I have had a few readers bemoan the fact that I haven’t spent a lot of time on the science ships. I have mentioned that I only have two science toons one is only level 21 and in the KDF! My highest ranking science captain is Starfleet Admiral Rodessa with a level of 56.
I wrote about STO and the Spirit of Trek here and that article may help explain why the science career path is hard for me to enjoy. STO is a great game, but it is all Kirk and no Picard. The game is a bit shooty and so playing as a science captain seems almost moot. I would love to see the game evolve the story lines to suit the career path of the player. As it is now, every mission is guns a blazin’. Don’t get me wrong, I love me a good shoot out as much as the next guy, but if I am going to a gun fight, I’m taking my tactical toon.
As my top feddie science cap, I had Rodessa flying the Scryer around for a number of missions and PVE queues as she built it up to Tier 5 mastery. I actually have grown to really like this ship. My play style is very tactical in nature and again it is as much due to the game mechanics as it is a preference. There is rarely an opportunity to avoid a fight in STO so again I tend to build toons to fight. Rodessa’s go to ship has been the Dyson Strategic Science Destroyer. The word destroyer really sums up its primary focus. That ship with its tactical mode is pretty hard to beat in fight when comparing it to other science ships. But the Intel Scryer is a damn good ship. It doesn’t have the shock and awe kick to the face that the Dyson does in tactical mode, but it does a great job of defense while being better than average for the class in damage output. There is now a fleet version of this ship available that boosts the shields and hull by ten percent and adds an extra console.
Like most science ships this one has a pretty weak hull. Once the shields go down death comes quickly. I am a bit annoyed that the shield modifier on this Intel ship is only 1.25 where as most science ships are at least 1.30. Science ships need all the shielding they can get. The ship is equipped with a built-in cloaking device. That is nice but as I have decried over and over again the standard cloak is almost worthless. At least it doesn’t take up a console slot. If the science abilities worked while cloaked then it could be a useful tool.
The Scryer is one of the most agile science ships in the game. It is not quite as shifty as the Dyson in tactical mode but surely its equal otherwise. The intelligence abilities of the ship are also a great aid in both defense and offense with a Commander science/intel chair and a tactical/intel Lieutenant chair offering intelligence BOFF abilities. The ship has decent staying power with two Lt. Commander stations, one each for an engineer and science officer. Tactical is a bit weak sauce, just the Lieutenant hybrid and an Ensign universal are available for tactical BOFFs.
The gather intel ability that all intelligence ships enjoy seems fitting for a science based ship. It is yet another opportunity for science captains to use tech rather than brute force weaponry to achieve the goals. In the end the game demands we destroy every ship like an enraged Klingon avenging the death of his family. The tech weakens the enemy and the brute force is the finishing move. Overall this is an awesome science ship. You get all the science goodies like subsystem targeting and sensor analysis along with the intelligence active sensor arrays, a cloak, and the hybrid BOFF chairs. The ship gives a +10 to both weapons and auxiliary power, which is a nice balance.
Maybe someday Cryptic will offer decision points that actually matter in the missions. Perhaps science officers have an optional way to complete the mission that is career unique and maybe avoids the total destruction of every enemy whilst still giving the skill points for defeating them. likewise engineers and tactical officers could have similar options. It never ceases to annoy me how I can fly into a group of ten ships and wipe out the first half-dozen in less than a minute without so much as a scratch on my hull and the remaining four ships still charge me like they have a chance. No f-ing way that happens in any real scenario with a species intelligent enough to fly faster than light! The remaining four ships should be high tailing it outta there like the proverbial bat out of hell. This would add realism to the game scenarios and skill points could be awarded for causing the enemy to flee just as well as skill points for wiping them out.
If Cryptic ever does this I will enjoy flying as a science captain or engineer so much more. It would be an option so the people who really like blowing the crap out the enemy can always take that path if they so choose. But the rest of us might occasionally act like a Starfleet officer and use diplomacy or even intimidation to avoid the fight rather than crushing every soul that crosses our path.
Until that day arrives I’ll have to continue looking at ships through the blood tinted glasses of tactical minded captains. In that regard the Intel Scryer is a great ship that lets a science captain be all sciency but still gets the job done when the phasers come out to play.