Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 1 The meaning of "balance"
03-15-2011, 11:14 PM
Cause and effect
Yen and Yang
Sea and Saw (does that work?)

In war, victory typically goes to the side that is able to achieve the most advantages the most often, or the best advantage and retain it long enough to take victory.

Cloaking devices have been around for a very very long time in the STO universe. Starfleet knows how to detect cloaked ships. Advantage earned, advantage neutralized or at least mitigated.

Unfortunately, however, this is not Star Trek. It is a game faximily of the Star Trek universe and as such we must seek balance from Cryptic when something is out of whack. That's why I'm here, that's why I'm posting, I'm not screaming nerf, I'm pointing out an obvious flaw in the game.

What flaw is this? Raiders have a completely unfair advantage in the game that would not exist in the Star Trek universe. A raider (BoP mostly, some escort builds) is a fast light attack ship that is built to get in with speed or stealth, hit hard quickly and get out. The whole point of speed and/or stealth is that these ships are incapable of taking a lot of punishment. Like all ships, they can take some, but they will nearly always lose in a sustained fight... right? Not so in the current game. They have a get out of jail scott free card. A simple use of engine battery and evasive maneuvers guarantees 100% of the time that they will escape.

Tractor mines, tractor beam III with maxed out skill and auxiliary power? No effect. We've tested this in every way it can be tested. With a tractor beam II BOff skill and 125 auxiliary power, maxed skills in tractor beams and an uncommon mk XII console, a defiant was able to escape 100% of the time at 25/25 power while using evasive maneuvers. With disabled engines, he was able to escape 100% of the time by using engine battery and evasive maneuvers. Exactly the same was true of tractor beam III, Gravity Well III, Tykens Rift III, GW3+TB3 at 125 power, 3 tractor mines + GW3 + TB3 + 125 aux power... the list goes on.

So even though I can build a nebula-class anti-BoP design. Even though I can hunt for cloaked BoP. Even though I can use AtD1 and jam sensors and CRF or CSV and TES and PSW and Tractor beams... I can't get a kill except by 1.) Luck, 2.) Player stupidity or 3.) a massive enough fleet to kill a BoP faster than the captain can hit the battery and evasive.

I do not think it is unfair for a BoP to have an escape plan. It's a raider, it isn't meant for prolonged combat and HAS to be able to get out of a fight. However at the same time if a raider makes the mistake of attempting to execute a sneak attack on a fully prepared and equipped BoP killer I don't think it should be able to just waltz right out of the fight without any cost associated either.

My proposal is this: There should a modification to tractor beam damage that bases the damage received on the foces being exerted on the target ship's hull. I fully realize that some equitable ratio should be worked out and that my proposal here is rudimentary at best, yet still I would suggest something like so:

1.) 25/25 power: Damage is about the same as a GW3 while sheilded with a 2.5% chance each second of breaking free
2.) 50/50 power: Damage is about the same as a GW3 without shielding but with a 10% chance each second of breaking free
3.) 100/100 power: Damage is about the same as a Gorn Battlecruiser's warp plasma but with a 25% chance each second of breaking free each second.
4.) Modifier 1: Both ships run a risk of taking damage of a specific type when breaking free calculated from the ratio of difference in gross tonnage size and then multiplied times the amount of power being exerted to escape/hold the other ship. In this way an escort attempting to escape from a science ship by using full engine power runs an equally high risk of escaping and of taking heavy damage to their structural integrity. A cruiser attempting to break a tractor hold by an escort runs a small risk of taking minor damage and has a high chance of breaking free while the smaller ship runs a high risk of taking significant damage.
5.) Modifier 2: If a ship takes damage while escaping/holding another ship, they get a disabled subsystem between 1 and 3 seconds later depending on the severity of the damage received. The holding ship runs a risk of having auxiliary systems offline for 10 seconds or until emergency to aux or aux battery or engineering team are used. The escaping ship runs a risk of having engines offline for 10 seconds or until engineering team, emergency to engines or engine battery are used.
6.) Modifier 3: Evasive maneuvers has NO EFFECT on tractor beams. After all, evasive maneuvers can't be initiated when you are standing still. However, deuterium burn DOES have the effect of quadrupling the chance of escape and doubling the chance of damage.

The idea here is that when a raider decloaks on my intrepid and I immediately hit him with PSW and a tractor beam and when his buddy decloaks and is hit with jam sensors (i.e. I was ready and executed a perfectly timed trap) they don't automaticaly just get out of it scott free by hitting engine battery and evasive, but they still have a very good chance of getting away if they are willing to risk the damage. Once free they can then decide if they want to run or fight.

