Is it me, or is STO harder to play on ground missions than space missions? It is probably just me. I will admit that up until this morning, I only had one toon with the full 100,000 skill points invested in the ground skills. That was my Romulan Engineer. So most of my other toons that are level 50 plus have 300,000 in space skills and 66,000 in ground. That alone starts me off on ground missions a little weak. That could be why I feel like it is more challenging on the ground. For the benefit of newer players, the level 1-50 system awards skill points that can be applied to your toon to improve their abilities in a variety of categories both in Space and on the ground. By the time a character reaches level 50 they will have applied a total of 366,000 skill points into their toon. This total of 366,000 is a prerequisite for advancing to the specialization system for Admirals and Generals above level 50. You may apply a maximum of 300,000 into the space skills and a maximum of 100,000 into ground skills. Obviously only one can be maxed out on any given character. Most of my toons have the space abilities maxed at 300k leaving just 66k to put into ground abilities.
The post level 50 system with specializations is nice, since one can switch the specializations at will. Not the points awarded but the specializations that are active. Of course if no points are taken in Commando, then switching to it as a secondary specialization will yield minimal results. The character traits can be swapped out for ground missions as well and if I were not so lazy, I suppose I would do better in ground missions by swapping space traits for ground traits when entering a ground mission or queue.
My uber-lazy side thinks Cryptic should give us trait load out options like the ship load outs. Two free load outs per toon and C-store purchase for extra slots. I would have a basic ground and basic space setup. One could even have a ground versus Borg and a ground versus Iconians, etc. Heck why not just have a complete ground load out option with not only traits and specializations but all the gear as well. You hear that Cryptic? In the wise words of Captain Picard, Make it so!
But alas, no such system yet exists so we must remember to swap out our traits when entering ground or space missions. I however am not going to burn a respec every time so I have decided to respec one of my tactical officers and equip them to the nines with great ground gear, badass weaponry and the best ground traits. This will become my official ground assault character. My official, “Judo-Chop Kirk-ster”! Hmm, but whom to choose?
Admiral Sager and General Roddicka are out, I have too much invested in ships and gear for them to be anything less than all out ship masters of the universe. I do want a tactical officer for this experiment, so it boils down to either Romulan Liberated Borg, Vice Admiral, D’Rodda (55) who is allied with the KDF or Full Admiral K’Rod (56) a Klingon Starfleet officer.
I think I’ll choose K’Rod. Let’s face it, having the ability to go “Full Klingon” in ground assaults is just cool! So I just did a respec on him and now K’Rod has 100,000 points spent in ground skills and he so far has spent 6 specialization points in Intelligence all on the space side. I will start utilizing ground based points in Intelligence and Commando until such time that he has all 15 points of Intelligence ground abilities and all 15 points in Commando. Meanwhile I will spend some of those energy credits I have saved up on some boss epic ground weapons and see if I can get this big, bad, Klingon Starfleet officer to lay down some serious hate on the battlefields of STO. Of course I’ll need to drop some coin on the four away team BOFFs as well. This will be an expensive experiment, but I want to see if I can make a serious contender on the ground and I will then test him in PVP.
It’s done, millions of energy credits and a wheel-barrow full of refined dilithium to bring K’Rod up to Mark XIV with most of his ground gear and all the away team BOFFs have mark XII stuff. I was disappointed that I could not upgrade the kit or modules using the upgrade system. I like the upgrade system but honestly it is kind of expensive.
Oh by the way, K’Rod hung onto the Overcharged Plasma Sniper Rifle you get in “Pre-emptive Strike”. Do not give that rifle away. Sometimes you get it at a low-level like Mark VI but hang onto it and upgrade it later. I have never found a sniper rifle with any where near as big a hit in “sniper shot” mode as this weapon. K’Rod now has his at Mark XIV and it hits like a angry rhino!
I am going to start having him run the missions against the Vaadwaur on Kobali Prime and against the Borg to test him out. I’ll see if he can bring some good old fashioned Klingon blood-lust to Starfleet.