Lt. Commander
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 136
Well, we already have an Escort thread, but there still seems to be a large misconception about the status of cruisers as damage dealers in STFs. Aux to Battery has opened up reasonable to extreme dps options for cruisers, including hitting top tier DPS numbers while being much more forgiving to fly than Escorts at that level.

So, the basics. You've surely come to realize that a standard cruiser is light on dps and heavy on healing, which isn't really needed when you understand STFs and fly with like people. If you're someone still looking for the healer role, this is not the post for you. A2B spamming means constantly near empty aux, except for temp spikes with batteries or EPtA if you decide to slot. The overview of A2B is this: Near to max energy levels for weapons, shields, and engines, at the cost of your aux power. Throw in 3 very rare technician doffs, and you're effectively duplicating all those precious tac boff slots on your ship, which is a primary constraint of cruisers. For more details into the mechanics, this post covers it more elegantly than I ever could: http://sto-forum.perfectworld.com/sh...d.php?t=547581 (beware, it's the pvp forum. they may bite you)

So, the second key to good damage in a beam cruiser is keeping those weapon energy levels peaked as much as possible. A2B helps this in general by ramming energy from aux into weapons. EPtW can also help, and as a bonus will give a longer damage buff come LoR. But the two big items are: 2 piece Omega Adapted set proc, and Marion Frances Dulmur. The former is easy enough to grab, as it's available by tier 2 of the Omega rep. Marion is a bit expensive, lately around 15 mil EC on Fed side and 30+ on KDF, and could be considering a more pimping/finishing option. Both of these provide Weapon Power Resistance procs that will keep your energy almost at peak while your beams fire away.

Much of other general information in the Escort thread carriers over. Plasma is the current king due to the rommie plasma having the disruptor proc, and the embassy consoles coming with a + plasma damage tag. Regular disruptors and antiproton come after, and the rest can be ignored for now. Not that you can't still put up good numbers with any type, but the other procs will not be nearly the benefit that the 3 above are.

Also, while beams do have a greatly reduced damage falloff compared to dhcs, you still want to be broadsiding targets from as short a distance as possible to maximize damage. So saddle right on up to those cubes and fire away.

So, what you end up with in ideal cruisers (lt com tac slot) is the ability to maximize APB and FAW uptime, with greater range flexibility then escorts in regards to damage falloff, and fun extras like maximum availability for DEM and RSP.

Take a look at the ideal A2B cruiser layout on the Fed side, the Fleet Assault Cruiser.

3x Rommie Plasma Beams [CRTD]x2, 1x Experimental Rommie Beam
3x Rommie Plasma Beams [CRTD]x2, 1x Kinetic Cutting Beam

Maco/KHG/Fleet Elite shields
Romulan Engines
Omega/random +Targeting deflector

Devices to taste. Weapon, Aux and Engine Batteries are all nice

Eng: Tachyokinetic, Zero-Point, Assimiliated, 1 dealers choice. Fed lack a good toy console for extra damage, so you could even fit an armor console
Sci: 2x Romulan Embassy consoles w/ +PLA tag, +-th choice. I personally go shield emitters
Tac: 4x Plasma Infusers

BOs look like this:
Tac Ens (Rom Operative): TT1/whatever
Tac Lt Com (Rom Operative): TT1, FAW2, APB2
Eng Com: EPtS1, A2B1, RSP2, DEM3
Eng Lt: EPtW1/EPtA1, A2B1
Sci Lt: HE1/PH1, TSS2/HE2/PH2

Doffs:
3x VR Technician
1x Marion/Exocomp/Quatermaster
1x Dlyrene


So, we have a 100% offensively focused cruiser that still has the ability to pop a battery for a strong HE/TSS, along with the shortest downtime possible for RSP. You're constantly spamming FAW with APB2, tagging every target in sight to help your teammates out. You do suffer from a bit from damage waste in STFs on targets that aren't ready to be shot at yet, but as the team dps goes up, this actually becomes less of an issue.

Fleet Assault is of course a T5 shipyard requirement, but the Fleet Excel can fill in quite nicely. You lose a bit of damage due to one less Rom operative tac slot, but otherwise it's still quite competitive. The D'kora and Galor also have the ideal Com Eng/Lt Com tac layout and can be leveraged for this. And the 9 slot versions work as well of course, you're just not going to hit quite as high on the damage meter. Same with Lt tac only cruisers. You'll lose damage, but still be able to provide decent numbers to the team.

On the Klingon side, while they have the highest damage option in the 5 tac console Tactical Bortasqu and a lower damage but easier to handle Fleet Vor'Cha, their layout leaves them not as tanky. To fit 2x A2B, you look at either losing RSP, or DEM. The latter is going to causing a decent DPS drop (usually around 6-8% of my parse, even more if you were using Marion synergy), while the former can leave you squishy. that said, both can be babied through with careful piloting, and in extremely high dps groups won't ever really be at risk anyway.

As a Tac captain in one of these ships with mid to high end gear, you should be looking at the 10-15k damage range in an ISE parse with "minimal" piloting. This is easily the top end range of most escort pilots, and you aren't even having to fly nearly as carefully to extract it, while enjoying as good or better self tanking abilities thanks to the RSP get out of jail free card. Once you get used to the required power slides, etc, to put you in ideal range, 20k+ is quite achievable. I've seen an entire 1 escort pilot able to hit similar numbers so far, and I certainly can't personally scratch that in an escort as it takes some serious planing and piloting skill. Eng and Sci captains won't hit these same highs, but they wouldn't in escorts either.

Finally, keybinding is obviously going to help, and is covered in multiple other spots on the forum. By default, you'll want A2B, TT, and EPtX abilites on the keybind to spam away, letting you focus on positioning and FAW/APB/captain power usage.

