Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
Greetings Captains!
As many of you know we've been doing some balance tuning over on Tribble the last few weeks. We want to make sure you all know what's coming, and why it's coming before it hits Holodeck later this week.

DPS Changes

The primary goal of these changes are to harness the tactical pacing of space combat, and to allow players to act and react to what their opponents do in combat.

Based on feedback from the community forums and test server, the end results are a few changes that greatly improve the pace of space combat. These fixes were generally centered around being able to stack effects which should have been exclusive. The end result is a few changes that we feel bring the speed of space combat back in line to what was intended.

Weapon Energy Drain Mechanic Changes

The weapon energy drain mechanic will be changing once this build goes to Holodeck. Weapon Power drain is now instantly refunded at the end of a weapon’s firing cycle, instead of a slow return as was previously implemented. Multiple weapons being fired at the same time will still produce a significant drain and will affect their damage proportionately, but once the weapons stop firing, the weapon power level will immediately return to normal.

This change was primarily inspired by player feedback - specifically on the topic of the energy drain caused by firing multiple bursts of energy weapons. Players may now fire all of their energy weapons repeatedly burst after burst, but the damage for each weapon is still diminished during the firing cycle.

As a result of this change to the energy drain mechanic, the EPS Flow Regulator Station Mods, will no longer have an effect on DPS. They will continue to function to improve power transfer rates between different systems.

Narrow Arc Multiplier

All energy weapons receive a firing arc multiplier to their damage. The narrower the firing arc, the higher the bonus. This bonus is used to offset the extra difficulty of keeping a target in arc.

Before the season 1.2 patch the bonus granted vs. the difficulty of keeping targets in arc for ships that mainly use cannons was excessive. This bonus has now been reduced such that cannons still deliver more damage than beams, but the difference is more in line with the challenge of keeping the target in arc. Weapons with 180 and 90 degree firing arcs have also had their multiplier slightly reduced as well.

Ship Changes

We've removed the inherent damage bonus that comes with higher tiered ships. All damage bonuses now come from your skills, and the items you equip; not what ship you're in. Additionally, we've tweaked the bonus to power levels that some ships receive.
  • Cruisers now gain a +5 to each system (Weapons, Shields, Engines, Auxiliary)
  • Battlecruisers now gain a +10 to Weapons and Engines
  • Raiders, Raptors, and Escorts now gain a +15 to Weapons
  • Carriers now gain a +5 to Weapons and Auxiliary
  • Science Vessels retain their +10 to Auxiliary

Cloaking

We have also made several fixes and tuning changes to Cloak and Battle Cloak, here is a comprehensive list of how cloaking works:

When activated, your shields will immediately drop (Fixed), but you will also immediately receive 25% to your defense rating (Fixed). It will take 3 seconds for the cloak (stealth) to engage. Immediately after decloaking, you will now have a 15% damage buff for 5 seconds (New). Your shields will also come back online, but your shield power will need to regenerate at your normal rate. The strength of the cloak (the distance at which you can be seen) is determined by your starship's auxiliary power setting. Cloak can only be activated when you are out of combat. Only Battle Cloak (Tier 2 and above Birds-of-Prey) can be used during combat. Battle Cloak also grants a Turn Rate and Impulse speed buff while cloaked.

Ability Changes

We also wanted to incentivize the use of more than just a few abilities in combat, and allow players to activate more abilities in any given encounter. To this end we've introduced a category system, which affects abilities duration, global cooldown, and recharge. This system will prevent the chain linking of certain powers.

Abilities now have smaller system shared cooldowns (15 seconds for most) but a larger global ability cooldown that affects all versions of that ability across all officers (using Engineering Team I puts all Engineering Team abilities into a global ability cooldown). This global cooldown is 2:3 of the ability’s recharge time, which means that slotting two copies of the same ability is helpful in that it can be used more frequently, but the same ability will no longer be able to be stacked by a single player.

Duration vs. Recharge is related to the ability stacking issue. Each ability now conforms to a Duration/Recharge category (1-5), which indicates the ratio between its duration and recharge values.

Category 1 has a 2:3 ratio (duration to recharge)
Category 2 has a 1:3 ratio
Category 3 has a 1:6 ratio
Category 4 has a 1:9 ratio
Category 5 has a 1:12 ratio

Note that Category 1 abilities have a ratio that matches the global ability cooldown, which means that these abilities can have a 100% uptime if two copies of the same ability are slotted.

