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Help a Newcomer Build (and Fly) Better for Space Battles

ringlin#2115 ringlin Member Posts: 4 Arc User
I'm getting spanked in space. Can you help?

Info for newcomers to STO is surprisingly hard to come by, but the Guide to Shuttles is more newbie-friendly than the end-game builds at DPS League. There's also good suggestions at the the 44th Fleet, though many are for level 50+.

Goal
Suffer less in space battles to 50+ (PvE, mostly solo, some TFs). Right now, I'm more Daffy Duck than Bugs Bunny.

Beginner Build Questions
  • If I'm using mostly beams, do I still want one cannon at this stage? Is one enough?
  • Should I be using Consumables in most fights? Which are most helpful?
  • What officer traits are most helpful? They seem to make a big difference.
  • What destroys enemy torpedoes? Even when I target them early, I have a hard time eliminating them before they hit.
  • Should I run with a shield arrangement other than Balanced?
  • To fill the 2nd Science Slot, do I have to Retire my 2nd Tac Officer?
  • Where do Slotted Abilities come from for space battles (like Evasive Maneuvers, Sensor Scan, Brace for Impact)?
  • Does my officer race matter at this stage? I can see for endgame that a 2% damage bonus can help, but for now, can I keep my current crew?


Here's what I'm flying now. Lt Commander, levl 18, Federation, Science.
Level 10 Science Vessel (Tier 2? I'm new, and it'll be awhile before I can buy major upgrades). I know I don't have to match my class, but I read that Science Vessels have a fair balance of maneuverability and survivability. Is that right?

Fore Weapons: Harg'peng Torpedo Launcher Mk IV, Plasma Beam Array Mk IV
Shields: Resilient Mk IV
Aft Weapons: Phaser Beam Array Mk IV x 2. I tried slotting Mines there, but struggled to make it work well.

Officer Abilities
Torpedo High Yield I (Evelyn Savea, from the tutorial, Tac officer)
Engineering Team I (+HP)
Science Team I (+Shields) and Jam Targeting Sensors II
The last slot is empty. I have a 2nd Tac Officer and can't put her in the Ensign Science Slot. Should I replace her with another Scientist, or can I add a 5th officer and rotate between them? If I have to remove the 2nd Tac Officer, is Retiring her the only option?

Slotted Abilities
Evasive Maneuvers
Sensor Scan
Sensor Analysis
Brace for Impact


Tactics
Fly around, click stuff.

No, really: I try to keep a side with decent shields facing my enemy, and I use beams until I get a notice that enemy shields are down, then launch the Torpedo.
Engineering Team I, Science Team I, and Jam Targeting Sensors are invaluable. Most of my flights are long slogs, and I need the +Regen from these and Brace for Impact. I do use Brace Impact before a Torpedo strike if available, and Evasive Maneuvers when tractor-beamed. I'm not sure how much Sensor Analysis helps or if it has a limited range.

What else should I be doing, wise warriors of the galaxy?
Tagged:

Comments

  • qultuqqultuq Member Posts: 522 Arc User
    edited December 2020
    To start you want one energy type (ether plasma or phasers)

    Also your bridge officer skills are weak.

    You can retrain them at Starfleet command in the office next to Admiral Quinn

    Think skills like Tactical team, Fire All Weapons, Attack Pattern Beta.

    For engineering I recommend reverse while polarity Engineering Team and Auxiliary power to Battery.

    For science, Science team, I like photonic officer and of course gravity well—but sci can be a little more flexible.

    Once you have phaser or plasma beams you want phaser or plasma relays in all your tactical consoles...

    Then you should start to see decent gameplay.

    The real buildmasters will have better advice for you too.
  • qultuqqultuq Member Posts: 522 Arc User
    edited December 2020
    Are these your questions? If so:

    >I'm using mostly beams, do I still want one cannon at this stage?

    No you want beams or cannons. not both.


    >Should I be using Consumables in most fights? Which are most helpful?

    Not sure. Shield batteries? Deutronium? I don’t use a lot personally

    >What officer traits are most helpful?

    See my previous post.

    >What destroys enemy torpedoes?

    When your weapons are uniform and you are boosting same the energy type(phasers and phaser relays, plasma and plasma relays etc)— you should be doing way more damage


    >Should I run with a shield arrangement other than Balanced?

    Yep you want full power to weapons not shields

    >To fill the 2nd Science Slot, do I have to Retire my 2nd Tac Officer?

    No—jest retrain or wait till you have more bridge officer slots available To recruit a new officer.

    >Where do Slotted Abilities come from for space battles (like Evasive Maneuvers, Sensor Scan, Brace for Impact)?

    As you level you get more. Bridge offer skills can be changed at the Star base.

    >Does my officer race matter at this stage? I can see for endgame that a 2% damage bonus can help, but for now, can I keep my current crew?

    Not really at your level. that is a small difference that you can think about way later.

    For now:
    1)unify weapon type (for example using almost all phaser beams)
    And get relevant relays.

    2)Retrain your bridge officers.

