Fleet Advanced Heavy Cruiser
Build Overview and Focus
Everyone has a favorite ship, either by stats and playstyle, or by how it looks in the show or game. My favorite ship is the Excelsior class, and I have several physical models of it. I have a little Micromachine one, Hot Wheels, and Heroclix. I'd love to get an Eaglemoss and Attack Wing version, but can't have everything. When STO was still young, and the level cap was 50 to go along with T5 ships and freshly-minted Fleet versions, the "meta" was fleet Tetryon beams on an Excelsior. There weren't any upgrades, cooldown mechanics were unheard of, and Emergency Weapon Cycle was a gleam in its creators' eyes. The Excelsior ruled with its stack of engineering powers to sport builds like Drake. I was flying happy in my fleet Excelsior. The T6 Resolute was one of the first T6 ships out of the gate being only 3 months after the first Fleet T6 and 9 months after Delta Rising when T6 ships came out. It was terrible then with its abundance of Engineering seats and no Pilot powers! Fast forward to 2021 with the 11th anniversary Legendary Bundle, and the Legendary Excelsior came onto the scene. Full Miracle Worker spec, Pilot seating, and Ensign universal; it was a dream loadout. I started saving my Zen & Dil, but 16,250 Zen was a tall order. Even refining dil daily on 3 characters would take a year. I'll admit, I am a Lifetime subscriber so that would reduce the need, but it was going to be 2023 before I could think about a Legendary Excelsior.
But enough nostalgia, T6X ships are the way things are. I would occasionally pull out my Excelsior, try out a build or two, and be quickly disappointed. I had a successful build on a Tzentar utilizing Projectiles and Concentrate Firepower. Looking over the seating, a Fleet Excelsior can slot Concentrate Firepower III. I had most of the equipment already on my Tzentar Projectile build, why not see how well it translated? Thus, the Excelsior Torper was born, and I'll spoil it now: I fly it over my Tzentar. Unless I'm trying to break DPS records with a full 5-man team. Then I at least think about the Tzentar.
My record with the Fleet Advanced Heavy Cruiser T6 is 644k. It's my highest parsing ship on my account!
Cobalt is my favorite metal because it looks really cool, so why not make a forge for it?
ISE: 640.5k DPS
HSE: 371k DPS
Each category is sorted by priority of contribution. Something that applies to generally more builds will be rated higher than archetype or build specific contributions. Warning: This is not a cheap build.
T6 C-Store Ships (3)
Entwined Tactical Matricies - Gagarin Miracle Worker Battlecruiser
Piercing Projectiles & Tricobalt Tear Console - Appalachia Blockade Runner Escort
Multi-Directional Artillery Barrage - Terran Lexington Dreadnought Cruiser
Tachyon Net Drones - Bozeman Intel Cruiser
Legendary Ships (1)
Rapid-Emitting Armaments - Legendary D'deridex Miracle Worker Warbird Battlecruiser
Event Items/Ships - None
Lockbox Gear & Duty Officers (7)
A Good Day to Die Personal Trait
Duelist's Fervor Personal Trait
Intelligence Agent Attache Personal Trait
Resonating Payload Modification Personal Trait
Self-Modulating Fire Personal Trait
Hull-Image Refractors Console
Swarmer Matrix Console
Lobi Gear (2 x 200 lobi)
The Boimler Effect Personal Trait
Lobi Ships (1)
Subspatial Warheads - Son'a Intel Battlecruiser
Lockbox Ships (2)
Ceaseless Momentum - Na'Qjej Intel Battlecruiser
Dynamic Power Redistribuition Module Console - Atlas Prototype Dreadnought Cruiser (Optional)
R&D Promotional Ships (1)
Automated Aggression - Tzenkethi Tzen-tar Dreadnought (got it when it cost lobi that one time)
March 2023 - Added some alternative budget options throughout, removed the Multi-Directional Artillery Barrage for Tachyon Net Drones
November 2022 - Initial Release
The Cobaltforge is a cruiser, and not your typical Torpedo boat. Plenty of Engineering seats to go around, and very short on Science and Tactical seats, it's still a strong Projectile build. The Excelsior is fast for being a cruiser, so it has that going for it.
