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Captain
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 818
# 21
04-19-2013, 03:03 AM
I really like the idea of having emergency powers be a passive "toggle" but I personally would like lots of other things reworked into toggles as well. Attack patterns, target subsystem, auxiliary to X. To me these seem like things that should be constant until you say otherwise. If I tell my tactical officer to target the enemy's shields, he should be aiming every shot in an attempt to weaken the enemy shields until I tell him to target something else. If I tell my conn officer to fly in attack pattern beta, he should be performing in the manner that attack pattern entails until I choose to switch tactics.

These klicky skills being changed into "stances" would be dynamic in that you may no longer need more power to weapons, you need it in shields, or you need it in aux for support. You were on the attack a moment ago with attack pattern beta/omega but now you've gone and pissed the enemy off and you need to switch to beta or evasive maneuvers. (I think evasive maneuvers should be a constant defense/maneuverability "stance" that potentially reduces damage output for the duration while the current evasive skill is renamed emergency evasive or something to that effect.)

But, of course, with these changes, I think every ship should have all the attack patterns (save captain-alpha), target subsystems, emergency power to x, and auxiliary power to x baked in. I don't recall voyager or the enterprise not being able to perform attack patterns because of some silly console layout nonsense. Nor was the defiant limited in where it could divert emergency/auxiliary power because of its tactical focus.

I feel that the devs have tried too hard to define stark contrast between the different ships when the differences between them in cannon isn't that great. They all have shields and weapons and engines and auxiliary power and emergency power and really, they just had relatively slight bonuses based on size and technology.

The defiant was one of the most powerful warships in the quadrant because it nearly had the armament of a full cruiser while cutting out all the "fat" giving it far greater evasion, maneuverability, and speed in combat. It was reasonably well defended, but because of the nature of the ship, when it did get hit, it got hit hard.

Cruisers really weren't evading much of anything, but because they are so massive, have large crews, lots of resources and power, they could really take a beating while also dishing out the punishment.

Voyager wasn't just a toothless vessel of science, she was arguably a war ship, unless there was some super sciency reason for her to be carrying tricobalt devices. "What? these? We were just going to experiment by blowing up a few small moons... that's science." And she didn't rely on "space magic" to win all her battles. She was small and agile with advanced shields that gave her the ability to evade while also being able to take a beating.

So I would really appreciate a game that has LESS differentiation between the ship classes so that you can play your favorite ship without being pigeonholed into a role you don't want.

I know some would argue that without forcing the different ships into different layouts and whatnot, that it would hurt sales, but I think it would improve them. How many of you have not bought a ship you really want because the layout was utter crap? Or how many of you have bought a ship that was utter crap because you are a fan? How many buy all the ships simply because you want the full experience and love everything trek? If a particular ship didn't force you into a role or have a crap bridge officer layout, I think more people would be inclined to buy all of their favorite ships because they could actually enjoy flying them at all times, and not just for novelty sake, knowing they will under perform, "but damn it, this ship sure looks perty even when going down in flames."

But now I'm going off on a tangent. So, yes, I'm super in favor of emergency powers being a toggle/stance, yes, combat IS an emergency and if people have a problem with the 'branding' they can get over it or it can be renamed "reserve power to" perhaps? Either way, less freaking clicking/button mashing and staring down cool down timers on the dashboard, more watching the road and strategizing.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 102
# 22
04-19-2013, 12:16 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by wrathofachilles View Post
These klicky skills being changed into "stances" would be dynamic in that you may no longer need more power to weapons, you need it in shields, or you need it in aux for support. You were on the attack a moment ago with attack pattern beta/omega but now you've gone and pissed the enemy off and you need to switch to beta or evasive maneuvers. (I think evasive maneuvers should be a constant defense/maneuverability "stance" that potentially reduces damage output for the duration while the current evasive skill is renamed emergency evasive or something to that effect.)
I don't think you want to go too far with this premise of passive-use powers. The things I like about this EPtX change are that 1) it's a fun and interesting idea we don't have right now, and 2) it saves the player's attention for managing their other powers. Turn too many powers to this model, and it will have a negative impact on gameplay.
Ever played Diablo II? Okay, picture an aura-specialized paladin. They get... a bit dull...


