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Guide: Shields

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A starship's shields are an integral part of any vessel, however unlike the hull where statistics like hull strength and repair rate are known, the shield array is a modular component so the shield capacity and regeneration rate are dependent on the type of shield that is installed, amongst other factors. A vessel's exact shield statistics are non-trivial to determine, but there are some simple rules to help a player calculate their value.

Each shield array has three primary statistics; capacity, regeneration rate, and absorption. This guide describes the effects of each and how they are calculated.

This guide is intended first to demystify the way shields work, and second to help guide players in choosing the most appropriate shield array for their playing style.

Note that this guide does not cover Personal Shields, though they are likely to follow similar rules.

Capacity[edit]

The capacity or strength of a ship's shield determines how much damage it can take before it fails. If a players overall style requires them to withstand sustained fire then a high shield capacity is desirable.

A shield array has a basic capacity that a player can see on the item itself in the game's UI. This value is based on the statistics of the shield array itself and the ship that the player currently has set as their default. Whilst on the ground the player's ship will show this same value in the ship statistics window under the 'Defense' tab. Once in space though, other factors are taken into account such as consoles and player skills. This is the effective capacity while in space, and the ship statistics UI will reflect this.

Note that the numbers and formulae in this section are based on experimentation and are not confirmed by Cryptic.

Basic Capacity[edit]

The formula to calculate a shield array's capacity is as follows:

Capacity = 2,500 × S × A × M × (T + K)

Where:

  • S is ship type bonus
  • A is the shield array type bonus
  • M is the modifier bonus, +10% for each [Cap]
  • T is the ship tier bonus; 15% for each tier above tier 1, minus 1%
  • K is the 5% the Mark number or, if the item scales with player, this modifier is 1% of the player's level
Ship type bonus
Ship Type S
Shuttle 50%
Bird-of-Prey 80%
Raptor 83.3%
Escort 90%
Cruiser 100%
Science Vessel 130%
Tier bonus
Ship Tier T
Tier 1 100%
Tier 2 114%
Tier 3 129%
Tier 4 144%
Tier 5 159%

For any shield array that has a Mark number, the mark or level modifier K is equal to the mark multiplied by 5%. For instance a Shield Array Mk V will receive a bonus of 25%. Shield arrays that level with the player, such as the Aegis Covariant Shield Array or Borg Assimilated Regenerative Shield Array, the modifier K is determined by the player's level multiplied by 1%. For instance a Lieutenant Commander grade 7 gets a bonus of 17%, where as a Vice Admiral grade 1 receives a 51% bonus.

Effective Capacity[edit]

Once out in space, the capacity of the shield array itself will read the same. The actual capacity though, shown in the ship statistics window, is modified by Starfleet Training skills and console upgrades.

The skill Starship Command applies to all types of vessel, and gives a number of points. These points are cumulative with other skills such as Cruiser Captain, Heavy Cruiser Captain, etc... The shield capacity will receive a ~0.19% bonus for each total points.

Effective = Capacity × (1 + 0.001964 × Points)

NOTE: THIS FORMULA IS HIGHLY APPROXIMATE AND HAS BEEN FOUND TO BE SLIGHTLY INACCURATE IN SOME CASES. ALSO, THE EFFECT OF CONSOLES HAS NOT YET BEEN FACTORED IN. MORE WORK IS NEEDED HERE.

Players should note that shield capacity is unaffected by power levels, or by any skills outside the Starfleet Training (also called Command) section.

Examples[edit]

To illustrate the formulae above, there follow some examples based on typical configurations. This also serves to demonstrate that the formulae do actually reflect the real in-game values, albeit approximately. The screenshots in each example below show two values for shield capacity. The value shown in the box on the right is the basic capacity, and the value under the Defense tab is the effective capacity.

Tier 1 Light Cruiser with Shield Array Standard Issue[edit]

Actual in-game values
  • S = 100% (Cruiser)
  • A = 100% (Regular shield)
  • M = 100% (No modifiers)
  • T = 100% (Tier 1)
  • K = 0 (Standard Issue is effectively Mk 0)

Clearly, the result is:

Capacity = 2,500 × 1.00 × 1.00 × 1.00 × (1.00 + 0)
         = 2,500

Lets say this ship's captain has seven ranks in Starship Command, giving a bonus of 17 points.

Effective = 2,500 × (1 + 0.001964 × 17)
          = 2,500 × 1.033388
          = 2,583.47
          = 2,583

We can see that the ship gained a 3.3% bonus to its effective shield capacity. Now lets try something more complex...

Tier 2 Escort with a Paratrinic Shield Array Mk IV[edit]

Actual in-game values
  • S = 90% (Escort)
  • A = 162.5% (Paratrinic shield)
  • M = 100% (No modifiers)
  • T = 114% (Tier 2)
  • K = 120% (+5% × Mk 4)

The overall capacity for this shield array will be:

Capacity = 2,500 × 0.90 × 1.625 × 1.00 × (1.14 + 0.20)
         = 2,500 × 1.4625 × (1.34)
         = 2,500 × 1.95975
         = 4,899.375
         = 4,899

The captain of this vessel has seven ranks of Starship Command and all nine ranks of Escort Captain, giving a total bonus of 47 points.

