We all see the threads about how eSTFs are a breeze to go through, or how sci powers and cruisers are obsolete because pure dps is what the game is focused on. This thread isn't going to be about how sci powers are useless, or escorts are OP, or even about beam weapons. This is going to be about how to change the nature of enemies, so the trinity of fighter/healer/mage or rather escort/cruiser/sci will finally work.
PvP is another beast entirely, and while anyone is free to start a mirror thread in the PvP forums on this subject i'd like this thread to remain PvE focused.
In the current state of the game raw dps is king. In fact is it so highly valued that cruisers, and even sci ships are sometimes seen as a hindrance to the speed in which the STF can be completed.
-I propose boss enemies should be able to buff themselves, and debuff its opponents on top of being able to cast more effective status effect powers without one defensive power from the captain being able to negate the vast majority of status effects like HE can.
-One of the buff powers should be a self heal in which the effectiveness is based on a randomly selected percentage to eliminate the dps race. The heal shouldn't be automatic. Not every tac cube should heal its self, but the heal should be apart of the buff category the boss randomly selects from.
- Also boss enemies should be able to randomly reduce the effectiveness of a weapon mod or proc based upon a random selected percentage. The one mod or proc it decides to reduce should be randomly selected upon its spawn. Or even if it reduces a mod or proc to begin with should be left to chance.
Like for example: a wild Elite Tac Cube appears. It then rolls a 50/50 chance of it even reducing a mod/proc. If successful then a random mod/proc is selected. Effectiveness of the reduction is randomized between 1% and 50%.
- While cruisers can take the weapon aggro from a boss based upon the skills they've devoted to threat, the debuffs from the boss should be applied to the other captains. I'm not saying that every captain should be hit with same debuff all at once, though that is a option, i'm saying that random debuffs should be applied to everyone within weapons range of the boss. Of course who gets hit with a debuff and what they are hit, or if they are even hit at all should be left to chance.
Effectively all a boss should be doing is firing its weapons/tractor beams and rolling the dice on who gets hit with a debuff and what debuff they get hit with along with reducing a randomly selected mod/proc if it rolled successfully on spawn.
I think if we include all or part of these ideas sci and cruisers will become more crucial members of a STF.
I'll reserve a post below this one to post any good ideas you come up with to add/change. I'm hoping the devs will see this thread and see just what kind of PvE battles their players prefer.
Better solution: NPCs should have stats equivalent to a player instead of ridiculously bloated HP and a random assortment of powers their ship shouldn't even be capable of slotting. They should use these powers appropriately, and if the NPC kills you or you can't harm it, it should taunt you and make fun of your build, mocking the specific things you're doing wrong. This allows players to see what they're doing wrong and fix it.
Of late my Sci capn on the Voquv seems to be getting a lot of aggro and hate from NPCs in eSTFs.. fortunately the carrier tanks well. Anyone else notice this? Cos for once I feel like Im playing my role as a non-dps capn... though I would imagine if the ship was different I would be blown to smithereens..
I hope this is a sign that sci/eng is getting some buff so they can fill the role they were meant ot fill in the first place. If not, oh well, I only hope I get to pug with my betters in future! :p
---------------------------------------------------------------------- We still live!!!!! Hahahahahahahahaa! We live and we will conquer!!!!! Hahahahahaaha!
-Roach, when asked about Klingon extinction!
if you want to bring sci and cruser back into the front lines, in my opinion, they should return preview strenght of sci abilities, give them penalty when used against players, to not be OP in pvp, increase NPCs sustaned damage, and reduce peak peak dmg in way, that escort without outside heals cant least long taking fire. NPCs should have abilities that can kil you in one hit, but giving players ability to avoid them by moving out of area, or using propper ability in time, like donatra have one right now, or by placing debuf on ppls which will blow them up if not removed within 10 sec for example, or buff then which will make their next shoot to be instant kill if not cleared, that way crusers will get oportunity to tank once again, sci ships to to buff, debuff and cleanise.
Better solution: NPCs should have stats equivalent to a player instead of ridiculously bloated HP and a random assortment of powers their ship shouldn't even be capable of slotting.
Agreed. An NPC should be using powers to keep itself alive, like emergency power to shields, tactical team and transfer shield strength. If it were to rely more on powers for attack and defense it'd make fights far more interesting and eventful, not to mention slightly more difficult.
