Tholian Jorogumo Carrier
Build Overview and Focus
In many games that I have played, I've always enjoyed the tanking or support roles. I get a sense of pride knowing I am lifting my teammates to victory. It's also a way I feel I can serve my friends and teammates. It's not as bright and flashy as a 1M DPS build, but there is something satisfying about taking tons of damage and just shrugging it off.
Originally, my main was in a Tarantula as a tank. I supplied healing, damage, and a really big ship to follow ("What do we do in this one?" Follow the big ship!). As the game has progressed, healing allies has dropped off being needed. I have a dedicated tank on another character, but this is still by far my favorite ship to fly. I really enjoyed the Recluse as a carrier with some really strong pets, but it was outclassed once the Jorogumo came available. With the "Annual Event," I was able to unlock the last Tholian ship I was missing - easily over 1B EC and by far not the most powerful ship. But it can take advantage of all of the toys Tholian ships have to offer, as well as put out 5 separate sources of Attack Pattern Beta with 4 Elite Meshweavers. Lots of potential to support, and with the Tarantula on kinetic support, an energy support only makes sense.
Energy means most of my damage comes from energy weapons, but what is energy support? Specifically, I focus on increasing allies (and my own) damage through debuffs to enemies or buffs to allies. I also tend to trade a few "all damage" debuffs for specifically "energy" debuffs, though in general there are not a lot of trades of "all" for "energy" like there is for kinetic.
This ship had a very recognizable 3-point look to it, and it reminded me of multiple heads of a hydra. Ircen is a town in a story I wrote a long time ago.
ISE: 202k DPS, 9 PB assists, 298% Debuff
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 (4)
Entwined Tactical Matricies - Gagarin Miracle Worker Battlecruiser
Improved Gravity Well - Andorian Chimesh Pilot Escort
History Will Remember - Narendra Support Cruiser
Dominion Targeting Synchronizer Console - Jem'Hadar Vanguard Dreadnought Cruiser
Legendary Ships - None
Event Items/Ships (3)
Interphasic Instability Console
Electrified Anomalies - Risian Weather Control Vessel
Cold Hearted - Breen Plesh Tral Heavy Raider
Lockbox Gear & Duty Officers (13)
Hostile Acquisition Console
Approaching Agony Console
Self-Modulating Fire Personal Trait
Resonating Payload Modification Personal Trait
Psychological Warfare Personal Trait
Repair Crews Personal Trait
Unconventional Systems Personal Trait
Terran Targeting Systems Personal Trait
Feel the Weight of our Presence Personal Trait
One Impossible Thing at a Time Starship Trait
Kemocite Laced Weaponry Bridge Officer Power
Sensor Analysis Bridge Officer Power
Distributed Targeting Bridge Officer Power
Lobi Gear - None
Lobi Ships (1)
Tholian Web Generator - Tholian Iktomi
Lockbox Ships (2)
Tholian Web Cannon - Tholian Tarantula Dreadnought Cruiser
R&D Promotional Ships - None
March 2023 - Updated to remove a Locator for Dominion Targeting, replaced Overwhelm Power Regulators with Distributed Targeting, and picked up a 10th trait slot
November 2022 - Initial Release
The Ircen Hydra is really there for the support and the hangar. I make a few choices for flavor reasons, though it's not a full flavor build.
Slotting Energy Weapons and Auxiliary to Battery means I am really going for energy weapon damage and debuffs (Cold-Hearted, Fire at Will, Entwined Tactical Matrices)
It's also Tholian, and every Tholian ship I fly must sport the Web Cannon.
This skill tree is used for 3 different builds on my Iktomi (Exotic DPS), Jorogumo (Energy Support), and Tarantula (Kinetic Support). This means that it could be optimized for just one or two builds, but servicing all three requires a few concessions in the "Advanced" skills in order to pick up some basic skills elsewhere. I also really don't enjoy any of the "Ultimate" powers from the skill tree, so no longer make sacrifices to get to one. I'll go through each node and why I chose the amount I did, though sometimes it's simply "I ran out of points".
