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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
At the moment the tier-3 and tier-4 skills for Starfleet Training are nigh-on useless.

Each one gives bonuses to piloting either a specific tier-3 or tier-4 ship, which practically all players will replace as they gain rank. This means any skill points put into those skills are completely redundant as soon as you pass that tier.

(yes, it is true the escort ones unlock skill training options - but that is a lot of points for -just- that)

In light of this, I've got some ideas on how the tree could be rearranged to make the Tier 3 and Tier 4 options more appealing. I've put together two sample alternative trees, outlined below. One focuses on starships, the other mixes in the BO / team stuff that is currently only in tier-1. I've tried to maintain the whole general-to-specific aspect in both examples.

This set of changes focuses on starship captain-ing.

Tier 1
leave it as is

Tier 2
- Starship Hull
- Starship Manoeuvers
- Starship Speed

The description of each of the starship 'skills' says they boost these three stats. Instead of boosting all three for a class, these skills boost only one but for all three classes. This has the side-effect that a player can still change ship-class during their LC career without having 'wasted' skill points.

Tier 3
- Cruiser Captain
- Science Captain
- Escort Captain

These would be the same as the current tier-2 powers, meaning the player now specialises in a specific class.

Tier 4
- Cruiser Hull
- Escort Manoeuvers
- Science Speed

These boost only that specific element for that specific class. The idea is each is the most applicable for that class. Tweaking may be required?

Tier 5
- Cruiser Manoeuvers
- Cruiser Speed
- Escort Hull
- Escort Speed
- Science Hull
- Science Manoeuvers

The admrial-level lets you specialise in doing things outside the idiom of your ship class.

This set of options splits focus between captain-ing and ground operations

Tier 1
- Starship Captain
- Ground Commander

Ground Commander is a mix of all three 'team' abilities, providing benefit to all three in one.

Tier 2
- Cruiser Captain
- Escort Captain
- Science Captain

No change from current tree

Tier 3
- Tactical Commander
- Science Commander
- Engineering Commander

As per the existing tier-1 abilities, only these would stack with the new tier-1 'ground commander' ability.

Tier 4
- Advanced Cruiser Captain
- Advanced Escort Captain
- Advanced Science Captain

These do much the same as the tier-2 variants, only they stack with the tier-2 ones as well.

Tier 5
- Tactical Team
- Tactical Operations
- Engineering Team
- Engineering Operations
- Science Team
- Science Operations

The 'operations' skills provide boosts to your BO powers in away teams, while the 'team' powers provide boosts to your respective 'team' abilities.

These are, of course, suggestions made without numbers and would need shuffling and balancing. The idea of this is to remove any redundant powers from the trees, meaning players have meaningful choices to make at all tiers within this skill group.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
02-10-2010, 11:21 PM
Well the problem comes from Cryptic's last minute change to the skill system. Under the originally announced no skill cap this type of setup was fine because players keep earning skill points at later levels and can continue to develop later tier skills much like how EvE works. And personally I HATE EvE as I prefer more direct control over my ship like STO does and not the click attack and wait that EvE does.

Since most skills after T2 are like the ship Hull skills in that they don't stack there is very little reason to have a skill cap other the pigeon holing people into one build that they are stuck with until respec becomes available. Since it's hard to tell how much bonus those Hull skills give we'll use weapons as the example instead. If you max out one type of weapon skill like Phasers you get an extra 52% damage.

That means if you don't use phasers your seriously handy capping yourself. So unless you spend even more skill points in another weapon type your not going to be doing nearly as well as someone who has that skill. It also means your not going to be experimenting much cause any special effect from the weapon is rendered pointless by the fact your doing significantly less damage.

The game badly needs a respec option so people can experiment more. But like the OP suggest a lot of the skills need to be made more useful. In a system where you have a very limited number of points to spend and can't even get 1/3 of the skills there should be NO skills that are not used END GAME. If a skill is not used by an end game character it should not be on the tree because it only cripples new players who don't know any better for picking it and thus hinder their character.

Personally I think the whole system needs a major over haul because most of the skills are end of the tree skills. Take the weapon skills for example Tier 1 covers a very broad range while Tier 2 is most specialized. But then Tier 3-5 are the same as the Hull skills in that you only pick one and use it the rest of the game as there is no reason to pick any of the others since it's just a waste of points. The only difference is T3 weapons like Phaser/Disruptor you can still use end game while T3-T4 Hull skills are worthless.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
02-11-2010, 04:49 AM
I hear ya.

The current skill trees work fine if there is no cap, but I'm guessing Cryptic made the call to change it for a reason.

Of the other tier'd skills, nothing stands out as much as the hull types. As you mention, you can still use phasers or disruptors in the late game - it comes down to what you put points into, and the advantage those have over others is it is cheaper in skill points to get them.

The key difference for hull from anything else is you do not use the T3 or T4 hulls in the late game. Ever. Unless you're weird.

While the whole thing might want an overhaul, the Starfleet Training tree is the one with the most obvious issue. No other tree has entire tiers of skills that are rendered totally worthless simply by levelling.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
02-11-2010, 09:27 AM
Originally Posted by KidGloves
While the whole thing might want an overhaul, the Starfleet Training tree is the one with the most obvious issue. No other tree has entire tiers of skills that are rendered totally worthless simply by levelling.
The problem is, if you change this, now suddenly we need points to spend on these things. Which would be bad enough in T3-T4, especially for science ships, and really bad in T5 for everyone.

The system is designed around 1 tier, 1 tier 2, and 1 tier 3-5 skill. And what you propose would break that, especially in regards to the team skills. Not only would it be a long wait before you can get them, it'd mean nobody would take them. And stripping 2 total options from Tier 1, where your ability to max out skills is already at or near its highest, not a good idea.

In short, if they were to change it, I'd rather see just the T4 and T5 go and the T3 replaced with Advanced ShipType Captain and everything else left alone. But that won't happen.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
02-11-2010, 11:34 AM
just more evidence of cryptics horribly unthought out decisions. Creating the game with no skill cap was stupid because then the game boils down to who has more hours in the day to play which most players hate. Unfortunately they had already built it up to work that way then only changed half the system without any reguard to how it would effect anything else.

I've noticed this trend with them. they don't ever have a plan for anything. they just throw something out there with no thought to the future. other examples include no end game content, lack of real pvp, battlecloak with no working counter, instanced maps in a game where instanced maps don't work well, mission and grouping functions that completely reward and promote afk leachers, autofire system that doesn't work beyond the very first ship, pve only focus with rewards for only dps classes.....the list goes on.

they make a snap decision, don't listen to their customers, don't think it through or plan for what is to come next and tell us all "it's working as intended."

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