This guide will (hopefully) provide some insight as to the benefits of the different types of weapons used in space combat. Please note that any specific numerical values used to indicate damage are before your personal modifiers. Your damage rating will be different than that which I have placed here. Most of the numerical values found here were obtained from the STOWiki (http://www.stowiki.org), and the rest were taken from inside the game itself.
I have posted this because I cannot see a sticky that covers it, which means that newer players wouldn?t see it immediately. I hope to rectify that.
The different types of energy weapons (In no particular order) included in Star Trek Online are as follows.
Each of the different energy weapon types has it?s own specific perk, while damage is about the same. Let?s go into slightly more detail.
The first, and possibly the most widely known of the energy weapons, is the Phaser.
The shipboard Phaser Beam Array?s special ?proc? (The special ability that has a chance of activating under specific circumstances) is that it offers a 2.5% chance to disable a random subsystem (Weapons, engines, shields, or auxiliary) for five seconds. This is potentially a large advantage. Every time you fire your Phaser (Cannons or beams) at an enemy, you have a 2.5% chance of turning off a randomly chosen subsystem. Imagine your enemies shields dropping a second before your torpedoes hit. A nice perk, I must admit.
The Disruptor is the weapon of choice for Romulans, Klingons, Breen, and Cardassians, to name a few.
The disruptor provides a 2.5% chance to apply a 10% damage resistance debuff for 15 seconds. That basically means that if this proc activates, your weapons (And everyone else who shoots the same target) will do an additional 10% damage against the target during the fifteen seconds of the debuff duration.
The Tetryon energy weapons off you a 2.5% chance to drop 162 points from each shield on the target. Multiply that by four (Four shields ? fore, aft, port, starboard) and that?s a total of 648 points taken off of the shield grid for that one enemy (Not bad when you consider that a Mark X Tetryon beam array does 202 damage for a single shot).
Plasma weapons are used by Vulcans as a main armament (Though the Romulans use Plasma in torpedo form).
Plasma energy weapons provide a 2.5% chance to apply 11 extra Plasma damage to the target. This may not seem like much, but it can add up over time with consecutive procs.
The Polaron energy weapons, when fired, provide a 2.5% chance to subtract 25 from all power levels on the target. This can result in dropping their shields (When used in conjunction with other energy/shield drains, such as Tachyon beam), or perhaps bringing weapons power down low enough so that the target cannot fire for a moment. In any case, lowering the enemies power levels by 25 (each) will reduce the combat capability significantly, until they can restore the power.
Antiproton energy weapons offer a higher critical strike severity. This means that each weapon strike will do more bonus damage (Which is dependent on your Critical Hit bonus, it varies from weapon to weapon, and your personal modifiers will also have something to do with it).
The projectile weapons category includes several different types of weapons launched from special tubes in your ships weapons banks, the most common of which are torpedoes. Listed below (Again, in no particular order) are the different types of projectiles in Star Trek Online.
As with each of the energy weapons, each projectile has a specific perk that is unique.
Photon torpedoes are (Much like phasers) the main torpedo weapon of the Federation. The photon torpedo has a lower reload time than that of other torpedoes. This means that you can fire the photon torpedo more often in combat. Photons also provide a 50% chance to apply a -20 to Able crew. This means that each torpedo fired will have a 50% chance to injure 20 crewman on the target, reducing working crew, thus reducing repair ability.
High Yield, when using Photons, fires multiple torpedoes in a single shot, to inflict heavy damage against a single target.
The photon mine weapon launches five single mines that disperse behind you in a square formation. This can be changed with the help of Dispersal Pattern bridge officer skills. I will be adding that info a bit later. I believe that the photon mine launcher also has a shorter reload time than that of other mines.
Quantum torpedoes are a newer technology than Photons, and significantly more powerful. The unique ability of quantum torpedoes is that they offer a higher damage rating. In addition to the heavier damage rating, quantum torpedoes offer a 10% chance to apply a -10 to Alive crew. This means that each torpedo fired has a 10% chance to kill 10 crew on the target ship, and as with photons, that reduces repair ability.
