BOFF Abilities that should be Ship Abilities (imho)
There are certain BOFF abilities that have always struck me as odd - because those are abilities that I would consider to be base Ship abilities...not something that you specifically needed a special BOFF to handle - that any member of the crew on the bridge, including the Captain, would be able to do.
The following is a list of all the BOFF abilities - they are color coded:
Red - should require a BOFF
Yellow - part should/part should not
Green - should not require a BOFF
For the Yellow and Green abilities, I'll offer my reasoning after the list.
I'll start with Tactical BOFF abilities:
Attack Pattern Beta
Attack Pattern Delta
Attack Pattern Omega
Beam Array: Fire At Will
Beam Array: Overload
Cannon: Rapid Fire
Cannon: Scatter Volley
Dispersal Pattern Alpha
Dispersal Pattern Beta
Target Weapons Subsystems*
Target Engines Subsystems*
Target Shields Subsystems*
Target Auxiliary Subsystems*
Torpedo: High Yield
Tactical Team - Tactical Team does a few things. It clears Tactical debuffs, increases damage via increased E/P weapons training, removes hostile boarding parties, and redistributes shield strength.
Of those, should not any ship be able to dispatch a security team to remove hostile boarding parties? Doesn't this fit in with the various officers we see in the DOFF system?
Redistribute shield strength...is that not something that we'll see almost any bridge officer accomplish - whether its the guy at the Tac station or even the guy at Helm doing? Something that even the computer could be set to do?
The increased damage and clearing Tactical debuffs though - now those call out for additional Tactical training.
IMHO, this ability does things that should require that Tac BOFF to slot the ability - but it also does things that should not require that Tac BOFF ability. It should be split into a BOFF and a Ship ability or two.
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Moving on, there's the Science BOFF abilities:
Charged Particle Burst
Mask Energy Signature
Tractor Beam Repulsors
Transfer Shield Strength
Wait...why are some of those Gray? They're Gray because they should be Engineering abilities - not Science abilities. That's a separate discussion though, eh? Why is Science Team in whatever color (SandyBrown) it is though? Because unlike the Gray abilities, Science Team actually includes a component that should be Science - clearing the Sci debuffs.
So that's it for Science? No Yellow nor Green abilities? Much like Tactical, Cryptic did a pretty good job overall as far as actually having abilities that should require some sort of BOFF to pull off.
This is a pretty long post so far for only having a single ability that should partially be a base Ship ability and sneaking in the bit about Sci having Eng abilities. Is there going to be more to this?
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Welcome to Engineering:
Auxiliary to Battery
Auxiliary to Dampeners
Auxiliary to Structural
Directed Energy Modulation
Eject Warp Plasma
Emergency Power to Auxiliary
Emergency Power to Weapons
Emergency Power to Engines
Emergency Power to Shields
Reverse Shield Polarity
Finally some Green, but what's this - more Gray?
IMHO, Aceton Beam should be a Sci ability and Boarding Party should be a Tac ability...just IMHO.
Emergency Power to X are abilities that I believe every ship should have, the class of ship doesn't matter. They should function in a similar fashion to how Subsystem Targeting* works on Sci Vessels. There should be the four options and voila...they've just always stood out that way. I'm not really I need to say more about them in that sense - if there's a question, sure, go ahead and ask - but c'mon... VOILA! It's right there, eh?
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Okay then, what's with the 5 things that have an asterisk next to them? The 4 Tac abilities and the Subsystem Targeting on Sci Vessels?
First - I do not believe in the least that Sci Vessels should have Subsystem Targeting. It's so blatantly obvious that they're Tac abilities that they're actually Tac BOFF abilities. That's pretty simple, eh?
Second - they shouldn't be restricted to Beams. That just doesn't make sense in regard to the general gist of them nor what one experiences in Star Trek. They're simple called shots - they should be able to be made with any weapon.
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Anything else for additional discussion or something for another thread?
Well, with the above changes made - things would look a little different as far as abilities go.
