This anniversary update was packed with quite a bit of changes. The BOFF system is improved. It is just a tiny bit more complicated to train your BOFFs but it is worth it because now you are no longer “retraining” the BOFF but rather you are adding additional training.
Let’s say you have a tactical BOFF with great skills but he has ‘high yield torpedo’ as an ensign level skill and you really need ‘beam fire at will’. In the old system this was an easy enough fix. You could go to the BOFF trainer on ESD, Qo’nos or Romulan Command and simply pay a small amount of EC to have him retrained in the new skill. But in this process the old skill was lost. Admiral Sager has 25 BOFFs because I got tired of having to train and retrain BOFFs for wide variety of ships the Admiral flies. Well my friends, that is a thing of the past as this new system allows BOFFs to actually progress by knowing more than one skill at each level. Now you simply train the tactical officer in a new skill and switch that skill out on the fly. Apparently you cannot do the skill swap whilst engaged in combat, but still you can customize the BOFF ability set to suit the mission you are about to undertake. Bravo Cryptic, this is pretty cool. The screenshot above shows the Commander tier abilities that this BOFF can learn and the two she already knows; Scatter Volley III and Attack Pattern Omega III.
Furthermore you can now train BOFFs in specialties as well. You can turn any regular career BOFF into a Command Specialist or Intelligence Specialist with training manuals created in the crafting system or buy them on the exchange. By the way, don’t forget that when you do the maze portion of the special anniversary mission you can find a very rare Kobali Command BOFF hidden in there 🙂
I am over the moon with this new learning system. Several of my characters only have 8-10 BOFFs because I didn’t want to shell out Zen for additional BOFF roster spots. I now can maximize the 8-10 BOFFs these toons have to handle any ship or mission configuration I have.
I mentioned last week that I had received the new freebie T6 Kobali cruiser and in fact I have it for five of my ten toons. I have spent less time in the Kobali cruiser than I have in the new T6 Command Cruiser I also bought last week. Admiral Sager has taken that ship to full mastery. I do have my Ferengi Starfleet engineer flying the Kobali ship now. He is only level 51 but I am getting a feel for the ship. However, since I have fully mastered the Command T6, I will forego a deep analysis of the Kobali cruiser at this time and focus on the new Command Cruisers. I will say that all of you should complete Q’s little Omega particle missions and get the ship. It’s free and it’s pretty damn cool!
I chose to only buy one of the new T6 cruisers at this time. I will likely end up getting one for each faction eventually and then whine about how I should have just bought the whole, set. Too bad for me then. I have the T6 Tactical Command Cruiser. This is the ship that made the most sense for Admiral Sager who is my strongest character. Who better to test out the new ship than my resident stud?
I started this ship out modestly with mostly weapons and equipment I purchased on the exchange. I decided to go with single cannons up front and turrets in the rear. Each end of the ship has a single torpedo launcher as well. Nothing fancy here, just Mk XII purple phasers with a mix of damage and accuracy modifiers. One flaw with this setup so far is that the forward facing 180 degree arc has all six energy weapons firing and that is proving to be a bit of a drain on the weapons power. draining the weapons power of course, reduces the damage output. I prefer having just five weapons firing at once but since three of these are turrets which only drain eight points of power per volley I guess I’ll have to live it. Well I have thousands of weapons batteries stored up so what the hell 😉
The consoles are Mk XII purple items purchased from the reputation stores for dilithium. Granted, I have a couple of Mk XIV blue field generators and some fleet consoles on another ship I can borrow if need be 😉 My point here is that this ship is not overly equipped and that makes for a good test, right? Admiral Sager as a captain is pretty strong. He is my original toon and has unlocked just about everything you can in STO. So that alone makes him pretty strong in this or any other ship.
I flew a variety of missions, mostly PVE queues but also the Anniversary special event mission as well. As I flew the ship I was working towards getting two of the three Adapted MACO pieces, the shield and the engines. I don’t much fancy the special Mask Energy Field ability afforded by the third piece in the set so a nice positron deflector works fine. Eventually I will go with a Fleet Positron deflector and fleet weapons but for now this ship has been fairly standard build. It is quite admirable in its performance. This is a great ship! I also decided for now to run the Kobali Warp Core and the Special Console from the Kobali Ship, the Universal Regenerative Integrity Field as well since it is part of a four console set and offers up a turn rate bonus when two of the consoles are used. The second console is the Universal Defense Platform that comes standard on this T6 ship. On the hangar bay I just went with some advanced Peregrine fighters.
In PVE the ship is solid, I ran mostly standard queues since it is damn near impossible to get a group of five to stick with the advanced queues. I did run a few advanced queues that lasted long enough to see that this ship can holder her own in that environment. Until everyone else runs away at least. I really like the fifth level mastery trait “all hands on deck” which gives a reduction in cooldown on science and captain abilities when activating a command or tactical ability. That coupled with “reciprocity” that gives a cooldown reduction on tactical every time an enemy misses the ship makes for a great situation always having abilities to run 🙂 I hate waiting for cooldowns.
The ship never really got into much trouble aside from the stupid Peregrine Fighters flying into warp core explosions all the time and dying. I am a bit annoyed that even uber buffed on tactical for an Alpha strike was not yielding the whoop-ass power I expect. My T5-U Fleet Avenger puts down big time DPS hate on an Alpha. This one I think suffers a bit from weapon power drain issues. That is more about my three turrets in the back setup than the ship itself. I do like the fact that I can put down serious covering fire in the forward 180 degree arc. I can’t really go to a dual cannon setup on this ship with that barge-like turn rate of 8. I don’t much wish to waste engineering console space on RCS units either. Other than the weapon power drain which I have been countering with batteries, this ship is pretty boss.
I do very much like the new command inspiration abilities. These come in very handy and build up reasonably fast. Unlike the intelligence version of these abilities which are on a timer so to speak, these build up based on combat experience of sorts. I always seemed to have an inspiration ability on tap when I needed it. I like that. This ship could stand to have the weapons cruiser command but instead only the shields and attract fire are available. I would trade the shield buff for the weapon power reduction buff all day long.
I am quite pleased with the performance of this new ship. I have to say as a disclaimer that Admiral Sager’s Tactical Command Cruiser is not as well equipped as his T5-U Fleet Avenger and so the fact that it performs as well as it does is quite enlightening and speaks volumes for the quality of these new T6 Command Cruisers.
As for the other ships they are basically separated by the career path of the Lt. Commander seat and the console arrangement. The Tactical Command Cruiser I have has a Lt. Commander Tactical and four tactical consoles along with four engineering and three science. The Operations Command Cruiser has an engineer at the Lt. Commander chair and takes away one of the tactical consoles and adds a fifth engineering console. The Science Command Battle Cruiser of course has a Science Officer in the Lt. Commander seat and takes away one tactical console and adds a fourth science console.
The three Starfleet versions of the new T6 Command Cruisers are shown below. See ya next week!