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Upcoming changes to Team shared cooldowns *LIVE as of Mar 6th, 2014*

adjudicatorhawkadjudicatorhawk Member Posts: 0 Arc User
Hi all,

There's been a lot of hubbub about the Tribble changes to the cooldown lockout between Tactical Team, Science Team, and Engineering Team, and I wanted to come give you a rundown of what the change accomplishes and why we chose to do it.

There were multiple reasons to remove this shared cooldown:
  • Certain team powers were rarely getting use due to perceived or real mandatory nature of other team powers - Engineering Team suffered the most here, while Science Team was in-use but played a significant "second fiddle" to Tactical Team
  • Dispel-type abilities are timing-sensitive in nature, but holding off using non-dispel powers so that a dispel would be available when a debuff is applied is unsatisfying gameplay if the debuff never comes or gets put on someone else
  • Similarly, needing to use Tactical Team to survive meant Science or Engineering debuffs applied by Voth or Borg were extra frustrating due to feeling like the player made the best choice they could (surviving) but still being punished (not being able to use the dispel they have equipped and hadn’t used)
  • The shared lockout itself was based on an old paradigm of design within the game that has since been moved away from. It was entirely thematic in its nature – the “Teams” were already busy – and not mechanical – the “effects are too powerful together” justification.
  • The combination of parts 1 and 4 meant that Engineering powers (Emergency Power to Shields) were the most frequent Shield heals, and Science powers (Hazard Emitters) were the most frequent Hull heals. This is contrary to the desired niches of the abilities.
  • Engineering Ensign and Science stations were far less desirable than intended due to Science Team and Engineering Team being on CD when Tactical Team was used. This was discussed back when the D’Deridex was created and again now when we relaunched the Galaxy.
  • Giving players the choice of burst effectiveness but longer gaps in effectiveness (All 3 team powers on 30 second CDs rather than rotating a Team every 15 seconds) is interesting gameplay - deciding whether to mete out my heals over time or blow them all at once determines how vulnerable I am/how many cards I still have in my hand over the next 15 seconds.

"This is disruptive to current meta-game – is this intentional? Is this good?"

It’s definitely intentional. We want players to be able to use Engineering Team and Science Team, but we recognize the importance of Tactical Team in the currently widespread gameplay pattern adopted by many players. We want to make Tactical Team less mandatory over time (and in fact think the power itself is quite overloaded in terms of what it does), but bringing Tac Team’s effectiveness down substantially would be more disruptive than allowing players to use Sci and Eng Team in conjunction with Tac Team. We’re also hopeful that players will now be more willing to use Science and Engineering Teams on allied players once this change is made, since they won’t have to make as much of a choice between selfishness and selflessness as they did before.

The metagame in general is dominated by choices that are “too good” compared to the other choices available. This leaves players dissatisfied with false choice. For instance, Beam Fire at Will is ostensibly an AoE power, but deals more damage to a single-target than normal Beam Fire does. Conversely, Beam Overload is a single-target damage power, but actually lowers the user’s medium-term DPS despite providing burst due to its more-than-substantial power drain, and due to competing with Fire at Will for a power slot. Long term, the more real (nontrivial) choices we can present players with, the happier they will be with the game. This is exemplified in our Trait revamp and our upcoming Kit Revamp, and our ongoing efforts to make all of our ship classes competitive with each other but in different ways.
Post edited by adjudicatorhawk on
Jeff "Adjudicator Hawk" Hamilton
Systems Designer - Cryptic Studios
Twitter: @JeffAHamilton
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Comments

  • trhrangerxmltrhrangerxml Member Posts: 0 Arc User
    edited March 2014
    You have no idea how happy I will be to have Science team back on my tray. I got rid of Science Team and Engineering Team once I got into STF (years and years ago) in favor of a combination of Tactical Team Transfer Shield Strength and Hazards for cleansing. While on my main builds I doubt I'll see Engineering Team returning, it will be on some of my tanks where I dropped it in favor of other heals like Aux2SIF since it didn't interfere with Tactical Team.
    Hi, my name is: Elim Garak, Former Cardassian Oppressor

