I wanted to play around with the powers and I picked this to replace emergency power to the structural integrity II. It appears that nothing in the player skill tree improves boarding party, not that I can see, not even engineering team lead.
- Do I have to wait for the target's shields to fall before I send out the shuttles, least I send them to their death by blowing up on the enemy shield?
- Do I have to stay within a certain Km range so they can beam back ok?
I'll try to answer the questions as best I can ...
1- No. The party boards as long as they're not shot down before they get there. And that's what makes them so much more popular now. In patch 1.2, they upped the speed at which they board by quite a bit.
2- I don't think so. I haven't noticed distance being a factor here. I might need to test that.
3- I use BP III and replaced Extend Shields III with it. I love it. I like the idea of shooting shuttles at people. I like what it does. I like the concept. I really dig it now that it's been tweaked. I understand it's still got some limitations. And I'm ok with that. Because when it works (and I work hard to get it to work), it makes me smile. And it's a pretty good power for messing with your opponent, be it a PVE opponent like an Apex Battleship or a Crimto Escort ... or a PVP opponent.
So they can be targeted and shot down because I noticed that the shuttles have 1/1 hull point. Just one. Really? Ah, what the hell, boarding party II should be ok, right?
You know, if you have a runabout in your ship inventory, the boarding party shuttles should take on 50% of your runabout's stats, all of them. So, if it's outfitted with weapons and gear, it should help that much more. One step closer to making the runabout more useful.
Well I will say boarding party is much much improved. I run a bop and wouldn't dream of running it.
Honestly though I pretty much ignore tri cobolt devices that are too cloae.. they won't hurt me too much if I have shields, and I will be repaired 2 seconds later.
However when I see those darn little shuttles comming I make them priority target #1 and have found myself using evasive like I was an elephant spooked by a mouse.
The effect is annoying and deadly to a ship with no hull that relies on abilitys to stay alive. (It can also work great to disrupt a healer)
The amount of hull points the shuttles have is irrelevant. Even if they increased them to 100 each they'd still be destroyed in a single shot. They're not going to make the shuttles take more than one shot to kill, just like it only takes a single shot to destroy mines or high yield torpedoes.
If you get close enough to the enemy they won't have a chance to shoot them down. Now that the shuttles move faster the downside of the power has been reduced quite a bit.
Once the boarding party is on board, unless the target has a tactical team, his subsystems are going to be shut down in a few seconds.