Quote:
Originally Posted by wrathofachilles View Post
I feel that the devs have tried too hard to define stark contrast between the different ships when the differences between them in cannon isn't that great. They all have shields and weapons and engines and auxiliary power and emergency power and really, they just had relatively slight bonuses based on size and technology.
I don't want to side-track this thread, but...
Taking your premise about the cannon at face value (I haven't seen Voyager or DS9), the reason you need a notable differentiation between ships is to create the necessary diversity in play-styles to keep gameplay from getting stale. Your ship is a big part of what determines your play-style, and I expect each ship to play differently. Yes, you will occasionally have a ship you want to use that doesn't fit what you currently do (a tactical officer in an Ambassador, to use my example), but the great thing about the bridge officer system is that you can juggle your BOffs around to fit these new BOff slots. That creates diversity between players, and within a single character's play style, depending on which ship you're using.
Just my two cents, there. Hope I don't start a long tangent here.
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I don't have numbers-- I have research, conjecture, and feedback.
Thank you for yours.
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Rihannsu
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 346
# 23
04-19-2013, 01:18 PM
I like this persistent mode idea, but perhaps it should be renamed to "Secondary Power to X".

To build on Momaw's idea, how about adding a "power system" mod of some kind to all ships? A Power system mod of 1 is basic performance, but a large ship such as an Oddy or a Vo'Quv might have a power system mod of 1.2, i.e. 'Secondary Power to X' has 20% more effect; and the inverse too, a BoP or MVAE might have a mod of .85. It would be a small change, but perhaps enough to give some more use to cruisers.

Last edited by mreeves7a; 04-19-2013 at 02:25 PM.
Lieutenant
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 82
# 24
04-19-2013, 02:05 PM
I love this idea a whole lot. It helps establish that engineering focused ships rightly have flat out more power available than escorts, and it helps reduce the madness of spamming spacebar. Basically have nothing to add other than I like your suggestions.

On the topic of passive powers though I would like to add this to the discussion. While having active powers that we want to press in the proper situation instead of slamming them on CD is a great idea, almost all of STO's boff abilities are /passive/ and not active. For one thing their CD's are rather long, and most tend to simply give Positive effect for X seconds. There is not much, if any thinking involved in pressing any power, whether it be Cannon Rapid Fire, Emergency Power to Weapons, or Attack Pattern: Omega. You want that ability to have as high uptime as possible, so they are all practically passive anyway.

The only abilities that are not in this mold are ones like Beam Overload, the Torpedo Abilities, and some Science ones. The main part is they have massive draw backs, or situations where you can use them wrong. In comparison, the only wrong time to use Cannon Rapid Fire or Fire at Will is if you are not in range your target.

As such while I would /love/ more interesting abilities, I do not think there is much we can do with really any of the current patterns without overhauling all of combat. In lieu changes should be made to fit into this mold, unless /everything/ is changed. Making EPtX an interesting button to press with limited uptime is a great goal...but you have to make it fit with everything else. Changing to name to Power to X, and adding new abilities would be more beneficial and fun for everyone. As it keeps what some players like, and gives options for new builds and strategies to develop.

In short, while the current system is not ideal, it works and some players (like myself) enjoy it. Rather than wrecking the foundation, add new abilities so we can vary playstyle accordingly.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 102
# 25
04-19-2013, 02:51 PM
I think there's a bit more finesse to using most of those powers you mentioned, Melisande, though I will also admit that the DHC-escort is about the most brick-simple ship to play in STO. Even so, powers like AP:O are often staggered at different levels, and may have side-effects which you need to hold in reserve for when they are most needed. For example, I often hold off on using Polarize Hull until either I've been tractored or I'm under such heavy fire that I have little option but to pop it. The same applies to Hazard Emitters when I'm fighting Borg. EPtX is somewhat unique in that it is a low-level, chainable power that can be (and is) easily used for a constant and consistent up-time.

