Hello, computer (and players)! As you may or may not know, the Star Trek franchise celebrated a momentous birthday last week as it turned 45 years old. While humankind first set out to "boldly going where no one has gone before" in the late 1960s, its legacy lives on today, four decades later, through Star Trek Online. Although the game has had its fair shares of ups and downs, I am not afraid to stand behind it and be proud of it for being able to continue Gene Roddenberry's dream. I am also extremely honored to play a small part in its history by bringing you Captain's Log each week, and I look forward to what the next 45 years hold.
I'd like to welcome each of you to the third and final installment of my three-part series focusing on the classes within STO. After checking out the awesome DPS that Tactical captains can dish out a couple of weeks back, we now shift our focus to the Scottys, LaForges, Obriens, and Torreses of the game -- the Engineering captains. Players taking on this role often find themselves having a blast, literally, as they materialize their defense and medical turrets, call on their support and seeker drones, and deploy their force fields and cover shields. While there are a variety of powers that this career can utilize, I would like to showcase a few of them past the jump.
Ensign, warp... actually, no; it's actually time to realign the dilithium matrix...
One last thing before we continue on: As I did in the first two parts to this series, I would like to mention that the following abilities are simply those that I enjoy using and have found effective in my style of gameplay. While some of the space abilities can actually be used by any career type and depend on the class of ship being flown, they are all Engineering abilities that have rank levels exclusively trained by Engineering captains who have maxed out particular skill tree blocks. As for the ground abilities, they have varying ranks that are available through an engineer kit or training from a Bridge Officer.
Engineering Team: This skill can be trained in the highest rank by any Engineering captain who has maxed out his Technician skill tree block. This ability, when activated on yourself or an allied ship, provides a medium hull boost, repairs disabled subsystems and provides an engineering skill buff. As this has saved my (starship's) neck in many situations, this is a must-have for an Engineering captain looking to postpone his death.
Emergency Power to Auxiliary: This skill can be trained in the highest rank by any Engineering captain who has maxed out her Starship Auxiliary Systems Efficiency skill tree block. The reason that I find this skill to be extremely useful is that I run a few powers that are affected by the amount to auxiliary power that the ship is running at the time of activation, and one of these is Auxiliary Power to the Structural Integrity Field (SIF), which can provide a big hull boost if Auxiliary power is high. Hit this before you pop SIF and you are good to go!
Emergency Power to Shields: This skill can be trained in the highest rank by any Engineering captain who has maxed out his Starship Shield Efficiency skill tree block. While some prefer to run Science Team, I would recommend this one because it also repairs shield subsystems as well as increases shield power and reduces damage to shields. It is also one of the most important abilities to recharge your Shield strength and increase your repair rate.
Directed Energy Modulation: This skill can be trained in the highest rank by any Engineering captain who has maxed out her Starship Weapon Systems Performance skill tree block. While not commonly used by many players, this power is amazing when you are going up against foes that seem to have impermeable shields. When it is activated, you will notice that your energy weapons do more direct damage to an enemy's hull as weapon shield penetration is increased.
Eject Warp Plasma: This skill can be trained in the highest rank by any Engineering captain who has maxed out his Starship Engine Performance skill tree block. This skill is ideal in any PvP match as it is an AoE ability that wreaks havoc on any enemy ship that flies through the ejected plasma. This gaseous cloud inflicts a plasma DoT, greatly decreases flight speed and turn rate strength, and disables an enemy's cloak.
Extend Shields: This skill can be trained in the highest rank by any Engineering captain who has maxed out her Starship Shield Performance skill tree block. This is another ability that can repair shield damage and increase regeneration rate, except it can only be used on an ally. I would only recommend using this power if you are in the support/healing role during PvP combat -- this is when it has come in most handy for me.
Medical Generator Fabrication: It is important to note that this power and the next three are available in the Bunker Fabrication Kit -- I believe it is a staple for every Engineering captain. When activated, this ability spawns a Medical Generator that provides an AoE heal for any ally within range. This is great to have when there are no medics on your team.
Turret Fabrication: Turrets are a great way to aggro a group and provide a "tank" of sorts. Since I play a Caitian Engineer, my favorite trick is to jump up to the highest place possible near an enemy group, building my turret and letting it do all of the hard work for me. The extra DPS it deals also comes in handy.
Shield Generator Fabrication: Just as the Medical Generator heals your HP, the Shield Generator regenerates your personal ground shield when you are in range. Spawning this, along with your Medical Generator, gives you a great combo to keep you and your team alive and kicking.
Force Field Dome: If you are not running this power and are on my STF team, I will kick you... OK, just kidding. In all honesty, this ability is one of the key powers that any Engineering captain can have. When deployed, a dome surrounds you and your teammates for up to 30 seconds and does not allow enemies to get within melee range. This is great for preventing knockback and assimilation by Borg drones.
Fuse Armor: This power and the next are available in the Enemy Neutralization kit and come in handy when you're facing any ground boss. When the Fuse Armor debuff is placed on an enemy, it becomes rooted and held, providing you a way to escape enemy fire and regroup as a team.
Weapons Malfunction: Another amazing power to use against ground bosses, including the STF bosses, is Weapons Malfunction. This ability decreases weapons damage, disables ranged weapons, and provides a chance to expose your enemy for a period of time. Some of my best boss kills, including Rebecca Simmons in the Infected STF and Armek in The Cure STF, have been due to an Engineer running this power.
Well, Captains, we have come to the end of this week's log entry. As this was the final part for the focus on the classes of STO, I hope many of you were able to get some insight on a variety of the powers available in-game. I want to give a special thank you to STO Wiki for the research its writers have done on all of the powers and for providing the references that I used throughout this series. Next week, I am going to be livestreaming STO on Tuesday, September 20th, at 7 p.m. EDT -- I hope you tune into our Livestream channel as I show off the Borg invasion by entering some of the Red Alerts that pop up around the galaxy.
Until next time, let me know what you think are the best space and ground engineering skills by commenting below or sending me an email to email@example.com.
Computer, terminate recording.
Boldly going where no one has gone before, Brandon Felczer transmits Captain's Log through Subspace right to your PADD every Thursday. Join him as he discusses the latest news, gossip, and dev interviews about Star Trek Online. Hailing frequencies are always open to his bridge through firstname.lastname@example.org.