Glorious Melee Combat
I originally had a long, detailed, disorganized, and hilarious description for this build. Sadly, copy/paste only works for one thing at a time. Go figure. I'll try to reconstruct the good bits. I didn't include anything space oriented because this is a melee thread, but I can add that stuff to the build if anyone is curious.


Most of the time when people see a melee sci they either ragequit, or they tell me to put the sword away. Sometimes relentlessly in chat I'll see messages to put the sword away, look at the stupid sci trying to melee, etc etc. Then I tank Mirror Leeta on Elite. Then they shut up.

Specializations: I use Miracle Worker and Command. Commando is acceptable as a secondary also, but the primary really needs to be Miracle Worker. You want Punch It. You love Punch It like the fat kid loves cake. Also make sure to actually hit your Run button to get this bonus if you're using a sword, as the charging animation swords have doesn't trigger it. Not sure if bugged, but whatever. Command gives some nice exploit bonuses, while also being useful in space, unlike Commando.

Ground Skills: Not a lot of options here. Crits and damage. Beyond that, take your pick between defenses and abilities. Moving on.

Traits: The two missing that I couldn't find in the planner are Brawler and Expedient Care. Brawler is mandatory for any melee, as is Lucky and Pack Leader for the expose chance bonuses. Expedient Care I combine with the 4sec cooldown on Medical Tricorder to keep Dylovene on 100% uptime. Tricorder Analysis is also a nice activatable CrtD bonus that tacks onto Tricorder Scan, which you should be using anyways as a Sci as it nerfs damage resists. The rest is mostly kit related, as there's not many relevant or useful damage bonuses here. Rep traits are just static damage bonuses, not much else that's useful. I tend to favor static bonuses or triggers that can maintain uptime, versus things that have internal cooldowns. The only one I'm not running that may be worth it is the Temporal rep one that buffs CrtD from control effects, but in my experience the duration wasn't worth it. The Romulan trait that gives knockdown on crit is VERY useful however, as is the Cryo Immobilizer, I just don't use them anymore. Once you get enough damage bonuses, Death is the ultimate crowd control.

Equipment: Aah, the interesting stuff. There are only two acceptable kits to use in my opinion, either a Delta kit for crit bonuses, or the Xindi kit that buffs expose chance. Take your pick for crit buffs, but the exploit damage/duration buffs aren't worth it in my experience. The expose chance buff is so huge it becomes worth it, combined with traits it adds up to something like 60%. I use the Undine rep armor, the roll buff is nice and it comes with serious resists to everything non-melee, which we're making up for elsewhere. Resists are important as your shields will be depleted most of the time. Terran rep shield and rifle give me the irresistible 2pc damage bonus, Interference Algorithm. If you have any doubts about how often this triggers, equip the Blissful Agony trait, it has an obvious visual cue. Once you see how often that glow comes up, your doubts will fade. Interference Algorithm can also maintain 100% uptime (15sec cooldown with 15sec duration), while Blissful Agony has an internal 30sec cooldown and 10sec duration. Devices I use are Gambling Device, Dosi Rotgut, and Rokassa Juice from Risa, they all stack together for 10% CrtH, 30% CrtD, and 10% damage. A Remodulator is only necessary if you have abilities that deal non-physical/kinetic damage, because your weapon can't be adapted to. And the SWORD... the epic mod couldn't be changed in the planner, but my mods are [CrtH]x4 [CrtD] [CrtH/CrtD]. Not sure if melee weapons are special and get five non-epic mods or if my sword is bugged, but I like it. I never use the rifle.

Duty Officers: Three Purple Melee Crit Security Officers. While I don't want to say they're mandatory as they're expensive these days and hard to find... they pretty much are mandatory. This crit buff is too huge to be neglected. It equates to 24% CrtH and 75% CrtD. Blue ones are acceptable as they give 18% and 60%, while being significantly cheaper. Worth mentioning this guy in addition to the original Reinforcements versions. The three doctors were a test to see how large the heal was. I saw one trigger for ~200 and haven't looked back since. This trigger can also critical heal.

