Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 21
10-27-2010, 04:40 PM
My opinion:

The problem is not really "holy trinity design" or lack thereof.

The real problem is two fold:

Firstly, the game design is very little like Star Trek. I know, I know...FANBOY! Seriously, however...notice how the farther this strays from canon, the less balanced and overall good it becomes? Somebody at Cryptic needs to go back, look closely at how things work in hard canon, soft canon, and GOOD fanon (there is a LOT of bad fanon, so this part will take the most work) and try to get STO back towards the best aspects of these. Design it more like Star Trek, and less like an MMOG, at least conceptually.

This has lead to the second problem, which is seen greatest in the Cruisers. As a cruiser pilot myself, I am confident that I can enter a fight (PvP or PvE) and fill any role. Now, I am not in favor of ships being stuck in one role or another. Quite the opposite, I think they should be able to fill any role they want, within some reason. The problem is that I, as a Cruiser, can fill ALL these roles at ONCE. This is attached to the first point, because our strengths and weaknesses are almost entirely based on our BOffs, not on our ships. In theory, our ships should affect this by BOff layout. In practice, you can use a clever arrangement of min/maxing and BOff powers, to be able to fill all major roles at once. This also applies to my Battle Cruiser on the KDF side.

Ships themselves need to have a greater effect on your capabilities and/or the BOff powers need to be tightened up in to much better defined roles.

Seriously, with Engineer BOffs alone I have Offense buffs, Defense buffs, Heals (myself and others), and Crowd Control abilities. This cannot be as intended.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 22
10-27-2010, 04:56 PM
to ashter.

yes i meant to say (but got lost in translation) that your points were well concieved but invalid due to fundamental problems in the shield regen mechanic.

your sugggestions seem to make sense on paper, but in practice you are attempting to band-aid a broken system.

until shield regen gets amped up...
until the speed defense bonus gets better adjusted based on speed and class...
and until the tac spike is fixed to be effective but short lived...

the game is inherently broken!

as for thinking in terms of 1v1 and 5v5... the two are inseperable!

people who hide behind the cloak of "this should be a team based game" never did warzone or salvage op.
the game should be balanced BOTH in the team aspect and the 1v1 aspect.

if your average tac or sci cannot take out the average cruiser in a 1v1,
then 5 tacs or scis have no chance against 5 cruisers. <--- period

if it takes multiple ships to take down a cruiser, what do you think the rest of the cruisers teammates are going to do?
sit there and contemplate their navals?
NO they are going to rip into the other team.
if by "encouraging team based play" you mean join a fleet premade, i have news for you...
95% of the players in this game are not part of a fleet premade.

SO... there are two ways to go about this:

-minimise the difference between the 3 classes.
-or form a "rock paper scissors" mechanic.

the problem is that the average cruiser flown by the average engy can out-damage a tactical in an escort and out-heal a sci captain in a science vessel.
besides all that, the engy cruiser can tank like no ones business.

- - - - - - - - - -
it's like going into the rock-paper-scissors triangle and replacing the rock with a 105mm howitzer.
it still shreds paper, but now the scissors can do virtually nothing to the howitzer.
the answer simply can't be use more scissors... because the enemy team may have more then one howizter!!!
- - - - - - - - - - -

the reason why i am so successful as a tac-escort/raider is because i have perfected manuver and cowardly fleeing!
i get in, nail some one, and get out.
since i am no longer in the premade circuit, i have adjusted my tactics to become self sufficient because i can never count on a nearby cruiser to heal me.
so i use cloak to maximum advantage, and always keep an engine batt and evasive manuevers handy to make a quick escape...

i used to be one of the 4 founding members of GoD, and for a while the premade circuit was very balanced!

tacs did damage but needed to be healed.
cruiser tanked but needed damage support.
science could intercpt and interupt, but couldnt damage and heal all that well. (wild cards)

but now most fed premades have 3 engy cruisers, 1 sci cruiser, and 1 tac in a cruiser, or a fleet escort.
many teams simply went all cruiser....
and the klingon premades are gone.

now the healing so outwieghs the damage that no team in the game can hope to take down an enemy cruiser who has his teammates pile on 2-3 hazards, 2-3 Aux-to-SIFs, an engy fleet, and a sci fleet ALL on top of the normal defenses of a cruiser. (and throw in a delta or two on top of that LOL)

tac fleet 2 adds about 50-200 damage per second to each gun of a team mate.
however... sci fleet 2 reduces all damage taken by shields by 50%
and engy fleet 2 essentially halfs all damage taken by hull
the end result is that defense buffs FAR outweigh attack buffs.

the 1v1 fight should have one class with a slight edge over the other, and a slight disadvantage over the third. PERIOD.

in pugs the average fed escort, without healer support has a 10-30 second life span, followed by the science vessels. just look at the stats at the end of most games.

