Ferengi Nandi Warship

nandi (1 of 3)Those little capitalistic, latinum huggers from Ferenginar can make a pretty sweet battleship! This Nandi Warship, that is available for FREE at the Risa Lohlunat Festival, is a solid performer. Before I dive in, I am experiencing a glitch. I have acquired the ship with my primary toon but none of my other toons can slot the Nandi Warship event project. The only project that shows up is the Vouchers for Marks. This is an irritation since I have three toons that have acquired the 40 vouchers required after the first toon gets 1000. They want to also get the ship and all they can do is convert the vouchers to marks. Anyone else having this glitch? In previous events I have never had this issue :( I am sure the boffins at Cryptic will figure it out.

nandi (3 of 3)The Nandi reminds me much of the legendary Breen Chel Grett. It is a bit of a destroyer layout. 4/4 weapons but turns nearly as well as an escort. This ship shares a great deal of features with the Chel Grett. The BOFF layout for example is real similar with a weak engineering setup and strong tactical and science. Where this new ship becomes very interesting is in the fact that it has six BOFF stations. Two of them are ensigns but you still have thirteen BOFF abilities to work with. I am not aware of any ship in the game with 6 BOFF stations. Only a few have a sum total of 13 BOFF abilities like the Nandi does. Add to the mix the Lt. Commander Science/Pilot hybrid station and you have a very formidable layout. This ship is a little less maneuverable than the Grett but has slightly stronger shields and hull.

The Ferengi went ‘all in’ on tactical with the console layout. Five, count them, five tactical consoles, 4 science and just 2 engineering. That is a total of 11 which is as about as good as it gets. If you are not flying around Risa earning those prize vouchers you are quite the fool. This is a solid ship and is absolutely free of charge.

nandi (2 of 3)I equipped this ship with a bunch of miscellaneous gear from my bank and the exchange. Solid stuff but nothing over the top. I jumped into a standard queue of ‘Gates of Grethor’ just to test it out. This is a pretty tough queue even on standard difficulty when you have an untested ship. This little profiteer did great and the advanced queue would not have been a problem. I am seriously considering a “beast” version of this ship with all the best gear. I was worried about the lack of engineering consoles/BOFFs. That 5th tactical console would have been better used in engineering. That said, the fact that it isn’t where it ‘ought’ to be is what makes the ship’s individual character.

Some shady buyer must have offered extra latinum if the ship had a little somethin’ special in battle. Those entrepreneurs at the Lobi Crystal Consortium follow the umpteenth rule of acquisition; “Latinum Talks and Bullshit Walks.” So I guess I’ll let my latinum do the talking and buff this ship up a little.

The T6, 5th level mastery trait is a bit ‘sciencey’ for a ship that has such a bad attitude with all that tactical tech. It is however a great trait. It is called “Greedy Emitters.” When ever these BOFF abilities: Tachyon Beam, Energy Siphon, or Tyken’s Rift are executed the trait gives immunity to energy drain, a boost to all power systems and energy weapons draw less power. Sweet deal science or not :) I use energy siphon on nearly every attack vessel I fly.

Perhaps my very favorite feature on this ship is the fact that it utilizes the D’Kora bridge. Yes, I know what you are thinking… On board Dabo girl! Yes! And the bank, exchange, mail and Trader NPC are all there. I never could save up enough EC to buy a D’Kora on the exchange and now I can have the D’Kora amenities for FREE! The Ferengi are many things, and most of those ‘things’ are not that flattering, but my do they know how to fly in style! I am now flying in first class too. Let the latinum flow my friends… let it flow.

Below you will find one of my comparison charts. This chart has more engineering than the Nandi Warship but hey, the Nandi kicks ass, takes names and then has Holo-Leeta etch its victims names in a kill board of solid gold-pressed latimun. It’s time for all of us to live large in STO. This little warship is pimping the 24’s, sipping Saurian brandy and is all guns a blazing as it dispatches those pesky Iconian shit-heads and other bounties. Perfectly legitimate business of course.

