An idea: Change Technician DOFFs
This is just a thought I've been having today, and that Technician DOFFs, are rather on the borderline of being OP. They are in that they can reduce so many cool downs for ALL BOFF abilities, at the cost of only one LT. engineer slot, and 3 space DOFF slots. Compare that to say AP DOFFs, which are very powerful, they only affect though, 3 abilities, nothing more, and can even allow for nearly 100% uptime just about on those.
Yet Technicians reduce ALL cooldowns, and tacs also have Tac Initiative, while Scis can use Photonic Officer (not often seen, but it's out there), along with the Fleet Elite Deflectors, and various other DOFFs to reduce CDs.
Engineers and engineering abilities...not quite so much.
So, my main thought is this:
Change Technicians to only affect Engineering cooldowns. I know that'd piss off a lot of people, but honestly, there's so much out there that helps tacs and scis hugely with CDs, not so much for engineers. The purple Technicians would still reduce CD by 10% each.
Now that would bring them more 'evenly' with the other two classes in that each would have their own unique means of reducing CDs. I know as it stands, any class can use an AtB build, but it also means that it helps everyone equally, and thus the power difference between the three classes really isn't changed.
I doubt this will be a very popular idea of course, but it's one I wanted to put out.
I'm not really for the idea. As it is, it is true that the cooldown reduction is very useful. However, one has to bear in mind that using Aux2Bat has a very large opportunity cost. It
a) Takes up one or even two Lt BoFF slots that could be used for other things
b) Dampens Aux power significantly. Due to the fact that many standard heals rely on Aux power, this renders an Aux2Bat user more squishy with his weaker heals.
Furthermore, to achieve sufficient benefits from the cooldown reduction to warrant slotting Aux2Bat, three Purple technicians are often needed. Taking up 3 out of your 5 available active DoFF slots carries, again, a significant opportunity cost as that person would lose out on many other useful Doff abilities.
In other words, I believe that the large opportunity cost of mounting the Technician combo renders the Doffs fairly balanced, if just a smidgen on the OP side.
Finally, affecting engineering powers alone would not be a good way of nerfing Technicians, IMO. This is because using the lieutenant stations for A2B would then be almost the same as running copies of engineering powers in those two stations.
Just my two cents.
Tbh, it's OP and I only run w/1 slotted on my tac. I'd be worried people could still chain epts3 and rsp w/the changes suggested. I'd rather it just in effect copy a single Lt. Commander ability using 3 purple Doffs.
If a player is worried about aux, they use could EPTA now that aux2batt no longer shares a cooldown w/emergency powers.
You also left out the power gain to weapons, shields, and engines from using Aux2batt. In fact it can be quite large if the power is shifted to max aux prior to using aux2batt.
Also, 1 aux2batt can be triggered 2x w/longer cooldown abilities like RSP making 1 copy 2. It also makes 1 EPTS3 nearly 2. It speeds up longer cooldown repairs like Hazzard Emitters. It also speed up APO nicely. Running 2 basically means your trading 2 Lt Boff slots and 3 Doffs to double your remaining boff powers and getting some nice power boosts while you're at it. Now compare that to the 16k fleet BoP for just one extra Lt Commander Boff.
In the end it can give anyway from 1.3 to 2.0x the effective boff layouts and a nice power boost to critical systems w/a means to restore power to the aux drained. Imo, it's too much.
Point taken. I didn't realise how big the power gain to other subsystems was. In that case, I would say that it's a bit much. However, I still disagree with the OP's method of nerfing it.
1. Re-introduce shared cooldown with EPtA, if not other EP powers. This would help increase the cost of A2B.
2. Randomise cooldown reduction. Maybe, instead of reducing all cooldowns, make it reduce 2 randomly selected ones.
3. Cap the number of technicians slotted at one.
I'm not sure what Cryptics intentions were when changes to Aux2Bat were made and if they had double Aux2Bat builds in mind, but I don't see them as being OP per se. For a large number of ships and roles they simply aren't viable at all (escorts, healers, most sci ships), either by not having enough engineering capabilities or just because of too many drawbacks. They are still niche builds.
Builds like tactical cruisers or the vet ship for example, where double Aux2Bat can be utilized are powerful tools for the role they are trying to fulfill, but as scurry has said it comes with a price. You need 2 lt. engineering slots, 2 or 3 doffs (depending on their quality), you can't use Aux2SIF, unreliable aux power for science skills, you basically have to run EPtA and aux batteries. Yes it will double all remaining skills, but it also demands a lot.
