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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
Okay, I talked with a bunch of people on the Organized PvP channel to figure out how this power actually works, and why it can lead to "OPness", especially if a team consequently uses Beam Fire At Will.

Beam Fire At Will basically doubles the users damage output for its duration (plus a damage buff for higher ranks), but it splits the damage up.

Beam Fire At Will Mechanics
  • Creates two beam shots for every normal shot. The beams get a damage buff a higher tiers.
  • Secondary shot is distributed randomly in firing arc. This is different from CSV, that demands a certain firing arc restriction for the secondary and tertiary targets it hits.
  • Secondary shot can lead to increased energy drain.
  • The Cooldown and Global Cooldown of the skill allow the use of 2 BFAW for about 89 % uptime, ther eis only a 5 second window where it's down.

Gameplay Consequences in PvP
What does this mean if a team (say, a premade, or a lucky PuG) comes fully equipped with 2 BFAWs? (Something possible for every ship class starting at tier 3)
It effectively means that you have to deal with twice the usual firepower or more.
This extra firepower is not burst damage, as it is not focused on the same target. Given the random target distrubtion, one could say that on average, it is as if the team has split targets and everyone is hunting his own - except that's only half of their damage, the other half can be focused fire like normal. This overall leads to massive pressure on the enemy team, and even without any real burst potential, the team using the BFAW strategy will tear the enemy team.

Gameplay Consequences in PvE
Since this topic has come up before, here is why it is bad in PvE.
Basically, with Beam Fire At Will, the damage output of players in PVE doubled, starting at Tier 3, everytime there is more than one target to hit. In solo play, this primarly affects Frigate encounters, but it also affects several of the new missions added since the start of the Deferi Daily, as it has become more common to engage multiple enemies at once. Sector Block Defense and STFs should be easier now then ever before.
A primary problem here is that PvE enemies do not use many healing skills. This kinda means the difference between burst and pressure is lost on them, since you don't have to worry about the healing intervals they have - damage sticks, regarldes of whether it comes mostly in 5 seconds or needs 15 seconds to accumulate.

Additional Considerations and Comparisons
A few questions one might have:
Q: Why is the Energy Drain ineffective in reducing the damage output?
A: It seems that EPS Flow regulator can help recover from this damage.

Q: CSV hits three instead of two targets, why is it not as effective or more as BFAW?
A: CSV has a firing arc limitation - it can only hit targets close to the players primary target. A single player - not even to be speaking of an entire team - cannot hope to get and keep the enemies entire team into the firing arc.

Possible Solutions
So, what could be done to fix this?
  1. Reduce the damage output. BFAW basically has to provide a "damage nerf" to the invidual shots - perhaps only the additional shots for the secondary target.
    Examples:
    • Primary Target takes more damage then secondary: 100 % for primary target, 35 % / 40 % / 45 % for secondary target
      (Total average damage buff: +35 % / +40 %, +45 %)
    • All targets take less damage: 65 % per shot, 70 % per shot, 75 % per shot
      (Total average damage buff: 30 %, 40 %, 50 %)
  2. Increase the cooldown. This means that teams cannot maintain their doubled damage output for more than 15 seconds or so. It is currently (in the nomenclature used by snix during the great cooldown revamp) a Category 1 skill. It could become a Category 3 skill, similar to Beam Target Subsystems. This would mean 15 second duration, 45 second cooldown, 30 second global cooldown, or even a Category 4 skill (15 second duration, 60 second cooldown, 30 second global). The danger of changing the cooldown category is that spam handling might become somewhat more difficult, but I think a team with two or 3 BFAW users will still have plenty of coverage, and even a single BFAW user will not fair badly.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
03-30-2011, 06:10 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by MustrumRidcully View Post
O
Possible Solutions
So, what could be done to fix this?
[*]Reduce the damage output. BFAW basically has to provide a "damage nerf" to the invidual shots - perhaps only the additional shots for the secondary target.
Examples:
  • Primary Target takes more damage then secondary: 100 % for primary target, 35 % / 40 % / 45 % for secondary target
    (Total average damage buff: +35 % / +40 %, +45 %)
If something needs to be done, then this seems like the most reasonable option I have heard. It still allows for ample spam clearance but seems to deal with the abuse being seen in pvp. I too would be concerned about an increased cooldown on the skill, as it would probably bring back the spam in a big way.

To clarify though, I' m not a huge fan of debuffing the damage between two targets. I don't know for sure, but I feel like this would make a fire a will user largely ineffective for purposes of sustained dps against a target.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
03-30-2011, 06:39 AM
I'm not trying to sound like a jerk here, I'm honestly asking these questions because I don't PvP often enough to know the answers.

I do read the PvP forums a lot, in an attempt to actually learn something, and I saw the large number of threads complaining about spam. BFAW is really good at clearing out the spam, so you want that nerfed?