    3)And give more power to weapons...

    You should start seeing a lot of improvement.
  • westmetalswestmetals Member Posts: 7,251 Arc User

    Ten Shipbuilding Guidelines for Energy-Weapons Builds

    These ten guidelines are designed to apply broadly to the most common types of builds, which use energy weapons as their primary damage source (and which may also include, optionally, a single projectile weapon).

    There is still a lot of room for customization. Some of these guidelines can be bent or broken successfully, but think about it first. Following these will result in ship that can easily produce the damage needed in any normal-difficulty and many advanced-difficulty situations.

    Please note that many of these guidelines are NOT applicable to two less-common build types:
    1) exotic damage based builds (focused on damage from Science BOFF abilities)
    2) kinetic damage based builds (focused on damage from torpedoes)
    Both of these build styles will often use multiple projectile weapons and will not emphasize damage from energy weapons (if, in fact, they use any).

    Deliberately left out: any discussion of DOFFs, weapon mods, or power management (including Aux2Bat), as those are more build-specific than this list is designed to be.


    1. All energy weapons should have the same "damage type". (There are six: Phaser, Disruptor, Plasma, Antiproton, Polaron, Tetryon.) This is usually named in the item name, but some are deceptively named, so check the tooltips.

    NOTE: all six types share the same base damage scale, they just have different additional special effects, meaning that there is not one type that is inherently better than the others.

    Some ships have built-in (or console) weapons of a specific type, and in those cases, you should probably match that type.

    2. All energy weapons should be EITHER beam-style OR cannon-style. (Turrets are cannons.)

    NOTE: This is due to the efficiency of Bridge Officer weapon mode skills; on ships that have extremely high amounts of tactical officer seating, it may not be necessary.

    3. 360-degree weapons, if used, should be used in aft slots only.

    NOTE: the tooltips on omni-directional beam weapons are deceptive. Although they say "one per ship", there are actually three categories, and you may use one of each. (Energy-type beams that are part of a set, energy-type beams that are NOT part of a set, and the Omega reputation kinetic beam.) FYI: The Morphogenic Polaron Energy Weapon from "Home" counts as an omni-directional beam weapon.

    4. You should use only one projectile weapon, placed in the far right forward slot (they work slightly better there, due to a combination of the autofire game mechanic and the effects of different weapon styles), or none at all. This weapon should be part of a set with a useful bonus, the appropriate energy torpedo, the Wide Angle Quantum, or the Particle Emission Plasma.

    5. All Tactical console slots should be used ONLY for Tactical consoles with weapon damage boosting effects THAT MATCH your chosen damage type. These include ONLY:

    - standard craftable/lootable Tactical consoles (Phaser Relay, Disruptor Coil, etc.)
    - Fleet Spire vendor Tactical consoles (Vulnerability Locator and/or Exploiter), and/or Fleet Colony vendor Tactical consoles, with the appropriate energy weapon damage-type as the chosen mod
    - the Counter-Command Tactical Console, Chronometric Capacitor, or similar (episode/reputation reward consoles which are specifically tactical AND part of a set AND include damage-type weapon boosters).

    DO NOT use +Beam or +Cannon type tactical consoles. They are inherently less efficient than the energy-specific consoles.
    DO NOT use Tactical console slots for Universal consoles.

    6. Tactical BOFF abilities should include Tactical Team. Your top two Tactical BOFF abilities should be some combination of: either Beam Fire at Will OR Cannon Scatter Volley (depending on chosen weapon style), and an Attack Pattern (Beta, Delta, or Omega). Third-highest should be Torpedo Spread, if you have chosen to use a torpedo and have room for four or more Tactical abilities.

    7. Science BOFF abilities should always include Science Team and if you have room for them, Hazard Emitters and/or Polarize Hull.

    8. Engineering BOFF abilities should always include Engineering Team and, if you have room for it, Emergency Power to Weapons.

    9. Seek out equipment (universal consoles, science consoles, engineering consoles, deflectors, shields, impulse engines, warp engines) which have some of the following boosters: +All Damage, +Damage for your chosen weapon types, +Critical Hit Chance, +Critical Severity, +Turn Rate, + Power Transfer Rate, +All Damage Resistance, +Hull Capacity, +Shield Capacity, -Weapon Energy Cost, +Weapon Firing Speed, -Bridge Officer Cooldown. In some cases, these stats can also be found as 2-piece or 3-piece set bonuses.

    Of special note: Fleet Colony deflectors, and any warp core with a +Power Transfer Rate modifier.

    NOTE: STO thrives on synergy. There is not a single piece of equipment, a single ship, etcetera, that is "the best". For best results, you will want to find the things that contribute the most to your build choices. For example, a +Phaser Damage bonus is not useful if your weapons are not Phaser type, but could be rather useful if they are...

    10. All active BOFFs should have a "space" personal trait. (Bridge Officers have four personal traits, but many have four ground traits... these are not desirable for use on your ship, but may be retained for Away Team duties.)

