The problem with Fed cloak is treading on Klingon capability and "uniqueness". To address this and give Masked Energy Signature an effect that is more like it's name implies:
a. PvE/PvP Mechanic: Used out of combat only (No change from current power)
b. PvE/PvP Mechanic: Reduce subsystem power levels to 5 (like full impulse) except MAYBE auxiliary. This represents reducing power levels in order to mask your energy sig. This also implies your shields don't drop but instead have ~nil regeneration. This means a Fed can't a) Full Impulse with MES or b) Jump out of MES with full weapon power. This mechanic is already in game as Full Impulse, just tweak it. If power is given to Auxiliary this power could allow a Fed to run away and lick it's wounds (maybe) before returning to the fight.
c. PvP Mechanic/Art: Remove ship from radar map. (No change from current power)
d. PvP Mechanic: Remove ship from autotarget list. (ie: player has to select ship via mouse or tab, not just pressing space bar)
e. PvP Mechanic: Remove name/health tag from player along with Warp/Impulse trail to make visual recognition a little more challenging. Name & health still show up if selected. Starships primarily use sensors to locate objects in space, not by sight.
f. PvE/PvP Art; PvP Mechanic: Make the ship visually semi-opaque like a klingon ship after detection. 10km+ harder to notice but closer it's not that hard. I have seen a cloaked klingon ship in Borg Sys Def missions and it isn't tough to see the ship. This would somewhat offset the inability for the fed to full impulse.
g. PvE Only: Make the ship act like Klingon Stealth with above restrictions (invis to NPCs unless closer than ~2km -3km.)
IMHO this would give some people a reason to equip a Bridge Officer with the ability, especially people that like to sneak around. It doesn't allow for any awesome I Win combos. It may keep some escorts from being the first Decloak Alpha target (Unlikely) . With engine power at 5 it would prohibit cruisers from using it very much (rightly so). With everyone mounting multiple EPS consoles, the power effect is fairly minimal but means you can't effectively preload powers and alpha straight out of MES, you have to wait a few seconds which means you could have some fun asteroid fights with escorts lying in cover near a cruiser.
<shrug> some ideas that were keeping me from sleeping that hopefully some of you like.
Thanks for taking the time to read it and hope to get some support or decent discussion on the topic. I would like to see the power become useful and not just get deleted. It fits very well with Federation tech.
I don't really care how they do it, but I would really like this power to be viable. Some of your ideas are interesting however.
The feds should have something that lets them skulk around and investigate a situation, but not necessarily give them an edge in combat.
The concept of "canon" is pointless, given we're playing a game based on the most recent incarnation of Star Trek that is basically resetting everything anyways. In the 25th century, we should be able to hide ourselves without using a "cloaking device" anyways.
Would be nice for my Recon Science Vessel to actually be able to recon. I never played Beta, so I don't know what it was like then, but I certainly know how useless it is now.
Agreed. They pretty much killed the ability. I would like it to have more in combat use, however. Especially in PvP. I don't expect it to let me drop out right next to my target like Klingon Cloak does, but if I stack the necessary stats and push up Aux it should let me get pretty damn close with MES 1, and probably right on the nose like Klingon Cloak with MES 3 (cause you would have to give up a lot for MES 3). Complete cloak, no targettable anything.. just like Klingon Cloak.
Same mechanic, different name. The difference is that we actually have to use a BO slot for ours and dump skill points and consoles into making it effective. That should be handicap enough.
We already know they (Cryptic/Klingons) aren't going to let MES duplicate cloak. What we need to do is let go of cloak and figure out a new way to use the power.
What MES is suppose to do is the same as Running Silent. You're masking your energy signature to avoid detection via sensors. In reality, locating an object in space visually is very difficult. Sensors are needed, also keep in mind, we are given free all-round visual outside of our ship. If we were limited to our viewscreen, we would only have a limited view, making us depend on sensors which would make MES work quite well. But since we get to see all the space outside of the ship, there needs to be a way of representing masking your energy signature without duplicating cloak.