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Cryptic Studios Team
Join Date: Jun 2012
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# 11
02-25-2013, 10:11 AM
Originally Posted by drkfrontiers View Post
Is there a checkpoint you could reach, in which you would know if this was tenable or not without implementing a system that might not work?
Possibly, but likely not. We'd probably get to a point where we're ready to put it to testing on Tribble, but it's entirely plausible that the results we see in Testing mean it never goes live.

To respond to a couple points of feedback that have already been given:

- This is not the thread to discuss new game modes (4v4, locked ship types, etc). Yes, we've been contemplating and brainstorming some new pvp content concepts, but that's all stuff for another day.

- These ideas are specifically non-surgical in nature. They're heavy-handed, far-reaching and potentially volatile changes. This is why we're floating the ideas to the community before even prototyping it internally. And we know they're likely to be seen by players as nothing more than a band-aid on the current state of PvP. And honestly, that's kinda what they are. We're not trying to solve individual mechanical issues with this type of change, we're just trying to make the game's PvP more enjoyable, and approachable.
Jeremy Randall
Cryptic - Systems Design
"Play smart!"
Originally Posted by Me
Kurland here...
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Join Date: Jun 2012
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# 12
02-25-2013, 10:15 AM
Some very interesting points for sure.

Ground pvp I can agree with your assessment. Things are usually very fast paced, and dps is pretty outrages on any character. Slowing this down overall would make for some interesting matches.

Space PVP however adds it's own odd problems. As far as I can really say, it can go a number of different ways, depending on the group makeup when you enter the match. For instance, if you have a sci heavy group, debuffs and control abilities run rampant and can potentially be so overpowering that they actually win by a landslide. Escort heavy groups usually have no problem just assisting targets down and also lead to a large landslide win. The only instance where PVP is truly balanced in my opinion is an all out Cruiser brawl, but as you mentioned, no one ever dies.

One of the things that Guild Wars 2 does very well in PVP, and more specifically the ranked/instanced PVP is that everyone is given the same gear, and everyone has the same stats give or take. It's all about true player vs player. Gear makes no difference, however you do have your choice of weapons and abilities. I'd love to see something similar to this in STO. Cruisers get x gear and x stats, escorts get x gear and x stats, and sci gets x gear and x stats, only available in said instances. Something like this would bring balance to the system in so many ways.

One thing I noticed a lot prior to doing the PvP Bootcamp is that so many things can have an effect on your ship. Gear, spec, type of ship, etc. The reputation system adds a whole layer of additional buffing to this that not everyone has. These things have created the imbalance in PvP because in the same matches you get people who are fresh level 50's and people who have all the best of the best. There should be some metric where more seasoned players are queued together with other appropriately geared folks. Implementing some kind of ranking system could bring this about, but you never know.

Basically the TL;DR version is this: I don't think it's damage / buffs / debuff's etc that's the real issue, but more of what gear, spec, and ship everyone is using in pvp. Along with newer players getting steamrolled by seasoned ones. Implementing a cap on stats I think would go a lot further to balance it than just blanket reductions.
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# 13
02-25-2013, 10:15 AM
This is a rough one.

I don't believe this would "fix" or improve the PvP quality or experience. Although this may appear to give an edge against the hardcore PvPers I believe we should first look at why people have such a hard time. In the simplest of terms the hardcore PvPers know the game, mechanics, builds, but most importantly know timing. It's that ability to size up an opponent, time CRFs in between tac teams, when to RSP, when to run, when to hold back and when to throw up everything.

Nerfing dps output and/or healing would make pvp matches feel like PvP now below VA. At commander or captain levels it's much harder to stack attack or heal abilities. Also the weapon levels are lower. But this does not change the fact that an experienced player leveling a character will normally wipe the floor with inexperienced players. Why? Timing over stacking. Personally one of my main characters is a science captain in a fleet defiant. I don't have the stacking abilities of a tac for higher dps. Yes i can SNB but i time CRFs in between tac teams with only an APO and a tac team. Why do i routinely out dps tac escorts? People with the same builds.

Your idea has merit and I believe if instituted should be for newer inexperienced players. Perhaps a tiered pvp ranking? Give them time to learn and adapt to the speed and complexity of the current VA pvp system.

I look forward to your thoughts

Last edited by edalgo; 02-25-2013 at 10:17 AM.
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,015
# 14
02-25-2013, 10:17 AM
Thank you for this.

