Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 81
11-04-2011, 11:13 PM
"It's on Tribble - a test server. The whole reason it is being tested is so issues like this can be sorted out before they actually go live."

I've heard this phrase uttered in so many games at so many points in time. Its just a test server, this really really horrible change will be sorted out before It goes live!

In all the MMOs I've played since starting (Ultima Online) I think "ONCE" I saw a really negative change hit a test server and get pulled before it makes it to live. And it wasnt this game.

By the time things hit the "test" server the game developers and company execs have already discussed the changes and approved them. The point of the "test" is to just make sure it doesnt crash the whole bloody game, not to see if you approve of the mess they are making.....
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
I'm giving my general impressions after working with the new skill system for a while. Specific impressions will follow.


Good Intentions.
Poor Execution.

World of ******** went through a similar change with their Cataclysm expansion. They felt there were too many talents that weren't meaningful. So they cut things way back, and tried to make player's customization more meaningful. Instead, it led to even less customization.

That's what we have here. On live, I can max out my meaningful weapon, combat and starship piloting skills. I have more choices on where to put extra skill points, more variation.
This first implementation of the skill system revamp is a far cry from allowing me to do so. I don't have extra points to splash around into secondary skills. I can't even max out my primary combat skills.

Also, adding 50% to the cost of skills without halving the choices of skills only does a disservice to player choice. On paper, it looks like the skills were halved, because of all the missing energy weapon and piloting skills. We went from 69 space based skills to 33. But the effective skill choices are far from it. They tell a very different story.

Let me explain: Before the redesign, you'd only specialize in one type of ship, typically. The system was certainly designed around it. Additionally, you'd typically choose to specialize in one energy weapon type, and one kinetic weapon type. These choices greatly reduced the effective skill choices you had to make. How much ?
  • Starfleet Training, excluding the various “Team” skills, as they've been moved, would only have 8 skills to fill out, as opposed to your 22 choices. This is *including* the various Starship Attack Vectors, Battle Strategy, and Combat Maneuvers skills.
  • Energy Weapons and Projectile weapons would have 3 to 4 skills to fill out, each, depending on if you used Beams and Cannons, and/or Torpedoes and Mines. Typically though, most would choose only one of each type. So effectively you'd fill out about 6 skills between these two trees, out of the 18 choices offered.
  • Starship Engineering has only lost 2 skills from it's large tree.
  • Starship Operations lost 3.



So, in reality, we've gone from having 43 choices to skill into on live, down to 33 with the new system.

That is a far cry from half the available choices. It's only a 23% reduction.


Which means increasing the skill costs by *50%* their live cost is WAY overpricing skills. On Tribble we have only a slightly reduced number choices for where to spend our skill points than we do on Holodeck. We have even more skills that are mandatory to get to try and match our performance on live. On top of that, we can't spend our points as effectively. That's a Triple whammy.

So, in concept, the skill revamp is a good idea. Thumbs up.
This first execution, however, gets a BIG thumbs down.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 83 Continued feedback
11-04-2011, 11:14 PM
Now, as to specific feedback (I will be ignoring ground skills, including the team skills, as they've not been revamped yet.):
  • Too many skill points have to be spent in the first tier, and not enough can be spent in later tiers.
    • On live, you can skill up just a little bit less each time you level up, because the skill system goes up 100 points at each Tier. By having it go up 150 each Tier, it greatly reduces the ability to spend skill points as you level. This in turn greatly reduces player choice at each successive tier.
    • In addition, while the number of skill points needed to increase a skill's level raised, the number of points required to Tier up was *not* adjusted. These two issues really make it a pain to spend skill points effectively, and once again reduce the player's ability to customize their skills.
  • On live, lower Tier skills give less of a bonus per rank. Higher Tier skills give more bonus because they require more skill points invested. These bonuses are 18 for Tier one skills, 30 for Tier two, and 52 for Tier three through five. On Tribble. All skills can give a Maximum bonus of 33, regardless of how much you spend on them. This would seem to mean you don't get as much of a bonus for higher tiered skills as you do for lower ones, per skill point spent.
  • On live, I can train my officers in many more skills than I can on Tribble, do to the skill restructure. In other words, I can max out skills to be able to train officers on live. On Tribble, I don't have enough skill points to do so. I can max out skills, or I can spend my skills effectively, not both.
  • Due to the major cost of skills, having to max out a Tier 5 skill to unlock officer training is completely unreasonable. If skill costs were adjusted back to +100 per Tier, then it'd be OK.
  • Science Ship captains are in an even worse position with this skill revamp then they were before. With even more mandatory skills, and fewer effective ways to spend them.

