If something in the game does not warrant a spot on the action bars, it shouldn't exist. I don't know what design philosophy made Cryptic go: "oh, look, turns out by level 50 players have some of the most cluttered action bars in the entire world of MMORPG's! Better make sure some of them are so marginally useful that players will want to not have it on their bars at all"
It's under half a second cooldown reduction. And from what I can gather from testing, it doesn't even work on skills that are already on cooldown! This is practically the least useful thing I've seen in an MMORPG in 7-8 years.
The thing that gets me really angry about this failure of a skill though, is that it's a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" scenario:
If I remove it from my action bar I will probably do just fine without it and it won't be at a disadvantage in any way. I will be spared for an extra key-press and it won't make a damn difference. But, it will still be there, nagging me: "what if it does?"
The second thing that really ticks me off is that after playing a Science alt, the corresponding Science skill "Dampening Field" is probably nine million seven hundred thousand and ninety-one times more useful.
So really, get rid of it or replace it. To someone with OCD, this is a really detestable little thing.
My suggestion: Put it on a 5 minute cooldown and make it a team buff. In Star Trek the role of Tactical Officers is largely about leadership, and in an overlapping with Ops capacity, coordination. Tactical Officers should receive "Fleet" skills sooner, and this is one of the prime targets.
It is a team buff, it lowers CD of all tactical BOff skills by up to .53 of thier current value at TI3. You must activate the TI power first before you use other Tac BOff abilities or it works incorrectly.
You are doing it wrong if you are getting only a 1-2 second reduction- way wrong.
Here read this and see if it helps. Its a explanation on how to use TI with PO by BRJ;
TI and PO both affect a power's Recharge, but cannot affect their global cooldown.
What does this mean, you ask?
Well, let's take Tactical Initiative, for example. Fully skilled (and, since my easiest reference is one of my Escorts, which also has the AEGIS Engine), TI sets the Recharge of all Tactical BOff powers to 47% of their normal Recharge (i.e. multiplies their Recharge time by .47), so how does this affect powers?
Let's look at a few examples:
? Attack Pattern Beta: Has a 30-second Recharge and a 15-second Global Cooldown; so, if I take TI's effect, APB will cooldown in 14.1 seconds; however, the Global Cooldown is hard and fast, thus, even though the power might cool down a little faster than 15 seconds, the absolute soonest that I could re-activate APB (even this same copy) would be 15 seconds after activating the power the first time.
? Attack Pattern Delta: Has a 45-second Recharge, and a 30-second Global Cooldown; thus, the same situation, as with APB, would apply... With TI active, APD would cool down in 21.15 seconds, but the soonest I could re-activate the power would be 30 seconds after the first activation.
Photonic Officer works exactly the same way, although PO's cooldown reductions are not nearly as substantial as TI's, but they apply to ALL of your BOff powers, not just Tactical ones.
Okay, then what does that really benefit me?
Well, for TI, especially, what happens if you are a Tac Officer in a Cruiser? At best, you have 3 Tactical BOff powers. Conventional wisdom would say, take 2 copies of your primary, preferred damage-boosting ability, and (most likely) a copy of Tactical Team. While that is likely the most efficient use of powers for non-Tactical Captains, the use of TI opens up the possibility of swapping out one of your paired abilities and adding a third, different Tactical ability to the mix, but still be able to get cyclic rotations on their usage.
For example, if I wanted to run both Beams and Torpedoes on a Cruiser, I would have to decide (especially if I want the added tanking ability of Tac Team) whether I want to run cycled Torpedo powers, or cycled Beam powers. Knowing that I have TI, however, means that for 45 seconds, every 3 minutes (or, the average duration of a heavy engagement in PvP), I can run one copy of both a Beam and a Torpedo power, and not lose the ability to rotate the skills.
Photonic Officer's flexibility, in applying to ALL BOff powers, works similarly well on other classes of ship, an Escort might be able to have a little more flexibility with Engineering powers, for example, or a Science vessel with its Engineering or Tactical powers.
So, to answer your question, TI is as far from worthless as it gets, since you get it as a Tactical Captain for free, not from a BOff, and you should use it at the start of every Alpha Strike that you have it available.
Photonic Officer, on the other hand, is a little more situational, but many ships can get great usage out of it (particularly the Sci-focused Cruiser and Escorts, along with Science Vessels themselves). As far as PO3 goes, it probably does 'overkill' on the amount of cooldown reduction, but it allows a little more flexibility for a ship, in keeping those Lt. Commander-slots free, especially if you prefer to use Heals (HE3 or TSS3, for example) in those positions.
Hope that helps,
Richard Hamilton (1975-2014)
goodbye good friend. We will see you in the DMZ in the sky oneday, save a shot for us.
Yeah I don't agree with it being changed or remove. The OP probally wasn't here back when it was OP and it instantly recharged everything. For the duration some powers can be repeated several times over during its duration but once it expires you have to wait around 2 minutes to use it again. So it does have balance to it so again I disagree with this OP.
The key point to note here is it only works for tactical bridge officer cooldowns. So if you're not flying an escort with lots of tactical powers the skill is probably redundant to you especially if you run more than one copy of tac team and only one other skill on a cruiser or science ship.
it is a great abiity if you use for instance CRF1 and 3, TS 1 and 3...APbeta 1 and 3 so on
you can basically do a rotation on only the high tier abilities instead of running t1 and t3 back and forth. thats what i use it for...other than that i see no real use for it on an escort, so i kind of understand what the OP is aiming at, but there is an easy way to make it a usefull ability.