Your Suggestions to Fix PvP | STOked 31

Your Suggestions to Fix PvP | STOked 31

This episode features your top feedback on PvP in Star Trek Online, plus another info-packed MATH segment, this week: Cannon Math!

Plus we cover the top stories for Star Trek Online, and the greater Star Trek community. 

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Expanding Universe, Pt 3:

Sneak peaks into the next two STF missions:  “Khitomer Accord” and “Undine Terradome”

– Khitomer Accord is already live, but this video does give away part of the plot that we’ve been keeping hidden…

** If you look closely during the last action sequence of that part of the video, you’ll see Romulan Borg.

– Undine Terradome sounds like a LOT of fun…

** Infiltrate their training facility and find a way to distinguish Federation (or KDF?) hostages, from Undine disguises.

** This mission is not part of the Borg story arc, and doesn’t have any prerequisites.

Death Penalty Details —

– “Normal” Difficulty = NO PENALTY.  No change in overall gameplay as currently set.

– Details for “Injury System”:

    * Low chance of incurring a debuff to various systems/stats per death.  Higher difficulty = higher chance of major injuries.

        — Chance of injury is low enough that they “shouldn’t usually stack past about 2.”  30 minute debuff.

    * Ground = fixed with Regenerators.  Space = fixed with Components. (purchased at Stations, stack up to 20)

    * (Ripoff of Dragon Age’s death penalty!)

Wrath of Khan uniform w/ Open Flap

Including this because I get asked this question A ZILLION TIMES PER DAY…

Dev Response:  mhighison: Took a look and both the closed and the open TWoK uniforms were set since launch day to be unlocked by anyone who had the key. It doesn’t seem like everyone is getting both variants for some reason, so we are looking into a bug fix now. Cheers,Matt.”

Leonard Nimoy announces retirement:

Unofficial announcement of Skill Cap Increase:

DStahl: “Klingon Episodes, a new end game sector (to go along with increased skill cap), and a neutral sector for all factions are in the works for Season 2 launch.”

(Previous rumors indicate Season 2 will be out in approx. June 2010.)


This segment, I’ll be covering the pros & cons of each separate type of Cannon.  Even non-Escort captains may find this handy, to understand their cannon-wielding friends AND FOES.

Weapon Type:

There are 3 types of cannons:  Basic, Dual and Dual Heavies.  

There is a fourth type of “cannon” that is not Escort-specific:  Turrets.  They benefit from all cannon-related skills and abilities, but can be equipped on any ship. Very high power-drain over time, due to 360 firing arc.

Basic Cannons: 

Basic Cannons have a lower overall DPS than the other types of cannons, but benefit from a 180-degree firing arc.  I see these as an alternative to Beam Arrays, if you simply MUST have a wider firing arc than is offered by Dual cannon types. The lower DPS is a noteworthy hit though, so I do not recommend using them. I’ll focus the rest of my notes on DUAL vs. DUAL HEAVY.

Rate of Fire / Energy Drain:

Each of the ‘dual’ type of cannons deal the same dps (damage per second) but Heavies deal the damage in 2 bursts (vs. Dual’s 4 bursts), and draw slightly more energy per volley.  However, you’ll actually end up being able to sustain your rate of fire more easily using DHC in lieu of Dual cannons, due to the slower rate of fire — less up-time, more regen time.  DHC fires for 1 sec and recharges for 2, requiring that you only regenerate 6 energy per second between shots.  DC fires for 1 sec and recharges for 1, requiring you to regenerate 10 energy to stay topped off.

Firing Arc Utilization:

The bursty approach of the DHC allows you to potentially output closer to your ENTIRE damage potential while your enemy is maneuvering in & out of your firing arcs.  If an agile enemy ship only dips into your target zone long enough for you to fire one projectile, the DHC burst will deal much more damage than a DC in that single burst.  On the other hand, a MISS with a Heavy cannon is a much larger dip in your overall damage, than a miss with a normal Dual.

Critical Striking:

According to popular theory, critical hits are where Dual Cannons really shine, in the long run.  By firing twice as frequently, folks say that they end up doing more damage over time based on your chance of critical strikes.  Whereas the slower, heavier hits from a DHC give you fewer opportunities to crit your enemy.  By extending this logic, skills and abilities that increase your chance to crit, and your severity of crits, will skew your overall character profile slightly in favor of Duals over DHCs.  However, keep in mind that DHCs come with a built-in boost to Crit Severity, which may be enough to even the odds.

Increased Damage %:

Abilities like Tactical Team and Attack Pattern Omega have flat % increases to damage, which suggest that they can be better utilized by DHC volleys.  Fewer shots, bigger hits.  It’s not a huge favor toward DHCs.

Rapid Fire:

Now, what about Rapid Fire?  First of all, it causes you to fire twice as many bullets from a Dual Cannon (8 vs 4), but only 1.5 as many from a DHC (3 vs 2).  That seems to skew the math heavily in favor of Dual Cannons.  But because it also reduces the cooldown on your cannons, the math actually works out to be about even.  The real determining factor here, if you’re very fond of Rapid Fire, is your energy drain.  See my earlier notes re: Drain.

Weapon Special Abilities:

This is another area where Duals outshine their heavy compatriots.  The bottom line is this:  More shots = more chances to proc the special ability.  So higher rate of fire = more procs.  Simple, yes?

In Conclusion:

I personally encourage the use of Dual Cannons, but the difference in the raw numbers is miniscule, if present at all.  Most of the argument in favor of either will send you running to Duals, but if you just like BIG NUMBERS, you won’t be handicapping yourself by using a set of heavy-hitting Dual Heavies.


Responses to PvP idea request…

Boils down to two things:

1) Player-controlled “nodes” (systems or stations)

2) Rewards for large-scale PvP involvement, instead of just for single matches. (buffs, currency tokens, unlocked areas/missions)

The idea of a Neutral Zone sector block is repeatedly mentioned.  Players seem to want to have large-scale territorial conflict with other players.

A lot of players have good ideas to incorporate both Fleet-based controls (encouraging large social gatherings), and a cross-implementation with crafting as well in the form of creating stations and their associated defenses.  I can’t say that I’m personally fond of either of these ideas, as they really penalize the casual players, forcing them to be part of massive fleets in order to progress.  There’s a place for that, but I don’t feel that PvP is that place.  But, you wrote about it, so we brought it up!

Another common idea is that matches would be held on schedules (hourly?  bi-hourly?  etc) so that people know when to participate. (helps to encourage participation – nobody wants to sit on an empty map)  Or at the very least have timers between capturing each node, that are readily visible.

The concept of “open PvP” is also raised repeatedly – being able to challenge opponents from Sector Space, and be thrown into a DSE-type instance to duke it out.  Very open to exploits and griefing though, until an email we received from Barry Neville floated the idea about a PvP flag, that includes a 1-minute timer.  His idea also includes that the ‘loser’ of any PvP match gets auto de-flagged and cannot be challenged, or challenge back, until their 1-minute timer resets.  This is a great way to prevent griefing.  But I’d still be worried about the balance of open challenges… what’s to stop a RA5 from challenging a LtComm to a deathmatch in this system?  Unless sectors become level-banded, which further ruins the social atmosphere…

Full props to Darren_Kitlor for this concept:

Next week’s question:  

Cryptic releases a Ship Interiors poll:

Tell us about your Ship Interior concepts.  The more detail the better. 

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