Kit Modules: As a Sci, I can't use Lunge or Sweeping Strikes. Or Biotech Siphon, which is the only Tac module I'm jealous of. Instead, I use Electro-Gravitic Field and Seismic Agitation Field Sonic Disruption for some crowd control that sets off my Field Researcher damage bonus while also making enemies easier to chase down. Both of these abilities have durations longer than cooldown, by the way, and SAF SD deals Kinetic damage which the Borg can't adapt to, just like melee weapons. I use Modified Ketracel to make up for the 'lack' of melee resists while also getting control resist. Control resists are important, noone likes a rooted melee. Combined with Punch It, crowd control doesn't last long on me, and Punch It combined with Interference Algorithm allows me to punish them for daring to try and stun me. Dylovene is such a huge damage bonus, and the health bonus combined with Command secondary puts me around 1.5k health. Expedient Care also allows me to maintain 100% uptime on this, with Medical Tricorder's 4sec cooldown. Medical Tricorder really is the best healing ability, you can't beat an 800 point heal on a 4sec cooldown, not even with AoE. I used to use Metaphasic Rejuvenation with Triage to keep my allies up, and as handy as that was in Arena of Sompek, I gave it up for more versatile things. I'm an immortal melee, not a healer. Also worth noting that Triage, no matter how many allies you hit, only triggers Expedient Care once.

Other Notes: Understanding combos and the expose/exploit mechanic are CRITICAL for successful melee. This is where the difference between barely denting armor and huge damage numbers come in, and it will make or break you in Elites. I'm fairly certain the combos are the same for both the Tegolar and the Tsunkatse, but the Lirpa, Bat'leth, and unarmed are dramatically different animals. I've never used a Mek'leth or anything else, and thus can't speak about their effectiveness. Swords generally have three-hit combos, with exposes early and exploits last, with not much for crowd control, and the charge attack that's not part of any combo but does help nonetheless. Bat'leths I haven't used much, but they are similar to Lirpas. They feel awkward to me, as a lot of melee combat is chasing enemies down and they're not good at it. I'll make fun of you relentlessly if I catch you using a Lirpa. Fists have gotten better recently, with the Tsunkatse Gloves from weekend event vouchers. Fists have the fastest attacks and more crowd control options, with exposes and exploits, and even have some good AoE, but you lose out on damage compared to actual weapons (This may or may not be true for the Tsunkatse Gloves, likely not). Worth noting is the one combo that is guaranteed to critical (the attack itself has 100% crit chance). That looks fun, considering it's also an exploit. Once I get my gloves upgraded I'll try this with a Xindi kit to see haymakers for myself.

I can't stress enough how important combos, abusing expose/exploit, and building crit is to melee. This is the difference between successful melee and noob melee. Noob melees build tanky and don't use exploits, let alone combos. Noob melees only understand how to Lunge in and hit Sweeping Strikes, and believe only Tacs should melee because of these abilities. Noob melees worship the Iconian Death-Stick and spam it endlessly. Noob melees never see 5k crit exploit attacks. Don't be a noob melee, educate yourself.

And practice. Lots of practice.

Figured I'd add this little addendum:

Melee Tac: Very viable. Lunge and Sweeping Strikes, as much disdain as I have for them, are still solid abilities. Biotech Siphon is your best source of self healing, and is very mandatory in my opinion. Motion Accelerator, Motivation, and Trajectory Bending are very good also. Tacs have the widest array of useful melee combat abilities and damage bonuses, but not much in the way of crowd control. The most frustrating thing for melee is enemies that run away just in time to dodge the third attack in your combo.

