Lt. Commander
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 128
# 11
02-14-2013, 02:14 AM
VM hasn't been viable for players for a long time. Even when you ignore the counterability and so on - just the effect duration/cooldown isn't worth it. If you bank on it, you've just slotted a ton of work into VM, and as soon as the duration ends, you're gonna get your sci ship smacked around once the opponent wakes up from his torpor, since that was your best shot. I've tried multiple builds to use it with, it never worked reliably.

But it's a GREAT little ability to put on NPC's. I hope it never gets changed for this reason - as long as Cryptic is going the route of one player ship(or 5) vs. multiple enemies for their content, it's perfectly viable for the NPC's to use!

It'd be nice to see a new Borg ship come out that uses it in support of cubes or tac cubes... A VM and then their HY "invisible" plasma torps, now that would be a challenge!

Last edited by starsvoid; 02-14-2013 at 02:17 AM.
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,001
# 12
02-14-2013, 04:33 AM
VM in its current form is more of a supporting skill, I think. It can be nice in an alpha strike-build on, say, a B'rel, or maybe even on an MVAE. It can make stuff sit still without relying on tractor beams, which is useful on targets running dual AP:O.

In a pure science build? Meh, you've got better options, generally. Supporting those options? Potentially, but it only provides you with a small window of opportunity.
Lieutenant
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 33
# 13
02-14-2013, 07:34 PM
Interesting that all those abilities cleared by science team are themselves science abilities. I guess as a science captain, who wants to fly a science ship, it's a little frustrating to have the majority of my abilities being easily countered, and then to always be behind the eight ball with a lack of weapon slots. To me what makes escorts so powerful isn't really the weapons that can be equipped, but the combination of it's weapons and abilities, many of which have no counters.

Last edited by pmadi32382; 02-14-2013 at 07:39 PM.
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 993
# 14
02-14-2013, 08:47 PM
All the Tactical debuffs have a counter, is called Tactical Team.
Division Hispana
www.divisionhispana.com
Ensign
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 21
# 15
02-15-2013, 09:12 AM
My atrox has 3k people on board,which apparently is just enough to keep two teams going....the teams should be global cool downs,doesnt make any sense.

But on topic,since theres doff's that can cause viral matrix to jump to nearbye ships,I'm thinking it needed a counter otherwise you could stop an entire team in its tracks with one ability.
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,447
# 16
02-15-2013, 09:52 AM
It's fine, you can use it w/Scramble Sensors and FF. There's only so many teams to go around and w/other debuffs like stuns and TBs it's still viable just put a little more thought on who and when to use it within what combination. I'm sure you'll come up w/something.

That said the Leadership trait probably shouldn't stack. People will be pushed into abusing Theta just to get subsystem debuff abilities to have an effect before counters are needed. I have Theta, personally I prefer not to abuse it's instant crew killing effect though.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 207
# 17 Viral Matrix Theorycrafting
04-24-2013, 09:41 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by twam View Post
VM in its current form is more of a supporting skill, I think. It can be nice in an alpha strike-build on, say, a B'rel, or maybe even on an MVAE.

In a pure science build? Meh, you've got better options, generally. Supporting those options? Potentially, but it only provides you with a small window of opportunity.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mneinth View Post
But on topic,since theres doff's that can cause viral matrix to jump to nearbye ships,I'm thinking it needed a counter otherwise you could stop an entire team in its tracks with one ability.
Thread necro to bring up the obscure possibility of making Viral Matrix "interesting" in PvE in a "neutralizer build" plan.

Specifically, I'm contemplating the opportunity of a B'rel Refit torpedo boat seating a Science Boff in the Commander slot, and using Viral Matrix 3 with two Systems Engineers Doffs, one of each type, granting a chance to "relapse" for 6 seconds after 15/20/25/30 seconds (depending on rarity), and a 5/10/15/20% chance to "leap" to other ships within a 2.5km radius. Even more specifically, I'm wondering if anyone else has "tried this" to see if there are any meaningful synergies to be found here, particularly if the "leaping" to other ships can in turn proc the "relapse" effect as well ... because if it can ... that then gives every incentive to combining Viral Matrix 3 (plus 2 Systems Engineer Doffs) with Gravity Well 1 (plus 1-2 Gravimetric Scientist(s)) and 1-2 Projectile Weapons Officer(s) to crank up the Kinetics. Use one of the Lt Commander skill slots for (of all things) Photonic Officer 2 ... and something really strange happens.