    LTS, here since...when did this game launch again? :D
  • cers001cers001 Member Posts: 284 Arc User
    edited March 2014
    Well of course there players are going to use Tactical team is it suprising?
    Why use two powers that have no use, Engineering team is for tank ships; no need for it why? nothing in game to tank against
    Why no one uses sci team there's nothing to crowd control or heal in the game cause things go down faster than warp speed in the game, you want them to use those powers give them a reason too no need to complain about us not using them when they are completely USELESS
    CVN-65 U.S.S. Enterprise - A ship so badass it survived John McCain.
  • whatinblueblazeswhatinblueblazes Member Posts: 200 Arc User
    edited March 2014
    Thank you for the great rundown of the reasoning behind the upcoming change. I, for one, really appreciate the peek behind the curtain. I am looking forward to other changes that might make some bridge officer powers more useful, and certain careers (ENGINEERING) more viable.
  • lucho80lucho80 Member Posts: 6,593 Bug Hunter
    edited March 2014
    Ok, I'm happy for the reasoning behind it. So does that mean we can expect more positive tweaks to rarely used boff skills based on usage? My main concern is that ET and ST both clear sci debuffs (ET clearing VM).

  • tardis70tardis70 Member Posts: 23 Arc User
    edited March 2014
    This is great news. Now if I can try and make a better build then the one I have.
  • ogremindesogremindes Member Posts: 39 Arc User
    edited March 2014
    Dispel-type abilities are timing-sensitive in nature, but holding off using non-dispel powers so that a dispel would be available when a debuff is applied is unsatisfying gameplay if the debuff never comes or gets put on someone else

    But when it works it is very satisfying. I know it's sub-optimal, but I usually hung on to tac-team as a dispel (or panic button).

    Personally, I think it would've been better to spin the auto shield balancing off into a new power (preferably engineering, we need more of those, especially at ensign level) and keep the shared cooldown.
  • cryptkeeper0cryptkeeper0 Member Posts: 785 Arc User
    edited March 2014
    Excellent post I hope you do more balance posts like this with methodology and reasoning, unlocking them I think is move in the right direction. But Tac team needs a reworking of some mechanics. Including the whole redirecting shields system. Specifically allowing it to be on toggle. I also think less things need to cleared by tact team, only tactical debuffs and abilities. Same with engineering team with engineering abilities like boarding parties, and eject warp plasma, Aceteon beam. Science same deal here.



    I could see Tact team being a accuracy and defense buff though not a percentage buff and just set increase, based on the level of tact team.

    As much as I like my warp core doff, the ability to use emergency powers as debuff clears, it makes using teams much less import. Because how emergency powers work currently, but if they were different it would break engineering heavy builds, and a lot of pvp. So there is really no good solution to this one.
  • wast33wast33 Member Posts: 1,851 Arc User
    edited March 2014
    thx 4 insights, really appreciated :).

  • commodoreshrvkcommodoreshrvk Member Posts: 477 Arc User
    edited March 2014
    Great explanation and rationale. I now fully well see what you guys are doing and why you will be doing it with lesser used BOFF powers.
  • adjudicatorhawkadjudicatorhawk Member Posts: 0 Arc User
    edited March 2014
    ogremindes wrote: »
    But when it works it is very satisfying. I know it's sub-optimal, but I usually hung on to tac-team as a dispel (or panic button).

    Personally, I think it would've been better to spin the auto shield balancing off into a new power (preferably engineering, we need more of those, especially at ensign level) and keep the shared cooldown.

    Spinning Tac Team into two powers is something we've thought about doing for quite awhile - that's kind of what I was getting at when I say it's "overloaded". However, that change was too disruptive for this kind of content patch - it'd be better suited for a big, systems-focused release that's already changing the metagame with lots of other gameplay changes, so that people don't have to continually re-learn how to play.
    Jeff "Adjudicator Hawk" Hamilton
    Systems Designer - Cryptic Studios
    Twitter: @JeffAHamilton
  • havamhavam Member Posts: 1,735 Arc User
    edited March 2014
    Thanks for providing some background. So there are certain powers which are simply better then others, there are certain ships that are better then others, and there are certain traits that are better then others (looking at you rommies).

