Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
Hello,

I'd like to suggest several ideas for a radical change in the bridge officer (BO) skill system. Before starting, I'd like to throw in the standard disclaimer that I enjoy the game (it's like crack for me right now), and that I think the current system for BO skills and management is serviceable (but since when is something being okay a good excuse to not improve it?). I also recognize that there are a slew of problems that need fixing in the game, and thus this might not be a high priority to some people. Still, it's worth mentioning.

Also, I'd like to mention that throughout the thread, I'm going to discuss problems and solutions as if it is not possible to get a super-rare BO that has the skills you want/need in the rank slot that you want it to be in. From a supply and probability point of view, it's a good chance you'll find one that makes you happy, but not many -- thus I'm going to ignore them. If you don't think that's fair, we can talk about it, and you can convince me otherwise.

1. My Concerns:
a. There is no way to utilize tier III skills on BOs that don't match your ship type.
b. There are some skills that are simply unavailable in the first two ranks of a BO, and thus are not usable at ANY tier level on certain classes of ship.
c. Captains can only train BOs of their own profession.
d. Players cannot trade BOs that have already been trained.
2. Why do I care?
a+b. Tier III skills are (theoretically) the best version of certain skills. Certain skills are better than other skills. Limiting either one of these based off the ship you're using means someone who is in an escort can utilize more powerful and many different skills to enhance dps, while science vessels can use more powerful and many different skills to buff/debuff, etc. However, limiting BOTH of these creates a system that is slightly counter-intuitive, and is a little boring.
c. In the game's current set up, this actually matters very little. It matters for players who are playing profession/ship hybrid set ups, but for most people, (e.g. sci/sci), even if you COULD train up a BO to have high-yield torp III, they wouldn't be able to use it on any of your science vessels anyway.
d. My understanding was that BOs were going to be a major (if not THE major) crafting fix for all those crazed crafting junkies out there. Making it so that they are effectively 'bound' when you start 'crafting' them, well, defeats the purpose.
3. What would I change?
a. I would make it so that Tier I-III levels could be in any rank slot that the skill can be in in the first place.
e.g.

Tachyon Beam I is currently an ensign rank science BO skill. IIRC, Tachyon II and Tachyon III are Lt. and LtC skills, respectively. Under my system, Tachyon Beam I, II, and III all would go in the ensign slot.
b. I would make it so that certain skills are exclusively in one rank slot or another, and certain skills could be in multiple slots.
e.g.

Mask Energy Signature could be a Lt. or LtC skill.
c. I would keep this the same, but...
d. I would allow players to train up the BOs of other players. The system would still require an investment of 9/9 into a captain skill on the part of the trainer, and thus would probably mean monetary or item compensation. I'd also add a cooldown timer on both the trained BO AND the trainer's ability to train another BO in that skill.
4. Dear God, Why?!
a+b. Well here's why! My (b) would limit the number of skills available to people who aren't flying a certain kind of ship. This allows for specialization -- plenty of the fun and really cool skills can be kept to the higher rank levels, while some useful ones can still be relegated to the lower rank tiers to be used by all interested parties.

So what difference does my system make? First of all, I'd argue it is less confusing. Making HYT I better by upgrading it to HYT II seems like something one should be capable of doing. When most people have obtained a skill, they reasonably assume it is within their power to improve it. If you're going to let someone use a skill, why gimp them into only allowing them to use the weakest version of it? I say that all skills you CAN use, you should be able to upgrade to full strength.

