Tier 2 FvK PVP Balance
I finally got my Tier 2 ship yesterday and went out to the Zibal system for some PVP. Out of about 15 matches, we (the Feds) won 1 and did fairly well on a 2nd. Most of the matches ended with us scoring 1-5 kills, some ended with us scoring 0 kills. Basically, unless the Klingon players were inexperienced or unorganized, they always won.
Since the end of Closed Beta, PVP with a Federation Escort has worked like this:
1. Fly out to the other Federation Ships (if you can find them).
2. Wait till you hear "Warning the ship is in combat".
3. Try to turn around (or say "One-Thousand-One") before you die.
4. Wait for the timer to reach 0 then click "Respawn".
5. Watch the cruisers and science ships rack up damage while you fly back to the battle.
6. Shoot at the nearest klingon till you drop a shield then watch them cloak and escape.
7. If they kill you again go to step 4 otherwise go to step 2.
It seems to me that there is a serious balance issue and I think the cause is the Tier 2 BOPs. In addition to having the fastest turn rates and the huge advantage of cloaking, they get Cannons AND a Generic Lieutenant Console at Tier 2. This allows them to run the following configuration.
Forward Weapons = 2x Mk4 Dual Heavy Cannons, 1x Mk4 Quantum Torpedo
Rear Weapons 1x Mk4 Turret
Lieutenant Engineer = Emergency Power to Shields (or Weapons), Reverse Shield Polarity
Ensign Tactical = High Yield Torpedoes
Ensign Science = Tractor Beam (or Jam Sensors)
All they have to do is cloak, get behind you, pop High Yield, hold you with the tractor beam, and spam Fire All until you die.
At Mk4, Dual Heavy cannons do about 180 dps (each) and the turret adds about 80 dps to that. High yield Torpedoes will easily hit for 3000+ and they WILL get a 2nd shot for 1500+ more. This means they can deal over 8000 points of damage to one shield in the first 6-7 seconds.
The thing that is supposed to balance out all this damage is that they are not very tough... but this isn't the case.
Even IF you somehow manage to survive AND turn to fire on them, they have Reverse Shield Polarity. This basically gives them 15 seconds of invulnerability to your attacks while they deal another 8000+ points of damage to you. A really good Mk 4 shield has what - 6000 points TOTAL?
And remember - Federation Escorts (and Science Ships) can't get Reverse Shield Polarity until Tier 3.
IF by some miracle, you somehow survive all this and start to damage them, they will either cloak or use Evasive Maneuvers to get out of range before you can defeat them. This makes it really hard to score points because they just hide and heal up when things don't go their way. I always thought it was dishonorable for Klingons to flee from battle but I guess honor is a matter of convenience in PVP.
Federation ships can't even use Evasive Maneuvers to escape because a solo Fed is a dead Fed (and everybody knows it).
Add to this the fact that cloaking allows them to PLAN group attacks against the weakest target (usually the escorts) and you begin to understand why the Feds lose so much in PVP. The opening attack from 2-3 ships is often 20000+ damage - easily 3x the total value of good Mk4 shields. They always gang up on the easiest ship(s) to kill and they don't have to stick around to fight the tougher opponents. They just cloak and wait for the weaker ships to respawn. Rinse, Repeat.
Don't try to say that Escorts are even matches for BOPs because they both have weak shields/hull. Sure they do - but the Klingon ships also turn faster, have Cloaking, and get to use Reverse Shield Polarity to soak up any damage the escort might deal IF it lives long enough to turn around.
Don't try to say that the Fed players have no tactics. How are they supposed to coordinate an offensive against opponents they can't see? The Klingons always control when and where the fight starts. The Klingons always destroy 1-2 ships in the first few seconds of every attack. The Klingons always have the option of cloaking to avoid defeat.
How is that balanced?
IMHO, Cryptic should do five things to (help) fix this.
First, change one of the highest ranked generic consoles for each tier of BOP to Tactical. This would prevent them from getting Reverse Shield Polarity at Tier 2 (10 levels earlier than the Federation Escorts do). Also, give the Tier 2 & 5 BOPs 1 more generic lower rank console so they have the same number & rank of consoles as the other ships of their tier. This will probably result in the BOPs using High Yield 2 or 3x Dual Heavy Cannons and Cannon Rapid Fire (increasing their alpha strike damage) but at least the surviving Feds would have a chance to kill them.
