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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
While the 'new' system of PvP certainly has folks interested in learning the changes and adapting their character, I am starting to think that once the 'newness' wears off, folks will get bored quicker. Below are my thoughts why the new system is a great foundation for a combat system in STO, but without Tweaks is not good for the health of the PvP community. Time will tell, but I think that time will prove me right in a matter of only a few weeks - and certainly in less than one month.

Pros of the new system:

1) Better technical foundation for combat

2) Broader variety of useful skills combined with cooldown changes has created broader diversity of techniques for gameplay. This does not necessarily translate into PvP success.

Cons of the new system:

1) Ramming Speed is last resort attack tactic in Star Trek, but first the tactical option for most ships to generate burst damage in Star Trek Online. Bumper Cars > DPS

2) Skill has been replaced by zerg. This hampers scalability severely, preventing the game from growing PvP beyond the instanced based set number fights. System prevents a competitive future for an open PvP environment based on objectives, as numbers of players is now the primary driver for victory.

3) A system heavily focused on offense was replaced by a system heavily focused on defense. The reputation of Cryptic to approach every problem as a nail requiring the sledgehammer solution is well earned. Tweaks are necessary, another major revamp is not.

4) Terrible players are now even worse (this is a vast majority of the population), and organized players are now far superior than before (vast minority of the players). In the past, a player who was otherwise a terrible teammate could at least destroy one ship without ramming speed, thus contribute in some small way. Today, that player is still a terrible teammate and can no longer destroy even a single ship alone.

Any player who attempts to PvP solo without a regular group and still expect to win is a fool. The system makes the lone fighter the weak link - the reason any team should lose every match.

5) The massive reduction of threat from any single ship has severely impacted gameplay, and in my opinion, removed the "risk" from PvP to the point that PvP in the game is less fun. There is no room in the current system for individual excellence in DPS, rather every match is determined by the individual excellence of healing. When there are multiple people demonstrating individual excellence in healing, even the most excellent DPS centric players have a snowballs chance in hell of winning.

---

I like the technicals and foundation of the new system over the old system, but gameplay in the new system is less fun for me than the old system. Every kill is a concentrated and coordinated gank, and there is no room for individual excellence by any individual player in overcoming a coordinated attack by multiple people except through the sheer luck of a high crit ramming strike.

There is nothing in STO for a PvPer like me anymore, because there is no way for me to work hard enough to make myself individually better than any other individual. My engineer healer puts out nearly 200K in self heals every 90 seconds, making me invulnerable to any individual in the game - as in there is nothing that can counter balance my build and add risk to the healer playstyle. The advantage of the old system is that it was at least possible for me to die to another single player - even if the ways I would sometime die were completely rediculous. The other system also worked well in that I could at least kill every type of player solo, but in the new system this is impossible against certain opponents without ramming them for a super lucy crit. I pose no risk, nor feel no risk, unless I outnumbered by my opponents or outrnumbering my opponents. The patch has made us all the same, which is to say none of us are special.

Who wants to play a game where the designed intent is for the ceiling to also be the average? This is the crux of my problem with the new system - there is no room in the system for individual talent, only teamwork AND even that is dependent entirely on even teams.

Bottom line, PvP simply isn't as fun now in my opinion because of reduced risk in gameplay and a future that looks bleak due to the overwhelming influence of numbers on the game today. It makes for a PvP system that only scales to the advantage of the big, not the good.

I appreciate the help of the premade PvP groups (DoB/TTT/182/etc) I fought over the weekend. It really helped me tweak my build and understand the details of this patch.

I only hope Cryptic adds risk back to the game, because it is the risk that anyone could kill you in PvP that made the competition fun. In the existing limited, non-objective based PvP system, other than the value of "new" there isn't much to find entertaining for the individual - as everything special that happens in PvP is either pure luck from a Ram or part of the power of gank.

The value of being able to achieve individual kills through a smart, focused DPS strategy in the old system cannot be underestimated as important part of PvP that STO has lost - because it is what allowed for a future open PvP system that was less dependent upon numbers for success - unlike the new system. Surely there is a way to bring some of that back in the new system without bumping crit damage up to the previously insane level of damage.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
06-07-2010, 10:37 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darksided View Post

4) Terrible players are now even worse (this is a vast majority of the population), and organized players are now far superior than before (vast minority of the players). In the past, a player who was otherwise a terrible teammate could at least destroy one ship without ramming speed, thus contribute in some small way. Today, that player is still a terrible teammate and can no longer destroy even a single ship alone.
How is this a bad thing.. No amount of nerfs/balancing will help bad players. You could give us all paper ships and wet noodles for weapons and a better player will still beat poor ones 98% of the time. To try and balance a game over poor players is a poor idea PLAIN AND SIMPLE.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
06-07-2010, 11:11 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Badlander View Post
How is this a bad thing.. No amount of nerfs/balancing will help bad players. You could give us all paper ships and wet noodles for weapons and a better player will still beat poor ones 98% of the time. To try and balance a game over poor players is a poor idea PLAIN AND SIMPLE.
Good question. I agree no amount of nerfs/balancing will influence individual abilities over time. I am not suggesting balancing the technicals of the game to give advantage to individuals - indeed I feel that is part of the mistake with the new system. Gameplay must be balanced in favor of offense - not defense, because if the system favors defense over offense - it will hurt the community over time.