Changes to Attack Patterns

The "Attack Pattern" family of powers have also been reconfigured to be more versatile:
  • Attack Pattern Alpha: Remains a Self Damage buff
  • Attack Pattern Beta: Remains as a Targeted Damage resistance debuff
    • One player will no longer be able to stack this debuff on a target multiple times, however, a team of players working together can still use this ability to much the same effect, as it will still stack from multiple sources.
  • Attack Pattern Delta: Self/Ally Damage Resistance Buff. Enemies that attack a target with this effect receive a damage resistance debuff.
    • This ability can now also be used on yourself.
  • Attack Pattern Omega: This ability now grants a Self Damage Buff, Movement Buff, damage resistance buff and Control Immunity.

Power Drain Abilities

We've made some changes to the way power drain abilities are functioning in the game, in order to remove some exploits which were being used to completely cripple a target's power output. To this end, "Target Subsystem" Abilities will no longer stack with one another. While you can still put multiple ranks of Target Shields on an enemy, only the strongest will affect the opponent.

Tyken's Rift, and Siphon Power's strength have also been brought in line with other abilities.

Science and Auxiliary Power

We've heard many players mention that Auxiliary Power isn't worth keeping high, and, we've taken this opportunity to address that! To this end, many Science Abilities now use the Auxiliary Power level as a modifier for their strength/efficacy, making Auxiliary Power a very solid choice for Science Captains!
  • The auxiliary linear scale is 100% at 100 power level, and 50% at 25 power level.
  • This used to be a 1:1 relationship, and has been buffed slightly.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
06-02-2010, 05:47 PM
Shield and Hull Healing
Healing sets have also been re-tuned to work better with one another. Players who use a full suite of healing abilities as designed will now be more efficient than they used to be only using Engineering/Science Team abilities.

Hull Healing Abilities
  • Auxiliary to SIF: Main instant hull heal.
    • It now targets both self and ally, providing a small instant hull heal and medium damage resistance buff over duration.
    • Efficacy is based on Auxiliary Power.
  • Engineering Team: Reserve instant hull heal.
    • It provides a medium instant hull heal, engineering skill buff, and cleanses engineering debuffs over its duration. No longer provides damage resistance.
    • Works well in tandem with Auxiliary to SIF, as Auxiliary to SIF can be used frequently to restore hull health and maintain damage resistance while Engineering Team is kept in reserve to provide a larger instant heal or remove debuffs.
    • This ability is not modified by Power Levels. However, it also grants a buff to the targets Warp Core Training and Engineering Training Stat. The magnitude of this stat buff is based on the percent of your alive crewmen.
  • Hazard Emitters: Main hull heal over time (HoT).
    • It provides a large hull heal over time, small damage resistance buff over duration, and cleanses hazard debuffs over duration.
    • Efficacy is based on Auxiliary Power
  • Miracle Worker: Engineering captain super recovery.
    • It provides a large instant hull heal, large instant shield heal, and repairs damaged subsystems.
  • Polarize Hull: Damage Resistance self buff.
    • It provides a large damage resistance buff.
    • Performance tied to Auxiliary Power setting.
  • Auxiliary to Inertial Dampeners: Kinetic Damage Resistance, Movement Buff, Repel and Knockback Immunity.
    • It provides a large kinetic damage resistance buff, a speed and turn rate buff, as well as immunity to repel and knockback effects.
    • Performance tied to Auxiliary Power setting.

Shield Healing Abilities
  • Emergency Power to Shields: Main instant self shield heal.
    • Provides a small instant shield heal and medium shield damage resistance buff over duration.
  • Science Team: Reserve instant shield heal.
    • It provides a medium instant shield heal, science skill buff, and cleanses science debuffs over duration. No longer provides shield damage resistance.
    • Works well in tandem with either Emergency Power to Shields or Transfer Shield Strength to keep Science Team in reserve to provide larger instant shield heal or remove debuff.
    • This ability is not modified by Power Levels. It also grants a buff to the targets Starship Operations Stat. The magnitude of this stat buff is based on the percent of your alive crewmen.
  • Transfer Shield Strength: Main ally shield heal (instant + HoT).
    • Provides a small instant shield heal followed by a large shield heal over time. It also provides a small shield damage resistance buff over duration.
    • Auxiliary Power affects the performance of this ability.
  • Extend Shields: Main ally shield damage resistance.
    • Provides a large shield damage resistance buff, along with a small shield heal over time.
    • Shield Power affects the performance of this ability.
  • Rotate Shield Frequency: Engineering captain main shield damage resistance.
    • Provides a large shield damage resistance buff, along with a small shield heal over time.
    • Shield Power affects the performance of this ability.

