Some might say that Science doesn't need to be made better, certain Dev comments seem to point in that direction. I've also noticed a number of threads and a common feeling that Science is really sub par in relation to other ship classes. Please note up front that I'm referring to Science Vessels as opposed to the Captain Class. I'm also not including the Carrier in this conversation since Carriers do not necessarily specialize in Science in quite the same way, and may even lean more heavily Engineer or Tactical in Construction. The other reason I do not include Carrier in this conversation is that the playstyle of Carriers as well as the weapons loadouts are different. To start, Carriers often have more weapon slots, and 2 hangar slots as part of their weapons loadout, and the Science Vessel gets 3 fore and 3 aft.
So I pose the question: HOW CAN SCIENCE VESSELS BE MADE BETTER, OR MORE RELEVANT IN STO?
I've got a few ideas I would like to spitball, they don't necessarily coincide with one another, in other words I don't think they should all be applied, they're just potentialities.
1) Firstly, it occurred to me that Science Vessels are intended to utilize their Science abilities instead or at least less than their physical attacks (beam arrays, torpedoes etc). The problem with this is that most Science abilities have atrocious cooldowns, and are often easily escapable, particularly with the change of the Skill System that happened when the game went free to play (ie: innate resistance skills and so forth added). It then also occurred to me that most Carriers have all the benefits of Science Vessels, with the added bonus of often better weapon loadouts, and more mobile weapon platforms (Hangars) at their disposal. Clearly the Science ship is just at a disadvantage. It finally occurred to me that if the Science ship is in fact about its dirty tricks, why not give it more dirty tricks to play with? They've taken the weapons away, how about they add a couple more layers of bridge officer abilities, Namely Science officer abilities. I've got a few ideas how this could play out but the two that come to mind are that they could have two 'Deflector slots' where you could install special ScienceShip-Only Consoles/Abilities. The other idea is to simply give Science Ships a minimum of 2 Commander level Science Boff slots. This could allow for he chaining of abilities to be more important to the science ship, and might make actually running at High Aux like it seems to have been intended actually to be an intelligent way to go. This would also help distinguish the Science class from the Carrier class which is quite popular (I myself have always enjoyed Carriers).
2) The Extra Deflector. This idea would mean stronger magnitude Science abilities of a type, or allow Science Ships to spread out the magnitude of their abilities, and maybe help combat the Nerf Cannon effect that gets applied to powers like Energy siphon when attacking players, or Jam Sensors/etc vs. NPC's., Grav Well vs. borg spheres, etc.
3) Increasing the effective Range or magnitude of Science abilities in General. In other words, they could make Gravity Wells, Tykens Rift, Scramble Sensors, etc effect a larger radius, or even offer an innate 'Leaping' effect like some powers such as Viral Matrix can get from doffs.
4) Make Science Team (and even Engineering team) either not on the same cooldown as Tac team, but also Balancing Shields. Shield Balancing is just too good, and everyone who actually plays the game knows it.
Well, those are my ideas for now. I've taken ideas from other people and posted a couple that have bounced around in my head as well. I'm curious to see what other people think.
Buff Sensor Analysis so it takes maybe 20 seconds instead of a minute to reach full strength.
I don't want to overlly pooh pooh your idea, but this buff would probably still be too weak because frankly its so easy to break free from it. Passive Placate Procs on gear and Reps as well as powers like Scramble and Jam sensors start the clock over and over. On top of this all you have to do is get past 10km range to reset the clock. Much like many Science abilities it sounds cool in theory but often ends up way too situational to be useful. Tactical buffs and debuffs are almost never situational and are just plain nasty. Situational in the sense that it is very cooldown reliant as opposed to Tactical abilities which just keep firing and firing with each shot you make.
How about not? This should not even be considered until the KDF and Romulan factions are brought to within screaming distance of the huge number of science vessels available to the Federation.
The KDF has 3, the Temporal Science Vessel (lockbox only), and the Varanus (available as C-store and Fleet version).
The Romulans only have ONE, the Temporal Science Vessel (lockbox only).
Without some form of parity, reworking science ship mechanics is simply more pandering to the Federation, which already has many great ships. See the Vesta 3 pack for an amazing science ship (that comes with a hangar). If you haven't tried it, check it out.
Science ships already have sensor analysis, and subsystem targeting as special abilities.
Science powers on the other hand should be improved a bit, to make them more effective. Stop nerfing science abilities.
Honestly, I feel that, aside from stuff they have added, science is mostly fine.
PvE-wise, they need to change two things:
1. Not make PvE so DPS-intensive
2. Stop giving any and all PvE enemies that are worth anything huge innate resists to all science skills. Not saying it should be super-easy, but with NPCs being essentially immune to any decent sci-skill is just a bit insane.
The only real buff they need at the moment is faster turn-rate. If you look at ship classes in terms of size and turn-rate, then the science-centric ships are all slow-turning relative to their peers. Nova and Olympic are Frigate-sized and turn slower than all other Frigates, while the DSSV is escort-sized and turns slower than all other escorts, and so forth, even the cruiser and dread/carrier classes turn slower.