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To clarify I am referring to all abilities, not necessarily base statistics although those too could probably stand to be adjusted. I'd be interested in seeing the way that game play might change if abilities operated under the same basic cool down system but with much smaller buffs.
For example, Cruisers could have significantly higher hulls if yo yo healing was brought in line or if it required multiple people using multiple heals (at roughly 1/10th of their current value) to achieve a near full recovery. At the very least it would reduce near instant healing and create a significant opportunity cost to focus an entire teams healing skills onto a single ship.
And before anyone thinks this is about nerfing healing, it's not. Damage would be subject to the same reductions.
I don't want to sound like giving an election speech, but the OP is onto something. It sounds like the last possible course of action after one mistake after the other on part of the systems team, or whoever, fails to make balance concerns part of Holodeck releases. Even cutting everything down to 1/10 of current value won't achieve much.
Unless they come up with a vision, no quick fix will solve the underlying problems, neither will fixing one doff's stat here, and one skill's cd there.
Oh I know, nerf is such a bad word. I suppose the alternative would be to boost the hell out of unbuffed base stats. So give ships ten times the hull and shields that they have now. It's the same basic idea of diminishing the all importance of stacking poorly balanced skills.
Want to reduce the likelihood of being instapopped or running into invincible zombies? Don't like "one shot kills" and yo-yo hull healing? Bring all abilities in the game back down to a reasonable level. Work out smarter mechanics for stacking items and skills. This would make the game more accessible for new players and add extra tactical dimensions for more skilled players.
There is a reason Commander and Captain level PvP were so much fun and it's largely related to the less twitchy game play. Call me crazy but we don't need this game to continue down this path of inaccessibility. The skill gap between players themselves is vast enough. Continuing to pile on more and more vastly over powered abilities is only going to further hurt the player base.
The game is too spammy. Abilities are too strong. There is a tremendous difference between a buffed ship and an unbuffed ship. Abilities should add dimensions to combat, not break it.
Honestly I don't think this will really help things hale, because it's all proportional. If you reduce weapon damage to 10% of its current, as well as all heals/etc then things will be slower, but it will be proportionally the same where people will get wrecked quickly or they'll sit and tank.
To be honest, I think the best and quickest route to change/improve things is to do an across the board nerf of defense on all ships. That way escorts won't be able to dodge as many shots as they do, and the slower ships will just get hit that much more often.
The bad players won't notice a difference, and it will break stalemates that currently exist during certain modes of play.
I suppose the main point I was attempting to make is that the number of abilities are the problem. There are just so very many and the emphasis is so heavily placed on them. Stacking creates potential "problems" like insane spikes (which I admit, I love performing) and zombies (which wouldn't be so bad if they'd sell us a headshot space console in the z-store).
More abilities are coming.
Between captain skills, boffs skills (not even including voldy for the moment), STF sets, rep passives, fleet stuff, low cooldowns, doffs that reduce cool downs, 9-10 console slots and a significant emphasis on the z-store, the number of abilities available to a single player is crazy. The game has become much more twitchy than strategic. That's part of why people can run long stretches of attacks/buff on a single key. I'm not saying key binding is a bad thing, but it speaks to the importance of hitting as many skills as fast as you can.
Players are hit with so much, so fast, and it's all so very strong that if we continue down this road we'll never find a way to make PvP more balanced or more appealing to a broader audience.
How would having the same amount of abilities, but in a much weaker state, make anything more accessible? In theory, strategy would become more important than stacking (which I suppose is a strategy too). Reaction times would increase exponentially. Yo-yo healing the magic hull could potentially be addressed while instagibbing (as sexy as it is) would be less likely. Not to mention that the amount of stacking you'd have to do for either effect would create significant vulnerabilities for both teams. All of these special consoles you can buy could still be fun without making any particular combination of those and everything else too overwhelming.
And you know, it could make for more appealing game play while also sparking the interest of the canon crowd.
Like I said, it's far from perfect. I don't suppose wide spread support is ever really likely anyway. I can't even begin to imagine the cost of adjusting all of these skills for PvE and PvP. I just think things are getting out of hand and it makes me sad.