Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
I don't think I'm alone here when I say that I would really like to see the Borg make a come back as a supreme threat to the Alpha Quadrant. Right now they are very much like many of the other generic villains which has been fine. However, as STO has matured and seemingly gained more sophisticated capabilities I think it's time for the Borg Collective to reclaim it's more "individual" style. As they are right now there is no menacing feeling so I would like to propose a few relatively minor changes that could work as building blocks to return the Borg to their state as a force to be feared.


Replace/Remove All Borg Cubes From The Game


Please hear me out. Right now they are entirely too common. Familiarity in this case leads to apathy. Seeing Cubes around every corner of Ker'rat or clustered in packs (like probes) in Deep Space Encounters simply isn't doing them justice. It's made even worse by just how easily they are destroyed (even when there are many of them).

Ideally, the Cube as it is would be simply deleted from the game but I recognize that a lot of work as gone into them and that would create huge holes in all sorts of missions. So the "simple" fix, and I use quotes because I don't presume to know anything about programming or development, would be to create a new skin to replace the Cube with a different shape like the Diamond, Cylinder, or Pyramid. In this way the Cube is no longer everywhere and it's mysterious absence can lead to a bit of suspense when one finally does show up.

I believe that this first step would go a long way towards rebuilding the excitement that came from Borg encounters in the shows.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2 Cube Retrofit
03-26-2011, 05:07 PM
Cube Retrofit


Here I want to try to offer up a more challenging and terrifying Borg load out without straying too far from the mechanics that are already available. The reason for this is that I would like these changes to have a realistic chance of happening. Of course, any instance in which this Cube is around should have the "... we have engaged the Borg" music from Best of Both Worlds.
  1. VERY RARE
    - I can not emphasize this enough. They should should appear as flag ships and in fleet actions.
  2. TEAM & FOCUS FIRE REQUIRED
    - The load out I offer here should preclude any possibility of a player reliably soloing one of these!
  3. Increase Physical Size 3-4 (?) Times
    - Hull value will take some work to determine
    - High hull value alone does not create an adequate or interesting challenge
  4. Innate (Passive) Hull Regeneration
    - Hazard Emitters 1 @ 100 Auxiliary
    - Emphasis on Damage Over Time to counteract repairs
  5. Aegis Set Reactive Shielding
    - Stacks significantly more than 10 times (current player version) as this replaces shields all together
    - Builds resistance to any and all incoming energy damage types
    - Emphasis on Kinetic Damage (Tricobalt Torpedoes and Transphasic Mines being particularly effective)
    - Emphasis on Damage Over Time with Focus Fire and BURST damage
  6. Borg Tractor Beams (not regular tractor beams)
    - Operates like the Tractor Beam and Energy Drain available through the Borg Set
    - One version for each of 4 sides, or
    - 4 versions with no global cool down
    - And reduced cool down
  7. Borg Shield Neutralizer
    - One version for each of 4 sides, or
    - 4 versions with no global cool down
    - And reduced cool down
  8. Borg Boarding Party
  9. Offense
    - Beams
    - Beam: Fire At Will 3
    - Beam: Target Subsystem x
    - Heavy Torpedoes
    - Photonic Shockwave
    - Charged Particle Burst Projectiles -NEW-:
    -- Unlike the circular area of effect like the current charged particle burst, this is fired like a torpedo
    -- Flat shield drain rate applied once per hit
    -- Targeting mechanics are random like Beam Fire At Will
    -- Rate of fire is slightly slower than turrets
    - ???
  10. Healing
    - Innate Regeneration
    - ???

Mechanics of The Collective (Space)


MustrumRidcully has offered up an EXCELLENT idea on just how the Borg should act when engaged. I'll try not to butcher it too badly, lol. The Borg Cube will have a heavy load out of offensive abilities. They should be forced to engage as many ships as are engaging it. Fewer ships means more focused abilities and a much shorter engagement over all.

This could be achieved by loading The Borg with weapons that fire randomly (like Beam Fire At Will). Hate mechanics are still being discussed.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3 B'Tran Borg Missions
03-26-2011, 05:12 PM
Right now the Borg missions are just like any other generic encounter but there is so much more potential for these guys that could really add the Star Trek appeal to pew pewers and Role Players alike!
  1. Buying Time: The Borg (a revamped hardcore Cube no less) have been detected near x Planet/Outpost and you are the only ship in range!
    • Primary Objective: Distract the Borg for x amount of time while the Outpost evacuates
      - Gaining hate/aggro and kite the Cube away
      - This is facilitated by a near by nebula (i.e. The Vault)
      - Speed and Healing
      - Don't get too far or the Borg will resume their attack on the Outpost
      - If you are destroyed you have to respawn and attempt to regain hate/aggro again until evacuation is complete
      - Ideally, the mission could still be completed with only a few people escaping bu with a scaling reward based on success
    • Secondary Objective: Destroy the Borg
      - Only even remotely possible with a team!
      - Scaling reward based on success of evacuation
      - Bonus rewards for coordinating on the destruction of the Cube
  1. Rescue Survivors: The Fleet has engaged the Borg and is failing. When you warp in you can see the NPCs are battling the Borg Cube and several ships have been disabled.
    • Primary Objective: Beam aboard all survivors from x number of disabled ships before the fleet falls
      - Leave the system
    • Secondary Objective: Destroy the Borg
      - Might be possible without a team, depending on how much of the fleet remains by the time survivors are rescued
      - Probably not though.

