Captain
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 2,000
# 1 Photonic Officer.
09-30-2013, 04:31 AM
Mimey2 made a thread discussing Photonic Officer and on the face of it the ability looked a little under appreciated.

Then you realised that you had to use 2 piece maco which is falling a bit out of fashion and a fleet deflector (which has very poor mods outside the sci CD mod) to get good times on mainly science abilities.

It also has a 3 minute cooldown which can be reduced by photonic studies doffs, with a global of 2 minutes.

The formula for working out the new cooldowns is: cooldown/(1+ total cooldown reduction as a decimal)

An example of this with Photonic officer 3 (40% cooldown speed up) and tykens rift 3(60s CD):

60/(1+0.4) = 60/1.4 = 42s.

Not quite the 36s you might have been expecting from a true 40% reduction as per other abilities and doffs.

To get to the point though it got me thinking. On it's own the cooldown reduction isn't enough for most people to choose it over other alternatives and it suffers from diminishing returns which makes stacking less worthwhile in the long run. Indeed 1 copy of aux to battery with 3 technicians will deplete your aux for 10s but will give you a better reduction on the whole.

What also doesn't help is when photonic officer ends your cooldowns revert back to normal. Even if there was 1s left on the clock it will add more time back on the cooldown if the ability didn't become ready to use.

So if it had to have another look at it and a buff what would you buff?

Would you buff the cooldown aspect but keep it at a 1min on 1-2 min/s off cycle?

Would you prefer a greater duration so that you can enjoy the benefits longer?

Would you reduce the global cooldown so you can keep it up almost indefinitely?

Thoughts and suggestions below please =)

Oh and my personal preference would be reduce the global to 1 min so with some PSS and 1 deflector or 2 piece maco you could get 100% uptime.
------
It is through repetition that we learn our weakness.
A master with a stone is better than a novice with a sword.

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Last edited by bpharma; 09-30-2013 at 04:34 AM.
Survivor of Romulus
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 1,203
# 2
09-30-2013, 07:44 AM
Hmm. I'd like it if the cooldown were reduced, or could be reduced even further if you have more than one photonic scientist. That might give it better synergy with something like photonic wave.

Considering aux2batt require 3 techs to get everything rolling smoothly, I'd like it if science had a similar system with photonic officer.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,124
# 3
09-30-2013, 07:49 AM
It is tough to make changes to the ability for balance when the cool down buff isn't permanent, that is why it is useless, it isn't reliable and just can't be built into anything as it stands. Fix it to cool down similar to tech doffs and it becomes potentially useful, though its own long cool down would make it not that strong.
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Empire Veteran
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 5,442
# 4
09-30-2013, 09:56 AM
I've been thinking about it, and I think I agree more with Naz, at least PvP-wise:

Sci ships have two modes:

Passive (for when not much is going on, and you are waiting on CD cycles to end)
Active (when you are ready to do all your sciency-stuff, be it heals, debuffs, whatever, to people and you want those shorter CDs)

You could argue it is similar for PvE. I could give an example if you want.

So here's my ideas for balancing it:

Up the CD reduction a few percantage points at all levels, or at least at PO 3. Then reduce the global CD by 30 seconds or so.

So you give up more DOFF slots, keeping it more in line with A2B in that regard, plus if you use enough DOFFs or use two BOFF slots for it, you can have a smaller over all CD reduction, but give up slots for it, be it your Cmdr slot and DOFF slots, or maybe no DOFFs but give up at least two Lt slots.

At the very least, remove that silly 'returns all CDs to normal level' thing would go a long way and make it less annoying when the ability ended. A2B don't do that.

Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 936
# 5
09-30-2013, 11:45 AM
My only "problem" with comparing Pho. Off. to A2Bat is that PO has little to no "downside", while A2B has the problem that it sucks your aux. to zilch for the effects... (and is based off of that level, IIRC, so you don't get full benefit unless you're running high Aux to begin with)...

Therefore, gunning for PO getting most skills all the way to global (like A2B) isn't gonna be "fair" - everyone will switch from A2B cruisers to PO Wells/Recluses...

30 second uptime & "global", 1 min CD. PO does not affect any other copies of PO, Cooldown reduction is "permanent" in that it remains even if PO goes off cooldown...

This way, you can chain 2x for a minute of coverage, be down 30 seconds, then repeat, that 30 second window of no uptime is the "cost" for going PO over A2B...
Yes, I'm going here. Iconic / "hero" ships, I'm talking Galaxy/Defiant/Intrepid here you TNG-era fans, get a T6 version, then ALL the hero ships (Connie, Miranda, NX, etc.) need one too. I'm a ToS fan, and proud of it. This is a themepark, let me enjoy my ride or none of us deserve one...
Captain
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 2,000
# 6
09-30-2013, 12:04 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by dareau View Post
My only "problem" with comparing Pho. Off. to A2Bat is that PO has little to no "downside", while A2B has the problem that it sucks your aux. to zilch for the effects... (and is based off of that level, IIRC, so you don't get full benefit unless you're running high Aux to begin with)...

