You all know how it works. You have a new idea for a build, you see someone else with a nice build, you want to improve your own build because you found a weakness. In the end you change your build... weapons/skills/equipment/whatever.
But how do you know you actually improved your build for PvP? What tools do you use to test? Do you just play some arenas and if it feels right it's ok? In other words how do you gather data and how do you evaluate them?
A step-by-step instruction would be nice. I also take links and hints to improve my test procedure which is currently... well non existent.
I agree that we need better test tools. Tribble works to save on respec tokens but aside from having 2 or 3 friends come and shoot you or be shot at there is not a good way to test over there either. And now with the pve q's you cant drop in on breaking the planet without at least 5 people.
I think a holodeck in the shipyard could be used to run test similations on new builds. I would pay alittle more for a respec token if it had some level of guarentee or opurtunity to change once or twice.
Like I got to reading about transphasics and how they have 20% sheild penetration so it sounds good. I got a nice mk xi very rare transphasic torp and respeced for it and well, it works but not as well as i had hoped. Oh well its only 5 bucks right? lol
But what I am learning now is that your good friends will usually give you there build specs. And if you load them into stoacademy.com 's skill point jigger than you can save them and easily share them with someone else.
But basically, they give us this game to make money so its always gonna cost you. I can't wait for the split in points though so that one toon can actually compete on both fronts like a real starfleet captain does. I can hear it now, "Picard, i need you to beam down and handle these klingons personally". "But admiral, I am not trained for ground combat, I will need to return to Earth to respec before I can complete my mission". lol
Even than there is always some amount of trial and error. Buit if you do go to tribble to test, be sure you have a respec token befor you copy. As I have not found the rumored free ones over there yet.
2. Exhaustive mathematics (I like to know exactly what's going to happen in any given situation, or try to anyways)
3. Make the build
4. Get a friend and setup a test environment
5. If it works, becomes a live build
6. If it doesn't pan out, go back to the drawing boards.
Steps 1 and 2 take the longest.
Step 6 can be long, depending on if I like how the build should work and try to find ways around why it failed.
As long as it adds up to 42, you know you've done it right.
I spend a lot of time in conversation with Fleetmates, and we verbally theorycraft (often half a dozen iterations of the same idea), until we settle on an idea that we like, then one of us builds it and we run a few test runs in private duels. 1v1, 2v2, 3v3, and if all goes well, we then take it to Ker'rat; from there, if it continues to perform as expected, we make any tweaks we feel might be necessary, figure out what swap BOffs the build might need (to respond to given situations, e.g. spam-heavy teams, Sci-heavy teams, etc.), then take it wherever the winds may take us.
(Oh, it also gets a nice trial by fire when we run the given character through the STF's to get the Borg gear. )