Originally Posted by borticuscryptic View Post

1) Max Hitpoints/Shields Increases
I think you're right about the effect that making only this change would have on space PvP. Paired with other options it might be good, but by itself I agree that it would lead to everybody being unkillable.

Originally Posted by borticuscryptic View Post
2) Healing -OR- Damage Output Decreases
Let's divide the two parts of this further. Just like we talk about Spike and Pressure damage, we've got to talk about Active and Passive healing.

Massive spike is needed because of high levels of resists which can be reached and the likelihood of yo-yo active healing on a target which is not vaped in the space of a few seconds.

Pressure damage is washed away by passive healing and also affected heavily by high levels of resists.

So if we're talking about Healing Decreases, are we going after Active or Passive healing? Also, adjusting Healing and Damage is confounded by resists, but of course that's your third point.
Originally Posted by borticuscryptic View Post
3) Reduction in Status Ability Effectiveness -OR- the Resistance Thereof
Yeah this is the real nature of the game, IMO. Somebody described it as an on/off state of the game at the moment. Sub-nuc is still king because un-buffed ships don't stand a chance.

What's the goal? To produce longer lasting matches in which ships are harder to kill but damage is also more likely to be permanent? To change the current reality of a ship with a buff bar wider than the mini map being nearly unkillable but exploding the moment those buffs are removed? Are you trying to get from Sacrifice of Angels to Wrath of Kahn?

Let me propose something to you that you may have the tech for. Grouping can adjust a player's level and the game can check to see whether or not I'm in a shuttle. Could you create tiered PvP queues? Tier 2 PvP, you can que with a Connie, Saber, Nova, QulDun, Somraw, or K'Tanco. You are scaled the same way as the Mirror Event. This is much more Wrath of Kahn. No store or rep consoles, things like the skill tree or captain powers are negotiable. This way if you don't like twitch flying or "P2W" you have a refuge. If you're going to have a PvP rep system then give a daily for each tier. Is this kind of thing possible?
Join Date: Jun 2012
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# 15
02-25-2013, 10:23 AM
I can't quite believe my eyes. I feel like giving an oscar speech here.
"There is some actual thinking being done about PvP *snif* *snif*. This moment feels so much bigger.......I wanna thank my CAAATTT"

It would be great if you could share what observations lead you to this brain storming? What would you like to achieve?

All my comments are concerning space pvp only, i have no experience on ground.

Originally Posted by borticuscryptic View Post

1) Max Hitpoints/Shields Increases

This was originally considered for Ground PvP specifically, but we later began to wonder if it might be appropriate for Space as well. For now, we're considering very large increases - as much as 200%-300% of your base hitpoint and shield amounts.

We fully realize that changing this one factor, without modifying powers, would fundamentally alter the flow of battle. It would completely change the intrinsic values and opportunity costs associated with many powers, as well as changing the perceived value of cooldowns and escape tactics.

The recent thread titled "Spike vs. Pressure" paints a picture that seems to indicate that this would end up being a bad thing for Space PvP, resulting in the very real possibility of matches where ships never died. However, we've yet to see any evidence that this would be anything other than a good thing for Ground PvP.
This options sounds absolutely horrible. I would love to see tall battles but this seems the completely wrong way to achieve this, here is why.

With more shields and hull points, spike would become even more precious. Battles would continue for a long time, so the kill count would have to be lowered, making the first kill even more decisive for the whole match, since more HP and SP are lacking. Escorts would become even more invincible, cruisers further obsoleted.... There are no tanks in PvP. Players choose targets! If you need evidence, just come onto the Boot camp TS and we'll show you a 5 carrier or 5x galaxy team in a match. You ll get the idea of why this will be bad very quickly. The insane spike needed to kill something 300% of its current value..... is not in-game. Many many ships would become obsolete, unless that is your goal. Constantly pulling of combination of my abilites which are on a 3min cd max, becomes silly, when the combo needs to remove 3x the hp it currently does. Their would be a great disconnect between planning an attack, and seeing its results. "do this, and statistically in 3 mins from now someone is more likely to die"

If you could tweak the injury system for PvP. So that certain high level (mostly) eng (bo and or cpt) skills actually remove pvp injuries (instead of consumables), pressure damage could receive a boost. So borg procs restore hull, but won't clear injuries, you would need a (preferrably) eng healer for that.

