Guide to Ships in Star Trek Online: Tier 2 Vessels
by: Benjamin Sell
; edited by: Michael Hartman
; updated: 4/17/2012
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Upon reaching Lieutenant Commander, Star Trek Online players are treated to their first ship upgrade. With this milestone comes a choice, the Cruiser, Escort, or Science Vessel. Our guide to tier two ships has all the info on each, so you can make an informed decision.
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After spending their first ten Star Trek Online levels in a lowly Light Cruiser, most players are eager to move onto a more advanced ship upon reaching the rank of Lieutenant Commander. There are three tier two starships to choose from, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Will you choose the heavily-armed Cruiser, the fast-attacking Escort, or the multipurpose Science Vessel?
Information on individual ships is available in-game, but isn't easily accessible or available in a way that makes a side-by-side comparison very possible. Check out the full details on each ship below.
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The second-tier Cruisers come in three different variations, the Constitution, Excalibur, and Vesper classes. This type of ship should be instantly recognizable to anyone who is even remotely familiar with The Original Series or the movies based upon it, as the Constitution class Cruiser is nearly identical to the refitted original Enterprise and the Enterprise-A that was originally introduced at the end of Star Trek IV.
The Cruiser's slow turn rate makes it most useful when utilizing broadside tactics, as it takes a long time to get turned around enough to use rear-facing weapons. Their slower speeds require them to stand and fight rather than use hit and run tactics, thankfully, Cruisers can take more hull damage than other types of starships.
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Second-tier Escorts also come in three variations: the Saber, Rapier, and Ushaan classes. The differences are purely cosmetic, however, as all three have identical stats. The Saber-class escort was used extensively by the Federation during the Dominion war.
The Escort is much more of a fast-attack craft than the larger Cruiser. With three fore-facing weapons and an impressive turn rate and overall speed, the Escort is ideal for hit and run tactics. In one of these babies, you can dish out massive frontal damage, then sprint away before zooming in to attack from another vector.
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The second-tier Science Vessel, like the Cruiser and Escort, comes in three variations: the Quasar, Nova, and Aurora classes. Science Vessels are a more multipurpose craft than the Cruiser or Escort, and have the ability to target individual subsystems with their beam weapons and get a bonus to cloak detection thanks to their beefed-up sensor arrays.
Science Vessels also tend to have better shields than their tier two counterparts.
With additional Science stations and the ability to target enemy subsystems (with a chance to completely disable weapons or shields), the Science Vessel is great at disabling and debuffing the enemy. Coupled with heavy shields and a good captain, the Science Vessel is more than capable of taking on multiple hostiles at once or defeating higher-level enemies.
It takes a lot of clicking to use all those abilities, though, so those who choose the Science Vessel should be prepared to be very active during battle.
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Stepping onto the bridge of your first upgraded ship in Star Trek Online once your character reaches Lieutentant Commander can be a very rewarding experience. While it is always possible to purchase an additional ship with Energy Credits, it will most likely take several levels to do so, so it's important to choose a ship you will be happy with.
Tier two is where the various roles of the different ship classes really come into play, so it's a good idea to know what you're getting into before making a decision.
If you aren't into being on the front lines, dishing out and taking massive amounts of damage, then maybe the Cruiser is not the best choice for you. If the ability to do large amounts of burst damage before zipping off into space appeals to you, consider the Escort. Those who love to manage special abilities and disable their enemy might want to consider the Science Vessel.
Each type of ship has it's advantages and disadvantages. I can only hope this guide has made your decision a little easier.
Whether you're looking for information on tier 2, 3, 4, or 5 ships in Star Trek Online, our complete guide has got you covered. Check out full ship stats, and see which ships are available at Lt. Commander, Commander, Captain, and Admiral Ranks.