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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
Question to the PvP Community and Cryptic

I raise this in a new thread because previous threads on this topic seem derailed by less-than-objective complaints and flames, and I'd rather keep this as objective as possible.

Has anyone (Federation or Klingon) had success against a full carrier spawning group, which spawns fully out-of-combat, in arena deathmatch? If so, how often have you had success?

To be clear, this means 5 carriers x 24 spawns (8 fighters + 8 shield drones + 6 power siphons + 2 birds-of-prey), or 125 ships in total (120 NPCs + 5 players). In other words, this is the min/max extreme of carriers.

If you have faced a full carrier spawning group (5 carriers, 24 spawns each), or you have played as part of such a carrier spawning group, please post any win:loss ratios, even approximations, here.

Be honest, guys.

===

Observations

Personally, I have never won a match against a full carrier spawning group (i.e., 24 spawns per carrier) in 5v5 arena deathmatch. At best, we manage a score of 5/15. This does not necessarily mean that my team was playing optimally, but I will qualify these subjective circumstances below, and offer some more objective observations.


Objective:
  • Carriers can spawn up to 24 fighters or power siphons each, while out-of-combat. This is due to the shared cooldowns being (currently) limited to actively equipped hangar loads; swap loads and you can ignore the cooldown.

  • A single fighter deals pitiful DPS, but 50 photon torpedo volleys (+ the additional cannon damage of 10 birds-of-prey) add up to quite a bit. Even if not concurrent burst, the damage over time is significant.

  • Similarly, a single power siphon drains very little (~10 power max), but, even if they only drained 2 power, 30 x 2 power is a significant drain, let alone 30 x 10.

  • Carriers are also science vessels, and capable of slotting Rank III science abilities. This means access in particular to Tyken's Rift III, Viral Matrix III, Feedback Pulse III, Photonic Officer III. They also gain the innate Beam Target Subsystems I ability, which is fairly weak until combined with Energy Siphon, Tyken's Rift, and/or their power siphon spawns.

  • Scramble Sensors affects a maximum of 15 targets within a 3km AOE sphere, for ~30 sec max (varies with spec/loadout). This means Scramble Sensors affects 3/5 (15/25 -- 24 spawns + 1 carrier) or 60% of a 1 carrier spawn group. Assuming 1x Scramble Sensors per team member, and absolutely no AOE sphere overlap -- which is almost impossible to achieve -- this will concurrently affect 75/125 ships at most at any given time.

    When slotted with multiple ranks and Photonic Officer (i.e., > 5x Scramble Sensors active), it is possible to have a 1-10 sec overlap of multiple Scramble Sensors. In a group of 5x science vessels, this means 10x Scramble Sensors concurrently active for 1-10 sec, which means theoretical 150 targets affected (i.e., > 100%) before long cooldowns. Otherwise, it means 75 targets affected continuously (i.e., 60%).

  • Jam Sensors only works on a single target.


Subjective:
I followed Sam_Charette's guide, although to date I have only managed to face carrier spawning groups with 3 other Fleet members (instead of a full premade group), which automatically reduced our chances of success. (FYI, this problematic scheduling is why I have not had the opportunity to arrange 5v5 premade vs. premade with Sam_Charette.)
  • Some of us had AOE damage, while others (including myself) had Scramble Sensors. Targeting wasn't much of an issue with key binds (i.e., primary assist has binds to target names, everyone else has binds to assist). Even with dedicated healing, we still could not inflict more damage than the carrier spawning group could deal, much less absorb it all.

  • Even if we loaded a full science vessel group with Scramble Sensors or AOE + Photonic Officer, we would not have the healing needed to withstand the incoming DPS of players (+ spawns not caught in the AOE spheres). (I have not tested this, but I assume the carrier players would not be fooled by Scramble, and they would continue to focus fire on us.)

Also remember that we all still face the usual problems with FBP and SNB (+ VM), which both sides have. Photonic Fleet is also not accounted for in this discussion, since both sides have it.

