I want to start this topic because the problem of the tactical ensign slot nearly disappeared in the discussions and is on no agenda of the devs at this point.
What is the problem? Nearly every player that receives a 2nd tactical officer stands in front of the problem what he shall give this officer as an ensign skill. This specially applies to cannon users or ships specialized into beams.
Why? * Tactical skills, unlike the other classes, are of no use to the player if he doesn't use the appropriate weapontype on his ship. A beam-type skill won't use you anything if you don't use beams.
* Tactical Team uses the same global cooldown as science- and enginering team (and boarding party), which are way superior and, especially science team, a must have for every captain that engages PvP.
* There are no cannon-, mine-, or attack pattern skills at ensign level.
* Tactical skills often have a 30second cooldown, with a 20second global cooldown, making several skills per system often unattractive.
The problems that result from it: Less assault cruisers and Reconaissance Science Vessels, because the additional BO-slot often would be a waste
Less Raptors, because you would have to think of 3 tactical ensign-skills
Escorts (and Raptors) can't use their 2nd tactical ensign slot efficient
Solution? To change this I want to propose new skills, that could be added to the tactical tree, starting from ensign level. My focus here is not to implement any further damage-boosting skills - I think the majority agrees that we don't want higher damage peaks - but skills that help the survivability of the squishy escorts.
Examples: Evasive Pattern Alpha
A straight increase in bonus defense (=evasion rate) for several seconds.
Important: This must be a new system and don't share a global cooldown with attack or dispersal patterns. Else escorts and raptors got the same dilemma again.
Evasive Pattern Beta
A defense bonus buff for several seconds, depending on how many people are shooting you.
I would love if you could implement actual people shooting you and not just how many guns are firing (like the attack pattern beta/delta). This skill should be less powerful if only 1 or 2 people fire at you than evasive pattern alpha, but with 3-5 be stronger. A skill designed to survive the alpha strike on the escort better.
Same system as Evasive Pattern Alpha
Feel free to think of more yourself, I will too.
But as advices I would say make sure your skills don't boost damage, we got enough of them, they aren't dependant on a weapon type or share any global cooldown with existing skills in general and are suitable to ensign levels too (not too powerful).
I agree completly, concerning the Problem I wonder what Raptor Pilots equip at all. I hardly know what to give my FIRST Tac. BO, i'd not have an Idea what do give the second at all (thanks to Universal station i have just one), and a third one is entirely useless.
If u use Cannons, there are just 3 on the Table. The Problem with Tactical Team has been mentioned, but its actually the only ability I at last SOMETIMES use (on first Attack). Torpedo Spread and High Yield have shared cooldowns with the Higher Versions; I'm using HYIII and i'd rather wait 10 seconds longer until that is ready than using a much weaker second version.
The Evasive patterns are a good idea, but Actually I'd like to see some completly new tac abilitys. Tac are just "damage buffs" of some kind.
Look what the others do, Eng can reload shields, speed up the ship (actually it can improve ALL energylevels), repair the ship, send shutles to deactivate other ships, can make damage over time, can eject warp plasma and can improve the bleedthrough (although DEM more works in theorie then practical)
Science? Where to start... it can also improve shields, hazard emiters can repair hull, tractor beams can hold, there is a lot of mean stuff like the VM, Photonic can reduce the cooldowns... the list is long.
In compare to that... what can tac do? Damage. In my Opinion that is a little boring.
Simply "downshifting" the two Dispersal Pattern Alpha/Beta skills so that you can have Rank I at Ensign would go a long way towards fixing the "what do I do with an Ensign Tactical?" conundrum.
This will just lead to new global cooldown-collisions. Now you got a higher tier skill free, but what to take to not share the cooldown with the other ensign skill.
Come on guys, I want ideas! Post some new skills that would fit to a tactical officer.
Here a quote from memory alpha:
The Tactical Officer is an officer stationed at the console that controls a ship's weaponry and shields.
So what about this:
Improved shield redistribution
Grants a great buff to your shield balancing abilities for several seconds
This way you can cover your weak shield sides in a short amount of time. I have in mind a broken shield facing, by focus fire or whatever, and this skill gives you the opportunity to shift, together with balance shield distribution or power to rear/front/... shield, your shield power there 3-5 times faster than normal. Making it easy to cover this facing quick. Maybe add a low shield heal too, like emergency power to shields does.
Resets the cooldown and the global cooldown of crew powers
nice ideas, i only use one tac station on my bop and tac team is there, i used it once i recall back in 1607 b.c. if they had made it remove sub beam thenit might have gotten more use in the future, tho i wish they removed the shared global cooldown, then i might even use it anyway but as it is you would need to be mad to put either sci team or engi team on global for that skill, there has been one or two occasions where i thought a torp spread might have been useful but it would also sit unused 99% of the time.
defensive patterns however, those would be gold, or some target systems at lvl 1, you wont get all 4 like a sci ship but no reason these shouldn't be there as options
How about some kind of fighter? Just like the Carrier, but not as strong as the Carrier ones. A Runabout or something wich gives a little support in battle.
In my opinion Boarding party should be a Tactical skill anyway.
Or, good for escorts, an ability wich increases the strenth of the front shields massive (on costs of the other 3)
or... some kind of speed buff like evasive or emergency power to engines... well some kind of "pretend death" ability wich lets you appear as beaten so the enemy stops attacking...
Agreed. I barely use anything but Tactical Team and Torpedo Spread/Yield. Especially the Tac Team cooldown is really really annoying for a sci ship, because it blocks the abilities I use in combat to heal allies. Some more variation would really help; on a sci vessel, I will never have use for cannon skills, for example. I tried some of these skills with my BoP, but went back to the classics, Tac Team, Torpedo Spread.
Personally, I never understood why Boarding Party is a engineer skill. Sure, a boarding party can be an away team to sabotage subsystems, but it could also be an assault team that overopowers the hostile crew and takes over the ship. Maybe they can hit some buttons before the enemy crew takes control back, maybe they can kill or knock down the bridge crew...
From that perspective, I'd like "Assault Party" as a tac skill. Still using the crew as system, sorry I have no better idea there.
Boarding Party (engineer): as it is, sabotage subsystems
Assault Party (tactical): take over enemy ship for 10 seconds (random effect, each 25 % chance to happen: crew loss, drop target, waste cooldown, target ally)
Possible effects on enemy:
Crew Loss - temporary death of 1/3 of the crew
Drop Target: yeah, drops current target, avoids a new target lock for duration of Asault Team
Waste Cooldown: a random skill goes on cooldown, without the enemy using it
Target Ally: targets next friendly ship (own heavy torpedo, own spawned frigade, or other ship)
Basically a mix of Boarding Party and Sensor Scramble, but with tactical targets. The chance to waste a cooldown (of the same level; ensign Assault Team wastes ensign CD) makes it a bit a joker card - after all, nothing is certain in battle, so I like the idea of a bit gambling. A boarding party on a hostile ship doesn't have much choice than taking the first chance to cause damage or get any advantage, so the more random the effect of the skill, the better.