IMO, if its sci-fi instead of sci-fantasy, the mass of the targets would be incorporated into the behavior. If you tried to tractor a moon, you'd just pull your ship into the moon. Same for two ships--a small escort that tries to tractor a dread should pull itself to the dread. TBR would repel the lighter object, maybe you repel projectiles and fighters/shuttles, but trying to TBR a borg cube would just push your own ship away.
I just had two crazy ideas with the Tractor beam that might make it workable again:
1. Tractor beams can miss HOWEVER, once caught with the tractor beam, no magic attack patterns or engine speeds can break free of it.
2. What if tractor beams don't just hold you in place. Perhaps a second optional activation that let players pull ships towards them and deals damage (crushes) ships with their shields? Like a forced "ramming speed" effect.
Mitigation and factors to consider in the damage calculation includes: shield/hull strengths (resistances included), Ship heading, Speed defense (resistance to pulling effect) so that EPtE and APO are still viable in the damage mitigation, but not running away, and perhaps a double tractor beam pull by both vessels (double the damage effect).
Suddenly, even tractor beam doffs (shield drains/energy drains) would look attractive. And perhaps even give some buffs to the tractor beam doffs (- shield damage resistance)?
Also, if a ship is caught with 2 or more tractor beams pulling it in different directions, damage would also be amplified (it should be equivalent of a ship being ripped apart right)?
By implementing these two features, I have not only made endgame tractor beams viable again, but also more viability to self tanking builds *cough* cruiser/engi *cough*.
Edit: Tractor beams would still be balanced in the sense that:
1. They can miss
2. Still be countered by Tractor Beam Repulsors
And for consideration on Cryptic's end, this is not adding any new abilities which won't require a revamp of Boff random ability of the draw.
Last edited by sgtstarfall; 10-01-2013 at 04:01 PM.