This is mainly for those coming back, forgot things, confused and new to the game (also for me as I tend to forget a lot when I leave for a bit then comeback). Here I will mainly express my viewpoints on meta weapons, consoles, traits, skill layout, certain rotations etc. Anyone willing to contribute here is very much welcome as I learn new things about this game even after 10 years on and again off again play.
Lots of weapon choices out there atm to save time I will mostly focus on ship weapons with the exception of 2 ground weapons: The Advanced Herald Antiproton Beam Projector and the Hur’q Acoustic Resonator (sto wiki does not have a page for it yet). The Herald weapon is a no brainer its a fire and forget with .5 sec delay you shoot spam at one target and it chains to nearby mobs the secondary takes a charge up which is meh but you are looking at this for the primary fire function. The Hur’q weapon is even more ridiculous its primary fire shoot up to 6 mobs in front of you (yes 6) and has a .25 delay basically allowing you to spam it. The secondary is meh like the Herald weapon but you are not looking at it for its secondary fire.
Before we start I want to define when I mean the “best” of a weapon. What I really mean is it’s capability to deal damage over a short period of time. I understand there are builds out there to do different things but I am advising anyone wanting to know how some players in pug tfo’s come in and destroy everything in moments, well they do that using these weapons. Secondly, I will only be talking about beam arrays not cannons because that is another thread entirely and would double this probably long post as it is. Also I will be only mentioning universal consoles that can be slotted to any ship rather than tied consoles which require you to use said ship to use the console which would constrict you when making a build. Moreover, to me apart from the ship looking aesthetically pleasing the importance of boff layout is paramount as it allows you to plan what you can and cannot use with console layout being a distant second. Example: you can only use gravity well 1 at minimum of Lt. Commander science slot.
The current king of meta sto gaming. Why? One word, consoles. Before those will list the best 2-3 variants with a cheaper alternative. The current “best” phaser variant as far as dps goes is the Advanced Phaser beam array found on Constitution Miracle Worker Flight Deck Carrier, Constitution Legendary Temporal Flight Deck Carrier, or D7 Miracle Worker Flight Deck Carrier.
It has a 5% chance: +60% Critical Severity with Advanced Beam Arrays for 15 sec and goes up the more you have of it slotted. a CrtD/Dm CrtDx4 to maximize damage, a warning the mobs will throw a fit with you spamming this weapon even more so if you cycle a heavy alpha dps rotation.
Alternative is Sensor-Linked Phaser Beam Array. Currently as of this date they average 5-8 million ec on the exchange woth similar CrtD/Dm CrtDx4. If none of those fit your budget bottom of the list is the Elite Phaser Beam Array found on our Dranuur Colony shop. Alot of min/maxers says these weapons are junk but remember they are choosing the above to over this, if you cannot afford those this is a very reliable alternative with CrtD/Dm CrtDx4.
Now the interesting part consoles. Some are extremely hard to obtain but most are relatively easy to get it is up to you to decide if you are willing to shell for it or not. I will not include reputation consoles, beam enhancing consoles, the standard locator or exploiter spire consoles or uniques all damage console just strictly universal console with activateables.
By far the most OP console in the game. On top of the flat +15% Phaser Damage +20 Accuracy Rating its activateable is what people slot it for even if they do not use phasers. I have play tested this and it does its job so well I accidentally look for it on toons that do not have this console. Throw a gravity well before this and then use it stuff dies pretty quickly. Can be found on the Bajon Interceptor which can only be found in the epic token from the phoenix box (I still kick myself today for not being present when they were giving this ship away for FREE!!). It is best used again if GW is thrown before it.
You know that orange electrical cloud some people are using that kills stuff almost wantonly? Yeah this is it, the power increases the smaller the bubble becomes.Found in Exchange currently for 30 million or Infinity Lockbox Console reward. Best used if you throw GW before activation.
Amplifying Ravager Beam Found on the Hur’q Ravager Escort Carrier. Has good stats and does a cone activateable root dot best used with conjunction to GW.
Deconstructive Resonance Emitter similar to the ravager beam and found on exchange for about 30 million or infinity lockbox.
Weaponized Helical Torsion Found in either Mirror Crossfield Science Destroyer/legendary bundle for FEDS and lobi equipment box purchase for KDF players. The activateable chooses an enemy in a clockwise rotation from your ship. Since you cannot target something it makes this console weaker than the above.
Magnetohydrodynamic Fusion Expulsion This one is different as it is a repulsor used to finish or knockback and getaway from mobs, it is found on the Styx Terran Dreadnought Cruiser. If you are wondering why so much control expertise there is a reason, even if you do not put points into control with these consoles together most mobs even advanced and certain elites will hold in place of a GW. Now try imagining GW then hitting all 6 console activateables throwing in a FAW and TS and yeah nothing is left making the reason why phasers are current meta kings.