    The best such trait is "Superior Romulan Operative" ("SRO"), which is often (not always) found on Romulan faction BOFFs; Romulan captains can easily get enough to run an all-SRO bridge crew. However, for non-Romulan captains, they must be obtained from a Fleet Embassy vendor, where only Tactical BOFFs are available with this trait (specifically, only the blue-quality male, though you may purchase multiple copies). This means that non-Romulan captains will need to look at BOFFs with other space traits.

    Jem'Hadar Vanguard BOFFs (from the Gamma expansion pack) have a space trait, "Engineered Soldier" (Space), which is effectively a combination of half-strength SRO and a weapon-only damage boost. This is the second-best space trait after SRO, and for non-Romulans, the science and engineer JHVs are the best available option. NOTE: this trait is not found on standard Jem'Hadar officers (the episode reward one and the ones given to starting Jem'Hadar characters), which only have ground traits.

    Other useful space traits include:

    - "Pirate". Klingon captains can easily get many of these, as Nausicaans always come with this trait; Federation captains may get one Nausicaan BOFF as a reward for reaching 100,000 Diplomacy duty officer points. There is also an episode-reward officer, the Hierarchy Science officer (Delta episode "Alliances") who has both "Pirate" and "Efficient", making him the best free Bridge Officer in the game (for non-Romulan captains).
    - "Kentari Ferocity". Available only on Kentari BOFFs, purchased from Fleet Colony, not stackable (so only get one).
    - "Temporal Engineering", "Temporal Applied Sciences", "Temporal Tactics". Found on profession appropriate Krenim BOFFs, purchased from Fleet Research Lab.

    (That is not a complete list.)

    Other BOFFs with an assortment of other space traits are available via duty officer recruiting assignments (random BOFFs with "Efficient" are available for both factions, and Human Fed officers come with "Leadership") or via fleet vendors (especially at the Embassy, K-13, and Colony), and also via the CStore (individually or included in purchasable expansion packs). NOTE: K-13 Human officers come with "Leadership", while other K-13 officers do not.
  • westmetalswestmetals Member Posts: 7,251 Arc User
    edited December 2020
    As for Bridge Officers: You can get extra slots (on your roster) either by buying them or as level-up rewards. You should eventually have enough that not every officer is being actively used on your ship (ships never have more than six officers, and most endgame level ships have either four or five). You may choose to use different officers for ground than space, meaning that you might have as many as ten officers "in active use" at endgame levels. However, your roster may have more officers than that, which would simply mean that you have some "on the bench".

    Retiring an officer would only be necessary if you never plan to use them again and need to free up a roster slot.

    Bridge seats on a ship, if specified as a profession, can only be used by officers of the correct profession (i.e. a science seat can only be used by a science officer).

    Also, for ships... you will be offered a free tier 3 ship at level 20, a tier 4 at level 30 (base models of the Galaxy, Defiant, and Intrepid being among the choices here), a tier 5 at level 40, and a different set of tier 5s at level 61 (these being otherwise C-store ships, versions of the Galaxy, Defiant, and Intrepid being among the choices here). You can also get a free tier 3 cruiser (you don't get to pick) via the episode "Temporal Ambassador".

    And yes, in terms of handling and manueverability, science ships tend to be middle of the road. Tactical ships (escorts) tend to be faster and turn sharper but have weaker defenses, while engineering ships (cruisers) are the big bulky whales of space combat. ;)

    also... Polarize Hull will cancel out the movement penalties from Tractor Beams, and also give you a large damage resistance bonus.

    As for your "long slog" battles... standardizing your energy weapons and slotting appropriate energy-type tactical consoles will beef up your outgoing damage, making killing enemies faster.

    Beam Overload might be more useful than Torpedo High Yield, too.

    Evasive, Brace for Impact are universal captain abilities (everyone gets those); Sensor Scan is a science-only captain ability (you get that because you are a science captain). Sensor Analysis is a special ability of your science ship.
  • westmetalswestmetals Member Posts: 7,251 Arc User
    edited December 2020
    Yeah you really can't run a "proper" Science ship build until you have access to LtCmdr level BOFF abilities, which does not happen until Tier 4 ships (level 30). Tier 1-3 Science ships are effectively just lighter cruisers.

    I used to advise always taking the tac ship at Tier 3, but with the changes to the episode sequence, I'm not sure my reason is still valid. (Which is that you would hit "Temporal Ambassador" about then, which gives a free Tier 3 cruiser, so then you have two quite different Tier 3 ships.)
  • ringlin#2115 ringlin Member Posts: 4 Arc User
    coldnapalm wrote: »
    Basics of ship building...
    Sci ships are for space magic...which at low levels is not very good...
    Now for the more specifics of the ship you have NOW...I would use cannons on this ship. The tact I would have it be tact team 1. The engineer have it be Emergency power to Weapon 1. And for the two sci slots, do ST 1 x2 and tyken's rift 1 x2. This will leave you with no hull heal ability, but give you good shield heal and the tact team will keep that shield longer. But you will get a new ship in 2 levels and like I said, I highly recommend picking a cruiser or escort and not a sci ship...those are hard mode ships that require a LOT of knowledge of the game to make work well.

