diminishing returns.
  • I like to put an EPS Flow Regulator as my fourth Eng console. Other people stick the Assimilated Module here, or other universal consoles.

  • The prevailing opinion is to slot as many Field Generators as you have Science console slots, but really, you don't need any. Most of the time, I use one, at the very most and slot the assimilated console in the other sci slot.
  • Flying a Star Cruiser set up, a Biofunction Monitor or Shield Emitter Console would be a good third choice if you are not a Field Gen Fanboy.

  • Pick an energy type. Make sure all your weapons are that energy type. Get tactical consoles to match.
  • Sure, its technically true that 'Rainbow' ships are not as bad as most people think, but tanking is about min/maxing. You don't have any leeway on the aggro tables to go messing around sub-par weapon damage set ups.

And lastly, Devices:

A definite must-have is the Subspace Field modulator from the Skirmish Mission. You wont need to use it very often, but its very useful for those times when you need to buy a little extra time to get something else off cool down or know you are about to be kicked in the teeth and cant move out of the way.

After that, its whatever you feel you can get the most use out of. I would avoid the Scorpion Fighters and placeable satellite turrets, they aren't too impressive.

I use the Red Matter Capacitor (which you get from having the collectors edition, go look it up on Amazon, you can still get it), Aux batteries and Engine batteries. Dueterium Surplus Canisters would be another good choice. Aux batteries are particularly good for when you use the Call Reinforcements cool down, the higher your Aux power level when you punch that button, the better the ships you call will be. Engine batteries are for use with Evasive Maneuvers, 125 Engine power plus an Evasive will take you quite far.


So, that is pretty much it.

The plan is to reserve a couple of posts in case there are other things I haven't thought of that need to be put in here or whatever else.

Last edited by drasketo; 08-01-2012 at 10:32 AM.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 146
# 4
08-01-2012, 09:00 AM
reserved but one has to have at least 10 characters to post ... huzzah.
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 4
# 5
06-10-2013, 10:28 PM
is this build still viable as a tank build? I'm lvling a Rom Eng atm and going for a tank build.. This is the only build that I have found... Does this still work and are there other builds thats worth looking at..
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 4,365
# 6
06-11-2013, 12:01 AM
Eh, not going through the OP's wall of text line by line at this point, but a lot of stuff has changed since it was originally written last August. A new race, the reputation system and all its gear, new traits, a number of skill changes, the changes to Emergency powers, new doffs, and so on. The principles of 'be a shield brick, enough healing to stay alive, and enough DPS to pull aggro' are still sound, but a lot of both the details of how to make that and what your enemies are capable of doing in response, has changed since then.

Also since its your first post people will give you a break, but generally you're not supposed to resurrect a thread after its been idle for more than 30 days, let alone 10 months. Its just considered bad manners (not sure why, but it is). Lesson for the future.

If you need assistance with your build, post your build (including officer layout) in the appropriate faction's shipyard subforum. People will throw a dozen ideas at you, usually contradicting each other and costing way too much to build, but where they agree will be worth stealing.

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:13 PM.