Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Abilities, Skills and Consoles Oh My!

Okay. I have seen there is ALOT of confusion when it comes to abilities, skills and consoles and how they interact with each other.

The following information is from “The Engines Cannae’ Take it!”

What Affects What

All ships, space weapons and most abilities are affected by three different skills, and the bonus from each skill stacks. In most cases, each ship, weapon or ability is affected by one Lieutenant (Tier 1) skill, one Lt Commander (Tier 2) skill, and one Commander, Captain or Admiral (Tier 3, 4 or 5) skill.

For example, the damage of a phaser beam array is boosted by Starship Energy Weapons Training (Tier 1), Starship Beam Weapons (Tier 2) and Starship Phaser Weapons (Tier 3), while the speed, turn rate and hull strength of an Assault Cruiser is affected by Starship Command (Tier 1), Cruiser Captain (Tier 2) and Assault Cruiser Captain (Tier 5).

In the case of the ship and weapon skills, then, it’s normally fairly easy to see which three skills will affect something. In the case of abilities, you can see which skills affect them by opening the Ability window (press ‘P’), selecting the skill and reading the information on the right-hand side.

For example, the Emergency Power to Weapons I ability is affected by your Starship Warp Core Training (T1), Starship Weapon System Maintenance (T2) and Starship Weapon Efficiency (T3) skills

Now at the moment this is how things are, but, as we are all aware, things RARELY stay one way for long, especially in the gaming world.

Cryptic has already made statements that the skills tree will be modified in the near future in relation to the starship skills and how they interact with one another. Here is an excerpt from the post on the STO main site “Ask Cryptic: Skills.”

Liquidisim: The starship skills such as Heavy Escort, do those carry thru to higher level ships such as fleet escort. If they apply only to t3 ships, then there is no point in having those skills come endgame.

There is hardly no point, though these skills currently become less useful in the endgame. However, we are in the process of changing this. All ship skills will grant some bonus to the ship above it. So an Assault Cruiser will benefit from Starship Captain, Cruiser Captain, Heavy Cruiser Captain, Exploration Cruiser Captain and Assault Cruiser Captain, but it will get the most benefit from Assault Cruiser Captain Skill. So if you want to maximize your Assault Cruiser, you will need all those skills. Note, the Assault Cruiser will not gain any benefit from the Star Cruiser Captain skill and vice-versa. The bonuses only affect ships upwards along the tree, not laterally

I for one am happy they decided to make purchasing the lower end ship skills worthwhile. As it stands right now, taking them is pretty much a waste of points better used in other skills.

Consoles, like skills, enhance your bridge officers' space abilities as well as your own. Most of these are pretty self explanatory, such as “Console – Tactical – Phaser Relay.” now this will obviously enhance your ship’s phaser weapons. Let’s go over the 3 different types of consoles available and how to choose the best one for you.

Tactical consoles are by far the easiest to figure out. Simple look at what weapons systems you have on your ship and choose your console accordingly. Easy peesy. If you mix and match different energy weapon systems you can take a balanced approach and get a console for each system so that all are enhanced.

Engineering consoles are pretty much a matter of player preference. If you like more shields get a straight boost to your shield array with “Console – Engineering – Field Emitter” or get a shield regeneration boost with “Console – Engineering – Shield Emitter Amplifier.” If you want more turn rate get “Console – Engineering – RCS Accelerator.” Whatever your particular play style is you are pretty much free to choose.

Now with that said there are a few exceptions. First up is “Console – Engineering – EPS Flow Regulator.” This is a MUST have for every ship as it quickly distributes power across your ships systems so you can go full shields while you get your enemy in your sights then quickly go to full weapons. Another exception is for escort class ships. Given that they have limited shielding that can be torn down in a single volley from an opposing ship they need a little extra help. The “armor” consoles will provide extra energy weapon resistance (Console – Engineering – Ablative Hull Armor), extra kinetic damage resistance (Console – Engineering – Monotanium Alloy) or a combination of energy & kinetic resistances (Console – Engineering – Neutronium Alloy). In my opinion these are a must have for every escort captain in some form or combination.

I saved the best for last, Science consoles. These seem to give players the most trouble. However they are pretty much like the tactical consoles. Simply match up the console to the ability. Some examples are: “Console – Science – Tomographic Imager” – this enhances your Tyken’s Rift and Gravity Well; “Console – Science – Astrometric Imaging Scanner” – this currently only seems to affect your Charged Particle Burst; and, “Console – Science – Multi-Spectro Scanner” – will enhance Jam Sensors, Sensor Scan and Mask Energy Signature.

Science consoles can get confusing because they tend to overlap each other with one console covering multiple abilities vs. the engineering and tactical consoles that tend to be more specific in what they affect. A good rule of thumb is to look up the abilities that you use and note what skills affect those abilities, then choose the corresponding console to amplify that ability.
Now all Cryptic need to create is the "Console - Universal - Charmin" so we can wipe those pesky klingons from the galaxy, lol.

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