Second best damage beam is the disruptor. It has not gotten alot of love as consoles goes but it is powerful in and of itself. The Number one disruptor out atm is the Spiral Wave Disruptor. What makes this weapon powerful is the Spiral modifier which is actually a dmgx2 so taken to epic it should have the following modifiers [CrtD/Dm] [Dmg]x3 [Spiral], which is actually [CrtD/Dm] [Dmg]x5 [Phaser Proc] + [Disruptor Proc]. Second best is Alternative is Sensor-Linked Disruptor Beam Array. It should be modified similar to the phaser has the same damage output but does Disruptor proc instead of phaser proc. Lastly similar to previous you could go for the colony version of the disruptor. If you simply must budget then crafting a disruptor with Pen modifier would work. You can go dmg or crtD which ever you prefer.
I promised not to talk about reputation console but really they are the only consoles that up disruptors. The Harmonic Resonance Relay gives +20% disruptor damage along with the Nausicaan Siphon Capacitor. It really is your only other options are the universal damage console along with the locator/exploiter from the spire even the Energetic Protomatter Matrix Infuser from Dranuur Colony but unfortunately no special consoles which is why it is number 2.
It is my favorite weapon but has seriously been neglected not as much as disruptors but still neglected. For weapons of choice it is a toss between the Herald Antiproton Beam Array and the Delphic Antiproton Beam Array. The Herald has a 2.5% chance: +7% Bonus Energy Damage to Self for 20 sec (Stacks up to 3 times) so a CrtD/Dm Dmgx4 maximize damage output. The Delphic has to self: 2.5% Chance to Apply Delphic Overcharge +10% Weapon Crit Chance for 5 sec +10% Weapon Crit Severity for 5 sec so a a Crtd/Dm CrtDx4 so maximize. Lowbie choices are again dranuur antiproton or crafted antiproton with Pen modifier.
Consoles have been slim for antiproton. There are a few but pale in comparison to Phasers. They are:
Antiproton Aligned Shielding (no wiki) which adds a 17.1% antiproton dmg (doesn’t show it on console but it does add this boost). The activateable is good it boost fire rate and severity while active and then shoots 3 over-overcharged antiproton beam to random enemies.
Crystalline Absorption Matrix
Where you have 500 resistance for 15 secs in which you can cycle heals so a good console with a 2 min cool down ut also has good antiproton boost as well as resistance.
Polymorphic Probe Array
The probes die easily though they do give of the explosion damage when they die still its weak compared other consoles. Can be acquired through the exchange think it was around 20 mil last I checked or the Infinity Lockbox.
Voth Phase Decoy
Not sure if this is available through the phoenix box or not as I got this through the event. It is a good skill timed properly but I have used it when I was already a target of mid torpedoes or energy fire and taking you shields offline makes you vulnerable. Still I rate this console as decent and worth it if you are going for antiproton.
I would rate this weapon next though Polaron is not far or comparable to this weapon type. It would have been ranked lower if not for the Altamid set in the lobi store and the Assimilated Plasma Beam Array. The beam has 2.5% chance: Restore 50 Hull each sec and improve Damage by 2.5% for 30 sec (stacks up to 4 times). I tested this at elite mk XV on both normal and advanced event TFO Battle of the Binary stars and it is comparable if not slightly lower to current meta builds with other beam types. Some disparage it but I found it to be very good with a CrtD/Dm and Dmgx4 modifier. Plasma as a rule should be modified with dmg in mind since they bumped the modifier a few years back for the dot plasma gives. Coupled with the increase in damage the Assimilated beam it really does the job, plus the beam looks like mini tractor beams so there is that. Below that is the Altamid Plasma Beam Array. Depending on your outlook Altamid is comparable if not below Corrosive Plasma Beam Array. All three can be found in the exchange with the Assimilated being the cheapest as of this date due to many people opening the Borg Lockbox.
The only console that isn’t tied to a ship is the Plasma Wave found in the exchange. It’s burst roots you and takes too long to fire making you an easy target for mobs and prevents you from activating any skills so technically it should not be used. The real advantage plasma has is the Altamid Space Set found in the lobi store. It has a passive damage proc everytime you are missed or you crit and the 3 piece allows you to have 100% haste firing cycle for 12 seconds with a 2 minute cooldown a very good watered down version of the Domino console.
