July 7, 2018 at 4:25 pm #262053MarcaseAdmiral (reserve)
First weekend of the month of July, here is your monthly state of the 44th fleet (data includes all four fleets):
- Active characters = 698 of 1,435 (48.64%)
- New characters = 94 of 1,435 (6.55%)
- Active accounts = 183 of 413 (44.31%)
- New accounts = 12 of 413 (2.91%)
Welcome new members from June !
@fuegofueda (Brian) from the Bronx, NY
@metron#7301 (Joseph) on Mountain time (returning)
@tres#5460 (Tom) on GMT+1
@patelmark (Mark) form the UK
@velvetdark1028 (Ibraheem) from California
@antonius66 (Antonio) on Pacific Standard Time
@calvak (Joseph) on CDT
@micburgey (Jeremy) on Eastern Daylight Time
@jimbobgoerge11 (Shane) from Canada
@minsc#2709 (David) on PST
@oatmealkid#7202 (Paul) from Michigan
@toadslayer (Robb) from Oregon
= Victory, is living it up like a Jem’Hadar =
Victory is Life has been live for about a month now, and we can safely say it’s a winner. Although not everyone was initially thrilled to play a Jem’Hadar, this unique faction and its immediate level 60 starting rank certainly made them interesting, and provided a boost for Star Trek Online as a whole.
The total map revamp of Deep Space 9 – both internal and external – was a longtime coming but worth the wait as it’s becoming one of the more popular social zones. It’s as close to a proper recreation of the actual show set as can virtually be.
That Cryptic also got together 90% of DS9’s original cast to do the voice-over work for VIL was a major score.
With this new expansion comes the new daily Swarm mission that yields between 140-160 Gamma marks and is actually a pretty straight forward PVE. I do these with PUGs all the time and this one seems to work well as the PUGs (random pick up group) I have been in have all managed to get most of the objectives done and yield a solid mark count at the end.
The new Gamma Quadrant/Hur’q battlezone has potential, with a decent reward, which increases the longer you stay in. Unfortunately too many PUGs don’t bother reading what the objective is and pew-pew away to no avail. It will improve eventually of course, but this Battlezone will take time before it will settle to the usual farming routine.
What is really standing out in this expansion are the new game mechanics tweaked out of STO’s old engine, including the new facial and ‘puppet’ animations introduced. Quark and especially fan-favorite Garak are expertly done, and I hope that this will be standard from now on. The Hur’q truly look alien and with their hyperexcited wings are refreshingly new compared to the usual standard “funny forehead” alien mold.
Quark’s Lucky Seven is without a doubt a player’s favorite, also bringing the Ferengi some respect (Leck!) instead of just being sort of Star Trek’s jokers (Quark). Alhough some things never change (Rom).
A nice touch was the tie-in with the current running Discovery series. In STO’s current featured episode “Home”, T’Kuvma was mentioned and a new Torchbearer was introduced. Even General Martok recited a certain ancient Kahless prayer straight out of Discovery. Some more about STO and Discovery later.
= Congratulations winners ! =
G0sp0da, Iustin and Anganysamavu submitted some wonderful creations and won a Tier 6 ship of their choice in our fleet collage contest. I have withdrawn my submission but all four collages will no doubt find a nice place on our website somewhere soon. Thank you Paradoxical for offering three T6 ships.
Also a big salute to Damix, who has been giving out free Vanguard starter packs. So remember to keep an eye on this website for tips, tricks and giveaways.
Speaking of, of course a big sloppy thanks to Palcioz who still expertly and graciously manages our website. Thanks gentlemen !
= 2018 Lohlunat Festival =
When you read this, the Summer Event has started and most of us should have parked one or more alts on Risa already.
And I called it: in my previous State of the Fleet I predicted that this year’s Summer Event would be delayed a month and even correctly predicted this year’s new Summer Event ship. Yay me. So for some more tips and tricks on theLohlunat Festival see my previous SOTF. Also see Chanfron’s quick list (thanks!) for extra hints.
In a nutshell, do the daily Floater Race for the new event ship as it’s quick and easy and very worth it. More details on the ship in a moment. You only have to complete the Floater Race on a single character, as the ship is an account wide unlock for all your current (and future!) characters. Recommended.
Use a rental floater untill you can buy a 1,000 lohlunat favor Impulsive Floater with +70 flight speed (skip improved/advanced/superior ones). An impulse floater is a good future investment.
Find the Summer Event Store by pressing u/reputation/store/summer event (make sure you unlocked it via the 1 lohlunat favor introductory mission)
You can complete a Horghan Hunt with 4-5 alts within the timelimit easy when they’re equipped with Impulse floaters. That’s between 75-100 Lohlunats per toon in 10 minutes. During the Hunt you have a chance to pick up (random drop) eggs along the way, which allows you to grow birds for those hard to get marks (eg Competitive) of choice as well.
So far, Gamma Rep marks aren’t included yet, but might be added later – this is obviously to force us to play the new Gamma content
So grow those birds (and monkeys from the powerboard race) but wait to turn them in for marks untill the end of the Summer Event.