Still, I'm noticing some thoughts from the previous two posters similar to an idea I'm trying to carefully lay the groundwork for in the main EPtX thread to avoid making a fool of myself. (... again...)

The premise is this: for ships that do not chain EPtX for constant power (I run such a ship with my sci), the proposed changes to EPtX do not make the powers any more or less "dynamic." In general, I activate my Varanus' EPtW whenever I've lined up a broadside, and I activate my EPtS whenever I'm under attack and down a few points of shields. That way of using EPtX may be more along the lines of what the devs have in mind, but it never feels like a "panic button" power to me, and that will not change if the Tribble version of EPtX goes live.
In order to achieve that dynamic panic-button effect I think the devs want, they need to go further along the lines they're looking at now.

To this end, I would propose making a new line of four powers, called Reserve Power to X (I kinda' like "Reserve Power" a little more than "Secondary Power," but that's just me :P), which would function more or less exactly like what Momaw has suggested, though I would probably advise a slight reduction on the power bonus of RPtX to compensate for it only chewing up one engineering slot instead of two.

As a sharp contrast, I would propose taking the current EPtX powers, increasing their recharge time to 60 seconds, reducing their up-time to 10-15 seconds (whatever number in there best serves game balance) and substantially increasing the power level bonus that EPtX grants for its duration.
The catch? When EPtX's 10-15 second duration is up, the subsystem it was boosting immediately takes a substantial amount of power drain (reducible by Power Insulators), which can be recovered using standard power transfer rates, just like Beam: Overload.
Finally, EPtX trips the 10 second cooldown on Reserve Power to X (or however long of a cooldown is needed to make sure the EPtX boost doesn't coexist with the RPtX boost).

Although the percise numbers would (as always) need to be dialed in carefully, I think this arrangement would make both current EPtX cyclers happy, and would satisfy Cryptic's desire for a more dashing and dynamic EPtX that requires care and finesse to use, but can be devastating when used well.

... granted, this could also be a terrible idea. But I thought I'd throw it out there anyway.
What do you think?
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I don't have numbers-- I have research, conjecture, and feedback.
Thank you for yours.
--- --- --- --- ---

Last edited by miri2; 04-19-2013 at 02:54 PM.
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,063
# 26
04-19-2013, 03:07 PM
First of all, I don't think you made a fool of yourself from what I can recall, although my mind is particularly sieve-like as of late and my memory may fail me. There are some very opinionated people there who have their philosophy reflected in their posts, and these posts tend to be worded strongly enough that it can be counter-productive to try responding to them to avoid turning the thread into a philosophical battlefield.

However, in regards to this idea, if I am understanding it correctly, I would say that would make the situation far, far worse. The main thing that cruiser captains seem to dislike with this - or at least, I do - is that the boosts provided by EPtS and EPtW are seen - and rightly so - as essential to having a cruiser that does something more than get shot and heal. And without EPtS, even those are iffy.

Unless you want to make the Emergency Power to X abilities you propose separate from the current EPtX we have, and have them coexist, there is nothing to address these problems with cruisers, which still leave them up a creek. Burst power is of only limited value to cruisers, and the same can be said for a lot of ships because with so many cooldowns it is very difficult to manage the entire mess with your concentration literally pulled in dozens of directions at once. Cruiser burst damage is not typically very impressive, so they rely on being able to slug it out. Without EPtW they don't tend to have enough damage output to make a difference, and without EPtS they can't consistently strengthen and repair their shields to have the stamina to survive an extended exchange of heavy fire. Abilities such as these, with long cooldowns, are of only limited use in a cruiser context.

While I can get behind the idea of making a new set of powers for high-level, short-duration power boosts, it is ONLY with the current EPtX abilities in coexistence, and still capable of chaining without breaks popping up to make it all fall apart.
Lieutenant
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 82
# 27
04-19-2013, 03:57 PM
I am totally fine with making an actual line of powers that are really emergency powers. Of course you have to think how they work with current powers. Reverse Shield Polarity is very much your emergency shield button, and it is in game already!

