Starfleet/Klingon Strike Group

Full Version: Musings on Starship Energy Weapons
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To start off topic, many captains want to have a good front torpedo and occasionally an aft Torpedo. They are often great, seen in the Movies & TV series and they can be truly awesome. But that will be a different story. Just keep in mind to save a weapon slot for them.

Cannons vs. Beams
This choice is a matter of taste and flying style, and piloting skill.
In general, agile ships are better suited for cannons (higher basic damage, smaller firing arcs, less damage on long range). Most damage is done forward, turrets are relatively weak. Escort ships often love cannons, especially heavy dual cannons.
Heavy Cruisers with heavy dual cannons can be excellent. Hunting down many small agile foes can be hard work in a cannon boat.
Beam weapons are seen on most Cruisers doing best damage on broadsiding and Beam Arrays are often their weapon of choice. Dual Beam Banks combined with Omni Directional Beams are fine for Escorts and other agile ships.
A mix of single Beam Arrays and Omni Directional Beams is my favorite as I do good damage while approaching foes and while flying around foes. No more parking and getting shot like a fish in a barrel (that's how the Exploding Scimitar stories are created), no more headlong kamikaze dives into death areas. Theoretically.

Weapon Mods and Procs
Weapons come with Modifiers and Procs (special effects with a 2.5% chance to happen). Reputation, Lockbox and Fleet Elite Weapons have an additional Proc and one Modifier less compared to weapons of the same family and rarity. Or, to confuse you, they have a different Proc...

The most effective way is to stick to one weapon type, be it Phasers, Disruptors, Plasma, Antiproton, Polaron, or Tetryon as you get most from your Tactical consoles. The word "Rainbow" is mostly meant as an insult referring to multicolored shots from different weapon types...

If your vessel features a kind of lance attack, it makes a lot of sense to have energy weapons of the same family. Lance weapons mostly match your faction's canon favorite type. Note: On a Carrier ship, there is no bonus matching to your Hangar Pets.

Antiproton has been the only weapon type where you can have 3 omnidirectional beam weapons: Kinetic Cutting Beam (Omega Reputation), one from a Mission drop (Dyson Arc: Sphere of Influence) and one crafted by R&D. Meanwhile Tetryon (Iconian Arc: Butterfly) and Polaron (Futureproof: Tides of Time) get the same bonus. From the Sphere Builder weapon boxen you can get another AP Omnidirectional Beam Array but that can not be equipped together with an R&D Omnidirectional.

Antiproton is the most hyped weapon type. Most weapons have a special effect 2.5% Proc - with Antiproton being the well reputed exception just adding extra critical damage. With reasonable Critical Hit on board Antiproton are best for plain brutal damage.

Disruptors (vulnerability debuff)
Disruptors  are the canon favorite Weapon of the KDF. You can get Fleet Elite Disruptors at T5.

Phasers (disabling sub systems)
Phasers are the canon favorite Weapon of the UFP. You can get Fleet Elite Phasers at T5. The mission drop set from Sunrise (Futureproof Arc) gives extra Phaser damage

Plasma (exotic DoT, may or may not gain from Exotic Particle Generators/EPG) has a good reputation since its shield passing damage over time is really helpful (or sometimes devastating I you are at the wrong end of the beam). Plasma also is the canon favorite weapon of Romulans. The Romulan Reputation sets gives extra Plasma damage, special weapons are available from the Reputation shop.

Polaron (energy brown out, gains from Drain Expertise/DrainX) is a weapon of the bad boys: Breen and Vaadvaur. Nothing wrong using their secret stuff against them. For dirty play, you can get blue Mk XI Dominion Polaron beam arrays/dual cannons from the "They Boldly Rode" mission, these have an additional proc to do shield damage, without sacrificing a modifier. They come with [CrtH][Dmg] built in.

Tetryon (shield damage, gains from Drain Expertise/DrainX) weapons' reputation is worst since after a foes shields are down, its shield damage proc is considered useless by many players and since several targets in STFs just do not have shields.
I see Tetryon in a brighter light. Shields going down early means that I get to hull damage earlier, the torpedoes get to kill strikes earlier and, the Kinetic cutting beam gets into effect earlier. Tetryon gains support from Nukara Reputation equipment and from the Butterfly mission.

Special Guest Star: The Kinetic Cutting Beam
Together with the Assimilated Module this 360° weapon raises your over all damage. You see that combination in many builds, 1000 Omega Marks and Reputation Tier 2 required. As the beam is not happy with your emenies shields up, some Captains do not use it.

