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Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 598
Part I. Introduction:

First, thanks to those who have contributed to this test and the broader discussion.

The following video provides a visual record of tests on power drain dynamics done on 21.2.2013. The participants of the tests were as follows:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7XPnzvhnT08

Participants (thanks to you both!!!)

Naz: Eng in Steamrunner, x6 points in power insulators.
@sharpe- Kharfi Carrier, x8 adv siphon drones, x6 points in flow caps
Sargon: observer

A few annotations to audio commentary:

At some points you can hear us talking--mostly Sargon--though I do cut out at points. I need to make a few emendations to my audio commentary:

We were all under the impression that 17 power level was the cap on siphons, but after further research, I was unable to confirm this number. Instead, what I found is a pre-Season 7 post from Borticus indicating that siphon drones were going to be weakened in their power (http://sto-forum.perfectworld.com/sh...d.php?t=404791). In particular, he made the following statements, which included no hard numbers.

1) Instead of immediately diminishing the target's power by a large %, the drain of each individual Siphon Drone will slowly ramp up to full capacity.

2) This takes 5 seconds to happen, at which point the Drone will have 1 tick of drain at full capacity, and then shut down for 1.5 seconds before starting again. When the drain turns back on, it is again draining at a low rate and has to ramp back up.

3) This "full capacity" drain is still a % of the player's current power pool. Since the % of drain is low while the player has a large pool, and high while the player has a diminished pool, it causes the overall drain to follow a shallow bell curve in effective drain value, during the first cycle. Subsequent cycles will allow targets to partially regenerate their subsystem power at the edges of that curve, enabling more opportunities to activate abilities that may counter the drains.

4) The amount of benefit this drain receives from the owners' Flow Capacitors skill has been reduced, allowing Power Insulators to be more reliably effective. Although the effects of resisting each tick of a Drone's power drain are hard to see, the "floor" threshold of the overall drain is different for players with a high resistance.


I think it would be very helpful for us, Borticus, to know precisely what these percentages are, so that we can actually determine whether the siphons are working according to design--a point Hilbert already made.

Part II: Data, Test Conditions, and Results

Test 1
Conditions: no flow cap consoles, siphon drones
Video Time: :00-3:15
Results: Siphons seemed to cap at 17 power for all 4 subsystems. For example, weapons went from 125-17 and then fluctuated based on the number of drones, Naz?s ability to escape them with speed, etc.

Test 2:
Conditions: Add flow cap consoles (Mark XII rare)
Video Time: 3:16-5:21
Results: Siphons brought substystems to 12 but more often to around 15-17. For example, weapons went from 125 to a max of 12.

Test 3:
Conditions: Add Aceton Assimilators (AA)
Video Time: 5:23-7:08
Results: Siphons and AA brought subsystems to around 13, which suggests that at these lower power levels, AA was unable to give a discernible edge in draining power.

Test 4:
Conditions: Add Energy Siphons 2-3 with max Aux
Video Time: 7:09-9:05
Results: Drained to a max of 12

Test 5:
Conditions: Add Plasmonic Leach and Polaron Weapons. Toward the end we test the effects of Hazard Emitters.
Video Time: 9:06-The end.
Results: Only under these conditions was @sharpe- able to bring Naz?s power on all 4 subsystems to 0. Notice that this was only possible when the siphon drones were able to catch Naz, which supports the statements by contributors to the earlier thread, that speed is one defense against siphon drones. Hazard Emitters do seem to effect the power drain.

We should have run a 6th test with Tyken's Rift. This was my oversight.

Part III. Analysis

In one of his responses to this thread, Havam stated that this thread was ?barking up the wrong tree? by focusing on the siphon drones. Havam is correct that siphon drones are not the root of the problem. (Note that in the video both Naz and I were surprised--around Test 2 I think--that the siphons were not more effective) On their own, without augmentation, the recent fix has made them somewhat less problematic. Even still, it remains a question for me whether a single carrier pet should be able to drain subsystems from 125-17 (see Test 1). However, to modify Havam?s arboreal metaphor just a bit, siphon drones are a branch--and a very large one--attached to a more problematic tree, one that we should be barking up: power drain in general and in particular how it can be pushed to remarkable extremes on the KDF side.

So was this original thread barking up the wrong tree? No. However, Havam is correct that, in its original formulation, the thread was overly fixated on one branch of the tree (siphon drones). With that said, even if siphons are not the major problem in the whole realm of power drain, they remain the single most powerful source of power drain, which means that any solution must involve them. Adjusting them, then, may ultimately be part of a broader solution to some of the problems our test has highlighted.

So in the end, I hope that the visual demonstration above will help spark a conversation about some of the problems related to power drain. Keep in mind that other very common subsystem debuff skills were left out of this test: Viral Matrix, Target Subsystems, all Phaser Weapons, etc. In addition, while the test shows that siphon drones are easily outrun, this controlled environment does not account for the many movement debuffs, stuns, etc. that make it much easier for drones to catch a person. In short, siphon drones are a significant contributor to a very large problem: power drain.