    The solution is buff everything else, so players don't get upset. Sounds good, i guess fed and kdf boff traits will be next in line? I'm missing opportunity costs associated with the soon(tm) to come options. How do you intend to reign in powercreep?

    Every time a must have item, power, trait, ... is released into the game it seems specifically designed to be just that: better then the competition. With solo elite stfs, 3 man nws completions, and be vaped or never die pvp matches, what are you guys doing to balance the power creep both in PvE and PvP.

    If the Gal isn't competitive because its design was based on 4 rotating emergency powers and different effects of Eng Team, and if Tac Team is too good for its own sake, instead of making everything else equally too good, wouldn't it still make more sense to fix tac teaming by nerfing it, and buffing the Gal-R?

    Powercreep is having bad effects on both PvE and PvP, won't buffing everything to the same level only make that worse?

  • hypnosnakehypnosnake Member Posts: 0 Arc User
    edited March 2014
    I honestly could not be happier with this change. I love it!

    Thanks for the rationale behind your decision, Cryptic!
  • druhindruhin Member Posts: 7 Arc User
    edited March 2014
    Here's a thought (to make everything more useful I think):

    Tactical Team: Damage Boost / Boarding Party Removal
    Engineering Team: Hull Healing / Shield Rebalancing
    Science Team: Shield Healing / Hull Cleansing (plasma fires and power drains)

    With too many abilities capable of cleansing debuffs, it becomes meaningless to apply said debuffs.

    I'd like to see an added "Heal other" PBAoE. There are no heals ingame currently (afaik) that effect more than 1 player. Hazard Emitters would be a great place to make an AoE Heal ability, possibly adding the Cleansing effect. As the idea holds for a PBAoE, perhaps the Cleansing should only effect the "caster" at max effectiveness, with a reduced effectiveness on teammates? Science Team cleanser would always be superior.
  • marc8219marc8219 Member Posts: 0 Arc User
    edited March 2014
    I will be on tribble more later to test this but please consider how powerful you will make some ships by doing these changes. I can already tell my Recluse will be nearly invincible. Any ship that can slot ET3, ST3, TT1, and still have room for all the other non team skill heals like TSS, HE, EPTS, and Aux2SIF will basically have god mode almost and is not a good idea to give that to any ship, I like my Recluse but still don't want complete god mode on it lol.
    Tala -KDF Tac- House of Beautiful Orions
  • cryptkeeper0cryptkeeper0 Member Posts: 785 Arc User
    edited March 2014
    Spinning Tac Team into two powers is something we've thought about doing for quite awhile - that's kind of what I was getting at when I say it's "overloaded". However, that change was too disruptive for this kind of content patch - it'd be better suited for a big, systems-focused release that's already changing the metagame with lots of other gameplay changes, so that people don't have to continually re-learn how to play.

    I hope that systems release also includes revamped crew system and revamped shield redirect system, maybe a medical team power with it ;).
  • ogremindesogremindes Member Posts: 39 Arc User
    edited March 2014
    Spinning Tac Team into two powers is something we've thought about doing for quite awhile - that's kind of what I was getting at when I say it's "overloaded". However, that change was too disruptive for this kind of content patch - it'd be better suited for a big, systems-focused release that's already changing the metagame with lots of other gameplay changes, so that people don't have to continually re-learn how to play.

    I would've expected a sudden proliferation of science dispels to be more disruptive, but hey, I'm no games designer.
  • adjudicatorhawkadjudicatorhawk Member Posts: 0 Arc User
    edited March 2014
    druhin wrote: »
    I'd like to see an added "Heal other" PBAoE. There are no heals ingame currently (afaik) that effect more than 1 player. Hazard Emitters would be a great place to make an AoE Heal ability, possibly adding the Cleansing effect. As the idea holds for a PBAoE, perhaps the Cleansing should only effect the "caster" at max effectiveness, with a reduced effectiveness on teammates? Science Team cleanser would always be superior.

