Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 1 Charactr Creation Quasi-guide
01-30-2010, 12:28 PM
An analysis of Star Trek Online: Character Creation and Build

Before I begin I want to acknowledge everyone who gathered information. Cryptic studios has lived up to its name and all the lists here were compiled by players during Beta. Consequently, all the lists are incomplete. I would especially like to thank Zeroth, Ghley, Ancilliary and Suricata for their threads that I took so much information from, linked to and in the case of lists, copied and pasted. There's a reason their stuff is stickied at the top of the Starfleet Academy forum, these guys are great. When you are done reading this guide, for clarification, go read their threads.

What I'm trying to do is compile a lot of the information from the forums and structure it into something of a guide for new players so they can benefit from our experience, as limited as it has been.

I'm sure I made some grammar mistakes and I notoriously mistake 'affect' for 'effect' and 'then' for 'than.' Apologies in advance.


Choosing your Race:

Your first choice in character creation is your race. Keep in mind that your Bridge Officers also get racial traits. Most of the racial abilities give a tiny bonus, and don't have a major effect on gameplay. These are some notable racials that generally are available to select species:

Aggressive: +5% All damage bonus strength, +5% Threat Generation

Available to Aliens, Andorians and Saurians

This is the only racial to increase threat generation. Assumedly it only works during ground combat, but even then it's a nice buff for someone looking to tank.


Corrosive Blood: 20% toxic resistance, Toxic damage DoT from a melee damage shield.

Available to Bolians

If I'm reading this right, and I may not be, when Bolians get hit at melee range they put a toxic Damage over Time attack on the enemy that hit them.


Creative: 5% bonus to damage and healing with kits

This is a great bonus to engineers who do damage and healing with their kit powers


Logical: 30% bonus to resist psionic damage, placate, and confuse

Available only to Vulcans

The best resist for these stats in the game, beating out Mental discipline (15% to psionic resist, 20% to placate and confuse)


Mind Meld: Short duration hold then confuse

Available only to Vulcans

A fun extra ground attack, melee range


Spiritual: 10% bonus to healing done to you and 10% bonus to regen

Available only to Bajorans

Not something I would look for in a main, but nothing to sneer at, especially if you're planning to tank on the ground.


Empathic: 5% bonus to team regen, negative 20% bonus to threat creation

Available only to Betazoids

Something to consider for DPS and Support, -20% threat is a huge bonus and being able to regen the entire team is excellent. I try to get at least 2 Betazoids on my away team for the group bonus to regen. If you have a character with regen already (Bajoran, Borg, Trill) this is very nice.


Warp Theorist: +10 warp core training

Available to all except Saurians

Increases power output in ships. End game, this is a nice little stack to your power generation


Techie: +10 Engineering training and Astrophysicist: +10 to Science skills

Available to all except Saurians

Improves your engineering skills or science skills respectively. No idea if this buffs your Bridge officers, but I doubt it. If you're not planning on playing an engineer I don't suggest getting Techie, nor Astrophysicist if you're not going science. I'm making a note to look for it on bridge officers when the game goes live.


Telekinetic: 15 physical damage, 30 foot knockback

Available to Alien only

Nice little bonus attack. Physical damage goes through personal shields. I'm not sure what the range is on it.


If you're planning to make a ground DPS person then stack critical chance and exploit damage bonuses and get Bridge Officers with expose duration and expose chance buffs. Let them make the enemy vulnerable and then you can target mobs to kill them.

I'm not sure if it's possible, I'm not sure what the required powers are for Andorians, but theoretically you can make an Andorian with Acute senses, Aggressive, Fury, and Lucky, which stacks 10% exploit damage, 5% bonus damage, a damage bonus after you get to half health that gets stronger the less health you have, and a 3% critical chance bonus.

It's also theoretically possible to create a Saurian or Alien that has Acute senses (10% exploit), Aggressive (5% bonus damage), Lucky (3% critical chance), Physical Strength (10% melee damage), or Soldier (5% energy damage bonus and +10 to critical damage). You're only allowed four abilities so you need to pick and choose.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
01-30-2010, 12:29 PM
Choosing your Profession:

The next choice you get is what profession you'll be. This effects ground and space combat and we'll look at both aspects of each choice. It is possible that your function in groups on the ground will not be the same as in space. Your role in space combat is decided by your choice of ship and bridge officers. Ground combat roles are decided mainly by your choice of class, then by your choice of kit.

All characters get the same abilities based on their class. The final powers, the ones that would effect the way we play at high levels are currently unknown.

Tactical:

I saw so many red shirts during the open beta... but I digress. Listed as the premier damage dealing class, this isn't entirely true, engineers can do a great deal of damage as well. Let's take a closer look.

