Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 1 STO and "The Trinity"
02-11-2010, 06:32 AM
As a former main-healer in many other games, I'd like to weigh in on what I like about STO.... and what has caused some misunderstandings for folks with regard to "class roles" as they relate to the MMO Holy Trinity (tank, heal/support, dps).

This game still very much has these roles. They're just divided and used differently, with responsibility shifted. Below, I've listed the "Classic" role with STO's "Revised" role.

TANKING - Classic View: The tank is given abilities to generate and keep aggro, allowing him to make use of super high defense. This allows healers and DPSers to spam away, because the tank is responsible for holding the aggro. One person does the job of aggro management.

TANKING - STO Revised View: On the ground, the tank is given 1 ability and 1 trait to generate aggro. In space, the cruiser is given very high defense and more available weapons. In both areas, it is not the job of the tank to generate aggro while the other classes spam. Instead, other classes can use a variety of aggro-DUMPING abilities and careful target selection to avoid keeping aggro... and the tank's job is simply to make sure he keeps his name on each enemy's list. The overall job of the tank (to absorb damage) remains the same, but the group shares the task of aggro management.


HEALING - Classic View: The healer's job is to continuously heal the tank, while spot healing other group members as needed (AoE, accidental pull, etc). This keeps the tank free to spam aggro abilities, and DPSers free to spam damage, because the healer is watching health bars. One person does the job of health management, and the healer class has one job--healing.

HEALING - STO Revised View: The Science officer has a range of healing and cleansing abilities available... but also debuffs, buffs, exposes, and crowd control. The Science BO powers allow for some shield healing... but also debuffs, power drains, and crowd control. All ships have access to some of the healing skills, and all Officers have access to consumable heals. This leaves the 'healer' responsible for spot heals here and there, Heals-Over-Time and defensive buffs, and reducing out-of-combat downtime. Other than that, they are supporting through debuffs and crowd control--"healing" by preventing damage or by speeding up the fight. The dedicated "healer" is no more, as everyone shares the job of health management, freeing the officer up to switch between healing and support.


DPS - Classic View: DPSers jump in, get behind the enemy, and bash away while the tank holds aggro and the healer keeps his bar up. Aaaand that's it. Wait for the 10% mark, burn your cooldowns, and brag about your DPS meter.

DPS - STO Revised View: In space - Carefully select a target. Jump in. Smash. Jump out. Jump in. Smash. Jump out. If you collect an extra, shake him off on the cruiser. Strafing runs, rather than park and spam... or peel one target at a time off the cruiser and burn them down before selecting another. On the ground - YOU'RE the tank, Tac Officer. AoE, threat generation, and group protection are now your job. There is no single DPS class on the ground--your extra damage skills are there to make up for "lost" DPS as a result of your new tanking role, so that your damage doesn't suffer by using Overwatch and the like.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
02-11-2010, 06:40 AM
Or, there is no 'trinity' required in STO, and players are bringing different skills and abilities to the table.

That was one thing I loved about City of Heroes in it's good years.... you didn't "need" any part of the trinity to team, and team quite successfully. I don't think you need them either in STO.

I'd suggest approaching STO again, but drop the line of thought that the 'trinity' is needed.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
02-11-2010, 06:48 AM
Great summary! A big help to me to understand the differences between this game's roles and the typical fantasy MMO roles.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
02-11-2010, 06:50 AM
I don't think STO maps to a traditional "trinity" view - there is too much cross over in terms of skills and abilities.

Yes a cruiser is better at taking a pounding than an escort when you just look at base stats, but a LOT depends on the captain's skill set and the bridge officer powers in play. Even within the same bridge officer "profession" (like engineering bridge officers), there are different abilities available. For example, do you use tachyon beam (shield damage) or science team 1 (shield heal) or jam targeting sensors (debuff/CC) for your science officer?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
02-11-2010, 08:09 AM
At higher levels, you'll begin to see the differences manifest more. The trinity is still present... the expression of it is just slightly different (and better, I think).

You don't notice it as much, because the tank doesn't do the tanking alone--you have to shuffle the aggro to him. But the fact remains that it's better to have as much damage being put on him as possible, instead of on the softer escorts. It's pretty clear from fleet actions who the DPS is. And while there is a wide variety of Science skills, it becomes very clear that those abilities are to control and debuff enemies--very few do direct damage, or have damage as their primary feature.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
02-11-2010, 08:19 AM
Nah, trinity still there. The only thing is that we do not have aggro management in the game. So I would say it's even worse than other games...

We do not need aggro management, but we need abilities to let ships do what they are supposed to do. Good line of sight would let escorts hide behind cruisers, the cruisers need an inate extend shield ability (just like the science vessel has subystem targeting), that way they would be able to "tank" for other ships without the need for aggro abilities.

Sheez, there is so much good stuff Cryptic could do there, but it's pretty weak at the moment...
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7
02-11-2010, 08:56 AM
I think cruisers ought to have an innate AoE ability--like a mini "fire at will" or something.

Aggro management IS in the game.... it's just not the cruiser that does it. Instead of having the tank INCREASE threat, there are ways for others to REDUCE threat, dumping it back on the tank.

- Jam Sensors is one.
- Various stealth abilities are others.
- NOT using area-of-effect attacks too early in the fight is another.
- Careful target selection is another.