    You should wait a couple more weeks. :) (Also, the Vesta has a PBAoE heal console)
    Jeff "Adjudicator Hawk" Hamilton
    Systems Designer - Cryptic Studios
    Twitter: @JeffAHamilton
  • orangeitisorangeitis Member Posts: 5,217 Arc User
    edited March 2014
    Spinning Tac Team into two powers is something we've thought about doing for quite awhile - that's kind of what I was getting at when I say it's "overloaded". However, that change was too disruptive for this kind of content patch - it'd be better suited for a big, systems-focused release that's already changing the metagame with lots of other gameplay changes, so that people don't have to continually re-learn how to play.
    I actually like that idea better than mine, which was basically integrating the shield redirection into Shield Redistribution.
  • adjudicatorhawkadjudicatorhawk Member Posts: 0 Arc User
    edited March 2014
    I hope that systems release also includes revamped crew system and revamped shield redirect system, maybe a medical team power with it ;).

    Crew is silly right now. We could pretty much pull it out of the game, buff everyone's out-of-combat regeneration, and nobody would notice. It's on our short list of orphaned powers features. If anyone feels strongly that it should be left in the game, I'd be interested in hearing what you wish it did.
    Jeff "Adjudicator Hawk" Hamilton
    Systems Designer - Cryptic Studios
    Twitter: @JeffAHamilton
  • orangeitisorangeitis Member Posts: 5,217 Arc User
    edited March 2014
    Crew is silly right now. We could pretty much pull it out of the game, buff everyone's out-of-combat regeneration, and nobody would notice. It's on our short list of orphaned powers features. If anyone feels strongly that it should be left in the game, I'd be interested in hearing what you wish it did.
    Please reconsider that. I believe that the suggestions that was in my old thread would be better for the game, rather than just taking another dimension with great potential out.
  • trinitycompletedtrinitycompleted Member Posts: 108 Arc User
    edited March 2014
    Well, I was complaining that the Galaxy revamp didn't cure the Galaxy-R of its chronic "useless 3rd engineering doff slot" problem.

    With this change in, there's less reason for me to whine; I can load my usual two emergency power abilities and stuff engineering team in the 3rd slot without fear it'd never get used in favor of Tac team.

    And now that I don't have to rely on Aux to SIF for hull heals, I could instead slip in Aux to dampeners for spot improvements to the low turn rate.

    This change seems to work especially well for the Galaxy (as though it were be designed for the recent re-release of the c-store versions) and other slow cruisers, but I wonder if it comes at the cost of other ship types.

    Science, for example, is going to be hurt in PvP with the greater ease of using debuff-clearing sicence team.
    Don't phaze me, bro!
  • adjudicatorhawkadjudicatorhawk Member Posts: 0 Arc User
    edited March 2014
    orangeitis wrote: »
    Please reconsider that. I believe that the suggestions that was in my old thread would be better for the game than just taking another dimension out of the game.

    Like I said, we're not dead-set on it or anything - it's just not actually a current dimension of the game. Big ships die once and spend the rest of forever at low crew. Small ships regen to full crew. That's the extent of the mechanic. Removing it wouldn't be making the game simpler (but would potentially be removing an aspect of Trek-ness, which we wouldn't want to do, which is why I posed the question - to gauge how strongly people feel about it.)
    Jeff "Adjudicator Hawk" Hamilton
    Systems Designer - Cryptic Studios
    Twitter: @JeffAHamilton
  • wfs5519wfs5519 Member Posts: 26 Arc User
    edited March 2014
    Crew is silly right now. We could pretty much pull it out of the game, buff everyone's out-of-combat regeneration, and nobody would notice. It's on our short list of orphaned powers features. If anyone feels strongly that it should be left in the game, I'd be interested in hearing what you wish it did.

