Today we’re going to do our first theory crafting by looking at the Bridge Officer ability Auxiliary Power to Inertial Dampeners (A2D). This engineering ability can be found in two versions starting at Lieutenant level. Unlike most abilities, no level 3 version currently exists.
Base Ability Stats
- Kinetic Damage Resist
- +X% Flight Speed
- +X% Turn Rate
- Immunity to Disable
- Immunity to Repel
- +Able Crewmen Resistance Rating
- 15 Second uptime
- 30 second cooldown (15 Auxiliary Systems)
The primary use of A2D is to increase maneuverability. The increase to turn rate far exceeds the boost to speed which is essential to making this work. Using this on a lumbering cruiser or battlecruiser can overcome their usual poor turn rate. The universal cooldown on this is equal to its base up time which means you can have it active 100% of the time with two copies.
Because it shares a cool down with Auxiliary to Structural (A2S) and Auxiliary to Battery (A2B) it is useless on builds that use either of those abilities. The benefit from all three of those abilities is best utilized by constantly cycling them, which limits you to generally using one. You will also need a build with decent auxiliary power, though since you are not using A2B that usually isn’t a problem.
Duty Officer Enhancements
A2D is enhanced by one duty officer, a Matter-Antimatter Specialist found in the Romulan Survivor pack. This makes the DOFF fairly expensive (usually in the 10-20 million range on the exchange). But is it ever worth it.
The DOFF adds +40 All Energy Resistance to A2D as well as increasing the uptime to 23 seconds. While you could normally use two copies of the ability for 100% uptime, this allows you to have 77% uptime in exchange for only a single BOFF slot. This gives you a great turn rate and nice boost to resistance. You also become immune to repel and disable (useful against ships that like to use tractor beam repulsors or photonic shockwave).
With the addition of the DOFF, A2D has become almost essential for me. Its useful on all classes of ships, though primarily enhances those that need a forward firing arc. Science ships can really make great use due to their high auxiliary power. This is especially useful for a Vesta, one of the few science ships that can equip cannons.
Cruisers have plenty of BOFF slots available for it, though they are usually best served by using A2B or A2S as they make good beam boats. But battlecruisers or dreadnoughts (aka Galaxy-X) with their cannon equipping ability can use this ability to actually bring those weapons to bear.
Using A2D on an escort is almost unnecessary but can be a lot of fun. Flipping around like crazy you can always keep your guns trained on your target. The extra damage resists can be helpful on those glass cannons too.