Polarons have been boosted by the recent additions of reputation sets including the Piezo Set, Task Force Set, Chronometric Set and the Morphogenic Set. The only universal is the extremely difficult to get console from the Vaadwuar Miracle Worker Juggernaut which is the Supercharged SIF Conduit. The best polaron is actually the easiest to get and that is the Dominion Polaron Beam Array from “Boldly They Rode”. Other variants which I have tested myself that does well is the Vaadwuar Polaron Beam Array which is found on the exchange for 8-12 million. The reason why I rate this lower than plasma is for 2 reasons. 1 there isn’t a console or set boosting weapon cycle haste and 2 you need to invest drain expertise to get the most out of the drain proc.
Well Tetryon has always been at the bottom. The proc has always been meh and doesn’t seem as nasty as when the tholians use it on you. The best of the lot is the Diffusive Tetryon Beam Array. The Destabilizing Tetryon Beam Array but needs you to put points into drain to work well and Refracting Tetyron Beam Array which I haven’t found to properly pars the proc properly. All three can be found on the exchange or in the infinity lockbox.
Consoles that go with tetryon are the Sticky Web found in the exchange or infinity lockbox which is best activated in the middle of a GW and the Biased Configuration Module found in the lobi store.
By far the best dps deflector out is the Elite Fleet Intervention Protomatter Deflector Array found in colony world store because of the ColCrit modifier. The others you can re-engineer based on your build but never re-engineer this modifier you can’t get it back or have more than one of it.
Warp Core/Singularity Core
The Elite Fleet Sustained Protomatter Warp Core found in the colony store (it is better than the spire because it gives 7.5 in eng, shield and aux + more boost if low level) is the best dps warp core for the Wcap modifier also passively boosts shield, engine and aux. It acts as a free reuseable battery and the Wcap boosts weapons. Since, I max my weapon power too 100 I look for modifiers that takes percentage of weapon power and divert it to other systems like shields or aux but you need to decide which one fits you. Using an Scap for example instead of wcap boosts shield power and is akin to a free shield battery. Also found in the colony shop. For the Singularity Core for dps you need to look for AMP OLOAD and WCAP because OLOAD will add a 15% crtD to your singularity overcharge.
Now alot of people have views on engines. However, to remain true to theme the engine I am going to name increases you dps output. The Prevailing INNERVATED Impulse Engines gives you Prevailing Engine - Overcharge which boosts speed turn and defense as well as cuts down your cooldown on tactical abilities.
Similar to above complements the engine is the Prevailing INNERVATED Resilient Shield Array boosts crit chance and crit severity by 1%. It only trigger’s 5% of the time but if you are grabbing as much aggro anyway due to your damage output then this chance goes up higher. The 2 piece set give you a +15 to hull capacity, control expertise and weapon specialization so more control and damage with abit more hull, yay.
these traits I am about to list are some of the best that will make your damage output and thus enjoyment of the game increase as they really boost it on that regard. There are also team boosting abilities but I am lazy to keep swapping out traits every time I switch from solo mission play to TFO so I will only list skills where you slot it once and forget about it. Moreover, there is a multitude of traits out there I am only listing ones I have tested and used myself:
Duelist’s Fervor basically anyone in your team, you a teammate your pets kill something you gain a damage buff.
Terran Targeting Systems boosts your CrtD with a small speed penalty if you are critted.
Context is King an either or skill wher eif you aren’t hit in 3 seconds boosts your damage or if you are hit it increases your damage resistance.
Inspirational Leader basically the more you cycle rotation and activate skills the more powerful the skills you use once the proc goes off becomes.
Self-Modulating Fire when you crit 50% chance you next shot or torpedo bypasses shields and directly impact hull.
Fluidic Cocoon when hit with a torp has a small chance to boost weapon damage
A Good day to Die exclusive Tactical captain trait meant to basically use Go Down Fighting at any Hull level.
Repair Crews basically as you are in combat it boosts resistance and hull recovery every 5 seconds
Ablative Shell when you hit the minimum required damage it covers you in an extra hull shell which is burned through before resuming your own hull while repairing the damage to it, good life saving skill but needs timing to be effective.
Helmsman basically if you are driving a ship which either to big to turn or slow to turn this trait is for you
Psychological Warfare if you are GW user like me this is your best friend
EPS Overload Engineer only skill and its activateable so can be used in rotation
Anchored turning is ok but increasing impulse speed breaks anchored buff and penalty
Point Blank Shot from “House of Pegh” be less then 2km for max benefits
I won’t focus too much on ground. My only suggestions is the kit boosting skills which every captain can obtain along with traits the open up as you level your crafting skills: like Creative, Lucky or Field Technician.
