The Hargh'peng isn't the only torpedo that needs to be fixed
While the Hargh'peng is the only torpedo broken in the direction of being overpowered, it's not the only one that is broken. It's kind of screwed up that canon ships almost always had a torpedo launcher or two, but for many ships in STO it's really more effective to forego torpedoes. Only Tricobalts seem to occupy thier proper niche.
The basic problem is that while energy weapons are designed to beat shields and torpedoes to beat bare hull, in PvP shields are almost never down completely. Even without buffs or healing, just distributing shield power is often enough to keep a sliver of shields up and keep torpedo damage inconsequential. Then consider the fact that every player has some form of shield healing, and won't allow their shields to stay down long enough to risk a torpedo hit.
I know that there are ways to land a torpedo. You might time the torpedo to land a split-second after a high burst like BOv, use a stun to keep the target from raising shields, or use drains and science powers to take shields completely offline. But using energy weapons to beat down shields and then using torpedoes against the hull is virtually impossible.
Transphasic and Plasma torpedoes should se more effective against shielded targets, but those torpedo types are just too weak to do their job. 600 point hull hits from a transphasic torpedo really aren't helping to bypass shields, since the damage is so low that HE alone will heal it before another torpedo can land. And then there's plasma, which just doesn't do enough damage from the DOT to be worthwhile.
Every torpedo type (except possibly Tricobalts) needs to do more damage. It could be in the form of a better multiplier against shields, better damage from the torpedoes special ability, or just more damage, but torpedoes are weak enough to make including them on many ships questionable.
I don't have a lot of hope for a change though, because NPC ships are idiots that don't do anything to raise dead shield facings, so torpedoes work great in PvE as they currently are.
Torpedoes are supposedly getting a balance pass sometime in the future.
I remember that Cursix had an interesting take on this.
On the risk of remembering it wrong:
If the target has any shields, the torpedo damage is simply reduced to 25 % effectively. If this is still enough to break through shields, the hull will stake only take the remainder of that damage.
Cursix' idea was that any remaining damage should be increased again, as if it didn't suffer from the 75 % damage reduction.
Admittedly, I don't know if this would even be possible to implement, but it could be one take.
That said, I think that will only really help the torps that are already useful, which is typically quantum torps and tri-cobalts (some say they use Photons, maybe they would also notable benefit).
I think one problem across the board might be that the original weapon design was not really build around the idea that weapon energy level could be reliably maintained at 100-125, and the damage of torpedoes is simply scaled too low. On top of that, special abiltiies have been judged badly in their value. Also I think that the designers overestimated the value of "pure" torpedo DPS - torpedoes are basically never a weapon to rely on for DPS. And on top of that - they never really "punished" energy weapon used against hull.
I still think that transphasic are the weakest torpedoes in the bunch even though the enemy has no shields. I do hope that torpedoes get an overall overhaul.
Who knows what may come about the torpedo and even the energy weapon revamp.
Photon Torpedo firing rates doesn't really matter when your manuvering, in which your better off with Quantums. So they should probablly get something like an energy blast effect that deals minor damage to shields, while retaining a moderate kinetic damage.
Chroniton's need to reflect more of the ones used in Voyager than a "slow" proc, in which it's more like what the Hargh'Peng is. (Shield Bypass with Radiation proc and secondary detonation).
Transphasics need at least a 40% Shield Bypass or a larger Kinetic warhead.
Plasma Torpedo procs need something in line of Undine Torpedo procs where it actually deals damage and perhaps have a secondary effect like the ability to prevent ships from cloaking. Also perhaps various HY modes gives different effects. Like Plasma HY1 has the single large torpedo, while HY3 does what the Romulan / Reman ships do with the 3 HYs.
Tricobalts are practically worthless on so many levels now, frankly it's a waste to invest points in this Tier 5 skill.
- Probability of Launch Failure before even being released
- Probablility of failing shortly after firing if leaving the firing arc
- Likelhood of being blown up in transit by various abilities (Especially AoEs like Gravity Well and FAW).
- Very Minor Damage to Shields if shields are up.
So out of all these Tricobalts need some attention to spruce them up.
For those who don't recall, here's what currently happens when a sliver of shielding is up:
10,000 kinetic hit vs 1 point of shield
For the bleedthrough:
10% bleedthrough is subtracted from the hit:
10,000 * 0.1 = 1,000 Bleedthrough damage
9,000 points of damage left for the next stage
NOTE: Resiliant shields discard 50% of bleedthrough, basically:
1,000 * 0.5 = 500 (Resiliant only)
For the Shield Hit at 75% resistance:
1.0 (100%) - 0.75 (75%) = 0.25 (25%) damage left after resistance.
9,000 * 0.25 = 2,250 points of damage to the shields.
2,250 - 1 points of shield facing = 2,249 damage and no more shield facing.