It'd also mean SNB would be actually as useful as it is in PvP, since the NPC's will be relying more on their buffs.
As it stands at the moment, the only real difference between normal and elite difficulty is that it takes a second long to kill something.
Okay so lets say you give all the enemies a simple cycling EPTS1, TT1, and a single Aux2Struc every 30 seconds. Basic stuff.
Next lets run the Rescue The Azura mission, first real mission in the game, where you warp in to initially face 4 Orion frigates cycling this.
Now explain to me how a new player, working on their own, with all the knowledge the tutorial has given them, is going to get even one kill, let alone all four of them and the follow-up Marauder, to finish this mission?
Or skip ahead a chapter and a couple ranks, say a level 25 engineer driving a heavy cruiser and 20 missions of experience under their belt, goes one-on-one with a Mogai with such a layout. Think that Mogai will ever die? Think that player is having any fun?
Edit: Thought Of Afterwards
A approach better to both entertaining and encouraging new players and giving something interesting to veterans might instead be ships with 'trickier' layouts rather than just adding player-like durability. Considering the NPC D'deridex and how many threads there are about the difficulty new players have with it. Its actually a pretty fragile ship, but the powers it does have have some synergy and force people to think a little rather than merely overpowering it. The Tholians are similar, annoying as they are, with all their webbing and disables completely screwing up anyone who simply charges in cannons blazing. In both cases if you're smart you will make short work of these enemies, but a mindless Moar Dakka approach makes them irritating.
The trick though is powers that work in synergy to create a threat and not simply annoyance or eat time before the inevitable. A bad example I'd point to is the Breen, who with their love of subnucs, tractor beams, and energy siphons, they can be pests but never really put anything together into a combo, just a grab-bag of "I'm going to annoy you now." The Mogai I think has a similar problem where it just zips around shooting things and using lots of powers but simply isn't smart enough to actually be a threat, just a timesink till it dies.
If everything were tanked up with player-level healing it would just be a time eater, and if loaded up with powers but not the brains to actually use them they would just become pests. Specifically complimentary abilities that the AI is capable to chaining together and that a single player of any career and a wide variety of skill levels can deal with, thats what to aim for.
Last edited by reginamala78; 03-21-2013 at 03:21 PM.
What this thread seems to be boiling down to overall and what I think would be best for PvE is 'More Enemy Variety in the Endgame.'
Outside of Elite STF's and Borg, most of what has been brought up is already in the game, however it isn't represented by STF's.
The Enemies represented in current Space STF's are: Borg (Including the Assimilated stuff,) Tholians, Klingons/Federation and Gorn. The rest are in other areas of the game, patrols dailies etc.
Enemies already scale to the Player's level and tend to have equivalent amounts of hull/shield strength. Where NPC's get a lot of health is because they have access to a tier higher than Players do, with things like Tactical Cubes, Scimitars etc. Plus in Elite STF's the enemies are 4-6 levels higher than you and thus scaled that much higher.
A lot of the skills and abilities mentioned for allowing the NPC's to Heal themselves are in fact used. Mogai Escorts have Tactical Team and Evasive Maneuvers. The Mirror Universe Terran Empire ships have Engineering Team, Transfer Shield Strength and Emergency Power to Shields. Heck the Stadi in the Mirror Universe Invasion has a mean Gravity Well and Tractor Beam Repulsors.
The Player is empowered in that their abilities can be upgraded and their starships have equipment that augments their stats. NPC's are empowered in that they have numbers, can be given special things (Scimitar's Thalaron weapon, Borg's Shield Neutralizer etc.) and that they can be scaled as needed.
Take the Breen as mentioned by reginmala78, they aren't very threatening with their Polaron Weapons, Subnucleonic Beams and such because they're scaled for a player that has no bridge officer skillpoints spent and only has the basic equipment that their ship comes with. They don't have much of a punch thanks to packing Transphasic Torpedos. However scale them up to Elite STF levels and they're a lot more deadly with just the bump in their base damage. But there are no Elite STF level Breen, Nausicaans, Hirogen or Romulans.
To me that's the real problem. The abilities and interesting combat is there but if you're only doing Elite STFs then you're missing out.