So I've been looking through these forums daily since open beta, and despite the vast amount of helpful info one thing is always lacking. MINES
"Summary for those who don't like reading" -(Mines are a form of zone/path control, spam them in one place or in a line to make someone else either not go there or blow up. They are not as a good of a form of dps as torpedos, but on slower ships can be like the all facing turret and stop people from just flying circles around you so easily.)
No one wants to use them, few test them beyond the very basic cooldowns, and almost no one completly understands why cryptic even bothered to add them. Thusly I hope to help that problem.
1. Zone Control: This is the biggest use of mines in the game. To make someone else, not go where you are, or were. On the ground this use is apparent though short lived, as many just place their mines directly ON their oppoents. A valid strategy, but not their whole potential in my opinion. No, they are a form of strategy.
Whenever an oppoent steps on a mine two things happen. One boom (damage), they take a decent amount of damage. or BOOM(knockback). Therefor it's a form of path/crowd control more then dps. Something very useful when you don't want them running after your healer or that dps who needs to recharge their csheilds for a sec.
2. Secondary form of dps: In the case of torpedos vs mines, a torpedo is roughly worth 3 mines or so early game (might change later). So if you can land mines on your oppoent consitently they're actually better dps!
NOTE - you won't ever land as many mines as torpedos. I'm sorry, it's just not feasible. TO EVEN COME CLOSE you would have to be faster, more manevrable, and spam the button on a ship who couldn't shoot them all down, or counter them with mines/speed or w/e
That said, you can still hit with them quite often by either hugging your oppoents ship, or dragging them into a field of pre placed mines.
3. tips, tricks, and the meta game.
tip one, lay a field of a few sets of mines while firing phasers or disruptors. I chose disruptors for this task myself, as their hull dps is decent. Then merely move forward until you reach the edge of the mine field, then back up through it while maintaining your arcs on the enemy. This FORCES them to either come to you, or stay away.
Use emergency power to engines in combo with a field of mines. IT gives the ability new purpose. lay some mines, charge the enemy, THEN FULL REVERSE + power to engines for a quick tacitcal retreat into your field.
Lay mines constantly, never stop unless you want your sets to stay for a longer period in a designated spot. They go after ships, destroyable projectiles, take out fighters quite well, and even are useful for countering other mines.
-Final note, the Meta game of mining- I personally I like mines, but I do not believe they are the most powerful tool out there for dps. In fact it's quite alot of trouble, time, and skill to use them right. However I do believe they will eventually become the high level hard counter to some more prevalent builds and strategies. Let me run it down for you.
You pick mines, as a cruiser. It's a good choice because you can't always be facing the right way for torps. They pick a fast, nimble, ANNOYINGLY strong escort. Without mines, all they do, all day long is ride your ass right on you blowing away that one shield side with big ass cannons. Your dps is not as high, and without those multiple shields sidings your at a disadvantage. Then they use that big targetable plasma shot on you or boarding partys. You can't stop them in time because they are RIGHT ON YOU, all the time, FOREVER.
With mines though they have to make a choice. Either take it to the face, or avoid them as best they can. The mines do significant damage to non shielded enemies, and your shielding is better. Also they can't get quite as close all the time anymore. In addiditon those annoying targeting things you wanted to kill? Your mines automatically kill them for you. They go for nearest target after priming themselves for a second, so even if they do ride you, the mines might take care of those point blank plasma bolts with a bit of fancy flying.
Thats my thoughts on mines, hope they help people who didn't understand them before.
While I'm sure in some circumstance it might help, like for fighters or plasma torps, or for when someone is chasing you.... but honestly when I see a mine field I don't even slow down. Most anyone's ship can take them all out before they're ever a threat. That's why people just run and drop them on on top of people.
The mines that are laid by PvE enemies are pitifully weak in comparison to the mines laid by a player. Something I'd like to stress from the OP. A single torpedo is equal in damage to 3 mines. You lay 5 at a time. That holds true for both shield damage and hull damage. Assuming you're laying mines as fast as you're firing torpedoes and all of you're mines hit then:
MINES WILL DO 66% MORE DAMAGE THAN TORPEDOES.
A few other notes for why mines are great.
-Plasma mines have a percentage chance to proc the plasma dot for each mine. Meaning plasma dot is 5x more likely.
-Mines are effectively 360 degree firing arc. They can be fired out the aft and hit a target in front of you.
-Mines deal more burst damage. Sure you're target may not get hit by you're first set or your second set. But watch what happens when they fly through 3 sets of mines all at once. Ask your self would you rather fire 1 torp every 8 seconds or 3 simultaneous torps every 24 seconds?
-Mines are less likely to over kill weak targets. If it only take 2 mines to blow up a fighter you're other three mines will still be available to target something else.
-Mines interfere with players ability to target in PvP
Some reasons why mines are less than great:
-Mines are short range no more than 3-5km
-Mines clusters can be destroyed by other mines, torp spreads and HYT plasma torps
-it's practically impossible to target a cluster of mines through a hole in someones shields
-It's likely that not every mine will find a target so some damage will be wasted
-mines have a longer refresh so even though their damage is greater their overall dps is lower.
having said all of that for science and cruiser I always run with one mine launcher and am thinking of trying out two of them.