Since we recived the Vesta there have been a lot of posts from people who want to improve the DPS of their Science ships. Some have requested aux turrets to go with the aux cannons on their Vesta. Some have wanted aux cannons with different damage types and some have simply wanted to fit dual cannons to pre existing science ships.
I am rather tired of these threads. I don't think we need more cannons on our science ships. But I do think that science ships need some attention. From the player base as a whole, who seem to have a lot of strange ideas about science ships, and from cryptic, who seem to have a lot of strange ideas about how to balance them.
My opinion is just one more in the ocean of opinions though and my perspective upon this is as likely to be biased as any one elses. So that you can form your own opinion about my opinion, hear is where I am coming from. Skip the next section if you really don?t give a hoot.
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I am a long time player. I primarily use a science captain. I have 42 boffs to ensure I have the right combination of abilities to make the most out of which ever ship I may be flying and for what ever purpose. I know and have tested all the abilities, weapons and skills in the game. I know how they actually perform as well as the often erroneous impressions their descriptions give.
Ships that I used a lot in the past:
Advanced Research Vessel Retrofit
Long Range Science Vessel Retrofit
Multi-Vector Advanced Escort
Ships that I use a lot now:
Fleet Tactical Escort Retrofit
Chimera Heavy Destroyer
Multi-Mission Reconnaissance Explorer
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Now the first problem I think we need to deal with is the misconception a lot of players have regarding what science ships are.
Science ships are not the ship equivalent of healers. If you relay want to set up a ship in a healing role you can do it in a science ship with a leaning toward engineering abilities, but a cruiser with a leaning toward science abilities will do this a lot better. (science support abilities only go up to Lt.Com level, Engineering ones go up to commander.)
Turn rate wise Science ships fit between escorts and cruisers. Some science ships have better turn rates then some escorts, and some cruisers have better turn rates then some science ships.
Damage wise Science ships are at the bottom of the heap. Both cruisers and Escorts can be set up to out DPS Science ships. The only exception being the Vesta, which can be set up as if it were an escort, though you may wish to ask yourself why you are doing this rather then simply using an escort, which will do the job an awful lot better.
Tanking in a science ship is quite interesting. The shield modifiers on science ships are as good they get. Some have decent hull points as well, others have very little hull to speak of. Set up to maximise the advantage of their shields some science ships can out tank cruisers.
So just what are science ships? I would like to say they fit a niche between escorts and cruisers. Flying an Advanced research vessel is a lot like flying a cruiser, while flying a long range science vessel can be a lot like flying an escort. But I am not sure science ships realy do fit between crusers and escorts. They are simply an odd bunch.
I think the role of science ships is meant to be defined by their science abilities, rather then by the statistics of the ships themselves. But science abilities cant do damage without encroaching on the role of escorts, and they cant defend against damage without encroaching upon the role of cruisers so many science abilities are reduced to the role of gimmicks, or have lengthy cool downs imposed upon them. Lets look at some examples.
Tachyon Beam. Honestly if this did what it said on the tin it relay would be too powerful. If you run elite STFs you know how troublesome tachyon beams that work as advertised can be. But those a player can produce really only tickle. The damage you can squeeze out of a tachyon beam simply doesn't approach the amount equivalent shield healing abilities can restore (or make up for the DPS you loose by pumping power out of weapons and into aux). Science ships may wish to use it as they need every little bit of damage they can do to keep up with cruisers and escorts but leave this one off ships with fewer science ability slots.
Tractor Beam. Fun, but not really useful in PVE: Use tractor on ship, kill ship. Kill a bunch more ships while tractor is on cool down. Then repeat. See how step two shows step one to have been unnecessary? In PVP you may as well leave an ability slot empty. Any one who doesn't have a polarized hull or attack pattern omega to render a tractor useless probably wouldn't have been a challenge in the first place.
Tykens Rift. Did you ever train a boff with two tractor beams and two tyken abilities and laugh meniachly as you signed up for some pvp? Didn't work so well did it? You might have got lucky and found some one who couldn't slip the tractor beam, but what a waist tykens rift turned out to be. Don't believe me? Just sit still and let a friend use it on you. This is one of those gimick abilities that take valuable ability slots away from other things.