    That's good, specific info. Thanks!

    Westmetals, thanks for the further info, too. Your first post will be helpful later on.


    westmetals wrote: »
    Yeah you really can't run a "proper" Science ship build until you have access to LtCmdr level BOFF abilities, which does not happen until Tier 4 ships (level 30). Tier 1-3 Science ships are effectively just lighter cruisers.

    I used to advise always taking the tac ship at Tier 3, but with the changes to the episode sequence, I'm not sure my reason is still valid. (Which is that you would hit "Temporal Ambassador" about then, which gives a free Tier 3 cruiser, so then you have two quite different Tier 3 ships.)
    Great, thank you.

    What's the benefit to having weapons all of the same type? If it's from endgame build bonuses, does the advice apply now?

    Also, Tip #4 above suggests 'one projectile weapon' in a forward slot. Does that mean I can fill 3 of 4 slots with beams and one with a torpedo? If not, do I really go with no torpedoes? The tutorial guides players towards using phasers to burn shields, then to launch torpedoes (much like in the shows).

    In any case, it looks like I may be best off switching to a Cruiser or Escort when I hit 20. Any suggestions on which (given that I have 1 Science, 2 Tac, 1 Eng officers until level 30)? What abilities suit those, and can I go with phasers, or does coldnapalm's advice about cannons now apply to those ships as well?
  • protoneousprotoneous Member Posts: 2,190 Arc User
    Having all weapons the same energy type means that instead of using a non-energy specific console (i.e. a directed energy distribution manifold) you can use energy specific tactical consoles that give you significantly more boost per console (1/3 more) so more damage. The advice applies at any level. Phasers are very well supported in-game via future missions.

    You can run one torpedo to be just like the TV show. Photon has the fastest recharge time per shot and can be a good choice for lower levels as they can be single shot without a torpedo boff ability.

    You want to save your limited bridge officer abilities for what you have the most of i.e. beam overload for your beams or cannon scatter volley or rapid fire for cannons & turrets and then add things like tactical team 1, attack pattern beta 1, and torpedo skills as boff slots become more available.

    The advice to go with a non-science ship is sound for lower levels. I recently went with directed energy (cruisers and escorts) on a science toon until level 65+ until the proper gear and abilities were available for space magic and it worked great. Doing all science from level 1 is very possible but not as effective until about commander rank as noted above and would need more specific skill tree and other choices for best effect so sometimes is better left until a few more things are figured out.

    Escort versus cruiser is a play style choice.

    Cruisers are tanky and require less precise piloting so would be more relaxed game play. Escorts are highly maneuverable, more squishy, with far higher spike damage but need more active and precise piloting to be effective.

    Equip cruisers with beams (and a single torpedo for canon TV show effect), escorts with all cannons front and all turrets rear (for best effect).

    Unless getting fussy at end-game, all disciplines (tac, eng, and science toons) can fly whatever sort of ship they want. Play around while ranking up.
  • westmetalswestmetals Member Posts: 7,251 Arc User
    edited January 4
    coldnapalm wrote: »
    Basics of ship building...
    Sci ships are for space magic...which at low levels is not very good...
    Now for the more specifics of the ship you have NOW...I would use cannons on this ship. The tact I would have it be tact team 1. The engineer have it be Emergency power to Weapon 1. And for the two sci slots, do ST 1 x2 and tyken's rift 1 x2. This will leave you with no hull heal ability, but give you good shield heal and the tact team will keep that shield longer. But you will get a new ship in 2 levels and like I said, I highly recommend picking a cruiser or escort and not a sci ship...those are hard mode ships that require a LOT of knowledge of the game to make work well.

    That's good, specific info. Thanks!

    Westmetals, thanks for the further info, too. Your first post will be helpful later on.


    westmetals wrote: »
    Yeah you really can't run a "proper" Science ship build until you have access to LtCmdr level BOFF abilities, which does not happen until Tier 4 ships (level 30). Tier 1-3 Science ships are effectively just lighter cruisers.

    I used to advise always taking the tac ship at Tier 3, but with the changes to the episode sequence, I'm not sure my reason is still valid. (Which is that you would hit "Temporal Ambassador" about then, which gives a free Tier 3 cruiser, so then you have two quite different Tier 3 ships.)
    Great, thank you.

    What's the benefit to having weapons all of the same type? If it's from endgame build bonuses, does the advice apply now?

    Also, Tip #4 above suggests 'one projectile weapon' in a forward slot. Does that mean I can fill 3 of 4 slots with beams and one with a torpedo? If not, do I really go with no torpedoes? The tutorial guides players towards using phasers to burn shields, then to launch torpedoes (much like in the shows).

    In any case, it looks like I may be best off switching to a Cruiser or Escort when I hit 20. Any suggestions on which (given that I have 1 Science, 2 Tac, 1 Eng officers until level 30)? What abilities suit those, and can I go with phasers, or does coldnapalm's advice about cannons now apply to those ships as well?