There are plenty of ways to make sure that this stays interesting. For example, it could be made so that people need to have their HYT I 9/9 before they can upgrade it to HYT II. Timesink? Yes! BO pointsink? Yes! Allowance for cost vs. benefit analysis based off of player-specific playstyle? Yes!
c+d. I'd keep (c) the same because I feel like it is a reasonable restriction that players of a certain profession can only train up skills that they would have expert and superior knowledge of (i.e. skills within their profession). Sounds good to me! However, this should only stay the same if (d) changes. People still are going to want a chance to use those sexy tier III skills! Let people trade with other players for them! Let the economy do its thing! Let there be cost vs. benefit analysis by having there be cooldowns, so that people don't just toss around upgrades like confetti.
5. Q+A

I plan on responding to your questions/comments in the thread, but I'll also be editing this initial post, so that newcomers can read the most up-to-date proposal.
--Question:
Don't your suggestions limit the number of skills I get to use?
In reality, not any more than the game already does. If you take a look at the list of what skills can go where, certain skills are already sequestered into different ranks as is. When you toss in the tiers I through III, the list gets pretty damn hard to read...

--Question:
Quote:
Originally Posted by daveywavey View Post
I'd want to take 'c.' a step further, and allow you to train a BO of any profession.
If you've put the Skill Points in, and your character is so knowledgable about the subject that they're a '9/9', then it makes sense that they'd know enough to train another Officer.

As I see it, a Captain would have experience in most, if not all, of the different disciplines on the Starship, if only to help him understand what it can do. So why restrict us to just the one?


Yeah, this was something I was wrestling with. My main argument against removing the profession requirement is that it allows for people to specialize not just through skills they use in gameplay, but from a crafting point of view.

If people can start training bridge officers for other people, then it would be advantageous for them to try to get 9/9 for as many of their skills as possible, so that they can get a larger share of their market.

Allowing everyone to train their BOs, regardless of profession, would lessen interdependency, which would weaken the BO trading market. It wouldn't kill it, per se, but it'd make it less dynamic and interesting.

Still, it is a valid point, and it is one that I wouldn't necessarily be against.

--Statement:
Quote:
Originally Posted by faithborn
this would negatively affect pvp because past tier 4 damage already scales pretty nastily. giving everyone access to HYT3, VM, and other crap like that would cause massive imbalances to an already imbalanced game. The reason that some skills are unavailable to certain ships is just because of that. They're too powerful


You actually are mixing up two different ideas.

People may, for example, all have acess to HYT3, but they wouldn't all have access to VM, which would be a LtC or Cmd rank skill, so Science Vessels would be the only ones capable of utilizing that skill.

What imbalances would be created by allowing a player to use HYT3 instead of just HYT2 in a, for example, Science vessel? It would allow them to do more damage, but certainly not more damage than an Escort, who has more added benefits to damage anyway, and would have access to more tactical skills.

Overall, it doesn't seem to me like your argument has any value. You don't actually point out any imbalances this would create, as it would raise all skills across the board, actually lessening imbalances. Certain skills would still be inaccessible to certain ships. In other words, the changes actually wouldn't have the effect you think they would.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2 I Like it!
02-07-2010, 07:23 AM
Great suggestions. Let's hope the dev team actually reads this stuff.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
02-07-2010, 02:37 PM
Thanks for the reply.

I'd love feedback folks! I know Star Trek fans can be vocal, I'd love to hear it.

Are these good ideas? Bad ideas? Do you want clarification? What's up? How's it going?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
02-07-2010, 04:27 PM
Great suggestions.

I dont like the part, with spells fixed to a specific rank. But im just not used to it ^^ dunno
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
02-07-2010, 04:34 PM
I personally beleive this could be fixed if a captain had the ability to train the bridge officer of another captain.

But seeing Bridge Officers cannot be traded once they enter your active roster... that's presently impossible, and that despite this feature having been once spoken of by Cryptic as one of the cool things you could do that was part of 'bridge officer crafting'.

If my tactical captain friend can train one of my BOs with a skill I wanted he/she to add, then I don't think the problem is so pronounced.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
02-07-2010, 04:55 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoberraz View Post
I personally beleive this could be fixed if a captain had the ability to train the bridge officer of another captain.

But seeing Bridge Officers cannot be traded once they enter your active roster... that's presently impossible, and that despite this feature having been once spoken of by Cryptic as one of the cool things you could do that was part of 'bridge officer crafting'.

