Damn the Torpedos!

I have touched on torpedoes before (see ‘quick to nerf’) , but I think it’s time to have another look. Many more torpedoes have been introduced and some are pretty damn cool! So on this Cinco de Mayo, we go all in on ‘el torpedo’.

There are many options in STO for torpedoes. In general there are five basic torpedo types and all five have similar functionality. Shown is the base DPV (Yield), DOT, DPS and reload time of Mk XII common varieties.

  • Photon Torpedo (2980) (0) (458) (6)
  • Quantum Torpedo (3313) (0) (390) (8)
  • Plasma Torpedo (2338) (187) (275) (8)
  • Transphasic Torpedo (2155) (0) (205) (10)
  • Chroniton Torpedo (2551) (0) (241) (10)

These five basic types of torpedoes each offer a little different effect but they all work essentially the same. Photons are the fastest reloading torpedoes and have the second highest yield and highest base DPS. Quantums have the highest yield and the second highest base DPS. Plasma torpedoes have the fourth highest yield but do additional damage over time in the form of shield ignoring plasma fires. This brings the total yield closer to the chroniton range but well short of photon. Plasma and Quantum torpedoes have an 8 second reload vs. 6 seconds for photons. Transphasic torpedoes have the lowest yield of the five, but offer the special ability to “phase” through the shields doing a bonus 40% shield penetration. The math is a bit wonky but instead of the more standard 10% or 5% “bleed through depending on the shield type transphasic torpedoes will bleed through at 46% or 43% (against resilient shields). These can be effective against a highly shielded ship with a weak hull such as science ships. Chroniton torpedoes have the third highest yield but less DPS than plasma as they have no lingering DOT and a longer reload. Their special feature is a 33% chance to slow the target. When using these with ‘spread’ you will nearly always trigger the speed and turn rate debuff.

The most powerful of the basic five torpedo types depends on how you define powerful. essentially it comes down to two, Quantum Torpedoes have the highest yield of the five standard types, but Photon Torpedoes have the highest DPS as they are a little lower yield but reload faster. It should be noted that the DPV is sometime better as this is the actual impact damage, The DPS is based on the reload time. Torpedoes are not a weapon designed for continuous sustained damage so Quantums tend to hold an edge for some players.

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Omega Torpedoes with Spread II

These torpedoes can be used with BOFF abilities such as High Yield and Torpedo Spread. Torpedo spread will create several groups of torpedos that will lock on to multiple enemies and deliver a powerful AOE damage. The five basic classes of torpedoes will respond the same under ‘spread’ with the exception of how many torpedoes are in each group. The group size and max targets is dictated by the level of the BOFF ability. Quantum torpedoes due to their high yield send a reduced number of torpedoes versus the other types.

High yield produces two projectiles that lock onto your target and hit with a powerful upgraded amount of force. This is direct targeted damage rather than AOE damage. There is a significant difference in how Plasma torpedoes are effected when using the High Yield ability. The plasma torpedo under High Yield becomes a ‘Heavy Torpedo’. it is a single slow-moving targetable projectile that does substantially more damage when it hits but can be shot down or pushed away by various effects such as tractor beam repulsors, etc. The plasma high yield is also dangerous as it can damage the attacker as well as the enemy.

The important thing to remember about nearly all torpedoes, is that the base damage is Kinetic. Shields are very effective against kinetic damage. Essentially only 25% of torpedo damage is applied against shields. So a torpedo attack that delivers 3000 damage looks like this against a standard shield facing. Shield takes 90% and 10% “bleeds” through, so 2700 to shield, 300 to hull. The shield shrugs off 75% of kinetic damage so only 675 is applied to shields and then all the shields resistances and buffs, etc. further diminish the damage to the shield. The bleed through 300 points of damage then faces what ever hull resistances are in place based on consoles, and the toon’s resists and buffs. With the exception of transphasic torpedoes shields are going to essentially neuter your epic alpha torpedo attack. That same scenario with transphasic looks like this. 3000 damage, 1620 to shields with only 25% as damaging to shields thus 405 damage to shields (minus the aforementioned additional buffs and resistances). 1380 bleeds through the hull where the ships innate resistances and buffs continue to erode the damage. None the less transphasic torpedoes are highly effective against shielded targets. Plasma torpedoes also offer some shield penetration in the sense that the DOT plasma fires ignore shields.