    As Protoneous said - weapons of the same energy type allows you to stack the energy-type-specific tactical consoles that boost them (such as Phaser Relays or Disruptor Coils), which are more efficient than the weapon-style consoles (such as Directed Energy Manifold, Prefire Chamber), while still boosting all of your energy weapons. While yes there are even more tricks you can pull at endgame (set bonuses that boost the energy type, for example), this advice does apply now because of tactical consoles.

    Re: torpedoes. That is indeed what it means. The main reason for this being that torpedo launchers (unlike energy weapons) have a shared cooldown, so if you have more than one, they can interfere with each other's firing speed. Also, they generally have narrower firing arcs and are mostly useless in aft weapons slots as you're unlikely to often have enemies in the aft arc. Finally, if place in the "last" (far right) forward slot, even on autofire, the torpedo will fire AFTER your energy weapons (as autofire goes left to right by default), so has a higher probability of hitting an unshielded target (as you mentioned from the tutorial... shields eat torp damage). You can, alternatively, go all-energy: energy weapons WILL damage hull, just not with the big spike damage you can get with a torpedo.

    Re: phasers vs. cannons. That's like asking what kind of fruit you want, and whether you want it as juice or pie! Phasers are an energy type, while cannons are a weapon style. You can have phaser beams (which is probably what you're thinking of), phaser cannons, or.. there's five other energy types. For the most part, which energy type you pick is not a huge deal, though some have better set support than others, and there is ONE ship trait that encourages using your faction's canon energy type. It's the synergy that matters. Same is true for beam vs. cannon... EXCEPT that (like I mentioned about torpedoes) cannons generally have smaller firing arcs than beams do (but do higher damage). On many cruisers, because they have low turn rates, it can be hard to effectively use cannons, because of needing to keep enemies in your firing arc. Escorts are good bases for cannon builds.

    With 2 tac officers, the bridge seating of the escort will be closer to what you have... but you should be earning more officer slots, too.

    The only real difference in terms of bridge abilities, is that if you're using beam weapons you will likely want to use the Beam Overload and/or Beam Fire at Will tactical abilities, while with cannons you would instead use Cannon Rapid Fire and/or Cannon Scatter Volley. (In both cases, the first is for big single targets and the second is for area fire.) This is why the guide suggest using beam weapons OR cannon weapons but not both: so that these skills will affect all of your energy weapons instead of just some.

    Do read that first post now... its points can and should be applied at lower levels, not just for endgame builds. I started devising that list off of some advice I got when I was kinda stuck at level 22. And you've asked some things that it answers (or was meant to at least). Especially points 1, 2, 4, 5 (for equipment choices), 6-8 cover bridge abilities.
    Post edited by westmetals on
  • foxrockssocksfoxrockssocks Member Posts: 2,459 Arc User
    Hold on, I have to ask this. What exactly is wiping the floor with you at level 18? The game is incredibly easy the way it scales at that level, so much so that build advice isn't even useful at this stage. Anything you find is enough to get through these early episodes, and you shouldn't be dying at all to anything until maybe the 30s. Its the reason you don't find newbie guides for low levels, because the game is so easy at those levels you should be able to get through it with no problems.

    And I'm not trying to be insulting, I'm really genuinely confused on what or where you would find trouble with the game at that level. I've leveled several characters in recent years and even though I know the game a lot better than a newbie, getting up to 50 with a mix of weapons, weapon types, and no real effort put into BOFF selection or powers or consoles was not a problem. Its just the way the game scales.

    So I really do not understand what could be giving you any trouble, especially not at level 18.
  • westmetalswestmetals Member Posts: 7,251 Arc User
    edited January 5
    Hold on, I have to ask this. What exactly is wiping the floor with you at level 18? The game is incredibly easy the way it scales at that level, so much so that build advice isn't even useful at this stage. Anything you find is enough to get through these early episodes, and you shouldn't be dying at all to anything until maybe the 30s. Its the reason you don't find newbie guides for low levels, because the game is so easy at those levels you should be able to get through it with no problems.

    And I'm not trying to be insulting, I'm really genuinely confused on what or where you would find trouble with the game at that level. I've leveled several characters in recent years and even though I know the game a lot better than a newbie, getting up to 50 with a mix of weapons, weapon types, and no real effort put into BOFF selection or powers or consoles was not a problem. Its just the way the game scales.

    So I really do not understand what could be giving you any trouble, especially not at level 18.

    It was many years ago (spring 2013) and the mission progression, etc, has changed since then, but I (playing as fed sci) got stuck on the first Romulan D'Deridex (which is now in the episode "Taris", I believe) at level 22. it wasn't exactly wiping the floor with me, but I couldn't hurt it faster than it could regen. That was what inspired the list I posted above. De-rainbowing my ship and switching BOFF abilities (to include Polarize Hull) solved it.