Think back to other trinity games... when did things usually go wrong in a group? When someone pulled aggro off the tank, either by healing or by burning too hot on DPS. Here, there's no real way to get threat purely from healing.... but it's still VERY possible to get too much threat via DPS. And, in fact, it's more likely in this game because there are no aggro GENERATING space abilities (there are on the ground, though).

This only presents a problem if:
1) You're a cruiser captain, but you try to play in groups like an escort, focusing on one target at a time instead of engaging multiple targets via tab-targetting or AoE skills. Your job is to engage MOST of the enemies on the field if you're grouping.

2) You're an escort captain, and you feel you should maximize your DPS by using every single AoE skill simply because they are tactical skills. Some Tactical skills are meant for escorts. Some are meant for OTHER types of ships (which have tactical stations). Use AoEs when you're soloing... but in groups, focus focus focus. Your job is to go one-on-one with handpicked targets, peeling them off the cruiser.

3) You're a science captain, and you want to use all of your coolest-looking abilities right off the bat--gravity well, Tyken's Rift, CPB, all of those big, shiny AoEs. That's fine--you have more shields than an escort--but not as an OPENER. Gravity Well is best against low shields. Tyken's is useful for making a weak opponent vulnerable to a final blast. Your AoEs are situational, and usually that situation is near the LATTER portion of the fight--CPB to keep the enemy from cloaking and running away, burn down some shields... follow up with some kinetic damage to the shieldless enemies... Your opening abilities should be the ones that control the encounter--mess with sensors, drain power, send a boarding party from your Engie...
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
02-11-2010, 09:44 AM
This is a very good summary and I would even say sticky-worthy. I'm really happy with how the roles work out in STO. Games get so stale when you're expected to perform only one function to its extreme, as in most MMOs.

I would make the argument that engineers also can fill a "tank" role on the ground. They gain lots of powers to boost shields and create diversions/blocks against enemies. I usually try to do this as my engineer and, with a good AE weapon, it works quite well.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
02-11-2010, 09:53 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by xMentalxLintx
As a former main-healer in many other games, I'd like to weigh in on what I like about STO.... and what has caused some misunderstandings for folks with regard to "class roles" as they relate to the MMO Holy Trinity (tank, heal/support, dps).

This game still very much has these roles. They're just divided and used differently, with responsibility shifted. Below, I've listed the "Classic" role with STO's "Revised" role.

TANKING - Classic View: The tank is given abilities to generate and keep aggro, allowing him to make use of super high defense. This allows healers and DPSers to spam away, because the tank is responsible for holding the aggro. One person does the job of aggro management.

TANKING - STO Revised View: On the ground, the tank is given 1 ability and 1 trait to generate aggro. In space, the cruiser is given very high defense and more available weapons. In both areas, it is not the job of the tank to generate aggro while the other classes spam. Instead, other classes can use a variety of aggro-DUMPING abilities and careful target selection to avoid keeping aggro... and the tank's job is simply to make sure he keeps his name on each enemy's list. The overall job of the tank (to absorb damage) remains the same, but the group shares the task of aggro management.


HEALING - Classic View: The healer's job is to continuously heal the tank, while spot healing other group members as needed (AoE, accidental pull, etc). This keeps the tank free to spam aggro abilities, and DPSers free to spam damage, because the healer is watching health bars. One person does the job of health management, and the healer class has one job--healing.

HEALING - STO Revised View: The Science officer has a range of healing and cleansing abilities available... but also debuffs, buffs, exposes, and crowd control. The Science BO powers allow for some shield healing... but also debuffs, power drains, and crowd control. All ships have access to some of the healing skills, and all Officers have access to consumable heals. This leaves the 'healer' responsible for spot heals here and there, Heals-Over-Time and defensive buffs, and reducing out-of-combat downtime. Other than that, they are supporting through debuffs and crowd control--"healing" by preventing damage or by speeding up the fight. The dedicated "healer" is no more, as everyone shares the job of health management, freeing the officer up to switch between healing and support.


DPS - Classic View: DPSers jump in, get behind the enemy, and bash away while the tank holds aggro and the healer keeps his bar up. Aaaand that's it. Wait for the 10% mark, burn your cooldowns, and brag about your DPS meter.

DPS - STO Revised View: In space - Carefully select a target. Jump in. Smash. Jump out. Jump in. Smash. Jump out. If you collect an extra, shake him off on the cruiser. Strafing runs, rather than park and spam... or peel one target at a time off the cruiser and burn them down before selecting another. On the ground - YOU'RE the tank, Tac Officer. AoE, threat generation, and group protection are now your job. There is no single DPS class on the ground--your extra damage skills are there to make up for "lost" DPS as a result of your new tanking role, so that your damage doesn't suffer by using Overwatch and the like.
Quite impressive though incorrect...

In STO the Engineer is weak DPS, the Science Officer is weaker DPS and the Tactical Officer is king of DPS.

You are correct, there is no Trinity, but you are incorrect as there is no reason to heal or tank since daeth has no sting. In STO why heal or tank or even use viable tactics when you can just charge in and attack attack attack and die then do it over and over again until you ultimately win.

The Devs have forgotton one of the most important lessons of Star Trek, how do you handle a NO WIN situation... thier answer; there is no NO WIN situation cause you never can fail.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
02-11-2010, 10:02 AM
I dunno bout you guys but im constantly surrounded by escorts
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