I am A TAC captian who Flys Fleet Defiant, Fleet MVAE, and a JEM Bug. The Bug being my go to ship. And I do very, very well in PVE and in PVP if a have a even somewhat good PUG group with me. Here is my Build and training spec:
As you can see, WEP, SHIELDS, and HULL are full up and with other passives and DOFF anf BOFF skills my cannons and beam do very well. But I want to play in a Cruiser for a change. So I went and got the Fleet Excelsior.
I put TT1/FAW2/BO3 for the TAC skills and E-power to shields 1, RSP 1, E-power to shields 3, Aux to structural 3
I Put 4 XII Polorized Diruptor beam arrays in the back and 3 XII Polorized Dual beam arrays and 1 Fleet XII Quantum in the front.
TAC consoles: 3 XII purple Disruptor tac consoles and 1 XII purple Zero point chamber,
Eng Consoles: 1 EPS XII purple, 2 Neutronium XII purple and 1 Monotonium XII purple.
SCI Consoles: 1 XII purple Field Gen, 1 Borg Console.
And I cant kill jack. I know I am spoiled in the Bug being able to kill thing in a few seconds but this boat took like a full min just to get a Gen to %10 in infected Elite. What is wrong here It's just not dishing out and damage. Sure I can take some shots and Tank a little but what fun is that I like to be able to dish out some damage, Are curisers just made for ENg captians? Do I need to respec for Torp skill and become a Torpedo boat? Some advice would be wonderful.
Go back to the escort, trust me. I've tried to get the most DPS out of a cruiser as possible and while I've been somewhat successful, it's still not as good as you'll get from an escort. On top of which, it actually makes your cruiser more squishy as you give up engineering powers to improve damage. Arguably more squishy then an escort, since an escort atleast has access to attack pattern omega.
However if you really must fly a cruiser with the intent to do damage, then I'll try and help.
The absolute best damage dealing build for a cruiser (specifically Excelsior and Regent) is the following:-
Fore: 4x cannons (preferably disruptor with DMG mods, since CrtD and CrtH won't make much of a difference considering the crit isn't much)
Aft: 4x turrets
Engineering consoles: RCS or Borg console, RCS, 2x neutronium alloy
Science consoles: 2x field generator
Tactical consoles: all energy type specific consoles
Lt Cmdr tactical: tactical team 1, cannon rapid fire 1, cannon rapid fire 2
Cmdr engineering: Emergency power to shields 1, reverse shield polarity 1, directed energy modulation 2, directed energy modulation 3
Lt engineering: Emergency power to weapons 1, emergency power to shields 2
Ens engineering: Emergency power to weapons 1
Lt Science: Hazard Emitters 1, transfer shield strength 2
That will all amount to impressive firepower for a fed cruiser (I say fed, since KDF cruisers can mount dual heavy cannons), but it'll still be poor compared to an escort. Certainly don't bother flying it in PvP, as you'll be a liability and will only take down unprepared escorts.
In the end cryptic has decided fed cruisers are heal boats and while you can push at the boundries, that's what they'll always be best as.
That build you suggested is alot like what I have on my SCi toon in a fleet nova. 3 single cannons in the front and 3 turrets in the back. Pretty spunky little ship with VM3 and Jam and scramble sensors and Energy syphon on it. I have the Gal Dreadnought also and I run all cannons and turrets beacuse of the turn rate its the only way to hit anything with it but that ship is horrible due to the BO layout. I guess a TAC in a Crusier is not the best for me due to how im skilled. I tried it in KA and was having problems killing probes for Gods sake. My power transfer and structural intrgerty and other Eng skills are not that high so im not that effective in a Tank/Heal role either. . I guess Ill make a Eng toon. It takes me about 2 weeks to get one to level 50 and spec it for high Eng skills and it will just cost 1 Fleet module for the Excelsor and just use it to Tank/Heal with.
