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Archived Post 06-27-2011 04:58 AM

I dread Tier 6.... and some ideas that would help me not.
Well, we're Lieutenant Generals, an entire 11 levels and an entire rank above when we started using our Tier 5 ships so I'm sure I'm not the only one who's noticed that we should have Tier 6 ships already. But unlike many, I'm dreading the introduction of Tier 6 ships. We have it pretty good right now, there are alot of options for end game ships that allow a lot of variety for end game play with more constantly being added. The three iconic ships of the 'modern era' series are in game as end game options. A few fan favorite and player requested ships are available for both sides, admittedly the Varanus is not perfect but it IS a science vessel in the purest sense, and I had no idea Sulu was so popular but the Excelsior refit seems to prove me wrong. New ships are developing in an interesting 'hybrid classification' way that I'm really excited about and really wish to see brought over to the Klingon side.

This could all change when Tier 6 ships get rolled out. Based on the way the game was developed I see them rolling out tier 6 ships as follows. They will add six different tier 6 variants to the Federation side and four different tier 6 variants to the Klingon side, the same number of end game options we saw when this game first rolled out.* The Federation players will have the standard three different ship classes and a choice between two slightly different and more versatile bridge officer layouts, the Klingon players will have examples of two highly specialized bridge officer layouts for their Cruiser and Raptor, their Tier 6 Bird of Prey will have universal slots and their carrier will follow the Voqov model of being mixed between science and engineering. And I don't like it.

So here are my three proposals for making sure Tier 6 doesn't suck, if you agree or disagree with any of these, feel free to respond, if you have your own ideas I'd love to see them.

1. Don't do it. If everyone stays in Tier 5 ships then they can focus on making game progression about ship gearing and the 'next rank' need not be anything more than deeper more versatile captain point builds and rank XII weapons and equipment. Of course the downside here is that it does nothing to break up the 'end game grind.'

2. Allow ship upgrading. If they can work out a way to allow current Tier 5 ships to be 'refit' into Tier 6 then we don't lose any of the existing in game versatility. This idea is my personal favorite because it also does not invalidate the cash shop purchase I made to fly my Guramba. Of course the downside here is that it may mean alot of work balancing and rebalancing the refit process for a limited reward.

3. Create a highly immersive and rewarding game environment centered around 'locking' a characters rank progression to a certain level. This could be awesome, people who choose it need not leave the highly variable environment of the RA/LG rank or, for the purists, they could lock themselves at Captain with their Intrepid or Galaxy. The down side here is that this would be a huge change to game play and game design philosophy and it would take alot of work. FE's and remastered missions are made to be 'level agnostic' already, could STF's and fleet actions be made level agnostic too? Then you have end game rewards, there would need to be something equivalent to emblems for each rank and purple rewards to gind for. Another down side is that this will further fracture the game population and that would mean longer queue times and a harder time finding STF teams.

*I'm perfectly aware the Neghvar was introduced after launch and that cruiser captains were initially expected to fly a Carrier. But I operate under the belief that this was not intentional and the Neghvar was always an anticipated addition that they just didn't have time to finish.

Archived Post 06-27-2011 01:49 PM

I'm in favor of Option 1. I always thought at this point that new ships need to be slotted into the Tier 1 through 5 progression. Give them new balanced abilities if you want, but I don't think we need yet another Tier of ships. I'd rather we improve Tier 5 ships through new weapons, consoles, and equipment.

Archived Post 06-27-2011 03:46 PM

I vote for #1, too. Ship configs are pretty well as they are. Dont change it when its working.
One thing, though, is still the interesting idea of admirals having pet ships, and im not talking about shuttles...;)

Archived Post 06-28-2011 02:35 AM

My favourite would be option 2, not because I think I need "m00r3 gunz" or "m00r3 skillz" or anything like that.
I think a higher tier would be nice for a pretty simple reason:
With the current number of available console setups (8 or 9 consoles per ship) there are very few possible permutations to make ships a little unique.
Something similar can be said about BO setups, even though we haven't seen them all yet.
A proposal I once saw proposed that on a possible T6, or in a T5 revamp, ships have one commander and two LtC slots, which would give far more variety.
To be blunt, I find the current differences between individual ships very limited and the differences between ships of different factions even more so.
With additional slots there would be more room to play out the differences between the current two, and the next possible future factions, Romulans and probably the True Way, even more withou becoming repetitive.

