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-   -   Per Borticus' Request: Critter-Specific Feedback in the No-Win Scenario (http://sto-forum.perfectworld.com/showthread.php?t=405311)

naldoran 10-03-2012 05:20 AM

Per Borticus' Request: Critter-Specific Feedback in the No-Win Scenario
 
Alright Borticus, I asked about the critter balance in No-Win while you were chatting in doffjobs, and you asked for a feedback thread in the PvE gameplay forums, so here it is.

First off, a very short summary of findings and context: Only Orions offer the possibility of beating wave 10, with every single other race presenting virtually insurmountable differences due to their various c-store console and bridge officer abilities. I (and my fleets) have run this mission dozens and dozens of times, and I've been to wave 10 about half a dozen times, so I've got a good idea of what does and doesn't work when it comes to doing well at this mission.

Now for the specific racial feedback. I am aware that after our Tribble feedback, Gozer concentrated the abilities on certain ships so that not every spawn would be using these abilities. In our experience however, as a practical matter, it is not feasible to both deal with warheads and even attempt to take out the ships with special abilities. In later waves dealing with specific ships is not even an option due to the sheer numbers which warp in. With EVE's targeting interface it might be doable, but not with STO's.

Breen: By far the worst of the lot when it comes to special abilities. Tyken's Rift & Energy Siphon have the ability to drain the transport's shield power to zero, making it's shields drop, which is an immediate game-over. They also have the sub-nucleonic beam ability to strip player's buffs. Knowing how to counter sub-nukes is not the problem, the lowered DPS from the buff strips and the sheer number of incoming sub-nukes vs. the number of available science teams is, even if you have a sci team on every ship. Fighting the Breen is simply not a winnable proposition beyond wave six or seven.

Jem'Hadar: They have sub-nukes, see Breen comments. The boarding parties can be dealt with through AoE, repulsors, tac teams, eng teams if the tac team doesn't catch them. The sub-nukes however are more than enough to make fighting the Jem'Hadar impractical.

Fehk'lari: These guys are annoying for a number of reasons. Firstly, the tricobalt devices lead to a large number of 1-hit kills due to lucky crits, they have a ton of pets which spam aceton beams at a rate which Hazards can't keep up with, and the pet spam makes keeping them under control even more difficult.

Gorn: Aceton Assimilators en masse. Enough said right there; the pvp community has made it's feelings on this particular console pretty clear, and they are devastating in numbers. Extra Bio-Neurals + Tractors just make it worse.

Klingons: When isometric charge can 1-shot the healer, it's not worth bothering against these guys.

Orions: Only weird thing they have is boarding parties, which we can counter relatively easily. Only race that beating wave 10 against seems feasible for.

Nausicans: The Scramble Sensors isn't bad, any experienced pvp'er knows how to fight while affected by it, but the Gravity Wells result in massive kinetic damage to the transport which even keeping Aux2Sif 3 and Hazards 3 on can't effectively counteract. Enough gravwells also start affecting the players making mobility difficult.

Romulans: the endless cloak / decloak game of the Scimitar Dreadnoughts makes fighting the romulans a long, frustrating experience to say the least. Viral Matrix quickly overwhelms engineering team availability, and the DoT from plasma torps on the transport when there is any downtime on Hazards can be devastating. Also seen the AoE death cone attack from the Scimitars do nasty things to the transport.

Tholians: Haven't fought them yet in NWS.

Federation: Shockwave Torpedoes & Tractor Beam repulsors make maintaining group cohesion / Extends on the transport next to impossible.

In my opinion, a number of these abilities aren't going to be balanced in this particular PvE context, such as sub-nukes, Assimilators or Iso Charges. When trying to make a serious effort at beating it, we just warp in and out of the private match until we get Orions. Giving us a choice of enemies or stripping all their active powers would do a lot to make NWS more fun.

borticuscryptic 10-03-2012 08:38 AM

Honestly - and you might not like hearing this - it sounds like Orions are underpowered, not the other way around.

That being said, this is still good feedback on places where the other critter groups could potentially be tweaked. The big ones that stick out to me from personal experience are Energy Drain stacking, Aceton Assimilators and Isometric Charge.

phyrexianhero 10-03-2012 09:21 AM

Gozer had stated that No Win Scenario was designed to beatable by specialized pre-made teams -- a great challenge, but not truly un-winnable. Even if it takes an experienced NWS team with a setup designed for the crowd-control and freighter-healing, they should still have better than a 0% success rate.

I'm not saying that they need to make it at the same level of an elite STF optional (beatable time and again with a very experienced group), but a little bit of slack would go a long way. My main complaint is with the bioneural warheads themselves able to take out players -- it's one thing for us to have to shoot them before they hit the freighter, it's another thing entirely to be shredded to pieces by them when there's over a dozen enemy ships in front of us at the same time.

I've gotten to Wave 10 several times (with a *lot* of practice and superb teammates) but until there's a tweak I think we'll continue to see 0 legitimate wins game-wide since it launched.

Also worth noting: KDF can't play against Orions, making it that much harder.

nicha0 10-03-2012 10:01 AM

The endless sub-nucs of the Breen and Jem'Hadar is pretty insane, no team is going to beat that ever, even if you are specifically set to fight them and only them.

The one shotting Isometric charge and chain jumping is so messed up it isn't funny, your whole team just dies in seconds when they go off. This happens on blockade, you see multiple charges hit the freighters and boom, nothing you can do can save that. On the plus side at least Feds can now Alpha strike most of the enemies with an Iso.