    Which by the way is designed even for low levels to use, so yes, there ARE newbie guides for low levels.
  • foxrockssocksfoxrockssocks Member Posts: 2,459 Arc User
    westmetals wrote: »
    Hold on, I have to ask this. What exactly is wiping the floor with you at level 18? The game is incredibly easy the way it scales at that level, so much so that build advice isn't even useful at this stage. Anything you find is enough to get through these early episodes, and you shouldn't be dying at all to anything until maybe the 30s. Its the reason you don't find newbie guides for low levels, because the game is so easy at those levels you should be able to get through it with no problems.

    And I'm not trying to be insulting, I'm really genuinely confused on what or where you would find trouble with the game at that level. I've leveled several characters in recent years and even though I know the game a lot better than a newbie, getting up to 50 with a mix of weapons, weapon types, and no real effort put into BOFF selection or powers or consoles was not a problem. Its just the way the game scales.

    So I really do not understand what could be giving you any trouble, especially not at level 18.

    It was many years ago (spring 2013) and the mission progression, etc, has changed since then, but I (playing as fed sci) got stuck on the first Romulan D'Deridex (which is now in the episode "Taris", I believe) at level 22. it wasn't exactly wiping the floor with me, but I couldn't hurt it faster than it could regen. That was what inspired the list I posted above. De-rainbowing my ship and switching BOFF abilities (to include Polarize Hull) solved it.

    Which by the way is designed even for low levels to use, so yes, there ARE newbie guides for low levels.

    I don't doubt that these things can help, but we are talking about an absolutely tiny effect. Low level tac consoles you maybe have 2 of, and they give <10% each. Getting your weapons to all the same flavor to benefit from that is not going to make a big difference at all.

    Boff powers can matter more, but you also do not have much, if any, expertise to go around to get the powers you want.

    Also a lot has changed since 2013. That was before DR and a lot of other things. Leveling was slower and harder. Like I said, I've leveled a few characters in the past few years and I notice that I need to put exactly zero effort into their builds until maybe the 30s. Rainbow weapons, beams+cannons, empty console slots, low mark gear, default BOFF powers, it didn't hurt at all.

    The one thing that does matter is weapon power at 100, along with ensuring those weapons are able to be put on target. That could be a bigger part of the OP's issue, as Star Trek is not a show based on continuous weapon firing with all the weapons you can, but STO is. Rear weapons aren't there in case someone gets behind you, they need to be pew pewing along with your forward weaponry as much as possible, which for most ships means broadsiding. So whether you run a tetryon cannon, a phaser dual beam bank, and a disruptor turret in the rear or 3 phaser beam arrays, they have to all be firing, as well as doing a wiggle now and again to fire a high yield torpedo barrage if you bother with torpedoes at all.

    I would imagine that may be the OP's biggest problem, not using full power to weapons, and probably not keeping targets in a broadside arc.

    I'm not saying they shouldn't heed build advice and match consoles and weapons, but I am saying if they are having trouble at the level they are, that is the least of their problems, as the game is not at all designed to set you up to have matching anything at low levels. But that presumes they are doing missions. If they are instead somehow queuing up for STFs and getting scaled up, they are going to suffer no matter what they do, or if they wandered into the dyson sphere where they aren't scaled up.
  • ringlin#2115 ringlin Member Posts: 4 Arc User
    Hold on, I have to ask this. What exactly is wiping the floor with you at level 18?

    Most space fights. They're slow slogs, and easily my least favorite part of each mission. It's math, really: the enemy puts out more damage than I do and can take more in return. I'm sure I'm doing it wrong, but it's hard to convey how little beginner info is available.

    I am broadsiding to maximize my phaser damage. I hadn't been running with Full Power to Weapons and will now try that. I'll also try matching my Tac Console to phaser damage, and to select appropriate officer traits, though I'll likely wait on that until I get an Escort at level 20. I've had a break from STO and will be back this weekend to put those into use.
  • annemarie30annemarie30 Member Posts: 2,127 Arc User
    ok if you are in a tire 2 ship, assuming Fed, since you said sci, you want a resilient shild with the energy type resist you are fighting probably Disruptor if you are still in the Klingon war. again, assuming Fed, you are probably using Phaser? A warp core with W>A , S or E would be a good start. are you keeping your power levels even? or are you skewing to weapons?

    Look for me in Game or @vetteguy904 and we can give you some starter gear that is very rare that you can scale to your level (IV) if you are a Lcdr (VI) if you are a commander.
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    We Want Vic Fontaine
  • westmetalswestmetals Member Posts: 7,251 Arc User
    ok if you are in a tire 2 ship, assuming Fed, since you said sci, you want a resilient shild with the energy type resist you are fighting probably Disruptor if you are still in the Klingon war. again, assuming Fed, you are probably using Phaser? A warp core with W>A , S or E would be a good start. are you keeping your power levels even? or are you skewing to weapons?

    Look for me in Game or @vetteguy904 and we can give you some starter gear that is very rare that you can scale to your level (IV) if you are a Lcdr (VI) if you are a commander.

    Just to note, W->S is not available on most warp cores, as it's the Epic mod.
  • ultimatenewbieultimatenewbie Member Posts: 269 Arc User
    edited January 6
    I'm getting spanked in space. Can you help?

