Arbiter vs Fleet BattleCruiser

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  • #330091
    Fleet Member

    Well Admirals, the title says it all. Which is in your opinion better and why?

    My knowledge of the game is dismally limited, so i put it to you to help me out, if you are willing.

    The Arbiter has a powerful trait, but it is a bit squishier.
    The FBC is sturdier, but is missing the trait considered a deal breaker?

    If it matters, i am under-using the 5×3 setup by donning Wide Beams instead of Cannons. I am a broadside freak, yet i don’t like slow turning vessels. I have a lot of fun fast turning and broadsiding everything, and i think the time i spend firing on target rather compensates the bursts fired only when facing it (if i would have used cannons). Also, i am a lousy pilot. I have the 4 piece Terran Set, only at lvl XII, and i am using withering disruptors (lvl XIII – to XV, none Legendary).

    This would be it.

    Thank you all in advance for reading this, and i thank you even more for any reply.
    If i have to give other information, i would be happy to comply.

    Trek well,

    aka @frurin

    Fleet Member
    Team Player

    Short answer – get both.

    If you buy the C-store ship(Arbiter), it will only cost 1 fleet module instead of 5 to get the fleet version (per character).  So it will be cheaper if you want the ship or trait on multiple characters, and not much more for just 1 character.

    The Arbiter has a VERY good trait (Emergency Weapon Cycle) and a decent console that provides a layer of emergency shielding. Consider the cross-faction bundle if you have KDF characters as you will probably want this trait on all of your characters that use beams or cannons, regardless of which ship you end up using.

    Once you level up the trait on the Arbiter, you can get the Fleet Battlecruiser which is what you will want to fly in the long run. In addition to more hull, it also gets another console slot and can use the Arbiter console. (Note – you can do just fine in the Arbiter for just about anything, so there is no hurry to upgrade if you are short on resources.)

    On a side note – Emergency Power to Engines (Engineering bridge officer ability) also works for a quick speed boost on a slow turning ship. You can also get a duty officer from the Phoenix box that resets Evasive Maneuvers when using Emergency Power to Engines. This lets you use Evasive maneuvers about every 30 seconds.

    If you want even more maneuverability, consider the competitive reputation impulse engines. It will give you a short version of evasive maneuvers upon using a bridge officer ability that can turn even the slowest turning of ships around on a dime, along with short burst of speed. The “fortified” version activates on healing abilities (science team, hazard emitters, engineering team), and there is also a “prevailing” version that is identical but activates on weapon abilities such as Beams Fire at Will and Beam Overload.

    Good Luck


    Fleet Member
    Team Player

    The trait is worth it, yes, unless you just don’t plan to use it because you have other stuff that is better or play other styles. If you can only get one, get that and maybe later get the FBC.

    Team Player

    tbh, what they said

    Emergency Weapon Cycle is a good enough trait that if you’re playing a ship that cares about weapon damage (i.e. not a space wizardry ship), it’s more or less considered a must have…especially if you’re using a drake build on your bc (which you absolutely probably should :D)

    and the fleet battlecruiser isn’t just a sturdier version of the c-store one (though it is that as well)…you also get an additional console slot.

    so, long term, you’ll probably want both if you want to have it as your main piloted ship.  short term, get the c-store one and get the trait.


    now, i mentioned a “drake build” earlier.  let me explain.

    There are duty officers with a specialization of “Damage Control Engineer” (let’s call them DCE’s for the sake of brevity).  Some of those DCE’s have an ability that gives you a chance that every time you use an Emergency Power to subsystem (EPTx covers all 4.  EPTW=emergency power to weapons, EPTS=emergency power to shields, etc. you get it, i’m sure) ability, you’ll reduce the recharge of EPTx abilities.

    like that one ^^

    with very rare DCE’s, they have a 35% chance to reduce the recharge by 30%.  and all three give an independent 35% chance…so every time, you have a chance for all 3 to activate and give you a big recharge reduction.  you also have a chance for none of them to activate.  such is the nature of rng :D.  but the most likely scenario is for at least one to activate and reduce your recharge.

    so if you have EPTW and another EPTx ability (personally, i like epts, but you could also use epte if you wanted).  use one, and then the other when the shared cooldown expires.  using the second one has a good chance at reducing the cooldown on the first.  when the first is off cooldown, use it, again a good chance at reducing the cooldown on the second.  just keep using your abilities when they come off cooldown, and you can maintain very close to 100% uptime for both.  constantly full weapon power means every shot hits harder.  constantly full shield power (in my case) means your shields are beefier and regenerate faster.  constantly full engine power would mean your ship moves and turns faster.

    you can drake build just about anything with at least two engineer boff skill slots, but imo the arbiter is perfect for it.  why?

    first, it has a commander engineering station.  which means you can put a max rank emergency power to weapons on. it’s a ltcomm ability, so it doesn’t even use the top slot. personally, i put rotate shield polarity in my engi’s comm ability slot.