The best approach for torpedoes is to use energy weapons and shield drain tactics against the shields and try to hit the ship’s exposed hull with a face load of evil kinetic damage. Even though most ship’s hulls will have around 50% resistance based on the character’s setup or NPCs default, having the shield down exposes the hull to the full effect of the torpedo’s yield; those yield numbers are pretty scary! A Mk XIV quantum torpedo has a base damage in common form of over 5000 DPV. With a typical captain’s buffs that will swell to well over 10,000. Send a high yield version with the high yield BOFF ability and 20,000 plus damage is pretty easy with a common grade torpedo, seriously VERY easy. You nail an exposed hull with 20-30k damage and even a highly resistant ship’s captain is gonna say “OUCH”.

There are a number of specialty torpedoes some of which utilize one of the five basic types and a few that use a different type of energy output. Two of the oldest specialty torpedoes in STO are the Tricolbalt and Hargh’peng torpedoes. The tricobalt torpedo is the ‘nuclear option’. This thing hits hard, rhinoceros hard. The base damage of a Mk XII common grade tricobalt is 14,300 which makes a comparable quantum at 3313, seem like a love tap. The 30 second recharge time keeps the DPS relatively low at 238. Tricobalt torpedoes are further nerfed in that they are always targetable. When using them with BOFF abilities they are nerfed again; spread will limit a max of one torpedo per target up to a total of four if using Torpedo Spread III. High Yield will create a more powerful version that moves even slower. The high yield does have a chance to create an anomaly that will disable all nearby ships.

The Hargh’peng is received during the doomsday machine mission. This thing kicks the shit out of that Doomsday Machine with a base 10,000 point bonus damage against it. It’s doomsday Kryptonite. It is less desirable against other enemies despite having a little more base kinetic punch than a comparable Quantum. The torpedo is not affected at all by the BOFF abilities HY and TS. There is no damage type console buff for it either (I think a generic torpedo buff console will work however). It is further nerfed with a long 15 second reload time. It does offer a powerful dot radiation damage that ignores shields and is stronger than a plasma fire. If the enemy does not remove the radiation effect with Hazard Emitters or similar debuff, it will create a shield ignoring secondary explosion after 15 seconds. This torpedo not only looks cool when it is fired with a purple comet appearance, but it could be a good choice on a ship that has very limited tactical seating. Without the need for torpedo buffs the tac officer can utilize other effective abilities while getting a lot of power out of the unaided torpedo.

There are at least 20 other specialty torpedoes that are mostly base derivatives of one of the five basic torpedo types. A few that stand out are the Plasmatic Biomatter (plasma)and Crystaline Antiproton torpedoes both of which use a specific energy for damage rather than kinetic which is unusual. This allows the torpedoes to hit ships just as energy weapons do and avoiding the shield’s 75% kinetic resistance.

The Gravimetric Photon launcher is part of the Protonic set in the Dyson reputation. It offers photon torpedoes with an extra 33% chance to open a gravimetric rift that pulls very nearby ships towards it and does damage.

terranThe Terran Torpedo launcher utilizes photon technology to produce a powerful yield. It also enjoys an increase in damage as the enemy’s hull is damaged. At 25% hull the torpedo is yielding double damage! I wrote about the matching Terran energy weapons here. The torpedo also has a 33% chance to apply a stack of withering radiation that lasts 60 seconds. Up to five stacks can be applied simultaneously

resonantThe Resonant transphasic launcher is part of the ordnance set offered in the “Blood of the Ancients” mission. Completing the mission three times is required to get all three pieces. This is a transphasic launcher that has a 33% chance to disperse a disruption wave over 2km that does physical damage.

omegaThe Omega Torpedo launcher has the highest torpedo DPS in the game. It loads 5 at a time and can fires them once per second* (* actually it is closer to once every two seconds with the global torpedo cooldown of 1.5 seconds brought up in comments and recently tested by me 5-4-2017) then there is a few seconds delay and the five are loaded again. With proper DOFF setup it can effectively crank out one torpedo every second* indefinitely. You always have a torpedo ready when you need to use spread or high yield, never waiting on reload 🙂

hyperThe Romulan Hyper-Plasma is another outstanding unit. This sends a triplet of torpedoes with every launch and it reloads faster than a regular plasma launcher. The three are slightly weaker torpedoes and they are targetable. Using high yield sends three heavy plasma torpedoes and spread send groups of three to multiple targets. The down side to this torpedo launch machine is that the torpedoes can damage the attacker. Careful 😉 I sometimes mount this on the rear so I am moving away from the torpedoes and avoid taking damage.

