Star Trek Online offers an amazing selection of ships for us to fly. Once we choose that ship, we have a seemingly endless list of outfitting options. Weapons, shields, engines, cores, devices and consoles. There are millions of possible combinations. I spend a lot of time talking ships but I have also spent a lot of in-game time on away missions.
Although there may not be as many items you can equip to your Captain as you can your ship. You have four additional away team members you can outfit. Your captain is probably the most important since that is the toon you actually control directly. The skills you choose for you character on the ground may have a profound effect on the tools you use in the field.
Your character can be equipped with body armor, shields, kit, two weapons and four devices/consumables. Although the game allows you to use standard security red shirts for away missions, you should select your own BOFFs to be on your away team. This allows you to equip them with superior gear. Besides how can a soon to be dead red shirt help you on a tough away mission? Away team members can have one weapon, body armor, shields and four devices/consumables.
There are a lot of options for outfitting your character on away missions. The kit is one item you should pay close attention to. Each career path uses kits designed to take advantage of that profession’s skill sets. Engineers use engineering kits, sci-offs use science kits and tactical officers use tactical kits. These kits provide your character with four special abilities. Choose your kit wisely. If you took a lot of points in demolitions for your character then perhaps the tactical kits that offer grenades options is a good idea for a tactical officer. There are several kits for each profession check out what they offer and choose a kit that gives you the abilities that will take advantage of the skills you applied to your toon as you leveled up. The tactical kits offer stealth, grenades, weapon enhancement, team attack buffs, etc. Engineers enjoy turret fabs, mortar launchers, mine barriers, etc. Science is largely healing and group buffs.
Like the ships, there are quite a few equipment sets available for ground missions. You can get reputation sets including the strong M.A.C.O. set for Feddies or Honor Guard for Klingons. Admiral Sager uses a fleet shield and armor. Roddicka uses the Jem’Hadar ground set upgraded to Mk XII. That Jem’Hadar set has a cool camouflage mode. You’ll find that the body armor has several options for protection. Energy resistance, specific resistances, physical resistance and a variety of special abilities. Your character will “wear” the armor and kit by default but if you do not want the equipment to show on your character you can click the “eye” near the item in its equipped spot and that will disable the visual effects.
Shields work like ship shields in that they protect your character from damage. The shield may have several additional abilities including damage resistance, quick recharge, bonus damage to attacker, etc.
Weapons are nearly endless in options. You have all the usual energy types, Phaser, Disruptor, Polaron, Tetryon, Plasma, Antiproton. The weapon energy is similar to ships. They all have their own procs for bonus damage or crits, etc. Then there are several types of weapons. Pistols, dual pistols, assault rifle, sniper, pulsewave, mini-gun, etc. These all offer slight variations on attack type. You may be able to attack multiple opponents or may do heavy damage to a single target. Choose the weapon that suits your style and character’s skill abilities. Admiral Sager uses the Elachi Pistol [dmg]x3 and it has 139 dps base and he carries a Bat’leth as well that does a whopping 144 dps. There are a few weapons that are even stronger including the pulsewave assault weps that in [dmg]x3 config do a base in excess of 145 dps. Just like the ship weapons the ground weps hit differently. Some have a high dpv but fire slowly and others fire rapidly with a low dpv. The dps may be the same, but the harder hitting weapon can take brutal advantage of an enemy with depleted shields. The rapid fire weapon may be easier to damage enemies that move around allot. It really depends on your personal style. When looking at the damage of the weapon in the info it might read something like this; 25 Tetryon damage (100 dps) this is a rapid fire weapon roughly four shots per second. Another might read 150 Disruptor damage (100 dps). This weapon is a heavy hitting slow firing weapon that fires once every 1.5 seconds. The secondary fire feature is the special ability the gun has. Typically has a cooldown or long cycle. Often it will engage multiple targets or do excessive damage. Read about the weapons characteristics before spending big bucks on a Mk XII purple. Better yet, use some of the weapons you get in drops or buy Mk XI rares on the exchange for cheap and try them out.
Devices and consumables include hypos for health, tribbles for health and other buffs, batteries to recharge shields, food for health and other bonus buffs and many other items as well. You can place these items in your four slots and many items are stackable.
I typically have two tactical officers a science officer and an engineer on my away team. That seems to be a good mix.
So the bottom line is that you can be just as custom and unique with your ground team as you are with your ship. Try things out and have fun! Try different BOFFs on your away team and you may find that some work better than others for you. Experimenting will definately reap rewards as you play tougher missions.