    second, it has a ltcomm universal station. i put another engineer in there, and ltcomm means you can put another max rank emergency power to subsystem ability in there (again, i use epts).  so moar power.

    third, it has a ltcomm tac station.  which means i can put in a max ranked beams: fire at will (oh yeah, i use beams on my battlecruiser as well).  that station’s lt ability is attack pattern: beta (which you’ll notice my other doffs in the screenshot above buff the recharge on).  and tac team 1 in the ensign slot, to automatically balance shields when taking damage (and for a small damage buff).

    fourth, it has an ensign tac station. which gives me a spot for Kemocite Laced Weaponry 1, for aoe damage around my target.

    and fifth, a lt science station, which gives me slots for Hazard Emitters II and Science team I, for shield and hull heals…and hazard and dot clearing, too

    So my battlecruiser looks like this:  3 conn officer doffs to buff attack pattern recharge speed, 3 DCE’s for the drake build.

    Comm Engineer
    Engineering team I
    Boarding party I  (can absolutely be changed to something else if you’d rather)
    Rotate Shield Polarity III

    LtComm Universal (Engineer)
    Structural Integrity Collapse I (can also be changed to whatever *shrug*)
    Engineering Team II

    LtComm Tac
    tactical team I
    Attack Pattern: Beta

    LT sci
    science team I
    Hazard Emitters II

    Ensign tac
    KLW I

    Team Player

    Further notes on drake build, while i’m thinking about it:

    You can absolutely start out a drake with rare (blue) DCE’s.  or heck, even greens.  the thing that scales with their quality is the chance to activate.  with greens, it’s a 25% chance for activation. blues have 30%.  and purples have 35%.   your goal should be to get purples eventually, but if you can’t afford them right now, get what you can and make do till you can get better ones.


    also, interestingly, cannon abilities (scatter volley and rapid fire) take a higher rank slot than beams:  their tier III skills both need a commander slot, while beams only need a ltcomm slot for the same.

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 2 weeks ago by  BreakingForce.
    Fleet Member

    i wrote a long reply and somehow the forum decided it was unsafe. probably it had detected the high level of stupidity in it :).

    I was saying that i have both the Arbiter and the FBC. I felt no difference DPS wise, but i felt the FBC more resilient.

    I am running almost the same build as recommended by Breaking Force, with a few personal touches, which may be as wrong as people thinking the Earth is flat.

    I am currently flying the Arbiter because i got scared of loosing one trait after leveling the 4 masteries on the FBC.
    I wish there was a way to carry over the Emergency Weapon Cycle to the FBC, but i guess i will have to learn to live without it. Note! I just realized i have this a space trait. Goes to show why the forum prevented me from posting this in the first place.

    Thanks again,


    • This reply was modified 6 months, 2 weeks ago by  Gabe. Reason: *grammar, what else?
    • This reply was modified 6 months, 2 weeks ago by  Gabe. Reason: Idiocy

    aka @frurin

    Team Player

    yeah, once you hit mastery level 5 with a t6 ship, you unlock that ship’s trait to be used on anything you fly.  just make sure you go and add it to your character :).  you need to do this for it to work on any ship, even on the ship you unlocked it with.  this is one of the reasons to get more and varied ships.  some have really nice traits :)…the arbiter, for example. also, the vaadwaur astika heavy battlecruiser (buy on the exchange or for 900 lobi) has a trait called “supremacy” which raises all your power levels a bit for a time for every distinct target you hit while BFAW is running.  Redirecting Arrays from the tac variant of the miracle worker cruiser will extend bfaw by some time if you get hit by enemy fire while bfaw is running (once per second, receiving damage will increase bfaw’s duration by .33s for a maximum duration of 15 seconds of live bfaw. *shrug* another 5s of bfaw isn’t awful 🙂 ).  Regroup from the 31st century temporal raider reduces recharge time for engineering and tempop abilities when you activate attack patterns.  just…mix and match :D…i use all those i mentioned as well as Honored Dead (after receiving 10,000 cumulative damage, gain a stack of honored dead which adds +10 all damage resist rating and +1% health regeneration (max 20 stacks, infinite duration).  while at 20 stacks, subsequent activations instead grant 10,000 temporary hit points for 40 sec.  while not in combat, lose one stack of honored dead every 2 sec unless cloaked.) it’s a fairly decent survivability trait 🙂

    Fleet Member

    Reading all this i felt humbled of how little i know of the game, but also lucky for sharing the same fleet whit knowledgeable people.

    Thanks for sharing this with me, Admirals.

    Trek well.


    aka @frurin

    Admiral (reserve)
    Founder 44th Delta FleetTeam Player

    Don’t feel daunted, there is logic among all the sto mechanic madness.

    (When we find it we will let you know) 🙂

    "Boldly bashing Borg to bits since 2012..."

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