Now, I just wanna say I hate starting these threads because I know that these questions have been asked many many times. BUT, as I was looking through the threads, I kept noticing some conflicting data and particularly that some of them are or may be out of date.
So let's get this thing rolling, and everyone get your Picard Face Palms ready.
My conclusion thus far is that I'm doing it wrong (that's out of the way now ;p). But I want to explain why and ask a few questions about why. In fact, one of the biggest things is the power levels system in game, because I'm starting to think that gaming the system to remain at max, or higher power is the best strategy.
To that end, I have placed a solitary Beam Array with my turrets in the rear. My THEORY (!) is that the extra power to my front weapons improves their damage more than the plinking damage off the turrets. I'm considering extending this theory to conserve all 24 energy to make sure my front guns are always at max power, BUT I thought it would be a good thing to check in here. I've been using this 1 Beam/2 Turrets setup for a bit now, and have noticed no REAL difference vs the 3 turrets I was using, which is important as well-any difference that is 10% or less, particularly in Cryptic's games (like say, CO), is something I'm just not going to notice.
Also I like beams. They feel Star Trekky. Why in the hell they chose coherent freakin' beams to arbitrarily be weaker weapons is just beyond me.
Secondly, torpedos in the front arc. I like the burst potential, I've heard that all guns is better. I've seen good arguments on both sides. Personal preference, or is there a clear winner? I'm leaning towards Torps > 1 More DHC because shoving 40k-80k worth of torps up somebodies exposed side outperforms another gun against smaller ships particularly every time, but possibly less so against 'boss' type vessels.
Next up, since I'm early into my VA career, the various item sets from the reputation. Any clear winners there? The MAKO set with its reduced draw on weapons sounds amazing, but I keep hearing about these Borg procs, which is directly what my last question is about.
What ARE the Borg procs, how does one get them, AND are they functional presently? I kept reading the borg weapon procs were...screwed up, except for torpedos. But that they're really good! What is going on!? I DON'T UNDERSTAAAAAANNNNDDDD!!!
Thanks everyone, I look forward to more of your excellent feedback.
I've actually been thinking about bringing my engine power under 50 lately and putting the savings into weapons. I notice I move a little faster than I would sometimes like, and all the rest of the time I have a couple GTFO buttons. Presently I'm using Borg engines for transwarp 20 good times, and I've heard that *generally*, engines are the 'dump' item as far as builds go.
I know some people that put a dual beam bank in the front in place of a cannon, but never in the rear. With the exception of the borg cutting beam any beams in the rear on an Escort is utterly useless. They are at their best when flying full speed head on towards the enemy doing strafing runs. If your beam is firing then your cannons are not, if your cannons are firing your beam is not. Either way your leaving quite a bit of DPS on the table. With a good build and if you utilize batteries, weapon power levels should never really be an issue.
I have a dark secret to confess: I HATE consumable, clicky items. HATE! So much hate.
Mostly because they take up yet another slot on a bar full of stuff I actually use on cooldown, or at any rate, frequently.
I'm actually running a dual beam in the front as well. I read I shouldn't (re: doin' it wrong), BUT there it is. I've been mostly convinced that is properly wrong though, so I might just fix it and focus on cannon abilities, even if I think little pew pew blasts are LAME compared to frikkin' laser beams. In the vernacular, as it were. On the flip side of that, my AoE DPS with Torp Spread, CSV, and BFAW is crazy enough to blow up many ships during the CD's, so it can't be all wrong.
But what about the Torpedo? Like I said, heard good arguments on both sides of that debate.
Torps are ok but you should plan to use the adapted maco set, to get a +25% damage to torps.
Beams on an escort isn't really a good idea. There are a lot of fans of a beam overload III with a dual beam bank instead of a torp but it's mostly for pvp, and even there I don't think it's that great. I enjoy myself a very traditional escort build on my tac: 3 DHCs + one torp front, 2 turrets + the kinetic cutting beam on the rear.
You should still use all of your available weapons. Your turrets will dps, with scatter volley or rapid fire, and you may compensate your lack of power to weapons with an emergency power to weapons 1 or a warp core engineer duty officer in your active roster. Moreover, DHCs and turrets don't have the same rate of fire, so your power levels will go up before your DHCs need to consume it when your turrets just fired. Most of the times.
Here is my very traditional PvE build (I use it in pvp too when i'm lazy, since most people suck at pvp anyway):
Krenn temporal destroyer (kdf):
2 x Mk XII phased tetryon dual heavy cannons [acc]x2
1 Mk XII phased tetryon dual cannon [acc]x2
1 Romulan plasma torpedo
1 kinetic cutting beam
2 x Mk XI phased tetryon turrets [acc]x2
tac: 4x Mk XII purple tetryon
eng: 1 Mk XII purple neutronium, 1 assimilated module (with a RCS in my inventory for specific situations)
sci: 1 Mk XII purple field generator, 1 aceton assimilator, 1 plasmonic leech, 1 triple cylinder (krenn destroyer/kdf specific for everything but the field gen.)
Commander tac: Tactical team 1, Canon rapid fire 1, Torpedo high yield 3, Attack pattern omega 3.
Lt tac: TT1, CRF 1
LtCmdr sci: hazard emitter 1 & 2, transfer shield strengh 3
Lt universal: emergency power to shields 1, reverse shield polarity 1
ensign eng: EPTS 1
Active duty officer roster:
3 purple projectile weapon officers, because i like the unending stream of romulan torps
1 purple warp core engineer
1 snb doff.
I also have an AOE boff layout for the no win scenario and cure space elite.
So basically you have my secrets now.
Jokes apart, there are some debatable elements in my build, even if it's very traditional:
- the dual cannon. I use it because it will help me saving some weapon power since the fire cycle is different from the DHC. And it was cheap.
- the torp HY 3 instead of another attack pattern or even instead of a CRF 2 And an attack pattern delta 1. My decision. I tend to use kinetic damage in pve since it's really an awesome source of dps as long as you can keep the NPCs shields down, which is fairly easy considering how weak they are. A torp skill also allow me to save weapon power, CRF 2 is very expensive and would force me to sacrifice my tanking for more power to weapons (eptw 1). Since i can keep the shields down, i choose dps AND tanking, because I like having the cake and eating it on my escort.