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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
Introduction:

Most of us have seen Star Trek TV shows and films. We have also seen that there is usually enough reaction time in combat for protagonists to implement measures and counter-measures. While we can accept that 'screen magic' is needed to show the Good Guys always winning, STO would have us all play the protagonist, even against each other in PVP.

One question many of us have asked is, should STO (space) combat be twitch-based like a dogfighter, or more strategic (even turn-based) like naval warfare? Should it resemble the Star Trek we have seen on TV and movie screens, or should it resemble other Star Trek video games?

Put more explicitly, how many times have we heard, "They are locking their weapons on us!", or "They are charging their weapons!"? How many times have we seen Engineering damage control teams take some time -- at least more than an instant -- to repair damaged systems? It is clear that, for the most part, combat actions in Star Trek take time to accomplish.

Combat in STO is currently much faster than Star Trek, such that there is very little reaction time available. A player can activate an ability (and fire an overloaded weapon) almost instantly, which creates a much more luck-based combat system.

Judging by the majority of Star Trek we have seen, my premise is that combat should be slower, and there should be enough time to react to opponents. Furthermore, effects should take time, either to complete or to begin (or both).

This post proposes one solution to increase reaction time in combat: ability warm-ups.

===

Solution:

In order to increase reaction time in combat, add ability warm-ups to every ability. A warm-up is the amount of time needed for an ability's effect to begin.

These warm-ups should be visible to opponents using the existing buff/debuff icons. Opponents might not be able to see warm-up timers, but they should at least see that a specific ability is being warmed up.

We can further classify abilities into sub-categories (within their respective careers) in order to more easily balance and modify warm-ups:
  • Buff Self
    e.g., Torpedo: High Yield (Tactical), Reverse Shield Polarity (Engineering), Polarize Hull (Science)

  • Buff Ally
    e.g., Attack Pattern Delta (Tactical), Engineering Team (Engineering), Hazard Emitters (Science)

  • Debuff Target
    e.g., Attack Pattern Beta (Tactical), Directed Energy Modulation (Engineering), Viral Matrix (Science)

We can also add faction modifiers to categories or sub-categories of ability warm-ups.

The most complexity comes with faction modifiers, which seems to be at the heart of any PVP balance debate. Even non-PVPers made comments about wanting to see larger, more noticeable differences between the factions. Faction modifiers for abilities can do that, but I suggest they be applied to ability mechanics globally (i.e., the career category level) and not individually, if at all.

For example, Klingons would probably have the fastest Tactical warm-ups, average Engineering warm-ups, and slowest Science warm-ups. The Federation would have slowest Tactical warm-ups, fastest Engineering warm-ups, and average Science warm-ups. Romulans (hypothetically) would have average Tactical warm-ups, slowest Engineering warm-ups, and fastest Science warm-ups.

===

Summary:

Combat in STO should be slower than it currently is. There should be time to react to enemy measures and counter-measures, time that currently does not exist or is extremely limited.

Adding ability warm-ups -- similar to existing ability cooldowns -- is one solution toward that goal. It gives players more opportunity to plan and react to their opponents.

Adding faction modifiers to these warm-ups can also highlight faction differences and further diversify strategies, tactics, and overall gameplay.

===

Feedback appreciated.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
03-28-2010, 07:55 AM
This is a terrible idea. The last thing we need is more "delayed responses" in our controls. Cryptic has designed a system that as of this last patch, is actually working pretty great. We don't need to slow it down.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
03-28-2010, 09:16 AM
I like the idea of slow fights, you compared it to naval warfare (even though in naval warfare the first hit determines winner or loser with this oversized cannons every big ship can oneshot another).

But this is so far away from the current mechanic that I think this will never happen in STO. This would actually mean another game and wouldn't be viable.


And I also think that even if some ppl want to see more differences in factions the majority of the players will immediately call nerf and murder as soon as they are in. Just look for all the FED-topics moaning about the little differences we have, and compare them to the ones calling for more.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
04-26-2010, 09:09 AM
This wouldn't work for FvK PVP. Klinks would stay cloaked until their abilities were warmed up, giving them a decisive advantage when they decloacked to attack. Unless there was some contingency that the warm up didn't count down while under cloak or something like that.

I do agree though that a bit slower, deliberate pace to space combat would definitely feel more "Star Trek".
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
04-26-2010, 09:57 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by stararmy View Post
This is a terrible idea. The last thing we need is more "delayed responses" in our controls. Cryptic has designed a system that as of this last patch, is actually working pretty great. We don't need to slow it down.
I agree with this statement.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
04-26-2010, 10:40 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by stararmy View Post
This is a terrible idea. The last thing we need is more "delayed responses" in our controls. Cryptic has designed a system that as of this last patch, is actually working pretty great. We don't need to slow it down.
I have to agree with this. Reaction times are already fairly open if you follow the standard observation methods. what happens is that people don't watch their surroundings and then suddenly get "OMGHAXED" with a super burst from an escort or raptor.

one of the finer points that makes or breaks a player is how well they can watch their opponents;
  • Who are they targeting?
  • What buffs are they running? (visually and buff bar)
  • who is the top DPS and who is the top HPS player?
  • what is your team doing?

This is a fairly difficult concept, but ultimately it rewards skillful play. Just like a person that walks into a sniper gets killed in COD4, a person that walks blindly into combat unaware of the situation will most likely be killed.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7
04-26-2010, 10:47 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by faithborn
Just like a person that walks into a sniper gets killed in COD4, a person that walks blindly into combat unaware of the situation will most likely be killed.
But is this Star Trek?

I contend that this is not Star Trek. Yes, adding ability warm-ups would completely change the pace of combat, and ultimately change the way the game is played -- from dogfighter (as it is now) to ponderous, 'tall ship'. I expect that those who like the current system might not like the 'new' system as a result of this proposed change.

But I contend that this proposed change would make the game more like Star Trek, as was originally advertised by Cryptic before launch.

===

Furthermore, if you change the word 'skill' to 'reaction speed' in your analysis, it would still be true of STO combat today. If we eliminate reaction speed from the equation -- or make it much less of a factor -- we might see more tactical and strategic play.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
04-26-2010, 11:03 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt_Dravis

Furthermore, if you change the word 'skill' to 'reaction speed' in your analysis, it would still be true of STO combat today. If we eliminate reaction speed from the equation -- or make it much less of a factor -- we might see more tactical and strategic play.
Wasn't there an episode in ds9 where klingon BoP were waiting in the wreckage of a cardassian fleet waiting to instagib any cardassian ships that came to figure out what happened?


anyways;

Reaction time IS skill though, it requires a large amount of training to be able to read the environments and react within a decent amount of time. if you had all the time in the world to plan then it wouldn't take much skill to understand the situation.

This game already gives out more information than most MMOs in terms of who is doing what. The ability to capitalize on this information is what makes or breaks the player.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
04-26-2010, 11:12 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt_Dravis
Introduction:

Most of us have seen Star Trek TV shows and films.
let me stop you right there ............THIS is NOT a movie OR a TV show its a game and there are some things that you dont do to a game because it will just suck for gameplay
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
04-26-2010, 11:28 AM
Stop.. stop trying... just stop. Slow combat isn't a good thing.
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