I'm not sure the Orions in general are under powered. They have a lot of fighters, in a mission like Blockade they'll take out the freighter pretty quick if nobody is watching it, while defending everyone is watching it.

I haven't seen the Romulans much myself, they aren't as bad as some others because the horrible cloaking patterns give you plenty of time to heal and rest.

I think the big problem is buffing or nerfing an enemy in general will affect other missions. I'd like to see a change to the Scimitar cloak, isometric charge, aceton assimilators, and the frequency of sub-nuc.

Enemies cloaking in the game are bugged anyway, we can find them with little effort, its just a boring game mechanic. It's made Donatra a faster and easier fight for me.

treagersama 10-03-2012 10:31 AM

LOL Doesn't that just figure...

People are unhappy, because they can't win the 'NO WIN SCENARIO'.

Doesn't that just say it all? :D

phyrexianhero 10-03-2012 10:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by treagersama (Post 5936881)
LOL Doesn't that just figure...

People are unhappy, because they can't win the 'NO WIN SCENARIO'.

Doesn't that just say it all? :D

I can tell you as an accolade hunter who had to put up with coming in first place in Crystalline Entity and Gekli/Undine fleet action, obtaining a million latinum from dabo (no dev has given a reason why we can't bet more than 300 EC), all the elite STF optionals (with obtaining both Mk XII ground sets), and thousands of Deep Space Encounter mobs and Genesis-engine cluster maps this is probably the most annoying accolade out there.

borticuscryptic 10-03-2012 11:04 AM

The following changes have been made and will show up live in the next couple of weeks:

- Jem'Hadar with Subnucleonic Beam will now appear with far less frequency. Previously, all "Escort" type ships had this ability. Now, only a max of 1 per spawn group will have it, and even they have only a 50% chance of appearing in that spawn group.
- Breen Cruiser variants that possess Subnucleonic Beam will now only have a 50% chance of appearing within any spawn group.
- The Freighter that you defend in the mission will now be extremely resistant to Subsystem Energy Drains.

More individual abilities are still under review, and more changes may be forthcoming. But I figured I'd go ahead and let you know about a few of the changes we've already decided to make.

naldoran 10-03-2012 11:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by borticuscryptic (Post 5935161)
Honestly - and you might not like hearing this - it sounds like Orions are underpowered, not the other way around.

That being said, this is still good feedback on places where the other critter groups could potentially be tweaked. The big ones that stick out to me from personal experience are Energy Drain stacking, Aceton Assimilators and Isometric Charge.

As was pointed out, the design goal for this mission was that extremely experienced teams with a purpose-built setup and a healthy dollop of luck would be able to occasionally beat it. I feel that in the case of Orions, and only Orions, that design goal has been achieved. It is still an extremely challenging mission, and I think the fact that no team has yet beat wave 10 months after it's release should speak to that. You're dealing with the concerted efforts of the game's very best (both in skill and gear) players, the top .1%, and we haven't beaten it as-is. I think a slightly more reasonable goal would be for the top .5% or even 2% to be able to beat it.

Buffing Orions should be the last thing done, and certainly the lowest priority to consider until the other races are in a playable state.

Edit: (Ninja'd by Borticus) Those are some extremely positive changes, just keep in mind how many Breen Cruisers appear per spawn group, along with how many spawn groups there are in waves 9 / 10. If the theoretical max number of sub-nukes (I also believe NPC sub-nukes have a <2minute cd) is more than half a dozen, it's still going to be crippling.

captaintrueheart 10-03-2012 11:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by phyrexianhero (Post 5937351)
I can tell you as an accolade hunter who had to put up with coming in first place in Crystalline Entity and Gekli/Undine fleet action, obtaining a million latinum from dabo (no dev has given a reason why we can't bet more than 300 EC), all the elite STF optionals (with obtaining both Mk XII ground sets), and thousands of Deep Space Encounter mobs and Genesis-engine cluster maps this is probably the most annoying accolade out there.

Yeah... the ridiculously slim chance of getting the necessary drops in the Elite STFs for those accolades pretty much made me concede victory to Gozer The Accolade Hater...

The NWS was just the final punch in the face...

I love challenges... I don't mind having to work with the guys from the Accolade channel either in doing this stuff... but having played 1000s of hours since start and running into all kinds of players, I can say those guys are the top in the game and if there's an honest way of beating the NWS... the guys in the Accolades channel would have done it by now.

I have yet to be in a PUG that has made it past level 5... which is probably by "design" but still... it'd be nice to see some kind of increase in difficulty rather than a brick wall.

ussultimatum 10-03-2012 11:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by borticuscryptic (Post 5937671)
More individual abilities are still under review, and more changes may be forthcoming. But I figured I'd go ahead and let you know about a few of the changes we've already decided to make.

Please apply any potential fixes to the Isometric charge that Borg versions of KDF ships carry as well.

After finally getting the one-shot torpedos under control, we get iso-metric charge insta-wiping groups due to the NPC damage scale used for this power.

On top of that, at some point, the one-shot or near one-shot torpedos came back.

While good teams can still eat this stuff, the average PUG queue team really struggles with powers like this.

To be honest, one-shot powers on NPCs is never fun - a challenge (even more challenge than we have now would be very welcome) is great but getting killed by a high powered, target jumping attack that ignores shields and bypasses hull resistance is not.


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