If my tactical captain friend can train one of my BOs with a skill I wanted he/she to add, then I don't think the problem is so pronounced.
I agree, and that is why my solution to problems c+d are to allow for the BO crafting you're talking about.

However, I don't think that addresses the only issue with BO usage -- I think that the system is too restricted and convoluted concerning the tiers to skills, which is a completely unrelated problem.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7
02-07-2010, 04:55 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by 0850
Great suggestions.

I dont like the part, with spells fixed to a specific rank. But im just not used to it ^^ dunno
Thanks for the feedback. Actually, the current system also has certain skills restricted to certain ranks. For example, viral matrix is restricted to the LtC and Cmd ranks for BOs.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
02-08-2010, 12:45 PM
Moar suggestions?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
02-08-2010, 04:45 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlphaMHC
Hello,

I'd like to suggest several ideas for a radical change in the bridge officer (BO) skill system. Before starting, I'd like to throw in the standard disclaimer that I enjoy the game (it's like crack for me right now), and that I think the current system for BO skills and management is serviceable (but since when is something being okay a good excuse to not improve it?). I also recognize that there are a slew of problems that need fixing in the game, and thus this might not be a high priority to some people. Still, it's worth mentioning.

Also, I'd like to mention that throughout the thread, I'm going to discuss problems and solutions as if it is not possible to get a super-rare BO that has the skills you want/need in the rank slot that you want it to be in. From a supply and probability point of view, it's a good chance you'll find one that makes you happy, but not many -- thus I'm going to ignore them. If you don't think that's fair, we can talk about it, and you can convince me otherwise.

1. My Concerns:
a. There is no way to utilize tier III skills on BOs that don't match your ship type.
b. There are some skills that are simply unavailable in the first two ranks of a BO, and thus are not usable at ANY tier level on certain classes of ship.
c. Captains can only train BOs of their own profession.
d. Players cannot trade BOs that have already been trained.
2. Why do I care?
a+b. Tier III skills are (theoretically) the best version of certain skills. Certain skills are better than other skills. Limiting either one of these based off the ship you're using means someone who is in an escort can utilize more powerful and many different skills to enhance dps, while science vessels can use more powerful and many different skills to buff/debuff, etc. However, limiting BOTH of these creates a system that is slightly counter-intuitive, and is a little boring.
c. In the game's current set up, this actually matters very little. It matters for players who are playing profession/ship hybrid set ups, but for most people, (e.g. sci/sci), even if you COULD train up a BO to have high-yield torp III, they wouldn't be able to use it on any of your science vessels anyway.
d. My understanding was that BOs were going to be a major (if not THE major) crafting fix for all those crazed crafting junkies out there. Making it so that they are effectively 'bound' when you start 'crafting' them, well, defeats the purpose.
3. What would I change?
a. I would make it so that Tier I-III levels could be in any rank slot that the skill can be in in the first place.
e.g.

Tachyon Beam I is currently an ensign rank science BO skill. IIRC, Tachyon II and Tachyon III are Lt. and LtC skills, respectively. Under my system, Tachyon Beam I, II, and III all would go in the ensign slot.
b. I would make it so that certain skills are exclusively in one rank slot or another, and certain skills could be in multiple slots.
e.g.

Mask Energy Signature could be a Lt. or LtC skill.
c. I would keep this the same, but...
d. I would allow players to train up the BOs of other players. The system would still require an investment of 9/9 into a captain skill on the part of the trainer, and thus would probably mean monetary or item compensation. I'd also add a cooldown timer on both the trained BO AND the trainer's ability to train another BO in that skill.
4. Dear God, Why?!
a+b. Well here's why! My (b) would limit the number of skills available to people who aren't flying a certain kind of ship. This allows for specialization -- plenty of the fun and really cool skills can be kept to the higher rank levels, while some useful ones can still be relegated to the lower rank tiers to be used by all interested parties.