Last edited by eardianm; 05-12-2013 at 03:20 PM. Reason: adjusted weapon modifiers and positioning
Career Officer
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 828
# 2
05-04-2013, 05:35 PM
I'm using the same build in the fleet excelsior and without anti-borg doff but with a vr quartermaster so get more from my batteries. to be even more tanky i use the borg deflector + engines for the 2 piece set bonus

it works quite well, and for me as an engi i usually get 8-10k dps depending on the group while still being able to tank very very well. Its nice but a bit heavy on EC, in the ends its worth it.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 149
# 3
05-04-2013, 09:19 PM
For PVE, drop the second tac team with dual A2B.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 136
# 4
05-04-2013, 10:20 PM
I tend to default to an extra tac team for the few times that A2B/slamming the keybind hiccups and TT is delayed. As I fly full glass cannon those couple of seconds can be painful.

That said, as FAW doesn't really do much for single target DPS, there is an argument to put a BO1 in that slot, and time it with the omega proc and/or marion to spike a bit higher single target.
Rihannsu
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,788
# 5
05-05-2013, 12:05 PM
Thanks for the Build info. I've been sick of playing a "tank" on my cruiser, and I've been wanting to give the A2B tactic a go. I'll give the above a try.

You can find/contact me in game as @PatricianVetinari. Original Join Date: Feb 2010.
Need Help with Ship's Power? Check out my Ship Power Guide and Calculator.
Career Officer
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 559
# 6
05-05-2013, 12:35 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by eardianm View Post
Throw in 3 very rare technician doffs, and you're effectively duplicating all those precious tac boff slots on your ship, which is a primary constraint of cruisers.

Marion Frances Dulmur. The former is easy enough to grab, as it's available by tier 2 of the Omega rep. Marion is a bit expensive, lately around 15 mil EC on Fed side and 30+ on KDF, and could be considering a more pimping/finishing option.

Doffs:
3x VR Technician
1x Marion/Exocomp/Quatermaster
1x Dlyrene
Hi,

Excellent thread, thanks for posting. However, might I be a total noob and ask where you get these doffs mentioned above? I have looked at the Omega Rep System (which I completed ages ago) but have access only to liberated borg doffs (purple). I dunno where to get the Rom doffs nor do I know how to find Marion and her/his merry band of purple friends.

Again, sorry for the noob question, just am at a loss at this point. The exchange has several purple doffs, but no rommies last time I checked. Thanks in advance.
"The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It's a very mean and nasty place and I don't care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard ya hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward." - Rocky Balboa (2006)
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 245
# 7
05-05-2013, 01:07 PM
I'm glad you put this up. I was thinking about doing something like this, but I'm not familiar with the finer aspects of squeezing DPS out of cruisers. I also don't have the time. I would like to find someone experienced to adapt the information for Science ships as well. I never got into cruisers a lot, probably because when I first started playing, most of the cruisers had poor turn rates and were very clunky to fly. The only exception was the assault cruiser. Now there are more options, especially with the Ferengi Marauder and Breen Chel'Grett.

I'm curious to see how this turns out. Good Luck! :Breaks bottle of champagne against hull:
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 111
# 8
05-05-2013, 05:05 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by bugspatteredjack View Post
Hi,

Excellent thread, thanks for posting. However, might I be a total noob and ask where you get these doffs mentioned above? I have looked at the Omega Rep System (which I completed ages ago) but have access only to liberated borg doffs (purple). I dunno where to get the Rom doffs nor do I know how to find Marion and her/his merry band of purple friends.

Again, sorry for the noob question, just am at a loss at this point. The exchange has several purple doffs, but no rommies last time I checked. Thanks in advance.
Marion and Dlyrene are from a couple of lockbox doff packs. Dlyrene is a Space Warfare Specialist, and Marion is a Systems Engineer, you can find them on the exchange.

Technicians can be found in a few places, but the two easiest are either from the B'Tran support assignment critical, or on the exchange (you'll see a lot of them named Horatio, but he isn't the only guy who has that power).
Zekkie@h33r0yuy
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 136
# 9
05-05-2013, 05:05 PM
Thanks xgorillapx, I didn't want to wholesale steal parts of your post so I just kinda aped the general format (PUNTASTIC). I think Sci ships are kinda hosed for anything top end, but fedz0r (sp) has a couple Vesta builds already up that perform well.

The technician doffs can be obtained either quickly on the exchange for a decent chunk of EC (15-20 mil), or more slowly gathered through the B'Tran colony chain for free. Exocomp is a limited time doff they release in events a few times a year. Quartermasters and Marion you'd find on the exchange, or in doff packs for the former, Temporal thingies for the latter. Really the technicians are the only required part for the build, the rest are just additional damage boosters. You could slot those two openings with whatever, more defense if you wanted. The Fleet Assault example above is full out damage.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 200
# 10
05-06-2013, 02:16 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by eardianm View Post
On the Klingon side, while they have the highest damage option in the 5 tac console Tactical Bortasqu and a lower damage but easier to handle Fleet Vor'Cha, their layout leaves them not as tanky. To fit 2x A2B, you look at either losing RSP, or DEM. The latter is going to causing a decent DPS drop (usually around 6-8% of my parse, even more if you were using Marion synergy), while the former can leave you squishy. that said, both can be babied through with careful piloting, and in extremely high dps groups won't ever really be at risk anyway.
Though not steadily available (only a few KDF fleets have reached T5), the Fleet Negh'Var is also a viable option. Making more of a (PvP) tank with the option to run dual A2B, EPtS3, DEM3 and RSP2 or DEM2 (even less downtime). Also with all the shield heals you can even take on FbP1 on the lieu sci slot.
Something like this: may'Duj (something I scribbled together in 5 mins)
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