EN - 9 new abilities
LT - 7 new abilities, 16 choices
LCdr - 1 new ability, 17 choices
Cmdr - 0 new abilities, 7 choices
EN - 5 new abilities
LT - 7 new abilities, 12 choices
LCdr - 1 new ability, 13 choices
Cmdr - 0 new abilities, 5 choices
EN - 4 new abilities
LT - 6 new abilities, 10 choices
LCdr - 4 new abilities, 14 choices
Cmdr - 0 new abilities, 10 choices
Some of the old issues remain - Tac is bottom heavy with few choices up high. Sci has the most choices up high. Eng still has fewer than Tac, but it's closer to Sci. Sci's just still top heavy. Tac having more abilities is offset by weapon selection in regard to many of those abilities. That will reduce actual number of choices.
Sci being top heavy can be addressed by deciding to lower LT to EN or LCdr to LT for certain abilities.
With this post, I didn't touch innate Captain abilities - there are countless threads on that subject (but it stands to reason there would be changes there as well). I didn't touch DOFFs and their voodoo magic...which in of itself, would likely be enough for many to want to shoot down what I've presented - just because of how much they've spent on DOFFs.
One can take a look at what I have here - look at the various ships - and see where certain problems might arise. But if you step back, take another look, you may find where it causes other changes which balance out some of those other changes.
No doubt, like anything I've brought up - it could not be implemented alone. There are simply too many variables in play with STO - too many things that depend on something else or at some point ended up affecting something else and became standard...etc, etc, etc.
It's just an idea. An idea I posted here in the PvP section rather than a general area, because I trust the PvPers here more on a certain level to think about how things may interact (as much as they may enjoy the various OP nonsense, they face the risk of facing such nonsense and will look more toward balance - they're not only the voice of players, but lol - they speak for NPCs as well. PvE folks will generally (not always) not give any thought to lolstomping NPCs)...
I don't have time to read all this right now, but I REALLY wanted this spot.
Subsystem Targeting should be a Sci Boff Skill. It likely was moved to give something to Tac. It's an ability that can't miss, like most Sci abilities are. Yah I know the attack has to hit, but you won't lose the buff unless it times out. At least that's what Araghetti Spaghettis says. He absolves us.
And Mine Laying needs to go RIGHT BACK to engineering where IT belongs. AND mines need to be restricted by ship class. With cruisers getting ALL of em. Really I'd prefer to see tac mines being aggressive hunter seekers, engineering mines being along the lines of huge damage if approached by enemies, not so much seeking, and healing platforms. Scis should get sensor probes and such that provide enhanced targeting and detection in a range around them.
Seems like SOME of this has crept in the game already as specials, and really it seems to be something that was intended, but was later scrapped.
Then let's look at who fires the weapons for the most part. Tacticals.
So how does a Science Vessel get it?
It's not the same as writing a computer virus that will take the systems offline by taking out their control computer...which tada - Science has as Viral Matrix. Those pesky hackers! Which one could argue should introduce the path for universal abilities (cause the Engineer should be able to VM as well...and even the Tac guy that comes from the Operations Division of Starfleet may have taken some computer engineering courses as part of a dual spec)...but that's another discussion.
So yeah, how does a Science Vessel get it?
Is it this?
Bill Nye: Captain, I was down in the ship's science lab studying the gas emissions of those cockroach-like critters we picked up on Alpha Beta Gamma Delta VI...when I remembered that our ship's capable of targeting the enemy's Soup Replicators. Shall I?
Captain: Target their Soup Replicators!
Ops Guy (Could be Tac, Could be Eng): Firing, sir!
Captain: Khaaaaaaaaaaaaan! No soup for you, 5 seconds!
Cause it's a Tac ability - doesn't matter if they're in a shuttle or a battleship. Captain says to target their Soup Replicators...and the Ops Guy (or gal) does it.
It's a targeted attack - a called attack - it's not writing a virus, it's not firing a special beam built with a gum wrapper and a paper clip that violates laws of conservation. It's a called attack - a targeted attack... a Tactical thing.