I conclude with one suggestion to the developers: Don?t just place a cap on siphon drones and leach. This is to fixate, as I originally did, on one branch, not the larger tree. Rather, place a cap on power drain in general. A fundamental question needs to be asked: Should a single player be able to bring one ship down to 0 power in all 4 subsystems? This is especially a problem since the ability to do this belongs to one faction only (KDF). What if multiple power drain ships and esp. carriers are running on that team? The recent fix to siphon drones and leach console was a move in the right direction, but I fear that it was trimming the weeds more than an actually dealing with the infestation.

@gradstudent1
PvP Boot Camp Project Leader Emeritus

Last edited by gradstudent1; 02-22-2013 at 08:15 AM.
Rihannsu
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,680
# 2
02-22-2013, 08:54 AM
Well then let me just add my 2ec in here as well. Power drain builds are in principal one of the last things that sci/sci can attempt without being outperformed by tacs.

To have a complete test, a feddie drain build *queue the lols* using polaron, tykens and ES will quickly show you how laughable drain builds are. Even on full teams. MOst disappears due to the MACO proc, and other means of generating bonus power.

On a side note: i m not sure that NE tooltip actually reflects its anti-drain capabilites. Just a hunch.

Combine the former with leech, AA, and Siphon drones and some ships can actually create a power drain build. Mind that each console has counters. Sorry escort pilots, time to use more torps and mines. Still there is a limited option of ship classes that such a team can field to maximize it's drain.

The question remains if pets should be such powerful debuff platforms, and I still refuse to talk about siphons, without talking about Danoob as debuff platforms as well. One that is availabe to all Fed ship types Sci, Scort or Carrier alike.

You ask how much drain should a KDF team be able to put out, well how much movement debuffs should a fed team put out. Not only do a I see much more fed danoob teams, then KDF siphon teams. The opportunity cost for kdf drain teams is higher then for tractor and chroniton spamming teams.

Nerfing powerdrain builds will just be another nerf to sci ships, and ensure more escorts online, which i have gotten really tired of since the release of the smurf.
Joined 06.10
PvP 2010-2011
PvP 2012-2013
Starfleet Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,418
# 3
02-22-2013, 08:54 AM
Awesome work! Justice has finally been done for all we Feds sucked to death...and unfortunately not by gorgeus Orion females!
K D F - Killing Disadvantaged Feds
K D F - The evul way to play Sto

Adm. Marcus orders: Punish the evul Klinguns! Punish the evul HOBOs! And nuclearize Qo'nos once and for all!
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,465
# 4
02-22-2013, 08:59 AM
Should 1 player be able to shut down another players systems? I'd say potentionally yes, but it should rely on an several active abilities w/moderate to long cooldowns.

Also, I'm not sure a Fed can't do this using Tykens, ES, VM, Polarons, etc. An all polaron/phased polaron team w/a 2-3 sci ships spamming Tykens w/Doffs, ES and VM has the potential to be just as effective based on my running into that before. The main difference being the pets are basically passive abilities given the rate they can be churned out and they have some movement (very slow @ that) vs stationary AoE Tykens.

I don't like pets usurping what I feel should be Boff active abilities, but still this is no worse to me than some other options both sides have in that regard.

Is it a problem, yes. Is it high on my priority list? no.

That said nice video and effort by all. For future tests I'd recommend just stating skill point totals such as 212 in flow cap, 99 in power insulators, EPS etc. Also, I know I'm being anal, establish a baseline of each skill individual then have a matrix of different combinations. I'm gonna guess that it was the siphon pets and polaron proc combo that dropped the target to zero.
Starfleet Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,418
# 5
02-22-2013, 09:03 AM
There is a big difference between a power drain build and a Danube (not danoob, evul!) team...the KDF bad guys are able to lower all the four power subsystems while we Feds can only hold for a while the fast Bops!
K D F - Killing Disadvantaged Feds
K D F - The evul way to play Sto

Adm. Marcus orders: Punish the evul Klinguns! Punish the evul HOBOs! And nuclearize Qo'nos once and for all!

Last edited by starwrathforever; 02-22-2013 at 09:05 AM.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 148
# 6
02-22-2013, 09:05 AM
Thanks for doing theses tests guys. I k new that Cryptic said they changed theses guys, but in practice when I went against them, I would still drop to 0 from all of the added junk.

This sums up what I feel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gradstudent1 View Post
I conclude with one suggestion to the developers: Don?t just place a cap on siphon drones and leach. This is to fixate, as I originally did, on one branch, not the larger tree. Rather, place a cap on power drain in general. A fundamental question needs to be asked: Should a single player be able to bring one ship down to 0 power in all 4 subsystems? This is especially a problem since the ability to do this belongs to one faction only (KDF). What if multiple power drain ships and esp. carriers are running on that team? The recent fix to siphon drones and leach console was a move in the right direction, but I fear that it was trimming the weeds more than an actually dealing with the infestation.
I think power insulators should dictate the amount of power you keep no matter what. With 6 in insulators and the borg deflector you are at 110. Thats a minimum of around 30 for each subsystem.
Rihannsu
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,680
# 7
02-22-2013, 09:08 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by starwrathforever View Post
There is a big difference between a power drain build and a Danube (not danoob, evul!) team...the KDF bad guys are able to lower all the four power subsystems while we Feds can only hold for a while the fast Bops!
as you can see even when sitting still the siphons alone can't do this either.

