I wish to forward this entire post with the realization that what I'm suggesting will probably not be happening in STO. . .this is simply the combination of no work at the moment, a wild imagination and a little boredom over the same old same old that I solo every day on this game. I'm not a game designer, I have no influence on things, I don't even know that a cryptic employee will even read this let alone think it's a good idea. This is simply one of my wild dreams I get when playing this game and I thought I'd share it with my fellow Admirals. Enjoy, bash, or ignore as you wish.
There are several bases for my idea, the first being our ships. When we get a new ship our old one still exists, you can designate which ship you fly in Sol (not sure about DS9) However unless you dismiss your previous ship you still "own" it. If your like me it remains stripped of gear but it's still technically yours just. . .sitting in space dock not fighting the fight and choking up the parking lot. From a tactical standpoint it is pretty useless to you the player.
The second thing that prompts me to suggest this idea is that when you hit the level cap you are an Admiral! Captains are in charge of a single ship, so what are we as Admiral's in charge of? A single ship you say? That doesn't seem very logical if you ask me. Admiral's should have a fleet of ships at their disposal, not be found all alone deep in Borg territory.
The third thing is a comparison of ground and space battles. In space you are a single ship, rather vulnerable from a tactical stand point, particularly with an Admiral on board (which would make a valuable prize if captured) On ground however you always have a group of 5, whether BO's or grouped players.
So As an admiral needing a fleet with your old ships sitting in space dock. . .I question why it is that we are unable to call on these ships to help us out in battle?
My idea is that much like a ground mission, when you enter into a space mission as an admiral you be given the option to add lower tier ships that you have in your inventory as you would a BO. The number/rank of the ships you can fly with would be determined be your level. Each tier ship would be given a point value, tier 1 ships would be worth 1 point, tier 2 would be 2 points etc.
As a rank 1 admiral you would be assigned 4 points which you could allot to your "fleet" composition. You would be able to spend this in any way you chose. You could for instance have a single tier 4 ship to accompany you, or you could have a tier 3 and a tier 1. . .or two tier 2's. Or if you really wanted to, even have 4 tier 1 ships to annoy and harass the enemy! The only restriction would be that you could never have more than 5 total ships (including your own) and you are restricted to ships that you own.
Every rank that you get as an admiral would give you one additional point you can spend on your fleet complement, so as an admiral rank 5 you would have a total of 8 points to spend. 2 tier 4's or other combination that you desire.
Each ship would fly with the gear you assign to it, and that gear much like your BO's would be limited to the ship type (IE only 1 console per type on a tier 1 ship). Every ship that you have in your fleet whether joining you or remaining in space dock would allow for 1 single captain rank "BO" This captain is in essence the conduit through which you can access the ships abilities, and like a ground mission would be able to use 4 of them. Each ship would have a separate complement of BO's which would be assigned at the Sol shipyard (the same guy you choose your ship from) and make up the available abilities the captain has to choose from.
Your rank 5 ship, or which ever ship that you as an admiral choose to fly would be considered your Admiral Flagship which could possibly give some small bonus to it's stats.
When you promote a BO to the rank of Captain you would at the time be required to assign it to a ship, you would not be able to promote more BO's to captains than you have ships. On promotion to captain, their skillset would be removed and in it's place 4 dropsdowns would instead appear, these would allow you to assign 4 abilities to the captain which would include every ability that the ship assigned BO's have (restricted by console of course).
In addition to these four abilities each BO assigned to a captain position would unlock one or more (depending on rarity) passive space bonuses (or perhaps not always passive?) much like your character can have.
In the event that a space mission segues to a ground mission you as Admiral would have the option of choosing from any non captain BO that is actively assigned to the ship's complement which you have with you at the time of teleport.
This entire idea would radically change the way that people solo (or even group) No longer are you forced to enter a fight required to provide DPS, Healing and Tanking with one single ship. Flying an escort? Purchase a Cruiser from requisitions and outfit it as a tank, send it ahead of your escort to pull agro while you pick off weak ships and break up an enemy fleet. Remember your not restricted by ship type so you can build and alter your fleet compliment and abilities to fit your needs and playstyle. Having the ability to build a complement of ship to use at your disposal can allow for a huge amount of creativity among the player base as well as giving the ability to alter fights from the standard 3 weak / one strong ship that seems to clog the game.
