Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 1 Cloak Detection in Space
06-25-2010, 12:57 AM
A common problem in KvK is that everyone is cloaked and it takes forever to find the other team. As a result, KvK queues are often relatively empty compared to the FvK and FvF queues.

There is reasonable belief that the Romulans might be the next faction to be added to the game. Of course, they will also have cloak, so cloak vs cloak scenarioes will become no less common. In addition, the Federation side now has limited cloaking abilties with the Galaxy X ship, and this might become more common at Rear Admiral Level if it is actually available on C-Store soon.

I think this all more reason to analyze how one can actually detect cloaked ships. What tools does the game provide?

I just lnow the basics:
- High AUX improves your chance to detect cloaked ships.
- Sensor Scan improves your chance to detect cloaked ships.
- Charged Particle Burst, Tractor Beam and I believe Eject Warp Plasma all can negate cloak.
- Full Impulse + Cloak can lead to a very ineffectice cloak, particularly if you get too close to an enemy.

But beyond that - what specific builds should be used to improve your cloak detection chances?
- What Captain skills should be trained?
- What energy levels do work best?
- Are Science Ships and Officers a must?
- What Bridge Officer abilties are useful?

And beyond that - What specific team tactics exists, how do they work?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
06-25-2010, 05:16 AM
I've always supported the idea of more complex or involved team based cloak detection abilities. Blackjack has an interesting buoy idea that involves a weapon slot, a timer and pings that requires teamwork. Some time ago we were discussing setting up a tachyon detection grid that was distance and movement dependent, I'll see if I can't find that thread later this evening. Of course there was discussion of making better team based use of the detection abilities like Vent Drive Plasma and that Starburst maneuver discussed in a couple episodes of TNG.

At any rate, I continue to support better cloak detection abilities on the conditions that:
* They must not be passive in anyway, requiring a fair amount of coordination on behalf of the team deploying them
* If there were a solo option it should have significantly lower success than team based detection abilities
* They must not be 100% effective 100% of the time - everything should be at least temporarily counter-able (even possibly returning false positives would be interesting)
* They should probably be Aux dependent so that there are understood trade offs based on the defensive and potentially offensive nature of the abilities
* I might add more later, there are plenty of ways this could be taken too far.

In short, people should have to work to earn a shot at a shieldless opponent because anything effective enough to reliably neutralize the something as sensitive as cloak really is potentially game breaking.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
06-25-2010, 05:27 AM
While I am also interested in discussion how one could improve cloak detection, this thread was more meant to be to analyze the existing options.

I think one "problem" with cloak currently is that it's binary. There is no state where you can detect a ships presence but not attack it. I think that would be a valuable addition to the game, and solve the issues with KvK, too. But... That's not the main topic here. Question is - how do you "optimize" for detection? How "good" is your detection when you're using it? At what distance can you detect cloaked vessels typically? How do you coordinate to make this useful? What do to do in the time between active sensor scans?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
06-25-2010, 07:18 AM
I don't play my fed sci much anymore... really though an Aux Batt + sensor scan busted up allot of klink suprize parties. I have seen almost no feds doing this anymore. I run a nice high Aux on my bop and can pretty much fly within 2k of most sci ships... aux bat + sensor and they would likely see most klinks at 9k.
When we get a little cocky and impulse in with 5 power in aux it shouldn't be hard to see us.
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# 5
06-25-2010, 08:03 AM
The largest factors in cloak detection are science ships and sensor scan. Starship operations, sensors, and sensor array help, but you can max those out on an escort or cruiser and you'll still never see anything unless they are right on top of you. Sensor scan gives a big boost, but it also varies based on those skills.

I think the carrier has the same sensor boost the science ship does, but since it can't cloak it isn't entirely relevant. It will be targeted first as its the only bait around.

With a science ship you can generally expect around 5-6km detection with high aux and maxed skills. With other ships, maybe 1km. My science ship has maxed out sensor skills and grandfathered consoles, and if I sensor scan, MAYBE I can see beyond 10km. My eng/escort also has maxed sensor skills for target subsystems goodness, but I never detect cloaked ships unless they run past me as they battle cloak, because the sensor range is tiny. Its too short to capitalize on in anything but a science ship, for sure.

Once I saw someone full impulse trough the 10km mark while cloaked in my science ship with sensor scan running, in and out of sight, while other times I can see some ships beyond 10km, so I'm not entirely sure why its different, with full aux every time. It doesn't help that you don't even know how far you can see unless you actually see something. Are they there and they defeat your sensor skills, or is nothing there? You have no idea.