Of course when it comes to APO, it depends on what you are doing. In PvP you might reserve it, but I just pve, and there its damage boost is its prime function, so you want to maximize its uptime, usually with two copies. Granted breaking tractors is a nice function, but sadly its a bit redundant. For example everyone already starts with Evasive Maneuvers! You do not even need to slot anything. And then on top of that there are a few powers that cancel tractors on top of it. Its just a very silly system, which is what I suppose I was trying to emphasize.

If the devs want to change it, it would need a real full overhaul, as just changing one small part without changing the entire system will likely lead to basically...the devs running around on a sinking boat, constantly bailing water without plugging up the holes that lead to the leak in the first place. If that analogy makes any sense whatsoever.

Last edited by melisande77; 04-19-2013 at 04:04 PM.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 102
# 28
04-20-2013, 12:41 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by red01999 View Post
However, in regards to this idea, if I am understanding it correctly, I would say that would make the situation far, far worse. The main thing that cruiser captains seem to dislike with this - or at least, I do - is that the boosts provided by EPtS and EPtW are seen - and rightly so - as essential to having a cruiser that does something more than get shot and heal. And without EPtS, even those are iffy.
I guess I wasn't all that clear in my post about this, but the change I proposed to EPtX was contingent on the introduction of the Reserve Power to X power suite, which would function exactly as our original poster had presented his Emergency Power to X revamp. Without the RPtX suite (the consistent power improvement capability which Momaw has described), yes, the way I described revamping EPtX would be just as bad for current EPtX chaining builds as Cryptic's current set-up, if not worse.
(If it turns out I actually just misunderstood you... oops. Sorry. Just skip to the next paragraph and that should help. :P )

Now that you mention it, though, being able to maintain multiple EPtX-equivalent powers would not be possible under both the OP's draft, nor would it be under mine. The ship would either have to switch back and forth between RPtS and RPtW during a battle, or (under the draft I've proposed) to fight in large doses of spike damage at by dropping your RPtS here and there to summon up large weapon power boosts from an EPtW.
Or, alternatively again, under either the OP's draft or mine, the cruiser could run EPtS-3 (or RPtS-3 under my proposal) to grant a very large power boost to shields, and then use that greater shield power increase in order to divert some of the ship's power setting over to weapons. (This would be much more feasible under these alternate powers, since it only requires the devotion of a single Lt.Commander slot, instead of the two Lt.Commander slots that chaining current EPtX at that level would provide.

Hopefully one of those two paragraphs hit something close to the mark. :)
--- --- --- --- ---
I don't have numbers-- I have research, conjecture, and feedback.
Thank you for yours.
--- --- --- --- ---

Last edited by miri2; 04-20-2013 at 12:46 AM.
Captain
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 818
# 29
04-20-2013, 04:58 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by miri2 View Post
I don't think you want to go too far with this premise of passive-use powers. The things I like about this EPtX change are that 1) it's a fun and interesting idea we don't have right now, and 2) it saves the player's attention for managing their other powers. Turn too many powers to this model, and it will have a negative impact on gameplay.
Ever played Diablo II? Okay, picture an aura-specialized paladin. They get... a bit dull...



I don't want to side-track this thread, but...
Taking your premise about the cannon at face value (I haven't seen Voyager or DS9), the reason you need a notable differentiation between ships is to create the necessary diversity in play-styles to keep gameplay from getting stale. Your ship is a big part of what determines your play-style, and I expect each ship to play differently. Yes, you will occasionally have a ship you want to use that doesn't fit what you currently do (a tactical officer in an Ambassador, to use my example), but the great thing about the bridge officer system is that you can juggle your BOffs around to fit these new BOff slots. That creates diversity between players, and within a single character's play style, depending on which ship you're using.
Just my two cents, there. Hope I don't start a long tangent here.
I've never played diablo, but I don't think it would make the game less interesting to have more of the abilities be dynamic passive "toggles" or "stances" you can switch between with the ebb and flow of combat and I think it would fit more with a 'real' trek experience. For example, we're going into combat in an intrepid class starship with several other players on our team. The enemy is a borg tactical cube.

