Cryptic Studios Team
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,385
# 1 Mine Launcher Revamp (WIP)
06-29-2012, 02:57 PM
In the current state of space combat, Mine Launcher weapons are generally seen as undesirable. Yes, many of them serve specific purposes for which they can be especially effective. But on a whole, if faced with a decision between equipping a Torpedo Launcher and an associated Bridge Officer skill, or the same for mines, the choice is nearly always Torpedoes.

This is seen as a design imbalance. We want players to feel as though everything they can do in the game, and every piece of equipment they can obtain, has a purpose and utility that is on-par with other choices from those same categories.

In an effort to address this inconsistency, we are currently in the process of considering some rather major changes to the way in which Mine Launchers function. This effort includes shifts in two separate core mechanics:

1) Eliminating "Dispersal Pattern" bridge officer abilities, and rolling their functionality into existing Torpedo abilities.
2) Improving the utility of each separate type of mine, in various ways.


Eliminating Dispersal Patterns
-----------------------------------------------

As mentioned above, this comes down to an inconsistency of choice. The situational use of Mines when in comparison to Torpedo utility causes the vast majority of players to choose, almost unilaterally, to invest in Torpedo bridge officer abilities over Mine-based ones. Which is actually perfectly understandable - you simply get far more bang for your buck from a Torpedo High Yield, than you do from a Dispersal Patten Alpha, due to the larger number of situations in which Torpedoes can potentially outperform Mines.

This situation is exacerbated by the fact that Mine abilities are unlocked one rank higher than Torpedo abilities (Dispersal I is Lieutenant, while Torpedo I is Ensign).

Under this new proposal, the following changes would be seen by players:

1) Dispersal Pattern Alpha (also known as Mine Trail) would be replaced with Torpedo: High Yield on all existing Bridge Officers, and reduced in rank accordingly.
2) Dispersal Pattern Beta (also known as Mine Spread) would be replaced with Torpedo: Spread on all existing Bridge Officers, and reduced in rank accordingly.
3) Torpedo: High Yield abilities would gain the functionality of Dispersal Pattern Alpha in addition to their existing functionality.
4) Torpedo: Spread abilities would gain the functionality of Dispersal Pattern Beta in addition to their existing functionality.
5) Both Torpedo: High Yield and Torpedo: Spread would be renamed to fit their new dual-functionality.

Once this change was made, players that have both a Torpedo and a Mine equipped and activate a Torpedo bridge officer ability would see both of these weapons display their upgraded firing mode. Activating either the Torpedo or the Mine at this point would consume the firing mode, just as happens currently when multiple Torpedoes are equipped.

(Note: Recall that Mines were recently removed from the "Fire All Projectiles" functionality, so accidentally using your Torpedo Spread on a Mine launcher is not likely to occur unless you've altered your keybinds.)

We believe that this change would allow players to again consider Mine Launchers as a more viable equipment alternative for a wider number of tactical scenarios, since it eliminates some of the cost (in the form of lost utility) that comes from making that choice.


Improving Mine Explosion Effects
-----------------------------------------------

The following is our first draft proposal of upgrading the effects of the six core damage types associated with Mine Launchers. These will require further testing and iteration before finalizing their effects, and I'm looking forward to hearing feedback about how each may effect gameplay.

If no mention of damage changes are made, assume that the current damage will remain constant in the new versions of these effects.

In addition to these changes, we're also considering a small increase to the amount of Threat generated by these targets, so that Mines can be used as a valid diversion tactic when facing AI enemies. It's possible that this Threat can be made to scale with the owner's Threat Control skill level, which would add an element of damage mitigation to players invested in this skill (enemies would be shooting something other than you).


PHOTON

- Wider Activation/Chase Radius
- Higher Defense / Sensor Masking

QUANTUM

- Travel Faster once in Chase mode
- Wider Explosion Radius (and explode farther from target)

PLASMA

- Guaranteed plasma DOT (stacks when hit with multiples)
- Small chance to leave behind a Plasma cloud (functions like Warp Plasma)

TRANSPHASIC

- 80% shield bleedthru (starting damage will likely be reduced some)

CHRONITON

- 80% chance to proc movement speed debuff
- Magnitude of debuff reduced from existing version, but stacks when hit with multiple mines

TRICOBALT

- High chance of causing a Spatial Rift which disables ability use within its radius (same as is currently caused by High Yield Tricobalt explosions)
- Each mine in a field has an individual chance of causing this rift, so there's a chance of multiple spawning near a single location.


All of the aforementioned changes have not yet been finalized internally, and there is therefore no timeline available on when (if ever) these changes will eventually make their way to Tribble and/or Holodeck.

One response we've already anticipated is that increasing the viability of Mine Launchers will in turn increase the already existing concerns over excessive entity spam on space maps. This is something we're already taking into consideration. One possible solution that has been considered is reducing the number of mines launched from a single use, while tuning the effects of that mine's utility accordingly. We're not certain at this point that such action will be the correct course to take, nor even whether or not any action will be necessary. These changes may not, in fact, manage to increase the popularity of Mine weapons, which would eliminate the call for additional concern.