And if BFAW is so good that it becomes "mandatory" is that really a problem either? Aren't there a lot of other powers that are or were also considered "mandatory"?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
03-30-2011, 06:44 AM
This is a bad and overly complicated approach to a problem that actually is not a problem.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
03-30-2011, 07:08 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by MustrumRidcully View Post
[*]Increase the cooldown. This means that teams cannot maintain their doubled damage output for more than 15 seconds or so. It is currently (in the nomenclature used by snix during the great cooldown revamp) a Category 1 skill. It could become a Category 3 skill, similar to Beam Target Subsystems. This would mean 15 second duration, 45 second cooldown, 30 second global cooldown, or even a Category 4 skill (15 second duration, 60 second cooldown, 30 second global). The danger of changing the cooldown category is that spam handling might become somewhat more difficult, but I think a team with two or 3 BFAW users will still have plenty of coverage, and even a single BFAW user will not fair badly. [/list]
I wouldn't worry about a longer cooldown hurting spam-clearance.the other ability I frequently use for spam clearing (though I don't really need to with the new FAW) is EWP, which is on a 45 second cooldown. EWP is harder to set up and doesn't cover as much area, but previous experience is that 2 copies are enough to completely lock out all spam from one enemy, and even one copy can be used frequently enough to get most spam.

Right now I'm running one copy of FAW, and that's definitely enough to clear spam. If the gap between uses was 15 seconds longer I could deal with it, because FAW effectively clears all spam within 10km of me and even with a 45 second cooldown it would still be up faster than fighters and such spawn.

Even if the cooldown were 1 minute I'd still use FAW, but at that point I might need a second AOE ability to cover the gaps (but I've been carrying EWP so I'm still set for that.)




I wouldn't go with reducing damage. FAW has always been good for clearing mines and torpedoes, but it generally wasn't worth replacing a DPS ability to get. It competes with better defensive abilities (like Tac Team and APD) and on many ships BOv2 or HYT2 is the best DPS they are going to get. FAW has to do enough damage to make it worth taking over one of those. It could clear spam before, but it wasn't effective in that role because people were choosing to just not use it at all.

Nerfing damage to the second target while keeping damage to the first high might help, but it might make the ability too weak for clearing spam. One of the problems with old FAW is that when it got split between 5 or 6 targets with shields it would end up not doing appreciable damage to any of them. I'd definitely rather have it remain powerful against frigates and BoPs, but just have it used less frequently.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
03-30-2011, 07:12 AM
How does it work when there is only one target in range?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7
03-30-2011, 07:23 AM
Increasing the CD too much will bring back the Spam issue so I don't think it is a good solution.

Now decreasing the dmg of the additional shots (and only those) might work pretty well. Against mines you don't have to do much dmg and carrier pets will get an increased survivability (might not be such a good idea).

A third solution would be to decrease the accuracy of the additional shots, maybe depending on invested skill points, while the damage stays the same. This way you can still clear mines/torpedos easily because you always hit them. Other pets might get a small increase of their survivability depending on their def-stats. Other Ships will survive longer depending on their defense so escorts might get most of it while it may not change much for cruisers.


Whatever you do the damage to your primary target should always stay the same so no matter what FAW will always be an improvement against multiple enemies.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
03-30-2011, 07:57 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vampir888 View Post
Increasing the CD too much will bring back the Spam issue so I don't think it is a good solution.

Now decreasing the dmg of the additional shots (and only those) might work pretty well. Against mines you don't have to do much dmg and carrier pets will get an increased survivability (might not be such a good idea).

A third solution would be to decrease the accuracy of the additional shots, maybe depending on invested skill points, while the damage stays the same. This way you can still clear mines/torpedos easily because you always hit them. Other pets might get a small increase of their survivability depending on their def-stats. Other Ships will survive longer depending on their defense so escorts might get most of it while it may not change much for cruisers.


Whatever you do the damage to your primary target should always stay the same so no matter what FAW will always be an improvement against multiple enemies.
The other issue with the increased cooldowns is the class the skill is in it shares a global with BOv, and BTXS skills. I mean do you really trust them to fix the cooldown on one skill that is tied to 1 if not 2 of the most used skills and not screw up the other skills.

I personally think crit chance and severity should be nerfed not the base damage given that is not possible because those modifiers are tied to the weapon so I would not be bothered by a damage drop since most spam can be cleared. by 1 DPS
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
03-30-2011, 07:58 AM
Simple solution: Return it to what it was a week ago before the patch. It was fine. The new FAW is broken.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
03-30-2011, 08:40 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peregrine_Falcon View Post
I'm not trying to sound like a jerk here, I'm honestly asking these questions because I don't PvP often enough to know the answers.

I do read the PvP forums a lot, in an attempt to actually learn something, and I saw the large number of threads complaining about spam. BFAW is really good at clearing out the spam, so you want that nerfed?

And if BFAW is so good that it becomes "mandatory" is that really a problem either? Aren't there a lot of other powers that are or were also considered "mandatory"?
The problem is it deals with Spam and Players at the same time, basically. TO clear spam, it would mostly be enough if it generates 10 % or so of the normal beam damage. But it adds 100 %, which is a lot if you deal with a team. Basically, if you see a 5-man team BFAWing, you do see spam cleared, and then the enemy opposition. Aside from self-healing, you don't seem to really need much else in powers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heezdedjim
How does it work when there is only one target in range?
BFAW seems to have no big damage buff, so against a single target, you don't deal extra damage. Higher tiers give you single target extra damage. You don't seem to get extra beams hitting a single target. But I have yet to get absolute confirmation on that.
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