A Small Guide to Admiralty
(I wrote this stuff up for a friend, but thought: why not share, maybe it can help somebody? And though I am using simple statements here, I am well aware that there may be a huge number of mistakes, none too serious I hope, since I did no number crunching on many of these, but just collected from my mind what I noticed when clicking around, also some stuff may be a matter of opinion more than fact)
Admiralty is a system not unlike doffing, where you click around in a window to get some rewards for doing "missions". It uses your "admiralty cards" (or "cards" for short), which you will mostly get for the ships you own, but there are some special cards not associated with any of your ships. Unlike doffing, there is nothing in admiralty you need outside of admiralty that you cannot get yourself some other place - except for some admiralty cards which are only good for admiralty - so you can completely ignore it. It does give out very useful amounts of XP, dil, and ec though, so you may want to consider doing it at least every once in a while.
When you reach level 52, admiralty unlocks. You will immediately get one card for every ship on your roster, and will continue to get a new card each time you get a new ship. You will NOT get cards for ships sunk in your drydock, you you might want to visit a ship selector and un-drydock ships you have there to get the card. Once you have the card, you can drydock or disband your ships all you like, the cards will stay. IMO it is worth it to keep your leveling ships until level 52 just for the card, even if you disband them immediately afterwards, you should have enough free roster slots at that time. If you have unused ship claims from leveling, e.g. because you had a better ship available, you can also use them here.
Note: sometimes a bug means you don't immediately get a card for every ship. So look through your admiralty roster whether everything is there. If not, relog, or easier: shuffle between drydock and active duty until you got them.
Cards are the ships you send on the mission. Each card gives you the option to send one of your ships on a mission, after the completion of which ships will enter a maintenance "cooldown" phase until they can be used for a new mission. Cards have infinite uses and cannot die - exception are one-time use cards you may get by doing certain admiralty missions, I'll come back to that later.
Each card has some basic properties:
- a score for each of the fields engineering, tactical, and science, which I will call the "stats"
- a "class" - shuttle, eng, tac, or sci, can be seen by looking at the top right, where they are white, yellow, red, and blue respectively. This usually, but not always, is also the field with the strongest stats
- a rarity level ranging from common (white) to epic (gold), seen on the bottom left of the card
- a cooldown time, ranging from 5 minutes for shuttles to 18 hours for tier 6 ships
- a bonus ability
Cooldown time is entirely dependent on the tier of the associated ship. Also, rarity has no direct influence and can safely be ignored. (Rarity and tier determine the overall stats though. A common tier 1 will always have a sum of 15, a rare tier 1 will always have 18, and so on.)
Bonus abilities include:
- bonus stats for either flying a mission alone, or with other ships (sometimes dependent on class).
- a bonus to critical chance, either from certain types or in general
- ignoring of modifiers changing the required stats for a mission
- reduction of cooldown times depending on other ships used
Note that boni for ships of a certain type only talk about other ships, so an eng ship with a bonus for eng ships will not get the bonus for itself. Also shuttle ships don't count as "other ship", so a bonus to "any ship" will not apply to them.
Missions consist of two parts, the basic assignment which you will already see in detail in the overview when choosing missions, plus an event.
The assignment consists of
- required stats to do it
- rewards for completing the assignment (which will always include XP, Expertise, and Campaign XP, but may also include dil, mats, prisoners, colonists, ec, or one-time use cards)
- a rarity level, which again is mostly meaningless - it determines the range of stats you already see - except for the epic "Tour of Duty" assignments, which I'll talk about later
- time needed for the assignment. This is usually quite short compared to the cooldown phase of the better ships, maxing out at 3.5 hours IIRC, except for the Tours of Duty which take 20 hours
The event consists of one or both of the following
- changes to stats, mostly you'll need more, sometimes less
- additional bonus rewards, which can be dil, ec, mats, a critical chance bonus, or a cooldown reduction
Also, missions come in three campaigns (which you can choose on the left), Fed (focussing on XP), KDF (dil), Romulan (Mats), which have an independent leveling system from 1 to 10 for which the Campaign XP are used (which are useless once you leveled.
To start a mission, you need to assign one to three cards to them. The stats of the cards will determine both a success chance and a critical chance. Meeting all three required stats with your cards does, unlike doffing, guarantee success 100%. The critical chance also builds up with the stats, but can never reach 100%. Where you placed your stats does not affect crit chance, however, to crit you first need to succeed, so while two setups with the same sum of stats may show the same crit number, they may not actually have it if they have different success chances. A critical success will increase the rewards from the assignment, but not from the event.
Any assignment can only be once in the list of the three available and two upcoming missions, the same event can show up multiple times, however.