For me such builds come with enough cons to justify the pros. Things that could be discussed as being op or at least questionable are, how specific skill work with Aux2Bat. For example Warp Plasma being active longer than it's cooldown could be questioned, but IMHO that's something that should be addressed by looking at the powers and not by destroying whole build options.
Edit: As for the power levels, they aren't as impressive as people may think. Compare it to an escort. Running 125 weapons and 50 shields plus an EPtS / EPtE Damage Control Eng cycle almost does the same without eating your aux power for a good amount of time. The additional power is nice, but not as much of an advantage as it sounds and definitly not the selling point.
I don't think it makes a lot of sense to build this intricate system of global cool downs only to provide something that so easily circumvents that system. In some other games you have to go to great lengths to speed up your attacks/defenses even just a little bit, which is still a very significant thing.
If you were limited to using only one Tech doff and left them alone, or if you reduced the effect of three stacked to the level of a single Tech doff, that would be more balanced. Currently, Aux2Bat & Techs work on every Boff ability, including itself and additional Aux2Bats, basically allowing you to chain certain long term cool down abilities before the first instance is done being used (war plasma, for example). A Cruiser doesn't even need more than two different Emergency Powers and I haven't tried but can probably make it with just one.
I like the idea behind this combination. I especially like that they boosted a lackluster skill to make it a viable option again. It just seems like their typical over reaction. Maybe the idea was to touch it up once significantly enough that it'll shut us up and they can leave it alone. I understand they have other things to do be we really need more carefully planned adjustments. Anything they might do now to bring it back in line is going to hurt because some builds are built around having effectively 1.75 times more Boff skills available than any other no boldly ship.
Limiting us to one Doff, or reducing the three stacked bonus to the current level of a single doff, would still be very effective without totally disregarding the existing system of cool downs. I suspect that, in spite of some recent conversations over the past few months, most people haven't used it to discover just how powerful this combination is. It's really not as costly as you might think. It would be nice to see some movement on this before too many get too attached if at all possible.
what is tech doffs and AtB doing to balance? not much of anything. the only thing it really does is make a tac heavy cruiser builds not be piss poor compared to just sticking that tac in an escort. a few of the ships with more spread out stations its nice on though, but the great big disadvantage of having nearly no aux makes healing a pain, and makes almost all sci abilities have almost 0 effectiveness.
it doesn't at all make escorts, heal cruisers, or sci ships better. escorts already have all the tac stations they need to double up skills for full up time, and you cant RSP with it then. same with sci ships, only its even worse, they have no aux to work with at all. heal cruisers? how exactly are they going to heal effectively with no aux? ET3 is only gonna get you so far.
so it only really helps niche builds, and brings them closer to being as viable options as heal cruisers, dps escorts, and control sci ships.
i run mainly 2 AtB ships, because i like niche ships. i get my ass kicked all the time in them too. im no god of death with reduced cooldowns, i'm just nearly as dangerous as a ship in the 3 core roles.
But it doesn't circumvent global cooldowns. Whatever you do, you won't go below 15 seconds for different EPtX, below 30 seconds for a single EPtX or 15 seconds for Rapid Fire for example. Warp Plasma, which I also mentioned as example, is different and could be fixed by simply increasing its global without harming whole builds.
Cruisers and every other ship without Aux2Bat also only need 2 different EPtX with Damage Control DOffs, even only 1 EPtX, though not as reliable, would be enough. I'm not saying it's not powerful, but for me it's not more over the top in the right hands than any other well thought out build.
One of my toons, flies an A2B build, and I'm loving it. However, the opportunity cost as DDIS already mentioned is pretty high. It's a niche build, with ok results. Basically its all pretty nicely balanced, especially when you consider that you can get all DOffs and gear for an A2B freely in game. Without much of a grind.
Eng class in general, Temp Set Tric Bombers, Friggin Danoobes on every friggin FED ship, broken Rep system skillz, ,....I mean these are all immediate balance problems in need of fixing asap.
A2B isn't even on the same list.
and only limiting it to 1 doff would make the whole thing worthless. you couldn't cycle essentials like EPtS1 with it, and all the skills that you could have 2 copies of you would need 2 copies of, making it pointless. you would be significantly gimped running 1 copy with the doff vs just 2 copies. that makes the opportunity cost of that eng LT station even higher too. also if you go the AtB route AtS and AtD are unavailable to you completely. AtS is one of the best heals in the game.
in theory its sound really over the top op, but there are only a handful of ships its of any use on at all. and these ships are doing something they arent meant to do, but tech doffs are what makes it workable.
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