These are just some basic ideas. Obviously there are many more of you who could come up with something more creative and detailed but I think they sort of capture the general feel of desperation and maybe a little bit of hopelessness in the face of a renewed adversary. Having these two conditions for victory also serves to create a bigger variety in game play.

You can team up in order to complete all objectives (maybe, I still think that the Cube should be uber hard to take out even with a smart team). If you can't find a team you can still complete the mission in a very Trek like heroic way.

I had so much more that I wanted to talk about but my eyes are going crossed. Please, post what you think about the Borg and any changes that they should, or maybe shouldn't, under go. I spread this out across three posts hoping to be able to add and alter these things as the discussion progresses.

Let's help Cryptic bring back a scarier more challenging Borg! Thanks!
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
03-27-2011, 12:12 AM
There have been many ideas on this, and I agree - the Cube should be a rarer, more impressive sight on the battlefield.

I liked an idea from another thread (I believe it was by Katic) - to have some Borg vessels be assimliated ships of other factions.

The basic idea I think was that the "Frigate" type of encounter (Probes) would be replaced with a mix of assimilated ships, and Probes and SPheres all wonder up one category (Probes becoming Cruiser type Encounters, Spheres Battleship type encounters, Cubes Dreadnought type encounters, and Tactical Cubes non-existing in regular play).
I am not sure if the ships should really be frigate type of encounters, maybe probes stay where they are and assimiltaed ships become Cruiser-type encounters. Adding a Borg ship shape and mixing it in with assimiltaed vessels might also make sense, keeps things more colorful.

I think ideally, a Cube or Tactical Cube should be designed to attack multiple targets at once, and to make it not too overpowering, force the cube to engage multiple targets. BFAW is one example, but we might need more.

Maybe every Borg Cube facing should have its set of powers (achieved by making them 90 firing arc powers)
  • Front and Aft Facing
    • Plasma Beams (90 Firing Arc) and Plasma Torpedoes
    • High Yield Torpedo
    • Assimilated Tractor Beam
    • Beam Fire At Will
    • Shield Neutralizer
  • Side Facings
    • Plasma Beams (90 Firing Arc)
    • Beam Overload
    • Beam Fire At Will
    • Borg Boarding Party
    • Assimilated Tractor Beam
  • Innate Abilities (not facing specific)
    • Regenerative Shield (2.5 % proc on all Damage to regenerate 50 % of its shields over 15 seconds. 3 minute cooldown)
    • Hull Regeneration (2.5 % proc on all Damage to regenerate 50 % of hull over 15 seconds. 3 minute cooldown)
    • Adaptive Shields (2.5 % Proc on all damage to gain +10 Resistance against that damage. Maximum 10 stacks)
    • Abandon Ship: On destruction, 25 % proc to spawn 1 Borg Sphere and Borg Boarding Party to one enemy in range.

If I remember correctly, Champions Online has a "Zombie" PvP game mode. Something similar could be added to STO - you fight some Borg and if you get killed, you respawn as borgified drone (ship or toon) and have to assimilate others. That could be fun...

Q: Should Borg really be using Plasma Beams?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
03-27-2011, 02:54 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by MustrumRidcully View Post
Q: Should Borg really be using Plasma Beams?
No, they should be be using special 'Borg' damage weapons.

And I second a major Borg revamp. They should be the terror of the setting.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
03-27-2011, 03:13 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by MustrumRidcully View Post
...I liked an idea from another thread (I believe it was by Katic) - to have some Borg vessels be assimliated ships of other factions.

The basic idea I think was that the "Frigate" type of encounter (Probes) would be replaced with a mix of assimilated ships, and Probes and SPheres all wonder up one category (Probes becoming Cruiser type Encounters, Spheres Battleship type encounters, Cubes Dreadnought type encounters, and Tactical Cubes non-existing in regular play).
I am not sure if the ships should really be frigate type of encounters, maybe probes stay where they are and assimiltaed ships become Cruiser-type encounters. Adding a Borg ship shape and mixing it in with assimiltaed vessels might also make sense, keeps things more colorful.
Yeah! That does sound exciting. The tech should pretty much be there already, at least for the assimilated Federation and Klingon ships, with the introduction of the Borg Set. I suppose I'd been more focused on just getting rid of the Cube as it is right now and the Borg using assimilated ships in place of the now over used Cubes hadn't occurred to me but I love it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MustrumRidcully View Post
I think ideally, a Cube or Tactical Cube should be designed to attack multiple targets at once, and to make it not too overpowering, force the cube to engage multiple targets. BFAW is one example, but we might need more.

