Destroyers: They sound badass, but are they?

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.

breen-deltaset (2)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)

2015-10-07_18-33-17Few 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!

destroyer

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10 thoughts on “Destroyers: They sound badass, but are they?

  1. If Cryptic releases T6 Dyson Destroyers, I just might grind dilithium and convert it to Zen to buy them. Seriously, I absolutely loved one of the T5U Dyson ships that you fly during one of the storyline missions and, for what it’s worth, imho those are the only ships I would ever spend Zen to buy. The T6 Pathfinder Cryptic gave me so that I would return to STO after a year of not playing is a pretty great ship and even though I’m playing a tactical character, after a science heavy respec it’s pretty good.
    Also, I think the Omni Beams can be underrated by people sometime. On my build on the T6 pathfinder, I got 3xDBB in the front, UR 1xMkXIV and 2xMkXIII (yay upgrade weekend!). And my aft is 1xAncient Omni AP, 1xStandard MkXII Omni AP and 1xBorg Kinetic Cutting Beam. When I do frontal attacks, I got all 6 of my weapons firing at the same time which is really nice. And I mostly do frontal attacks in order to use Tachyon Beam II+Tractor Beam II+Destabilizing Resonance Beam II+Gravity Well III+Viral Matrix I, since my DPS is pretty low those abilities coupled with a full on frontal assault get the max out of it.

  2. Tractor beam can be countered by polarized hull and/or Attack Pattern Omega. Plus the temporal ships have access to tipler cylinder, Manheim device, and grav Wells. The destroyers are upgraded escorts and I love my Hazari and Dyson.

    1. Yes I am aware of that my comment was regarding the change in effective power of tractor beam with the 11.5 update and the fact that control expertise is supposed to severely reduce the effects of tractor beams (and other control effects). The idea of taking those points in control to both enhance your use of control effects and increase your resistance to them is supposed to allow you to avoid having to use polarize hull. They screwed the pooch on this. I feel that taking the full suite of points in control was a waste as my science toon with all of the control abilities maxed running aux power at 115% and have a series of control enhancing console still remained unable to resist tractor beams. The control effect points on the skill tree are useless. So what’s the damn point of taking all those control points if I still have to WASTE BOFFs on anti-tractor beam abilities.

      1. Aux power does nothing over 100 after 11.5 and it’s not sacrificing BOFFs but rather they also have increased survivability, like the Polarize Hull adds resistance and APO is the optimum attack pattern for PVP or if you’re that guy who uses it in pve (stupid idea).

    2. It might just be me, but polarizing my hull doesn’t help when I’m playing against the Borg in STFs (normal and advanced, I don’t play Elite so can’t comment on that) or do Borg Red Alert.

      On the other hand with my Romulan Engineer toon I recently created, I’m playing through the story and currently flying a Tier 4 D’Deridex and whenever the Elachi want to catch me in a tractor beam it doesn’t seem to work at all. My ship keeps flying at the same speed and that’s a character I haven’t spent all skill points on yet because I’m not level 50 yet.

      1. I haven’t had a problem with polarizing hull not working when you activate it BEFORE the enemy tractor beam is activated, I have had it do seemingly nothing when trying to use it to break a tractor beam already affixed. Attack Pattern Omega has always been an effective tractor beam buster. My comments were based on my frustration that prior to 11.5 toons that had allot of points spent in the defenses against control attacks like the tractor beam were only marginally affected when encountering them while players that chose not to take those points found themselves in a death grip. It seems that taking all the control points in 11.5 does little at all to defend against them and I found that it doesn’t really enhance my player’s use of those abilities much either. My toons that have none of the control points taken have tractor beams that only a little weaker than my science toons that have all the control points. Under the old rules there were science guys that had such beefy tractor beams they could crush your ship like it was in a big vice unless you had strong defenses against them. I just don’t like the fact that I have toons flying absolute badass ships and since 11.5 the tractor beams seem to be harder to defend and more damaging than ever before and I am talking about weak sauce NPCs not godlike PVP science guys.

  3. It’s sad to say but in my opinion sto did become a dps game where seeking and going where no one as gone before did go into a dps madness ,like the last skiil revamp what did it do?increase dps from over 200 million dps to over 300 million dps.(DPS league)and the result of this people are deserting sto,because all there is to do after you’ve done all story line just grinding for dps,like a freind of mine say it as become a facebook game ,it is in my opinion very very sad,

    1. I don’t mind that some people are seeking to be the “dps” kings, that is fine, but the game can be much more than that to fans of Star Trek. The ship models are epic and the character customization is good. The game does need to start offering some non-combat opportunities as well and I have written extensively about that in past articles.

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