So what difference does my system make? First of all, I'd argue it is less confusing. Making HYT I better by upgrading it to HYT II seems like something one should be capable of doing. When most people have obtained a skill, they reasonably assume it is within their power to improve it. If you're going to let someone use a skill, why gimp them into only allowing them to use the weakest version of it? I say that all skills you CAN use, you should be able to upgrade to full strength.

There are plenty of ways to make sure that this stays interesting. For example, it could be made so that people need to have their HYT I 9/9 before they can upgrade it to HYT II. Timesink? Yes! BO pointsink? Yes! Allowance for cost vs. benefit analysis based off of player-specific playstyle? Yes!
c+d. I'd keep (c) the same because I feel like it is a reasonable restriction that players of a certain profession can only train up skills that they would have expert and superior knowledge of (i.e. skills within their profession). Sounds good to me! However, this should only stay the same if (d) changes. People still are going to want a chance to use those sexy tier III skills! Let people trade with other players for them! Let the economy do its thing! Let there be cost vs. benefit analysis by having there be cooldowns, so that people don't just toss around upgrades like confetti.
5. Q+A

I plan on responding to your questions/comments in the thread, but I'll also be editing this initial post, so that newcomers can read the most up-to-date proposal.
Nice read and well thought out response. I may not agree with it all but I can see your reasoning. Mainly what I popped in to chime about is this.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
d. My understanding was that BOs were going to be a major (if not THE major) crafting fix for all those crazed crafting junkies out there. Making it so that they are effectively 'bound' when you start 'crafting' them, well, defeats the purpose.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I totally agree here. This is not right at all. Especially since we were PROMISED in pre-release interviews that this would be a major crafting component within the game. We were told we'd be able to craft BOFs and trade/sell them. This is not the case. You cannot train a BOF and then trade it to another player.

If I hadn't been promised that I would be able to do this by the devs in public interviews then you wouldn't hear a peep out of me about this. But, since they hyped this up and then didn't deliver I'm very disappointed in them about this. That is not a good business practice. It's called "bait and switch".

I'm an engineer captain in a science ship and it just urks me to no end that I can't even use "Science Team III" on my science officer because of this. There are ZERO very rare Bofs with this ability on the exchange so that is not an option for me. And even asking in zone chat has gotten me ZERO responses on someone with a tradeable Bof with this ability. And I can't contact a science captain and offer an exchange(compensation) for them to train one of my science officers in this skill either.

Basically there is no crafting here. The only thing I can do is train already commissioned engineer bofs of mine and that is it. It's basically a one shot deal because once I train them in those skills this function of the game goes unused forever.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
02-08-2010, 05:17 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xanusus View Post
Nice read and well thought out response. I may not agree with it all but I can see your reasoning. Mainly what I popped in to chime about is this.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
d. My understanding was that BOs were going to be a major (if not THE major) crafting fix for all those crazed crafting junkies out there. Making it so that they are effectively 'bound' when you start 'crafting' them, well, defeats the purpose.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I totally agree here. This is not right at all. Especially since we were PROMISED in pre-release interviews that this would be a major crafting component within the game. We were told we'd be able to craft BOFs and trade/sell them. This is not the case. You cannot train a BOF and then trade it to another player.

If I hadn't been promised that I would be able to do this by the devs in public interviews then you wouldn't hear a peep out of me about this. But, since they hyped this up and then didn't deliver I'm very disappointed in them about this. That is not a good business practice. It's called "bait and switch".

I'm an engineer captain in a science ship and it just urks me to no end that I can't even use "Science Team III" on my science officer because of this. There are ZERO very rare Bofs with this ability on the exchange so that is not an option for me. And even asking in zone chat has gotten me ZERO responses on someone with a tradeable Bof with this ability. And I can't contact a science captain and offer an exchange(compensation) for them to train one of my science officers in this skill either.

Basically there is no crafting here. The only thing I can do is train already commissioned engineer bofs of mine and that is it. It's basically a one shot deal because once I train them in those skills this function of the game goes unused forever.
Yeah, we apparently read the same interviews =)

What where some of the issues you disagreed with in my suggested changes?
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