Except for some new baseball uniforms and surfboards the Festival is still the same, which is a good thing. Headgear in STO is hard to come by compared to other MMOs, so hopefully the new baseball caps will pave the way for more costume options in the near future.
Both Summer and Winter Events are always popuar because of the event ships and unique Captain and Boff powers, and will even earn you some good ec selling Lohlunat Favors.
Currently Favors sell for around 1.2 million ec per 100 Lohlunats, which is basically one dance or 75% of a Horgahn Hunt or powerboard race (so 10 minutes or less). Obviously their value will vary dramatically the longer the event lasts, so rub those Ferengi Lobes and get a good deal !
The Scavenger Hunt, Sandcastles and Biathlon you can skip – basically your time is better spend.
This year’s new Summer Event traits and kits look interesting, however previous year’s Graviton Spike tactical kit is still hard to beat though – this kit is highly recommended for your tac captain and favorite ground Tac Boffs.
Only available/unlockable during the summer event so get this if nothing else !
= 2018 Summer Event Ship =
The new Vorgon Ytijara (“why-tee-jara”) Dreadnought stats are out, and they are looking shiny. The Ytijara is unique in that it is the first ship in STO that has 5 weapons *aft*. This ship clearly focuses weapon fire to its aft arc, and it doesn’t take Morn to figure out it was influenced by the Hur’q swarm tail-chasing tactics.
In short, the Ytijara looks like a solid FAW beam boat with a decent cruiser-like turn of 8 and 5 engineering consoles for plenty of armor and RCS or some exotic universal consoles. The previous Ryn’Kodan carrier is one of the finest carriers in STO – overall all Summer and Winter Event ships are really nice – and I expect no less from the Ytijara.
Its SIF Inverter universal console however looks terrible as it will damage yourself (!) when firing, but that’s true of most special universal consoles which – with some exceptions – are often more of a gimmick.
Its tier 5 SIF Burst starship trait is interesting, as my initial reaction was “this is total meh” – damage over time (DoT) effects aren’t that useful and its mere 3 km range is underwhelming to say the least.
However, against “tail hugging” Hur’q swarms this might offer something useful. We will test this when we unlock the ship.
With a CDR Engineering, LCdr Science *and* a LCdr Universal you have many options to fit your playstyle with this dread; from EPTx tank to brute DPS damage and even a ‘light’ science EPG/Ctrl build. Although not a Yorktown, it can even kitbash a Vanguard “zombie” tank build in there. As always we will post a good ‘vanilla’ build on this forum later.
Speaking of builds…
= And the new DPS Meta in town is… + =
She’s baaaack…! Auxiliary to Battery used to be the one and only meta in STO; *the* build you had to have to do significant damage, meaning all ships that couldn’t run it due to lack of engineering seats were pretty much frowned upon Vulcan style.
In short, the Aux2Bat ‘build’ requires two Engineer Bridge Officers each with Auxiliary to Battery 1 and three Very Rare/Purple Technician Duty Officers. This combination gives you a tremendous cooldown on all your ships abilities – basically it’s like having two copies of your favorite damage dealing powers like Tac Team, Fire at Will, Cannon Rapid Fire or whatever, making you stronger and hit harder everytime you hit spacebar.
The only drawback of classic Aux2Bat builds was that it drains your Auxiliary power that is used for Science/healing powers like Gravity Well and heals like Auxiliary to Dampeners, but since the damage output from Aux2Bat builds was so high nobody really cared.
Cryptic realized this was breaking the game – or “meta”- so they did some tweaking, and made Aux2Bat builds initially less effective compared to “Emergency Power to x” (aka “Drake”) builds, and even allowed the introduction of the ‘Kraken’ build by adding the excellent Krenim bridge officers.
This was a good move by Cryptic, as getting rid of the previous ‘must have Aux2Bat’ mechanic gave us more options and honestly made the many ships more fun to play and experiment with.
The current new Aux2Bat meta is basically only available for veteran players, as it requires the ship trait “Cold Hearted” obtained from the previous Winter Event Plesh Tral raider to make it so powerful (again, an event ship that was worth grinding for). I expect the Plesh Tral to become available again in future Phoenix reward packs (it wasn’t in there last time), as all previous Winter Event (Breen) ships are in there now.
So when activating Aux2Bat, Cold Hearted applies multiple stacks (max 5) of -10 All (!) Damage resistance, -2 to all subsystems (weaker wpns/shld) and -9.1% flight speed to your target.
Add the usual Attack Pattern Beta/Omegas, current fashionable Reputation and trait debuffs, DOMINO and other consoles and you see why this is racking up DPS numbers like a rigged Dabo table.
I’m still favoring EPTx Kraken builds myself as they fit my playstyle and personal preference (Sci heavy ships), but I’ve grudgingly been dusting off my Technicians and seeing the numbers on my own Aux2Bat/Cold Hearted builds, I have to admit they’re overtaking classic Drakes and Krakens. And especially for some of the newer PVE queues on Adv/Elite, DPS counts.
Btw, make sure you check out Paradoxical‘s excellent build guides on our forum. Even when you’re a veteran I’m sure you can find some neat tweaks in there.