Grouping would also be altered, Since you can not have more than 5 players grouping in space combat would end up much like ground missions, players would assign ships as you would assign BO's to empty slots, with the restriction that no one admiral could assign more points than they have allotted, so two admiral 1's would still only be able to have 2 tier 4 ships.
I'm obviously not one of Cryptic's game designers. . .or a designer at all really so i can't know just how hard or difficult it would be to put in something like this. however the ability Photonic Fleet already allows you to pull in ships to help you out, and the 5 man crew is in place. Obviously a lot of game mechanics would have to be designed out from scratch but from a players perspective it doesn't seem like it would be a complete from scratch design.
The other issue beyond simply coding from the game perspective is the auto ranking system used to increase the difficulty based on the group size. From what I can tell the system simply adds more ships the more players there are in a group. However if you did that then the only viable fleet would consist of max tier ships, an admiral 1 with 4 tier 1 ships would be at a great disadvantage compared to one with a single tier 4 ship. Instead I think the game would need to take into account the total points of the entire group (assigning say 6-8 points per human player) and basing the enemy complement from that.
I'm sure there are other problems that would have to be worked out but it's almost 1pm and I need lunch!
I can kinda see this as a solution for tier 6 ships. instead of just flying a single tier 6 ship with various "superpowers", you might command a fleet.
For example, you can take any Tier 5 Cruiser and his Tier 6 "refit" will get two wings consisting of either 2 Tactical Escorts, 3 Akiras or 4 Ushaans.
Or you pick the Jupiter Class Baseship for special support powers.
Or you pick the Prometheus MVAM capable refit that turns into 3 powerful ships on command.
Or you pick the "Gigantic Neg'Vahr" for a Neg'Vahr of four times the size and double the firepower of a normal Neg'Vahr.
Or you pick a Bird of Prey with two wings of each either 2 BoPs or 4 Du'Jin Fighters.
Sounds great.....This would be more Star trek iconic. An admiral would not go about and not have the power to call upon a fleet if necessary.
Seems like they never have one when they are on the starbase "Jean Luc (Jim, Ben) you are the only ship in the area. Go head off this disaster/invasion/whatever. We can't give you anymore ships even though I'm at a starbase, that by all rights should have a number of them docked at any given time. Sorry."
Well when you enter a fleet action you don't bring all your BO's with you, even if your not in a group of 5. . .I wouldn't see you bringing your other ships with you into a PvP match either. The greatest effect would be when solo'ing really. Glad to see some interest in this
i love this idea and it would introduce a whole new mini game creating balanced fleets for yourself,
only thing i would add to this and you may not like it tbh , i think your non flagships should be destroyed if they die ,that way cleverness about how you load them out and crew them would matter , losing your bof would be too extreme as there are life pods =p , though they should possibly return with severe injuries needing treatment
I don't know about dying completely. . .but being perma disabled until you haul them back to spacedock for repairs (costing say 25% of the original cost). However if that was to be the case we would need alot more ship slots. Given what I've seen of our BO AI I have little faith in the survivability of the fleet.
To follow that up though, perhaps have the other ships become disabled with a 5 minute countdown to warp core breach. You or another ship in your fleet must stabilize containment of that ship or it will be lost. The ability would act much like a rez on the ground, it would prevent you from making any combat actions and would last say 10 seconds. If you fail to help them then the core will breach and the ship will be lost. If you die while any of your ships are disabled they will be critically damaged and remain unusable until you visit spacedock and repair them.
Additionally Abandon Ship would become an inherent admiral ability. Using it would trigger a single disabled ship (starting with the one closest to breach) to use it's escape pods thus saving it's crew from being killed. The ability would have no cooldown but each abandon ship would take 30 seconds before activating. If the core is stabilized before the 30 seconds the abandon ship is canceled.
A successful abandon ship will generate a number of escape pods and shuttlecraft. Any shuttlecraft will act like a boarding party, boarding the nearest enemy target. The escape pods will be transported onto your ship giving you a temporary (duration of the fight perhaps) boost to crew size, hull repair and subsystem repair.