Working on different high level equipment and reviewing forums a lot of builds add a kinetic cutting beam rear mounted. From what I have read it could be useful but I am hoping to understand the mechanics of cutting beams and have questions.
1) The cutting beam does kinetic damage so it has very small effect against shielded targets?
2) The damage is listed on the wiki site as 378 kinetic damage. Does the damage go up with your ships weapon power level? Are there any skills/items that can buff the damage?
3) Also, how quickly does it fire .. for example beams fire off like 4 times in a five second window (or there abouts), so does the cutting beam fire multiple times on each activation? Does it have long recharge?
4) When I have gotten hit by cubes with what I think are cutting beams, I believe they are colored red?
If there are any other tricks or useful information on the cutting beams please share.
1). Yes, it does heavily reduced shield damage, but it is the strongest 360-degree weapon against hulls.
2). Power yes, basic weapon skills, but consoles don't increase it's damage, and beam skills (overload, subsystem targeting, fire at will) don't apply to it.
3). Haven't really watched how many pulses per cycle, but it's firing cycle is the same duration as other beams.
4). Yes, it's red, similar to antiproton weapons. It also spins in a tight spiral (just like the beam in Q Who). It's graphic does drop out at lower graphical settings when other weapons don't, so it's possible you won't see it if your settings are too low.
Other tricks: When used on a target at the same time as the assimilated tractor beam, it does more damage (this buff was turned down when the base damage was increased a while back, but it's not completely gone).