Personal abilities:

Tactical
Lieutenant
Target Optics I[Ground]:Scans a group of enemies and buffs your damage, crit chance and crit severity. Has a chance to expose enemies near the targetUnlock: Level 5
Attack Pattern Alpha I: Attack Pattern Alpha increases the damage of your weapons, and improves your turning rate. Unlock: Level 8
Lt.Commander
Fire On My Mark I [Ground]:Fire on my Mark applies a damage resistance debuff on the enemy target.Unlock: Level 15
Fire on my Mark I:Unlock: Level 18
Commander
Tactical Initiative I[Ground]: Reduces ability/weapon cool down timers to zero for the entire away team. Has a cool down of two minutes.Unlock: Level 25
Unlock: Level 28
Captain
[Ground]Unlock: Level 35
Unlock: Level 38
Rear Admiral
[Ground]Unlock: Level 45
Unlock: Level 48

This is all we know so far on Tactical Personal Abilities.


Ground: On the ground Tactical officers get access to grenades, martial arts and damage buffs, debuffs. They are, without a doubt, the masters of traditional combat. Also, they get the only specific aggro creation abilities in the game, especially draw fire. If you want to tank this is your class.

Tactical officers can tank, and if you like doing that set up your away team accordingly with ground tactical officers that do damage, engineers to keep your shields up/do damage and science officers to buff and heal. Tactical officers can also do damage. Keep a damage dealing kit on hand so you can switch to it if you're not the team's tank.

Regarding kits, these are the various Tactical ground abilities:

Tactical:
Ambush: Fragile Damage Buff
Draw Fire
Fire on my Mark: Fire on my Mark applies a damage resistance debuff on the enemy target.
Focus Fire: Focus Fire lowers the damage resistance of the target with each attack from your or your allies.
Leg Sweep{Expose}: Has a high chance of knocking back any nearby foes
Lunge{Exploit}: Launches you at your target, delivering a melee attack and possibly knocking them down
Motion Accelerator: Speed Buff and Control Immunity
Overwatch: PBAoE Damage Resist Aura
Plasma Grenade: AoE Damage and DoT
Photon Grenade: Photon grenade throws a grenade at the target. The grenade explodes on contact, dealing area of effect kinetic damage and knockback. It is possible for the target to move away from the blast radius while the grenade is in transit. Shields drastically reduce the effects of kinetic damage
Rally Cry: Team Heal and Damage Buff. Damage resistance, Damage strength, crit chance, and crit severity all increased. HoT.
Security Escort
Stealth Module: Temporarily masks you from sight. Has a chance to expose nearby enemies
Smoke Grenade: Smoke Grenade creates a smoke cloud at the target's location that reduces enemy perception and improves ally stealth for any within the cloud effect.
Suppressing Fire: Slow and Damage Debuff
Tactical Iniative
Target Optics{Expose}: Scans a group of enemies and buffs your damage, crit chance and crit severity. Has a chance to expose enemies near the target

Space: In space Tactical officers get a few Tactical Bridge officer powers, effectively giving you another tactical officer by mid game. We only know of two space abilities tactical captains get: Attack Pattern: Alpha, a damage/turning buff, and Focus fire, a damage debuff. When making a decision on your role in space combat think of what abilities you'll want more of at end game. What ship are you playing and how you play it will factor into your decision. A cruiser with a tactical captain would put a few more combat tricks in an engineering heavy design. An escort with a tactical captain is increasing their damage capacity. I haven't played a science vessel enough to discuss a tactical captain intelligibly, but I would assume it would help kill targets faster when soloing.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
01-30-2010, 12:30 PM
Engineering:

An overlooked and under-appreciated class, at least I didn't see many yellow-shirts in Beta. In space engineering captains add to a ships survivability. On the ground Engineers can do incredible damage and have fantastic defensive buffs.

Personal Abilities:

Engineering
Lieutenant
Reroute Power to Shields I[Ground]: Reroute Power to Shields diverts energy from the engineer's tricorder to their personal shield generator, restoring lost energy and temporarily increasing shield damage resistance.Unlock: Level 5
Rotate Shield Frequency I: Rotate Shield Frequency slightly increases shield regeneration and provides significant damage resistance. Unlock: Level 8
Lt.Commander
Cover Shield I[Ground]: Cover Shield creates a fixed position forcefield that blocks line of sight. Can be used as a temporary cover.Unlock: Level 15
EPS Power Transfer I: EPS Power Transfer efficiently distributes energy to increase the power levels to all systems for either yourself or a target ally.Unlock: Level 18
Commander
Support Drone Fabrication I: Creates a level 1 Support Drone I for 60 seconds. Support drone has four abilities: Attack, Buff, Wide Beam, and Explosion. Support Drone will fire at your targets and follow you.[Ground]:Unlock: Level 25
Nadion Inversion I: Allows an additional energy weapon to fire without depleting power levels for 21 sec. Unlock: Level 28
Captain
[Ground]:Unlock: Level 35
Miracle Worker I: Restores Hull, and has a chance to repair disabled subsystems.Unlock: Level 38
Rear Admiral
Orbital Strike I: Calls down a beam weapon strike from your ship. AoE damage+knockback. [Ground]:Unlock: Level 45
Unlock: Level 48

This is all we know about Engineering abilities.

Ground: On the ground Engineers are a support and damage class that get most of their abilities through the creation of devices. They can also restore shields, a vital function in combat. Depending on your kit you can build place based pets that attack (Phaser turrets, Quantum Mortar, Transphasic Bomb, Chroniton Mines), place based pets that defend (Force Field Dome, Cover Shield, Shield Generator, Medical generator), and pets that follow you (Seeker and Support drones). You can use skills to buff and repair shields as well as repair your place based pets. You're not limited to one kit and you should be able to swap between what your group needs in the middle of combat.


