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Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,063
# 11
07-21-2013, 03:10 PM
First off, I'd like to thank everyone for taking the time to answer my questions.

A few additional questions/notes:

* Regarding the Borg console - is the proc on the set bonus actually decent? I notice it's mentioned, but if I recall correctly it seemed like it just didn't fire very much, if at all. I'm reluctant to drop my turn rate just when I got it nice and shiney with LoR unless it's going to do a lot of good.

* Flow capacitors - I have never heard of this being useful in EPtX, although I could be wrong. I'll probably pick up some cheap common-rank ones and shove them in as an experiment, but if anyone else has any commentary it'd be appreciated.

* Isn't the MACO shield plus the Leech console going to end up conflicting (and as such not maximizing)? I remember that the bonuses for power they provided weren't compatible.

* An overall question - TANKING. How strong are these builds in terms of actually handling damage? I tend to do things like, in the Mirror Universe Incursion mission, for instance, fly dead center into an enemy formation and start spamming FAW. My dragon-based build seems to work pretty decently for that and blowing up drives me crazy, so I'd like to know how tough the A2B cruiser is in comparison. And is there anything I can do to make my ship tougher?

* Another question - effectiveness. All of my experiments thus far are looking at total DPS, but just spamming FAW does not a battle win. How is an A2B build at actually getting the job done compared to a Dragon?

* Also - cycling. Just what powers am I going to be able to bind to spacebar with the A2B build? As-is I've got EPtS3, EPtW1 (in the revised build), A2B1, and TT1, but I get the feeling that this is going to leave me very open at some point.

* I swapped EPtW for EPtA, seems to have buffed up the A2B build damage. I'm going to probably toy with the dragon build using EPtW2 instead of EPtW1 as one of the EPtW's it cycles and see how it goes.

As before, any thoughts or input are greatly appreciated!
Commander
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 300
# 12
07-21-2013, 04:37 PM
Here's a thought... quit using Aux 2 Batt and actually get a build that requires knowledge and skill instead of spamming the spacebar to play.
Captain
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 2,736
# 13
07-21-2013, 04:50 PM
This has been an interesting discussion and I'm learning from it. I'm curious:

Quote:
Originally Posted by red01999 View Post
* An overall question - TANKING. How strong are these builds in terms of actually handling damage? I tend to do things like, in the Mirror Universe Incursion mission, for instance, fly dead center into an enemy formation and start spamming FAW. My dragon-based build seems to work pretty decently for that and blowing up drives me crazy, so I'd like to know how tough the A2B cruiser is in comparison. And is there anything I can do to make my ship tougher?
Is this ... "zerging"?
Kathryn S. Beringer - The Dawn Patrol

Solaris build - Veritatum Liquido Cernene
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,063
# 14
07-21-2013, 05:11 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmdrscarlet View Post
Is this ... "zerging"?
I have always thought "zerging" to mean more along the lines of EVERYONE doing that - for example, swarming one or a few specific targets all at once. The idea being to overwhelm with sheer, relentless numbers. As such, I don't see this as zerging, per se, although it may not be the greatest strategy to ever be used.

If you're a cruiser commander, I see this as a fairly valid tactic for a number of reasons, especially if you're filling a tank role, as it grabs a lot of threat early. And hopefully the build is sufficiently robust to withstand the bombardment. My Dragon build usually was; I'm kind of wondering how the Aux2Bat build holds up against this.

Last edited by red01999; 07-21-2013 at 05:15 PM.
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,063
# 15
07-21-2013, 05:11 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsaris View Post
Here's a thought... quit using Aux 2 Batt and actually get a build that requires knowledge and skill instead of spamming the spacebar to play.
I will consider your suggestion when you are not delivering it in a massively condescending way. In fact, your comment is making me think that an Aux2Bat build is an even better idea.
Captain
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 2,736
# 16
07-21-2013, 05:20 PM
Quote:
If you're a cruiser commander, I see this as a fairly valid tactic for a number of reasons, especially if you're filling a tank role, as it grabs a lot of threat early.
Ahh, see this is what I think tanking should be: grab threat and hold onto it while surviving the hits. DPS therefore would be a secondary goal ... although causing a lot of damage would certainly cause increased threat

I am still learning (in-game) how Aux2Batt works in relation to other powers. I'll be watching this thread.
Kathryn S. Beringer - The Dawn Patrol

Solaris build - Veritatum Liquido Cernene
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 644
# 17
07-21-2013, 10:41 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmdrscarlet View Post
Ahh, see this is what I think tanking should be: grab threat and hold onto it while surviving the hits. DPS therefore would be a secondary goal ... although causing a lot of damage would certainly cause increased threat

I am still learning (in-game) how Aux2Batt works in relation to other powers. I'll be watching this thread.
I've found that my aux2bat config is the most "rugged" ship I've ever assembled:

http://skillplanner.stoacademy.com/?...ktacfahcrevj_0

Between the three different shield buffs (EPtS1, TSS2 and RSP2) and the hull heal/defense options (PH1, ET1, Subspace Module), plus a nice fleet Neutronium with the Hull Repair mod, I can tank just about anything in the game:

1. Cubes - Used to be trouble in my escort due to low hull strength. I'd often use their plasma torp against them by flying into point blank range and taking the hit so it hurt them as much as me (hint: try to get *above* the blast and hit BfI + EPtS). But now I just park next to the thing, broadside it and us BFAW3 to shoot down any incoming torps. Net result: Dead cube in 30 seconds or less and virtually no damage to my ship. Officially nerfed in my world.