CURRENTLY that 2,249 is left untouched. If it were restored to pre-resistance values:
2,249/0.25 = 8,996 (Not currently done in game)
And the Hull Hit:
1,000 (Bleedthrough) + 2,249 (Post-Shields) = 3,249
32.49% of the original hit, a reduction of 67.51%
500 (Bleedthrough) + 2,249 (Post-Shields) = 2,749 (Resiliant Only)
27.49% of the original hit, a reduction of 72.51%
IF we reverse the shield resistance before applying to the hull:
1,000 (Bleedthrough) + 8,996 (Post-Shields) = 9,996
99.96% of the original hit, a reduction of 0.04%
500 (Bleedthrough) + 8,996 (Post-Shields) = 9,496 (Resiliant Only)
94.96% of the original hit, a reduction of 5.04%
Thus, if we unapplied the mitigation value after the shield failed, torpedoes would be more viable. There would still be a bit of mitigation for those who keep the shields even a sliver up, but no where near insane levels as above.
I should also note, this actually does apply to all damage. If an Emergency Power to Shields III is up (30% resistance), the same thing will happen to energy damage as well.
Quantum torps are still my go-to torpedo of choice. I run 2 on my escort, and see no reason to change.
This being said...transphasics need the most love. A well-timed HY plasma torp can be just as deadly as a tricobalt, and with a much higher firing rate. The only thing that would be nice is an increase in dot damage.
Trics are fine...chronitons need to be rethought. But most of all, transphasics need love.
I think we all know that the torps are sort a messed up.
The humble photon is underrated though. The high rate of fire coupled with the slow travel rate can be a huge bonus, it is possible to get a bunch of these in the air, if you use them right you can launch torps and beat them to the target and launch round 2... getting almost 2 hits at the same time. Photons can be higher burst then quants if you use them right;
But ya, Plasma dot is week... the HY version is WAY to slow,
Transphasic Math is Silly..... (heres a little example for you with aprox standard dmg numbers on non resistant shields)
Trans 3200 Dmg - 30% penetration = 960 hull dmg
Quant 5000 Dmg - 10% penetration = 500 hull dmg
Looking at the math Trans look good on shield compared to quants... of course they have 12 second cool downs not 8; and the truth is on shield neither of the torps is really don't anything useful.. out side of the odd luck crit... in which case I bet the quants higher base dmg equals it out anyway.
Cronitons have a great proc... but again the lower dmg and high cool downs make it hard to justify the weapon slot.
Torps in general need alot of work.
I believe part of the problem with torps really has to do with the changes they made to tac team. A cruiser with 12k shields per facing now has 48k worth of shields you effectively have to go through combined with say 40% shield resistance and you are looking at essentially 67K. That's a lot of shields and it only takes a little bit of those to drastically reduce a torps damage as we all know. When I fly my carrier its pretty easy to just pop my tac team even though I turn like a brick.
Simply increasing the damage of torps or adjusting damage resistance vs torps will end up really hurting escorts more than big ships if you ask me. What I really think they should do is make a change to tac team so it no longer can act as a poor man's RSP. I can slip torps past a cruisers hull but Tac team makes it almost impossible to do right now. I think people need to consider how changes to weapon systems or abilities effect all ships and classes.
Torps definitely need a review no denying it but I wouldnt simply recommend a boost to damage. I'd consider taking a closer look at tac team and if it really should be a more offensive or defensive oriented ability. One idea I wouldnt mind seeing is nerfing the shield rebalance of tac team but increasing the kinetic damage bonus it offers.
I had been thinking that every torpedo ought to do damage in two shots, so the second has a higher chance of hitting hull, but Cursix's idea is much better.
Even before the change to Tac Team, spamming Distribute Shields was still pretty effective in keeping shield facings up. You're right that Tac Team makes it easier, but torpedoes still weren't great before.
My thinking about helping torpedoes do a little more damage to shields is that since they are 90°*arc weapons, cruisers and science vessels reduce their firepower by bringing them to bare anyway, and escorts and BoPs have much more powerful forward weapons available to them.
A cruiser for example might be able to hit you with an 8 beam broadside, but that only gives them 4 beams forward and aft -- that's not a big threat to anyone. If you pull out one beam in each direction to add torpedoes, then the cruiser has a 6 beam broadside with 3 beams fore and aft. Since you definitely aren't going to drop anyone's shields with 3 beams, the torpedo in the mix tends to be wasted. You could probably get away with photons or quantums doing close to the same damage against shields as beam arrays, because each torpedo still reduces broadside damage.
I just don't see how to make torpedoes more useful while still being as ineffective against shields as they currently are. If escorts in particular suffered too much, then maybe a fix would be to make torpedoes more effected by defense than energy weapons. It makes sense that projectiles would have a harder time tracking fast moving ships than energy weapons.
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