...you have a premise for the argument of why Sci Vessels have Subsystem Targeting.
How many weapon abilities does Science have though? Oh...zero? Well, outside of Subsystem Targeting on their ships.
How many Sci DOFFs reduce the CD on Subsystem Targeting? Oh...zero? Well, it's not like there's a Tact DOFF that does, right? Oh...there is?
Okay, so it's because it's a Drain and Disable effect...it's a Sci thing.
So does that mean that Polaron weapons are too? Phasers are as well? Oh dear, Phased Polarons! PHASED POLARONS SHOULD ONLY BE ABLE TO BE USED ON SCI VESSELS! Cause, you know - they combine two of the effects of what Sci does - heck, the same two that Subsystem Targeting use...and all that. Doesn't work that way? Hrmmm...
I've never seen a logical/rational/reasonable argument for why Science Vessels have Subsystem Targeting that could stand the pressure of a mouse fart...
...the closest I have seen is the possibility that Cryptic wanted a third career, there wasn't one - so they took abilities from Operations (Tac/Eng) and created it - along those lines, there really weren't any ships they could use either - so they took Patrol Escorts/Light Cruisers/Etc and tada... Science Vessels. Vessels that would otherwise have been some form of Escort or Cruiser were made "special" for Science. It's a kludged half-breed fantasy thrown together from a fictional world to begin with...
...imagine if they had gone in a more Star Trek fashion, eh? Players from Operations Division with possible dual specs in Ops, or dual spec in Command or Science, eh?
You'd have the following career options:
With everybody a Captain, they're already going to have part of Command Division going for them - but there could have been the additional conn/helm stuff as well, eh? So maybe there could have even been the following:
Because if you look at Star Trek - look at the actual Sci guys and gals - they're nothing like they are in STO. But if you look at some of the dual spec guys, those Sci/Eng or Eng/Sci or Tac/Sci, etc, etc, etc - you start seeing some of what's in STO...but even there, it's not what's in STO...
...because they've stripped things from X&Y to give to Z.
Yah you're working on way to much logic, or maybe "let's make this canon". I'm really not sure.
Look, the games an abstraction, and it isn't a Union ship. Okay the plumber can touch the wiring. Guess where FAW belongs. Engineering. Why? Not because its how engineers do damage, but because it benefits greatly from having a fantastic power management at your disposal. And originally that would have meant cruisers.
I'm NOT saying it's the way it should be. I'm saying its the way it was designed.
Why do I say it was meant to be sci? Because Sci retained the built in targeting. Because it's consistent with the way Sci overcomes enemies. Because using a slight, pinpoint attack to drop shields is just not something that seems to fit in the Tactical Ship Handbook. Just not. Do you think the Sci guys can learn how to press a button? Mebbee. Do you seriously think everyone on a Sci ship wears a blue shirt and no one's allowed to touch the weapons?
If you do think that, be glad that none of the RP/Canon boys ever come in here.
But hey, if you wan't to say you're not happy with it, feel free. No sane person would argue that. Support your ideas on the merit of your ideas, and not on what you may think is lack of merit elsewhere.
Phasers shouldn't have a disable proc. Science Vessels shouldn't have Subsystem Targeting. A good example of the disable taking place is the Covariant Phaser Pulse, where Tuvok was able to target the enemy's weapon system through their shields. He was not able to do this because he was on the Intrepid instead of another ship. He did it because he was a Tactical Officer. Yes, Tuvok may have served on the Excelsior as a junior Science Officer, but when he joined the crew of Voyager - he was Chief Tactical Officer. One could say that his dual background in Science and Tactical (Operations) was what allowed him to take advantage of a Phasers ability potentially to bypass shields to target a subsystem.
It's not something that any random Phaser would do. It's not something that any random Phaser on any random Science Vessel would do. It's something that a Tactical Officer did. Is it something that any random Tactical Officer did? No, it was something that a Tac Officer with past experience as a Science Officer did.
