Sep 172017
 

Introduction

Vizier has had a unique build process. Originally, when i finally received the Whiz kids promotion code back in April 2017, I wasn’t sure what i would do with the ship, her unique console, and its potential.

Later, when chatting with Equator alliance members, I had a vision to attempt a battle cloaking sovereign build. Utilizing a fast paced strike weapon that unloaded everything within 5 seconds, including the torpedo console.

I honesty had one or two thoughts regarding the build, but didnt really pursue it.

Next, I thought about uploading a general build to reddit/sto/builds, and discussion with them to bring the ship to a post Season 13 standard, with firepower being the primary focus, not defense.

There was a secondary consideration to this attempt. I had grown more and more concerned that USS Zuikaku, while extremely well built for her time, was simply falling behind with the changing requirements of some advanced and elite content.

Her tanking capability was second to none, able to survive punishment that would destroy most other 101st fleet ships. As well as being able to hold the line until the more tactical ships could regroup, or push through enemy front lines.

However, her DPS capability, while still within the top 30 – 35% of all players, did rely on the group alot to really perform. Also, her lack of speed, and turning capability meant she was increasing unable to be where she needed to be at crucial times, or be able to react fast enough.

Simply put, the reddit build post idea was originally my attempt at placing a build that was a carbon copy of USS Zuikaku, and seeing what the best of the best came up with for the new generation.

However, the more i thought about it, the more I thought it would be a betrayal against everything I had done with USS Zuikaku so far. The more and more i thought, it was also time to build a new ship for the new era, or the next generation.

Without me realizing it, USS Vizier had begun her journey. As well as a journey, that in my heart, would take sometime to come out and admit it to everyone in the 101st fleet.

USS Vizier would be, and was fully designed at the onset, to replace the USS Zuikaku.

Welcome to the USS Vizier Building Blog, titled “Building the Next Generation”. This will be a series of weekly blog posts explaining USS Vizier’s build. Going into deep details of her design, as well as her aims.

Welcome to Week One “Weapons, Gear and Ohhh Myyyy”

Beam Arrays

USS Vizier is armed with 4 Pulse Phaser beam arrays. These weapons are from the Original series movies, utilizing a sort of “pulse” barrage type of phaser attack. They were introduced not that long ago in the game by the devs of Star Trek Online in the Undiscovered Lock box.

These weapons as stated in their title, are phaser type of energy damage. They will be buffed by any bonus that increases all damage or phaser damage. These phasers are unlike most other phaser variants. While most phaser variants have a 2.5% chance to knock out a sub system during their attacks, the pulse phaser beam arrays do away with this mechanic for something different.

These phasers have a 2.5% chance to apply “Phaser Transfer” to its target, and to the USS Vizier herself. Phaser transfer apples a -10 damage resistance rating to the enemy target, while alsoa applying a +10 damage resistance rating to the USS Vizier. For the USS Vizier, this would be a roughly a increase of 3% in damage resistance.

This is a small buff/debuff type of perk. While the damage resistance debuff against my targets is small, it is something additional that can add an extra edge during engagements. It also gives my ship a potential edge during engagements as well. As far as I have been able to determine, while phaser transfer doesn’t list its time, it is roughly a 5 – 10 second boost when it applies. Also, so far, I have not seen any stacking limit.

Honesty, I didn’t choose this weapon primary for its perk. I picked this weapon up because it was a different type of phaser array I hadn’t used before. So Far, the weapon has proved to be very good during engagements.

The Prolonged Engagement Phaser beam array, was a reward for competing the weekend event Kobayashi Maru earlier in 2017. At this stage, if you didn’t acquired the rewards, this beam array is unable to be obtained.

As stated in the title, the weapon is a phaser variant, and a unique variant at that. During use, the phaser has a change to gain stacks of what is called “Amplified Relays”.

Amplified Relays have two procs or bonuses that can be applied during use. The first proc is that with each stack, the weapon deals 0.01% increased damage. Now indeed, this bonus is so small you would barely notice it. However, i suspect this proc is just the warm up for the secondary proc, which occurs after you gain 5 stacks of Amplified relays.

After the fifth stack, the prolonged engagement phaser beam array gains a 20% firing cycle haste for the weapon for 8 seconds. Firing cycle haste means that it will decrease the time between each shot the beam array makes, while maintaining the same number of shots per cycle. Effectively, with a normal beam arrays firing cycle, it might do 5 shots in 4 seconds for example. With firing haste, it completes those 5 shots in 3 seconds.