All of these proposed changes are largely conceptual at this point, and therefore very subject to change. This also means that it's a perfect time to make your thoughts heard on the subject!
-=-=-=-=-=-
Jeremy Randall
Cryptic - Systems Design
"Play smart!"
Quote:
Originally Posted by Me
Kurland here...
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 745
# 2
06-29-2012, 03:01 PM
Okay, I can see the powers roll-together making mines more useful.

I'm not exactly fond of the "more powerful but fewer" approach, however.
__________________________________________________
"I weary of the chase. Wait for me. I shall be merciful and quick."

Last edited by beezle23; 06-29-2012 at 03:13 PM.
Empire Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 3,020
# 3
06-29-2012, 03:04 PM
TBH this change is another aspect of why I disagree with this dev on just about every revamp that is announced. The main fact is people do not seek out how to actually use mines where as I have and I use these and mines on many characters quite effectively and this just is another nerf to one of the many setups that have been broken due to these unneeded revamps and they should be left alone.

In theory you may have thought this would have been so great... but in retrospect your proposed changes are going to ruin a crap load of my boffs in the process turning where I have some torp spreads into HY's which is not cool.

Last edited by zeuxidemus001; 06-29-2012 at 03:07 PM.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 230
# 4
06-29-2012, 03:07 PM
I really dislike the ideas of making the disable effects (plasma mine warp plasma chance, chroniton proc chance, tricobalt rift) stronger.

Disables, slows and snares have their place in the game, but they are inherently unfun for the person affected. This needs to be balanced to avoid frustrating players. In other words: there is a difference between mechanically balanced as a power and being fun.


Another thing: any chance you could fix the FAW ignoring [Acc] modifers bug before you open the door for more things that need to be cleared via FAW?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 139
# 5
06-29-2012, 03:09 PM
This makes me way more likely to drop a turret in favor of a mine, or at least carry a few mines around for when I'm in a specific role. I don't see how this is a nerf at all, zeux
Cryptic Studios Team
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,385
# 6
06-29-2012, 03:09 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by zeuxidemus001 View Post
TBH this change is another aspect of why I disagree with this dev on just about every revamp that is announced. The main fact is people do not seek out how to actually use mines where as I have and I use these and mines on many characters quite effectively and this just is another nerf to one of the many setups that have been broken due to these unneeded revamps and they should be left alone.

In theory you may have thought this would have been so great... but in retrospect your proposed changes are going to ruin a crap load of my boffs in the process turning where I have some torp spreads into HY's which is not cool.
Your dispersal patterns will be rolled into Torpedo abilities, giving you additional functionality for an ability you already use.

They will also be reduced in rank requirement (if we can figure out how to do it gracefully), allowing you to free up higher-rank boff slots for other uses.

Your mines themselves will lose nothing in terms of existing functionality, and only gain.

How do you lose? What, specifically, do you feel we've overlooked?
-=-=-=-=-=-
Jeremy Randall
Cryptic - Systems Design
"Play smart!"
Quote:
Originally Posted by Me
Kurland here...
Commander
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 460
# 7
06-29-2012, 03:09 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by borticuscryptic View Post
CHRONITON

- 80% chance to proc movement speed debuff
- Magnitude of debuff reduced from existing version, but stacks when hit with multiple mines
I hope you're also taking the Chroniton effects have on PvP into this equation. Even with reduced magnitude, once you get bit by a few, you're likely to be slowed down the whole match depending on how many enemies are dropping chroniton mines (and using chroniton torpedoes/deploying advanced runabouts).

That said, I am very happy to see that mines are finally being looked at. I think I've only used them once, and that was when I started the game and had no idea how terrible they really are.
Joined: January 2010

Fanfiction! ZOMG! Read it now!
kate-wintersbite.deviantart.com/art/0x01-Treachery-293641403
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 735
# 8
06-29-2012, 03:10 PM
[SIZE="4"]
WORD OF CAUTION:
[/SIZE]

Don't make the launchers spam more mines than they currently do! PvP is already unplayable in some situations, because the game lags out when we get too many objects on screen!

If anything, increase the damage substantially, reduce the number of mines dropped, and make them harder to target.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 230
# 9
06-29-2012, 03:12 PM
How exactly is the transition from Dispersal Patterns to Torpedo abilities on exisiting boffs going to look like? What happens to a Dispersal Pattern III in the Cmdr slot? Will this somehow give us the chance to create legacy officers that have HY in a commander slot?
Republic Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 205
# 10
06-29-2012, 03:13 PM
How about removing the mines period? All they serve to do, and all they will continue to serve to do, is deploy spam that clutters the field making it hard to actually find your target, and occasionally make cloaking completely worthless when a Fedball spreads mines everywhere and huddles together like a bunch of scared kittens.

Due to recent legitimate purchases on your account you have been placed on probation, because that makes good business sense, right? right?
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:00 PM.