Open with Gravity Well 1 to cluster hostiles together.

Viral Matrix 3 soon after to "neutralize" 1-3 hostiles, potentially dropping their shields, making Gravity Well much more effective at damaging them.

Use Photonic Officer 2 immediately after launching Viral Matrix 3, reducing the recharge time of Gravity Well 1 and Viral Matrix 3 significantly (on the order of about 15 seconds each, dropping them from 60 to ~45 seconds, which is very nearly the duplicate ability cooldown limit for these skills). Photonic Officer 2 is affected by its own recharge boost and will recharge in approximately 2 minutes (the global cooldown limit).

Gravity Well "aftershocks" have the opportunity to keep hostiles "pinned" (or "penned" if you prefer), particularly if Viral Matrix disables Engines Subsystems.

After 15 seconds (purple Systems Engineer Doff) or 20 seconds (blue Systems Engineer Doff), Viral Matrix can "relapse" and re-affect hostile(s), "neutralizing" them yet again for another 6 seconds. If this "relapse" of Viral Matrix can also "leap" to other ships via one of the two Systems Engineer Doffs ...

Within the first 30 seconds of Viral Matrix, if the "relapse" procs, that's 9 seconds of disable, followed by a 15 second delay (purple Systems Engineer Doff), followed by 6 more seconds of disable, for a total "downtime" of 15 seconds of disable ... with a "second round" of Gravity Well 1 and Viral Matrix 3 being "loaded in the tubes" for another series ~ 15 seconds later around the 45-46 seconds of time elapsed mark, thanks to Photonic Officer 2. This then creates an "intermittent" sort of Gravity Well plus Viral Matrix combo, due to the interaction of Photonic Officer, where GW+VM are cooling down in either ~45 seconds, or 60 seconds, and are "interleaving" the two cooldown times by having a "fast cycle" (when using Photonic Officer) followed by a "slower cycle" (when Photonic Officer is not available on the second series).

The practical upshot of this would be potentially having a nearly 40% "downtime" disabling of Viral Matrix for up to 30 seconds within a window of ~75 seconds which could theoretically (although this is somewhat unlikely) affect multiple hostile targets.

Throw in Scramble Sensors 1 (another 60 second cooldown that Photonic Officer 2 can help noticeably) while waiting for Viral Matrix to finish its cooldown and the result is rather ... opportunistic. Viral Matrix and Scramble Sensors put each other on a 15 second cooldown, but their shared ability cooldown time is 40 seconds (when using duplicates) and their nominal 9 pumps of skill cooldown time is 60 seconds, so there shouldn't be a tremendous amount of competition between these skills for timing. Toss Jam Sensors 2 onto the bonfire "of the vanities" (yet another 60 second cooldown skill that receives noticeable benefit from Photonic Officer 2) and have a pair of Hazard Emitters 1 skills on those two Science Boffs seated in the "big chairs" of the B'rel Refit and ... have a really NASTY surprise attack and escape combination of SCIENCE!! skills.

Only downside to that, of course, is that you can't then use those seats for Tactical Boffs and goodies like Torpedo High Yield 3 and Dispersal Pattern: Beta 3 ... but if I wanted to play my B'rel like everyone else, I would have chosen Tactical for my captain instead of SCIENCE!!

Still ... being able to deploy Gravity Well, Jam Sensors and Viral Matrix in rapid succession against a hostile target ought to make them "easy prey" for a torpedo run and mine deployment parting gift made up of Tricobalts ... which can also disable systems ... helping to fill in the gaps in Viral Matrix. And as it so happens, both Viral Matrix and Tricobalts gain advantage from Starship Subspace Decompiler skill investment.

Speaking of skill investments ... running a pair of Science Boffs with ...
Hazard Emitters 1 (x2)
Jam Sensors 2
Scramble Sensors 1
Photonic Officer 2
Gravity Well 1
Viral Matrix 3
... does not require any Science Captain training of Boffs, making this combination available to all captains/ships running AUX heavy torpedo boat builds, such as B'rel Refits and also Science Vessels. It would however "desire" both Tier 3 and both Tier 5 Science Skills be invested into, which could get a little pricey (at 60,000 skill points for 6 pumps in each of 4 skills).

