Am I Alone on This?

How about that click bait title? Am I alone on the idea that Star Trek Online needs to make the game a little more diverse? I know I have opined on the notion that there isn’t enough difference in the classes and the career paths. I think the game should offer us a more compelling reason to have more toons on our accounts. I feel like Cryptic is just going through the motions trying to maintain the existing user base. If this is their strategy, it isn’t working.

What if maximum base power levels were increased rather than nerfed. What if the base power level in each system had a max of 150 and a minimum of 5? Now players could really take a stand on whether they wanted a tank or an attack vessel. I also have opined on the fact that there really isn’t enough hull strength variance between tactical ships and engineering ships. I get that Cryptic wanted a player to be able to fly a smaller tactical ship and still be competitive. In Trek Canon a single BoP would not have the capacity to take on a flagship like the Galaxy Class, for example. I get all that, but making the BoP have a MUCH higher attack level in exchange for a fragile hull is an opportunity to create space between the ship classes that is still believable. Fixing the crappy cloaking system is a start and giving the ‘sneak attack’ bonus more teeth would help create dynamic separation of ship classes. It seems cryptic wants all the ships to be very similar rather than very diverse. Take a look at a few ships from Admiral Sager’s fleet. The Admiral is a well-balanced tactical officer with 18 skills in Tactical, 11 skills in Science, and 17 skills in Engineering.

The Admiral’s best overall engineering ship is his T5-U Fleet Avenger Battle Cruiser. It is not is highest hull strength vessel but it is one of the highest. It has a battle ready but unbuffed hull strength of 112,419 that compares with his T5-U Fleet Defiant Escort at 86,321. It seems odd that a big battle cruiser only has 30% more hull strength than a small and maneuverable escort ship. I would think it should be at the very least double. I also get that if the cruisers had too much hull they would be have an unfair advantage. But what if the escorts and raiders got a huge defense bonus when they were closer than say 3km to another ship and what if they had a hull crushing forward attack bonus say 35% more power to the forward 45° firing arc on escorts and 50% on raiders. That would create a whole new strategy for flying escorts and raiders. They would be a risky proposition with a more fragile hull but up close nearly impossible to hit. Also the ‘sneak attack’ bonus would give them a quick strike ability but still fair since a failure to cripple the opponent could leave them vulnerable to counter attack.

Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like there really isn’t enough difference between flying the tactical ships and flying the big cruisers. Turn rate is really the one thing Cryptic seemed to get right, there is a real difference in the way the various ships “handle.”

The hull resistance is a little better on the Admiral’s battle cruiser than the escort, and the hull repair rate is 40% faster as well, but that still isn’t enough differential. It helps when a major attack hits, like when the Crystalline Entity does that death attack, but in more typical combat there isn’t enough difference. I just think there should be a little more seat of the pant fear when flying an escort or raider class ship, you know, holy shit, I might die here. Tactics become real important when a ship is fragile, and likewise having those big cruiser tanks have to pay attention to flanking and how close those escorts are would add a aura of nervous concern for those otherwise unfazed tank players.

Below is the Admiral’s skill chart and the charts of both referenced ships out of combat but in system space. Am I alone on this?

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