STO Forum member since before February 2010.
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I actually avoid success entirely. It doesn't get me what I want, and the consequences for failure are slim. -- markhawman
For cheap EC I would try the Mirror Star Cruiser and see if you like the concept. You can get one for a few hundred thousand EC.
For Zen the Regent or the Excelsior are great.
For Insane EC there is the Galor.
ADDENDUM: Remember that active duty doffs are very important if you are going to try this. The Conn Officer that reduces Tactical Team cool down is very useful, as is the Technician who reduces all cool downs when Aux to Batt is used. Tactical Initiative is also very powerful on these ships.
Originally Posted by atreidesscion
Did you mean to recommend the Mirror Assault Cruiser, instead?
If I'm not totally off my rocker, that's the one that looks like the regular Star Cruiser, but has the Assault Cruiser-like stats, yes?
Just by checking the wiki it seems like the Mirror Assault Cruiser will be the way to go for a "trial Cruiser.". If what I'm reading is correct, the Mirror Assault Cruiser performs exactly like the normal Assault Cruiser but has 200 more crew, while the Mirror Star Cruiser performs exactly like a normal Star Cruiser but has 200 less crew.
Odd but ok.
Or is there something I didn't notice about the Mirror Star Cruiser that makes it a better choice over the Mirror Assault Cruiser?
Single cannon excelsior is a beast of a cruiser. Wont have as high a spike DPS as you can get on klingon cruisers but you can keep those cannons on anything in the game if you fly the ship creatively enough. And that will give you the ability to wear through all but the most dedicated fleet tank cruisers. It can also take far more punishment that any escort ever will.
Also you have the enjoyment of slagging top of the line warships with a 230 year old cruiser.
Last edited by hroothvitnir; 09-17-2012 at 02:36 PM.
The Assault Cruiser is a good "do everything" cruiser - it can introduce you to just about anything a cruiser can do. It's not "great" at anything but "good" at everything. There is a reason it's the most popular ship in general at end game, so far as I've seen. It's also probably the best tank short of going for a full-up tank support ship (Galaxy Retrofit, Star Cruiser, Odyssey Operations Cruiser), because the two Lt. Cmdr slots let you rotate Emergency Power to Shields 3 consistently.
The Regent is a good alternative to the Assault Cruiser. It is not an upgrade per se, more like a side-grade - it leans more tactically than the AC, exchanging some durability for some firepower. In my opinion it's a good trade-off and it slightly resembles the Odyssey class without the saucer section in terms of performance, albeit it's slower and has less shielding (though it does have more hull HP, if I recall correctly). The quantum torpedo it comes with is great, but I have had little luck with the Metreon Gas, and have dumped it in my bank in hopes of finding a better use for it some day. It also has the option of becoming even more firepower-oriented if you use the universal slot for a tactical BOff, though this comes at a hefty price in having no science abilities available at all; that said I think most captains assign a science officer to the universal slot.
The Excelsior is a ship that's good for agility. It's arguably very slightly more durable/support-y than the Regent, and has a bit more firepower than the Assault Cruiser (due to having a Lt. Cmdr tac slot), so it sits between them. However, it is noteworthy that the ensign engineering slot is of somewhat limited use, which limits how much more durable it actually is than the Regent. It also comes with transwarp drive, which is a neat bonus, although this has nothing to do with your ability to fight whatsoever. It is the most agile of the Federation end-game cruisers.
The Odyssey variants, though slow, do have the universal Ensign and Lt. Cmdr. If you're dying to get pure tactical capabilities, that's the most you can get on a Federation cruiser - 6 if you max it out, although on mine I use the Lt. Cmdr as tac and the Ensign as eng to give a continuous rotation of EPtW1. However, if you use the tactical version, don't expect the Aquarius to help you much.
The Operations Odyssey and its saucer separation IMO are the most valuable. The raw increase to maneuverability plus the increase to firepower and speed are very valuable and makes it actually a faster ship than just about any other cruiser Fed-side. Do note, however, that it is NOT an escort. Even in saucer sep mode, it is a cruiser - a good, fast cruiser, but a cruiser nonetheless.