When a PvP game is balanced in favor of offense, there are winners and losers. When a PvP game is balanced in favor of defense, you create a third condition - no winners. The lack of winning and losing reduces the ability of a good player to be good and the bad player to be bad. In other words, the new system that favors defense over offense is attempting to do exactly what you say shouldn't be done - it makes the game individually easier for bad players.

It will fail over time. The mistake Cryptic has made is to adjust gameplay towards the existing PvP community without also examining how this will grow the PvP community. By focusing the new system away from individual excellence and towards team excellence, how does the community grow?

One would have to argue the amazing fleet system in STO will attract players if you believe the team system will work, but there is no such thing as an amazing fleet system in this game. Indeed, there isn't a single activity in the game that is fleet centric.

What existing MMO has ever significantly grown after release by attracting large groups of people? For that matter, what online community of any kind has ever grown by attracting 'groups of people'? The answer is none. The few games that did grow after the initial release period grew because the games became attractive to large numbers of individuals. How will STO attract individuals to PvP when they have taken individuality out of PvP? How does a game where the best anyone can individually be is average hold appeal to individuals?

Right now, the 'new car smell' is holding individual attention. How long before that wears off?

I don't believe Cryptic has an answer for that. They understand the method though, customizations for individuals is a primary focus in Cryptics development of STO outside of PvP - which for me has been a sign they recognized the importance of player individuality in MMOs. In PvP games, individuality means a lot - but the new system is intended to make everyone average.

It is very hard to sell "Come PvP in STO so you too can be as average as everyone else!" Under the old system, even bad players could achieve individual success. That element of individual capability through hard work made the previous system attractive to new gamers. I have a hard time seeing how the new system is going to attract new gamers, or how any system that doesn't reward excellence and effort as an advantage is going to produce growth.

We all know teams will always be better than individuals - and should always be. That is not the point, the point is that individualism matters a great deal in ALL MMO games. Cryptic knows this, look at how much time and effort they spend allowing for individuality in every aspect of the game - except the new PvP system.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
06-07-2010, 11:42 AM
I agree to your second post here in the fact Cryptic has to do something. The main part is they are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Who do they please? The hardcore pvper or the i want to be uber but i suck at pvp ppl.

Look at games like WOW. They nerf/beef up this and that and the forums are still full of ppl not happy over pvp. Blizz has had years to tweek pvp and...... The winners will always be happy and the losers will always be IT can't be me for why I lose in pvp. So they run to the forums and cry nerf.

Now i am not saying things do not need tweeking, but who does Cryptic listen to when it comes to those tweeks?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
06-07-2010, 12:15 PM
I think allot of the reaction to 1.2 is overblown. Cryptic changed the game tons no doubt. However over the last few days I'm noticing the best players are finding ways to win... and the poor players are pretty much the fodder they where before. The first day of the patch some people where living much longer then they where before... as the days go on I'm noticing that less.
I have been in a few pug matches now with some good players testing there tweeks, and burst kills are back.
The weak players still pop fast... they just have an extrra 2 seconds to do something about it now.

What 1.2 has done has given the best players godly heals... and if you play with a few new powers they really havn't taken the burst from anyone either.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
06-07-2010, 12:35 PM
For the most part I agree with the OP. I was not a fan of boosting healing while nerfing burst damage at the same time. I think we would have been better served to do one then the other if needed. The ramming speed is so out of control that whoever though of reducing the cd timer should be fired. Last night I was in a semi organized cp where the chain rams became the attack of choice....it's lame. While I agree with the claim that bad players are even worse off with this patch I would be a bit more specific. Crappy Engineer pilots in Cruisers can be somewhat effective just because a monkey can play one right now and pretty much stay alive. However, if you sucked as a Tac in an escort/BoP before the patch you probably suck even more now. Yea you might live a bit longer but your dps most likely went in the crapper. To a point now where you are effectively a liability to your group even more then you were pre-patch.


As for myself I'm adapting and figuring out new weapon setups and builds. I'm not crazy about the changes but I think -GoD- will be fine. I'm just waiting for the next round of nerf cries to start, I'm guessing in about a week or two.

Blackjack
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7
06-07-2010, 12:45 PM
Cryptic should study what makes competition successful, and avoid opinion and speculation.