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The Wonderful World of Weapons

When you see a title like that you just know the article is written by an American ;) I am just a few days away from getting my Nandi ship on Risa :D, I’ll write that up another day. I wrote a piece here a while back regarding the notion that some people on STO may have game hacks that give them insane weapon power. “Are There Game Hackers in STO?”. I still find that some players have what appears to be a crazy amount of weapons power. I build a pretty good toon but I also know that some players are really amazing at tweaking a character to get to maximum amount of offense or defense. That said I would be unwilling to admit that someone could create legitimately a toon that was equal to my toons in defense whilst having 3 times the offensive output. So for us mere mortals and/or non-hackers, what are the best options for packing a wallop when we wield the weapons?

I must say that this latest enemy on the ground is quite tough. I find my self dead way too often when fighting the Iconians on the ground. It should be noted that all but one of my toons is built for space battle so I am usually a fish out of water in ground scenarios. The Iconians manage to flank you from every direction with that annoying teleportation ability. I find it complete and total bullshit that the enemies we fight get a much larger flanking bonus than we get flanking them. Those Cryptic engineers are diabolically evil.

But having good weapons is not just an issue while away on a surface mission. Big time punch from your starship is every bit as important. There are many options for ships and I have a lot more experience with the space weapons since I own just about every one there is in the game.

Before I get into specifics, I think Cryptic is really giving us weak sauce secondary and active ability attacks. Take for example the Romulan Dreadnought’s thalaron attack ability. This ability requires one of the dreadnoughts plus all three special consoles to activate. It has a ridiculously long charge up time in which everyone in the solar system sees coming. Then it has what may as well be a six month cooldown timer. This ability should kill every non-boss enemy in its path. It should kill every player in PVP that is stupid enough to wander in front of it. Remember this thing has a 12 second thalaron laser light show before it fires! The effect of the weapon is devastatingly dull. This weapon is probably the biggest shit stain in all of Cryptic and they have done nothing to fix it. In fact I find that every powerful weapon ability in the game just sucks. I cannot put into words how stupidly weak the so-called powerful weapons abilities are. Here is another example. Every single sniper weapon in the game is complete and total crapsville. The engineers at Cryptic do not understand what a sniper weapon is. Snipers take one shot and then kill with that ONE shot. Of course game mechanics require that certain “Boss” enemies not be taken out in this fashion, duh! They should re-engineer the sniper weapons to have a required charge up on the secondary sniper ability that is say 2-3 seconds long then have that weapon automatically kill any non-boss target in one shot if a critical hit occurs. Non crits still would hit with at least three times the current sniper mode damage. They could easily increase the cooldown timer by 50% to offset the extra power. That is what a sniper weapon is all about! You listening you boffins behind the STO curtain?

On the ground the best sniper weapon is probably the Overcharged Plasma you get at the conclusion of “Preemptive Strike” It is not available to KDF at this point. This weapon has a huge sniper bonus but still not as bad ass as a sniper should be. I took one of these and upgraded it to Mark XIV. It hit with about 600 damage on the sniper shot mode. In the hands of Admiral Sager it would do closer to 700 damage in sniper mode. I have figured out that most of the ground enemies such as Vaadwaur and Iconian Heralds take seriously long to kill even at a DPS rate of nearly 200. I had a Vaadwaur Engineer get stuck in the game and I starting shooting him with an Elachi gun rated at 190 dps and it took dozens of shots while flanking him to kill him. Kind of ridiculous. Even after his shields were depleted it took ten to twelve MORE shots to finish him and I was FLANKING him. OK enough of the rant, maybe I might start-up again later, you never know ;) It seems like the highest DPS weapons are the assault and pulsewave guns. These are typically about 5-10% stronger than other weapon types. There are some special weapons sets available in the reputation system and by completing storyline missions. The Jem’Hadar ground set is acquired in the Dominion story arc. This set is a Shield, Armor and Gun. It is upgradable to Mk XIV. The combination offers some nice stealth bonuses but the polaron weapon is nothing to get too excited about. The Zepram Cochrane shotgun is acquired in the Mirror Invasion special event and may or may not be available again in the future. Admiral Sager upgraded his to Mk XIV and it does over 200 dps. Unfortunately it is only effective against unshielded enemies and up close and personal. The damage is all physical. Most PVP players probably wear armor geared towards energy and kinetic resistance so it could be a good weapon to use in conjunction with a shield depleting energy weapon, knock down the shields then ruin their day with an barrel load of double ought buck :D.