I am currently a tac officer using the regent (Assault cruiser refit for those who don't know) now I admit I will never do as much damage as an escort with someone who knows how to use it, but I love cruisers so I thought, "hey, why not have the survival of a cruiser and the damage of a tac." and I have had a ton of fun with it and nearly made a post thanking cryptic for the fleet assualt cruiser refit which I can't wait to get my hands on. (never had as much fun in an escort as I have in a crusier)
So try this (meant for stfs only, not 1v1 so don't try to challenge me or say your escort/cruiser could kill me).
The parenthesis will be reasons why and/or tips/possible replacements.
I have all the tac skills except threat generation and stealth at full points which is how I maintain high damage and crit chance with all weapons (about every 4th hit is a crit for me), I also put all healing skills at full and hull/shield hit point increase skills at full, starship manuevers at full (to effectively turn to launch the cluster torp and trico when I use it) power level increase skill (the flat bonus one), and 6 points in particle generators for the aceton beam. (I might have forgot some but those are the most important)
With all tac buffs going I get about 1200 dmg per beam and 8000 dmg per torp hit (without any buffs its about 700 per hit, but I always have a few buffs that keep me at 900 per beam) my crits hit for 1200 without buffs and with is about 1600-1800, and my torp crits are between 10k-12k depending on buffs and can get up to 15k.
All power to weapons of course.
3x Phaser beam array mk XII (the borg ones)
Wide angle quantum torp (to make full use of beams while still doing heavy torp hits)
2x Phaser beam array mk XII (also borg)
Kinetic cutting beam (used to have a trico torp and still switch once in a while but this hits for 800-1000 kinetic dmg and 1200 crits, considering that its x4 it totals up to avg 4k which is good for 360 degree weapon with 8 power drain)
Breen transphasic cluster torp (for heavy dmg, even when shields are up, drops about 20% hull from spheres in elite and up to 10% from cubes and on avg my 3 very rare torp doffs cut the recharge in half so its pretty effective)
Shield/deflector/engines: all Mk XII maco (since the borg + maco shield combo is useless now given that the console is no longer part of it, making it so u need to have all 3 parts to get both heal passives, and I will probably use adapted maco when I get it which has the stats of KHG gear)
Eng: point defense system (with all dmg buffs active it will take a cube down to 40% with other weapons firing, when I use it I can kill a cube in elite in about 20-30 sec and still have shields up and hull at full or about 95% if a torp hits me) | metreon gas (good for structures and cubes) | RCS (will be replaced with the romulan console when I get it for increased power levels and crit chance) | Neutrinium hull plating (don't think I spelled that right)
Sci: field generator | shield emitter (despite unpopular reputation, it gives an extra 23 shield regen, not % but straight regen and I plan to get the Superior Shield Regeneration ability at T4 omega rep for a total shield regen rate of 246, I may take it off at that point and replace it with a field gen leaving 223 shield regen)
Tac: Assimalated console (can't wait for that romulan console to boost even more crit chance) | Phaser relay | zero point quantum | I will put the romulan console on the 4th slot that comes with the fleet version, and replace the rcs or add more armor when I get it, or add another phaser relay (undecided atm)
All my consoles are currently Mk XI rare (blue)
Cmd eng: aceton beam 3 (might replace with boarding party 3 to shutdown enemies) | RSP 2 (for any emergancy) | emg power to shields 2 | emg power to weapons 1.
Lt eng: eng team 2 | emg power to engines (useful for getting around when combined with evasive)
Lt cmd tac: torp spread 3 (avg 4000 dmg x4 per target and double with crit hits which i have a high crit chance and should probably switch to AP beams) | Beam fire at will 2 | tac team 1
ensign tac: tac team 1 (by having 2 of these u can keep it going almost all the time to keep shields up and boost dmg)
Lt universal (sci): hazard emitters 2 (for plasma fires and just a good heal) | transfer shield strength 1 (amazing shield heal when combined with emg power to shields)
I've been seeing people use HE 1 and TSS 2 instead, but thats just useless, TSS 1 is still effective while HE 1 is terrible without a high aux power, which your power should be in weapons and shields.