2. Gates - Took a while to go down with an all-cannon escort build, plus I had to retreat out of range way to often in order to keep from dying. With my a2b cruiser, I can slowly orbit the gate while blasting the hell out of it and using my buffs and heals to keep me alive. Only very rarely do I need to retreat - usually after attracting the attention of the newly arrived spheres if/when the other gate pops first. But otherwise, I can now take down the whole side in KASE (gens/cubes/trans/gate) in under 5 minutes solo.

3. Spheres - Taking on 3-4 simultaneously, while maneuvering and spamming FAW3 + DEM3 + whatever else I've buffed is quite fun. The difference in play style for me became most apparent during a recent run through Hive Onslaught. I found the cubes and spheres to be almost comically easy to defeat en masse, whereas I had to be much more selective in my targeting when flying an escort lest I end up mobbed with no real way to hit back in forced due to limited firing arcs.

4. Borg Negs and Raptors - Used to be a challenge to face an assimilated Neg in CSE. Now I just shred them with relative ease. Only rarely does one manage to penetrate my shields to do any measurable damage, and meanwhile I'm steadily grinding it down with a continuous stream of beam spam. There's something quite satisfying about watching that hull % drop in at a nice, steady clip - more reassuring than the "burst-and-bust" model from my cannon escort days. As for Raptors, see note on Spheres above.

5. End Game Bosses - Pure DPS opportunities. I just park about 2km above them and blast away. The aforementioned shield/hull heals are more than enough to tank everything except maybe the Borg Queen diamond (something I can't test since they borked HOE and made the lance ships all but impossible to beat - one-shot at 15-20K distance? Really, Cryptic?).

Bottom Line: An aux2bat cruiser is an absolute tank beast. You will have a blast with this mode of play - it lets you focus more on mission goals and less on figuring out what you can attack successfully without getting slaughtered.

In other words, it's fun to be the big, bad bully of the playground.

RCK

Last edited by rck01; 07-21-2013 at 10:44 PM.
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,063
# 18
07-22-2013, 01:01 AM
A few questions for you, rck01 (or anyone who cares to answer):

- How do you fit Engineering Team into your bind cycle? I've done so for my Dragon build, but usually that's when I'm helping someone ELSE out of a jam and don't have lingering bits of Tactical Team lying around.

- Do you use Marion for the power drain resistance?

- What would you consider the most relevant to your increased DPS - the fact that you use the tac layout you do, or that you use A2B?

As an update, I did Mirror Universe Incursion several times this evening, using the tac build of TS1, TT1, APB1 and BFaW3, and alternating between my Dragon and Aux2Bat engineering setup. The difference in DPS does not seem to be terribly large. Which isn't to say either is bad - in both cases I came out as #1 for damage. I am, however, wondering what Aux2Bat builds have to attribute their DPS to - Aux2Bat, or BFaW spam.

In fact, it makes me wonder if perhaps it's more the design philosophy in a lot of ways - Dragon builds I've seen seem to be more conservative on a lot of their consoles, for instance, using more base equipment, whereas Aux2Bat configurations seem to be pretty heavily stocked towards somehow maximizing power or DPS (e.g. use of the leech console, etc.).

I may try this again with updated equipment soon, but I've been keeping all the equipment the same so that I can try to have some level of controlled variation in the experiment.

For anyone who's been following this thread who might be interested, my DOffs are as follows:

Aux2Bat - 3x Purple Technicians, 1x Purple Tactical Team Conn DOff (for Attack Patterns skill buff), 1x Purple Warp Core Engineer

Dragon - 2x Purple tactical Team Conn DOff, 2x Purple Shield Distribution Officer, 1x Purple Warp Core Engineer

I'm not quite sure what I'm leaning towards yet - the A2B build seems to be a LOT tougher than I thought it'd be. I haven't been destroyed once in it since starting the experiments, although I've come close (which can also be said of my Dragon build).
Commander
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 405
# 19
07-22-2013, 01:15 AM
I have always been very vocal about my dislike of Aux2Batt. It is kind of an illusion as to how effective it is. Any parse you ever see for it is in an organized group that completes it in 5 mins or less. It relies on spamming FAW against targets that result in net 0 dmg (i.e. transformers, gateway when still healing, etc.) to artificially inflate their DPS numbers.

It CAN be an effective build in the right hands, but you can do so much better.