So... in a game where a player could have Science/Tactical as the background for a character of a BOFF, they should be able to select an ability to allow them to target subsystems with Phasers.
But wait, how is that really any different or special compared to countless episodes from various series and movies where the Captain simply ordered that the Tac Officer target a specific subsystem of the enemy ship? Or where the Captain did it themselves?
So it should not just be something limited to Phasers, eh? It's definitely not limited to type of ship.
Well, what kind of proc should a Phaser have if not a disable then? Well, considering we're in a post Borg invasion period - Phasers have been modified to deal with Borg shielding - one might suggest they have the possibility of being that much more multiphasic, eh? A DEM proc? The change to do additional damage to the hull bypassing the shields? Wait, so Phasers would be partially transphasic?
Where is that supported? Tuvok firing Phasers through the enemy shields. Ooohhhh...
But what about the Science Vessel having subsystem targeting? Where is that supported? We can't support it with the few Science Vessels seen in Star Trek. We can try to make the case that because of the nature of the various Careers and their BOFFs in the game - that perhaps that is a reason why. We have to ignore DOFFs, because DOFFs do all sorts of things that are very magical in nature. They've got mad skills our BOFFs and Captains could only dream of having, eh?
Okay, so we make the decision to give it to Science Vessels. But, we also give it to Tactical BOFFs? We also even include it as a pseudo dual proc chance in Phased Polaron weapons? We've actually split the proc between a few other weapons as well. We've made it something decidedly not unique then, eh? So why would we make it unique to Science Vessels? Well, okay - not unique. Why is it another ability that we uniquely give to Science Vessels instead of Escorts, Cruisers, etc?
Because, any Tac BOFF on those other ships can do it as well. We can equip weapons that can randomly do it as well.
Were Science ships missing something? Is Subsystem Targeting there to balance something they were lacking? If we were to remove it, would we have to give them something to make up for having taken it away?
Is it just flavor? Well, if it is - it's a very diluted flavoring since it's been added elsewhere. It's not restricted in the lease...not unique...outside of it being an innate ability only for Science Vessels...the ability itself is not unique.
And it goes around and around...distracting from my wondering if the EPtX abilities should be innate to ships...oh well.
By your logic the overall main effect people use tac team for would make it a science skill. The redistribution of shields from one facing to another. Also hazard emitters is science because it clears hazardous chemicals from the ship I.e. warp plasma/plasma burn. While yes the heal would be on the eng side. But another issue if aux/shield is sci and speed/weapons is tac that leaves only hull for eng's to play with so we need to add something extra for them instead of throwing a random skill from the other classes into it
I'm not going to bother with this thread further. It's impossible, imo, to do so - when people use the exact reason that something is Engineering as the reasoning for why it should not be Engineering.
Star Trek had a few things going for it that Star Trek Online does not. Exploration. Outside of a scanning mini-game, there's not much going on there. Dual Specs. Countless members of the crew of the various hero ships were dual specs - Tac/Eng, Eng/Sci, Tac/Sci, even Command/Tac, Command/Eng, Command/Sci, etc, etc, etc.
Cryptic had to compromise certain things to make the game. I feel they could have still made the game without certain of those compromises.
Like I said in OPvP about a ship discussion some folks were having, we're not talking Ford vs. Chevy nor nVidia vs ATI/AMD here. There's no heading out to the mudpit - there's no hooking up two computers on a workbench to run benchmarking software. It's not real. Star Trek was full of plot armor, plot weapons, etc, etc, etc - deus ex machina all over the place in the form of the writers. When the writers couldn't be consistent, it's somewhat unfair to fault the developers for carrying on that tradition - in one sense, in a twisted sense, they should be championed for carrying on this particular form of nonsense from the shows and movies...it's very Star Trek.
So you make a thread and open up a huge debate about show to game issues and class/ship skills and then you replie more then everyone else to your own post and all you do is shut down everyone else's ideas when it dosent go your way. Why did you even make this thread I was really looking forward to how this thread was going to turn out but nvm that now
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