Our user-attributed problems are three-fold:
  1. We cannot kill the spawns fast enough before the carrier players take us out and/or spawn more. We are forced to ignore most of the spawns and simply heal through the damage and power drain. Furthermore, loading tactical AOE sacrifices single-target burst and subsystem warfare (Beam Target Subsystem) needed to penetrate RSP (+ Photonic Officer stacking).

  2. We cannot keep all carriers engaged in combat at all times (to prevent them from spawning out-of-combat), unless we sacrifice focus fire. Sacrificing focus fire against carriers tends not to yield any kills, due to carrier Photonic Officer + healing loadouts.

  3. If we spec completely for Scramble Sensors and/or science AOE, we sacrifice healing. If we spec completely for healing, we sacrifice crowd control. If we compromise, it seems not to be enough against 125 targets. No matter how we slice it, we cannot manage the incoming damage.

===

Conclusions

Even if we assume that it is possible for a non-carrier group to win against a full carrier spawning group (5 carriers, 24 spawns each), given the above facts (from the Objective Observations section) it is much more difficult even for the most coordinated teams. Possible, but very unlikely.

Do we consider this balanced?

I like the concept of the carrier, but without a dedicated spawn-killer type of ship (e.g., a point-defense or anti-fighter destroyer), we simply cannot manage against 120 NPCs + 5 players.

Either give us a better way to manage the crowd, or please enforce the hangar load cooldowns globally (i.e., affect Inventory as well as currently equipped).

Thank you for your consideration.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
03-13-2010, 07:43 AM
I thought it was stated that hangar swapping was a bug and will be fixed sometime, which would make this a non issue.

But personally I have never seen 5 carriers, and certainly don't play enough against carriers to figure out what works.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
03-13-2010, 07:46 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxrocks
I thought it was stated that hangar swapping was a bug and will be fixed sometime, which would make this a non issue.
I believe the DEV response was:
Quote:
Originally Posted by dstahl View Post
Some fixes are coming in tonight's updates to help address the swapping issues (although it may not catch the bridge officer one yet).

I'm forwarding the info on carriers to the PVP testers to get their feedback on this and we will definitely look into this.
If that means that the cooldown swap/refresh is a bug, I stand corrected.

Otherwise, I hope the DEVs can make this a priority, since FvK is almost completely unmanageable against a full carrier spawning group.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
03-13-2010, 08:48 AM
you may want to rephrase your question to exclude the use of shield drones, which many klingons never use because they're like a little squad of federation mines that follow us around, with a tendency to all go off at once at the worst possible time.

I'd relate some anecdotes about how our 5-carrier group got wiped out by a good group of feds, except I've never been in a 5-carrier group (every group I've been in has always included 1 or 2 non-carrier ships). and even if I had ever been, we probably wouldn't have had all our deployables out anyway (see above).

-ken
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
03-13-2010, 09:10 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowreap
you may want to rephrase your question to exclude the use of shield drones, which many klingons never use because they're like a little squad of federation mines that follow us around, with a tendency to all go off at once at the worst possible time.

I'd relate some anecdotes about how our 5-carrier group got wiped out by a good group of feds, except I've never been in a 5-carrier group (every group I've been in has always included 1 or 2 non-carrier ships). and even if I had ever been, we probably wouldn't have had all our deployables out anyway (see above).

-ken
Hi Ken,

I agree about the relative utility (or lack thereof) of certain deployables, but I left it in the description to be completely accurate.

Regarding your second comment, as you say, I am looking for win:loss ratios against 5-carrier groups with full spawns, or the min/max extreme of carriers. It is under this circumstance that I have never seen success, and I posit that there can be no (or very, very rare) success against it.

Again, if anyone has seen success against a full 5-carrier group with full spawns (24 x 5), please post how often you have seen this success.