The system maintenance stoblog-6has kept the server down all day so I have no new screen shots :( In space there are a great many weapons sets that work well. I am really starting to love the Romulan Hyper Plasma torpedo launcher which I now mount on the aft section. This is part of a reputation set that includes a beam array and console. The set bonus is a boost to all plasma damage 7.6% and 15.2 boost to electro plasma systems. This is at Mk XII. The third piece bonus is a heavy damage ability with the beam weapon. The Hyper Plasma torpedo launcher fires a salvo of three targetable torpedos. What makes it so good is the firing rate. With a few well placed DOFFs this thing is continuously pumping out torpedos. This is why I mount it on the aft. Heavy plasma torpedos will damage the attacker so it is better to be flying away from the explosion rather than into it! I have been using this set in conjunction with the Omega reputation weapons set. That is a console, kinetic beam weapon and omega plasma torpedo launcher. The Omega torpedo launcher is the highest DPS torpedo launcher in the game (I think it still holds that title) It works by firing 1 torpedo every second until five torpedos have fired. Then there is a coupe of seconds and the five are reset again. Those well placed DOFFs will eliminate the delay and thus it will continuously for a torpedo per second. It works with BOFF abilities so no matter what you always have a torpedo ready to use your Torpedo Spread or High Yield BOFF ability. One of the newest sets is the set you gain via the special mission in the Iconian stroy arc, “Blood of the Ancients”. The set is three pieces so three play-throughs are required to get the set. Resonant Transphasic Torpedoes, Resonant Harmonic Console and Resonant Disruptor weapons (either dual cannon or beam array). I am generally not a fan of transphasic weapons but these have an additional damage ability that yields near quantum force with the benefits of the transphasic shield penetration. The 1st set bonus is an insane 18.8% boost to both disruptor and transphasic damage! They also have a nice explosion animation that looks real cool.

One thing to keep in mind about energy weapons is the special proc associated with various energy types. There are special procs for many reputation system and mission reward weapons as well. The type of proc that is best for any toon could depend heavily on how that toon is set up on skills and abilities. You can get a great deal of info on weapons here on the STO Wiki. Many players like the Antiproton weapons due to the increased critical proc. If one builds a toon for maximun critical hit chance having a boost to crit damage can be very devastating to the unfortuante souls that land in the line of fire. I have a running poll for best energy weapon type running chime in with your favorite below.

Iconian Gear and the New Manticore

2015-06-18_10-49-37 I have been flying around in the new T6 Manitcore Veteran Reward Ship the past week or so. I equipped it with solid gear including the complete Iconian Resistance Space set and so far 2 of 3 pieces to the Iconian Resistance Radiant Armaments Weapon set. I haven’t gotten it up to full mastery yet but the ship feels a little soft. Running the standard “Gateway to Grethor” PVE the ship occasionally gets into a nervous situation requiring me to improvise my attack and defense. Other ships flown by Admiral Sager can operate at will with nay fear of destruction on the standard version of that queue.

2015-06-18_10-49-57The ship is essentially the same as the older and still available Chimera T5. My Chimera is a Fleet T5-U and it is a little tougher than this new T6. But is equipped with the Advanced MACO space set and a whole suite of fleet grade weapons and consoles. This new T6 version has not yet been so equipped. That said it is filled with Mark XII very rare and even some Ultra and Epic stuff. I like the ship and will reserve final judgement until I reach full mastery levels.