Archived Post 06-28-2011 04:49 AM

Yeah, I understand the appeal of option 1 given that subscribers can become invested in their current skill build, boff setup and ship. Plus, to put this kindly, this game still has alot of ways and room to grow its existing end game experience. The developers have things like fixing STF's, more STFs, more PVP maps, more PVP game options, world PVP, AI difficulty scaling for ground PVE, and making female Vulcans available to the KDF in Orion outfits available to work on, so many things to work on in fact that any talk of Tier-6 seems premature. But since I haven't had my long term memory heavily edited I have to concede to the realities of both the "Tier 6 Enterprise" competition and the history of this MMO, they could go off and do this prematurely.

Having said that even if none of these things are fixed. Even if STF's aren't molded into the popular end game driver of the PVE game that I think they should be, Even if PVP doesn't ever get divided into five different ground and space maps each with unique goals to create unique play experiences, even if world PVP never grows to the point of having entire sectors of capturable zones with appropriate but not game destroying special rewards, and even if my Nausicaan pirate never gets the Vulcan Science Babe of his dreams, in an orion slave-girl outfit, I still think option 2 is the better choice.

Mr. Dee's reason is cerebrally inspiring. BoP Captains would normally be the big KDF stumbling block, but they've pretty much already had their spirit broken by the MVAE so when the KDF gets a Raptor with a Commander Tac, LtC Tac and LtC Science they'll probably just quietly switch over to that new ship instead of howling about losing what makes the BoP great. Leaving the BoP for those Klingons willing to try truly insane things with a Universal Cm, two Universal LtC spots and a Universal Lt. And obviously piloting a Guramba with a LtC engineer has been a dream of mine since I was a little boy.* Think about the possibilities, toy with them in your mind and see if you don't become just a little inspired yourself.

But even more than that introduction of Tier 6 can be a game saver. End Game is about more than doing all the end game content, so it's going to take more than new Featured Missions and STFs to keep End Game fresh. End Game is about building and refining your character, it's about optimizing your abilities, testing entirely new strategies and combinations and then, when you feel like it, throwing some time into that engineer alt you've got up to Commander to see what all of this is like at end game when you're a Cruiser. So every game has to change that part of the end game experience too, or it stagnates.

Now, they could change it while maintaining a cap at Tier-5 but it would be harder for the developers and less rewarding for us, those kinds of changes amount to buffing some abilities, nerfing others, and forcing people to adjust to the new flavor of the month. Or they could add entirely new abilities within the current Tier-5 system, but what would they add? Just trying to think of three new abilities is giving me a headache.

Changing the end game experience by expanding it though is easier and more viscerally awarding. People say they don't need more guns or more skills, and I believe them. But having more skills and bridge officer powers would certainly make me feel more awesome, sure, I don't need them but I won't turn my nose up at them either.

*I still consider myself a little boy at heart, just a little boy with 5 o'clock shadow and distinct body odor.

Archived Post 07-01-2011 09:35 AM

I like one and two. The only new ships I could agree to are some science ships for the KDF lower ranks.

Archived Post 07-01-2011 06:36 PM


Originally Posted by cc_johnson (Post 3613517)
I vote for #1, too. Ship configs are pretty well as they are. Dont change it when its working.
One thing, though, is still the interesting idea of admirals having pet ships, and im not talking about shuttles...;)

Agreed as well.

Besides, do we really want to deal with potentially obsolescing all of the ships we have been flying for ages? It'd also be problematic from a canon-perspective; because while it makes sense that newer ships would be better than what we have... not everyone likes Cryptic's designs*, and one has to assume that T6 would be primarily Cryptic-created designs.

So the best option is not to add brand new ships. Stick to T5 as the ship maximum, and then add things like maybe... modifications you can add to your ship via crafting if we need to boost their power in some fashion beyond what we can do through loot. (Might be a good way to introduce an end-game system too.)

*I do, but I'm weird.

Archived Post 07-02-2011 04:11 AM


Originally Posted by mistformsquirrel
Besides, do we really want to deal with potentially obsolescing all of the ships we have been flying for ages?

You realize all three of the options presented addressed this concern?

Archived Post 07-02-2011 08:31 AM

I'd opt for #2 but only as long as it only applies to the tier5 ships.

Archived Post 07-02-2011 11:56 AM


Originally Posted by TFO-OptimusPrime (Post 3620848)
I'd opt for #2 but only as long as it only applies to the tier5 ships.

Meh, I'd let it apply to every ship, but be something that could only be done twice.

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