We already brought down the Tribble server for maintenance to apply a new update.
Feature: Updated Carrier Command Interface
Hangar Pet Interface
All ships that possess at least one Hangar Bay will see a new UI element on their screen, as long as they have an item equipped in their Hangar Bay slot.
This UI element will display all hangar craft currently active from that bay.
The following stats are displayed on this UI:
Number of Active Pets, Hitpoints, Shields and Rank (details further below)
Each hangar bay may be activated using a button that has been placed on this UI, to summon a wing of pets.
This does not remove the option of hotkeying your Hangar Bay summons in your power tray.
Wing-specific Carrier Commands can also be accessed from this UI, allowing you send separate Carrier Commands to each hangar, if you have more than one Hangar Bay.
Duty Officers that required a specific Carrier Command to be active in order to function have been updated. They will now activate if either Hangar Bay is issuing the necessary command.
NOTE: This may allow Carriers to benefit from two different Duty Officer active roster abilities simultaneously. However, the max number of Flight Deck Officers which may be equipped has not been altered, still 3 max.
Players may still utilize the buttons on their Weapon Tray to send Carrier Commands to both wings of pets at the same time.
For starships with only a single hangar, there is no functional difference between the new Carrier Command buttons and the existing ones.
Hangar Pet Ranks
All Hangar Craft are now capable of gaining up to 5 Ranks which will improve their performance over time.
These Ranks are slowly gained based upon the time they spend in combat without dying.
Reaching Rank 5 requires a total of 5 minutes of active Combat time.
Each time a Hangar Craft ranks up, it receives a 25% Hull HP heal, as well as gaining additional stat buffs:
+5/10/15/20/25% Maximum Hull HP
Tachyon Drones, Siphon Drones and Shield Repair Drones will instead gain +10/20/30/40/50% Max HP, due to their limited combat utility.
Runabouts, Delta Flyers and all Frigate Hangar Craft will instead only gain +2/4/6/8/10% Max HP, due to their higher starting base value.
+2/4/6/8/10% Damage Bonus
Non-Damaging Hangar Pets gain unique bonuses:
Tachyon Drones will drain -10 more shields per tick, per Rank.
Shield Repair Drones will repair 10% more shields per tick, per Rank.
Siphon Drones do not currently gain in effectiveness as they Rank Up, other than Max HP.
In order to balance Hangar Pets? new ability to Rank Up, all combat pets have received a slight reduction in outgoing damage.
The damage penalty is 4.0%, and is completely offset by reaching Rank 2.
All Hangar Craft launch timers have been standardized.
For example, some ships used to wait 1 second between each pet summon, and others would wait up to 4 seconds.
These have all been standardized to a 2 second interval between each pet summon.
Activating your Hangar Bay while pets are already summoned will no longer replace active pets, but will only fill in missing pets.
All Carrier Commands have had their descriptions updated to reflect their functionality.
Carrier Command : Recall has been improved:
Hangar Craft will still disengage from combat and return to their Carrier when put into Recall Mode.
After 15 seconds in Recall Mode, all active Hangar Craft will now attempt to dock with their Carrier.
When a Hangar Craft successfully docks, it will disappear from view but all of its applicable stats will remain (Shields, HPs, Ranks)
Docked Hangar Craft regenerate Hull HP at a highly accelerated rate.
Docked Hangar Craft cannot be affected by AOE abilities, or gain Ranks, as long as they remain Docked.
Docked Hangar Craft will immediately and automatically re-deploy upon receiving any Carrier Command other than Recall.
All Hangar Craft will now be far more likely to avoid the explosions caused by any Warp Core Breach.
This AI improvement also applies to other ship pets, such as MVAM and Saucer Separation.
From what I can tell, The changes mostly are trying to make using the bigger more survivable Pets more useful, while also giving the smaller more fragile pets a way to accomplish more. And adding in a New UI change also seems like a nice touch.
From what I can also tell, it looks like it might make some pets even more powerful then they were before if they are fragile but can survive long enough, like Tachyon Drones and Shield Repair Drones. How ever it is more likely that these changes will be more PVE central but they were careful not to include Siphon Drones in the boost of ability unlike the other two. Which was good and smart. (Good job Cryptic!)
It is also obvious they are trying to give a reason to use multiple Carrier Pet Doffs, such as 2 Recharge Doffs and 1 + Defense Doffs so you can put one hanger on Recall while leaving the other on attack or what not and continue to spew things out. And they are also trying to discourage constant pet spaming by making them stronger. How ever we all know in PVP That is going to be highly unlikely even with Rank 5 To'Duj/Fighters.
Personally, I'll try to do some testing on these features, but I can't promise I'd be able to give much feedback since to be fair most of my focus lately has been on the romulans and the Scimitar would hardly be a fair and justified test unlike the Kar'fi or what not.
You think that your beta test was bad?
Think about this: American Football has been in open beta for 144 years. ~Kotaku