A fed eng/cruiser could thus help to generate kills (especially to escorts), by inflicting injuries first, and without back-up these injuries begin to wear the target down. Escort level healing abilities would resive a subtle nerf. This would bring more engs and cruisers into matches and create the effect of longer, less fidgity battles, without making the "double snb/alpha combo taking place in under two seconds" the only way of generating kills. Once 3xsci + 2xtac is no longer the most viable Pre-made options, more engs will also mean longer slower matches.

Yo-yo healing (especially that healing from randome procs) is what prevents tall battles. Not the lack of HP or healing abilities. I hope I m making my idea clear here, less proc based healing, and a different damage category similar to the injury system of elite difficulty missions, would go a long way.

Originally Posted by borticuscryptic View Post
2) Healing -OR- Damage Output Decreases

Unlike the previous option, which would have a fairly equal impact on both Damage and Healing effectiveness, these ideas are more surgical, affecting either one or the other, at disparate levels.

Applying Healing effectiveness reduction to PvP maps would lead to extremely volatile matches unless it came hand-in-hand with limitations to Spike Damage potential. While limiting overall damage output would likely be a bad idea because it impacts "Pressure" DPS more profoundly than "Spike" -- not a great idea to exacerbate this issue. This probably means that this option is even less likely to be a good idea, than the previous notion. At least for Space PvP.
A better option in my view. If you don't nerf/buff all healing dmg abilities by a flat number. Non player healing is too strong. Engs are superfluous. Spike rules all.

Simple things like giving cruisers x% damage bonus against player escorts, would be a subtle way of shifting things in the right direction. Might even be good for PvE. Cruisers to clear escorts pets, while escorts are needed to kill tac cubes.

Fix beam energy drain issues, and make their effective use dependent on eng skills. SO that tac and sci cruiser are not the only viable cruisers to have, and you get a better game imv. I guess that was the intention behind NE, to begin with, but with overall power creep (as in more power for everyone's subsystems from different sources), some adjustments seem necessary.

As i said above, if you want to nerf healing make sure to nerf proc based healing. Escorts need to be squishy, while dedicated healing abilites (ie. cmdr level Eng BO, or LtCmdr Level Sci) need to compete with Cmdr Level Tac options. Defense score is something to look at for grand adjustments.

Buffing eg. Aux2Sif3 by 300% and Aux2Sif1 by only 10%, will still tip the scale towards more spike damage. THe underlying isses remains, but *Great Maker* don't make escorts any more tanky, just because people blow up in the tac kumari, by buffing ensign level healing skills.

The same goes for unison buffs to dmg. If anything buff dmg and nerf healing. If you twitch defense scores slightly, the HP and Shield mod bonus of sci and cruisers would count for more. While escorts live more on the wild side, which is where they should be. I'll not comment on the lack of Vesta, Kumari, and Armitage type ships for the KDF. But please keep faction imbalances in mind should you continue to think about these changes.

Originally Posted by borticuscryptic View Post
3) Reduction in Status Ability Effectiveness -OR- the Resistance Thereof

Presume that the term "Status" refers to just about anything that is not Damage. Buffs, Debuffs, Repel, Disable, Confuse, etc.

To be frank, we're fairly well satisfied with how effective most powers are in PvE in terms of their ability to inflict Status effects, and manipulate the flow of an encounter. As well as players' options to resist the effects of these abilities when they are used by NPCs. That's not to say that they are perfect, or that there isn't room for improvement, but we're OK with them as they are. Generally speaking.

In PvP however, the combination of extreme skill stacking and high resistance factors, cause us difficulty when attempting to find the correct balance point of an ability's effectiveness. We have therefore theorized that allowing us to limit one side of the equation or the other, ONLY in PvP, might allow us to tune these abilities in a more focused, controlled manner.

And the oscar goes to....... all sci BO abilities. *applause*

Player Sci resists are to high when facing other players. Keeping resists at current levels against NPC sci skills, but decreasing resists against those same abilities from players would be grand. This would also be a first step into the direction of reducing pet spam problems.

So this would be a split between player skills and NPC skill. If, however, danoobs when they are a player pet in an arena, suddenly inherit player level TB, this would be bad. Since Cryptic has introduced a plethora of pets, and fed ships with hangars. This is a great idea, but not on a per map bases, but on a player activated / NPC basis.

A further reduction of cmdr level sci abilites, would be a disaster. They are borderling weak in PvE, but most of them useless in PvP. A further nerf to sci skills is the last thing we need.