Engineering:
Combat Supply: Create Combat Devices(like hyposprays, power cells and shield charges)
Chroniton Mine Barrier: Create Mines
Cover Shield
Extend Shields
Equipment Diagnostics: Cure Mechanical Debuffs and buffs resistance
Force Field Dome: Create Force Field Dome
Fuse Armor: Scaling Movement Debuff
Medical Generator Fabrication: Create Medical Generator
Phaser Turret Fabrication: Create Phaser Turret
Reroute Power to Shields: diverts energy from the engineer's tricorder to their personal shield generator, restoring lost energy and temporarily increasing shield damage resistance.
Seeker Drone Fabrication: Create Seeker Drone
Shield Generator Fabrication: Creates a fixed position generator that recharges personal shields for allies in the immediate area
Shield Recharge: Restores lost personal shield energy to you or an ally
Stasis Field
Support Drone Fabrication
Transphasic Bomb: Creates a Transphasic Bomb
Weapons Malfunction{Exploit}: overloads the target's weapons, temporarily preventing the target from firing. Applies resistance to additional malfunctions upon expiration.
Quantum Mortar Fabrication: Create Quantum Mortar
Quick Fix: Cure Mechanical Debuffs

Space: Remember, for space combat think of yourself as an extra bridge officer. In space you are another Engineering officer, offering repairs and damage resisting abilities to your ship. Remember, you don't get to choose your abilities in space.

If you want a little more survivability this is the class for you. This is suggested for escorts for solo and cruisers who want to be super tanks in space, able to survive all comers. Of course, an engineer tank will have a hard time holding aggro on the ground, but that's the trade off.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
01-30-2010, 12:31 PM
Choosing your Skills:

This is where you do a good deal of your character improvement. Skills increase the effectiveness of your abilities and your bridge officer's abilities. You are their captain, you make your bridge officers better.

First, before I mangle my attempt to help you, go to Ghley's Star Trek Character Builder at http://sto-builder.binarybit.ch/ Play around with it for a bit and see what you like. At the top of the java window there is the option to choose Tactical Officer, Science Officer or Engineering Officer. This is your Captain's Class or Profession, not your bridge officers.

Second, Read this article from Al Rivera, Star Trek Online's Lead Designer http://www.startrekonline.com/node/956 I'm going to copy and paste his article here, read the whole thing, he gives an excellent explanation.

STO Skill System

There are several ways to improve and advance a Starfleet Captain in STO, but Skills may be the most important. Not only do they have a significant impact on a character’s performance, Skill Points affect the strength and weaknesses of a starship and its Bridge Officers.
There are two types of Skill Points: a Captain’s Skill Points and a Bridge Officer’s Skill Points. Accumulate both by completing missions and defeating enemies. Today, we’ll focus on a Captain’s Skill Points (which we’ll simply refer to as Skill Points from here out).

The Basics:

Skill points go into Skills.
Skills typically give statistical bonuses, though they can grant other bonuses, too.
Stats improve abilities and items.

There are over 100 different Skills in STO. Some are exclusively for ground and some are for space. All captains have access to all space skills, and profession determines what ground skills are accessible. Additionally, Skills are gated by rank, so rank up to gain access to higher ranked Skills. Low ranked Skills typically grant small bonuses to several different abilities and items. For instance, the Lieutenant ranked Skill “Starship Energy Weapons Training” grants a small improvement in damage to all energy weapons (beams, cannons, phasers, disruptors, etc.). At Lt. Commander, “Starship Beam Weapons” and “Starship Cannon Weapons” can be improved. These skills give a bigger stat bonus, but to fewer items. Higher ranking officers can then become even more specialized in specific energy types by spending points in skills like “Starship Phaser Weapons” or “Starship Disruptor Weapons”. These skills are very specialized but they offer the largest bonus. Most of the Skills in STO follow this model. When purchasing a Skill, examples of what items or abilities it will affect will appear. Also, right-click on an ability or item and select “Info” to see exactly what Skills affect it.

Spend Skill Points to rank-up and grade-up. There are 5 ranks (from Lieutenant to Rear Admiral), each with 10 grades (for example, Commander-Grade 6). Spending Skill Points improves a grade, and 10 grades earns a new rank. As his grade improves, a captain becomes more powerful on the ground – gaining bonuses to base HP and damage (this does not happen in space, as it is the ship that improves base HP and damage). Grading-up periodically unlocks some new ground and space abilities, too. Ranking-up, makes more powerful items, ships and Skills available.

In Summation:

Low rank Skills grant small bonuses to many items and abilities.
High rank Skills grant large stat bonuses to fewer items and abilities.
Accumulate Skill Points by completing missions and defeating enemies.
Spend Skill Points to increase grade and rank.
Increasing grade and rank improves a character and unlocks access to additional items, ships and more Skills.


When ranked up, most skills come with a Stat bonus number. Typically, this number is the bonus applied to the items or abilities that use that stat. For instance...

