I'd like to submit this draft of a weapon type revision (SPACE) I've been thinking a lot in the past few weeks.
Base Concepts are:
1) Skill Points: weapon types are Low Cost (phaser/Disruptor), Medium Cost (Plasma/Tetryon) and High Cost (Polaron/Anti-Proton). So this should reflect on weapons' effectiveness and bonuses.
2) Shield/Hull Efficient weapons: to add variety to combat styles.
- Modified secondary effects for each weapon type:
Phaser: +5% vs Shields (Base.Dmg x1.05 or 105%) -10% vs Hull (Base.Dmg x0.90 or 90%)
Proc: 2.5% chance "Phaser Shield Breach" -5% Shield Resistance (max stack x3 or -15%) PLUS +5% Bleedthrough on target shields (more damage bypassing shields)
Disruptor: +5% vs Hull (Base.Dmg x1.05 or 105%) -10% vs Shields (Base.Dmg x0.90 or 90%)
Proc: 2.5% chance "Disruptor Hull Breach" -10% Hull Resistance (max stack x3 or -30%)
Tetryon: +7.5% vs Shields (Base.Dmg x1.075 or 107.5%) -7.5% vs Hull (Base.Dmg x0.925 or 92.5%)
Proc1: 2.5% chance "Tetryon Inversion Burst" = -XXX shield hp each face (scaling with skill points and Mk version)
Proc2: 1% chance -15 Shields Power level for 5 seconds (or randomized)(max 1 stack)(Stacking with Target SS Shields)
Plasma: +7.5% vs Hull (Base.Dmg x1.075 or 107.5%) -7.5% vs Shields (Base.Dmg x0.925 or 92.5%)
Proc1: 2.5% chance apply "Plasma Fire" DoT xK damage over 15 seconds (scaling with skill points and Mk version)
Proc2: 1% chance -15 Engine Power level for 5 seconds (or randomized)(max 1 stack)(Stacking with Target SS Engine)
Polaron: +10% vs Shields (Base.Dmg x1.1 or 110%) -5% vs Hull (Base.Dmg x0.95 or 95%) PLUS +2% CrtH OR +10% Accuracy
Proc1: 2.5% chance -25 Weapons Power Levels for 5 seconds (or randomized)(max 1 stack)(Stacking with Target SS Weapons)
Anti-Proton: +10% vs Hull (Base.Dmg x1.1 or 110%) -5% vs Shields (Base.Dmg x0.95 or 95%) PLUS +2% CrtH OR +20% CrtD
Proc1: 2.5% chance -25 Aux Power Levels for 5 seconds (or randomized)(max 1 stack)(Stacking with Target SS Aux)
As of now, Plasma energy weapons are quite ineffective and unused. I suggest revamping "Plasma Fire" damage to a maximum of 1/2 of Hazard Emitters 2 (fully skilled) transformed into hull Damage over Time.
So, if a HE2 does 22k hull healing over 15 secs, a fully skilled VA Plasma Fire should do at least 11k Hull damage over 15 seconds (resistances mitigate plasma damage).
Tetryon instant "all-faces" damage to shields should be revamped a bit, or maybe transformed into a DoT "blue cloud" that drains shields hp over 15 seconds (similar to plasma fire).
As a former dev myself (not on STO but other games), I can tell you now, they'll take one look at this and say that's way OP. And implementing it would take hundreds of manhours coding it. And that's like asking the Vatican to amend the Catechism.
If anything, since they are planning to add higher levels eventually, I can see a high ranking new ability that would allow you to adjust the "focus" of your weapons, whether you want to target shields, or hull more, and thus you could play with a slider like the one they already have for adjusting ship subsystem power levels. This would allow you to adjust your weapons for more shield "bleedthru", at the cost of base damage.
If I were a dev on this game, I could see implementing something like that eventually, however, I would make it so that, in order to do it, you have to have a special tactical console, and your character has to craft it, because it would be BoP. And, the only way to get the stuff to craft it would be thru completing some new mission arc. It would be long, but not stupid difficult. But that's just me.
Even then, I can't see it being any more effective at bleedthru than transphasic torpedos (~28%). Aside from that, weapons already do shield damage when absorbed by shields, so.... the only alternative would be to make it possible to skew the ratio in the other direction a certain amount as well, i.e. take potential hull damage and throw it to shield damage. This would possibly run into massive re-coding, instability etc.etc. unless they just go ahead and give us a "kinetic beam" weapon that doesn't bleedthru shields at the usual rate at all, but rather, the shields catch all of it.
Or they could just give us good ol' guns, that fire actual lead bullets lol. Lead would go right thru energy shields, because.... well, they're not energy. But then the question becomes, How do you make a bullet capable of piercing a duranium hull? Maybe a "magnetic rail gun" that fires an aluminum alloy slug at near the speed of light?
Well anyway, I don't see them messing around with all the weapons that are already in the game. It would be a lot easier to use the mechanism of character skill mods, which is a mechanism that is already in the game as well, to perhaps create a new ability that would let players be more versatile in what they can do with thier weapons. I have always been a great advocate of versatility, options, possibilities, putting things into the hands of the players. What I can tell you, however, is that game producers often chant the mantra "it would be too complex for the average player". And so your mockup gets shot down, you make more coffee, and return to your cubicle. And steal one of Ralph's cupcakes.
Mine was just a draft for a possible revamping. Shield/hull efficient weapons and Weapons Secondary modifications (Proc) can be separated. They are not meant to be mutually mandatory.
"Faction" weapons (phaser/disruptor) are LOW COST, so at least their PROC should reflect that. Else we'll just see those two being used.
If it was for me, I'd just remove from the skill tree the weapon types, thus giving everyone the freedom of mounting whatever weapon they like, and replace the "Tactical Energy Weapons" tree with something like:
[starting from tier 3 skills]
T3: Energy weapons Accuracy (0->9 => +15%/+20% Accuracy at max)
T4: Energy Weapons Damage (0->9 => +10%/+15% Damage at max and/or +10% Crit. Severity [CrtD])
T5: Energy Weapons Mastery (0->9 => increasing boost to Secondary effect [Proc], like duration, proc damage, etc.)
I'd suggest we start out by making the DoT and proc damage from Plasma and Tetryon scale with the level of the weapon (maybe eve the weapon's over all damage) .
From there, I'd suggest we consider that training in that weapon's skill increase it's proc chance (maybe up to 4.5%) or some how increase it's effectiveness.
Aside from that, adding extra procs to most of those weapons seems to range from superfluous to over powering. Anti-proton's proc damages Aux? Why?
I'd also suggest that Beam Overload also increase the change of a proc to occur and increase it's severity. Using Plasma or Croniton torpedoes with High Yield or Spread always apply their DoT and snare, so Beam overload should offer a similar bonus to the likely hood of a weapon's proc firing off.
I'd also be a proponent of letting different weapons grant a different bonus to subsystem targeting. Phasers might make the drain last longer or more energy, tetryon might disable all shield facings bot not for as long, poleron might drain a little bit of power from the other systems and plasma might cause another random system to go of line after the first one does.
There are a few weapons that are just not used as often as others and I agree with the basic idea that there needs to be more of an incentive to use them. I think that fixing proc damage would be one major step in this direction.