Joined 06.10
PvP 2010-2011
PvP 2012-2013

Last edited by havam; 02-25-2013 at 10:33 AM.
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 543
# 16
02-25-2013, 10:28 AM
The double the hull and shields thing, yeah it would make escorts be able to spike more especially ships like the new andorian i would imagine. Also yes i can see ships like carriers or heavy cruisers take almost forever to kill (not a bad thing tbh as they should be tough to kill like in the show kinda). But there needs to be some sort of way to avoid stacking as i think that i.e heal stacking resistance stacking would op the health and shields too much in this situation.

The 2nd option of healing or dmg reductions. Well im sure sci will kick off but then again other ships wouldnt hurt as much as they did before too so :/ Healing, well that would make healers in a team work even harder or they will just give up the job as they would need to do more than what they are capable of perhaps. Imo tho stackin dmg and stackin heals could be reduced but the powers left alone might be a better way to go around it?

3rd option. Im not really sure what this one is about.

A reduction of 100% stacking of any sort might be quite nice imo. i.e stacking heals making ships seem to survive forever seems a bit op to me. Similar for damage possibly but mainly the heals im worried about as when i ever try to do pvp which isnt alot i admit. There are just some players that do nothing but stack heals and resists which makes even the best setup futile even with a full team on 1 ship like an escort which i have seen once or twice survive a full assault from a decent team.

But thats just nitpicks. Anyhow said what i think about the 3 options or well 2 mainly.
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# 17
02-25-2013, 10:28 AM
I very much appreciate the attempt and discussion regarding improving PvP.

You mentioned the ability to stack multiple resists in this game as being 1 problem. A simple solution would be to cap resists at a lower level in PvP... this would limit teams ability to do the extends circle and overhealing/resisitng. Or maybe cut effective resists by a % while in a pvp map.

The downside to resist caps is that hurts people who enjoy and invest in certain builds... but has the advantage of making the game more about player skill.

just my thoughts, I look forward to seeing what other folks here can share, there are some really knowledgable folks in this community, I hope Cryptic values their insight on this topic.
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# 18
02-25-2013, 10:34 AM
Originally Posted by borticuscryptic View Post
With that in mind, here are a couple of the map-wide modifications we've been considering:

1) Max Hitpoints/Shields Increases
2) Healing -OR- Damage Output Decreases
3) Reduction in Status Ability Effectiveness -OR- the Resistance Thereof
First, let me say that I believe any game that is going to include PvP should be PvP focused (no matter how small that PvP aspect is)...to which some will go WTF? What I mean by saying that is: design around Player vs. Player interaction when designing the Player vs. Environment interaction. If you look at player damage, player health, player abilities, player etc as as player against a player - that will give you your baseline. From there, you can design PvE encounters - easier/casual, normal, more difficult, OMFG-I guess I need friends and to L2P. I haven't seen anybody do that...so inevitably it always comes down to separate gear, various stat modifiers, etc, etc, etc.

That last bit being said, I have to say I appreciate the idea of looking at map modifiers instead of other avenues/paths others have taken. Course, I fully expect that to be the case with the potential PvP Reputation...and have to wonder how that's going to play out with PvP gear in PvE, blah, blah, blah... but that's neither here nor there at the moment... just something to keep in mind how it all plays out together.

So...these three things. Just from a Space point of view, mind you - I haven't done Ground in over a year.

Originally Posted by borticuscryptic View Post
1) Max Hitpoints/Shields Increases
Increase hull/shields - without increasing resistances. Bare buffer.

Originally Posted by borticuscryptic View Post
2) Healing -OR- Damage Output Decreases
Reduce magic wand yo-yo healing.

Originally Posted by borticuscryptic View Post
3) Reduction in Status Ability Effectiveness -OR- the Resistance Thereof
Limit cleanse/debuff to a certain number. No full cleanse/no full strip.

But it's along the lines of an all-or-nothing sort of thing:

Originally Posted by borticuscryptic View Post
1) Max Hitpoints/Shields Increases
2) Healing -OR- Damage Output Decreases
3) Reduction in Status Ability Effectiveness -OR- the Resistance Thereof
Doing one without the others could throw things all over the place - resulting in all sorts of issues. However, doing them together...well...might just give it more of a Star Trek feel.

You can increase the value of pressure damage without reducing the need for spike damage. If anything, the changes would offer a chance for that synergy between pressure and spike to show again...rather having pressure sitting over in the corner while spike shakes his booty with both girls at the dance.

