Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
Some short, concise thoughts about the skill revamp....

1. Harder to have multiple areas in which a character gains the ability to train BOs.
2. Two progression paths (ground and space), one pool of points. This is no different than Holodeck...but I was hoping that Cryptic would come up with another system that did not share points.
3. Hybrid specs are a thing of the past. Escorts are going to have to specialize in damage...and will take a hit in resists and some of the other special powers. Sci officers are the hardest hit -- especially KDF Sci officers that fly BoPs.
4. KDF, as a faction, is penalized under this new skill system. The idea of putting a stealth skill in the tree for cloaking...and on top of that making it an expensive upper tier skill, means that most KDF are going to spec into that because the cloak is a core element of most KDF vessels. Feds can bypass this skill and invest those points elsewhere...KDF can't afford that. In a way...that is a double whammy on the KDF in that KDF ships already give something up for that cloak...so if you don't spec into it to begin with...it becomes a liability that not only makes your ship weaker, but in which since the cloak is designed into your ship, your ship had to give up something to have that cloak in the first place.
5. Although by definition, since this particular change affects all players equally, the "edge" in the game is not going to be skills...it is going to be ships and equipment -- especially those special consoles that fill a particular gap that a skill used to fill. I think it is obvious where that is going....it is all about business models and profit at that point.
6. By streamlining the skill tree...the door opens wider for "cookie cutter" builds. It won't take long for the fan base to come up with optimal builds. This is a normal thing in most MMOs...but under the "old" skill system, I think it was somewhat more difficult to implement a cookie cutter build -- there were just too many variables.
7. Although the skill tree is now more accomodating to a player who switches out ships...the truth is that the supporting skills that go with certain ships will still prompt a player to respec every time they change. For instance, in the KDF, you will have Sci officers flying possibly BoPs, Carriers, or the Varnus. Because the capabilities of each ship are different, a different set of top-end skills are going to be used. One example -- a carrier's turn rate does not support using a Tachyon Beam of any sort...but the Varanus or the BoP might. If a KDF sci officer is flying a carrier...he or she probably will not need projectile skills (unless those skills can buff the BoPs and Fighters the carrier deploys....last I know that was not the case).

Things I do like so far...

1. I like the streamlining of the weapons. That opens up an entirely new tactical dimension for space battles that could prove interesting.
2. I like the idea of not specing into a particular ship class. I have lost count of the times I have respecced just so that I could fly one of my other ships...however, see number 7, above.

Suggestions....

1. Since there is a dual progression functionality in the game...then why have one pool of points that is shared between both? Set up two pools, one for each.
2. Relook the skills with an eye towards whether or not a particular skill set up punishes a certain class or faction. The most blatant of these is the stealth skill, which I think punishes the entire KDF. Another might be the distribution of higher-end skills for SCI players.
3. Take a look at the number of levels needed to "max" a particular skill - especially at the higher levels. i would suggest instead of nine levels...make it seven levels for the highest tier, and eight for the tier right under that...but keep the "max" values the same. For those skills that provide a flat value addition to a particular function, like Aux power, then institute ranges....like this:

Level 1: 1-2
Level 2: 3-4
Level 3: 5
Level 4: 6
Level 5: 7
Level 6: 8
Level 7: 9

This provides more points that can be used at a lower level, or possibly to supplement other upper-tier skills.

4. Along with the reduced skill costs at the higher levels (at least for maxxing), add another space skill tree that is character-class specific. This skill tree will have skills that specifically enhance the space-based skills that particular class obtains as they level. This will offset the higher proliferation of points from making the two top tiers one and two levels lower (see item 3)

5. Along the same lines as #4, add a skill tree -- single line -- that is faction-specific with new space skills that are uniquely either KDF or Federation.

6. If you add two new skill trees as suggested in items 4 and 5, then provide more skill points. Simply lowering the number of levels at the higher tiers will not be enough offset to support two new skill lines.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
11-06-2011, 06:16 AM
Bump, since it is the weekend...and this post was written fairly late Saturday Night
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
11-06-2011, 06:49 AM
I generally agree with your points. Point 2 though is currently valid on tribble, but Heretic has said that it is intended to have separate pools for ground and space already.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
11-06-2011, 07:28 AM
I only agree with your first point.

We only have half of the skill revamp. We're missing the ground skill revamp, which will give us two different pools of points to work with.

I also disagree that Starship Stealth is a nerf for KDF ships. Cloak is only important for Birds of Prey, who may or may not want to invest in this skill depending on their Auxiliary power level.

