Star Trek Online: Call of Valor

A Star Trek Online Fan-fiction.

More steady progress – Season 1.2 is here!

So in the last 3 days, the 1.2 patch was released, with a TON of changes to the game (click this link for the official page listing all the changes), and of course I gotta give my 2 cents, just like any self-respecting opinionated asshole would do. First, I’ll go over the little changes that I think will have big impacts on the game, then finally go over the big additions to the game.

Cryptic has been hard at work...

Several Engineer and Science abilities got altered, in ways that I think will be buffs in the end; the majority of those changes were a shift on the abilities in question now being scaled by the ship’s Aux power level I’m all for this. For a long time, I couldn’t figure out what the point of having Aux power was; I understood it helped turning rate a bit, but as it’s been hard for me to find other people to group with (even within the CF fleet I’m part of >.<), I spend most of my time soloing, so I just leave my ship power in strictly weapons and shields. Even when I play my engineer alts (who are VERY low level right now), I wasn’t seeing any reason to use Aux power. Frankly, I’m still seeing no point to Engine power aside from using it for Full Impulse to get around a map faster, but these new changes make using Aux power for a support character MUCH more noticeable. Engineers will be able to tank and repair better, and several Sci abilities will, I think, become much stronger.

Several other game abilities and features massively affected Tactical officers. Escort hulls got a bit of a boost, and they’ve changed the way energy weapons eat at the Weapon power levels. Now, instead of the energy slowly creeping back up, it returns instantly at the end of the weapon’s cooldown. It still cuts into the amount of damage you’re doing when you’re firing multiple energy weapons at once, but now it won’t completely drain your weapon energy for such an extended period.  Unfortunately, they’ve also lowered the ratio between a weapons base damage and it’s firing arc; basically, the narrower the firing arc, the higher the base damage bonus. Cannons have only a 45 degree firing window right out the front of the ship, but have way higher damage than beams that have a huge 250 degree firing window. Cannons still have that higher damage than beams, but it’s not as much higher as it had been. They also made huge changes to the whole Attack Pattern family of skills, though they specifically singled out Atack Pattern Alpha for a huge nerf. Apparently it was “out of line in the amount of critical hit chance and severity that it was granting”, so they cranked it down.

Better uses for Aux power levels! Sorry, Tactical guys, you got nerfs.

One thing I really like is the changes to subsystem debuff stacking. Before, if you got a damage debuffs to, say, your deflector dish, a -20, a -40 and a -50, they would all stack and add together for a total of -110! Augh!

Not any more! ^_^ Now, they’re all there, but only the strongest one is getting applied! So out of all those, the -50 is the only one you feel. When it’s durration ends or you heal it, the next strongest one still active goes up. So say you have all 3 on you and the -40 expires before the -50? Then it’s as if it was never there, and when the -50 ends, it just applies the -20. This I like.

I am getting the impression they’ve been getting a ton of feedback that the battles are ending too quickly and, with the dificulty settings, higher settings made battles too tough. The space battles were spot-on, though; it’s the ground ones that still need work.

They did several big improvements to fleets and the social aspects of the game, too. The new fleet event calendar is a huge step forward; I know my fleet has been one talking about needing one for a while. There’s a lot of minor tweaks to the interface, like collapsible search fields and new search filter options for finding fleets or teams. A ton of general UI fixes came down the pipeline, too; all for the better.

Well, that’s more than enough of the smaller changes and tweeks; if you want to know more, check out the link above to the official release notes. Now for the big additions.

The new Accolades. If you’ve been playing a while, you’ll have already gotten the huge amount of ‘spam’ from this new system; this is a good thing. Just relax, let the medals flow… I gained an entire grade from the bonuses when I logged in, and I’me only Commander. I’ve been told by fleeties that they had almost 15 minutes o the spam at RA5 and a couple actually gained several grades from the spam. I also noticed some passive resistance bonuses that were added to my guy. “But if this is a new system, where are all these accolades coming from?” Simple: Big Brother has been watching you. Cryptic has been planning to add these since before Beta, they just hadn’t been able to finish the code to activate them. But this hasn’t stopped them from tracking your stats in preparation of giving you the rewards you’ve rightly eared!

Now people of any level can pwn together!

Now players of any level can PWN together!

The other big thing is the new Squad Support. Now THIS I love. It allows players of different levels to party together, and either buff or debuff to match the level of the team leader, so players can more easily group together for missions.This is a huge change. CF already has been trying to have lowbie nights, and this system will make those events MUCH more possible. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to do missions and had RA fleeties trying to help my lowbie character and it turned out disastrous, simply due to the huge level difference.

I’m really curious how this will affect the open grouping features and the Fleet Actions; if it works with those as well, then this opens up so much more of the game. Sure, the STFs are still locked out to anyone below RA, but there’s still so much of the game that this now makes much more accessible. I’ll be trying out some fleet actions with open grouping on to see how well they work together; I’ll post a report on the whole thing at a later date, probably with some screenshots, too ^_^

All in all, some great changes, and some that the jury is still out on. Overall, however, this game still makes me geek-gasm.

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June 6, 2010 - Posted by | Geekgasm

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