Quantum mines also offer a higher damage rating, much like the torpedo.
Plasma torpedoes offer a bonus damage: 598 damage over a period of 10 seconds. That?s a tick of 59.8 damage per second. Plasma torpedoes also have the chance to set fire to your target?s hull, resulting in damage over time, for a short period.
When using High Yield, the plasma torpedo launcher fires a single, slow moving, destructible torpedo. This inflicts heavy damage against a single target, but can be destroyed in-flight. For this reason, it is a good idea to fire this weapon at close range, to minimize the chance for reaction.
Plasma mines also provide an additional damage over time. Each mine that strikes a target provides an additional 53 damage per second for ten seconds. If all five mines strike a single target, then that target receives 265 damage per second for ten seconds. That damage is in addition to the damage caused by the mines? impact.
Chroniton torpedoes offer a 33% chance to ?significantly? reduce target flight speed and turn rate for 10 seconds. Reduced movement can be beneficial in several ways. The most apparent of which is that it gives you a better chance to run, should that be your choice. I?m sure that you can come up with some interesting things to do with this advantage.
Chroniton mines also provide the same 33% chance to reduce flight speed and turn rate, but for each mine that hits the target, that chance is renewed. I don?t know if the effect ?stacks? or not (If someone can say definitively, I will correct it here).
The tricobalt device has a very high damage rating, creates a large explosion, repels the target (+50, default) and disables the target entirely for 2 seconds. The drawbacks to this weapon is that it can be destroyed while in flight, and has a very long recharge time. You?ll want to consider this before buying one (And possibly paying tons of credits for it).
The tricobalt mine launcher releases a single mine, which nearly doubles the damage of the tricobalt torpedo, in addition to disabling the target for 3.5 seconds, while providing +50 repel.
The transphasic torpedo, while doing less damage than any other torpedo, carries the added perk of 20% shield penetration. This means that 20% of the damage done to the target will carry through the shields, and strike the hull, despite any remaining shielding at the impact site. Very handy against vessels with high shields, but low hull armor.
There is a Breen ?Rapid Reload? Transphasic torpedo launcher available from the Breen missions. The reload time on this one is smaller than the others.
Transphasic mines, as with the torpedo, do less damage than other mines, but also carry 20% of the damage through the shields, and to the hull of your target.
Cannons and turrets
Each type of energy weapon also comes in a cannon, dual cannon, and turret. Each of these has the same perks as the beams, but with different firing arcs.
The dual cannons fire forward in a 45 degree arc. To use this weapon, you must be directly facing your enemy. These weapons have the highest damage rating of any one energy weapon.
The single cannon can fire in a 180 degree arc, which covers the entire front half of your ship, from your midship (center). These weapons have higher damage ratings than beams, though not as high as the dual cannons.
The turrets can fire in any direction, 360 degrees. These weapons have the lowest damage ratings, but as stated before, can be fired in any direction, no matter where your enemy is, so long as he is within 10km.
The dual beam bank is considered a beam (hence the name), but has higher damage, and a smaller firing arc. The firing arc for DBBs is 90 degrees.
Please keep in mind that each of these weapon types is susceptible to resistances, buffs, debuffs, and other modifiers. Your individual damage, critical chance, critical severity, and reload time will be different than any specific notations here. All of these weapons can be further modified through the use of Bridge Officers (Boffs), and even Duty Officers (Doffs).
I hope that this guide has helped you to a better understanding of the different weapons types, and the various pros and cons of each. I assure you that this is the single longest post I have ever made on the STO forums, and I hope it doesn?t go off in vain.
For the record, if any information in this guide is incorrect, please correct me (either by PM, or by replying). I wish to convey full and complete, accurate information. I am not privy to the secret specifications of the game mechanics (nor do I have the intelligence or the patience to figure it out alone).
Thank you for reading.