Damn the Torpedoes!

damn_the_torpedoes

Historical accurate or not, that’s one of the coolest battlefield quotes ever.

I’ve read that in the Star Trek Online game, the DPSers claim that having torpedoes actually hurt your DPS. I suppose that’s because a lot of the high DPS builds pile on modifiers for energy weapons, to the point that they outstrip torpedo damage. And the fact that torpedoes are so ineffective against shields, make them unfavored by the DPS crowd.

Be that as it may, this is Star Trek. And it’s not Star Trek if I can’t launch torpedoes, dammit! But with such a wide variety of torpedoes available in the game, which one should I use? Well, I guess it depends on the ship.

I am focusing on Reputation Set torpedoes here, because they come with additional bonuses when combined with other set items. I have used most of them and here is a breakdown of what I think about each.

Omega Plasma Torpedo Launcher (Omega Rep) – 

Touted as the highest DPS torpedo at the time, the Omega Plasma Torp’s claim-to-fame is its one-per-second continuous-fire capability. This is a great torpedo for a frontal-attack boat, preferably one that’s not a zippy escort which will overshoot the target in 3 seconds. Ideally? Something like an Avenger or Mogh would benefit the most from it, or even a forward-firing Scimitar.

I had this mounted on Gortusk’s Bortas’qu for a long time, but really it’s less than ideal for him. The Bortas’qu is a heavy and slow juggernaut, it’s loaded up as a broadsiding beam boat. Aside from wrecking Transwarp gates, Unimatrices and other gigantic targets, I cannot use all the beams and the Omega Plasma Torpedo simultaneously, which negates the primary advantage of the latter.

Romulan Hyper-Plasma Torpedo (Romulan Rep) –

Ahh, Heidy’s bane. The fiery-doom torpedo that burns Heidy as much as it does her targets. XD

Don’t get me wrong, this is a powerful, destructive weapon, especially with that lingering plasma burn. My biggest gripe about it is not that Heidy constantly sets herself on fire with these, but rather how slow they fly. In most cases of STF runs, the average DPS is high enough that I’d be lucky to get one or two volleys of Hyper-Plasma torps in before the target no longer exists. This torp works well against “bosses” who have some staying power, but against light, zippy ships this is not a good choice at all.

That said I haven’t equipped this torp in the rear arc of Heidy’s ship, and use them as “flyby” weapons the way I use her current torps. I suspect the Hyper-plasma torp will perform much better in this configuration.

Enhanced Bio-Molecular Photon Torpedo (Countercommand Rep) – 

I actually haven’t used this torp, so I can’t really judge it fairly. On paper it looks fairly average (except when fighting the Undine, of course), with a slow-enemy effect that unfortunately doesn’t benefit beam boats too much, plus a DoT radiation proc. Then again, there is the Multi-Conduit Energy Relay in the set, which boosts damage to Phaser, Disruptor, Radiation and Photon Torp… and the set bonus further boosts them. Unfortunately the Relay is a tactical console, and since everyone and their brother fills tactical slots with Vulnerability Locators, this becomes a bit of a harder sale.

In spite of this, I have heard this is a fairly popular Rep Torpedo choice.

No Torpedo (Nukara Rep) –

Nothing to see here. Nukara rep doesn’t have a torpedo launcher, instead having a mine launcher. Mines kinda suck in STO, so.

Gravimetric Photon Torpedo Launcher (Dyson Rep) – 

Now things get interesting.

I’ve recently grabbed this torp for Heidy, along with the Proton Particle Stabilizer console in the same set. The Gravimetric torpedo isn’t a super high-damage weapon, but it does have a 33% chance of proccing a 1 km radius gravimetric rift that deals additional kinetic damage. With a torpedo spread, this is all but a guaranteed proc! Since Heidy’s ship is so Sci-heavy and exotic-damage-based, this works even better: after pulling in everything with a heavy-duty Gravity Well-3 and spraying them with Beam FAW (plus Tachyon Beam/Energy Siphon), she hits them again with a spread of Gravimetric Torps create additional rifts to deal bonus damage. It’s working well so far; I’m otherwise still debating whether to get the last set piece, that Experimental Proton Weapon that only draws 5 power! I’m just not sure if it’s worth dropping a beam array that’s boosted by 4 Vulnerability Locators.

