Whenever i play an mmo I tend to cling to respec options. This because i hate the thought that i could make a decision that could make a permanent impact on a character that i could possibly spend hundreds of hours on. Its just a disturbing thought to me, and it's one of the reasons i had trouble with champions online.
Anyway, I'm digging STO on the outset, but I'm a bit worried about what im seeing with the way the game systems work, particularly on the speccing/skilling side. I'm currently playing a female vulcan tactical officer with the astrophysicist and creative traits. I picked those not really having a super good idea of what i was doing, but i figured it would be good to have both a space and ground trait.
The thing is, it seems like this might have been a mistake. I'm not sure how i should be spending my traits, or skills for that matter. I'm finding it pretty unclear whether I should be focusing on space or ground specifically, or if it is safe to try and generalize a bit. I come from games like WoW where you can pretty much go from any of the styles to another without suffering a loss in effectiveness. It seems to me like i would want to pick an aspect of the game and aim for it specifically as i level up. Which to be honest makes the game seem like it might not be for me (or at least require more time and effort in researching builds then i really want to spend right now).
I'm mainly asking for a more experienced player's opinion on how i should be spending my skills and whether my traits could be considered a mistake or not. I REALLY don't want to waste skills points, and if i have to reroll i want to do it as soon as possible.
Sorry for the super long and probably typo ridden post. Any help or opinions are extremely appreciated.
My personal view is you should be focusing on space abilitys as much as you can. Only a small % of the game seems to be on the ground and the parts that are seem to be easy. This could all change later on but I think for the time being making pure space builds are the way to go.
There is currently no respec function in-game, but one will be added. The devs have confirmed that you can respec for in-game currency, you won't need to pay real cash for one as a microtransaction.
With that out of the way:-
The 'conventional' powergaming wisdom is that you should build for space rather than ground, because there's somewhat more space content than ground...and you can get by on the ground even without a lot invested in ground skills.
I say this is the conventional wisdom, because there are plenty of folks who disagree - and who prefer doing ground content. I personally think it's better to invest at least some points in ground skills...but I definitely have most of my points in space, and only whatever's left over going to my ground build.
I've also focused pretty specifically on just one line of kits/ground powers for my captain, which again, saves points for space.
The most popular character traits currently are ones that increase your ship's power levels or energy efficiency - like Efficient, Warp Theorist, and so on. These still need to be combined with the relevant skills in your build... the skills affecting Warp Core and such under Starship Engineering. But the idea is that power output is very important in space, and getting more is the best thing you can possibly do.
I don't think you're losing out that much if you don't have traits in that area - the percentage boosts are pretty small. But I would recommend investing in those skills.
Other than that, you should honestly boost only the skills that affect powers (space or ground) that you're actually using. No point increasing skills for things you aren't using.
If you use, for instance, Polarize Hull and Tractor Beam a lot - then definitely boost Starship Operations, and then later Starship Emitters - those two skills boost the effects of those two powers.
Check out this online STO character builder, by a forum user named Ghley - it's a very good and helpful tool. On the current build, if you select powers on the left-hand window, the skills that affect it will be highlighted in the builder. Not all powers are documented yet, but this should help you in matching bridge officer power selections to the skills you should be increasing.
If you press 'P'' while in space or ground, you can hover your mouse (or right click, can't remember) over your powers to check what skills they're affected by.
Thanks! I appreciate all the info, it was pretty much exactly what i was looking for. I'll probably end up avoiding Vulcan in my re-roll. The melee damage trait seems like it's probably garbage from what you're saying about the game. I'll either go human or create a race I guess.