Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 1 Re-Work Scramble Sensors
05-29-2012, 11:58 AM
Ever Since PW/Cryptic Studios allowed for Weapons to miss their Target I have wondered why Scramble Sensors has not been re-worked as a defensive ability to decrease the accuracy of enemy weapons.
Id like to propose the re-working of Scramble Sensors to this:

Profession: Science
Locale: Space

Game Description: Scramble Sensors hampers the enemy from accurately targeting you or an ally for a short duration of time. The strength of the jam is increased in effectiveness based on current auxiliary power level and skill. The stronger the jam, the longer an enemys sensors will be hampered.

Detailed Information

Used by: Captain
Target: Enemy
System: Sensor Array
Ability Type: De-buff
Activation: 0.5 seconds
Range: 10 kilometers

Starts 15 second system cool-down on:

oCharged Particle Burst
oMask Energy Signature
oJam Target Sensors
Duplicate ability cool-down: 40 seconds

Modified by:
oSkills
Starship Countermeasure Systems
Subsystems Power Level: Auxiliary
Trained by:
Rank I & II: Bridge Officer Trainer
Rank III: Captain Training (requires Starship Sensor Array Rank 6)
Rank I: Ensign: -50% Starship Targeting Systems for 08 Seconds, placate for 2 seconds
Rank II: Lieutenant: -50% Starship Targeting Systems for 10 Seconds, placate for 2 seconds
Rank III: Lt Commander: -50% Starship Targeting Systems for 12 Seconds, placate for 2 seconds
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
05-30-2012, 05:30 PM
I don't PvP, but I understand that people in PvP don't like this ability. PvP'ers are generally against any kind of Crowd Control ability. In this case, at least as I understand it, it doesn't really stop you from doing anything. It just makes you have to pay attention to what you are doing or use Science Team to clear it.

From a PvE perspective, though, all I can say is, "Are you insane??????"

Take a scenario where there are four ships together. With your proposed change, I would cast it on one of them, and it would reduce the damage they are all doing, on average, by 50% for its duration by making them miss half the time. That means, that instead of taking 100% damage from four ships, I am taking the equivalent of 100% damage from two of the ships until the effect wears off.

By contrast, as it works now, I target that ship in the middle and fire Scramble Sensors. When it hits, no only can they not target me for the duration, but they actually target each other. So not only am I taking 0 damage from them for the duration, they are actually damaging each other.

Why in the world would I want to change taking 0 damage while they damage each other for all four of them doing half damage to me?

My only complaint is that it does nothing on a lone target (at least in PvE). It should at least work like Jam Sensors on a lone target. But if balance means that I give up an effect on a lone target for the chance to take zero damage while my opponents damage themselves, so be it!

Your change would be a colossal nerf to PvE because people don't want to use Science Team or want to have to be aware of what is going on in PvP. No thanks.

Edit: Changed "Sensor Scan" to "Scramble Sensors." I even knew I was going to do that, and still missed it! LOL
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
05-31-2012, 04:15 AM
Debuffing Accuracy is strong. The synergy between your proposal and the Klingon Honor Guard Shields would be the stuff of nightmare fuel, especially, when weapons with ACC x 2 are close to being virtually mandatory in PvP already.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
05-31-2012, 05:00 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by corsair114 View Post
Debuffing Accuracy is strong. The synergy between your proposal and the Klingon Honor Guard Shields would be the stuff of nightmare fuel, especially, when weapons with ACC x 2 are close to being virtually mandatory in PvP already.
It is more like [ACC X3] being madatory.

Ok guys, two really good points there about PVE and PVP. Now, what if it were changed to do exactly what it does already but also add a Stealth Buff to the "caster" or user? In this way, the enemy ships would target each-other and in PVP, the user wouldn't imediately be re-targeted while the effect is still active...?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
05-31-2012, 05:39 AM
Missing targets was possible in the game from pretty much day 1, I think. What was changed is the visual display of misses.

I think it would make sense to make Scramble Sensors into an accuracy debuff - what value would be balanced is another question. That said, I suspect that hit/miss ratios are already "capped" in some way or form in the existing system. (It may be a 25 % hit chance is the lowest possible, I'd have to check the dev comments on the accuracy/defense system again to verify.)

Crowd Control abilities are not per se bad for PvP. In fact, they are kinda needed to make PvP more interesting, otherwise it would really be only about who can deal the most damage in the shortest amount of time vs the most healing in the shortest amount of time.
But the challenge is finding the right "fun/unfun" ratio. I would say that missing a bit more often is not as unfun as chaotic target switches. The latter means I lose control, and that is very "unfun" for player.