this holds true in PvE, but tacs fair much better due to the AI's lack of spike.
however the cruiser still dominates both fields.

and speaking of OP, yes the new carriers are annoying... but as my 2 main 51's are klingons, i put up with the SUPER LAGG, and mediocre players pretending they are "elite", becuase for once the advantage is on MY side.

but they are problematic for lag, and balance.
i was hoping the feds would get a carrier, and that the carriers would be made to be more like cruisers that exchanged weapons for ships. but i guess it is not to be...

as for any cruisers out there who get sent to the spawn within 3 seconds of someone like me cloaking behind you....

i am sorry, and i am sure you are a nice person, but you must not be a very good space player.
you should get lessons from a fellow fed cruiser.
this is the golden age of the cruiser and it is the KING of the battle field right now.

please try using these skills:
-2 copies of emergency to shields 3
-at least 1 copy of rsp 1
-structural integrity to aux 1
-engy team 1
-warp plasma 3 or boarding party 3
-transfer sheild (sci version) 1
-hazard emitters 2

if you are and engy:
-rotate shields 3
-miracle worker
-engy fleet 2

if you are a sci:
-dampener field
-sci fleet 2

when you first get attacked by a cloaked vessel or a killer tac, simply rsp to buy you 6 seconds
then apply your defense and healing buffs and you will be more then fine.
then hit space bar and hit your oponent with 4-8 beams.
unless they are a top notch cruiser.... they will go away in short order.

cruisers have the most reaction time and the biggest hull pillow.
if you are being facerolled in a couple seconds in a cruiser... for the love of god dont get in an escort !!!!
you'll get vaporized 3-4 times faster. thats the reality of the game....

in the end...

the game is NOt balanced.
cruisers tank, heal AND put out the most damage over time.
sci's do absolutley nothing well.
and tacticals are so fragile they can never bring their firepoewer to bear....
but if they could.... the vast majority of cruisers can easily take the damage without breaking a sweat

if you feel the game is perfectly balanced right now you are one of two people:

a fed engy in a cruiser.
or a klingon engy or sci-guy in a carrier.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 23
10-27-2010, 07:00 PM
I have been saying cruisers need a nerf for a while now. Though I will defer to D-Rek's analysis because I also think it was spot on. I also like the shield changes, because the system right now that its convariant [cap]x3 or bust, makes pvp also very unimaginative.

Last patch's increase in Shields and Hull without an increase in DPS was also a backdoor nerf to escorts.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 24
10-28-2010, 01:06 AM
Originally Posted by D-Rek View Post
Omg good stuff d-rek
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 25
10-28-2010, 02:05 AM
Originally Posted by Katic View Post
And what, good sir, would you say to someone who doesn't PvP, for whom these changes would spell doom in PvE?
Why do you think the changes spell doom in PvE?

Fact is, PvE is affected by the problems in ship imbalance, too.

Try fly an Escort at Elite. Oh, you kill stuff fine. But one lucky critical hit with a High Yield Torpedo and you're dead. No Save.
Try fly a Science Vessel at Elite. Oh, you don't kill stuff at all. It takes forever. And you are also suspectible to the critical hits, since while your shields rock, your hull doesn't.

At normal difficulty, not everything is fine either. As an Escort, you blow through your enemy like through butter. 3 enemy Frigates? 2 of them are probably dead after your first attack run.
While you're already at the second group of ships, the SV is still struggling with two ships remaining from the first group. (At least he had the joy of seeing them shoot each other for a while thanks to Scramble Sensors.)

There is nothing right in PvE either. It just matters less because no matter how often you die or how long it takes, you'll win at the end. There is no opponent that scores points against you. If you fly solo, you don't evne have to compare your damage, healing, kill or death rates to someone with a better or worse ship.

PvE lacks a good feedback mechanic that would help you gauge your overall performance. PvP doesn't. There are clear winners and losers.

You better stop believing that nerfs and buffs for a better balance are bad for PvE. PvE can just be as unbalanced as PvP, it's just that no one really counts.

There are exceptions for PvE, of course. The STFs for example. There is a chance you can lose there. And there, you also here complaints about imbalances - like Science captains on the ground being able to solo certain boss monsters. Suddenly it matters what class you are for the success of the mission. And people will look for the most succesful ones.


I would say one thing, though, about imbalances in PvP. The Cruiser might take the "healer" role, but he's actually a fun role to play. A lot of games suffer from the fact that no lone likes the healer role. But it fell into another trap (one I know too well from pen & paper games. In 3E D&D, the Cleric and the Druid, both more healer-oriented classes, were coined as "CoDzilla" because they could tank, dps and heal and thus outperform other classes - a result of overcompensation for the unthankful role of healing.)
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 26
10-28-2010, 07:45 AM
Damn, there is so much truth in this thread. Loving it!