Therefore, gunning for PO getting most skills all the way to global (like A2B) isn't gonna be "fair" - everyone will switch from A2B cruisers to PO Wells/Recluses...

30 second uptime & "global", 1 min CD. PO does not affect any other copies of PO, Cooldown reduction is "permanent" in that it remains even if PO goes off cooldown...

This way, you can chain 2x for a minute of coverage, be down 30 seconds, then repeat, that 30 second window of no uptime is the "cost" for going PO over A2B...
Just so we're clear the cool down reduction of 3 technicians with aux to battery is independent of your aux level. It's ironically very good on romulan warbirds as they have barely any aux anyway.

It also only drains your aux for 10s which means you can use 1 copy and not run it back to back to get a proper 30% reduction in cooldowns which is the same as photonic officer 3 by only sacrificing aux for 10s. Photonic officer on it's own at the moment doesn't reduce any 30s cool down below 21s and any 60s cool down past 42s and that's the hard to get T3 version.

I don't know if you have experience with Photonic officer but I think you might want to either have a play with it yourself or read Mimeys excellent thread about it linked above and in his sig.
------
It is through repetition that we learn our weakness.
A master with a stone is better than a novice with a sword.

Has damage got out of control?
This is the last thing I will post.
Starfleet Veteran
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 798
# 7
09-30-2013, 01:34 PM
I've been thinking I might leave Photonic officer as it is and change something else about STO in order to improve it.

Tactical captains have an ability to reduce the cool down on tactical abilities. I would like to give tactical captains another ability in addition to this (not sure what it would do, but something to keep them happy), and give science and engineers each an equivalent cool down reduction ability for their own ability types.

This might help fill the gap that photonic officer leaves?

Not sure about any of this mind you. Its just a thought in passing, I haven't explored the numbers or the implications.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 207
# 8
10-03-2013, 05:00 AM
The basic underlying problem with Photonic Officer is that it is a Reduction Over Time instead of an Instant Reduction like the Aux to Battery plus Technicians combo. Add in the RIDICULOUS Cooldown and Shared Cooldown times (3 minutes and 2 minutes, respectively at max skill pumps) compared to its Duration (1 minute) and Photonic Officer will suffer no matter what you do because its uptime can never be higher than 50%, and is often going to be less than that.

Speaking just for myself, I really have to wonder if a complete overhaul of Photonic Officer to make it more suitable for the game that IS today, rather than the game that WAS back at launch, isn't the right way to go. Heck, just use the existing Photonic Capacitor Captain Trait as an example of how to rework Photonic Officer and you're off to the races! Something like this:

Photonic Officer
Used by: Science Bridge Officers
Target: Self
Ability Type: Buff
Activation: 1 second
Range: N/A
Shares cooldown with: Photonic Officer
Duplicate ability cooldown: 90 seconds
Modified by: Duty Officer Photonic Studies Scientist (Reduces delay trigger on this ability)
Trained by: Bridge Officer Trainer (Rank I and II)
Rank III available only on Photonic Science Officer and Trainable by Science Captains with 6 pumps in Particle Physics*)
* We're LONG past the time where the expired "bring a friend" offer remains a useful recruitment tool, and keeping Photonic Officer III "locked" behind it is just short sighted and spiteful.

Base Cooldown: 200 seconds (at 1 pump in BOff skill)
Cooldown reduction: -10 seconds per +1 BOff pump to BOff skill
9 pumps BOff skill rank Cooldown time: 120 seconds

Photonic Officer I:
  • -6 seconds removed from the Recharge of Engineering powers when using Engineering powers.
    • This ability can only trigger once per 10 seconds (Photonic Studies Scientist DOff reduces this delay).
  • -6 seconds removed from the Recharge of Science powers when using Science powers.
    • This ability can only trigger once per 10 seconds (Photonic Studies Scientist DOff reduces this delay).
  • -6 seconds removed from the Recharge of Tactical powers when using Tactical powers.
    • This ability can only trigger once per 10 seconds (Photonic Studies Scientist DOff reduces this delay).

Photonic Officer II:
  • -8 seconds removed from the Recharge of Engineering powers when using Engineering powers.
    • This ability can only trigger once per 8 seconds (Photonic Studies Scientist DOff reduces this delay).
  • -8 seconds removed from the Recharge of Science powers when using Science powers.
    • This ability can only trigger once per 8 seconds (Photonic Studies Scientist DOff reduces this delay).
  • -8 seconds removed from the Recharge of Tactical powers when using Tactical powers.
    • This ability can only trigger once per 8 seconds (Photonic Studies Scientist DOff reduces this delay).