Maybe every Borg Cube facing should have its set of powers (achieved by making them 90 firing arc powers)
  • Front and Aft Facing
    • Plasma Beams (90 Firing Arc) and Plasma Torpedoes
    • High Yield Torpedo
    • Assimilated Tractor Beam
    • Beam Fire At Will
    • Shield Neutralizer
  • Side Facings
    • Plasma Beams (90 Firing Arc)
    • Beam Overload
    • Beam Fire At Will
    • Borg Boarding Party
    • Assimilated Tractor Beam
Aye! You always were more articulate about this stuff. I kind of wanted each of the four main facings (top and bottom seem pretty much ignored which is probably more simple and fine) to act as their own entity. It's a ship designed for an assault from multiple ships and multiple directions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MustrumRidcully View Post
  • Innate Abilities (not facing specific)
    • Regenerative Shield (2.5 % proc on all Damage to regenerate 50 % of its shields over 15 seconds. 3 minute cooldown)
    • Hull Regeneration (2.5 % proc on all Damage to regenerate 50 % of hull over 15 seconds. 3 minute cooldown)
    • Adaptive Shields (2.5 % Proc on all damage to gain +10 Resistance against that damage. Maximum 10 stacks)
    • Abandon Ship: On destruction, 25 % proc to spawn 1 Borg Sphere and Borg Boarding Party to one enemy in range.
I like the more detailed explanation of their regeneration and while this sounds pretty balanced I'm picturing them having something a bit more unfair. I feel like the % proc's should be higher and the cool downs should be a little lower. In my mind, the Borg aren't really running shields so much as they are adapting quickly to incoming damage and building resists (Aegis set but with a higher stacking limit). I'm picturing a fleet of ships doing enough damage (after resists are built up) to counteract the innate regeneration with an emphasis on Kinetic type burst damage. The Cube itself shouldn't have any Eng Team/Miracle worker style burst heals, but if at any point the damage stops trickling in the Cube begins to regenerate much more rapidly (i.e. innate HE1 becomes innate HE3).

Also, a key weakness would be to coordinate a group of attacks on a single face of the ship. Focus Fire to apply damage over time and burst to whittle away at the hull. To have a chance, the focus fire needs to be not just on a single target, but on a single face of the ship. This would be facilitated by making the ship larger but would be made more difficult by the multiple AoE attacks as well has Borg Tractor Beam holds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MustrumRidcully View Post
Q: Should Borg really be using Plasma Beams?
Honestly, I just assumed they were using Plasma weapons because of the color, lol.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7
03-27-2011, 03:23 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by DKeith2011
No, they should be be using special 'Borg' damage weapons.

And I second a major Borg revamp. They should be the terror of the setting.
I'd like to propose a change to the Borg Shield Neutralizer. As Mustrum suggests, one of the strengths of the Cube should be that it is fully capable of engaging multiple enemies at a time. To this end, they really need more AoE weapons like Beam Fire At Will.

Borg Shield Neutralizing Burst: Simply put it has the effect of Charged Particle Burst (level 1) but rather than having a spherical radius of effect, it is launched with the appearance of a heavy torpedo but at the slightly reduced rate of fire like turrets.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
03-28-2011, 04:33 AM
It seems to me that the potential variety of game play options that could be made available by simply reworking the Borg species is incredible. Maybe this is one race that shouldn't be about destroying them in our little exploration missions, but rather avoiding them and escaping with out lives. Put us on actual rescue missions as opposed to "Destroy 5 Borg solo". Let us play cat and mouse with them. Give us puzzles and minigames about out smarting them to buy time for the fleet to arrive or so a helpless colony can escape.

I realize that a lot of these mission related things could probably be done in the Foundry and I do intend to look at it once the Foundry goes live. However, a lot of this stuff won't work until the mechanics of the Borg change to make them more of a threat.

I've been trying to scan around and I'm pretty excited to see that there are so many other people who are also hoping for some kind of change, or rather return, of the Borg. I wish that there was a way to get everyone together to help drive this issue home.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
03-28-2011, 04:51 AM
Fully agree with the changes proposed in this thread make them scary as opposed to something which is less of a problem than the random schmuck races you run into.

I'd also add in some form of offensive adaption capability as well. Either a power akin to sensor analysis ( all targets attacking) or modulating damage type (keeping the same green beam).
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
03-28-2011, 04:58 AM
Sometimes, Borg Cubes seem to send a blueish beam at a target. I have yet to identify it correctly, but I suspect it's actually Tachyon Beam (the SFX would fit).

I am not sure I like the Borg using CPB. It might make sense from a metagaming perspective, but canonically, the Borg didn't have such area effect weapons. Instead, you see the Borg shooting its arsenal at different targets. This would suggest that the Borg need a unique, unusual AI that allows them to do split their attention. Even my facing idea requires that, as currently, all it would achieve is that the Borg would use the powers only if it's curretnly "aggroed" target is in the firing arc.

Changing the AI of the NPCs is something that seems desirable, but is it doable?

Quote:
Honestly, I just assumed they were using Plasma weapons because of the color, lol.
They use Plasma weapons, but is that canon?
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