radiantThe Advanced Radiant is part of the Radiant armaments reputation set and the standard versions are available in the reputation store for dilithium. These are Quantum units that offer a 33% chance to add 1000 stackable temporary hit points (15 seconds). The advanced version also has a 33% chance to chain up to two additional targets in a 5km sphere with shield ignoring radiation damage. These advanced radiant and standard radiant torpedoes can be a benefit to ships with either weak shields or hull by routinely triggering a temporary hull point boost!

neutronicThen there is the Neutronic launcher that is part of the Delta Alliance ordnance set. This thing is quantum strong and offers a 3 km sphere of radiation damage that also knocks all enemies power levels by 25 points and reduces power transfer rates by 17% for 6 seconds. It is slightly nerfed with a slower 15 second reload and reduced torpedo spread volume. This is probably the ballsiest launcher in the game. Its ability to crush the soul of your enemies is notably fantastic. The big radiation sphere lets the other enemies in the area know, they’re next.

There is one torpedo that I really wish they would offer as a rare or very rare. The Herald transphasic torpedo launcher comes as standard common Mk X equipment on any Herald ship. It could be such a boss unit if it were upgradeable or if it were offered in a very rare variety and a higher mark level. I still use it on my Herald Baltim Heavy Raider. It has a 25% proc that gain 7% energy weapon damage for 20 seconds with up to 3 stacks available. If you fire a torpedo spread into the maximum number of ships you will almost certainly get all three stacks right away. 21% bonus damage for 20 seconds. Oh that could have been such a boss unit.

OK take the poll, what’s your fav? I like the Omega, Hyper and Neutronic the best.

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16 thoughts on “Damn the Torpedos!

  1. Since the Summer Event started today, I will get the new ship. What I am planning to do, is build a Torpedo boat out of my T6 non fleet Pathfinder now that my Antiproton and Polaron setups will move on to the Vorgon Escort. I already have all of the three pieces of the Omega Torpedo set. I also have the Neutronic Torpedo with the Gelpack (and working towards the thoron-polaron beam, to have all the three pieces of the Delta Set and get the Isokinetic ability), and last but not least the Quantum-Phase torpedo and it’s corresponding console without the phaser beam array from the first mission in the Nakuhl storyline (don’t remember the name). At the same time I’m working on the Terran Task Force and Undine Countercommand photon torpedoes and the New Romulus Reputation Plasma torpedo. I have the Terran Task Force and the New Romulus consoles as well for the two piece bonus with their respective torpedoes. I have no idea how this build will turn up, because my captain is a fed tactical character whom I skilled very sciency after the new skill system where I (idiotically) ignored the drain expertise and gave 27 points in the science department to literally everything other than drain.

    Well at least my Gravity Well and Tractor Beam are good, but Tachyon Beam or Tyken’s Rift might not be as viable to me.

      1. Thanks for your link! I sadly saw it too late but it is still helpful. I have built a torpedoboat out of my Pathfinder and I already do 65k in CCA, and getting better after upgrades.

  2. nice write up.

    you left out tricobalt torps and the elachi torp (which is a tric torp). tricobalt torps will also interfere with the timers for launching tricobalt mines (as breen cluster torp will interfere with transphasic mines). vaadwaur cluster torp will also interfere with cd times on tric mines and tric torps. vaadwaur cluster torp and breen cluster tor will also interfere with each others launch cooldowns between the two.

    you left out high yield single charge uses from enhanced bio, and elachi torp, which offer aoe. I have seen both hit for over 400k, though the elachi hits a little harder than the enhanced bio. the high yield gravimetric, like tricobalt mines, can and will hit the player if you are to close to the explosion radius. funny to kill yourself with it. the enhanced bio and the elachi torps do not suffer this problem.

    torpedoes tend to break down into two varieties, spread torps, or high yield torps, though a couple, like the neutronic and quantum can do well in both.

    you also left out the pep torp (which is crafted). particle mission plasma torpedo. it is a typical plasma, except for the explosion will lay down a plasma cloud which hinders targets, as well as the dot affect.

    the krenin chroniton is also not bad.

    as for favorite, it would be either the elachi torp or the enhanced bio.