With so much designed around the magic wand healing in the game - toning that down without also trying to balance that with increased bare buffer would result in headshot boom games. You'd have a Space FPS.

Many abilities fall into that yo-yo (extreme) scenario...making those less extreme...

I guess that's the gist of it. Less extreme. Upper and lower bounds, definitely - definitely - but not this case of the light switch being On or Off... STO needs some mood lighting - STO needs a Dimmer switch, not just On/Off. There's that area in the middle that's missing.

Right now, it's a dance of Yo-Yo's...it's like watching Soccer or Hockey. It's like watching two guys with sword and board where somebody from each side is throwing banana peels and somebody's trying to work a broom. It's not Fencing, not Boxing, not Basketball, not even Baseball... it's kind of boring. It lacks Epic.

And if you don't bring the same-same...you'll get slaughtered, because that's what it is.

It's not about making everything viable - but with those three changes, you could definitely introduce variety. Because it wouldn't just be Yo-Yo Online.

"Wheeeee, this is kind of fun. Oopsie...my bad."
Fleet Admiral Geist, Klingon Science Officer
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# 19
02-25-2013, 10:36 AM
1. Increasing hit points / shields in space PVP - Real bad idea

We as Pandas have been in past matches with another fleet that have lasted 3+ hours - So, increasing the hit point / shields in space PVP would just likely result in a never ending story.

2. Healing / Damage output - In my opinion, Best it has ever been
As Ultimatum said earlier, its the passive heals and resistances that are the culprits - Remove this in PVP and i'm sure it will have a very positive effect.

As an example, splitting the borg set up with regards to the shield and hull heal proc was possibly the best thing to happen to PVP. This in turn enabled all the other sets to become really viable.
These are the types of moves you should be looking at.

Also, there is enough variety of various tac / Sci / Eng abilities available to make the arena interesting. However due to various issues / limitations, only a limited number of abilities are used in PVP. (I can do a googledoc on each and every single ability with regards to pvp to outline the pros and cons of each ability if requested)
If this was addressed at grass roots level, there would be significantly more variability to PVP.
Why is this important you may ask. Basically, if a premade of 5 players is set up in a certain manner, they are prepared for the majority of strategies the opposing team may bring significantly reducing the chance of being killed. Increase the variability, this scenario starts to deteriorate drastically resulting in more strategies being developed in turn increasing variability and enjoyment.

This in itself has a very high probability of breathing life back into PVP for the old timers and potentially attract new people to it as well.

3. Reduction in Status Ability Effectiveness -OR- the Resistance Thereof

This can potentially become unnecessary if you address the above. Although its an idea that has merit in itself as well.
If micro managed in a very, very controlled manner, this has the potential to transform the game in a good way. However, if it is managed like it has been historically, it can pretty much destroy the PVP element.

Based on the above statement, this strategy comes with very high risks associated with it personally making me go back to the statement I made for point 2.

This would have a much better chance of succeeding if it was implemented in an evolutionary rather than a revolutionary manner AFTER point 2 is addressed.

At the end of the day, reading your post in conjunction with all the other recent activities has given me personally a real warm feeling that we, the pvp community are finally getting the attention we deserve and PVP is actually being considered as truly viable end game content. That in itself is enough for me at this point in time.

Thanks for your time and help so far.


PS, Have you considered aspects of League of Legends, Mechwarriors Online or any other PVP orientated MMO you may be able to gain inspiration form *cough* steal with pride *cough*?
aka NazHuggyBear2

"No, there is no real problem with P2W in STO. Obviously, if you fight against someone with an equal level of skill in the game, better equipment will give you an edge. But usually, it is the skill level that determines the outcome, not the P2W." - Sprinkles

Last edited by naz4; 02-25-2013 at 10:44 AM.
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# 20
02-25-2013, 10:36 AM
Originally Posted by borticuscryptic View Post
So, those are the main ideas we've had so far. We'd like to hear some open-minded feedback on what consequences any of the above could potentially have on the viability and flow of PvP combat, and its popularity among Veterans and non-Veterans alike.
My first reaction to "only PvP map modifiers" is... not good. I want to command *one* ship, not several depending on the environment I am in. I, as the captain, should have influence on how to tune my ship's stats, and no one else. The idea feels... very negatively for me.

Apart from that highly subjective feedback:

People would have to learn, in effect, two games instead of one, making PvP even less accessible. Also, it would make it a lot harder to tune your build for PvP, as you cannot check the stats in Sol System space, for example.
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