Of course ... that's all just theory right now. Still, as a "mess with your head" build, it seems ... promising ... for a Science heavy approach.

Last edited by autumnturning; 04-24-2013 at 09:51 PM. Reason: pytos
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 140
# 18
04-24-2013, 10:41 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by autumnturning View Post
......
Viral Matrix 3 soon after to "neutralize" 1-3 hostiles, potentially dropping their shields, making Gravity Well much more effective at damaging them.

.....
And since when is Viral Matrix dropping shields? As far as i know it will potentiallly disable every subsystem except shields.

Also your nice rotation would only work if the target nerver cleans the viral or gets out of the grav well. And getting out of a grav well is not really that difficult. Even if the Engiens are down from Viral, you just need to pop a batterie or the red mattter capacitator then hit evasive or use deuterium surplus and there you go. If you use any skill/console that makes you immune to hold abilities you don?t even need the evasive or the deuterium fuel.
Reynolds

U.S.S. Tesla - Intrepid-R / U.S.S. Helios - Vesta Class
U.S.S. Donut - Fleet Advanced Research Vessel Retrofit
TheWiseGuys
Captain
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 658
# 19
04-24-2013, 11:05 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by autumnturning View Post
*SNIP*
But with all that you still run into the problem that VM always has in PvE: you're relying very heavily on a random proc being kind to you, and even if it is your enemies will still spend most of their time unaffected, so the overall affect is minimal. Actually on your build we can make that 3 random procs: the chance that VM will affect a system that's actually useful (so basically weapons or shields, and it used to not even be able to affect shields, don't know if it does now or not), the chance of "relapse," and the chance that it will jump to another ship. If I assume a 50% chance of VM hitting a useful system (probably too generous) and that the relapse and multi-target both have 20% chance, that means that the total chance of getting the effect you're counting on is 2%. And of course Jam Sensors is just pathetic for PvE, the argument on that is whether or not you're better off just leaving the slot empty since it distracts you from doing anything worthwhile (and since I'm pretty sure it conflicts with your Scramble...). If you want to do sci stuff get a GW3 and a TR2 or ES2 for your commander and just run the LtC as tac anyway. (On my Hegh'ta I actually used Comm and Lt Tac, Lt Eng, and LtC Sci for a GW1, it was the most effective setup I found, plus it transferred readily to my Breen Ship.)

Oh, and I'm pretty sure GW is ignoring shields these days, so there's that too.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 207
# 20
04-25-2013, 06:49 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by captainforfun View Post
And since when is Viral Matrix dropping shields? As far as i know it will potentiallly disable every subsystem except shields.
Well there's irony for you. Viral Matrix is unable to even do what a Phaser proc can do (even if it's only the facing shield, instead of all of them)? Sounds like Viral Matrix is in need of being re-researched to find out what it can ACTUALLY do ... on the off chance that the Powers Dev doesn't even know anymore.

Quote:
Originally Posted by captainforfun View Post
Also your nice rotation would only work if the target nerver cleans the viral or gets out of the grav well.
ANY build that is trying to exploit synergies of skills makes certain assumptions in order for those effects to combine to become a sum greater than the parts. The problem is that some combinations are "too finicky" to finesse on a regular basis, meaning that the situational conditionals are just really unfavorable more often than they're not, making them "hard to use" in combination for meaningful effect.

Quote:
Originally Posted by captainforfun View Post
And getting out of a grav well is not really that difficult. Even if the Engiens are down from Viral, you just need to pop a batterie or the red mattter capacitator then hit evasive or use deuterium surplus and there you go. If you use any skill/console that makes you immune to hold abilities you don?t even need the evasive or the deuterium fuel.
You're talking about PvP ... I was talking PvE ... entirely different set of assumptions as to what hostiles both CAN and WILL do in response. PvP is basically "a whole other game" as far as that goes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jadensecura View Post
But with all that you still run into the problem that VM always has in PvE: you're relying very heavily on a random proc being kind to you, and even if it is your enemies will still spend most of their time unaffected, so the overall affect is minimal.
Unfortunately, this is basically true of nearly ALL of the Science Control Boff Skills ... in large part because of the Great Science Nerf years ago which has never been rectified (or compensated for). Skills with CONTROL effects on them have very poor uptime as a fraction of their cooldown duration as general rule, so much so that it is often detrimental to carry multiple copies of the same skill due to a 60 second cooldown vs 40 second shared cooldown formulation unfavorable to the Control Skills. I was looking at using Photonic Officer to at least partially leverage an improved uptime for the Control Skills ... since it seems that Photonic Officer best synergizes with 60 second cooldown Boff Skills for maximum return on investment.

