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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 108
# 163
02-06-2013, 11:41 AM
Originally Posted by squatsauce View Post
Read most of this thread and thought I'd pitch in.

First a disclaimer: I am not a super-leet PVP guy. I just like math and game design.

The biggest problem I am seeing isn't that beams don't do enough damage, it's that it's hard to sustain it and that beam BOff abilities don't seem to give them much extra punch. Cannons tend to be more efficient, higher dps, higher proc-chance* weapons with BOff abilities that can boost that enormously.

I don't think cannons should change. I like their flavor and I think they work.

Beams should change, but not in a way that makes them effectively wide-angle cannons.

So, what can be done to make beams attractive for use in PVP without having them fulfill the same roll as cannons?

There are a few options and I think a real solution could be derived from a mix of them. They concentrate on sustainable, reliable damage across a broad spectrum of situations rather than simply increasing raw damage output in ideal situations.

1) Decrease their power drain: Rather than give raw numbers, I simply suggest that single and double-beam arrays have a shallower DPS curve than they do now. Sustaining fire with 6 single-beam arrays should give me a base DPS of somewhere between 65-75% of the first volley, rather than the 60-65% that I usually see if I run my ship without item or set bonuses to weapon power.

2) Power Projection: Increase the base damage of beams from 60% to 80% at maximum range. 1 on 1 this trait, combined with movement debuffs to help keep range, will allow a beam ship to keep an cannon-armed rival at a more advantageous distance part of the time. X v X this trait will mean cruisers and science ships can work together to deal good damage output from a variety of ranges to a single target.

3) Accuracy Increase: Nothing major here, either. The idea is simply to make sure that beams simply miss a bit less often. Or, perhaps, give them a large accuracy boost when attacking smaller targets, like fighters or torpedoes. A small boost to crit chance wouldn't hurt, but isn't necessary, I think.

4) Increase Proc Occurance and Severity: Cannons already have the biggest, best raw DPS and, honestly, something being blown apart by concentrated cannon fire isn't going to be bothered overmuch by the occasional plasma fire or system power drain. A cruiser or science ship, on the other hand, takes longer to kill stuff and will find the procs more useful overall, so let them generate those procs more often.

5) Give BOffs an ability with will increase beam weapons' effectiveness against a single ship for a short period of time. Put it on a shared cooldown timer with BFaW or make it the same level, which will encourage captains to pick one or the other as the situation demands it. I would actually encourage an accuracy/proc buff rather than a straight dps buff for a change of flavor. A phaser barrage that leaves half a ship's systems offline for a second or two or polaron volley that makes a target's power levels tank temporarily would be fun and wouldn't steal the cannon's thunder.

That's just my thoughts.

*EDIT: In the interests of avoiding confusion, what I am referring to is that, given the BOff abilities that boost how many cannon shots can be directed at a single target, cannons have more opportunities to score a proc-inducing critical NOT that the base percentage is higher per weapon.
Agree with all the above!