Yes Attack pattern Alpha is the only stackable pattern as its a captain power, by making it unstackable with the other 3 it will reduce the burst damage some but not by a huge extent.
The other non alpha attack patterns go on global cooldown cause they on the same system such as every other BO power is tied to a specific system. captain powers were removed from the global cooldown system.
With patterns on a toggle a tact captain can still do burst with their other cap powers just not as strong as before as they can't stack omega or beta onto their alpha anymore. However with their patterns on toggles they can keep the buff going much longer increasing their sustain damage potential over longer periods of time. Another plus is they wouldn't need more then one copy of a particular pattern freeing up tact BO spots for other stuff. The main abvantage would be for sci and eng captains that don't got the burst tacts do so they are more competent at burning down their targets. Another benefit is you can use only the pattern you current need and not have to bother with rotations to fill in gaps.
So if you wanted to escape or chase down a target you use omega.
If you or a teammate were being focused on your hit delta.
Once the shields go down you can go beta for extra hull killing or to support others using alpha or omega at the time.
I've been toying with the idea for team wide benefits for the existing team abilities to make getting the higher ranks more tasty options. This is just the rudimentary concept I been working on. Like with Tactical Team
Rank 1 - Is as it is now.
Rank 2 - provides the buff to both you and a selected friendly target, maybe will share your current pattern to you friendly target for the duration of buff.
Rank 3 - would share the buff to all allies in 3-5km of both you and your target but only the skill portion, maybe share the current pattern buff to all effected as well.
As a toggle function, meaning once clicked "on" it stays that way until clicked "off", how does that change how AttackPatterns are used now since the player only has to activate them as they finish thier CD?
By toggle do you mean outright turned "on" (providing the ability's constant bonus) or does the power run its course for its alotted time period, hit its CD, finish CD and automatically restart until turned off?
What Science and/or Engineering powers are going to be set to non-stackable with BOff abilities since this idea does remove one Tac Captain power from being stacked with other BOff abilities?
Secondly how will this idea effect those vessels not well designed for long term self-reliant survival?
It may be all well and good to have this system in place as a Tactical in a Cruiser or even a Science vessel but Escorts will not play well under it due to thier lack of self-healing and reliance on the Burst attack to soften foes quickly. Most Escorts can not function as sustained attackers . This removes some vessels all to together, such as the BoP may not fair well in a sustained combat under it without outside healing.
Addendum: Are the Science/Engineer going toggle as well in your idea? I ask becuase somebody will eventually.
As a toggle it works as a toggle should it stays active for as long as you want without a timer until something removes it or you shut it off.
As for alpha being unstackable with the other patterns is a proviso that I'll make clear in a moment.
Yes you can have multiple patterns on a rotation to give you something usually going. Now let's compare my concept to let's say Attack Omega Pattern. Right now Omega provides only half it's effects for 5 secs and the rest for 15 secs on a 1 min cooldown without Tactical initative. Now you can't even get this one to run consistantly as omega shared a 30sec global cooldown with other omega powers so you would need a 3rd power of ethier beta or delta to keep a continual cycle going. Even if you tried this with beta you would still need a second beta power and your still be losing out of 10secs effective beta use as the buff only lasts for 10 secs a power. Another drawback is your probaly be using inferior ranks of the duplicate power to boot. Now with my system you can activate one instance of omega and reap the rewards for a entire cycle of 3 pattern abilities without having to use lower ranked and extra duplicates and deveations and can continue to do so until you decide to change or is countered.
Now you can probaly see why I said alpha would need to be unstackable with the other as you can now have alpha going for much longer then it's normal 30 sec duration adding a rather sizable boost to your sustained lvl of DPS and having a second pattern being able to be stacked would effectively put you on permenant burst mode.
I have mixed feelings on this. On the one hand, the basis of this conversation is correct: Burst damage is the reason healing is out of control. And both ends of that spectrum are not fun. No one likes getting popped in one shot, however, the escort pilots don't like doing 0 damage to your hull and getting popped themselves since they are way more fragile.
Anyway, Cruisers deal more damage because of healing; Healing is multi-faceted. Equipping more heals means I have more time to do damage, and thus do more damage over the course of a battle.
I fly a BoP on my tactical officer. I do a crap load of DPS, for example, but I'm rarely on top in overall damage because when I fly my BoP, I hit and run. I have to. If I take any amount of focus fire, I am toast. Obviously while running I do very little, if any, damage.
Making escorts better at sustained DPS would imply a few things:
1) Healing is outright reduced -- all instant heals would need to go away or be evaluated and tuned in a very downward fashion. Otherwise, it's all for naught.
2) In general, escorts cannot stand toe to toe with bigger ships. They have less everything. If healing is reduced to accommodate sustained DPS over burst DPS, then the problem is only exacerbated. You just make escorts worse overall.
I don't think what's presented is even close to the solution to this problem, and would overall, probably ruin escort gameplay more than it helps it. But I don't disagree with the point being posed here; I only think this suggestion is not the solution to the problem.