Photonic Officer III:
  • -10 seconds removed from the Recharge of Engineering powers when using Engineering powers.
    • This ability can only trigger once per 6 seconds (Photonic Studies Scientist DOff reduces this delay).
  • -10 seconds removed from the Recharge of Science powers when using Science powers.
    • This ability can only trigger once per 6 seconds (Photonic Studies Scientist DOff reduces this delay).
  • -10 seconds removed from the Recharge of Tactical powers when using Tactical powers.
    • This ability can only trigger once per 6 seconds (Photonic Studies Scientist DOff reduces this delay).

Note: Photonic Officer III with a Purple Photonic Studies Scientist DOff would have a delay trigger of 5 seconds instead of 6 (because 6/1.2=5), while Photonic Officer I with the same Purple Photonic Studies Scientist DOff would have a delay trigger of ~8.33 seconds (because 10/1.2=8.33).
Additional Note: The triggers for reductions to Engineering, Science and Tactical powers are independent of each other and only apply to their respective BOff skill groups.



The net effect of configuring Photonic Officer THIS WAY is that use of a BOff skill reduces ALL COOLDOWNS for *that type* of BOff (Engineering, Science, Tactical) ... rather than being an Aux to Battery-ish GLOBAL reduction to ALL Cooldowns. The trigger delay component combats "combat spamming" of a huge pile of abilities all at once and thereby rewards a Deployment Over Time methodology in use of BOff Skills, just like the Photonic Capacitor Captain Trait does. And last (but certainly not least!!), configuring Photonic Officer I-III in this way would make how the skill works and is valued by players(!) something that is Complex to evaluate, rather than Simplistic, by virtue of the fact that HOW YOU PLAY determines how much you can get out of it (I know, novel concept, ne? ). Furthermore, it would also mean that how "useful" this BOff Skill is to different builds is also greatly dependent on BOff seating layouts, thus yielding "different" advantages to different Ship Types including differences within Ship Tiers within Ship Classes.

In fact, with this configuration for Photonic Officer as I'm proposing here, you could very well literally apply the BASF motto to the skill ... "Photonic Officer doesn't MAKE the build, it just makes the build BETTER."

For me, the most interesting thing about reconfiguring Photonic Officer in THIS way is that it would nudge players towards something of a "Goldilocks Point" of using their BOff skills "often" without rewarding them for using them *TOO often* ... creating a "reward" structure for "sustained" rather than "spike" use of BOff skills, which in turn rewards thinking and planning ahead in terms of timing use of BOff skills, even if that "2-3 chess moves ahead" type of thinking is only covering the next 5-15 seconds of combat. It also implies, by virtue of the mechanics used, that there's (effectively) three "photonic officers" deployed by the Bridge Officer skill ... one for Engineering, one for Science, one for Tactical ... and that each of them can only be "occupied" with helping One Thing At A Time.

The other "excessively nice" thing about reworking Photonic Officer in this fashion is that you'd finally lay to rest the Negative Player Response of seeing unfinished Cooldowns "snap back" to higher values when the Duration of the (legacy) Photonic Officer's Duration expire. That alone has done more to damage the perceived "value" of this skill than almost any other aspect of it (beyond the fact that it is now completely and hopelessly outclassed by Aux to Battery plus Technician DOff stacking).



In any case, if people think this looks like a promising way to reconfigure the Photonic Officer BOff Skill, perhaps someone could inform my Good Friend(tm) Adjudicator Hawk (/em Redlynne waves), or even Borticuscryptic for me so that they're at least aware of the concept? I'd do it myself, of course, but that would sound a bit too much like tooting my own horn if I did that. But if the community at large starts making collective noises in favor ... well ... that's different then, isn't it?
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,764
# 9
10-03-2013, 05:24 AM
PO is balanced by the fact that you need to both gear for it AND sacrifice a high level boff slot AND return cds to normal once it lapse AND the fact that PO3 is a Gold/LTS only benefit!!

However, that should be all of its weaknesses.

Drop the system cooldown of PO to 1 minute. That's all it needs. It means we can keep PO up indefinitely using 3 PSS doffs not unlike A2B. It would also be balanced against not reducing all spells to system, but it would reduce the 45s ones to 30s, and save off lots of time off science skills which have 45s to 1min cds.

I'd love to see a world where cruisers have aux2batt, sci have PO, and tacs have Tac Ini.
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Last edited by khayuung; 10-03-2013 at 05:46 AM.
Empire Veteran
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 5,442
# 10
10-03-2013, 10:15 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by khayuung View Post
PO is balanced by the fact that you need to both gear for it AND sacrifice a high level boff slot AND return cds to normal once it lapse AND the fact that PO3 is a Gold/LTS only benefit!!
Originally, it was only a Gold/LTS benefit, but WAY back when, with the first holiday boxes (when they released the Bug for the first time), you could get Photonic Officer BOFFs out of that.

Though those have been steadily drying up since.

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