Melee Eng: Sorry. Drones and shield tanking don't lend themselves well to melee combat, not to mention the lack of damage bonuses and self healing.
More Combo Details: Every weapon has combos derived from two main attacks. We'll call them Left and Right, as that's what the stowiki page refers to. All combos are three attacks in succession, and these combos are much easier to perform if you queue them up during the previous animation. Using the L-L-R combo, during the first Left animation you hit Left again and it will perform the second attack in the chain, and during that animation you press Right and it will perform that attack next. Yes, it works a lot like older fighting games that allow you to buffer directional inputs to perform special moves. Just be glad there's no directional inputs in STO. The first and second attacks tend to be exposes, and the third can be an expose or exploit depending on the weapon. Swords also have a unique charge attack that can be performed with either attack button as long as you have a target, just press either attack button and you'll charge at them and attack. This attack can be easily interrupted by inputting other actions or movements, and is not part of any combos, but it does help close the gap so you can get back to chopping. Bat'leths, Lirpas, and Polearms are trickier to use because they attack slowly and enemies tend to move away from you if they're using a ranged weapon. Good luck if you're using them. Fists have the fastest attacks, a lot of exposes, and some good crowd control, with three exploits, one is an AoE, one is a DoT, and the other is a guaranteed critical. I'm excited to try those gloves out. 

I'll compile some data on the actual effects of each combo attack with different weapon types and put it in the next few posts.
It looks like this is mostly done on the wiki page. Lirpas, Bat'leths, and Polearms have the same effects, so the differences are only in preference for animations. Fists are their own animal and most of the attacks are listed, although they don't have combos for LLL or RRR. If you have these, you're on your own to figure them out. Swords and Mek'leths sadly have less data, but I can gather that shortly.
Sword Combos: Listed using the damage numbers from the sword I had on, Epic Mk15 Tegolar, no [Dmg] mods. Remainder of the build is in the link above, I gathered this info on my starship bridge. The Q attack is the equivalent of the Rifle Butt when you have a melee weapon equipped, and I don't imagine it's much different. It's not part of any combos.

Q - 38.7, knockback 8ft, 10% chance to stun for 7.5s, Expose, 3 foes

L - 93.9, Expose, 1 foe                   
LL - 140.9, Expose, 1 foe                 
LR - 129.2, 60% chance knockback 1m, Expose, 5 foes
(RRL)(LLL) - 176.1 every .25s for 3s, 60% chance to knockback 1ft, Exploit, 3 foes
(LRL)(RLL)(LRR) - 132.1 every .25s for 3s, 60% chance to disable for 1.5s, Expose, 1 foe

R - 140.9, Exploit, 1 foe
RR - 187.9, Exploit, 1 foe
RL - 211.3, 60% chance 187.9 over 15s, Expose, 3 foes
(LLR)(RLR)(RRR) - 352.2, 60% chance to knockback 3m, Exploit, 3 foes

So, for example, performing an LLR combo with this sword will attack three times:
 the first for 93.9 damage with a chance to expose hitting one enemy, 
 the second for 140.9 damage with a chance to expose hitting one enemy, 
 and the third for 352.2 damage with a chance to knockback up to three enemies and exploiting any of them that are exposed for double damage. 

And that's before any criticals, damage bonuses, or flanking bonuses are taken into account! Hopefully this shows you why I melee.
After some more testing with a Worn Lirpa, Worn Bat'leth, and a Worn Tsunkatse, I have determined Bat'leths and Lirpas attack far too slow to be of any real use in a combat situation. I'd imagine polearms have the same issue. If you want an attack that you can use in public areas to show off, however, equip a Bat'leth and do a RLR combo. Very fancy. 

Ruling those out, it comes down to Swords and Fists. Fists are only viable if you've picked up the Tsunkatse Gloves, as your barehanded damage is likely too low without them. As to swords, they all appear to have the same combos and animations, so which one you use is best left to personal preference. Like the procs on that one? Use it. Like the energy absorbing of the Tholian Sword or the Nukara Rep Sword? Use them. Want another one you can reengineer the mods on, like mine? Go get one then. 