    No worries, welcome to STO :)

    I'll have a go at answering some of your specific questions below - though I broadly agree with others who have already done so in this thread. Still, you may be interested in my New Player Guides linked here.

    Beginner Build Questions

    There are two elements to your issue - what your build is and how you are using it.

    It sounds broadly like you're doing the right thing - using energy weapons to bring down enemy shields, then hitting them with torps - which works at the levels you are at (late game, there are specific science or even torpedo-based builds but these require very different set-ups which I wont go into here).

    But there are other elements like target selection (I typically choose to kill the weakest enemy ships first just to thin them out a bit), and ship management, including power levels (by default, set your power distribution to weapons - you take less damage by killing enemies rather than enduring hits... when I first started, I had power directed to shields but it would take 15 minutes for my Intrepid to bring down a Galor class cruiser; with ship power directed to weapons it took like 30 seconds). I think this might be your primary issue - change that and let us know how you went.

    But moving on to builds...
    [*] If I'm using mostly beams, do I still want one cannon at this stage? Is one enough?

    As others have said, the optimal strategy is to use a single type of energy weapon - either all beams, or cannons/turrets, not mixing both. This is because certain bridge officer skills (like cannon:scatter volley, or beams: fire at will) will then benefit all of your energy weapons rather than a subset.

    Similarly, most people recommend using all the same energy type (eg, phasers, plasma) because then you can mount tactical modules that boost only that energy type (which has a higher modifer than something that benefits just beams) - in general, the narrower the base (ie, phasers) means the higher the benefit; a broader base (ie, beams) means a lower benefit. But, at low tiers, this isnt a material issue so just run with what you have.
    [*] Should I be using Consumables in most fights? Which are most helpful?

    You can, but generally you wont need to.

    I have found that using shield battery can be useful if you have skewed your power levels and bridge officer abilities to offensively as it can help cover a gap; weapons battery is also very useful because at low tiers your power levels are generally so low that this can give a real boost to your energy weapons. If you are going to use these batteries, I suggest only using them against the more powerful enemies (stage bosses, bigger cruisers/battleships etc) if you cant afford to buy many of them from Earth Spacedock or etc.

    The Engine Battery can be useful if you're driving a brick-like cruiser (and you'll have more consumable slots so its less important to prioritise), and the Auxiliary battery is probably the least useful of the lot at low tiers - late tier specialised science builds can find them quite helpful though!
    [*] What officer traits are most helpful? They seem to make a big difference.

    They make a huge difference. I have suggested a few good ones in my New Player Guide linked above - check it out :).
    [*] What destroys enemy torpedoes? Even when I target them early, I have a hard time eliminating them before they hit.

    You cannot destroy 'normal' torpedoes (like photon, quantum etc) before they hit you. But having shields up in that direction will greatly reduce the kinetic damage that you'll take.

    There are some Heavy Plasma Torpedoes and similar things that become their own enemy targets, at which point you can click on them and try to get your beams to shoot them down before they hit (they really hurt if you dont), but if you are within about 5km and your weapons are already partway through a cycle on the main target (ship), it is likely that you're going to eat that torpedo. Instead, maintain a larger distance to the enemy, be less keen on just mashing that spacebar, and try to stay to the enemy ship's side (their torp launchers typically fire front and rear just like yours - so not giving them a good shot can help).
    [*] Should I run with a shield arrangement other than Balanced?

    I click on the shield facing that is between me and the most dangerous enemy (usually the weakest shield facing) from time to time to ensure that there is some shield between me and that target (eating torps hurts!). But the bridge officer skill Tactical Team does this for you and is a particularly helpful skill because of it (and the offensive bonuses it gives).

    Other than that, not sure what you mean by balanced. Unless you mean ship power levels, in which
    [*] To fill the 2nd Science Slot, do I have to Retire my 2nd Tac Officer?

    Only at this level, yes. See more detail in my comment below. And you should do so because bridge officer skills are really important. But generally, you dont have to dismiss current bridge officers to get a few more (up to limits).
    [*] Where do Slotted Abilities come from for space battles (like Evasive Maneuvers, Sensor Scan, Brace for Impact)?

    Various sources - including:
    • your character class and level (eg, tactical officers receive Attack Pattern Alpha)
    • your ship type (eg cruisers receive Cruiser Commands)
    • equipped consoles (eg, Enhanced Plasma Manifold)
    • certain items in your inventory (eg, fireworks, Yellowstone Shuttle non-combat pet)
    • late-game equipment (eg, certain set bonuses)
    • late-game traits and reputation (eg, Refracting Tetryon Cascade from the Nukara Reputation).

    [*] Does my officer race matter at this stage? I can see for endgame that a 2% damage bonus can help, but for now, can I keep my current crew?

    Not really at this stage - you can nudge it in a helpful direction (see my New Player Guide linked above) but it is very far from necessary... most of the time you wont notice any differences outside of late-game hardcore min/maxing builds.

