Ensign
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 23
Right now, there really is zero reason to run anything other than an escort in an STF. Specifically, a tac/escort. You'll very rarely die (pretty much never in a decent team now they fixed the critting torpedoes on one shot doom Negh'vars had), and do the most DPS possible to make the optionals and finish.

Sci's pretty useless. Shield stripping? No shield resistances, so escorts do it WAY better, and aren't then useless vs other things. Defensive debuffs/heals? Well, since you cannot really die to anything anyway, fairly useless (escorts can run HE1/TSS2, enough to cross heal sufficiently). Offensive debuffs? Well, they can't run AP:B3/AP:B2, so they're awful at this compared to escorts. Sustained damage wise, sci ships are pretty awful.

Cruisers are pretty useless as well. Less damage, and the extra healing capability doesn't help because escort can already cross heal enough (assuming no one is derp derp and not using 2xEPtS). As for cruiser tankiness, cruisers have a nice advantage in hull tanking, but for shield tanking, they aren't that much better as the extra defence score of escorts reduces damage by a lot (I assume because the borg have awful accuracy - going from say 40% hitting to 30% hitting is only 10% more defence, but 25% damage reduction, which with healing might give three times the survival time).

But hey, cruisers can make it up in the hull tanking right? No. They can't, because the borg torpedoes are pumped up hard to be able to punch straight through shields, which means on hull, even for a cruiser, it's likely to be a one hit kill. Shield tanking is vastly, vastly superior in STFs due to the massive kinetic spike damage, vs relatively low energy damage.

So how to fix it?

1) Add shield resistances, more shields, and less hull strength (aim for an escort to take about the same length of time to kill it as before, maybe a bit more without sci support). This will a) make sci shield stripping abilities actually worth something, and b) nerf Attack Pattern: Beta, which is just the most obscenely powerful buff in STFs at the moment (first guy using AP:B3 gives 50% extra damage to everyone hitting the target - not 50% of base, 50% of actual damage).

2) Give borg ships more energy weapons, and tone down the torpedoes. This will shift the balance of tanking ability away from escorts towards cruisers, by lessening kinetic damage. It will also reduce the amount of annoying one shot kills (particularly from torpedoes you normally can't see).

3) Give weapons to the transformers and make it so you can't shoot the gateway with impunity. This will give healing more of a role - right now, for the vast majority of an STF, you just sit there and shoot at something without moving or needing to heal. That's also really, really dull.

The results of these pretty simple changes:

- Shield stripping abilities cease to be useless.
- Aceton beam, extend shields, and other engineering abilities becomes a lot more useful, and, by extension, cruisers.
- Cruisers become the most effective tanks again for STFs.
- Science debuff abilities such as tyken's rift become more useful (drop shields -> easy kill on spheres, for example).
- Less time being bored shooting at stationary targets that don't shoot back.

More diversity is a good thing. People would play more other toons and ship types if they weren't downright inferior for endgame PvE.

Costs would be adding a few abilities, adding a few beam arrays, and doing a bit of testing. The code is all there. Don't worry too much about getting balance perfect, since it's right now pretty awful (no reason to fly anything other than escort). Ideally, add it as a new difficulty to avoid whining about making it harder for the escorts, who would likely be a little weaker (maybe Expert or something, ideally with heroic that's even harder above that ). That might take some more coding though, dunno how hard it is to do a CnP and add an extra button.

Oh, and if they played other toons and ship types, you'd sell more cruisers, sci ships, and carriers. So it'd make you money, Cryptic/PWE.

Thoughts? I'd prefer a complete overhaul of STFs, since the design of them has some serious issues, but that isn't going to happen, so I wanted to suggest a low cost way to at least make other ship types more comparable in utility and promote diversity (eg: right now, not running AP:B3/B2 on an escort is always sub-optimal in STFs).
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 275
# 2
06-23-2012, 09:30 AM
gosh... so much text...

All classes are fun to play in STF, just the roles are different.

sci is great for sensor scan with 125 aux power... I use karfi for it, as it dishes enough dps.

engi is great for survavivability and a competent engi in a cruiser can make your life a lot easier with heals/extend shields.
Commander
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 399
# 3
06-23-2012, 09:49 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by abcde123123 View Post
engi is great for survavivability and a competent engi in a cruiser can make your life a lot easier with heals/extend shields.
That's one of the problems in STFs ... it's easier to go BIG BOOM ... and destroy anything in sight in seconds, before it even has the chance to attack you.