You'll also discover that the extra engineering seats mean it can fill out some niche debuff powers that you don't normally see, hence the support "sub theme".
Finally, having Subspatial Rifts floating around, anything extra into exotics can help buff them.
Korvan's focus is damage, through and through. His builds are all Kinetic builds for maximum damage. As such, his skill tree is more "Meta".
However, I do make sure to pick up a point in Hull/Shield Capacity/Restoration. I do have to stay alive, and one point in each adds a hefty amount to each of those skills when they come up.
Advanced Projectile Weapon Training is obvious since my main damage source is, well, projectiles. I did choose Advanced Energy Weapon Training too because I needed the points for the Tac Ultimate as well as I usually have some energy weapon on my ships for various reasons.
I don't use enough energy weapons for EPS to make a difference, so I skip that entirely. I do, however, move around quite a bit, so I feel that Impulse Expertise is needed. I could drop something for Advanced, but using the Competitive engines is plenty of speed usually.
As usual, I pick up Control Expertise and Drain Expertise for their resistances more than anything. Control amp just improves and exotic damage sources I have or that my teammates have. The Improved CtrlX is mostly for my token Gravity Well.
Accuracy is chosen to make sure I hit every time, and extra accuracy over what's needed just turns into more critical damage. Defensive maneuvering is the only "Improved" in the tactical tree simply because of point spend, and it doesn't contribute to damage output.
I picked up Hull Plating, but honestly could see using that point elsewhere in the future due to its low overall contribution to damage. Damage Control is even worse and not worth slotting ever.
Shield Regeneration is special in some way, but you should read Jayiie's work for details on that. I always pick up a point here because its so special.
Criticals are always a crowd pleaser. Since most of my damage output here is based on weapons, I took all 3 points in both skills. I would say if a point is to be skipped, 0.4% CrtH is not much return for a skill point. If I didn't need the spend for the Tactical ultimate, I'd evaluate if the point in Hull Capacity would be worth more (via Tyler's Duality) than the point here. I may drop Hull Plating at some point for that reason.
As far as Power goes, I'll cover all 9 unlocks at once. Subsystem tuning (and power in general) is a tricky subject. Each ship comes with power bonuses, and I am using Emergency Power to Engines as well. I ended up choosing Warp Core Potential to add a flat 3 to each subsystem for a total of 12 (largest single +power per skill point). I don't end up needing a lot of extra power because I don't do most of my damage using abilities that rely on power.
I pick up Advanced Exotic Particle Generator (EPG) because it is damage. Anything that scales with EPG will do more damage, and damage is the goal.
Shield/Hull Pen are both max because it means more damage from my torpedoes gets through.
I use Boimler's now as a "primary" cooldown mechanic, and so don't need any readiness. However, the Tactical Readiness does help fill in the gaps in Boimler's (and fill out the Tac tree).
Shield Mastery is always terrible. Ignoring a random hit once every 20 seconds is terrible, and none of the other points help either.
Coordination is really solid for me solo, but also as part of a team. My build has summon clickies (Delta Reinforcements, etc.). As part of a team, I can't expect anyone to send the buff my way if I don't send it theirs (Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, Matthew 7:12).
Most of this comes from my Tzentar build, but you'll notice that the Morphogenic set is missing. I have less Tactical slots for the console, fewer tactical powers for the 3 piece, and it really just didn't fit well. Just about everything in this portion of the build is budget-friendly with the bulk of the items being Fleet or Reputation.
And then there's Dynamic Power Redistributor Module.
There's more specific details down below, but if you have reputations completed, you can easily pick up the most important parts of this gear.
Bridge Officer Power Selection is something that has the largest swing in any build. If you don't pick your BOff powers correctly (and drag them to tray), you won't do anything. Each one of these has been hand-picked to interact with every aspect of the build for maximum performance. You'll see no duplicates here, cooldowns are managed so that maximum uptime is achieved with one copy of each power. There's not room for more than one!