Torpedos Away! | STOked 48

Torpedos Away! | STOked 48

The boys of STOked dig into the meaty innards of another Engineering Report, and discuss the resumé of a developer newly hired at Cryptic Studios. But hold onto your Starfleet-issued undershorts, cuz they’ve also got a few RANTS in their PANTS regarding the Enterprise J, and time travel in general.

THEN — Have you ever wondered which torpedo belongs in your enemies’ faces? Wonder no longer – Jeremy’s got a MATH segment that will guarantee insight into your all your pwning needs.

PLUS — We’ve got the first batch of Captain Bios ready to receive a community spotlight, as we share the creative side of your fellow STO players.

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Show Notes:


Engineering Report

  • Less focus on content, more on quality (though content is still mentioned frequently).
  • Less focus on Big Season Updates, and more on major features regardless of timeline.
    • This is a direct departure from the previous (Zinc?) attitude of, “we promise to release on these dates.”  The new attitude seems to be, “we promise to release a completely functional feature.”
  • New/clarified categories:
    • “In Development” = Actively being worked on.
    • “In Design Discussion” = Designers are meeting about implementing or improving this.
    • “On Hold” = Previously in development, but had to get shelved due to technical issues.

Hold on a minute.  Enterprise J?
(Insert Jeremy’s Rant)

Tech Support
A hand-picked group of social helpers that have already proven themselves willing and capable of assisting their fellow players in the Tech Support forums.

  • New user group title: “Helpful User, Tech Support”
  • Optional.  If you’re a frequently helpful poster, you won’t automatically be flagged, you’ll have to turn it on from your account settings.  Or you’re welcome to choose not to turn it on.
  • The forums love it.  Despite it being a group of hand-picked players that will have a direct channel to Cryptic…. just like the Advisory Council did, which they hated…

Bill Roper leaves Cryptic

  • He catches a lot of flack for a few bad moves (Hellgate London, Vibora Bay) but remember that he has also helped produce a wealth of excellent game titles including extensive work on Blizzard’s big three franchises:  Warcraft, StarCraft and Diablo.
  • Also named by IGN as one of the Top 100 Video Game Creators of All Time (#41)
  • So… Meh?  I don’t see this as an issue that will directly effect players of STO.  I don’t think he ever even posted on STO’s forums.

This, on the other hand, intrigues me: Jesse Heinig, hired as “Game Designer”

  • Highlights from his resumé include:
    • Fallout and Fallout 2  — Programmer and Feature Designer.
    • White Wolf (PnP RPG company) — Developer/Designer for various projects.
    • Decipher (PnP) — Lead developer of “Star Trek” RPG system.
    • Activision — Production Coordinator for Call of Duty 2.


Torpedoes….. AWAY!

Some of you might recall back in Episode 32 I gave you a run-down of the pros and cons of each different type of energy weapon.  Well, I’d intended at the same time to talk a bit about projectile weapons, but the segment got WAY too long.  But I’ve been getting more and more requests lately to release that information, so that’s exactly what I’m gonna do!  I mean, who am I to say no to the people that watch this crap I put on the internet, right?

One other thing about Episode 32… remember how I talked about the efficiency of skill gains, for higher-cost energy types?  The same math will apply to projectile weapons, skewing heavily in favor of Photons & Quantums.  So keep that in mind as I discuss the individual benefits of each.

Before I get into that though, I wanna give ANOTHER callback to a previous episode of STOked.  You see, waaaaaaay back in “Season2 Episode2” which was aka Episode #21, I gave an overview of How Torpedos Work, including how the damage is calculated based on your skill bonuses in-game.  It’s really interesting stuff to help you understand more about your weapon skills, and investing and sticking to a uniform damage type.  So go watch it!

Ok, that junk’s outta the way.  Let’s talk about things that explode, mmkay?

Consider this your “baseline” torpedo/mine, and all others will be compared to it as necessary.
6.5 sec recharge (fastest available)
– Great choice, if none of the others’ special abilities tickle your fancy.  The fast recharge means you’ll launch a lot of these suckers.

Slower recharge (8.5 seconds)
Approx 110% of Photon damage (hardest hit per torpedo available)
Fastest travel speed
– Good for long-range attacks.  The travel speed makes it slightly more likely that you will impact the shield quadrant you aimed for.
– The higher damage still doesn’t make up for the slower recharge.  If you launch torpedos every time they refresh, you’ll do more DPS with Photons.