There also is a specific set of epic "Tour of Duty" assignments which reach from level 1 (where the assignment is always 10-10-10) to level 10 (with 100-100-100 required). To get higher level missions, you first have to succeed in a lower level one. Also, no more than one of these missions from the same campaign can be done at the same time. Once you complete level 10 Tour of Duty, you get a hefty bonus (2 spec points for Fed, 30k dil for KDF, 4 universal upgrades for Rom) and it starts over.
You also get pass tokens (at certain times during leveling or with a critical success on a mission) you can use to skip missions you think are too hard or offer too little reward. For example, a mission exists which requires very high stats to complete and rewards prisoners. Which are of no use to Fed players. Just skip that son of a mission.
Building up Admiralty
The first thing you probably want to do is get all three campaigns to level 10. This will unlock one epic, very, very, VERY useful admiralty card per campaign, plus a nice bonus. Also leveling allows for more missions at the same time, making the system more effective. To do so, you want to do at least one mission per day per campaign, which you WANT to succeed to get the hefty daily Campaign XP bonus, so you need 100% here. Which mission you choose is almost insignificant, since the bonus outclasses everything you can additionally get from completing one more mission in a different field, thus you can choose the easiest.
In the beginnning you can only do three missions at a time, so you're set here. However, once you unlock your fourth slot, what to do with it? My suggestion would be to look what you need to unlock the next slot and throw all extra missions towards that goal, but it isn't as important as getting these three daily boni. If you don't get a doable mission but already have more than three slots, it may be an idea to "throw at shuttle" at a mission, i. e. use a comparatively useless ship to solo the mission, regardless of success chances, so you can get another slot for your better ships you didn't waste. And who knows, maybe your Miranda will kill the Crystalline entity after all?
Once you reached level 10
You are free now to pursue whatever (XP, dil, mats) you prefer most. I would suggest concentrating on one of them at a time so you get at least one Tour of Duty mission. This will happen most times, though sometimes you may need to pass missions to make them appear. Since crit chance already builds up during filling the requirements, yopu will get regular new pass tokens though, and with a somewhat decent roster you will be able to continuously do a ToD per day and still hit the pass token cap of 50. So you can try to expand this strategy to two campaigns, which may work for a while, even quite long if you have a decent enough roster which will crit often, or even all three, but that will dwindle your pass token resource quickly - however you can still go back to the "one campaign" strategy to rebuild your pool. Also, if you already have done a ToD on your campaign, you may just as well change to another, it won't hurt the chances of the next ToD in your appearing quicker, but you have chances of getting an extra one in the other.
Setting up cards for missions
Since critical chance does not scale linear with the stats put into a mission, and since a crit does not increase the event rewards, which very often are the more interesting ones, I would suggest to just barely fill the missions to 100% and leave it at that unless you get a really nice reward from the assignment itself. Even 97% may be good if you lack the roster to fill 8 missions - unlike others I do not believe that they fail 50% of the time. Two exceptions: you want 100% both for the bonus campaign XP during your buildup, and for the Tour of Duty missions, otherwise you will not only lose out on "some XP" every now and then, but on a whole day towards your stated goal. Apart from that you will want to get most out of your ships and their special boni, which brings me to
Getting to know your ships and the missions
Stats are easy enough, but already come with a kink. Not all same-tier same-rarity ships are of the same use, even though they have the same sum of stats.
For one, all missions have the stats needed in steps of 5. This means a 50-20-20 card is way stronger than a 52-19-19 one. The former may solo missions the latter cannot, since there is only need of the extra 2 eng points, unless it is the second or third card on a mission and fills the extra need, while both the 19-20 differences can mean getting a mission to 100% or not.
Then there are the bonus aspects, which are even more important
- Extra stats are always fine, but come in very different flavors, and demand a closer look
- Extra crit chance is often not worth it, again unless the assignment is really valuable. Throwing a Critx5 shuttle into the mix for a low level Tour of Duty is very nice. Doubling the crit bonus from events is almost useless. I mostly consider these ships for the stats alone (exceptions: the mentioned x5 shuttles and the x3 bonus from the Fed Campaign tier 10 reward)
- Cooldown reduction depends a lot on your style of play. If you tend to come in regularily once a day (say somewhat between 6pm and 8pm after work for 1-2 hours), they are almost useless: all cooldowns you had will be finished even without a bonus, except for larger ships from a Tour of Duty which won't, no matter what kind of cooldown reduction you got from other ships. If you don't come online daily, they lose all their uses. However, if you log in once or twice a day, or play for extended hours, they may mean the difference of using strong ships or not. The "cooldown combo" of Nandi/Sarr Theln/Samsar (each giving 10% cd reduction for a ship of a different class, being in three different classes, this combines to 60%) means their cooldown goes down from 18h to 5.4h, which is the difference between fielding this strong combo (128-122-122, capable of doing a lot of more difficult missions) about once a day or three times.