Effective = 4,899 × (1 + 0.001964 × 47)
          = 4,899 × 1.092308
          = 5,351.216892
          = 5,351

This time the ship gained a 9.2% bonus to effective shield strength from skill points.

Tier 3 Research Science Vessel with a Resilient Shield Array Mk VI [Cap][edit]

  • S = 130% (Science Vessel)
  • A = 95% (Resilient shield)
  • M = 110% (+10% [Cap])
  • T = 129% (Tier 3)
  • K = 130% (+5% × Mk 6)

The overall shield capacity for this vessel will be:

Capacity = 2,500 × 1.30 × 0.95 × 1.10 × (1.29 + 0.30)
         = 2,500 × 1.3585 × (1.59)
         = 2,500 × 2.160015
         = 5,400.0375
         = 5,400

Tier 5 Assault Cruiser with a Covariant Shield Array Mk X [Cap]x3[edit]

Actual in-game values
  • S = 100% (Cruiser)
  • A = 125% (Covariant shield)
  • M = 130% (+10% [Cap] × 3)
  • T = 159% (Tier 5)
  • K = 150% (+5% × Mk 10)

The overall shield capacity for this vessel will be:

Capacity = 2,500 × 1.00 × 1.25 × 1.30 × (1.59 + 0.50)
         = 2,500 × 1.625 × (2.09)
         = 2,500 × 3.39625
         = 8,490.625
         = 8,491

This time the captain has a typical set of captain skills which modify the statistics of their chosen ship type:

This gives a total bonus of 151 points.

Effective = 8,491 × (1 + 0.001964 × 151)
          = 8,491 × 1.296564
          = 11,008.6387125
          = 11,009

At tier five with a full set of captain skills, the ship gains 29.6% bonus to effective shield strength. This emphasizes the importance of a players choice of ship respective to their skills.

Regeneration[edit]

Basic Regeneration[edit]

The formula the calculate a shield array's basic regeneration (power setting of 50) as follows:

Regeneration every 6 seconds = 83.4 × S × A × M × (T + K)

Where:

  • S is ship type bonus
  • A is the shield array type bonus
  • M is the modifier bonus, +10% for each [Reg]
  • T is the ship tier bonus; 15% for each tier above tier 1, minus 1%
  • K is the 5% the Mark number or, if the item scales with player, this modifier is 1% of the player's level
Ship type bonus
Ship Type S
Shuttle 50%
Bird-of-Prey 80%
Raptor 83.3%
Escort 90%
Cruiser 100%
Science Vessel 130%
Tier bonus
Ship Tier T
Tier 1 100%
Tier 2 114%
Tier 3 129%
Tier 4 144%
Tier 5 159%

For any shield array that has a Mark number, the mark or level modifier K is equal to the mark multiplied by 5%. For instance a Shield Array Mk V will receive a bonus of 25%. Shield arrays that level with the player, such as the Aegis Covariant Shield Array or Borg Assimilated Regenerative Shield Array, the modifier K is determined by the player's level multiplied by 1%. For instance a Lieutenant Commander grade 7 gets a bonus of 17%, where as a Vice Admiral grade 1 receives a 51% bonus.

Power Settings[edit]

The regeneration value is modified by your shield power. At 50 shield power, you have the number listed in a shield's description. For every point above 50, you shield regeneration value increases by 4 %, and for every below, it reduces by 4 %.

If 25 < Power Level ≤ 125, then
     Regeneration = (1 + (Power Level - 50) / 25) x (Base Regeneration at 50).
If Power Level ≤ 25 , then Regeneration = 0

Note that the first formula doesn't apply below 25 power - you would get a negative regeneration then, but this is not applied to your ship. Otherwise, you would lose shields at Full Impulse. Only if you are using an ability that brings your shield power to 0 do you lose shield capacity. [4]

Example: If your shields regenerate 100 every 6 seconds at a power level of 50, they'll regenerate 200 at 75 power, 300 at 100 power, and 400 at 125 power.

Shield Resistance[edit]

Shield resistance is modified by a number of things. Some shields have innate resistances, and some abilities, including Transfer Shield Strength, Extend Shields, Rotate Shield Frequency, Emergency Power to Shields, and others, increase shield resistance. Shield resistance is also affected by Shield power level per the formula shield power/357.12=damage resistance.

The shield damage resistance values are multiplicative. They are scalers that multiply against the incoming damage.

For example, an ability that grants a 25% shield damage resistance is actually multiplying the damage by .75. On its own, this will result in a 25% damage reduction.

When more than one shield damage resistance ability is being applied, the scalers are multiplied. Two abilities that grant a listed 25% shield damage resistance would actually look like this:

.75 * .75 = .5625 * incoming damage (or an approx. 44% damage resistance).

Absorption[edit]

By default, shields have 10% bleed-through and 0% absorption. Resilient shields are an exception, having 5% bleed-through and 5% absorption.

External Links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. Regenerative Shield Array bonus was 85% before Season 4, but is now 90%
  2. Covariant Shield Array bonus was 125% before Season 4, but is now 110%
  3. Paratrinic Shield Array bonus was 162.5% before Season 4, but is now 143%
  4. A Shield Guide - Comparisons and Charts at the Star Trek Online Forums