Skill Specific Feedback
  • Starship Batteries... really ?
  • If you're going to combine all the Starship Efficiency skills into one, why weren't the Starship Performance skills combined as well ?
  • Starship Stealth seems.... mostly useless for federation characters...
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 84
11-04-2011, 11:30 PM
I heard thru the grapevine for ground they are going to have one to keep the food from spoiling like the battery one for space (Just a joke)
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 85
11-04-2011, 11:39 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Necrion
World of ******** went through a similar change with their Cataclysm expansion. They felt there were too many talents that weren't meaningful. So they cut things way back, and tried to make player's customization more meaningful. Instead, it led to even less customization.
This is the comparison I was also going to make. I was saddened to see so much choice taken out of the players' hands. I enjoy complexity in my games and the ability to make lots of choices when choosing skills is an important factor to me. I feel like the change in STO's skill system is sort of ... well, it's a step forward and then a couple of awkward steps backward.

I like that it's been made convenient for players to choose weapon/ship types, and we aren't restricted to flying just a Refit Escort with Phaser Cannons, for example. But at the same time I really liked the original skills and their complexity. Being able to cherry-pick the skills I was most interested in and have a character that was specialized and unique (and not sporting some FotM build) was a big draw for me.

Will post more feedback with regards to the skill changes when I better familiarize myself with the new system.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 86
11-04-2011, 11:54 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xilr
"It's on Tribble - a test server. The whole reason it is being tested is so issues like this can be sorted out before they actually go live."

I've heard this phrase uttered in so many games at so many points in time. Its just a test server, this really really horrible change will be sorted out before It goes live!

In all the MMOs I've played since starting (Ultima Online) I think "ONCE" I saw a really negative change hit a test server and get pulled before it makes it to live. And it wasnt this game.

By the time things hit the "test" server the game developers and company execs have already discussed the changes and approved them. The point of the "test" is to just make sure it doesnt crash the whole bloody game, not to see if you approve of the mess they are making.....

Yes, but he prefacd it with "Calm... constructive... criticism.

It's important to get the feedback from the community, but try to do it without the rage, so the message gets across.

At least theirs was not a "omfg it's a test server, quit your griping.". Those are the responses that get me irked.

Has anyone tried a DPS build out at high level yet? I'd be interested to know how positively/negatively the changes affect high level combat.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 87
11-05-2011, 12:17 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Necrion
  • On live, lower Tier skills give less of a bonus per rank. Higher Tier skills give more bonus because they require more skill points invested. These bonuses are 18 for Tier one skills, 30 for Tier two, and 52 for Tier three through five. On Tribble. All skills can give a Maximum bonus of 33, regardless of how much you spend on them. This would seem to mean you don't get as much of a bonus for higher tiered skills as you do for lower ones, per skill point spent.
Yeah, if they're going to have a flat bonus across skill "tiers", it would make more sense to have a flat cost as well.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 88
11-05-2011, 12:18 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by GenEricII

Yes, but he prefacd it with "Calm... constructive... criticism.

It's important to get the feedback from the community, but try to do it without the rage, so the message gets across.

At least theirs was not a "omfg it's a test server, quit your griping.". Those are the responses that get me irked.

Has anyone tried a DPS build out at high level yet? I'd be interested to know how positively/negatively the changes affect high level combat.
It didn't feel nearly as effective as the previous skill version because they redid most of the consoles, too.

In other words: Consoles = BIG NERF
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 89
11-05-2011, 12:36 AM
You know what does not suprise me, is this system is almost exactly what was posted as the direction they were going when they asked us for feedback. We gave them plenty of feedback and voila, they did what they wanted to do anyway.

What was not in there, was the massive console nerf.

All this ends up being is even less diversity. I say we just make STO like a console game at this point with the potential to co-opt because we are all going to end up with nearly identical builds anyway, until those things gets nerfed.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 90
11-05-2011, 12:48 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Commodore Shrvk
You know what does not suprise me, is this system is almost exactly what was posted as the direction they were going when they asked us for feedback. We gave them plenty of feedback and voila, they did what they wanted to do anyway.

What was not in there, was the massive console nerf.

All this ends up being is even less diversity. I say we just make STO like a console game at this point with the potential to co-opt because we are all going to end up with nearly identical builds anyway, until those things gets nerfed.
Thats pretty much kind of what they intended is making this like an online console game, they are just adding items to buy to do the same content with which doesn't really make game play any more enjoyable if you kill the same ship over and over again and go hey look i can wear this time I kill it or wait I'll switch it up and use a polaron cannon for the 1000th kill of this same ship oh yea I'm happy now... oh wait let me see what it will be like to just jump behind the target I didn't do that till the 2000th time I killed this same ship.
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