I play engi/cruiser a lot, and I like tanking, but actually I can ignore my mates the whole time and just try to hold aggro on anything in sight and heal myself ... and still my mates who have aggro on the other side of the show don't explode ... makes me a bit sad :/
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 104
# 4
06-23-2012, 09:54 AM
I've done plenty of space STFs with carriers that went just fine.

I seriously don't get this "If you aren't playing a tac/escort in STFs, you aren't playing right."
Ensign
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 23
# 5
06-23-2012, 10:16 AM
To those replying: Do you pug it all the time, or do you run with competent groups who cross heal even when playing escorts? That makes a big difference as to your perception.

@abcde123123:
The Kar'fi is rather a special case. It is a carrier with good tactical slots, good sci, an extra weapon/tac console slot, and it can mount cannons.

Quote:
engi is great for survavivability and a competent engi in a cruiser can make your life a lot easier with heals/extend shields.
Except that even in a party of all tac/escorts, no one's going to die if people are competent. So if you already have enough healing, why transfer damage output to healing?

@kalavier:
Quote:
I seriously don't get this "If you aren't playing a tac/escort in STFs, you aren't playing right."
It's not that you can't play anything else and do fine, but that anything else is sadly sub-optimal. I'd like to be able to play different setups without feeling like I'm gimped or letting the team down.
Empire Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,202
# 6
06-23-2012, 11:02 AM
Or make the "elite" stf truely elite instances. Now, any pug can do it easily. Even the nice cure space was nerfed so that a 12yo kid clicking like crazy on the "fire all weapon button" constantly can win the game.
Commander
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 399
# 7
06-23-2012, 12:11 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by captgriffen View Post
To those replying: Do you pug it all the time, or do you run with competent groups who cross heal even when playing escorts? That makes a big difference as to your perception.
I pug only, did it premade only once.
When it fails (which happened not very often) its mostly due to really bad play of more than one player.

@kalavier:
Quote:
I seriously don't get this "If you aren't playing a tac/escort in STFs, you aren't playing right."
It's absolutely fine to play the way you want, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it (as said, I like playing eng/cruiser).
But from the mechanics side of any STF, everything can be boiled down to a simple rule:
Shoot the hell out of the Cube.
And Escorts are in Advantage on this shipwise.

Last edited by thoroon; 06-23-2012 at 12:17 PM.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 275
# 8
06-23-2012, 01:21 PM
well...

I only used public q once in last 2 months. when we didn't find another two in my premade team channel. now its private games mostly since we recruited and trained enuff folks we only need 1 or 2 from certain stf channel.

our latest results...
https://dl.dropbox.com/u/21529625/STO/ISE3.jpg

As for argument, op was saying "you can only use escorts in STF". and I contradicted "no, karfi is great fun" and I personally own a brel as well and brel is a serious fun

As for cruisers, there were one guy in Bortas in one of our ISE games, so while 4 of us were killing the cube he took care of the gate. On his own. That's about 1.2M damage in roughly 30 seconds. Unfortunately he left too quickly so I didn't catch him to pick his build details.

So my point is there are good captains and ships and builds out there, it's only a matter of finding what works for you and playing it.

I got 10 toons, and keep 1 ship per captain. tacs get escorts, sci get carrier, engis get cruisers. that way you don't have to jump ships and retrain every 2 weeks...
Survivor of Romulus
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 4,593
# 9
06-23-2012, 01:38 PM
5 tac escorts will USUALLY fail a Stf

you need the cruiser the sci and the carrier to carry on while you are show boating
and you know it
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,888
# 10
06-23-2012, 01:54 PM
I haven't tested it, but it seems like to me I do more sustained DPS on my Eng Vo'Quv using Brotlh BOP refit then on my Fed Tac in a Defiant retro.

It also lets me be mmore useful since in adition to sustained DPS I can heal others and use GW and TBR to keep nanite spheres, Negvar/raptors, and probes away.

My KDF Tac in a Vor'cha Retro using DHCs up front seems to be pretty good for sustained dps to, and doesn't die as much and does support healing too.

As for other ships like Galaxy, Star Cruiser, Oddysey, and non carrier sci ships, they do seem to be lacking a little perormance in STF.
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