Competitive games that have winners and losers are more popular than games that do not. There WILL BE a winner of the World Cup, because soccer would not be the most popular game in the world if there were no winners or losers. When the NHL was suffering from a large number of ties, they implemented a tie breaking system to determine a winner. This patch is the opposite of that approach.

For example, Vlad I have played you many dozens of times in game. Under the old patch, if your Fed escort was competing against my battlecruiser at a random flag in Cap&Hold, either of us had a chance of defeating the other. The problem with the old system was that the chance of winning and losing was random - based largely on crit chance and crit damage. However, in those matches each of us could skillfully maneuver our ship into position to open up the opportunity to increase our chances for success without having to rely on random crit damage bonuses. The reason was because when in good position, we could burst offense at a greater intensity than the other could burst defense.

Under the new system, I am unsure if I could kill your Escort, but it is an unfortunate fact you will never defeat my battlecruiser 1v1 in a Cap&Hold match again without super random luck of a ramming speed maneuver. I heal nearly 200K every 90 seconds, and your escort can neither deal enough damage over time to overcome that, nor burst enough damage in the limited amount of time to prevent that.

In the new system, my Engineer in a cruiser is overpowered relative to you because the mechanics do not allow you to produce enough damage to win without ramming speed - the only burst damage of consequence in the new system. My Engineer suffers from the same issue of limited offense to some degree, except that I can sustain enough damage over time to kill you - your only chance being you can run away to recharge outside my range.

That leaves us at a perpetual draw.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
06-07-2010, 12:51 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Husanak View Post
I think allot of the reaction to 1.2 is overblown. Cryptic changed the game tons no doubt. However over the last few days I'm noticing the best players are finding ways to win... and the poor players are pretty much the fodder they where before. The first day of the patch some people where living much longer then they where before... as the days go on I'm noticing that less.
I have been in a few pug matches now with some good players testing there tweeks, and burst kills are back.
I would disagree with you. After the last major revamp, over time people learned to become better damage dealers. Why? Because the biggest changes were to DPS, and it took time for everyone to learn how to be more effective at DPS.

The result was that over time, matches got shorter and damage totals grew larger as people figured out the system.

This time, all the major changes are related to healing. There is no upside to DPS after this patch, what you see now is as good as it gets. All of the upside for players getting better under the new system is in healing.

That would suggest that over time, people will figure out how to use the new healing skills, and matches will grow even longer than they already are as people learn to live. There is no upside for offense, only defense, because there have been no changes to offense that players would have to learn and adapt to - offense simply got nerfed.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
06-07-2010, 12:53 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darksided View Post
The other system also worked well in that I could at least kill every type of player solo, but in the new system this is impossible against certain opponents without ramming them for a super lucy crit. I pose no risk, nor feel no risk, unless I outnumbered by my opponents or outrnumbering my opponents.
I mostly agree with you, but I wonder how much of that perception comes from being a cruiser captain?

I used to consider myself a pretty good healer. The patch didn't do anything to make healing weaker, and it put some variety into healing instead of pretty much just using ET III whenever it was available, but I'm finding there isn't nearly as much need for healing. Even escorts usually don't need to be rescued right this second anymore. My healing number are a lot lower in many matches because I simply don't need to heal as frantically to keep people alive.

I don't think one of my cruisers has died more than twice in a PvP match since the patch. Usually I don't die at all, win or lose. I've been in several fights with other cruisers that ended in draws, and not one fight with even numbers of cruisers that resulted in a win or loss. I don't usually bother with any defense other than distributing shield power unless I'm taking cannon fire or getting hit by beams from several enemies.

I've got tier 2 and tier 4 tac/escorts that still feel right. And when I fight escorts or BoPs in my cruisers those fights still feel right -- both parties can actually be a threat to one another. But matched against any other sort of ship the fight is stagnant and dull.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
06-07-2010, 01:00 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darksided View Post
Under the new system, I am unsure if I could kill your Escort, but it is an unfortunate fact you will never defeat my battlecruiser 1v1 in a Cap&Hold match again without super random luck of a ramming speed maneuver. I heal nearly 200K every 90 seconds, and your escort can neither deal enough damage over time to overcome that, nor burst enough damage in the limited amount of time to prevent that.

In the new system, my Engineer in a cruiser is overpowered relative to you because the mechanics do not allow you to produce enough damage to win without ramming speed - the only burst damage of consequence in the new system. My Engineer suffers from the same issue of limited offense to some degree, except that I can sustain enough damage over time to kill you - your only chance being you can run away to recharge outside my range.

That leaves us at a perpetual draw.
I don't really know if an escort could never beat a battlecruiser now. In a team vs. team fight the escort is still a threat. I had kind of assumed that 1-1 the escort might have a shot at winning, but so far I can't remember a cruiser vs. escort fight which ended decisively -- the fight always last long enough that help arrives or the escort runs.
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