= The Hur’q… Hurt =
Speaking of builds, we are facing a new foe in sufficiently annoying numbers that you may be forced to adapt your space and ground build.
We’re all familiar with the Hur’q Chidyat swarmers by now and getting a bunch of them chasing your aft is no fun, as their little phaser (with disable proc) and Tractor Beam Repulsor (which hits slam-bam straight onto your hull) can do sustained damage the longer they’re there.
Of course it’s a no-brainer to go for their heavy ships as fast as you can, but avoid attacking when they have their shields up. They also seem to have a form of feedback pulse so time your energy attacks.
Other Hur’q ships also use tractor beam and phaser type weapons, and all have very tough hulls.
That means when facing Hur’q in space these grab/hold/push abilities are useful:
– Tractor Beam Repulsors; since most ships have a LT Science seat this power when properly buffed by one or two Exotic Particle Generator (EPG) type consolesis a good defense/counter-attack.
– AOE weapon effects like Fire at Will, Cannon Scatter Volley, Torpedo Spread with torps like the Gravimetric Torpedo (mini-grav wells) or crafted Particle Emission Plasma Torpedo (plasma trap),
– Armor, armor, armor. Especially that has both high hit points and/or phaser resistance, armor trumps shields,
– Eject Warp Plasma (buffed by the ‘EWP grab’ Doff and Exotic Particle Generators) and perhaps the Vent theta Radiation console (Feds find it on the exchange),
– Eject Cryoplasma from the Breen Absolute Zero 4pc set.
The Hur’q use Phasic Harmonic beam weapons, but Starfleet Intelligence cannot provide solid information on what that exactly is just yet. A phaser damage type is more than likely as that is what is used by their own Swarmers.
On ground, the Hur’q have tough armor/hitpoints, so kinetic damage seems more effective than various energy types. A pulsewave/shotgun is highly recommended as a secondary weapon or for your away team as you’ll be mobbed more often than not. The ‘Glowing Attendant’ Hur’q have a strange, alien bio-luminescence. An ability they use called Glowing Carapace reinforces all fellow Attendants in its radius, adding to their damage resistance. It is recommended to prioritize these mobs for they will often be the backbone of a ground Hur’q swarm. The larger, taller Agressor and Guardians will jump at you from across the room into melee range so be prepared. They also have an annoying attack; firing a yellow glowing debuff aura at your position – if so, get out !
So far, various science AOE effects like Exothermic Induction and especially Cold Fusion Flash (Kelvin lockbox) seem to work very well – these abilities are also vailable for your Boffs. Tactical captains should use their grenades to good effect (in combination with the Summer Events Graviton Spike) and Engineer captains’ force field dome and mines are usefull to withstand Hur’q charging mobs.
Btw, if you’re in the Alpha Quadrant enroute to the new Gamma Quadrant battlezone, remember that near DS9 is our Fed/KDF Fleet mine, wich can act as a quick access to our other fleet holdings which shaves off considerable travel time picking up your daily bonuses.
For those leveling new characters, our fleet K13 has a neat NPC Doff mission and our Research Lab has an R&D boosting mission plus that daily (almost) free 1,200 dilithium pick-up. Don’t miss out !
= The (near) future =
Cryptic is already working on next year’s content – they apparently finished up the coming Winter Event already – and lead designer Al Rivera made two interesting comments recently on Priority One. With DS9 being the last series in the original Star Trek franchise, future content will more than likely be based on Discovery. Since that series is still running and has only shown a few new alien races, Cryptic’s hands will be more tied, as the studios have pretty much hammered all Discovery content and possible storylines shut like a lockbox. Cryptic won’t be able to introduce new unique races if they want to stay true to Discovery’s canon universe, so for now STO’s gameplans will be more influenced by what the studios are willing to give, instead of just dipping into the huge open Star Trek universe – basically that book is coming to a close.
Second, he wants to revamp the earlier episodes which he admitted are becoming horribly dated, especially compared to the later more refined and stylized episodes. Cryptic never wanted to spend resources to really improve those since the investments were just not seen as worthwhile. Revamped old stuff won’t attract new or returning players who understandibly only come for brand new content, which is true – we’re just racing through the early eps for leveling and skipping most if we can.
Still, by adding things like Weyoun’s character and original voice acting to earlier missions does spice up older content relatively easy.
That Cryptic may have time and especially manpower (they’re still hiring more staff) for such a plan tells us STO is still doing quite well.
That’s it for this month’s fleet review captains ! We’re heading into summer, so if you’re going on a well deserved vacation or taking a break, enjoy ! If instead you have to work or study, good luck and I hope the Force will be-… wait, nevermind.
Enjoy the summer ! See you, out there.
= Calendar =
July 23: end of 44th Summer costume contest
July 26-30: Research and Development Weekend
lockbox key: 4,250,000 ec
zen rate: 262
lohlunat favor: 12,000 ec
podcast: Priority One
Previous State of the 44th Fleet: June 2018.
"Boldly bashing Borg to bits since 2012..."July 8, 2018 at 7:25 am #262072SargonFleet Admiral
Wow great update!
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