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Starfleet Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 310
# 10
09-28-2012, 06:48 AM
Escorts are fun ships beloved by many right now. It's taken time and Cryptic has finally managed to develop them into this awesome DPS, super maneuverable, destructive machine. The answer isn't to nerf tac/escorts although that would be an easy way to start to balance things out. We do that and many players will have a significantly diminished enjoyment of the game. The answer lies with the Cruisers and Sci ships.

I find it amusing when I read posts that explain how real life naval ships, and canon descriptions, are meant to justify an unbalanced gaming situation. We can rationalize all we want but the end result is that there is a significant amount of dissatisfaction in game balance. As in most MMOs there are essentially three types of ships/classes. These distinct classes are supposed to establish equitable gaming enjoyment for the player community. Each class needs it's own, unique defined role and structure that clearly differentiates it from the others so one doesn't feel like a weak step child of another, but rather contributes in it's own valuable and fun manner.

It has already been clearly established in a number of forum posts that besides being the heavy damage dealers, escorts have a disproportionate tankability or survivability given its main role. There are several ways to deal with this. Since Cruisers are meant to be THE tank for all practicable purposes (yes healer too), make them more tankable. This can be done, again as mentioned in many posts to date, by giving them, for example, a higher shield modifier, increased threat control abilities (pve), boosted skills that deal with healing/damage mitigation above and beyond that which an escort has. In other words and just as an example, TT is a wonderful skill but when everyone has it or has it with the same efficacy then it doesn't help a tank differentiate itself in damage mitigation. I bet that if you give cruisers a more meaningful tanking role you will even hear less complaints about the sorely lacking turn rates.

While we're at it let's take a look at the issue of turn rates. I'm a big proponent of increased turn rates for cruisers. They fly like a brick and it's difficult to maintain full broadside against a skilled opponent (pve but mostly pvp). And why do we cruiser captains hate this? One reason is because our already meager dps from beam arrays are even less effective because we can only get half of them on target. But if you make cruiser dps less important, because they can draw more aggro and tank better, this becomes less of an issue. While there will always be cruiser captains that want to be dps machines, they can still make builds to maximize cruiser dps but shouldn't be able to complain about challenging the dps effectiveness viz a viz escorts because of the clearly defined roles.

Although I have a VA Sci captain, I will be the first to admit my limitations in knowing how to play an effective role here. Also, I understand from a Borticus posting sci will undergo a revamp 'soon', which I hope will deal with sci's specific role similar to the way I tried to clarify that of cruisers.

I'm not trying to take up the old arguments that escorts are too strong or cruisers too weak. Just trying to get people to see that its the lack of clearly defined class roles that is contributing to all the angst. Flame me if you want and feel free to pick apart my arguments, but please keep in mind that I'm not offering definitive specific solutions, but a different way of looking at this long fought over battle. Not that this hasn't been mentioned before, but I don't think the focus has remained on mmo classic roles.