Starship Energy Weapons Training: 17
Starship Beam Weapons: 22
Starship Cannon Weapons: 28
Starship Phaser Weapons: 36
Starship Disruptor: 40

That says there is a 17% damage bonus to all Energy Weapons, a 22% damage bonus to all Beam Weapons, a 28% bonus to all cannons weapons, and so on. Use a Phaser Cannon and the total damage bonus would then be 17 + 28 + 36 = 81%. Use a Disruptor Beam Array and the total damage bonus would be 17 + 22 + 40 = 79%. Most items and abilities work with Skills in a similar manner, but sometimes the bonuses apply in a different way. For instance, some stats don’t increase the magnitude of an ability, but instead increase the duration. In some more powerful abilities, it’s not a one-to-one ratio and you only get half the bonus from Skill.

Some Skills don’t improve stats at all, but offer other bonuses. For example, Starship Command grants an HP, Turn Rate and Impulse speed bonus to all ships. Also note that many Skills don’t improve a captain or starship at all, but instead improve Bridge Officer or ground abilities.
Finally, a note about Respecs... Simply put, they are coming soon. We are currently working on this feature right now. The details are not final, however.

Al Rivera
Lead Designer



Skills are pretty easy to improve once you've gotten past the learning curve. Find the ability you want to improve and increase the relating skill.

For example, if one of your Bridge Officers has Eject Warp Plasma and you use it often then you will want to improve Starship Engine Performance. If you don't use Eject Warp Plasma then you'll want to avoid that skill.




Space skills that grant general bonuses:

Starship Command and the various captaining skills (Escort Captain, Cruiser Captain, Science Vessel Captain, etc)

Starship Energy and Projectile Weapon skills give damage bonuses. The four lieutenant commander skills also give stat bonuses to specific, related skills.

Starship Warp Core Training gives a bonus to your ship's energy production.

Starship Subsystem Repair and Starship Hull Repair give repair bonuses as well as stat bonuses to related skills.

As far as I can tell all starship operations skills affect skills only, giving no general bonuses.


Ground skills:

Engineering, Tactical, and Science Team Leader. These three skills give a bonus to the corresponding ground abilities of your group. I'm not sure if it affects other players in your team or just your Bridge Officers.

Unless otherwise stated all other ground skills affect only you. Choose to improve the abilities and kit abilities you use the most.

Note: Tactical Officers get damage bonuses to ground attacks for all lieutenant, lieutenant commander and commander skills. If you favor one weapon type stack your bonuses to cover that. For instance, if you want to create a martial arts character check out the following combination of skills:

Close Combat Training 18
Special Forces 29
Martial Arts 45

If I'm reading this right, and I might not be, that's a total damage bonus of 92%. I'm writing this between the beta close and head start so I don't have access to the game to check out these numbers, but that's an impressive damage bonus.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
01-30-2010, 12:32 PM
Science:

Science officers do support. They also do support. Oh, and they do support. Have I mentioned they do support? Well Science officers do support.

Physical Abilities:

Science
Lieutenant
Tricorder Scan I[Ground]: Sensor Scan reduces the Damage Resistance of the Target and nearby hostile enemies while increasing your perception, making it easier to detect enemies. Unlock: Level 5
Sensor Scan I[Space]: Sensor Scan reduces the Damage Resistance of the Target and nearby hostile ships while increasing your perception, making it easier to detect enemies.Unlock: Level 8
Lt.Commander
Neural Neutralizers: Placate nearby enemies. Placate breaks on damage. Placate makes enemies do any action that does not hurt you or allies.[Ground]:Unlock: Level 15
Subnucleonic Beam I: Increases recharge time of target's powers Unlock: Level 18
Commander
Dampening Field I: Creates a field that debuffs the energy damage of all enemies within its effect. [Ground]:Unlock: Level 25
Dampening Field I: Dampening Field projects a shield around your ship, reducing the damage you and nearby allies receive from incoming energy weapon fire.:Unlock: Level 28
Captain
Unknown[Ground]:Unlock: Level 35
Unknown:Unlock: Level 38
Rear Admiral
Unknown[Ground]:Unlock: Level 45
Unknown:Unlock: Level 48

For science officers there is talk of Photonic Fleet as the Captain space skill, basically you create three holographic ships to fight at your side for a limited time. I'm waiting to get this confirmed.

Ground: On the ground Science officers do support. Surprising, no? Your three main functions are to heal, buff/debuff or control the flow of battle.

You can heal, cure debuffs, buff damage resist, hold, placate, root, interrupt, knockback do a little damage, and even target damage to shields. I find ground science abilities to be glaringly lack confuses. Maybe they've implemented ground confuses and I just don't know about it.

A few quick definitions:

Root – keep an enemy in place. The enemy can take and give damage but stays in one place.

Placate – Put an enemy on pause. The enemy stays where they are and does not attack. Any damage ends the effect.

Hold – Enemy stays in place and cannot attack but you can attack them.

Confuse – Causes enemies to attack each other. A confused enemy can be attacked.

