Survivor of Remus
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 340
# 161
02-04-2013, 10:27 AM
Read most of this thread and thought I'd pitch in.

First a disclaimer: I am not a super-leet PVP guy. I just like math and game design.

The biggest problem I am seeing isn't that beams don't do enough damage, it's that it's hard to sustain it and that beam BOff abilities don't seem to give them much extra punch. Cannons tend to be more efficient, higher dps, higher proc-chance* weapons with BOff abilities that can boost that enormously.

I don't think cannons should change. I like their flavor and I think they work.

Beams should change, but not in a way that makes them effectively wide-angle cannons.

So, what can be done to make beams attractive for use in PVP without having them fulfill the same roll as cannons?

There are a few options and I think a real solution could be derived from a mix of them. They concentrate on sustainable, reliable damage across a broad spectrum of situations rather than simply increasing raw damage output in ideal situations.

1) Decrease their power drain: Rather than give raw numbers, I simply suggest that single and double-beam arrays have a shallower DPS curve than they do now. Sustaining fire with 6 single-beam arrays should give me a base DPS of somewhere between 65-75% of the first volley, rather than the 60-65% that I usually see if I run my ship without item or set bonuses to weapon power.

2) Power Projection: Increase the base damage of beams from 60% to 80% at maximum range. 1 on 1 this trait, combined with movement debuffs to help keep range, will allow a beam ship to keep an cannon-armed rival at a more advantageous distance part of the time. X v X this trait will mean cruisers and science ships can work together to deal good damage output from a variety of ranges to a single target.

3) Accuracy Increase: Nothing major here, either. The idea is simply to make sure that beams simply miss a bit less often. Or, perhaps, give them a large accuracy boost when attacking smaller targets, like fighters or torpedoes. A small boost to crit chance wouldn't hurt, but isn't necessary, I think.

4) Increase Proc Occurance and Severity: Cannons already have the biggest, best raw DPS and, honestly, something being blown apart by concentrated cannon fire isn't going to be bothered overmuch by the occasional plasma fire or system power drain. A cruiser or science ship, on the other hand, takes longer to kill stuff and will find the procs more useful overall, so let them generate those procs more often.

5) Give BOffs an ability with will increase beam weapons' effectiveness against a single ship for a short period of time. Put it on a shared cooldown timer with BFaW or make it the same level, which will encourage captains to pick one or the other as the situation demands it. I would actually encourage an accuracy/proc buff rather than a straight dps buff for a change of flavor. A phaser barrage that leaves half a ship's systems offline for a second or two or polaron volley that makes a target's power levels tank temporarily would be fun and wouldn't steal the cannon's thunder.

That's just my thoughts.

*EDIT: In the interests of avoiding confusion, what I am referring to is that, given the BOff abilities that boost how many cannon shots can be directed at a single target, cannons have more opportunities to score a proc-inducing critical NOT that the base percentage is higher per weapon.

Last edited by squatsauce; 02-04-2013 at 10:30 AM.
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,337
# 162
02-06-2013, 10:35 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by squatsauce View Post
Read most of this thread and thought I'd pitch in.

First a disclaimer: I am not a super-leet PVP guy. I just like math and game design.

The biggest problem I am seeing isn't that beams don't do enough damage, it's that it's hard to sustain it and that beam BOff abilities don't seem to give them much extra punch. Cannons tend to be more efficient, higher dps, higher proc-chance* weapons with BOff abilities that can boost that enormously.

I don't think cannons should change. I like their flavor and I think they work.
Just to make sure well understand what you're talking about. When you say "cannons" are you meaning just DHC/DC or are you also including single cannons and turrets?
Lieutenant
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 98
# 163
02-06-2013, 11:41 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by squatsauce View Post
Read most of this thread and thought I'd pitch in.

First a disclaimer: I am not a super-leet PVP guy. I just like math and game design.

The biggest problem I am seeing isn't that beams don't do enough damage, it's that it's hard to sustain it and that beam BOff abilities don't seem to give them much extra punch. Cannons tend to be more efficient, higher dps, higher proc-chance* weapons with BOff abilities that can boost that enormously.

I don't think cannons should change. I like their flavor and I think they work.

Beams should change, but not in a way that makes them effectively wide-angle cannons.

So, what can be done to make beams attractive for use in PVP without having them fulfill the same roll as cannons?

There are a few options and I think a real solution could be derived from a mix of them. They concentrate on sustainable, reliable damage across a broad spectrum of situations rather than simply increasing raw damage output in ideal situations.

1) Decrease their power drain: Rather than give raw numbers, I simply suggest that single and double-beam arrays have a shallower DPS curve than they do now. Sustaining fire with 6 single-beam arrays should give me a base DPS of somewhere between 65-75% of the first volley, rather than the 60-65% that I usually see if I run my ship without item or set bonuses to weapon power.

2) Power Projection: Increase the base damage of beams from 60% to 80% at maximum range. 1 on 1 this trait, combined with movement debuffs to help keep range, will allow a beam ship to keep an cannon-armed rival at a more advantageous distance part of the time. X v X this trait will mean cruisers and science ships can work together to deal good damage output from a variety of ranges to a single target.

3) Accuracy Increase: Nothing major here, either. The idea is simply to make sure that beams simply miss a bit less often. Or, perhaps, give them a large accuracy boost when attacking smaller targets, like fighters or torpedoes. A small boost to crit chance wouldn't hurt, but isn't necessary, I think.