Originally Posted by gx4th View Post
If Star Trek really operated within the confines of the Holy Trinity...

Picard: Ensign, lay in a course for sector 001, let's take out that Borg cube!
Ensign: Aye sir!
---Enterprise E arrives in 001, half the fleet is dead---
Picard: This is Captain Picard, I'm taking command of the fleet!
Ship1: About damn time, we finally found a cruiser tank!
Picard: Whaaa?
Ship2: Oh crap, he's in an assault cruiser, everyone knows starcruisers make the best tanks!
Picard: ... We can tank just fine thank you!
Ship3: Keep looking for that starcruiser, there's gotta be one online!
Worf: F you all, I'll tank in the Defiant!
All Ships: lolz look at the dumb escort
---Defiant blows up---
All Ships: What a noob
Picard: Ok, Riker, begin tanking maneuvers! Taunt that Cube!
Riker: Yo Queen's so fat, she needed 2 Cubes to get here!
Picard: Number 1... get better taunt lines...
Geordi: Sir, we don't have a healer!
Picard: You're kidding! Someone toss a heal on us!
Geordi: Warp core breach imminent!
Picard: Next raid, let's get a healer sci vessel or two mmk?!
---Enterprise blows up---
All Ships: F it, raid's off, we're gonna go play WoW
And you, Sir, made me almost fall of my chair. My what did I laugh. Thank you so much, I was having a bad day but now I'm happy again ^^
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 27
10-28-2010, 08:51 AM
hey Z...

thanks i thought my previous posts on this thread were much better, but many people have brought up several good points.

personally i was particularly proud of this "gui" table

Originally Posted by D-Rek View Post
in closing...
thats why you see this at the end of every match:

___________ kills ____ deaths ____ damage ____ healing
Fed Escort ........ 5 ............ 8 ............. 200,000 ........... 30,000
Fed Cruiser ....... 7 ............. 0 ............. 250,000 ............ 450,000
Fed Science ...... 4 ............. 2 ............. 100,000 ........... 100,000

whats wrong with this picture?!?!?!

i may clean it up, and make it my signature.

the picard/wolf 579 skit in this thread was humorously EPIC.
i laughed so hard when everyone in the skit lol'd at worf my tummy hurt.

the OP has opened up a good discussion, but again i think that the point has been made several times that it is NOT the ships that need balancing.... but the BO and Capt abilities!

i also brought up that the shield regen rate is a joke, and that Cov [cap]x3 is the only real shield anyone uses because of this problem.

i also think the only way to increase escort survivability, without increasing the cruisers monster abilities, is to increase the "speed" defense bonus for faster/lighter craft
and to decrease the same bonus for slower larger craft.
however if speed is reduced the bonus should be reduced as it is now.

many people dont realise any buffs you do to engy abiltites for the sake of escorts is going to affect cruisers even more...
and any nerfs you do to engy ships and abilities for the sake of escorts, is going to adversly effect the defense of escorts 10 fold.

and we ALL know that tacs have suffered too many nerfs.
the reason why?

inexperienced cruisers get face rolled because they cant react fast enough to a cloak attack.
better shilds and shield regen rates would be prescious seconds for the novice to learn how to tank in a cruiser.
HOWEVER, tacticals need to do more damage... but i think this damage should be done in 5-10 second bursts, and that tactical abilities should probably have more controls to prevent continuous use.
either way we want to eliminate instant kills... while also giving tacticals the ability to win over time and be able to sustain battle for longer periods.

Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 28
10-28-2010, 10:15 AM
Originally Posted by D-Rek View Post
thats why you see this at the end of every match:

___________ kills ____ deaths ____ damage ____ healing
Fed Escort ........ 5 ............ 8 ............. 200,000 ........... 30,000
Fed Cruiser ....... 7 ............. 0 ............. 250,000 ............ 450,000
Fed Science ...... 4 ............. 2 ............. 100,000 ........... 100,000

whats wrong with this picture?!?!?!

While this chart does show a desparaging imbalance it isn't accurate. Comparing each class 1 to 1 it says that escorts are useless and so are sci ships. The problem is comparing each ship 1 to 1 doesn't take into different metrics that makes each ship what it is.

Tactics play big role in these numbers. The most common tactic in PvP is kill escorts first and scis second and wait till you have numbers to go after the cruisers. Using this tactic escorts pop no if ands or buts adn the same sort of holds true for sci ships. Escorts will always have high in combat DPS and the tactics main point is make that escort spend as much time in combat as he is spending getting to combat.

Using DPS is good metric for measuring good escorts, but isn't good for measuring good cruisers. A DPS cruiser will always fall way short of a true DPS escort. Measuring damage isn't a good way to measure escorts either because their damage comes in bunches so the more targets they "spike" down the bettter their number is, where as a cruiser has to slug it out. Cruisers have to outlast its opponent to get a kill so a cruiser hitting a tank for 5 minutes will give him good overall damage numbers but in reality it is a waste of time.

