Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 1 The Case for Damage Control.
03-15-2010, 07:59 AM
Ever been in that position where you get the drop on an enemy and score a solid torpedo volley and see his health drop about 80%? only to see him hit you with a tractor beam, disable your ship with a probe and then launch a salvo of his own and full strength right into your face? Ever asked yourself how he can do that with only 20% health left?

The problem in this scenario is that regardless of hull strength the enemy still has all his systems. This also counts for you, the player. You can have 3% health and ALL of your systems still intact. I personally have a problem with this aspect of STO Combat. It might be because very other space combat sim or star trek space combat game has had this mechanic. Maybe its because this mechanic has been clearly reflected in Star Trek since 1966.

The idea of Damage Control, losing systems during combat, is part and parcel to the experience of captaining a ship. Why is it not part of this games otherwise excellent starship combat? Can a developer speak to this issue? Does anyone else notice this missing level of depth in the combat? does it seem right to be fighting a NPC that is nearly dead but just as dangerous as he was at 100% health?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
03-15-2010, 09:07 AM
From a pure gameplay perspective, the typical reason against this is that it leads to a death spiral.
When you're low on hull or hit points or whatever you use to track damage, you are already in a bad spot. Suffering additional penalties worsens this, and you have even less chance of a comeback. The system is kicking the guy that's already lying on the floor, so to speak.

Another question is - is there really enough time "spent" in a hull damaged state to make something like damage control an interesting addition?

It would probably require a lot of rebalancing to ensure that adding something like system failure and damage control adds to the game without making fights too tough or too easy.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
03-15-2010, 09:15 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by MustrumRidcully View Post
From a pure gameplay perspective, the typical reason against this is that it leads to a death spiral.
When you're low on hull or hit points or whatever you use to track damage, you are already in a bad spot. Suffering additional penalties worsens this, and you have even less chance of a comeback. The system is kicking the guy that's already lying on the floor, so to speak.

Another question is - is there really enough time "spent" in a hull damaged state to make something like damage control an interesting addition?

It would probably require a lot of re-balancing to ensure that adding something like system failure and damage control adds to the game without making fights too tough or too easy.
There is no doubt that additional depth would be needed to make it work. IMHO NPCs should start out tougher then they are. It seems odd that I can trash a ship the same size as me before he can get a single shot off in many cases. That is closer to Babylon 5 combat then Trek combat. I compare the combat experience to something closer to SFC2 or BC. In these games there was a little more difficulty to beating someone of your same size. The experience of the combat was a lot more in depth.

Death spiraling however is a problem but I think it is easily overcome with special ability such as engineering team. If that ability repairs say, 40% of your hull, then you get 40% of your systems back as well. Link the systems directly to the hull strength of the ship. Its a cheesy way to do it, but its also quick and effective. In short I don't think that we should be getting schooled by a battleship with 3% health with tractor beams, probes, and weapons of all kinds. There should be some reflection that he is about to die.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
03-15-2010, 12:47 PM
Hull Strength is separate from Power Levels

This is the in-game display of how well your ship is holding itself together, versus how well your ships systems are functioning.

If you want to stop the enemy from firing back, then you need to focus your fire on their systems, instead of just on empty space in the ship.

Hull damage is the sparks and explosions in the random corridors and hallways of the ship. It's the hull breach on Deck 10 that leads to several Redshirts getting sucked out into space (crew damage).

While system damage, such as a Phaser proc, or Tac BO skill, or Sci ship ability, is when consoles on the bridge explode, Geordi runs around with a fire extinguisher, Spock has to go get irradiated, and the toilets won't flush.


Now what I'd kinda like to see myself, when it comes to "Death Penalty" that everyone's so keen on adding.

When you "die", your ship doesn't explode. It just becomes disabled for a time, and basically gets dragged out of harms way by one of your own shuttles.

Then you "come back to life", but suffer a -5 to Power Levels and Crew Regen for some amount of time (say 5min). This is to reflect the damage to ships systems, and the state of disarray in Sick Bay.

If you "die" again during that 5min, you get another -5 added, and the 5min timer resets.

Eventually, you'll have to sit out the 5min timer in a dark corner somewhere, because all your Power Levels are -50.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
03-15-2010, 02:02 PM
I think targeting systems and taking them out is separate from systems being destroyed simply because the ship is hit. Let me explain.

Targeting systems might should be for situations when you want to disable a ship for the purpose of capturing it, stealing its data, supplies, crew members etc. For example in ST3 with Kruge attempts to target engines in order to disable the Grissom. That's now how it is now, instead it is somewhat clumsy and because battles are so brief in space, its kinda pointless to use those abilities when you can simply blow up the target.

Ships losing systems due to damage is more like in ST2's battle in the Mutara Nebula where random hits were taking out engines, weapons and so on. No one targeted anything, It was just random hits. So with this in mind, making battles slightly longer and incorporating this kind of damage system along with appropriate repair abilities like miracle worker and engineering team.