With this setup I only die if I get hit by an invisible torp, gate, iso charge, any other 1 hit kill attack that can't be defended, or too much agro (by too much I mean A LOT, I can tank most anything you would have to deal with in an elite stf, hive excluded of course, don't think anyone can tank and kill more than 1 tac cube without hit and run tactics or something of the sort by themself, I can effectively tank a unimatrix ship with this though)
This is the best combo of offense/defense I have found so far for a tac officer cruiser and I have been experimenting with different setups for about 4 months (used the excelsior and tac oddy before the regent came out). A lot of people swear that the excelsior is the best for tac crusiers but I will never use it again after using the regent, and the fleet version of the assualt cruiser will only reinforce my opinion of that.
And to anyone who says tacs in cruisers are a waste that only hurts your team and that crusiers are not meant for offense (which I don't understand that when ships like the tac oddy if you give it a lt cmd tac, regent, and excelsior are obviously designed for offense); you are just narrow minded. Besides I have seen engineers in escorts rip apart some of the best tac escorts and not even lose shields. Yes, most cruisers are best as heal boats or tanks, but a few (mentioned above) are terrible heal boats, and are best served doing high sustained aoe damage since they can handle the agro better than an escort and a tac is best for it given that an engineer dosen't have the abilities of a tac that are essential for high damage.
Something I've been tinkering with lately thats maybe now max efficiency but I've been largely enjoying is a cruiser with 8 beam arrays, 2 aux2bat1 with 3 technicians (1 purple 2 blue), epts1, eptw1, and et1. With the aux2bat plus eptw1 plus weapons power at 100, my power levels stay above 90 even when running an 8-beam broadside. The EPTS1 isn't super-tanky but its reasonably durable. TT1, FAW2, and APO1 on the tac slots. That still leaves you the top two engineering slots for maybe EWP3 and Extend Shields 2 or if you want to play with DEM or something. Its never gonna out-damage an escort, and max tanking in an Excelsior is either dual EPTS2 or Aux2Bat and EPTS3 and wasting one of the ensign slots, but its a fun toy for a change of pace.
As others have said, you aren't doing anything very wrong, but simply are expecting things of a cruiser that aren't there. Cruisers are not built to kill things, but to survive the attacks coming in. They are designed to endure the enemy's fire while wearing them down with long-term firepower instead of quick burst damage. No cruiser will (or should) defeat an equal opponent quickly, especially in comparison to an Escort (that's the Escort's ballgame, after all).
A cruiser is best configured for maximum defense, fleet healing support, and holding an enemy's attention. Any other role, and you probably would be better served with an Escort or Science ship.
It's a little late to say you would have been better to have bought the regular Assault Cruiser to see how well a cruiser would have worked for you before burning 4 fleet modules, but that's neither here nor there. The Excelsior is a very good jack-of-all-trades ship and the best reaction ship in the game (able to get anywhere fast), so let's see what you can do.
First, fill up four of those Engineering consoles with modules that give resistance to the damage type you will encounter. If you don't know, or don't want to have to switch every time you go into combat, put four Nuetronium in there, as this will give your hull a very good resistance to all types of damage.
Second, use the three beam array/one torp configuration on both front and aft weapons. This minimizes your power drain while still keeping damage output up (torps drain considerably less energy). Select Tactical consoles that match the damage to the beams first, and torps second.
Third, set up your BOFFs with both shield and hull healing in mind. Remember that you are trying to build to survive, so keep this as your primary goal. Transfer Shield Strength, Engineering Team, Aux to Structure, and Tactical Team are some of the most important points here, and having an Extend Shields handy to help teammates and mission targets can be very useful. Don't leave homebase without Hazard Emitters, either, or you'll be eaten alive by DOTs.
As a Tactical captain, you'll be able to use more offensive abilities, so you'll want to drive the ship as a general-purpose unit in teams....able to take more damage than the Escorts, but not as much as the Engineer-commanded Cruisers. Turning in circles to bring new shields inline while also alternating between torpedo and beam broadsides. Make sure you have at least one Emergency Power to Weapons to keep weapons power levels up.
Ultimately, remember that cruisers are not quick killers but grindstones. You will be working to wear down the enemy, not pound it flat.
Hope this helps.
Last edited by danqueller; 12-03-2012 at 04:47 AM.