For Hull/Shield Restoration/Capacity, I like to pick up one point of each. 50 points in each skill is quite a lot, and heals are needed on every build. I pick up an extra Hull Capacity because I like having really high hitpoints. The Iktomi only has a hull mod of 1.05, but the Jorogumo has a hull mod of 1.45 and the Tarantula has a hull mod of 1.43. On my support builds, one point is almost 10k more hull and two is 16k. I also like to have a lot of passive regeneration, so this also helps in that department. All three builds are pretty light on heals, but being an Engineering captain means I have at least one big heal: Miraculous Repairs. 25% more hull and shield healing adds quite a bit to an already large heal.
For energy/projectile weapon training, there's no real reason to skimp on these points. All 3 ships use torpedoes and mines, and two use many energy weapons as well. Having all 6 points is like having the Cat1 from another 1 2/3 spire consoles for every weapon type.
EPS is another quintessential energy weapon damage skill. This combined with emergency power to weapons helps mitigate losses from firing energy weapons. Since two builds sport many energy weapons, this really helps those. This also helps recover from Full Impulse and Aux to Batt much faster. This makes it a very useful utility skill for every build. Both points means I get 5 power every 0.5s rather than 1s.
Full Impulse Shunt is a waste of a point in my opinion. While this keeps more power in systems while at full impulse, strategic flying can remove the need for this. Short bursts of full impulse doesn't allow for much power to be drained, and in cases where long distances need to be traveled, coming out of Full Impulse a second or two early can mitigate these issues (especially on such large ships as I fly, they power slide regardless!)
Impulse Expertise is just about essential. None of my ships turn well and don't have a lot of power left for engines after putting it in Aux or Weapons. This helps me keep up with everyone who uses those Competitive engines, or actually turn around before the queue finishes.
Control Expertise (CtrlX) and Drain Expertise (DrainX) are skill points many leave off. I always spend one in each, not only for their offensive utility, but also the defensive benefits against controls and drains. In the case of my Tholian fleet, all three use the Web Cannon and Webspinner, which hold for a specific duration. That duration is increased by CtrlX, so I can't really get enough. Also, being hit by Gravity well or Tractor Beam reduces some damage resistance is fantastic for all 3 builds. Drain Infection is an odd choice, but as a DoT, it really serves as a trigger for other abilities when it hits.
Targeting Expertise is an iffy one for me. Parses show I never miss, but they don't show how much extra gets turned into criticals. I feel like the first two points can be justified, but the last point is a pretty small contribution. I may even drop the second point in the future, but we'll see how the resulting accuracy shakes out. Defensive Maneuvering is also tough because of how much actually moving factors into the equation. For now, I feel like I can justify two points, especially since this is harder to come by than Damage Resistance Rating.
Hull Plating is what I would spend the extra Defensive Maneuvering point in, but this isn't all damage resistance, but pretty close. Some of the more exotic sources such as Fire and Radiation aren't present. Also, all this is only 15 actual damage resistance. All 3 skill points in the Hull Plating is equivalent to the damage resistance of Repair Crews.
Damage Control is awful, it's 1/5 as effective in combat. That means one point is 10% regen, whereas 2 1/2 points in the Hull Regeneration endeavor is that amount.
Shield Regeneration is special for some special reason and is extra effective. I always put in at least one point here.
Shield Hardness is something that mitigates damage while your shields are up. However, I tend to go for more Hull than Shield defenses. My tank (totally different character) often will have absolutely no shields in deep combat and relies on Regeneration and large capacity. Reverse Shield Polarity is still really strong, but Shield Hardness doesn't really boost that.
Weapon Amplification and Specialization are must-haves on just about every build anymore. Anything using Torpedoes or Energy weapons will benefit from these skill points. Since I was around for the Imperial Rift Set event, I also run that on my Iktomi which converts my Weapon Amplification into Criticals for my exotic powers. Now, in reality the Weapon Specialization is pretty weak (0.6% CrtH for the last point). I may drop this point someday.