Kills are a worthless stat if you fire on one ship and switch and that target dies you get the kill but in really all you contributed to was scratching the paint.

In my cruiser had 25+ kills in CNH with 250K in damage. I also have had 15 kills with 750K in damage. The higher kill is the ones where my team wins, usually.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 29
10-28-2010, 11:31 AM
i dont want to split hairs over my wild generalization table.
since it is a fabrication for example, i appreciate that most people agree this is basically what they see, even if they disagree with what the data in the table represents.
(actually this is a wierd metaphore for all post hok falicy studies and debates... does ice cream cause murder on a hot day? LOL)

the main point i was trying to make is this:

the ship class with the most damage, the most kills, the fewest deaths, the most healing and the most effectiveness in almost every battle is the CRUISER.
i think it doesnt matter to most players HOW these stats come to be. ALL that matters to them is that these stats, for better or for worse, simply ARE.
and although most cruisers are flown by engines, who can bring out the cruisers true potential, many tacs and scis are flying cruiser because they have abbandonned their own ships!!!

--> that is the point that i think is most in line with the OP's thread. <---

good players will always adapt to the changing envirnment around them.
good escorts may have crappy stats now, but good escorts are essential to take down certain enemies in premades.
good sci ships have crappy stats now, but are essential in a premade for crowd control (or crowd generation) and "wizard-mother may i" control of dangerous enemies.

but these roles will happen whether the system is balanced or not. but these roles will only happen in premade fights... (remember 95% of all space engagements are pugs)


--> is that most players, regardless of captain class, feel the escort is a flying coffin that is not essential in most space PvP games... especially PUG encounters

-most players, regardless of captain class, wont fly a science vessel because they feel it is underpowered and fills no specific role... especially in Pug matches.

--> most science captains feel they essentially play the role of an engy or a tactical, with a handful of exotic captain skills, such as SNB, dampener, and sci fleet, to suppliment that foreign role.

--> most tacticals feel they have been continuously nerfed and that thier role of damage dealer has been stolen from them by cruiser captains.
these tactical officers also feel it is MUCH easier for an angy and sci to use a cruiser effectivly then it is for a tactical officer to use a cruiser effectively (with the notable exception of Aytani from TSI)

these are the major talking points my ficticious (but all too commonly seen) table are trying to bring to this thead.

and i dont think a simple shifting of ship capabilities is going to solve the current quagmire.
i think certain aspects of the space PvP system should be looked at and redesigned.... but within the framework of the existing combat system overall (sicne for the most part, it is still a fun and rewarding system)

i have 3 51's currently, both klingon and fed, and i have flown ships in combat from all 3 captain classes.
i know something isnt right!
and so do most players!

those that think the system is perfect right now are, again, either fed cruisers or klingon carriers.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 30
10-29-2010, 03:10 AM
good players will always adapt to the changing envirnment around them.
good escorts may have crappy stats now, but good escorts are essential to take down certain enemies in premades.
good sci ships have crappy stats now, but are essential in a premade for crowd control (or crowd generation) and "wizard-mother may i" control of dangerous enemies.
It seems it isn't really true anymore in Premades. It seems the real choice now is to have Cruisers and Science Vessels. Science Vessels role seems to be to disrupt the other people's healers, and then the Cruisers (possibly steered by a Tactical Captain) take a ship down in the time it can't heal. (I can't be 100 % sure of how these fights really work out, but that's my impression from the talks I had and from my own experiences in PuGingScience Vessels alongside with PvP fleet members.) It doesn't matter if a ship team can heal itself three times over if they are stunned for 3 seconds and everyone hits the same target with enough firepower to kill the enemy once. And you don't need an Escort for the latter. Escorts could probably inflict even more damage then that - but they can't take the damage outside of that.

In PuGs, an Escort without a healboat at his side will usually be in big trouble, unless he is for some reason ignored.


To Ashter's specific suggestions, I would add one additional one:

Emergency Power to Shields: The resistance bonus should only last for 5 seconds and reduce the bonus by 10-15 %.
Shield Power: Shield power should generate more resistance bonus (say, Power Level / 250; 20 % at 50 power and 40 % at 100 and 50 % at 125)
This way, Cruisers still can maintain a high shield resistance, but everyone else - even the "poor Escort" - can do it, too. It brings the weapon and shield power levels "closer" to each other in relevance. Running shields at 25 base power is common, running weapons at 25 base power is something only tri-cobalt shield drain bombers do.

Maybe also:
Engine Power determines max defense bonus from speed (Power Level / 2 + 30 gives us a range of 37.5% and 92.5 %, with 75 getting us the current bonus. Set your power to Engines and Shields, and your Escort can actually survive a while.

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