Hello, Ive been playing STO for a year now. Ive done countless STFs and have gotten many STF sets from the old system. I strictly PvPed for half of the year until the reputation system came out, to which I started to do STFs again. I am writing this template guide to help people judge their own builds and improve their STF experience to die less, kill more and save time in their grind for gear. I wont go into the details behind the captain spec, but what you see is min-maxed. This guide is for Cure, Infected and Khitomer, but isnt a strategy guide to the missions. The Hive is a different ball game, more of a PvP kind of style boss battle.
First things first, in order to deal damage, you need to be alive. If you build your ship correctly you wont die to anything but the magical Invisitorps.
-To keep your shields up, make sure you are distributing your shields either manually or with Tactical Team.
-When you do find yourself under heavy fire, go to a max shield power setting to increase damage resistance.
-Cycle two copies of Emergency power to shields
-Use Hazard Emitters to clear Plasma burn
-By staying mobile, you have less chance of attacks hitting you.
-Use one or two Field Generators in your science console slots for increased capacity.
-Brace For Impact shield DOFFs will rebound your shields every minute. These are very useful.
-Keeping your hull alive couldnt be easier with the the 2-piece borg set. Get the deflector and engine with your choice of High capacity or Resilient shields. These are preferred because most heals are from abilities not regen.
-Dont forget batteries and the Subspace Field Modulator and Deuterium surplus. Those last two items are on a different cooldown from batteries, so you can stack them.
The DHC is the most powerful weapon in the game. Its damage comes in bursts, enough to knock down shield facings to let torpedoes through. In terms of Torpedoes, Quantums have the quickest flight time, and deal the most damage apart from Tricos.
While Photon torpedoes have a higher DPS, Quantums chain better with Torpedo Spread due to similar cooldowns. Quantums can also be buffed higher by abilities like Attack Pattern Omega and Tactical Team for bigger spike damage.
The escort build in the skill planner has a primary and secondary attack wave. Hit Scatter Volley III and Torpedo Spread III together. Wait for the shields to drop, then fire the torpedo spread. Because you have two sets, you can fire scatter-spread waves every 15 seconds. Gravity well is so powerful. Use it to keep targets with you arc and lower their defence rating. The best part is, when the weaker ships die, their warp core explosions will kill their buddies. Grav well is also useful for those PUGs that dont know what "10%" means. Gravity well is only accessible to a few ships. If you didnt get the free Breen ship, you can always buy the MVAM. The Breen ship can take more weapons and has a better BOFF layout.
I love science ships and I would like them to be more viable in game. High level science abilities are great in PvP, but just arent effective in PvE. You might say science vessels are there for crowd control. You really only need one ability for that. Why would I want to push ships away or hold them when I can just blow them up? Anything that a science ship can do, a cruiser or escort can do too.
There are builds that will get you through the STF fine, but you are only handicapping yourself. The Vesta is the only science ship I consider effective, and that is because it behaves like an escort. As you can see the Vesta build is similar to the Escort build. The basic idea is the same, but as a science ship, you can offer powerful heals. Using the Aux cannons means that you can deal damage and keep your science abilities and Scan strong.
-2x Aux DHC
-1x Quantum Torpedo
-2x Tricobalt mines
-1x Beam array for inherent subsystem targeting
Cruisers can output decent damage with 6 beams and Attack Pattern Beta. If you are an engineer, and have the Red Matter Capacitor, you can sustain more beams. Cycle your 4 Emergency Power abilities to sustain high shield and weapons power. Go FAW stuff, tagging targets with Attack Pattern Beta. Eject Warp Plasma for damage and holds. Use Extends to help your team mates out.
I chose the Excelsior because it is the most tactically oriented cruiser.
Weapons: Two popular choices are
1) 2 DBB and 6 Beam Arrays
2) 6 Beam arrays and mines or torpedos
3) If your build can handle more than 6 beams, dont be afraid to go higher.
Tactical: Damage buffs are straight forward, time your buffs to stack.
Engineer: Spec into threat control and try to get threat-scaling consoles from the Embassy to hold targets on you. Good for Cruisers
Science: Scans can help bring down large targets faster. Subnukes can clear Torpedo High Yield before the dreaded Invisitorp-of-doom hits.
Make your ships more durable, then you can deal damage.
Escorts are the optimal damage dealers, but flying escorts all the time can get boring.
Science Vessels and Cruisers can be effective too, just not as efficient at killing.
Most of all have fun playing the game. If there is one thing I forbid you to do is use a Rainbow Tac-Oddy. Theres death at the end of that rainbow.