It is my sincere belief that this suggestion would bring balance to the hit and run game that I would so enjoy if it weren't so one-sided. There is no risk at all decloaking and hitting a target when, should that target outmaneuver and outskill you then you just run away and try again... and again... and again until you get a lucky kill. No risk of getting killed yourself since you can just run away if the fight starts to go sour. You have sure knowledge that your ship is faster and nothing can stop you so just run. If they have an engine battery and evasive then the best that they can hope for is to get within 12-15km of you while you fly away, battle cloaking.

So how about it BoP Captains? (I fly a BoP with my Lt. General and wouldn't find this risk unwelcome).
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
03-16-2011, 03:34 AM
This is an incredibly mature and on the whole reasonable take on this. I am a Defiant captain, the cloak, and my speed, are a heavy part of my game play style, so I am coming from you from the opposite perspective. If I am indeed preforming my buff, decloak, assault attack and get tractored, a semple evasive, is enough to break. Sometime this does make me feel a bit... broken. Do not get me wrong, I enjoy winning and dislike being destroyed as most, but when a build specificly built to deal with individuals of my play style is so easily overcome by a single buff, it feels like I've lost a bit of the pride I should gain from a kill or successful evade.

To this point the only times i've ever been stopped in my tracks have been by multi-tractors. Tractoring by multiple mines, or ships at the same time. But even then, due to my build, an Evasive, alpha, omega, battery pop will see me 30km away in 5 seconds. This is not much of an exaduration as some of you might imagine, speed is my chief power setting and I can in short bursts break my "Full Impulse" speed limit while buffing. Allowing me to even chase down fleeing opponents of my own and nab them.

That said, If I pop my Evasive, alpha, omega, EngBat combo I fully expect to break free of the tractor or tractors holding me down. But, I do think there should be a downside to that. I'm recalling this at 6am, after a day of no sleep so i may be wrong but I do recall that if a small ship fights a tractorbeam of a larger ship it takes stress damage and can even blow out its engines. So iff a ship like my Defiant Retro pops all those buffs, and breaks free of a multi-hold, I imagine there should be some hull stress and damage done to me. Probably not enough to cripple me outright, but something to offset the ability to break free.

TL;DR I agree with the OP, and I'm a 'raider' player of sorts.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
03-16-2011, 07:26 AM
What about everybody else whom uses EVM+Engbatt to escape a fight? Do they suffer as well under your proposal?

If the purpose of the raider is to be able to Hit-n-Run when able, why limit thier ability to do so becuase in the past you've been escaped from? Follow them if it wounds you so to see a trap go uneffective.
Seems unfair to limit such an ability from a class of vessels designed to maximize speed as part of thier defense.

Seems that the issue is possibly with the mechanics of TB and not the mechanics of EVM or Engbatt usage and certainly nothing to do with Battle cloak at all.

What is to keep TB from being required in PvP under your changes? As those whom don't carry any mitigation or counter are more screwed than those whom do have the counters.

Why should PH, ApO, EVM or EngBatts effectiveness by lowered against something they are meant to help mitigate?

If the technology of TB has been around so long as to be Known, countered or mitigated like cloaking, why the surprise that such counters work?

I do not find the "advantage that everyone can use" unfair to gameplay, merely an obstacle to be overcome through teamwork or experience.

I also disagree that such changes to TB should inflict any subsystem stuns at all. This would only lead to PSW/TB stacking for multiple stuns in combat and have players back in the forums asking for yet more changes to an otherwise unbroken system.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
03-16-2011, 07:40 AM
IF the tractor mines are reduces some - so say a VERY short effective range or lifespan of holding a tractor beam (hey - they don't have a ship's power core, they shouldn't last very long on battery) THEN I would really support a change in Tractor Beam mechanics.

While yours is a surprisingly (refreshing?) reasoned post, I would probably limit the change on the Tractor Beam to damage. You are right, scaling with your power setting, escaping a tractor beam, which has 'locked up' your ship SHOULD cause you some hull damage. So sure, they can escape the same way they are (ie, using engine power to escape) but it should not be a zero sum game there.

Right now, I fear, if even a part of the changes you suggest are implemented, the tractor mines will seriously imbalance play, esp on the PvP side.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
03-16-2011, 08:28 AM
Why should a Raider or Escort suffer from anything if they decloak and surprise attack a R/E killer, fail to do any applicable damage or just decide its a lost cause solo, take effect or damage from said R/E killers counter attack (PSW,TB,SS,etc)in the few seconds of response and then decide in those same seconds to leave the combat using EVM, ENGbatt, Duet's, PH or any other of the counters to TB?
Such is part of the HnR thought process and the use of such a tactic.