Favorite modifiers

I sorted this list best first by reputation & oppinion
[Pen] - Armor Penetration, only available on R&D made weapons, once
[Dmg] - Damage increase (applied to normal and critical damage)
[CrtH] - Increase the chance for critical hits.
[CrtD] - Increase the damage of critical hits. Crit-Hit heavy ships may prefer CritD. That's where the "Overpowered Romulans" stories come from, using CrtD weapons on an already CrtH-strong vessel.
[Ac/Dm] - this is the modifier for extra Accuracy and Damage gained when weapons are upgraded to epic rarity. No opinion, the STO universe just wants to have it that way.

Not so cool modifiers
Here I sorted least uncool first
[Acc] - Accuracy, applied vs. opponents' defense to score hits. Accuracy exceeding their defense increases the chance for critical hits.
[Over] - Beam weapons only. Actually a proc, increasing weapon damage at the cost of a short weapon black out. Only available on R&D made weapons, once
[Rapid] - Cannons only. Actually a proc, triggering a rapid fire effect
[Snare] - Actually a proc decreasing your opponents' move
[Thrust] - Actually a proc, increasing your move
[PVP Dmg] and [PVP Res] do no longer appear when new weapons are made by R&D. They do not help at all in PVE and STFs. PVP players may hold them dearly.

Mind just keeping what you have?
The [Pen] modifier is relatively new, and [Dmg] has been made better just recently. Your older [CrtD]x# [CrtH]x# weapons do as good as they did before. No Crit Hit heavy Romulan gets fired for keeping his [CrtD]x4 weapons! [CrtD]x# [CrtH]x# [Dmg]x# mixes do better than they did before.

Getting stronger, faster, better?

I consider [CrtH] [Dmg]x3 from the fleet store a very good choice, and [CrtD] [Dmg]x3 also do lovely damage.

Getting extremely coolish?
The nowadays most loved (and most expensive to buy from the Exchange) ultra rares are [Dmg]x3 [Pen] weapons from R&D crafting. These homemade weapons also have a big advantage: If you decide to replace an R&D made item, you can pass it to another character.

With a skill of 15 in R&D Beam Weapons or Cannons, you create MK II weapons always purple, with 3 random Modifiers from dirt cheap white Materials/Components. Making them lasts 5 Minutes and with 3 to 5 skilled characters you can make your own weapon toon sweat shop:

Start creating a bunch of 5 weapons on a char, relog, repeat.

You want to keep [Dmg]x3 and [Dmg]x2 [Pen] where you get 1 from 512 tries. Mixes of [CrtD], [CrtH], [Dmg] and [Pen] are decent. Everything else I sell to the NPC.

The next step is the Big Upgrade Lottery. At R&D skill 20 you can be very effective building the very rare purple Superior Upgrades on your own as you mostly get 2 Upgrades from a R&D task (compared to 15 when you mostly get 1). Do not do this with green or blue upgrades as you would waste tons of Dilithium.

Experimental Upgrades, RP boosters and those Upgrades made from Omega Particles are best used for the first upgrade made. You get from MkII to Mk VIII using a single Upgrade and spending 1025 Dilithium. And each "upgrade now" click you roll the dice to get a rarity upgrade.

Besides raising chances for a rarity upgrade, your priority should be to get everything to Mk XIV. After reaching Mk XIV it becomes extremely expensive to upgrade to "potentially Extremely Rare" and even more so to "potentially Epic" again and again until the dice meet the accumulated chance.

Opinion on Damage Consoles

The type specific Vulnerablity Locators from the Fleet Spire are the best tactical consoles.
Plasma generating Weapon Signature Nullifiers (or, if you want to tank, Amplifiers) from the Fleet Embassy are a good choice.

I have to write another posting on consoles...
i know you have to craft this weapon but I cannot find out how or what I need to craft it.

Antiproton Beam Array Mk XIV [CrtD] [CrtH] [Dmg] [Pen]

can someone help??
Awesome Post - Thanks for adding it to the website.  Glad to have you back.

You can only R&D a three trait item. This combo your looking for would have to be acquired via upgrading your weapon.
It would be extremely rare but not impossible. Most of the time when an item upgrades in rarity to ultra rare, one of the traits gets a x2 behind it.
R&D a level II Antiproton Beam array till you get a combination of the three that you want. Let's say for example [CrtD] [Dmg] [Pen].
Then upgrade the beam array using the Superior Tech Upgrade. Continue doing this until you get to level XIV. You may need to continue to upgrading the beam array after you hit XIV to achieve the Rarity upgrade to Ultra Rare or if desired Epic.

Best of luck

Your thread and my recent purchase of a Tac pilot ship has got me back into cannons. Was surprised to see how quickly I was taking out ships with such little dps.
I found this article that goes into detail on the benefits of cannons and got a fresh perspective on beams, cannons and dps

Instead of adding another post I figured I would edit this one.
Nice video here of a 252k dps run with disrupter cannons. It might be old to some veterans here but worth a look for anyone looking for tips in the right direction to improve their ship build.
My jaw dropped when he took out the Nanite transformer without even worrying about the generators.