- ignoring event stat changes can be a situational boon. I'd recommend saving them for when they are needed
A stat change ignorer does also ignore a bonus to you, so keep that in mind. That being said, a low level mission (say 20-20-20) with a huge modifier (+100 to Tac) can be turned from a mission you need one or probably two of your large, useful, long cd ship into one that T3 ships can easily handle. Effectively your 13-28-13 (sum 54) small ship becomes a 13-128-13 (sum 154, outclassing all other classes without a stat bonus).
Bonus stats and their effects
Bonus stats come in two different flavors, each divided into subdivisions
Bonus stats for flying with other ships. These can be for "any ship" or for ships of one or two certain classes (tac, eng, sci). They can increase weak stats or strong stats as seen from the point of view of the card itself. Your goal with these is to synergize these as much as possible. Some do so better than others, who you may not really use for their bonus, only for their stats themselves.
Bonus stats for flying alone. These come in three different flavors (increase to the two non main stats, increase to one stat, usually the "main" though it may not correspond to ship class, and bonus to all three. Here you need to consider whether they are actually realistically capable of doing a solo job.
Both these kinds will often come with a certain "circulation" if you got a three-pack. For example the three capital T6 ships have "+10 Sci for Eng ships", "+10 Tac for Sci ships", "+10 Eng for Tac ships"; while pilot ships have "+35 Eng" for the Eng version, "+35 Tac" for the Tac version and "+35 Sci" for the Sci version. Often these sets also come with a minor change in base stats according to type.
So when is a ship capable of soloing and thus valuable (you save ships, you get bonus stats to your total capabilities?). The most extreme difference I came across is with the Dyson Destroyers. They have a baseline of 12-32-48, get 6 bonus according to their type and another 35 if soloing, so they are
This seemingly minor difference means a lot of difference in their use. The tactical one is decent in Tac and Sci and may complement an Eng ship for a balanced medium level mission. The sci one is Sci strong (more than 50) and thus can help complete an unbalanced Sci heavy mission. Both however will hardly ever solo a mission, since there is almost no way you get a "10" (remember, steps of 5) in Eng while needing this much higher stats in the other two fields (12-38-89).
The Eng version is very different, though. Soloing it would have 53-32-48, and there are a lot of cases this can be useful. A 40-40-40 with a -10 for Tac. A 30-30-30 with a +20 for Eng. You are not overdoing these by much, and they are regulars - you will find one of these almost daily. So while the two other have good use as combo ships, even though without synergy, the Eng version is way more useful and should not be used to "make up numbers" if you can avoid it.
On the other hand, often the bonus doesn't help that much. Taking the pilot ships as an example, which are more or less 25-65-20, or the command cruisers at 70-20-20 with a rolling bonus of 35. The Tac Pilot or Eng Command will probably never solo, again, those unbalanced missions will come more often than not from a crazy event and thus are more easily handled with an event nullifier (if available). The other versions are often also too specialized to solo efficiently - 60-60-20 is rare. All can solo a 20-60-20 (or 60-20-20) with the same crit success chance, but you will probably use lesser ships for that and keep those around for when you need a lot of Tac (or Eng) with the ships, making the bonus less usefull.
The other two solo bonus versions (bonus to the weak stats, bonus to all stats) are way more straightforward, and almost always useful. The former will often be able to solo a balanced mission of it's level, the latter can often solo less balanced versions of medium level. However, small differences in usefulness still exist. Take the following Rom ships:
Both get +15 all stats when alone. However, the difference between 19 and 22 means soloing 30 sci or 35 sci, and while the strength of the Aelahl in Tac makes up for that in sheer numbers, it is surprisingly often that this matters, while the 10 bonus (35->50 to 25->40, steps of 5...) in Tac rarely, the 5 Kara bonus in Eng hardly ever matter. So if you can solo with both, and want to with one, you should use the Aelahl and keep the Kara for later use.
The bonus for other ships type are a different deal. Here you look out for maximum synergy. (Also a remainder: shuttles are not ships for this). "Synergy" means getting more out of two things that you'd get out of each one solo combined. So when you have one ship giving "+10 Eng for each Tac" and then add a Tac ship, you'd get a 10 points bonus, more than both ships combined, that is synergy.
Now, ships giving bonus for their own type are usually stronger than ships giving for a different type because they synergize better. Why? Let's consider a Tac ship with "+10 for Tac" with one with the same stat points but "+10 for each Eng ship" (where the bonus applies is of no concern).
