New are the comparisons to current favorites like Delta Expansion Kit and Herald Tactical Combat Armor, as well as the Boolean and Herald Staff weapons.
Bhaltair - Romulan (Fed aligned) Tactical Officer
“Shoot, Crit and Expose all the things” Build
aka “Romulan Plasma – Secondary Weapon Mode – Expose - Flank – Crit” Build
- Initially a canon build (Romulan Plasma Weapon + Romulan Imperial Navy Set), it quickly started to evolve into the current, more allround DPS build.
Romulan players have access to the Plasma Weapon Specialist trait, which grants +10% damage to all Plasma weapons.
On the other hand Romulans do not have access to the Lucky trait.
Kit / Sets:
The Romulan Imperial Navy set is the only set that comes with a Kit while missing a weapon.
This gives the player the unique opportunity to have 2 set pieces from 2 different sets, getting 2 different set bonuses.
In this case I use both Kit and Armor from the Romulan Imperial Navy Set. The Set Bonus grants +30% Crit Severity while Aiming, and +10% Damage Resistance while Crouching. The Crouching bonus doesn’t give much due to diminishing returns on DR, but the +CritD is really helpful, especially as you should always be aiming to gain the 33% aiming damage boost.
The Kit itself comes in VR, has +20% Plasma Damage boost, [CritX] and 2 Random Mods ([KPerf]x2 possible).
The Armor has some of the highest damage resistance values, some HP regeneration, and a very unique 50% damage boost to the Secondary Fire Mode on weapons.
The other 2 pieces (Shield + Weapon) are from the Na’kuhl Temporal Operative Set.
The shield has a unique proc that makes the player basically invulnerable for a few seconds once the shield drops to 10%, making it a potential life saver.
The Set has a great 2pc set bonus: +2% Critical Chance and +30% Critical Severity.
For this reason alone I have the Na’kuhl weapon in one of the weapon slots.
Comparison with other Kits and Armor:
A favorite among high end players is the Delta Expansion Kit. The reason for it is the possible mod combination of CritD or CritX together with KPerfx2.
[CritD] is currently the best mod after KPerf, making this the min-maxer's choice. It is sometimes available on the exchange, but due to high demand it commands a hefty price.
The Romulan Navy Kit in comparison has one extra mod [+Plasma], which obviously only helps if you use any plasma weapon.
It also comes with [CritX], which is almost as strong as [CritD] on ground. Only caveat with Romulan Kits is that you have to farm the "Uneasy Allies" mission
over and over until you get lucky with the [KPerfx]2 mods (and listening to Sela all the time can get tiring...).
EDIT: Another great Kit, and much easier to get are the Fleet Embassy Kit with [KPerf]x2 Mod.
Downside: no access to the stronger Crit-Mods.
Another great Armor is the Lobi-Store exclusive Herald Tactical Combat Armor.
Compared to the Romulan Navy Armor both stand out with excellent defensive values, but while the RNA has the damage bonus to secondary fire modes the Herald has a massive +5% Critical Chance and +40% Critical Severity Bonus.
The only reason why the Romulan Navy Armor can compete with that is the "+30% Critical Severity Bonus while aiming" Set bonus. Also not everybody has 200 Lobi (or 160 on a sale) sitting around to buy one of these, and there are not account unlocked, making the RNA the better choice for money-conscience players.
The Romulan Imperial Navy Kit has a +20% Plasma damage boost.
Together with the Romulan racial trait Plasma Weapon Specialist (+15% damage the choice is clear: Plasma (duh!).
Even though the Na’kuhl Set Weapon is plasma based, the weapon itself is rather Meh, especially the secondary attack.
Therefore I picked the Romulan Plasma Split Beam Rifle.
I prefer this weapon over others due to the inherent AoE secondary attack with Exploit effect.
It also has some of the longest firing ranges with 35m for both Fire Modes.
It also is similar to the ship weapons as it not only has the Plasma Dot, but also reduces the Resistance of targets like Disruptors do.