However, its still relatively pointless. You can get first strike, but the first strike of a science ship is laughable, and by the time your torpedoes get there, they are already decloaked, shielded, and returning fire, and the rest of your team is clueless unless you can close to within 5km and use a tractor beam or CPB.

And if they are within 10km in the first place, they are probably ready to decloak anyways, just twiddling their thumbs to see who does it first. Rarely you might find that lone wolf who got their first and no one else is in position, but usually it just starts the battle early.

The only real tactic I have bothered with for pre-battle detection is putting full power to aux, the rest to engines, and then hitting evasive and sensor scan, circling the area fast to see what I can see. If I'm lucky I can tractor a BOP and quickly get them focus fired by my team. If not, nothing is there and I have to wait for cooldowns to feel useful again.


Also I'm not entirely sure but sensor scan might stack, that is one sci/sci can sensor scan centered on themselves and get the boost, then another sci could scan centered on the sci/sci and increase the sensor range additively.

But definitely I support changing the cloak detection game. The binary nature of it makes it really only useful for trying to grab escaping BOPs. Pre-battle detection feels largely irrelevant because the Klingons usually react too quickly for Feds to capitalize on it.



Some things I suggest is removing the binary nature. Yes at some point you should be able to see, target, and decloak ships, but there should be gray areas before that.

Detection should give you a hint that something is there or nothing is there, have the chance that its accurate go up based on how many skill points you have invested in the sensor tree. So if I don't invest anything, I can do a generic sensor sweep, a new power that would be available to all ships, and find false positives or false negatives. But if I max it out, it should give me accurate information, saying yes there are cloaked ships near or nothing at all, even if I can't pinpoint them.

I'd suggest having arc overlays represent how accurate your detection is when it isn't pinpoint accurate. Think of the firing arcs, a sensor sweep could reveal information that way, showing you an arc where cloaked ships might be, and they could be narrower arcs the closer you would come to a full on detection, and color coded for a general range indicator. If you heavily invested in sensors, you could trust it, especially in a science ship. If not, who knows what its detecting?

I'd also suggest Klingons and other cloaking ships/factions would be able to have a BO power or maybe a device that could create false positive decoys so the sensor sweep can be fooled.
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# 6
06-25-2010, 08:09 AM
STO needs "passive" scan technology for detecting cloaked vessels.
It could allow a scanning vessel to know (if a successful scan is achieved) the general direction of a cloaked vessel beyond the 10km mark. Maybe even have such detected vessel(s) show up on the minimap as a temporary blip.
Lt. Commander
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# 7
06-25-2010, 08:53 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxrocks
Once I saw someone full impulse trough the 10km mark while cloaked in my science ship with sensor scan running, in and out of sight, while other times I can see some ships beyond 10km, so I'm not entirely sure why its different, with full aux every time. It doesn't help that you don't even know how far you can see unless you actually see something. Are they there and they defeat your sensor skills, or is nothing there? You have no idea.
Certain skills improve cloak (I believe the aux management/efficiency skills), so the klingon's spec is also a variable. Generally ships that rely on aux are gonna be harder to see, even when they're auxiliary power's low.
Lt. Commander
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# 8
06-25-2010, 11:48 AM
What about the idea of having the icon appear on the mini-map as a fuzzy blob with no arrow to indicate you can see it.

You still can't see it
You still can't target it.
You don't know what direction it's heading
You might have a vauge notice of it's direction relative to you (at least which shield facing is directed at it)

It would be cool if they could replicate the "distortion" effect you saw in ST: III. So you have the sense it's there but you still can't fire at it. Although the spacescapes in STO are cluttered enough that it wouldn't work as well as empty space.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
06-25-2010, 11:50 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raithnor View Post
What about the idea of having the icon appear on the mini-map as a fuzzy blob with no arrow to indicate you can see it.

You still can't see it
You still can't target it.
You don't know what direction it's heading
You might have a vauge notice of it's direction relative to you (at least which shield facing is directed at it)

It would be cool if they could replicate the "distortion" effect you saw in ST: III. So you have the sense it's there but you still can't fire at it. Although the spacescapes in STO are cluttered enough that it wouldn't work as well as empty space.
Exactly. Passive scanning.
You would know a cloaked enemy is close but have no specific notion of where they are other than a blip on the minimap.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
07-14-2010, 04:38 PM
Why not have a high level sci bo have a special ability to equip a torpedo with a gas sensor on it (just like in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country) and give it a long cd rate what’s wrong with that now you can see the other ship but you only get one shot at it
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