The Black Hole of Warp Cores

remandd3Many of you may be playing Romulan characters. After all its been more than two years since the Legacy of Romulus launched. The Romulans are in many ways the coolest faction. Why? Because as a Romulan you get the benefits of being a Romulan, flying the Romulan ships, unlocking cool Romulan races, uniforms, etc. You to fly around the cosmos acting like a complete cocky d-bag with that better-than-thou attitude we have come to love and hate from our devious Romulans. But you also can choose to align with either the Federation or the Klingon Empire. Once that alignment is declared at level 10, the Romulan player unlocks the ability to fly ships and use all the equipment afforded to either of those factions. That’s like getting two for the price of one!

One of the key differences in the Romulan experience aside from the special story arc, is the starships. Not only are Romulan and Reman ships configured in much different styles, they are less conforming to the basic Cruiser, Science and Escort varieties of the KDF and Starfleet. All the Romulan Ships have a battle cloak and they all utilize a unique Singularity Warp Core. These Singularity Cores are science based and produce boosts to science abilities with modifiers as rarity increases. Starfleet and the Klingons use a Anti-matter reactor for the warp drive. These Anti-matter cores are engineering based and offer engineering boosts as modifiers on the more rare versions rather than science. The Romulans actually create a micro-singularity to power their ships. The fact that no other factions utilize this technology makes it rebelliously cool 🙂

Seriously, just how cool is the Singularity Warp Core? It is the Black Hole of Warp Cores! But does the sexiness exist only because it flies in the face of convention and can be compared to the most powerful of stellar phenomenon? Well, not exactly. The singularity Warp Core operates differently than the Anti-matter Warp Cores in actual game play. Check out, “The Wonderful World of Warp Cores” for general warp core information and usage. These cores offer less standard power than their Anti-matter counterparts. An Anti-matter warp core produces 200 points of base power. A Singularity Core produces only 160 points of base power. Wait a minute, less is worse, isn’t it? Generally yes, but in this case it is less for a while and then more later on. Romulan singularity cores build up a charge as the ship engages in combat. The charge will generate surplus power in increments of one “charge” and will eventually reach a maximum level of five at which time it is producing significant boosts to all subsystems. As the power builds up in the core the player has the ability to utilize one of five different singularity abilities. Each tier of ship gets an additional new core ability until the max of five is reached at tier five. So any tier 5 or 6 Romulan ship will have all five abilities at its disposal. These abilities are as follows, (Click on the links for each ability below and read more information from the STO Wiki site) :

I tend to fly the ship with the surplus power and rarely use the singularity abilities. Once an ability is activated the core’s singularity charge is used and it will have to recharge again as combat continues before another ability can be used and/or additional surplus power becomes available.  Since the Romulan ships have a large initial disadvantage in power, I tend to prefer having the generous boost afforded by a fully charged singularity core.

I have used all of the powers and honestly they kind of suck until the full charge is reached. Even at full charge I feel the Plasma Shockwave is almost useless. Now that may just be me, but it seems like it is a bit weak on power. When I unload a 5 charge plasma shock wave and get this cool animation that looks like something my enemies should fear, I expect shuttle craft pets to die instantly and starships to have their engineers screaming, “Captain, the ship can’t take much more of this… ” Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to end that way. Quantum Absorption can help get you out of a heavy assault by providing a large pool of temporary hit points and an instant shield heal. The shield heal will continue even if the ship cloaks, very useful in a retreat situation. Be sure to utilize hull heals especially if you are taking DOT (damage over time) from say, plasma fires, so the ship doesn’t explode when the temporary points expire or are beat down by enemy fire. Warp Shadows is fairly cool as it confuses the enemy into firing at “shadows” of your ship. There is one shadow for every charge on the core up to the maximum of five. It however, does not last very long. It can provide cover for a cloak escape. I honestly never cared for Singularity Jump. That one just seems about as useful as mogai-4 a spoon for a plate of spaghetti. However it does provide a quick 5km warp jump and leaves a ‘gravity well’ like effect behind that causes a series of slow and weapons debuffs to enemies in the area. Singularity Overcharge is the ability I use more than any. Mind you, I rarely use the charge abilities, but this one can be very effective for that final killing blow on a boss enemy or a stubborn PVP opponent. This used to channel that surplus power directly into the weapons for several seconds. This would cap your weapons at 125 or 130 if so equipped and keep it there for the entire duration even as you unload a hail of death from all your weapons. Players complained that it was no better than a big battery. Kinda of true actually so now it is even better. The new version of this ability converts beam damage to “overload” power without the annoying power drain normally associated with Beam Overload. It will also convert cannon damage to a rapid fire style barrage and again with no additional power drain. Just wait until your enemy is in the ‘kill box’ and blast him into the afterlife. It is important to remember that if the attack is unsuccessful your ship will return to the weak sauce 160 points of subsystem power until the core can begin to recharge.

Regardless of your play style the Romulan captain enjoys a unique opportunity to fly unusual ships in a special way with cool abilities and powers limited to the pointy eared cousins of our beloved Vulcans. Every player should have at least one Romulan toon. Having a Black Hole for power source should be reason enough, but if that alone doesn’t sway you, the extra cool Romulan features, special story arc, and awesome ships should!



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