Before I begin, is it me, or did this new 11.5 update completely destroy the player’s ability to defend against the tractor beam? I have a science toon that I did a respec with strong science abilities including all the control and drain powers. I loaded her into a ship with massive defenses against control and she still gets stopped dead in her tracks and raped by tractor beams from NPCs??? WTF Cryptic? She runs her auxillary power at 115+. Once again the most powerful weapon in game appears to be a tractor beam, seriously? As of today’s update it seems that they have at least partially fixed this as the hull crushing effects of the tractor beam seemed to be offset by the control expertise. Her ship is still brought to a crawl, however. OK, enough that rant 😉
Way back near the dawn of time… OK maybe not that far back, after all STO is only 6 years old, but back when the game was still an infant, the Cryptic team created a special ship for ‘veteran’ players. Veterans were people who had been continuously playing the pay version of the game for specific amounts of time all the way to 1000 days. A lifetime membership granted all the bonus items at once including the Chimera Destroyer for the Feds and of course a KDF and later Romulan version followed.
It seems that the ‘destroyer’ class was sort of intended to be a versatile Jack of all Trades ship. These veteran ships had two “modes” of operation via the use of a special console, and had a then unusual dual Lt. Commander BOFF layout. For the KDF the veteran ship at that time was the only non-raider to get a battle cloak. This makes the ship still quite viable even today for KDF members, especially since there is now a T6 version.
Later Q offered up a destroyer called the Breen Chel Grett. This was a fantastic little ship. I still like the Chel Grett even after all the changes and new ships that have come out, that Grett is just too much fun to fly. It is no longer a serious challenger in the destroyer arena but it is no slouch either. It also just looks wicked, right?
Overall the game now offers a huge selection of end game destroyer class ships. There are a total of 34 destroyers at latest count.
- T5-U Veteran reward ships for each faction plus Fleet versions (6)
- T6 Veteran reward ships for each faction plus Fleet versions (6)
- T5-U Solanae Science Destroyer (Fed)
- T5-U Advanced Dyson Destroyers 3 for each faction (9)
- T5-U Temporal Destroyers: Mobius, Kren, Talvath (Fed, KDF, Rom)(3)
- T5-U Scourge Destroyer (KDF) plus Fleet version (2)
- T5-U Gurumba Siege Destroyer (KDF)
- T6 Kolasi Siege Destroyer (KDF) plus Fleet version (2)
- T5-U Breen Chel Grett (multi-faction)
- T6 Hazari Destroyer (multi-faction)
- T6 Ferengi Nandi (multi-faction)
- T6 Krenim Imperium Warship (multi-faction)
Few players seem to fly these ships anymore. The veteran reward ship was even updated to T6 and yet I rarely see them around. I guess the idea of trying to blend ships just doesn’t suit the STO gamerverse well. I like destroyers, mostly with my tactical captains.
I own a great deal of these destroyers. I do not have the any of the Temporal ships, nor the Hazari, or Krenim versions.
The Dyson Destroyers are pretty good. I wrote about them here and here. They have a strong science leaning setup but can transform into an escort with the tactical mode engaged. The Science Commander chair reduces to Lt. Commander and the Lt. Commander tactical becomes a Commander seat. The secondary deflector tucks away revealing beefy dual proton cannons, the ship gains turn rate and speed, and the +15 auxiliary changes to +15 weapons power. I still think the Dyson ships are really cool, but with all the T6 options out there, better uses of your Zen can be found.
Most of these destroyers have beefier hull ratings than comparable escorts and some offer a larger weapons compliment of 8 instead of the escort’s typical 7. If your play style leaves you wanting the maneuverable and powerful attack of an escort but leaves you routinely with a crushed hull and an exploding warp core, the destroyer’s tougher exterior could be useful. If you like the tactical attack run style of play but also find yourself fending off attacks on multiple flanks, the 4-4 weapons layout offered by some of these destroyers could also be useful. I can’t overlook the fact that Cryptic’s decision to eliminate the crew meter and just offer flat hull regen based on crew count, breathes a heaping load of oxygen rich atmospheric life to these older destroyers like the Chel Grett and the Veteran reward ships. The Grett has 650 crew and the vet ships have 750. The extra hull regeneration over the typical escort with less than 150 crew is now very noticeable and adds a confidence inspiring resilience to these ‘near’ escort ships. I recommend that players that have these ships mothballed should shine them up and try them out again under the new 11.5 rules. You may be pleasantly surprised.
Overall, I like the Advanced Strategic Dyson for any faction, the KDF and Feddie T6 Veteran ships are epic, for some reason the Rommy version seems weak. And I like the Nandi, I mean seriously it isn’t just about the combat, the Nandi is the ONLY ship in the game with 6 BOFFs and one of only two ships that offer the Dabo Table, Personal Merchant, Exchange, and Bank onboard 🙂 The temporal ships are really just escorts, they are good ships otherwise but I don’t think they are really destroyers, per se.
The ship that is the most impactful is the KDF Duvqu’. It isn’t that it is better in a head to head against these others. It is just that what it offers for the KDF is really special. It has the battle cloak which is no big deal if you are a Romulan, but Klingons only get the battle cloak with BoP raiders, except for this ship and the Intel Battle Cruiser. It is much more resilient than a BoP. The ship is tough, turns well and has good BOFF layout. This ship gives Klingons a raptor with a battle cloak and not one but TWO Lt. Commanders on the bridge. That makes it a very unique experience for Klingons.
The destroyers are best setup with either beams or single cannons up front. If you want an aggressive attack run style you can use Dual Beam Banks effectively up front with a couple of 360 arc beam arrays in the back. The reason I like the omni beams for a frontal attack run style of play is that they offer 360 degrees of coverage with the same base damage output as a standard beam array. Now you have three dual beam banks and one or two omnis on your target when attacking.
Although the 360 arc beam arrays are typically limited to one per ship there are a few energy types where two different models are available and you can stack two units. The Tetryon Omni and the Omni Anti-Chroniton Tetryon both use tetryon based energy and can be used together on the same ship. The Omni Polaron and Omni Chronometric Polaron can be utilized this way as well. If you don’t like Polaron or Tetryon then use just one omni to match the energy type you prefer. Single cannons and turrets are also effective on this ship. Cannon setups require more tactical BOFF abilities to be utilized effectively so keep that in mind if you like to use high-ranking attack patterns or other tactical abilities in the Lt. Commander and Commander chairs.
I was flying the Breen Chel Grett around while testing the various destroyers. I have that ship all setup with mk xii gear nothing too exciting, but it has the complete Delta Alliance space set and the Delta Operations ordnance set. The ship still fights well and could easily be used as an everyday starship for either a tactical or engineer. I don’t think the ship is well suited to science captains despite the Lt. Commander science chair on the bridge. About that Delta Operations Ordnance set: the Neutronic Torpedo launcher is the bomb. Seriously that thing kicks ass and it looks real cool when it hits the enemy with a big epic blast of radiation around the ship. I think I’ll do a torpedo article next week!
Below is a chart showing the data for all the Destroyers except the Dysons. There are nine of those things! The chart is packed enough with the rest of the Destroyers. Check them out and chime in on the poll as to which is your favorite!