I've been seeing a lot of discussion about science ships, science abilities and science captains, some of it positive, most of it negative. I'm hoping to get a unified thread discussing all of the problems that plague the sciences in a civilised and constructive manner so that we can hopefully get something done, but at least find some common ground with the developers.
I really enjoy that I can effectively be a healer in ground PvE and PvP. It makes me feel like an integral part of the team, even if healers aren't needed as much in PvE compared to other MMOs. Elite ground STFs are a slightly different story, at least. I'm actually needed there.
My ground science abilities (Tricorder Scan, Scientific Aptitude etc) are amazing and fit the class perfectly. They make my job as a healer much easier, as they're an appropriate mix of heals, area defense, scouting and self defense. You've really done a great job with these, although users of other kits may feel slightly differently.
My space science abilities are also nice, although dampening field feels a bit useless with its short range. I love sensor scan simply because it allows me, as a science captain, to pretty much alpha strike anyone down in my Orion's bird of prey. Subnucleonic Beam further compounds this, because I can get rid of pesky defense buffs.
Being able to set my enemies on fire with one of my kit abilities never gets old!
Unfortunately, that's all I'm happy about when it comes to my class. There are many things that do not work correctly (or at all) that I'm very displeased with. The general direction the class seems to be taking as a whole troubles me. I've attempted to highlight my grievances as best I could with red.
First off, science ship weapon loadouts. I know science ships were originally not supposed to be damage dealing monsters. It doesn't fit the canon of Star Trek. But let's face it, six weapons just is not enough to effectively do any damage in this era where all of our science abilities are often resisted to the point of uselessness and our abilities do extremely minimal amounts of damage. If I'm not mistaken, I believe that was the justification for only having six weapons, because our science abilities were so potent and dangerous that we didn't need two more. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
Tractor Beam being a bit more effective in the next has my hopes up ever so slightly, but with how easy it is to break the ability (something every tactical captain/escort runs with) or how it doesn't seem to even affect cruisers (which I guess makes some sense, those things are massive), the ability still feels subpar. The only thing it's good for is breaking a ship's cloak at the start of Ker'rat, because a decent Bird of Prey pilot will not let Sensor Scan get the better of their battle cloak. Simply put: Tractor Beam is worthless in PvP at level 30+, aside from completely screwing over other science ships. My hope is that it will become slightly more useful in PvE with the small boost that it's getting.
My shield draining abilities do so little it's almost kind of like a funny joke. When I'm sitting on 120 Auxiliary power, with 9 points into Flow Capacitors and two appropriate consoles, my Tachyon Beam III drains about... half of the shields of a generic PvE enemy cruiser/science ship and about 2/3 on smaller ships. In PvP, they drain nothing thanks to the massive resistances people have.
Further emphasizing this point, effective shield drains are pretty much the only reason to bring a science ship to PvE or PvP. Science ship damage output is pitiful. However, in the latest [Tribble server test notes], I see references to massive, executioner-like nerfs to our shield drain (and power drain) abilities. [Some testing] has been done to see what happens now. I think the results speak for themselves, showing that shield draining is pretty much dead in the water.
Our other control abilities are more or less useless as well. There's been some testing (link unavailable at the moment, looking for it) with a fully powered and fully specced Gravity Well III awhile ago. With proper resistances that pretty much everyone has, Gravity Well doesn't pull in anything, and if someone makes the mistake of flying into one, they take minimal damage and do not slow down. Someone even did a test without an engine item equipped and they were still able to fly out of one without the use of Evasive Maneuvers. Seriously? In PvE it seems to take about 5 or 6 seconds for the gravity pull to even take affect, so if I don't have the target stuck in a tractor beam, the ability just makes a pretty object in space that is no danger to anything.
Our consoles. They are so complex and convoluted compared to Engineering and Tactical that I still don't know what all of them do. And the best part is that we need to choose between keeping our paper thin shields strong or wasting them on consoles that either buff an ability's affect minimally, or the damage minimally. Compare them to Engineering consoles: Flat damage resistances, easy to figure out. Flat power upgrades, easy to figure out. Flat turn rate upgrades, easy. Tactical consoles are the same. Both of these console types offer flat bonuses at much higher returns than Science does. I still don't think it's enough, but I do thank you for at least doubling what they did in the past. I actually consider slotting them on my escort now.
The IDIC science tribble buff. I may be completely wrong here as I am not too well versed on how health regeneration works, but from what I can tell, it's useless. +0.02 health regen? What does that even do? It increases my human's health regeneration out of combat to 102.5%. In combat, it does nothing. the Tactical and Engineering tribbles at least do something in combat. The ball seems to have been completely dropped here. My suggestion would be for it to either increase expose chance, science ability powers or increase healing received by 10%.
And, if a developer does read this thread and choose to respond, I'd like to know what exactly Cryptic Studios wants the science class, science abilities and science ships to do in the future as the game grows. How does it conflict with the initial concepts and design philosophies from the launch of the game? And what is the justification for the massive 75% resists to all of our powers? Is there light at the end of the tunnel for those of us stubborn enough to stick it out with our science class?
Please, fellow science captains and community members, throw in both of your positive and negative feedback. Do so in a constructive but firm manner. We must get this class fixed to the point where people want to bring us outside of Subnucleonic Beam.
I will not give in until I at least hear a reason for the current direction Science is heading. If we can get onto an even level with the developers and they can see the pain they're putting science captains through, maybe they'll think twice about bringing the executioner's axe again.
I feel your pain, but what can be done? Cryptic most of the time don’t listen to feedback and they even go live with well know bugs.
So, at this point you have 2 choices: 1) Grab a Odyssey 2) Know your limitations and assume that you are useless.
I am going to take the second option.
Well damn, wish I'd seen that Tribble patch link before respeccing to max out shield drain an hour ago and spending all my EDC on an Omega set for the Tetryon Glider. Why even bother nerfing shield or power drain anyways, since its not nearly as powerful as most tac stuff to begin with? Isn't the whole point of being a 'mage' in an MMO to be able to really cripple people if they go full offense without any thought to defense? I've flown sci and escort, and as the escort there is already zero motivation to play it like anything more than a starfighter shoot-em-up.