Thanks
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
03-13-2010, 09:37 AM
I have just stopped PvPing in space alltogether in T5, because it's always either a group of feds vs one single Klingon and that's no fun because you just own him in seconds or a group of feds vs 5 carriers which absolutely own you because you can't really do anything against five ships that run a full tanking/healing setup and still DPS like crazy.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7
03-15-2010, 04:03 PM
I appreciate your post. Much of this needs to be brought out into the light and discussed. There are times when Carriers do appear to be abused and these issues become very significant. Thankfully I have not had too much trouble with this, but at RA5, it's hard to get into a PvP match to experience it.

My biggest problem with carriers is targeting the main ship, or even any ship, amidst all the support craft. This frustrates me to no end as I try to cycle through nearest enemy targets or rotate my screen and attempt to click through the mess and find a reasonable ship to fight.

Spawning many support craft seems to be the most effective form of shielding, as I have almost no ability to target any enemy craft within.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
03-15-2010, 08:15 PM
Ok, as a carrier pilot (except for recently... switching things up with a BoP) here are my 2 cents.


1) You cannot have 24 power siphons. You can have 6. The max you can have if you spawn everything is:

8 To'Duj fighters
8 Shield drones (worthless)
6 Siphon Pods
2 BoPs

2) This is NOT a bug. Everything clear said so far has been that it is working as designed. The quote that Matt brings up is (I think) not from a dev, and doesn't mention it to be a bug. Just that they will look into it (likely to modify it because of complaints)

3) My take on carriers...

One or two carriers isn't bad. A single player can take down a carrier REALLY fast with the right setup. I know, it's happened to me many times. With a little teamwork they can come down just as easily as anything else. They are tough and don't go down too easily, nor should they. Targeting shields can be devastating against a carrier, as without its shields it will fold quickly to some good fire.

That said, once you get three or more in a group things start to get silly. Three is the middle ground, but four and five is just wrong. There are SO many little ships flying around that it becomes next to impossible to find us through the swarm, and that many ships on a single target will take it down rally fast, with it usually having no opportunity to defend itself. It's pretty obvious that Cryptic didn't playtest against a full group of carriers.

Luckily, at least from what I've seen AS a Klingon, groups of only carriers are rare. If my friend and I had been playing our carriers we would have had at most three in the group, which is a huge hassle as it is, but not as bad as four or five.

A carrier itself is not overpowered. It's balanced pretty well I'd say. A group of carriers, though, isn't balanced at all. I've never lost a game when we had four or more carriers. With three carriers, only the really good feds win, and it's hard for them (though the REALLY good ones can win pretty easily). Two or one and it's no different than with any other group mixture.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
03-15-2010, 08:26 PM
Yes, what matt quoted was directly from a GM/Devs mouth.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
03-15-2010, 08:28 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam_Charette View Post
1) You cannot have 24 power siphons. You can have 6. The max you can have if you spawn everything is:

8 To'Duj fighters
8 Shield drones (worthless)
6 Siphon Pods
2 BoPs
Thanks for the feedback. I have updated the original post accordingly. All relevant points still stand, except the concurrent photon torpedo damage is reduced from 120 torpedoes to 50. DPS is still roughly the same (if not more), since I am now accounting for birds-of-prey instead of merely fighters.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam_Charette View Post
2) This is NOT a bug. Everything clear said so far has been that it is working as designed. The quote that Matt brings up is (I think) not from a dev, and doesn't mention it to be a bug. Just that they will look into it (likely to modify it because of complaints)
This is not the thread to discuss whether or not it is a bug. This thread is merely asking if anyone has ever had success against 5 x 24 spawn groups (i.e., 5v125), and, if so, how often they had success. This thread also offers reasons as to why this success is a statistical near-impossibility.

Furthermore, my quote is directly from dstahl, a Cryptic DEV.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam_Charette View Post
I've never lost a game when we had four or more carriers.
Thanks for that.
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