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 has 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.