Concerning Hybrid specs and it generally being more difficult on your skill points, I also disagree. You don't have to spend 9 in every skill you want. Spend only 9 points in skills that are critical to your build. If you spend 7 points in important aspects of your build then that's still a +30 bonus, out of +33. You're only losing +3 bonus and that's not much at all, but you're saving a lot of skill points this way. For any skill you want to dabble in, such as science resists, you can spend 3 points for a +20 bonus... hardly marginal for such a small investment. This is what I did and it wasn't hard at all to get everything I wanted, plus I had some points left over for a little bit of Ground stuff. You can also skip putting points in the Starship Batteries skill, as at 9 points it only doubles the length of the bonus (10 seconds to 20 seconds for a lot of skill points) -- I mostly only use Batteries to fix disabled systems, anyway. These points you can spend elsewhere, such as on Ground skills.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
11-06-2011, 07:46 AM
Killing,

With all due respect...your numbers are a bit off...or rather, you are minimalizing the issues.

You are intermixing "points" with "levels". For instance - using your example of batteries -- speccing all nine levels of batteries is only 1,350 points (150 per level, nine levels)...which at the tier 4 skill level, is only two levels (each level is 600 points) and at the Tier 5 level is only ONE level (750 points per level)...so let's consider batteries for a moment, and why this is important...

at level nine in Batteries, a Defiant (or actuallly any ship...but Defiants tend to use this a lot...) will get 20 seconds of rapid movement and thrust from a single engine battery.

at level nine in Batteries, a Sci Officer who pops an Aux battery will get 20 seconds of 125 Auxiliary power to play with vs. 10....

In both cases...you are looking at potential PVP "I Win" buttons for a measly investment of 1,350 points....popping an engine battery in conjunction with evasive manuevers or Omega is an automatic disengagement button that allows a player to break contact cleanly, not to mention that their innate defense goes straight through the roof.

And for Aux batteries...well...a Sci can do a LOT of damage with 20 seconds of 125 Sci Aux power. I know...because my Sci officer is already drooling at the damage he can wreak with that. For a Sci...that Aux power equates to damage output, holds, duration and effectiveness of things like scamble sensors, etc...for FREE! No trade off other than a cooldown and an expenditure of a battery...

And for the idea that the Stealth/Starship Sensors skills are not direct nerfs of KDF players/ships...name one other skill that directly affects ANY Federation core unique ship ability as a direct nerf in the new skill tree. You can't...because it does not exist.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
11-06-2011, 07:58 AM
It doesn't matter if it doesn't exist, because it's not important for most KDF ships. But that is only my opinion, and freely admit as much.

Concerning batteries, its 10 seconds versus 20. I won't argue that ten seconds can be crucial, and will in some battles, but if you're worried about those skill points I don't think it's going to make or break you in the vast majority of engagements. Even so I still found it not difficult at all to spend 7 ranks in Starship Batteries, giving me 19 seconds out of 20. Also how often does your Science ship not run with max or near-max Auxiliary, instead relying on 2-minute cooldown batteries? Some builds perhaps, and maybe those builds will love the new skill.

I'm also not sure what's confusing about my terminology. It's a lot easier to convey what level the skill is than how many points are spent, especially since each level of skills have different costs for each rank. Maybe I should say "rank" instead of "point" but I think it's pretty obvious what I mean.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7
11-06-2011, 09:59 AM
Quote:
5. Although by definition, since this particular change affects all players equally, the "edge" in the game is not going to be skills...it is going to be ships and equipment -- especially those special consoles that fill a particular gap that a skill used to fill. I think it is obvious where that is going....it is all about business models and profit at that point.
This...the Cookie cutter design is PW's trademark almost.
If you try a few of PW other F2P games, you'll see most are like this.
All template type designs, with little variation and all the things that really make your guy/creature/ship whatever really good or unique having to be bought from the ingame store. The games are simple, very uncomplicated and easy for the novice to figure out. But, to many, (like me) that makes them a little boring after a while due to a lack of a real challenge.
There is some form of "Dilithium" that needs to be bought in game in almost every one as well.

I'm getting a little concerned...
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
11-06-2011, 11:11 AM
welcome to " Free to Play " or more accuritly Pay to Win
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
11-06-2011, 11:18 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZTempest
Killing,

With all due respect...your numbers are a bit off...or rather, you are minimalizing the issues.