Roots, holds and placates control the flow of battle. If you root a Klingon swordmasters then their ability to deal melee damage that ignores personal shields is negated. Placates allow you to put an enemy on pause so your team can deal with them when your ready and on your terms, not theirs. Holds completely negate enemies. (Holds are sometimes called a mez or mezzes, short for mesmerize, a throwback term from Everquest the first incredibly popular MMORPG where a lot of terms were popularized, like aggro, threat, buff, root, mob, AoE, DoT, HoT, rez, dps, DD, direct heal, spike damage, proc, etc)

You can swap out kits in combat. Be prepared to be the healer in group play and be able to buff/debuff and control the flow of battle. In solo play you're able to set up your team and choose the role you want.


Science:
Anesthizine Gas: AoE Fragile Hold and Slow
Biofilter Sweep: Buffs Damage Resistance and Cures Toxic, Mental, and Radiation Debuffs.
Gravimetric Shift: AoE Root
Hyperonic Radiation{Expose}: AoE Radiation DoT
Hypospray-Dylovene: Cures Toxic Debuffs and Buffs Physical strength and resistance
Hypospray-Melorazine: Cures Mental Debuffs and Buffs Energy Resistance
Medical Tricorder: Provides a quick heal and a gradual heal over time. Applies the diagnosed mode on the target, which is used to improve several healing abilities. Can be used on yourself or an ally
Nanite Health Monitor: AoE Health Monitor(Ed. I assume this heals)
Nanoprobe Infestation
Neural Neutralizers
Sonic Pulse{Expose}: Creates an expanding burst centered on your location, damaging your opponents and interrupting their actions while leaving them slowed. Very high chance to knock back
Stasis Field{Exploit}: Fragile Hold
Tachyon Harmonics: AoE Shield Harmonics
Thermal Vent
Triage: AoE Heal
Tricorder Scan{Expose}: Increases the perception of the user and places a damage resistance debuff on targets inside the scan radius
Vascular Regenerator: Heals and removes bleeding debuffs over the duration. These effects are greatly enhanced if the target currently has a diagnosed mode

Space: In space you are not support. Didn't see that coming did you? Your role in space combat is decided first by your ship, then by your equipment and Bridge Officers. Remember to think of your skills as another bridge officer. Your three known science space skills are an AoE damage resist debuff, a buff to powers/abilities recharge speed, and a self-targeted AoE damage resist buff. Any captain would want access to these powers. Like the other two classes, being a science class doesn't tie you into one aspect of space combat, but it does help leverage the advantages of your ship or balance your play style out.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
01-30-2010, 12:33 PM
Choosing your Bridge Officers:

Your bridge officers are an integral part of who you are. Think of yourself as the ship, not just the captain. Where would the Enterprise be without Spock, Sulu, Uhura, Scotty or McCoy? Where would the Next Generation Enterprise be without Riker, Geordi, Data, Worf or Wesley? Heh, I can see the flames already for including Wesley. Where would the Voyager be without Chakotay, Tuvok or Seven of Nine? Your bridge officers are a part of you, and while they can be traded, dismissed or retrained, their skills are your skills.

When you increase a bridge officer's abilities you are improving abilities you use. Leveling a Bridge Officer is part of leveling your character.

Choosing a bridge officer is a lot like designing your captain character. Race matters. Skills matter. Skills matter more then racials, considerably more. You can skip racial abilities altogether in bridge officers and still enjoy the game. If you want to min/max and create the perfect group for yourself, then go through racial abilities.

Go through the racial traits again and see which abilities you want in a tactical officer, an engineering officer and a science officer. You'll have one of each so consider how you would design them if you were playing them. The final ships all have 5 bridge officer consoles, so plan for having extra officers to choose from. Generally, bridge officers only have racials that effect ground combat, the borg officer you can get from the pre-order being a notable exception. Their abilities will generally be listed under ground combat when hiring new officers at sol station.

Do you want a Vulcan to do Mind Melds and Nerve Pinches? Humans or Bolians for their teamwork exploit bonus? Maybe a Saurian to tank and hold aggro? Or a Bajoran to tank because they get a bonus to healing and regen? Humans get the repair bonus under leadership, which I can't tell if it's for engineering pets or for the ship. Further research is needed.

I mentioned earlier that I like having two betazoid Bridge Officers because of their racial ability to enhance regeneration by 5%, so the two together seem to stack to give a 10% regen bonus. (I haven't run the numbers, I'm giving my experience from open beta. The regen may not actually stack) I usually make them my Engineer and Science officer so that they can enjoy the -20% threat generation bonus, allowing them to support the team and take less aggro.

Then there are skills. All Bridge Officers have the potential to learn 8 skills, four ground and four space, one of each per rank. On the ground the skills are pulled from the same pool as the skills in your captain kits.

Ground: Ground officers always have access to all the skills available to their rank on the ground. An ensign has one ground skill, a lieutenant has two, etc.

On the ground you will always be in a group of five. Every spot not occupied by a Captain is filled by one of the group member's Bridge Officers. Five players means no Bridge officers, four players means one Bridge Officer, three players means two Bridge Officers and two players means three Bridge Officers. One player, or solo play, means four Bridge Officers. That's where we'll focus.

