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Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,370
*Warning: wall o' text incoming* (More like normalising with the rest of the industry than being "different")

Recently, I've toying around with another game called AirMech. Now, it's still in beta, but I think that there are a couple of pointers that could be taken from that game.

1. Every enhancement comes with a tradeoff.
In AirMech, you are able to obtain items to improve your Mech and give stat bonuses. However, all of these come with a tradeoff. For example, an item that increased airspeed by 5% would give a corresponding 2% reduction in damage resistance.

For a long time now, we've been thinking along the lines of reducing the effectiveness of a given console/item's effect. For example, the Valdore console. While it was bugged, most of our suggestions to balance it were along the lines of reducing the level of its healing. While this may work in some cases, it is also very difficult to find the sweet spot where it is useful but not overpowered. Considering that this sweet spot tends to be subjective, finding it is sometimes an exercise in futility.

What I suggest is that if something enhances your stats or gives you a great ability, that ability/stat increase should come with a tradeoff. Taking the Valdore console (for the sake of analogy, I shall assume that it was overpowered, and the overpowered aspect was its rate of shield healing) and its dramatic increase in shield healing, equipping the console would result in reducing total shield capacity.

In other words - Passive up and stat down.

We could also use this way of thinking for active ability consoles - Graviton Pulse, for example. Use of the ability should be a double-edged sword. Under this way of thinking, if you use the ability, you would also take half the debuff to yourself, making use of the ability less of a no-brainer.

Here - Active ability debuffs them - debuffs you.
We could also go the passive route - having the console will result in a permanent 5% reduction in your own speed/turnrate.

Another example - TIF. Here, it has two effects - debuff opponents' cooldowns and boost your own (in a timeship). Under this philosophy, one would strip out one aspect of the above, and render yourself vulnerable. For example, if you debuffed opponents' cooldowns, you would also take a hit to your own cooldowns, albeit only to about half the degree of your opponents.

2. PvE - PvP separation
Now, I'm sure that not many would take such a nerf very well, especially those who would prefer to play PvE and have paid for the items.

In AirMech, there are pilots (called ultimates) you can buy with real money, with almost none of their standard equivalents' stat drawbacks. However, these pilots have a caveat - they can only be used in PvE. When equipped in PvP, they will behave like their standard, "gimped" counterparts.

I believe that to properly balance PvP in STO at this point, we need to separate the two. In part one, I proposed a number of drawbacks that consoles might have to balance the benefits they get. Under this method, consoles would have drawbacks introduced, but they would only take effect in PvP. This, I know, is not a new idea, but I believe that it would be necessary in the context of Part 1.

Thanks for reading, and feel free to discuss. What have I missed? What could be the weaknesses here? Is it an old idea that I just stumbled upon?

P.S. Please don't flame me! *Readies fire extinguisher*
Take it easy!

Ishmael@scurry5: A Nibbling Sci
"Squeak?"

Last edited by scurry5; 06-24-2013 at 10:14 PM.
Captain
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 3,616
# 2
06-24-2013, 08:42 PM
this game suffered from malignant stage 4 trinity cancer, and this must be removed be surgical chainsaw.

this game is, at this point so diseased with powercreep that the devs are completely building themselves into a corner.
a corner to which their bright idea is heavy armor that boosts agility like some idiotic myth & magic rpg with enchanted gear.
which makes me think too few realise what they are doing from a functional balance point of view.

not that the pvp-ers seem to notice how daft that is when all they want is more dakka & more turn.

pretty much everything you say here is valid, but until the devs stop treating this like a myth & magic, planned party only, pve, dungeon raid game, and realise that they need a model that actually reflects what they have here, an open game with pvp thats everything from full pug to mixed to fully planned, and where 95% of their content is solo pve...
its not going to happen.

and this game, that already failed once to maintain itself under a sub model, will run out of people willing to put up with it "because its star trek" or "because the player invested". and tbh, id rather that doesnt happen.
Quote:
Originally Posted by redz4tw View Post
can you say attack pattern angry forumers 3?
Captain
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 4,676
# 3
06-24-2013, 10:05 PM
Your first point is something that is pretty widely done in multiplayer gaming already, ie faster guns do less damage with the same net power consumption, or they are more power efficient but the speed/damage is scaled down accordingly. Nothing should be great at everything and everything should be awful at something. skollulfr proposes somehting along these lines in his sig with ship scaling, its a common argument.

Your second point has been suggested here too, namely the proposal to make PVP reputation and items, and everything else is treated as normal gear.

Unfortunately it seems that the STO production people have convinced themselves that they wont make money selling balanced gear, and everything has to be a little more OP than what came before it. That practice is inconsistent with a balanced game. Either that or they have no idea how to do it.
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,370
# 4
06-24-2013, 10:13 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ursusmorologus View Post
Your first point is something that is pretty widely done in multiplayer gaming already, ie faster guns do less damage with the same net power consumption, or they are more power efficient but the speed/damage is scaled down accordingly. Nothing should be great at everything and everything should be awful at something. skollulfr proposes somehting along these lines in his sig with ship scaling, its a common argument.

Your second point has been suggested here too, namely the proposal to make PVP reputation and items, and everything else is treated as normal gear.

