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Cryptic Studios Team
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For some time now, we have been kicking around the idea of instituting map-wide variables on all PvP maps we currently have in the game, in order to apply global changes to the way that certain powers operate. While this wouldn't be considered a true "fix" for PvP overall, we feel that, if we got the numbers right, it could go a long way towards addressing some points of primary concern among both players that are both Casual and Hardcore PvP enthusiasts.

Before I go into the details of what's so far been considered, I want to make it absolutely clear that these are only IDEAS, and stating them here for feedback is absolutely NOT a guarantee that they will be implemented. And even if they are, there's a good chance they will not see the light of day, even on Tribble, until after our May Update.

With that in mind, here are a couple of the map-wide modifications we've been considering:

1) Max Hitpoints/Shields Increases

This was originally considered for Ground PvP specifically, but we later began to wonder if it might be appropriate for Space as well. For now, we're considering very large increases - as much as 200%-300% of your base hitpoint and shield amounts.

We fully realize that changing this one factor, without modifying powers, would fundamentally alter the flow of battle. It would completely change the intrinsic values and opportunity costs associated with many powers, as well as changing the perceived value of cooldowns and escape tactics.

The recent thread titled "Spike vs. Pressure" paints a picture that seems to indicate that this would end up being a bad thing for Space PvP, resulting in the very real possibility of matches where ships never died. However, we've yet to see any evidence that this would be anything other than a good thing for Ground PvP.

2) Healing -OR- Damage Output Decreases

Unlike the previous option, which would have a fairly equal impact on both Damage and Healing effectiveness, these ideas are more surgical, affecting either one or the other, at disparate levels.

Applying Healing effectiveness reduction to PvP maps would lead to extremely volatile matches unless it came hand-in-hand with limitations to Spike Damage potential. While limiting overall damage output would likely be a bad idea because it impacts "Pressure" DPS more profoundly than "Spike" -- not a great idea to exacerbate this issue. This probably means that this option is even less likely to be a good idea, than the previous notion. At least for Space PvP.

3) Reduction in Status Ability Effectiveness -OR- the Resistance Thereof

Presume that the term "Status" refers to just about anything that is not Damage. Buffs, Debuffs, Repel, Disable, Confuse, etc.

To be frank, we're fairly well satisfied with how effective most powers are in PvE in terms of their ability to inflict Status effects, and manipulate the flow of an encounter. As well as players' options to resist the effects of these abilities when they are used by NPCs. That's not to say that they are perfect, or that there isn't room for improvement, but we're OK with them as they are. Generally speaking.

In PvP however, the combination of extreme skill stacking and high resistance factors, cause us difficulty when attempting to find the correct balance point of an ability's effectiveness. We have therefore theorized that allowing us to limit one side of the equation or the other, ONLY in PvP, might allow us to tune these abilities in a more focused, controlled manner.


So, those are the main ideas we've had so far. We'd like to hear some open-minded feedback on what consequences any of the above could potentially have on the viability and flow of PvP combat, and its popularity among Veterans and non-Veterans alike. Keep in mind that we recognize the potential risk involved with making global changes of this nature, so you can bet your self-sealing stem bolts that we'd be testing any map-wide alterations extensively on Tribble before sending them into a Live environment (we've already investigated how to control this).
Jeremy Randall
Cryptic - Staff Systems Designer
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# 2
02-25-2013, 09:40 AM
My mind asploded.

Would we, The Community be heard when these changes went to Tribble? If some of this stuff went live and had adverse affects it'll be a long winded process unpicking it.

Last edited by aquitaine985; 02-25-2013 at 09:44 AM.
Survivor of Romulus
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# 3
02-25-2013, 09:45 AM
Originally Posted by aquitaine985 View Post
My mind asploded.
quick reg is confused steal his GPL

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# 4
02-25-2013, 09:48 AM
This will not fix a flawed system imo.
The Somraw, K'tinga, D'Kyr, D7, Kumari, Xindi carrier, Xindi escort, and the T'Varo are all older than the Constitution Refit and yet they are tier 5. The Constellation is made up primarily of Connie refit parts and it is tier 5, there is no logical reason whatsoever for the no tier 5/6 connie rule.
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# 5
02-25-2013, 09:52 AM

Imo tho all id like to see which would make me maybe play pvp would be the host to pick options like any other mp centred gameplay i.e what map, how many players i.e 2v2 4v4 8v8 etc. Lock to type of ship i.e all or just cruisers or just escorts, ability to select no powers so it removes captain and boff powers and you duke it out just based on ur equipment only (really like the idea of that personally).