For PvP purposes, Scramble should also act as a debuff for healers in some way (something that doesn't exist yet for the game AFAIK). Currently, slowing down healer reaction and effectiveness is one of the main purposes of Scramble Sensors. (Scramble forces a healer to either reconfirm his target, or it leads him to heal the wrong target, possibly even an enemy).

Changing Scramble to an area Jam Sensors (Placate) that conceals _all_ targets, including friendlies, could also be interesting. And would also mean that single NPCs are still meaningful affected by the power, which I think is the biggest flaw of the power for PVE purposes - it's only useful against enemy groups. In single player PvE, that means pretty much exclusively Frigates and Shuttles or Fighters - the most harmless enemy you can fight...
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
05-31-2012, 08:05 AM
Time to implement PVP, and PVE versions off the same skills imo.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7
06-01-2012, 01:33 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teleon View Post
It is more like [ACC X3] being madatory.

Ok guys, two really good points there about PVE and PVP. Now, what if it were changed to do exactly what it does already but also add a Stealth Buff to the "caster" or user? In this way, the enemy ships would target each-other and in PVP, the user wouldn't imediately be re-targeted while the effect is still active...?
If you consider this, "Exclude Scramble sensors from pvp", and I am sure similar threads, people are already complaining about Scramble Sensors being spammed in PvP. Imagine the outcry if it also suddenly also made the opposing team (at least, to those ships that are hit by the effect) also disappear. I just don't think it would fly for PvPers.

Personally, I think it should make your sensors (targeting) think friends are enemies and enemies are friends and leave the rules of engagement the same (i.e., you can only attack that which your targeting systems think are enemies and only aid that which your targeting system thinks are friends). I would add as a balance that, if an affected ship is attacked by the enemy, the effect should wear off on that individual ship either upon being attacked or after a set amount of damage is received. After all, if your friends start shooting at you, you will become aware of a problem and fix it. The time it takes to recalibrate your sensors would account for the damage received, but I suspect people would be more likely to go with the idea of it breaking upon being attacked. You could still heal/buff yourself, and you could still clear it with Science Teams.

Unfortunately if people are complaining about how it works now, I don't think that would be accepted any more than your idea might be. Thus instead, I would suggest that it work the way it does now, only make enemy ships unattackable for the duration. This would make it conceptually like a narrow silence or interrupt in a magic-based game, shutting down the ability to do hostile attacks for a time without incapacitating other abilities. People would still complain that they could heal/buff an enemy by accident or that it slows down healers by making them have to be more careful about targeting, but I don't consider that a valid complaint. They can still do it with careful targeting, and it can still be cleared with Science Team. As a balance, however, I would add in the idea that it would break individually on targets that are attacked or that receive a certain amount of damage. This would be consistent with the idea that your sensors are scrambled, and you cannot trust what they are indicating as friends and foes, but it makes it actually work as a means of stopping damage for a time, and it even makes it work for a single target (even a single target's sensors are scrambled, making it impossible to fire at you for a time).

Anyway, that is my 2 cents.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
06-01-2012, 02:22 PM
Quote:
Time to implement PVP, and PVE versions off the same skills imo.
I really hated the idea at first, because it seemed to mean twice the work, and admitting failure to deliver good design. But the truth is, Cryptic has not managed to maintain good balance anyway, and trying to serve two masters - PvE and PvP is bound to fail as long as PvE and PvP remain as different as they are. And I don't see that changing.

Of course, some things are broken in PvE and PvP. If, say, BFAW delivers too much damage, it's a problem either way. But if Scramble Sensors is extremely annoying for players in PvP but only so-so in PvE, you clearly have different requirements for both and may not be able to find a one-size-fits-all solution.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
06-01-2012, 07:18 PM
Honestly, when it comes to PvP, it's always best to design for it primarily, then build your PvE around the considerations made for PvP.

Going the other way around tends to lead to a situation where your PvP balance for skills is different from PvE, leading to all kinds of additional balance headaches. That said, that ship has already jumped to warp for this game, so the devs are in the unenviable position of having to balance the powers going both ways because it would be a massive undertaking to go back and re-balance the PvE game content for PvP-balanced skills.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10 010110101001
06-01-2012, 07:23 PM
Yes, weapons have always missed , it was the visual that was overhauled. Jam Sensors does this allready to some degree of what you are trying to accomplish. The problem is as soon as the "marked" target takes any damage the buff is "wiped" off.

http://www.stowiki.org/Ability:_Jam_Sensors

Rather Than - Game Description: Jam Targeting Sensors prevents the enemy from targeting you, but delivering damage to the target can break the jam. The strength of the jam is increased in effectiveness based on current auxiliary power level and skill. The stronger the jam, the more damage the target will take before detecting you.

It should work like other debuffs in that you must use the skills corosponding "Team" ability to remove rather than damge to Target removing it.
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