Aux2Batt is decent if you just want big numbers with little meaningful damage, you don't care about healing your team, and don't care much about tanking anything.

You were much closer to a great build with your first attempt.

With Aux2batt you sacrifice so much of your engineer stations, just to run Aux2batt, which is only really there to run your 3-4 tac skills on near global CD. Truly, APB isn't adding very much to your overall dmg since it doesn't really last that long to justify a place on your precious few tac slots.

You have to run with EPtS1 and EPtW1. Weapons 1 is fine because the dmg difference between 1 and 3 is only 6.6%, but the shield resist between shields 1 and 3 is 18% to 30%, which is much much bigger.

On top of that, you can barely use HE or TSS, and when you do, you've most likely dumped your aux, and it heals for a pitifully low amount. Also, given the new Nukara T4 rep reward, and the elite fleet warp cores (with AMP) having all 4 systems at high levels gives you more damage, as well as a high Aux alone gives you a significant dmg bonus/defense bonus depending on which one you choose.

Here is my build I am working on with my Eng (my tac has very nearly the same loadout/skills, so it translates. Plus the Excelsior is very close to the Assault Cruiser so everything should carry over. In fact, you can keep the Tac Team doffs, and put FAW1 in that ensign and get nearly 2/3 of what an entire Aux2Batt build gives you as far as dmg, since there is very little difference between BFAW1 and 2, or even 3.

This build is very dependent on DCE doffs to keep EPtS3 up 100% of the time, with a backup for each EPtS and EPtW (in pvp in case of a subnuke) Also keep in mind the armor consoles are fleet ones with anything you want really (I have 2 turns and to hull healers that I swap around)

I am actually also debating getting Tetryons on my engineer now and adding the web launcher to the ship, since the 2 piece bonus gives 7.6% more damage. I am always looking to squeeze more damage outta my engineer.


I do great damage, superb tanking, and almost every single thing I have can be given to a team mate, so its a very competent backup healer as well.

I very consistently do 10+k DPS in ISE, even when it takes longer than 5 mins and can very easily handle 20k in a group taking under 4 mins (in the tac version of this build, eng maybe 12-15k), and I know I could go even higher if I felt like wasting a ton of dilithium on romulan disruptors, which I don't.

Also, this build (as far as doffs and boff skills go) is MUCH cheaper to put together than an Aux2batt, so there is that.

Its up to you though mate. There are many things out there to try now that there are a ton of new consoles, doffs, and other nifty things to play with. Aux2batt is NOT the end all be all of cruiser builds in this game.

I hope some of this helped, and I wish you luck with your build.

Last edited by cha0s1428; 07-22-2013 at 01:30 AM.
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 644
# 20
07-22-2013, 01:24 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by red01999 View Post
A few questions for you, rck01 (or anyone who cares to answer):

- How do you fit Engineering Team into your bind cycle? I've done so for my Dragon build, but usually that's when I'm helping someone ELSE out of a jam and don't have lingering bits of Tactical Team lying around.

- Do you use Marion for the power drain resistance?

- What would you consider the most relevant to your increased DPS - the fact that you use the tac layout you do, or that you use A2B?
1. I don't. I keep my defensive buffs out of the key bind cycle entirely and just hit them when I need them based on availability. So, for example, if I'm getting slammed by the gate in KASE I'll hit TSS2, then EPtS1 (assuming it's not on cooldown from EPtW having cycled), and finally RSP2 as a last resort/way to quickly get some shield strength back. Or if I'm getting mobbed in SB Fleet Defense or trying to defend Kang in CSE, I'll pop RSP2 earlier since I'm taking fire from all sides at that point and need a quick boost.

In terms of hull heals, I'll hit ET1 if I get below 50% HP and pop an Aux battery to boost the effect if available. This, plus PH1 and the Subspace Mod help to keep me in one piece for maximum tanking potential. That, and a good sense of when to pop EM and get some space between me and what's killing me.

But so far I haven't seen to logic in cycling defensive buffs in the keybind - for me it's just TT1, APB1, APA3, EPtW1, A2B1, A2B1, DEM3, TI, FOMM3 and GDF3 (should I need it so I don't have to think that fast).

2. I don't have any purple Boffs yet. Still just a pair of Blue conn officers and some Green technicians. The prices on the Exchange are absurd (I'm an F2P player with a 10m EC cap), so until I luck across one somewhere in a Doff mission or something, I'm stuck.

3. Definitely the A2B build, especially when combined with the Leech and Flow Caps. I truly believe they make a difference in ways that aren't obvious, like improving EPtS/W performance. I've seen it for myself in my own DPS output both pre and post FC investment.

Regardless, the best way to figure this stuff out is to experiment and compare results between sessions. That's how I discovered the FC benefits and also the Leech. Some guy was claiming 10-12K while I was doing only 8K, so I started mimicking his build and saw immediate benefits. And as you've already discovered, an A2B build can be a real tank under fire, so in the end it all comes down to philosophy and personal preference.

RCK
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