Energy Syphon. This isn't actually a bad ability. Sure your enemy isn't likely to notice much power loss from it. But the buff to your own systems is almost like having a red matter capacitor. A shame you have to wait a minute between reuses on this one.
Gravity Well. Fantastic ability. Any one with scatter volley on their escort will love you. But hold on, wouldn't it be nice if the cool down matched up with that on scatter volley as well? Seems like half the time that escort friend has a scatter volley ready you have no well ready to go.
Polarize Hull, Transfer shield strength and hazard emitters. All fantastic abilities. These should defiantly be the first three abilities any non science ship considers for their science ability slots. They should also be top contenders on science ships. Such a shame that that's three slots used up on abilities with dreadful cool downs. Might have been nice to use one or two of those slots to stack two of any of your other science abilitie... that also have dreadful cool downs, oh well.
Scramble sensors. Duration very short. Cool down very very very long. Shame, could have been a useful ability... if you wernt giving up something more useful that could help you more often or for longer.
There are a lot more science abilities, of varying usefulness. But sadly every one of them, with the exception of tractor repulsers (which is really good for annoying all your friends and enemies alike, but also very useful if your situationaly aware), comes pre-nerfed in some way, either through simple lack of umph, over abundance of counters, or short durations and over long cool downs.
So we have the humble science ship, a class that relies on its abilities to define it, the victim of ability impotence.
No wonder then that so many people are calling for shiny DPS heavy cannons to fit to their ships. But I dont want that. I want science ships to be science ships, not escorts.
What then can we do? We could tackle the abilities them selves. But there was a time when science abilities ruled the roost and I am not so certain we really want to return to it. No what we need is something to boost science abilities on science ships, without boosting them on escorts and cruisers, which already have advantages of their own.
The Vesta already does this in a way. Those aux cannons... Running aux at full all of the time, without having to constantly switch between it and weapons power goes a long way toward giving science abilities that little boost they need.
What if science ships came with a built in emergency power to auxiliary ability? This would be nice, and while we are giving science ships an ability why don?t we share one science ships already have. Beam target subsystems could be given to all crusers as well. A minor boost to beam boats could make a lot of cruiser captains happy.
Hear is another idea. What if science ships had an extra boff ability slot over the number other ships in their level range had. Science ships have one less weapon then escorts, two less then cruisers. With an extra ability slot they could stack something to re-use it a little more often, or combine more science abilities in interesting ways.
So what are your thoughts? How would you buff science ships? Or do you disagree with me? Would you prefer things be left as they are?
Last edited by pwstolemyname; 01-24-2013 at 03:36 AM.
I must confess I love my fleet Nova as I can squeeze a fair bit of damage out of it and do some significant sciencey stuff
I do agree with you that science powers need fixing and I think it should be the powers themselves that should be looked at, there is afterall no point in adding another weak power to a list of already weak powers....
I agree the cooldowns need looking at again and brought down to a reasonable level and the effectiveness needs looking at, AP:O for example makes an escort immune to its primary weakness, if it didn't make you immune to all holds, maybe only increase resistance to holds and give TR a nice drain buff then TB+TR could be damn nasty.
Power insulators is another thing that needs looking at, insulators and flow caps should have equal effect rather than insulators that currently overpower anything flow caps brings to the table. Although sensors skill should be more powerful than stealth skill due to the power of ship cloaks skilled or not though not to the point that we see escorts heavily skilled in sensors blowing up cloaked ships everywhere but science ships with an inherent sensors bonus should be able to see and counter cloaks. (Poor Tric bombing BoPs )
I maintain heals should be percentage based with the aux power mech applied after the percentages are calculated such that cruisers would have better heals than escorts and science would benefit most from aux powered heals which still wouldn't turn science into primary healers but it would serve to make them the most effective sci heal users.
I'm not so sure about built in EPtA for science ships I think EPtX1/2 (Full set) should be a feature of the cruiser class and more ensign eng skills should be created.
I'm also not a fan of cannons on science ships then again there is nothing stopping you speccing into aux performance and running full weapon power with everything else in aux that puts you around 90-100 aux power on a sci ship anyway and then learning how to use beams effectively.
