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Cryptic Studios Team
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 201
# 23
08-01-2012, 05:01 PM
I'll chime in on this, since I was one of the people involved with the design of the fleet loot.

There were a number of reasons why we designed the Fleet Advanced ground weapons the way we did. These weapons are not intended to eclipse STF gear in performance, and as such, we needed to be very careful about tuning them to be potentially useful without being a clear upgrade over STF equipment.

Currently, Fleet Advanced ground weapons are built with DMGx3 and one of three powerful additional modifiers (CritX, DoT3, or KB3). This should serve to make them clear upgrades over Dilithium store purchases, but not necessarily more effective than STF gear or other Very Rare items. The "Ultra Rare" item type is an indication of the number of modifiers on the item - it does not necessarily indicate that the item should be "better" than a "Very Rare" item in all circumstances.

While I certainly could have built more variations on these weapons - such as versions with more CritH or CritD instead of Dmg - there are multiple issues with that. First off, every additional modifier takes additional time to make, as well as additional time for QA to test for functionality and balance.

Second, generating additional item combinations can bloat the store - if I made every possible combination of CritH/CritD/Dmg/DoT3/KB3/CritX with four slots, we'd be dealing with a store that's almost impossible for players to browse. Of course, that's an extreme example, but we felt that these items were offering players a sufficient number of new options to purchase for the current stage of unlocking Starbase features.

Third, some other possible combinations on a four-property weapon can be very dangerous to game balance, especially in PvP. A weapon with three CritD modifiers as well as CritX, for example, would have deadly burst potential.

On the subject of unique models, there are Elite Fleet Weapons available at a higher Fleet level. These weapons have unique models and procs, and are intended to be more "unique" than the Advanced Fleet gear.

The STO design team is constantly evaluating balance changes. I'm certainly willing to consider the possibility of adding more weapons to the fleet system in the future, or potentially improving the damage boost provided by the [DMG] or [DMG]x3 properties.