There are certain BOFF abilities that have always struck me as odd - because those are abilities that I would consider to be base Ship abilities...not something that you specifically needed a special BOFF to handle - that any member of the crew on the bridge, including the Captain, would be able to do.
The following is a list of all the BOFF abilities - they are color coded:
Red - should require a BOFF
Yellow - part should/part should not
Green - should not require a BOFF
For the Yellow and Green abilities, I'll offer my reasoning after the list.
I'll start with Tactical BOFF abilities:
Attack Pattern Beta
Attack Pattern Delta
Attack Pattern Omega
Beam Array: Fire At Will
Beam Array: Overload
Cannon: Rapid Fire
Cannon: Scatter Volley
Dispersal Pattern Alpha
Dispersal Pattern Beta
Target Weapons Subsystems*
Target Engines Subsystems*
Target Shields Subsystems*
Target Auxiliary Subsystems*
Torpedo: High Yield
Tactical Team - Tactical Team does a few things. It clears Tactical debuffs, increases damage via increased E/P weapons training, removes hostile boarding parties, and redistributes shield strength.
Of those, should not any ship be able to dispatch a security team to remove hostile boarding parties? Doesn't this fit in with the various officers we see in the DOFF system?
Redistribute shield strength...is that not something that we'll see almost any bridge officer accomplish - whether its the guy at the Tac station or even the guy at Helm doing? Something that even the computer could be set to do?
The increased damage and clearing Tactical debuffs though - now those call out for additional Tactical training.
IMHO, this ability does things that should require that Tac BOFF to slot the ability - but it also does things that should not require that Tac BOFF ability. It should be split into a BOFF and a Ship ability or two.
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Moving on, there's the Science BOFF abilities:
Charged Particle Burst
Mask Energy Signature
Tractor Beam Repulsors
Transfer Shield Strength
Wait...why are some of those Gray? They're Gray because they should be Engineering abilities - not Science abilities. That's a separate discussion though, eh? Why is Science Team in whatever color (SandyBrown) it is though? Because unlike the Gray abilities, Science Team actually includes a component that should be Science - clearing the Sci debuffs.
So that's it for Science? No Yellow nor Green abilities? Much like Tactical, Cryptic did a pretty good job overall as far as actually having abilities that should require some sort of BOFF to pull off.
This is a pretty long post so far for only having a single ability that should partially be a base Ship ability and sneaking in the bit about Sci having Eng abilities. Is there going to be more to this?
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Welcome to Engineering:
Auxiliary to Battery
Auxiliary to Dampeners
Auxiliary to Structural
Directed Energy Modulation
Eject Warp Plasma
Emergency Power to Auxiliary
Emergency Power to Weapons
Emergency Power to Engines
Emergency Power to Shields
Reverse Shield Polarity
Finally some Green, but what's this - more Gray?
IMHO, Aceton Beam should be a Sci ability and Boarding Party should be a Tac ability...just IMHO.
Emergency Power to X are abilities that I believe every ship should have, the class of ship doesn't matter. They should function in a similar fashion to how Subsystem Targeting* works on Sci Vessels. There should be the four options and voila...they've just always stood out that way. I'm not really I need to say more about them in that sense - if there's a question, sure, go ahead and ask - but c'mon... VOILA! It's right there, eh?
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Okay then, what's with the 5 things that have an asterisk next to them? The 4 Tac abilities and the Subsystem Targeting on Sci Vessels?
First - I do not believe in the least that Sci Vessels should have Subsystem Targeting. It's so blatantly obvious that they're Tac abilities that they're actually Tac BOFF abilities. That's pretty simple, eh?
Second - they shouldn't be restricted to Beams. That just doesn't make sense in regard to the general gist of them nor what one experiences in Star Trek. They're simple called shots - they should be able to be made with any weapon.
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Anything else for additional discussion or something for another thread?
Well, with the above changes made - things would look a little different as far as abilities go.
EN - 9 new abilities
LT - 7 new abilities, 16 choices
LCdr - 1 new ability, 17 choices
Cmdr - 0 new abilities, 7 choices
EN - 5 new abilities
LT - 7 new abilities, 12 choices
LCdr - 1 new ability, 13 choices
Cmdr - 0 new abilities, 5 choices
EN - 4 new abilities
LT - 6 new abilities, 10 choices
LCdr - 4 new abilities, 14 choices
Cmdr - 0 new abilities, 10 choices
Some of the old issues remain - Tac is bottom heavy with few choices up high. Sci has the most choices up high. Eng still has fewer than Tac, but it's closer to Sci. Sci's just still top heavy. Tac having more abilities is offset by weapon selection in regard to many of those abilities. That will reduce actual number of choices.
Sci being top heavy can be addressed by deciding to lower LT to EN or LCdr to LT for certain abilities.
With this post, I didn't touch innate Captain abilities - there are countless threads on that subject (but it stands to reason there would be changes there as well). I didn't touch DOFFs and their voodoo magic...which in of itself, would likely be enough for many to want to shoot down what I've presented - just because of how much they've spent on DOFFs.
One can take a look at what I have here - look at the various ships - and see where certain problems might arise. But if you step back, take another look, you may find where it causes other changes which balance out some of those other changes.
No doubt, like anything I've brought up - it could not be implemented alone. There are simply too many variables in play with STO - too many things that depend on something else or at some point ended up affecting something else and became standard...etc, etc, etc.
It's just an idea. An idea I posted here in the PvP section rather than a general area, because I trust the PvPers here more on a certain level to think about how things may interact (as much as they may enjoy the various OP nonsense, they face the risk of facing such nonsense and will look more toward balance - they're not only the voice of players, but lol - they speak for NPCs as well. PvE folks will generally (not always) not give any thought to lolstomping NPCs)...