Unfortunately it seems that the STO production people have convinced themselves that they wont make money selling balanced gear, and everything has to be a little more OP than what came before it. That practice is inconsistent with a balanced game. Either that or they have no idea how to do it.
Oh well, puts paid to that then. I don't really have all that much experience in multiplayer gaming, so I guess that explains my ignorance. Thanks for the heads up.
Take it easy!

Ishmael@scurry5: A Nibbling Sci
"Squeak?"
Rihannsu
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,527
# 5
06-24-2013, 10:45 PM
Honestly, I do not know if the game could be placed into a separate state in the way the game is currently..

Because while most of the players I talk with or read about on the forums are Space based, you also have to consider ground as well..

And I can just imagine the nightmare of Cryptic deciding to do this very thing. Because not only would they have to have all of the space gear balanced. They would also have to rebalance ground as well. Not to mention making sure the Ships were still in Balance in space, as well as any other oddities in the ground.. and then you have the separate Traits..

Unless they decided to do something that might sound simpler, and it would be to add a special PVP Effect that every player or PVE spawned item/critter inside the map got effected with. Doing various things like Reducing Ship Hull/Shield amounts, or Healing/Damage by a Percentage, or any other issue that currently effects PVP in a balancing way that can be improved on by doing something like this..

Then it could open the door way to private match options that perhaps allow you to further tweek things, like, for example, No Batteries (Greying them out), or No Consoles (Also turning off Console based Powers), No Cloak (Greying out Cloaking, Battle Cloaking, and Enhanced Battle Cloaking Powers). Sure that is not a perfect solution, but it could be a start to giving the Players what they want..


And I better stop here before I get accused of thread Jacking.. But overall, I don't think we need anything too complicated to fix the problems. Because the more complicated the Fix, the more complicated the Bug that can come about and break things even further.
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Think about this:
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Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 3,275
# 6
06-25-2013, 07:50 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by skollulfr View Post
this game suffered from malignant stage 4 trinity cancer, and this must be removed be surgical chainsaw.

this game is, at this point so diseased with powercreep that the devs are completely building themselves into a corner.
a corner to which their bright idea is heavy armor that boosts agility like some idiotic myth & magic rpg with enchanted gear.
which makes me think too few realise what they are doing from a functional balance point of view.

not that the pvp-ers seem to notice how daft that is when all they want is more dakka & more turn.

pretty much everything you say here is valid, but until the devs stop treating this like a myth & magic, planned party only, pve, dungeon raid game, and realise that they need a model that actually reflects what they have here, an open game with pvp thats everything from full pug to mixed to fully planned, and where 95% of their content is solo pve...
its not going to happen.

and this game, that already failed once to maintain itself under a sub model, will run out of people willing to put up with it "because its star trek" or "because the player invested". and tbh, id rather that doesnt happen.
You're quite right, except you forgot that this is a GAME not a simulator, AND this 'game' is being morphed into neverwinter in space. Don't worry tho, I'm sure Abrams will give the devs something magical to get them out of the corner they're painting themselves into.

Wait, he already has, twice - time travel and the franchise reboot.
KBF Lord MalaK
Awoken Dead

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Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 3,400
# 7
06-25-2013, 08:58 AM
It's a nice idea, but it's unlikely to ever happen:


Here's a quote from the head of all systems and content design, Captain Gecko.

http://sto-forum.perfectworld.com/sh...1&postcount=36

Quote:
Originally Posted by crypticgecko
Note, we will never intentionally (and I and very particular when I say "never") nerf an item/power that was paid for with money without very good reason and without letting you know (believe me, there are plenty I would love to take a wack at beside the Aceton Assimilators).

So they would need a very good reason to ever nerf anything that has been paid for with money.


As much as we'd all like to think otherwise, PvP simply is not "a very good reason" at this time, and very possibly never will be.

Empire Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 959
# 8
06-25-2013, 10:17 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ussultimatum View Post
So they would need a very good reason to ever nerf anything that has been paid for with money.
I don't think that prevents them from building a PvP mode where all gear is balanced, off to the side, so to speak.

They could even leave the existing PvP in place.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of balance problems aside from ships - captain skills, Boff powers, ships...
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Starfleet Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 650
# 9
06-25-2013, 12:08 PM
I propose a different track of thought to balance or importance of ships powers and tactics.

Consider the difference in tactics between arena and cap hold. My personal feeling is the cruiser is more important in zituational pvp than untimed and unadulterared team kill fests. I propose that more pvp scenarios are necessary. There are natural trade offs in situational play that sandbox slaughter differs from, givng more use to some skills builds or tactics.


Also I have long advocated sto has 4 game modes ground and space pvp and pve. Not only should gear/ships be segregated for pvp and pve but also skill point impacts. The game would gain more if skills and abilities had pvp and pve quality factors. Thus achieving balance in each is independent of each other.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 3,400
# 10
06-25-2013, 01:06 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by naevius View Post
I don't think that prevents them from building a PvP mode where all gear is balanced, off to the side, so to speak.

They could even leave the existing PvP in place.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of balance problems aside from ships - captain skills, Boff powers, ships...
Yeah it's a massively broad task to go through and balance all of that gear for one special mode.

I couldn't find the post, but I believe Bort actually posted that the amount of work it would take to go through and create separate stats for items and powers makes it non-viable.


What they can do it seems is create a zone that broadly, and indiscriminately, applies some kind of effect.

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