First published on Dec 21st 2015 – Reposted for the console players.
A Science Captain’s Drain-Build Sweet Spot
Backstory: The Star Trek Online’s Winter Event has always been something I personally look forward to. Regardless of your skill level, or for that matter your rank (min 15), the Winter Event was an opportunity to have some fun, and purchase cool prizes from gameplay rewards. Players of all factions could mingle safely together to enjoy a little holiday cheer.
While new costumes and Christmas color-themed Bat’leths and Lirpas were always popular, the real item people wanted were Frosted Boots. Whether on purpose or by accident, these items worked outside of the Winter Event, and they made large maps like Defera more enjoyable as you’d skate from encounter to encounter. STO – please don’t ever change this 😉
From the beginning Star Trek Online offered a winter-themed starship as the ultimate prize package, purchasable by earning rewards from Q. The Fastest Game on Ice is a remarkably simple race on an ice track against an NPC. It would take approximately 25 successful daily races over the course of a month to earn enough ‘tokens’ to purchase the ship. Alternately if you didn’t mind dropping a few lobi to speed up the process, it is possible to buy the ship outright. As with previous years once you unlock the new ship, it becomes unlock-able for each alt on your account..
Back in 2011 and again in 2012, STO kicked off the festival by offering one of the most versatile and popular ships ever made in the game – The Chel Grett Warship (4/5 Stars) – a very versatile ‘science-lite’ destroyer.
Regardless of your personal feeling about the race or the asymmetrical design of their ships, the Chel Grett remains a viable end-game ship for many players to this day. I’d go out on a limb to say it’s still one of the very best ships that WAS available. The sad part is that these ships will no longer be available to new players after this year.
Note to Star Trek Online: You’re crazy not to add these as lobi or dilthium ships starting in the new year. In fact, it would be cool to offer them as a package instead of individual purchases. Just a thought 😉
In 2013 STO Introduced the Breen Plesh Brek Heavy Raider (3/5 Stars)– a cross faction ship featuring the raider mechanic allowing Federation players their first opportunity to use a power only the KDF had previously access to. The raider was not as popular as the Chel Grett, but many people earned their way to another ship and special console. I found the Brek to be very squishy and not a lot of fun to play.
Both the Grett and Brek have T5-U variants which could be upgraded for free.
By 2014 STO added another new Breen ship to the Winter Event – the T6 Breen Sarr Theln Carrier (3.5/5 Stars).
Not only was this a T6 ship, but this was the games first T6 carrier. Star Trek Online went further with minor updates to the Breen Absolute Zero set expanding it to include a new Warp Core and Singularity Core (for Warbirds). The cores were part of the Winter Store, and were only available if you completed a new in-game mechanic. Without rehashing the fun of Delta Rising – this mechanic was dropped quickly and both cores became available to all players. Adding to the fun for ship collectors, STO added a Raider Hanger from T5 Fleet Starbases offering the Plesh Brek Heavy Raiders as pets. Easily one of my favorite ships from 2014, I maintain 2 today with polaron-drain builds on two science alts.
2015’s Winter Wonderland Prize
Breen Rezreth Dreadnought Cruiser 3/5 Stars
The revised design of the Reznoth bares little resemblance to the original NPC Siege and Capital ships of the same name. The asymmetrical Breen design is less aggressive than the previous years carrier, but it still maintains the Breen look and feel. If you thought the carrier was crab-like in it’s design, then the dreadnought most definitely looks like a lobster.
Appearances can be deceiving though.
Of course, it comes with a the requisite Admiralty card. The ship is engineering by classification, and is an ultra rare card. It ignores +/- TAC from Events.
While ship mastery from 1-4 is fairly typical for a dreadnought cruiser, the 5th unlock speaks more to a science and drain-type build which works well for me.
One interesting characteristic is the ships hybrid universal/command Lt. Commander seating. It reminded me a lot of the Odyssey, but with the added benefit of the Lt.Com Sci seat. While in the build below I ignore the command options for a more typical BFAW layout, this ship is extremely versatile. I found that it didn’t need 2 consoles to improve it’s turn rate and it still proved itself as an easy ship to maneuver and deal decent dps. By decent I mean I had little difficulty breaking 24K dps after 2 runs.
Special thanks to Matt@m3ph2, La’Da’Dal@jeantiberiusix, Jim West@Sleeves and JanTaru for supporting my first first run @ 17K.
Anytime I can throw a Gravity Well into the mix, I’m a happy player. Add to this the abilities from the Breen Absolute Set, under a science captain – this ship suddenly has a number of abilities too good to pass up. As with the Breen Carrier, it works well with drain builds as well.
For fun I added the new engineering skill – Endothermic Inhibitor Beam III. Purchasable from the Winter Event Store this new skill provides a 30% bonus damage to shields, edit:
adding 20% defense to you, and throwing out additional radiation damage per second for 20 seconds. In my tests the radiation damage was 600-700 per second.
Lets look at my build
Absolute Zero Space Set
Keeping with the Breen aesthetic, I used the full Breen Absolute Zero set. This set is available for free in-game by completing the Breen episode arc. While not on par with more recent Reputation or even Fleet Gear, it’s still a viable set in the post-DR meta.
Hypercooled Technology Set
Normally, console sets are more color than value for the end game. It adds unique abilities that – again, depending on your build and goals – can benefit you in game. This console set just seems right for my drain build.
Please take my build suggestions with a grain of salt. I like to play for fun, but if you’re looking for good DPS or support builds, check out the advice on r/stobuilds.
Is it worth losing four console slots for? At the moment, I’m willing to say yes. This set is a lot of fun to play, with an almost never ending variety of abilities that are at your disposal. I won’t be in the top 1% of DPS players, but 30K isn’t something to sniff at and I’m having a hell of a lot of fun. Heck, it almost makes me want to try PVP again (no, no, no, hell no).
I’d like to touch briefly on the new console – the Energy Discharge Array. This has proven to be very effective in scrums with Terran Forces. I tried capturing video of the effect – poorly – but I have to say it’s one of the better ‘new’ effects I’ve seen in the game. The damage is significant, and when used in close proximity with Terek Nor, it can provide quite an interesting light show. With the reduced CD time of 60 seconds for each of the consoles, it’s a pretty cool defensive and offensive combination.
- Free, as in you earn it in-game. Whiners be damned 😉
As free as anything you might find for the 5 minutes a day it takes to earn in-game, the Breen Dreadnought is worth checking out. Given the limited availability and that it’s unlikely to appear again without us bugging Star Trek Online incessantly, it’s work you devoting sometime before January 15th to earn this versatile ship. If you’re a Romulan or KDF player – you’d be crazy not to.
Also if you’re a fan of collecting reputation sets, take the time to pick up both the warp/singularity core. While it’s unlikely to disappear from the event store, I would not put it past Star Trek Online to redact the core if they’re truly retiring these ships.
Also be sure to check out Timberwolf’s guest review of the same ship.
Lastly – just in case I don’t have internet access up in the boonies over Christmas – I hope that you and your family enjoy a safe and happy holiday season. I’ll be back in the new year with a few surprises 😉
Thanks for stopping by!
My Two Bits
PS – Apologies to JacquesCouSTO for the misspelled name 😉 I’m rushing this out the door before i leave on holidays.