    Crew might. be more noticable with a bassic distribution ssystem.. i.e damage control teams..medical teams..security teams.
    how to implement it is up for debate.

    i could see myself setting medical teams to boost crew. then lowering it to boost ship regen through raised damage control teams. sship gets invaded? Lower damage control. to boost security teams..

    one is crew regen
    two is ship and systems regen
    three is crew resiliance

    Certain captains,, perhaps, can have crew capacities based on their specialty..
    or maybe they can select types with the ship.

    Larger ships can support a larger amount of one particular group
  • ursusmorologusursusmorologus Member Posts: 5,328 Arc User
    edited March 2014
    We want players to be able to use Engineering Team and Science Team, but we recognize the importance of Tactical Team in the currently widespread gameplay pattern adopted by many players. We want to make Tactical Team less mandatory over time (and in fact think the power itself is quite overloaded in terms of what it does), but bringing Tac Team’s effectiveness down substantially would be more disruptive than allowing players to use Sci and Eng Team in conjunction with Tac Team.
    You could achieve the same results by moving shield-redistribution from Tac Team to EPtS and ST, and adding a damage buff to TT, and it would be less disruptive.
  • ogremindesogremindes Member Posts: 39 Arc User
    edited March 2014
    Crew is silly right now. We could pretty much pull it out of the game, buff everyone's out-of-combat regeneration, and nobody would notice. It's on our short list of orphaned powers features. If anyone feels strongly that it should be left in the game, I'd be interested in hearing what you wish it did.

    It would be better if it able crewmen did something meaningful (loosing crew diminishes overall ship effectiveness, for instance). If it did crew damage mechanics would have to be changed dramatically (crew can presently drop very quickly, and having a larger crew is actually disadvantageous ATM) and crew heals would need to be added to sci boffs (if they're not already. I've never had a reason to find out, after all), and attacks that target crew would be interesting.
  • adjudicatorhawkadjudicatorhawk Member Posts: 0 Arc User
    edited March 2014
    Science, for example, is going to be hurt in PvP with the greater ease of using debuff-clearing sicence team.

    We'll soon be testing some updates to Sensor Analysis that, I think, will make Science really interesting and give it a distinct playstyle that's not at the mercy of their foe's ability to clear debuffs.
    Jeff "Adjudicator Hawk" Hamilton
    Systems Designer - Cryptic Studios
    Twitter: @JeffAHamilton
  • whatinblueblazeswhatinblueblazes Member Posts: 200 Arc User
    edited March 2014
    We'll soon be testing some updates to Sensor Analysis that, I think, will make Science really interesting and give it a distinct playstyle that's not at the mercy of their foe's ability to clear debuffs.

    That is interesting to hear.

    When you begin testing, would you please look at Sensor Analysis and the relationship it has with placates? I know this isn't necessarily a major issue in PvE content, but in PvP placates proc so frequently that it can be very difficult to use Sensor Analysis to its potential.
  • adjudicatorhawkadjudicatorhawk Member Posts: 0 Arc User
    edited March 2014
    That is interesting to hear.

    When you begin testing, would you please look at Sensor Analysis and the relationship it has with placates? I know this isn't necessarily a major issue in PvE content, but in PvP placates proc so frequently that it can be very difficult to use Sensor Analysis to its potential.

    The change we're testing de-couples sensor analysis from your hard target. It lets you pick a target to analyze by using a power on them, and does not require that they remain your target to build up stacks. It builds up to 30% effectiveness over 18 seconds, and it allows you to analyze allies as well as foes, giving you a healing bonus to analyzed allies.

    The change is testing really well internally and should be on Tribble soon, which is why I'm comfortable telling you about it before it sees the light of day. Feedback and tuning on it will still be needed, of course, and as always in game development, this is not a promise that this will be what we end up doing. :)
    Jeff "Adjudicator Hawk" Hamilton
    Systems Designer - Cryptic Studios
    Twitter: @JeffAHamilton
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