Second, give Federation Escorts an inherent 'Ablative Armor' ability that significantly boosts their damage resistance for a short time. This would help them survive the Klingon combined Alpha Strikes. IMHO, each ship type should have some special ability like the science ships Target Subsystems and the Klingon Cloaking. Cruisers really need one that makes them more Tank-like because as it is now, they do almost nothing to help the squishy escorts or not-so-squishy science ships.
Third, Reduce the effectiveness of cloaking devices based on the ships hull condition. It makes sense that it would be much harder to cloak a ship that's venting plasma, etc. If they have any hull damage at all, they should still be visible and target-able at close range. The more damaged they are the farther away you should be able to see them. This leaves them their precious cloaked alpha-strike but prevents them from escaping combat with 25% hull by just clicking the cloak button.
Fourth, both BOPs and Escorts should get a small but noticeable defense bonus for moving faster. This would encourage them not to plod along at 1/4 impulse blasting away with their heavy cannons - which is just not what escorts and BOPs should be doing. This would be a double edged sword because moving faster also makes it harder to keep their cannons on target.
Fifth, Auto-Group everybody on each side in PVP. I don't know how many times I've joined a match where I can't find the other players on my team because they started at a different spawn point and/or they haven't teamed up. Unlike the Klingons, Feds can't just cloak and go looking around in relative safely. If we can't find the other players before the Klingons find us, we die.
I'm really not trying to whine or be unfair to the Klingons, I just think they have several obvious advantages that create balance issues in Tier 2 PVP. I can't speak to Tiers 3+ because I haven't made it that far. I suspect that in Tier 3 it gets somewhat better for the Feds because the Escorts and Science Ships can pick up better defensive engineering abilities.
Oh well, those are my thoughts - I look forward to reading your replies.
PS - IMHO If the cruiser fans want to complain that escorts shouldn't be tougher because cruisers are the tanks, then they should actually tank instead of playing DPS while the escorts take all the heat. When was the last time you saw multiple Klingons alpha-strike a cruiser in a group that contained an escort? As it is now the escorts are tanking for the cruisers and science ships by giving the Kligons a better (easier to kill) target.
Q. Have you ever played as a Tier 2 Klingon?
If yes: You have very valid points.
If no: You have somewhat valid points.
You really need to see it from both angles.
I am only just Tier 2 Klingon, no PvP yet. In Tier 1 it was 50/50 always: I lost or I won, that was it. I tried PvP from both sides in Tier 1 and realised we were well balanced.
Tier 2 I don't know, but I do know that unless someone has tried both sides, they are only somewhat knowledgable at best.
Has it really changed that much from OB, I haven't got back to my escort yet but I found T2 was where the escort really shined. I was absolutely destroying the Klingons with 100k+ damage and usually no more that 1 or 2 deaths. (I know I went a couple matches 15-0) Admittedly I was fairly well geared at that point with Mark IV Greens and blues in all my slots (1x Heavy Dual Cannon, 1x Dual Beam Bank, 1x Quantum Torpedo, 1x Plasma Mine Launcher).
I found a good set for officers was
LT Tactical with 1x HYT and Rapid Fire
Ensign Engineer with EPtS
Ensign Science with Jam Sensors or Tractor Beam
Ensign Tactical With whatever suits your play style.
Remeber to never stop moving (I try to stay at max speed) and re balance your shields as appropriate.
If you were talking about T3+ I would agree with you as it sucks playing escort there.
I do agree that BoP's should not have access to RSP at T2 though.
At that point the initial alpha likely misses or if not does only medium damage. The Klingons suddenly find their target not only lived but is currently utterly out of weapon range entirely. Hopefully your friends and ally's now focus fire one or two down.
If you find yourself as the only escort. You mission is no longer damage. It is survival. You are bait.
I have been in at least 8 PVP matches today in my Escort.
I can take on a same level or +1-2 NPC Battleship and slip away licking my wounds on the worst case scenario.
Going up against a same level BOP. I am lucky if I don't die in less then 30 seconds.