Both ships solo are equally strong, with their stats alone, no bonus applies.
Add to the first another Tac ship, also with "+10 per Tac"; to the second an Eng ship with "+10 per Tac", again stat sum equal.
Both sets will again have equal strength. The combined base stats are the same, both will get 20 bonus (10 from each ship because of the other).
But now we add a third ship to both sets. Again a "plus 10 for Tac" to the former set will net a bonus of 60 points - each ship would get 20 because of 10 from both others each. Whatever you add to the second group, however, be it Tac or be it Eng, will only benefit from one of them, and regardless of what bonus itself gets, only get +10, too, so suddenly it is only +40. Now, 20 difference probably won't kill you, and it is more important to look out for whatever you need for this - what good is bonus eng if you fail to get your Sci going? - 20 points is still 20 points. And other ships offer larger bonuses. Finally, you will be able to get a high unbalanced mission with this, while a Tac/Eng combo gives two mid high and one lower score, which is more rare as a mission.
It should be mentioned that another form of perfect synergy exists. There are ships out there giving bonus stats for both other types (so a Tac ship with "+10 for each Eng or Sci" and so on). Throwing three of these together also gives maximum bonus - but they are way rarer than the "Tac with bonus for Tac" version, and getting three of them from different fields is even rarer.
So again, in a 3-pack-engine ship, the card with "+ per Eng" is probably stronger than the other two. It also depends on how many ships of a certain type you have, a "+10 for Sci" is worth nada if you haven't Sci ships at hand.
Of course ships with "+10 per any ship" synergize well, shuttles don't. And, different wording doesn't mean anything. "+5 Eng for Sci OR Tac ship" means the same as "+5 Eng for Sci AND Tac ship", just as "+10 for any ship" is the same as "+10 for any ship except shuttles".
The thing about science (which may not be about science)
If I am not very mistaken, science heavy assignments are not more common or rare than eng or tac heavy ones. However, many players are not strong in science and don't have many ships for it, also one time use cards are randomly selected from available T6 ships, and there is a lack of science as well. If you are a Rom, you'll have only very few options (and a Rom is comparatively weak on Engineering ships, too, since capital ships are Tac unlike KDF and Fed). So for many players Sci is a weak spot. If you happen to be a Sci loving Fed captain, this does not apply to you, but a similar thing may happen with another class.
So say you are a Rom captain and are facing an 70-70-70 mission. Your first instinct may be to use one dedicated ship for each class to fill it, probably ones without too many boni. But then a 50-50-140 comes along, and you are absolutely missing your Sci ship and cannot reach target anymore. This situation (already at the 70-70-70 junction) is basically the one I am throwing a former hint away and try to completely overdo it. As a Rom I am tac strong, so why not throw, say, the three T5-Scimitars at it. They end up 72-150-72, filling both eng and sci very nicely. Yes, I am throwing away 80 good stat points in Tac. But as a Rom with a larger roster, I swim in Tac points, so this will hurt me less for future missions than using up one of my few Sci cards.
Why all this talk about worth?
Of course, almost nobody will buy a ship for the worth of the admiralty card alone. However, when setting up a mission, it's more prudent to keep the better ships in hand when just looking to make up some numbers. Also, using Synergies increases your total points and thus your crit chance, which isn't that important but then again 500dil are 500dil, if you can get them. So more valuable ships are:
- Ships that synergize well
- Ships that can solo a lot of missions
- Ships that are strong where your roster in general is weak
Keep them in hand until needed.
Also, try out what ships you have in your roster. You may come to find certain combos you like, because they give a useful sum in all three fields. You'll learn what you can reach and what you cannot.
Finally, one-time use cards
Everything said above applies here, too. Of course they don't benefit from reduced cooldown. Depending on your playstyle and your general roster strength they may build up to almost infinity. In this case feel free to just throw them out whenever they appear. You cannot delete them, but you can use three Ultra Rare T6 ships for a 10-0-10 mission.
Or you don't have that many ships. In this case, take a good look. Since they are one-time use, use them well, so you should (a) need them to complete the mission and (b) get a decent reward out of it.
Of course there is also a middle ground, especially for players weak in a certain field. Then Sci ships may be useful to keep around (see 2nd paragraph here on how to use them), while you throw out Tac ships (as in the first paragraph).
Again, this was done for something else, but why not put it out, maybe others can learn some stuff. Also, point out any mistakes or oversights, or different opinions, maybe even I can learn some more stuff. Especially omissions would be welcome.
My mother was an epohh and my father smelled of tulaberries