One of my most recent toons is KDF Science Officer and Dahar Master Rodax. He is a Talaxian that decided to join the KDF. I have mentioned him in other posts. He is only recently become level 60 and does not yet have much in the specialization system. I built this toon on the cheap with very little grinding and expense. He is built with 19 points in science and a near even mix of tactical and engineering. I have been flying assorted ships some are tier 6 C-store ships previously purchased account wide and others are freebie ships awarded account wide over the years. He is gaining all the various T6 ship traits before settling on a primary ship. He is currently flying the Breen Dreadnought.
I had him fly the Krenim Science ship all the way to 5th level mastery and found that he was having trouble keeping the ship in one piece on the advanced queue PVEs such as Crystaline Entity. Originally I thought I would have him fly the KDF Dyson, which is why I built him as a quasi tactical-science. I started to think I might need to respec him until I flew him around in that Breen Dreadnought. I am using good but not great gear and the same gear mostly as on the Krenim ship. In this Breen Dreadnought none of the issues of survivability have surfaced. In fact this guy just flies around in the advanced Crystaline Entity PVE with impunity. Even after the entity is destroyed and all those Tholians swoop in he just can’t be touched. This same toon flying the Krenim ship and the KDF Intel Battle Cruiser was forced to be timid due to a fragile profile.
Sure the Dreadnought has a beefier hull than those other two ships, but there is more to it than that. It seems that more hull and an a couple of extra engineering consoles makes a lot of difference. This toon does not do a lot of DPS by any stretch but the ability to hang in there and rather than scrambling around trying to keep the ship alive allows him to focus on the enemy. The toon can use the science abilities to weaken enemies and ultimately destroy them. I might just leave this toon as is and change the focus of his “style”. Remember for a science toon it is as much about debuffing and shield draining the enemy as it is brute force weapons DPS. More DPS is always better in a fight, but generally a science toon will never wield the ‘whack’ of a tactical officer. Science toons need to focus on exposing the hull to damage.
As a note in general. A well built science officer can bring down an enemy with weapons that deal 1/2 as much damage in the same amount of time using the science abilities to debuff and shield drain. It is not about how much damage your weapons and abilities do, it’s all about how much damage you are doing to the HULL. The only way to kill the enemy ship is to reduce its hull to zero points. Penetrating the armor and draining the shields is how a science toon gets to the hull. You can certainly build a science toon to plunder like a pirate, but ideally they are a multipurpose battle field control ship. Healing and buffing allies, using control abilities to aid allies in reducing the enemies to smoldering debris. Although this toon has not ventured into the command specialization, that one makes sense for a battlefield control character.
I understand that carriers are a solid option for science players in need of some extra bulk and firepower. But I was looking for a different approach. That said Rodax does have the Breen T6 Carrier in the ‘garage’ as well.
I have always enjoyed playing RPG style games with odd “outside the box” characters as secondary toons. In any D&D based game I always built a classic cleric. Even back in the day when I played the book and paper game, my goto “traditional” build was always a cleric. But I also built weird characters as secondary projects in games like the Original Neverwinter Nights. You know stupid builds that hard-core DPS fiends scoff at. But these ‘weirdos’ offer the player an opportunity to be challenged. Once I built a Monk-Sorcerer. That was a tough play 😉 One of my all time favs was a Wizard, Rogue-Shadowdancer. Yeah, I know I’m kind of crazy. Back to STO, I do sometimes build ‘odd-duck’ toons just to shake things up and this guy sort of falls into that category. I was thinking along the lines of an STO battle-cleric, for Rodax.
Although the D&D cleric is the most correlating to a science build in STO, there are some notable deficiencies in the analogy. In the classic RPG the cleric used magic but did not suffer the casting penalty with armor that a sorcerer or wizard did. The spells were different from arcane magic used by the traditional mage in that they were “divine”. They were mostly battlefield control spells, AOE, and healing. But the cleric in D&D often could wield heavy weapons, and wear heavy armor. The science ships in STO are more like a “mage” ship in that they are generally weak armor and weak weapons, you know like a robe and dagger rather than plate mail and a broadsword 😉 This makes building an STO battle cleric a bit challenging. It seems the dreadnought could be the answer. Providing the dreadnought offers good seating for science officers.
The Breen ship is a solid choice for this setup. It offers a LC science seat, LC Universal/Command, and a Universal ensign. It’s a very flexible ship with solid engineering and plenty of room for science. Other ships that have similar BOFF arrangements are the Elachi Sheshar, Krenim Annorax, and Paradox Temporal.
Here is the build for Rodax, this is a work in progress, so bear with me 🙂
The best ship for a science officer in a dreadnought has to be the Paradox Temporal Dreadnought. Although it has weaker hull than the others is by far the most ‘sciencey’. Take a look at that Commander seat with its shiny blue sheen. The 1.425 shield modifier screams science, and it is the only dreadnought here with five, count them five, science consoles. That said, this ship is giving up a little of that resiliency I so admire about the Breen ship. It does however have more hull than any traditional science ship in the game. The Breen ship is an account wide in-game freebie, and it is versatile enough to enjoy with any toon you build. So I still like it.
I have a chart below showing the best choices of Dreadnought for a Science officer. I would also say the Tulwar Dreadnought is a good choice if you are a Romulan. Please note this data is a truncated version of the chart I used last year in my Dreadnought Comparison, it uses the old BOFF flexibility formula. Call me lazy I guess 😉