Ward’s Findings and Thoughts
Today’s Topic: The Crystalline AP Torpedo
Like most of you when I first heard of the AP Torpedo being an energy based torpedo I raised an eyebrow and once I read the blog the first word out of my mouth was, “Huh?” Even more confusion has come about too because it has received a few changes since Borticus initially posted a clarification of the mechanics. So what does it do now? What skills, items and abilities work with it? How good is it? Who will get the most use it? These are all questions I’m going to address in this blog. Bear in mind that this torpedo is still rather controversial and Cryptic may still make further changes. I do however feel that it has reached a good place and I don’t think it’s going to be changed anytime soon.
What does it do?
Well it’s an energy based torpedo. But what exactly does that mean? Basically it means that when this torpedo hits it hits will do Anti-Proton energy damage instead of kinetic. This opens up a world of possibilities. Kinetic damage is reduced by 75% against shields. That’s a lot. Imagine you fired a torpedo for 1,000 damage. When it hits your targets shields it will instead do 250 damage and only 10% of that, 25 damage, will be passed directly to the hull with bleed-through. Resilient shields will reduce that to 5%. So for every 1,000 damage you’re in fact only doing 25 damage to their hull. This is the reason torpedoes have such a stigma these days. There are ways of gaining shield penetration and ways of making torpedoes hit so hard that the part that hits the hull still hurts like a mutha. Combining both can make torpedo builds quite nasty and requires extensive research and experimentation to make work. But were not here to talk about torpedo builds. The AP torpedo doesn’t suffer from this reduction to shields. Which means when it hits the shields it will do heavy damage to them. Keep that in mind as we move forward.
What skills does it work with?
Not surprisingly there are not many skills or abilities that work with this special little child. In terms of skills there are only 3 skills that it works with; Starship Weapons Training, Starship Projectile Weapons and Starship Projectile Weapon Specialization. So as we can see, it’s buffed by torpedo boosting skills. This is excellent news for torpedo builds, but not so great if you don’t normally use those particular skills. This is further compounded by what I discovered about the way it scales with skills. Turns out Projectile Skills have a crazy curve when it comes to increasing the potency of the AP torpedo. +3 points in Projectile Skills is about a 5% increase in damage whereas 9 skill points in Projectile Skills is about a 25% increase in damage. Those numbers aren’t exact but I’m using it to illustrate the curve the torpedo follows. More Projectile Skills means a significant increase in damage the more you have. This also holds true for Projectile Specialization skills. The more you have the greater the return. It seems counter intuitive to how the skill system works because the more points contributed typically means less return on investment but that’s how it does operate. If you really think about it, it will kind of make sense because of my next point.
What items does it work with?
As Borticus posted on the forums this AP torpedo is no boosted by items that normally boost torpedo damage. This includes raw +torp damage, +projectile damage and any type of specific torpedo damage like +photon or +quantum. None of these will boost the damage, so what will? The only things that boost the damage are +AP and +Energy damage. The AP damage you can easily get from AP boosting tact consoles, also from the Obelisk set 2pc bonus (Warbirds cannot use the core for this set). As for raw +Energy damage, there isn’t a lot of that. It can mostly be found on set bonuses. Generally though anything that boosts Energy Damage will boost the damage of the AP Torp. Skills will boost the damage of the AP torp more than AP consoles.
What abilities does it work with?
Several in fact. The AP torp synergies well I you are using other torpedoes because it benefits from torpedo CD reduction Doffs. It can take full advantage of all 3 torpedo skills; High yield, Torp Spread and Transport Warhead. It uses the functionality of Concentrate Firepower very well and also gets boosted by Emergency Power to Weapons. It doesn’t gain damage from your weapon power levels so with EPtW your getting the +Energy Damage from that ability. Initially Borticus said that it could be reflected with Feedback Pulse, from my understanding this is no longer the case, same thing goes for Directed Energy Modulation and Reverse Shield Polarity, none of these work with the AP torpedo anymore.
Who will make the most of this torp?
Well that one depends entirely on you and your build. If you run a Pure Style torp build or a Shield Slammer torp build then this is an awesome torpedo for it’s shield stripping value. I run a Slammer build and I’ve personally had this torp hit for over 100k damage which would entirely strip the shield facing in 1 hit perfect for following up with nasty hard hitting torps. Torp builds aren’t the only ones that will gain benefit though, AP builds that use 2 or more torpedoes and torp CD reducing doffs will be able to take advantage of this torp. There will also be niche sci builds that can make good use of it. Anyone else isn’t going to find this torpedo to be very valuable. So on the whole I think it is a good torpedo but it isn’t for everyone. If you ever have any questions you can always grab me in-game @wardcalis.
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