Advanced Radiant Quantum Torpedo (Iconian Resistance Rep) –

Newest kid on the block, this torp shares the same benefit as the set energy weapon — it grants temporary hull points. It also has a 33% chance to proc chain damage to additional targets, which is handy. I have this torp and the accompanying Sustained Radiant Field console on T’Leia’s Fleet Phantom, where the temp hull points have saved the flimsy, tactical-heavy escort’s skin many times (again, Torpedo Spread all but guarantees a proc).

I also had this on Gortusk’s Bortas’qu for a little while, which I think is sub-optimal. The big, bulky, tanky cruisers don’t really need the temp hull points to help them survive, especially if the captain is an Engineer. Which brings me to…

Neutronic Torpedo Launcher (Delta Alliance Rep) –

Currently I have the full Delta Alliance Ordnance equipped on Kala’s Odyssey (she just happens to run a polaron arsenal) and the Neutronic Torp plus Bio-Neural Gel-Pack on Gortusk’s Bortas’qu (which has the full Delta Alliance space set). Anecdotally, this Neutronic torpedo is a beast of a heavy hitter; maybe I’m just paying more attention, but it’s particularly satisfying to watch an enemy’s hull strength drop as each torpedo explodes. It also has a radiation AoE effect AND a subsystem-power-reduction proc.

The obvious downside to the Neutronic Torp is its painfully slow recharge time: 15 seconds. With the two-piece set bonus, it’s down to 12… so yes, Purple Projectile Weapons Doffs. Two or three of them. This still works fine with the big lumbering cruisers because they generally take their good time swinging their noses back into firing position, so the long CD is mostly okay.

Tricobalt Torpedo Launcher –

I want to add one special note on Tricobalt Torpedoes, because they are such a unique beast. With massive base kinetic damage (twice that of the Neutronic) but also super long CD (at 30s), Tricobalts can be monstrous in action… but they require near perfect timing. If they hit a target with its shields down, it will HURT. But they hit any shields, they’re nowhere as impressive. And when the CD is 30 seconds, it’s a long time before a second chance.

I may give this a try if/when T’Leia and/or Congilla switch over to a T6 pilot ship; with 4 dual-cannons or dual-heavies in a frontal assault, it’s more likely for them to completely tear down shields for Tricobalts to do their job.

———-

Another advantage to torpedoes is power management: Current wisdom tells us that Weapon Power can sustain an optimal 6 (maybe stretching to 7 in some cases) beam weapons firing simultaneously, before power drain hits a point of diminishing returns, at which point any additional weapon actually doesn’t contribute additional damage. For dual cannons (drains 10 power) and especially dual heavy-cannons (drains 12 power), this means even less number of weapons can be equipped. Because torpedoes don’t require weapon power, they contribute to damage output without impacting the energy arsenal.

On a related note, R’Jal’s Scimitar is an exception to the above, as it has 5 Tactical Consoles boosting plasma weapons. Thanks to the Experimental Romulan Plasma Beam Array that costs 0 power to run — essentially a “free” weapon when it comes to overall power management, while benefitting from all the plasma-boosting passives and consoles — it effectively fills in the torpedo slot. This is one exceptional case that a torpedo launcher may very well be detrimental to the ship’s damage output.

So do you have a favorite?

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10 thoughts on “Damn the Torpedoes!

  1. Omega is a beast, it works with torp spread and high yield and cranks out nearly continuos torps. I use it on the forward section and on the same ship have a Hyper-plasma launcher to the aft. Coupled with the bonus consoles and plasma boosts the damage is epic.

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  2. Not all DPS’ers will agree 😉

    Oden Knight recently broke all torp-records with his torp build (I won’t quote the number directly, but it was in excess of 100K?).

    There was a time when all-energy builds were ‘the next big thing’. It’s not necessarily true anymore, and to be honest what good starship captain goes to battle without torpedoes 😉

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    1. 100k??? Sweet Jesus’ Juju Zombie Cousin.