In a group you generally want a healer, a support and 3 DPS classes. Anyone, with a good gun equipped or with Martial Arts, can do DPS. I suggest a second Tactical or Engineering Officer focused specifically on DPS.

Tactical officers get powers and abilities that do damage (Grenades, martial arts moves) or damage buffs and debuffs. They also have access to threat generating abilities like draw fire.

Let's take a moment to look at Martial Arts. I can't stress this enough: Physical damage goes through personal shields, do not skip over this ability. Martial arts also employs combo damage, every three strike combination does a combo move if the third strike lands. Too many people, myself included, put two guns in their weapon slots. This is often a mistake. Martial Arts offers DPS that ignores shields, once an enemy closes I suggest swapping to your open hand and throwing a few punches.

Engineers and Science officers are the healers and DPS classes. Engineers heal shields and Science heals the body and I suggest having a science officer with a good healing ability and an Engineer with a good shield repair ability. This can eliminate the need for equipping consumables during combat. Other abilities you'll want are a personal preference. You may want to deck your engineer out with phaser turret creation, for damage, Chroniton mines for a damage/slowing combination, or a shield dome for added damage resistance. You may want your science officer to focus on healing or to focus on buffing/debuffing or controlling a fight.

Try out new skills in a bridge officer before you put skill points into them. You may find you don't like a particular ability and may want to retrain your officer on Sol Station.

Space: In space your Bridge Officer's abilities are an integral part of combat that define your play style. Unlike in ground combat, you will always have access to your Bridge Officer's abilities in space.

Bridge officers space abilities are restricted to the level of your console. A lieutenant cannot use his second skill if they are assigned to an ensign's console, they can only use ensign skills at an ensign station. This will happen if you've promoted an officer to get access to their ground skill for away missions. For instance, if you're flying a tier 2 escort you will have an ensign console for engineering, but you may promote your engineering Bridge officer so you can have access to their second skill on the ground. In this example your engineering bridge officer has two space skills but only has access to their first space skill, the ensign level skill.

A note: Most damage abilities are generally buffs, not attacks. Torpedoes: High Yield is a buff that lasts a certain period of time. To enjoy the benefit of the buff you need to fire your torpedoes while the buff is active.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7
01-30-2010, 12:35 PM
Tactical:

Tactical officers get access to abilities that improve your weapons. Attack Pattern: Alpha increases the damage all your weapons do for a short period. High Yield Torpedoes increases the damage of your torpedo on a single target, while Torpedo Array fires a spread of torpedoes against one or more targets in an area. With both abilities you activate the ability then fire the weapon it would affect. Different abilities are better for different play styles.

As an escort with cannons in the front to knock down shields, a high yield torpedo launched immediately after knocking shields down does fantastic damage. A Cruiser trying to tank may want to use Torpedo Array to hit as many targets as possible and keep their attention on him.

Fire At Will is something I started with and now avoid. Your tactical officer takes control of one weapon you're not currently firing and gets off four shots on enemies you are not currently targeting. The ability needs some attention.

Science vessels get an innate ability to target subsystems. Couple that with some tactical officers targeting ONE specific subsystem and you've got a good chance to knock that system out. Let's take shields for instance. Utilize your Tactical Bridge Officer's target subsystems shields ability. If the shields don't go down then use your tactical bridge officer target subsystems shields. Not only are you lowering the target's shield power, which reduces their ability to recharge shields, but keep it up and you've got a good chance of bringing down their shields altogether.



Tactical:
Attack pattern Alpha: Attack Pattern Alpha increases the damage of your weapons, and improves your turning rate.
Attack Pattern Beta
Attack Pattern Delta: Attack Pattern Delta targets an allied ship. Any ship that attacks your ally will recieve a stacking damage resistance debuff.
Attack Pattern Omega
Beam Array: Fire at Will: Fire at Will improves your next beam array attack. The Bridge Officer fires your beam weapons at multiple targets of their choice.
Beam Array: Overload: improves your next beam array attack. Overloading your beam weapon delivers an extremely powerful blast, but drains weapon power and briefly takes your beam weapons offline. Only the energy type you Overload will go offline - so if you Overload your Phasers, all Phasers will go offline and not your Plasma weapons.
Cannon: Rapid Fire
Cannon: Scatter Volley
Dispersal Pattern Alpha[Mines]: Improves your next mine attack. Lays a series of mine clusters behind your ship
Dispersal Pattern Beta[Mines]
Go Down Fighting
Security Team
Target Auxiliary Subsystems: Improves the Beam attack. This attack deals normal damage, but also drains Aux power and has a chance to take the targets auxiliary system offline.
Target Engines Subsystems: Improves the Beam attack. This attack deals normal damage, but also drains engine power and has a chance to take the targets engines system offline.
Target Shields Subsystems: Improves your next next beam array attack. Instructs your officer to target enemy shields. This attack deals normal damage, but also drains the target's shield power and has a chance to take target's shields offline.
Target Weapons Subsystems: Improves the Beam attack. This attack deals normal damage, but also drains weapon power and has a chance to take the targets weapon system offline.
Torpedo: High Yield: Deals massive damage, but they can be destroyed before they reach the target

Engineering:

Engineers fix damage, reroute power to different systems, have a few unique attacks, and increase shield generation. An Escort may want Emergency Power to Weapons, a skill that reroutes power to weapons.