Now, this might not sound much, especially on a single weapon. However, being able to fire faster in shorter bursts, means you can get more damage onto the target compared to firing normally.

As related above, this proc only occurs for this weapon. The fact you can only slot one of this array makes it usefulness pretty minimum. However, it is still a decent weapon. An additional benefit of this weapon, is that it doesn’t lose its standard phaser proc of a 2.5%chance to knock a system offline for 5 seconds.

Like the pulse phasers, I choose this weapon for a combination of the proc, as well as trying a phaser variant I hadn’t tried before.

The Quantum Phase Beam array, is a reward item from competing the featured episode “Sunrise”. As with USS Vizier’s other beam arrays, this is a phaser variant type of weapon. Like the Prolonged beam array, it also keeps its 2.5% chance to knock out a random subsystem on a enemy ship.

This weapon is also part of a three piece set in STO called “Quantum Phaser Catalysts”. This set gives you the opportunity to gain additional bonuses and abilities for slotting each piece of the set. USS Vizier has all three pieces in her build, and I will be going into detail in a later blog regarding exactly what this set bonuses gives to USS Vizier.

The Quantum phaser beam array also has a unique proc. The beam array has a 2.5% chance to drain enemy shields to restore your own shields. The amount of drain against enemy shields is calculated by the amount of drain expertise skill you have on your skill tree. This provides a nice debuff/buff for the USS Vizier. Increasing my ships shields, while decreasing the enemies.

This proc does require a bit of effort to really gain alot of benefits. But depending on the build, even small amounts of drain expertise can still gain a decent bonus for shields. A captain specced into full drain, will see alot of benefits from this beam array.

I decided to use it on USS Vizier again for a number of weapons. The USS Ruby Rose, the USS Vizier’s cousin ship, also uses this beam array to great effect in engagements. Second, it was again a beam array I hadn’t use on my engineering toon. Third, the set bonus really applied to what I was aiming for with the USS Vizier.

All these factors, made this beam array the perfect choice for the Vizier.

Torpedos

The USS Vizier is armed with two torpedo launchers (technically :)). The first is the second part of the Quantum Catalyst set, the Quantum Phase torpedo.

The Quantum phase torpedo is a type of photon torpedo. As a result, set bonuses, buffs and damage increases that increase kinetic or photon damage, will increase this torpedo. This torpedo has a 90 degress firing arc, and is currently loaded in one of USS Vizier’s forward weapon slots. Which will become apparent in an later blog.

The torpedo, like her beam array sister, drains enemy shields. However, with several differences. First, while you drain enemy shields, that is its only bonus, the drained shields do not return to the player, unlike the beam array. Second, the torpedo itself drains shields within a 2km radius of the target it hits.

The major difference, is how the torpedo changes when using the Tactical BOFF skills of High Yield or torpedo spread. When using these abilities, the radius of the shield drain increases from 2kms to 4kms. Second, using torpedo spread increases the shield damage when it strikes a target. This means, when paired with a science ship specced into EPG, the USS Vizier torpedo can become quite devastating.

I quite like this torpedo, as it helps USS Vizier with a major weakness that USS Zuikaku had, which was punching through the shields of a large or heavy target. This torpedo, is one of the outcomes of my analysis of USS Zuikaku’s weakness, and one I ensured that USS Vizier would do her best to cover. Second, as related with the beam array, slotting the torpedo made sense with Vizier’s build purpose, as well as the set bonuses I would gain. This torpedo has also been in use with Vizier’s cousin, USS Ruby Rose.

The second torpedo on USS Vizier, is the Enhanced Bio-Molecular Photon torpedo launcher. This torpedo can be obtained from the Undine reputation system, at tier 2. This weapon is also a part of the four part set “Counter Command Ordnance”. USS Vizier has two of these four pieces, which again, will be explained in an later blog.

The Enhanced Bio-molecular photon torpedo (hearby known as EBMPT) is a type of photon torpedo. As a result, set bonuses, buffs and damage increases that increase kinetic or photon damage will increase the damage input of this weapon. This torpedo has a 90 degress firing arc, and is currently loaded in one of USS Vizier’s aft weapon slots.

