I'd like to get people's thoughts on escorts with beam arrays, especially for PvP because let's be honest, you can use a pea shooter in PvE and still kick ass.
It's an idea I've been tossing around in my head for a while but haven't tested since I love my cannons lol. Let's say we keep aft turrets, a fore torp and the remaining fore slots will be beam arrays.
Beams do use up a lot of weapon power but since I'm considering this for myself let's also say that we have EPS Power Transfer and Red Matter Capacitor which give boosts to all power levels in order to compensate for the power drain.
Do you think this could be as successful as cannons? Maybe even cause more damage?
Personally I prefer Beams in PvP, because i can be tough to keep your Target in your Crosshair all the time to accomodate the Cannon's Firing Arc. So I rather circle my Target and broadside it. But that's just me.
I've been running AtB beams on my Risian Corvette - beams/torp front, beams/cutting beam rear, and just wiz around at max speed spamming FAW. It seems to work pretty well, and you're definitely hard to catch/predict since 1. corvettes are mad fast and 2. you have no real need to slow down.
AtB and leech keeps the power levels high, even without EptW.
There was a time when putting beams on an escort would put you at a major disadvantage, but with the improvements to beams and the energy drain of cycling beams vs the energy drain of cannons have closed the gap quite a bit. Still, dhcs will hit harder in an alpha strike and a pvp team needs a couple people doing heavy single target damage, but there is no doubt that now a faw build will put out more sustained damage over time because of the firing arc. It's a good build for clearing pets and torpedoes and for general support in a team setting, but if your on a team with 3 cruisers already doing faw, it's probably better to go with cannons as that would give the team a better balance.
In a one on one setting a beam faw escort would probably do quite well against a dhc build if you flight it right (staying out of his firing arc).
Good points everyone. I guess it really does depend on the team.
As TP pointed out, its hard keeping your nose pointed at the enemy. I feel like I've been improving at that, but there are still times when it isn't easy. That's partially why I've been considering beams.
With the new load outs feature for ships I could probably switch back and forth.
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I've actually tried an interesting build on my bug using 3 DHCs fore with a DBB, and 2 turrets rear with cutting beam. The use of the DBB fore allows a BO1 spike damage to hit along with CRF for higher spike damage, although it drains a lot of weapon power; using the 2pc Omega boost from cutting beam and the Borg console helps there a bit along with leech and high drain as I have a lot of points in flow caps.
I haven't tried it out to compare it to just using straight cannons, but it was intriguing during the time I tested it in PVE. Something to think about. Normally I don't recommend blending types but the fact you can use both powers at once is awesome in the right circumstances.
I did a similar build on my Undine cruiser using 4 DBBs fore with BFAW/BO and 4 turrets rear with CS for massive AOE damage. I had to fly right into things to be effective and keep on the move, but the Undine ships have good movement and do a decent job of this. The Breen cruiser would also probably be able to pull something like this off. Again, not sure if it is better than full cannons but it was fun to try.