Rotate Shield Frequency and Reverse Shield Polarity are 2 key tanking abilities.

In my experience I destroy the enemy ship before my Boarding Party completes its mission, so that ability effectively just kills my crew.

Eject Warp Plasma combined with some mine laying creates a very damaging trap for enemy ships.



Engineering:
Aceton field
Antimatter Spread
Aux. Power to Emergency Battery
Aux. Power to Inertial Dampeners
Aux. Power to Structural Integrity Field: utilizes auxiliary power to restore damage to the hull and provide it with damage resistance over the duration. Increases in effectiveness based on current auxiliary power level.
Boarding Party: Boarding Party launches up to three assault shuttles at the target. If they arrive safely, they will cause damage [to] the ship's crew and subsystems. Each shuttle launched removes 20 crew from your ship who attempt to beam back upon completing the mission.
Directed Energy Modulation
Eject Warp Plasma
Emergency Power to Auxiliary
Emergency Power to Engines
Emergency Power to Weapons
Emergency Power to Shields: Directs emergency battery power to the shields for a short duration
Engineering Team
EPS Power Transfer: Targets yourself or an ally and provides extra power from batteries.
Extend Shields
Metaphasic shields
Miracle Worker Transport
Nadion Inversion
Reverse Shield Polarity: Converts incoming energy weapon damage into additional shields
Rotate Shield Frequency: Rotate Shield Frequency slightly increases shield regeneration and provides significant damage resistance.

Science:

Science powers do a wide variety of things. You can heal allies' shields, buff, debuff, root, knockback, confuse, hold and even create pets. Generally speaking having a more power allocated to auxiliary increases science abilities.

Feedback Pulse turns your shields into damage shields. Tanks should definitely pick this one up, after all, you're the guys getting hit all the time.

Gravity Well is a targeted AoE Root that does kinetic damage over time. This is great for an escort that wants to stay at range so they can keep the enemy within their cannons teeny-tiny firing arcs.

Tractor Beam Repulsors is a knockback with a fancy name.

Science:
Charged Particle Burst
Dampening Field
Energy Siphon
Gravity Well: creates a spatial anomaly at the target's location that draws enemies to its center and gradually crushes their ships, inflicting kinetic damage. Shields drastically reduce the effects of kinetic damage.
Feedback Pulse: harnesses the energy of beam weapon attacks directed against you. Each time you are hit, a damaging pulse is directed at the attacking ship.
Hazard Emitters
Jam Targeting Sensors: prevents the enemy from targeting you.
Mask Energy Signature
Photonic Fleet
Photonic Shockwave
Photonic Officer: Photonic officer reduces the recharge time of bridge officer powers.
Polarize Hull: increases Damage resistance to energy attacks for its duration, and instantly ends all tractor beams on you and provides resistance to tractor attempts for a short time.
Scramble Sensors
Sensor Scan: Sensor Scan reduces the Damage Resistance of the Target and nearby hostile ships while increasing your perception, making it easier to detect enemies.
Subnucleonic Beam: (Increase/Decreases?) recharge time of powers[Ed. Need clarification on this skill]
Tachyon Beam: Drains the targets shields. Increases in effectiveness based on current aux power level
Tractor Beam Repulsors: Push up to 3 enemies (dead or alive) away from your starship
Tractor Beam
Transfer Shield Strength
Tykons Rift
Viral Matrix
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
01-30-2010, 12:35 PM
Choosing your Weapons:

Ground:

You can equip up to two weapons. If a weapon isn't equipped you will do Martial Arts.

There are four kinds of weapons available to all officers on the ground:

Assault Weapons – high damage, long recharge
Rifles – medium damage, medium recharge
Pistols – low damage, short recharge
Martial Arts

Tactical officers have access to grenades and Engineers can build pets, but those are kit abilities, not weapons going into your weapon slot.

Weapons generally have two attacks, a primary attack and a special attack. The primary attack generally had good dps while the secondary attack has effects associated with it. I focus on the dps for the primary attack and ignore the dps on the secondary attack. Secondaries are all about the effect, be it a hold, an AoE attack or spike damage.

For example, your starting phaser has a primary attack that does 12 dps (Or was it 14? I forget) and a secondary attack that does a minor amount of damage, but holds the target for a few seconds. You quickly will find that if you hold the enemy you can do a lot of damage to him in that time and he can't do any to you.

During the tutorial you get a Phaser Rifle that does 16 dps (Again, I'm not sure) but has a secondary attack that does around 100 damage a shot, but has horrible dps because the recharge is so long.

I ignore the dps on the secondary attack, secondaries are all about the effect, be it a hold, an AoE attack or spike damage

A note about ground combat. If you right click an attack on your action bar the attack will be outlined in green and become an autoattack. You need to attack your target once with the auto attack to activate it. You can activate your other attacks or kit abilities without shutting off the autoattack, but if you press the button for the autoattack again the autoattack will shut off. I generally used the primary attack on my weapon as the autoattack and used the secondary attack and my kit abilities as they became available.


