I just turned t3 and did some pvp as fed science. There were a couple of times a klingon (just 1) used matrix on me, 8sec stun) and nuked 1 side of my shields and then nuked me. Basically I couldnt move, use any abilites. So that means in pvp all ships with stong canons and matrix can nuke 1 enemy in 8 sec. I think that is too overpopwered. It is like an instant kill button. There is absolute no defense against it. Just a matter of time when people realize that and all use it. There will be no more spacefights, it is just who uses matrix first wins, except science vessel and beam weapons user.
The Bad thing about Viral Matrix is that it absolutely lacks counters.
There are only two abilites in the game that remove it.
1 - Science team.
It will cleanse the debuff, but only if you randomly happen to have the Science team buff on you when the enemy uses Viral Matrix, which is not going to ever happen.
If an enemy sees the Science Team Debuff on you he's not going to waste Viral Matrix.
If you are already affected by Viral Matrix, you can't use Science Team.
The only way to get out of VM via Science Team is to be able to see that tiny purple thing flying at you (impossible in a huge 10v10 brawl) and use Science Team after the enemy has fired it but before it hits you.
So - I can definitely say that Science Team is good against stupid people (who cast VM on you while you have the science team buff) or if you happen to have competent teammates who use their science team on you while you are under VM's effect (very unlikely unless you are an arranged pvp team).
2 - Attack Pattern Omega.
This is a high level (lt.cmd) Tactical Ability, but it can get you out of VM and you can use it while VM is active.
The Drawback? Only Escorts can have this ability (From T3 onwards), the only non-escort that ever gets a lt.cmd tactical slot they could use for this ability is the Vo'Quv (T5 Klingon Carrier).
(This info is according to suricata's ship tier chart, I do not know all boff slots of all ships from the top of my head)
So, to sum it up...
- Already have a Science Team buff on you when Viral Matrix hits.
- Have a competent Teammate cast Science Team on you while VM is affecting you.
- Are an Escort.
... you are 75% guaranteed to die as soon as someone decides to VM you.
(The other 25% are situations where you get VM'd with reverse shield polarity on or when the VM'er just sucks at dealing damage)
And this is pretty much what annoys everyone about this ability.
I, personally, am most ****ed about the only -reliable- way to get out of it being restricted to stupid escorts.
This ability does have counters. However it has NO counters usable by the ship it targets after it has hit them.
An ability that completely removes control of the ship from a player needs to have readily available counters to it or needs to be shorter in duration. An 8 second stun in a game based around defensive cooldowns is entirely too much.
If the ability removed weapon control and movement it would be powerful enough, for it to completely remove control of your ship when every bird of prey DPS Klingon has access to it is just ridiculous. Just so it is clear Klingon DPS has this skill, the only Federation Vessel that can get it is a science ship. In addition, Tactical Team (maybe) and Science Team (definitely) can remove this skill but only if used by a friend or the target ship before it is fired.
For those defending the skill, let me say this, if a skill can be used by one player to completely disable another, the target needs a skill usable on themselves reactively to remove the effect. Anything else is imbalanced and will result in cookie cutter specs with no counters but opposing cookie cutter specs (5 BoPs vs 5 Science Vessels).
I honestly like Viral Matrix, I believe it to add variety and interest to the game. However saying that it is fine to be able to stun a ship for 8 seconds while you tear it apart because a 'teammate' can remove it is illogical and imbalanced.
My solutions are:
Iit disables weapons and engines only (this is the primary use in my view anyway).
Science, Tactical, and Engineering teams are usable REACTIVELY by the TARGET to remove the effect. Effectively this makes it a better, stronger tractor beam for 3-4 seconds while the target uses his/her team effect, or it is still an 8 second stun if their teams aren't up. This removes its viability as an opening 1 shot on an opponent and sustains it's power with limits.
The effect needs to be 3-4 seconds ONLY instead of 8.
TLDR An 8 second stun on opposing DPS with no reactive counters with 1 race having full access and 1 race having limited access (BoP vs Science vessel usage) is imbalanced and requires a fix in the form of an increase in reactive cooldown availability or a reduction in the power's effectiveness.