I have to admit that on occasion I think there are people who have managed to hack the game to get additional power. I have readily admitted to not being an ace in PVP nor am I the king of character builds. I am however a pretty good at building a respectable toon. I have met people who are amazing at squeezing every last drop of power out of a character or in the case of STO a ship and her captain.
That said, I often encounter players in PVE and PVP missions that seem to achieve the impossible with their builds. So the title question begs for an answer.
Generally in any RPG type game you will have to choose what your characters strengths will be. These choices often come at the expense of other abilities. In Star Trek Online we have three basic classes of captain and three basic classes of ships. The game offers a sophisticated range of captain abilities and traits, BOFF abilities, ship abilities, DOFF buffs and all the equipment abilities and buffs. There are so many ways to tweak your setup that I cannot even imagine being able to try them all. That said the game is designed to keep you from being at max defense and max offense at the same time.
I have found people who have an amazing tanking ability in a small ship like an escort. I will come up behind them and unleash an alpha hail of death only to find that I barely scratched their shields. This is fine if they tuned the build to tank at the expense of some offense. But then they turn and fire on me destroying my shields in 1 second and my hull in another. I am left there smoldering in my own debris with that look of; “what the hell just happened”?
I also wonder about the guys with the really fast ships. You know the guys. They are faster in combat than everyone else is in full impulse mode. I know you can drop the Deuterium Surplus for a burst of crazy speed and turning but that only lasts a few seconds. I see guys in PVP buzzing around like a fly on steroids shooting and attacking seemingly indefinitely. I suppose you could have a couple of hundred of those canisters along with evasive manuevers and a few other speed boost abilities that you just continuously recycle through, but that seems a little hectic.
I have played with the settings over and over. I have built a ship with a captain that was all attack and no defense just to see if I could get the DPS up as high as some of the guys I see in PVP. I was not even close. I know there are legit guys out there that really know how to squeeze power out of weapons. I would expect these masters of ship building to create an attack that was 30-40% stronger than my best build. But I am talking about guys that can absolutely rape with DPS that would have to be three to four times as strong as my best attack setup.
It makes me wonder if there are guys who have pulled off the classic game hack. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time players have created God Hacks for their characters in a PVP environment. But has it happened in STO? I don’t know.
I had a friend that really knew how to build an amazing D&D character. I was playing Neverwinter Nights and he came over and looked at my characters. He did a respec on one of them and the results were pretty amazing. But they were not as amazing as what I see in the PVP arena from time to time.
Are there hackers making ships with unnatural abilities like maximum power in all systems or zero cool down on abilities, etc? Or is it just that STO is so complex with the number of variables that there are some combinations that are gaming nirvana? What do you think?