Martial Arts. I've mentioned it more then once. Here's the deal. Read this post: http://forums.startrekonline.com/sho...11#post1496811

I'll boil it down for you. Physical damage goes through shields. Martial Arts needs some attention, but its a lot of fun. I suggest trying it out.

FYI, Federation characters can buy Bat'leths on Deep Space 9. Expect to see federation style weapons in an expansion somewhere down the line.



Space:

There are five kinds of space weapons, broken down into 2 categories, energy weapons and projectiles. Energy weapons do equal damage to shields and hull. Projectiles do almost no damage to shields and amazing damage to hulls. All weapons, except mines, have a maximum of 10km range. Generally speaking the larger the firing arc the less damage a weapon does, except mines.

Energy Weapons
Beams – 250 to 90 degree firing arcs, low to medium damage
Cannons – 90 or 45 degree firing arcs, medium to high damage
Turrets – 360 degree firing arc, low damage

Projectile Weapons
Torpedoes – 90 degree firing arc, high damage against hull, low against shields
Mines – 360 degree arc, self targeting, 2-3km maximum range, ridiculous damage against hulls, low against shields

The consensus tactic is to take down an enemy's shields with beams and then send in torpedoes to finish them off. I can tell you from experience, this works very well.


Mines are interesting. Each time you deploy mines you deploy 5 of them. Each of the five mines does about ½ the damage of an equivalent torpedo. If all five mines hit an unshielded hull it's a lot like getting a critical hit with a torpedo. The trick is getting them to hit in the right place at the right time.

You can't aim mines. You just drop them and try to lure your targets into the mine field. There are some tactics developed for mines on the forums. If you're interested I suggest doing a little experimenting and do a little research. Try things out. It took a lot of effort to put mines in the game and it's fairly obvious they do more damage then any other weapon, but the limitations on them are very high.

I could see them working very well in solo play while kiting, but I didn't get a chance to try it during the open beta. Kiting is a tactic where you get the enemy to follow you. If I was building a kiting build I'd probably use a cruiser, put some mines in the front arc, some beams in the back and get the AI enemies to chase me. I'll have to try it out.

I've heard science vessels can't equip mines. I don't know if that's true either.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
01-30-2010, 12:36 PM
Choosing your Ship:

You begin life in a Miranda class cruiser. After you complete level ten and enter level eleven you get a mission to return to Sol Station and talk to Admiral Quinn. He wants to promote you and give you a better ship. Do yourself a favor, drop what you're doing, transwarp back to Sol and get your new ship. There are three classes of ship and the game does a fairly good job of walking you through what they do. I'm here to tell you why they do what they do.

First, Suricata made an amazing ship chart that gives you all the information you need about ships. http://suricatasblog.files.wordpress...tierchart1.png Read the icon guide, I'll explain the tier 2 ships and you should be able to extrapolate that to the rest of the chart.

Cruisers are the biggest ships with the highest warp core power. They are listed as the tanking class, and they are because they allow the most engineering abilities, which gives you access to numerous self heals, both shields and hull, and damage resists. Cruisers can equip the most number of weapons, 8, four fore and aft at tier 5. As the ships get bigger their turning rate slows considerably, if you're interested in playing a cruiser you'll want to find ways to compensate for this, through experimentation and reading on the forums.

The tier 2 ship has 2 engineering consoles, one is a lieutenant console. This gives you 3 engineering powers, 1 science and one tactical. For weaponry you have 2 fore and 2 aft weapons.

Escorts are the damage dealing ship because they are the only ship that can equip cannons. Cruisers can equip more weapons, but escorts can equip cannons. Consequently, you may want to equip some cannons. Escorts get the most tactical bridge officer abilities, which give bonuses to damage dealing. Remember, energy weapons do equal damage to shields and hull while torpedoes and mines do little damage to shields and ridiculous amounts of damage to hull. At tier five an escort has 4 fore and 3 aft weapons.

The tier 2 ship has 2 tactical consoles, one is a lieutenant console. This gives you 3 engineering powers, 1 science and one engineering. You have 3 fore and 1 aft weapons.

Science Vessels are the support ships not because they have the most science powers. Depending on end game choice both escorts and cruisers can use 3 science powers verses 5 in a science vessel. With a science captain you'll have more science powers then a science vessel not captained by a science captain. You have less weapons at end game then either other ship.

Since science vessels can do the least damage (least number of weapons and no cannons) they are expected to reroute power to auxiliary, which boosts the effectiveness of many of their science abilities. Instead of focusing on dealing and taking damage science classes use their abilities to buff, heal and control the flow of combat.

The tier 2 ship has 2 science consoles, one is a lieutenant console. This gives you 3 science powers, 1 tactical and 1 engineering. You have 2 fore and 2 aft weapons.


One of the great things about Star Trek Online is that you are not limited by your class. Thinking outside the box is allowed. You could take an engineering captain, put him in a science vessel, which gets a bonus to shields, and use your added engineering abilities to be a very effective tank. You can take a cruiser, throw torpedo launchers on the front and turrets in the back and make a missile boat. The possibilities are limited by your creativity, think outside the box.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
01-30-2010, 12:40 PM
Actually very helpful! Thanks for the work!
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