To compare the drain team, to the fed standard you need to distribute additional phase offline procs, tractor beams, and chroniton procs among the team. Your movement will reach zero, you defense be negative, and your ET not able to keep up with all the offline procs.

IN both cases you go boom. I don't care if semi visbile pets or lack of energy makes me a sitting duck. In both cases it is unfun, requires no skill, and has nothing to do with PvP. Outrunning pets belongs in SB24, not in pvp arenas.

edit* Yes please lets nerf sci skills more, our escorts go boom by them. Sci resist are to high as is, they don't need a buff. Pets need a big nerf across the board, and high level sci powers need to become a lot better at what they are doing.

If you want to discuss energy drain that needs fixing, i suggest we start looking at beams vs cannons.
Joined 06.10
PvP 2010-2011
PvP 2012-2013

Last edited by havam; 02-22-2013 at 09:11 AM.
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 598
# 8
02-22-2013, 09:15 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by havam View Post
Well then let me just add my 2ec in here as well. Power drain builds are in principal one of the last things that sci/sci can attempt without being outperformed by tacs.

To have a complete test, a feddie drain build *queue the lols* using polaron, tykens and ES will quickly show you how laughable drain builds are. Even on full teams. MOst disappears due to the MACO proc, and other means of generating bonus power.

On a side note: i m not sure that NE tooltip actually reflects its anti-drain capabilites. Just a hunch.

Combine the former with leech, AA, and Siphon drones and some ships can actually create a power drain build. Mind that each console has counters. Sorry escort pilots, time to use more torps and mines. Still there is a limited option of ship classes that such a team can field to maximize it's drain.

The question remains if pets should be such powerful debuff platforms, and I still refuse to talk about siphons, without talking about Danoob as debuff platforms as well. One that is availabe to all Fed ship types Sci, Scort or Carrier alike.

You ask how much drain should a KDF team be able to put out, well how much movement debuffs should a fed team put out. Not only do a I see much more fed danoob teams, then KDF siphon teams. The opportunity cost for kdf drain teams is higher then for tractor and chroniton spamming teams.

Nerfing powerdrain builds will just be another nerf to sci ships, and ensure more escorts online, which i have gotten really tired of since the release of the smurf.
Thanks for your ongoing contributions to this conversation, Havam. A few responses:

1) I agree that Danubes have to be part of this conversation. But that wasn't the point of this test. But if anyone wants to do such a test with Danubes, I will gladly jump into the conversation.

2) I am not sure this is an attempt to nerf science, Havam. Your comment assumes that power drain is the realm of science alone, when in fact, hangar pets can be found on escorts too, as you well know. And if we have shown anything it is that the siphons--which can be slotted by any ship with a hangar (not limited to science ships)--are the most powerful drain power in the game. So in my view this is not an attack on science but rather on power drain, which transcends science.

@gradstudent1
PvP Boot Camp Project Leader Emeritus
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 598
# 9
02-22-2013, 09:17 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by p2wsucks View Post
Should 1 player be able to shut down another players systems? I'd say potentionally yes, but it should rely on an several active abilities w/moderate to long cooldowns.

Also, I'm not sure a Fed can't do this using Tykens, ES, VM, Polarons, etc. An all polaron/phased polaron team w/a 2-3 sci ships spamming Tykens w/Doffs, ES and VM has the potential to be just as effective based on my running into that before. The main difference being the pets are basically passive abilities given the rate they can be churned out and they have some movement (very slow @ that) vs stationary AoE Tykens.

I don't like pets usurping what I feel should be Boff active abilities, but still this is no worse to me than some other options both sides have in that regard.

Is it a problem, yes. Is it high on my priority list? no.

That said nice video and effort by all. For future tests I'd recommend just stating skill point totals such as 212 in flow cap, 99 in power insulators, EPS etc. Also, I know I'm being anal, establish a baseline of each skill individual then have a matrix of different combinations. I'm gonna guess that it was the siphon pets and polaron proc combo that dropped the target to zero.
Thanks for hte suggestions. Sorry this was my first real attempt to pull off a test=) I will try to keep your advice in mind next time.

@gradstudent1
PvP Boot Camp Project Leader Emeritus
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,465
# 10
02-22-2013, 09:19 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by gradstudent1 View Post
Thanks for hte suggestions. Sorry this was my first real attempt to pull off a test=) I will try to keep your advice in mind next time.
No problem, and no need for apology it was meant as helpful feedback, and again nice work by all.
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