You are intermixing "points" with "levels". For instance - using your example of batteries -- speccing all nine levels of batteries is only 1,350 points (150 per level, nine levels)...which at the tier 4 skill level, is only two levels (each level is 600 points) and at the Tier 5 level is only ONE level (750 points per level)...so let's consider batteries for a moment, and why this is important...

at level nine in Batteries, a Defiant (or actuallly any ship...but Defiants tend to use this a lot...) will get 20 seconds of rapid movement and thrust from a single engine battery.

at level nine in Batteries, a Sci Officer who pops an Aux battery will get 20 seconds of 125 Auxiliary power to play with vs. 10....

In both cases...you are looking at potential PVP "I Win" buttons for a measly investment of 1,350 points....popping an engine battery in conjunction with evasive manuevers or Omega is an automatic disengagement button that allows a player to break contact cleanly, not to mention that their innate defense goes straight through the roof.

And for Aux batteries...well...a Sci can do a LOT of damage with 20 seconds of 125 Sci Aux power. I know...because my Sci officer is already drooling at the damage he can wreak with that. For a Sci...that Aux power equates to damage output, holds, duration and effectiveness of things like scamble sensors, etc...for FREE! No trade off other than a cooldown and an expenditure of a battery...

And for the idea that the Stealth/Starship Sensors skills are not direct nerfs of KDF players/ships...name one other skill that directly affects ANY Federation core unique ship ability as a direct nerf in the new skill tree. You can't...because it does not exist.
First, cloak is not changed. The stealth skill is only a boost to it. You don't need it, it's optional. Your cloak won't be weaker if you don't put points into the stealth skill. I know this because we tested it. And if you want to get technical, there is no other skill that directly buffs a FED advantage like this skill does for the KDF.

I play KDF, more than FED and I say it's gonna cause a huge uproar from FED captains. They complain enough now about how hard it is to kill BoP's...imagine how they will complain when they have to take 9 ranks in detection to have a chance to detect one who took 9 ranks in stealth.

So, sure, it "directly affects" KDF core ship ability...but it's a bonus, not a requirement.

As for batteries....who cares? I run at 125 AUX now, and still manage to deal decent weapon damage. (sitting at 95 weapon power). This won't change SCI officers. My main FED is a Sci, and has been AUX spec'd and played as such since launch. I don't need batteries, and any decent Sci captain won't either.

As for Escorts, let them run. They can't deal damage when running away, and if they are running they are wounded. Must be doing something right. What is the difference in this and battle cloak? You cloak and get away...they pop battery and get away. OH....cloak can be used every 20 seconds where batteries are 2 minutes.

Yeah..not seeing the issue here. Besides, that 1350 put into batteries will be felt elsewhere.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
11-06-2011, 12:09 PM
Stalker...

You are missing a key element of information. I will elaborate.

If Stealth existed as a stand-alone skill, you would be absolutely correct -- it would be a buff for ships that possess cloak. However, the skill is NOT stand-alone, and because it isn't, it is actually a negative.

This might be a bit complicated, but here we go:

You are right that Stealth BUFFS cloak. Fine. We agree.

What you are leaving out is the skill "Starship Sensors" which is a skill absolutely anyone who knows how to play this game is going to spec into.

Starship Sensors, in and of itself degrades the cloak. If you leave your cloak at "baseline" with NO points put into stealth, then the player who will have points in Starship Sensors will degrade or render your cloak useless.

So...we have a skill that everyone is going to take -- Starship Sensors. They will take it because it provides resistances to Jam and Scramble sensors, which are key PvP and PvE skills, and they will take it because it ups your chance of "seeing" a cloaked ship. That means that -- and I will bold this so that you can understand exactly where I am coming from -- in order to maintain current parity regarding cloak in a tactical situation a KDF player will by neccesity HAVE to spec into stealth because the other player WILL have Starship Sensors. Federation players can ignore Stealth -- they don't use it and most don't see a need for it...but for a KDF player, cloak and stealth are a key part of the "tactics doctrine" that is used far more often than Feds. The bottom line is that the KDF player is going to have to spec into Starship Sensors as well..which means that the counterbalancing points spent in Stealth have to be spent there if the KDF player is using their cloak for survivability.

As I pointed out in another thread on this issue, this represents a potential 7% xp point edge to the Federation due to the fact that in order to do nothing more than maintain current parity of the cloak...KDF players will have to spec into it in order to offset probable points that are allocated to Starship Sensors.

And that is why the skill revamp unduly affects KDF players the most. Technically...although Fed and KDF players have exactly the same number of points...the fact that a KDF player is going to have to spec into Stealth as well as Starship Sensors in order to retain parity means that the Federation player will technically have MORE points to distribute to other skills that the KDF player cannot afford due to the fact that some points - not even max, but some, have to spent there to offset a skill that absolutely everyone is going to have...and this applies mainly to the KDF player base.
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