This torpedo has two procs of effects that it makes against any target it hits. The first effect is a reduction of flight speed for 8 seconds. This reduction is, as listed on the torpedo -23.1. So depending on the target, they will definitely see themselves slow down. This effect can be cleaned or removed. However, if the effect is not cleaned after 8 seconds. it effects radiation damage on its target that completely ignores shields. This effect is boost by skills, damage and effects that increase radiation damage. Of which there are not many effects at this stage in the game.

This means the torpedo is pretty useful against NPC targets, but has extremely limited functionality against players who have multiple cleans and abilities to remove the proc. I choose this torpedo for two reasons. The first, is that it is part of a set that has boosts that overall increase a number of Vizier’s key points, making it a useful edition. Second, while the proc can be limited, it is still a decent torpedo that can have some devastating effects when used correctly. Coupled with its decent normal torpedo damage, this is a fine torpedo to have for USS Vizier.

Primary Ship Systems – Shields, Deflector, Impulse Engines & Warp Core

With the primary weapons of the USS Vizier complete, we now move onto the primary ship systems. The USS Vizier’s primary stat drivers. When building USS Vizier, I attempted to use items I had not used before. I also decided to avoid most of the STO player meta that had occurred after the Season 13 re-balance.

I also intended as much as possible, to ensure whatever systems I choose, not only increased USS Vizier’s primary build goal, but also did their best to cover up the ships shortcomings.

Deflector

The primary deflector of the USS Vizier, and quite a look for a deflector when the ships visuals are turned on, the Prevailing Innverated Defelctor Array. The PIDA is part of a four piece set called “Prevailing Regalia” and is available from the Competitive reputation. This deflector forms part of a two piece set of the Prevailing Regalia that is fitted on USS Vizier.

The deflector array is one of the variants of the Competitive reputation deflectors, of which there are a total of three variants. This reputation would be the first to offer multiple variant of deflector arrays. Due to this deflector being of ultra rare variety, I gained a +2 auxiliary power bonus to the deflector.

This first bonus is an +15 increase to Starship Hull capacity. This increases USS Vizier’s starship maximum hit points, giving her slightly more increase hull to survive and take damage. To the extra total of hull points this bonus gives I am not sure. However, the bonus was a nice small additional to the defensive capabilities of the Vizier.

The next bonus, is likewise a additional defensive bonus, +15 Shield capacity. This increases the Vizier’s shield hit points, making them slightly stronger for defensive purposes. Like the hull hit points, this is a nice additional bonus to defensive systems.

The next bonus, is one i would doubt will ever be used, or beneficial to the USS Vizier – +10 bonus to Starship stealth. This increases a ships stealth and cloaking capability to remain hidden from starship sensors. With Vizier being unable to cloak, the benefit of starship stealth is minimum. While this does mean it might take a enemy slightly longer to target me, it doesn’t effect Vizier much.

The next bonus, is one of the biggest reasons I choose the this variant of the deflector – +40 Starship weapon specialization. Starship weapon specialization improves the critical hit chance of weapons, making them ever more likely to land a critical hit. A critical hit, which is based on critical severity skill points, can drastically increase a weapons damage. For example, a normal beam array might do 1000 damage on a normal hit, but land a 2500 hit on a critical hit.

This bonus increases the chance that Vizier’s weapons will land a big hit. a +40 increase, is roughly a critical hit chance increase of 1.8%. While small, this increase chance gives Vizier more chances to land critical strikes. Making her much for dangerous in landing heavy damage in a shorter period.

The last bonus, like the stealth bonus, has minimum to no benefit to the build type of USS Vizier – +10 Starship perception. Starship perception improves the detection range & chance of detecting cloaked ships. Since USS Vizier is not built to snoop out cloaked players, this bonus would be relatively small, and unlikely to really have any effect in a PVP match.

Impulse Engines

The primary impulse engines of the USS Vizier, are the second part of the two piece set of Prevailing Regalia – Prevailing Fortified Impulse Engines.
Like the deflector array, the Prevailing impulse engines have three variants in the Competitive reputation system you can purchase.

The Prevailing Fortified Impulse engines (PFIE) offer decent bonuses to the ships flight speed and flight turn rate of the Vizier. These impulse engines also offer a thuster proc. Where if the ship engines are disabled, the Vizier can still travel at 25% speed until the engines came back online. I choose these engines for two reasons. The first reason, was they were decent engines that had a nice two piece set. However, the second reason is the primary reason.