    Here's what I'm flying now. Lt Commander, levl 18, Federation, Science.
    Level 10 Science Vessel (Tier 2? I'm new, and it'll be awhile before I can buy major upgrades). I know I don't have to match my class, but I read that Science Vessels have a fair balance of maneuverability and survivability. Is that right?

    I love the T2 Science ship at that level - its got the same weapon slots as a cruiser, stronger shields and is more manuverable (though lower hull HP) - I think it is clearly the strongest ship at that tier. Only problem is needing an extra science bridge officer. You can get one from Earth Spacedock under the Admiral's office (they are pretty cheap), but to do so you'd need to dismiss Kolez (dont dismiss Flores/Evelyn, she's actually pretty strong). Once you reach Commander level (30+) you should get more bridge officer slots so you dont need to continue dismissing them. Your equipment sounds fine - but again, have a look at the New Player Guide and also my Ship Equipment Guide for more info.


    Anyway, I hope this info helps. Sing out if you have any further questions!
    Post edited by ultimatenewbie on
  • ultimatenewbieultimatenewbie Member Posts: 269 Arc User
    I would imagine that may be the OP's biggest problem, not using full power to weapons, and probably not keeping targets in a broadside arc.

    I agree with what you've said - and in particular the section above - but I still think its helpful to go through the OP's questions in a bit of detail. Explaining why things are done - even if they arent essential at low tiers - is still helpful so the player can build towards that outcome as they progress up the chain.
  • foxrockssocksfoxrockssocks Member Posts: 2,459 Arc User
    Hold on, I have to ask this. What exactly is wiping the floor with you at level 18?

    Most space fights. They're slow slogs, and easily my least favorite part of each mission. It's math, really: the enemy puts out more damage than I do and can take more in return. I'm sure I'm doing it wrong, but it's hard to convey how little beginner info is available.

    I am broadsiding to maximize my phaser damage. I hadn't been running with Full Power to Weapons and will now try that. I'll also try matching my Tac Console to phaser damage, and to select appropriate officer traits, though I'll likely wait on that until I get an Escort at level 20. I've had a break from STO and will be back this weekend to put those into use.

    Okay, that should be the big change you need to feel better in space. I assume your weapon power has been sitting at 50 until now. This matters because most energy weapons drain energy when firing, after the first energy weapon, and that means with 3 beams, your first beam fires free, but the next 2 drain 10 energy each. Thus for most of their firing cycles, they are firing with only around 30 energy. If instead you put 100 power to weapons, they will be firing at 80. The difference should be night and day for you.

    Later in the game you can get options for more weapon power, as well as weapon power cost reduction. Emergency power to weapons, an engineering BOFF power, is something you can get right away if you really wanted to, certainly once you hit the 20s you can look at it.

    You can also end up making a build that doesn't need weapon power at all, but that is generally not viable till end game with ship traits, the right consoles, and so on.

    There's plenty of other info in this thread that should help you in the long run, especially in what westmetals posted, but I'll still stand by saying the biggest thing is your weapon power right now.
    I would imagine that may be the OP's biggest problem, not using full power to weapons, and probably not keeping targets in a broadside arc.

    I agree with what you've said - and in particular the section above - but I still think its helpful to go through the OP's questions in a bit of detail. Explaining why things are done - even if they arent essential at low tiers - is still helpful so the player can build towards that outcome as they progress up the chain.


    I took this as a newbie having trouble and trying a scattershot approach to solving it by getting more info on everything that may or may not be important, not sure where the real problem is. While I have no doubt the OP wants to know answers to everything, the fundamental matter is finding out why space combat is going so badly. So with that in mind, the primary thing is to diagnose the problem and take things one step at a time. Once the OP finds that increasing weapon power really works then looking at the other stuff makes more sense because if frustration with the space combat persists, learning all the miscellany won't matter.
  • ringlin#2115 ringlin Member Posts: 4 Arc User
    Thanks to Foxrockssocks for the further info on weapons and to AnneMarie for the kind offer to help in-game.

    And thanks especially to UltimateNewbie for the detailed answers. That helped a lot.

    I'm level 30 now and doing much better. It's a lot of changes at once - new ship, an officer in the empty slot, single weapon type - so I'm not sure yet what made the biggest difference. My guess is that putting more power to weapons was key, as suggested above. I'll play around with it a bit more and then post what I find, in case any other new players end up with similar questions.
  • ultimatenewbieultimatenewbie Member Posts: 269 Arc User
    Thanks to Foxrockssocks for the further info on weapons and to AnneMarie for the kind offer to help in-game.

    And thanks especially to UltimateNewbie for the detailed answers. That helped a lot.

    I'm level 30 now and doing much better. It's a lot of changes at once - new ship, an officer in the empty slot, single weapon type - so I'm not sure yet what made the biggest difference. My guess is that putting more power to weapons was key, as suggested above. I'll play around with it a bit more and then post what I find, in case any other new players end up with similar questions.

    No worries, happy to help! :) Feel free to reach out in-game if you have any other questions, I'm logging in semi-regularly these days.
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