Turn nebula on or off or other kind of map hazzards which would effect gameplay i.e hide in asteroid belts or knock shields off or binds sensors etc with nebula. Gravity i.e fight around a planet might be interesting too.

But about the changes borts saying. Maybe they could work.
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# 6
02-25-2013, 10:00 AM
Thanks for bringing this to the forum Bort.

This is such a radical suggestion that I am not sure what effects this may have. Though I look forward to it possibly being on Tribble for a lengthy duration, with significant testing to determine the viability.

Is there a checkpoint you could reach, in which you would know if this was tenable or not without implementing a system that might not work?
Cryptic Studios Team
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# 7
02-25-2013, 10:11 AM
Originally Posted by drkfrontiers View Post
Is there a checkpoint you could reach, in which you would know if this was tenable or not without implementing a system that might not work?
Possibly, but likely not. We'd probably get to a point where we're ready to put it to testing on Tribble, but it's entirely plausible that the results we see in Testing mean it never goes live.

To respond to a couple points of feedback that have already been given:

- This is not the thread to discuss new game modes (4v4, locked ship types, etc). Yes, we've been contemplating and brainstorming some new pvp content concepts, but that's all stuff for another day.

- These ideas are specifically non-surgical in nature. They're heavy-handed, far-reaching and potentially volatile changes. This is why we're floating the ideas to the community before even prototyping it internally. And we know they're likely to be seen by players as nothing more than a band-aid on the current state of PvP. And honestly, that's kinda what they are. We're not trying to solve individual mechanical issues with this type of change, we're just trying to make the game's PvP more enjoyable, and approachable.
Jeremy Randall
Cryptic - Staff Systems Designer
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# 8
02-25-2013, 11:17 AM
Hmmm... While reading the suggestions, I can see how the first three are definitely best suited for the Ground aspect of PVP.

The First one, increasing shields and Hull, while it might seem like a good Idea, you already pointed out why it would also be bad.. It would make Spike damage even MORE necessary. Engineers would go from being near impossible to kill, to becoming down right god like. The game already has a feel of Tactical and science being the most important classes to bring into PVP, I don't think we need to emphasis this.

The Second one, reducing of healing and resists, while it almost sounds like something to explore, I'm not sure how good it would be to just make everyone want to jump into an Escort instead of a Cruiser, Science ship, or Carrier, since they would have an even lower chance to survive a multi team spike.

The Third one how ever....

On the one hand.. the Third one would be a boon to the Science abilities as a whole. Gravity Wells would actually start to pull, Tyken's Rifts would actually Drain again, Targeting Subsystems would become deadly once more..

On the other hand... could it also exasperate some of the already effective powers currently being used? How would this effect Viral Matrix, Siphon Drones, Jam or Scramble sensors for example? Or what about the Console abilities? How would that effect Gravimetric Charge, AMS, or AA's?

This is something that might merit some more investigation for sure as to being a possible viable change to PVP. Though it might also mean that some of the math going into skills that effects some powers might need to be tweeked further so that they don't become must have skills in PVP.
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# 9
02-25-2013, 04:21 PM
Detailed feedback will come a bit later after I've digested it a bit, but let me mention how much I appreciate that Cryptic is coming to the community at this stage in the design process. I see a lot of potential to make pvp a bit more forgiving to new players and less dependent on massive damage spikes & subnukes as the only way to kill people.
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# 10
02-25-2013, 04:25 PM
Can we apply all of it?

1) Increase hit points, while reducing T1 healing skill effectiveness, as well as damage output. Titrate that until you get "breathing space", so let's say you'd need 2-3 players to spike dps 1 player down, and even if after a solo spike said player is left with 30-50% HP which he won't be healing out of very quickly unless he's being focus-healed by another 1-2 players.

This would also bring pressure dps back in viability as while outright dying from an alpha attack is less likely, healing off any injuries acquired takes longer and allows them to 'accumulate'.

I wish for debuffs to work longer and better on players, but stop them from stacking. This reduces maximum effectiveness, but allows for improving individual sci power effectiveness. Also, make anything that outright causes a player to lose control of his ship fragile, so that it has a long duration that can be reapplied before it expires, but the moment anything damages it, the player breaks free.

Lastly, give everything a CC breakout instead of locking it away at LtC level. This can be done by APO1 & 2 being bumped down a tier, or adding that as a PVP-related special ability.
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