We're starting in attack pattern beta (active stance) as this will boost not only our damage but the group's damage by lowering enemy resists. Primary power is distributed to give maximum power to weapons with the remainder in aux. Reserve power to aux cause we're going to be using "SPACE MAGIC!". We are targeting weapons (active stance) as this will help the surviveability of the group, and several other ships are already targeting shields (the debuff stacks with diminishing returns to prevent OP-ness, so targeting shields would be a waste.)

We fire off a gravity well and a viral matrix (active abilities), "CRAP!" The cube is pissed at us now and we have its attention. "Attack pattern delta!" (stance change)

It's no good, the cube is putting out too much damage for us to even maintain an aggressive defense posture.

"Evasive maneuvers!" (stance switch) Our weapon damage drops 20% to increase our defense, turn rate, and speed by 10% respectively.

"Jam their sensors!"(active power)... it's no good, they're still on us. "reserve power to shields!" (stance switch)

We're doing alright, we can't do as much damage as we were before, but we're doing our part by keeping the enemy's attention and surviving. <<WARNING>>Incoming borg-npc-torpedo-spread-3 of ultimate armageddon. "EMERGENCY POWER TO SHIELDS! BRACE FOR IMPACT!" (active abilities)

BLAM! we're in rough shape, but we weathered the storm. main power to auxiliary, we need to heal up. "Engage hazard emitters and divert auxiliary power to the structural integrity field!" (active abilities) Fortunately, a couple other ships have switched to targeting the enemy's weapons reducing the heat we're under. (stance switch)

The odyssey of the group was late to the party, but has arrived in attack pattern omega (stance) targeting the enemy's shields (stance) and firing off a salvo of high yield torpedoes immediately after a beam overload from the dual beam banks (active abilities) and has successfully drawn the cube's attention.

We switch back to attack pattern beta (stance) further enhancing the damage of the group, primary power to weapons, reserve power to auxiliary (stance).

The cube has caught the ody in a tractor beam and is using it's cutting beam on her! This is unacceptable, we fly in close with a charged particle burst (active ability) do disrupt this atrocity. We are successful but the cube takes a tricobalt mine to an unshielded facing and is going down and we're right next to it!

"EMERGENCY POWER TO SHIELDS! EMERGENCY EVASIVE! BRACE FOR IMPACT!"(active abilities) ~(X[*KABOOM!*]X)~ the shockwave nicks our aft shields, but we made it out of there safely.

The rest of the group has moved off to engage the borg transformers, we are assigned to intercept probes. This is a solo job, no assistance and the nature of our ship gives us no pets, attack pattern omega maximizes our damage potential in this situation. (stance switch) The probes we have been assigned for this stf are moving faster than usual, typically we should target their engines, but we have plenty of crowd control, so we will target their shields (stance switch) and use gravity well and tractor beams (active abilities) to get the job done most efficiently.

The probes are in range. "Fire at will and launch a spread of torpedoes once their facings are down." (I would actually prefer fire at will/focus fire, cannon scatter volley/cannon rapid fire, and torpedo spread/torpedo volley to be modes of fire instead of active abilities, which one would switch between. In which case one might "spread the love" to draw agro from multiple targets as a tank, or need to destroy multiple targets at the same time like with a few probes, or be surrounded by enemies but need to focus fire on a single one, or only be engaging a single enemy where focus fire would be best. Beam overload, High yield torpedo, and new! cannon overload, would be active abilities instead. Beam overload used in focus fire mode produces the single uber beam, in fire at will mode, it fires off a burst of very powerful beams at multiple targets. High yield applied to torpedoes in volley mode will fire a single high yield at a single target or several high yield at a single target, depending on if it's a plasma/tricobalt or one of the other torps, high yield in spread mode fires several high yields at several different targets, one high yield per target. Cannon overload in rapid fire gives one long, super pulse at one target, and in scatter volley fires a massive blast like the space version of a pulsewave weapon)

