Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
I would like to propose the introduction to STO of probes. These can provide a boost to crafting, and reduce inflation by acting as an EC sink, as well as an overall game play enhancement.


Class 1 probe;
Recon probe, intended to fly toward a target, or in a straight line away from the launching ship, acts as a mobile bubble of LOS (Line Of Sight).
----Can be used to scout for enemy contacts outside of the ship's sensor range, or gather details on a target close enough to see, but not close enough for specific information. LOS range 7km, stealth detection inside 1km, speed 1kps


Class 2 probe;
Listening post, intended to be dropped as a specific location and act as a stationary bubble of LOS.
----Useful in PvP capture arenas to monitor a secured location, possible limited stealth capability. LOS 10 km, stealth detection 2km, speed 0kps.


Class 3 probe;
Intelligence probe, same operating principle as the Class 1, but with added cloak detection.
----Useful for flushing out enemy ships waiting in ambush. LOS 5km, stealth detection 5km, speed 1.5kps.


Class 4 probe;
Scientific analysis, can seek out and collect anomalies.
----Has access to scanning minigame, scanning done via the current "press F to scan" mechanic.


Class 5 probe;
Scientific research, can seek out and collect anomalies.
----Grants an easier form of the scanning minigame (more time to complete / less variance between wave forms), more expensive than Class 4.


Class 6 probe;
Advanced research, can seek out and collect anomalies.
----Automatically collects anomalies at the bonus rate, very expensive, cost to purchase only viable for serious crafters / farmers.


Class 7 probe;
Salvage support, aids in gathering loot drops
----The player may continue to the next objective uninterrupted, or as the suggestion below points out, to help cruiser drivers to not have to spend 5 minutes turning to collect and another 5 minutes getting back on course for the next objective.


Game play enhancements of each are explained in the bullet points above. These probes would only be obtained from vendors and would therefore remove currency from the economy, thus counteracting inflation.

Crafting gets an assist from the Class 4 probe which would make it much easier to gather crafting materials. This benefits crafting in that one of the current issues is that by the time a player has gained enough materials and skill points to make something useful, they have out-leveled what they can produce. There would also be the further benefit of helping to increase the available supply of data samples on the exchange, bringing down prices and making crafting more accessible to those who do not currently bother themselves with collecting. Having more data samples changing hands via the exchange will also help remove currency from the game when the exchange posting fee is factored in.


I am forced to consider that the effect on crafting may be minimal, but the effect on the amount of currency in game should be noticeable if the prices are substantial enough. As each probe would be disposable (1 time use), players who want to, or enjoy using them, may spend a not insignificant amount of EC on them, especially players who would like to be able to go into an exploration mission, pop off three class 6 probes and proceed with the mission content in the knowledge that their data samples are on the way. Then do it again through 3-4 different explore _______ sector/nebula/cluster missions, thus amounting to 12-15 a session.


Ground versions of each might also be prudent....as long as it they don't look like this.


edit: added Class 7
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
11-09-2010, 07:43 AM
Nice idea. I would suggest one additional Probe, fairly cheap/easy to craft: Gather loot/drops Probe. As a Cruiser Captain, especially when doing a Fleet Action I'd get some good use out of a Probe that gathers the loot/drops for me without me slowly turning towards them.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
11-09-2010, 07:49 AM
Probes sound like a great idea, I would even be happy if there was a way to set the scanner on ground missions to look for anomalys or mission objectives, there are times i really dont feel like chasing my ground objective and have to run down the anomaluys to just get them out of the way.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
11-09-2010, 08:07 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skydance View Post
Nice idea. I would suggest one additional Probe, fairly cheap/easy to craft: Gather loot/drops Probe. As a Cruiser Captain, especially when doing a Fleet Action I'd get some good use out of a Probe that gathers the loot/drops for me without me slowly turning towards them.
That's a good idea, I'll edit one in.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
11-09-2010, 08:26 AM
I can see this especially for when searching for capital ships. If they fire at the same speed of torp and if they grant LoS I think it would be a pure win. I would only hope they could be used from the inventory slot if implemented however.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
11-09-2010, 08:31 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by .Spartan View Post
I would only hope they could be used from the inventory slot if implemented however.
In order to be integrated into the existing paper doll the probes would have to operate out of the equipment slot....I think.


edit;
though I'm sure cryptic could stick them wherever they want.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7
11-09-2010, 08:38 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thunder Child
In order to be integrated into the existing paper doll the probes would have to operate out of the equipment slot....I think.


edit;
though I'm sure cryptic could stick them wherever they want.
Then they should add a prob slot methinks. Shoot I would also like to sees a shuttle slot to be honest.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
11-09-2010, 08:49 AM
First off, I love the idea of dropping surveillance probes at specific locations. If the probes are destroyed, then your bridge officer would alert you that they got blown up, alerting you that someone's there. If they're left alone, then they have a 2km diameter where any ships passing by would be detected, even if cloaked. It won't pull the ships out of cloak, but your BO would again alert you something's up.

That said, if they do implement probes in this game, I am waiting for the day when they open up Sol system and someone designs a Foundry mission where you have to probe Uranus.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
11-09-2010, 09:25 AM
Sounds like a good idea to me.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
11-09-2010, 09:42 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by .Spartan View Post
Then they should should a prob slot methinks. Shoot I would also like to sees a shuttle slot to be honest.
/agree. Probe slot ftw. I'd really hate to have to give up any of my equipment.

Great idea all together! I hope we can find a way to make it fit into the game.
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