Star Trek Online The EPtS Elephant and Shield Power
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Captain
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,825
I wanted to take a moment out of everyone's day and explain in detail a giant issue facing STO. That is the reliance upon the EPtS ability and the bad math of shield power.

First up, did you know that the resistance granted by shield power becomes more effective the higher it gets? Let me show you a funny chart on what happens to the effective shield strength of a 1000 point shield facing at various amounts of shield power. Effective power is when you take the resistance into account to determine the true amount of health.

40 Power = 1,126
70 Power = 1,244
100 Power = 1,389
130 Power = 1,572

As you can see going from 0 power to 40 power your shield gains 11.2% resistance and its effective health goes up by 118 points. When you go from 100 power to 130 your effective health increase by 183. A larger increase in effective health from a smaller increase to shield power. This is one of the reasons a ship running at above average shield power seems to be so much more durable than one at normal levels.

Next up we have the regeneration to take a look at. Simply put you gain not only a higher regeneration rate from more shield power but in addition because of the resists the regenerated shield amount is actually better! Let us use a shield with 100 regeneration.

70 Power = 224
100 Power = 417
130 Power = 660

Now let us move on to a practical look at a real shield on a real ship and see how shield power along with EPtS interact to make EPtS so absolutely spectacular. A plain jane mk 10 uncommon shield with plasma resist on my steamrunner. I run at 76 shield power normally without buffs so we will take a look at the shield before, and after, EPtS 1. Total shield strength is 6,792 per facing that will not change.

Standard
Effective Hit Points = 9,325
Base Regeneration = 360
Effective Regeneration = 494

EPtS 1 Active
Effective Hit Points = 11,371
Base Regeneration = 508
Effective Regeneration = 851

Percent Change
Effective Hit Points = 22%
Effective Regeneration = 72%

But what if we have other resist amounts being added you ask? Like say someone was shooting plasma at me to begin with, glad you asked.

Standard
Effective Hit Points = 10,784
Effective Regeneration = 571

EPtS 1 Active
Effective Hit Points = 14215
Effective Regeneration = 1064

Percent Change
Effective Hit Points = 32%
Effective Regeneration = 86%

That means simply put that in the first example it would take 22% more 'spike damage' to kill me when I have my EPtS ability active and that I regeneration an additional 72% shield passively. And as resists from other areas are applied those numbers just get even higher and EPtS becomes an even stronger, or more important, ability.

Bottom Line
Not using EPtS is simply not an option unless you enjoy purposely making things more difficult on yourself for obvious reasons. Additionally the resistance creep that has been occurring in a vain attempt to increase defensive options simply make the EPtS ability all that more desirable and powerful.

But the issue is not with the boff ability, not the core issue anyway. The core issue is the terrible way shield power scales which leads to the high amounts of sustain we see in the game and the increased reliance upon stacking everything possible to stay alive which leads to the race of stacking more and more spike. It also creates the massive disparity between those who have above average gear/tribal knowledge and those who do not.
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Captain
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 2,280
# 2
04-14-2013, 02:43 AM
The flipside of this is that it's difficult to attack one side of the problem without the other: In order to survive the kinds of massive damage dished out, you NEED this ludicrous level of protection and healing at the same time. Take away the shields, and everyone instantly dies in one shot. Take away the damage, and nothing ever dies. You can't attack one problem without attacking the other at the same time. The present "solution" massively worsens the problem by not only failing to attack the other linked problem, but actually making it worse!
Captain
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,825
# 3
04-14-2013, 03:51 AM
Quote:
 Originally Posted by doffingcomrade The flipside of this is that it's difficult to attack one side of the problem without the other: In order to survive the kinds of massive damage dished out, you NEED this ludicrous level of protection and healing at the same time. Take away the shields, and everyone instantly dies in one shot. Take away the damage, and nothing ever dies. You can't attack one problem without attacking the other at the same time. The present "solution" massively worsens the problem by not only failing to attack the other linked problem, but actually making it worse!
This is exactly where the problem began, with this exact misunderstanding. Let me sum it up very quickly and easily with a formula.

Total health / (DPS output - regen/sec) = Survival Time

Where STO fails is that every time it increases total health via resists and mostly shield power it also increases regeneration that gives us an end result of what we have now, it either dies quickly or not at all.

The problem is not damage output. The problem is not healing. Those two are easy to balance in relation to one another. Nor is the problem total effective health vs max spike that is once again extremely easy to compare. It is the simple fact that as spike damage increases they introduce more resistance and more subsystem power to compensate which indirectly boosts sustain/regen threw the roof fraking up the system.

I don't know if that made any sense as I am quite sleepy but yeah.

Look at my above 'in practice example' where without any resists beyond the base shield power we had a total effective shield strength of 9,325. Now look at the effective regeneration with 20% resist plus EPtS on the same shield of 1,064.