The Science Odyssey also offers Sensor Analysis to boost damage over time, though it takes a steady lock of about a minute for its advantages to combine with the SA boost to overtake the presence of a third tactical console slot on the Tactical Odyssey. According to data I've gathered there isn't a huge difference in total DPS over a few different missions I ran, but personally I'm inclined to think that sensor analysis just plain isn't quite what it's cracked up to be, although it's definitely a decent power, especially for non-tac captains.
The Odyssey is a good bet overall, but you need to know at least two things before you use it:
1. It is the most bloated, slow cruiser Fed-side and probably at least the second slowest ship Fed-side. While you can use saucer separation to get away from this, saucer sep has some important limits, particularly the long cooldown (partially mitigated by the Ody set if you have it), and the fact that the itself saucer is neither smart nor particularly powerful. That said, the stardrive section is a dangerous and maneuverable ship with or without the saucer.
2. The Ody really shines when you get the Odyssey pack and equip the consoles on one of them - although the set bonuses, while full of goodies and some stat boosts, end up eating several console slots, somewhat limiting your options there. However, it is indisputably highly versatile.
The Galaxy-X Dreadnaught is a controversial ship if there ever was one. In terms of general handling characteristics and BOff assignments, it handles like a Galaxy, but has the BOff assignments of an Assault Cruiser. As such it's a bit slower and more bloated. It also has slightly more hull HP (something like 2%). The Gal-X's abilities are rather unique, though - it can cloak (only Defiant derivatives can cloak other than this ship, in the Fed fleet). The Lance is, if used correctly, devastating (and underwhelming if not), but has a long cooldown. It can also equip cannons, but these are of somewhat limited use, especially when considering both the limited tac slots (Assault Cruiser layout, remember) combined with the slow turn rate, meaning that the whole dual cannon/dual heavy cannon feature is rarely used in practice. It also has an important limitation - unless you want to gimp either your regular firepower or your lance you MUST use phasers, otherwise you can't take advantage of the boost of phaser relays. This is not negotiable; it's part of the ship design. In general, as I understand it, the Gal-X is considered a specialist ship, and although I don't have one, I have to agree; generally it seems that the best commanders are experienced, and may even spec the entire character just for this ship. Not sure I'd recommend this for a beginner.
So, you have eight choices, in effect.
* Assault Cruiser (standard)
* Mirror Assault Cruiser
* Assault Cruiser Refit (Regent)
* Advanced Heavy Cruiser Retrofit (Excelsior, AKA Excelsior-R)
* Odyssey Tactical
* Odyssey Ops
* Odyssey Science
* Odyssey Three-Pack
* Galaxy-X Dreadnaught
You can also pick up lockbox ships if you're keen on dumping tons of EC at the problem and don't mind using an out-of-theme ship, but I'm not going to get into those.
If it were me, I would start by picking up the Assault Cruiser or Mirror Assault Cruiser. Then if I liked what I got, I'd get either the Regent, Excelsior-R, or the Odyssey three-pack.
The crew compliment affects repair rate. That's about it. I would also agree with an earlier post. If you're a tac captain, just stay away from cruisers. Leave them to the nerds (sci captains) and the gearheads (engi captains). Stick with your running and gunning and you'll be good to go.
IF YOU MUST USE A CRUISER, read the above wall of text very well, since I say it's a great source of info (I am an engi who flies cruisers, and I agree with pretty much everything listed above, and that which I don't agree with is opinion only, not facts). All his facts and tips are pretty much good ones, even though I would recommend against using a dread. But that's personal opinion.
It is said the best weapon is one that is never fired. I disagree. The best weapon is one you only have to fire... once.
The percentage of your crew compliment affects repair rate. Actual number of crew is irrelevant. 1000 out of 1000 crew members will repair their ship at the same rate as a ship with a crew of 50 out of 50, no?
I would go with my Posters before. i was a long time Cruiser Captain, until a Fleetie made me a snob. Get the mirror cruiser off the exchange. Try a dragon build and see if you like it. If you do. I might think of the Odd tac. Not the 3 pack.
but for a few 100 k you can test it and see if you like it.