4) Increase Proc Occurance and Severity: Cannons already have the biggest, best raw DPS and, honestly, something being blown apart by concentrated cannon fire isn't going to be bothered overmuch by the occasional plasma fire or system power drain. A cruiser or science ship, on the other hand, takes longer to kill stuff and will find the procs more useful overall, so let them generate those procs more often.

5) Give BOffs an ability with will increase beam weapons' effectiveness against a single ship for a short period of time. Put it on a shared cooldown timer with BFaW or make it the same level, which will encourage captains to pick one or the other as the situation demands it. I would actually encourage an accuracy/proc buff rather than a straight dps buff for a change of flavor. A phaser barrage that leaves half a ship's systems offline for a second or two or polaron volley that makes a target's power levels tank temporarily would be fun and wouldn't steal the cannon's thunder.

That's just my thoughts.

*EDIT: In the interests of avoiding confusion, what I am referring to is that, given the BOff abilities that boost how many cannon shots can be directed at a single target, cannons have more opportunities to score a proc-inducing critical NOT that the base percentage is higher per weapon.
Agree with all the above!
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 598
# 164
02-06-2013, 04:06 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by whamhammer1 View Post
Just to make sure well understand what you're talking about. When you say "cannons" are you meaning just DHC/DC or are you also including single cannons and turrets?
Single cannons even do more than beams. The damage type says less but the DPS is higher. DPS is what you need to wear down shields or destroy hull faster. Beams don't do hardly crap to hull. In the canon Star Trek world, cannons and beams do the same amount of damage with different looking effects. The only reason players tend to arm all their escorts and battlecruisers with cannons is because they are the quickest way to deliver damage. This has caused an imbalance and made people choose one type of ship over another. If weapon types were more balanced, then you would see more beams being employed on escorts and battlecruisers and more ships would be able to share in the damage dealing.
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,060
# 165
02-06-2013, 04:13 PM
Because beams weren't cutting it anymore for my Science captain... Target whatsystems now?... I switched to an all turret build.

It is the shizznit. I'm dealing far more more in the way of ouchies to the game's mobs than before with beam arrays, and that's with the weapons that are supposed to suck and you should only use for the proc. That's in regular play, I can't imagine it being any better in PvP or STFs.

To sum up: Beams do need some help.
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Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,474
# 166
02-06-2013, 06:29 PM
Was getting frustrated with tiny firing arc and short effective range of dual cannons on my dreadnaught.

Replaced dual cannons with dual beams, and replaced scatter and rapid fire with fire at will.

Lined up a group of enemies, turned on my fire at will, watched weapon power level dive from 125 to 50 despite being under the influence of plasmonic leech, EPTW, and Dreadnaught's innate +10 to weapons.

This does not happen with scatter volley.

Working as intended?

Y'know, if we could just get the Omega Weapon Amplifier as an ability that we can turn on for 10 seconds with a cooldown of 30 seconds, which is about the same duty cycle that it already (randomly) has...

Last edited by momaw; 02-06-2013 at 06:31 PM.
Empire Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 6,764
# 167
02-06-2013, 06:52 PM
Beams have drain problem in STO combat. It needs to be fixed.

Doesnt matter though since the Tac hating torch wieldings players will see Tacs,DHCs and Escorts nerfed into the basement for the sins of working well we will all be playing Cruisers, cruisers, science and thier vessels in the months ahead until the playerbase gets bored, pissed or whatever and complains about how weak tacs are having forgotten how it all got to that point anyways.
Its the ugly truth Ive noticed about this forums and the game. Just a cpntiuos circle of nerfing buffing nerfing buffing... But little balance.
Richard Hamilton (1975-2014)
goodbye good friend. We will see you in the DMZ in the sky oneday, save a shot for us.
Starfleet Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 887
# 168
02-06-2013, 07:23 PM
My Sci ship uses 3 dual beam arrays and 3 turrets. I do normal STF's and I notice that while I don't do nearly as much damage as an escort (the difference is obvious, I don't need a parser) I do notice that I seem to routinely out-damage cruisers. I don't know why because they have more weapon slots than I do.
Captain
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 2,077
# 169
02-06-2013, 07:29 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by kamiyama317 View Post
My Sci ship uses 3 dual beam arrays and 3 turrets. I do normal STF's and I notice that while I don't do nearly as much damage as an escort (the difference is obvious, I don't need a parser) I do notice that I seem to routinely out-damage cruisers. I don't know why because they have more weapon slots than I do.
- You have less energy drain, far less than a broadside beamer
- Sensor Analysis
Starfleet Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 183
# 170
02-06-2013, 07:36 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by squatsauce View Post
(While it is epic and incredibly well reasoned, I will refrain from quoting this post in its entirety.)

I couldn't agree more. Your solutions offer both parties something valuable -- cannon wielders get to keep the DPS crown, while beam users get a serious improvement in effectiveness. Most importantly, however, your solutions focus on each weapon behaving differently.

Having beams work just like stretched out cannons isn't the solution, and I think squatsauce hit the nail on the head. Making beams better for certain situations and cannons better for others is. Right now, as the game stands, beams are less effective in every situation imaginable -- those of us who've tested escorts with beams or dual beam banks know this. Balance should come in making each weapon type unique in its effects and range of uses.

I salute your reasoning and your proposal.
Starships: Model errors and feedback project, 2410 edition.
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