What I'm NOT sure of at the moment is if that Control Duration can be "improved" markedly by pumping up Starship Subspace Decompiler (to increase the duration of Viral Matrix and Tricobalt disable times) ... although (year old) research seems to imply it can be in the Starship Skill Point Effects chart. That means that 6 pumps in Starship Subspace Decompiler is granting a +42% duration increase from 9 to 12.78 seconds of disable on Viral Matrix 3. Having a purple Systems Engineer Doff proc a 6 second "relapse" after 15 seconds would mean...
  • 0-12.8 seconds Disable from Viral Matrix 3
  • 12.8-15 seconds ... no effect
  • 15-21 (or 15-23.5?) seconds ... chance to proc purple Systems Engineer Doff for "relapse" of Viral Matrix ... untested if this duration would ALSO be enhanced by Starship Subspace Decompiler (to 8.5 seconds instead of merely 6?)
  • ~45-46 seconds Viral Matrix 3 cooled down by Photonic Officer 2
    -or-
    60 seconds Viral Matrix 3 cooled down without Photonic Officer
  • Tricobalt Torpedoes have a 1.7 second disable duration (extended to 2.4 seconds with Starship Subspace Decompiler 6)
  • Tricobalt Mines have a 2.5 second disable duration (extended to 3.55 seconds with Starship Subspace Decompiler 6)
  • Coming in Season 8, in just a few weeks, cooldowns on Tricobalt Mines and Torpedoes will be reduced from 60 seconds to 30 seconds, they'll have a 15 second cooldown shared between Mines, a 15 second cooldown shared between Torpedoes, and a 5 second Global Tricobalt Cooldown between all Tricobalt Weapons.
What I'm NOT sure about is how the disable of Tricobalts "stack" with Viral Matrix (if they do at all) ... whether it be enforced disable of other Subsystems not already disabled, or if the Tricobalts would be stacking to increase the duration of Subsystems disable duration (pretty sure it's NOT this, but will need testing results to be sure). At the very least, use of Tricobalts would "enhance" the neutralization potential of Viral Matrix 3 ... and synergize further with Gravity Well 1, because of the AoE detonation radius on Tricobalts.

Worst case scenario (no Systems Engineer procs) would result in 12.8 seconds of disable duration on 60 seconds of cooldown, for a ~21.3% duration to cooldown ratio with Starship Subspace Decompiler 6. With a "relapse" proc and Photonic Officer 2 in play (and my assumption that the "relapse" duration would also be enhanced by Starship Subspace Decompiler), that turns into 12.8+8.5=21.3 seconds of disable duration on ~45 seconds of cooldown, for a 47.3% duration to cooldown ratio with Starship Subspace Decompiler 6. Going from a ~21% uptime to a 47% uptime in a single cycle seems like a not inconsiderable improvement to me. Extending that into a double cycle of 12.8+12.8= 25.6 seconds (worst case) or 12.8+12.8+8.5+8.5=42.6 seconds (best case, proc "relapse" both times) of disable duration on a 45+60=105 seconds cooldown for a ~24% (worst case) to ~40% (best case, proc "relapse" both times) uptime on disable duration to cooldown when considering a Photonic On/Photonic Off cycle isn't that bad ... especially if Tricobalts are being squeezed in during and around that time frame, increasing the disable uptime even more (assuming a Hard Boss Level Target that can take all that punishment and "survive" long enough for those disable durations to be meaningful).