The Iconian Space set is feeling like a bit of a bust. I really do like the deflector dish. That is a baller piece of gear even if you do not use it with the whole set. I mentioned last week that this set had great paper stats, but didn’t seem to deliver the goods. Maybe I need to try the set on another ship but it seems like my hull is constantly taking significant damage. The resilient shield in the set offers mediocre capacity with decent regeneration and only 5% bleed through. Yet it seems like the hull is always taking a pounding. This shield even offers a 20% damage resistance to ALL energy types. Something just isn’t right about it; it should be much better.

The set includes a Hyper-Impulse engine and I am not a fan of the Hyper design. Hypers are efficient at high power levels.  I use Hypers on my stealth PVP ships like the Fleet B’rel or Fleet Romulan T’varo since the shields and energy weapons are offline under cloak the extra power can go to engines and auxiliary, the extra speed helps with overall defense. But for gritty combat I prefer the Combat engines since they are extra efficient at low power levels and I run the engines real low to provide additional power to other systems.

The whole set specs are in a previous post here. I like the set bonuses offered. The first two are passive and include a shield heal every time you use shield distribution. Limited to once every 30 seconds. I use shield distribute allot! The second bonus offers a chance to buff your whole teams damage output for a while every time you use energy weapons. These are decent passives. The final bonus is an active ability called Radiant Subatomic Field. This buffs you and all your allies for 30 seconds with damage bonus, speed bonus and extra hull points. The cooldown is pretty short so it is a useful ability.

I feel like I am often being saved by the Radiant Armament Advanced Torpedo with a 33% chance to gain 1000 temp hp and the radiant cannon weapons that give 1000 temporary hit points on a crit. But it could be that the temporary hit points are hiding the underlying damage to the hull and when they expire my hull is a bit beat down. That really could be something that simply needs an adjustment in play style to compensate. Hard to say, really.

Overall I am just not overwhelmed with this set. I will say this however, it is a good set and my play style could be as much the problem as the set itself. Furthermore, I would consider using the deflector dish with the Advanced MACO or KDF Honor Guard engines and shields in lieu of the MACO/HG deflector. The third set bonus on those sets is an active enhanced mask energy field ability that is pretty good but the long cooldown sucks. The A-MACO or KDF HG deflector is great for science and engineering ships but not so much for escorts or raiders.

OK the Radiant Armament Set. I have the console and the torpedo launcher. I will be getting both the beam array and the dual cannon weapon soon. I want both so I can use the set on a variety of ships. The first set bonus is a passive that grants a boost to structural integrity and a boost to the amount of temporary hit points awarded by radiant weapons. Nice. The second set bonus, I do not yet have the third piece so I haven’t tried it, is a powerful hyper-charge weapon ability the works a bit like beam overload but is tied to the targets health. The weaker the targets hull the stronger the blast. This is a great finishing ability to polish off that stubborn SOB that seems to cling to life with only 5 hp and low shields :) I like the Radiant Armaments set. I have a full set of radiant weapons equipped on the T6 Manticore. They aren’t the meanest weapons I have by any stretch, but they do provide a  constant boost to hull points during heavy combat.

Regarding the temporary hull points it is important to pay attention to your base hull strength. If your hull is down to 10% and then you get a temporary hull point boost the HUD shows a white hull field with a percentage instead of the normal green. I would use a hull heal while under the temporary points because those points could expire while you are under fire and reveal only that 10% hull that was left when the temp HP came online. I think this is part of the reason I have had a few close calls. The temporary hit points are awesome but they can give a false sense of security. This applies to the Romulan singularity ability that grants temp HP as well.

OK That’s enough of that for now. Oh I finally bought the Superior Grade jet pack for Risa, love that thing  :)

Here is the Manticore comparison chart. In the immortal words of the Terminator T-800 Cyberdyne Systems Model 101,  “I’ll be back” you’ll just have to imagine that Schwarzenegger accent applied ;)

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