Not to mention the group Alpha strikes as mentioned where we Escorts stand pretty much no chance.
I have at least three different occasions today where I was 1v1 with a BOP and I managed to tear him/her up but but at least two cloaked before I could get the killing shot.
As mentioned the Klingon's of Star Trek Canon have honor to die fighting the in STO PVP the Klingons I have come across (not all but some) are honor less waste of DNA.
Stand and fight and die like a honorable warrior you think you want to be.
The time it took for 4-5 Klingon ships to kill one Fed ship of any class was far less then it took for 3-4 Fed ships to take down a single BOP or higher class. This was all in T2 PVP.
In one match a Klingon player racked up over 200k in points, yet none of the Fed players got above 30K and we out numbered them 2 to 1 almost.
Just a few hours ago, my Consitution fought 1 on 1 with a Klingon Raptor. We were face to face and both of us was not moving.
I don't know what he had, but I had Mk4 Rare Dual Beams and a Mk4 Uncommon Quantum launcher. With my 4 Engineering "Saves" (EPtS, Reverse Polarity, Rotate Frequency, and even a Shield Battery), I literally won with 2% hull.
Raptors are supposed to be the equivalent to the Escort with weak hull and shields, but greater firepower. So honestly, that was pretty bad that I won by such a narry margin.
And BoPs, the QulDun (Tier 2 BoP) has 3 forward weapon slots. Which is 1 more than the Federation Cruiser and Science Ships, and a turn rate of 22. Which even puts it superior to that of the Federation Escort. So all a Klingon has to do is load up with Heavy Dual Canons and just blast through Federation shields like a hot knife through butter.
Then factor in groups of BoPs, which quickly go through Federation defenses. Not even Engineering Reverse Polarity or Science Feedback Pulse is a deterant.
In all honestly Cryptic, if ships need manuverability, it's because they are undergunned. And I'm pretty sure Klingons are going to get really ****ed at this, but really BoPs need one less forward weapon slot.
The other solution is make Heavy Cannons too power hungry to be really useful, and resorting to other weapons to compensate. (Really, a BoP shouldn't be stronger than a Battlecruiser. Else, the IKS wouldn't construct them).
I'm just going to suggest that Kirk showed you how to kill Klingon Birds of Prey that were fighting you. Hit your HYT, but don't fire it. Not yet, Sit on it. Rip through their shields with your cannons. You will begin to read the point at which they will cloak. Fire your torpedos at that moment. They will have no shields, and your torps will continue to track the cloaked ship.
2+ torpedos against shieldless hull = dead klingon.
Also, players are smart. You do the most burst damage, you're going to be called primary. I would suggest coordinated teams where the science vessels and cruisers have you targetted and are prepared to hit you with Science and Engineering teams as soon as you come under fire. You might also get Emergency Power to Engines, and as soon as you come under fire, punch it - get out of range, and then sweep back in and follow the above mentioned suggestion involving torpedos and klingon tailpipes.
You do make a good point, the Klingons have a distinct advantage with their ability to cloak. This is canon. If you recall the episode of TNG with the alternate reality where the Klingons didn't make peace with the Federation, the Federation was getting annhiliated.
This is "humor". Humor, this is someone on the internet.
If you two haven't met you should become acquainted.
And now, less snotty: Yes, the Klingons have a distinct advantage. Their primary advantage, however, is not in their ability to cloak. This is a symptom of their advantage.
Their advantage is that they don't need to have any sort of coordination or heavy-tactics to succeed because their ships are all enormous glass cannons that dwarf damage output of the federation ships. Whereas the Federation players need to work together and use some pretty heavy strategy to beat them.
The Klingons, as it currently sits, need to focus on really only one thing: Doing as much damage as possible in as little time as possible and getting the hell out of dodge when they're done.
This will not work for the federation. Should that be changed? EH! It's not horribly unbalanced assuming you can get a coordinated team together. The more important question is whether the likelihood of having a coordinated team is enough to warrant leaving it. Does the group-pvp queue actually work now where fleetmembers could work together and create effective teams that could actually join a queue together and have a shot in hell of ending up in the same pvp instance? If not, then yes, they should do something to balance it -- or just fix the grouping mechanic.
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