Brutal Impetus ground version of Duelist’s Fervor
Berserker more enemies within 5m the more damage you do
Vicious the more time you spend in combat the more damage buff you receive
Ambush Fighter flanking an enemy is 100% crit
Molt ground version of Ablative Shell
Introspection similar to anchored just sit in one spot and increase damage buff for a small penalty
Up close and Personal ground version of Point Blank Shot
All traits can either be sought after through the exchange for various amounts or the Infinity Lockbox.
This is by far the most expensive trait listing of the whole posts as the majority of these traits are tied to ships and almost all of these ships are either zen priced & bundled with a few available in lobi box equipment which also equates to money spending.
Superior Area Denial
basically when you use FAW or SV you debuff enemies and allows your pets to use the same skill you used but only the version 1 or it. Ex. you Use FAW 3 your pets then can use FAW 1. Just remember if you are using fighters instead of frigates thats 6 fighters (12 if you are allowed 2 slots) shooting FAW 1 get pretty crazy. Found on Mirror Strike Wing Escort for FEDs and Klingon/Romulan through the Space trait box from the Infinity box or just buy it off the exchange (sadly FED characters have to get the ship Cryptic did that on purpose because the highest pop count is on the FED side).
Augmented Shield Alignment
from the new Khitomer Alliance Battlecruiser from the event. Easy to get as long as you have done the event boosts damage due to missing shields and restores shields upon mob kill.
ANother ships I am kicking myself for not getting when it was offered for free. This trait gives destroys mobs with all sorts of debuffs based on the first shot of the firing cycle. So at maximum this stacks 8 times if you are an all beam boat. That’s every firing cycle once the cycle refreshes it reapplies so yeah I deserve an ass kicking for missing this skill. If you are like me and didn’t unlock through the event the ship can only be achieved through an epic token on the Phoenix box for a reason.
Emergency Weapon Cycle
So not only do you get more power to weapons, you get lower cost to firing and hasten weapon fire cycle: check, check and check for dps. Found on respective side battlecruisers.
Assuming you are using beams and you use FAW while being attacked it extends the duration, since you will probably be attracting massive aggro due to damage build up you can extand it for a great period of time. Found on Miracle worker cruisers.
While using FAW every shot increases power levels as long as it is active, stacks with Plasmonic Leech from the Vaadwuar Asika Heavy Cruiser from the Lobi store.
Promise of Ferocity
As long as you are in combat you gain a buff every 4 seconds. From the New escorts offered in the game which is listed in the skill wiki.
Target Rich Environment
Activating FAW will increase damage of beams by 1% while active. Combo it with redirecting arrays and skills and activateable which increase weapon fire cycling the damage builds up. FEDs get it from the Kelvin Intel Dreadnought Cruisers while KDF and Romulans get it from the Kelvin Intel Equipment box both are attained through the lobi store.
Easiest and cheapest dps trait to get you need to put 15 points into Strategist specialization and 90 points into anything as a gamma player to unlock the improved version. Basically gives you 15% damage increase when you use brace for impact (20% for improved) couple it with a Shield Distribution Officer doff you have a heal and damage buff when using BFI.
There are other good ones but these I have tested and verified myself.
Is the last point I want to talk about and deserves its own section. I open with this skill and like I mentioned above you can experiment with all sorts of combos to fit you. Here I will talk about what you can do to increase duration, pull, root and damage. Investing a point in both Control and Improved Control expertise will allow you to pull mobs from farther away and keep them rooted within the GW. You don’t have to put a point into improved but definitely control expertise otherwise do not use gw it will be strong and mobs will break free easily. Consoles which boost control expertise helps. Putting points into Exotic Particle Generator increases the damage of the GW. For EPG personally I do not put points into it unless I use my science officer, as a tac or engineer your goal is to gather and root mobs into place and destroy them with weapons. GW1 is sufficient to do this but GW3 specced right can become monstrous OP skill. To help with this here are some tips:
Gravimetric Scientist Doff
FED Hizrah Jelet Khod
KDF Iata Nec Taibak
chance to create another GW
These following traits either extend the longevity of GW or add dots on top of it thereby increasing dps, I will not talk about aftershock or after debuff skills as the point of my GW build is to destroy everything before it expires.
Improved Gravity Well
Found in the new escorts basically makes GW last longer and shorten the cooldown super important for any GW user
anything in or around 5km from your GW takes eletrical damage and power drain
adds radiation damage as well as pushes back the cooldown of mob abilities while in the GW.
That’s it. Would love to know if anyone else can add to the list, any opinions and concerns the greater part of my enjoyment of STO is trying new skills, weapons and builds out.