If you think TB needs a relook to give it better game mechanics that influence and bring it up (or down) to what the Devs determine it should be is fine.
To ask for a change becuase a prepared R/E pilot is able to escape from your clever attempt at trapping it using the current functioning counters is not fine.
It smells of "My plan should've worked, but didn't, and I dislike that - so lets ask for a change to increase its chance of working".
Should I ask for better damage potential on my raider/escort when I decloak, burst a cruiser and watch the energy bounce off its prepared defenses?

Changes may be needed or they may not, but those changes shouldn't come becuase one's carefully laid plan didn't work as one thought it should.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
03-16-2011, 12:35 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roach View Post
What about everybody else whom uses EVM+Engbatt to escape a fight? Do they suffer as well under your proposal?

If the purpose of the raider is to be able to Hit-n-Run when able, why limit thier ability to do so becuase in the past you've been escaped from? Follow them if it wounds you so to see a trap go uneffective.
Seems unfair to limit such an ability from a class of vessels designed to maximize speed as part of thier defense.

Seems that the issue is possibly with the mechanics of TB and not the mechanics of EVM or Engbatt usage and certainly nothing to do with Battle cloak at all.

What is to keep TB from being required in PvP under your changes? As those whom don't carry any mitigation or counter are more screwed than those whom do have the counters.

Why should PH, ApO, EVM or EngBatts effectiveness by lowered against something they are meant to help mitigate?

If the technology of TB has been around so long as to be Known, countered or mitigated like cloaking, why the surprise that such counters work?

I do not find the "advantage that everyone can use" unfair to gameplay, merely an obstacle to be overcome through teamwork or experience.

I also disagree that such changes to TB should inflict any subsystem stuns at all. This would only lead to PSW/TB stacking for multiple stuns in combat and have players back in the forums asking for yet more changes to an otherwise unbroken system.
Thanks for your input. I knew what you would say before you posted, but thanks.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7
03-16-2011, 12:47 PM
Think about submarines for a second, cloaking ships are kinda like them, designed to sneak up, hit something and run away undetected. We've had the technology to detect submarines since before WWII (Sonar/ASDIC, MADD, Radar, etc) but we still use submarines, its a gamble, Submariners are banking on being able to hit the target before being detected. Cloaking is designed to be the same way. It can be detected by the various anti-cloak powers, but it's still useful if you can strike before those powers can be used.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
03-16-2011, 12:53 PM
Guess I should add into my post -- the hull damage portion would be only for those using Evasives/battery, etc for escaping. Because you are trying to 'force' your way out.

If you use Polarize Hull or APO to escape, that is 'nullifying' the tractor effect, and well...on your way you go, and you shouldn't incur any damage.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
03-16-2011, 12:54 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkyLeach View Post
Thanks for your input. I knew what you would say before you posted, but thanks.
Glad your psychic abilities are doing so well but I'm still curiuos as to a response that addresses the questions I have asked.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
03-16-2011, 08:45 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by RStoney View Post
IF the tractor mines are reduces some - so say a VERY short effective range or lifespan of holding a tractor beam (hey - they don't have a ship's power core, they shouldn't last very long on battery) THEN I would really support a change in Tractor Beam mechanics.

While yours is a surprisingly (refreshing?) reasoned post, I would probably limit the change on the Tractor Beam to damage. You are right, scaling with your power setting, escaping a tractor beam, which has 'locked up' your ship SHOULD cause you some hull damage. So sure, they can escape the same way they are (ie, using engine power to escape) but it should not be a zero sum game there.

Right now, I fear, if even a part of the changes you suggest are implemented, the tractor mines will seriously imbalance play, esp on the PvP side.
I think that your suggestion for limiting the power output of tractor mines is a good one, sure. I think that tractor mines are not so much a problem, however as many do. The reason that I say this is because the argument assumes there is no simple way to deal with tractor mines and this simply isn't true. CSV, even only CSV1, can clear out all tractor mines laid by an entire team, cloaked or not, in under a second. I think the argument against them is generally masking a desire to get away without having to give up a tactical skill slot for scatter volley.

I meant to add one more thing. In addition to limiting the power of tractor mines, I think that my suggestions for size vs. size in hold skills should also apply to tractor mines. Because of their size and limited power a mine would run a very high risk of blowing out every second that it is in operation, and only a hold by multiple mines would run any serious threat to a raider or escort, with that threat being minimal to hull and far more to maneuverability. Only a high-power hold by a heavier opponent would carry the risk of significant damage.
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