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Join Date: Dec 2007
02-12-2010, 09:37 PM
Having no previous experience in WoW or any other MMO, save for Eve Online, I have perhaps a more unbiased look at this game, and to understand where improvements can be made. As I stated, the only MMO I've ever played prior to ST Online is Eve Online, and as both have space combat with drag & drop module fitting, and button press firing, there are a lot of parallels, and this alone can state why I believe that autofire is not just needed but
in order to have a seamless combat experience.
For starters, here's a breakdown between the two combat systems:
- Autofire enabled on default, manual one-cycle option is available.
- Has two types of weapons: missiles and turrets (of various flavors and sizes)
- Weapons can hit from any angle.
- Damage resistances between four different damage types (EM, Thermal, Kinetic, Explosive).
- Can fire at up to eight individual targets, depending on the targeting system and skills.
- Excluding ship limitations, the game engine allows a maximum of eight weapons.
- Large turrets can miss consistently against fast ships, and large missiles do little against them.
- Shields are deducted from a single bar.
- Armor and hull can be repaired using specific modules, and some ships even are designed for it.
- If your ship is lost, you're SOL save for insurance money. And, if your character dies, you lose XP.
Star Trek Online:
- Autofire disabled on default, only available on one forward and one rear slot.
- Has four types of weapons: torpedoes, beam, turret and mine (of various flavors and sizes)
- Weapons with angles noted have specific arcs they can aim with. Turrets do not have this limitation.
- Damage resistances between two different damage types (Energy, Kinetic).
- Can only shoot one ship at the time unless you use significant micromanagement or use an officer power.
- Excluding ship limitations, the game engine (from what I can tell) has no maximum.
- Turrets can miss sometimes against fighters, but generally most shots will land on target.
- Shields are deducted from four different bars, and recharge independently.
- There is no armor, and hull is auto-repaired slowly but surely.
- If your ship is lost, you respawn without penalty a short time later.
Alright, with this breakdown, I can explain why I prefer Eve's combat system in a way that hopefully devs can use to their advantage, rather than just stating "I want autofire". The first thing is that when I'm in combat in Eve Online, I'm too busy firing my weapons at specific targets (as sometimes I split my fire), sometimes I'm working on my drones to either order them to attack enemies or to retreat when damaged, to give commands to my fellow pilots, to type in communications, to use the game's fleet system to give requests out, and also doing emergency vectors out when hell breaks loose. There's also all the other non-weapon abilities that are also critical, such as disabling warp, slowing down enemy ships, or outright blocking their targeting completely.
With autofire in Eve Online, the only thing I need to worry about is selecting new targets, ammunition levels, and worrying about the
side of the battle, including ship positioning. And, considering that I run (and pay for) no less than
clients on the same machine, I don't have time to spam the firing buttons, because when you have three characters in the heat of battle, where a wrong move can cause that character to die, it's a godsend.
In Star Trek Online on the other hand, although it uses different weapons, different enemies, and has a shield system that I do enjoy, it breaks down to the same thing. The first thing is, is that this game cannot be 'dual booted' or 'tripple booted' like Eve can, because you can't jump between three screens to spam those buttons while also focusing on repositioning your ship to prevent yourself from being flanked. Keep in mind that this means less money for Cryptic because I was actually considering getting a second account like I did with Eve, but this limitation completely eliminates that possibility as it's impossible to co-ordinate.
Secondly, what comes to mind is how many times I mispress my keys while trying to fire WHILE trying to maneuver correctly. Most of the time, it's my autofiring weapons that do the most damage, and I tend to forget in the heat of battle to hit that fire key as soon as it regenerates. When you combine the excellent officer powers, it becomes a hinderance to fire weapons outside of the phasers. What I've had to do is link my phasers together, and throw my Quantums into the non-auto slots on my Saber so I can fire them while planning with the officer powers. I can barely handle this ship now. Once I get into even larger classes, I'll be spamming more than doing actual strategic maneuvers.
And on a final note, here's the three most important reasons why I think Cryptic should do this change:
1. Improved control for combat
2. Less network lag from the constant keypresses made by players; an autofire can be calculated server side instead of the individual presses by the player, and would reduce the amount of data transfer.
3. The ability to double or even tripple boot Star Trek Online, which would further improve Cryptic's bottom line.
Hope this helps.
EDIT - I wanted to add a side note to this; even if we do get full autofire for STO, I wouldn't be using it for ALL of my weapons. The feeling of hitting the fire buttons for the torpedo launchers, not to mention the strategic needs of keeping them unlinked, is why I would always keep my launchers unlinked. I would leave my phasers to the capable hands of my tactical officer via autofire (as it should be