Want To Know More?

If you have any questions regarding these changes, please feel free to post them in this thread. We'll do our best to answer as many questions as we can over the next couple of days.

We also highly recommend reading both the Tribble Patch Notes, and the information Snix has been posting separately of the patch notes. You can find links to all of that information below.

Links
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
06-02-2010, 05:50 PM
Footnote translations into player-ese:
  • "Station Mods" means "Consoles" on your ship.
  • "Raiders" means Birds of Prey.
  • "Efficacy" means the size of the effect (e.g. number of HP restored)

Errata (mods please remove these if the OP is updated):
  • The aux power change is definitely not only for Science powers or players! Several key engineering abilities are now affected by aux power as well.
  • Some of the ability descriptions mention power relative to other Tribble builds. These should probably be ignored by people who haven't been playing on Tribble for the past few weeks.
  • The category system numbers in the OP are out of date. snix's current system includes "Category 0" and "Category 6" abilities, and the ratios have changed (for instance, there's now a category with 1:2 uptime).

Stuff that's not wrong but might be unintuitive:
  • Target Subsystems debuffs are considered "Engineering debuffs" and are removed by Engineering Team (even though they come from Tactical abilities).

By Players for Players (resources and tips from Tribble players):
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
06-02-2010, 05:52 PM
Sounds good
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
06-02-2010, 05:57 PM
these seem like great changes, can't wait to try them out: seems like i can really get into a support role now

EDIT: edgecase, you're doing a great thing with your threads helping players understand the changes, just wanted to let you know.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
06-02-2010, 06:03 PM
What about Emergency Power to AUX? Didn't that get something regarding a bonus to hull heals?

Also, with ships no longer having a built in resistance, what about allowing AUX to give you a bonus to hull resistance much like how shields do.

Also, will shield power settings ever effect shield capacity and are there any plans to increase the effectiveness of the other 3 shield types? (by other 3 I mean not covariant)
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7
06-02-2010, 06:15 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raso
What about Emergency Power to AUX? Didn't that get something regarding a bonus to hull heals?
It did, however that was removed in a later build. Aux to Structural Integrity Field now has that capability, and Emergency Power to Aux should be getting a different innate bonus in the future.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
06-02-2010, 06:16 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Edgecase View Post
Footnote translations into player-ese:
  • "Station Mods" means "Consoles" on your ship.
  • "Raiders" means Birds of Prey.
  • "Efficacy" means the size of the effect (e.g. number of HP restored)

Errata (mods please remove these if the OP is updated):
  • The aux power change is definitely not only for Science powers or players! Several key engineering abilities are now affected by aux power as well.
  • Some of the ability descriptions mention power relative to other Tribble builds. These should probably be ignored by people who haven't been playing on Tribble for the past few weeks.
  • The category system numbers in the OP are out of date. snix's current system includes "Category 0" and "Category 6" abilities, and the ratios have changed (for instance, there's now a category with 1:2 uptime).

Stuff that's not wrong but might be unintuitive:
  • Target Subsystems debuffs are considered "Engineering debuffs" and are removed by Engineering Team (even though they come from Tactical abilities).

By Players for Players (resources and tips from Tribble players):
Thanks Edgecase!
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
06-02-2010, 06:18 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by StormShade
It did, however that was removed in a later build. Aux to Structural Integrity Field now has that capability, and Emergency Power to Aux should be getting a different innate bonus in the future.
Oh, cool thanks for the heads up.

Any word on what that new bonus will be? Perhaps a hull resistance, or energy flow bonus?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
06-02-2010, 06:19 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by StormShade
Hazard Emitters: Main hull heal over time (HoT).
  • It provides a large hull heal over time (value larger than current Tribble build), small damage resistance buff over duration, and cleanses hazard debuffs over duration.
  • Efficacy is based on Auxiliary Power
The bolded phrase was true when this text was originally posted, but should now be removed; the larger values are now in the current Tribble build.
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