Archive for March 25th, 2010

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Good Bye /Spam Spacebar

March 25, 2010

This post will only be of interest to a few, namely the Star Trek Online captains flying escort ships. I guess it’s apropos for me to write about this now, since the game’s Season One: Common Ground content update is released today. It is a HUGE patch, and I’m currently downloading it as I type up this post. I’m looking forward to doing some of the new missions, and I’m also excited about the fact that we’ll finally get to respec.

I’ll no doubt be talking about some of the updates as soon as I get the chance to experience some of the content, but for now I want to look into some of the changes to my precious, precious ship cannons that can potentially change my space combat tactics completely. Seems like firing restrictions on cannons have been removed, meaning no more cooldowns on those weapons. Power drain of turrets and cannons have also been increased.

Well, my time on the Star Trek Online “Tribble” test server last weekend was quite enlightening to say the least, when I got to play around and experience some of these new changes. Before I go on, let me just stop for a second and say that I love my cannons. This is how I load my escort: 3 Dual Heavy Cannons and a Torpedo Launcher in the front, and turrets in the back. All this maximizes my forward facing damage as I’ve actually come to enjoy flying in like a maniac guns blazing.

With the changes to cannons though, trigger happy captains with this weapons configuration will find that going all out on full autofire, or “spamming the spacebar” will deplete your weapons power faster than you can say “Assimilate this!” While this makes for incredibly nutty burst damage, the removal of cooldowns and increased power consumptions for cannons will cause your DPS to drop under sustained fire. To borrow a quote from Col. Dr. Irina Spalko from the new Indiana Jones movie, the escort now “fights like a young man, eager to begin, quick to finish.”

WELL, ADAPT OR DIE!

While I’m personally not a constant “spam spacebar” person, I’ll admit to utilizing the autofire function when things get hectic. I love it — I can continue ripping my enemies apart, comfortable with the fact that the cooldowns on my cannons are managing themselves by firing in a predictable and ordered manner. Flying in a tactical escort now, however, will *gasp* require tactics. Power usage is a real factor after this patch, and if you want to keep your cannons you can deal with this either through weapons micromanagement or curtailing your firing rate. I may now have to live with taking multiple passes at an enemy while keeping an eye on my weapon power in order to keep up my damage output, resisting the temptation to unleash everything I’ve got to save those bursts of pain for when they’ll really matter.

Another option that is quickly gaining popularity is to equip your ship with at least two EPS regulator consoles to deal with the increased power drain. For those flying in Advanced Escorts with only two engineering console slots, two of these is the most you can equip. This will mean missing out on any other helpful consoles, which for obvious reasons won’t sit well with some players, but it is just another solution to the power problem. It would be interesting to see what other escort captains will do to adapt, but I might actually go with this, even if it means saying good bye to my current consoles…I’m a cannon addict and just too much of a creature of habit.