Slower recharge (8.5 seconds)
Approx. 75% of Photon damage
33% chance to proc hull fire (DOT does NOT scale!)
– If High Yield is used, resulting torpedo is MASSIVE and slow moving, but can be shot down.
– The HY version of this torpedo seems to have a very good bleed-thru rate against shields, and applies the DOT nearly 100% of the time.

Very slow recharge (10.5 seconds)
Approx. 70% of Photon damage
20% of damage dealt is applied directly to Hull of enemy (instead of standard 10%)
* Only useful if shields are UP.  Otherwise bonus does nothing, and overall damage is relatively weak.
* Here’s some quick math:
10% of 1000dmg = 100 dmg
20% of 700 dmg = 140 dmg
But when shields are down, it’s 1000 vs. 700.  Capiche?

Very slow recharge (10.5 seconds)
Approx. 85% of Photon damage
33% chance to severely hinder movement/turn rates
* Potentially deadly in PvP, especially against opponents that like to flee.  However, the proc can’t really be relied upon.  From personal experience only, seems easily resisted.
* Works better on MINES.  Combine with other stationary hazards (Warp Plasma, Tyken’s Rift, etc) to really mess with your enemy.

(Note:  Only available at Mk X and above)
EXTREMELY slow recharge (60 seconds)
Approx. 250% of Photon damage, in about a 2.0 km area.
Also disables your opponent for a few seconds (all systems offline).
* No normal mode attack — always summons a “High Yield” type (HY cannot modify this torp)
* Travels slower than HY Plasma, and can be shot down.
* In order to compete with Photon DPS, the cooldown would need to be less than 20sec.  Since the true cooldown is more than 3x this, it simply can’t compete.  It’s a fun toy, not a useful weapon.  (Note, this would also be assuming full skill investment!)

And that’s the end of your options.  I’m going to go ahead and restate the opinion I’ve held since … well, forever I think … Quantums and Photons will always allow your ship captain to get the best bang (literally) for his skill-buck.  While each other projectile type has unique benefits that some players may find worthwhile, I’ll forever be in support of the basics.  Cuz after all – it’s their job to blow the other guy up in the most efficient way possible, right?  So let’s not screw around with shield penetration and hindering movement rates.  Just get the job done.  BOOM!


We got a MASSIVE amount of submissions, too many to read through in a week.  So instead, we’re going to spotlight just a few from what we’ll call the First Batch of submissions.  We will do this again next week, as well.

Common story traits:
Every vulcan is broken.

– No Kolinahr, or a mind meld gone wrong, or a physical brain injury.  All have emotions.

Famous Trek characters have interacted with EVERYone.  Or are related to them.

– Descendants of Kirk, or long-lost time-displaced characters (PIKE!), or sponsored into Starfleet by Admiral Janeway, etc.

Every Trill was joined thru an accident.

– “I was on a shuttle with a symbiont who’s host died, so now I’m joined!”

His bio is pretty straightforward, but deserves special recognition because he is one of the ONLY Captains I’ve met that has an ongoing story via his “Captain’s Logs” in game.  Including a very involved and enjoyable personal plotline, in addition to a detailed ‘in character’ account of the Undine’s invasion of Federation space.  The moments between him and his wife (a bridge officer which he also ‘voices’ in his logs) are quite touching, and believable.

Daniel Carver:
Noteworthy because he’s been blogging his experience in-character, as an ongoing storyline.  His blog is named “The Oath” after the Hippocratic oath common to all modern-day medicine, “First, do no harm.”  His character struggles with being a doctor and sticking to this oath, in a time of war and chaos.

Born as a Borg Queen Designate within the Collective, but ‘rescued’ by Starfleet and liberated after the ship they were on was destroyed by a Hekaran Rift.  Only she and one other Queen Designate survived.  After being liberated together, they became friends and eventually married.  Awww.
The most interesting part of this character’s bio though, is a portion that paints the Borg in a new and different light — that their ultimate “destiny” (as they see it) is to unite the Galaxy against a coming threat that can only be faced if all are unified.  They see assimilation as the most expedient and efficient means to that end, and believe that without unification, all life is doomed.  This vast and ancient threat is not mentioned by name in the bio – it’s portrayed as if the character’s time away from the Collective has erased or clouded certain memories, preventing the details from surfacing.

STOked’s One Year Anniversary next episode!!


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