      I am guessing Torpedo builds have an interesting side in that they would rely more on a “team” approach to excel? Someone else to strip shields so torpedo boats can do their thing? I can only hope!

      At least it’s good that torpedoes are no longer shunned and considered subpar.

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    2. Very, very true. You should see what one of my fleet friends did with a destabilized plasma torpedo. One shot, Borg cube goes “boom!” It was glorious. 🙂

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  3. ^ What Rod said – Omega is pretty righteous if set up with the right consoles and doffs.

    On my main ship I’m currently using (USS Katana, my T6 fleet Arbiter), I’ve got kind of a using set up – I’ve got the neutronic torpedoes *and* a bioneural warhead upfront, and a Breen transphasic cluster torpedo mounted aft. And I have the VATA (little drones/cruise missiles) console, which lets me unleash a lot of kinetic nastiness at an enemy if need be. One thing I really like about the bioneural warhead is that it can be launched from further away (15 km instead of 10), so I can use it as a little distraction while I set up for my first (or next) pass. I also have the 2-piece Avenger/Arbiter set, which helps my survivability and manuverability, along with my intel and pilot specialization powers.

    How do I get thru their shields first? That’s where my radiant antiproton dual cannons and omni beams come in. This is boosted by my AP vulnerability locators and other fleet consoles, plus my boff/doff powers that I’ve got configured. First I hit ’em hard with beams to take out their shields, usually with Beam Overload and Cannon Rapid Fire, then hit ’em with the bioneural warhead, neutronic torps, and the VATA missiles, if they’re cooled down and ready to go. If the target survives that first alpha strike, then I hit it with the aft-mounted transphasic cluster torpedo as I pass by and pull away, which does massive damage. Medium and smaller ships usually don’t survive my first pass, even Iconian ships, unless it’s a battleship or dreadnaught. Those tend to take several passes and some planning ahead with boff/console powers.

    It’s also worth mentioning that if you’ve unlocked the intelligence and pilot specialization points, it helps a lot, especially when you’re flanking them (there’s nothing like seeing “critical flank, critical flank, critical flank” repeatedly as the target’s hit points quickly disappear – heh heh).

    Crazy as it may sound, my weird hodge-podge setup of weaponry and consoles has been working pretty well for me and tho it remains a work in progress, I’m pretty happy with it for the most part.

    Another type of torpedo I’ve always really liked is the good old-fashioned photon torpedo. They hit hard and have a pretty short cooldown. In my early STO days, I experimented with various types of torpedoes but always gravitating back toward the old tried and true photons. Well, at least until the neutronic and radiant ones came out. Those have replaced photons on all my main ships. Quantums are good too – they take a little longer to cool down but they hit a little harder so it’s an acceptable trade-off.

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  4. And as a neat little historical fun fact, the “Damn the torpedoes!” quote was from Admiral David Farragut at the Battle of Mobile Bay during the Civil War. Long story short, he Confederate forces had placed a minefield in the bay to prevent Union ships from entering the bay,. Mines were called “torpedoes” in those days, so Adm. Farragut told his captain, “damn the torpedoes, go ahead, full speed,” something like that, and they ended up winning and capturing the bay.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Mobile_Bay

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    1. Yah, the picture at the top is in fact part of the Bronze Map on the Lawn of the Alabama Department of Archives and History, which commemorates Admiral Farragut’s favorite quote.

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  5. This is late, but a critical correction on the Omega Torpedo Launcher:
    Its fire rate is *not* once per second. The Omega was originally once every 0.5s (the launch time of all torpedoes) until ammunition was depleted. However, the introduction of the 1.5s (2s total with launch times) torpedo global cooldown annihilated its capability to do damage.

    Try it out and actually time the shots. You’ll see.

    It remained a good option as the “omega cannon” for a few years, though, thanks to the GCD introducing an infinite ammo bug. While a poor substitute for stronger torpedoes damage-wise, it made for a superb filler alternative to 2-3 torpedo cooldown Duty Officers.

    As of early in the delta rising expansion however, this was “fixed” to the original 5 shot 6s clip capacity, resulting in a half damage photon whose DPS continues to be listed as four times its true value.

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