In 54 seconds the ship with the 20% resist and EPtS active will regenerate the entire effective capacity of the same shield without the additional resist or EPtS active. While in combat. That is bad.
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Last edited by bareel; 04-14-2013 at 03:56 AM.
Captain
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 3,343
# 4
04-14-2013, 04:22 AM
It's only a problem when you boost the base values to very high levels. If you keep the base values in the normal range, the amplifier effect is very reasonable.

Here's a simple example, what if the EPtX1 abilities were made to be the same as X Battery, but used the EPtX timers instead of battery timers (a fair trade--give up a skill slot, and get a short timer). Cant do it, because the batteries add to the existing levels, and allowing an equivalent boost every few seconds would result in ridiculous stacking. But, if you simply use the battery equivalents and only restore power to the predefined settings, then you no longer have the stacking and instead are only using it to fill in the valley. Shield resists are no longer going any higher than they would be in normal circumstances, weapon damage would not be any worse, etc., and you could use the skills for repairs instead of for boosting.

That is how it should be IMO. Make EPtX1 small little repairs, and higher levels give slightly more repairs (EPtX2 the equivalent of large batteries, etc). It would even make cruisers more resilient and escorts more fragile!

Of course then the problem shifts to the lack of spike options on engineers... You could counter that by tweaking eng abilities to give them a little spike boost in their own way. I mean, make EPS speed up weapon recharging and it will be very useful.

Another thing is the APX abilities should be the natural "attack" counterparts to the EPtX abilities, so that engineers could use them in the same way that tacts can use EPtS1. Unfortunately this doesnt work as well, since APB1 is the lowest usable pattern and it is Lt grade.

But at this point we are arguing about the spike counterpart again, because it is equally distorted. Which is why the whole thing needs to be re-considered and not addressed piecemeal.
Empire Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 5,932
# 5
04-14-2013, 02:36 PM
oh good actual numbers showing the huge disparity with and without. best thing about res is that your heals dont have to work any harder, just your attacker. resistance is the god stat, theres no downside to buffing it over anything else. as the average level of res creeps up, spike has been buffed as well. this back and forth has happened over and over, and now they pull the pug on effectively all the res for twice as long as anyone would need to take advantage of that gap? its ludicrous.
______________________________________
Quote:
 Originally Posted by lordlalo I just wanted to say, I've never seen a more disturbing avatar
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Career Officer
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 484
# 6
04-14-2013, 08:28 PM
i don't care ...you can have your resistance back when you nerf tac and escorts till then .....
look for me in game as "Admiral Quinn" yeah that admiral quinn..and while your at it get off muh station!!!
Empire Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 5,932
# 7
04-14-2013, 09:24 PM
Quote:
 Originally Posted by wildweasal i don't care ...you can have your resistance back when you nerf tac and escorts till then .....
that doesn't even make sense. this is the biggest give away to escorts ever, they can already avoid damage. anything that is slower then an escort, so everything else, is made practically nonviable by this. if you want escorts nerfed your going against your own best interests for liking the change
______________________________________
Quote:
 Originally Posted by lordlalo I just wanted to say, I've never seen a more disturbing avatar
the pvp build and help thread
gateway links(should actually work now) -->Norvo Tigan, Telis Latto Ruwon, Sochie Heim, Solana Soleus
Commander
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 394
# 8
04-14-2013, 09:34 PM
Quote:
 Originally Posted by wildweasal i don't care ...you can have your resistance back when you nerf tac and escorts till then .....
.......

........
Captain
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,825
# 9
04-14-2013, 09:36 PM
Quote:
 Originally Posted by dontdrunkimshoot that doesn't even make sense. this is the biggest give away to escorts ever, they can already avoid damage. anything that is slower then an escort, so everything else, is made practically nonviable by this. if you want escorts nerfed your going against your own best interests for liking the change
This is true, escorts face a win win situation with this change for two reasons.

1) Weapon power overcapping does nothing to help DHCs, and marginally improves turrets. This allows you to lower your base power setting and compensate with EPtW allowing you to maintain most of your defensive capacity (via shield power) and still getting a greater than now damage boost. This will be popular in PvE for sustained DPS.

2) The higher your damage avoidance/mitigation becomes the more effective EPtS becomes, and shield power in general. Take a quick guess as to the ship with the best damage avoidance and mitigation (combined) in the game. The 33% increase to strait heal amount (via reduced cooldown) will also benefit escorts more than any other ship for the same reason.

The FAW proc fix combined with the omega proc and dual epts/eptw cycling (via doffs or slotting them) had just allowed cruisers and beams to become competitive. And then they go and F it all up with this.
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Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 825
# 10
04-15-2013, 05:25 AM
I am glad people see the problems STO had since a long time.
I am not glad I still the problems STO had since a long time.
Insights into STO that should be assembled together

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