If you're min-maxing for efficiency a reengineered one is likely the best option for damage numbers. The gloves can be reengineered also, and in considering the haymaker, my gloves are going to have as many [CrtD] mods as I can get on them. With a sword, I like having as many [CrtH] mods as I can get, as you want to crit as often as you can.
I also gathered some numbers on the gloves last night. Build is the same otherwise, and again I was on my starship bridge. Neither of these data sets had any abilities (Dylovene, etc) active. At the time of this data, the gloves are Purple Mk15 with no [Dmg] mods.

L - 91.7, Expose, 1 foe
LL - 183.4, 60% chance to root for 3.5s, Expose, 1 foe
LR - 183.4, 60% chance to slow by 66% for 4.5s, Expose, 1 foe
LLL - N/A with fists
LLR - 275.1, 100% chance to critical, Exploit, 1 foe
LRL - 229.2, 60% chance to knockback 3ft, Expose, 3 foes
(RRL)(LRR) - 229.2, Exploit, 3 foes

R - 100.9, 60% chance to slow by 66% for 4.5s, Expose, 1 foe
RR - 183.4, 60% chance to root for 6s, Expose, 1 foe
RL - 183.4, Expose, 1 foe
RRR - N/A with fists
RLL - 275.1, 60% chance for 18.3/s for 10s (100% shield pen), Exploit, 1 foe
RLR - 275.1, 60% chance to disable for 2.5s, Expose, 1 foe
(07-10-2018, 04:23 AM)DarthVicious Wrote: Ruling those out, it comes down to Swords and Fists. Fists are only viable if you've picked up the Tsunkatse Gloves, as your barehanded damage is likely too low without them. As to swords, they all appear to have the same combos and animations, so which one you use is best left to personal preference. Like the procs on that one? Use it. Like the energy absorbing of the Tholian Sword or the Nukara Rep Sword? Use them. Want another one you can reengineer the mods on, like mine? Go get one then. 

I've always liked the lightsaber Tholian sword.

Shield-penetrating, knocks Borg on their shiny metal asses, looks cool...
When that sword first came out I HAD to have it... obviously. Then the Shattering Harmonics set came out and I switched over to that as it still absorbs energy and comes with a set bonus. The 3pc also allows you to infuse your sword with Sonic energy and it glows white. These days I only use the armor from that set as my swap-EV suit.

Now that my gloves are epic and I've had some practice with them, they're excellent. The Haymaker combo deals very nice damage to bosses and there's some roundhouse kicks that handle AoE well enough. The attack speed with these combos is the most insane part, martial arts can put out two combos as fast as a sword can put out one. I also managed to get a Xindi kit with [ExpHit], so everything I have that has a chance to expose has around a 50% chance to expose. Spamming the exploits is the way to go, at least one of the other two hits in each combo will almost always expose. I also reengineered a few mods for testing the damage output, and I found that going with a couple [Dmg] mods is still a good idea, as opposed to full [CrtD] for big haymakers.

As always, chasing enemies down is still annoying. EGF/SAF helps a lot, but I find myself wishing Cold Fusion Flash had a lower cooldown.
Quick update:

Swapped kit modules over to Medical Tricorder, Vascular Regenerator, Dylovene, Melorazine, Interphase Decay. Duty officers are 3x Melee Security Officer, 2x Botanist (Chance to share Dylovene/Melorazine), 1x Biochemist (Bonus Damage Resist Debuff with Science Modules).

Melorazine almost always gets shared, and if it doesn't it's on a 6sec cooldown with a 45sec duration, so that helps keep people alive along with heals and Expedient Care (worth noting here that the Botanist trigger does not trigger Expedient Care). The Biochemist stacks along with ID's natural 30 DR debuff, so that's -70 damage resist with a DoT on a 9sec cooldown. Low cooldown abilities are amazing.

Also swapped secondary spec to Commando. Running enemies over as a form of crowd control is wicked fun, and it gets me another melee damage buff plus some more defenses.

That Melorazine glow reminds me of 'The Glow' from The Last Dragon. Wicked cool.
I also hit a new record for damage. Sompek arena is good for testing damage output with melee, as its the most frequently run ground queue when it's available. 

I achieved an 8k crit exploit on some random Klingon warrior. He vaporized.

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