Subsystem tuning (and power in general) is a tricky subject. As an Engineer, I get access to EPS Power Transfer, which adds 30 max and current power to each subsystem. Each ship also comes with power bonuses, and I am using Emergency Power abilities 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 also chose offensive because of the 4.8 power for engines trying to speed my ships up, and the 4.8 helps for my energy builds as well. This is a total of 9.6 power for the point. Improved Warp Core potential adds a total of 8 (2 per system), and adding to a specific system only adds 3.2 power, so significantly diminishing returns. I also like a lot of Auxiliary power for my exotic powers and the Web Cannon & Webspinner which scale strongly with Aux.
Exotic Particle Generator is fantastic because of Particle Manipulator. That means each point here contributes to all my exotic powers in flat damage and criticals. Since all 3 builds have at least some exotic powers, these points are well spent. Even Advanced only giving 15 EPG means an extra 7.5% Cat1, 3% CrtH, and 1.5% CrtD, which is as strong as some Starship Traits (namely the CrtH).
Long Range Targeting Sensors is always maxed out on energy builds for me because it is the only source that reduces damage falloff with distance. There's no other way to get this.
Hull/Shield Pen for weapons is a tough one, especially since some of my biggest damage dealers ignore shields, and these skills translate to such a low amount of actual value, and they are only for weapons. Even if I was extremely focused on weapon damage, these would be near the end of the list for pickups because the value is so low. A single point is 1/2 a [Pen] mod, and all 3 is a single [Pen] mod. On the builds that need it, they have a huge amount of debuff already (5-10x per power), so these points are pretty weak.
Readiness is absolutely wasted because of the methods I use to hit global cooldown. On my Iktomi, I get there with Improved Photonic Officer, which buffs exotics and has 100% Photonic Officer uptime for cooldowns. On my Jorogumo and Tarantula, I use Aux to Batt plus some technicians for cooldowns. I benefit from Cold Hearted as a result. In both cases, I have fantastic cooldowns tied to other primary benefits.
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. 2 of my builds use hangar pets, and all 3 have 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 to them (Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, Matthew 7:12).
As far as unlocks go, there's usually either a pretty minor choice or only one relevant option. I don't push skill points anywhere just to hit unlocks.
The primary focus for this build is energy support, though any allies will get a large amount of support from this build. I chose to go with Disruptors which have several procs for reducing damage resistance, as well as a hold (Nausicaan weapons). You'll also notice that on the whole, this build is pretty budget friendly... other than the Tholian-specific items. You could use this as a template for a budget support and just fill the Tholian theme items with some extra healing or damage output.
The "old META" was the Iconian four piece set because of the limited selection of full 4 piece sets, and because of how strong the 3 and 4 piece bonuses were. Passive damage to the full team, and an active to give some extra "All Damage". I already had this set around long before this build, so it was almost a no-brainer to slot here.
Devices are pretty standard, and most are situational for when I am not primarily supporting. Deuterium Surplus is for when I need maneuverability and Evasive Maneuvers and Emergency Power to Engines are on cooldown. The Energy Amplifiers are extra damage when needed. The Large Auxiliary Batteries are specifically for the web cannon, since I lose a lot of damage due to using Aux2Batt and draining my Aux. I make sure to use one of these before firing the Web Cannon. The Red Matter Capacitor is really just filler, but the extra power boost is nice in a pinch.
There are a lot of clickies (Universal Consoles with a power you can "click" and use on demand), and as such, Unconventional Systems is really strong and drives a lot of powers and equipment choices. One will notice a lot of overlap with the Tarantula Kinetic support. I don't skimp on my own selfish consoles, however. This ship still needs to do damage.
Finally, the pets are exclusive to Tholian ships, but they each have Attack Pattern Beta III so they are tough to beat.
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!
...well, except for Auxiliary to Battery, but that's simply how that power works best as a cooldown