Neelaís Critical Approach

In space combat of Star Trek Online I find the concept of critical chance very interesting because it has the ability to enhance the damage output of your ship considerably and that for every PvE & PvP situation. A few seasons back the means to enhance your critical stats were limited to your skill tree, weapons modifier and two consoles perhaps but now it is available through various means which all stack nicely. Many of OCD use high critical builds for sometime now but for others the concept seemed new in fleet chat. I was asked to write a guide about it and think to sum up all the asked questions in an Q&A here works best and gives a platform for discussion. 

Ok Neela, sounds fair but what the hell are you talking about?

When you shoot at an enemy ship in STO the game decides from your stats and those of your opponent if you miss, hit or if you hit critically. The chance to do the latter is measured in Crit H(hit) and the amount of additional damage you deal then is called critical severity and measured in Crit D(amage). Every character has a base Crit H chance of 2,5% and a Crit D of 50% to begin with. If you happen to be a treacherous Romulan you get a bit more than that over your native trait as head start.   

Hmm, doesnít sound much! How do I get more of those?
1. Player's traits:
     - Precision (G)
     - Advanced Targeting Systems (G)
     - Romulan Operative (G)
     - Particle Manipulator (L exotic)
     - Critical Systems (S->G)
     - Attack Pattern Delta Prime (S->G)
     - Improved Feedback Pulse (S->G)

2. Romulan Bridge officers with the space trait "Romulan Operative" slotted at a ship station. (G)

   Fedederation and Klingon faction players only get those for the tactical department from embassy.
   Romulan faction players have a native advantage here and can acquire them for all departments
   additionally through levelling, doff assignments and/or the exchange.

3. Gear:
    - Advanced Tactical Vulnerability Consoles (G)
    - Assimilated Module (G)
    - Zero-Point Energy Conduit (G)
    - Tachyokinetic Converter (G)
    - Bioneural Infusion Circuits (G)
    - Temporal Disentanglement Suite (G)
    - Delphic Tear Generator (G)
    - Romulan Advanced Prototype Engines (L all weapons)
    - Romulan singularity Cores with [OLoad]: While Singularity Overcharge is active, you gain +20% Crit Severity. (S->G)

4. Set bonuses:

    - Protonic Arsenal (G) & (L photon torpedoes)
    - House Martok Skirmisher Configuration (G)
    - Temporal Defense Initiative Armaments (G)

5. The modifiers and procs of your space weapons:

    - [Crit H]: +2% Crit H (L weapon)
    - [Crit D]: +20% Crit D (L weapon)
    - [Crit X]: +2% Crit H & + 10% Crit D (L weapon)
    - [Acc]: + Crit H & + Crit D via overflow (L weapon)
    - Antiproton (L weapon)   
    - Delphic Antiproton                 
    - Dual Heavy Cannons (L weapon)

7. Skills & passive powers:

   - Weapon Specialization (L all weapons)
   - Weapon Amplification (L all weapons)
   - Devastating Weaponry (G)
   - Enchanced Weapon Banks (G)
   - Shoddy Engineering & Unprotected Systems (S->G)

8. Active powers:

    - Attack Pattern Alpha (S->G)
    - Probability Manipulation (S->L all weapons)
    - Surgical Strikes (S->L all energy weapons)

9. Doffs:

    - Energy Weapons Officer Doffs - Crit H & Crit D Variant (S->G)

Ok, ok, ok now stop! How do I know how many criticals I already have?

Leave sector space or ground and go into orbit of a planet. Then look at the attack stats of your ship. You will find your critical hit chance as well as the severity summed up there. Be advised that besides your character basis only the sum of global or ship wide criticals are displayed (G). All stuff that is local (L) have to be added by yourself. Situational benefits are only displayed when active (S->G) and not local (S->L).

Aww... you want me to sum up stuff by myself, donít tell me there is more math to it! 

