Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 5,596
Maybe this is a straight thought and I'm speaking as mainly a PvE Escort Captain...

But maybe the problem boils down to power levels in large part?

Let me explain:

Right now, stat bonuses seem to treat +weapons, +aux, +eng, and +all pretty equally. There is generally a specialization tax (+15 if only applied to one. +10 if applied to two. +10/+5/+5 is applied to three).

And all ships have 200 points of power level to work with.

But not all power settings are equally effective. And different ships demand different settings.

So here's a thought. Rebalance around the idea that +1 weapon power level = +1.5 shield power level = +2 engine power level = 2.5 aux power level.

So a ship that has a pure Aux bonus would have +37.5 to Aux to be balanced against a +15 to weapons.

A ship with a "balanced" layout (typical, baseline cruiser) would have +5 to weapons, +7.5 to shields, +10 to engines, and +12.5 to Aux.

As an example, the Bug Ship would go from 10/5/0/5 bonuses to +10 to weapons, +7.5 to shields, and +12.5 to Aux. Science ships, for comparison, would typically have +37.5 to Aux.

Along with this, look at realigning certain ships heavily in one direction or another.

So a Galaxy class ship might have a flat +22.5 to shields whereas a Dreadnaught might have +5 to weapons and +20 engines and a 12.5 to Aux.

A lot of the problem seems to be building in the assumption that power levels are created equally and they really aren't. A ship that requires Aux or Shields or Engines to perform probably needs a higher bonus to those things than a ship with +weapons needs because the performance of other systems is much less directly beneficial.
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 11,100
# 2
02-23-2013, 02:59 PM
An interesting observation, but it kind of requires there being more to power levels other than weapons.
http://i1151.photobucket.com/albums/o633/centersolace/189cux9khvl6ojpg_zpsca7ccff0.jpg

So inhumane superweapons, mass murder, and canon nonsense is okay, but speedos are too much for some people.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 5,596
# 3
02-23-2013, 03:22 PM
As an example on where this would take things, because I can see a debate forming over what this does to science carriers vs. science ships...

A standard sci-vessel would have +37.5 to Aux.

A Caitian cruiser would have +7.5 to shields and +25 to Aux.

A Vo'quv might have +10 to weapons and +12.5 to Aux.

A Krenn might have +5 to weapons and +25 to Aux.

The Intrepid might be retuned to have +5 to Weapons and +25 to Aux.

Whereas the Vesta might have +10 to weapons and +12.5 to Aux.

Granted, this depends on whether you maintain the inconsistency regarding whether a ship gets 15 or 20 bonus points prior to my proposed multipliers. Some ships have two +10s whereas others split a +10 and a +5.
Captain
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 2,086
# 4
02-23-2013, 03:54 PM
Alternately they could make all power levels desirable.

- Drastically increase effect of AUX on abilities reliant upon it
- Move shield regeneration rate to AUX from shield
- Make attack patterns rely upon engine power
- Make engine power have a drastically stronger effect on turn rates
- Make engine power have a direct effect on ship bonus defense
- Attach an ACC effect to AUX

Who knows, might even help us get away from the concept of escorts being such insanely strong tanks. Not saying all those should be done but atleast the shield regen one needs to be done.
STO's F2P is basically an inferior experience for the masses at no cost being subsidized by a handful of whales seeking whatever it is that motivates them to spend hundreds if not thousands on a game.
Captain
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 1,233
# 5
02-23-2013, 10:28 PM
Honestly, I think this is more of a player perception problem than a game mechanics one. AUX is stupidly powerful and just as useful as weapons power on ships that can properly make use of it.

Don't get me wrong, I was 'comfortable' being stuck in the escort mentality as well, but the past few months of tinkering around with science and kinetic builds has really been opening my eyes that sometimes 'less' is more.

If you're running an escort, sure, juice up on cannons and weapons power - that's what they're designed for. Science ships excel with an aux and shield focus. Cruisers.. need a little bit of everything.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 5,596
# 6
02-23-2013, 11:04 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by szerontzur View Post
Honestly, I think this is more of a player perception problem than a game mechanics one. AUX is stupidly powerful and just as useful as weapons power on ships that can properly make use of it.

Don't get me wrong, I was 'comfortable' being stuck in the escort mentality as well, but the past few months of tinkering around with science and kinetic builds has really been opening my eyes that sometimes 'less' is more.

If you're running an escort, sure, juice up on cannons and weapons power - that's what they're designed for. Science ships excel with an aux and shield focus. Cruisers.. need a little bit of everything.
Well, I did stop to question whether the scale should actually be:

1 weapons = 1.5 aux = 2 shields = 2.5 engines.

But even then, actuality is not as important as perception in a lot of these things. It doesn't necessarily matter than benefits are equal if they aren't equally visible.

Killing things with big numbers is more noticeable than aux or turnrate/speed.

And I know more than one MMO designer over the years at other companies has said that you have to throw out mathematical balance at a certain point if you find player skills don't maximize numeric balance equally or one choice is more popular than another. And I've heard more than one game developer at more than one studio say their philosophy was that after something is numerically balanced, if one option is unpopular, you have to buff it until it's popular because player perception trumps balance.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 5,596
# 7
02-23-2013, 11:10 PM
One thing to keep in mind with bonuses, as well, is that I'd wager 60% of players, regardless of class, either play with all settings in the default balanced state (therefore relying harder on bonuses) or automatically just hit the button to max weapons and never manage other power levels.

I've actually had at least one friend quit because he couldn't instantly grasp power level management after a few hours of playing. Everything else he could kindof grasp but he felt like power level management had to be a big, complex thing he was missing, even when I assured him it's barely relevant for most pre-endgame PvE aside from maxing weapons. He's a theorycrafter and power level management is what pushed him from intrigued with all the gameplay and sometimes unintuitive stat naming to being overwhelmed because he couldn't perform steady calculations on everything at all variations.
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