TRIBBLE Maintenance and Release Notes - April 9, 2012
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Join Date: Dec 2007
04-11-2012, 12:55 AM
Let me first say that I appreciate the design goal of having all the skills 'work' so to speak, and effectively resist things that it makes sense for them to resist. Lots of design space opens up once the skill system is properly integrated with everything. The magnitude of the effects however, is very much in need of tweaking. The buff to tractor beams is very good, I get tired of watching ships that aren't running any tractor-breaking abilities easily zoom away from me.
If you fully spec into one damage type, then when you come up against someone who's fully specced to counter it why shouldn't they be more immune to the point of cancellation?
That isn't true as the game currently exists, nor should it be. Take, for example, a ship whoose captain has nine points in Hull Plating, Structural Integrity and Armor Reinforcements. By your logic, my escort should barely be able to scratch them, but that isn't the case due to the severe diminishing returns on those skills. There should be the same sort of diminishing returns on these skills as well, and there currently are not.
My main pvp toon is a sci/sci, and I'm not the least bit happy about these changes. As it currently stands, with the recent skill tree changes, most science bridge officer abilities have been nerfed into uselessness in pvp. Lets run down the list of offensive science abilities shall we?
Viral matrix: Not terribly effective right now, though I've seen dev chatter that this will change at some point. There's a reason that I laugh when I see someone running this skill in pvp. It simply isn't much of an inconvenience.
Energy Siphon: Not a direct offensive power, and the drain magnitude is not enough to cripple a target, even when heavily specced into it because it is easily resisted.
Charged Particle Burst: Currently a very effective shield-stripping ability, two or three science ships working in conjunction can strip the shields from most escorts that aren't running extends / resists, etc. That sounds very powerful, and it is. Take all that with a grain of salt however; I'm talking about two ships working in conjunction to take down a single unprepared target. Consider two escorts both hitting your shields with Beam Overload 3 at the same time; you're probably going to loose that shield facing and take significant hull damage as well. CPB is the only burst anti-shield that science ships have.
Tachyon Beam: Against Power Insulators, this skill is no longer worth running for anything but the turn rate debuff with the doff, and that is rather questionable as well.
Tyken's Rift: Again, not real affect upon a pvp environment; I've got three points in power insulators, and never notice enough of a drain to be more than a minor inconvenience.
Gravity Well: Anything with an engine can ignore this ability for all intents and purposes.
Photonic Shockwave: An excellent ability for doing kinetic damage against bare hull, stuns, breaking extends, etc. No complaints here, aside from the extremely non-linear scaling between PSW 1,2 & 3.
Tractor Beam Repulsors: Cute, situationally useful, and can deal appreciable damage in certain circumstances. It is still too hard to make useful to be put in a competitive pvp build I think.
Feedback Pulse: A primarily defensive ability: a good team will simply nuke this off or swap targets, negating it.
Scramble Sensors: with the recent introduction of 30-second confuse immunity after this ability, it can't be chained, and while useful to fight FaW-spam, it isn't an offensive power really, it is a support ability.
The most effective sci/sci build for pvp right now, and I would argue the only effective offensive setup, is the combination of CPB & PSW. All the other fun science abilities have been nerfed to uselessness by the skill tree changes, leading to a shocking lack of variety in competitive science builds. This is not a good thing. If CPB has its effectiveness cut by 50% to 75% depending on the opponents' skill tree, what are pvp science captains suppose to do if they want some sort of offense? Certainly not shoot their targets, with only six weapon slots.