I realise best is a matter of perception but I figured I'd ask the question here and see what sort of suggestions folk give. I won't say price isn't an issue - it definitely is, but prior to going on a spending spree at K-13 and the Fleet Research Lab I was at the Fleet Credit cap. I have some dilithium to spare too so I'm open to reputation sets, or parts of sets, but I'm not really interested in trying my luck with obscure lockbox equipment. I can probably grit my teeth and run the same mission a couple of times in a row for mission sets, but I'm hoping there's a merchant somewhere selling what's recommended.
At heart I remain an SFC player rather than an STO player. For those who never played that series it was supposed to be an incredibly complex Star Trek simulation - think 2D version of the space component of STO, and yet it's vastly simpler than STO. For the most part toggling something on e.g. overload, kept you in overload mode. I know STO doesn't work like that - you have to button mash like crazy, but I'd prefer to minimise that side of things and I want to avoid builds which rely on stacking bonuses via manipulating things. Obviously I can't ignore the Captain Specialization, Traits, Boff bonuses (however they work) and anything else that applies bonuses in the background, but once set they can at least be ignored. Since I'm still leveling various ships my loadout isn't fixed, though ultimately I expect I'll settle on a tactical leaning cruiser of some description, so there won't be a perfect solution just at present but if I get a decent loadout I can transfer it between ships and plod along until I finish leveling and settle on a preferred ship.
My primary toon is tetryon based but I have toons using each of the various energy types and will eventually be looking for beam arrays for them too, but one thing at a time.
I've no clue whether the best beam arrays are a generic type e.g. crafted\merchant, or unique and attained via a mission or rep set. I figure I can but ask and hope I get some useful responses.
I'm presently using the https://sto.gamepedia.com/Nukara_Appropriated_Munitions
set which includes a unique Tetryon Dual Beam Bank, a Drain Expertise universal console, and the awesome Web Mine Launcher. Equipping 2/3 items grants +9.5% Tetryon Damage, and +19 Starship Drain Expertise with 3/3 enhancing the Hyper-Dual Refracting Tetryon Beam Bank. I'm also using the https://sto.gamepedia.com/Nukara_Strikeforce_Technologies
set which includes a hull\shield restoration\capacity and Drain Expertise boosting deflector, impulse engines, and a fairly heavy shield. Equipping 2/3 items grants +5% Bonus Energy Weapon Damage. I'm using the https://sto.gamepedia.com/Quantum_Phase_Catalysts#Quantum_Phase_Torpedo
as my kinetic projectile and would be open to adopting the set's universal console to get the Drain Expertise bonus and the 2/3 set's bonus to Accuracy and the Quantum Phase Torpedo, but equally open to switching it out. My remaining slots are filled with crafted Tetryon Beam Arrays with a focus on [Dmg]. None of my gear is Mk XV but my weapons are split roughly 50:50 between Epic and VR. Upgrading will improve performance slightly, but if there's better options out there I'd prefer to switch now than upgrade then be forced to switch later - I've probably already left things far later than I should but I'm more of a casual player and don't want to be bothered by stuff.
Oh I'm presently also using https://sto.gamepedia.com/Console_-_Tactical_-_Tetryon_Pulse_Generator
s but have been advised that rather than upgrading those to Epic XIV I should have instead selected https://sto.gamepedia.com/Console_-_Tactical_-_Vulnerability_Locator
depending on whether criticals or survivability is my preference. I'm leaning towards Protomatter survivability but as yet undecided.
In another thread someone recommended the https://sto.gamepedia.com/Krenim_Temporal_Manipulation
set which includes a weak Omnidirectional Tetryon Beam Array, a shield capacity\crit boosting science console, and a warp core. Equipping 2/3 items grants +13.3% tetryon damage boost. While not a set item the https://sto.gamepedia.com/Console_-_Science_-_Emitter_Refocuser
looks to mesh very nicely with its bonuses to Tetryon Damage, Drain Expertise, and Shield Restoration. And while it's not been mentioned might the https://sto.gamepedia.com/Console_-_Universal_-_Sticky_Web
be worth considering if it's available at a reasonable price on the Exchange?
Okay that's rather a long post on background which may or may not be relevant in addressing the original question - what is the best kind of beam array to equip? At present I'm thinking the Elite Fleet Dranuur [energy] Beam Array [modifier]x3 [Proc] might be the best option available. As I understand it it does about 5% more damage, and offers the bonus shield\hull healing [Proc]. I could however be grossly mistaken as there's 6 different base tetryon types as far as I can see, not counting omni-directional arrays - which I believe are significantly weaker, and any unique weapons such as the Hyper-Dual Refracting Tetryon Beam Bank - yes I'm aware that's not a beam array, but I am somewhat partial to it!!!