I’ve just hit level 50 with my Agents of Yesterday character in Star Trek Online. Why is this important? It’s where the end game content starts in STO starting off with been able to fly end-game ships in the form of the Tier 6, which you upgrade as you fly them. So my new tactical has just acquired his T6 Valiant ship, which is a tactical escort or if you’re not into your lore, it’s the Defiant from DS9. This is going to be a mini series regarding taking the ship from almost stock at present to a weapon of mass destruction.I will be equipping loot items as they drop in either missions and end game content. I will be earning the faction reputation to earn their equipment. Most guides just show the end result this will be an ongoing look at an evolving build. Though I’ve hit level 50 I’m only on the Romulan story arc and am about to do the mission ‘The Vault.’
HMS Iron Duke (1912)
The USS Iron Duke is named for HMS Iron Duke which was a Dreadnaught class Battleship which served as flagship of the Grand Fleet in 1914, which in turn was named for Sir Arthur Wesley later to become the 1st Duke of Wellington who was known as the Iron Duke. HMS Iron Duke lead the Grand Fleet against the German Navy at the Battle of Jutland. After the war due to Naval treaties the Iron Duke’s armour was stripped to make her useless as a battleship and became a training ship. At the out break of WWII she ended her career defending Scarpa Flow as a harbour defence ship. As famous British battleships go there are few as famous for example Hood, Prince of Wales, Warspite. But I had an Airfix model sat on my desk of the old girl as I grew up, so she holds a place in my heart. Just as a heads up when this admiral gets a carrier it WILL be called the Ark Royal!
USS Iron Duke
So the USS is a tactical escort it has no real similarities of its name sake other than its devastating volley it can unleash. The escort is a fast ship used more like a fighter compared to a cruiser that acts more like a battleship. The escort can deliver a lot of damage but can’t take it, so it is going to not only be about getting the right equipment to make the ship effective it will also involve me learning a ‘fly’ the ship as well. Most of my career in STO I’ve been in cruisers, dreadnoughts and carriers, which where all Beam boats so I’m used to being rather slow and just get side onto the enemy and let my beam arrays do their work! The Iron Duke will have to be flown as to do a tactical strike then retreat while the shields/hull recovers then line up for the next attack run. Unleash hell, then retreat again.
So lets look at where my equipment is at, as I have just acquired the ship.
As you can see this is a bit of a mish-mash of equipment, as I have flown through to this stage, I’ve not had the ability or the number of drops to keep all my equipment up to my level. I did spend 250k EC on a level X neutronium armour to bolster my defences a bit. but the rest has not been changed. I do have some special modules on here,
The Universal Console Quantum Warhead Module comes from the T6 Valiant as it is a C-store ship (You buy it with real money!) it does come with a unique module. This module is like having another torpedo tube on your ship it can fire up to 6 quantum micro torpedo’s. I also have the Phaser Quad Cannons from the tactical escort re-fit another C-store ship (This one was a free ship I acquired from a giveaway!) This makes 2 items from the same set but gives no bonus as I don’t have a cloak for this ship. The Phaser Quad Cannons are a nice item as they damage scale as you advance in level and have the bonus of having [dmg] x4 multiplier.
This console is from the Heavy Escort Refit a Tier 3, C-store ship, also acquired as a freebie at some point from ARC. This module is like adding another weapon to your ship with a short-range of just 3 Km but a 360 degree arc. Both the quantum warhead and the point defence give me some great burst damage when I’m very close to the enemy.
Looking at the rest of my modules though they are a little lack lustre, I’ve ended up pulling five tier VI consoles up with me and are leaving a hole in my defences at the moment that will need plugging as I prepare this ship for some end level content!
Finally the crew skills I have on my team:-
As I leveled I think I only bought tactical team for Sakkith, the rest of the skills came as you see them. Looking at Tarsi I’ve been lucky enough to get torpedo spread III which not only looks like your unleashing hell but is very effective. On the flip side both Uplod and Skavrin have Engineering team. Which is a waste as they are both on the same cooldown. For now I do have both attack patterns on Sakkith and beam fire at will.
Erm… What a mess, but that is the whole point of this series, this is how ive got my Ship at the moment. I’ve just hit level 50 I have not flown it and just fitted the equipment I had lying around. Oddly enough this so far has been a free build not one penny has been spent on the ship or the equipment! Hard to believe, but ARC is generous with their gifts but there is a method to their madness. They hand out enough to make you want more! This is a free to play game but I have spent money on the game, I bought the Jupiter class carrier and unlocked the EC limit and on my main bought an extra 100 DOFF slots. BUT I aim to make this build with the resources at hand, everything will be learnt the normal way, by actually playing the game. I will have accelerated progress through the reputation system except for temporal which is obviously new for this expansion. I’ve also joined a brand new fleet, so I wont have easy access to fleet weapons either they will have to be earnt as well.
I’m going to see how much DPS this build outputs and as I do major updates and improve skill playing an escort I will post DPS updates. Though I feel hammering STF’s in this build at the moment would be unfair on people with a decent build but we shall see on what kind of number this build outputs. But I have plenty of mission arc’s to work through to start upgrading my equipment and earn my mastery in this ship.
See you on the other side…