Possible Plasma variants:
- A great variant would be the Plasma Wide Beam Rifle, which has a wider beam and hits more targets than a split beam,
but doesn't have the damage resistance debuff of the Romulan Plasma Split Beam Rifle.
- The Plasma Piercing Beam Rifle is also a player favorite, and has a exploiting secondary fire mode, but lacks any AoE capability.
- The Uneasy Allies mission has another possible completion reward: the Plasma Repeater Pistol.
The weapon is a lot of fun, and powerful in close quarters. It also has an exploiting AoE secondary fire mode, fitting perfectly
into this build. But while all Pistols have received a damage boost with the latest ground balance changes, it is still a bit behind Rifles, and they lack the range of Rifles.
Other Weapon choices:
- The TR-116B Sniper Rifle or the Zefram Cochrane Shotgun usually are the better weapons against Borg. Borg’ Shield Adaption doesn't work against Kinetic damage, and the Sniper even ignores Shields completely.
Unfortunately both don't quite fit into this build: the Shotgun doesn't have an Exploit, and the Sniper's secondary fire mode has a very long CD.
- The Boolean Heavy Assault Cannon is a beast of a weapon: Immensely powerful, this Lobi-Store exclusive is yet another favorite weapon amongst high end players (next to the Herald Staff). Unfortunately (and probably reasonable) not Plasma based, it still fits perfectly into this build as it also has a very strong Secondary Fire Mode, an explointing AoE.
The only negative about the AoE is the effective area: Being cylindrical, it is best used in combination of AoEs that either keep enemies inside the area, or pull them into it (i.e. Paradox Bomb).
- The Herald Antiproton High Density Beam Projector (Staff) is the other more popular player weapon. The stacking Damage boost buff makes this weapon very powerful. But while the Secondary fire mode is an cylindrical exploiting AoE, the long CD of it makes it unsuitable for this particular build.
I picked Modules that mainly buff and heal the Toon and the Weapon, with some Team buffs for added bonus.
Focus was on the Secondary Fire Mode and it’s exploit condition.
- Rally Cry
- Trajectory Bending
- Deadly Intent
- Plasma Feedback Cascade
Graviton Spike will be added once available.
What makes this build unique:
- All Set Items and Weapons are fairly easy and cheap (Mission awards) to obtain (although tedious to farm a Kit with perfect Mods)
- Exploit Weapons receive a massive +200% damage boost against exposed targets.
- With Tactical Optics, Rally Cry and Plasma Feedback Cascade I have 3 abilities with Expose potential.
- Deadly intent reduces the CD of the Secondary Fire Mode, which has the Exploit ability.
The Temporal Operative Specialization reduces that CD even further.
- The Romulan Imperial Navy Armor grants +50% damage to the Secondary Fire attack.
- Trajectory Bending turns all attacks into Flanking attacks, which boosts damage by another 50%.
- All abilities incl. Tactical Optics either grant Crit Chance, Crit Severity, a buff to damage, and/or a damage resistance debuff to the target.
- Has several abilities that buff and heal self and team/boff/escort (Motivation, Rally Cry, + Strike Team as Tac)
- Over all very sturdy with high Res Armor, unique Shield Proc, 2 heal abilities, Shield heal from Temporal spec, and some active ability clickies.
- Both Temporal Operative and the Commando specializations work very well with this build.
What to improve:
I am currently replaying Uneasy Allies over and over again on the hunt for perfect Kit-Mods. The Kit always comes in VR quality with +Plasma and CritX, plus 2 random mods. I prefer that these mods have Kperfx2 to maximise Kit Performance. I did manage to get one of these already, but will continue to replay the mission for several of those, in case I don't like the UR mod after upgrading (I am hoping for WpnDmg or Armor).
Next Risa Summer event I will have the opportunity to get the Graviton Spike Kit, a high damage AoE with comparably low CD.
Using this instead of Plasma Feedback Cascade might add some more AoE damage if needed.
(Anybody who has unlocked the store can buy it at any time, provided they have or can get the vouchers)