These engines have a proc, called “Prevailing Engine – Overcharge”. When a hull or shield bridge officer ability is used, the ship gains several benefits for a 5 second period. This includes a massive boost to flight speed and flight turn rate, as well as increased defense rating (chance to dodge shots made against you). You also gain a +10% increased recharge speed on engineering bridge officer abilities for 10 seconds. With the Archon-class Commander and Lieutenant Engineering BOFF stations, this can be quite a boost.

An additional benefit of this impulse engine, is that the boost has no cooldown. Properly managed, you can keep chaining healing abilities to keep your ship moving at an incredible speed and turn rate for a significant amount of time. This does have draw backs, as while you are gaining speed and turn rate, you are potentially using healing abilities when you don’t need to. This also means, you run into the risk of not having these abilities available, when you actually need them.

This speed and turn rate boost, even with its drawbacks, are a primary design point of USS Vizier. Turn rate and speed have always been a major problem for USS Zuikaku, being not fast enough, or able to turn quickly enough to meet or properly engage some threats. USS Vizier, with this engine, can a lot of times out turn and out fight a science vessel with a science captain, one of the major threats in the Zuikaku’s career.

Warp Core

The primary warp core of the USS Vizier – Braydon Reconnaissance Warp Core. This warp core can be obtained from playing through the Featured episode “Of Signs and Portents”. This warp core is also part of a four piece set called “Braydon Reconnaissance Technologies”. The USS Vizier has two pieces of this set installed.

The Braydon Warp Core (BWC) has a nice bonus to Control Expertise. This bonuses improves control effects (Gravity well, Tykens rift etc) as well as improves resistance to the same effects. This means when the Vizier is stuck with control effects, she has better resistance against their damage and pull capabilities. It is a relatively small bonus, but is still a welcome additional boost.

The BWC primary bonus is increasing the Vizier’s auxiliary power levels when they are low, as well as allowing the Vizier to increase her maximum allow auxiliary power from 125 to 130. Auxiliary power helps with abilities such as healing and increasing the power of control effects. While Vizier is not built to utilize Control abilities, the additional power for heals is definitely appreciated and needed.

Additional, the warp core adds 7.5 of Vizier’s auxiliary power to the ships engine power as a bonus. This increase, while small, further increases Vizier’s engine speed and turn rate capability. Additional, the BWC comes with a engine capacitor battery. When used, this battery increases engine power for 20 seconds, repairs offline engine systems, as well as cleanses movement debuffs. This capacitor has a 4 minute recharge timer once used.

I choose this warp core, has it had nice bonuses for Vizier’s healing capability, as well as being part of a four piece set that had bonuses that would build to Vizier’s strengths.

Shields

The primary shield of the USS Vizier – Braydon Reconnaissance Covariant Shield Array. This shield can be obtained from playing through the Featured episode “Of Signs and Portents”. This shield is also part of a four piece set called “Braydon Reconnaissance Technologies”. This shield is the second part of the set that is equipped on the USS Vizier.

The Braydon Reconnaissance Covariant Shield Array (BRCSA) has what i call a high low type of shield. It has a relatively high capacity compared to other shields, with a relatively low normal shield regeneration rate. Also, the shield has a normal 10% bleedthrough that most shields have. Meaning when hit with attacks, 10% of the damage will bleedthrough to hit the ships hull.

The shields unique feature, is when the one of the shield facings is full depleted. Once a shield facing is depleted, the shields apple a flight speed and slight turn increase of 200% for 5 seconds. This effect can only trigger once even 60 seconds. However, this is a boost that applies to Vizier in case she gets in trouble, allowing her to extend or turn around fast enough to potentially bring a undamaged shield facing to bear.

This is was one of the reasons I choose this shield. Having an additional boost to get out of trouble is always helpful. Second, I hadn’t used this type of shield before, so it meet a criteria for something new. Third, the shield was part of a piece set that had bonuses that would work for the Vizier’s build. The lower regeneration rate is one of the weaknesses in Vizier;s build, and I have felt that weakness in engagements I would otherwise have not felt with Zuikaku.

Conclusion

This includes the first part of the USS Vizier build blog – Building the next generation. The second blog should be posted next week. Next week’s blog will focus on the engineering, science and tactical consoles in use by the Vizier. Unlike the Zuikaku, Vizier’s console layout is pretty unique, and something I had not yet tried.

Hope you all look forward to it 🙂

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