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I'm a self-confessed ship junkie. I love getting all of the ships and farm like mad to get them. (I'm getting help regarding this problem. I'm in a 12 step plan.)
Anyway, I managed to get the new Dominion ships. After fitting them, playing them, tweaking them I thought I'd like to share my thoughts with the community and see whether anyone else agrees with my view.
Jem'Hadar Heavy Escort Carrier
First impression - Looks AWESOME. Wasn't sure about an escort where you choose between to two tac teams or improved survivability. It's impossible to not compare it to the Fleet HEC. The Fleet HEC has more maneuverability, a more balanced console layout, one less device and less crew. In its favour, it has a tactical BOff layout that provides more flexbility for different strategies.
I tried a fit-out with cannons and utililising two tac teams by assigning a tac officer to the universal station but found myself getting fried too often. Not very satisfying!! Decided to put a sci in the universal slot but didn't like the thought of only having one tac team or having two tac team DOffs, so I went with a DEM beam boat with Torp Spread 3 and chronitons.
Using this build I've found that (using a parser) that it doesn't do quite as much damage as the Fleet HEC, but it has a much higher survivability and the Chrono spread gives it an element of crowd control. Useful for slowing those three Negh'Vars that head for the Kang when you blow the second last cube.
Final Impression - Not a 'pure' escort. Feels like a hybrid. When used like a hybrid it really shines.
Jem'Hadar Dreadnought Carrier
First impression - OMG. No other way to say it.
It has the weakest Fed carrier shield rating but the highest hull. That being said, who hull-tanks? This is a clear indicator that all non tactical abilities need to favour shield healing as you're not going to make a quick getaway with this ship. Even if it has the highest carrier turn rate. Like the Tholian Recluse, the Dreadnought can utilise Attack Pattern Beta 3. I've found this ability, along with two conn DOffs, is essential for carriers as it turns annoying carrier pet damage to deadly carrier pet damage.
I'm fortunate enough to be able to load JHAS carrier pets on this behemoth. The difference between them and other purple carrier pets is astounding. According to my parser records, their quantum torps do more damage than any of my other damage types. Considering that out of 15 or so STFs with me not being the highest damage dealer only twice, that's a LOT of damage. I've also found that only having 4 pets at one time to be advantageous. It's easy to track when one is destroyed and needs to be replaced. When you have 12 pets out there it can be hard to decide when to send another wing out, taking in to consideration the damage lost as they make their way to the target. Watching the JHAS kamikaze when they're almost destroyed is awesome, too. It doesn't do that much damage but it's a nice visual indicator to send out another!!
Final Impression - This is a MUST have ship. If you can load JHAS pets on it you'll notice your damage output go through the roof.
Anyway, these are my opinions. Has anyone else had time to play with these? If so, what are your thoughts? Please keep it constructive!!
ENG consoles - 2 x Neutronium, 1 x Dominion Command Interface, 1 x Dominion Coordination Protocol
SCI consoles - 2 x Field Generator
TAC consoles - 4 x Polaron Phase Generator
Carrier Pets - 2 x Advanced Jem'Hadar Attack Ship
To be honest, I'd go 3 points to your resistances and 3 to threat generation in the skill tree, and use APD instead. APD will debuff everything shooting at you, but you also get a buff to your own resistance. Stacking resistances and having sif generators so your hull heals can fill out that big health pool may be helpful as well.
Quick question. You say the drednaught has the weakest shield rating and highest hull for carriers. Just looking at the wiki, it looks like it actaully has the second highest, 6,610, right behind the Tholian. Atrox is at 6,270. But you're right, it says that the Atrox has a 1.2 mod, and the Dreadnaught has 1.15. So I guess there is a typo, but where?
Other than that, yeah, looks like I'm going to grind for this, and a bug since it won't be complete without that.
I was thinking about APD very seriously but chose APB because with two conn officers you can have APB on for 15 seconds (the standard 10 plus the 5 seconds after your last attack whilst it was active) and then 5 seconds without before it's ready to use again. This gives you APB for 3 seconds out of every 4 in the game. From memory 3 conn officers won't give you that sort of coverage with APD.
This is only my opinion but the JHAS really hit hard. They've also got great survivability.
That being said, I can't remember which of the two gives better enemy debuffs. Is it APB or APD?
My main is a tac. I really want to love this ship, but I find it squishy compared to the other big ships, mainly due to the lack of engineering and science boff stations. I have an engineer buddy who can tank in this for days for obvious reasons. I'm curious how you find the survivability of it so far?
Commanding Officer of Task Force Midnight
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