1. The skills that affect "Powers" like say, Starship Attack Patterns...do they also affect Bridge Officer skills, or just my own?
2. related to #1, would it be wise to invest skill points into these types of skills if I am not the Class for it? (i.e. investing into Starship Attack Patterns, as an Engineering Captain) Or is it more advisable to only spend my skill points in my Class's space skills and ignore the other two? (i.e. only investing points in Science Systems if I am a Science captain, and not investing any points at all in the Tactical or Engineering space trees)
3. Will I have enough points, once i get to max level, to max out all of the Ground Passives? or will i have to pick and choose to "create a build"?
4. speaking of...what all does a typical build in STO consist of? at a glance, This game seems to have a lot more customization in terms of combat abilities than a typical MMO, with space/ground, bridge officers, and the ships.
1. They skill points that affect "powers" make your abilities and bridge officer abilities better. You can go into the skill interface and at the top select a bridge officer and an ability and see what skills affect it.
2. It would be since they make your bridge officer abilities better. I would spend points in what you plan on making your bridge officer abilities be. There are some that just improve your ship stats such a ship shield systems etc etc. Those are pretty good points as well.
3. I would say the vast majority of people max out space at 300k skill points spent then whatever is left over for ground. Ground is not as popular as space. I have never tried to max out everything on ground before but I suspect you won't be able to. Just like you can't max out every skill in space.
4. As for builds there are quite a few different ones out there. It really depends on what type of science captain you want to be. healing/control/dps/hybrid. Of course some builds in practice are more effective then others.
1. was already covered, like he said just mouseover it you see what all is affected. Attack Pattern Alpha is a Tactical Captain only ability. Attack Pattern Beta however is a boff ability and of course the boff that is trained in APB can be used by any captain.
2. invest points in the skill if you plan on using boff abilities or consoles that benefit from that skill. As mentioned in number 1, a science captain will not get Atk Pattern Alpha. Same with any other boff ability...as an engineer or tac captain you can get a ship and a boff that will allow you to use gravity well. If you put points into Graviton Generators skill and Particle Generator skill your boff that has gravity well benefits from it.
The only thing you dont get is the ability for your captain to train. For example as a science captain if you train at least 6 ranks into Starship Graviton Generators then you captain will be able to train boffs on Gravity Well 3. However if you are a tactical or engineering captain and you train those same 6 points into Starship Graviton Generators you do not get to train Gravity Well 3. Mouse over and look at some of the skills and they will say: Science Captains who train at least 6 ranks or another might say Tactical Captains who train at least 6 ranks. Thats how you know if training ranks into that skill will allow your captain to train boff abilities.
And one last thing...dont limit yourself to only skills that relate to your class. You have to be self sufficient if you plan on pugging, you cant always depend on others to heal you. That means you are your own tank, your own healer and a dps. To improve your tanking you need to get some skill points in things like hull and shield hitpoints, or resistance ratings. There are also skill points that affect shield and hull healing abilities and of course skill points that affect dps. Plus if you plan on taking on a specialized role like CC which then you would have to invest some points into science to buff gravity well for example.
3. 100000 skill points is all you can spend in ground and that will not be enough to train every rank to max.
4. I would recommend checking out either the Fed, KDF, or Romulan shipyards subforum to ask for build advice. You can do it in here too just as long as you mention what your class is. It also helps if you mention what kind of ship you want to fly or what kind of role you want your class to fill.