Our operations are running smoothly, however, the other vessel on probe duty has been knocked out of commission by biting off more than they could chew and one of the probes is making a getaway. Their starboard shield is the only one down and we're approaching from their port with them just a couple km away from the temporal portal. "We can't let them escape! Overload the beam emitters and fire a high yield torpedo!" (active abilities) The beam overload blasts through their port shield and the torpedo nearly obliterates them, but they're still going. "Emergency power to engines and ready the tractor beam!" (active abilities) We move into tractor range and catch them just in time, getting off the last few pulses needed to destroy them.

I really could go on and on... but I think I've done enough to show that none of the ships need to be limited or significantly gimped in one way or another compared to the others in order for gameplay to be dynamic and interesting. I personally prefer a game where everyone is capable of doing respectable amounts of damage and taking care of themselves instead of "needing" a healer or "needing" a tank or "needing" a damage dealer.

The primary differentiation I think should be between the ships is that the cruiser is the least maneuverable and thus can't escape the enemy's most powerful attacks or move to significantly take advantage of an enemy's weaknesses, however, it does high damage and can take a beating.

An escort isn't as outright powerful as a cruiser, but its speed and maneuverability allow it to stay on an enemy's weak shield facing giving it a tactical advantage. Its speed and maneuverability also make it hard to hit, so while it can't take the outright abuse a cruiser can, nor can it deal the same outright damage as a cruiser, it takes advantage of weaknesses the cruiser can't, and avoids the damage a cruiser can't.

A science ship doesn't do as much outright weapon damage as an escort or a cruiser, nor is it as fast and maneuverable as an escort, but its speed and maneuverability allow it to take advantage of weaknesses and avoid some damage that a cruiser can't and its advanced shields allow it to withstand direct hits that would wreck an escort's day. Its advanced sensors and deflector dish allow it to most quickly and efficiently identify weaknesses in subspace (and other such stuff) to allow it to target them and create phenomenon such as tykens rifts and gravity wells. Their advanced sensors make them the best at jamming and scrambling sensors. For these science abilities, they would be the 'best' but not have a monopoly on it, so they have shorter cooldowns on these abilities and more powerful effects on the abilities, but escorts and cruisers could less frequently and less powerfully perform these functions as well.

This type of a system, to me, creates great diversity and interest, where all ships can pretty much do all things, they just go about it differently and have different strengths. For example, the science vessel having the shortest cools and most powerful effects when using science powers. A cruiser would have shorter cools and stronger effects for using extend shields, reverse shield polarity, and other engineering powers. An escort would have improved attack patterns e.g. 10% loss in weapon damage rather than 20% when using evasive maneuvers stance, more powerful and shorter cools on dispersal patterns and overloads and high yield torpedoes.

So every ship would basically have every skill, just the type of ship would determine how often and how powerfully it can be used, and that would be most often and most powerfully if the skill falls in its "wheelhouse".

Also, with such a system, I would switch boffs from providing active powers when seated to passive improvement of abilities through specializations. So you can specifically reduce the cool/increase the damage/effect/heal of abilities by slotting bridge officers with those specialties. Gravitational Physicist could reduce the cool/boost the damage/pull of a grav well. Shield Dynamics Specialist could improve your extend shields, Advanced Starship Pilot Training could improve maneuver stances or generally the maneuverability of your vessel.

So in short, I would really do the game very differently, and much more like what was in the shows... and sorry for the novel, lol.

And to specifically tie it all into the topic of the thread, I support the OP's suggestion, but feel it could be taken much, much further. Yes, there's less frantic clicking, less mashing of buttons, less gnashing of teeth, but there's more strategy, "watching the road instead of the dashboard" as it were, more versatility, and to me, more fun.
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,063
# 30
04-29-2013, 09:12 AM
-- post wiped due to redundancy on my part --
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