Tacofangs is (genuinely) the best dev ever and the forumites adore him
Meh, people are always trying to improve upon what they have. It comes mainly from players seeing what others are doingwith the ship and not getting the same results. So instead of actually trying to CONFIRM what a ship can do and CONFORM to it to make it better, they want to make the ship CONFORM to them and CONFIRM their place in their minds as either Elite or burgeoning elite level players.
Science ships are constantly being nerfed because they can handle a pounding and chip away at you slowly. In a 1v1 a science ship will always win specially aginst escorts which are said to be the strongest ships dps wise in the game. It's that same as any other game. OP Healing far outweighs OP Damage. But players are not satisfied with winning one on one and two on one matches they have to win 5-6-7-8-9 on one matches apparently to confirm that they are great. When in all actuality it's the ship and the skills you copy and pasted from the forums that is great you just happen to be there pressing a button and sipping on soda.
I always hate wehn people try to make something into something it's not. And to a point I agree with Klink's who are angry about the wide use of DHC's in fed ships. Angry at players who have no idea what they are doing and want more to hide up or cover up the fact they are not talented or have the ability to actually surmise their skill set ups. Their are a lot of things in these forums that just make you shake your head but most of it is the elitist culture of people in itself. We will always want to be considered better or grander then we really are and when we do become that great we want to be placed on an even higher pedastool and acclaimed as a great and almighty one.
Will they give sci ships like the vesta more weapons? No, they are not going to make a ship class that is constantly being nerfed any stronger and usually the ones who ask for more strength are just trying to cover up their own weakness.
Do i have wants? Yes. I want them to make beams stronger. Not to hide any insecurities I may have about my own decisions in my build, but to stem the tide of DHC's being used as semi "I win, you lose set ups." (Even though i kill more DHC players then they kill me, some how they still seem to come to these forums and read these one sided arguments and continue to grow. Damn you Bfaw, how i love you but you ruined my beams.)
Anyhow, I do appreciate this posting and the weird kinda read don't read, maybe read feel you gave to it, but just because you say no will not stop people from asking, begging, and demanding like the petulant children we are, but in the end you get what you pay for, do more research on your vessels, ask captains who pilot them or used to pilot them and ask them to be honest and frank. And then decide before you spend your money on these things if this is for you. Because critiquing it later on and instead of giving up on it and realizing you purchased a lemon, asking for it to be stronger to validate your purchase will be perceived as ******** moaning and crying over spilled milk.
I agree with the OP. If he hadnt posted this thread, I wouldve made one - the give Sci-ships some love back-thread. As I dont see Cryptic to increase the science abilities' effectiveness, I propose the following:
As of right now, when you think of an effective sci-vessel, you think of the vesta. But why is that? Is it because of her fancy consoles and set powers? I dare say no, there's another reason. Is it, because she can carry DHCs? I still wsay no. Granted, DHCs make the most oomph, but it is still not the reason, why the vesta is at the moment the most effective (and for me also fun) sci-vessel. It is simply because her DHCs are Aux-based. It's as simple as that. Think of it. If you had a Nova, Nebula, Intrepid or all the other sci-vessels, but equipped with Aux-based weaponry (and I DON'T say DCs/DHCs!), they would be much more fun and effective. Because they dont have to make a compromise between Weapons, Aux, and Shield energy, in fact they could run at 100+ Aux and do some damage that is beyond a simple light show while maintaining those cool sci-tricks.
That is why I propose Aux-based weaponry for sci-ships. That would make their sci-abilities more effective (when u come from a compromise power level setup) and deal at the very least a measurable amount of damage. I dont say they should out-DPS Escorts or Cruisers. And they won't, with those 3/3 weapon slots anyway. So, what I suggest is the introduction of [Aux] as a modifier. That would of course mean, that these sci-weapons could have only 2 other modifiers, but I think that's ok, considering the boost in damage just by having an appropriate power level.
What if 'Sensor Analysis' applied a buff to everything, and not just weapons? Perhaps combined with an innate resistance to abilities that break target lock, like 'Scramble Sensors' (makes sense that a ship with particularly powerful sensors would have a better chance of cutting through jamming)?
That might go some way to un-nerfing sci ships, without making them OP (since it takes some time for 'Sensor Analysis' to really make a real difference).