One thing that worries me though is that Viral Matrix has in its writeup that "The target is highly resistant to holds for a short duration after this effect expires." ... which makes me wonder how long this Hold Resistance lasts after the effect expires (5 seconds? 10 seconds?). Because if so, ideally you'd want to have any "relapse" of Viral Matrix taking place AFTER the hold resistance has expired, so as to not be self defeating in terms of extending disable duration for improved uptime on proc of Systems Engineer. Does anyone (who still has and uses Viral Matrix) know if this hold resistance after duration expires is still present, and if so, how long is it, and does it affect the duration of the Systems Engineer "relapse" proc? Because at the very least, it's sounding like using a blue (or even a green!) Systems Engineer so as to allow the "relapse" proc to "clear" the hold resistance window after the initial Viral Matrix duration expires would be a wise choice (assuming the "relapse" proc is even affected by the hold resistance).

Quote:
Originally Posted by jadensecura View Post
Actually on your build we can make that 3 random procs: the chance that VM will affect a system that's actually useful (so basically weapons or shields, and it used to not even be able to affect shields, don't know if it does now or not), the chance of "relapse," and the chance that it will jump to another ship. If I assume a 50% chance of VM hitting a useful system (probably too generous) and that the relapse and multi-target both have 20% chance, that means that the total chance of getting the effect you're counting on is 2%.
If you're talking about "hitting the trifecta" of subsystem/leap/relapse then yes ... the odds of getting a proc on EVERYTHING all at once is (demonstrably) low, as you point out. If however you take a glass half full vs half empty view of things, the odds of some sort of useful proc happening is reasonably high, in PvE ... just like it is for use of Gravimetric Scientist with Gravity Well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jadensecura View Post
And of course Jam Sensors is just pathetic for PvE, the argument on that is whether or not you're better off just leaving the slot empty since it distracts you from doing anything worthwhile (and since I'm pretty sure it conflicts with your Scramble...).
I've been running Jam Sensors and Scramble Sensors on one of my Boffs for a while now, and I can categorically confirm that they are NOT on the same System.

Jam Sensors is on the Sensor Array system, shared with Mask Energy Signature and Charged Particle Burst.

Scramble Sensors is on the Sensor Probes system, shared with Viral Matrix.

And it is perfectly possible to both Scramble AND Jam Sensors a hostile, which merely forces them to target something other than yourself (and is therefore a bit of a waste since there's no real synergy to be gained by doing this). Jam Sensors is "useful" in 1-on-1 situations, while Scramble Sensors is "helpful" in many-on-1 situations (which happen reasonably often in PvE).

Furthermore, since neither Jam Sensors nor Scramble Sensors do any damage to either Hull or Shields, they can be used from within Enhanced Battle Cloak without breaking Cloak (theoretically, I haven't tested this yet). And according to posts I've read in the Klingon forums, apparently use of Gravity Well doesn't break Cloak either ... because the Gravity Well skill *itself* doesn't cause Hull or Shield damage directly ... instead it spawns a pseudo-pet that does all of the kinetic Hull damage. That means that in a B'rel Refit, it would be possible to use Gravity Well, followed by Jam or Scramble Sensors while cloaked to prevent retribution fire by either the intended target and/or nearby allied hostiles, followed by Viral Matrix and Torpedo/Mine drop "bombs away" strafing runs on disabled targets ... who have their ability to return fire greatly diminished by the Jam Sensors and/or Scramble Sensors pre-emptive attack option. This then creates a situation in which Photonic Officer 2 can be leveraged to maximum effectiveness for reducing the cooldowns of 2-4 Science Boff skills (plus Photonic Officer itself, of course) with a nominal cooldown duration of 60 seconds reduced by some 15 seconds each ... in addition to accelerating any other cooldowns that were already in progress. This is basically a "Science version" of buffing up High Yield, Dispersal Pattern, Attack Pattern(s) and a number of other Tactical skills ... except that instead of yielding Damage, the combination yields Control (which can translate into Lots and Lots and Lots of Damage as a "side effect" when exploited).

This is, ultimately, in many ways analogous to investing into Tyken's Rift and Energy Siphon (and Gravity Well) so as to be able to DRAIN a target into vulnerability for destruction. The difference here is that the mechanism for doing so is disable, rather than drain, which has different consequences (and effects, even if the objective is still the same).

Quote:
Originally Posted by jadensecura View Post
Oh, and I'm pretty sure GW is ignoring shields these days, so there's that too.
I had not heard that, nor seen that mentioned anywhere, so I'll try and find corroborating evidence of this in-game. Do you have any testing results you can point to for this?
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