Not necessarily. You can run trough the game and collect the stuff from above. Every bit of it will have a positive influence on your damage output. When you have to choose between Crit H and Crit D a closer look might not be a mistake though. That being said math isnít Neelas strong side either. She was permitted to skip most of academy classes there because Starfleet was so eager to get Bajorans into Starfleet that teacher always gave her the benefit of the doubt. Lucky her there is not much math involved when comparing the benefits of Crit H with Crit D. You already know how to sum both up as percentages. This formula now will give you a general estimation now as to how much your collectred critical stuff will benefit your damage output and which part might be better to increase:
Crit H/100 x Crit D/100 +1 = damage multiplier for your armaments (thanks to criticals)

If you happen to be interested in a more concrete breakdown between the benefit of criticals compared to other means to increase damage you are a bit more fucked up and should probably hang with guys Neela never would have back at school.     

Oh boy please skip the details Neela, I just want buy new weapons! Which one is better now, [Crit H] or [Crit D]?

I did some reading where peeps discussed mathematical probability stuff about it, pulled the math myself on different builds and did numerous field tests with different weapons. [Crit D] & [DMG] was always the modifier which seemed to contribute most for PvE. If you look at the listed critical stuff available you will notice that there seem to be only very few means to give a decent enhancement to your critical severity. Beside base stats and skill tree perhaps the weapons modifier with their 1:10 ratio are the most decent source for Crit D around so I conclude on most builds, especially if u stack much of the mentioned stuff from above, your best choice is likely to be [Crit D]xX! I estimate only on characters close to base stats or who avoided all the other multiple means to enhance the critical hit chance the [Crit H] modifier may profit more a bit. The [DMG] mod has been buffed by cryptic some time ago so integrating it in a mix is not a problem.

The grandson of my auntís stepsisterís best friend told me something about accuracy overflow! So does the [Acc] weapons modifier belong here?

Yes and no. True is that there is a mechanism involved that superior accuracy compared to your opponentís defensive value not only results in hits but also in additional criticals. Should happen often vs. NPCs. Investing in the respective part of the skill tree is a general good idea. On my way to enhance criticals on Neela I also used wepns with [Acc]x2 modifier but I found the benefit they provided during fights in STF/PvE not as helpful as the "real thing" a [Crit D] modifier would give you for example. If you donít want to take Neelaís word for it some more math geek details about acc overflow can be found here.

Uhm, Iím at Fleet Spire holdings now. What Iím supposed to do here Neela?

Make a decision between Vulnerability Locaters and Vulnerability Exploiters. While the ratio between Crit H and Crit D on the weapons was 1:10 you now get a 1:5 but therefore a global one. I suggest you now use the upper formulas to make an estimation which one of those in what amount will benefit you the most.     
On all builds Iíve seen so far the Locaters did some better improvement and buying from a tier three vein over a tier two one seems worth it. So in my opinion, if you are in for some hasty shopping before closure or hit that holding drunk going with Vulnerability Locaters is likely to give u less of a headache the next morning.   

Any final advise on topic to make my critical life easier?

Well yea, if you want to go for a critical build then really go for it! Good part about a lot of the critical stuff available is the fact that it is completely independent of your relative star ship build (energy type, weapons type e.g.). Thanks to it you receive a permanent multiplier for your average damage output whatever that may or will be. I donít think the mentioned Lobi consoles are necessary for solid crit builds. They are nice to have but considering that they are shitty expensive, char bound and not available on the exchange they pale a little compared to the other options if only bought for crit enhancements. If you want to do some serious planing on a new crit build I found this web tool to be helpfull though a but dated. This sheet puts the influence of crit H and D into context with each other.

Well thank you Neela, you may sit down now. Iím gonna make the best crit build ever seen, even better that yours! Can I do that?

Sure, make a Romulan tactical char and see to a competent bridge crew. If you find more than the mentioned stuff from above pleas tell me.