I am coming back after about a year off the game. I left just before season 1 came out because I felt the game was released a bit too soon and there wasn't much content. With the addition of all the STFs, series, and most importantly the foundary, there seems to be a lot more content, and so I am returning.
Anyways, when I left, sensor probes were the be all/end all skill. You could spam them off every 20 seconds, and the effect lasted 30+ seconds at 25 aux. So you could use full weapons and the enemy would never even look at you. Now it seems the duration is alot shorter, and based on aux skill. It also seems to be maxed lower. Does anybody know the formulas, maxed duration, or data about Sensor Probe skill?
By sensor probes, I'm assuming you mean scramble sensors. I don't have any numbers on it, but it's mostly broken down like this: Each version lasts progressively longer and makes you switch to more random targets. Only a science vessel with full aux power and fully specced into scramble sensors can make it last for 25 seconds. It is still really annoying, and the cure for it is slightly broken...you can't cure scramble sensors 3 with science team. But not many people run this, because science vessels have become much more what they're supposed to have been...debuffers and healers.
I run a shield dropper build, and I can 1 v 1 just about anybody and come out unharmed. My favorite ships are escorts, but science vessels are fun and essential.
I'm pretty sure that he's referring to Viral Matrix, which used to be a straight up stun when the game first came out. The skill has since be redesigned to randomly take subsystems offline for a few seconds at a time, which while annoying, is nothing like it used to be and is not seen as much as it was.
Scramble sensors though is exactly like BluerockBeing said.
I have the impression he's actually taking about the old Viral Matrix as well. There wasn't a good reason to use SS if you could have VM before Season 1.
Viral Matrix has changed considerably. It was basically "Win"-button then. Today it's unfortunately one of the weaker science powers.
A lot has changed since pre-Season 1. In Season 2, all powers got major revamps, the entire cooldown system was streamlined, and many powers got even improved, but almost all Science Powers are Auxillary power dependent now (as Auxillary Power was otherwise hardly relevant).
See my signature for some information regarding the current mechanics. (The thread linked should contain information and also further links to changes regarding the cooldown system.)