  3. Just to warn you, the Omega Plasma Torpedo Launcher has been bugged and does not have the DPS it claims it has – no matter how much people read the tootip and claim. The tooltip’s DPS calculation for it was recently removed, as at the time of this article’s writing there was one… And it was 4x the actual DPS.

    You see, originally there was no global cooldown on torpedoes. The Omegas would fire every half second, and had infinite ammunition. With the extra 1.5s in place, Omega Torpedoes no longer fired that quickly, yet the tooltip continued to claim so, still counting off the original firing rate. People would somehow still tell you it fired twice a second, but if they sat down and bothered to count the shots, they’d realize.

    Currently the highest DPS belongs to the Kevin-Timeline Photons, which have a -2s reload improvement over standard photons.

    1. The omegas still fire at close to 1 per second, maybe it’s actually 1.5 seconds, I don’t count, but it is still a very powerful torpedo launcher. As is true to form they have likely been nerfed and that may be the point of your message. STO is terrified of powerful weapons and it is annoying 😉 The Kelvins are wonderful as well and I wrote about them recently. The nice thing about the omegas is that they are still the fastest reloading even if the reload time has been nerfed. For tactical officers with multiple instances of spread or high yield coupled with reduced cooldown perks can always have a spread or heavy torp ready to go when needed. PS I have been playing the game since late season 1 and I do not remember “infinate” ammo, they always had the 5 shots and then a brief “reload” time.

  4. OK gang, I just tested the Omega Launcher and as long as no other shared items trigger a cooldown the Omega launcher will in FACT spit out a torpedo every second or pretty damn close to one per second. It can utilize BOFF abilities as well. After running out of the 5 charges there is a short reload period of a couple seconds then the charges begin to refill at what seems like a charge every 1.5 to 2 seconds. I just went into a patrol and emptied five out that sucker in less than 6 seconds. I then waited what seemed like a couple of seconds and began spitting them out again except that the charges are a little slower than the firing rate so the second batch began spitting them out but only 3-4 charges had built up. I think the actual rate that it can continuously pump out torpedoes uninterupted is probably about one torpedo every 2 seconds maybe a little faster. I believe that launcher is still the highest DPS torpedo launcher in the game if not it then the romulan hyper plasma because that bastard spits out a shit ton of torpedoes as well 🙂

    1. This may be old but it remains misinformation. The torpedo global cooldown is – and has been since its implementation – a 1.5 second timer following the 0.5s activation time of a torpedo launcher. Torpedo refire rate floors at 2s, or 1.5s if currently equipped with the Terran Task Force Ferrofluid console.

      As haste does not affect projectile weapons, it is flatly impossible to fire a torpedo faster than 1.5 seconds. The only possibly non-malicious cause for the explanation given above would be a misunderstanding based upon the Omega’s ammunition being drained at a higher rate (such as the entire available magazine) when using Torpedo: Spread or Torpedo: High Yield.

      The Omega Plasma Torpedo Launcher recovers one firing charge every six seconds. It is effectively supplanted by the Malem’s Light-Warbird-Only “Universal Plasma Warhead Module”.

      1. One thing to correct you on for certain. Torpedo spread does not drain the charges, a single charge is still all that is used on the omega when using spread. But your 1.5 seconds issue may be correct as I have not been able to honestly measure that clinically. And you are not the first to point that out.

      2. OK testing shows that once a second is highly unlikely it is closer to every 2 seconds, but it just seems really fast since the Kelvins are at best once every 6 seconds or a bit faster with a torp boost DOFF/BOFF setup. Omaga is still a great torpedo launcher and one of the best in game despite the issues with “claimed” dps being false or questionable. I am adding a note with an * to the content so as to avoid future confusion.

  5. Another note on Omega launcher, The global cooldown on torpedoes does not seem to effect it unless another launcher is fired. I had someone stopwatch me while I parked my ship and fired all 5 rounds as fast as i could click the mouse. In less than 7 seconds all 5 were gone. However in conjunction with another launcher the rate of fire was significantly slowed as the launcher had an additional delay probably due to the global cool down on torpedoes. If you are going to fly a ship with a single torpedo launcher, this is still the ticket.

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