And in fact it could be much simpler to implement if the Dev Team were short on time. Tie the available power directly to the available hull on a ship to simulate the loss of systems. Then give targets more hull to stretch out battles slightly and make them feel more epic. Reduce those patrols with 3 targets per wave to 2 targets and make the battle a little more like ST2.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
03-15-2010, 03:27 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by pneumonic81 View Post
Ever been in that position where you get the drop on an enemy and score a solid torpedo volley and see his health drop about 80%? only to see him hit you with a tractor beam, disable your ship with a probe and then launch a salvo of his own and full strength right into your face? Ever asked yourself how he can do that with only 20% health left?

The problem in this scenario is that regardless of hull strength the enemy still has all his systems. This also counts for you, the player. You can have 3% health and ALL of your systems still intact. I personally have a problem with this aspect of STO Combat. It might be because very other space combat sim or star trek space combat game has had this mechanic. Maybe its because this mechanic has been clearly reflected in Star Trek since 1966.

The idea of Damage Control, losing systems during combat, is part and parcel to the experience of captaining a ship. Why is it not part of this games otherwise excellent starship combat? Can a developer speak to this issue? Does anyone else notice this missing level of depth in the combat? does it seem right to be fighting a NPC that is nearly dead but just as dangerous as he was at 100% health?
Double damage the hull can take and then start randomly disabling systems for hits you take when less than 50% and it could work. You'd get sort of a "death spiral, but it would be after your normally be dead anyway. make the proc rate around 10%, and have systems come back online when the hull is repaired to 50%.

Space battles in Star Trek tend to have a lot of random damage to systems after shields drop but before a ship explodes, and it would be nice to see a bit of that in the game.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7
03-15-2010, 03:50 PM
Sadly, it depends on which incarnation of Trek you're referring to.

Back in Kirk's day, they could get shot at all day long, and nothing every quit. Or if it did, Scotty would get it back up and running.

Then you fast forward to Picard and Sisko. If they took a single phaser or torpedo, everything went off line, the warp core threatened to explode, and the toilets backed up.


So... how's about we just kill or be killed, and leave all this piddly "inoperative" stuff to the Science ships?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
03-15-2010, 04:34 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus_Gideon
Sadly, it depends on which incarnation of Trek you're referring to.

Back in Kirk's day, they could get shot at all day long, and nothing every quit. Or if it did, Scotty would get it back up and running.

Then you fast forward to Picard and Sisko. If they took a single phaser or torpedo, everything went off line, the warp core threatened to explode, and the toilets backed up.


So... how's about we just kill or be killed, and leave all this piddly "inoperative" stuff to the Science ships?
If you mean the series, yeah, but the movies had tons of hull damage. TOS was also a lot heavier on instant disintegration than the movies and later series.

But considering the special effects in TOS, pretty much the only clue you'd have that a system was hit is when the bridge consoles started exploding and everyone leaned to the side.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
03-15-2010, 04:41 PM
Which is what I was talking about...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus_Gideon
Hull damage is the sparks and explosions in the random corridors and hallways of the ship. It's the hull breach on Deck 10 that leads to several Redshirts getting sucked out into space (crew damage).

While system damage, such as a Phaser proc, Tac BO skill, or Sci ship ability, is when consoles on the bridge explode, Geordi runs around with a fire extinguisher, Spock has to go get irradiated, and the toilets won't flush.
System damage is actually more important in the overall scheme of things, that mere hull damage.

A wounded ship can still perform.

But a disabled ship is toast.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
03-15-2010, 05:05 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by pneumonic81 View Post
Ever been in that position where you get the drop on an enemy and score a solid torpedo volley and see his health drop about 80%? only to see him hit you with a tractor beam, disable your ship with a probe and then launch a salvo of his own and full strength right into your face? Ever asked yourself how he can do that with only 20% health left?

The problem in this scenario is that regardless of hull strength the enemy still has all his systems. This also counts for you, the player. You can have 3% health and ALL of your systems still intact. I personally have a problem with this aspect of STO Combat. It might be because very other space combat sim or star trek space combat game has had this mechanic. Maybe its because this mechanic has been clearly reflected in Star Trek since 1966.

The idea of Damage Control, losing systems during combat, is part and parcel to the experience of captaining a ship. Why is it not part of this games otherwise excellent starship combat? Can a developer speak to this issue? Does anyone else notice this missing level of depth in the combat? does it seem right to be fighting a NPC that is nearly dead but just as dangerous as he was at 100% health?
/signed. But then I'm used to SFB, Car Wars, BattleTech (the original, not that wizkids abomination), and SFC. Also to a lesser extent Fasa's attempt to horn in on SFB's pie, Space Opera, SpaceMaster and Living Steel.

BUT - To make that work we can't be taking out Admiral level ships in our light cruisrs. I can see, with the mass market mmo types, why they didn't go down that road. Fun as it would have been. Love the game, but it's no SFC, yanno....
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