Since there is a lot of talk about balancing the space skill set of BOFFs and
so on, i want to present the following concept:
The goal here is to streamline the skills in general to easy development,
flatten the power curve between rank 1 and rank 3 skills and provide ships
with a more versatile setup options.
Instead of the old 3 skill ranks, each with 9 individual learned levels,
i suggest to combine them all into a single skill with 10 levels.
I also suggest to reduce the top end, level 10, of the skills to be around the
same cap as a maxed out rank 2 skill as we have them now.
This will flatten the power curve of the skills at the upper end.
Furthermore all skills should be available for all BOFF ranks, this will raise
lower end of the power curve. Creating a much flatter, more progressive power
curve for the skills in general.
I would suggest to rename them into Consoles, and rename the existing consoles
into systems, Engineering Systems, Tactical Systems etc. This would present a
more logical naming scheme in my opinion.
The consoles will have a MK, which ranks from 1 to 4, which corresponds to the
current rank system. A ensign console would be a MK1 console for example.
Each MK of a console after MK1, the basic console, grants a bonus to skills
used on that console of 10%, so MK1=0%, MK2=10%, MK3=20% and MK4=30% bonus
to the skill used.
This also allows consoles as items that provide small extra boni, for example an additional 2%.
Example, Billy slots a cannon rapid fire skill in a mk3 slot, therefore that
rapid fire skill gets a 20% bonus from that console, while Joe slots a
eng team skill in a mk1 console and he gets no bonus from it.
To prevent low level players from raising their BOFFs skill to fast I suggest to
alter the costs for them, to make players have to chose what and how to raise
them while they level up. Something along the lines of 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600,
3200, 6400, 12800, 25600, 51200 skill points for each of the ten levels of
a skill. This way players have a flatter curve in BOFF skill progression, and
since the cost for maxing out a skill is pretty high it also allows some more
progression for level capped payers to max out their BOFF skills.
Converting existing BOFFs to the new system:
I suggest to convert the skills as follows, a rank 1 skill gets into a a level 1
skill of the new system, a rank 2 skill becomes a level 4 skill and a rank 3
skill a level 7 skill.
I have thought about a "revamp" as well, but ultimately think that this isn't really something we can do now anymore. Not on a major scale. I could be wrong.
But my idea is more along these lines:
We simply have too many powers. And half of the powers we have are just doubled up versions of the same power, so you can chain the powers or at least use them more often.
So, my change would be:
Each Bridge Officer has a set of Bridge Officer abilties he can use. Unlike now, we usually allow him to use only _one_ of each, but he can change which one to use when not in Red Alert. (basically like reshuffling BOs.). I would consider renaming these BO abilities/powers "specialities".
The rank of a Bridge Officer determines the rank of a speciality. The skill points invested in a skill affect the powers recharge rate.
Ships have Modification Slots, which allow these specialities to be used. These slots come in Major and Minor variety.
A Major slot basically means that the powers can be used twice as often over as if it's slotted in a Minor Slot. This represents the ability to "double up" powers, reduces the numbers of powers we have, and simplifies the entire global cooldown system.
Each slot also is associated with one career type (Engineering, Science, Tactical and sometimes Universal).
A ship can slot each bridge officer speciality only once.
Tier 1: 4 Minor
Tier 1.5: 1 Major, 2 Minor
Tier 2: 1 Major, 4 Minor
Tier 2.5: 2 Major, 2 Minor
Tier 3: 1 Major, 5 Minor
Tier 3.5: 2 Major, 3 Minor
Tier 4: 2 Major, 5 Minor
Tier 4.5: 3 Major, 3 Minor
Tier 5: 3 Major, 5 Minor
Tier 5.5: 3 Major, 4 Minor
The distribution of the slots to classes depends on the ship class.
Star Cruiser: 2 Major Engineering, 3 Minor Science, 2 Minor Tactical, 1 Minor Engineering
Assault Cruiser: 2 Major Engineering, 3 Minor Tactical , 2 Minor Science, 1 Minor Engineering
Assault Cruiser Refit: 2 Major Engineering, 1 Major Tactical, 2 Minor Science, 1 Minor Engineering
Advanced Heavy Cruiser Retrofit: 2 Major Engineering, 1 Major Tactical, 1 Minor Tactical, 1 Minor Science, 1 Minor Engineering
Vo'Quv: 1 Major Science, 1 Major Engineering, 1 Minor Engineering, 3 Minor Science, 2 Minor Tactical
Research Science Vessel: 1 Major Science, 3 Minor Science, 1 Minor Tactical, 1 Minor Engineering
Escort: 1 Major Tactical, 2 Minor Tactical, 1 Minor Science, 1 Minor Engineering
Science Vessel Refit: 2 Major Science, 1 Minor Engineering, 1 Minor Tactical
Exploration Cruiser: 2 Major Enginering, 1 Minor Engineering, 2 Minor Sciene, 2 Minor Tactical
Exploration Cruiser Refit: 2 Major Engineering, 1 Major Science, 1 Minor Engineering, 2 Minor Tactical
So, instead of having 12 BO powers at Tier 5, people would have between 7 to 9. None of these would be duplicates, each power would be a unique selection.
You still would have all the Captain Powers you had before, of course, plus some Devices, but I think overall this would make the number of powers more managable.